Cinema: The Dark Brother of Christ

Barabbas. A mysterious figure. The Gospels say only that he was a thief and a murderer condemned with Christ but released by Pilate when the mob, asked to choose which one should live, cried out: "Not this man but Barabbas!" The church fathers say little more. Yet if Christ died for any man he died for Barabbas. What is the meaning of this fateful and God-chosen criminal who gleams in the shadows of the Christian understanding?

In a novel published in the U.S. in 1951, the same year he won a Nobel Prize, Sweden's...

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