ABC:Mark 15

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Verse 17

Jim Meritt of Infidels.org claims there is a contradiction here in his section "What was the color of the robe placed on Jesus during his trial?"[1] TheThinkingAtheist.com also claims this is a contradiction in the section "What Color Robe Was Jesus Given?"[2]

Matthew 27:28 And <kai> they stripped <ekduo> him, <autos> and put on <peritithemi> him <autos> a scarlet <kokkinos> robe. <chlamus>

Mark 15:17 And <kai> they clothed <enduo> him <autos> with purple, <porphura> and <kai> platted <pleko> a crown <stephanos> of thorns, <akanthinos> and put it about <peritithemi> his <autos> head,

Meritt is apparently ignorant of the fact that the original Gospels were not written in modern English but in Greek. "Purple" and "scarlet" are English words chosen by the KJV translators in an attempt to correspond to the Hebrew words kokkinos and porphura. As defined by Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:

"4209. porfura porphura, por-foo'-rah

of Latin origin; the "purple" mussel, i.e. (by implication) the red-blue color itself, and finally a garment dyed with it:--purple."[3]

"2847. kokkinov kokkinos, kok'-kee-nos from 2848 (from the kernel-shape of the insect); crimson-colored:--scarlet (colour, coloured)."[4]

Kokkinos and porphura are of course Greek words, not English, and may be more synonymous than our English terms purple and scarlet. Even if the colors were different the robe may have been multi-colored. Regardless, there is no contradiction apparent here.

Verse 20

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments in the section, "Who Carried Jesus’ Cross?"[2]

Mark 15:20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
22 ¶ And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

Simon of Cyrene carried the cross

John 19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

Jesus carried the cross.

They both carried it. The "ThinkingAtheist" sneakily omits mentioning the corresponding Matthew 27 verses which show that Simon did not start out carrying the cross. First Jesus was led away to be crucified, and Simon was pressed into service to bear the cross, presumably after Jesus, who had been scourged, beaten, and tortured, was unable from fatigue to carry the cross the entire way.[5]

Matthew 27:31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

As further observed by Ty Benbow of Answers in Genesis:

"So then, why does John not offer the same details as Matthew? A possible consideration takes into account the impact Passover would have had on Jerusalem. The population of the city would have swelled to a number higher than any normal week. Thus, it would have been virtually impossible for John or Matthew to follow Jesus every step of the way from conviction to crucifixion. John likely recorded Jesus carrying the crossbeam through the city streets, where he was able to see Jesus. Likewise, Matthew likely recorded Roman officials ordering Simon the Cyrene to carry the crossbeam from outside the gates to Golgotha from his vantage point. Both observations are accurate, and both add a rich depth and power of the final hours of Jesus."[6]

Verse 23

Jim Meritt of Infidels.org claims there is a contradiction here in his section "What did they give him to drink?"[1]

Matthew 27:34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Meritt is just making himself look silly here in two different ways.

First, by not knowing what vinegar is. If he's going to accuse the Bible of contradictions he should at least do some minimal research on what he's talking about. Vinegar is essentially sour wine. The word translated 'wine' in Mark 15:23 from the original Greek text is "oinos" while the word translated 'vinegar' in Matthew 27:34 is the Greek word "oxos", they are defined by Strong's Exhaustive Concordance as follows:

"3631. oinov oinos, oy'-nos a primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin (3196)); 'wine' (literally or figuratively):--wine. See Hebrew 03196 (yayin)"[7]

"3690. oxov oxos, oz-os from 3691; vinegar, i.e. sour wine:--vinegar. See Greek 3691 (oxus)"[8]

Secondly, even if vinegar and wine weren't essentially synonymous, Mark 15 actually says separately that Jesus was given vinegar (not just the wine mentioned earlier). Meritt apparently never even bothered reading the rest of the chapter, just assumed he'd found a contradiction, thinking that vinegar wasn't the same as wine and was being referred to.

Mark 15:36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

Meritt made himself look bad twice in one alleged contradiction, that's pretty tough to do.

Verse 25

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments in the section, "When Was Jesus Crucified?":[2]

Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

The third hour, as noted in the Amplified Bible, is 9am

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
16 ¶ Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

The sixth hour is Noon.

The crucifixion proceedings began back on the 3rd hour (Mark 15:25) but the crucifixion itself did not begin until after the 6th hour. Confusion occurs because it simply says "crucified" to refer to the crucifixion proceedings/trial, including the scourging and mockery of Mark 15:15-21. The actual crucifixion itself coincided with the darkness over the land lasting from the 6th to 9th hours, beginning with the start of the crucifixion and ending with Jesus' death on the cross. For an exact timeline, see the note for Matthew 12:40.

Verse 32

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments in the section, "Where was Jesus on the sixth hour of the crucifixion?":[2]

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
33 ¶ And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Christ was already on the cross at 9am.

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

It was 9am as Jesus was being judged at Pilate’s palace.

The confusion here occurs because of the phrase "they that were crucified." The crucifixion proceedings began back on the 3rd hour (Mark 15:25) but the crucifixion itself did not begin until after the 6th hour. Confusion occurs because it simply says "crucified" to refer to the crucifixion proceedings/trial, including the scourging and mockery of Mark 15:15-21. The actual crucifixion itself coincided with the darkness over the land lasting from the 6th to 9th hours, beginning with the start of the crucifixion and ending with Jesus' death on the cross. For an exact timeline, see the note for Matthew 12:40.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "thinkatheist" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "thinkatheist" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "thinkatheist" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. 4209: porphura. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/greek/4209.htm.
  4. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. 4209: porphura. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/greek/2847.htm.
  5. Did Jesus or Simon of Cyrene carry the cross? Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.
  6. Benbow, Ty (2013, July 30). Who Really Carried the Cross of Jesus? Answers in Genesis.
  7. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. 3631:oinos. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/greek/3631.htm.
  8. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. 3690: oxos. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/greek/3690.htm.