In yesterday’s post I mentioned that fact that John’s Gospel has a very different portrayal of Jesus’ trial before Pilate than any of the other Gospels.   It is longer, more involved, and highly intriguing.

Unlike the other Gospels, it is not a short trial where Jesus says only two words (in Mark, Pilate asks Jesus if he is the king of the Jews and Jesus replies: “You say so” – in Greek SU LEGEIS).  There are numerous back and forths, including, at one point, Pilate’s famous question “What is truth?”

To make sense of the scene it is important to realize that John is going to have Jesus die on a different day from the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  In those earlier Gospels, the day before Jesus’ death his disciples ask him where he wants them to “prepare the Passover meal” (Mark 14:12).  He gives them instructions how and where to prepare the meal and they do so.  That evening (which, in Jewish reckoning, is the beginning of the next day) they eat the meal, after which Jesus is arrested.  He spends the night in jail and the next morning he is put on trial (on the day of Passover after the meal was eaten) and then crucified at 9:00 am

In John, however, Jesus …

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