John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 11:47, The First Trial of Jesus

Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

//Much is made of the fact that, unlike the other three Gospels, John’s Gospel records no trial before Caiaphas, the high priest, before Jesus moves on to the court of the Romans. But I think such claimants are not reading John carefully.

Space prohibits me from covering this topic in detail, but you may find it an interesting study. Here is the Johannine version of the trial, in verses 11:47-53. Some of the Jews report the raising of Lazarus from the dead to the Pharisees, resulting in a Sanhedrin session, where the high priest, Caiaphas, decides on a course of action to put Jesus to death. As scholar Raymond E. Brown has noted, if we combine this story with chapter 10 of John, where Jesus debates with the Jews, we have a scene virtually identical to the Synoptic trial. There is even concern expressed by the Jews that the Temple would be destroyed.

The significant difference is that, in John, Jesus isn’t present at his “trial.”

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