New Testament Bible Class

People of Jesus’ Burial and Resurrection, John 19-20

People of Jesus’ Burial and Resurrection as found in John 19:38-20:18


Joseph of Arimathea


·          A native of Arimathea, probably the Ramah of the Old Testament (1 Sam. 1:19),

·          a man of wealth, and

·          a member of the Sanhedrim (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:50),

·          an “honorable counselor, who waited for the kingdom of God.”


Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:43, Luke 23:51, John 19:38


Pontius Pilate

·          Sixth Roman procurator of Judea (A.D. 26-36).

·          His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he frequently went up to Jerusalem.

·          His reign extended over the period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ, in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent notice.

·          Pilate was a “typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt.

·          He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery.

·          He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and ever-smoldering revolt, was a dreary residence.

·          When he did visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to occupy the

·          After his judgment of Jesus Christ, Pilate’s name disappears from the Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the Acts of the Apostles (3:13; 4:27; 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13.

·          In A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, according to tradition, he committed suicide.



·          A Pharisee and

·          A member of the Sanhedrin.

 John 3:1-21, John 7:45-52, John 19:39



Mary Magdalene

·          Introduced in Luke’s Gospel immediately following his story about a “sinful woman,” But since Luke introduces her in an almost formal manner at that point, it is unlikely that she is the same person.

·          Luke says that seven demons had gone out of her (The number seven probably emphasizes either the seriousness or a recurrent nature of her condition.)

·          Magdala was a fishing port. Its name means “tower” and some people called it “fish tower.” It probably became the modern city of Mejdel on the shore of Lake Tiberius.  Years ago it was destroyed (probably more than once) and some rabbis attributed the city’s fall to its licentiousness.

·          Mary Magdalene might have been tainted by the unsavory reputation of her hometown.

·          Other than her hometown and previous seven demons, nothing negative is mentioned in the Scriptures about her.

·          What is mentioned is the fact that she follows Him, supports Him, is courageously present at Christ’s death and even burial, and is accorded perhaps Jesus’ greatest tribute–a personal, post-resurrection appearance.

·          In Luke 8:3 is identified as one of the women who “ministered to Christ of their substance.”

·          These women accompanied him also on his last journey to Jerusalem (Matt. 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55).

·          They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph’s tomb.

·          The risen Lord appears to her.  This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala, who now returned to Jerusalem.

·          The idea that this Mary was “the woman who was a sinner,” or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless.

 Luke 8:1-3, Mark 15:40, Mark 15:47, John 19:25, Matthew 27:56, Matthew 27:61, Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Mark 16:9, Luke 24:10, John 20:1, John 20:18


Simon Peter, the Apostle

·          Originally called Simon, a very common Jewish name in the New Testament.

·          Had a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus (John 1:40-42).

·          His native town was Bethsaida, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged.

·          Was trained to the occupation of a fisher.

·          Renamed “Cephas” by Jesus, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means stone. The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him

·          Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all the advantages of a religious training, but they did not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before the Sanhedrin, he looked like an “unlearned man” (Acts 4:13).

·          Called by Jesus to become one of the Twelve.


St. John the Apostle

 ·          Brother of James the “Greater” (Matt. 4:21; 10:2; Mark 1:19; 3:17; 10:35). References: 

·          He was one, probably the younger, of the sons of Zebedee (Matt. 4:21) and Salome (Matt. 27:56; comp. Mark 15:40),

·          His father was apparently a man of some wealth (comp. Mark 1:20; Luke 5:3; John 19:27). When he grew up he followed the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee.

·          He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the ordinary education of Jewish youth.

·          Jesus called John and his brother James to become one of the Twelve.

·          He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. In zeal and intensity of character he was, with his brother, named a “Boanerges” (Mark 3:17) “sons of thunder”.

·          At the betrayal he and Peter follow Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty flight (John 18:15).

·          At the trial he follows Christ into the council chamber, and thence to the praetorian (18:16, 19, 28) and to the place of crucifixion (19:26, 27).


 NIV Self-Study Bible, Lutheran Cyclopedia at,






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