The Life of Jesus Site index

Work in progress. Still adding, reorganizing and correcting.
Press F5

1. Main page

2. Jesus’ timeline

3. Herod 1BC

Reign of a king

Tiberius + Philip

Herod’s death  

War of Vares  



4. Conception

5. Birth date

John born

Bible and stuff


6. Circumcision

7. Star of Bethlehem


8. 12 years

9. Baptism

10. Arrest - Omer

Jesus in prison?

3 days + 3 nights

Peter’s denials

Misc / unsorted

Pilate & Sejanus

23 Sept. 2017

This page was last updated on 21 June, 2019.

Was Jesus in prison?

Casual reading seems to show Jesus was arrested during the night and crucified the next morning. Fact or fiction?

Filing a petition for meeting Pilate

It would require a written petition, at least a day,  in advance to let Pilate try Jesus. Of course it can be argued they were convinced they would arrest Him after they struck a deal with Judas.
Maybe so, but it’s also likely they didn’t know for sure because we know, they knew Jesus’ somehow always escaped the traps they set for Him. Would they risk Pilate’s fury for not showing up at the hearing? Quite likely this is proof they filed a petition in the morning after His arrest, informing Pilate they would visit him the next morning on Passover day.

Conclusion: Nearly a calendar day in prison.

Pilate’s wife was a prophetess?

Matthew 27:19 Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.

Jesus was arrested (hours) after midnight when Pilate and his  wife likely were asleep. Early in the next morning the priests arrive at Pilate’s place with Jesus. Did Pilate’s wife had a prophetic dream about Jesus that night, so she knew Jesus was/would be arrested?

Or did she know before she went to bed that Jesus would stand before her husband the next morning because the priests filed a petition?

Conclusion: Nearly a calendar day in prison (likely).

Jewish law

Jewish law demanded that a court hearing concerning a death sentence should take place during daylight.

The confirmation of the verdict should be given the next day.

This simple fact means He was kept in prison for a whole day between those two court sessions.

More details can be found here - click

Conclusion: Nearly a calendar day in prison.

A verse

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be ...

... delivered into the hands of sinful men, ...

... and be crucified, ...

... and the third day rise again.


Conclusion: Nearly a calendar day in prison.

Argument from silence.

Scripture makes I very clear:

That makes me wonder why it’s not mentioned the hearing(s) were illegal because they took place during night?

I can only think of two reasons:

With that second statement I shot down my own argument, didn’t I? :-)

That’s how I am, I review all arguments and that’s one of them. But when I consider all those things my conclusion is:

Conclusion: Nearly a calendar day in prison.

A verse          

Matt 25:36 … I was in prison, and you visited me.

 It can be argued the passage where this verse is part of, shouldn’t be understood literally. I’m not going to argue about that but let’s say:


Conclusion: Vague but certainly not debunking the ‘prison idea’.     

Scripture (corrupted)

Well I have to admit this is (currently) a nut that’s to hard to crack for me.

I’ve read the attempts from scholars to harmonize the court procedings and align everything into a nice timeline. All of them clearly failed when I introduce the anchorpoints I used for my own research. And yeah my own research failed too. The only solution is the scholary view that copies of the manuscripts descriping these events are corrupted. I don’t really want to take that road. But if I did I could use it as proof for my day in prison view. Actually it requires onlu 2 Mark’s verses to me marked as corrupted.        

Conclusion: None       

Final thoughts

I think this page gives a fair bit of proof to support my view. More on another page.

What still bugs me is the very short time the events on crucifixion day have to be crammed in. At dawn the priests had a final hearing. Took Jesus to Pilate. Pilate talked to Jesus, Jesus was brought before Herod who ‘questioned Him with many words’ (lenghty). Then Herod took time to mock Jesus by putting a royal robe on Him. Then Jesus was brought back to Pilate who flogged Him. Then Pilate tried to release Jesus instead of  Barabbas. Plus some more interaction between Pilate and the priests/crowd. Then the walk to the crucifixion site. That site wasn’t very far and His cross was carried by someone else. But still it’s my impression it still took some time because someone who collapses isn’t a fast walker.

Point being, did all those events fit in the first 3 hours of the day?

I have no evidence to claim the opposite but still is a thought I have...