John 19:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:2, NIV: The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe

John 19:2, ESV: And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe.

John 19:2, KJV: And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

John 19:2, NASB: And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and placed it on His head, and put a purple cloak on Him;

John 19:2, NLT: The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him.

John 19:2, CSB: The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe.

What does John 19:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Pilate has already determined that Jesus is innocent. His only reason for continuing the charade is the threat of an angry mob (Matthew 27:20). He's not interested in doing any favors for Jewish religious leaders, so he's looked for ways to have Jesus released (John 18:33–40). When those efforts fail to appease the mob, Pilate orders Jesus to be "flogged" and abused. Flogging, also known as "scourging," used a specialized whip called a flagrum. This combination of leather strips and weights sometimes included hooks, rocks, or glass, and could easily strip flesh from bone (John 19:1).

On top of being physically mutilated, Jesus is also shamed by Roman soldiers. Their teasing fits the theme of Jesus' accused crimes: claiming to be "King" (John 18:37). They sarcastically outfit Jesus with a crown and a robe and mockingly proclaim His throne (John 19:3).

Had Pilate originally intended to kill Jesus, he would have simply done so. The scourging, abuse, and spectacle seem to be an attempt to leave Jesus alive, if forever humiliated. This might be due to spite for Jewish leaders, a sincere act of conscience, or fear about who Jesus really is (John 19:7–9; Matthew 27:19). The effort will not sway the mob, and Pilate will eventually give in by signing an innocent man's death warrant (John 19:16).