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The Story of Crucifixion

Here we shall discuss some of the contradictions in the crucifixion story between the Gospels. When there is a trial in a court, to accept what the witnesses say, there must be no variation between what they are saying. However if there was a wide variation between what the witnesses say, we reject both narrations since there is no proof to overwhelm a witness over another. The variations between the writers of the Gospels prove that they didn’t witness what happened. These were stories present at their time, and everyone wrote what he heard, and these variations were a proof that the story of crucifixion in the Bible can’t be accepted.

Contradictions in the story of Jesus' crucifixion

Betrayal by Judas and Seizing Jesus:

One of the common variations between the Gospels is the way Judas handed Jesus to the Romans and the Jews. If we read the story in Matthew 26:47-51 and in John 18:3-12, we find that there is a large difference between the two stories. In Matthew, it says that once Judas came, he went and kissed Jesus, while in John, it says that Jesus asked them”whom you seek?”, and they answered him: “Jesus”, and when he said” I am he”, all this happened and Judas was only standing with them, and it couldn’t have happened that kissing him was in between because the verse in Matthew is very clear that Judas went straightway to kiss Jesus. And it’s clear in Matthew that the sign to know Jesus was the kiss. However we find that in John Jesus identified himself and only what Judas did is that he guided them to his place. Moreover, where did Matthew mention the event when that they fell as they heard Jesus saying “I am he”? Another difference between the two stories is that in Matthew, Peter cut the high priest’s servant’s ear after they seized Jesus. In John, Peter did that before they seize him.

Peter Denying Jesus

There are also variations in the story of Peter denying Jesus between Matthew 26:69-75 and Mark 14:66-72. We can here see some differences between the 2 Gospels, in Matthew, it tells that Jesus told Peter that he will deny him 3 times after the cock crows, while in Mark, it tells that Jesus told Peter that the cock will crow twice before Peter denies him thrice, and it couldn’t happen that Jesus tells both statements since the situation happened quickly (See Matthew 26:31-35, Mark 14:27-31). In Luke, the statement was much clearer that the cock will not crow before Peter denies him thrice (Luke 22:34 and Matthew 26:34), unlike Mark which tells that the cock crew before he denies him thrice (Mark 14:68). Also in Matthew it says that a maid and then another maid asked him, while in Mark it says that the same maid asked him twice.

The hour of crucifixion:

Another difficulty is regarding the hour of crucifixion:

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

John 19:14 Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold, your King!

So according to Mark, he was crucified at the third hour, while according to John, he was still at the Pilate at the sixth hour, the Christian commentators answer this by telling that what is told in Mark is in Jewish time at 9 am, while in case of John, this was by Roman time at six am, and so crucifixion was also at 9 am, but there are some problems with that conclusion, the first problem is that it is supposed that the writer of John according to Christians is the disciple John, who is Jewish, so it is not logical that he uses the Roman timing, especially that he was talking about the preparation of the Passover, and what is the need that the Holy Spirit reveals to Mark in Hebrew timing and to John in Roman timing? Besides, it is really a difficult possibility, otherwise how could it be that denying of Peter, the trial, then crucifixion happened only in 3 hours?