“…two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left …” – Matt 27: 38
The Gospels do not identify the robbers’ names. There are many legends concerning them in early Christian writings, and they were given a variety of names, the most popular of which are Dismas for the good thief and Gestas for the bad. Since they may be spurious, I do not feel it is wise to promote these extra-biblical reports. We are left to the details supplied by the Bible.
It is evident by the specific Greek word used to describe the two robbers that they are not petty thieves, but were armed felons. The word’s use in many secular Greek writings implies an enemy soldier who plunders. This type of “robber” is a pirate of sorts with an emphasis on violence. Other uses in the NT include Jesus calling the Pharisees “robbers” (Mt 21:13). They may or may not be “Zealots.”
Luke called them criminals of the worse kind. It is sad that Jesus was crucified in between two criminals as if He were the worst of the three.