Add parallel Print Page Options

They[a] began to accuse[b] him, saying, “We found this man subverting[c] our nation, forbidding[d] us to pay the tribute tax[e] to Caesar[f] and claiming that he himself is Christ,[g] a king.” So[h] Pilate asked Jesus,[i] “Are you the king[j] of the Jews?” He replied, “You say so.”[k] Then[l] Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation[m] against this man.”

Read full chapter


  1. Luke 23:2 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  2. Luke 23:2 sn They began to accuse him. There were three charges: (1) disturbing Jewish peace; (2) fomenting rebellion through advocating not paying taxes (a lie—20:20-26); and (3) claiming to be a political threat to Rome, by claiming to be a king, an allusion to Jesus’ messianic claims. The second and third charges were a direct challenge to Roman authority. Pilate would be forced to do something about them.
  3. Luke 23:2 tn On the use of the term διαστρέφω (diastrephō) here, see L&N 31.71 and Subverting our nation was a summary charge, as Jesus “subverted” the nation by making false claims of a political nature, as the next two detailed charges show.
  4. Luke 23:2 tn Grk “and forbidding.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated to suggest to the English reader that this and the following charge are specifics, while the previous charge was a summary one. See the note on the word “misleading” earlier in this verse.
  5. Luke 23:2 tn This was a “poll tax.” L&N 57.182 states this was “a payment made by the people of one nation to another, with the implication that this is a symbol of submission and dependence—‘tribute tax.’”
  6. Luke 23:2 tn Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
  7. Luke 23:2 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 2:11.
  8. Luke 23:3 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the charges brought in the previous verse.
  9. Luke 23:3 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  10. Luke 23:3 snAre you the king of the Jews?” Pilate was interested only in the third charge, because of its political implications of sedition against Rome.
  11. Luke 23:3 sn The reply “You say so” is somewhat enigmatic, like Jesus’ earlier reply to the Jewish leadership in 22:70.
  12. Luke 23:4 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  13. Luke 23:4 tn Grk “find no cause.” sn Pilate’s statement “I find no reason for an accusation” is the first of several remarks in Luke 23 that Jesus is innocent or of efforts to release him (vv. 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22).