John 18:39

A custom (sunhqeia). Old word for intimacy, intercourse, from sunhqh (sun, hqo), in N.T. only here, 1 Corinthians 8:7 ; 1 Corinthians 11:16 . This custom, alluded to in Mark 15:6 ; Matthew 27:15 , is termed necessity (anagkh) in Luke 23:17 (late MSS., not in older MSS.). All the Gospels use the verb apoluw (release, set free). Then ina apolusw is a subject clause (ina and first aorist active subjunctive) in apposition with sunhqeia. Will ye therefore that I release? (boulesqe oun apolusw;). Without the usual ina before apolusw, asyndeton, as in Mark 10:36 , to be explained either as parataxis or two questions (Robertson, Grammar, p. 430) or as mere omission of ina (ibid., p. 994). There is contempt and irony in Pilate's use of the phrase "the king of the Jews."

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