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Before The Battle Line
by Wayne Blank
It was there that Jesus Christ was taken before "the whole band" ("the whole battalion" as more clearly translated in the RSV) where He was beaten and mocked by the gutless cowards of the Roman military. They feared facing any enemy in a fair fight; anything less than 10 against 1 "superiority" against an enemy was often more than they could handle. The Roman troops, and their commanders, were, with few exceptions, just stupid thugs who any thinking and truly courageous opposing battle commander could quickly turn into thousands of piles of steaming hamburger in the early morning dew, as happened when the Romans faced the likes of Hermann who annihilated three full Roman legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus in Germany's Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD (Jesus Christ was just entering His teenage years in the land of Israel at the time).
Before The Battalion
It was after His being rejected by His own people, a necessary element in the fulfillment of prophecy, that Pontius Pilate handed the Christ over to the entire band, or battalion, stationed in the Praetorium (battalion originated from a word meaning battle line; its numbers varied widely throughout history, but in the recent era was or is sometimes composed of about 600 troops, under the command of a major) where they gleefully tortured their bound prisoner:
"And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate."
Fact Finder: What is the origin of the term "emperor"?