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Luke 23:4-5

Context
23:4 Then 1  Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation 2  against this man.” 23:5 But they persisted 3  in saying, “He incites 4  the people by teaching throughout all Judea. It started in Galilee and ended up here!” 5 

Luke 23:14-16

Context
23:14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading 6  the people. When I examined him before you, I 7  did not find this man guilty 8  of anything you accused him of doing. 23:15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing 9  deserving death. 10  23:16 I will therefore have him flogged 11  and release him.”

Luke 23:21-25

Context
23:21 But they kept on shouting, 12  “Crucify, crucify 13  him!” 23:22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I have found him guilty 14  of no crime deserving death. 15  I will therefore flog 16  him and release him.” 23:23 But they were insistent, 17  demanding with loud shouts that he be crucified. And their shouts prevailed. 23:24 So 18  Pilate 19  decided 20  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 21  to their will. 22 

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “find no cause.”

sn Pilate’s statement “I find no reason for an accusation” is the first of several remarks in Luke 23 that Jesus is innocent or of efforts to release him (vv. 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22).

3 tn Or “were adamant.” For “persisted in saying,” see L&N 68.71.

4 sn He incites the people. The Jewish leadership claimed that Jesus was a political threat and had to be stopped. By reiterating this charge of stirring up rebellion, they pressured Pilate to act, or be accused of overlooking political threats to Rome.

5 tn Grk “beginning from Galilee until here.”

6 tn This term also appears in v. 2.

7 tn Grk “behold, I” A transitional use of ἰδού (idou) has not been translated here.

8 tn Grk “nothing did I find in this man by way of cause.” The reference to “nothing” is emphatic.

9 sn With the statement “he has done nothing,” Pilate makes another claim that Jesus is innocent of any crime worthy of death.

10 tn Grk “nothing deserving death has been done by him.” The passive construction has been translated as an active one in keeping with contemporary English style.

11 tn Or “scourged” (BDAG 749 s.v. παιδεύω 2.b.γ). This refers to a whipping Pilate ordered in an attempt to convince Jesus not to disturb the peace. It has been translated “flogged” to distinguish it from the more severe verberatio.

12 tn Grk “shouting, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated here.

13 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.

14 tn Grk “no cause of death I found in him.”

15 sn The refrain of innocence comes once again. Pilate tried to bring some sense of justice, believing Jesus had committed no crime deserving death.

16 tn Or “scourge” (BDAG 749 s.v. παιδεύω 2.b.γ). See the note on “flogged” in v. 16.

17 tn Though a different Greek term is used here (BDAG 373 s.v. ἐπίκειμαι), this remark is like 23:5.

18 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the crowd’s cries prevailing.

19 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.

20 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.

21 tn Or “delivered up.”

22 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.



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