18:33 So Pilate went back into the governor’s residence, 1 summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 2 18:34 Jesus replied, 3 “Are you saying this on your own initiative, 4 or have others told you about me?” 18:35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? 5 Your own people 6 and your chief priests handed you over 7 to me. What have you done?”
18:36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being 8 handed over 9 to the Jewish authorities. 10 But as it is, 11 my kingdom is not from here.” 18:37 Then Pilate said, 12 “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to 13 my voice.”
1 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
2 sn It is difficult to discern Pilate’s attitude when he asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Some have believed the remark to be sarcastic or incredulous as Pilate looked at this lowly and humble prisoner: “So you’re the king of the Jews, are you?” Others have thought the Roman governor to have been impressed by Jesus’ regal disposition and dignity, and to have sincerely asked, “Are you really the king of the Jews?” Since it will later become apparent (v. 38) that Pilate considered Jesus innocent (and therefore probably also harmless) an attitude of incredulity is perhaps most likely, but this is far from certain in the absence of clear contextual clues.
3 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”
4 tn Grk “saying this from yourself.”
5 sn Many have seen in Pilate’s reply “I am not a Jew, am I?” the Roman contempt for the Jewish people. Some of that may indeed be present, but strictly speaking, all Pilate affirms is that he, as a Roman, has no firsthand knowledge of Jewish custom or belief. What he knows of Jesus must have come from the Jewish authorities. They are the ones (your own people and your chief priests) who have handed Jesus over to Pilate.
6 tn Or “your own nation.”
7 tn Or “delivered you over.”
8 tn Grk “so that I may not be.”
9 tn Or “delivered over.”
10 tn Or “the Jewish leaders”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12. In the translation “authorities” was preferred over “leaders” for stylistic reasons.
11 tn Grk “now.”
12 tn Grk “said to him.”
13 tn Or “obeys”; Grk “hears.”