18:3 So Judas obtained a squad of soldiers 10 and some officers of the chief priests and Pharisees. 11 They came to the orchard 12 with lanterns 13 and torches and weapons.
18:18 (Now the slaves 19 and the guards 20 were standing around a charcoal fire they had made, warming themselves because it was cold. 21 Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.) 22
18:22 When Jesus 23 had said this, one of the high priest’s officers who stood nearby struck him on the face and said, 24 “Is that the way you answer the high priest?”
19:6 When the chief priests and their officers saw him, they shouted out, “Crucify 25 him! Crucify him!” 26 Pilate said, 27 “You take him and crucify him! 28 Certainly 29 I find no reason for an accusation 30 against him!”
2 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities like the Pharisees).
3 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
4 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing “police” duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (see K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).
5 tn Grk “to seize him.” In the context of a deliberate attempt by the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees to detain Jesus, the English verb “arrest” conveys the point more effectively.
6 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin, their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing ‘police’ duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (See K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).
7 tn Grk “came.”
9 tn Grk “Why did you not bring him?” The words “back with you” are implied.
10 tn Grk “a cohort.” The word σπεῖραν (speiran) is a technical term for a Roman cohort, normally a force of 600 men (one tenth of a legion). It was under the command of a χιλίαρχος (ciliarco", v. 12). Because of the improbability of an entire cohort being sent to arrest a single man, some have suggested that σπεῖραν here refers only to a maniple, a force of 200. But the use of the word here does not necessarily mean the entire cohort was present on this mission, but only that it was the cohort which performed the task (for example, saying the fire department put out the fire does not mean that every fireman belonging to the department was on the scene at the time). These Roman soldiers must have been ordered to accompany the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees by Pilate, since they would have been under the direct command of the Roman prefect or procurator. It is not difficult to understand why Pilate would have been willing to assist the Jewish authorities in such a way. With a huge crowd of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover, the Romans would have been especially nervous about an uprising of some sort. No doubt the chief priests and Pharisees had informed Pilate that this man Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, or in the terms Pilate would understand, king of Israel.
11 tn The phrase “officers of the chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive name for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:32, 45; 18:3, 12, 18, 22; 19:6. They are different from the Levites who served as “temple police” according to K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 8:540). In John 7:32ff. these officers had made an unsuccessful attempt to arrest Jesus, and perhaps this is part of the reason why their leaders had made sure they were accompanied by Roman soldiers this time. No more mistakes were to be tolerated.
sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.
13 tn These were lamps that had some sort of covering to protect them from wind and rain. In earlier usage the word meant “torch” but by NT times it apparently meant a lamp designed to be used outdoors, so “lantern” is a good contemporary English equivalent.
sn Mention of the lanterns and torches suggests a detail remembered by one who was an eyewitness, but in connection with the light/darkness motif of John’s Gospel, it is a vivid reminder that it is night; the darkness has come at last (cf. 13:30).
14 tn Grk “a cohort” (but since this was a unit of 600 soldiers, a smaller detachment is almost certainly intended).
15 tn Grk “their chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militaris, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
16 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, who were named as “chief priests and Pharisees” in John 18:3.
17 tn Or “seized.”
18 tn Or “bound him.”
20 tn That is, the “guards of the chief priests” as distinguished from the household slaves of Annas.
21 tn Grk “because it was cold, and they were warming themselves.”
22 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
23 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
24 tn Grk “one of the high priest’s servants standing by gave Jesus a strike, saying.” For the translation of ῥάπισμα (rJapisma), see L&N 19.4.
25 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
26 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from context.
27 tn Grk “said to them.” The words “to them” are not translated because they are unnecessary in contemporary English style.
28 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.
29 tn On this use of γάρ (gar) used in exclamations and strong affirmations, see BDAG 190 s.v. γάρ 3.
30 tn Or “find no basis for an accusation”; Grk “find no cause.”