Before Pilate and Herod

Harmonizing the Gospel Accounts

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: promise | Seminary: none

To gain a greater appreciation of what Jesus experienced on His last day on earth, the gospel accounts have been integrated into one seamless account (Matt 27:11-25; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-24; John 18:29-39).

Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate. (Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1)

Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?" (John 18:29)

They answered and said to him, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you."

So Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law."

The Jews said to him, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death," to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die. (John 18:30-32)

And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King." (Luke 23:2)

Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" (John 18:33; Matt 27:11a; Mark 15:2a; Luke 23:3a)

And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say." (Matt 27:11b; Mark 15:2b; Luke 23:3b)

Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?"

Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?"

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?"

Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him. (John 18:34-38)

The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. (Mark 15:3)

And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer. (Matt 27:12)

Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?"

And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed. (Matt 27:13-14; Mark 15:4-5)

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no guilt in this man." But they kept on insisting, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place." (Luke 23:4-5)

When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time. (Luke 23:6-7)

Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing. (Luke 23:8-9)

And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other. (Luke 23:10-12)

Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. Therefore I will punish Him and release Him." (Luke 23:13-16)

Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted. (Matt 27:15; Mark 15:6; Luke 23:17)

The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. (Mark 15:7; Matt 27:16)

"But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?" (John 18:39; Mark 15:8-9) (Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ? – Matt 27:17)

For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. (Mark 15:10; Matt 27:18)

While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him." (Matt 27:19)

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. (Matt 27:20; Mark 15:11; Luke 23:18)

(He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, (Luke 23:19-20)

But the governor said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" (Matt 27:21a)

So they cried out again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a robber. (John 18:40; Matt 27:21b)

Answering again, Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews (Christ – Matt 27:22a)?" (Mark 15:12)

but they kept on calling out, saying, "Crucify, crucify Him!" (Luke 23:21; Matt 27:22b; Mark 15:13)

And he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him." (Luke 23:22; Matt 27:23a; Mark 15:14a)

But they kept shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!" (Matt 27:23b; Mark 15:14b)

But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. (Luke 23:23)

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."

And all the people said, "His blood shall be on us and on our children!" (Matt 27:24-25)

And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. (Luke 23:24)

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Matthew 5:10-12

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