John xviii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Over the torrent, or brook Cedron,[1] which ran betwixt Jerusalem and Mount Olivet, in the valley of Cedron, or of Hennom, or of Josaphat, not of Cedars, as in many Greek copies. See the history of Christ’s Passion. (Matthew xxvi. and xxvii.) (Witham)

Ver. 5. Jesus here asks them, whom they were seeking, not as if he were ignorant of their errand, but to shew them, that of their own power they could do nothing, because, though he, whom they sought, was present, and stood before them, yet, they did not know him. (Theophylactus) — The darkness of the night could not have been the reason why they did not see him, because, as the evangelist observes, they had lanterns and torches with them, and if they could not see him, at least they might have known him by his voice; for how could Judas, their leader, who was one of his own apostles, be unable to know him by his voice. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 6. Jesus again shews the Jews his power, and works another miracle before them, to give them another opportunity of being converted; but they would not: they still persevere in their hardness of heart; he therefore now delivers himself up to them, as now they can have no excuse for their incredulity. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 13. Some are of opinion that Annas and Caiphas both dwelt in the same house. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 15. Peter followed Jesus, but at a distance, for he was afraid. And so did another disciple. St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom, and after him, Theophylactus, with some others, believe that this other disciple was St. John himself. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. St. John gives here Peter’s first denial, which is reunited to the other two by all the preceding evangelists. This is one of the circumstances, which the others may have neglected, to unite three similar facts, and relating to the same object. (Bible de Vence) — St. Peter, the prince and head of the Church, was permitted to fall, to teach him to treat with more mildness and condescension those, whom he would afterwards have to raise out of the same miserable state of sin. One weak and frail man is placed over another, that seeing him unhappily fallen, he may give him his kind and helping hand, to free him from that unhappy state, in which he knows himself to have been. (St. Chrysostom) — Of all which our divine Saviour suffered in the court of Caiphas, nothing so much affected him as the dangerous fall of Peter, the chief of all his apostles, who had received the most signal favours from him. He had boasted that very night, that although all the rest of the disciples should abandon their master, he would never forsake him. Yet, see the weakness and inconstancy of human nature; at the voice of a poor maid, he forthwith denies his master; repeats his denial a second, and a third time, and even swears with an imprecation, that he never knew the man. O what is man, when he confides too much in himself! Let us look to ourselves, and see, that we never fall into the same unfortunate state. But if we have the misfortune to imitate this apostle in his fall, let us likewise imitate him in his speedy repentance: for immediately after his fall, going out, he wept bitterly; a practice which, it is said, he ever after retained, as often as he heard the cock crow. (Butler’s Lives of the Saints)

Ver. 21. Why askest thou me? Caiphas, in quality of judge, was to examine the crimes laid to the charge of the accused, by the testimony of the witnesses. (Witham)

Ver. 24. Annas sent him bound to Caiphas. Christ was but a little while there: for both the box on the ear, given to our Saviour, and St. Peter’s denial, were at the house of Caiphas: so that St. John does not here observe the order of time. (Witham)

Ver. 28. That they might eat the Pasch. They, who by the Pasch will always understand the paschal-lamb, look upon it certain from these words, that the Scribes and Pharisees at least, had deferred eating the paschal-lamb, till Friday the 15th day, in the evening: but there are passages in the Scripture, which shew, that the word Pasch, or Phase, comprehended not only the paschal sacrifice of the lamb, but also the sacrifices, that were to be eaten with unleavened bread, during the seven days of the paschal solemnity, as Deuteronomy xvi. 2. thou shalt offer up the Phase, or Pasch, to the Lord, of sheep and oxen. And 1 Paralipomenon xxxv. 8. They gave to the priests to make the Phase, or Pasch, in altogether two thousand six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen. The oxen, therefore, were also given, to make up the Pasch, and were comprehended by the word Pasch, or Phase. It might, therefore, be these paschal sacrifices, and not the paschal-lamb, which the priests designed to partake of, and therefore would not enter into the palace of Pilate. See Tillemont against Lamy, on the 2nd passage out of St. John, tom. ii. p. 696. See also the Lexicon of Mr. Heure on the word Pâque. (Witham)

Ver. 35. It pleased God, that Christ, who was to die both for the Jews and the Gentiles, should be betrayed by the one, and put to death by the other. (Bristow)


[1] Ver. 1. Cedron, not Cedrorum. In most Greek copies, ton Kedron. In some manuscripts tou Kedron. So the Protestant translation, the brook Cedron.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The history of the Passion of Christ.

1 When *Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples.

2 Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples.

3 *Judas, therefore, having received a band of soldiers, and servants, from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons.

4 Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that were to come upon him, went forward, and said to them: Whom seek ye?

5 They answered him; Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them; I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.

6 As soon then, as he had said to them; I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

7 Again, therefore, he asked them; Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

8 Jesus answered, I have told you, that I am he: if, therefore, you seek me, let these go their way.

9 That the word might be fulfilled which he said; *Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one.

10 Then Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.

11 Then Jesus said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

12 Then the band, and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him:

13 And they led him away to *Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year.

14 Now Caiphas was he, *who had given the counsel to the Jews; that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.

16 But Peter stood at the door without. *Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, and spoke to the portress, and brought in Peter.

17 The maid therefore that was portress, saith to Peter; Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith: I am not.

18 Now the servants and officers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves: and with them was Peter also standing, and warming himself.

19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort: and in secret I have spoken nothing.

21 Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken to them: behold they know what things I have said.

22 And when he had said these things, one of the officers standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying; Answerest thou the high priest so?

23 Jesus answered him; If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil: but if well, why strikest thou me?

24 *And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas, the high priest.

25 And Simon Peter was standing, and warming himself. *They said, therefore, to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.

26 One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off, saith to him; Did I not see thee in the garden with him?

27 Then Peter again denied: and immediately the cock crew.

28 *Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor’s hall. And it was morning: and they went not into the hall, **that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Pasch.

29 Pilate, therefore, went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man?

30 They answered, and said to him; If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.

31 Pilate then said to them; Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews, therefore, said to him; It is not lawful for us to put any one to death.

32 *That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die.

33 *Pilate, therefore, went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him; Art thou the king of the Jews?

34 Jesus answered; Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?

35 Pilate answered; Am I a Jew? Thy nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?

36 Jesus answered; My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.

37 Pilate, therefore, said to him; Art thou a king then? Jesus answered; Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth: every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.

38 Pilate saith to him; What is truth? And when he had said this, he went forth again to the Jews, and saith to them; I find no cause in him.

39 *But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the Pasch: will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews?

40 Then they all cried again, saying; Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.



1: 2 Kings xv. 23.; Matthew xxvi. 36.; Mark xiv. 32.; Luke xxii. 39.

3: Matthew xxvi. 47.; Mark xiv. 43.; Luke xxii. 47.

9: John xvii. 12.

13: Luke iii. 2.

14: John xi. 49.

16: Matthew xxvi. 58.; Mark xiv. 54.; Luke xxii. 55.

24: Matthew xxvi. 57.; Mark xiv. 53.; Luke xxii. 54.

25: Matthew xxvi. 69.; Mark xiv. 67.; Luke xxii. 56.

28: Matthew xxvii. 2.; Mark xv. 1.; Luke xxiii. 1. — ** Acts x. 28. and xi. 3.

32: Matthew xx. 19.

33: Matthew xxvii. 11.; Mark xv. 2.; Luke xxiii. 3.

39: Matthew xxvii. 15.; Mark xv. 6.; Luke xxiii. 17.