Aramaic for ‘son of the father’. All the gospels name Barabbas as a prisoner held by the Romans at the time of Jesus' trial as a nationalist rebel (Mark 15: 7) but released. Mark and Matthew report that there was a custom to release a prisoner at Passover (John calls it a Jewish custom which Pilate accepted, John 18: 39) but there is no other evidence for such an arrangement. Some MSS of Matt. 27: 16 f. give the name as Jesus Barabbas (as NRSV)—in which case Pilate's question is ‘Which Jesus do you want released?’ The crowd is said to demand the crucifixion of ‘Jesus who is called the Messiah’ and the release of Barabbas.