See Gerald G. O’Collins, “Crucifixion” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 1, pp. 1207–1210.


For a compact summary, see E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985), pp. 294–318.


I owe the useful phrase “privy council” and this understanding of what happened in part to the very helpful popular book by the Jewish scholar Ellis Rivkin, What Crucified Jesus? (Nashville: Abingdon, 1984).


In the judgment of many scholars, this is probably right. See, for example, Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, pp. 301–304.


See John 11:47–53, where the high priest Caiaphas argues that it is better to put Jesus to death than to take a chance on a popular uprising. In this case, John’s Gospel (in general highly symbolic and not very historical) may be closer to what happened than are the accounts of a Jewish trial in the Synoptic Gospels.


See especially Walter Wink’s treatment of Jesus’ attack upon the domination system in his Engaging the Powers (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1992), pp. 109–137.