ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Barabbas was a notorious robber whom Pilate proposed to condemn to death instead of Jesus, whom he wished to release, in accordance with the Roman custom (John 18:40; Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19). But many Jewish leaders and their followers were so bent on the death of Jesus that they demanded that Barabbas should be pardoned (Matt. 27:16-26; Acts 3:14). This Pilate did.
It is thought by some that the criminal’s full name was “Jesus Barabbas,” but that some later copyists dropped the “Jesus” in his name out of respect for our Lord Jesus Christ. “Jesus” was the name of five biblical men (including Jesus Christ) and is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. However, the King James Version (KJV), New International Version (NIV), the New King James Version (NKJV), and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) all use the consensus of most manuscripts, showing the name as simply “Barabbas.”