John’s linguistics are strange and difficult to picture in this verse compared with his word usage in other parts of his writings:
…where they staked him, and with him two others, here and here, but the middle, the Jesus.
John 19:18 literal
What does “here and here” mean? This is weird. Elsewhere, John is a little more descriptive with similar language:
In the middle of the broad/wide-way of her and of the river, here and there a wood of zoe-life making twelve fruits…
Rev. 22:2 literal
In this instance John uses enteuthen and ekeithen which mean here and there. In John 19:18 he repeats enteuthen and enteuthen.
Language to describe “sides” is not used in these passages. It is said that “middle” implies “two sides” but this is conjecture. Middle (Grk. #3319 mesos) has a broad usage and can be used for “sheep in the middle of wolves” Matt. 10:16, “the wicked in the middle of the righteous” Matt. 13:49, “the middle of the sea” Mark 6:47, or “the middle of the city” Luk. 21:21.
This matters when there is a more specific word metaxu #3342 that means “between”.
Whatever kind of cryptic picture John is trying to paint, he doesn’t seem to be describing to us two people crucified on each side of Jesus as the tradition states.