Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul
Could there have been a high-level plot to destroy all early followers of Yeshûa’s teaching? Particularly the apostles? If the answer is yes, then my historical novel might turn out to be a historical murder/thriller novel.
It was a question of business—of economics.
One gold talent was worth approximately 27 silver talents. At 3000 shekels per talent, that’s a lot of tithes (see Tithing, essay #39, in Beyond Religion vol. II).
Who would get the new tithes? How much would the Sanhedrin lose? We know how today’s politicians react to any diminution of their income. IRS is on your doorstep in no time at all. The Great Sanhedrin of Israel consisted of 71 members—that’s a lot of people to support. And then there were the priesthood. A whole tribe of them. Add to it all the other assemblies (each town had one) and you need a tax base. With the new Christian sect siphoning off people, the Christians couldn’t have been popular with the ruling classes. Somebody, somehow, had to protect the status quo. What best way is there than to get rid of them altogether. Dead men don’t pay taxes, but they provide a good example. Isn’t this what all the established oligarchies did do in those days? Or later days. Now?