19:12 From this point on, Pilate tried 1 to release him. But the Jewish leaders 2 shouted out, 3 “If you release this man, 4 you are no friend of Caesar! 5 Everyone who claims to be a king 6 opposes Caesar!” 19:13 When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus outside and sat down on the judgment seat 7 in the place called “The Stone Pavement” 8 (Gabbatha in 9 Aramaic). 10
1 tn Grk “sought.”
2 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin, and their servants (mentioned specifically as “the chief priests and their servants” in John 19:6). See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 7.
3 tn Grk “shouted out, saying.”
4 tn Grk “this one.”
5 sn Is the author using the phrase Friend of Caesar in a technical sense, as a title bestowed on people for loyal service to the Emperor, or in a more general sense merely describing a person as loyal to the Emperor? L. Morris (John [NICNT], 798) thinks it is “unlikely” that the title is used in the technical sense, and J. H. Bernard (St. John [ICC], 2:621) argues that the technical sense of the phrase as an official title was not used before the time of Vespasian (
6 tn Grk “who makes himself out to be a king.”
7 tn Or “the judge’s seat.”
sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and usually furnished with a seat. It was used by officials in addressing an assembly or making official pronouncements, often of a judicial nature.
8 sn The precise location of the place called ‘The Stone Pavement’ is still uncertain, although a paved court on the lower level of the Fortress Antonia has been suggested. It is not certain whether it was laid prior to
9 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”
sn The author does not say that Gabbatha is the Aramaic (or Hebrew) translation for the Greek term Λιθόστρωτον (Liqostrwton). He simply points out that in Aramaic (or Hebrew) the place had another name. A number of meanings have been suggested, but the most likely appears to mean “elevated place.” It is possible that this was a term used by the common people for the judgment seat itself, which always stood on a raised platform.
10 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.