Lectio notes: John 19: 1-16

Chapter 19  describes the cruel events leading up to the crucifixion, as well as its immediate aftermath.  Today's section deals with Our Lord's scourging and the mob's rejection of Pilate's attempt to free him.

The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin Vulgate:

1 Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum, et flagellavit. 2 Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis, imposuerunt capiti ejus: et veste purpurea circumdederunt eum. 3 Et veniebant ad eum, et dicebant: Ave, rex Judæorum: et dabant ei alapas. 4 Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras, et dicit eis: Ecce adduco vobis eum foras, ut cognoscatis quia nullam invenio in eo causam. 5 (Exivit ergo Jesus portans coronam spineam, et purpureum vestimentum.) Et dicit eis: Ecce homo. 6 Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri, clamabant, dicentes: Crucifige, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus: Accipite eum vos, et crucifigite: ego enim non invenio in eo causam. 7 Responderunt ei Judæi: Nos legem habemus, et secundum legem debet mori, quia Filium Dei se fecit. 8 Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem, magis timuit. 9 Et ingressus est prætorium iterum: et dixit ad Jesum: Unde es tu? Jesus autem responsum non dedit ei. 10 Dicit ergo ei Pilatus: Mihi non loqueris? nescis quia potestatem habeo crucifigere te, et potestatem habeo dimittere te? 11 Respondit Jesus: Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam, nisi tibi datum esset desuper. Propterea qui me tradidit tibi, majus peccatum habet. 12 Et exinde quærebat Pilatus dimittere eum. Judæi autem clamabant dicentes: Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Cæsaris. Omnis enim qui se regem facit, contradicit Cæsari. 13 Pilatus autem cum audisset hos sermones, adduxit foras Jesum: et sedit pro tribunali, in loco qui dicitur Lithostrotos, hebraice autem Gabbatha. 14 Erat autem parasceve Paschæ, hora quasi sexta, et dicit Judæis: Ecce rex vester. 15 Illi autem clamabant: Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus: Regem vestrum crucifigam? Responderunt pontifices: Non habemus regem, nisi Cæsarem. 16 Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum ut crucifigeretur. Susceperunt autem Jesum, et eduxerunt.

The English of the Challoner Douay Rheims:

Then therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. [2] And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment. [3] And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows. [4] Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. [5] (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.
[6] When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him. [7] The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. [8] When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. [9] And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. [10] Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?[11] Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin. [12] And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar' s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. [13] Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. [14] And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. [15] But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.[16] Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth.

The Catena Aurea on the mocking of Jesus:

BEDE. For instead of a diadem, they put upon Him a crown of thorns, and a purple robe to represent the purple robe which kings wear. Matthew says, a scarlet robe, but scarlet and purple are different names for the same color. And though the soldiers did this in mockery, yet to us their acts have a meaning. For by the crown of thorns is signified the taking of our sins upon Him, the thorns which the earth of our body brings forth. And the purple robe signifies the flesh crucified. For our Lord is robed in purple, wherever He is glorified by the triumphs of holy martyrs.

CHRYS. It was not at the command of the governor that they did this, but in order to gratify the Jews. For neither were they commanded by him to go to the garden in the night, but the Jews gave them money to go. He bore however all these insults silently. Yet do you, when you hear of them keep stedfastly in your mind the King of the whole earth, and Lord of Angels bearing all these contumelies in silence, and imitate His example.

AUG. Thus were fulfilled what Christ had prophesied of Himself; thus were martyrs taught to suffer all that the malice of persecutors could inflict; thus that kingdom which was not of this world conquers the proud world, not by fierce fighting, but by patient suffering.

CHRYS. That the Jews might cease from their fury, seeing Him thus insulted, Pilate brought out Jesus before them crowned: Pilate therefore went forth again and says to them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him,.

AUG. The envy of the Jews does not subside at Christ's disgraces; yea, rather rises: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him.

CHRYS. Pilate saw then that it was all in vain: Pilate says to them, Take you Him, and crucify Him. This is the speech of a man abhorring the deed, and urging others to do a deed which he abhors himself. They had brought our, Lord indeed to him that He might be put to death by his sentence, but the very contrary was the result; the governor acquitted Him: For I find no fault in Him. He clears Him immediately from all charges: which shows that he had only permitted the former outrages, to humor the madness of the Jews.

But nothing could shame the Jewish hounds: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by out law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.

What were Pilate's motivations?

CHRYS Then Pilate begins to fear that what had been said might be true, and that he might appear; to be administering justice improperly: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid.

BEDE. It was not the law that he was afraid of, as he was a stranger: but he was more afraid, lest he should slay the Son of God

CHRYS. They were not afraid to say this, that He made Himself the Son of God: but they kill Him for the very reasons for which they ought to have worshipped Him.

CHRYS. Pilate, agitated with fear, begins again examining Him: And went again into the judgment hall, and says to Jesus, Where are you? He no longer asks, What hast you done? But Jesus gave him no answer. For he who had heard, To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, and, My kingdom is not from here ought to have resisted, and rescued Him, instead of which he had yielded to the fury of the Jews. Wherefore seeing that he asked questions without object, He answers him no more indeed at other times He was unwilling to give reasons and defend Himself by argument, when His works testified so strongly for Him; thus showing that He came voluntarily to His work.

AUG. The Jews thought they could alarm Pilate more by the mention of Caesar, than by telling him of their law, as they had done above; We have a law, and by that law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. So it follows. But the Jews cried out, saying, you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend; whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.

CHRYS. But how can you prove this? By His purple, His diadem, His chariot, His guards? Did He not wall; about with His twelve disciples only, and every thing mean about Him, food, dress, and habitation?

AUG. Pilate was before afraid not of violating their law by sparing Him, but of killing the Son of God, in killing Him. But he could not treat his master Caesar with the same contempt with which he treated the law of a foreign nation: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

AUG. Pilate still tries to overcome their apprehensions on Caesar's account; Pilate says to them, Shall I crucify your King? He tries to shame them into doing what he had not been able to soften them into by putting Christ to shame.

The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

AUG. But Pilate is at last overcome by fear: Then delivered he Him therefore to them to be crucified. For it would be taking part openly against Caesar, if when the Jews declared that they had no king but Caesar, he wished to put another king over them, as he would appear to do if he let go unpunished a Man whom they had delivered to him for punishment on this very ground. It is not however, delivered Him to them to crucify Him, but, to be crucified, i.e. by the sentence and authority of the governor. The Evangelist says, delivered to them, to show that they were implicated in the guilt from which they tried to escape. For Pilate would not have done this except to please them.

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