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It is a common assumption - made by Skeptics and believers alike - that Jesus underwent an official trial by the Sanhedrin. This, indeed, may have happened, but it may also be a false impression given by an over-literal reading of the Gospel accounts (though we emphasize, again, that this could very well have been an illegal gathering of the Sanhedrin, yet not affect the plausibility of the account).

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5) There was no "trial" - what is being described is an interrogation/indictment or "show trial", and the actual trial came before Pilate. Hence, there were no illegalities.

"To use a Ken Blanchard term, I am a Raving Fan of EZ Numbers." Todd Bracken

Again, this may depend on whether there WAS a verdict (see below).

And so we conclude: We must let the secular histories interpret the Gospels for Pilate's case. It is natural for us to "root for" Pilate as he "tries to set Jesus free" - but this is not what is happening at all. I submit, again, that we have been reading the Gospels askew, and further, that the evangelists did indeed know what was going on. It is only the modern reader, Christian and Skeptic alike, who being unaware of political machinations and having distance from the subjects has given Pilate a character that he never had and that the Gospel writers, though perhaps grateful to Pilate for ANY chance for the freedom of Jesus, never intended.

2) The trial was illegal, and Jesus was not convicted.

Pilate disliked (perhaps even hated) his subjects, and he probably liked to annoy them. He, like many Romans, disliked the Jews and their customs - and this is a key, in our view, to understanding what actually happened. The Gospel Pilate IS the same as the Philo Pilate and the Josephus Pilate - we have simply read the wrong thing into the records of the evangelists.

Again, skeptical response here is notably ineffective. Fricke

I do not propose that this dream be attached with too much importance; it may not have affected Pilate at all, though Matthew and his source perhaps thought it did. What is far more important is what ELSE it indicates!

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Again, in light of the fact that Pilate is fully cognizant of their purposes - turning over Jesus out of "envy" and using him as their hatchet man for their own private grudges - Pilate's reaction becomes quite understandable.

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*Simon the Modest, in reply to Rabbi Eliezer's question concerning his lack of adherence to Temple protocol: "Are you ashamed to admit that the high priest's dog is more beloved than you?", replies "You have said so" - which may be seen as a "shame-faced acquiescence and an embarrassed admission" that Eliezer has caught him. [ibid., 220]

It is putting all of your research together in a format that you can present to people.

2) There is no evidence for any earlier occurrence of the term;

During the volatile Passover season, the presence of these troops was even more crucial: They could not be used out for just any occasion. They would no doubt have been taken from some other post, or denied a well-earned nights' sleep, to participate in Jesus' arrest.