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Answering The Atheist
August 19, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 33

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
At what time of day was Jesus crucified? Was it at the third hour (Mark 15:25) or some time after the sixth hour (John 19:14-15). Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
The Jews and Romans reckoned time differently. The Roman clock began at midnight, as our's does, and thus at about the sixth hour (6 a.m.), Jesus was in the presence of Pilate, the governor, who was in small fashion pleading for Jesus' life before His envious accusers. At some point after this, Jesus was led away to be crucified.

Mark, using the Jewish way of rendering time tells us that Jesus was nailed to the cross at the third hour (9 a.m.). What filled the time between the sixth hour (Roman time) and the third hour (Jewish time)? Throughout this period, Jesus was beaten and bruised, ridiculed and blasphemed. Pilate attempted to release Jesus, setting him beside Barabbas, a notorious prisoner. When all attempts failed, he released him to the custody of the guards, who further molested Him (Mark 15:16-20).

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible