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Jesus before Pilate

23 The entire council stood at once and took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They accused him of false testimony, saying, “This man tells us not to pay our taxes to Caesar. And he proclaims himself to be Christ the King and Messiah. He’s a deceiver of our nation.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Is this true? Are you their king and Messiah?”

Jesus answered, “It is true.”

Pilate turned to the high priests and to the gathered crowd and said, “This man has committed no crime. I find nothing wrong with him.”

But they yelled and demanded that Pilate do something, saying, “He has stirred up our nation, misleading people from the moment he began teaching in Galilee until he has come here to Jerusalem!”

Jesus before Herod

6–7 When Pilate heard the word Galilee, he asked if Jesus was a Galilean, and when they told him “yes,” Pilate saw a way out of his problem. He knew that Antipas,[a] son of Herod, ruled over Galilee, and he happened to be in Jerusalem at that time, so Pilate sent Jesus to Antipas.

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Footnotes

  1. 23:6–7 “Antipas” is a nickname for Herod Antipater, son of Herod the Great. The Greek text reads simply “Herod.”

Pilate Questions Jesus’ Arrest

28 Before dawn they took Jesus from his trial before Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.[a] Now the Jews refused to go into the Roman governor’s residence to avoid ceremonial defilement before eating the Passover meal. 29 So Pilate came outside where they waited and asked them pointedly, “Tell me, what exactly is the accusation[b] that you bring against this man? What has he done?”

30 They answered, “We wouldn’t be coming here to hand over[c] this ‘criminal’ to you if he wasn’t guilty of some wrongdoing!”

31 Pilate said, “Very well, then you take him yourselves and go pass judgment on him according to your Jewish laws!”

But the Jewish leaders complained and said, “We don’t have legal authority to put anyone to death. You should have him crucified!”[d] 32 (This was to fulfill the words of Jesus when he predicted the manner of death that he would die.)

Pilate Interrogates Jesus

33 Upon hearing this, Pilate went back inside his palace and summoned Jesus. Looking him over, Pilate asked him, “Are you really the king of the Jews?”

34 Jesus replied, “Are you asking because you really want to know,[e] or are you only asking this because others have said it about me?”

35 Pilate responded, “Only a Jew would care about this; do I look like a Jew? It’s your own people and your religious leaders that have handed you over to me. So tell me, Jesus, what have you done wrong?”

36 Jesus looked at Pilate and said, “The royal power of my kingdom realm doesn’t come from this world. If it did, then my followers would be fighting to the end to defend me from the Jewish leaders. My kingdom realm authority is not[f] from this realm.”[g]

37 Then Pilate responded, “Oh, so then you are a king?”

“You are right.” Jesus said, “I was born a King, and I have come into this world to prove what truth really is. And everyone who loves the truth[h] will receive my words.”

38 Pilate looked at Jesus and said, “What is truth?”[i]

As silence filled the room, Pilate went back out to where the Jewish leaders were waiting and said to them, “He’s not guilty. I couldn’t even find one fault with him.[j]

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Footnotes

  1. 18:28 The Greek is Praetorium, which is the transliteration of the Latin word meaning “general’s tent.” It became used for the Roman governor’s official residence.
  2. 18:29 The Aramaic word for “accusation” is similar to the word devil (“accuser”). Pilate is saying, “What the devil do you have against this man?”
  3. 18:30 The Aramaic word for “hand over” can also be translated “betray.”
  4. 18:31 Implied in the context and made explicit to clarify the illegality of the Jews to crucify Jesus. The Jewish law permitted death by stoning, not by crucifixion. The Scriptures had prophesied that he would be pierced and crucified. This was the cruel manner of death used by the Romans to execute the worst of criminals. For this reason they wanted Pilate to order his crucifixion. See John 12:32–34.
  5. 18:34 The Aramaic is “Have you spoken this from your soul?”
  6. 18:36 The Aramaic is “not yet from here.”
  7. 18:36 The Greek text is not “world,” but literally “this side” or “this realm.” The Aramaic word used here can be translated “not of this age.”
  8. 18:37 Or “everyone who is not deaf to the truth.” The Aramaic is “everyone who came from the truth.”
  9. 18:38 The Aramaic could be translated “Who is truth?” or “Who is the true prince?” This skepticism is still voiced today in postmodernism.
  10. 18:38 As translated from the Aramaic.