23:18 But they all shouted out together, 1 “Take this man 2 away! Release Barabbas for us!” 23:19 (This 3 was a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection 4 started in the city, and for murder.) 5 23:20 Pilate addressed them once again because he wanted 6 to release Jesus. 23:21 But they kept on shouting, 7 “Crucify, crucify 8 him!” 23:22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I have found him guilty 9 of no crime deserving death. 10 I will therefore flog 11 him and release him.” 23:23 But they were insistent, 12 demanding with loud shouts that he be crucified. And their shouts prevailed. 23:24 So 13 Pilate 14 decided 15 that their demand should be granted. 23:25 He released the man they asked for, who had been thrown in prison for insurrection and murder. But he handed Jesus over 16 to their will. 17
1 tn Grk “together, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated here.
2 tn Grk “this one.” The reference to Jesus as “this man” is pejorative in this context.
3 tn Grk “who” (a continuation of the previous sentence).
4 sn Ironically, what Jesus was alleged to have done, started an insurrection, this man really did.
5 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
6 sn The account pictures a battle of wills – the people versus Pilate. Pilate is consistently portrayed in Luke’s account as wanting to release Jesus because he believed him to be innocent.
7 tn Grk “shouting, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated here.
8 tn This double present imperative is emphatic.
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 historian Cicero called it “a cruel and disgusting penalty” (Against Verres 2.5.63-66 §§163-70); Josephus (J. W. 7.6.4 [7.203]) called it the worst of deaths.
9 tn Grk “no cause of death I found in him.”
10 sn The refrain of innocence comes once again. Pilate tried to bring some sense of justice, believing Jesus had committed no crime deserving death.
13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the crowd’s cries prevailing.
14 sn Finally Pilate gave in. He decided crucifying one Galilean teacher was better than facing a riot. Justice lost out in the process, because he did not follow his own verdict.
15 tn Although some translations render ἐπέκρινεν (epekrinen) here as “passed sentence” or “gave his verdict,” the point in context is not that Pilate sentenced Jesus to death here, but that finally, although convinced of Jesus’ innocence, he gave in to the crowd’s incessant demand to crucify an innocent man.
16 tn Or “delivered up.”
17 sn He handed Jesus over to their will. Here is where Luke places the major blame for Jesus’ death. It lies with the Jewish nation, especially the leadership, though in Acts 4:24-27 he will bring in the opposition of Herod, Pilate, and all people.