May 2010
« Apr   Dec »
Subscribe to RSS Feed

Scriptural Difference Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus

on May 3rd, 2010 by Michael Betot
Welcome to my Blog. I hope you enjoy your time here. Check out my other sites at and

Holy Bible With CrossScriptural Difference Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus
A little view of the Easter Story

Many people believe or have an impression of what took place during the last days of Jesus’ life.  However, many of those ideas and impressions are created from movies, stories, and Sunday school.  I decided to take a look at the differences in the 4 Gospels as well as a look at the same story in the the Apocalypse of Peter, one of the documents found at Nag Hammadi.  We will also look at the Gospel of Peter, another early Christian text that was not included in Bible as we know it. 

It should be stated that all of the Gospels were written many years after the event. 
Most Bible scholars and Theologians agree to the following dates:
Mark: Written late 60s early 70s CE – About 40 years after the event
Matthew: 80s CE – About 50 years after the event
Luke: 90s CE, although some say it could be early into the 2nd century – Roughly 70 years after the event
John: The last of the Gospels written shortly after Luke in the early 2nd century, again more than 70 years after the Crucifixion

I have placed the scripture references in Chronological order of writing.  I have used the International Standard Version, with help of eSword software (Find a link on my homepage.)

Who Carries Jesus’ Cross?:
In the Passion narratives, did Jesus carry his own cross or not?

Mar 15:21  They forced a certain passer-by who was coming in from the country to carry Jesus’ cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Mat 27:32  As they were leaving, they found a man from Cyrene named Simon, whom they forced to carry Jesus’ cross.

Luk 23:26  As they led him away, they took hold of Simon, a man from Cyrene, as he was coming in from the country, and they put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

Joh 19:17  Carrying the cross all by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of a Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

Inscription on Jesus’ Cross:
There was an inscription on the cross used for Jesus — what did it say?

Mar 15:26  The written notice of the charge against him read, “The king of the Jews.”
Mat 27:37  Above his head they placed the charge against him. It read, “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.”
Luk 23:38  There was also an inscription over him written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “This is the King of the Jews.”
Joh 19:19  Pilate wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus from Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Jesus and the Thieves:
Some gospels say Jesus was crucified with two thieves, though the Romans never crucified thieves.

Mar 15:27  They crucified two bandits with him, one on his right and the other on his left.
Mat 27:44  Even the bandits who were crucified with him kept insulting him in the same way.
Luk 23:39-43  Now one of the criminals hanging there kept insulting him, saying, “You are the Christ, aren’t you? Save yourself and us!”  But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Aren’t you afraid of God, since you are suffering the same penalty?  We have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he went on to say, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 
**John and Acts actually say he did not ascend to heaven until 40 days after the resurrection
Joh 19:18  There they crucified him, along with two others, one on each side of him with Jesus in the middle.

Does Jesus Drink Wine or Vinegar on the Cross?:
Jesus is given a drink while he is on the cross, but what is the drink? The gospels use wine and vinegar in the KJV.  In the NIV they say wine and wine vinegar.  In ISV they use wine and sour wine.  So with this example we issue with interpretation as well as scriptural differences.

Mar 15:23  They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he wouldn’t take it.
Mat 27:48  So one of the men at once ran off, took a sponge, and soaked it in some sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink.
Luk 23:36  The soldiers also made fun of him, coming up and offering him sour wine
Joh 19:29-30  A jar of sour wine was standing there, so they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.    After Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Jesus and the Centurion:
Romans supposedly witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion, but what did they think about it?

Mar 15:39  When the centurion who stood facing Jesus saw how he had cried out and breathed his last, he said, “This man certainly was the Son of God!”
Mat 27:54  When the centurion and those guarding Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the other things that were taking place, they were terrified and said, “This man certainly was the Son of God!”
Luk 23:47  When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “This man certainly was righteous!”
Joh – No centurions are mentioned

The Women Who Watch the Curcifixion:
The gospels describe several woman as having followed Jesus around, but let’s look at their part of the crucifixion story.

Mar 15:40  Now there were women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of young James and Joseph, and Salome.
Mat 27:55  Now many women were also there, watching from a distance. They had accompanied Jesus from Galilee and had ministered to him.
Luk 23:49  But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, were standing at a distance watching these things.
Joh 19:25-26  Meanwhile, standing near Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he kept loving standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”

When Was Jesus Crucified?:
The crucifixion of Jesus is the central event of the Passion narrative, but the narratives don’t agree on when the crucifixion actually occurred.  What is the reason behind the differing timelines?

Mar 15:25  It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.
Joh 19:14  Now it was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about twelve noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your king!”  Then they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” The high priests responded, “We have no king but Caesar!”
Mat and Luk – It’s not stated when the crucifixion starts, but the “sixth hour” occurs during the crucifixion
Mat 27:45-46  Now from noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.   About three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”, which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Luk 23:44-45  It was already about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because the sun had stopped shining. And the curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two.

Jesus’ Last Words:
Jesus’ last words before dying are important, but no one seems to have written them down?  You have one version which is very much the man giving up, and another that is very Christ-like.  We will discuss this difference further at the end of this post.

Mar 15:34-37  At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?”, which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  When some of the people standing there heard this, they said, “Listen! He’s calling for Elijah!”  So someone ran and soaked a sponge in some sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink, saying, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down!”  Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
Mat 27:46-50  About three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”, which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  When some of the people standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”  So one of the men at once ran off, took a sponge, and soaked it in some sour wine. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink.  But the others kept saying, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.”  Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice again and gave up his spirit.
**Notice the difference in the two Gospels use of different Greek words for “God” — Matthew uses “Eli” and Mark uses “Eloi”
Luk 23:46  Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” After he said this, he breathed his last.
Joh 19:30  After Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Earthquake After the Resurrection:
Was there an earthquake at the time Jesus died?

Mat 27:51-53  Suddenly the curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks were split open, the tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised.  After his resurrection, they came out of their tombs and went into the Holy City and appeared to many people.

Mar, Luk, Joh - No earthquake is mentioned. No massive influx of formerly dead people or saints is mentioned in any historical records, which is strange given how monumental such an event would be.  Why is this never elaborated on further in the Gospels.  What happened to these risen Saints?

Gospel of Peter:

We only have today part of the Gospel of Peter, however what we do have contains a complete account of the crucifixion. The following translations are taken from the translation of the Gospel of Peter in “The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version” edited by R. J. Miller (HarperCollins, 1994, 3rd edition), which is a compilation of translations of various early gospels.

4. And they brought two criminals and crucified the Lord between them. But he himself remained silent, as if in no pain. And when they set up the cross, they put an inscription on it, “This is the king of Israel.” And they piled his clothing in front of him; then they divided it among themselves, and gambled for it. But one of those criminals reproached them and said, “We’re suffering for the evil that we’ve done, but this fellow, who has become a savior of humanity, what wrong has he done to you?” And they got angry at him and ordered that his legs not be broken so he would die in agony.

5. It was midday and darkness covered the whole of Judea. They were confused and anxious for fear the sun had set since he was still alive. For it is written that, “The sun must not set upon the one who has been executed.” And one of them said, “Give him vinegar mixed with something bitter to drink.” And they mixed it and gave it to him to drink. And they fulfilled all things and brought to completion the sins on their head. Now many went about with lamps, and, thinking that it was night, they laid down. And the Lord cried out, saying, “My power, my power, you have abandoned me.” When he said this, he was taken up. And at that moment, the veil of the Jerusalem temple is torn in two.

One of the keys of this text is the phrasing of Jesus being “taken up”.  In this text he is taken up while still on the cross.  Not after as described in Luke.

Coptic Gospel Apocalypse of Peter:

In this text Peter is having a vision, and in this vision a conversation with Jesus.

When he had said these things, I saw the multitude seize him. I said, “What do I see, O Lord! Are they really taking you away? Are you grasping at me? Who is this person I see, glad and laughing on the tree? And is it another one whose feet and hands they are striking at?”

The Savior said to me, “The person that you saw on the tree, the one who is glad and laughing, that is the living Jesus! The other one, into whose hands and feet they are driving spikes, that one is the body; he is the flesh-manifestation of the immortal being put to shame, the likeness perceived by the natural eye. Look at him, then look at me.”

I looked, and was much afraid and perturbed. In my confusion I said, “Lord, no one is looking at you. Let’s get out of here!” But he said to me, “Haven’t I told you to stay away from the blind? Can’t you hear that they don’t know what they are saying? They think that they have put my servant to shame, when in reality, they have hung the son of THEIR glory on the tree!”

Then I looked again and saw someone approaching that resembled the one who was laughing on the tree. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and I knew him then to be the Savior.

There was a great and searing light around and about him. And I perceived a multitude of luminescent and invisible angels blessing him. And when I looked at him, the Blessed One was revealed!

Is there a better explanation for the two versions seen in the canonized Gospels?  One in agony and saying God had forsaken him, and another telling God to forgive them, for they know not what they do.  It is a great example of seeing Jesus the man and Christ the Spirit or Divine.  I believe you see this throughout the Gospels.  Times were Jesus is acting out, as Jesus the Man.  Where at other times you see him behave as the Christ.

Look for other eBooks and articles on similiar subjects at my website:

Be Sociable, Share!
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Religion & Faith

One Response to “Scriptural Difference Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus”

  1. G M Corrigan says:

    Good stuff. You have done a good service for many who may not realize the value of seeing the scripture texts side by side. There’s a lot to be learned from this method and you are to be thanked for doing this.
    Just a few comments/concerns:
    to look at a book of Gospel parallels shows us how helpful this approach can be. But those books keep the choices limited. By including a number of different texts and translations, one could question how you chose (the authority by which you chose) those versions. For example, I would have included the NRSV as well as a Greek/English interlinear among my choices. Also, if you are going to include non-canonical texts, wouldn’t it make sense to include them consistently… i.e., for each passage, and not just occasionally?
    Also, you add commentary at times. That’s fair. But one my think that you have a “conclusion,” rather than simply presenting the various texts for others to then draw their own conclusions.
    And (this is really nit-picky, I admit) you begin by saying “welcome to MY blog.” Later, when you comment “so with this example WE issue with….” the plural indicates either that there is a group involved or you have joined the ranks of royalty during the time you wrote this blog. I admit, mea culpa, that my last comment is trivial but your blog, overall, is so well done, that something as small as my example stood out as a strange anomaly.
    As I say, you really have done a great job.
    Thank you for your good work!

Leave a Reply