The Epilogue

13. Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, 26:1-28:20

v] Peter denies Jesus


While the Jewish authorities interrogate Jesus, Peter is sitting in the courtyard of the high priest's home, along with the arresting party and a number of servants. Peter is challenged by a servant girl, but he denies knowing Jesus. A second time he is challenged, while standing at the entrance to the home, but he again denies knowing Jesus. When challenged a third time, Peter again denies Jesus, and at that moment a cock crowed. Peter remembers Jesus' words to him, and so leaves the courtyard in tears.


"Godly sorrow .... leads to salvation and leaves no regret", 2Cor.7:10.


i] Context: See 26:1-16.


ii] Structure: Peter denies Jesus:

Setting, v69a;

Peter's three denials, v69b-74b;

The first denial, v69b-70;

The second denial, v71-72;

The third denial, v73-74;

Peter reaps his reward, v75.


iii] Interpretation:

Although not overly clear, it does seem that before the official gathering of the Sanhedrin in the Temple on the Friday morning, Jesus is initially interrogated by Caiaphas, the high priest, aided by a number of other religious authorities. If we accept John's account, this pre-trial interrogation takes place at the home of Annas, the former high priest. The home is probably a substantial building because Mark tells us that Peter is katw, "below", in the courtyard. This implies that it is a multi-storied building. The building is what we might call a villa, or hacienda, a square building with a central courtyard.

Peter's bravery is beyond question; he has entered the lion's-den and placed himself in serious danger, but as he sits beside a fire warming himself (cf., Mark), a young female servant suggests that he is kai, "also" with "Jesus the Galilean." Peter denies the accusation and moves to the entrance of the home where he is again challenged. Mark seems to suggest that it is the same woman, although Mathew has allh, "another" servant girl. Peter again denies the charge, this time with an oath. Sometime later Peter is again called out as one of Jesus' disciples. His uncouth country accent has given him away, but he again denies the charge, "calling down curses on himself if he was not", Barclay.

Luke tells us that at the moment when the cock crowed, Jesus turns and looks straight at Peter, cf., Lk.22:61. It may be the moment when Jesus is led away for his formal arraignment before the Sanhedrin. Of course, Peter is devastated, broken by the experience, and so moves outside and bursts into tears. "The crowing of the cock reminds him of his earlier boast and he realizes how far he has fallen short", France.


iv] Synoptics:

Matthew's account is again very similar to Mark, but as D A note, it aligns with Luke in three particular ways: First, the cock crows only once; Second, the second denial presents in direct speech; Third, both end with "and going out he wept bitterly." Streeter and others argue that this is further evidence that Luke used Matthew (or visa-versa??). Such may be the case, in fact, Luke may have had Matthew and Mark before him. There is still much to support the view that they are all relying on the Semitic oral tradition founded in the early church by the apostles, possibly first documented in a proto-Mark.

Text - 26:69

Peter denies Jesus, v69-75: i] Setting, v69a. Morris suggests that John is comparing Peter's faithfulness with that of Jesus' faithfulness. This may be the case, although it is unlikely that John's use of de at this point can substantiate the argument, cf. Morris, note p.688.

de "Now" - but/and [peter was sitting outside in the courtyard]. The main verb is imperfect, this with de indicates a transitional step in the narrative to a new scene concurrent with the former scene.


ii] Peter's denials of Jesus, v69b-74a. Matthew's account of the girl's words are straight forward, although in John's account they seem facetious. As Morris notes, the fact that the person who makes the statement is a servant / slave, as well as being a young woman, indicates that this is not a serious charge. Even the title "Jesus, the Galilean", has little weight and is somewhat derogatory (this man comes from the other side of the tracks). Peter's denial may well be facetious, but at least it is evasive. In Australian parlance Peter's reply could easily be a wink-wink, nod-nod, say no more! It's all in the tone; "Who me?" However we may take Peter's reply, it sets him on a disastrous path.

autw/ dat. pro. "[came to] him" - [and one young woman, slave girl came to] him [saying]. Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to come to."

kai "[you] also" - and [you were]. Adverbial, ascensive, "even you", but more likely adjunctive, "you also, as well as .....", as NIV, cf., Gundry. But how "also"? "You as well as the disciple who gained entry for you were with Jesus", cf., John's gospel; "You as well as Judas were ......"; etc.

meta + gen. "with [Jesus]" - with [jesus]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

tou Galilaiou (oV) gen. "of Galilee" - of the galilee. The article here indicates that the noun is not serving as an adjective, "Jesus of Galilee", but that it serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "Jesus", genitive in agreement with Jesus; "Jesus, the Galilean", ESV - "Jesus, the man from / native of Galilee."

legousa (legw) pres. part. "[she] said" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to come to"; "came to him and said."


de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step to a new speaker / dialogue transition.

legwn (legw) pres. part. "he said" - [he denied before all = everyone] saying [i do not know what you are saying]. Attendant circumstance participle, redundant, expressing action accompanying the verb "to deny"; "he denied it ..... and said"


Peter's second denial, v71-72. Verbal evasion is followed by physical evasion, but the gateway of the villa is no less crowded, so France. The second accusation comes again from a female, probably another female servant. This time the accusation is weighted, not implied. It is also disparaging of Jesus; "this fellow", a man from that notorious town of Nazareth in Galilee. Peter's denial is strident and he follows it up with an oath (what happened to "let your yes be yes, and no be no"?). There is some irony in Peter using an oath to strengthen his words, given that the high priest has just done the same.

de "then" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

exelqonta (exercomai) aor. part. "he went out" - having gone out [to the gate]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "And when he went out to the entrance", ESV. See Olmstead re. an attributive classification.

allh adj. "another servant girl" - another one [saw him]. Mark implies that it is the same girl, but Matthew says it is another female, possibly a servant girl.

legei (legw) pres. "said" - [and] says. An interesting use of the historic / narrative present tense, possibly indicating the middle point of the accusations against Jesus, so Nolland.

toiV dat. "[said] to the people" - to the ones [there, this one was]. The article serves as a substantive, dative of indirect object.

meta + gen. "with" - Expressing accompaniment / association.

tou Nazwraiou (oV) gen. "[Jesus] of the Nazareth" - The article here indicates that "of Nazareth" serves as a substantive, genitive in apposition to "Jesus"; "Jesus the Nazarene."


palin adv. "again" - [and] again [he denied]. Sequential adverb.

meta + gen. "with [an oath]" - with [and oath, i do not know the man]. Expressing association / accompaniment.


Peter's third denial, v73-74. "Having lied twice, Peter is forced to lie again, this time with with more oaths. Immediately the rooster crows, a bitter reminder", Carson.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

meta + acc. "after" - after [a little period of time]. Temporal use of the preposition; "A little later", Berkeley. Luke says "About an hour later", 22:59.

oiJ eJstwteV (iJsthmi) perf. part. "those standing there" - the ones having stood. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the participle "having approached." "The bystanders", Barclay.

proselqonteV (prosercomai) aor. part. "went up to" - having come to, approached [said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb to say; "approached and said to Peter."

tw/ Petrw/ (oV) dat. "to Peter" - Dative of indirect object.

allhqwV adv. "surely" - truly, assuredly, certainly. Adverb of manner. "Of course you are one of them", TEV.

kai "-" - [you are] and = also. Adverbial use of the conjunction, adjunctive; "also". Note the pronoun su, "you", is emphatic by position and use.

ex (ek) "one of [them]" - from [them]. Here serving as a partitive genitive, "one of them", as NIV.

gar "-" - for, because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Peter is obviously one of the disciples. "Your Galilean accent makes it obvious", Barclay. The implication is that most of Jesus' disciples are Galileans and not Judeans.

kai "-" - and = even [the speech = way of speaking, accent of you makes you clear, evident, manifest]. Adverbial use of the conjunction, ascensive, "even". "Peter, like the Ephraimites who were made to say 'Shibboleth' (Jud.12:5-6), is given away by his speech", D&A.


tote adv. "then" - Transitional use of the temporal adverb, indicating an immediate step in the narrative / action.

kataqematizein (kataqematizw) pres, inf. "[he began] to call down curses" - [he began] to curse [to swear]. As with omnuein, "to swear", the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to begin." "To curse" means" to invoke divine harm if what is said is not true"*, and "to swear" means "to affirm the truth of a statement by calling on a divine being to execute sanctions against a person if the statement in question is not true"*. The transitive use of the verbs imply an object and it is argued by some that the object is Jesus, ie., kataqematizw is used for anqamatizw which requires a direct object for the one cursed; see France. Matthew may be expressing an even stronger denial on the part of Peter, but the argument seems a step too far. "The probability is that Peter is calling on God to punish him if what he said was not true", Morris. "Then Peter got really nervous and swore, 'I don't know the man'", Peterson.

oJti "-" - saying that [i do not know the man]. Introducing the object clause of an assumed verb "to say" / dependent statement of direct speech.

euqewV adv. "immediately" - [and] immediatly [a cock crowed]. Temporal adverb expressing immediate action. Presumably the crow of a rooster at dawn, although it has been suggested that the crow is the sounding of the trumpet in the Roman barracks at the castle of Antonio for the third watch, 3 a.m. - the gallicinium "cockcrow".


iii] Peter reaps his reward, v75. Peter remembers Jesus' prophecy and, unlike the high priest, "does not rend his garments, but rends his heart", Hagner, re Gerhardsson. "We must interpret his bitter weeping as the beginning of repentance", D&A.

tou rJhmatoV (a atoV) gen. "[remembered] the saying" - [and peter remembered] the saying [of jesus]. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to think about again, recall again."

eirhkotoV (legw) perf. part. "had spoken" - having said. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the word"; "which he had said" = "that he had spoken previously", Quarles.

oJti "-" - that. The clause introduced by this conjunction may be classified as recitative, direct speech, or epexegetic, specifying the content of what Jesus said / prophesied.

prin + inf. "before [the rooster crows]" - before [a cock to crow you will deny me thrice, three times]. This construction expresses antecedent time, as NIV. "You will say three times that you do not know me", TEV.

exelqwn (exercomai) aor. part. "he went outside" - [and] have gone out [outside, he wept bitterly]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to weep", as NIV. In typical Semitic form the prepositional prefix is repeated, here with exw. "He went out and cried, and cried and cried", Peterson.


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