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The Passion Story, Part 6

July 24, 2011

Of course, to my point about the place where Peter’s denials happened, it is possible, I suppose, that Caiaphas and Annas lived in the same house. I don’t think that’s very likely, though. More important, John 18:13 and 18:24 seem to imply that Jesus was brought to two distinct locations.

The possibility also occurs to me that John 18:24 has been mistranslated and that Jesus was indeed standing before Caiaphas in John 18:19-23. Since I am no New Testament Greek scholar, I will leave that up to others. The King James Version’s translation of verse 24 certainly comes closer to that meaning, saying, “Now Annas had sent,” instead of, “Then Annas sent.” Also, referring to both Annas and Caiaphas as “the high priest” is strange, considering John 18:13. On the other hand, Luke 3:2 says the both Annas and Caiaphas had “the high priesthood” or (depending on translation) “were high priests.”

The Gospel of Luke reverses the order of the judgment and the mocking by certain guards. In Luke, the mocking takes place sometime during the night, but the judgment only comes in the morning. I think I heard somewhere that it was Jewish tradition to allow for a night’s rest before delivering a verdict, so that they could calm down, if necessary. In that case, maybe Luke is more realistic. However, I doubt if these people were trying to follow protocol too closely.

Perhaps, instead, there was only one trial, and it was in the morning. The other Gospels do not explicitly say that their versions of the trial were at night. However, Peter’s denials were obviously at night, before a crowing of the rooster.(The “meanwhile” of John is not a problem, because that interrogation by the high priest is not necessarily the same time as the trial, although it’s the closest thing John has to a trial scene. In fact, the interrogation seems to involve Annas instead of Caiaphas.) The implications of Matthew and Mark do not rise to the level of proving an error, as far as I can tell.

I’ve already discussed the most stunning divergence from what the “Markan priority/Q theory” is generally taken to predict: that Matthew and Luke are completely independent of a source other than Mark for the Passion Story. That example is the Denial Story with Peter. Perhaps the two next most stunning examples also come from the same “area” of the Passion Story. I think the first of these may just be the translation of the NIV, because I do not find this similarity in the NASB or the King James Version.

That example would be the “from now on” in Matthew 26:64 and Luke 22:68 of the NIV, which is also in a footnote of the NASB. However, it is absent in Mark 14:62 in all versions I checked (KJV, NKJV, ESV, HCSB, NIV, NASB, Young’s). Although this difference is startling, it may actually be a coincidence; if it’s not supported by the underlying Greek. Since it involves such small and common words, I’m not sure if Strong’s Concordance and Lexicon will help me here.

The third example is the, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” of Matthew 26:68 and Luke 22:64, versus merely the “Prophesy!” of Mark 14:65. This is the addition of an entire new thought, not just different wording that may have snuck in coincidentally. Of course, it still might be coincidence, but that is a little hard for me to believe. However, that still doesn’t mean Matthew and Luke had to get the extra thought from the same written source.

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