Luke 23:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)


New American Standard Bible
Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.

King James Bible
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.

International Standard Version
Now he was obligated to release someone for them at the festival.

New Heart English Bible
(Now he had to release one prisoner to them at the feast.)

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For it was a custom to release them one prisoner at the feast.

New American Standard 1977
[Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

Jubilee Bible 2000
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

King James 2000 Bible
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

American King James Version
(For of necessity he must release one to them at the feast.)

American Standard Version
Now he must needs release unto them at the feast one prisoner.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast day.

Darby Bible Translation
( Now he was obliged to release one for them at the feast.)

English Revised Version


Webster's Bible Translation
(For of necessity he must release one to them at the feast.)

Weymouth New Testament


World English Bible
Now he had to release one prisoner to them at the feast.

Young's Literal Translation
for it was necessary for him to release to them one at every feast,
Study Bible
The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast. )
Cross References
Matthew 27:15
Now it was the governor's custom at the feast to release to the crowd a prisoner of their choosing.

Luke 23:16
Therefore I will punish Him and release Him."

Luke 23:18
But they all cried out in unison: "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!"
Treasury of Scripture

(For of necessity he must release one to them at the feast.)

Matthew 27:15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release to the people …

Mark 15:6 Now at that feast he released to them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

John 18:39 But you have a custom, that I should release to you one at the passover: …

(17) For of necessity he must release one unto them.--Literally, he had a necessity. The better MSS. are singularly divided as to this verse. Most omit it altogether. One, followed by some of the versions, has it after Luke 23:19. It would seem probable from these facts that the narrative was originally written without it, that it was then felt that the release of Barabbas required an explanation, and that a note was first added in the margin, either by a transcriber or by the writer himself in a duplicate copy, and then found its way into the text. The precise form of the phrase, to "have a necessity," is not found in the other Gospels, but is common to St. Luke (Luke 11:18 and here), and St. Paul (1Corinthians 7:37). It is found also in Hebrews 7:27; Jude Luke 23:3. On the practice thus described, see Note on Matthew 27:15.

Verse 17. - (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) Probably, however, before the scourging was inflicted, the attempt to liberate Jesus in accordance with a custom belonging to that feast was made by Pilate. We know it failed, and a condemned robber called Barabbas was preferred by the people. The more ancient authorities omit this verse (17). It probably was introduced at an early period into many manuscripts of St. Luke as a marginal. gloss, as an explanatory statement based on the words of Matthew 27:15 or of Mark 15:6. As a Hebrew custom, it is never mentioned save in this place. Such a release was a common incident of a Latin Lectisternium, or feast in honour of the gods. The Greeks had a similar custom at the Thesmophoria. It was probably introduced at Jerusalem by the Roman power. For of necessity he must release one,.... And therefore proposed to release Jesus

unto them at the feast; of passover, which now was; not that there was any law that obliged to it, but it having been customary with the Roman governor to do so, the people expected it; custom had made it necessary: and so the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it, "it was a custom to release", &c. not at each feast, or every feast, as the last of these versions read, only at the passover, as is expressed, John 18:39. 23:13-25 The fear of man brings many into this snare, that they will do an unjust thing, against their consciences, rather than get into trouble. Pilate declares Jesus innocent, and has a mind to release him; yet, to please the people, he would punish him as an evil-doer. If no fault be found in him, why chastise him? Pilate yielded at length; he had not courage to go against so strong a stream. He delivered Jesus to their will, to be crucified.
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