Ταῦτα εἰπὼν Ἰησοῦς ἐξῆλθεν σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ πέραν τοῦ χειμάρρου τοῦ Κεδρὼν ὅπου ἦν κῆπος, εἰς ὃν εἰσῆλθεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.
ᾔδει δὲ καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν τὸν τόπον, ὅτι πολλάκις συνήχθη Ἰησοῦς ἐκεῖ μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ.
ὁ οὖν Ἰούδας λαβὼν τὴν σπεῖραν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων ὑπηρέτας ἔρχεται ἐκεῖ μετὰ φανῶν καὶ λαμπάδων καὶ ὅπλων.
Ἰησοῦς οὖν εἰδὼς πάντα τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ἐξῆλθεν, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Τίνα ζητεῖτε;
ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ· Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον. λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἐγώ εἰμι. εἱστήκει δὲ καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν μετ’ αὐτῶν.
ὡς οὖν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἐγώ εἰμι, ἀπῆλθον εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω καὶ ἔπεσαν χαμαί.
John 18:7πάλιν οὖν ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτούς· Τίνα ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν· Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον.
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· Εἶπον ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι· εἰ οὖν ἐμὲ ζητεῖτε, ἄφετε τούτους ὑπάγειν·
ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὃν εἶπεν ὅτι Οὓς δέδωκάς μοι οὐκ ἀπώλεσα ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐδένα.
Σίμων οὖν Πέτρος ἔχων μάχαιραν εἵλκυσεν αὐτὴν καὶ ἔπαισεν τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον καὶ ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον τὸ δεξιόν. ἦν δὲ ὄνομα τῷ δούλῳ Μάλχος.
εἶπεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ Πέτρῳ· Βάλε τὴν μάχαιραν εἰς τὴν θήκην· τὸ ποτήριον ὃ δέδωκέν μοι ὁ πατὴρ οὐ μὴ πίω αὐτό;
Ἡ οὖν σπεῖρα καὶ ὁ χιλίαρχος καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται τῶν Ἰουδαίων συνέλαβον τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἔδησαν αὐτὸν
καὶ ἤγαγον πρὸς Ἅνναν πρῶτον· ἦν γὰρ πενθερὸς τοῦ Καϊάφα, ὃς ἦν ἀρχιερεὺς τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἐκείνου·
ἦν δὲ Καϊάφας ὁ συμβουλεύσας τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὅτι συμφέρει ἕνα ἄνθρωπον ἀποθανεῖν ὑπὲρ τοῦ λαοῦ.
Ἠκολούθει δὲ τῷ Ἰησοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ ἄλλος μαθητής. ὁ δὲ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος ἦν γνωστὸς τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ καὶ συνεισῆλθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως,
ὁ δὲ Πέτρος εἱστήκει πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ ἔξω. ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς ὁ ἄλλος ὁ γνωστὸς τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ εἶπεν τῇ θυρωρῷ καὶ εἰσήγαγεν τὸν Πέτρον.
λέγει οὖν τῷ Πέτρῳ ἡ παιδίσκη ἡ θυρωρός· Μὴ καὶ σὺ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν εἶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου; λέγει ἐκεῖνος· Οὐκ εἰμί.
εἱστήκεισαν δὲ οἱ δοῦλοι καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ἀνθρακιὰν πεποιηκότες, ὅτι ψῦχος ἦν, καὶ ἐθερμαίνοντο· ἦν δὲ καὶ ὁ Πέτρος μετ’ αὐτῶν ἑστὼς καὶ θερμαινόμενος.
Ὁ οὖν ἀρχιερεὺς ἠρώτησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν περὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ περὶ τῆς διδαχῆς αὐτοῦ.
ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ἰησοῦς· Ἐγὼ παρρησίᾳ λελάληκα τῷ κόσμῳ· ἐγὼ πάντοτε ἐδίδαξα ἐν συναγωγῇ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, ὅπου πάντες οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι συνέρχονται, καὶ ἐν κρυπτῷ ἐλάλησα οὐδέν·
τί με ἐρωτᾷς; ἐρώτησον τοὺς ἀκηκοότας τί ἐλάλησα αὐτοῖς· ἴδε οὗτοι οἴδασιν ἃ εἶπον ἐγώ.
ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος εἷς παρεστηκὼς τῶν ὑπηρετῶν ἔδωκεν ῥάπισμα τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰπών· Οὕτως ἀποκρίνῃ τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ;
ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ἰησοῦς· Εἰ κακῶς ἐλάλησα, μαρτύρησον περὶ τοῦ κακοῦ· εἰ δὲ καλῶς, τί με δέρεις;
ἀπέστειλεν οὖν αὐτὸν ὁ Ἅννας δεδεμένον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα.
Ἦν δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος ἑστὼς καὶ θερμαινόμενος. εἶπον οὖν αὐτῷ· Μὴ καὶ σὺ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ εἶ; ἠρνήσατο ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπεν· Οὐκ εἰμί.
λέγει εἷς ἐκ τῶν δούλων τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, συγγενὴς ὢν οὗ ἀπέκοψεν Πέτρος τὸ ὠτίον· Οὐκ ἐγώ σε εἶδον ἐν τῷ κήπῳ μετ’ αὐτοῦ;
πάλιν οὖν ἠρνήσατο Πέτρος· καὶ εὐθέως ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν.
Ἄγουσιν οὖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ Καϊάφα εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον· ἦν δὲ πρωΐ· καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐκ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον, ἵνα μὴ μιανθῶσιν ἀλλὰ φάγωσιν τὸ πάσχα.
Therefore, they led Jesus from Caesar to the Praetorium. Now it was early and they did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled but they ate the Passover.
Paraphrase: At this time, the Jewish leaders led Jesus to the governor’s house which was where Pilate was staying for the time being. They were careful not to enter the Praetorium because they knew thought that merely entering a Gentile’s house would render them unclean. They were especially cautious of this because the Passover celebration was right around the corner.
About Pilate, Geikie writes:
Pilate was not a stranger in Palestine, and had, doubtless, had Jesus already under his notice, through reports of his spies and officials. He had learned that He avoided all appeals to force; that His discourses had nothing whatever political in them, and that His zeal was mainly directed against the corruptions of the Jewish priesthood and public teachers, whom the Romans themselves despised for the same cause. The immense crowds that had followed Him, at His first appearance in Judea, three years before, and His subsequent course in Galilee, must have been the subject of many official communications to Cæsarea, Pilate’s usual residence; and they had uniformly represented Him as peaceful and harmless. Pilate knew, therefore, that He was now delivered up by the priests and Rabbis only from envy, and for their own selfish ends. From all he had learned, Jesus was only a well-meaning enthusiast, and He could easily see how such a man might well be dangerous to the vested interests and mock holiness of the Jewish magnates, but not at all so to Roman authority. He was ready enough to quench in blood any religious movement that threatened the peace, but he saw no ground for apprehension as regarded this one. source
About the praetorium, Farrar writes:
Such was Pontius Pilate, whom the pomps and perils of the great yearly festival had summoned from his usual residence at Cæsarea Philippi to the capital of the nation which he detested, and the head-quarters of a fanaticism which he despised. At Jerusalem he occupied one of the two gorgeous palaces which had been erected there by the lavish architectural extravagance of the first Herod. It was situated in the Upper City to the south-west of the Temple Hill, and like the similar building at Cæsarea, having passed from the use of the provincial king to that of the Roman governor, was called Herod’s Praetorium. It was one of those luxurious abodes, “surpassing all description,” which were in accordance with the tendencies of the age, and on which Josephus dwells with ecstasies of admiration. Between its colossal wings of white marble—called respectively Cæsareum and Agrippeum, in the usual spirit of Herodian flattery to the Imperial house—was an open space commanding a noble view of Jerusalem, adorned with sculptured porticos and columns of many-colored marble, paved with rich mosaics, varied with fountains and reservoirs, and green promenades which furnished a delightful asylum to flocks of doves. Externally it was a mass of lofty walls, and towers, and gleaming roofs, mingled in exquisite varieties of splendor; within, its superb rooms, large enough to accommodate a hundred guests, were adorned with gorgeous furniture and vessels of gold and silver. A magnificent abode for a mere Roman knight! and yet the furious fanaticism of the populace at Jerusalem made it a house so little desirable, that neither Pilate nor his predecessors seem to have cared to enjoy its luxuries for more than a few weeks in the whole year. They were forced to be present in the Jewish capital during those crowded festivals which were always liable to be disturbed by some outburst of inflammable patriotism, and they soon discovered that even a gorgeous palace can furnish but a repulsive residence if it be built on the heaving lava of a volcano. source
The Jews hatred for the Romans found vent in their multiplying the situations which made someone unclean. “All Gentile houses are to be avoided, for merely entering them makes a man unclean.” source
ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πιλᾶτος ἔξω πρὸς αὐτοὺς καὶ φησίν· Τίνα κατηγορίαν φέρετε κατὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου;
Therefore, Pilate went outside to them and spoke, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”
Paraphrase: Because of the Jews scruples, Pilate accommodated them and went outside to hear their case. “Do you want to file charges against this man? If so, please state the charge.”
ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ· Εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος κακὸν ποιῶν, οὐκ ἄν σοι παρεδώκαμεν αὐτόν.
They answered and said to him, “If this man was not an evil doer, then we had not delivered him up to you.
Paraphrase: The Jews answered arrogantly, “We have delivered this man into your custody. That’s all the evidence you need to know that this man is a career criminal. Do your job! Pronounce him guilty, so we can get on with our business.”
Bullinger says that εἰ μή introduces an incredible or untenable hypothesis. Here that hypothesis would be that Jesus was faultless. source
The participle ποιῶν gives the idea of an imperfective aspect.
εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος· Λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς, καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑμῶν κρίνατε αὐτόν. εἶπον αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι· Ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἀποκτεῖναι οὐδένα·
Then, Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “For us, it is not lawful to kill anyone.”
Paraphrase: Pilate was pretty desperate to get out from under this situation. He told the Jewish leaders, “Why don’t you take Him and judge Him yourselves? If you found Him guilty on your own, then why not execute Him on your own authority? I have no concern in your silly disputes.” Stung by this reminder of their subject status, the Jews confessed that by Roman law, they did not have the right to carry out capital punishment.
In terms of capital punishment, Hausrath writes:
The Sanhedrin, however, had no power, either under Herod or under the Roman procurators, of carrying its punishment of death into execution, but could only pass sentence in such cases; and the Roman authorities were seldom inclined to confirm the sentence of death for violations of Jewish customs that were so hateful to them. The Jews, on the other hand, maintained that, as their law had been guaranteed, the infliction of the penalty of death in the cases prescribed by the law was acknowledged by the emperor, so that it was the duty of the procurator simply to carry out their sentence of death when thus contained in the law, and on his failing to do so they were bound to appeal to the emperor, as this was a breach of their privileges. Many of the procurators, consequently, had executed the law in all its strictness, although no crime had been committed according to the Roman code. source
In the clause Ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἀποκτεῖναι οὐδένα, notice Ἡμῖν is fronted for emphasis.
One question here is about the execution of Stephen. It does not appear that the Jews had obtained prior permission from the Romans to stone him.
ἵνα ὁ λόγος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν.
In order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled who said indicating by what kind of death He was about to die.
Paraphrase: Now previously, Jesus had predicted that He was going to be executed by the Romans in a very disgraceful way. He had prophesied that just as Moses had lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, in the same way, He would He be lifted up. (John 3:14) On another occasion, He had prophesied that He would be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and that they would condemn Him to death. Then they would hand Him over to the Romans where He would be made the butt of all their jokes, cruelly scourged, and finally crucified. (Matt 20:18-19) This conversation between the Jewish leadership and Pilate set all this in motion and became the fulfillment of all that Jesus had prophesied.
Εἰσῆλθεν οὖν πάλιν εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον ὁ Πιλᾶτος καὶ ἐφώνησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων;
Therefore, Pilate entered again into the Praetorium and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Paraphrase: Then Pilate returned to the Praetorium and summoned Jesus for questioning. “Are you the king of the Jews?” He asked.
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· Ἀπὸ σεαυτοῦ σὺ τοῦτο λέγεις ἢ ἄλλοι εἶπόν σοι περὶ ἐμοῦ;
Jesus answered, “From yourself you are saying this or others spoke to you concerning Me?”
Paraphrase: Jesus replied, “Why are you asking Me this? Is there perhaps also in your own heart a sincere desire to know who I am and what My kingdom is? Othewise, you have been overseeing Judea for years now. Have you ever received any reports that I was consolidating power or plotting insurrections? Have you received word that I am preaching rebellion against the Roman state? You and I both know that there are no such reports, so are you now going to make your own decision in this case or are you just going to take my accusers word for it? Why don’t you stand strong on what you know is true, make the right call here, and let the consequences fall out as they will?”
“Our Lord’s question, therefore, was not intended to give him explanation of anything that he did not know, but rather to move and awaken Pilate’s conscience.” See also his quote from Grotius. source
Stier says that for one brief moment, there was a sincere flicker of desire in Pilate’s heart to know the truth about the person of Jesus. source
ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Πιλᾶτος· Μήτι ἐγὼ Ἰουδαῖός εἰμι; τὸ ἔθνος τὸ σὸν καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς παρέδωκάν σε ἐμοί· τί ἐποίησας;
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your people, even the high priests, delivered you up to me; what have you done?”
Paraphrase: Pilate retorted, “Stop right there! You know that I am not a Jew, and I’m very thankful of it! It was your miserable people, actually the slimy leadership of your people who brought all these accusations against you. Usually, your leaders despise me and cheer as heroes those who start insurrections. Now they want me to declare you guilty. Why? Why do they hate your and yet applaud all the other insurrections who have come and gone? Then, I tried to get Herod to take the case, but he wasn’t having it. I don’t blame him. For myself, I have heard nothing that would lead me to believe that you are guilty of these crimes, but let’s just level with each other. Why don’t You just tell me straight, have you done anything of a political nature that might foment a clash with the Roman state? Do you have any such ambitions? And I could care less about all your stupid, religious quarrels; keep those to yourself.”
Μήτι expects a negative answer. §75.2.
The Jews were ready for the most part to favor any asserter of their national liberty. Now they had brought one called their King to be put to death. “Thine own nation” (τὸ ἔθνος τὸ σόν), and no Roman informer, “and the chief priests, the natural leaders of the people, delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? or, more exactly, what didst thou do,” that is, to turn those who would naturally favor such as thee into relentless enemies? source
Stier quotes Pfenninger,
Pilate knew too much about the Jewish expectations to suppose that the Sanhedrim would hate and persecute one who would free them from the Roman authority. source
ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· Ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου· εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἦν ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμή, οἱ ὑπηρέται οἱ ἐμοὶ ἠγωνίζοντο ἄν, ἵνα μὴ παραδοθῶ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις· νῦν δὲ ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐντεῦθεν.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If from this world my kingdom was, my followers would fight in order that I might not be delivered up to the Jews. but now My kingdom is not from this side.
Paraphrase: Good, I will tell you exactly what sort of King I am and what my political ambitions are. “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “does not originate from any earthly source like your kingdom does. Your kingdom was given to you by earthly men who rank higher than you. My kingdom was given to Me by My Father in heaven, Who is the Creator and Sovereign over the entire universe. Because My kingdom does not come from any earthly source, it is a completely different kind of kingdom than what you are thinking. The Jewish leadership are trying to accuse Me of being a threat to the Roman state; that this is completely absurd is clear from My methods. If I were seeking a kingdom like yours, would I have given Myself up as I did in Gethsemane? Wouldn’t I have gathered around me a band of fighting men? When the Jewish leadership came to arrest Me, would not My disciples have fought to prevent My arrest? Perhaps you heard about My disciple Peter who pulled his sword and struck Malchus (John 18:10)? I rebuked him for this and told him to put his sword away. Does this sound like a man bent on conquest? someone ambitiously pursuing an earthly kingdom? On the contrary, I can assure you, My kingdom is not at all like yours. My kingdom is something entirely different and because of this, I have zero political ambitions.
εἶπεν οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Πιλᾶτος· Οὐκοῦν βασιλεὺς εἶ σύ; ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Σὺ λέγεις ὅτι βασιλεύς εἰμι. ἐγὼ εἰς τοῦτο γεγέννημαι καὶ εἰς τοῦτο ἐλήλυθα εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα μαρτυρήσω τῇ ἀληθείᾳ· πᾶς ὁ ὢν ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας ἀκούει μου τῆς φωνῆς.
Then Pilate said to Him, “Are you not then a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this, I was born and for this I have come into the world in order that I might testify to the truth. All the ones who are of the truth, hear My voice.”
Paraphrase: To this, Pilate responded, “But you are a king, aren’t you?” Jesus said, “I am indeed a king, but not the kind of king you are imagining. I was born into this world for a purpose and that purpose was to testify to the truth. Now those whom My Father has chosen and given to Me will hear My teaching, they will believe it, and they will become My disciples. This is the only kind of kingdom in which I am interested. The citizens of My kingdom do not cease being citizens of Rome. On the contrary, the law of My kingdom is that all citizens must be subject to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1) and that whoever rebels against the state is rebelling against the God who gave those rulers their power in the first place. (John 19:11)
Οὐκοῦν expecting an affirmative answer.
Stier says that of the truth is equivalent to “of God.” (Jn 8:47) source
λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Πιλᾶτος· Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια; Καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν πάλιν ἐξῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἐγὼ οὐδεμίαν εὑρίσκω ἐν αὐτῷ αἰτίαν·
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” and after saying this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no crime in Him.”
Paraphrase: Pilate was momentarily intrigued by Jesus’ reference to truth. He smiled at such presumption. What could this poor, broken-down man possibly know about philosophy? “Truth?!” he remarked, “We all know what a futile pursuit that is. Every one thinks they have it. Evidently, you think you have found it as well. So go ahead, tell me what you think it is.” Then suddenly realizing the business at hand, he blurted out, “Oh forget it, we don’t have time for that now.” Having been jerked back to reality, he left Jesus in the Praetorium and returned outside to the waiting Jews. Jesus’ latest answer had satisfied Pilate that He had no political ambitions and represented no threat to the Roman state. Furthermore, Jesus did have a point when He had asked about reports of revolutionary activity; Pilate had not received any such. “After a fair and open inquiry, I have not found anything criminal in this man.” he announced. “I do not see any truth in the charges you have brought against him; neither is there any reason to detain Him any longer.”
ἔστιν δὲ συνήθεια ὑμῖν ἵνα ἕνα ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ πάσχα· βούλεσθε οὖν ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων;
ἐκραύγασαν οὖν πάλιν λέγοντες· Μὴ τοῦτον ἀλλὰ τὸν Βαραββᾶν. ἦν δὲ ὁ Βαραββᾶς λῃστής.