18:28 Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s residence. 1 (Now it was very early morning.) 2 They 3 did not go into the governor’s residence 4 so they would not be ceremonially defiled, but could eat the Passover meal.
18:33 So Pilate went back into the governor’s residence, 5 summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 6
1 tn Grk “to the praetorium.”
sn The permanent residence of the Roman governor of Palestine was in Caesarea (Acts 23:35). The governor had a residence in Jerusalem which he normally occupied only during principal feasts or in times of political unrest. The location of this building in Jerusalem is uncertain, but is probably one of two locations: either (1) the fortress or tower of Antonia, on the east hill north of the temple area, which is the traditional location of the Roman praetorium since the 12th century, or (2) the palace of Herod on the west hill near the present Jaffa Gate. According to Philo (Embassy 38 ) Pilate had some golden shields hung there, and according to Josephus (J. W. 2.14.8 [2.301], 2.15.5 [2.328]) the later Roman governor Florus stayed there.
2 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
3 tn Grk “And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
4 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
5 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
6 sn It is difficult to discern Pilate’s attitude when he asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Some have believed the remark to be sarcastic or incredulous as Pilate looked at this lowly and humble prisoner: “So you’re the king of the Jews, are you?” Others have thought the Roman governor to have been impressed by Jesus’ regal disposition and dignity, and to have sincerely asked, “Are you really the king of the Jews?” Since it will later become apparent (v. 38) that Pilate considered Jesus innocent (and therefore probably also harmless) an attitude of incredulity is perhaps most likely, but this is far from certain in the absence of clear contextual clues.