John 19:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:23, NIV: When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

John 19:23, ESV: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,

John 19:23, KJV: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

John 19:23, NASB: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts: a part to each soldier, and the tunic also; but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.

John 19:23, NLT: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

John 19:23, CSB: When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, a part for each soldier. They also took the tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.

What does John 19:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Artwork, church crucifixes, popular culture, and other media usually portray Jesus in a loincloth or similar covering during the crucifixion. This is for reasons of modesty, not accuracy. Victims were normally stripped naked, as a mark of shame and to increase their exposure. This is the case for Jesus, since the five pieces described here are an entire set of clothes. The tunic, itself, was something of an undergarment.

Soldiers participating in various tasks could expect related fringe benefits. In this case, the clothes of the condemned were given to the executioners to do with what they chose. The soldiers will evenly divide most of the items, likely a belt, cloak, sandals and head covering. The additional piece is likely the most expensive, so it's allocated by luck (John 19:24). This corresponds with a prophetic statement in Psalm 22:18. This passage depicts a blameless person's suffering at the hands of enemies. Jesus will speak the opening line of this same Psalm as He hangs on the cross (Matthew 27:46).