|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
I.e., son of Abba or of a father, 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 the Jews were so bent on the death of Jesus that they demanded that Barabbas should be pardoned (Matthew 27:16-26; Acts 3:14). This Pilate did.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ba-rab'-as (Barabbas): For Aramaic Bar-abba = literally, "son of the father," i.e. of the master or teacher. Abba in the time of Jesus was perhaps a title of honor (Matthew 23:9), but became later a proper name. The variant Barrabban found in the 19-Harclean Syriac would mean "son of the rabbi or teacher." Origen knew and does not absolutely condemn a reading of Matthew 27:16, 17, which gave the name "Jesus Barabbas," but although it is also found in a few cursives and in the Aramaic and the Jerusalem Syriac versions in this place only, it is probably due to a scribe's error in transcription (Westcott-Hort, App., 20). If the name was simply Barabbas or Barrabban, it may still have meant that the man was a rabbi's son, or it may have been a purely conventional proper name, signifying nothing. He was the criminal chosen by the Jerusalem mob, at the instigation of the priests, in preference to Jesus Christ, for Pilate to release on the feast of Passover (Mark 15:15 Matthew 27:20, 21 Luke 23:18 John 18:40). Matthew calls him "a notable (i.e. notorious) prisoner" (Matthew 27:16). Mark says that he was "bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder" (Matthew 15:7). Luke states that he was cast into prison "for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder" (Luke 23:19; compare Acts 3:14). John calls him a "robber" or "brigand" (John 18:40). Nothing further is known of him, nor of the insurrection in which he took part. Luke's statement that he was a murderer is probably a deduction from Mark's more circumstantial statement, that he was only one of a gang, who in a rising had committed murder. Whether robbery was the motive of his crime, as John suggests, or whether he was "a man who had raised a revolt against the Roman power" (Gould) cannot be decided. But it seems equally improbable that the priests (the pro-Roman party) would urge the release of a political prisoner and that Pilate would grant it, especially when the former were urging, and the latter could not resist, the execution of Jesus on a political charge (Luke 23:2). The insurrection may have been a notorious case of brigandage. To say that the Jews would not be interested in the release of such a prisoner, is to forget the history of mobs. The custom referred to of releasing a prisoner on the Passover is otherwise unknown. "What Matthew (and John) represents as brought about by Pilate, Mark makes to appear as if it were suggested by the people themselves. An unessential variation" (Meyer). For a view of the incident as semi-legendary growth, see Schmiedel in Encyclopedia Biblica. See also Allen, Matthew, and Gould, Mark, at the place, and article "Barabbas" by Plummer in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes).
Barabbas (10 Occurrences)
Matthew 27:16 They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Matthew 27:17 When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Matthew 27:20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Matthew 27:21 But the governor answered them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They said, "Barabbas!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Matthew 27:26 Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus he flogged and delivered to be crucified. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Mark 15:7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Mark 15:11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas to them instead. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Mark 15:15 Pilate, wishing to please the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over Jesus, when he had flogged him, to be crucified. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Luke 23:18 But they all cried out together, saying, "Away with this man! Release to us Barabbas!"- (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
John 18:40 Then they all shouted again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)