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Definition of BARABBAS
: a prisoner according to Matthew, Mark, and John released in preference to Christ at the demand of the multitude
Origin of BARABBAS
Greek, from Aramaic Bar-abba
First Known Use: before 12th century
In the New Testament, a prisoner or criminal freed to please the mob before the crucifixion of Jesus. Described as a thief or an insurrectionist, Barabbas is mentioned in all four Gospels. Following the custom of setting free one prisoner chosen by popular demand before Passover, Pontius Pilate suggested pardoning Jesus, but the crowd protested and demanded the release of Barabbas. Pilate gave in and sent Jesus to his death.