From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Mark Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2013
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CHAPTER 14B: -14:72
WEB: They came
to a place which was named
Young’s: And they come to a spot, the name of which is Gethsemane, and he saith to his disciples, 'Sit ye here till I may pray;'
Conte (RC): And they went to a country estate, by the name of Gethsemani. And he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I pray."
Then they came to a place. They would pass through one of the city gates "open that night, as it was passover," down the steep side of the Kedron (John 18:1), and coming by the bridge, they went onward towards Gethsemane. 
which was named
It was a garden (John 18:1) or olive orchard on the slope of Olivet. Thither our Lord was wont to resort (John 18:2). 
and He saith to His disciples, Sit ye here. They would from an outer watch to warn of the danger which they must have felt was impending. 
while I shall pray. Notice again the prayerful habit of Jesus. In no other crisis of His life does Jesus appear more one of us, and at the same time more truly our Master. 
[He added], according to Luke, the counsel, "Pray that ye enter not into temptation," thus leaving them to pray while He also went to prayer. 
WEB: He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed.
Young’s: and he taketh Peter, and James, and John with him, and began to be amazed, and to be very heavy,
Conte (RC): And he took Peter, and James, and John with him. And he began to be afraid and wearied.
And He taketh with Him Peter, James, and John. His motive in having them near Him was the desire of companionship--not of immediate companionship, yet He would not be utterly alone; He would have friends at hand, though they might not be in sight. It was the true human impulse; His agony was coming, and alone He must meet it; yet wholly alone who could bear to be? 
Peter. The Master's knowledge of the certainty of Peter's fall did not lead Him to change the choice and leave Peter behind. Yet, besides, who was there among the twelve on whom He could more rely? 
and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy [troubled and deeply distressed, NKJV]. Jesus had for months contemplated the certainty of a violent death, but now that it was imminent and to result from a friend's treachery and the nation's rejection of Him, its awfulness appalled Him. 
WEB: He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch."
Young’s: and he saith to them, 'Exceeding sorrowful is my soul -- to death; remain here, and watch.'
Conte (RC): And he said to them: "My soul is sorrowful, even unto death. Remain here and be vigilant."
And saith unto them, My soul is. No bodily inflictions had anything to do with it. This was altogether an inward grief, a struggle of the spirit. 
exceedingly sorrowful. A Greek compound meaning grieved on every side; shut in by distress. Herod is said to have been "exceeding sorry" at the request for the Baptist's head (Mark ). The young ruler was "very sorrowful" (Luke ). 
unto [even to, NKJV] death. So that death itself can add but little to the agonies now suffered; or so that the least addition must exceed any human power of endurance and result in death. Compare the similar expression of the prophet Jonah (4:9). 
tarry ye here. i.e., in the spot to which He had conducted them, apart from the remainder of the company. He feels the need of more complete seclusion even from His three companions, as essential to His liberty in prayer. 
and watch. His command was not merely to keep awake out of sympathy with Him, but to be on their guard against coming dangers. 
How touching an appeal! He had chosen them, taught them, guard them, prayed for them; He had just spoken to them (John 14-16) in the tone of an infinite calmness concerning the coming trouble; but when had He leaned on them thus, and cast Himself on their thoughtfulness and fidelity? It was a new form for the relation of Master and disciple, and so to be trusted ought to have made them watchful. 
Weymouth: Going forward a short distance He threw Himself upon His face and prayed repeatedly that, if it was possible, He might be spared that time of agony;
WEB: He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him.
Young’s: And having gone forward a little, he fell upon the earth, and was praying, that, if it be possible the hour may pass from him,
Conte (RC): And when he had proceeded on a little ways, he fell prostrate on the ground. And he prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him.
And He went forward a little. He went "about a stone's throw" (Luke ), perhaps out of the moonlight into the shadow of the garden. 
and fell on the ground. Luke, "kneeled;" Matthew, "fell on His face." 
and prayed that, if it were possible. i.e., "compatible with God's perfections and designs." 
the hour might pass from Him. Here the hour is put by metonymy for the suffering which was to fill up the hour. This is a general statement of what He prayed for, introductory to the more specific statement of the petition which He offered. 
WEB: He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire."
Young’s: and he said, 'Abba, Father; all things are possible to Thee; make this cup pass from me; but, not what I will, but what Thou.'
Conte (RC): And he said: "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this chalice from me. But let it be, not as I will, but as you will."
And He said, Abba, Father. The Aramaic word for "Father." "Father" is a translation of it. The two equivalent words appear together in Romans and Galatians 4:6. 
all things are possible unto Thee. In a general sense all things are possible with God, and in this sense the terms are here employed. (Compare the expression “if it be possible,” in verse 35). The thought is not inconsistent with the words quoted by Matthew, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me” nor with that quoted by Luke, “if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me." It was physically possible, but morally impossible, and therefore God was not willing to let the cup pass. 
take away this cup from Me. The “cup," both in Holy Scripture and in profane writers, is taken to signify that lot or portion, whether, whether good or evil, which is appointed for us by God. 
nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt. Hence it appears that there was not, as the Monothelites taught, one will, partly human and partly Divine in Christ; but there were two distinct wills, one human and the other Divine, both residing in the one Christ; and it was by the subjecting of His human will to the Divine that He wrought out our redemption. 
WEB: He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you watch one hour?
Young’s: And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith to Peter, 'Simon, thou dost sleep! thou wast not able to watch one hour!
Conte (RC): And he went and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter: "Simon, are you sleeping? Were you not able to be vigilant for one hour?
And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping. A discovery surprising not to Him but to the reader and the writer. 
and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Compare the boast of Peter only a few hours before. Also notice Jesus' need of human companionship. 
Note again the singular number used by Mark, and the plural used by Matthew (26:40), even when Matthew represents the remark as being addressed to a single person of the company. 
Couldest not thou watch one hour? Perhaps we may infer that He had been about an hour absent from them, though the conclusion must not be too confidently drawn. 
WEB: Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Young’s: Watch ye and pray, that ye may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is forward, but the flesh weak.'
Conte (RC): Watch and pray, so that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The great temptation of the disciples at that moment was to deny Christ under the influence of fear. And so our Lord gives here the true remedy against temptation of every kind; namely, watchfulness and prayer; watchfulness against the craft and subtlety of the devil or man; and prayer for the Divine help to overcome. 
The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. It is a candid recognition of the good as well and the evil in His friends. 
The spirit and the flesh are contrary to each other (Galatians ), and the flesh would triumph if the spirit was not strengthened. 
the flesh is weak. i.e., weak for the purposes of the spirit. 
WEB: Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words.
Young’s: And again having gone away, he prayed, the same word saying;
And again he went away, and prayed. Even Jesus took a “break” from His own prayers! Due to intensity or duration, a short break to “refresh the mind” may allow one to return to an urgent request with full passion renewed. [rw]
and spake the same words. Not in mere idle repetition, as we sometimes do, but having one all-absorbing desire, which could but express itself again and again in the same words. 
The repetition of the same words shows His fixed determination to submit to the will of His heavenly Father. 
Not necessarily the same form, but the same substance (ton auton logon). Yet in Matthew, where the prayer is quoted, there is a visible progress from the first. The one is, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt;" the other is, "O My Father, if this cannot pass away except I drink it, thy will be done." In the latter there appears a deeper conviction that the cup cannot pass away and a more unconditional acceptance of it. Observe that in the repetition of prayer there was no formalism, but only intensity of desire. 
WEB: Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn't know what to answer him.
Young’s: and having returned, he found them again sleeping, for their eyes were heavy, and they had not known what they might answer him
Conte (RC): And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words.
And when He returned, he found them asleep (for their eyes were heavy). Luke  attributes their sleep to sorrow--i.e., to the weariness of nature overstrained by grief. But this excuse did not occur to them at the time as suitable, nor did any other. 
neither wist [know, NKJV] they what to answer Him. The disciples were so ashamed at being caught asleep a second time that they knew not what to say in answer to His reproof. 
WEB: He came the third time, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Young’s: And he cometh the third time, and saith to them, 'Sleep on henceforth, and rest -- it is over; the hour did come; lo, the Son of Man is delivered up to the hands of the sinful;
Conte (RC): And he arrived for the third time, and he said to them: "Sleep now, and take rest. It is enough. The hour has arrived. Behold, the Son of man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest? It is enough. Two interpretations of the Greek of this verse are possible:
(1) That commonly accepted, which translates the original as an imperative. Jesus had mastered Himself and the hour of trial had passed. "It is enough:" Jesus no longer needed the support He had asked of them a few moments previously. They might sleep, while He, confident of Himself and of His Father's love, awaited the traitor.
(2) That which makes the original a declaration of surprise: "So then you are sleeping and are taking your rest!" While Jesus had been struggling in agony, they had refused to give Him the support even of wakefulness. On the whole, this second interpretation best accords with the context and the usage of the somewhat unusual Greek expression. 
Alternate interpretation: Some have thought that our Lord here uses the language of irony. But it is far more consistent with His usual considerate words to suppose that, sympathizing with the infirmity of His disciples, He simply advised them, now that His bitter agony was over, to take some rest during the brief interval that remained. 
The hour is come, behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Not as indicating special guilt, but the contrast--"the Son of Man, in the hands of sinners." He was abandoned for the time to the power of His enemies. 
WEB: Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
Young’s: rise, we may go, lo, he who is delivering me up hath come nigh.'
Conte (RC): Rise up, let us go. Behold, he who will betray me is near."
Rise up, let us go. i.e., back to our company and out to meet those who are coming. 
Verse 42 implies that now, as at other times (cf. John ), Jesus did not court, but sought to avoid, unnecessary danger. 
Lo, he that betrayeth Me is at hand. Even during the brief time of this utterance he had been coming nearer, and there was not time for the little company to do more than turn their faces toward the sad future. 
Weymouth: Immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came and with him a crowd of men armed with swords and cudgels, sent by the High Priests and Scribes and Elders.
WEB: Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came--and with him a multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
Young’s: And immediately -- while he is yet speaking -- cometh near Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude, with swords and sticks, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders;
Conte (RC): And while he was still speaking, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, arrived, and with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, sent from the leaders of the priests, and the scribes, and the elders.
immediately, while He yet spake, cometh Judas, one of
the twelve. Again, as at Mark (and parallel passages), all the reporters
put the traitor on record as "one of the twelve," John alone varying
the phraseology. This, to the friends of
Jesus, was the horrible thing--that [one of them] should do this deed. John adds to his infamy by noting that his
familiarity with the habits of Jesus and His company led him to the right
and with him a great multitude. The crowd was heterogeneous: there was a detachment of Romans soldiers (John 18:3, 12), another from the Jewish temple watch (Luke ), and a mixed mob of servants of the high priests (verse 51), a few of the rulers probably (Luke ), and such others as would gather to see the capture. 
with swords and staves [clubs, NKJV]. The former in the hands of the soldiers, the latter among the mixed
crowd. They had lanterns and
torches (John 18:3), though the moon was at the full.
Such a company, military and miscellaneous, armed and lighted, quietly as it might wish to approach, was so considerable in size and appointments that it is not strange that Jesus saw or heard it on the way. 
from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Describing the official body, the Sanhedrin. 
WEB: Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely."
Young’s: and he who is delivering him up had given a token to them, saying, 'Whomsoever I shall kiss, he it is, lay hold on him, and lead him away safely,'
Conte (RC): Now his betrayer had given them a sign, saying: "He whom I shall kiss, it is he. Take hold of him, and lead him away cautiously."
And he that betrayed Him had given them a token [signal, NKJV]. Judas had never imagined that our Lord would Himself come forth to meet His enemies (John 18:2-5). He had anticipated the necessity of giving a signal whereby their might know Him. 
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He. As a kiss was the common salutation, it was supposed that it would attract no notice, from any not in the secret. 
Alternate interpretation: Was it necessary that such a sign should be used? Could they not find Him? It seems a gratuitous insult and a superfluous degradation of Himself on the part of Judas. 
take Him. A stronger word in Greek, meaning master, overpower, seize, secure Him. 
and lead Him away safely. [This] may intimate Judas' suspicion that Jesus might miraculously escape, as on former occasions (Luke ; John ; ), though He had expressly declared the contrary (Matthew 26:24), or it may perhaps mean, that notwithstanding the wickedness of the traitor, he was desirous that his rude assailants might do his innocent Master no injury. 
Or: Either in such a way as to prevent any attempt at rescue, or "confidently," without being afraid of Him. The former is more probable. 
WEB: When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Young’s: and having come, immediately, having gone near him, he saith, 'Rabbi, Rabbi,' and kissed him.
Conte (RC): And when he had arrived, immediately drawing near to him, he said: "Hail, Master!" And he kissed him.
And as soon as he had come, immediately he went up to him and said to him, Rabbi! Rabbi! Professing reverence (Rabbi was a title of high honour) and affection, he in the same instant betrayed Him to His enemies. 
Bengel remarks that Judas is never said to have called Jesus "Lord." Twice he is said to have called Him "Rabbi," here and in Matthew 26:25; and some have inferred that this cooler and more distant form of address was customary with him--an inference precarious, but possible. 
And kissed Him. The union of the title with the kiss made up an utterance of consummate hypocrisy. 
In depth: The chronology of the arrest . The order of events in the betrayal appears to have been this:
First, the kiss of the traitor Judas, by which he indicated to those who were with him which was Jesus.
Then follows that
remarkable incident mentioned only by
Perhaps this incident fired the courage of St. Peter, and so, as they approached to take our Lord, he drew his sword and struck off the ear of Malchus. Then our Lord healed him.
And then He turned to the multitude and said, “Are ye come out as against a robber, with swords and staves, to seize Me?"
WEB: They laid their hands on him, and seized him.
Young’s: And they laid on him their hands, and kept hold on him;
Conte (RC): But they laid hands on him and held him.
Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. Mark omits some incidents mentioned by John (18:4-8); and the reply of Jesus to the salutation of Judas: "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48); and also another question, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" (Matthew 26:50). 
WEB: But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Young’s: and a certain one of those standing by, having drawn the sword, struck the servant of the chief priest, and took off his ear.
Conte (RC): Then a certain one of those standing near, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
And one of those who stood by. Unnamed by the synoptists, is identified by John as Peter [John ]. 
The conjecture that Mark, writing his gospel early, omitted Peter's name here, lest the injured man should retaliate if the apostle was made known, rests on a slender basis, for Peter was recognized by a relative of Malchus in the court (John 18:26). 
drew his sword. There were two swords in the company (Luke ), of which Peter had one; he had had it at the Supper and during his sleep in the garden. Where he got it, or with what intent, we can scarcely guess. Who had the other? Was it Simon the Zealot? The unknown second one is not recorded to have struck a blow. 
and struck the servant. Or, rather, the slave. 
Named "Malchus" (John ). 
of the high priest. i.e., of Caiphas. 
and cut off his ear. Both mark and John use a diminutive--little ear. Luke alone () tells us it was his right ear. Perhaps it was not completely severed for Luke, who alone also records the healing, says that our Lord simply touched it and healed him. 
WEB: Jesus answered them, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?
Young’s: And Jesus answering said to them, 'As against a robber ye came out, with swords and sticks, to take me!
Conte (RC): And in response, Jesus said to them: "Have you set out to apprehend me, just as if to a robber, with swords and clubs?
And Jesus answered. Responding to their actions as no words are mentioned. 
and said to them, Have you come out. Those to whom he now spoke were some chief priests and elders and officers of the temple guard (Luke ) who had been apparently watching His capture. 
as against a robber. Whose apprehension, as a man of violence, might call for a strong force. 
with swords and clubs to take Me? “You act like I’m a known and feared violent man!” A sense of proportion had escaped the authorities in their desperation to arrest and remove Him at all costs. [rw]
WEB: I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
Young’s: daily I was with you in the temple teaching, and ye did not lay hold on me -- but that the Writings may be fulfilled.'
Conte (RC): Daily, I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not take hold of me. But in this way, the scriptures are fulfilled."
I was daily with you in the temple. During this last visit, and including perhaps also former visits. 
teaching. Engaged in My public work, and seen and known by all. 
and you did not seize Me. This contrast, of allowing the most favorable opportunities of arresting a peaceable unprotected man, with the parade and ado with which they now come forth to arrest Him in the night, presents in strong light the folly and absurdity of their course. 
But the Scriptures must be fulfilled. These words imply Jesus' conception as to the true nature of His mission. 
This ought to have reminded the scribes of the Messianic predictions of the prophets and how they were unconsciously fulfilling them. 
WEB: They all left him, and fled.
Young’s: And having left him they all fled;
Conte (RC): Then his disciples, leaving him behind, all fled away.
Then they all forsook Him. Nothing has been said of reunion with the eight whom He had left (verse 32), but undoubtedly the whole company had come together when the intruders came. 
and fled. As Jesus had predicted (verse 27), but as they had refused to admit or believe (verse 31). 5
Jesus was determined not to use violence; He was determined to permit Himself to be arrested. Recognizing this, did they flee out of a sense of personal safety or simply because He had left them no options with which to act and they had to spontaneously make up their minds: stay and risk arrest themselves or flee and escape it? Any who mock their steadfastness should ask whether they could have done any better! [rw]
WEB: A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him,
Young’s: and a certain young man was following him, having put a linen cloth about his naked body, and the young men lay hold on him,
Conte (RC): Now a certain young man followed him, having nothing but a fine linen cloth over himself. And they took hold of him.
Now a certain young man. He had just risen from bed,
having probably been asleep in a house near by, possibly on the “place”
itself. Further all is conjecture. It may have been Mark himself; others think
it was the owner of the garden; others again that it was a member of the family
where the Passover had been eaten; others, James the brother of our Lord;
others, the apostle John. The first
theory would account for the insertion of this incident here, with the name
suppressed. A few years later Mark was
living with his mother in
followed Him. Literally, in the best Greek] text, "followed with Him"--i.e., he was a companion with Him in the garden; he was present there and was no stranger. Yet he had not been with Jesus and the others at the Supper, for then he would have been clothed. 
having a linen cloth. An article of dress which was used at night, and also in summer, as a substitute for the ordinary mantle, or outside garment. 
thrown around his naked body. It need not imply that he was absolutely naked. It may mean like the Latin nudus, "with only the under robe on." Compare 1 Samuel 19:24; John 21:7. 
and the young men laid hold of him. The incident may have been recorded to show that the conspirators had instructions to take the apostles as well as Jesus; and supposing him to be one of them, they laid hold of him to take him before the high priest. 
Schanz suggests a desire to exhibit in a concrete situation the danger of the situation and the ferocity of the enemies of Jesus. 
WEB: but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Young’s: and he, having left the linen cloth, did flee from them naked.
Conte (RC): But he, rejecting the fine linen cloth, escaped from them naked.
and he left the linen cloth. In attempting to lay hold on him, they grasped only the loose folds of the linen cloth. Letting this remain with them, he fled away and escaped, either not being pursued, or taking advantage of his knowledge of the place, in the darkness of the night, to elude his pursuers. 
and fled from them naked. The word may here express, as it does in other places (see Isaiah ; John 21:7), that the young man was almost naked. Being aroused by the tumult, he did not wait to dress himself in the ordinary manner, but merely threw this linen cloth over what [clothing] he had on. 
Weymouth: So they led Jesus away to the High Priest, and with him there assembled all the High Priests, Elders, and Scribes.
WEB: They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.
Young’s: And they led away Jesus unto the chief priest, and come together to him do all the chief priests, and the elders, and the scribes;
Conte (RC): And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the priests and the scribes and the elders came together.
And they led Jesus away. They bound Him first (John ), and then conducted Him across the Kedron and up the road leading into the city. 
to the high priest. i.e., to his residence. The Mosaic law allowed but one High Priest, who held office till death; but the Romans had produced confusion in the office, by various removals and appointments, regardless of this law. Consequently Annas and Caiaphas are both mentioned as High Priests at this time, the former probably having the hereditary right, but the latter holding the office by Roman appointment. John says Jesus was first sent to Annas, then to Caiaphas (John , 24). The arraignment here seems to be that before Caiaphas. 
and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. i.e., the entire Sanhedrin. 
WEB: Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire.
Young’s: and Peter afar off did follow him, to the inside of the hall of the chief priest, and he was sitting with the officers, and warming himself near the fire.
Conte (RC): But Peter followed him from a distance, even into the court of the high priest. And he sat with the servants at the fire and warmed himself.
But Peter followed Him at a distance. John was his companion (John ); so Peter must not be blamed, as if this far-off following were almost a part of his denial. No disciple was with Jesus then; perhaps none was nearer than Peter and John. 
right into the courtyard of the high priest. We learn from John -16 how he was admitted. 
And he sat with the servants. Not "slaves" (being a different word from that used in verse 47), but attendants or underofficers (John 18:3). 
And warmed himself at the fire. The weather was cold, for it was early spring-time; and it was now after . 
WEB: Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none.
Young’s: And the chief priests and all the sanhedrim were seeking against Jesus testimony -- to put him to death, and they were not finding,
Conte (RC): Yet truly, the leaders of the priests and the entire council sought testimony against Jesus, so that they might deliver him to death, and they found none.
Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus. They were not only taking testimony, but seeking it; and seeking not only testimony, but testimony, with the definite purpose of conviction--a cruel parody upon justice. 
to put Him to death. Their supreme object was to put Him to death but they wished to accomplish their object in a manner consistent with their own honour, so as not to appear to have put Him to death without reason. 
and found none. i.e., none that would suit their purpose of make a decent ground of charge before Pilate. 
It would not, probably, have been difficult to have secured witnesses against Him, on a charge which would condemn Him according to Jewish [tradition and] law. His claim to forgive sins (as in Mark 2:7), or breaking the Sabbath (3, 5, 6), would have sufficed for that. [However] the Jewish court could not execute a death penalty under Roman law. Hence, they wished to find and to prove a charge which would condemn Him according to Roman law, in order to have ground of appeal to Roman authority, which must approve of any death sentence before it could be executed. 
Weymouth: for though many gave false testimony against Him, their statements did not tally.
WEB: For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn't agree with each other.
Young’s: for many were bearing false testimony against him, and their testimonies were not alike.
Conte (RC): For many spoke false testimony against him, but their testimony did not agree.
For many bare false witness against Him. This does not necessarily denote a sheer invention, or even a deliberate perversion of the facts alleged, but merely their objective untruth, whether they believed them to be true or not.3
but their witness [testimonies, NKJV] agreed not together. There evidence was not valid because it did not agree, as was expressly demanded by the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 17:6). In Jewish courts concurrent testimonies were necessary to framing an indictment. If two witnesses brought the same evidence against a man, he was regarded as being under indictment. If, however, this evidence did not exactly coincide in every detail, no indictment could be found, and the prisoner was discharged. In fact, Jewish criminal procedure was carefully intended to make conviction is a capital offense difficult. The enemies of Jesus, therefore, were in desperate straits. They must procure evidence sufficient to lead to indictment on a charge that would stand in the Roman court and they must procure evidence sufficient to condemn him in the Sanhedrin. 
Alternate interpretation: The Greek literally reads "and equal their testimonies were not." The same phrase occurs in verse 59. Some interpret it to mean that the witnesses contradicted each other; others that it was insufficient, which is more probable, i.e. there were independent witnesses to a multitude of facts, but not two concurrent witnesses to one fact. 
The discrepancies provide evidence of just how rushed and hurried this prosecution was. Until they had Him firmly and irrevocably in their hands, sharing word enough of their actions to pre-arrange the necessary consistent—but lying or distorted--testimony ran the danger that the secret would leak out and the arrest not occur at all. Hence not enough time had been available to adequately arrange the “evidence.”
Alternatively: They were so 100% convinced that Jesus was a heretic, it never entered their minds that gaining the necessary evidence for judicial purposes would ever be a problem. He “had” to be guilty, so the confirmatory evidence would unquestionably appear. Except it didn’t. [rw]
WEB: Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying,
Young’s: And certain having risen up, were bearing false testimony against him, saying --
Conte (RC): And certain ones, rising up, bore false witness against him, saying:
And there arose certain. "Two" (Matthew 26:60). 
and bare false witness against Him, saying. In oriental courts today [late 19th century] it is said to be possible to hire witnesses to testify to any charge, at least in so far as to warrant an indictment. Possibly it was this sort of witness now employed. 
WEB: "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'"
Young’s: 'We heard him saying -- I will throw down this sanctuary made with hands, and by three days, another made without hands I will build;'
Conte (RC): "For we heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple, made with hands, and within three days I will build another, not made with hands.' "
We heard Him say. There is no record of Jesus having used this
language. John reports Him as having said, "Destroy
this temple (i.e., if you destroy it) and in three days I will raise it
up." If it was to these words that
the testimony referred, it was false in the very important point of changing a
statement that if they destroyed the
I will destroy this temple that is
made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. Our
Lord's zeal in cleansing the temple (Matthew -13), should have been an evidence to all that He would not speak
slightingly of it. Besides, if they
supposed He meant the temple in
“The differences between the recorded words of our Lord and the reports of the witnesses are striking: ‘I am able to destroy’ (Matthew 26:61); ‘I will destroy’ (Mark ); as compared with ‘Destroy . . . and I will raise’ (John )” --Westcott. 
WEB: Even so, their testimony did not agree.
Young’s: and neither so was their testimony alike.
Conte (RC): And their testimony did not agree.
But neither so did their witness agree together. According to its own rules, the Sanhedrin ought now to have released Jesus. There was no basis even for a legal accusation, no two witnesses having exactly agreed. Instead, however, the high priest (verse 60) attempts to compel the prisoner to testify against Himself—a thing as contrary to Jewish as to English and American law. 
In the “Gospel of Nicodemus”and the so-called “Acts of Pilate” it is asserted
that several witnesses voluntarily testified in favor of Jesus. Among them were Nicodemus, Bartimeus of
Weymouth: At last the High Priest stood up, and advancing into the midst of them all, asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is the meaning of all this that these witnesses allege against you?"
WEB: The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?"
Young’s: And the chief priest, having risen up in the midst, questioned Jesus, saying, 'Thou dost not answer anything! what do these testify against thee?'
Conte (RC): And the high priest, rising up in their midst, questioned Jesus, saying, "Do you have nothing to say in answer to the things that are brought against you by these ones?"
14:60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus. The impressive silence which our Lord preserved, while false witnesses were being sought against Him (Matthew 26:62), was galling to the pride of Caiaphas. [Hence] this attempt to make Jesus [in]criminate Himself; a procedure contrary to all our ideas of justice, though not uncommon to ancient courts. 
saying, Answer Thou nothing? In this situation, the high priest, instead of releasing Him, resorts to further illegal methods: he attempts to compel the prisoner to testify against himself--something as much forbidden by law in Jewish as in American procedure. 
What is it which these witness against Thee? How do You explain it? Give Your account of it. His purpose was to extort a confession. 
WEB: But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"
Young’s: and he was keeping silent, and did not answer anything. Again the chief priest was questioning him, and saith to him, 'Art thou the Christ -- the Son of the Blessed?'
Conte (RC): But he was silent and gave no answer. Again, the high priest questioned him, and he said to him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed God?"
14:61 But He held his peace [kept silent, NKJV] and answered nothing. As legally He had the right to do, no legal charge having been framed against Him. 
Silence was the best reply, for it permitted the false witnesses to contradict themselves, and nothing drew the attention away from these contradictions. And any explanations Jesus could make would only give the rulers something which they might be able to pervert. 
Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? Matthew 26:63 gives the solemn formula with which the high priest introduced the question. Jesus could not be silent longer, though legally not obliged to answer. 
Christ had frequently declared Himself to be such. Caiaphas, therefore, now asks the question, not because he needed the information, but that he might condemn Him. 
the Blessed. A common title for God among the Jews, used absolutely, as a title, here only in the New Testament. 
WEB: Jesus said, "I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky."
Young’s: and Jesus said, 'I am; and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power, and coming with the clouds, of the heaven.'
Conte (RC): Then Jesus said to him: "I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the power of God and arriving with the clouds of heaven."
14:62 And Jesus said, I am. To this question our Lord returns a plain and candid answer, out of reverence for the Divine Name which, as St. Matthew and St. Luke tell us, had been invoked by the high priest, and also out of respect for the office of the high priest, by whom He had been put upon His oath. St. Chrysostom says that our Lord answered thus that He might leave without excuse all those who listened to Him, who would not hereafter be able to plead in the day of judgment that, when our Lord was solemnly asked in the Council whether He was the Son of God, He had either refused to answer or had answered evasively. 
and ye shall
see the Son of
sitting on the right hand of the Power
and coming in the clouds of heaven.
This, like Mark , is a
reference to Daniel's vision (Daniel -14). By this reference to
well-known prophecy respecting the Messiah, Jesus made His claim as bold and
plain as words could make it. Jesus was
not really on trail, but
WEB: The high priest tore his clothes, and said, "What further need have we of witnesses?
Young’s: And the chief priest, having rent his garments, saith, 'What need have we yet of witnesses?
Conte (RC): Then the high priest, rending his garments, said: "Why do we still require witnesses?
14:63 Then the high priest rent [tore, NKJV] his clothes. i.e., his uppergarment, not the high-priestly robe, which was worn only in the temple. Rending the clothes was a sign of mourning or of indignation (Acts ), but in the former sense was forbidden to the high-priest (Lev. 10:6; ). Instances of the high-priests using this sign of indignation occur in the first Book of the Maccabees and in Josephus. The Jews found in 2 Kings a precedent for rending the clothes on occasions of real or supposed blasphemy. Such an action, at first natural, became a matter of special regulation, hence more theatrical than real. 
Or: The high priest rent, not his priestly robes (as some interpret), for these were only worn when officiating in the temple. Indeed, it was not lawful for him to rend his clothes (Leviticus 10:6; ), though tradition, based on 2 Kings , held it allowable in cases of blasphemy. Yet, as Alford suggests, it is more probable that the high priest rent his tunic, as the Greek word implies. The tunics were of linen. 
and saith, What need we any further witnesses. The obvious follow up questions—if this were going to be anything else than a “hanging jury”—are obvious and at the head of the list: And what evidence do you have to back this “absurd” claim up? Of course that would open the door to invoking such things as His miracles and the last thing these folks wanted to deal with was a defense. Cutting His words off now gave them the execution excuse they needed; risking undermining it (as their own witnesses had so abundantly done) was the last thing that was going to be permitted. [rw]
WEB: You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death.
Young’s: Ye heard the evil speaking, what appeareth to you?' and they all condemned him to be worthy of death,
Conte (RC): You have heard the blasphemy. How does it seem to you?" And they all condemned him, as guilty unto death.
14:64 Ye have heard the blasphemy. For one not really the Messiah to claim to be such was blasphemy in the sense of falsely claiming to be the representative of God. But that Jesus' claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God, was false, was precisely that which had not been proved, and which had to be proved to establish a charge of blasphemy. This essential question the Sanhedrin does not even pretend to investigate. 
What think ye? A call for the votes of those who had heard. 
The high priest did not illegally assume that all agreed with him, as some hold; he called for a formal judgment from the council and "they all condemned him." 
And they all. There were, therefore, none there but those who were known to be opposed to our Lord. 
We know of only one possible exception (see ), unless the conjecture that Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin and present at His trial be accepted. Canon Cook infers that none had been summoned to this meeting who were suspected of being in favor of Jesus, though they may have been called to the more formal council in the morning, where alone legal sentence could be pronounced. 
condemned Him to be guilty [deserving, NKJV] of death. Aside from the fact that the charge on which they condemned Him lacked the essential element of proof, the trial was illegal, since Jewish law forbade (1) the trial of criminals at night, (2) the passing of judgment of death without allowing at least one night to elapse after the trial, (3) the trial of criminal cases on the day before a Sabbath or a feast. 
The Sanhedrin was forbidden to investigate any capital crime during the night, and according to the Roman law a sentence pronounced before dawn was not valid. This test vote, however, they considered as settling the question; hence the ill-treatment which followed (verse 65). They were scrupulous in holding another meeting in daylight and there passing the final sentence (chapter 15:1; Luke 22:7). Yet even this was illegal for a sentence of death could not be pronounced on the day of investigation. All the examinations took place within one Jewish day, beginning in the evening. 
Weymouth: Thereupon some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, while striking Him with their fists and crying, "Prove that you are a prophet." The officers too struck Him with open hands as they took Him in charge.
WEB: Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, "Prophesy!" The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.
Young’s: and certain began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say to him, 'Prophesy;' and the officers were striking him with their palms.
Conte (RC): And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face and to strike him with fists, and to say to him, "Prophesy." And the servants struck him with the palms their hands.
14:65 And some. Probably not these senators who had condemned Him, but the officers and soldiers who held Him (Luke 22:63). Yet the council at least connived at it, if they did not join in it; and they were not above such conduct (Acts -57; 23:2). 
began to spit on Him. Spitting was regarded by the Jews as an expression of the greatest contempt (Numbers ; Deuteronomy 25:9). Seneca records that it was inflicted at Athens on Aristides the Just, but it was only with the utmost difficulty that any one could be found willing to do it. But those who were excommunicated were specially liable to this expression of contempt (Isaiah 50:6). 
and to cover [blindfold, NKJV] His face, and to buffet [beat, NKJV] Him, and to say unto Him, Prophesy! Enlarged and explained in Luke: "When they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy" (and tell) "who is he that smote thee?" This is trifling with Him as a complaint to prophet powers: "Can He tell, blindfolded, which of the wretches dancing round Him it was that struck Him? A fine Messiah if He cannot!" In Matthew, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ." 
And the servants [officers, NKJV] struck Him with the palms of their hands. This was violent and intense rejection, fulfilling in its intensity and violence all the prophecies of rejection and all the descriptions of righteous sufferers (see Isaiah 50:6; 53:3, 7). 
WEB: As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came,
Young’s: And Peter being in the hall beneath, there doth come one of the maids of the chief priest,
Conte (RC): And while Peter was in the court below, one of the maidservants of the high priest arrived.
14:66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace [courtyard, NKJV]. Matthew says, “without in the palace." It was both--the open court in which Peter sat being outside of the building proper though surrounded by it, and being below the level of the room in which the trial of Jesus was conducted. 
there cometh one of the maids [servant girls, NKJV] of the high priest. That a maid should be on duty at that unseasonable an hour was itself a sign that something extraordinary was going on. 
In depth: Did the denials all occur in the same building-complex ? John expressly places this within the time of the preliminary examination before Annas. The first thought would be that this would require a change of place between the first and the second; but the simple and probable conjecture that Annas and Caiphas occupied one house removes that apparent difficulty. It was probably merely from one part of the high priest's palace to another that Jesus was sent for the second examination; so that Jesus remained near Him throughout the trial.
WEB: and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, "You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!"
Young’s: and having
seen Peter warming himself, having looked on him, she said, 'And thou wast with Jesus of
Conte (RC): And when she
had seen Peter warming himself, she stared at him, and she said: "You also
were with Jesus of
14:67 And when she saw Peter. Or "fixed her eyes on him," looked carefully; partial recognition, followed by a gaze that fully identified the man. 
warming himself. At the time of the Passover, which began with the first full moon after the vernal equinox, it was seldom cold enough for fire. It was the exposure of Peter and the guards to the night air, in which they were standing, without a roof over them, that made them feel the need of fire. It was a fire of charcoal (John ). 
she looked upon him, and said, And
thou also wast with Jesus of
WEB: But he denied it, saying, "I neither know, nor understand what you are saying." He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed.
Young’s: and he denied, saying, 'I have not known him, neither do I understand what thou sayest;' and he went forth without to the porch, and a cock crew.
Conte (RC): But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you saying." And he went outside, in front of the court; and a rooster crowed.
14:68 But he denied. Matthew, "in the presence of all." So far as we can judge, the motive must have been chiefly a sudden shame. It can scarcely have been definite and intelligible fear; it was rather a shrinking, a weakening of moral courage. 
saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. Thrown off his guard perhaps by the searching glances of the bystanders, Peter replied at first evasively. 
Alternate interpretation: It amounts to this: "So little do I know who this Jesus is, that I know not what you say or what you ask concerning Him. I know not who or what He is or anything about Him." 
And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. Not what we mean by a porch or verandah, but the outer one of the two or more courts of the house, or the corridor which led from the street to the court. 
Weymouth: Again the maidservant saw him, and again began to say to the people standing by, "He is one of them."
WEB: The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, "This is one of them."
Young’s: And the maid having seen him again, began to say to those standing near -- 'This is of them;'
Conte (RC): Then again, when a maidservant had seen him, she began to say to the bystanders, "For this is one of them."
14:69 And a maid saw him again. The one spoken of before. 
and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. There is a suggestion of a more general conversation. [She] asked the question and others took it up. 
One of her fellow-maidens (Matthew 26:71) took up her information, and either then, or probably after [she] had retired from the vestibule, continued what the former "began," and told others as they came near. Nothing having been said thus far to Peter himself, he made no reply; but after he had again gone to the fire and was warming himself, "another (man) saw him," and addressed Peter himself, "Thou art also of them (Luke ). Others around the fire joined in and asked, "Art not thou also one of his disciples" (John ). A considerable time may have passed between the beginning and the close of these assertions about Peter and to him; but his denial now made at the fire applied to all, since they are treated as one accusation, being all based upon the declaration of the porteress with whom it started. 
WEB: But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, "You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it."
Young’s: and he was again denying. And after a little again, those standing near said to Peter, 'Truly thou art of them, for thou also art a Galilean, and thy speech is alike;'
Conte (RC): But he denied it again. And after a little while, again those standing near said to Peter: "In truth, you are one of them. For you, too, are a Galilean."
14:70 And he denied it again. "This shows the great terror of Peter,” says St. Chrysostom, "Who, intimidated by the question of a poor servant-girl, denied his Lord; and who yet afterwards, when he had received the Holy Spirit, could say, "We ought to obey God rather than man.' " 
So far from condemning him, one may well look to himself lest he also, despite the best of intentions, be swept off his feet by some unexpected challenge to his loyalty. 
And a little later. "About the space of an hour after" (Luke ). 
they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto [shows it, NKJV]. The Galileans had some slight peculiarities of speech which Judeans would notice. See Matthew 26:73, "for thy speech betrayeth thee." 
It is said that the Galilaean speech differed from that of
WEB: But he began to curse, and to swear, "I don't know this man of whom you speak!"
Young’s: and he began to anathematize, and to swear -- 'I have not known this man of whom ye speak;'
Conte (RC): Then he began to curse and to swear, saying, "For I do not know this man, about whom you are speaking."
14:71 But he began to curse and to swear. The cursing, however, was not reckless and pointless profanity, as the use of the word in modern speech would suggest. Rather does the word suggest some such form as that of 2 Kings 6:31: "God do so, and more also, to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day." The swearing, or oath, would call God to witness, and the cursing would invoke evil from God upon himself if what he said was false. 
saying, I know not this Man of whom ye speak. It appears to have involved a momentary lapse into sinful habits long since forsaken, as the supposition, that Peter had been once addicted to profaneness, is not only natural and credible, but serves to explain his gratuitous resort to such means of corroboration in the case before us. 
WEB: The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that Jesus said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." When he thought about that, he wept.
Young’s: and a second time a cock crew, and Peter remembered the saying that Jesus said to him -- 'Before a cock crow twice, thou mayest deny me thrice;' and having thought thereon -- he was weeping.
Conte (RC): And immediately the rooster crowed again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he began to weep.
14:72 And the second time the cock crew [rooster crowed, NKJV]. i.e., it was second cock-crowing, about 
And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. [Specifically encouraged] by a look from Jesus (Luke 22:61). 
And when he thought thereon. There are various renderings and interpretations of this phrase, some of them strained and fanciful. Two, worthy of notice are: (1) literally “casting on” it, i.e., his mind, is the rendering of the Authorized Version and the [English] Revised Version, and this usage accords with that of Plutarch, Galen and others; (2) “casting him eyes” on (Him), as Jesus looked at Peter. This, if tenable, would give a happy antithesis between Luke and Mark, but the first is the better reading. 
he wept. The word implies a long and continued weeping. 
In depth: The differences between the gospel accounts concerning the denial of Jesus by Peter . All the four accounts specify three denials, which fulfills Christ's prophecy. They seem however not to agree as to the persons who prefer the several charges leading to the denials. Now let the scene as presented in these histories be kept in mind.
Whilst the trial is going on in an apartment of the house, officers, soldiers, and servants, are gathered about the fire in the open court, or moving to and fro, all talking over the great topic of interest. When one of this promiscuous assemblage made a charge, that Peter was a disciple of Jesus, others would certainly join in, giving their opinions, or stating facts.
Some would assert it positively; others would engage in an argument with the apostle to prove it before the company; and his denial would assume different forms in response to the different persons making the charge. There were three of these scenes during the night, in each of which several actors were prominent.
Suppose witnesses, all of them truthful and competent, were each to undertake to relate one of these occurrences, one would speak of the charge against Peter as given by the person who first suggested it, another as it was overheard by some who reiterated it positively, and another as preferred by the man who led the dispute to prove it. No competent judge or juryman would find any conflict in these several statements; and yet such are the discrepancies in Scripture history so ostentatiously paraded by the enemies of the Bible.