What does John 19:1 mean?
ESV: Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.
NIV: Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.
NASB: So Pilate then took Jesus and had Him flogged.
CSB: Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.
NLT: Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip.
KJV: Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
NKJV: So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus is being interrogated by the Roman governor, Pilate, at the demand of Jewish religious leaders. Through private conversation, Pilate has already determined that Jesus is innocent. The conflict is clearly political, and personal, yet Jesus' enemies are adamant that He be killed. They're even willing to see a murderer and actual insurrectionist released just to keep Jesus under condemnation (John 18:33–40).

Here, Pilate attempts a different tactic. Roman law was infamously harsh, but equally efficient. Even casual readers may wonder what purpose there is for "flogging" someone who is going to be executed. The answer is that Pilate, at this point, still hopes to see Jesus released. Pilate's plan seems to be that if he sufficiently humiliates Jesus and delivers enough physical abuse, the mob will be satisfied. The process described here is also known as "scourging," which involves a specialized whip called a flagrum. This instrument typically included leather cords interwoven with lead weights, bones, rocks, hooks, nails, or glass. A severe scourging could easily result in death.

After being maimed and humiliated (John 19:2–3), Pilate will display Jesus for the crowd, attempting to show that enough has been done (John 19:4). This will not work; Jesus' enemies will settle for nothing less than His death (John 19:6).
Verse Context:
John 19:1–16 continues Jesus' interrogation by the Roman governor, Pilate. Pilate has already recognized Jesus' innocence and continues to look for ways to release Him without an execution. Religious leaders refuse this, using the threat of a riot to coerce the governor. Eventually, Pilate gives in and orders Jesus to be crucified. Parallel accounts are found in Matthew 27:24–30, Mark 15:12–15, and Luke 23:20–25.
Chapter Summary:
Pilate recognizes Jesus' innocence, but fears the mob assembled by Jewish religious leaders. He attempts to satisfy them by having Jesus viciously whipped and mocked. This only results in more cries for Jesus' death. The governor then shifts to protect his own reputation, ordering Jesus to be crucified on a charge of being "King of the Jews." John is directly present as Jesus is executed. He notes the fulfillment of several prophecies as Jesus dies. Once He is confirmed to be dead, Jesus' body is taken by two friendly members of the ruling council. They hastily bury Him in the borrowed crypt of a rich man.
Chapter Context:
When Jesus was first brought to Pilate, His innocence was obvious (John 18:36–38). However, the mob refuses to be satisfied with anything less than crucifixion. Pilate gives in to these demands. John, who is present for the entire gory spectacle, notes several instances of fulfilled prophecy (Psalm 22:18; Psalm 69:21; Exodus 12:46; Zechariah 12:10). Jesus is then buried in the borrowed tomb of a rich man (Isaiah 53:9) to complete yet another Old Testament prediction. A guard will be posted to ensure no one steals the body (Matthew 27:62–68), which will only serve to confirm that Jesus' eventual resurrection was a true miracle (John 20:1–8).
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/23/2024 8:57:53 PM
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