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Easter Fable, Part 2: Jesus was crucified when?

By God O Rama ~

I was recently shocked to learn that Jesus was in two places at once on the day of his crucifixion.

How could that be? At the sixth hour, or noon, the Gospel of John places him at Gabbatha, or The Pavement, where he was judged by Pontius Pilate. It says at the sixth hour, Pilate brought him before the crowd that was gathered, and said, “Behold, your king!”

The other three gospels say that at that time, he had already been hanging on the cross for three hours, and darkness came over the land from the sixth to the ninth hours, or from noon to 3 p.m.!

If the authors of the gospels are writing “under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,” how did this glaring error take place? Either John is wrong, or the other three gospel writers are wrong.

Both cannot be right.

Those who believe in biblical inerrancy often make the argument ( that the time discrepancy arose from a difference in the way Romans kept time versus how Jews kept time.

They try to explain that John was writing to the Romans, who measured time like we do today, beginning at midnight. So, to Romans, the sixth hour would have been close to 6 a.m.

The only problem with that explanation is that historians say that throughout Babylonian and Roman times, the sixth hour always meant midday—never early morning.

Martial the poet (, who was born only seven years after Jesus died, said that in Rome, the work day started at the third hour, and the sixth hour was afternoon break time.

Gentiles in Rome didn't measure the daylight hours any differently than the Jews did. Starting the day at midnight didn't begin until the use of mechanical clocks (, which started hundreds of years after Christ. Before that, everyone in the Western world measured time the same way—beginning at dawn.

If the gospels claimed to be a mere historical record written by men, a discrepancy concerning the correct time of an event would be a minor problem. But these writings claim to be written under the guidance and inspiration of none other than God the Holy Spirit.

If the “Holy Spirit” really had been guiding those who wrote the gospels, wouldn’t he have known the time Jesus was crucified, and had there been cultural differences in telling time, would he not have been able to correct them?

Everyone form my generation remembers exactly what they were doing the moment they heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot (Kennedy had been shot). That was the event that defined the postwar baby boom generation. And after watching the news all that day, no one would be confused about the time: 12:30 p.m., Central Standard Time, at Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas. People tend to remember the details when someone murders their hero.