15:24 Then 1 they crucified 2 him and divided his clothes, throwing dice 3 for them, to decide what each would take. 15:25 It was nine o’clock in the morning 4 when they crucified him. 15:26 The inscription 5 of the charge against him read, “The king of the Jews.” 15:27 And they crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left. 15:28 [[EMPTY]] 6 15:29 Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 15:30 save yourself and come down from the cross!” 7 15:31 In the same way even the chief priests – together with the experts in the law 8 – were mocking him among themselves: 9 “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 15:32 Let the Christ, 10 the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with him also spoke abusively to him. 11
1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
3 tn Grk “by throwing the lot” (probably by using marked pebbles or broken pieces of pottery). A modern equivalent, “throwing dice,” was chosen here because of its association with gambling. According to L&N 6.219 a term for “dice” is particularly appropriate.
sn An allusion to Ps 22:18.
4 tn Grk “It was the third hour.” This time would have been approximate, and could refer to the beginning of the process, some time before Jesus was lifted on the cross.
5 sn Mention of the inscription is an important detail, because the inscription would normally give the reason for the execution. It shows that Jesus was executed for claiming to be a king. It was also probably written with irony from the executioners’ point of view.
6 tc Most later
7 sn There is rich irony in the statement of those who were passing by, “Save yourself and come down from the cross!” In summary, they wanted Jesus to come down from the cross and save his physical life, but it was indeed his staying on the cross and giving his physical life that led to the fact that they could experience a resurrection from death to life. There is a similar kind of irony in the statement made by the chief priests and experts in the law in 15:31.
9 tn Grk “Mocking him, the chief priests…said among themselves.”
10 tn Or “the Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
sn See the note on Christ in 8:29.