Info:Main Page

New World Encyclopedia integrates facts with values.

Written by online collaboration with certified experts.

Did you know?

Unlike the Western dragon of Europe that is representative of evil, the many Eastern versions of the dragon are powerful spiritual symbols, representing seasonal cycles and supernatural forces. (read more)

Featured Article: Barabbas

Barabbas' followers celebrate his release, with Jesus being flogged in the background.
Barabbas was a Jewish insurrectionist c. 30 C.E. whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, according to the Christian narrative of the Passion of Jesus. According to some sources, his full name was Yeshua bar Abba, (Jesus, the "son of the father").

Barabbas had been charged with the crime of treason against Rome—the same crime for which Jesus was also convicted. The penalty was death by crucifixion. However, according to Christian sources, there was a prevailing Passover custom in Jerusalem that allowed or required Pilate to commute one prisoner's death sentence by popular acclaim. The crowd was offered a choice of whether to have Barabbas or Jesus released from Roman custody. According to the closely parallel gospels of Matthew (27:15-26), Mark (15:6-15), Luke (23:13–25), and the more divergent accounts in John (18:38-19:16), the crowd chose for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. A passage found only in the Gospel of Matthew has the crowd saying, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children."

Popular Article: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant
Born in Königsberg, East Prussia, Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a German philosopher and scientist (astrophysics, mathematics, geography, anthropology) from East Prussia. Quite generally regarded as one of history’s truly great thinkers, Immanuel Kant is known for the historical synthesis of his transcendental method. His philosophy brought together the two major currents competing at the time of the Enlightenment, the metaphysical approach and the empirical approach. Through his “Copernican revolution,” Kant moved the criterion of truth from assertions about an external reality to the immediacy of the knowing self. His contribution practically put an end to philosophical speculation as it had been practiced for centuries, it established a firm basis for factual knowledge (in particular the scientific method), but it also opened the way to agnosticism on ultimate issues. For better or for worse, his legacy has never been entirely transcended to this day.

Kant has been justly recognized for creating a revolutionary synthesis between the absolute, but speculative certainties of the continental rationalism of his time (represented by Leibniz) and the practical approach of British empiricism (culminating with Hume) that ended up in universal skepticism. It is obvious, however, that Kant’s initial position was considerably closer to the continental rationalism of Leibniz and Wolff than to British empiricism. Both his background and his personal inclination caused him to search for absolute certainties rather than pragmatic solutions. Hume’s skepticism merely served as a catalyst to make him realize how little certainty there could be in any metaphysical construct. Kant later described himself as a lover of metaphysics whose affection had not been reciprocated.