12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) 1 said, 12:5 “Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred silver coins 2 and the money 3 given to the poor?” 12:6 (Now Judas 4 said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box, 5 he used to steal what was put into it.) 6
1 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
2 tn Grk “three hundred denarii.” The denarius was a silver coin worth a standard day’s wage, so the value exceeded what a laborer could earn in a year (taking into account Sabbaths and feast days when no work was done).
3 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (as the proceeds from the sale of the perfumed oil).
4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Grk “a thief, and having the money box.” Dividing the single Greek sentence improves the English style.
6 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. This is one of the indications in the gospels that Judas was of bad character before the betrayal of Jesus. John states that he was a thief and had responsibility for the finances of the group. More than being simply a derogatory note about Judas’ character, the inclusion of the note at this particular point in the narrative may be intended to link the frustrated greed of Judas here with his subsequent decision to betray Jesus for money. The parallel accounts in Matthew and Mark seem to indicate that after this incident Judas went away immediately and made his deal with the Jewish authorities to deliver up Jesus. Losing out on one source of sordid gain, he immediately went out and set up another.