Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:7

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."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blasphemy;   Demagogism;   Indictments;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   King;   Opinion, Public;   Politics;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Law of Moses, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Son of god;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jesus Christ, Name and Titles of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Blasphemy;   Son of God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bride;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Blasphemy;   Law;   Make;   Pilate;   Sanhedrin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Attributes of Christ;   Communion (2);   Curse;   Endurance;   Loans;   Names and Titles of Christ;   Persecution;   Pharisees (2);   Pilate;   Quotations (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Shiloh;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Die;   Jesus Christ, the Arrest and Trial of;   Pilate, Pontius;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

We have a law - In Leviticus 24:14-16, we find that blasphemers of God were to be put to death; and the chief priests having charged Jesus with blasphemy, they therefore voted that he deserved to die. See Matthew 26:65, Matthew 26:66. They might refer also to the law against false prophets, Deuteronomy 18:20.

The Son of God - It is certain that the Jews understood this in a very peculiar sense. When Christ called himself the Son of God, they understood it to imply positive equality to the Supreme Being: and, if they were wrong, our Lord never attempted to correct them.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 19:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-19.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

We have a law - The law respecting blasphemy, Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 13:1-5. They had arraigned Jesus on that charge before the Sanhedrin, and condemned him for it, Matthew 26:63-65. But this was not the charge on which they had arraigned him before Pilate. They had accused him of sedition, Luke 23:2. On this charge they were now convinced that they could not get Pilate to condemn him. He declared him innocent. Still bent on his ruin, and resolved to gain their purpose, they now, contrary to their first intention, adduced the original accusation on which they had already pronounced him guilty. If they could not obtain his condemnation as a rebel, they now sought it as a blasphemer, and they appealed to Pilate to sanction what they believed was required in their law. Thus, to Pilate himself it became more manifest that he was innocent, that they had attempted to deceive him, and that the charge on which they had arraigned him was a mere pretence to obtain his sanction to their wicked design.

Made himself - Declared himself, or claimed to be.

The Son of God - The law did not forbid this, but it forbade blasphemy, and they considered the assumption of this title as the same as blasphemy John 10:30, John 10:33, John 10:36, and therefore condemned him.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-19.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 19:7

The Jews answered him, We have a law

Literalism and party spirit

I.
WHAT WAS THE MOTIVE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND PRIESTHOOD IN COMPASSING THE DEATH OF CHRIST? It was the one fixed idea of devotion to the law of Moses. It was the stubborn toughness of character which made the Jewish people the backbone of the world. It was the hereditary mark of the house of Levi, which in their zeal for their race knew no other ties. When they took up stones they could not bear to think that Christ was greater than Abraham. When the council met at the raising of Lazarus, Caiaphas declared that one man must die for the people, that was the concentrated essence of the general feeling that the national existence was at stake. And when on that second meeting, convened in the dead of the night in the high priest’s palace, it was no want of solemnity which called forth the adjuration, no false assumption of horror when he rent his robes and demanded the sentence of death. And when they saw their designs accomplished it was doubtless with a proud satisfaction that they were fifty celebrating their festival. “We have a law.” Yes, a Divine law, the type and centre of all law. “And by that law He ought to die” (see Leviticus 24:16). Often has Jesus declared Himself the Son of God. True, there is in Him an authority which teaches not as Scribes teach; a wisdom which forces us to acknowledge that never man spake as this Man; a power before which storms are hushed and sick healed; a goodness which rises above all legal institutions. All this might seem to be a far higher fulfilment of the law than could be attained by His death. But still the letter of the law, immemorial usage, say that He must die, So they argued, and with such arguments must have acted as they did. They little thought how that nation and those institutions which they had endeavoured to preserve at so dreadful a cost, were doomed by the very act by which they sought to save them.

II. WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL LESSONS? The fact that this crime was not the result of rashness, but was the result of fixed adherence to usage, and resistance to change, might teach us

1. That there are times when such a frame of mind is not the sign of a religious spirit, but a mark of audacious and reckless presumption.

2. That the most enormous evils may flow from carrying to excess any one idea however good. In the story of the Crucifixion we may see reflected the evil of narrowness of purpose, exclusiveness of admiration, idolatry of a single principle, the bowing down to “the idols of the cave,” the idols of the party, shop, or sect that happens to be ours. Common sense is the one salt which alone can save such exaggerations from their own corruption. Had Caiaphas been open to the new influences, he would have seen in the very law and prophets he was upholding the best witness to Him he was condemning for blasphemy.

3. The value of those feelings of common humanity which justly resist all efforts of hard logic or dry reason to set them aside. Nothing could be more complete than the arguments by which the conduct of the priests was sustained; but within and above all they might have seen a pathos of suffering to which they were nevertheless wholly insensible, by which the whole world has since been moved to sympathy. Witness the revulsion of feeling with reference to other historical events--the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the outrage on Cromwell’s remains, &c. (Dean Stanley.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 19:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-19.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

Well, there it was. All of Satan's efforts to get Jesus crucified for sedition, or as a trouble-maker, failed. The solemn fact that Jesus had sworn under oath that he was the divine Messiah came squarely into focus in those events, and it would remain forever visible in the heavenly light shining upon the cross. Christ had, in this, at last accomplished the enlightenment of all men for all ages, who would thenceforth have his testimony under oath, and sealed with his blood, to the effect that he was the only begotten Son of God, the divine Messiah, the Saviour of the world, and the world's only Redeemer. No wonder his enemies so stubbornly resisted letting the word out. They instinctively knew that the myriads of the human race would believe Jesus' testimony.

This verse gives the technical charge upon which Jesus was crucified. His sworn testimony was the truth, for he was indeed the Son of God; but the Jewish law to which the priests appealed made it a capital offense for one to claim to be the divine Messiah, UNLESS IN TRUTH HE WAS SO (Leviticus 24:16). Thus the technical charge that Jesus had violated that law by falsely swearing that he was the divine Messiah was itself fraudulent, untruthful, and damnable. In speaking of the "true" grounds for Jesus' death, it should be remembered that the "true grounds" was their lie! What Jesus swore was God's truth; their calling his testimony false was Satan's lie.

Son of God ... as Jesus used this title, and as the Pharisees understood it, meant the same unique, divine Sonship believed in by Christians of all ages. There is a lesser sense in which all believers are "sons of God," but the meaning here is that of the unique, supernatural Sonship of God's only begotten. The action of the Jewish hierarchy in demanding the crucifixion of Jesus for claiming to be the Son of God shows that they fully understood all of the majestic overtones inherent in that precious title, SON OF GOD. Strangely, if Jesus had falsely made such a claim, they would have been correct in demanding his death. Thus, from that moment, and ever afterward, people are confronted with the dilemma in Christ Jesus, there being no middle ground. He either was, or was not, what he claimed to be; and the way every soul answers that question determines the soul's destiny.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The Jews answered him,.... Finding they could make nothing of the charge of sedition against him, and that Pilate could not be prevailed upon to condemn him to death upon that score, they try another method, and charge him with blasphemy; which, if the other had succeeded, they would have concealed; because this, if proved, according to their law, would not have brought on him the kind of death they were desirous of:

we have a law; meaning the law of Moses, which they had received by his hands from God:

and by our law he ought to die; referring either to the law concerning blasphemy in general, or concerning the false prophet, or to the having and asserting of other gods, and enticing to the worship of them; in either of which cases death by stoning was enjoined:

because he made himself the Son of God; the natural and essential Son of God; not by adoption, or on account of his incarnation and mediatorial office; but as being one with the Father, of the same nature with him, and equal to him in all his perfections and glory. This he had often asserted in his ministry, or what was equivalent to it, and which they so understood; and indeed had said that very morning, before the high priest in his palace, what amounted thereunto, and which he so interpreted; upon which he rent his garments, and charged him with blasphemy: for that God has a son, is denied by the Jews, since Jesus asserted himself to be so, though formerly believed by them; nor was it now denied that there was a Son of God, or that he was expected; but the blasphemy with them was, that Jesus set up himself to be he: but now it is vehemently opposed by them, that God has a son; so from Ecclesiastes 4:8 they endeavour to proveF17Debarim Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 237. 3. , that God has neither a brother, ולא בן, "nor a son"; but, "hear, O Israel, they observe, the Lord our God is one Lord". And elsewhereF18Midrash Kohelet, fol. 70. 1. ,

""there is one"; this is the holy blessed God; "and not a second"; for he has no partner or equal in his world; "yea, he hath neither child nor brother"; he hath no brother, nor hath he a son; but the holy blessed God loves Israel, and calls them his children, and his brethren.'

All which is opposed to the Christian doctrine, relating to the sonship of Christ. The conduct of these men, at this time, deserves notice, as their craft in imposing on Pilate's ignorance of their laws; and the little regard that they themselves had to them, in calling for crucifixion instead of stoning; and their inconsistency with themselves, pretending before it was not lawful for them to put any man to death; and now they have a law, and by that law, in their judgment, he ought to die.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 19:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by oar law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God — Their criminal charges having come to nothing, they give up that point, and as Pilate was throwing the whole responsibility upon them, they retreat into their own Jewish law, by which, as claiming equality with God (see John 5:18 and John 8:59), He ought to die; insinuating that it was Pilate‘s duty, even as civil governor, to protect their law from such insult.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Because he made himself the Son of God (οτι υιον τεου εαυτον εποιησενhoti huion theou heauton epoiēsen). Here at last the Sanhedrin give the real ground for their hostility to Jesus, one of long standing for probably three years (John 5:18) and the one on which the Sanhedrin voted the condemnation of Jesus (Mark 14:61-64; Matt 27:23-66), but even now they do not mention their own decision to Pilate, for they had no legal right to vote Christ‘s death before Pilate‘s consent which they now have secured.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

We have a law

We, emphatic. Whatever your decision may be, we have a law, etc.

By our law

The best texts omit our: Read by that law, as Rev.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-19.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

By our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God — Which they understood in the highest sense, and therefore accounted blasphemy.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 19:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-19.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God1.

  1. We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. Perceiving that Pilate was taunting them, and practically accusing them to attempting to put an innocent man to death, they defended themselves nu revealing the fact that in addition to the charges that they had preferred against Jesus, they had found him clearly guilty and worthy of death on another charge; viz.: that of blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16). They had made no mention of this fact because Pilate was under no obligation to enforce their law; but they mentioned it now to justify their course. They probably felt sure that Jesus himself would convince Pilate of the truth of this latter accusation if Pilate questioned him.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 19:7". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-19.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

By our law. They had not mentioned this charge, at first, in making out their accusation before Pilate, supposing that he would be more easily influenced by a charge of sedition. But finding him not convinced by that, they now advance the other.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-19.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Мы имеем закон. Иудеи хотят этим сказать, что преследуют Христа законно, а не по свой прихоти или ненависти. Они почувствовали, что Пилат косвенно им отказывает. И говорят так, как будто перед ними человек, не знающий закона. Нам, – говорят они, – позволено жить по нашим обычаям, а наша религия не терпит, чтобы кто-то выдавал себя за Сына Божия. Это обвинение было не лишено правдоподобия, но иудеи все же заблуждались в своем предположении. Общее учение действительно таково: не положено людям присваивать себе что-то божественное, и достойны смерти те, кто присваивает себе принадлежащее лишь Богу. Причина их заблуждения крылась в личности Иисуса Христа; они не учли того, какими титулами украшает Писание Мессию. А из них можно было бы вывести, что Христос и есть Сын Божий. Кроме того, иудеи не соизволили исследовать: не является ли Христос тем Мессией, Которого некогда обещал Бог? Итак, мы видим: из истинного принципа они, плохо его понимая, выводят ложное заключение.

Этот пример учит нас: между общим учением и предположением надо проводить тщательное различие. Ибо многие неопытные и легкомысленные люди, однажды уловившись видимостью истины, начинают отвергать основные принципы Писания. И эта вседозволенность сегодня вовсю процветает в мире. Будем же остерегаться заблуждений, чтобы истинные принципы оставались в целости, и вера в Писание не оскудевала. Так можно будет легко опровергнуть нечестивых, ложно претендующих на свидетельство Писания, и оправдывающих его принципами злые дела. К примеру, сегодня паписты, превознося авторитет Церкви, говорят лишь то, с чем согласны все сыны Божии. Они говорят, что Церковь – мать верующих, столп истины, что ее нужно слушать, что ею управляет Святой Дух. Ничего из этого не следует отрицать. Но когда они присваивают себе права Церкви, то бесчестно и богохульно претендуют на то, что к ним не относится. Ведь сначала надо исследовать, заслуживают ли они титул Церкви. И этого они никак не докажут. Подобным образом, яростно обрушиваясь на всех благочестивых, они извиняют себя тем, что поставлены для сохранения веры и мира в Церкви. Но, когда доходит до дела, становится ясным: меньше всего их заботит защита истинного учения, меньше всего они думают о сохранении мира и согласия, но воюют только ради своей тирании. Те, кто, довольствуясь общими принципами, не обращает внимания на конкретные обстоятельства, думают, что паписты справедливо нас гонят. Однако подробное рассмотрение дела рассеивает весь напускаемый ими дым.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 7. The Jews answered him, &c.] When they saw that the treason they laid to his charge would not do the deed, they accused him of blasphemy another while, that by some means or other they might take away his life. Thou, and such as thou (said Bonner to Thomas Brown, martyr), report I seek your blood; to whom he answered, Yea, my lord, indeed ye be a bloodsucker; and I would I had as much blood as is water in the sea for you to suck. Another unknown good woman told this bishop in a letter, that he had such store of Christ’s lambs already in his butcher’s stall, that he was not able to drink all their blood, lest he should break his belly, and therefore he let them lie still and die for hunger. My lord (said Mr Saunders to Bonner), you seek my blood, and you shall have it; I pray God you may be so baptized in it, that you may hereafter loathe bloodsucking, and become a better man.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. How ambitious the chief priests were that Christ should die under a colour of law: We have a law, and by our law he ought to die. The law which they allude to, is the law for putting false prophets and blasphemers to death; of which number they conclude Christ to be, because he made himself the Son of God; whereas he did not make himself so, or only pretend to be so, but really and indeed was so; to wit, the eternal Son of God. Such as are indeed blasphemers, and do arrogate to themselves what is proper to God only, by the law of God they ought to be put to death: but Christ was not guilty of the violation of that law; for he was indeed the Son of God, and did not make himself so.

Observe, 2. How full of fear the conscience of Pilate was, when the Jews told him that Jesus made himself the Son of God: he was afraid to condemn him, no knowing but that he might be some divine and extraordinary person, and consequently might draw down divine vengeance on his own head.

Learn hence, That serious thoughts of a deity will strike terror even into a natural conscience, especially when the sinner is following a course which his own judgment cannot approve; when Pilate heard of Christ's being the Son of God, he was afraid, knowing what he had done to him was against his own conscience.

Observe, 3. The question Pilate puts to Christ upon this occasion, Whence art thou? that is, What is thy original or parentage? Art thou a divine person or not?

Our blessed Saviour being unwilling to obstruct his own sufferings, or to discover any thing that might hinder Pilate from proceeding against him, would give him no answer, having before made a reasonable and sufficient defence.

O how ready Christ was to lay down his life for sinners, and how willing to pay that ransom for his people which the justice of God required!

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 19:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-19.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

7.] In consequence of this taunt, they now declare the cause of their condemnation of Him—see Leviticus 24:16—and their demand that, though found innocent by the governor, He should die.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 19:7". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-19.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:7. νόμον, a law) A part of which was the commandment concerning the putting to death of blasphemers.— ὀφείλει, He ought) They hereby denote His guilt. Nay, but another ought (of which they were unconscious) was lurking beneath their words. Hebrews 2:17, “In all things it behoved Him ( ὤφειλεν) to be made like unto His brethren,” etc.: [and therefore He ought to “destroy, through death, him that had the power of death,” for the sake of His ‘brethren,’ John 19:14.]— θεοῦ υἱὸν, God’s Son(387)) Pilate had called Him “the man,” John 19:5. The Jews seem to have fastened on this now.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:7". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-19.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The law they mean, is the law for putting false prophets to death, Deuteronomy 18:20. By

the Son of God here, they mean the eternal Son of God, in all things equal with his Father; otherwise it was a term applicable to themselves, whom God calls his son, his firstborn, &c. Now for any in this sense to arrogate to himself this title who indeed was not so, was blasphemy, and that in the highest degree, and brought him under the notion of a false prophet of the deepest dye: but this was injuriously applied to Christ, who thought it no robbery to be equal with the Father, and who was so declared by God himself at his baptism and transfiguration; and who had made his Divine power appear by such works as no mere man ever did.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-19.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

мы имеем закон Здесь, вероятно, говорится о Лев. 24:16: «хулитель имени Господня должен умереть». В суде над Иисусом перед Каиафой (см. Мф. 26:57-68) главным было обвинение в богохульстве (5:18; 8:58, 59; 10:33, 36).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 19:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-19.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

We have a law; Leviticus 24:16. Pilate having pronounced him not guilty of sedition, of which they had accused him, they went back to the charge of blasphemy, on which he had been condemned by the council. Matthew 26:63-66.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-19.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.We have a law—As much as to say, If you, as a Roman, do not feel his execution to be legal and just, we have plenty of law to sustain the infliction of death.

Made himself the Son of God—To make himself the Son of God, and thereby equal with God, was blasphemy, for which the sentence was death by stoning. But now an unexpected result followed their utterance of the phrase Son of God. There can be no doubt that the personal demeanour of Jesus had an impressive effect upon Pilate. He appeared to the Roman a strangely supernatural being. The warning dream of his wife hung gloomily upon his feelings. Sceptics are often superstitious. Genuine religious feeling often being suppressed in their hearts, abnormal spiritual notions take their place. He puts to himself the startling query: May there not be something supernatural in this remarkable specimen among this half supernatural race?

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-19.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Jewish leaders" objections to Jesus were both political and religious. Until now, they had been stressing the political implications of Jesus" claims to Pilate. Sensing that they were not going to receive the desired sentence against Jesus with this approach, they shifted their emphasis to the religious claims that Jesus had made.

Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, they admitted, which constituted blasphemy under normal circumstances. The penalty for blasphemy under the Mosaic Law was death ( Leviticus 24:16). This charge of blaspheming had been the major issue in Jesus" religious trial (cf. Matthew 26:59-66; Mark 14:55-64). John noted a growing conviction among the Jews that Jesus was blaspheming (cf5:18; 8:58-59; 10:33, 36). Their rejection of Jesus was an intelligent and deliberate denial of the evidence that He was deity, not simply a political Messiah.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-19.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 19:7. The Jews answered him. We have a law, and by the law he ought to die, because he made himself Son of God. The ‘We’ is emphatic. ‘Thou, Pilate, mayest pronounce Him innocent; and He may be innocent of all such crimes as are wont to be tried at thy bar. But We have a law, and that law denounces death to persons like Him; for He made Himself Son of God.’ The law referred to is Leviticus 24:16, and the crime is that Jesus represented Himself to be what He really was. Such was the guilt of the Jews. Not upon false pretences, but upon the greatest of all falsehoods, the misinterpretation of the truth,—in the thickest of all darkness, the light itself made darkness,—they hurried Jesus to His doom. The effect upon Pilate of this charge they had not anticipated.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-19.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 19:7. The Jews are as determined that Pilate shall condemn Jesus as he is resolved not to condemn Him, and to his declaration of the prisoner’s innocence they reply, . He may have committed no wrong of which your Roman law takes cognisance, but “we have a law (Leviticus 24:16), and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself God’s Son”. For the construction see John 5:18. The occasion they refer to is His profession to the Sanhedrim recorded in Mark 14:62. here means more than “Messiah,” for the claim to be Messiah was not apparently punishable with death (see Treffry’s Eternal Sonship), and, moreover, such a claim would not have produced in Pilate the state of mind suggested by (John 19:8) , words which imply that already mingling with the governor’s hesitation to condemn an innocent man there was an element of awe inspired by the prisoner’s bearing and words. The words also imply that this awe was now deepened, and found utterance in the blunt interrogation (John 19:9), ; “Whence art Thou?” What is meant by your claim to be of Divine origin? To this question Jesus , “did not give him an answer”. Pilate had no right to prolong the case; because already he had three times over pronounced Jesus innocent. He needed no new material, but only to act on what he had. Jesus recognises this and declines to be a party to his vacillation. Besides, the charge on which He was being tried was, that He had claimed to be King of the Jews. This charge had been answered. Legal procedure was degenerating into an unregulated wrangle. Jesus therefore declines to answer.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 19:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-19.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

by = according to. Greek. kata. App-104.

our = the.

ought. Greek opheilo. Elsewhere in John only in John 13:14.

made Himself, &c. This was the charge on which the Sanhedrin condemned Him. See Matthew 26:65, Matthew 26:66. Compare Leviticus 24:16.

Son of God. App-98.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. Their criminal charges having come to nothing, they give that up, and as Pilate was throwing the whole responsibility upon them, they retreat into their own Jewish law, by which, as claiming equality with God (see the notes at John 5:18; John 8:58-59), He ought to die; insinuating that it was Pilate's duty, even as civil governor, to protect their law from such insult.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.—The better reading is,. . . . and by the law He ought to die. (Comp. Leviticus 24:16.) They feel the bitter sarcasm of Pilate’s taunt, and appeal to their own law, which, in accordance with the general Roman policy, was in force in all questions which did not directly affect the Government. They change the accusation then from one of treason against Cæsar (John 19:12), of which Pilate claimed to be judge, to one of blasphemy against God, of which they only could be judges; and assert that Jesus is by that law guilty of a capital offence, for which He ought to die. (Comp. Matthew 26:63-66, and Luke 22:70.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
We have
Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 18:20
because
5:18; 8:58,59; 10:30-33,36-38; Matthew 26:63-66; 27:42,43; Mark 14:61-64; Mark 15:39; Romans 1:4
Reciprocal: Psalm 64:6 - search;  Isaiah 53:4 - yet;  Isaiah 53:8 - GeneralJeremiah 26:11 - saying;  Daniel 3:25 - the Son of God;  Daniel 6:5 - GeneralDaniel 6:14 - was sore;  Matthew 14:33 - Of;  Matthew 26:66 - He;  Matthew 27:54 - Truly;  Mark 9:7 - This;  Mark 14:64 - GeneralLuke 22:70 - the Son;  Luke 23:47 - he;  John 1:34 - this;  John 8:53 - whom;  John 18:31 - Take;  Acts 9:20 - that;  Acts 24:6 - and;  2 Corinthians 1:19 - the Son

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

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

The Jewish rulers were emboldened by the spirit of concession which they already found in Pilate, who surrendered a man whom he pronounced innocent to the scourging which was reserved only for the guilty, and who supplicated them in favour of Jesus, when he ought to have enforced his own authority, and manfully defended against them the cause of innocence and righteousness. Thus, when their political accusation had come to nought (Grotius: Not being able to establish the crime against the Roman authority, they urge their own law), they return back to the position which they had taken at the beginning, ch. John 18:30, and demand that Pilate should condemn Him on their decision, whether he himself found Him guilty or not. They do not concede so much to Pilate as to point out the passage in the law which they had in view. That passage was Leviticus 24:16, which decrees that the blasphemer of God shall be punished with death. It was the same judicial decree on the ground of which Jesus before the high priest was adjudged to die. He had there, on the adjuration of the high priest, that He should say whether He was the Son of God, answered in the affirmative. Thereupon the high priest declared, "He blasphemeth;" and the council decreed, "He is guilty of death," Matthew 26:63 seq. With "He made himself the Son of God," comp. ch. John 5:18, "He called God his Father, making himself equal with God." The claim to be the Son of God fell under the category of blasphemy only if it were a presumptuous claim. This was the sense in which Pilate took the words of the high priest; and if it had been untrue, Jesus would not by His silence have confirmed it as the right sense. That the members of the Sanhedrim were in earnest as to this claim of Sonship—that they regarded it as including the assumption of divinity, is plain from ch. John 10:33. There the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy; of blasphemy consisting in this, that though he was man, he made himself God.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 19:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-19.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.We have a law. They mean that, in proceeding against Christ, they do what is right, and are not actuated by hatred or sinful passion; for they perceived that Pilate had indirectly reproved them. Now, they speak as in the presence of a man who was ignorant of the law; as if they had said, “We are permitted to live after our own manner, and our religion does not suffer any man to boast of being the Son of God. ” Besides, this accusation was not altogether void of plausibility, but they erred grievously in the application of it. The general doctrine was undoubtedly true, that it was not lawful for men to assume any honor which is due to God, and that they who claimed for themselves what is peculiar to God alone deserved to be put to death. But the source of their error related to the person of Christ, because they did not consider what are the titles given by Scripture to the Messiah, from which they might easily have learned that he was the Son of God, and did not even deign to inquire whether or not Jesus was the Messiah whom God had formerly promised.

We see, then, how they drew a false conclusion from a true principle, for they reason badly. This example warns us to distinguish carefully between a general doctrine and the application of it, (159) for there are many ignorant and unsteady persons who reject the very principles of Scripture, if they have once been deceived by the semblance of truth; and such licentiousness makes too great progress in the world every day. Let us, therefore, remember that we ought to guard against imposition, so that principles which are true may remain in all their force, and that the authority of Scripture may not be diminished.

On the other hand, we may easily find a reply to wicked men, who falsely and improperly allege the testimony of Scripture, and the principles which they draw from it, to support their bad designs; just as the Papists, when they extol in lofty terms the authority of the Church, bring forward nothing about which all the children of God are not agreed. They maintain that the Church is the mother of believers, that she is the pillar of truth, that she ought to be heard, that she is guided by the Holy Spirit. (160) All this we ought to admit, but when they wish to appropriate to themselves all the authority that is due to the Church, they wickedly, and with sacrilegious presumption, seize what does not at all belong to them. For we must inquire into the grounds of what they assume as true, that they deserve the title of The Church; and here they utterly fail. In like manner, when they exercise furious cruelty against all the godly, they do so on this pretence, that they have been ordained to defend the faith and peace of the Church. But when we examine the matter more closely, we plainly see that there is nothing which they have less at heart than the defense of true doctrine, that nothing affects them less than a care about peace and harmony, but that they only fight to uphold their own tyranny. They who are satisfied with general principles, and do not attend to the circumstances, imagine that the Papists do right in attacking us; but the investigation of the matter quickly dissipates that smoke by which they deceive the simple. (161)

That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, (Luke 1:35.)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.