The rhythmic structure of 34, set in compound duple (6/4) time, has a suitably mocking feel to it. The choral music is fugal and very tightly knit, with 8 separate entries of the subject in the space of just 11 bars, reinforcing the unanimity felt by the crowd at this point, the four parts only coming together homophonically on the final exclamation of Judenkönig. (The literal translation of 34 is We greet you, dear King of the Jews, with the word lieber being somewhat sarcastically inserted.) Pilate, responsible you will remember for scourging Christ in movement 30, now brings him out to the crowd, dressed in the purple robe, and declares that he finds no fault with him. This enrages the crowd who call for crucifixion in no uncertain terms with a highly aggressive and charged contrapuntal passage in which the word kreuzige is set 110 times in just 24 frenetic bars. Again the four parts of the choir only sing the word together at its final statement. The oboe parts in this movement are very similar to those of the opening chorus, and consist of chains of suspensions over intervals of a second and a seventh. (This movement is C1 in the palindrome.) The music for 38 (D1) is almost legalistic, with each voice entering in turn and dogmatically parroting the previous one in strict imitation. Pilate makes one final attempt to release Christ, asking him from whence he came. When he receives no answer he asks Christ the question, Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee? Christ’s answer is set to a melodic phrase of the same shape.  


































Und die Kriegsknechte flochten eine Krone von Dornen und satzen sie auf sein Haupt und legten ihm ein Purpurkleid an und sprachen:

“Sei gegrüßet, lieber Jüdenkönig!”

Und gaben ihm Bakkenstreiche. Da ging Pilatus wieder heraus und sprach zu ihnen:

“Sehet, ich führe ihn heraus zu euch, daß ihr erkennet, daß ich keine Schuld an ihm finde.”

Also ging Jesus heraus und trug eine Dornenkrone und Purpurkleid. Und er sprach zu ihnen:

“Sehet, welch ein Mensch!”

Da ihn die Hohenpriester und die Diener sahen, schrieen sie und sprachen:

“Kreuzige, kreuzige!”

Pilatus sprach zu ihnen:

“Nehmet ihr ihn hin und kreuziget ihn; denn ich finde keine Schuld an ihm!”

Die Jüden antworteten ihm:

“Wir haben ein Gesetz, und nach dem Gesetz soll er sterben; denn er hat sich selbst zu Gottes Sohn gemacht.”

Da Pilatus das Wort hörete, fürchtet’ er sich noch mehr und ging wieder hinein in das Richthaus, und spricht zu Jesu:

“Von wannen bist du?”

Aber Jesus gab ihm keine Antwort. Da sprach Pilatus zu ihn:

“Redest du nicht mit mir?” Weißest du nicht, daß ich Macht habe, dich zu kreuzigen, und Macht habe, dich loszugeben?”

Jesus antwortete:

“Du hättest keine Macht über mich, wenn sie dir nicht wäre von oben herab gegeben; darum, der mich dir überantwortetet hat, der hat’s groß’re Sünde.”

Von dem an trachtete Pilatus, wie er ihr losließe. 

And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said:

“Hail king of the Jews!”

And they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them:

“Behold I bring him forth to you that ye may know that I find no fault in him.”

Then came forth Jesus, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them:

“Behold the man!”

When the chief priests therefore and the officers saw him, they cried out saying:

“Crucify him, crucify him!”

Pilate saith unto them:

“Take ye him and crucify him, for I find no fault in him!”

The Jews answered him:

“We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid and went again into the judgement hall and saith unto Jesus:

“Whence art thou.”

But Jesus gave him no answer. Then said Pilate unto him:

“Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee?”

Jesus answered:

“Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except that it were given thee from above; therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him.