How can we know what was said (John 18:33-38)


This seems like an intimate conversation between Pilate and Jesus in John 18:33. How exactly can we be sure that John, or someone who would relay information to John knew exactly what Jesus and Pilate said?

The only explanation I’ve read is that Jesus was with the Disciples for 40 days after His death and therefore could have recounted some things that happened. I’m not sure if this is a strong enough position however.

Any thoughts?


:shrug: Maybe one of Pilate’s scribes became a Christian and related the interchange. Or Pilate’s wife Claudia, who seemed to know Jesus was holy.

It’s a good question. Though the answer is better. The truth of the scripture is more important than how it came to be.

I’ll be interested to see the other thoughts on this. :popcorn:


The Bible is The of Truth, that is why. Faith is all about trust, and if we can not believe in The Bible we can’t believe in The RCC because The Bible is the very foundation of our faith.
That is why we can, without hesitation, believe and know.


I’m also sure that Pilate, if he wished not to be blamed, had a little P.R. done on himself and spoke about it.


I wonder why you consider this to be not a strong enough position. Remember, both Jesus and his disciples were fully human and had lived and worked together intimately for around three years. It seems to me that the most natural thing in the world would be for the disciples to ask, as soon as possible, “What happened?”, and for Our Lord to have said the first-century equivalent of “Okay, this is how it went down…”


[size=]This question, moves me (and many) for many decades. Not only John 18, but many verses which are intimate dialogues - for instance the Angel who administers Jesus at the Garden of Olives. This and many other occurrences of the Bible, years ago where a real big problem in another Catholic Forum, when some asked:
If Jesus was alone there and his disciples asleep - nobody else about; how does the Gospel know what was going on and what Jesus said and prayed???

My many answers cumulated on my thoughts, that Jesus after His death and resurrection spoke to so many, and surely most to John and His Mother Mary - and many more. Once He spoke to over 500 (1Cor 15,6) And as John wrote in Joh 21,25 - Jesus did and taught and said unmatchably more than the (though little, but most essential) written down in the Gospel. The rest is up to our belief. If we need more evidence, we got no belief at all, and it’s simply a feast for atheists, to use suchlike arguments of “Nobody witnessed it” as lever to make the Gospel doubtful :frowning:

But we do own a lot more than eye- and ear-witnessed Gospels. We got Whitsun; the teaching and outpouring of the Holy Spirit as well as the administration, management, guidance and auspices of the Holy Spirit. In many art-works pictured also as Angels, leading the writing hand of the Evangelists.
In the Old Covenant we got a lot told by God Himself. So why not in the New Covenant all the same?!
If all truths need another confirmation through witnesses, we are a poor lot.

Furthermore - if we instead of owning belief and absolute trust in God (to believe something - in this case things between God and us), but instead we’d ask God for prove and evidence, we actually don’t owe even two cents of belief. Anything more impertinent thinkable than asking for evidence and prove from God? Definitely not! Jesus cited in Matt 4,7: 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God!"



Saint Paul was not in the upper room at the Last Supper. Yet, he wrote in more detail concerning the Eucharist than did the Apostles who were actually there. 1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread…”

This is also demonstrated in Jesus’ response to Peter’s statement of faith occurred in Matthew 16:17 "And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

In like manner, it could very well have been via direct revelation.


A bit of a caveat here. The Bible is not the foundation of the RCC. It is one of the three foundations of our beliefs along with Sacred Tradition, from which Scripture came, as well as the living Magisterium in the persons of the bishops in union with the pope.

The Bible is a written witness to God’s work in the world, firstly in the Prophets and Patriarchs of the OT and then in the Church in the NT. The authors of the NT got their material from their own eye witness accounts as well as those of others. Not everything we believe is explicitly written down in the Bible, either. Much came down to us orally and was written down from what the Apostles taught by preaching and teaching.

So, we don’t need to know precisely who heard what conversations or how it came to the authors of the Gospels and the rest of the NT. We only need to know what is approved by the Church for us to read as Holy Scripture, which was compiled, not to prove doctrine but for the liturgies of the Church.

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