John 18:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:28, NIV: Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

John 18:28, ESV: Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.

John 18:28, KJV: Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

John 18:28, NASB: Then they *brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.

John 18:28, NLT: Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover.

John 18:28, CSB: Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.

What does John 18:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

At this time, Caiaphas was the man currently recognized by the Roman government as Israel's high priest. John skims over the details of Jesus' sham trials with the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:55–65), which is why Jesus was secretly arrested and brought the Caiaphas' home (John 18:12–14). Long before Jesus was taken into custody, these religious leaders had already decided to have Him killed (John 11:49–53). As the high priest, Caiaphas has some authority from Rome to punish criminals and those who violate Jewish law.

That authority does not include the death penalty, however, and Jesus' enemies want to ensure He's executed. That means taking Him to the Roman governor, Pilate, and attempting to paint Jesus as a seditionist. They will lean heavily on mob tactics and the threat of civil unrest to coerce him into executing an innocent person (John 19:12–15).

The scribes and Pharisees avoid Pilate's residence due to their interpretation of Old Testament law. Their belief was that close contact with Gentiles, including entering their homes, would make a person ceremonially unclean. Since this is immediately before Passover, they don't want to make that mistake.