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More on the Third/Sixth Hour  Farrell Till
 May 27, 2003 20:14 PDT 

Schmuel quite smugly thinks that he has found a solution to the discrepancy
in Mark 15:25, which says that Jesus was crucified at the third hour, and
John 19:14, which says that it was "about" the sixth hour when Pilate
ordered Jesus to be taken away and crucified. In an earlier post, I showed
that Schmuel's Lightfoot "solution" falls apart when its major components
are compared to what the KJB says about the crucifixion. I will now show
that even if Schmuel could make Lightfoot's solution compatible with John
19:14, he would have accomplished nothing but create other inconsistencies
and discrepancies in the resurrection narratives.

As I noted in my reply to Schmuel's Gulf-of-Aqaba theory, an "apologist"
accomplishes nothing if he postulates an explanation to a discrepancy that
does not harmonize with all other biblical passages. If, for example, an
apologist proposes a solution to a discrepancy in passages A, B, and C, he
does not resolve the discrepancy if his solution conflicts with passages X,
Y, and Z. In other words, if a solution to a discrepancy in passages A, B,
and C is incompatible with passages X, Y, and Z, the would-be apologist has
accomplished nothing but to create a solution to the A, B, C problem at the
expense of X,Y, and Z. When this happens, the inerrancy of the Bible
remains unproven.

For the sake of argument, let's suppose that Schmuel's Lightfoot solution
proved impregnable. It didn't, but let's just suppose that it did. In
that case, Schmuel would have proven that the Sanhedrin tried Jesus at the
third hour but that he wasn't crucified until the sixth hour.

Okay, with that concession, what is Schmuel going to do about the following
texts from the synoptic gospels?

 Matthew 27:45 Now from the SIXTH HOUR there was darkness over all the
land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the SIXTH HOUR was come, there was darkness over the
whole land until the ninth hour.

If Jesus wasn't crucified until the sixth hour, then that would mean that
the three hours of midday darkness fell as soon as he was put on the cross.
We are accustomed by now to inerrantist quibbling,. so we should expect to
see Schmuel quibbling that John 19:14 said that it was "about the sixth
hour." Well, Luke's account of the midday darkness, which I am quoting
from Schmuel's inerrant KJB, says that the midday darkness fell at "about
the sixth hour."

 Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over
all the earth until the ninth hour.

So John 19:14 says that about the sixth hour, Pilate shouted to the mob,
"Behold your king," after which "delivered he him [Jesus] therefore unto
them to be crucified" (v:16) The next two verses say that they took Jesus
and led him away,.bearing his cross into a place called the place of a
skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha, :where they crucified
him. Doing all of this would have taken time, and it was "about the sixth
hour" when Pilate released Jesus to be crucified.

According to the synoptic accounts, from the time that Pilate shouted to
the crowd, "Behold your king," until he was crucified, the following events

1. The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, stripped
him, and put a scarlet (purple) robe on him (Matt. 27:27; Mark 15:16-17).

2. The soldiers platted a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus's head
(Matt. 27:28; Mark 15:17).

3. The soldiers mocked Jesus by saluting him and saying, "Hail, King of
the Jews" (Matt. 27:29; Mark 15:18).

4. The soldiers spat on Jesus and beat him on the head with a reed (Matt.
27:30; Mark 15:19).

5. The soldiers removed the scarlet (purple) robe they had put on Jesus
and dressed him in his own garments (Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20).

6. The soldiers then led Jesus away to be crucified (Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20).

7. The soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus's cross (Matt.
27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26).

8. The soldiers led Jesus to Golgotha, where they gave him wine and gall
(vinegar) to drink (Matt. 27:33-34; Mark 15:23; Luke 23:33).

9. They crucified Jesus (Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33).

10. Jesus said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do"
(Luke 23:34).

11. The people passing by and the chief priests mocked Jesus (Matt.
27:39-42; Mark 15:29-32).

12. Jesus had a conversation with the two thieves who were crucified
with him (Luke 23:39-43).

All of these things happened from "about the sixth hour" when Pilate said,
"Behold your king," yet the three hours of midday darkness fell at "about
the sixth hour" too (Luke 23:44). Who, except a dyed-in-the-wool KJV
inerrantist could believe it?

So even if Schmuel's Lightfoot solution to the problem in Mark 15:25 could
be made to work, all Schmuel would accomplish would be to find a solution
to a discrepancy at the expense of all the synoptic passages that detailed
the above events that happened after Pilate had released Jesus (at about
the sixth hour) to be crucified.

Farrell Till
The Skeptical Review Online
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