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Luke 23 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Pilate Questions Jesus

23 Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus to Pilate [C Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea from ad 26 to 36; see 3:1]. They began to accuse Jesus, saying, “We caught this man ·misleading [subverting] our ·people [nation]. He ·says that we should not pay [opposes/forbids paying] taxes to Caesar, and he ·calls himself [claims to be] the ·Christ [Messiah], a king.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “·Those are your words [or It is as you say; L You say so; C an indirect affirmation; see 22:70].”

Pilate said to the ·leading [T chief] priests and the ·people [crowd], “I find ·nothing against [no basis for a charge against; no guilt in] this man.”

[L But] They were insisting, saying, “But Jesus ·makes trouble with [is inciting/stirring up] the people, teaching all around Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here.”

Pilate Sends Jesus to Herod

Pilate heard this and asked if ·Jesus [L the man] was ·from Galilee [a Galilean]. ·Since [L Learning that] Jesus was under Herod’s authority, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod [C Antipas; see 3:1], who was in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, because he had heard about Jesus and had wanted to ·meet [L see] him for a long time. He was hoping to see Jesus ·work a miracle [perform a sign]. Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus said nothing. 10 The ·leading [T chief] priests and ·teachers of the law [scribes] were standing there, ·strongly [vehemently; vigorously] accusing Jesus. 11 After Herod and his soldiers had ·made fun of [ridiculed and mocked] Jesus, they dressed him in a ·kingly [elegant; splendid; L bright] ·robe [clothing] and sent him back to Pilate. 12 In the past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies, but on that day they became friends.

Jesus Must Die

13 Pilate called together the ·leading [T chief] priests, the ·rulers [leaders] and the people. 14 He said to them, “You brought this man to me, saying he ·makes trouble among [misleads; subverts; incites] the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found ·him guilty of what you say [any basis for the charges]. 15 Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; [L because] he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing ·for which he should die [worthy/deserving of death]. 16 So, after I ·punish him [have him flogged], I will let him go free.” |17 Every year at the Passover Feast, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.|[a]

18 But ·the people [L they] shouted together, “Take this man away [C for execution]! ·Let Barabbas go free [L Release Barabbas to/for us]!” 19 (Barabbas was a man who was in prison for his part in a ·riot [insurrection] in the city and for murder.)

20 Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free and [L again] ·told this to [appealed to; addressed] the crowd. 21 But they shouted again, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 A third time Pilate said to them, “Why? What ·wrong [crime; evil] has he done? I can find no reason to kill him. So I will have him ·punished [flogged] and set him free.”

23 But they continued to shout, demanding that Jesus be crucified. Their ·yelling became so loud [L voices prevailed so] that 24 Pilate decided to give them what they ·wanted [requested; demanded]. 25 He set free the man who was in jail for ·rioting [insurrection] and murder, and he handed Jesus over ·to them to do with him as they wished [or as they requested; L to their will].

Jesus Is Crucified

26 As they led Jesus away, Simon, a man from Cyrene [C a port city in North Africa (modern Libya)], was coming in from the ·fields [countryside; country; C Simon may be a Jewish pilgrim visiting Jerusalem for Passover or an immigrant living there]. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross and to walk behind him.

27 A large crowd of people was following Jesus, including some women who were ·sad [mourning] and ·crying [wailing; lamenting] for him. 28 But Jesus turned and said to them, “·Women [L Daughters] of Jerusalem, don’t ·cry [weep] for me. ·Cry [Weep] for yourselves and for your children. 29 [L For look/T behold] The ·time is [days are] coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are ·the women who cannot have children [L the barren women and the wombs that never gave birth] and ·who have no babies to nurse [L the breasts that have never nursed].’ 30 Then people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ And they will say to the hills, ‘·Cover [Bury] us [Hos. 10:8]!’ 31 If they act like this now when ·life is good [L the tree is green], what will happen when ·bad times come [L it is dry; C probably an allusion to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70]?”

32 There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be ·put to death [executed]. 33 When they came to a place called the Skull, the soldiers crucified Jesus and the criminals—one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”[b]

The soldiers threw lots [C similar to dice] to decide who would get his clothes [Ps. 22:18]. 35 The people stood there watching. And the leaders ·made fun of [sneered at; mocked] Jesus, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is ·God’s Chosen One, the Christ [or God’s Messiah, the Chosen One].”

36 The soldiers also ·made fun of [mocked] him, coming to Jesus and offering him some ·vinegar [sour wine]. 37 They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 ·At the top of the cross these words were written [L Above him there was also an inscription]: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals ·on a cross [L who was hanging there] began to ·shout insults at [slander; blaspheme] Jesus: “Aren’t you the ·Christ [Messiah]? Then save yourself and us.”

40 But the other criminal ·stopped [rebuked] him and said, “·You should [L Don’t you…?] fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is. 41 We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise [C heaven or the presence of God].”

Jesus Dies

44 It was about ·noon [L the sixth hour; C hours were counted from dawn, about 6 AM], and the whole land became dark until ·three o’clock in the afternoon [L the ninth hour], 45 because the sun did not shine. The curtain in the Temple [C dividing the Most Holy Place from the rest of the Temple] was torn ·in two [down the middle]. 46 Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, ·I give you my life [L into your hands I entrust/commit my spirit; Ps. 31:5].” After Jesus said this, he ·died [expired; T breathed his last].

47 When the ·army officer [L centurion] there saw what happened, he ·praised [glorified] God, saying, “Surely this was a ·good [righteous; or innocent] man!”

48 When all the people who had gathered there to watch saw what happened, they returned home, beating their chests [C a sign of sorrow and remorse]. 49 But those who ·were close friends of Jesus [L knew him], including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance and watched [L these things].

Joseph Takes Jesus’ Body

50 [L And look/T behold] There was a good and ·religious [righteous; just] man named Joseph who was a member of the council. 51 But he had not agreed to the other leaders’ plans and actions against Jesus. He was from the town of Arimathea [in Judea; or a town of the Jews] and was waiting for the kingdom of God to come. 52 Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. 53 He took the body down from the cross, wrapped it in [linen] cloth, and put it in a tomb that was cut out of a wall of rock. ·This tomb had never been used before [L …where no one had been laid; C family tombs held multiple bodies, but this new one was empty]. 54 This was late on Preparation Day, ·and when the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin [L and the Sabbath was beginning].

55 The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was laid. 56 Then the women left to prepare spices and perfumes [C used to honor the dead and cover the stench of decay].

On the Sabbath day they rested, ·as the law of Moses commanded [L according to the commandment].


  1. Luke 23:17 Every … people. Some Greek copies do not contain the bracketed text.
  2. Luke 23:34 Jesus … doing.” Some Greek copies do not have this first part of verse 34.
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Luke 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] [a]

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.


  1. Luke 23:17 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 27:15 and Mark 15:6.
  2. Luke 23:30 Hosea 10:8
  3. Luke 23:34 Some early manuscripts do not have this sentence.
  4. Luke 23:42 Some manuscripts come with your kingly power
  5. Luke 23:46 Psalm 31:5
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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