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John 18:19-40 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

John 18:19-40

The Chief Priest Questions Jesus

19 The chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teachings.

20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly for everyone to hear. I have always taught in synagogues or in the temple courtyard, where all the Jews gather. I haven’t said anything in secret. 21 Why do you question me? Question those who heard what I said to them. They know what I’ve said.”

22 When Jesus said this, one of the guards standing near Jesus slapped his face and said, “Is that how you answer the chief priest?”

23 Jesus replied to him, “If I’ve said anything wrong, tell me what it was. But if I’ve told the truth, why do you hit me?”

24 Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas, the chief priest. Jesus was still tied up.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

25 Simon Peter continued to stand and warm himself by the fire. Some men asked him, “Aren’t you, too, one of his disciples?”

Peter denied it by saying, “No, I’m not!”

26 One of the chief priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked him, “Didn’t I see you with Jesus in the garden?”

27 Peter again denied it, and just then a rooster crowed.

Pilate Questions Jesus

28 Early in the morning, Jesus was taken from Caiaphas’ house to the governor’s palace.

The Jews wouldn’t go into the palace. They didn’t want to become unclean,[a] since they wanted to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What accusation are you making against this man?”

30 The Jews answered Pilate, “If he weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate told the Jews, “Take him, and try him by your law.”

The Jews answered him, “We’re not allowed to execute anyone.” 32 In this way what Jesus had predicted about how he would die came true.

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

34 Jesus replied, “Did you think of that yourself, or did others tell you about me?”

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

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn’t belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. My kingdom doesn’t have its origin on earth.”

37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?”

Jesus replied, “You’re correct in saying that I’m a king. I have been born and have come into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”

38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After Pilate said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I don’t find this man guilty of anything. 39 You have a custom that I should free one person for you at Passover. Would you like me to free the king of the Jews for you?”

40 The Jews shouted again, “Don’t free this man! Free Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a political revolutionary.)


  1. John 18:28 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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