“IV. Jesus’ Self-Disclosure in His Cross and Exaltation (13:1-20:31)” “E. The Trial and Passion of Jesus (18:1-19:42)” pp. 571-631.
Carson notes that all the Gospels push directly to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Scholars debate a relationship between John’s account and that of the Synoptics. Carson assumes that John was familiar with at least one of the Synoptics. However, he was not directly dependent on it (Carson 1991, 571). Though the differences are significant there is no reason to find them as contradictory. Carson discusses several areas in which commentators have attempted to create insurmountable challenges.
In John 18:1-11 Jesus is arrested (Carson 1991, 576). Jesus and his disciples have gone to an olive grove, well known to them. A large force of soldiers, possibly up to 600, but maybe smaller, more like 200, guided by Judas, came on the manhunt (Carson 1991, 577). When Jesus identified himself to the arrest party they fell back. Carson finds few adequate explanations for the situation (Carson 1991, 578).
Jesus is tried before Annas and then sent to Caiaphas. Carson notes that Annas had previously held the high priesthood but was removed and replaced by the Roman governor (Carson 1991, 580). During the trial, Peter, in the courtyard, denies knowing Jesus (Carson 1991, 581). By the end of verse 24, the interrogation of Jesus is complete. Jesus does not give much information but he does say his teaching is public (Carson 1991, 584). Meanwhile, Peter has continued to deny Jesus (Carson 1991, 586).
In John 18:28-19:16 Jesus is tried before Pilate, the Roman governor (Carson 1991, 587). Carson notes that it is difficulut to explain John’s knowledge of what happened inside Pilate’s court. He considers it entirely possible that Jesus may have given some details after the resurrection. It is also possible that John would have consulted the public records which were kept but have mostly been lost since the first century.
The Jewish leaders would not enter Pilate’s quarters. This would have incurred uncleanness and interfered with the Passover. Carson considers this situation and also the apparent discrepancy between John’s account and that of the Synoptics (Carson 1991, 589). Carson’s conclusion is that the Jews were considering the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread as part of Passover. The Jews expected that Pilate would go ahead with their plan to execute Jesus. Yet in verse 31 Pilate refused them, possibly simply to antagonize them (Carson 1991, 591). Yet, when Pilate questions Jesus, Jesus pushes him to make a conclusion. Is Jesus the king of the Jews? (Carson 1991, 593). By verse 36, Jesus is helping Pilate see that he is a king, over Pilate, but not of an earthly kingdom (Carson 1991, 594). Pilate is not eady to recognize this, so he calls off the interrogation (Carson 1991, 595).