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John 18:4-5

Context

18:4 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, 1  came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?” 2  18:5 They replied, 3  “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.) 4 

1 tn Grk “knowing all things that were coming upon him.”

2 tn Grk “Whom do you seek?”

3 tn Grk “They answered.”

sn The author does not state precisely who from the group of soldiers and temple police replied to Jesus at this point. It may have been the commander of the Roman soldiers, although his presence is not explicitly mentioned until 18:12. It may also have been one of the officers of the chief priests. To the answer given, “Jesus the Nazarene,” Jesus replies “I am [he].”

4 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Before he states the response to Jesus’ identification of himself, the author inserts a parenthetical note that Judas, again identified as the one who betrayed him (cf. 18:2), was standing with the group of soldiers and officers of the chief priests. Many commentators have considered this to be an awkward insertion, but in fact it heightens considerably the dramatic effect of the response to Jesus’ self-identification in the following verse, and has the added effect of informing the reader that along with the others the betrayer himself ironically falls down at Jesus’ feet (18:6).



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