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John 18 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus Is Arrested

18 When Jesus finished praying, he left with his followers and went across the Kidron Valley. He went into a garden there, his followers still with him.

Judas, the one responsible for handing Jesus over, knew where this place was. He knew because Jesus often met there with his followers. So Judas led a group of soldiers to the garden, along with some guards from the leading priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons.

Jesus already knew everything that would happen to him. So he went out and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

They answered, “Jesus from Nazareth.”

He said, “I am Jesus.”[a] (Judas, the one responsible for handing Jesus over, was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am Jesus,” the men moved back and fell to the ground.

He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said, “Jesus from Nazareth.”

Jesus said, “I told you that I am Jesus. So if you are looking for me, let these other men go free.” This was to show the truth of what Jesus said earlier: “I have not lost anyone you gave me.”

10 Simon Peter had a sword, which he pulled out. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back in its place! I must drink from the cup[b] the Father has given me.”

Jesus Is Brought Before Annas

12 Then the soldiers with their commander and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus. They tied him 13 and brought him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the high priest that year. 14 He was also the one who had told the other Jewish leaders that it would be better if one man died for all the people.

Peter Lies About Knowing Jesus

15 Simon Peter and another one of Jesus’ followers went with Jesus. This follower knew the high priest. So he went with Jesus into the yard of the high priest’s house. 16 But Peter waited outside near the door. The follower who knew the high priest came back outside and spoke to the gatekeeper. Then he brought Peter inside. 17 The girl at the gate said to Peter, “Are you also one of the followers of that man?”

Peter answered, “No, I am not!”

18 It was cold, so the servants and guards had built a fire. They were standing around it, warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 The high priest asked Jesus questions about his followers and what he taught them. 20 Jesus answered, “I have always spoken openly to all people. I always taught in the synagogues and in the Temple area. All the Jews come together there. I never said anything in secret. 21 So why do you question me? Ask the people who heard my teaching. They know what I said.”

22 When Jesus said this, one of the guards standing there hit him. The guard said, “You should not talk to the high priest like that!”

23 Jesus answered, “If I said something wrong, tell everyone here what was wrong. But if what I said is right, then why do you hit me?”

24 So Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest. He was still tied.

Peter Lies Again

25 Simon Peter was standing at the fire, keeping himself warm. The other people said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of the followers of that man?”

Peter denied it. He said, “No, I am not.”

26 One of the servants of the high priest was there. He was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. The servant said, “I think I saw you with him in the garden!”

27 But again Peter said, “No, I was not with him!” As soon as he said this, a rooster crowed.

Jesus Is Brought Before Pilate

28 Then the guards took Jesus from Caiaphas’ house to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early in the morning. The Jews there would not go inside the palace. They did not want to make themselves unclean,[c] because they wanted to eat the Passover meal. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and asked, “What do you say this man has done wrong?”

30 They answered, “He is a bad man. That is why we brought him to you.”

31 Pilate said to them, “You take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

The Jewish leaders answered, “But your law does not allow us to punish anyone by killing them.” 32 (This was to show the truth of what Jesus said about how he would die.)

33 Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He called for Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did other people tell you about me?”

35 Pilate said, “I’m not a Jew! It was your own people and their leading priests who brought you before me. What have you done wrong?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it did, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom is not an earthly one.”

37 Pilate said, “So you are a king.”

Jesus answered, “You are right to say that I am a king. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”

38 Pilate said, “What is truth?” Then he went out to the Jewish leaders again and said to them, “I can find nothing against this man. 39 But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this ‘king of the Jews’?”

40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a rebel.)

Footnotes:

  1. John 18:5 “I am Jesus” Literally, “I am,” which could have the same meaning here that it has in 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19. Also in verse 8.
  2. John 18:11 cup A symbol of suffering. Jesus used the idea of drinking from a cup to mean accepting the suffering he would face in the terrible events that were soon to come.
  3. John 18:28 unclean Going into a non-Jewish place would ruin the special cleansing the Jews did to make themselves fit for worship. See Jn. 11:55.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

John 18 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Arrested

18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.

He replied, “I am not.”

18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter’s Second and Third Denials

25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

Footnotes:

  1. John 18:9 John 6:39
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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