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There are several similarities between the selection of the Scapegoat, and the selection of Jesus as our sacrifice.

Leviticus 16:7 KJV And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Matthew 27:17 KJV Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.

Matthew 27:21 KJV The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

Leviticus 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.

Leviticus 16:10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

Matthew 27:26 KJV Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Do these passage suggestion a connection betwen the Scapegoat of Leviticus and the figure of Barabbas in the passion narrative?

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Why the down vote as far as I can determine this question in no way defies any precept of questions on this site? – BYE Jan 1 '14 at 12:12
Not my downvote, but it plainly doesn't fit into the list of on-topic questions. In particular, asking what the Bible says about a subject is off-topic unless a specific tradition is specified. – lonesomeday Jan 1 '14 at 15:03
Perhaps I am mistaken but I did not think I was asking about a particular subject, only for a theological comparison of those specific Scriptures. to my understanding that the two could be alluding to each other even though not a comparison. – BYE Jan 1 '14 at 15:44
You still need to be working within a specific theological tradition to be on-topic... – lonesomeday Jan 1 '14 at 15:52
It's certainly an interesting comparison and one worth looking into. If you're ok with a Methodist interpretation I can take a stab at it. – crownjewel82 Jan 1 '14 at 16:17

I suspect not.

For two reasons:

  1. The "goat upon which the Lord's lot fell" was still used as an offering. Barabbas was simply released.

  2. It makes more sense that Jesus is the type both of the sin offering and the scapegoat -- especially given how repetitively the sacrificial system prefigured the Messiah in many other aspects. This repeating imagery amounts at last to layers of nuanced meaning which resolve into a fuller picture of the Messiah than any one (or select few) of the metaphors could have provided.

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+1; the scapegoat represents the taking of Israel's sins. Barabbas does not. – Ryan Frame Jan 4 '14 at 18:06
@ David Michael Gregg But that is my question both the scapegoat and Barabbas were both considered for death, but both were set free while another was killed in their place. My question does the similarity of the situations somehow intertwine even though neither refers to the other. which is why I used the word Allusion. – BYE Jan 4 '14 at 21:23
@ Ryan Frame Unless I am misreading Scripture the scapegoat does not take the sins, but is released and spared death just as Barabbas was and Jesus and the goat on which the lot fell were killed instead. The similarities between the two incidents is very intriguing to me. And as far as things with God go I do not believe in coincidence. – BYE Jan 4 '14 at 21:28
@CecilBeckum: Leviticus 16:20-22 is relevant here. And according to the Talmud, the scapegoat was basically pushed off a cliff (steep hill), "being separated limb from limb." – Ryan Frame Jan 13 '14 at 1:23
There were two goats: One to take on the sins of Israel (the goat pushed off the cliff), and one to cleanse Israel. – James Shewey Nov 8 '15 at 4:45

No - it was Jesus, a few interesting facts:

  1. The Scapegoat was led out of the city by a Gentile...Jesus was led out of the city by the Romans.
  2. According to Jewish literature: The priest placed a red cord on the head of the scapegoat (to represent sin)...Jesus had a crown of thornes oplaced on his head (causing him to bleed).
  3. The Scapegoat was about taking away the sins of the people...John said "behold the Lamb of God WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD".

There are a few more, but I think that gives a bit of backing to my answer.

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The one who led the scapegoat away was a gentile? I don't see anything saying that in Lev 16. – curiousdannii May 19 '14 at 11:28
The scape goat was not killed. Only the Lord's goat was killed. Jesus died on the cross did He not? – One Face Mar 3 '15 at 13:48

The story of Barabbas was an allusion to the scapegoat of Leviticus, not the other way around. Once we recognise the man Barabbas to be a literary creation, we may acknowledge that the story featuring the release of Barabbas was, in its entirety, a literary creation. The story parallels the Jewish practice of releasing a goat (the scapegoat) on the Day of Atonement, to carry away the sins of the faithful, and of sacrificing a second goat. John Shelby Spong says, in Jesus for the NonReligious, page 168, that he has been able to find no evidence that there was a custom of releasing a prisoner at the time of the Passover.

Richard Carrier points out, in his Review of The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark (by Dennis R. MacDonald; Yale University, 2000), that Barabbas means 'Son of the Father' and thus is an obvious pun on Christ himself. The irony in Mark's story (copied to the other New Testament gospels), is that in releasing Barabbas, Pilate released the wrong Son of the Father.

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And Luke says his first name is "Jesus". – cwallenpoole Mar 3 '15 at 20:42
@cwall SOME manuscripts of Luke call him Jesus Bar Abbas. – disciple Nov 5 '15 at 9:03
@Dick Feast of Atonement, not Passover. – disciple Nov 5 '15 at 9:06
@disciple Thank you. I fixed this. Spong wrote 'Yom Kippur' but I inadvertently translated this in my head as Passover. – Dick Harfield Nov 5 '15 at 20:41

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