John 18:23

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

John 18:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 Jesus answered him,If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
ESV
23 Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?"
NLT
23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?”
MSG
23 Jesus replied, "If I've said something wrong, prove it. But if I've spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?"
CSB
23 "If I have spoken wrongly," Jesus answered him, "give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit Me?"

John 18:23 Meaning and Commentary

John 18:23

Jesus answered him
For the high priest took no notice of him, nor any of the sanhedrim, though the action was so insolent and indecent, both as to the manner in which it was done, and the person, an officer, by whom it was done; and considering the circumstances of it, in the palace of the high priest, in his presence, and before so grand a council, and whilst a cause was trying; and it was a barbarous, as well as an impious action, considering the person to whom it was done. Wherefore Jesus replies to him, without making use of his divine power as the Son of God, or discovering any warmth of spirit, and heat of passion, as a man, mildly and rationally argues with him;

if I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil:
meaning, either if he had, to his knowledge, delivered any wicked doctrine in the course of his ministry, or had at that time said any evil thing of the high priest, or any other person, he desires that he would make it to appear, and give proper proof and evidence of it:

but if well, why smitest thou me?
If he had said nothing contrary to truth, reason, and good manners, then he ought not to be used and treated in such an injurious way. And moreover, the officer ought to have been corrected by the Council, and have been made to pay the two hundred "zuzim", or pence, the line for such an affront, according to the Jewish canon, or more, according to the dignity of the person abused F18.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6.

John 18:23 In-Context

21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

Cross References 1

  • 1. Matthew 5:39; Acts 23:2-5