A A A A A
Bible Book List

Matthew 26:14-27:66 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Betrayal by Judas. 14 Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,[a] went to the chief priests 15 [b]and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, 16 and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

Preparations for the Passover. 17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,[c] the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 [d]He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’” 19 The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.

The Betrayer. 20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”[e] 22 Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” 23 He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 24 [f]The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” 25 [g]Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

The Lord’s Supper. 26 [h]While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”[i] 27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks,[j] and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 [k]I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” 30 [l]Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Peter’s Denial Foretold. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,[m] for it is written:

‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’;

32 but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” 34 [n]Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.

The Agony in the Garden. 36 [o]Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,[p] and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,[q] and began to feel sorrow and distress. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.[r] Remain here and keep watch with me.” 39 He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father,[s] if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.[t] The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 [u]Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” 43 Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. 44 He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. 45 Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus. 47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.” 49 Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!”[v] and he kissed him. 50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” 55 [w]At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Jesus Before the Sanhedrin.[x] 57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas[y] the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin[z] kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two[aa] came forward 61 who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’” 62 The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus was silent.[ab] Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so.[ac] But I tell you:

From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
    seated at the right hand of the Power’
    and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed![ad] What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!” 67 [ae]Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”

Peter’s Denial of Jesus. 69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 [af]But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” 71 As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” 72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 73 [ag]A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” 74 At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

Chapter 27

Jesus Before Pilate. [ah]When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel[ai] against Jesus to put him to death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

The Death of Judas. Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver[aj] to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.” [ak]Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.” After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet,[al] “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, 10 and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.”

Jesus Questioned by Pilate. 11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”[am] Jesus said, “You say so.” 12 And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,[an] he made no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” 14 But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Sentence of Death. 15 [ao]Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. 16 [ap]And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called [Jesus] Barabbas. 17 So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, [Jesus] Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?” 18 [aq]For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over. 19 [ar]While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.” 20 The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. 21 The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!” 22 [as]Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!” 24 [at]When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” 25 And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged,[au] he handed him over to be crucified.

Mockery by the Soldiers. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium[av] and gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak[aw] about him. 29 Weaving a crown out of thorns,[ax] they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat upon him[ay] and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

The Way of the Cross.[az] 32 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.

The Crucifixion. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), 34 they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.[ba] But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink. 35 After they had crucified him, they divided his garments[bb] by casting lots; 36 then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And they placed over his head the written charge[bc] against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. 38 Two revolutionaries[bd] were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 39 [be]Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, [and] come down from the cross!” 41 Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel![bf] Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 [bg]He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus. 45 [bh]From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?[bi] which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 [bj]Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 [bk]But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.[bl] The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 [bm]The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” 55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance,[bn] who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

The Burial of Jesus.[bo] 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. 61 But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb.[bp] 62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation,[bq] the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.”[br] 65 Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours;[bs] go secure it as best you can.” 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

Footnotes:

  1. 26:14 Iscariot: see note on Lk 6:16.
  2. 26:15 The motive of avarice is introduced by Judas’s question about the price for betrayal, which is absent in the Marcan source (Mk 14:10–11). Hand him over: the same Greek verb is used to express the saving purpose of God by which Jesus is handed over to death (cf. Mt 17:22; 20:18; 26:2) and the human malice that hands him over. Thirty pieces of silver: the price of the betrayal is found only in Matthew. It is derived from Zec 11:12 where it is the wages paid to the rejected shepherd, a cheap price (Zec 11:13). That amount is also the compensation paid to one whose slave has been gored by an ox (Ex 21:32).
  3. 26:17 The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: see note on Mk 14:1. Matthew omits Mark’s “when they sacrificed the Passover lamb.”
  4. 26:18 By omitting much of Mk 14:13–15, adding My appointed time draws near, and turning the question into a statement, in your house I shall celebrate the Passover, Matthew has given this passage a solemnity and majesty greater than that of his source.
  5. 26:21 Given Matthew’s interest in the fulfillment of the Old Testament, it is curious that he omits the Marcan designation of Jesus’ betrayer as “one who is eating with me” (Mk 14:18), since that is probably an allusion to Ps 41:10. However, the shocking fact that the betrayer is one who shares table fellowship with Jesus is emphasized in Mt 26:23.
  6. 26:24 It would be better…born: the enormity of the deed is such that it would be better not to exist than to do it.
  7. 26:25 Peculiar to Matthew. You have said so: cf. Mt 26:64; 27:11. This is a half-affirmative. Emphasis is laid on the pronoun and the answer implies that the statement would not have been made if the question had not been asked.
  8. 26:26–29 See note on Mk 14:22–24. The Marcan-Matthean is one of the two major New Testament traditions of the words of Jesus when instituting the Eucharist. The other (and earlier) is the Pauline-Lucan (1 Cor 11:23–25; Lk 22:19–20). Each shows the influence of Christian liturgical usage, but the Marcan-Matthean is more developed in that regard than the Pauline-Lucan. The words over the bread and cup succeed each other without the intervening meal mentioned in 1 Cor 11:25; Lk 22:20; and there is parallelism between the consecratory words (this is my body…this is my blood). Matthew follows Mark closely but with some changes.
  9. 26:26 See note on Mt 14:19. Said the blessing: a prayer blessing God. Take and eat: literally, Take, eat. Eat is an addition to Mark’s “take it” (literally, “take”; Mk 14:22). This is my body: the bread is identified with Jesus himself.
  10. 26:27–28 Gave thanks: see note on Mt 15:36. Gave it to them…all of you: cf. Mk 14:23–24. In the Marcan sequence the disciples drink and then Jesus says the interpretative words. Matthew has changed this into a command to drink followed by those words. My blood: see Lv 17:11 for the concept that the blood is “the seat of life” and that when placed on the altar it “makes atonement.” Which will be shed: the present participle, “being shed” or “going to be shed,” is future in relation to the Last Supper. On behalf of: Greek peri; see note on Mk 14:24. Many: see note on Mt 20:28. For the forgiveness of sins: a Matthean addition. The same phrase occurs in Mk 1:4 in connection with John’s baptism but Matthew avoids it there (Mt 3:11). He places it here probably because he wishes to emphasize that it is the sacrificial death of Jesus that brings forgiveness of sins.
  11. 26:29 Although his death will interrupt the table fellowship he has had with the disciples, Jesus confidently predicts his vindication by God and a new table fellowship with them at the banquet of the kingdom.
  12. 26:30 See note on Mk 14:26.
  13. 26:31 Will have…shaken: literally, “will be scandalized in me”; see note on Mt 24:9–12. I will strike…dispersed: cf. Zec 13:7.
  14. 26:34 Before the cock crows: see note on Mt 14:25. The third watch of the night was called “cockcrow.” Deny me: see note on Mt 16:24.
  15. 26:36–56 Cf. Mk 14:32–52. The account of Jesus in Gethsemane is divided between that of his agony (Mt 26:36–46) and that of his betrayal and arrest (Mt 26:47–56). Jesus’ sorrow and distress (Mt 26:37) in face of death is unrelieved by the presence of his three disciples who, though urged to watch with him (Mt 26:38, 41), fall asleep (Mt 26:40, 43). He prays that if…possible his death may be avoided (Mt 26:39) but that his Father’s will be done (Mt 26:39, 42, 44). Knowing then that his death must take place, he announces to his companions that the hour for his being handed over has come (Mt 26:45). Judas arrives with an armed band provided by the Sanhedrin and greets Jesus with a kiss, the prearranged sign for his identification (Mt 26:47–49). After his arrest, he rebukes a disciple who has attacked the high priest’s servant with a sword (Mt 26:51–54), and chides those who have come out to seize him with swords and clubs as if he were a robber (Mt 26:55–56). In both rebukes Jesus declares that the treatment he is now receiving is the fulfillment of the scriptures (Mt 26:55, 56). The subsequent flight of all the disciples is itself the fulfillment of his own prediction (cf. 31). In this episode, Matthew follows Mark with a few alterations.
  16. 26:36 Gethsemane: the Hebrew name means “oil press” and designates an olive orchard on the western slope of the Mount of Olives; see note on Mt 21:1. The name appears only in Matthew and Mark. The place is called a “garden” in Jn 18:1.
  17. 26:37 Peter and the two sons of Zebedee: cf. Mt 17:1.
  18. 26:38 Cf. Ps 42:6, 12. In the Septuagint (Ps 41:5, 12) the same Greek word for sorrowful is used as here. To death: i.e., “enough to die”; cf. Jon 4:9.
  19. 26:39 My Father: see note on Mk 14:36. Matthew omits the Aramaic ’abbā’ and adds the qualifier my. This cup: see note on Mk 10:38–40.
  20. 26:41 Undergo the test: see note on Mt 6:13. In that verse “the final test” translates the same Greek word as is here translated the test, and these are the only instances of the use of that word in Matthew. It is possible that the passion of Jesus is seen here as an anticipation of the great tribulation that will precede the parousia (see notes on Mt 24:8; 24:21) to which Mt 6:13 refers, and that just as Jesus prays to be delivered from death (Mt 26:39), so he exhorts the disciples to pray that they will not have to undergo the great test that his passion would be for them. Some scholars, however, understand not undergo (literally, “not enter”) the test as meaning not that the disciples may be spared the test but that they may not yield to the temptation of falling away from Jesus because of his passion even though they will have to endure it.
  21. 26:42 Your will be done: cf. Mt 6:10.
  22. 26:49 Rabbi: see note on Mt 23:6–7. Jesus is so addressed twice in Matthew (Mt 26:25), both times by Judas. For the significance of the closely related address “teacher” in Matthew, see note on Mt 8:19.
  23. 26:55 Day after day…arrest me: cf. Mk 14:49. This suggests that Jesus had taught for a relatively long period in Jerusalem, whereas Mt 21:1–11 puts his coming to the city for the first time only a few days before.
  24. 26:57–68 Following Mk 14:53–65 Matthew presents the nighttime appearance of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as a real trial. After many false witnesses bring charges against him that do not suffice for the death sentence (Mt 26:60), two came forward who charge him with claiming to be able to destroy the temple…and within three days to rebuild it (Mt 26:60–61). Jesus makes no answer even when challenged to do so by the high priest, who then orders him to declare under oath…whether he is the Messiah, the Son of God (Mt 26:62–63). Matthew changes Mark’s clear affirmative response (Mk 14:62) to the same one as that given to Judas (Mt 26:25), but follows Mark almost verbatim in Jesus’ predicting that his judges will see him (the Son of Man) seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mt 26:64). The high priest then charges him with blasphemy (Mt 26:65), a charge with which the other members of the Sanhedrin agree by declaring that he deserves to die (Mt 26:66). They then attack him (Mt 26:67) and mockingly demand that he prophesy (Mt 26:68). This account contains elements that are contrary to the judicial procedures prescribed in the Mishnah, the Jewish code of law that dates in written form from ca. A.D. 200, e.g., trial on a feast day, a night session of the court, pronouncement of a verdict of condemnation at the same session at which testimony was received. Consequently, some scholars regard the account entirely as a creation of the early Christians without historical value. However, it is disputable whether the norms found in the Mishnah were in force at the time of Jesus. More to the point is the question whether the Matthean-Marcan night trial derives from a combination of two separate incidents, a nighttime preliminary investigation (cf. Jn 18:13, 19–24) and a formal trial on the following morning (cf. Lk 22:66–71).
  25. 26:57 Caiaphas: see note on Mt 26:3.
  26. 26:59 Sanhedrin: see note on Lk 22:66.
  27. 26:60–61 Two: cf. Dt 19:15. I can destroy…rebuild it: there are significant differences from the Marcan parallel (Mk 14:58). Matthew omits “made with hands” and “not made with hands” and changes Mark’s “will destroy” and “will build another” to can destroy and (can) rebuild. The charge is probably based on Jesus’ prediction of the temple’s destruction; see notes on Mt 23:37–39; 24:2; and Jn 2:19. A similar prediction by Jeremiah was considered as deserving death; cf. Jer 7:1–15; 26:1–8.
  28. 26:63 Silent: possibly an allusion to Is 53:7. I order you…living God: peculiar to Matthew; cf. Mk 14:61.
  29. 26:64 You have said so: see note on Mt 26:25. From now on…heaven: the Son of Man who is to be crucified (cf. Mt 20:19) will be seen in glorious majesty (cf. Ps 110:1) and coming on the clouds of heaven (cf. Dn 7:13). The Power: see note on Mk 14:61–62.
  30. 26:65 Blasphemed: the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning (see Lv 24:10–16). According to the Mishnah, to be guilty of blasphemy one had to pronounce “the Name itself,” i.e., Yahweh; cf. Sanhedrin 7:4, 5. Those who judge the gospel accounts of Jesus’ trial by the later Mishnah standards point out that Jesus uses the surrogate “the Power,” and hence no Jewish court would have regarded him as guilty of blasphemy; others hold that the Mishnah’s narrow understanding of blasphemy was a later development.
  31. 26:67–68 The physical abuse, apparently done to Jesus by the members of the Sanhedrin themselves, recalls the sufferings of the Isaian Servant of the Lord; cf. Is 50:6. The mocking challenge to prophesy is probably motivated by Jesus’ prediction of his future glory (Mt 26:64).
  32. 26:70 Denied it in front of everyone: see Mt 10:33. Peter’s repentance (Mt 26:75) saves him from the fearful destiny of which Jesus speaks there.
  33. 26:73 Your speech…away: Matthew explicates Mark’s “you too are a Galilean” (Mk 14:70).
  34. 27:1–31 Cf. Mk 15:1–20. Matthew’s account of the Roman trial before Pilate is introduced by a consultation of the Sanhedrin after which Jesus is handed over to…the governor (Mt 27:1–2). Matthew follows his Marcan source closely but adds some material that is peculiar to him, the death of Judas (Mt 27:3–10), possibly the name Jesus as the name of Barabbas also (Mt 27:16–17), the intervention of Pilate’s wife (Mt 27:19), Pilate’s washing his hands in token of his disclaiming responsibility for Jesus’ death (Mt 27:24), and the assuming of that responsibility by the whole people (Mt 27:25).
  35. 27:1 There is scholarly disagreement about the meaning of the Sanhedrin’s taking counsel (symboulion elabon; cf. Mt 12:14; 22:15; 27:7; 28:12); see note on Mk 15:1. Some understand it as a discussion about the strategy for putting their death sentence against Jesus into effect since they lacked the right to do so themselves. Others see it as the occasion for their passing that sentence, holding that Matthew, unlike Mark (Mk 14:64), does not consider that it had been passed in the night session (Mt 26:66). Even in the latter interpretation, their handing him over to Pilate is best explained on the hypothesis that they did not have competence to put their sentence into effect, as is stated in Jn 18:31.
  36. 27:3 The thirty pieces of silver: see Mt 26:15.
  37. 27:5–8 For another tradition about the death of Judas, cf. Acts 1:18–19. The two traditions agree only in the purchase of a field with the money paid to Judas for his betrayal of Jesus and the name given to the field, the Field of Blood. In Acts Judas himself buys the field and its name comes from his own blood shed in his fatal accident on it. The potter’s field: this designation of the field is based on the fulfillment citation in Mt 27:10.
  38. 27:9–10 Cf. Mt 26:15. Matthew’s attributing this text to Jeremiah is puzzling, for there is no such text in that book, and the thirty pieces of silver thrown by Judas “into the temple” (Mt 27:5) recall rather Zec 11:12–13. It is usually said that the attribution of the text to Jeremiah is due to Matthew’s combining the Zechariah text with texts from Jeremiah that speak of a potter (Jer 18:2–3), the buying of a field (Jer 32:6–9), or the breaking of a potter’s flask at Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom with the prediction that it will become a burial place (Jer 19:1–13).
  39. 27:11 King of the Jews: this title is used of Jesus only by pagans. The Matthean instances are, besides this verse, Mt 2:2; 27:29, 37. Matthew equates it with “Messiah”; cf. Mt 2:2, 4 and Mt 27:17, 22 where he has changed “the king of the Jews” of his Marcan source (Mk 15:9, 12) to “(Jesus) called Messiah.” The normal political connotation of both titles would be of concern to the Roman governor. You say so: see note on Mt 26:25. An unqualified affirmative response is not made because Jesus’ kingship is not what Pilate would understand it to be.
  40. 27:12–14 Cf. Mt 26:62–63. As in the trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus’ silence may be meant to recall Is 53:7. Greatly amazed: possibly an allusion to Is 52:14–15.
  41. 27:15–26 The choice that Pilate offers the crowd between Barabbas and Jesus is said to be in accordance with a custom of releasing at the Passover feast one prisoner chosen by the crowd (Mt 27:15). This custom is mentioned also in Mk 15:6 and Jn 18:39 but not in Luke; see note on Lk 23:17. Outside of the gospels there is no direct attestation of it, and scholars are divided in their judgment of the historical reliability of the claim that there was such a practice.
  42. 27:16–17 [Jesus] Barabbas: it is possible that the double name is the original reading; Jesus was a common Jewish name; see note on Mt 1:21. This reading is found in only a few textual witnesses, although its absence in the majority can be explained as an omission of Jesus made for reverential reasons. That name is bracketed because of its uncertain textual attestation. The Aramaic name Barabbas means “son of the father”; the irony of the choice offered between him and Jesus, the true son of the Father, would be evident to those addressees of Matthew who knew that.
  43. 27:18 Cf. Mk 14:10. This is an example of the tendency, found in varying degree in all the gospels, to present Pilate in a relatively favorable light and emphasize the hostility of the Jewish authorities and eventually of the people.
  44. 27:19 Jesus’ innocence is declared by a Gentile woman. In a dream: in Matthew’s infancy narrative, dreams are the means of divine communication; cf. Mt 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22.
  45. 27:22 Let him be crucified: incited by the chief priests and elders (Mt 27:20), the crowds demand that Jesus be executed by crucifixion, a peculiarly horrible form of Roman capital punishment. The Marcan parallel, “Crucify him” (Mk 15:3), addressed to Pilate, is changed by Matthew to the passive, probably to emphasize the responsibility of the crowds.
  46. 27:24–25 Peculiar to Matthew. Took water…blood: cf. Dt 21:1–8, the handwashing prescribed in the case of a murder when the killer is unknown. The elders of the city nearest to where the corpse is found must wash their hands, declaring, “Our hands did not shed this blood.” Look to it yourselves: cf. Mt 27:4. The whole people: Matthew sees in those who speak these words the entire people (Greek laos) of Israel. His blood…and upon our children: cf. Jer 26:15. The responsibility for Jesus’ death is accepted by the nation that was God’s special possession (Ex 19:5), his own people (Hos 2:25), and they thereby lose that high privilege; see Mt 21:43 and the note on that verse. The controversy between Matthew’s church and Pharisaic Judaism about which was the true people of God is reflected here. As the Second Vatican Council has pointed out, guilt for Jesus’ death is not attributable to all the Jews of his time or to any Jews of later times.
  47. 27:26 He had Jesus scourged: the usual preliminary to crucifixion.
  48. 27:27 The praetorium: the residence of the Roman governor. His usual place of residence was at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast, but he went to Jerusalem during the great feasts, when the influx of pilgrims posed the danger of a nationalistic riot. It is disputed whether the praetorium in Jerusalem was the old palace of Herod in the west of the city or the fortress of Antonia northwest of the temple area. The whole cohort: normally six hundred soldiers.
  49. 27:28 Scarlet military cloak: so Matthew as against the royal purple of Mk 15:17 and Jn 19:2.
  50. 27:29 Crown out of thorns: probably of long thorns that stood upright so that it resembled the “radiant” crown, a diadem with spikes worn by Hellenistic kings. The soldiers’ purpose was mockery, not torture. A reed: peculiar to Matthew; a mock scepter.
  51. 27:30 Spat upon him: cf. Mt 26:67 where there also is a possible allusion to Is 50:6.
  52. 27:32 See note on Mk 15:21. Cyrenian named Simon: Cyrenaica was a Roman province on the north coast of Africa and Cyrene was its capital city. The city had a large population of Greek-speaking Jews. Simon may have been living in Palestine or have come there for the Passover as a pilgrim. Pressed into service: see note on Mt 5:41.
  53. 27:34 Wine…mixed with gall: cf. Mk 15:23 where the drink is “wine drugged with myrrh,” a narcotic. Matthew’s text is probably an inexact allusion to Ps 69:22. That psalm belongs to the class called the individual lament, in which a persecuted just man prays for deliverance in the midst of great suffering and also expresses confidence that his prayer will be heard. That theme of the suffering Just One is frequently applied to the sufferings of Jesus in the passion narratives.
  54. 27:35 The clothing of an executed criminal went to his executioner(s), but the description of that procedure in the case of Jesus, found in all the gospels, is plainly inspired by Ps 22:19. However, that psalm verse is quoted only in Jn 19:24.
  55. 27:37 The offense of a person condemned to death by crucifixion was written on a tablet that was displayed on his cross. The charge against Jesus was that he had claimed to be the King of the Jews (cf. Mt 27:11), i.e., the Messiah (cf. Mt 27:17, 22).
  56. 27:38 Revolutionaries: see note on Jn 18:40 where the same Greek word as that found here is used for Barabbas.
  57. 27:39–40 Reviled him…heads: cf. Ps 22:8. You who would destroy…three days; cf. Mt 26:61. If you are the Son of God: the same words as those of the devil in the temptation of Jesus; cf. Mt 4:3, 6.
  58. 27:42 King of Israel: in their mocking of Jesus the members of the Sanhedrin call themselves and their people not “the Jews” but Israel.
  59. 27:43 Peculiar to Matthew. He trusted in God…wants him: cf. Ps 22:9. He said…of God: probably an allusion to Wis 2:12–20 where the theme of the suffering Just One appears.
  60. 27:45 Cf. Am 8:9 where on the day of the Lord “the sun will set at midday.”
  61. 27:46 Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?: Jesus cries out in the words of Ps 22:2a, a psalm of lament that is the Old Testament passage most frequently drawn upon in this narrative. In Mark the verse is cited entirely in Aramaic, which Matthew partially retains but changes the invocation of God to the Hebrew Eli, possibly because that is more easily related to the statement of the following verse about Jesus’ calling for Elijah.
  62. 27:47 Elijah: see note on Mt 3:4. This prophet, taken up into heaven (2 Kgs 2:11), was believed to come to the help of those in distress, but the evidences of that belief are all later than the gospels.
  63. 27:50 Gave up his spirit: cf. the Marcan parallel (Mk 15:37), “breathed his last.” Matthew’s alteration expresses both Jesus’ control over his destiny and his obedient giving up of his life to God.
  64. 27:51–53 Veil of the sanctuary…bottom: cf. Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45. Luke puts this event immediately before the death of Jesus. There were two veils in the Mosaic tabernacle on the model of which the temple was constructed, the outer one before the entrance of the Holy Place and the inner one before the Holy of Holies (see Ex 26:31–36). Only the high priest could pass through the latter and that only on the Day of Atonement (see Lv 16:1–18). Probably the torn veil of the gospels is the inner one. The meaning of the scene may be that now, because of Jesus’ death, all people have access to the presence of God, or that the temple, its holiest part standing exposed, is now profaned and will soon be destroyed. The earth quaked…appeared to many: peculiar to Matthew. The earthquake, the splitting of the rocks, and especially the resurrection of the dead saints indicate the coming of the final age. In the Old Testament the coming of God is frequently portrayed with the imagery of an earthquake (see Ps 68:9; 77:19), and Jesus speaks of the earthquakes that will accompany the “labor pains” that signify the beginning of the dissolution of the old world (Mt 24:7–8). For the expectation of the resurrection of the dead at the coming of the new and final age, see Dn 12:1–3. Matthew knows that the end of the old age has not yet come (Mt 28:20), but the new age has broken in with the death (and resurrection; cf. the earthquake in Mt 28:2) of Jesus; see note on Mt 16:28. After his resurrection: this qualification seems to be due to Matthew’s wish to assert the primacy of Jesus’ resurrection even though he has placed the resurrection of the dead saints immediately after Jesus’ death.
  65. 27:54 Cf. Mk 15:39. The Christian confession of faith is made by Gentiles, not only the centurion, as in Mark, but the other soldiers who were keeping watch over Jesus (cf. Mt 27:36).
  66. 27:55–56 Looking on from a distance: cf. Ps 38:12. Mary Magdalene…Joseph: these two women are mentioned again in Mt 27:61 and Mt 28:1 and are important as witnesses of the reality of the empty tomb. A James and Joseph are referred to in Mt 13:55 as brothers of Jesus.
  67. 27:57–61 Cf. Mk 15:42–47. Matthew drops Mark’s designation of Joseph of Arimathea as “a distinguished member of the council” (the Sanhedrin), and makes him a rich man and a disciple of Jesus. The former may be an allusion to Is 53:9 (the Hebrew reading of that text is disputed and the one followed in the NAB OT has nothing about the rich, but they are mentioned in the LXX version). That the tomb was the new tomb of a rich man and that it was seen by the women are indications of an apologetic intent of Matthew; there could be no question about the identity of Jesus’ burial place. The other Mary: the mother of James and Joseph (Mt 27:56).
  68. 27:62–66 Peculiar to Matthew. The story prepares for Mt 28:11–15 and the Jewish charge that the tomb was empty because the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus (Mt 28:13, 15).
  69. 27:62 The next day…preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that year the day of preparation (for the sabbath) was the Passover; cf. Mk 15:42. The Pharisees: the principal opponents of Jesus during his ministry and, in Matthew’s time, of the Christian church, join with the chief priests to guarantee against a possible attempt of Jesus’ disciples to steal his body.
  70. 27:64 This last imposture…the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is clearly the last imposture; the first may be either his claim that he would be raised up (Mt 27:63) or his claim that he was the one with whose ministry the kingdom of God had come (see Mt 12:28).
  71. 27:65 The guard is yours: literally, “have a guard” or “you have a guard.” Either the imperative or the indicative could mean that Pilate granted the petitioners some Roman soldiers as guards, which is the sense of the present translation. However, if the verb is taken as an indicative it could also mean that Pilate told them to use their own Jewish guards.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes