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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 7 GGJ07-7 Chapter

Chapter 7 - Agricola interrogates a senior cleric of the temple.

7,1. I hardly finished speaking when a significant crowd came closer, dragging the unfortunate cruelly along in their midst.

7,2. I said to Agrikola: “Now we will walk towards those henchmen, who are led by a senior cleric of the temple!”

7,3. We met them just at the exit of the large gate and I put the words in the mouth of the Roman, and with the powerful, most serious voice and expression of a Roman he said to the leader of the crowd: “What is going on here?”

7,4. The leader said: “We have the old right from Moses, also the Jus gladii, whereby we have the power to carry out sentencing against serious criminals!”

7,5. Said the Roman: “But now I have come as the first imperial envoy from Rome, to investigate the many abuses of privileges given to you by Rome! Where is the ruling of the civil court?”

7,6. The senior cleric of the temple was very much intimidated by this question and he said: “First give me proof that you are in fact an envoy from Rome; since anybody can disguise himself as a Roman and in the name of the Emperor prescribe new laws to us!”

7,7. Agrikola pulled a roll of parchment out of golden cylinder, which carried all the necessary insignia and the senior cleric doubted not for a moment, that the carrier of such a document had to be a powerful high standing Roman.

7,8. Thereupon Agrikola asked with great seriousness, saying: “Now, I have immediately showed you the document when you asked for it; so where is the ruling from the civil court regarding this criminal?”

7,9. Said the senior cleric: “I said it to you before that the temple has an old right provided by Moses, to punish a serious criminal of the temple by death, and this right has also been sanctioned by Rome, and as such the temple acts correctly, if as a deterring example such a wrongdoer against God and the temple is punished by death through stoning as ordered by Moses!”

7,10. Said Agrikola, getting more serious: “Did this temple existed during the times of Moses?”

7,11. Said the senior cleric: “Not as such; but Moses was a prophet and certainly knew in his spirit that Salomon, the wise and great king, would build a temple for God, and therefore a crime against the temple and its most holy institutions is equally punishable as a sin against God Himself!”

7,12. Said Agrikola: “Why then is it a fact that Moses himself has set up a separate judge for such cases and left such matters not in the hands of the priests? How did it happen that also you became judges over death and life of a person? Moses only ordered you to become priests, and Rome has given you, just as your judges took the same right during the times of King Saul, a civil judicial position, but with explicit instructions, that all criminals irrespective their crime, especially those who deserve death, always be handed over the civil judges of the region, and that no priest should in anyway be concerned about the courts action regarding the criminal. Therefore never ever do you have the right to judge or serve sentence on anyone, or in the end even lay your own hands on him!

7,13. Hence, let go this your criminal immediately! I myself shall question him and conclude if his crime deserves the death penalty or not; and woe to you if I detect an injustice from your side towards this man! “

7,14. Upon this sharp threat the henchmen and servants let the criminal go and put him in front of Agrikola.

7,15. And the senior cleric said: “Take this felon! Question him yourself! But I and all these servants are hopefully sufficient witnesses who can stand against his stubborn lies!”

7,16. Said Agrikola: “Very well; it happened that I also have a highly truthful witness on my side and explain hereby beforehand that every lie, from this criminal as well as from your side, will be dealt with the utmost severity! But I will act to an even more severe extend against those who served a malicious and therefore extremely punishable judgement over this poor man!”

7,17. After this not very friendly speech from the Roman, the senior cleric and his servants became very fearful and the senior cleric made an indication to leave and even the servants said: “What have we to do with this? We do not have a will, but we have to obey the will of the temple. The senior clerics must solve this matter with you, high Master, directly! If a criminal must be punished then we execute the judgement; but the reason why somebody has been found guilty in first place, we don’t know anything else apart from what the judges very briefly tell us. Hence, how can we testify against or in favour of this criminal? Therefore, high Master, let us go!”

7,18. Said Agrikola: “This is not the issue at hand, but you will stay because of the senior cleric, who is also going to stay put until I have questioned the criminal!”

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 7 GGJ07-7 Chapter