John Chapters 18 to 20, Part 1 of 6 Parts
by Karl Kemp
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"Scripture Quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1953, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
The original version and internet version of this paper were published in March, 2011. I was able to use footnotes, bold, italics, underlining, etc. in the original paper and in the internet edition. In November, 2012 I am splitting this paper into six parts and putting it in the proper format to put on several Christian article sites. I am making a few improvements to this paper at this time, including updating cross-references to my other writings.
All quotations from the Bible were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I will use double brackets [[ ]] or (( )) to make them more obvious.
Contents (and the page numbers of the original and internet versions of this paper for your information):
John Chapter 18...... 1
John Chapter 19...... 16
John Chapter 20...... 28
Some Other Verses and Topics that Are Discussed in this Paper:
Acts 13:30-37...... 29-30
Discussion Regarding the Approximate Time that Jesus Was Delivered to Pilate and that Pilate Handed Him over to be Crucified and the Approximate Times that He Was Crucified and He Died...... 6-12
Discussion Regarding the Location where Jesus Was Crucified and where He Was Buried...... 17-21, 27
Discussion Regarding Crucifixion...... 20-22
Was the Sister of Mary (the mother of Jesus), Who Was Standing by the Cross with Mary and Other Women (John 19:23), the Mother of the Apostles James and John?...... 23
Was the Resurrected Christ Untouchable when He Appeared First to Mary Magdalene?...... 32-33
Did the Disciples Receive the Spirit when Jesus Appeared to Them on The Evening of the Day of His Resurrection?...... 34-36
JOHN CHAPTER 18.
[[On Jesus' going to the garden of Gethsemane with His apostles (after the Lord's Supper) to pray (and then to be arrested), see Matt. 26:30-46; Mark 14:26-42; and Luke 22:39-46. The apostle John doesn't mention Jesus' important prayers in the garden or His interactions with Peter, James, and John in the garden. He undoubtedly took it for granted that his readers knew those details from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which were written long before he wrote his Gospel. ((I had a footnote: I'll quote part of what F. Godet says as an introduction to John 18:1-19:42, "The Passion" ("Gospel of John" [Zondervan, 1969 reprint], pages 348, 349). "The intention of the evangelist...is certainly not to give a narration as complete as possible of the Passion, as if no narrative of this event existed side by side with his own. ... We are convinced that...the choice of materials is frequently determined by the intention of completing the accounts already current in the church. Thus, when John relates the examination of Jesus in the house of Annas, which the Synoptics [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] omit, and omits the appearance before the Sanhedrin, which the first writers relate with detail, this intention seems evident. It will appear also from a multitude of other examples. But, on the other hand, the narrative of John has presented, up to this point, a too serious meditative character and too profound elaboration to allow the possibility of holding that...it is not governed by any higher thought [than giving information the other Gospels had omitted]. Godet goes on speak of the "three primary elements" of John's Gospel, which are the revelation of Jesus (the glorious Son of God and the Christ) and the resultant faith or unbelief (Godet refers to his Vol. 1, page 228f.).]] "When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth [[The Greek could be translated "He went out" with the NKJV. "He went out" could refer to His going out of the upper room where they ate the Lord's Supper, or it could refer to His going out of the city to cross the ravine of the Kidron. ((I had a footnote: As we discussed under John 14:31 (in my paper on John chapters 13-17), Jesus could have left the upper room before He spoke the words of John chapters 15-17. In the last words of John 14:31, Jesus said, "Get up, let us go from here.")) This detail doesn't affect the interpretation of John chapter 18.]] with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron ["Kidron Valley" NIV; cf. 2 Sam. 15:23; 1 Kings 2:27; 15:13; 2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12; 2 Chron. 15:16; 29:16; 30:14; and Jer. 31:40. The ravine, which was dry most of the year, emptied into the Dead Sea.], where there was a garden [The Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 16:36; Mark 14:32), was on the lower slopes of the western side of the Mount of Olives (cf. Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39). Gethsemane means oil-press (for olives).], in which He entered with His disciples. (2) Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples [cf. Luke 22:39]. [On Jesus' arrest, see Matt. 26:47-57; Mark 14:43-53; and Luke 22:47-54]. (3) Judas then, having received the Roman cohort [[Greek "speira." I'll quote part of what Leon Morris says here ("Gospel According to John" (Eerdmans, 1971), page 741. "A cohort was the tenth part of a legion and thus normally comprised 600 men (though in practice the number varied a good deal). ((I had a footnote: I'll quote two sentences from what J. Carl Laney says here ("John" [Moody Press, 1992], page 317). "The Roman prefects [like Pilate] of Judea had six cohorts at their command. Five were stationed in Caesarae and one in Jerusalem, probably at the fortress of Antonia [at the northwest corner of the temple]." Additional Roman soldiers were sent to Jerusalem for the feasts to maintain order, when large numbers of Jews would go to Jerusalem.)) It was commanded by a "chiliarchos" (cf. v. 12). ((This Greek noun is used in John 18:12, translated "commander" by the NASB. "Chiliarchos" was formed from a Greek word meaning a "thousand" and a Greek word for "leader." See the "Greek Dictionary" in the back of the "Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible for the NASB" (Foundation Publications) under "chiliarchos" (#5506 on page 1577).)) John will not of course mean that 600 or so soldiers took part in the arrest ((It is quite possible that a large number of Roman soldiers were sent to arrest Jesus. As Morris goes on to say, "they may have feared a riot." The Jewish authorities were determined to arrest Jesus this time (cf. John 7:32, 45-47). Note that Jesus was taken to the Jewish leaders after He was arrested.)) but that the 'cohort' performed the task, i.e., a detachment was sent. Some point out that speira was used on occasion of a maniple, which was one third of a cohort, i.e., 200 men. But even this is rather large. John is surely not saying that the whole "speira" was present, but rather using a form of speech like our 'the police came to arrest the man.' Yet we must bear in mind that the Romans could use surprisingly large numbers of soldiers where one prisoner was in question (Acts 23:23), and that here they may well have feared a riot."]] and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees [Undoubtedly the "officers" were temple guards/police, who were Levites (cf. John 7:32, 45, 46).], came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. (4) So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him [Compare John 6:64; 12:23-33; and 13:1, 11. John emphasizes throughout his Gospel that Jesus was always in control. He could have escaped at any time, but He voluntarily laid down His life to save us (and to overthrow the devil's kingdom).], went forth and said to them, 'Whom do you seek [This question (and the same question in verse 7) helped prepare the way for Jesus to let His disciples escape. He (not His disciples) was the One they were sent to arrest (see verse 8).]?' (5) They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' [Compare Matt. 2:23; Mark 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Luke 24:19; John 1:45; 18:7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; and 22:8. Jesus was called a "Nazarene" because He came (in one sense) from "Nazareth" (cf. Matt. 2:23).] He said to them, 'I am He.' [[The word "He" is in italics in the NASB, because the word was not included in the Greek. The Greek behind "I am He" here and in verses 6, 8 is "ego eimi," which sometimes connotes deity; clearly something special was taking place here; note what happened (in verse 6) when Jesus spoke these words. On the meaning of "ego eimi," see under John 8:28 in my paper on John chapters 5-8. (That paper is on my internet site [Google to Karl Kemp Teaching], and it should be on this Christian article site in the near future.)]] And Judas also, who was betraying Him [cf. verse 2], was standing with them. [He was standing on the wrong side now.] (6) So when He said to them, 'I am He' [See under verse 5.] they drew back and fell to the ground. [[It seems that something supernatural took place here. Apparently God manifested His power (one way or another) over those who came to arrest Jesus to make it clear that He could easily stop them from arresting Him if He so chose - God was in control, not them. It was important for them (and us) to know that the only reason they could arrest Jesus and crucify Him was because it was the will of God. Compare, for example, Matt. 26:53, 54; John 10:17, 18; and 19:11.]] (7) Therefore He again asked them [See verse 4.], 'Whom do you seek?' And they said, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' [See verse 5.] (8) Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am He [See verses 5, 6.]; so if you seek Me, let these [[the disciples who were with Jesus ((I had a footnote: It seems clear that it was only the twelve apostles (which became eleven when Judas left to betray Jesus) who ate the Lord's Supper with Jesus (cf. Matt. 26:20; Mark 14:17; and Luke 22:14), but it seems that at least one other disciple was there with Jesus when He was arrested (see Mark 14:51, 52). There is widespread agreement that that other disciple was Mark, the one who wrote the Gospel of Mark (cf. Acts 12:12). And other disciples could have been there too. For one thing, John has already informed us in John 18:2 that Jesus often met in the garden with His disciples.))]] go their way [It was time for Jesus to die, not His disciples. They (especially the apostles) had the assignment to establish the new-covenant church on the solid foundation of the Word of God, which has been recorded for us in the New Testament, and to take the gospel to Israel and to the world.],' (9) to fulfill the word which He spoke, 'Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.' [[In John 17:12 Jesus spoke of His keeping His disciples and not losing them in a spiritual sense. Here the issue was His keeping them from being arrested, etc., and apparently it was understood that they were not yet ready for the test of being arrested with Him. I'll quote a sentence from what F. F. Bruce says here ("Gospel of John" [Eerdmans, 1983], page 342). "The Evangelist's thought moves on two levels, and in the Lord's intervention to save his disciples from physical harm he sees a parable of his saving them from eternal death."]] (10) Simon Peter then, having a sword [cf. Luke 22:36, 38, 49, 50], drew it and struck the high priest's slave [[It isn't clear whether this slave belonged to the "high priest" Annas or Caiaphas (see John 18:12-26), but I prefer Annas. Caiaphas was the official high priest at that time, and he was called "high priest" in John 18:13, 24, but Annas, who had been the high priest earlier, and who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, was apparently the one called "high priest" in John 18:19, 22. ((I had a lengthy footnote that goes beyond the first paragraph: It is interesting that Luke 3:2 speaks of "the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas" and that Acts 4:6 speaks of "Annas the high priest" at a time when Caiaphas was the official high priest. One factor that complicated the issue was that according to the Mosaic Law the high priest was a lifetime appointment (one high priest at a time), but the Romans took it upon themselves to appoint (or to depose) the high priest for Israel at their will. Apparently Annas was also the one called "high priest" in John 18:15, 16. Annas had been the high priest from AD 6-15. Annas was the "high priest" in the spotlight in verses 13-24, and Jesus was taken to him first (verse 13). These verses seem to favor the idea that Malchus was a slave of Annas, but that point isn't clear. Quite a few commentators speculate that Annas and Caiaphas lived in the same palace. "It is not unlikely that the house of Caiaphas shared the same courtyard...(Donald A. Carson, "Gospel According to John" [Eerdmans, 1991], page 582).
I'll quote a few sentences from what William Hendricksen says regarding Annas here ("Gospel of John" [Baker, 1954], page 387). "In the four New Testament references to Annas he is twice called high priest, and this name is applied to him even though it was well known to the inspired author that he was no longer the actual high priest. Note: [Hendricksen quotes the relevant part of Luke 3:2; Acts 4:6]. The only other New Testament references to Annas are right in this chapter: John 18:13, 24. John, who probably assumes that the readers have read the earlier Gospels...takes for granted that they know that Annas was still called high priest."))
Annas clearly had a lot of authority and influence. ((I had a footnote: Five of Annas' sons became high priest after him, and his son-in-law, Caiaphas, was high priest then; Caiaphas was high priest from AD 18-36. Annas' son Eleazar was high priest AD 16-17; his son Jonathan AD 36-37; Theophilus AD 37-41; Matthias AD 42; Annas AD 61; and his grandson Matthias (son of Theophilus) was high priest AD 65-66. I took the names and years for Annas' sons and grandson from Stanley D. Toussaint in his article on Acts in "Bible Knowledge Commentary - New Testament" (SP Publications, 1983), page 362.)) Jesus was taken to Annas first, who questioned Him (John 18:13) and then "sent Him bound to Caiphas the high priest" (John 18:24). Matthew, Mark, and Luke did not mention that Jesus was questioned by Annas, but they gave some details regarding Jesus' trial before Caiphas and the Sanhedrin. John didn't give any of those details, undoubtedly because he knew that that information had already been widely distributed through the Synoptic Gospels.]], and cut off his right ear; and the slave's name was Malchus. [[See Matt. 26:50-54; Mark 14:46, 47; and Luke 22:49-51. The accounts in the Synoptic Gospels didn't mention that it was Simon Peter who struck the high priest's slave with the sword and cut off his right ear. And John was the only one to mention the name of the high priest's slave. (John 18:15, 16 show that John was known by the high priest.) Luke (the physician) is the only one who mentioned that Jesus touched the man's ear and healed him. We need all four Gospels to get the full picture. ]] (11) So Jesus said to Peter, 'Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me [See Matt. 26:39, 42, 44; Mark 14:36, 39, 41; Luke 22:42; cf. Matt. 20:22, 23.], shall I not drink it [Jesus was totally committed to do the Father's will at all times, including His going to the cross.]?' (12) So the Roman cohort and the commander [see under verse 3] and the officers of the Jews [see verse 3], arrested Jesus and bound Him, (13) and led Him to Annas [cf. Luke 3:2; John 18:19, 24; and Acts 4:6] first [As John 18:19-24 show, Annas sent Jesus on to Caiaphas after questioning Him.]; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas [cf. Matt. 26:3, 57; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; 18:14, 24, 2; and Acts 4:6], who was high priest that year. [[See under verse 10. Annas had been the high priest from AD 6-15. Caiphas was the high priest from AD 18-36. Jesus was probably crucified in AD 30; some say AD 33. (See the relevant footnote, a lengthy footnote covering more than one page, under John 12:2 in my paper on John chapters 10-12 on my internet site).]] (14) Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people [see John 11:50]. (15) Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. [There is widespread agreement that the other disciple was the apostle John. As it so often was the case throughout the Gospel of John, John could give a detailed eyewitness account of what happened because he was there.] Now that disciple was known to the high priest [See under verse 10. I assume that the high priest referred to here was Annas (see John 18:24), but if John was known to Annas he was probably also known to Caiaphas.], and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest [[It is much easier to understand Matt. 26:3, 57, 58, 69 with John 18:15-18, 25 if this "court" was located in the palace in which both Annas and Caiaphas lived. Because John was known at the home of the high priest, he was granted entrance into the court, but (as verse 16 shows) Peter was not known and John had to speak to the doorkeeper to gain entrance for him.]], (16) but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. [See under verse 15. Compare Matt. 26:58; Mark 14:54; and Luke 22:54, 55.] (17) Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, 'You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?' He said, 'I am not.' [On Peter's threefold denial of the Lord Jesus, see Matt. 26:33-35, 69-75; Mark 14:29-31, 66-72; Luke 22:31-34, 55-62; and John 18:17, 25-27. This was his first denial.] (18) Now the slaves ["servants" NIV; cf. John 18:10, 17, 26] and the officers [cf. John 18:3, 12] were standing there having made a charcoal fire [I'll quote a footnote that Leon Morris has here ("Gospel According to John," page 754). "John alone speaks of a charcoal fire. He uses "anthrakia" again in 21:9, the only places in the New Testament where the word is found. In both it is a mark of his fondness for exact detail."], for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself [cf. Mark 14:54, 67; Luke 22:55; and John 18:25]. (19) The high priest [Some disagree, but it seems rather clear that this "high priest" was Annas (see verse 24, and see under verses 10-15, including the footnotes).] then questioned Jesus about His disciples [With this line of questioning, Annas was probably mostly concerned with the number of Jesus' disciples and their capacity to stir up trouble.], and about His teaching. [[As I mentioned, this was a preliminary phase of Jesus' "trial," a phase that wasn't mentioned by Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Annas was looking for anything they could use against Jesus. They were mostly concerned with His being a supposed heretic, blasphemer, and sinner, but they were also very interested in charges against Jesus that would be relevant to the Romans (cf. John 11:47, 48). During the time Annas was questioning Jesus, Caiaphas was probably busy trying to gather the members of the Sanhedrin, for one thing (cf. Matt. 26:57, 59; Mark 14:53, 55).
The Jewish leaders were in a hurry to complete their official condemnation of Jesus. The Sabbath was coming, and it was a special Sabbath in that it coincided with Passover that year; the Sabbath would start at sundown Friday; and they wanted to have Jesus crucified and taken down from the cross before the Sabbath started (see John 19:31-33). Furthermore, and probably more importantly, the Jewish leaders realized that if they could get Jesus crucified very early Friday morning there was less chance that His followers would be able to stir up trouble and try to set Him free (cf. Matt. 26:5).
Most of Jesus' "trial" was completed that night, but Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin very early Friday morning officially condemned Jesus to death ((see Matt. 27:1; Mark 15:1 (I had a footnote: Mark 15:1 starts "Early in the morning" NASB; the NIV has, "Very early in the morning"; the NKJV has, "Immediately, in the morning." The Greek has the adverb "euthus," which means immediately, at once and the adverb "proi," which means early morning, morning.); and Luke 22:66-71)) before they took Him to Pilate as early that morning as they possibly could. As we'll discuss under verse 28, they could have taken Jesus to Pilate not long after 5 a.m., about an hour before the sun rose above the horizon that fateful morning.]] (20) Jesus answered him, 'I have spoken openly to the world [cf., e.g., John 7:26; 8:26]; I always taught in synagogues [cf., e.g., Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 13:54; Mark 1:39; 6:2; Luke 4:15, 44; 6:6; and John 6:59] and in the temple [cf., e.g., Matt. 26:55; John 7:14, 28], where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. (21) Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.' (22) When He had said this, one of the officers [cf. John 18:3; Acts 23:2] standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, 'Is that the way You answer the high priest?' (23) Jesus answered him, 'If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?' (24) So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. [See under verses 10-14, 19, and see Matt. 26:57-27:1; Mark 14:53-15:1; and Luke 22:54-71.] (25) Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. [See verses 17, 18.] So they said to him, 'You are not also one of His disciples, are you?' He denied it and said, 'I am not.' [This was Peter's second denial (of three denials).] (26) One of the slaves ["servants" NIV] of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off [See verse 10.], said, 'Did I not see you in the garden with Him?' (27) Peter then denied it again [This was Peter's third denial.], and immediately a rooster crowed. [See John 13:38; cf. Matt. 26:34; Mark 14:30; and Luke 22:34.] (28) Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium ["I.e. governor's official residence" (margin of NASB); cf. Matt. 27:27; Mark 15:16; John 18:33; 19:9; and Acts 23:35. They took Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor (cf. Matt. 27:2; Mark 15:1; and Luke 23:1), hoping that he would crucify Jesus without delay.], and it was early [[The Greek behind "early" is the adverb "proi" (on this adverb see under verse 19; we will discuss this adverb further as we continue). The Jewish leaders were in a hurry to take Jesus to Pilate so that He could be executed as early as possible; they did not want to leave His body on the cross on the Sabbath, for one thing, and all the more so in that the Sabbath coincided with the Passover meal that year. Another key reason they wanted to have Jesus crucified early (very early) was that there was less chance that His followers would be able to stir up trouble (if they were so inclined) and perhaps try to set Him free.]]; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium [[I'll quote part of what Donald A. Carson says here ("Gospel According to John," pages 587, 588). "They led Jesus to the "praitorion" (Greek transliteration from the Latin "praetorium"), which denotes the headquarters of the commanding officer of a Roman military camp, or the headquarters of a Roman military governor (as Pilate was). Pilate's normal headquarters was in Caesarea, in the palace Herod the Great had built for himself; but he and his predecessors and successors made it a point to be in Jerusalem on the high feasts, to be available to quell any untoward disturbance. While in Jerusalem, his abode became his Jerusalem "praetorium." Archaeologists differ as to whether this headquarters was Herod's palace on the western wall, or the Fortress of Antonia (named after Mark Antony) north-west of the temple complex and connected by steps to the temple's outer court (cf. Acts 21:35, 40)." Carson goes on to mention that the Fortress is "the traditional site, and marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa that winds its course to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre."]] so that they would not be defiled [cf. John 11:55; Acts 11:3], but might eat the Passover. [[Matthew, Mark, and Luke did not mention the detail that the Jewish leaders would not enter the Praetorium and that Pilate came out to them.
It is significant that John informs us here that the Jews had not yet eaten the Passover Friday morning (also see John 13:1; 19:14, 31, 42). As I discussed on pages 1, 2 of my paper on John chapter 13-17, Matthew, Mark, and Luke apparently give the (wrong) impression that Jesus and His apostles ate the Passover meal with the rest of the Jews on Thursday evening. He certainly ate what could be called a Passover meal with His apostles, but (apparently) that meal took place (on Thursday evening) a day before the Jews ate the Passover meal (on Friday evening). It would have been appropriate, of course, for Jesus to eat the Passover meal with the rest of the Jews, but it was much more appropriate, it seems to me, for Him (the Lamb of God) to die when the Passover lambs were being slain. It is significant that there is no mention of a Passover lamb in any of the Gospel accounts of the Lord's Supper (except for the true Lamb Himself).
It is interesting that the Jewish religious leaders (speaking of the majority) were concerned lest they be defiled by entering the Praetorium (and that they not leave Jesus' body on the cross on that special Passover Sabbath), but that they were so blind to the infinitely more important fact that they had rejected their Messiah (God the Son) and had come to Pilate to demand His (expedient) death (see John 11:47-53; cf. Matt. 27:18; Mark 15:10). "Religion" (including religious Christianity; religion in the flesh) so often gets it wrong, seriously wrong, as they major in the minors and often end up attacking those who believe the truth and live for God in His righteousness, manifesting their great righteous indignation.
We will continue this verse-by-verse study of John chapters 18-20 in Part 2 (still under John 18:28) with a lengthy discussion dealing with the approximate times that Jesus was delivered to Pilate and Pilate handed Him over to be crucified, and the approximate times that Jesus was crucified and He died.
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