John 19:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 19:7, NIV: The Jewish leaders insisted, 'We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.'

John 19:7, ESV: The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”

John 19:7, KJV: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

John 19:7, NASB: The Jews answered him, 'We have a law, and by that law He ought to die, because He made Himself out to be the Son of God!'

John 19:7, NLT: The Jewish leaders replied, 'By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.'

John 19:7, CSB: "We have a law," the Jews replied to him, "and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God."

What does John 19:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Jewish leaders brought a mob to demand the death of Jesus, Pilate recognized it as a personal feud (Matthew 27:18). In private interviews, he's already determined that Jesus is innocent of any crimes against Rome (John 18:36–38). However, Pilate's governorship of Judea was notoriously tense. He was likely told he'd be punished if there was another major incident of unrest. So, he's looking for ways to satisfy the crowd's bloodlust without completely giving in. That began with having Jesus savagely whipped and mocked before being displayed before the crowd (John 19:1–4).

Pilate seems to have expected the crowd to respond with pity, not vicious hatred: calling for Jesus to suffer Rome's most brutal, debasing death of crucifixion. His first reaction was the equivalent of the modern expression "do it yourself!" This rhetorical answer says more about how extreme the request is than about Pilate's willingness to see it happen.

John once again uses the term "the Jews" as a reference to Israel's political and religious leaders. These are the men who have conspired to bring Jesus to this point (John 11:48–53). Their explanation to Pilate is that Jesus committed an act of blasphemy so vile that they want Him brutally executed. What they don't entirely realize is that referring to Jesus as the "Son of God" raises further doubts in Pilate's mind (John 19:8).