Lent Course 2008: Christ on Trial


Williams, Rowan Christ on Trial (Zondervan, December 2000)

Today we are used to a wide variety of trials, of cars, drugs and athletes as well as people in judicial situations. A trial is an attempt to establish the truth; but there is also trial as discovery so we talk about things that are sent to try us. This book is about the way the Evangelists use their accounts of the trial of Jesus to reveal the truth about him. The main concern is not the historicity of the details, although the Synoptic Gospels are probably less reliable on detail than John.

These notes are no substitute for Archbishop Rowan Williams' text; and although parts of his book are difficult, the effort of coming to grips with what he has to say is extremely worthwhile.

The following notes are my personal summary of Archbishop Rowan's book specifically designed to give shape to our Lent Course discussions. As some of the points in the material are somewhat difficult and as some of the links between them are elusive, I have included some personal interpretation of the meaning of some key points.

I have inserted my own series of questions which do not always follow Archbishop Rowan's lines of enquiry.


Please select a section:

  1. Mark: Voices at Midnight
  2. Matthew: Wisdom in Exile
  3. Luke: Knocking on The Window
  4. John: Home and Away
  5. God's Spies: Believers on Trial
  6. No Answer: Jesus and His Judges