(Bar·abʹbas) [Son of the Father; possibly, Son of the Teacher].
The imprisoned criminal guilty of robbery, sedition, and murder whom Pilate set free in place of Jesus. Pilate did this, “wishing to satisfy the crowd” who clamored for the release of Barabbas at the insistence of the chief priests and older men.—Mt 27:15-26; Mr 15:6-15; Lu 23:16-25; Joh 18:39, 40; Ac 3:14.
This unique custom of releasing a prisoner at the Passover every year finds no basis or precedent in the Hebrew Scriptures, and there is no extrabiblical evidence of it as a Roman practice. It evidently was of Jewish origin, because Pilate said to the Jews: “You have a custom that I should release a man to you at the passover.”—Joh 18:39.