XIIa.2. Was Christ Before Pilate At the Sixth Hour; or On the Cross?

Question:  In my study of the harmony of the Gospels, I have run into a real snag. In John 19:14,15, Christ was before Pilate at about the sixth hour; but, in Matthew 27:44,45, Christ was on the cross at the sixth hour. How could He be both places at the same time?

Answer:  Remember one important thing. The Jews reckoned their time of day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Roman time was reckoned from midnight to noon to midnight, the same as we do today. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all use the Jewish time; whereas, John uses the Roman time. From John 18:28 to 19:15, Christ had been all night before Pilate and it was "about the sixth hour" (i.e. the Roman time of 6 a.m. in the morning.). Then, in John 19:16, Christ was delivered to be crucified. Now Matthew 27:45,46; Mark 15:33,34; and Luke 23:42-46 all record, in harmony, that Christ is on the cross at the sixth hour, which would be twelve o’clock noon in Jewish time. (The sixth hour from the Jewish beginning of day at 6 a.m. would be noon.)

The Gospel of Mark gives the complete picture concerning the time. Mark 15:25, Christ was put on the cross at the third hour (9 a.m.). In Verse 33, at the sixth hour or noon, there was darkness over the whole land. Then, in Verses 34-37, He submitted himself unto death at the ninth hour (3 p.m.).

There is no contradiction at all. Always remember Matthew, Mark, and Luke use the Jewish time and John uses the Roman time. This shows the Gospels are in perfect harmony as all Scripture is given by the "inspiration of God." (2 Timothy 3:16).

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" -- 2 Timothy 3:16


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