17:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward 1 to heaven 2 and said, “Father, the time 3 has come. Glorify your Son, so that your 4 Son may glorify you – 17:2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, 5 so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 6 17:3 Now this 7 is eternal life 8 – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, 9 whom you sent. 17:4 I glorified you on earth by completing 10 the work you gave me to do. 11 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side 12 with the glory I had with you before the world was created. 13
17:6 “I have revealed 14 your name to the men 15 you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, 16 and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed 17 your word. 17:7 Now they understand 18 that everything 19 you have given me comes from you, 17:8 because I have given them the words you have given me. They 20 accepted 21 them 22 and really 23 understand 24 that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 17:9 I am praying 25 on behalf of them. I am not praying 26 on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you. 27 17:10 Everything 28 I have belongs to you, 29 and everything you have belongs to me, 30 and I have been glorified by them. 31 17:11 I 32 am no longer in the world, but 33 they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe 34 in your name 35 that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. 36 17:12 When I was with them I kept them safe 37 and watched over them 38 in your name 39 that you have given me. Not one 40 of them was lost except the one destined for destruction, 41 so that the scripture could be fulfilled. 42 17:13 But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience 43 my joy completed 44 in themselves. 17:14 I have given them your word, 45 and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, 46 just as I do not belong to the world. 47 17:15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe 48 from the evil one. 49 17:16 They do not belong to the world 50 just as I do not belong to the world. 51 17:17 Set them apart 52 in the truth; your word is truth. 17:18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. 53 17:19 And I set myself apart 54 on their behalf, 55 so that they too may be truly set apart. 56
17:20 “I am not praying 57 only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe 58 in me through their testimony, 59 17:21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray 60 that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 17:22 The glory 61 you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – 17:23 I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, 62 so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, 63 so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world 64 . 17:25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men 65 know that you sent me. 17:26 I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, 66 so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”
18:1 When he had said these things, 67 Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley. 68 There was an orchard 69 there, and he and his disciples went into it. 18:2 (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, knew the place too, because Jesus had met there many times 70 with his disciples.) 71 18:3 So Judas obtained a squad of soldiers 72 and some officers of the chief priests and Pharisees. 73 They came to the orchard 74 with lanterns 75 and torches and weapons.
18:4 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, 76 came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?” 77 18:5 They replied, 78 “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.) 79 18:6 So when Jesus 80 said to them, “I am he,” they retreated 81 and fell to the ground. 82 18:7 Then Jesus 83 asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 18:8 Jesus replied, 84 “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for 85 me, let these men 86 go.” 87 18:9 He said this 88 to fulfill the word he had spoken, 89 “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” 90
18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the high priest’s slave, 91 cutting off his right ear. 92 (Now the slave’s name was Malchus.) 93 18:11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?” 94
18:12 Then the squad of soldiers 95 with their commanding officer 96 and the officers of the Jewish leaders 97 arrested 98 Jesus and tied him up. 99 18:13 They 100 brought him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 101 18:14 (Now it was Caiaphas who had advised 102 the Jewish leaders 103 that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.) 104
18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed them as they brought Jesus to Annas. 105 (Now the other disciple 106 was acquainted with the high priest, and he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard.) 107 18:16 But Simon Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple who was acquainted with the high priest came out and spoke to the slave girl who watched the door, 108 and brought Peter inside. 18:17 The girl 109 who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You’re not one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 110 He replied, 111 “I am not.” 18:18 (Now the slaves 112 and the guards 113 were standing around a charcoal fire they had made, warming themselves because it was cold. 114 Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.) 115
18:19 While this was happening, 116 the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 117 18:20 Jesus replied, 118 “I have spoken publicly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues 119 and in the temple courts, 120 where all the Jewish people 121 assemble together. I 122 have said nothing in secret. 18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said. 123 They 124 know what I said.” 18:22 When Jesus 125 had said this, one of the high priest’s officers who stood nearby struck him on the face and said, 126 “Is that the way you answer the high priest?” 18:23 Jesus replied, 127 “If I have said something wrong, 128 confirm 129 what is wrong. 130 But if I spoke correctly, why strike me?” 18:24 Then Annas sent him, still tied up, 131 to Caiaphas the high priest. 132
18:25 Meanwhile Simon Peter was standing in the courtyard 133 warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” 134 Peter 135 denied it: “I am not!” 18:26 One of the high priest’s slaves, 136 a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, 137 said, “Did I not see you in the orchard 138 with him?” 139 18:27 Then Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed. 140
18:28 Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s residence. 141 (Now it was very early morning.) 142 They 143 did not go into the governor’s residence 144 so they would not be ceremonially defiled, but could eat the Passover meal. 18:29 So Pilate came outside to them and said, “What accusation 145 do you bring against this man?” 146 18:30 They replied, 147 “If this man 148 were not a criminal, 149 we would not have handed him over to you.” 150
18:31 Pilate told them, 151 “Take him yourselves and pass judgment on him 152 according to your own law!” 153 The Jewish leaders 154 replied, 155 “We cannot legally put anyone to death.” 156 18:32 (This happened 157 to fulfill the word Jesus had spoken when he indicated 158 what kind of death he was going to die. 159 )
18:33 So Pilate went back into the governor’s residence, 160 summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 161 18:34 Jesus replied, 162 “Are you saying this on your own initiative, 163 or have others told you about me?” 18:35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? 164 Your own people 165 and your chief priests handed you over 166 to me. What have you done?”
18:36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being 167 handed over 168 to the Jewish authorities. 169 But as it is, 170 my kingdom is not from here.” 18:37 Then Pilate said, 171 “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world – to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to 172 my voice.” 18:38 Pilate asked, 173 “What is truth?” 174
When he had said this he went back outside to the Jewish leaders 175 and announced, 176 “I find no basis for an accusation 177 against him. 18:39 But it is your custom that I release one prisoner 178 for you at the Passover. 179 So do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?” 18:40 Then they shouted back, 180 “Not this man, 181 but Barabbas!” 182 (Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. 183 ) 184
[17:1] sn Jesus also looked upward before his prayer in John 11:41. This was probably a common posture in prayer. According to the parable in Luke 18:13 the tax collector did not feel himself worthy to do this.
[17:1] sn The time has come. Jesus has said before that his “hour” had come, both in 12:23 when some Greeks sought to speak with him, and in 13:1 where just before he washed the disciples’ feet. It appears best to understand the “hour” as a period of time starting at the end of Jesus’ public ministry and extending through the passion week, ending with Jesus’ return to the Father through death, resurrection, and exaltation. The “hour” begins as soon as the first events occur which begin the process that leads to Jesus’ death.
[17:1] 4 tc The better witnesses (א B C* W 0109 0301) have “the Son” (ὁ υἱός, Jo Juios) here, while the majority (C3 L Ψ Ë13 33 Ï) read “your Son also” (καὶ ὁ υἱὸς σου, kai Jo Juio" sou), or “your Son” (ὁ υἱὸς σου; A D Θ 0250 1 579 pc lat sy); the second corrector of C has καὶ ὁ υἱός (“the Son also”). The longer readings appear to be predictable scribal expansions and as such should be considered secondary.
[17:1] tn Grk “the Son”; “your” has been added here for English stylistic reasons.
[17:3] 8 sn This is eternal life. The author here defines eternal life for the readers, although it is worked into the prayer in such a way that many interpreters do not regard it as another of the author’s parenthetical comments. It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Christ (Χριστός, Cristos) is not characteristically attached to Jesus’ name in John’s Gospel; it occurs elsewhere primarily as a title and is used with Jesus’ name only in 1:17. But that is connected to its use here: The statement here in 17:3 enables us to correlate the statement made in 1:18 of the prologue, that Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginwskw) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.
[17:4] 10 tn Or “by finishing” or “by accomplishing.” Jesus now states that he has glorified the Father on earth by finishing (τελειώσας [teleiwsas] is best understood as an adverbial participle of means) the work which the Father had given him to do.
[17:4] sn By completing the work. The idea of Jesus being sent into the world on a mission has been mentioned before, significantly in 3:17. It was even alluded to in the immediately preceding verse here (17:3). The completion of the “work” the Father had sent him to accomplish was mentioned by Jesus in 4:34 and 5:36. What is the nature of the “work” the Father has given the Son to accomplish? It involves the Son’s mission to be the Savior of the world, as 3:17 indicates. But this is accomplished specifically through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (a thought implied by the reference to the Father “giving” the Son in 3:16). It is not without significance that Jesus’ last word from the cross is “It is completed” (19:30).
[17:5] 12 tn Or “in your presence”; Grk “with yourself.” The use of παρά (para) twice in this verse looks back to the assertion in John 1:1 that the Word (the Λόγος [Logos], who became Jesus of Nazareth in 1:14) was with God (πρὸς τὸν θεόν, pro" ton qeon). Whatever else may be said, the statement in 17:5 strongly asserts the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
[17:5] sn It is important to note that although Jesus prayed for a return to the glory he had at the Father’s side before the world was created, he was not praying for a “de-incarnation.” His humanity which he took on at the incarnation (John 1:14) remains, though now glorified.
[17:6] 15 tn Here “men” is retained as a translation for ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") rather than the more generic “people” because in context it specifically refers to the eleven men Jesus had chosen as apostles (Judas had already departed, John 13:30). If one understands the referent here to be the broader group of Jesus’ followers that included both men and women, a translation like “to the people” should be used here instead.
[17:10] sn The theme of glory with which Jesus began this prayer in 17:1-5 now recurs. Jesus said that he had been glorified by his disciples, but in what sense was this true? Jesus had manifested his glory to them in all of the sign-miracles which he had performed, beginning with the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana (2:11). He could now say that he had been glorified by them in the light of what he had already said in vv. 7-8, that the disciples had come to know that he had come from the Father and been sent by the Father. He would, of course, be glorified by them further after the resurrection, as they carried on his ministry after his departure.
[17:12] sn The one destined to destruction refers to Judas. Clearly in John’s Gospel Judas is portrayed as a tool of Satan. He is described as “the devil” in 6:70. In 13:2 Satan put into Judas’ heart the idea of betraying Jesus, and 13:27 Satan himself entered Judas. Immediately after this Judas left the company of Jesus and the other disciples and went out into the realm of darkness (13:30). Cf. 2 Thess 2:3, where this same Greek phrase (“the son of destruction”; see tn above) is used to describe the man through whom Satan acts to rebel against God in the last days.
[17:12] 42 sn A possible allusion to Ps 41:9 or Prov 24:22 LXX. The exact passage is not specified here, but in John 13:18, Ps 41:9 is explicitly quoted by Jesus with reference to the traitor, suggesting that this is the passage to which Jesus refers here. The previous mention of Ps 41:9 in John 13:18 probably explains why the author felt no need for an explanatory parenthetical note here. It is also possible that the passage referred to here is Prov 24:22 LXX, where in the Greek text the phrase “son of destruction” appears.
[17:15] 49 tn The phrase “the evil one” is a reference to Satan. The genitive noun τοῦ πονηροῦ (tou ponhrou) is ambiguous with regard to gender: It may represent the neuter τὸ πονηρόν (to ponhron), “that which is evil,” or the masculine ὁ πονηρός (Jo ponhro"), “the evil one,” i.e., Satan. In view of the frequent use of the masculine in 1 John 2:13-14, 3:12, and 5:18-19 it seems much more probable that the masculine is to be understood here, and that Jesus is praying for his disciples to be protected from Satan. Cf. BDAG 851 s.v. πονηρός 1.b.β and 1.b.γ.
[17:16] 50 tn Grk “they are not of the world.” This is a repetition of the second half of v. 14. The only difference is in word order: Verse 14 has οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (ouk eisin ek tou kosmou), while here the prepositional phrase is stated first: ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ εἰσίν (ek tou kosmou ouk eisin). This gives additional emphasis to the idea of the prepositional phrase, i.e., origin, source, or affiliation.
[17:17] sn The Greek word translated set…apart (ἁγιάζω, Jagiazw) is used here in its normal sense of being dedicated, consecrated, or set apart. The sphere in which the disciples are to be set apart is in the truth. In 3:21 the idea of “practicing” (Grk “doing”) the truth was introduced; in 8:32 Jesus told some of his hearers that if they continued in his word they would truly be his disciples, and would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. These disciples who are with Jesus now for the Farewell Discourse have continued in his word (except for Judas Iscariot, who has departed), and they do know the truth about who Jesus is and why he has come into the world (17:8). Thus Jesus can ask the Father to set them apart in this truth as he himself is set apart, so that they might carry on his mission in the world after his departure (note the following verse).
[17:18] 53 sn Jesus now compared the mission on which he was sending the disciples to his own mission into the world, on which he was sent by the Father. As the Father sent Jesus into the world (cf. 3:17), so Jesus now sends the disciples into the world to continue his mission after his departure. The nature of this prayer for the disciples as a consecratory prayer is now emerging: Jesus was setting them apart for the work he had called them to do. They were, in a sense, being commissioned.
[17:19] sn In what sense does Jesus refer to his own ‘sanctification’ with the phrase I set myself apart? In 10:36 Jesus referred to himself as “the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,” which seems to look at something already accomplished. Here, however, it is something he does on behalf of the disciples (on their behalf) and this suggests a reference to his impending death on the cross. There is in fact a Johannine wordplay here based on slightly different meanings for the Greek verb translated set apart (ἁγιάζω, Jagiazw). In the sense it was used in 10:36 of Jesus and in 17:17 and here to refer to the disciples, it means to set apart in the sense that prophets (cf. Jer 1:5) and priests (Exod 40:13, Lev 8:30, and 2 Chr 5:11) were consecrated (or set apart) to perform their tasks. But when Jesus speaks of setting himself apart (consecrating or dedicating himself) on behalf of the disciples here in 17:19 the meaning is closer to the consecration of a sacrificial animal (Deut 15:19). Jesus is “setting himself apart,” i.e., dedicating himself, to do the will of the Father, that is, to go to the cross on the disciples’ behalf (and of course on behalf of their successors as well).
[17:20] 58 tn Although πιστευόντων (pisteuontwn) is a present participle, it must in context carry futuristic force. The disciples whom Jesus is leaving behind will carry on his ministry and in doing so will see others come to trust in him. This will include not only Jewish Christians, but other Gentile Christians who are “not of this fold” (10:16), and thus Jesus’ prayer for unity is especially appropriate in light of the probability that most of the readers of the Gospel are Gentiles (much as Paul stresses unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians in Eph 2:10-22).
[17:25] 65 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more general term like “people” because the use of the aorist verb ἔγνωσαν (egnwsan) implies that Jesus is referring to the disciples present with him as he spoke these words (presumably all of them men in the historical context), rather than to those who are yet to believe because of their testimony (see John 17:20).
[18:1] 67 sn When he had said these things appears to be a natural transition at the end of the Farewell Discourse (the farewell speech of Jesus to his disciples in John 13:31-17:26, including the final prayer in 17:1-26). The author states that Jesus went out with his disciples, a probable reference to their leaving the upper room where the meal and discourse described in chaps. 13-17 took place (although some have seen this only as a reference to their leaving the city, with the understanding that some of the Farewell Discourse, including the concluding prayer, was given en route, cf. 14:31). They crossed the Kidron Valley and came to a garden, or olive orchard, identified in Matt 26:36 and Mark 14:32 as Gethsemane. The name is not given in Luke’s or John’s Gospel, but the garden must have been located somewhere on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives.
[18:3] 72 tn Grk “a cohort.” The word σπεῖραν (speiran) is a technical term for a Roman cohort, normally a force of 600 men (one tenth of a legion). It was under the command of a χιλίαρχος (ciliarco", v. 12). Because of the improbability of an entire cohort being sent to arrest a single man, some have suggested that σπεῖραν here refers only to a maniple, a force of 200. But the use of the word here does not necessarily mean the entire cohort was present on this mission, but only that it was the cohort which performed the task (for example, saying the fire department put out the fire does not mean that every fireman belonging to the department was on the scene at the time). These Roman soldiers must have been ordered to accompany the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees by Pilate, since they would have been under the direct command of the Roman prefect or procurator. It is not difficult to understand why Pilate would have been willing to assist the Jewish authorities in such a way. With a huge crowd of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover, the Romans would have been especially nervous about an uprising of some sort. No doubt the chief priests and Pharisees had informed Pilate that this man Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, or in the terms Pilate would understand, king of Israel.
[18:3] 73 tn The phrase “officers of the chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive name for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:32, 45; 18:3, 12, 18, 22; 19:6. They are different from the Levites who served as “temple police” according to K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 8:540). In John 7:32ff. these officers had made an unsuccessful attempt to arrest Jesus, and perhaps this is part of the reason why their leaders had made sure they were accompanied by Roman soldiers this time. No more mistakes were to be tolerated.
[18:3] 75 tn These were lamps that had some sort of covering to protect them from wind and rain. In earlier usage the word meant “torch” but by NT times it apparently meant a lamp designed to be used outdoors, so “lantern” is a good contemporary English equivalent.
[18:3] sn Mention of the lanterns and torches suggests a detail remembered by one who was an eyewitness, but in connection with the light/darkness motif of John’s Gospel, it is a vivid reminder that it is night; the darkness has come at last (cf. 13:30).
[18:5] sn The author does not state precisely who from the group of soldiers and temple police replied to Jesus at this point. It may have been the commander of the Roman soldiers, although his presence is not explicitly mentioned until 18:12. It may also have been one of the officers of the chief priests. To the answer given, “Jesus the Nazarene,” Jesus replies “I am [he].”
[18:5] 79 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Before he states the response to Jesus’ identification of himself, the author inserts a parenthetical note that Judas, again identified as the one who betrayed him (cf. 18:2), was standing with the group of soldiers and officers of the chief priests. Many commentators have considered this to be an awkward insertion, but in fact it heightens considerably the dramatic effect of the response to Jesus’ self-identification in the following verse, and has the added effect of informing the reader that along with the others the betrayer himself ironically falls down at Jesus’ feet (18:6).
[18:6] 82 sn When Jesus said to those who came to arrest him “I am,” they retreated and fell to the ground. L. Morris says that “it is possible that those in front recoiled from Jesus’ unexpected advance, so that they bumped those behind them, causing them to stumble and fall” (John [NICNT], 743-44). Perhaps this is what in fact happened on the scene; but the theological significance given to this event by the author implies that more is involved. The reaction on the part of those who came to arrest Jesus comes in response to his affirmation that he is indeed the one they are seeking, Jesus the Nazarene. But Jesus makes this affirmation of his identity using a formula which the reader has encountered before in the Fourth Gospel, e.g., 8:24, 28, 58. Jesus has applied to himself the divine Name of Exod 3:14, “I AM.” Therefore this amounts to something of a theophany which causes even his enemies to recoil and prostrate themselves, so that Jesus has to ask a second time, “Who are you looking for?” This is a vivid reminder to the reader of the Gospel that even in this dark hour, Jesus holds ultimate power over his enemies and the powers of darkness, because he is the one who bears the divine Name.
[18:8] 86 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more generic word like “people” because in context Jesus referred only to the eleven remaining disciples who were loyal to him and were present at his arrest.
[18:8] 87 sn A second time Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he,” identifying himself as the one they are seeking. Jesus also added, “If you are looking for me, let these men go.” Jesus successfully diverted attention from his disciples by getting the soldiers and officers of the chief priests to admit (twice) that it is only him they were after. Even in this hour Jesus still protected and cared for his own, giving himself up on their behalf. By handing himself over to his enemies, Jesus ensured that his disciples went free. From the perspective of the author, this is acting out beforehand what Jesus will actually do for his followers when he goes to the cross.
[18:9] sn This action of Jesus on behalf of his disciples is interpreted by the author as a fulfillment of Jesus’ own words: “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” Here it is Jesus’ own words, rather than the OT scriptures, which are quoted. This same formula will be used by the author again of Jesus’ words in 18:32, but the verb is used elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel to describe the NT fulfillment of OT passages (12:38, 13:18, 15:25, 17:12, 19:24, and 19:36). It is a bit difficult to determine the exact referent, since the words of Jesus quoted in this verse are not an exact reproduction of a saying of Jesus elsewhere in John’s Gospel. Although some have identified the saying with John 6:39, the closest parallel is in 17:12, where the betrayer, Judas, is specifically excluded. The words quoted here in 18:9 appear to be a free rendition of 17:12.
[18:10] 92 sn The account of the attack on the high priest’s slave contains details which suggest eyewitness testimony. It is also mentioned in all three synoptic gospels, but only John records that the disciple involved was Peter, whose impulsive behavior has already been alluded to (John 13:37). Likewise only John gives the name of the victim, Malchus, who is described as the high priest’s slave. John and Mark (14:47) both use the word ὠτάριον (wtarion, a double diminutive) to describe what was cut off, and this may indicate only part of the right ear (for example, the earlobe).
[18:11] sn Jesus continues with what most would take to be a rhetorical question expecting a positive reply: “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” The cup is also mentioned in Gethsemane in the synoptics (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42). In connection with the synoptic accounts it is mentioned in Jesus’ prayer; this occurrence certainly complements the synoptic accounts if Jesus had only shortly before finished praying about this. Only here in the Fourth Gospel is it specifically said that the cup is given to Jesus to drink by the Father, but again this is consistent with the synoptic mention of the cup in Jesus’ prayer: It is the cup of suffering which Jesus is about to undergo.
[18:12] 96 tn Grk “their chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (ciliarco") literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militaris, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
[18:12] 97 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, who were named as “chief priests and Pharisees” in John 18:3.
[18:13] 101 sn Jesus was taken first to Annas. Only the Gospel of John mentions this pretrial hearing before Annas, and that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who is said to be high priest in that year. Caiaphas is also mentioned as being high priest in John 11:49. But in 18:15, 16, 19, and 22 Annas is called high priest. Annas is also referred to as high priest by Luke in Acts 4:6. Many scholars have dismissed these references as mistakes on the part of both Luke and John, but as mentioned above, John 11:49 and 18:13 indicate that John knew that Caiaphas was high priest in the year that Jesus was crucified. This has led others to suggest that Annas and Caiaphas shared the high priesthood, but there is no historical evidence to support this view. Annas had been high priest from
[18:15] 105 tn The words “them as they brought Jesus to Annas” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify who Peter and the other disciple were following. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
[18:15] sn Many have associated this unnamed other disciple with the beloved disciple, that is, John son of Zebedee, mainly because the phrase the other disciple which occurs here is also used to describe the beloved disciple in John 20:2, 3, 4, and 8. Peter is also closely associated with the beloved disciple in 13:23-26, 20:2-10, 21:7, and 21:20-23. But other identifications have also been proposed, chiefly because v. 16 states that this disciple who was accompanied by Peter was known to the high priest. As C. K. Barrett (St. John, 525) points out, the term γνωστός (gnwstos) is used in the LXX to refer to a close friend (Ps 54:14 LXX [55:14 ET]). This raises what for some is an insurmountable difficulty in identifying the “other disciple” as John son of Zebedee, since how could the uneducated son of an obscure Galilean fisherman be known to such a powerful and influential family in Jerusalem? E. A. Abbott (as quoted in “Notes of Recent Exposition,” ExpTim 25 [1913/14]: 149-50) proposed that the “other disciple” who accompanied Peter was Judas, since he was the one disciple of whom it is said explicitly (in the synoptic accounts) that he had dealings with the high priest. E. A. Tindall (“Contributions and Comments: John xviii.15,” ExpTim 28 [1916/17]: 283-84) suggested the disciple was Nicodemus, who as a member of the Sanhedrin, would have had access to the high priest’s palace. Both of these suggestions, while ingenious, nevertheless lack support from the text of the Fourth Gospel itself or the synoptic accounts. W. Wuellner (The Meaning of “Fishers of Men” [NTL]) argues that the common attitude concerning the low social status and ignorance of the disciples from Galilee may in fact be a misconception. Zebedee is presented in Mark 1:20 as a man wealthy enough to have hired servants, and Mark 10:35-45 presents both of the sons of Zebedee as concerned about status and prestige. John’s mother appears in the same light in Matt 20:20-28. Contact with the high priestly family in Jerusalem might not be so unlikely in such circumstances. Others have noted the possibility that John came from a priestly family, some of which is based upon a statement in Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 3.31.3) quoting Polycrates that John son of Zebedee was a priest. For further information on possible priestly connections among members of John’s family see L. Morris (John [NICNT], 752, n. 32). None of this is certain, but on the whole it seems most probable that the disciple who accompanied Peter and gained entry into the courtyard for him was John son of Zebedee.
[18:16] 108 tn Grk “spoke to the doorkeeper”; her description as a slave girl is taken from the following verse. The noun θυρωρός (qurwro") may be either masculine or feminine, but the article here indicates that it is feminine.
[18:19] 116 tn The introductory phrase “While this was happening” is not in the Greek text. It has been supplied in the translation to clarify the alternation of scenes in the narrative for the modern reader.
[18:19] 117 sn The nature of this hearing seems to be more that of a preliminary investigation; certainly normal legal procedure was not followed, for no indication is given that any witnesses were brought forth at this point to testify against Jesus. True to what is known of Annas’ character, he was more interested in Jesus’ disciples than in the precise nature of Jesus’ teaching, since he inquired about the followers first. He really wanted to know just how influential Jesus had become and how large a following he had gathered. This was of more concern to Annas that the truth or falsity of Jesus’ teaching.
[18:20] 121 tn Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish people generally, for whom the synagogues and the temple courts in Jerusalem were important public gathering places. See also the note on the phrase “Jewish religious leaders” in v. 12.
[18:24] 132 sn Where was Caiaphas the high priest located? Did he have a separate palace, or was he somewhere else with the Sanhedrin? Since Augustine (4th century) a number of scholars have proposed that Annas and Caiaphas resided in different wings of the same palace, which were bound together by a common courtyard through which Jesus would have been led as he was taken from Annas to Caiaphas. This seems a reasonable explanation, although there is no conclusive evidence.
[18:27] 140 tn It seems most likely that this refers to a real rooster crowing, although a number of scholars have suggested that “cockcrow” is a technical term referring to the trumpet call which ended the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3 a.m.). This would then be a reference to the Roman gallicinium (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, alektorofwnia; the term is used in Mark 13:35 and is found in some
[18:27] sn No indication is given of Peter’s emotional state at this third denial (as in Matt 26:74 and Mark 14:71) or that he remembered that Jesus had foretold the denials (Matt 26:75, Mark 14:72 and Luke 22:61), or the bitter remorse Peter felt afterward (Matt 26:75, Mark 14:72, and Luke 22:62).
[18:28] 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.
[18:29] 146 sn In light of the fact that Pilate had cooperated with them in Jesus’ arrest by providing Roman soldiers, the Jewish authorities were probably expecting Pilate to grant them permission to carry out their sentence on Jesus without resistance (the Jews were not permitted to exercise capital punishment under the Roman occupation without official Roman permission, cf. v. 31). They must have been taken somewhat by surprise by Pilate’s question “What accusation do you bring against this man,” because it indicated that he was going to try the prisoner himself. Thus Pilate was regarding the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin as only an inquiry and their decision as merely an accusation.
[18:31] 153 sn Pilate, as the sole representative of Rome in a troubled area, was probably in Jerusalem for the Passover because of the danger of an uprising (the normal residence for the Roman governor was in Caesarea as mentioned in Acts 23:35). At this time on the eve of the feast he would have been a busy and perhaps even a worried man. It is not surprising that he offered to hand Jesus back over to the Jewish authorities to pass judgment on him. It may well be that Pilate realized when no specific charge was mentioned that he was dealing with an internal dispute over some religious matter. Pilate wanted nothing to do with such matters, as the statement “Pass judgment on him according to your own law!” indicates. As far as the author is concerned, this points out who was really responsible for Jesus’ death: The Roman governor Pilate would have had nothing to do with it if he had not been pressured by the Jewish religious authorities, upon whom the real responsibility rested.
[18:31] sn The historical background behind the statement We cannot legally put anyone to death is difficult to reconstruct. Scholars are divided over whether this statement in the Fourth Gospel accurately reflects the judicial situation between the Jewish authorities and the Romans in 1st century Palestine. It appears that the Roman governor may have given the Jews the power of capital punishment for specific offenses, some of them religious (the death penalty for Gentiles caught trespassing in the inner courts of the temple, for example). It is also pointed out that the Jewish authorities did carry out a number of executions, some of them specifically pertaining to Christians (Stephen, according to Acts 7:58-60; and James the Just, who was stoned in the 60s according to Josephus, Ant. 20.9.1 [20.200]). But Stephen’s death may be explained as a result of “mob violence” rather than a formal execution, and as Josephus in the above account goes on to point out, James was executed in the period between two Roman governors, and the high priest at the time was subsequently punished for the action. Two studies by A. N. Sherwin-White (Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 1-47; and “The Trial of Christ,” Historicity and Chronology in the New Testament [SPCKTC], 97-116) have tended to support the accuracy of John’s account. He concluded that the Romans kept very close control of the death penalty for fear that in the hands of rebellious locals such power could be used to eliminate factions favorable or useful to Rome. A province as troublesome as Judea would not have been likely to be made an exception to this.
[18:33] 161 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.
[18:35] 164 sn Many have seen in Pilate’s reply “I am not a Jew, am I?” the Roman contempt for the Jewish people. Some of that may indeed be present, but strictly speaking, all Pilate affirms is that he, as a Roman, has no firsthand knowledge of Jewish custom or belief. What he knows of Jesus must have come from the Jewish authorities. They are the ones (your own people and your chief priests) who have handed Jesus over to Pilate.
[18:36] 169 tn Or “the Jewish leaders”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12. In the translation “authorities” was preferred over “leaders” for stylistic reasons.
[18:38] 174 sn With his reply “What is truth?” Pilate dismissed the matter. It is not clear what Pilate’s attitude was at this point, as in 18:33. He may have been sarcastic, or perhaps somewhat reflective. The author has not given enough information in the narrative to be sure. Within the narrative, Pilate’s question serves to make the reader reflect on what truth is, and that answer (in the narrative) has already been given (14:6).
[18:38] 175 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12. The term also occurs in v. 31, where it is clear the Jewish leaders are in view, because they state that they cannot legally carry out an execution. Although it is likely (in view of the synoptic parallels) that the crowd here in 18:38 was made up not just of the Jewish leaders, but of ordinary residents of Jerusalem and pilgrims who were in Jerusalem for the Passover, nevertheless in John’s Gospel Pilate is primarily in dialogue with the leadership of the nation, who are expressly mentioned in 18:35 and 19:6.
[18:39] 179 sn Pilate then offered to release Jesus, reminding the Jewish authorities that they had a custom that he release one prisoner for them at the Passover. There is no extra-biblical evidence alluding to the practice. It is, however, mentioned in Matthew and Mark, described either as a practice of Pilate (Mark 15:6) or of the Roman governor (Matt 27:15). These references may explain the lack of extra-biblical attestation: The custom to which Pilate refers here (18:39) is not a permanent one acknowledged by all the Roman governors, but one peculiar to Pilate as a means of appeasement, meant to better relations with his subjects. Such a limited meaning is certainly possible and consistent with the statement here.
[18:40] 180 tn Or “they shouted again,” or “they shouted in turn.” On the difficulty of translating πάλιν (palin) see BDAG 753 s.v. 5. It is simplest in the context of John’s Gospel to understand the phrase to mean “they shouted back” as a reply to Pilate’s question.
[18:40] 182 sn The name Barabbas in Aramaic means “son of abba,” that is, “son of the father,” and presumably the man in question had another name (it may also have been Jesus, according to the textual variant in Matt 27:16, although this is uncertain). For the author this name held ironic significance: The crowd was asking for the release of a man called Barabbas, “son of the father,” while Jesus, who was truly the Son of the Father, was condemned to die instead.
[18:40] 183 tn Or “robber.” It is possible that Barabbas was merely a robber or highwayman, but more likely, given the use of the term ληστής (lhsth") in Josephus and other early sources, that he was a guerrilla warrior or revolutionary leader. See both R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:857) and K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 4:258) for more information. The word λῃστής was used a number of times by Josephus (J. W. 2.13.2-3 [2.253-254]) to describe the revolutionaries or guerrilla fighters who, from mixed motives of nationalism and greed, kept the rural districts of Judea in constant turmoil.