They condemn Jesus to death (Mk 14:64-14:64)

“You have heard

His blasphemy!

What is your decision?’

All of them

Condemned him

As deserving death.”

 

ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας· τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου.

 

This is something similar in Matthew, chapter 26:65-66.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest said that they had heard his blasphemy (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.  Thus, this high priest asked for a decision or verdict.  What did it appear to them (τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται;)?  All the members of the council that included the chief priests, the priests, the presbyters, the elders, and the Scribes condemned Jesus (οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν), that he deserved to die (ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου).  Technically, they could not condemn Jesus to death, since only the Roman authorities could impose a death penalty.

 

The chief priests and Scribes plot against Jesus (Mk 14:1-14:1)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Were looking

For a way

To arrest Jesus

By stealth.

They wanted

To kill him.”

 

καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες ἀποκτείνωσιν.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 26:2, where Jesus predicted to his disciples that he would be handed over and crucified, as well as in chapter 26:4, where the chief priests and the elders, not the Scribes, wanted to kill Jesus.  In Luke, chapter 22:2, it was the chief priests and the Scribes as here in Mark.  For Mark, this was the fulfillment of Psalm 10:8, where they sat in ambush to murder the innocent one.  Mark said that these chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were looking (καὶ ἐζήτουν) for a way to deceitfully or secretly seize Jesus (πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες).  They wanted to kill him (ἀποκτείνωσιν).

Tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus (Mt 28:12-28:14)

“After the chief priests

Had assembled

With the elders,

They devised

A plan

To give large sums

Of silver money

To the soldiers.

They said.

‘Tell the people!

‘His disciples came

By night.

They stole him away

While we were asleep.’

If the governor

Hears this story,

We will take care of him.

We will keep you

Out of trouble.’”

 

καὶ συναχθέντες μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων συμβούλιόν τε λαβόντες ἀργύρια ἱκανὰ ἔδωκαν τοῖς στρατιώταις

λέγοντες Εἴπατε ὅτι Οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς ἐλθόντες ἔκλεψαν αὐτὸν ἡμῶν κοιμωμένων.

καὶ ἐὰν ἀκουσθῇ τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος, ἡμεῖς πείσομεν καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀμερίμνους ποιήσομεν.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who continued with this story about the guards and the Jerusalem chief priestsAfter these chief priests had assembled with the elders or presbyters in consultation (καὶ συναχθέντες μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), they decided or devised a plan to give large sums of silver money to these soldiers (συμβούλιόν τε λαβόντες ἀργύρια ἱκανὰ ἔδωκαν τοῖς στρατιώταις).  These custodian guards (κουστωδίας) have now become soldiers (στρατιώταις).  The chief priests said (λέγοντες) to tell the people that Jesus’ disciples came at night (Εἴπατε ὅτι Οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς ἐλθόντες).  They stole the body of Jesus away (ἔκλεψαν αὐτὸν), while they were asleep (ἡμῶν κοιμωμένων).  If the governor heard this story (καὶ ἐὰν ἀκουσθῇ τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος), they would take care of him or urge or persuade him (ἡμεῖς πείσομεν καὶ ὑμᾶς) to keep these soldiers out of trouble (ἀμερίμνους ποιήσομεν).  The problem, of course, is whether Roman soldiers would trust these Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.  The better option was that these were Jewish guards who could be persuaded by the Jewish leaders with a little financial incentive.

Judas arrives (Mt 26:47-26:47)

“While Jesus

Was still speaking,

Judas,

One of the twelve apostles,

Arrived.

With him

Was a large crowd

With swords

And clubs.

They were sent

From the chief priests

And the elders

Of the people.”

 

Καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος, ἰδοὺ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα ἦλθεν, καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος πολὺς μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:43.  Luke, chapter 22:47, is somewhat similar, while John, chapter 18:2-3, is more detailed.  Both Mark and Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking (Καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος), Judas, one of the 12 apostles, arrived (ἰδοὺ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα ἦλθεν).  He had with him a large crowd of people (καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος πολὺς) with swords and clubs (μετὰ μαχαιρῶν) sent by the chief priests and the elders or presbyters of the people (καὶ ξύλων ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων τοῦ λαοῦ).  Apparently, these leaders were expecting some resistance from Jesus and his followers.  Thus, they sent a large armed group of people with Judas.  In John’s more descriptive account, Judas knew where to find Jesus because they had often been there at this place.  He said that they also brought lanterns and torches.

 

The Pharisees understand the parable (Mt 21:45-21:45)

“When the chief priests

And the Pharisees

Heard his parables,

They realized

That he was speaking

About them.”

 

Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὰς παραβολὰς αὐτοῦ ἔγνωσαν ὅτι περὶ αὐτῶν λέγει·

 

This admission by both the chief priests and the Pharisees, no longer the elders, can be found in Mark, chapter 12:12, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but slightly different.  The chief priests and the Pharisees (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) did not have to wait for an explanation of this parable about the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard and the other parables.  They knew or realized, on hearing (Καὶ ἀκούσαντες) this parable story (τὰς παραβολὰς αὐτοῦ), that these evil tenants that Jesus was talking about were them (ἔγνωσαν ὅτι περὶ αὐτῶν λέγει).

The value of the baptism of John (Mt 21:25-21:26)

“‘Did the baptism of John

Come from heaven

Or was it of human origin?’

They argued

With one another.

‘If we say,

‘From heaven.’

He will say to us,

‘Why then did you not

Believe him?’

But if we say.

‘From human origins,’

We are afraid

Of the crowd.

All regard John

As a prophet.’”

 

τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;

ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον· φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον.

 

This question about John the Baptist and the value of his baptism can be found in Mark, chapter 11:30-32, and Luke, chapter 20:4-6, almost word for word.  Jesus asked this one question.  Did the baptism of John the Baptist come from heaven or was it of human man-made origin (τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων)?  Then the high priests and the elders argued with each other (οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς).  If they said that his baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ,), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)?  If they said that this baptism of John was from human origins (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), they were afraid of the crowds of people (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον) since they all regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον).  They were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

A question for a question (Mt 21:24-21:24)

“Jesus answered them.

‘I will also ask you

One question.

If you tell me

The answer,

Then I will also tell you

by what authority

I do these things.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπ εν αὐτοῖς Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα, ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι, κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ·

 

This question of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 11:29, word for word, and Luke, chapter 20:3, almost word for word.  Jesus responded to the high priest and the elders’ question (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπ εν αὐτοῖς) with a question of his own.  He was going to answer their question if they answered his one question (Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα).  If they answered him (ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι), he would then tell them by what authority he did all these things (κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  This also seems like a fair response.  Jesus had one question for them.  If they answered that, he would answer their question, nice and simple.