Barabbas was the prisoner who was released by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus. Pilate, who was the Roman governor presiding over the Judea, offered to release one Jewish prisoner in honor of Passover. Presented with the choice, the crowds that had gathered chose Barabbas for release. And the crowds chose Jesus to be the one who would be put to death. Barabbas is mentioned in all four Gospels during their descriptions of the trial of Jesus. In Luke 23:19, Barabbas is listed as being in prison for murder and for having started an insurrection in Jerusalem against the Roman government. The name "Barabbas" consists of "bar," which can mean son, and "abbas," which can mean father or master. "Abbas" continues to be a common surname in the Middle East.

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