Appeared in Spring 1991, Vol. XVII, No. 1

Raymond Brown begins with the Evangelist’s statement (V. 43) that Joseph was a “respected (euschemon) councillor (bouleutes)” (238-239). We take the latter term first. Brown thinks it means Joseph was a member of the great Sanhedrin, the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, not just of some lesser council. And rightly so, given the absence of any indication that a lesser council is meant,3 plus the consideration that a mere member of an inferior body would not have had the “clout” needed to gain access to Pilate, as will be seen later. True, Brown finds it curious that Mark uses this Greek word here for the first and only time, but W. Lane plausibly explains that the evangelist chose the word with Gentile readers in mind.4

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