19:6 When the chief priests and their officers saw him, they shouted out, “Crucify 1 him! Crucify him!” 2 Pilate said, 3 “You take him and crucify him! 4 Certainly 5 I find no reason for an accusation 6 against him!” 19:7 The Jewish leaders 7 replied, 8 “We have a law, 9 and according to our law he ought to die, because he claimed to be the Son of God!” 10
19:12 From this point on, Pilate tried 11 to release him. But the Jewish leaders 12 shouted out, 13 “If you release this man, 14 you are no friend of Caesar! 15 Everyone who claims to be a king 16 opposes Caesar!”
1 sn Crucifixion was the cruelest form of punishment practiced by the Romans. Roman citizens could not normally undergo it. It was reserved for the worst crimes, like treason and evasion of due process in a capital case. The Roman statesman and orator Cicero (106-43
2 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from context.
3 tn Grk “said to them.” The words “to them” are not translated because they are unnecessary in contemporary English style.
4 sn How are Pilate’s words “You take him and crucify him” to be understood? Was he offering a serious alternative to the priests who wanted Jesus crucified? Was he offering them an exception to the statement in 18:31 that the Jewish authorities did not have the power to carry out a death penalty? Although a few scholars have suggested that the situation was at this point so far out of Pilate’s control that he really was telling the high priests they could go ahead and crucify a man he had found to be innocent, this seems unlikely. It is far more likely that Pilate’s statement should be understood as one of frustration and perhaps sarcasm. This seems to be supported by the context, for the Jewish authorities make no attempt at this point to seize Jesus and crucify him. Rather they continue to pester Pilate to order the crucifixion.
5 tn On this use of γάρ (gar) used in exclamations and strong affirmations, see BDAG 190 s.v. γάρ 3.
6 tn Or “find no basis for an accusation”; Grk “find no cause.”
7 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) 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).
8 tn Grk “answered him.”
10 tn Grk “because he made himself out to be the Son of God.”
11 tn Grk “sought.”
12 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.
13 tn Grk “shouted out, saying.”
14 tn Grk “this one.”
15 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 (
16 tn Grk “who makes himself out to be a king.”