Passion-Resurrection Narrative

III. Structure


By comparing the Passion-Resurrection narratives in all four gospels, we can glean what they shared in common. By contrasting these passages, we can determine the separate traditions each evangelist drew upon and how they redacted these sources. This reconstruction is hypothetical; it relates a narrative the church communities could have celebrated in the early to mid post-apostolic era, between the appearance of Mark and that of John several decades later.

I based the reconstruction on the criteria of multiple attestation and, in places, embarrassment. I followed the narrative Mark presented since he was the first to put it in writing. I also tried to address the reason for its inclusion into the reconstruction. It consists of various levels of strength, from word-for-word phrases (in bold) to barely shared themes. Much of the reconstruction consisted of material shared in common, but some passages required special attention. The following grammatical parentheses indicate the various sources or questionable phrases in the reconstructed framework:




<Unusual or questionable>

A. Preparation for the Meal and the Last Supper

1. Mark 14:1-2: The Plot against Jesus at Passover.

Just before Pascha, the chief priests and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem to condemn Jesus because they were afraid the people might riot over HIM. Caiaphas was high priest at the time.

Case for Inclusion: Common. All details were mentioned in all four gospels.

Chief priests and scribes plotted against Jesus (Mark 14:1-2). These brief verses set the stage for the Passion Narrative with four themes:

a. The religious leaders gathered in Jerusalem (Matthew 26:4, Luke 22:2, Mark 14:2, John 11:47)

b. They came together because they feared a popular uprising (Mark 14:2, Matthew 26:5, Luke 22:2, John 11:48)

c. Caiaphas was identified as high priest (Matthew 26:3, John 11:49)

d. Passover was the time frame for the meeting (Matthew 26:2, Mark 14:1, Luke 22:1, John 13:1)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:1-2

1 After two days, there would be the Pascha and the (feast of the) Unleavened (Breads), and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how, seizing HIM by wily means, they could kill HIM. 2 For they kept saying, "Not during the festival, lest there will be a riot by the people."

Matthew 26:2a, 3-5

1 JESUS...said to HIS disciples, 2 "(You) know that after two days the Pascha happens...3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people came together in the palace of the high priest, the (one) being named Caiaphas. 4 (They) planned together so that (they) might seize JESUS with subtlety and execute (HIM). 5 But (they) said, " Not during the festival so that (there) might not be a disturbance among the people."

Luke 22:1-2

1 The festival of the Unleavened Bread, being called Pascha, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and scribes kept seeking (a way) how (they) might execute HIM, for (they) were afraid of the people.

John 11:47, 53, 13:1a

47 Thus, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together (as the) Sanhedrin.

49 One of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest that year...

53 Thus, on that day, (they) schemed together so they could kill HIM.

13:1a (the day) before the Pascha…

2. Mark 14:3-9: Anointing at Bethany.

<At Bethany, Jesus reclined for dinner. A woman entered, carrying pure myrrh nard, and poured it on his feet, then dried them with her hair, as a sign of repentance. Some there complained, "Why wasn't this myrrh sold for 300 denarii and the proceeds given to the poor." Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She's preparing for my burial. For always the poor (you) have with you, but you will not always have me.">

Case for Inclusion: Common but a questionable transition in the narrative.

The anointing of Jesus in Bethany marked a slight diversion in the narrative. A woman poured expensive perfumed oil on him. The gender of the person who acted and the cost of the oil caused controversy. But Jesus drew a conclusion for the incident about his pending death.

The different tellings of the story shared the following similarities:

a. Bethany was identified as place of anointing (Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3, John 12:1)

b. A woman (Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus in John) anointed Jesus with expensive perfume (pure myrrh nard).

1) In Matthew 26:7, Mark 14:3, the woman anointed Jesus' head, as a sign of welcome.

2) In Luke 7:38, John 12:3, the woman anointed Jesus' feet, as a sign of repentance. In John, the woman was identified as Mary; the evangelist paralleled this scene with the last one she appeared: the raising of her brother, Lazarus (John 11:32). In that scene, she again was at the feet of Jesus, making the observation: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Was she repenting for her doubt?

3) Luke presented the woman as the penitent, but also referred to anointing the head as a sign of hospitality (Luke 7:46).

c. There were complaints that the perfume ointment could have been sold for 300 denarii (Mark 14:5, John 12:5)

d. Jesus reproached the guest over controversy:

1) Then Jesus said, "Leave her (alone).

i. Mark 14:6, ho de Iēsous eipen Aphete autē

ii. John 12:7, eipen oun ho Iēsous Aphes autēn

2) You always have the poor with you

i. Mark 14:7 pantote gar tous ptōchous echete meth' heautōn

ii. John 12:8 tous ptōchous gar pantote echete meth' heautōn

3) will not always have me."

i. Mark 14:7 eme de ou pantote echete.

ii. John 12:8 eme de ou pantote echete.

e. Jesus commented on the anointing as a preparation for his burial (Mark 14:8b, John 12:7).

f. Not included in this reconstruction. Parable of the two borrowers, discussion on hospitality, forgiveness of the woman (Luke 7:40-50).

We could ask the question: do these verses belong here? Certainly Luke changed the setting and drew a different moral from his passage. But, several reasons exist to argue for its inclusion at this point. First, the anointing by a female foreshadowed the visit of women to the empty tomb on Easter, so it provided a sense of balance. Second, in the anointing in Luke 7:36-38 and John 12:3, woman repented; the sinner's gender and unusual act made the scene memorable. Third, Jesus made an explicit comment about the incident as a preparation for his burial. Finally, he made a striking comment about his pending absence; his statement was almost word for word between two different traditions: Mark and John.

The differences between Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-8 further argue for the inclusion of the passage in the oral narrative. Yes, Mark did write his gospel several decades before John and, yes, the existence of the former could have influenced the later. But the differences between the two versions argue against John either paraphrasing or freely copying directly from Mark. When we compare what was similar and what was different between Mark and John, not only in detail but in placement within the narrative, then add a third tradition (Luke), we can moderately conclude that the passage was set in the oral tradition.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:3-9

3 As HE was in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper, as HE reclined at table, a woman having alabaster (glass vessel) of expensive, pure myrrh nard, breaking (the neck of) the alabaster (vessel) open, poured it upon HIS head. 4 But some were complaining with each other, "Why is (there) this waste of myrrh? 5 For it was possible to sell this myrrh for more than three hundred denarii and give (the money) to the poor." They confronted her (in anger). 6 But JESUS said, "Leave her (alone). Why do you (cause) her weariness? She performed a good work for me. 7 For, you always have the poor with you and, whenever you wish, (you) are able to do good for them, but (you) will not always have me. 8 What (she) was able, (she) did. (She) prepared MY body with anointing for burial. 9 Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in all the world, what she did will be told in her memory.

Matthew 26:6-13

6 JESUS was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman, having an alabaster (glass vessel) of expensive myrrh, approached him and poured it on his head, while HE reclined (at table). 8 Seeing (this), the disciples became indignant, saying, "Why (is there) this waste? 9 For (it) was possible this (perfume) to be sold for a large (price) and (the money) to be given to the poor." 10 Learning (about their comments), JESUS said, "Why do (you) trouble the woman? For (she) performed a good deed for me. 11 For (you) always have the poor, but ME you do not always have. 12 For pouring this myrrh upon MY body, she prepared for (the time) to bury ME. 13 Amen I say to you, whenever this gospel is proclaimed in the entire world, what she did will be told in her memory."

Luke 7:36-40a

36 One of the Pharisees asked HIM, so that he might dine with HIM, and having come into the house of the Pharisee, HE reclined (at table). 37 Look! (there was) a woman, a sinner, who was in the city, and, having learned that HE was reclining at the house of the Pharisee, having brought (along) an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 having stood behind HIM at HIS feet, and weeping with (her) tears, she began to wet HIS feet and with the hair of her head she dried (them), she kissed HIS feet and anointed (them) with the perfume.

40a JESUS said to him, "Simon..."

John 12:1-8

1 Then, JESUS, on the sixth day before the Pascha, traveled into Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom JESUS raised from the dead. 2 Thus, (they) prepared diner for HIM there, and Martha was serving, but Lazarus was one reclining (at table) with HIM. 3 Then, Mary, taking a (Roman) pound of expensive pure myrrh nard, anointed the feet of JESUS and (she) wiped dry with her hair his feet. 4 But, Judas Iscariot, one [out] of his disciples, the (one) intending to betray HIM, said, 5 "Why (was) this myrrh not sold for three hundred denarii and (the money) given to the poor?" 6 He said this not because he cared for the poor himself, but because (he) was a robber and, having the (money) bag, (he) took out the (moneys) tossed (into it for himself). 7 So, JESUS said, "Let her (be), because for the day of MY burial, (she) kept it. 8 For (you) always have the poor with you, but ME (you) will not always have."

3. Mark 14:10-11: Betrayal by Judas.

{Satan entered into} Judas Iscariot who would betrayed Jesus.

Case for Inclusion:

a. Common: naming of Judas as betrayer (mentioned in all four gospels).

b. Luke-John: Satan entered Judas.

In all the gospels, these few verses identified Judas as the betrayer. The traditions of Luke and John explained why he turned Jesus over to the leaders: collusion with Satan. The detail of payment with silver pieces was not included, since it could be traced back to Mark.

a. Judas Iscariot was named as betrayer (Matthew 26:14, Mark 14:10, Luke 22:3, John 13:2).

b. Satan entered into Judas (Luke 22:3), that (man) (John 13:27)

1) Luke 22:3 Eisēlthen de Satanas eis Ioudan ("Satan went into Judas").

2) John 13:27 eisēlthen eis ekeinon ho Satanas ("Satan went into that one").

c. Not included in the reconstruction:

1) Meeting of Judas with priests (Mark 14:11, Matthew 26:14b-16a, Luke 22:4-6a)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:10

10 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, came to the chief priests so (he) could betray HIM to them.

Matthew 26:14a,16b

14 Then, one of the Twelve, the (one) called Judas Iscariot...15 sought a proper time so (he) could betray HIM.

Luke 22:3, 6b

3 Satan entered into Judas, the being called the Iscariot, being our of the number of the Twelve...4 sought an opportunity to betray HIM without a crowd with (the arrest party).

John 13:2, 26b-27

2 When there was supper, after the devil had already placed (the desire) into the heart of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, that he might give HIM over (to the leaders)...

26b Then, dipping the morsel (of bread, HE) [took (it) and] gave (it) to Judas the Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 After (receiving) the morsel, (he) entered into that (man), Satan...

4. Mark 14:12-16: Preparation for Passover meal

<Jesus instructed two disciples to enter Jerusalem, look for a man carrying a water jar and follow him to a house where their Passover would be celebrated.>

Case for Inclusion:

a. Narrative transition: It shifted the presence of Jesus and and his disciples from outside the city to inside, where they would celebrate the Last Supper.

b. Criteria of Embarrassment: The detail of the man carrying the water jar was unusual (Mark 14:13 and Luke 22:10). In the male dominated, gender segregated society of first century Palestine, only women fetched water, usually after dawn or before sunset. A man carrying such a jar in the middle of the day would stand out; because it was the menial, degrading work, the man was most likely a servant for a wealth family who hoped to gain honor for such a holy man as Jesus. From the narrative viewpoint, the signal indicated some level of secrecy; the Master and his followers did face opposition from the religious leaders.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:12-16

12 On the first day of the Unleavened (Breads), when the Pascha was sacrificed, HIS disciples said to HIM, "Where do you wish, going out, (that) we should prepare, so you can eat the Pascha?" 13 HE sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Going into the city, a man will meet you, carrying an earthen jar of water. Follow him 14 and, wherever he enters, say to the head of the household, 'The TEACHER says, "Where is MY guest room where I can eat the Pascha with MY disciples." 15 He will show you a large (upper) room, spread out (with carpets and reclining pillows) and ready. Prepare (the supper) for us there." The disciples went out, came into the city, found (the room) just as HE told them and prepared the Pascha.

Matthew 26:17-19

17 On the first (day) of the Unleavened (Bread), the disciples of JESUS approached, saying, Where do you want (us) preparing for YOU to eat the Pascha?" 18 HE said, "Go into the city to a certain (man) and say to him, 'The TEACHER says, 'MY time his near; at your (house) I will keep the Pascha with MY disciples."'" 19 The disciples did (just) as JESUS appointed them (to do) and they prepared the Pascha.

Luke 22:7-13

7 The day of the Unleavened Bread came, [upon] which the Pascha (lamb) was sacrificed. 8 (HE) sent Peter and John, saying, "Go, prepare for us the Pascha so we might eat (it). 9 (the (ones) said to HIM, "Where do (YOU) wish we should prepare (it)?" 10 The (LORD) said to them, "Look! When you enter the city, (he) will meet with you, a man bearing a jar of water. Follow him into the house, into (the dwelling) that he enters, 11 and said to the master of the house, 'The TEACHER says to you, "Where is the guest room where (I) might eat the Pascha with my disciples.'" 12 That (one) will show you a large upper room spread out (for dining). Prepare there." 13 Leaving, (they) found (it) just as (HE) told them and (they) prepared the Pascha.

5. Mark 14:17-21: Prophecy of Betrayal.

While Jesus and his disciples were at the Passover celebration, he said, "Amen, I say to you that one of you will betray me." His disciples reacted to the news and asked the identity of the traitor. He revealed Judas as the betrayer with the dipping of bread.

Case for Inclusion: Common for saying (word-for-word in Mark-Matthew and John; the dipping detail (in all four gospels).

During the Passover meal, Jesus predicted Judas would betray him; his statement was almost word-for-word. The sign would be the dipping of bread; in the Synoptics, Judas himself dipped the bread, while in John, Jesus offered dipped bread to the Iscariot.

a. Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me

1) Matthew 26:21 Amēn legō hymin hoti heis ex hymōn paradōsei me.

2) Mark 14:18 Amēn legō hymin hoti heis ex hymōn paradōsei me...

3) John 13:21 Amēn amēn legō hymin hoti heis ex hymōn paradōsei me.

b. Reaction among the disciples (Mark 14:19, Matthew 26:22, Luke 22:23, John 13:22)

c. Jesus indicates Judas dips food into dish (Synoptic: Matthew 26:23, Mark 14:20, Luke 22:21), Jesus dips food into dish and hands it to Judas (John 13:26).

d. Not included in the reconstruction:

1) Time frame for gathering (Mark 14:17, Matthew 26:20, Luke 22:14).

2) Jesus' desire to spend time with disciples (Luke 22:15).

3) Peter and beloved disciple discuss who will betray Jesus (John 13:22-24).

4) Prediction of death for the Son of Man and curse upon betrayer (Mark 14:21, Matthew 26:24, Luke 22:23).

5) Judas asked if he were the traitor and Jesus confirmed it (Matthew 26:25)

6) Disciples wonder why Judas left (John 13:28-30)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:18-20

18 Reclining for the meal with them and eating (with them), JESUS said, "Amen, I say to you that one of you eating with ME will betray ME." 19 They began to be distressed and , one after another, said to HIM, "Not I?" 20 (HE) said to them, "One of the Twelve, the (one) dipping (his bread) with me into the dish."

Matthew 26:21-23

21 While they were eating, (HE) said, "Amen, amen, I say to you that one of you will betray ME." 22 Becoming very distressed, each (one) of them began to say, "LORD, (it) is not I?" 23 Answering, (HE) said, "The one dipping his hand with me into the bowl, he will betray ME."

Luke 22:21, 23

21 Yet, Look! The hand of the (one) betraying ME (is) with ME upon the table (in intimate fellowship). 23 They began to question each other, which of them, thus, might want to do this (thing).

John 13:21-22, 26-27a

21 Saying these (things), JESUS was (greatly) troubled in spirit and testified and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you that one of you will betray ME." 22 The disciples looked at each other, being perplexed about which (of them) HE spoke of. 26 JESUS answered, "(It) is that (man) to whom I will dip the bread and give (it) to him." Then, dipping the bread, (HE) [took (it) and] gave (it) to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 After the bread, then, Satan went into that (man).

19:11b " ...the (one) handing ME over to you has the greater sin."

6. Mark 14:22-25: Last Supper.

Jesus having taken bread, having given thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, "This is MY body." JESUS, doing the same with the cup, said, "This is...the covenant of (or in) my blood."

Case for Inclusion: Based upon multiple traditions (1 Corinthians 11 and the Synoptics).

The words of Institution represent two traditions: Paul-Luke and Matthew-Mark. The reconstruction above compared and contrasted both. In the details below, the parentheses represent additions to the text to make it coherent in English; the braces mark a difference between the first and second texts (Paul vs. Luke; Matthew vs. Mark).

a. (Jesus) having taken bread, having given thanks, broke (it) and gave (it) to (his disciples) saying, "This is my body."

1) Paul-Luke Tradition "[JESUS] took [taking] bread, having given thanks, (HE) broke (it) and (HE) said [gave it to them saying], "This is MY body." (the verb "is" is present, so emphatic)

i. 1 Cor. 11:23-24 elaben arton kai eucharistēsas eklasen kai eipen Touto mou estin to sōma

ii. Luke 22:19 labōn arton eucharistēsas eklasen kai edōken autois legōn Touto estin to sōma mou

2) Matthew-Mark Tradition [JESUS] taking bread (and) blessing (it), (HE) broke (it) and [giving to the disciples] gave (it) to them and said "Take, [eat], this is MY body." (the verb "is" is present, so emphatic)

i. Matthew 26:26 labōn ho Iēsous arton kai eulogēsas eklasen kai dous tois mathētais eipen Labete phagete, touto estin to sōma mou.

ii. Mark 14:22 labōn arton eulogēsas eklasen kai edōken autois kai eipen Labete, touto estin to sōma mou.

In both traditions, four verbs precede the words over the bread: take, pray, break and give. The prayer in Paul-Luke was "eucharisteo" (give thanks, as in "We give you thanks, Lord God..."), while in Matthew-Mark, it was "eulogeo" (bless, as in "Blessed are you, Lord God..."). The difference between the two is minor. The words over the bread are word-for-word.

b. (Jesus, doing the same,) said, "This is...the covenant of (or in) my blood."

1) Paul-Luke Tradition "[Likewise] the cup, likewise, after the meal, saying "This the cup of the [new] covenant in MY blood."

i. 1 Cor. 11:25 hōsautōs kai to potērion meta to deipnēsai, legōn Touto to potērion hē kainē diathēkē estin en tō emō haimati.

ii. Luke 22:20 kai to potērion hōsautōs meta to deipnēsai, legōn Touto to potērion hē kainē diathēkē en tō haimati mou, [to hyper hymōn ekchynnomenon]. ("poured out for you.")

2) Matthew- Mark Tradition "Taking the cup and having blessed (it), (HE) gave it to them [saying "Drink out of it, all of you"], (they) drank out of it, all of them and said to them, "This is MY blood, the covenant being poured out for many [for the forgiveness of sins]."

i. Matthew 26:27-28 labōn potērion kai eucharistēsas edōken autois legōn Piete ex autou pantes , touto gar estin to haima mou tēs diathēkēs to peri pollōn ekchynnomenon eis aphesin hamartiōn

ii. Mark 14:23-24 labōn potērion eucharistēsas edōken autois, kai epion ex autou pantes. kai eipen autois Touto estin to haima mou tēs diathēkēs to ekchynnomenon hyper pollōn.

In the offering of the cup, Paul-Luke implied a taking, praying and giving, while Matthew-Mark made the repeat of the blessing implicit. The former did not mention the disciples drinking from the cup, while later placed the words of institution after the sharing, making the words a matter of fact. Paul-Luke emphasized the cup as the vessel of the new covenant, while Matthew-Mark pointed to the consuming of the wine as the sign of the new covenant. Nevertheless, the words of Institution linked the wine to the blood of Christ as THE sign of the new covenant. Luke and Matthew-Mark implicitly connected the Last Supper to the Crucifixion with the phrase "poured out for many [you]."

The words of Institution represented the earliest writing from the Passion Narrative. As mentioned before, Paul penned 1 Corinthians in 54-55 CE, but established the community about five years earlier. So we could place the tradition of the Last Supper at least to the late 40's CE. But, that piece of information begged the question, which tradition? Paul-Luke or a hypothetical one represented by the paraphrase above? We will have to wait before we can hazard a guess to the answer.

However, the hypothetical reconstruction did emphasize the taking, praying, breaking and offering of the bread with the identification, "This is my body." It also stressed the "new covenant of [in] my blood." In other words, the words of institution placed the self-giving of Jesus front and center; it also shifted the Passover meal from a celebration of past liberation (freedom from bondage in Egypt) to a ritual that looked forward to the Kingdom. In short, it was an apocalyptic sacrament centered on the suffering Messiah.

c. Not included in reconstruction:

1) Jesus declared he would not drink wine until the Kingdom comes (Mark 14:25, Matthew 26:29, Luke 22:16).

Gospel Passages:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

23 For I received from the Lord what I pass along to you, that on the night on which the Lord Jesus Christ was handed over (to the leaders), (he) took bread 24 and having given thanks broke (it) and said, "This is my body, the (one) on your behalf. Do this in my memory." 25 In the same way, the cup after the dining, saying, "This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink (it) in my memory."

Mark 14:22-24

22 As they were eating, taking bread, saying the blessing, (HE) broke (it) have gave (it) to them and said, "Take, this is MY body." 23 Taking the cup, saying the blessing, he gave (it) to them and all (of them) drank from it. 24 (HE) said to them, "This is MY blood of the covenant, to be poured out on behalf of the many."

Matthew 26:26-28

26 While they were eating, JESUS took bread and, having blessed (God for it), broke (it) and gave (it) to HIS disciples (and) said, "Take, eat, this is MY body." 27 Taking (a) cup, [and] blessing (God for it), (HE) gave (it) to them, saying, "Drink from it, everyone, 28 for this is MY blood, the covenant (in blood) being poured out for the many for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 22:19-20

19 Taking bread, blessing (it), (HE) broke (it) and gave (it) to them, saying, "This is my body, the (one) being offered up (in sacrifice) for you. Do this in memory of me." 20 The cup in the same way after (they) ate, saying, "This cup (is) the new covenant in MY blood being poured out for you.

B. At the Garden

1. Mark 14:26: Transition to the Garden.

Jesus and his disciples left the city, crossed the Kidron Valley and came to a garden on the Mount of Olives.

Case for Inclusion: Based upon the local names of the geography of the area and their proximity.

While two details of the sentence above came from different traditions (Mount of Olives from the Synoptics and the Kidron Valley from John), a quick look at the geography surrounding the Old City confirmed their proximity. One has to cross the Kidron Valley to arrive at the Mount of Olives. Thus, both were implicit in the narrative.

a. Synoptic Tradition

1) Matthew-Mark: sang hymn on the way to Mount of Olives; arrived at Gethsemane. (Mark 14:26, Matthew 26:30)

2) Luke: went to Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39)

b. Johannine Tradition: go across Kidron Valley to unnamed garden (John 18:1-2)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:26

26 Singing hymns, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26:30

30 Singing (the psalms), they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Luke 22:39

39 Departing (from the Passover meal), (HE) traveled according to (HIS) custom to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed HIM.

John 18:1-2

1 Having said these (things), JESUS went out (from there) with HIS disciples across the brook (from the winter rains) of the Kidron where there was a garden, into which HE and HIS disciples entered.

2. Mark 14:27-31: Prediction of Peter's Fall.

a. Mark 14:27-28: Initial prediction

<Jesus predicted Peter would deny him. Peter vigorously defended himself.>

Case for Inclusion: Based upon different phrases expressing the same sentiments.

Each of the four gospels contained Jesus' statement concerning Peter's lack of fidelity. Mark and Matthew included a prophecy from Zechariah 13:7, then a reunion with the Lord in Galilee (Mark 14:26-28, Matthew 26:30-32). Luke used a harvesting analogy for his fall, but followed with a prayer from the Lord (Luke 22:31-32). John transitioned from a question about following Jesus from Peter to an assertion that the fisherman would remain faithful (John 13:36). While only Mark and Matthew agreed (and this could be explained by copying), these various verses sensed a set up to the denial.

Like the prediction, Peter's defense varied between the Gospels (Matthew copied Mark, Luke and John were independent). Yet, they all projected a feeling of the fisherman's bravado. Consider the way Peter responded in the three different gospel traditions:

1) "I will not fall away" (Mark 14:29, Matthew 26:33)

2) "...go to prison and death." (Luke 22:33)

3) "...lay down life for you." (John 13:37)

All communicated the same sentiment.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:27-29

27 JESUS said to them, "All of you will be scandalized, so it is written 'I will strike the shepherd and the flock will be dispersed.' 28 But, after I am raised, you will precede me into Galilee." 29 Peter said to HIM, "If all will be scandalized, not I."

Matthew 26:31-33

31 Then JESUS said to them, "All of you will stumble (as disciples) because of me on this night, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32 But, after MY rising up, I will precede you into Galilee." 33 Answering, Peter said to HIM, "If all stumbled (as disciples) because of you, I will never stumble."

Luke 22:31-33

31 "Simon, Simon! Look! Satan claimed you, to sift (you) like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you so that your faith might not fail. When (you) turn back (to ME), strengthen your brothers." 33 (Peter) said to HIM, "LORD, I (am) ready to go with YOU to prison and to death."

John 13:36-37

36 Simon Peter said to HIM, "LORD, where are (YOU) going?" JESUS answered [him], "Where I go you are not able to follow, but you will follow eventually." 37 Peter said to HIM, "LORD, why am I not able to follow you now? My life I will lie down for you."

b. Mark 14:30-31: Jesus specified Peter's denial.

Jesus said to Peter, "Amen, I say to you, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."

Case for Inclusion: Common since the phrase was included almost word-for-word in all four gospels.

Literally, the reconstruction should read "...not before the cock will deny me three times." The negative "not" added emphasis. The four gospels marked two traditions for the saying: Matthew-Mark and Luke-John. The first could be reduced to Mark, while the second stretched across the Synoptic-Johannine divide. Note the first listed the night, while the second mentioned the day (in a twenty four hour sense); it was also more emphatic with the verb "utterly deny." Both conveyed the same thrust; Peter would turn away from Jesus.

1) Matthew-Mark "Amen, I say to you that you this every (on this) night before the cock crows will deny me three times."

i. Mark 14:30 Amēn legō soi hoti sy sēmeron tautē tē nykti prin ē dis alektora phōnēsai tris me aparnēsē.

ii. Matthew 26:34 Amēn legō soi hoti en tautē tē nykti prin alektora phōnēsai tris aparnēsē me.

2) Luke-John "(Amen, amen) I say to you...the cock will not crow this very day until you (utterly) deny me three times."

i. Luke 22:34 Legō soi, Petre, ou phōnēsei sēmeron alektōr heōs tris me aparnēsē eidenai.

ii. John 13:38 amēn amēn legō soi, ou mē alektōr phōnēsē heōs hou arnēsē me tris.

3) Not included in the reconstruction: Peter's vehement denial (Mark 14:31, Matthew 26:35).

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:30

30 JESUS said to him, "Amen, I say to you that, today, this night, before the rooster crows twice, (even) you will deny me three times."

Matthew 26:34

34 JESUS said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you that on this night before the cock crows you will disown ME three (times)."

Luke 22:34

34 (HE) said, "I say to you, Peter, today the cock will not crow until you will deny to know ME three (times)."

John 13:38

38 JESUS answered, "Your life for ME you will lay down?" Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow until you (utterly) deny me three times."

3. Mark 14:32-42: Prayer in the Garden.

The next two sections were not included in the reconstruction, since they stem from the Synoptic tradition. Matthew followed Mark closely, while Luke edited to simplify.

a. Mark 14:32: Arrival at the garden.

1) Matthew-Mark: Gethsemane (Mark 14:32, Matthew 26:36)

2) Luke: Mt of Olives (Luke 22:39)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:32a

32a They went to a place which (had) the name "Gethsemane."

Matthew 26:36a

36a Then JESUS went with them to a spot called Gethsemane.

Luke 22:39-40a

39 Departing (from the Passover meal), (HE) traveled according to (HIS) custom to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed HIM. 40 Having arrived at the place...

b. Directions for disciples.

1) Matthew-Mark: implicit guards for Jesus' personal prayer and his anguish (Mark 14:32b-35, Matthew 26:36b-38)

2. Luke: Pray against temptation (Luke 22:40b)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:32b-35

32b (HE) said to HIS disciples, "Sit here as I pray." 33 (HE) took Peter, James and John with HIM and (HE) began to be overwhelmed and distressed. 34 (HE) said to them, "MY soul is full of grief, even to death. Stay here and keep watch."

Matthew 26:36b-38

36b (HE) said to the disciples, "Sit here while I, going over there, can pray." 37 Taking Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, (HE) began to grieve and be distressed. 38 HE said to them, "MY soul is (extremely) saddened unto death; remain here, keeping watch with ME."

Luke 22:40b

40b (HE) said to them, "Pray not to enter into temptation."

c. Mark 14:36: Prayer of Jesus – first time

<Jesus prayed, "Father, save me.">

Case for Inclusion: Synoptics and Johannine traditions were in different contexts.

The scene of anguished prayer at Gethsemane found its roots in the Synoptics. But, with the addition of John 12:27, we could make a case that Jesus prayed for deliverance.

1) Prayer addressed to Father (Mark 14:36, Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:42, John 12:27-out of context from Gethsemane)

2) Synoptic: Remove cup, but do will of Father (Mark 14:36, Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:42)

3) Johannine: saved from hour, but came for this hour (John 12:27-out of context from Gethsemane)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:36

36 (HE) said, "Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from ME. But, not as I will, but what you (will)."

Matthew 26:39

39 Going out a little, HE prostrated (himself) face down, praying and saying, "MY Father, if you are able, (allow) this cup to pass by ME; yet not as I wish but as you (wish)."

Luke 22:42

42...saying, "Father if (you) are willing, remove this cup from ME. But, not MY will, but yours happen."

John 12:27

27 Now MY soul has been troubled and what might I say: 'Father, deliver ME from this hour?' But, because of this, I came to this hour."

d. Mark 14:37-41: Prayer of Jesus – last two times

The passages that described the last two times Jesus prayed stem solely from the Synoptics; these are not included in the reconstruction.

1) Synoptic: Question of sleep for disciples (Mark 14:37, Matthew 26:40, Luke 22:45)

2) Matthew-Mark: Second and third prayers with admonitions (Mark 14:39-41, Matthew 26:42-46)

3) Luke: Directions for prayer against temptation (Luke 22:40b and 22:46:b) create an A-B-A structure for Jesus personal prayer (Luke 22:42).

4. Mark 14:43-52: The Arrest of Jesus

a. Mark 14:43-46: The approach of Judas and the arrest of Jesus.

Judas approached Jesus, along with men from the Temple. They bore weapons, so they could arrest him.

Case for Inclusion: Based upon the armed arrest party (mentioned in Mark-Matthew and John) and for transitional purposes.

At this point, Judas re-entered the scene to betray Jesus. We can reduce all the initial details to the Synoptics save two: 1) the arrest party came on the explicit instructions of the religious leaders and 2) they bore weapons. No doubt, they anticipated trouble; this comment foreshadowed the attack upon the servant, cutting off his ear. Note Jesus' monologue while Judas approached and the kiss of betrayal were Synoptic, while the seizure of Jesus was Mark-Matthew.

1) Synoptic : Judas arrives while Jesus speaks (Matthew 26:47, Mark 14:43, Luke 22:47)

2) Judas with men equipped with weapons ("swords and clubs" in Matthew 26:47b, Mark 14:43b; "weapons" in John 18:3)

3) The arrest party came on behalf of the chief priests and religious leadership (Matthew 26:47, Mark 14:43, John 18:3).

4) Not included in the reconstruction:

i. John: Jesus' foreknowledge (John 18:4).

ii. Matthew-Mark: Instructions to crowd by Judas about cultural kiss as sign for arrest (Matthew 26:48, Mark 14:44).

iii. Synoptic: Judas kisses Jesus (Matthew 26:47, Mark 45, Luke 22:47c).

iv. Matthew-Luke: Jesus asked rhetorical question to Judas about the kiss (Matthew 26:50, Luke 22:48).

v. John: Dialogue between Jesus and arresting party (John 18:4b-9).

vi. Matthew-Mark: Jesus is seized (Matthew 26:50, Mark 14:46).

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:43b, 46

43 ...immediately, Judas, one of the Twelve, and the mob from the chief priests and scribes and (Council) elders accompanying him, arrived, (armed) with swords and clubs.

46 They grabbed HIS hands and arrested HIM.

Matthew 26:47b, 50b

47 Look! Judas, one of the Twelve and a large crowd with him, (carrying) swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

50b Then, (the ones) approaching, took (HIM) by the hand and seized HIM.

Luke 22:47b

47 Look! A crowd, and the (one) called Judas…

John 18:3

3 Judas, having taken a cohort and (some) from the chief priests and from the assistants of the Pharisees, arrived there with torches, lamps, and weapons.

b. Mark 14:47: Attack with the Sword.

Someone drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant.

Case for Inclusion: Common.

All four gospels remarked on the ensuring scuffle. Mark-Matthew and John mentioned the sword drawn. All four identified the action (severed ear) and the victim (servant of the high priest). Note the attacker intended to inflict shame, not to kill. He wanted to insult the gathered party and the person who orchestrated the arrest: the high priest.

1) Matthew-Mark "one of the (disciples) [standing by Mk] drew [drawing] his sword and striking [struck] the servant of the high priest, (he) cut [cutting] off his ear.

i. Matthew 26:51 ...heis tōn ... apespasen tēn machairan autou kai pataxas ton doulon tou archiereōs apheilen autou to ōtion.

ii. Mark 14:47 heis...tōn parestēkotōn spasamenos tēn machairan epaisen ton doulon tou archiereōs kai apheilen autou to ōtarion.

2) John "then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. The name of the servant was Malchus.

i. John 18:10 Simōn oun Petros echōn machairan heilkysen autēn kai epaisen ton tou archiereōs doulon kai apekopsen autou to ōtarion to dexion. ēn de onoma tō doulō Malchos.

ii. John named Simon Peter as attacker and Malchus as servant.

3) Luke "A certain one of the them stuck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear."

i. Luke 22:50 kai epataxen heis tis ex autōn tou archiereōs ton doulon kai apheilen to ous autou to dexion.

Not included in reconstruction: Healing of the servant's ear (Luke 22:51).

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:47

47 Someone standing nearby drew (his) sword, struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.

Matthew 26:51

51 Look! One of the (ones) with JESUS stretched out his hand, unsheathed his sword and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear.

Luke 22:50

50 One out of them stuck the servant of the high priest and cut (off) his ear, the right (one).

John 18:10

10 Simon Peter, having a sword, swung it and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his the right ear. The name of the servant was Malchus.

c. Mark 14:48-49: Jesus addressed the crowd.

[Jesus ordered the attacker to return his sword to its sheath.]

Case for Inclusion: Matthew-John.

Jesus' command to cease the attack marked a turning point in the drama, allowing his opponents to take control and his disciples to leave the stage. The specific command came from Matthew 26:55a and John 18:11a.

1) Jesus commanded the attacker to return the sword to its sheath (Matthew 26:55a, John 18:11a).

i. Matthew 26:52a: "Return your sword to it's place,..." Apostrepson tēn machairan sou eis ton topon autēs;

ii. John 18:11a: "Put your sword in its sheath... " Bale tēn machairan eis tēn thēkēn.

2) Not included in the reconstruction:

i. Jesus chided his opponents for being armed and arresting him at night, yet failing the courage to arrest him in the Temple (Mark 14:48-49b, Matthew 26:55, Luke 22:52-53a).

ii. The Father sending angelic troops to protect Jesus (Matthew 26:53).

iii. Arrest was to fulfill Scripture (Mark 14:49b, Matthew 26:54, 56a).

iv. Disciples abandon Jesus (Mark 14:50, Matthew 26:56b).

Gospel Passages:

Matthew 26:52

52 JESUS said to him, "Return your sword to it's place, for all taking the sword will die by the sword."

John 18:11

11 JESUS said to Peter, "Put your sword in its place. Should I not drink of the cup which the Father has given to ME?"

C. Before the Sanhedrin, Peter Denies Jesus.

1. Mark 14:53-54: Jesus was seized and taken to the residence of the High Priest, Peter followed.

The arrest party seized JESUS and took him to the home of Caiaphas. Peter followed and entered the courtyard of the religious leader.

Case for Inclusion: Common.

Two details were mentioned in all four gospels: 1) the arrest party seized Jesus and took him to the home of the high priest, 2) Peter followed and entered the courtyard of high priest. Luke dropped the detail of the seizure out of his narrative. John inserted the interrogation at the home of Annas (John 18:17-23) before they took him to Caiaphas. The evangelist implied Peter went to the courtyard of Caiaphas (John 18:15-16). Only Mark-Matthew stated the other religious leaders were present at the questioning.

Not included in the reconstruction:

a. Peter warming himself by the fire (Mark 54d).

b. The other disciple knew the high priest (John 18:15b)

c. The other disciple knew the slave girl who guarded the courtyard gate and allowed Peter inside (John 18:16)

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:53-54

53 (They ) led JESUS into (the place of) the high priest and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribe were gathered, and 54 Peter off from a distance followed HIM just inside the courtyard of the high priest and (he) was sitting with the guards...

Matthew 26:57

57 Taking control of JESUS, (they) led (HIM) to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders were assembled. Peter followed HIM off from a distance up to the courtyard of the high priest and, entering, he sat with the guards to see the end (results).

Luke 22:54-55

54 Seizing HIM, (they) lead (HIM) and lead (HIM) into the house of the high priest, and Peter followed from a distance. Having set a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sitting down together, Peter took a seat in the midst of them.

John 18:12-13, 15ac,16ac, 24

18:12 Then the cohort and the captain and the officers of the Jews took JESUS together and bound him 13 and first lead (HIM) to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year.

18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed after JESUS... Simon stood at the gate outside. 16 Thus, the other disciple, known to the high priest,... brought Peter in.

18:24 So, Annas send him being bound to the Caiaphas, the high priest.

2. The Sanhedrin Trial.

a. Mark 14:55-59: Charges against Jesus.

<Someone charged Jesus said, "(I will) destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.">

Case for Inclusion: Questionable, based upon criterion of embarrassment.

The charges against Jesus can only be found in Mark-Matthew. According to these two gospels, the accusers muddled their accusations with a statement that, on its face, sounded absurd. However, with the almost identical saying on the lips of Jesus in the cleansing of the Temple from John 2 (and an indirect charge made at the trial of Stephen in Acts 6), it reverberated in the early community. Mark saw it as an embarrassment, with the emphasis on Jesus as the destroyer. Matthew stressed the limitless power of Jesus to destroy the present Temple and to rebuild a future edifice through divine agency ("not handmade"). Yet, the context of the remarks made the disciples defensive. In Acts 6:14, Luke interpreted the indirect accusation in the same light, as an embarrassment. However, John used it as a prophesy when Jesus pointed to the religious leaders as those who tore down. With that shift in agency came a change in definition. What Temple did the speaker refer to, the building or the body of Jesus (John 2:13)? We Christians, of course, agree with John, but puzzle remains: why did the statement have currency in the apostolic era? My take on the controversy is HERE.

1) Seeking testimony but not agreeing: Matthew-Mark (Matthew 26:59-60, Mark 14:55-56)

i. Charge in Matthew-Mark:

ii. Alternatives in Acts and John:

iii. Not included in the reconstruction:

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:57

57 Standing up, some offered false testimony against HIM, saying, 58 "We heard HIM saying, 'I will destroy this hand-built Temple and build another not made by hands in three days.'"

Matthew 26:60b-61

60 Then two, stepping forward, 61 said, "This (ONE) said, 'I am able to destroy the Temple of God and, in three days, to build (it anew).'"

b. Mark 14:60-65 The demand for identity, the sentence and the abuse.

Jesus was interrogated Jesus about his identity. Based upon his answer, he was charged with the capitol crime of blasphemy. Court official(s) physically abused him.

Case for inclusion: Common

The interrogation, the sentence and the abuse.

Question of identity (based upon inference Jesus self identification and the claims his followers made; also based upon internal logic of the Passion, since without a rejection by the religious leaders of Jesus as the Christ, the narrative would lose any reason for existence).

In the Synoptics, the high priest Caiaphas questioned Jesus about his identity. In John, Caiaphas' father-in-law, Annas, questioned him about his disciples and teaching. Implicitly, Annas could only question Jesus about his followers and his preaching in relation to his identity; his popularity depended upon what he said about himself or what his disciples claimed about him. Jesus called himself the Son of Man; his followers called him the Son of God. The Synoptics heightened this connection with the apocalyptic answer Jesus gave, mixing Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110. In John, Jesus flipped the onus back on Annas by demanding he question those who heard the Galilean preach in the Temple. No gospel recorded Jesus denying that he was the Christ, Son of the living God.

In the Synoptics, the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death for the crime of blasphemy. In John, the sentence was a fait accompli. In either tradition, some officials had already pre-judged him. To add insult to the sentence, either one official (John 18:22) or the guards (Matthew 26:67-68, Mark 14:65) abused him.

1) High priest's question about identity (directly in Matthew 26:63, Mark 14:61, Luke 22:67, 70a; indirectly in relation to his disciples and his teaching: John 18:19)

i. palin ho archiereus epērōta auton kai legei autō, Sy ei ho Christos ho huios tou eulogētou? "Again the high priest questioned him and said to him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" (Mark 14:61b)

ii. kai ho archiereus eipen autō, Exorkizō se kata tou theou tou zōntos hina hēmin eipēs ei sy ei ho Christos ho huios tou theou. "And the high priest said to him, 'I bind you (under oath) to the living God so that you will declare if you are the Christ, the Son of God.'" (Matthew 26:63)

iii. kai apēgagon auton eis to synedrion autōn legontes, Ei sy ei ho Christos, eipon hēmin. "...and they led him into their council, saying, 'If you are the Christ, tell us.'" (Luke 22:66c-67a)

iv. eipan de pantes, Sy oun ei ho huios tou theou? "Everyone said, 'Then are you the son of God?'" (Luke 22:70a)

vi. HO oun archiereus ērōtēsen ton Iēsoun peri tōn mathētōn autou kai peri tēs didachēs autou. "Thus, the high priest interrogated Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching." (John 18:19)

John's gospel identified Jesus as the Son of God (Nathaniel's witness in John 1:49) and connected the title to his self designation as the Son of Man (his answer to Nathaniel in John 1:51).

2) Charge of blasphemy

i. Caiaphas, high priest, tore his robes in Matthew-Mark (Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:63a).

ii. No further need of witnesses or testimony in Synoptics (Matthew 26:64b, Mark 14:63b, Luke 22:71); condemnation (Matthew 26:66, Mark 14:64, Luke 22::71b)

iii. While not at the Sanhedrin trial, the leaders wished to condemn Jesus (John 10:33)

3) Abuse by guards in Matthew-Mark (Matthew 26:67-68, Mark 14:65) and John 18:22; in Luke with whipping at pillar (Luke 22:64)

i. Cover eyes (Mark-Luke)

ii. Order "Prophesy" (Synoptics)

3) Not included in the reconstruction:

i. Demand for answer to charges by high priest. (Matthew 26:62, Mark 14:60)

ii. Various answers by Jesus:

(a) Egō eimi "I am" (Mark 14:62a)

(b) Sy eipas "You say so" (Matthew 26:64)

(c) eipen de autois, Ean hymin eipō, ou mē pisteusēte; ean de erōtēsō, ou mē apokrithēte. "He said to them, 'If I tell you, you will not believe; if I ask you, you will not answer" (Luke 22:67)

(d) Hymeis legete hoti egō eimi. "You say 'I am'" (Luke 22:70b)

(e) Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13 in reference to coming wrath.

(f) Content of exchange between Annas and Jesus (John 18:20-21, 22b-23).

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:61bc, 63a, 64-65

61b The high priest questioned HIM again and said to HIM, "Are YOU the Christ, the son of the Blessed (One)?" 62 JESUS said, "I AM..." 63 The high priest...said...64 You heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" All judged HIM (guilty) being subject to death. 65 Some began to spit on HIM and to cover HIS face (with a blindfold) and to punch HIM (with their fists) ...The guards took control of HIM with slaps.

Matthew 26:63b, 64a, 65-67

63b The high priest said to HIM, " I compel you (under oath) by living God, so you might tell us if you are the CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD." 64 JESUS said to him, "You say (so)..." 65 Then, the high priest tore his clothing, saying, "(HE) has blasphemed. What more do (we) have need of witnesses? Look! You have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think (should be the verdict)?" The (ones) answering said, "(HE) is subject to death." 67 Then, (they) spat on HIS face, (they) punched HIM, and some slapped (HIM)…

Luke 22:66b, 70

66b the elders of the people gathered...and (they) led HIM into their council, 67 saying, "If YOU are the CHRIST, tell us." 70 All (of them) said, "So, YOU are the SON OF GOD?" HE said to them, "You say that I am."

John 1:49, 10:31, 33, 18:19a, 22b

1:49 Nathaniel answered HIM, "RABBI, YOU are the SON OF GOD, YOU are the KING OF ISRAEL."

10:31 The Jewish leaders took up stones again to stone him. 33 The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God."

18:19 The high priest questioned JESUS about his disciples and his teaching…. 22 one of the assistants having stood by gave a slap to JESUS, having said, "You answer in this way to the high priest?"

3. Mark 14:66-72: Denials by Peter.

In the courtyard, Peter warmed himself by the fire, when a slave girl identified the disciple with Jesus. He denied the allegation. He was questioned again about his relationship with the Galilean. Again, he denied it. Finally, someone firmly pronounced he was with Jesus. Immediately, a rooster crowed.

Of all the events in the Passion narrative, the denial of Peter stood most firm. While a few details varied between the gospels, but the following found agreement:

a. In the courtyard, Peter warmed himself by the fire.

b. The first questioner identified as a slave girl. This interesting detail showed the shame of Peter's denial. The lowest person on the social ladder (a slave and a girl) challenged him on his association with the accused. When he answered someone who should not have been even addressed in society at the time, he betrayed his guilt.

c. The number of questions. Some scholars have questioned the number of denials, maintaining Mark inflated one into three for stylistic purposes. Yet, this added more complexity than it resolved; specifically, John depended upon Mark for his retelling of the Passion. As we have seen, while this might be possible, it is not probable.

d. Peter's consistent denials despite the growing sense of the questioners' certitude. His insistence in the face of growing incredulity added tension to the narrative's drama. All the gospel writers used this technique to one extent or another. This argued for its inclusion in the narrative before Mark penned his gospel.

e. The phrase "immediately, the rooster crowed." As seen below, the gospel writers were uniform in this detail.

Case for inclusion: Common and the criteria of embarrassment.

a. Peter warmed himself by the fire (Mark 14:66, Matthew 26:69, Luke 22:55, John 18:25)

b. First Denial: Synoptics (Matthew 26:69-70, Mark 14:66-68a, Luke 22:56-57) and John (John 18:17) all agree that a slave girl ("paidiskē"; slave girl guard in John's account) approached Peter and identified him with Jesus; Peter denied it. The language differs.

c. Second Denial: Matthew and Mark (Matthew 26:71-72, Mark 14:69-70a) have a slave girl approach Peter; Matthew has another girl, while Mark has the same girl ask the question. Luke 22:58 has an unknown questioner. John 18:25 has a group questioning him. Peter denies it.

d. Third Denial: Matthew and Mark (Matthew 26:73-74, Mark 14:70-71) have the bystanders accuse Peter. Luke 22:59-60 has an unknown questioner. John 18:26 has a relative of the high priest's servant whose ear was cut off. In the Synoptics, the question was " Alēthōs sy ex autōn ei" ("Truly you are of them"; Matthew-Mark) and "Ep' alētheias kai houtos met' autou ēn" ("In truth, this one was with him;" Luke). Matthew-Mark have Peter responding with an oath to God and swearing.

e. The rooster crowed.

1) Matthew 26:74 eutheōs alektōr ephōnēsen ("Immediately, a rooster crowed.")

2) Mark 14:72 euthys ek deuterou alektōr ephōnēsen ("Immediately, for the second time, a rooster crowed.")

3) Luke 22:60 parachrēma eti lalountos autou ephōnēsen alektōr ("Immediately, still speaking, a rooster crowed.")

4) John 18:27 eutheōs alektōr ephōnēsen ("Immediately, a rooster crowed.")

Not in the reconstruction:

a. Peter led into the courtyard by other disciple known by the high priest (John 18:15-16).

b. Peter's repentance. The Synoptics (Matthew 26:75, Mark 14:72b, Luke 22:61-62) has Peter remembering the prediction of Jesus and responding with shame and tears.

c. Peter sees Jesus looking at him (Luke 22:61a).

Gospel Passages:

Mark 14:66-72a

66 When Peter was down in the courtyard, one of the high priest's female servants appeared. 67 See Peter warming (himself), she (intentionally) looked at him and said (to him), "You are also with JESUS the Nazarene." 68 He denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are saying." He went out into passageway (of the courtyard) [and a rooster crowed]. 69 Seeing him, the female servant again began to say to the bystanders, "This (person) is from them." 70 Again, he denied (it). After a moment, the bystanders again said to Peter, "Surely you are from them, for you are a Galilean." 71 He began to swear and to invoke an oath, "I do not know that man (of) whom you speak." 72 Immediately, a rooster crowed…

Matthew 26:69-74

69 Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard and one slave girl came up to him, saying, "You were with JESUS of Galilee." 70 (He) denied (the statement) before all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying." 71 Going out to the (courtyard) gate, another (slave girl) saw him and said, "This (one) was with JESUS THE NAZARENE." 72 (He) denied (it) with an oath, "I do not know the man." 73 After a little (time), the (ones) standing (around), approaching, said to Peter, "Truly, you are also among the (ones following Jesus) for your speech clearly makes you (so)." 74 Then, (he) began to curse and to swear (an oath), " I do not know the man." Immediately, a cock crowed.

Luke 22:55-60

55 When (the arrest party) kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 A slave girl, seeing him sitting before the fire and staring at him, said, "This (man) was with HIM." 57 He denied (it), saying, "I do not know him, woman." 58 After a short (time), another seeing him said, " You are also of them." Peter said, "Man, I am not." 59 After an interval passed of about one hour, someone else insisted, saying, "Without a doubt, this (one) was with HIM, for (he) is a Galilean." 60 Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying." Immediately, just as he was speaking, a rooster crowed.

John 18:17-18, 25-27

17 The (girl) servant, the doorkeeper, said to Peter, "Are you not from the disciples of THIS MAN?" That (one) said, "I am not!" 18 The servants and the assistants stood (around) having made a coal fire because it was cold. Peter was standing and warming (himself) with them.

25 Simon Peter was standing (there) and (was) warming (himself). They said to him, "Are you not out of his disciples?" That one denied it and said, "I am not!" 26 One of the servants of the High priest, being a kinsman of whom Peter cut off his ear, said "Did I not see you in the garden with HIM?" 27 Again Peter denied (it) and immediately the rooster crowed.

D. The Trial before Pilate

1. Mark 15:1-5: Transition, Question and Answer, Judgment

Jesus was taken to Pilate. The governor asked the Galilean, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "You say." Upon further questioning, Jesus became silent. {Turning to the crowd gathered for his judgment, Pilate said, "I do not find any reason to declare this man guilty."}

Case for inclusion:

a. Common for transition, question and answer (sometimes word-for-word).

b. Luke-John for judgment of innocence.

In the reconstruction, The scene of Jesus' trial before Pilate was brief. It consisted of the transition from the Sanhedrin to Pilate, Pilate's question and Jesus' answer, the Galilean' silence to further questioning, then the governor's judgment. The question and answer acted as the point the evangelists built the scenario around. Pilate asked Jesus about his identity. Was he claiming the political position of Herod, the paradigm "King of the Jews?" If he did so, he would place himself in the cross hairs of Rome's brutal justice.

But, Jesus deflected the question with an enigmatic answer. "You say" could be interpreted as the governor's personal opinion or popular acclamation or the charge against Jesus; in John 18:37, the addition "...that I am a king" smoothed the discussion about the nature of kingship in that gospel.

The scene before Pilate paralleled that with Caiaphas in the Synoptics, more roughly with that in John before Annas. Officials brought Jesus before the judge, who inquired about the Galilean's identity. The high priest (or Annas) demanded to know the place of Jesus in Judaism. Pilate asked about the Galilean's place in the Empire. Was he the Son of God (equivalent to "Messiah")? In Mark 14:62, he answered "I am." In Matthew 22:64 and Luke 22:70, he responded with a variation of "You say," thus strengthening the parallel between the scenes. In John 18:19-23, Annas' indirect interrogation led to a dispute with Jesus. In Acts 6:8-15, Luke added another parallel with the trial of Stephen before the Sanhedrin.

With the question of identity addressed, Jesus refused to speak anymore. The trial came to an end with Pilate's judgment of innocence. In Luke 23:4 and John 18:38, Pilate could find no guilt in the Galilean.

a. Transition to Pilate

1) Matthew-Mark: At dawn, the high priest and elders consulted, bound Jesus and took him to Pilate (Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1)

2) Luke separated the gathering of elders (Luke 22:66) and delivering Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:1)

3) John had Jesus delivered to pretorium were Pilate was assumed to be (John 18:28).

i. The Trial Before Pilate

ii. Jesus' answer

iii. Pilate's judgment before the crowd (Luke-John)

iv. Not included in reconstruction:

Gospel Passages:

Mark 15:1-5

1 Immediately after sunrise, the chief priests with the elders, the scribes, and the entire council met in council. Having bound JESUS, they took (him) away and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked HIM, "Are you the King of the Jews?" In answer, HE said, "(That is what) you say." 3 The chief priests accused HIM of many things. 4 But Pilate again asked HIM, saying, "Do YOU answer (with silence)? Look at how many thing they charge YOU (with)?" 5 But Jesus no longer made any answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Matthew 27:1-2, 11-14

27:1 Being early (morning just after dawn), all the chief priests and the elders of the people took council against JESUS as to have HIM executed. 2 Binding HIM, (they) led HIM away and surrendered (HIM) to Pilate the governor.

11 JESUS stood in front of the governor. The governor questioned HIM, saying, "Are you the king of the Jews?" JESUS said, "You say (so)." 12 As he was accused by the chief priests and elders, HE gave no answer. 13 Then, Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear what they witness against you?" 14 HE did not give him an answer, not one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Luke 23:1, 3-5

1 (The Sanhedrin) all standing (up from their seats of judgment), (the leaders) led HIM to Pilate. 3 Pilate asked HIM, saying, "Are you the 'King of the Jews?'" Having answered, HE said to him, "You say (so)." 4 Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no cause against this MAN."

John 18:28a, 33, 37b, 38b,19:8a

28a They lead Jesus from Caiaphas into the praetorium.

33 Again Pilate went into the praetorium, called JESUS, and said to HIM, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

37b JESUS answered, "You say that I am a king.

38b Having said this, he went out again to the Jewish (leaders) and said to them, "I find not a single reason in HIM (for condemnation).

19:8a But JESUS did not give him an answer.

Because of this, the (person) having handed me over to you has the greater sin."

2. Mark 15:6-15: Release custom during Passover and the call for Barabbas.

According to Passover custom, a prisoner would be released. Pilate addressed the crowd, "Do you want me to release to you the 'King of the Jews?'" The crowd responded "Crucify him. Crucify him." Then, they called for the release of a thief named Barabbas. Pilate announced Jesus' innocence but, finally, he freed the criminal and handed the Galilean over to the soldiers to crucify him.

Case for inclusion:

Common. (Mark and Matthew separated the double "Crucify him" with Pilate's question of Jesus' innocence.)

The custom of releasing a prison at Passover does not have any other mention outside the gospels, yet was found in Matthew, Mark and John. This detail acted as a transition to the question Pilate put forth to the mob. Notice the governor gave to Jesus the title that the Galilean deflected and would be the charge he ultimately died under.

When given a choice by Pilate, the crowd (by-standers gathered for the judgment in the Synoptics; chief priests and elders in John) called for Jesus' execution.

Then, the crowd demanded a thief named Barabbas. Under Roman law, a thief implicitly opposed divinely ordained order and, so was as guilty as one who claimed the revolutionary title: King of the Jews. Both were equally culpable.

The name Barabbas meant "son of father." It was rare in the time of Jesus, so its symbolic meaning had more weight that any literal reference. What could it mean? On one level, it meant "Everyman" since all males had a father; this would counter Jesus' self-given title of "Son of Man" ("Bar Adam") since Ezekiel used it in the sense of "Everyman." On another level, the "abbas" could refer to a specific man, Abraham. In this sense, the title meant "son of Abraham," that is, a faithful Jew. In either case, the name had theological imports that the early Christian community could easily exploit.

In the Synoptics, Pilate questioned the mob's thirst for blood; in John, he declared Jesus' innocence. Both stated the same sentiment: the Galilean should not be on trial. Only Matthew-Mark mentioned Barabbas' freedom, but one could infer it from the logic of the narrative. Finally, Pilate reversed his initial judgment; he handed Jesus over to the guards for execution. The word-for-word question Pilate asked the crowd and their response, the naming of the criminal Barabbas and the word-for-word handing over of Jesus for crucifixion anchored the narrative.

a. Release custom (Matthew 27:15, Mark 15:6, John 18:39)

b. Question of release to crowd:

1) Matthew 27:17: Tina thelete apolysō hymin, Iēsoun ton Barabban ē Iēsoun ton legomenon christon? "Who do you want (me) to release to you, [Jesus] Barbabbas or Jesus the (one) called "Christ?"

2) Mark 15:9: Thelete apolysō hymin ton basilea tōn Ioudaiōn? "Do you want (me) to release to you the King of the Jews?"

3) John 18:39b boulesthe oun apolysō hymin ton basilea tōn Ioudaiōn? "Do you will (for me) to release to you the King of the Jews?"

c. Call for release of Barabbas by mob (Matthew 27:21, Luke 23:18, John 18:40)

d. Response of the crowd.

1) "Crucify him." (active imperative)

i. Mark 15:13, 14 to second and third questions.

ii. Luke 23:21 as a doublet to second question, indirect to third question (Luke 23:23)

iii. John 19:6 as a doublet to the phrase "Behold! The man."

2) "Let him be crucified" (passive imperative; Matthew 27:22, 23)

e. Pilate again questioned mob's thirst for crucifixion (Mark 15:14, Matthew 27:23, Luke 23:22, John 19:4b)

1) Question by Pilate:

2) Pilate's declaration of Jesus' innocence.

f. Handing over of Jesus to the guard: paredōken (...) hina staurōthē "...handed him over in order to be crucified" (Matthew 27:22c, Mark 15:15c, John 19:16)

g. Release of Barabbas in Synoptics (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, Luke 23:25).

h. Not mentioned in the reconstruction:

1) Luke 23:15-16: Pilate sent Jesus to Herod for judgment.

2) Matthew 27:16, Mark:15:7: First naming of Barabbas by evangelist (Matthew-Mark).

3) Mark 15:8: Cry of mob for blood.

4) Matthew 27:27:18, 20; Mark 15:10-11: Reason for Pilate's question to the crowd (out of jealousy) and stoking the mob to release Barabbas.

5) Matthew 27:19: Comment by Pilate's wife.

6) Luke 23:19: Reason Barabbas was jailed.

7) Mark 15:12, Matthew 27:21, Luke 23:20: Pilate's desire to release Jesus.

8) Second and third questions about the fate of Jesus

i. Second question in Matthew-Mark: "So, what do you wish I should do with the one you call the King of the Jews?" (Mark 15:12) "What should I do with the King of the Jews?" (Matthew 27:22)

ii. Third question in Synoptics: "Why, what evil has he done?" (Mark 15:14, Matthew 27:23 and Luke 23:22)

9) Matthew 27:24-25: Pilate absolved himself from guilt.

10) John 19:7: Reason mob gave for condemnation.

11) John 19:12-14, 15:b: Discussion between Pilate and mob over loyalty to Caesar, presentation of Jesus to mob, mob's rejection of Jesus.

12) Luke 23:24: Explicit condemnation of Jesus.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 15:6, 9, 13-15

6 Every (Passover) feast, he released to them one prisoner for whom they asked. 9 Pilate answered them, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 13 They again shouted "Crucify him!" 14 But, Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil (deed) did HE do?" They shouted all the more, "Crucify HIM!' 15 Wishing to please the crowd, released Barabbas to them;... he handed JESUS over so that HE might be crucified.

Matthew 27:15, 17, 22b, 26

15 Now, at the (Passover) festival, the governor held the custom to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they desired. 17 After (the crowd) gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you wish (that) I should release to you, Barabbas or JESUS, the (one) called 'Christ?'" 22b ...they said, "HE should be crucified!" 23 He said, "Why? What evil did HE do?" They cried out louder, saying, "HE should be crucified!" 26 Then, he released Barabbas to them, but he, having JESUS (first) whipped, turn (HIM) over (to the soldiers) so HE could be crucified.

Luke 23:20-21, 22b, 24

20 Pilate called out to them, wishing to release JESUS. 21 But they cried back, saying, "Crucify, crucify HIM." 22 ...he said to them, "What evil did this (MAN) do? I find no cause in him for death..." 24 Pilate made a judgment to fulfill their request.

John 18:38b-40, 19:4, 6, 15a, 16a

38b Having said this, he went out again to the Jewish (leaders) and said to them, "I find not a single reason in HIM (for condemnation). 39 But it is a custom for you that I will release one (prisoner) to on the Passover. Do you will then (that) I release to you the KING OF THE JEWS?'" 40 Then, they shouted, saying "Not this (man), but Barabbas!" (Barabbas was a thief.)

19:4 Pilate went outside again and said to them, "Look! I (am having my soldiers) bring HIM outside to you, so that you might know that I find not a single reason in HIM (for condemnation)." 6 When the chief priests and assistants saw HIM, they shouted, saying, "Crucify HIM!"

15a Those shouted, "Lift away (his life)! Lift away (his life)! Crucify him!" 16a So, then, he handed HIM over to them so that HE might be crucified.

E. The Crucifixion

1. Mark:15-16-21: On the Way to Golgotha.

At the praetorium, the soldiers dressed Jesus in purple, weaved a crown of thorns and placed it on him. They addressed him, "Rejoice, King of the Jews." Then, they physically abused him.

(Simon from Cyrene carried the cross for Jesus.)

Case for inclusion:

a. Common for meeting in the praetorium (based upon strong inference).

b. Common for the mocking scene: (especially with the word-for-word greeting by the soldiers).

c. The Synoptics for Simon from Cyrene.

The soldiers came together at the praetorium. Matthew 27:28 and Mark 15:16 mentioned the military quarters by name, while John 18:28-37 placed the abuse of Jesus within his trial scene before Pilate at the praetorium.

The soldiers gathered to mock Jesus with a crowning ceremony. The soldiers dressed Jesus in a color reserved for royalty since purple dye was derived from shellfish (some scholars speculated the color was actually the the deep crimson of a Roman soldier's tunic). They crowned him with thorns, not as torture as the popular imagination might imply, but as part of the insult ritual. Then, they greeted him with the title under which he would die: King of the Jews. (The word "Rejoice" was a salutation in Greek, the same as "Hail" in Latin.) Finally, they abused him.

The faux ritual imitated a coronation. The power structure would assemble. Dressed in royal robes, the king would be crowned. And, the power structure would hail him as their new ruler, both with greeting and gestures of loyalty. In this case, the soldiers replaced loyalty with abuse, since the exercise meant to insult Jesus and psychologically wear him down for his coming crucifixion.

The Synoptics included the passages about Simon the Cyrenian. It could be a later addition to the tradition because of the detail about Simon's sons, only found in Mark. One theory holds that Alexander and Rufus were Christians known to the community; these two passed along the narrative told by their father.

a. Soldiers Mock Jesus

1) Soldiers take Jesus into the praetorium (Matthew 27:28, Mark 15:16)

2) Clothe Jesus in purple cloak

i. endidyskousin auton porphyran ("they dressed him in purple") Mark 15:17a

ii. kai himation porphyroun periebalon auton ("in a purple tunic they dressed him") John 15:2b

iii. peribalōn esthēta lampran ("...throwing around (HIM) an expense robe..." Luke 23:11c

3) Braid a crown of thorns

i. kai perititheasin autō plexantes akanthinon stephanon ("...and they placed upon him, weaving, a thorn crown") Mark 15:17b

ii. kai plexantes stephanon ex akanthōn epethēkan epi tēs kephalēs autou ("...and weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it upon his head." Matthew 27:29a

iii. hoi stratiōtai plexantes stephanon ex akanthōn epethēkan autou tē kephalē ("the soliders weaving a crown out of thorns placed it on his head") John 19:2a

3) Mocked Greeting

i. elegon Chaire, ho basileus tōn Ioudaiōn ("they said, 'Rejoice, King of the Jews.'" John 19:3

ii. ērxanto aspazesthai auton Chaire, basileu tōn Ioudaiōn ("they began to salute him, "Rejoice, King of the Jews.") Mark 15:18

iii. legontes Chaire, basileu tōn Ioudaiōn ("...saying, "Rejoice, King of the Jews.") Matthew 27:29c

4) Abuse Jesus: Kneeling to him, striking him on the head with a reed and spitting at him (Mark 15:19, Matthew 27:29b, 30); slapping him (John 193b).

b. On the way to Golgotha: the Synoptics have Simon the Cyrenian carry the cross for Jesus (Matthew 27:31b-32, Luke 23:26 and Mark 15:20b-21); Mark has the details about Simon's sons, Alexander and Rufus.

c. Not included in the reconstruction:

1) Mark 15:16b, Matthew 27:27b: Gathering of soldiers.

2) Luke 23:11abd: Verbal abuse by Herod and soldiers.

Gospel Passages:

Mark:15:16a, 17-21

16 The soldiers led HIM away inside the courtyard (which is the pretorium)...17 They placed a purple (cloak) on HIM; and, having woven thorn crown, they set it around (HIS head). 18 They began to salute HIM, "Welcome! King of the Jews!" 19 They were beating HIS head with a reed and were spitting on HIM; kneeling, they did HIM homage. 20 When they (finished) mocking HIM, they pulled the purple (cloak) off HIM and dressed HIM (with) his clothes. They led HIM away so they might crucify HIM.

21 They forced (into service) a certain passer-by, Simon Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who came from the country, so that he might lift up (and carry) the cross.

Matthew 27:27a, 28-32

27 Then the soldiers of the governor, having taken JESUS into the headquarters (at the governor's palace)... 28 Stripping HIM, they placed a purple cloak around HIM, and, 29 having woven a crown of thorns, they placed (it) on HIS head, and a (solid) reed (like a scepter) in HIS right (hand). Kneeling before HIM, (they) threw insults at him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 30 And spitting at HIM, they took the reed (from HIM) and struck HIS head. 31 When they (finished) throwing insults at HIM, they took the cloak off HIM, put HIS clothes on HIM, and led HIM away to be crucified.

32 Going out (into the city), they found a man, a Cyrenian, Simon by name. They took custody of this man, so that he might carry HIS cross.

Luke 23:11, 26

11 So, Herod and his troops, showing HIM contempt, mocking and throwing bright clothing on (HIM), sent him up to Pilate.

26 As they led HIM away, (the soldiers), having taken a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, coming from the fields, placed the cross (beam) on him to carry behind JESUS.

John 19:1-3

1 Then Pilate took JESUS and (had) him whipped. 2 The soldiers, having twisted a crown out of thorns, placed (it) on HIS head, threw a purple mantle around HIM, 3 kept approaching HIM, kept saying, "Greetings, KING OF THE JEWS!" and gave HIM slaps (on the face).

2. Mark 15:22-32: The Crucifixion

At Golgotha, Greek for "Skull Place," the soldiers crucified Jesus between two others. They posted the charge, "The King of the Jews." Then, they divided his garments by throwing dice. A crowd stood by.

While not in the reconstruction, the difference between the praetorium inside the city and Golgotha, outside the city, inferred a change of place, which the Synoptics made plain. All four evangelists agreed that Jesus was crucified between two other criminals under the charge "King of the Jews." And all four presented the soldiers gambling for his clothing. While the Synoptics showed a much larger audience than John, the presence of the women (see the next section for details) meant that Jesus did not die alone; we can strongly infer that he was executed for public viewing.

Case for inclusion: Common especially with the charge quoted word-for-word.

a. Place of crucifixion was Golgotha (Hebrew), meaning "Skull Place" in Greek (Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, John 19:17).

b. They crucified Jesus…

1) Mark 15:24a: staurousin auton ("they crucified him")

2) Matthew 27:35a: staurōsantes auton ("crucifying him...")

3) Luke 23:33: ekei estaurōsan auton ("there they crucified him ")

4) John 19:18: auton estaurōsan ("they crucified him")

c. ...between two criminals:

1) Mark 15:27: syn autō staurousin dyo lēstas, hena ek dexiōn kai hena ex euōnymōn autou. ("with him they crucified two thieves, one on the right, one on the left of him")

2) Matthew 27:38 staurountai syn autō dyo lēstai, heis ek dexiōn kai heis ex euōnymōn. ("crucifiying with him two thieves, one on the right, one on the left.")

3) Luke 23:33: ... estaurōsan auton kai tous kakourgous, hon men ek dexiōn hon de ex aristerōn. (...they crucified him and the criminals, one, on the one hand, on the right, one, on the other hand, on the left")

4) John 19:18: met' autou allous dyo enteuthen kai enteuthen, meson de ton Iēsoun. ("...with him, two others on each side, and Jesus in the middle)

d. Posting of the charges: Ho basileus tōn Ioudaiōn. "The King of the Jews." (Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, John 19:19) Matthew and Luke note the placement of the charge (above him); Mathew and John name Jesus on the charges.

e. Casting Lots for Jesus' Clothes (Matthew 27:35b Mark 15:24b; John 19:23-24)

1) Matthew 27:35b: diemerisanto ta himatia autou ballontes klēron ("they divided his garment, throwing dice.")

2) Mark 15:24b: diamerizontai ta himatia autou, ballontes klēron ep' auta tis ti arē. ("they divided his garment, throwing dice for them, which one they might take.")

3) John 19:23: elabon ta himatia autou kai epoiēsan tessara merē, hekastō stratiōtē meros, kai ton chitōna. ēn de ho chitōn araphos, ek tōn anōthen hyphantos di' holou ("they took his garment and made four shares, one for each soldier, and the tunic was a single piece garment, woven throughout.")

4) John 19:24: eipan oun pros allēlous Mē schisōmen auton, alla lachōmen peri autou tinos estai hina hē graphē plērōthē hē legousa Diemerisanto ta himatia mou heautois kai epi ton himatismon mou ebalon klēron. Hoi men oun stratiōtai tauta epoiēsan. ("they said, to each other, 'Do not tear it but let us cast lots concerning who will (get) it, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, the one saying, 'They divided my garment for themselves and, about my garments, they threw dice. And so, the soldiers did this.")

5) All quote Psalm 22:18; John quotes Exodus 28:32 in 19:23

i. Exodus 28:32: It shall have a hole for the head in the middle of it. It shall have a binding of woven work around its hole, as it were the hole of a coat of mail, that it not be torn. (World English Bible)

ii. Psalm 22:18: They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing. (World English Bible)

6) By-standers present.

i. Mark 15:29a, Matthew 27:39a, Luke 23:35a: The crowd.

ii. John 19:25: Mother of Jesus, her sister, Mary Magdalene and Mary, wife of Clopas.

f. Not included in reconstruction:

1) Luke 23:27-31: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (L tradition).

2) Luke 23:34-34a: Jesus forgives his executioners from the cross (L tradition).

3) Mark 15:23, Matthew 27:34, Luke 23:36: The first offering of vinegar (Synoptics tradition).

4) John 19:20-22: Religious leaders object to "King of the Jews" placard; Pilate's reply (J tradition).

5) Mark 15:29b-32, Matthew 27:39-44, Luke 23:35b, 36a-37, 39: Mocking of the by-standers, religious leaders and the two men crucified with Jesus (Synoptic Tradition)

6) Luke 23:40-43: the "Good Thief" narrative (L tradition).

7) John 19:26-27: Jesus' pronouncement that the beloved disciple was given charge over Mary, mother of the Galilean.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 15:22, 24, 26-27

22 They escorted HIM to Golgatha place, which, translated, is "Skull Place."

24 They crucified HIM, and they divided up HIS clothing, throwing lots (to determine) who might take which (piece of clothing).

26 The sign (with) the legal charge (against) him was inscribed: "The King of the Jews." 27 With HIM, they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.

Matthew 27:33, 35, 37-38

33 Coming to a place called Golgotha, which is called "Skull Place"…

35 Having crucified HIM, they separated HIS clothes, casting lots.

37 They placed above HIS head the accusation (against HIM), having been written, "This is JESUS, the King of the Jews." 38 Then, two robbers were crucified with HIM, one on (HIS) right and one on (HIS) left.

Luke 23:33, 38

33 When they came to the place called "Skull," there they crucified HIM and the two criminals, one to the right (of JESUS) and one to the left.

38 There was a notice above HIM: "This (MAN) is the King of the Jews."

John 19:17-19, 24

17 ...HE went out (of the city) to the (area) called "Skull Place," which is called "Golgotha" in Hebrew, 18 where they crucified HIM, and with him two others on either end but Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had the charge written and placed on the cross. (On it) was written: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."

24 But, the tunic was without seam, woven as a whole throughout, out of a (single weave). But they said to each other, "We should not tear it, but we should throw lots for it (to see) whose it will be." So, the Scripture might be fulfilled [being stated]:

"They divided my clothes among themselves; and for my clothes they cast lots."

Indeed, the soldiers did these (things).

3. Mark 15:33-41: Death of Jesus

(Jesus cried out, "Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?" which is,"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" )

The soldiers placed a sponge on a stick, soaked the sponge with vinegar and offered it to Jesus. Then, Jesus died. Mary Magdalene, another woman named "Mary" and others were present.

Case for inclusion:

a. Strong, except for the quote of Psalm 22, weak.

b. Mark-Matthew for Aramaic quote of Psalm 22:2 (indicating the criteria of embarrassment).

c. Common for the offer of vinegar by soldiers, the death of Jesus and the witness by Mary Magdalene along with other women.

Jesus' declaration of Psalm 22:2 came only from Mark-Matthew. As a single source, it lacked confirmation from the other gospels. But I included it for several reasons: the use of Aramaic indicated an older tradition and the parallel with the weakness Jesus showed at Gethsemane (Mark 14:36). These two reasons could be explained other ways, but, for me, the last reason tilted the passage towards inclusion: the criteria of embarrassment. A moment of public desperation meant weakness, anathema in the hero narratives of the time. Luke and John could have eliminated the moment to promote their theological vision of Jesus (Luke as the innocent man; John as "I AM").

The other details flowed in a straight forward manner.

a. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

1) Mark 15:34: kai tē enatē hōra eboēsen ho Iēsous phōnē megalē Elōi elōi lema sabachthani? ho estin methermēneuomenon Ho theos mou ho theos mou, eis ti enkatelipes me? ("At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, my God, for what (reason) did you forsake me?'")

2) Matthew 27:46a: peri de tēn enatēn hōran aneboēsen ho Iēsous phōnē megalē legōn Ēli ēli lema sabachthani? tout' estin Thee mou thee mou, hinati me enkatelipes? ("About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?' That is 'My God, my God, why did you forsake me?'")

b. Offer of Vinegar.

1) Matthew 27:48: kai eutheōs dramōn heis ex autōn kai labōn spongon plēsas te oxous kai peritheis kalamō epotizen auton. ("Immediately, one of them running and taking a sponge and filling it with vinegar and placing (it) on a reed offered him a drink.")

2) Mark 15:36: dramōn de tis kai gemisas spongon oxous peritheis kalamō epotizen auton, legōn Aphete idōmen ei erchetai Ēlias kathelein auton. ("Someone running and filling a sponge with vinegar and placing (it) on a reed offered him a drink, saying 'Let him alone. Let us see if Elijah will come to take him down.")

3) Luke 23:36: enepaixan de autō kai hoi stratiōtai proserchomenoi, oxos prospherontes autō ("They mocked him, the soldiers, approaching and offering him vinegar.")

4) John 19:28: skeuos ekeito oxous meston spongon oun meston tou oxous hyssōpō perithentes prosēnenkan autou tō stomati. ("A vessel full of vinegar lay (there), so a sponge full of vinegar, setting (it) on a hyssop branch, they offered (it) to his mouth.")

c. Death of Jesus

1) Matthew 27:50: ho de Iēsous palin kraxas phōnē megalē aphēken to pneuma. ("Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and sent away (his) spirit.")

2) Mark 15:37: ho de Iēsous apheis phōnēn megalēn exepneusen. ("Jesus, sending away a loud cry, expired.")

3) Luke 23:46: kai phōnēsas phōnē megalē ho Iēsous eipen Pater, eis cheiras sou paratithemai to pneuma mou. touto de eipōn exepneusen. ("Crying out in a loud voice, Jesus said, 'Father, into your hands I entrust (you) with my spirit' (Ps 31:5) Saying this, he expired.")

4) John 19:30: hote oun elaben to oxos ho Iēsous eipen Tetelestai, kai klinas tēn kephalēn paredōken to pneuma. ("Thus, when he took the vinegar, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' Bowing the head, he surrendered the spirit")

d. Names of the Women Witnesses:

1) Matthew 27:56 : Mary Magdalene, Mary (mother of James and Joseph) and the mother of James and John (sons of Zebedee).

2) Mark 15:40 Mary Magdalene, Mary (mother of James the younger and Joses) and Salome.

3) John 19:25: Mary Magdalene, Mary (wife of Cleopas), Mary (mother of Jesus).

4) Stood at a distance (Matthew-Mark); Stood close (John).

e. Not included in reconstruction:

1) Time frame: Darkness over the land from the sixth to the ninth hour (Synoptic tradition: Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, Luke 23:44).

2) Call for Elijah.

i. Mark 15:35: kai tines tōn parestēkotōn akousantes elegon Ide Ēlian phōnei. ("Some of the bystanders hearing (this) said, 'Look! He is calling Elijah.'")

ii. Matthew 27:46b: tines de tōn ekei hestēkotōn akousantes elegon hoti Ēlian phōnei houtos. (" Some of the (ones) standing there said, "This (man) is calls on Elijah.'")

3) John 19:28: Thirsting to fulfill Scripture.

4) Luke 23:45: Sun darkening.

5) Matthew 27:51b-53: Earthquake and rising of the dead.

6) Tearing of the Curtain (Synoptic tradition: Matthew 27:51a, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:44c).

7) Centurion's declaration (Synoptic tradition):

i. Mark 15:39: Alēthōs houtos ho anthrōpos huios theou ēn. ("Truly, this man was the Son of God." )

ii. Matthew 27:54c: Alēthōs theou huios ēn houtos. ("Truly this was the Son of God.")

iii. Luke 23:47: Ontōs ho anthrōpos houtos dikaios ēn. ("Certainly, this man was innocent.")

8) Luke 23:48: People return home penitent.

9) John 19:31-37: The piercing of Jesus' side by the soldier and author's testimony in fulfillment of Exodus 12:46 and Zechariah 12:10.

Comments on materials not included:

a. Timing of Jesus' execution:

As stated before, two time frames exist for the execution of Jesus, based upon the day he died. The Synoptics held his death was on Passover, while John portrayed it on the the day before, "Preparation Day." John's timing fit his theological outlook; with the trial beginning at noon (the sixth hour), the judgment and death of Jesus occurred at the same time as Temple slaughter of lambs, preparing them for the Passover Seder that night. This dovetailed perfectly with the John's vision of Jesus as the "Lamb of God."

Besides the execution on Passover, the timing found in the Synoptics provided little theological insight, but did send a strong political message. Authorities would want a prisoner accused of political aspirations publicly dispatched before sunset that marked the beginning of the Sabbath, especially on a day that celebrated the liberation of a people. Certainly, the Romans would want the Jews to know who was truly in charge.

Yet, as a single source (ultimately from Mark), the timing of his death could be explained as narrative coherence, so was not included in the reconstruction.

b. The Centurion's declaration of faith.

In Mark-Matthew, the centurion declared Jesus was "the Son of God," in Luke as "innocent." These fit the theological agenda for the Synoptics: faith of the Gentiles (see Acts 10). In addition, the declaration was single source, so was not included in the reconstruction.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 15:34bc, 36ab, 37, 40

34bc JESUS cried out in a great sound, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which, translated, is "My God, my God, why did you leave me?" 36ab But, someone, having run and having filled a sponge of sour wine set around a reed, was offering HIM a drink… 37 JESUS, having given off a great sound, breathed out (HIS last breath). 40 There were women, from a distance watching (the events), among them (were) Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James the lesser, of Joses and of Salome...

Matthew 27:46bc, 48, 50, 55-56

46bc JESUS cried out in a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli lema sabachtani?" This is: "My God, my God, why did you abandon me?" 48 One of them running quickly, taking a sponge, filling (it with) vinegar, and putting (it) on a (solid) reed, offered HIM a drink. 50 JESUS, crying out in a loud voice, gave up (HIS) spirit. 55 There were many women watching from a distance, who followed JESUS from Galilee, serving HIM, 56 among whom was Mary Magdelene, and Mary, mother of James and John, mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Luke 23:36, 46

36 The soldiers mocked HIM, approaching (HIM), offering HIM vinegary wine… 46 Crying out in a loud voice, JESUS said, "Father, 'into your hands I give my spirit.'" Having said this, he breathed out.

John 19:25, 29, 30b

25 (Women) had stood beside the cross of JESUS: HIS mother, the mother of HIS sister, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 29 A container full of cheap wine was lying (there). A sponge full of the cheap wine on a hyssop (stick) they brought to his mouth. 30B And, having bowed (HIS) head, HE gave (HIS) Spirit.

4. Mark 15:42-47: Burial of Jesus

It was late afternoon of the Preparation Day, the day before the Sabbath. Joseph of Arimathea was rich man and [a secret disciple.] He asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. The governor released it to Joseph who wrapped it in linens and laid it in an unused tomb. <They rolled a stone over the entrance.>

Case for inclusion:

a. Matthew-John for Joseph as secret disciple.

b. Common for the time frame of the day, the request for the body, its release, its preparation and its burial: strong.

c. Mark-Matthew for the stone rolled over the entrance. However, this detail could be implied based upon its mention in the Resurrection narrative of all four gospels.

From the context of the passage, we can infer Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man with some standing in the community (Mark 15:43 and Luke 23:50 list him as a member of the Sanhedrin). He had enough visibility in Jerusalem to get an audience with Pilate, ask for the body of Jesus and have his request granted by the governor. He also laid the corpse in an unused tomb, hewed out of stone, then rolled a stone over entrance (Mark 15:46 and Matthew 27:60). This burial described first century burial practices for rich clans in the Jerusalem area. The act of burying a convicted criminal in burial cave of one's own family stood as a great act of charity.

Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54 and John 19:42 mentioned the day as Preparation Day, the time when the faithful gathered provisions for the Sabbath. Mark and Luke specifically focused upon the late afternoon. John implied this time frame based upon 19:14 when Pilate presented Jesus to the religious leaders at noon ("(It) was the Preparation Day of the Pascha, (it) was about the sixth hour..."). The author made it explicit in 19:31 when the guard pierced Jesus' side ("...because (it) was Preparation Day, so that the bodies upon the crosses might not remain, for the day of that Sabbath was great..."); when a Passover fell on the Sabbath, the day was called the "Great Sabbath."

a. Mark 15:42, 45-46

1) 42 Kai ēdē opsias genomenēs, epei ēn paraskeuē ho estin prosabbaton, (42 Becoming already late, (it) was Preparation Day, which is the day before the Sabbath.)

i. Preparation Day, late in the day.

2) 43 elthōn Iōsēph ho apo Harimathaias euschēmōn bouleutēs, hos kai autos ēn prosdechomenos tēn basileian tou theou, tolmēsas eisēlthen pros ton Pilaton kai ētēsato to sōma tou Iēsou. (43 Going, Joseph from Arimathea, an honorable member of the (Sanhedrin) council, who himself was awaiting the Kingdom of God, boldly approached Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.)

i. Joseph of Arimathea, awaiting the Kingdom of God, member of the Sanhedrin

ii. Asked Pilate for the body.

3) 45 kai gnous apo tou kentyriōnos edōrēsato to ptōma tō Iōsēph. (45 Being informed by the centurion (that Jesus was dead), (Pilate) gave the body to Joseph.)

i. Pilate gave him the body.

4) 46 kai agorasas sindona kathelōn auton eneilēsen tē sindoni kai ethēken auton en mnēmeiō ho ēn lelatomēmenon ek petras, kai prosekylisen lithon epi tēn thyran tou mnēmeiou. (46 Purchasing a linen and lowering (Jesus), he wrapped him in the linen and placed him in a tomb which was hewed out of rock, and he rolled a stone over the entrance to the tomb.)

i. He wrapped the body in a linen he purchased.

ii. Buried it in a tomb, hewed, with a stone rolled over the entrance.

b. Matthew 27:57-60

1) 57 Opsias de genomenēs ēlthen anthrōpos plousios apo Harimathaias, tounoma Iōsēph, hos kai autos emathēteuthē tō Iēsou 58 houtos proselthōn tō Pilatō ētēsato to sōma tou Iēsou. tote ho Pilatos ekeleusen apodothēnai. (57 Becoming late, a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself being a disciple of Jesus, arrived. 58 He himself, approaching Pilate, asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered it to be given over.)

i. Late in the day.

ii. Joseph of Arimathea, disciple of Jesus.

iii. Asked Pilate for the body.

iv. Pilate gave him the body.

2) 59 Opsias de genomenēs ēlthen anthrōpos plousios apo Harimathaias, tounoma Iōsēph, hos kai autos emathēteuthē tō Iēsou 60 houtos proselthōn tō Pilatō ētēsato to sōma tou Iēsou. tote ho Pilatos ekeleusen apodothēnai. (59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in a clean white linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb which he made hewed out of rock, and he rolled a large stone over the entrance and went away.)

i. He wrapped the body in a new linen.

ii. Buried it in a new tomb, hewed, with a large stone rolled over the entrance.

c. Luke 23:50-54

1) 50 Kai idou anēr onomati Iōsēph bouleutēs hyparchōn, anēr agathos kai dikaios — (50 Behold, (there was) a man named Joseph, being a member of the Sanhedrin, a man good and righteous,)

i. Joseph of Arimathea, awaiting the Kingdom of God, member of the Sanhedrin.

2) 51 houtos ouk ēn synkatatetheimenos tē boulē kai tē praxei autōn — apo Harimathaias poleōs tōn Ioudaiōn, hos prosedecheto tēn basileian tou theou, (51 – this (man) not consenting to their intentions and their deeds – from Arimathea, a Judean town, who (patiently) awaited the Kingdom of God,)

3) 52 houtos proselthōn tō Pilatō ētēsato to sōma tou Iēsou, (52 this (one) approaching Pilate, asked for the body of Jesus, )

i. Asked Pilate for the body.

4) 53 kai kathelōn enetylixen auto sindoni, kai ethēken auton en mnēmati laxeutō hou ouk ēn oudeis oupō keimenos. (53 lowering (the body), he wrapped it in linen and laid it in a hewed tomb where no one was yet buried.)

i. Wrapped the body in linen.

ii. Laid it in a hewed tomb, unused.

5) 54 kai hēmera ēn paraskeuēs kai sabbaton epephōsken. (54 (It) was Preparation Day and the Sabbath drew near.)

i Preparation Day, late in the day.

d. John 19:38-42

1) 38 Meta de tauta ērōtēsen ton Pilaton Iōsēph apo Harimathaias, ōn mathētēs tou Iēsou kekrymmenos de dia ton phobon tōn Ioudaiōn, hina arē to sōma tou Iēsou kai epetrepsen ho Pilatos. ēlthen oun kai ēren to sōma autou. (38 With this, (he)asked Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea being a disciple of Jesus - having hidden (this fact) because fear of the Jewish leaders – so that (he) might take away the body of Jesus and Pilate permitted (it), so he went and took away his body.)

i. Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus.

ii. Asked Pilate for the body; Pilate released it.

2) 39 ēlthen de kai Nikodēmos, ho elthōn pros auton nyktos to prōton, pherōn migma smyrnēs kai aloēs hōs litras hekaton. (39 (He) arrived, Nicodemus going to HIM first at night, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, being a hundred pounds.)

3) 40 elabon oun to sōma tou Iēsou kai edēsan auto othoniois meta tōn arōmatōn, kathōs ethos estin tois Ioudaiois entaphiazein. (40 Then, (they) took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linens with aromatic (spices), just as (it) is the custom of the Jews bury (a body).

i. Wrapped the body in linens.

4) 41 ēn de en tō topō hopou estaurōthē kēpos, kai en tō kēpō mnēmeion kainon, en hō oudepō oudeis ēn tetheimenos (42 In the place where he was crucified, (there was) a garden and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one was yet laid out.)

i. A new tomb.

5) 42 ekei oun dia tēn paraskeuēn tōn Ioudaiōn, hoti engys ēn to mnēmeion, ethēkan ton Iēsoun. (42 So, because of the Preparation Day of the Jews and because the tomb was near, (they) laid out Jesus there.)

i. Preparation Day

ii. Laid Jesus in the tomb.

e. Not included in reconstruction.

1) Mark 15:44: Pilate surprised by quick death of Jesus.

2) John 19:39: Nicodemus brought spices for the burial.

3) Women witness burial:

i. Mary Magdalene and other Mary (Matthew 27:61; other Mary, mother of Joses in Mark 15:47)

ii. Women in general (Luke 20:55)

4) John 19:41a: Tomb in a garden.

5) Luke 23:56: All rested for Sabbath.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 15:42-43, 45-46

42 Becoming already late, (it) was Preparation Day, which is the day before the Sabbath. 43 Going, Joseph from Arimathea, an honorable member of the (Sanhedrin) council, who himself was awaiting the Kingdom of God, boldly approached Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 45 Being informed by the centurion (that Jesus was dead), (Pilate) gave the body to Joseph. 46 Purchasing a linen and lowering (Jesus), he wrapped him in the linen and placed him in a tomb which was hewed out of rock, and he rolled a stone over the entrance to the tomb.

Matthew 27:57-60

57 Becoming late, a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself being a disciple of Jesus, arrived. 58 He himself, approaching Pilate, asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered it to be given over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in a clean white linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb which he made hewed out of rock, and he rolled a large stone over the entrance and went away.

Luke 23:50-54

50 Behold, (there was) a man named Joseph, being a member of the Sanhedrin, a man good and righteous, 51 – this (man) not consenting to their intentions and their deeds – from Arimathea, a Judean town, who (patiently) awaited the Kingdom of God, 52 this (one) approaching Pilate, asked for the body of Jesus, 53 lowering (the body), he wrapped it in linen and laid it in a hewed tomb where no one was yet buried.) 54 (It) was Preparation Day and the Sabbath drew near.

John 19:38, 40 41b-42

38 After these (events), Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of JESUS but having been one in secret because of fear of the Jewish (leaders), asked Pilate so that he might remove the body of JESUS (from the cross); and Pilate gave (him) permission. Then he went and removed the body of JESUS. 40 They took the body of JESUS and they bound it in linen strips with the spices, as it was the custom of the Jews to bury (a body). 41b ...a new tomb in which no one as yet had been placed. 42 So, because of the Preparation Day of the Jews and because the tomb was near,because the tomb was near by, they placed JESUS there.

F. The Resurrection.

1. Mark 16:1-8: The Empty Tomb.

On the first day of the week, about dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other women went to tomb of Jesus. They saw the stone to its entrance had been rolled away. After they looked into the burial place, they saw a man {or two men} in white who spoke to them. [Mary Magdalene saw the risen Jesus.] [{She and the others told the disciples what they experienced.}]

{Peter went to the tomb, saw the burial linen laying there and returned home.}

Case for inclusion:

a. Common: The opening time frame (word-for-word in all four gospels), sight of the stone rolled away, encounter with the young male witness.

b. Luke-John: Doublet of witnesses and Peter's sight of linens.

c. Matthew-John: Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene.

d. Exception: Matthew-Luke, John: Women evangelizing other disciples.

The Resurrection scene consisted of: 1) the approach of Mary Magdalene and other women at or about dawn, 2) their sight of the empty tomb, 3) the witness of the man (or men) in white. The women and the male(s) in white presented an interesting juxtaposition. In Semitic culture at the time, women stood near the bottom of the social pecking order; their word in court or among males in society carried little weight. The man (men) in white represented the neophyte, the newly baptized believer, who faced prejudice and persecution from Jews and pagans alike. In other words, the ignored and disdained in society carried the Good News to that world at large. In Matthew 28:8, Luke 24:9 and John 20:18, the women did evangelize the male followers; for theological reasons, Mark ended his gospel at 16:8 with the women cowering in silence.

From this point, various traditions added details to the narrative. Luke-John doubled the number of witnesses; since the testimony of two men constituted truth in legal proceedings, their words carried more weight than one person alone. That tradition also included the sight of the linens by Simon Peter, the leader of the disciples; his words would add more veracity to the Resurrection. Matthew-John added a new twist to the event, the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene. So, the two reasons for belief in the Resurrection, sight of the empty tomb and of the Risen Lord, initial depended upon the words of a least one woman, Mary from Magdalen.

a. Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb.

1) With other Mary (Matthew 28:1; mother of James and Salome in Mark 16:1); women implied (Luke 23:55-24:1)

b. Time frame: first day of the week

1) Mark 16:1a,2a: diagenomenou tou sabbatou…lian prōi tē mia tōn sabbatōn ("when the Sabbath dawn on the first of the Sabbaths" i.e., on the first day of the week).

2) Matthew 28:1: Opse de sabbatōn, te epiphoskousa eis mian sabbaton ("after the Sabbath, at the dawn breaking on the first of the Sabbaths").

3) Luke 24:1: tē de mia tōn sabbatōn orthrou ("On the first of the Sabbaths, very early" i.e., on the first day of the week).

4) John 20:1: Tē de mia tōn sabbatōn...proi skotias (On the first of the dawn in darkness" i.e., on the first day of the week).

c. Stone rolled back:

1) Mark 16:4: hoti apokekylistai ho lithos ("that the stone had been rolled away").

2) Luke 24:2: ton lithon apokekylismenon ("the stone being rolled away").

3) John 20:1: lithon ērmenon ek tou mnēmeiou ("the stone was away from the tomb").

4) Matthew 28:2: kai idou seismos egeneto megas; angelos gar kyriou katabas ex ouranou kai proselthōn apekylisen ton lithon kai ekathēto epanō autou. ("Look! There was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord, descending out of heaven and approaching, rolled away the stone and sat upon it.")

d. The encounter with heavenly witness…

1) Young man in white with (Mark 16:5)

2) Angel who rolled back the stone (Matthew 28:5)

3) Two men dazzling in appearance (Luke 24:4)

4) Two witnesses in white (John 20:13).

e. Mary and/or others saw the burial place.

1) Mark 16:a, Luke 24:3: As they entered the tomb.

2) John 20:11: As Mary looked into the tomb.

f. Peter came to the tomb, saw the burial linen and returned home (Luke 24:2, John 20:3, 6, 10).

g. Mary Magdalene encountered the Risen Jesus (Matthew 28:9a, John 20:14)

1) John 20:14-17: Mary's personal encounter with Jesus.

2) Matthew 28:9-10: Women's encounter with Jesus (Mary implied, since she visited the tomb in 28:1).

h. Women bring news of the Resurrection to the disciples (Matthew 28:8, Luke 24:9, John 20:18).

i. Not included in reconstruction.

1) Mark 16:1b, Luke 24:1b: Women bringing spices to embalm the body of Jesus.

2) Matthew 28:2-4: Angel causing the stone to roll away; fear of the guards.

3) Mark 16:3: Discussion who will roll away the stone to the tomb entrance.

4) John 20:2-6: Mary Magdalene' report to Simon Peter.

5) John 20:7-11: Activity of the other disciple, sight of the head band by Peter.

6) John 20:17: Commands of Jesus to Mary Magdalene.

7) Mark 16:6, Matthew 28:5-6, Luke 24:5-6: Declaration of Resurrection.

8) Mark 16:7, Matthew 28:7, 10: Command to evangelize.

9) Mark 16:8: Fear paralyzed women.

10) Luke 24:7-8: Resurrection fulfilled Scripture.

11) Luke 24:11: Disciples did not believe women.

Gospel Passages:

Mark 16:1a, 2, 4, 6

1 When the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of John, and Salome... 2 Very early morning on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb, the sun having risen. 4 Having looked up, they noticed that the stone was rolled back. For it was exceedingly large. 5 Having gone into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right, clothed in a long white robe.

6 (That) one said to them, "Do not be very astonished. You look for Jesus the Nazarene, the one having been crucified. He was raised up. He is not here. Look! (This is) the place where they placed him."

Matthew 28:1, 2c, 5-6a, 8-9

1 Late on the Sabbath, drawing toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 angel of the Lord...rolled the stone away...

5 Addressing, the angel said to the women, "You! Do not fear! For I know that you search for JESUS, the (one) having been crucified. 6 HE is not here. HE was raised up, as HE said. Come see the place where HE lay." 8 Leaving quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to announce (the news) to HIS disciples. 9 Look! JESUS met them, saying, "Greetings!" The (women), approaching, took hold of HIS feet and worshiped HIM.

Luke 24:1a, 2, 4b, 5a, 9-10, 12a

1 But, early dawn on the first day of the week, (a group of women) came upon the grave... 2 They found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb. 3 Entering (the tomb), they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 ...two men stood before them in flashing clothes. 5 ... (the two men) said to them, "Why do you look for the Living (One) among the dead? 6 HE is not here, but was raised." 9 Returning from the grave, they told everything to the Eleven and everyone remaining (there). 10 There was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary (mother) of John, and the (women) remaining with (the three women listed). They relayed these (events) to the disciples. 12 Standing up, Peter ran to the tomb. Stooping down (to peer in), he saw only the (burial) linens.

John 20:1, 6, 12a, 13a, 14b, 16ac, 16a, 18

1 After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb in the morning still being dark and she saw the stone having been lifted away from the tomb. 6 Simon Peter also came...and he entered the tomb and saw the (burial) linen strips lying (there)...

12 She saw two angels in white… 13 They said to her, Woman, why do you wail?" 14 ...she saw JESUS standing (there) but she did not know it was JESUS.

15 JESUS said to her, "Woman, why do you wail? Whom do you seek?" ...she said to HIM, "LORD, if you carried HIM (away), tell me where you laid HIM..." 16 JESUS said to her, "Mary." Turning, that (one) said to HIM in Aramaic, "Rabboni," which means "Teacher." 18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I saw the LORD," and these (things HE) said to her.

2. Luke-John: Appearances of Jesus

Jesus appeared to his disciples. {He said "Peace to you." Then, he showed them the wounds in his hands and invited them to touch him. <He ate fish with them.>}

Case for inclusion:

a. 1 Corinthians 15, Matthew, Luke, John for the appearance of Jesus to his followers.

b. Luke-John for corporeal existence. The word-for-word greeting, showing his wounds, the invitation to touch him, eating of fish.

Of all the diversity in the Resurrection narrative, one factor remained constant: various witnesses claimed to see Jesus alive after his death. While we have good reason to doubt Mark 16:9-20 as original to his gospel, the others and 1 Corinthians 15 did present a Risen Lord. Luke and John, however, took those events one step further. Jesus now possessed a raised body that still contained the wounds he suffered on the cross. His followers could touch him and share a meal with him. For them, resurrection did not merely mean surviving death, but an existence of wholeness.

a. Jesus appeared to his followers (1 Corinthians 15:4b-8, Matthew 28:17, Luke 24:36, John 20:19b).

b. Luke-John.

1) Jesus greeted his followers.

i. Luke 24:36: Eirana umin ("Peace to you.")

ii. John 20:19c, 21a, 26c: Eirana umin ("Peace to you.")

2) Jesus showed his disciples his wounds (Luke 24:40, John 20:20a).

3) Jesus commanded a disciple (or disciples) to touch him

i. Luke 24:38: Disciples as a group.

ii. John 20:27a: Thomas as an individual.

4) Jesus shared fish.

i. Luke 24:41-43: Jesus asked for something to eat, then consumed cooked fish.

ii. John 21:9, 12a, 13: Jesus shared a fish and bread breakfast with his followers.

Gospel Passages:

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

4b (JESUS) was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures; 5 HE was seen by Kephas, then the Twelve; 6 then HE was seen by more than five hundred brothers all at once, out of whom more remain (alive) until now, but some fell asleep (in death); 7 then HE was seen by James, then all of the apostles. 8 But, certainly last of all, as a premature birth, HE also appeared to me.

Matthew 28:16-17

16 The eleven disciples traveled to the mountain where JESUS commanded them (to go), 17 and, having seen HIM, they worshiped, but some doubted.

Luke 24:36, 38a, 39a, 40, 41b, 42-43

36 While they were saying these (things), HE HIMSELF stood in the middle of them and said to them, "Peace to you."

38 HE said to them, 39 "See MY hands and MY feet that (it is) I MYSELF. Touch ME and see (ME)." 40 Having said this, HE showed them (HIS) hands and feet. 41 HE said to them, "Do you have something in this place to eat?" 42 They gave to him a piece of cooked fish. 43 Having taken (it) before them, he ate (it).

John 20:19b-21a, 26b-27a; 21:1a, 9, 12a, 13

19 ...Jesus came and stood in the middle (of them) and said "Peace to you." 20 Having said this, he showed (his) hands and side to them. The disciples rejoiced, having seen the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you."

26 Jesus came (although) the doors had been locked, he stood in the middle (of them) and said, "Peace to you." 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Take your finger here and inspect my hands; take your hand and thrust (it) into my side."

1 After these (events), JESUS showed himself again to (HIS) disciples on the Sea of Tiberius… 9 As they went onto the land, they saw a charcoal fire lying (there), small fish cooking on it, and bread. 12 JESUS said to them, "Come, eat (breakfast with me)." 13 JESUS came, took the bread, and gave it to them. (HE did) likewise (with) the small fish.