John 19: The Trial

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Excerpt from my 2004 translation of John’s gospel, which begins at Start With John, along with a brief explanation of my interpretive approach.

My 2012 translation of John’s first epistle begins at John A.

My 2015 translation of John’s second epistle begins at John B.

My 2015 translation of John’s third epistle begins at John Γ.

My 2015 and 2017 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians begins at To The Thessalonians A.

My 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.

My 2004 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Korinthians begins at And Now For Something Completely Different….

My 2004 translation of Mark’s gospel begins at Mark 1.

19 1 Then Pilate took Jesus and whipped him. 2 And the soldiers, making a crown of thorns, placed it on his head and a garment of purple they wrapped around him [reference to Jonathan Maccabee, 1 Macc 10:59-66: After Jonathan was recognized by Demetrius as High Priest of Israel (1 Macc 10:32), “King Alexander wrote to Jonathan to come and meet him. Jonathan went in state to Ptolemais, where he met the two kings; he gave them silver and gold, and also made many gifts to their Friends; and so he won their favour. There were some scoundrelly…renegades who conspired to lodge complaints against Jonathan. The king, however, paid no attention to them, but gave orders for Jonathan to be divested of the garment he wore and robed in purple, and this was done. The king made him sit at his side, and told his officers to go with Jonathan into the centre of the city and proclaim that no one should bring any complaint against him or make any trouble for him whatsoever. When this proclamation was made and those who planned to lodge complaints saw Jonathan’s splendor, and the purple robe he wore, they all made off. Thus the king honoured him, enrolling him in the first class of the order of King’s Friends, and making him a general and a provincial governor. Jonathan returned to Jerusalem well pleased with his success” (The New English Bible with Apocrypha, Oxford Study Edition, Samuel Sandmel, et. al. eds., Oxford University Press, 1976). Jonathan was later put to death by Trypho, 1 Macc 13:23. Interestingly, his brother Simon Maccabee [cf. Simon Peter] became High Priest after his death. Pilate knows his history and presents Jesus, with heavy irony, as reminiscent of the great military Messiah, Jonathan Maccabee] 3 and they went up to him and were saying, “Hail the King of the Judeans;” and they gave him a beating.

4 And Pilate again went out and he says to them, “Behold I lead him out to you, so that you might know that I have found no guilt in him.” 5 Then Jesus went out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. And [Pilate] says to them, “Behold the man!” 6 Then when they saw him, the chief priests and soldiers shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate says to them, “You take him and crucify him; for I have not found any guilt in him.” 7 The Judeans answered him, “We have a law and according to the law, it is an obligation to kill [him] because he made himself out to be a son of God.”

8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was very afraid, 9 and he went into the court again and he says to Jesus, “Where are you from?” but Jesus did not give him an answer.

10 Pilate then says to him, “Will you not speak to me? Don’t you know that I have authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You do not have authority over me one little bit except it was given you from above; because of this, the one who betrayed me has erred more greatly than you.”

12 From this Pilate sought to release him; but the Judeans shouted, saying, “If this one is released, you are not a friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself king speaks against Caesar!”

13 Then Pilate, hearing these statements, led Jesus out and he sat down upon the seat in the place called Lithostroton [‘a seat of stone,’ the judgement seat], in Hebrew ‘Gabbatha.’ 14 It was the evening of the Passover, about the sixth hour. And he says to the Judeans, “Behold your King!”

15 Then they shouted, “Take him away, take him away, crucify him.” Pilate says to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” [Pilate taunts them, causing them to denounce God as King of Israel] The chief priests answered, “We have no King except Caesar!”

16 Then [Pilate] gave him to them, in order that he should be crucified. Then they took Jesus, 17 and bearing the cross himself, he went up to The Place of the Skull, which is to say, in Hebrew, “Golgotha,” 18 where they crucified him and with him two others, here and there [usu. trans. ‘one on either side’], and Jesus in the middle. 19 And Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross, it was written, “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Judeans.” 20 Then many of the Judeans read this title, because it was near the area of the city where they crucified Jesus; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Judeans were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, “The King of the Judeans,” but that, ‘He said, “I am King of the Judeans.”‘” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 Then the soldiers, when they crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four portions, each soldier a portion, but the inner tunic [was left over]. Now the tunic was seamless, from the top woven throughout as a whole. 24 They said to each other, ‘let us not tear it, but rather cast lots concerning whose it should be;’ in order that the scripture should be fulfilled:

They divided my garments among themselves
and for my clothing they cast lots.
[Ps 22:18]

So then the soldiers did this.

25 Now standing before the cross of Jesus were his mother and the sister of his mother, Maria [wife of] Klopas, and Maria Magdalene. 26 Then Jesus, beholding the mother and the disciple whom he loved standing with her, says to the mother, “Woman, behold your son.” 27 Then he says to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

28 After this, Jesus knew that already all had been completed, [so] in order to complete [‘perfect’] the scripture, he says, “I thirst.” A vessel was there, full of vinegar; then taking a sponge full of the vinegar with hyssop they put it to his mouth. 30 Then, when he received the vinegar, Jesus said, “It has been completed,” and inclining [his] head, he surrendered the spirit.

31 Then the Judeans, who were there preparing lest the body should remain on the cross on the Sabbath, for that day of Sabbath was very important, asked Pilate if they could break his legs and take him down. 32 Then the soldiers went to the first and broke the legs and of the other of the ones being crucified with him. 33 But coming to Jesus, whom they knew had already died, they did not break his legs, 34 but one of the soldiers pierced his side with his lance, and [ευθυς] there came out blood and water. 35 And the one who saw this has testified and his testimony is true, and they know that one, that he [John the author? Is the implied narrator implying the narrator? John, the character, is present at the cross] speaks the truth, in order that you also might believe.

36 For these things happened so that scripture might be fulfilled:

His bones shall not be crushed. [Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12; Ps 34:20]

37 and again a different scripture says:

They will see the one whom they pierced. [Zech 12:10]

38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaia, who was a disciple of Jesus, secretly because of the fear of the Judeans, asked Pilate if he could take the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him over. He went then and took his body. 39 And then Nicodemos came, the one who came to him first by night, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloe, about 100 pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus and they wrapped him in linens with the aromatics, just as it is the custom of the Judeans to embalm. 41 And they were in the place where the garden was fenced and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed; 42 so there, because of the traditional practice of the Judeans, because the tomb was near, they placed Jesus.

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This translation was taken from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, et. al. eds., Third Edition (corrected), United Bible Societies, (in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Printed in West Germany by Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart),1983.


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