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John 18:31

    John 18:31 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then said Pilate to them, Take you him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Pilate therefore said unto them, Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law. The Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then Pilate said to them, Take him yourselves and let him be judged by your law. But the Jews said to him, We have no right to put any man to death.

    Webster's Revision

    Pilate therefore said unto them, Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law. The Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

    World English Bible

    Pilate therefore said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Pilate therefore said unto them, Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law. The Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

    Clarke's Commentary on John 18:31

    It is not lawful for us to put any man to death - They might have judged Jesus according to their law, as Pilate bade them do; but they could only excommunicate or scourge him. They might have voted him worthy of death; but they could not put him to death, if any thing of a secular nature were charged against him. The power of life and death was in all probability taken from the Jews when Archelaus, king of Judea, was banished to Vienna, and Judea was made a Roman province; and this happened more than fifty years before the destruction of Jerusalem. But the Romans suffered Herod, mentioned Acts 12:1, etc., to exercise the power of life and death during his reign. See much on this point in Calmet and Pearce. After all, I think it probable that, though the power of life and death was taken away from the Jews, as far as it concerned affairs of state, yet it was continued to them in matters which were wholly of an ecclesiastical nature; and that they only applied thus to Pilate to persuade him that they were proceeding against Christ as an enemy of the state, and not as a transgressor of their own peculiar laws and customs. Hence, though they assert that he should die according to their law, because he made himself the Son of God, John 19:7, yet they lay peculiar stress on his being an enemy to the Roman government; and, when they found Pilate disposed to let him go, they asserted that if he did he was not Caesar's friend, John 18:12. It was this that intimidated Pilate, and induced him to give him up, that they might crucify him. How they came to lose this power is accounted for in a different manner by Dr. Lightfoot. His observations are very curious, and are subjoined to the end of this chapter.

    Barnes' Notes on John 18:31

    Judge him ... - The Jews had not directly informed him that they had judged him and pronounced him worthy of death. Pilate therefore tells them to inquire into the ease; to ascertain the proof of his guilt, and to decide on what the law of Moses pronounced. It has been doubted whether this gave them the power of putting him to death, or whether it was not rather a direction to them to inquire into the case, and inflict on him, if they judged him guilty, the mild punishment which they were yet at liberty to inflict on criminals. Probably the former is intended. As they lied already determined that in their view this case demanded the punishment of death, so in their answer to Pilate they implied that they had pronounced on it, and that he ought to die. They still, therefore, pressed it on his attention, and refused to obey his injunction to judge him.

    It is not lawful ... - The Jews were accustomed to put persons to death still in a popular tumult Acts 7:59-60, but they had not the power to do it in any case in a regular way of justice. When they first laid the plan of arresting the Saviour, they did it to kill him Matthew 26:4; but whether they intended to do this secretly, or in a tumult, or by the concurrence of the Roman governor, is uncertain. The Jews themselves say that the power of inflicting capital punishment was taken away about 40 years before the destruction of the temple; but still it is probable that in the time of Christ they had the power of determining on capital cases in instances that pertained to religion (Josephus, Antiq., b. 14: John 10, Section 2; compare Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 2, Section 4). In this case, however, it is supposed that their sentence was to be confirmed by the Roman governor. But it is admitted on all hands that they had not this power in the case of seditions, tumults, or treason against the Roman government. If they had this power in the case of blasphemy and irreligion, they did not dare to exert it here, because they were afraid of tumult among the people Matthew 26:5; hence, they sought to bring in the authority of Pilate. To do this, they endeavored to make it appear that it was a case of sedition and treason, and one which therefore demanded the interference of the Roman governor. Hence, it was on this charge that they arraigned him, Luke 23:2. Thus, a tumult might be avoided, and the odium of putting him to death which they expected would fall, not on themselves, but upon Pilate!

    Wesley's Notes on John 18:31

    18:31 It is not lawful for us to put any man to death - The power of inflicting capital punishment had been taken from them that very year. So the sceptre was departed from Judah, and transferred to the Romans.