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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 7 GGJ07-8 Chapter

Chapter 8 - The criminal statutes of the temple.

8,1. Listening to this final instructions, they stayed and Agrikola first asked the senior cleric by saying: “What crime did this man commit that he deserves the death penalty from you?”

8,2. Very embarrassed the senior cleric said: “Yesterday afternoon, with a brazen hand he dared to touch the sanctified show-bread and even ate from it, which only the senior cleric can do unpunished under prayer and singing of psalms. He was caught when carrying out the brazen deed and was sentenced to death according to the law, and therefore it does not require any further inquiry, since the deed alone is the biggest proof of guilt of the criminal.”

8,3. Said Agrikola: “So, - this is a very praiseworthy court procedure! According to our law with every criminal it is imperative to find out to what extend the criminal was accountable when committing the crime! If a retarded person is committing a very serious offence, which is according to law punishable by death when committed by a more intelligent person, then the retarded person must be taken in custody, so that he does not pose any further danger for society, and must, if he has bettered himself, be released again or otherwise if he cannot be totally rehabilitated be used as a galley slave, to atone for his sins but at the same be useful to society.

8,4. In addition the circumstances must be investigated by which a criminal sometimes has needed to commit a crime, which circumstances can mitigate a crime. Since there is a big difference if somebody who falls from a roof and kills a person who coincidentally stood underneath, or if someone kills a person premeditated. And between those extremes there exist a great many related circumstances, which every judge must consider, because they can have either a mitigating or aggravating bearing on the crime.

8,5. If for example somebody came as plaintiff to you and said: ‘My brother has been killed through this person!’, and if you, without further investigating the accused, immediately sentence him to death, what miserable judges would you be! Isn’t every judge under our law explicitly instructed to exactly enquire about the cur, quomodo, quando et quibus auxiliis (why, how, when and under which circumstances?), and only then sentencing is to be carried out?! Have you done this with this criminal?”

8,6. The senior cleric said: “But we do not have a Roman law in the temple, only the law of Moses and this reads quite differently!”

8,7. Said Agrikola: “So? If Moses gave such judgmental laws as you are applying in the temple, then Moses must have been the most stupid and most cruel legislator who ever lived, and in comparison we Romans would have been pure gods! But I know the gentle laws of Moses only too well and for the most part we have formed our state laws accordingly, and you temple clerics are before God and before all people the most punishable liars, if you try to convince me that your most stupid, tyrannically cruellest temple statutes are instituted by Moses! These are your own statutes, which you have unilaterally, god-forgotten, completely pointlessly and unscrupulously put together, and now you torture the poor people with your detestable laws at will! Can you recognise this as a law sanctified by a highly wise God?”

8,8. Said the senior cleric: “I did not made the statutes of the temple! They are there and we have to maintain them, irrespective if they are from Moses or from somebody else!”

8,9. Said Agrikola: “Very well, we Romans will know how to contain such nonsense! But now it is time for: Audiatur et altera pars (one should also listen to the other party).

8,10. With that remark he turned with a friendly face to the criminal: “Tell me in all truth what your crime is all about! Don’t lie, but confess everything; since I can rescue you, but also put you to death, if your crime in what ever way deserves the death penalty!”

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 7 GGJ07-8 Chapter