11:45 Then many of the people, 1 who had come with Mary and had seen the things Jesus 2 did, believed in him. 11:46 But some of them went to the Pharisees 3 and reported to them 4 what Jesus had done. 11:47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees 5 called the council 6 together and said, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many miraculous signs. 11:48 If we allow him to go on in this way, 7 everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away our sanctuary 8 and our nation.”
11:49 Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, 9 “You know nothing at all! 11:50 You do not realize 10 that it is more to your advantage to have one man 11 die for the people than for the whole nation to perish.” 12 11:51 (Now he did not say this on his own, 13 but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, 14 11:52 and not for the Jewish nation 15 only, 16 but to gather together 17 into one the children of God who are scattered.) 18 11:53 So from that day they planned together to kill him.
11:54 Thus Jesus no longer went 19 around publicly 20 among the Judeans, 21 but went away from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, 22 and stayed there with his disciples. 11:55 Now the Jewish feast of Passover 23 was near, and many people went up to Jerusalem 24 from the rural areas before the Passover to cleanse themselves ritually. 25 11:56 Thus they were looking for Jesus, 26 and saying to one another as they stood in the temple courts, 27 “What do you think? That he won’t come to the feast?” 11:57 (Now the chief priests and the Pharisees 28 had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus 29 was should report it, so that they could arrest 30 him.) 31
[11:45] 1 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, as well as the notes on the word “people” in vv. 31, 33 and the phrase “people who had come to mourn” in v. 36.
[11:47] 6 tn Or “Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews). The συνέδριον (sunedrion) which they gathered was probably an informal meeting rather than the official Sanhedrin. This is the only occurrence of the word συνέδριον in the Gospel of John, and the only anarthrous singular use in the NT. There are other plural anarthrous uses which have the general meaning “councils.” The fact that Caiaphas in 11:49 is referred to as “one of them” supports the unofficial nature of the meeting; in the official Sanhedrin he, being high priest that year, would have presided over the assembly. Thus it appears that an informal council was called to discuss what to do about Jesus and his activities.
[11:50] 11 tn Although it is possible to argue that ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") should be translated “person” here since it is not necessarily masculinity that is in view in Caiaphas’ statement, “man” was retained in the translation because in 11:47 “this man” (οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος, outo" Jo anqrwpo") has as its referent a specific individual, Jesus, and it was felt this connection should be maintained.
[11:50] 12 sn In his own mind Caiaphas was no doubt giving voice to a common-sense statement of political expediency. Yet he was unconsciously echoing a saying of Jesus himself (cf. Mark 10:45). Caiaphas was right; the death of Jesus would save the nation from destruction. Yet Caiaphas could not suspect that Jesus would die, not in place of the political nation Israel, but on behalf of the true people of God; and he would save them, not from physical destruction, but from eternal destruction (cf. 3:16-17). The understanding of Caiaphas’ words in a sense that Caiaphas could not possibly have imagined at the time he uttered them serves as a clear example of the way in which the author understood that words and actions could be invested retrospectively with a meaning not consciously intended or understood by those present at the time.
[11:52] 16 sn The author in his comment expands the prophecy to include the Gentiles (not for the Jewish nation only), a confirmation that the Fourth Gospel was directed, at least partly, to a Gentile audience. There are echoes of Pauline concepts here (particularly Eph 2:11-22) in the stress on the unity of Jew and Gentile.
[11:54] 21 tn Grk “among the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the residents of Judea in general, who would be likely to report Jesus to the religious authorities. The vicinity around Jerusalem was no longer safe for Jesus and his disciples. On the translation “Judeans” cf. BDAG 479 s.v. ᾿Ιουδαῖος 2.e. See also the references in vv. 8, 19, 31, 33, 36, and 45.
[11:54] 22 tn There is no certain identification of the location to which Jesus withdrew in response to the decision of the Jewish authorities. Many have suggested the present town of Et-Taiyibeh, identified with ancient Ophrah (Josh 18:23) or Ephron (Josh 15:9). If so, this would be 12-15 mi (19-24 km) northeast of Jerusalem.
[11:55] 23 tn Grk “the Passover of the Jews.” This is the final Passover of Jesus’ ministry. The author is now on the eve of the week of the Passion. Some time prior to the feast itself, Jerusalem would be crowded with pilgrims from the surrounding districts (ἐκ τῆς χώρας, ek th" cwra") who had come to purify themselves ceremonially before the feast.