19:17 and carrying his own cross 1 he went out to the place called “The Place of the Skull” 2 (called in Aramaic 3 Golgotha). 4
19:20 Thus many of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem 5 read this notice, 6 because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the notice was written in Aramaic, 7 Latin, and Greek.
1 tn Or “carrying the cross by himself.”
sn As was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion, the prisoner was made to carry his own cross. In all probability this was only the crossbeam, called in Latin the patibulum, since the upright beam usually remained in the ground at the place of execution. According to Matt 27:32 and Mark 15:21, the soldiers forced Simon to take the cross; Luke 23:26 states that the cross was placed on Simon so that it might be carried behind Jesus. A reasonable explanation of all this is that Jesus started out carrying the cross until he was no longer able to do so, at which point Simon was forced to take over.
2 sn Jesus was led out to the place called “The Place of the Skull” where he was to be crucified. It is clear from v. 20 that this was outside the city. The Latin word for the Greek κρανίον (kranion) is calvaria. Thus the English word “Calvary” is a transliteration of the Latin rather than a NT place name (cf. Luke 23:33 in the KJV).
3 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”
4 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
6 tn Or “this inscription.”
7 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”