Blood curse

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Pilate Washes His Hands by James Tissot - Brooklyn Museum

The blood curse refers to a controversial New Testament passage from the Gospel of Matthew that describes Pilate's court before the crucifixion of Jesus.[1]

Matthew 27:24–25 reads:

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. 'I am innocent of this man’s blood,' he said. 'It is your responsibility!' All the people answered, 'His blood is on us and on our children!'

This passage has no counterpart in the other Gospels and is probably related to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE.[2] Theologian Ulrich Luz describes it as "redactional fiction" invented by the author of the Matthew Gospel.[3] Some writers, viewing it as part of Matthew's anti-Jewish polemic, see in it the seeds of later Christian antisemitism.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Historical Jesus Through Catholic and Jewish Eyes by Bryan F. Le Beau, Leonard J. Greenspoon and Dennis Hamm (Nov 1, 2000) ISBN 1563383225. pp.105-106
  2. ^ Craig Evans, Matthew (Cambridge University Press, 2012) page 455.
  3. ^ Ulrich Luz, Studies in Matthew (William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005) page 58.
  4. ^ Graham Stanton, A Gospel for a New People, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1993) page 148.