Today’s post will tackle another question that the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Who put the robe on Jesus?
Here are the two answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction:
And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. (Luke 23:11)
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.(Matthew 27:27-28)
Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. 16 The soldiers took Him away into the [a]palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they *called together the whole Roman [b]cohort. 17 They *dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him. (Mark 15:15-17)
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him. (John 19:1-2)
(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)
Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:
- When dealing with skeptics’ claim of Bible contradictions it seems one can never be reminded enough of what exactly is a contradiction. A contradiction occurs when two or more claims conflict with one another so that they cannot simultaneously be true in the same sense and at the same time. To put it another way, the claims found in the Bible must be mutually exclusive in order for there to be a contradiction.
- Even looking merely at the two claims without further study of the passage we see that what we have here doesn’t necessarily have to be a contradiction since both the soldiers of Herod and the soldiers of Pilate could have hypothetically put on the robe on Jesus together.
- When we do examine the four passages cited by the skeptic we see that we do not have a contradiction because there were more than one instances in which different set of soldiers were putting a robe on Jesus. You can’t claim a logical contradiction when the passages are referring to different time and different referents involved with putting a robe on Jesus.
- Luke 23:11 was cited as proof that Herod’s soldiers were the ones who put a robe on Jesus and the skeptic extrapolated this truth correctly. But notice that this took place before Herod and his soldiers “sent Him back to Pilate.“
- Matthew 27:27-28, Mark 15:15-17 and John 19:1-2 were cited by the skeptic as proof that Pilate’s soldiers put a robe on Jesus and this is also true. Both Matthew 27:27 and Mark 15:16 indicated this took place at the “Praetorium” which was where Pilate was at. In terms of the chronological sequence of events both Matthew 27:27-28 and Mark 15:15-17 followed after Luke 23:11 when Jesus was sent back by King Herod to the Roman Governor Pilate. It is not necessarily a logical contradiction to claim that after King Herod put a robe on Jesus the soldiers of Pilate again put a robe back on Jesus at a later time.
- Also Matthew 27:26 and Mark 15:15 reveal why Jesus would have had to put a robe put back on Jesus again. Both passages mentioned that Jesus was scourged. In order to effectively scourged Jesus it would made sense for Pilate’s soldiers to take off Jesus’ robe. Then after scourging Jesus they put back the robe on Jesus as an act of mocking him. This resolves the alleged Bible contradiction.
- I want to also look at where John 19:1-2 fits in the timeline. Here we see that Pilate’s soldiers put a robe on Jesus before Pilate presented Him before the hostile Jewish crowd in verses 3-16. This took place before Pilate made the decision to crucify Jesus. Thus John 19:1-2 takes place after Herod’s soldiers put a robe on Jesus per Luke 23:11 yet before Matthew 27:26 and Mark 15:15 in which Jesus was finally sentenced to be crucified. Here in John 19:1-2 readers will detect that Pilate was trying to appeal to the Jewish crowd to not have Jesus crucified while at the same time making Jesus look pathetic with a sense of mockery.
Again this is not a Bible contradiction.