John 18:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:17, NIV: You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you?' she asked Peter. He replied, 'I am not.'

John 18:17, ESV: The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”

John 18:17, KJV: Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

John 18:17, NASB: Then the slave woman who was the doorkeeper *said to Peter, 'You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?' He *said, 'I am not.'

John 18:17, NLT: The woman asked Peter, 'You're not one of that man's disciples, are you?' 'No,' he said, 'I am not.'

John 18:17, CSB: Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, "You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you? ""I am not," he said.

What does John 18:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Prior verses indicated that John was known to the family of the high priest (John 18:15–16), so when Peter hesitated to come into the courtyard, John was able to get him access. The doorkeeper, however, either recognized Peter's face, or possibly noticed his Galilean accent (Matthew 26:73). Either way, out of suspicion or curiosity, she brings up the possibility of Peter being a follower of Jesus.

The phrasing used here is rhetorical. The servant girl expects a "no" answer. In her mind, it would be foolish for someone whose master was under arrest to put himself in harm's way. This was not Jesus' intention, either (John 18:8).

At this point, Peter's posturing takes a dramatic turn. Earlier this same evening, he had claimed willingness to die for Christ (John 13:37). To the credit of his bravery, at least, he attempted to fight back when Jesus was under arrest (John 18:10). And he's secretly followed along to at least see what happens to his Master (Matthew 26:58). Now, under a different kind of threat, and without Christ by his side, Peter gives in to fear. He lies and claims he's not a follower of Christ.

This is what Jesus predicted would happen (John 13:38), and Peter will make this same denial two more times (John 18:25–27).