Why do we need witnesses? (Mk 14:63-14:63)

“Then the high priest

Tore his clothes.

He said.

‘Why do we still need

Witnesses?’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ λέγει Τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:65.  In Luke, chapter 22:71, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest tore his clothes (ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ), generally a sign of mourning or distress.  He then said why did they still need any witnesses (λέγει τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων)?  The trial was over.  Jesus was guilty as charged, since he admitted to being the Messiah.

Blasphemy (Mt 26:65-26:65)

“Then the high priest

Tore his clothes.

He said.

‘He has blasphemed!

Why do we still

Need witnesses?

You have now heard

His blasphemy.’”

 

τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ λέγων Ἐβλασφήμησεν· τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων; ἴδε νῦν ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν·

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:63.  In Luke, chapter 22:71, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Matthew said that the high priest tore his clothes
(τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), a sign of mourning.  Caiaphas said that Jesus had blasphemed (λέγων Ἐβλασφήμησεν) by calling himself the Messiah Christ.  The high priest asked why did they still need any witnesses (τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων)?  The had all heard his blasphemy (ἴδε νῦν ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν).  Technically, it might not have been a blasphemy, since someone had to utter the divine name or profane sacred things, but it was close enough.

The king responds favorably also (Jon 3:6-3:6)

“When the news reached

The king of Nineveh,

He arose

From his throne.

He removed

His robe.

He covered himself

With sackcloth.

He sat in ashes.”

When the king of Nineveh heard about the proclamations of Jonah, he rose from his throne and took off his royal robes.  He then covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes.  The use of the common sack cloth used for carrying vegetables instead of better clothes was a sign of mourning and repentance.  Like a good king, he was going along with his subjects who took the warnings of Jonah very seriously.