How many were crucified with Yeshua?

puddleglum

Well-known member
So, both Thieves mocked and said mean things? Really? Yet one Thief is supposedly 'Saved' because he did not mock Jesus?

Both thieves mocked him at first, then one repented.

The word "malefactor" means someone who has done wrong. Only two were crucified with Jesus. Sometimes they were called thieves and sometimes malefactors.
 

Fred

Well-known member
From the link in post 5:

It is peculiar that VW tried to use "malefactor" and "robber" to try to prove they were two different sets of people. If he was consistent in applying this principle, then there would have to be two Barabbases, as John 18:40 terms him a "robber" while Luke 23:19 and Mark 15:7 call him an insurrectionist and murderer. If Paul is called a "believer" in one place, and an "apostle" in another, is this proof there are two different Pauls? Even today, a single news article can use several different terms (thief, criminal, fellow, etc) to refer to the same person. While VW admits that "A malefactor is an evil-doer," he stubbornly insists they must be different anyway. A robber is certainly one kind of criminal, and the Gospels use both terms to refer to the same men.
 

Tanachreader

Well-known member
Both thieves mocked him at first, then one repented.

The word "malefactor" means someone who has done wrong. Only two were crucified with Jesus. Sometimes they were called thieves and sometimes malefactors.
Both thieves were being bombarded by those Jews below who were railing against Jesus to come down from the cross.
The one started to think this may be true while other believed it was true and told him to stop.
And what we know is that one spoke to the other and what we don’t know is did he believe also.
Did he say more before he died.
Was there more said?
Can’t judge him as I don’t know.
 

Bob Dobbalina

Active member
Both thieves mocked him at first, then one repented.

The word "malefactor" means someone who has done wrong. Only two were crucified with Jesus. Sometimes they were called thieves and sometimes malefactors.
So there’s no point to the different words being used? YHWH just likes to mix things up a bit arbitrarily?
 

Bob Dobbalina

Active member
I think that there is a point to every jot and tittle in the various translations that exist; that purpose being primarily to foster discussion, thereby promoting the Gospel through reasoned debate.
I don’t see where anyone has definitively proven either interpretation. I believe what I believe and others believe as they do for reasons that only I and they know.
This question is interesting to me but is of no consequence for one’s soul.
No one is going to eternal damnation because they interpret this wrongly; no one can know definitively until such time as YHWH defines it. For that reason, I find the arrogance and condescension of so many on CARM to be frustrating and foolish. So many, when challenged to support their assertions scripturally, reply with reasoning that boils down to “ because I said so, because…blah,blah, blah… TRADITION”. .
The evil that YESHUA spoke against more than any other was the traditions of men. Mainstream Churchianity is all about the traditions of men.
Whenever anyone appeals to tradition as supporting a belief, it should be immediately suspect and held to further scrutiny.
 

Bob Dobbalina

Active member
The Bereans studied day and night for no apparent reason because variations in scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit as simply artistic choices, knowing that one day there’d be college/uni courses on “the Bible as literature”.
 

Hawk

New Member
The Bereans studied day and night for no apparent reason because variations in scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit as simply artistic choices, knowing that one day there’d be college/uni courses on “the Bible as literature”.
The logical answer to me has always been (for 50 plus years now) that there were four other individuals crucified with our Savior. There are many clues as to why and most have been discussed here……but one remains dominant.

Both robbers (Lestes/Greek) reviled the Savior (Matthew 27:44). They were also called thieves in some translations. It’s agreed that thieves are robbers….and vice versa.

Why would the one criminal (kakourgos/Greek) suddenly change his mind? (Luke 23:39-41)? When he answered the other criminal it was obvious he already had a deep fear of Yahweh and asks Yeshua to remember him where comes into His Kingdom (Verse 42)). They were also called malefactors in some translations.

Criminals are not necessarily thieves and robbers……could be….but not necessary.

i don’t believe a condemned man would suddenly have a change of heart. The Savior did nothing according to scripture that would cause this criminal suddenly to change his mind. I don.t believe this one criminal/malefactor ever reviled Yeshua but instead it seems he already knew Who the Savior was.

All five were not put on the tree at the same time (Luke 23:32-33). Two malefactors
were crucified with him….one on the right and one on the left.

After these three had been crucified and the soldiers were parting His garments the two thieves were crucified (Matthew 27:35-38)…..one on the right and one on the left, Verse 38 says pointedly……..Then….. the robbers were crucified. It would then appear to me that five individuals were hanging on trees at Golgotha……a criminal and a robber on each side of the Savior.

This then answers the question regarding the breaking of the legs of two of them….and then coming to the Savior and finding Him already dead. If there had been but three crucified the soldiers would have noticed Him already deceased when they passed Him by going to the other thief/criminal (John 19:32-33), This would not make any sense if there were only three. The legs of the condemned were always broken so they could no longer support themselves on the little saddle on the tree. They then suffocated and died as their lungs collapsed from their bodies now suspended with no support.

Yeshua had already died from loss of blood due to the gaping sword wound in His side. The Passover always died from bleeding to death.

Three crosses on a hill have always been a traditional symbol of Christianity. I think it is in error……….
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
The logical answer to me has always been (for 50 plus years now) that there were four other individuals crucified with our Savior.
There is nothing logical about taking four accounts of the same event (the crucifixion of Jesus), each of which refers to two people executed with him, and use subtle differences between them to create a super-account in which now four people are executed with him.

There are many clues as to why and most have been discussed here……but one remains dominant.

Both robbers (Lestes/Greek) reviled the Savior (Matthew 27:44). They were also called thieves in some translations. It’s agreed that thieves are robbers….and vice versa.

Why would the one criminal (kakourgos/Greek) suddenly change his mind? (Luke 23:39-41)? When he answered the other criminal it was obvious he already had a deep fear of Yahweh and asks Yeshua to remember him where comes into His Kingdom (Verse 42)). They were also called malefactors in some translations.

Criminals are not necessarily thieves and robbers……could be….but not necessary.

i don’t believe a condemned man would suddenly have a change of heart. The Savior did nothing according to scripture that would cause this criminal suddenly to change his mind. I don.t believe this one criminal/malefactor ever reviled Yeshua but instead it seems he already knew Who the Savior was.

All five were not put on the tree at the same time (Luke 23:32-33). Two malefactors
were crucified with him….one on the right and one on the left.

After these three had been crucified and the soldiers were parting His garments the two thieves were crucified (Matthew 27:35-38)…..one on the right and one on the left, Verse 38 says pointedly……..Then….. the robbers were crucified. It would then appear to me that five individuals were hanging on trees at Golgotha……a criminal and a robber on each side of the Savior.
Your approach ignores what Matthew and Luke individually write in order to harmonize real or perceived discrepancies between the two accounts. It is clear reading each account that two people were crucified with Jesus... each author groups particular points together for rhetorical reasons. Matthew places notice of the other executions immediately preceding reference to the various groups who ridicule Jesus, culminating with notice that the robbers taunted him in the same way (27:38-44). Luke, on the other hand, groups notice of the three executions together (23:32-34). There are similar rearrangements of material in the crucifixion accounts... Matthew places reference to the written charge against Jesus (This is Jesus, the King of the Jews) after noting the soldiers cast lots for his clothes and sat down to guard him (27:35-37) whereas Luke groups it thematically with the soldiers mockingly adjuring Jesus to save himself if he is 'the King of the Jews' (23:36-38). Luke includes reference to the offer of sour wine in this context whereas Matthew places it immediately after onlookers think Jesus is calling out for Elijah (27:47-48). Luke places the tearing of the temple curtain before Jesus dies (23:45-46) whereas Matthew places it afterward (27:50-51). Examples could be multiplied if we factored in John and cast the net wider in the Passion narrative or the gospels generally... the point is that these kinds of rearrangements abound and are not an indication that the events narrated happened more than once or that there must be double the characters involved. These are the kinds of differences expected when two or more authors narrate the same event...

This then answers the question regarding the breaking of the legs of two of them….and then coming to the Savior and finding Him already dead. If there had been but three crucified the soldiers would have noticed Him already deceased when they passed Him by going to the other thief/criminal (John 19:32-33), This would not make any sense if there were only three.
They went to the crucified individual on one side (referred to as 'the first'), then to the one on the other side (referred to not as 'the second' as if moving in a straight line but as 'the other' singular), then to Jesus... was that really all that difficult to surmise from John's explicit claim there were two others crucified with him (19:18)?

The legs of the condemned were always broken so they could no longer support themselves on the little saddle on the tree. They then suffocated and died as their lungs collapsed from their bodies now suspended with no support.
There is actually debate as to whether asphyxiation or hypovolemic shock is the cause of death in crucifixion.

Yeshua had already died from loss of blood due to the gaping sword wound in His side. The Passover always died from bleeding to death.
To what pre-mortem "gaping sword wound in [Jesus'] side" are you talking about? :unsure:

Three crosses on a hill have always been a traditional symbol of Christianity. I think it is in error……….
You're welcome to think that and at the end of the day who really cares, but if you're interested in what the gospel writers are actually trying to convey rather than creating a harmonized super-narrative, your belief in five crosses on Golgotha that fateful day is the erroneous one...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Hawkeye

Active member
There is nothing logical about taking four accounts of the same event (the crucifixion of Jesus), each of which refers to two people executed with him, and use subtle differences between them to create a super-account in which now four people are executed with him.


Your approach ignores what Matthew and Luke individually write in order to harmonize real or perceived discrepancies between the two accounts. It is clear reading each account that two people were crucified with Jesus... each author groups particular points together for rhetorical reasons. Matthew places notice of the other executions immediately preceding reference to the various groups who ridicule Jesus, culminating with notice that the robbers taunted him in the same way (27:38-44). Luke, on the other hand, groups notice of the three executions together (23:32-34). There are similar rearrangements of material in the crucifixion accounts... Matthew places reference to the written charge against Jesus (This is Jesus, the King of the Jews) after noting the soldiers cast lots for his clothes and sat down to guard him (27:35-37) whereas Luke groups it thematically with the soldiers mockingly adjuring Jesus to save himself if he is 'the King of the Jews' (23:36-38). Luke includes reference to the offer of sour wine in this context whereas Matthew places it immediately after onlookers think Jesus is calling out for Elijah (27:47-48). Luke places the tearing of the temple curtain before Jesus dies (23:45-46) whereas Matthew places it afterward (27:50-51). Examples could be multiplied if we factored in John and cast the net wider in the Passion narrative or the gospels generally... the point is that these kinds of rearrangements abound and are not an indication that the events narrated happened more than once or that there must be double the characters involved. These are the kinds of differences expected when two or more authors narrate the same event...


They went to the crucified individual on one side (referred to as 'the first'), then to the one on the other side (referred to not as 'the second' as if moving in a straight line but as 'the other' singular), then to Jesus... was that really all that difficult to surmise from John's explicit claim there were two others crucified with him (19:18)?


There is actually debate as to whether asphyxiation or hypovolemic shock is the cause of death in crucifixion.


To what pre-mortem "gaping sword wound in [Jesus'] side" are you talking about? :unsure:


You're welcome to think that and at the end of the day who really cares, but if you're interested in what the gospel writers are actually trying to convey rather than creating a harmonized super-narrative, your belief in five crosses on Golgotha that fateful day is the erroneous one...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
Well Jonathan, you offer a very well reasoned response and I always enjoy reading your commentary.

I must say I can see both sides to the question as believable and I agree with Bob
that it is not a salvific quandry at all, but I believe one should be cautious in accepting Main Stream Christianity's take on many things. So maybe I'll just continue to wonder about it.

Won't it be a great day when the Master shows us the answer to everything?
 

puddleglum

Well-known member
i don’t believe a condemned man would suddenly have a change of heart.

Why not? A man who knows he will soon die will often rethink how he has lived his life. And you need to remember that it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to believe. He is under no limitations as to when he can do his work.

This then answers the question regarding the breaking of the legs of two of them….and then coming to the Savior and finding Him already dead. If there had been but three crucified the soldiers would have noticed Him already deceased when they passed Him by going to the other thief/criminal (John 19:32-33),

This would be true if only one soldier were assigned the job of breaking their legs, but what if two were given this job? Each would start at one end and break the legs of that criminal and then they would meet in the middle and discover that Jesus was already dead.
 

Fred

Well-known member
A man who knows he will soon die will often rethink how he has lived his life.

David Guzik: There is one deathbed conversion in the Bible, so that no one would despair; but only one, so that no one would presume.
 

Hawk

New Member
There is nothing logical about taking four accounts of the same event (the crucifixion of Jesus), each of which refers to two people executed with him, and use subtle differences between them to create a super-account in which now four people are executed with him.


Your approach ignores what Matthew and Luke individually write in order to harmonize real or perceived discrepancies between the two accounts. It is clear reading each account that two people were crucified with Jesus... each author groups particular points together for rhetorical reasons. Matthew places notice of the other executions immediately preceding reference to the various groups who ridicule Jesus, culminating with notice that the robbers taunted him in the same way (27:38-44). Luke, on the other hand, groups notice of the three executions together (23:32-34). There are similar rearrangements of material in the crucifixion accounts... Matthew places reference to the written charge against Jesus (This is Jesus, the King of the Jews) after noting the soldiers cast lots for his clothes and sat down to guard him (27:35-37) whereas Luke groups it thematically with the soldiers mockingly adjuring Jesus to save himself if he is 'the King of the Jews' (23:36-38). Luke includes reference to the offer of sour wine in this context whereas Matthew places it immediately after onlookers think Jesus is calling out for Elijah (27:47-48). Luke places the tearing of the temple curtain before Jesus dies (23:45-46) whereas Matthew places it afterward (27:50-51). Examples could be multiplied if we factored in John and cast the net wider in the Passion narrative or the gospels generally... the point is that these kinds of rearrangements abound and are not an indication that the events narrated happened more than once or that there must be double the characters involved. These are the kinds of differences expected when two or more authors narrate the same event...





To what pre-mortem "gaping sword wound in [Jesus'] side" are you talking about? :unsure:


Kind regards,
Jonathan
John 19:34 is a mistranslation indicating an event happening after He died. It actually occurred before He died and was the main reason he did die.

I am not a Greek scholar as are you……but I know some who are and they tell me this……..

The verse prior indicates Yeshua was already dead so the reader is asked to believe the thrust of the spear (not sword) happened after He died. Not true.

The Greek, “enuxen/pierced” refers to the past perfect in English terms and the verb “nusso” should be translated as “had pierced”. Here is a correct version of the verse……and remember…….if He did not bleed to death He was not the Passover……….

”But one of the soldiers with a spear Had Pierced His Side and forthwith there had come out blood and water”.

He poured out His Soul for us (Isaiah 53:12)

The life is in the blood/soul (Leviticus 17:11).

I should have said……spear….not sword.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
John 19:34 is a mistranslation indicating an event happening after He died. It actually occurred before He died and was the main reason he did die.

I am not a Greek scholar as are you……but I know some who are and they tell me this……..

The verse prior indicates Yeshua was already dead so the reader is asked to believe the thrust of the spear (not sword) happened after He died. Not true.

The Greek, “enuxen/pierced” refers to the past perfect in English terms and the verb “nusso” should be translated as “had pierced”. Here is a correct version of the verse……and remember…….if He did not bleed to death He was not the Passover……….

”But one of the soldiers with a spear Had Pierced His Side and forthwith there had come out blood and water”.

He poured out His Soul for us (Isaiah 53:12)

The life is in the blood/soul (Leviticus 17:11).

I should have said……spear….not sword.
Props on correcting your terminology... we've now grounded the discussion in the biblical text, which does have a spear thrust into Jesus' side at some point during the Johannine Passion narrative. With respect to the "Greek scholars" who are telling you that the verb ενυξεν (enuxen) in John 19:34 has been mistranslated and should be rendered into English using a past perfect (ie. pluperfect), you should demand to see their credentials as they are not passing on reliable information to you. The verb tense is aorist, which refers to an action that has, from the perspective of the speaker, writer or reader, happened and is generally translated into English using a simple past tense. Deviating from this would require a strong argument from the surrounding context, which in the present case demands the simple past tense that appears in all major translations.

As you correctly point out, the previous verse makes reference to Jesus being already dead when the soldiers came to break his legs... it ends with the clause "they did not break his legs" --- the verse in question then begins with the word αλλα (alla), which is an "adversative particle ... indicating a difference with or contrast to what precedes, in the case of individual clauses as well as whole sentences" (BDAG 44). The assertion about the spear thrust is thus connected in a contrastive way with the soldiers' refrain from breaking his legs, which itself was contingent on finding him already dead... here is how some of the major translations convey this syntactical connection between the pertinent clauses:

"[when they] saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear..." (NRSV)
"when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear..." (NASB)
"[when they] saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side..." (NAB)
"they found that he was already dead, so they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers stabbed his side with a lance..." (NEB)
"they saw he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance..." (NJB)

The interpretation you suggest would require a different syntactical connection such as the conjunction οτι (hoti) used as a marker of causality (BDAG 732) together with a perfect tense or perhaps the combination of an aorist tense with the adverb ηδη (ede) with further modifications to the previous clause to ameliorate its contingent force.

Suggesting that if the cause of death was not exsanguination that Jesus could not function as the metaphorical Passover lamb John presents him as is to become excessively pedantic yet inconsistently so since one could argue just as easily that he was not a year old at the time, sequestered by the executioners beforehand for four days or cremated before morning (cf. Exod 12:3-10) and thus did not meet the typological requirements.

Your interest in digging into the original language of the text is admirable and, pursued rigorously and without idiosyncratic assumptions guiding you, will enrich your study of these writings for whatever reason you do so... but be wary of the kinds of mistakes made when one has only a rudimentary knowledge of the language rather than a full working knowledge of it --- the idea that John 19:34 offers a flashback to a wound incurred pre-mortem is an example of this error, deviating from the general rule for translating aorist verbs into English based on a possibility that cannot be invoked in this case because of surrounding syntactical features. This kind of exegetical/translational mistake arises from an atomistic and elementary understanding of the language rather than a holistic and advanced one.

Kind regards,
Jonathan

BDAG = A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, edited by Frederick William Danker (3rd ed.; University of Chicago Press, 2000)
 

Hawk

New Member
My good friend….I appreciate your fine response but I will not change my mind regarding the timing of the spear thrust.

Common sense tells us that He died after the terrible wound in his side was rendered.…….while bleeding out. The scourging and the nail holes in His hands and feet would not have done it.

A friend once asked me……”Why did the soldier thrust a spear into Him…..knowing He was already dead? For fun?”

The answer is very obvious……and it was to him as well after he gave it some thought.

The other four were yet alive. Were they stronger than He? Doubtful……..
 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
I know the mainstream teaching of there being one on each side of our Savior as He was crucified. However, I remember reading some time ago a very intriguing thesis explaining that there were five crosses on that hill.
i can’t remember the author’s name but I found the thesis to be credible and intriguing. My hope is that someone may be familiar with the author and/or the thesis.
The 5-cross fantasy was by Dr. Victor Paul Weirwille the founder of "The Way International" from new Knoxville Ohio (known locally as "Wierd Willy").

One of his other teachings was that what you did in the BODY, didn't effect your Spiritual status. SO the "Wayfers" (as they were not so lovingly called) really knew how to "party down" in their "WOW" (Word over the World) get togethers. And for $400 (in the '70s) he'd teach you to "Prophesy", "Speak in Tongues", and "Interpret the tongues" on cue. Since their actions didn't effect their "spiritual condition" you didn't want to do business with a "Wayfer" - unless you got the ca$h first.
 

Hawk

New Member
The 5-cross fantasy was by Dr. Victor Paul Weirwille the founder of "The Way International" from new Knoxville Ohio (known locally as "Wierd Willy").

One of his other teachings was that what you did in the BODY, didn't effect your Spiritual status. SO the "Wayfers" (as they were not so lovingly called) really knew how to "party down" in their "WOW" (Word over the World) get togethers. And for $400 (in the '70s) he'd teach you to "Prophesy", "Speak in Tongues", and "Interpret the tongues" on cue. Since their actions didn't effect their "spiritual condition" you didn't want to do business with a "Wayfer" - unless you got the ca$h first.
The five crosses predate the good Doctor as it has always been a minor viewpoint from the traditional story. Some earlier Christian artifacts show five crosses.

E.W. Bullinger….hardly what you would call a “fantasist” states this regarding this question:

”From this evidence it is clear that there were four “Others” crucified with The Lord, and thus, on the one hand, there are no discrepancies, as alleged, while on the other hand every word and every expression, in the the Greek, gets (and gives) its own exact value, and it’s own full significance”……

Bullinger, The Companion Bible, Appendix 164

I included all the commas he wrote to keep the quote accurate.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
My good friend….I appreciate your fine response but I will not change my mind regarding the timing of the spear thrust.
That is unfortunate... the spear thrust is clearly postmortem according to the text, which I documented with an analysis of the Greek that supports all the major translations on this point.

Common sense tells us that He died after the terrible wound in his side was rendered.…….while bleeding out. The scourging and the nail holes in His hands and feet would not have done it.

A friend once asked me……”Why did the soldier thrust a spear into Him…..knowing He was already dead? For fun?”

The answer is very obvious……and it was to him as well after he gave it some thought.

The other four were yet alive. Were they stronger than He? Doubtful……..
One need only look around at the state of our world to see that sense is not so common. In any case, your attempt at a forensic analysis is both unnecessary (see below) and trafficking in unknown variables concerning the other two (not four) executed men. The Romans varied the manner of execution (sometimes ropes instead of nails) and there is no way to demonstrate the others were subject to the exact same level of sleep deprivation and/or torture prior to the execution or that their physiologies were comparable enough to think if subjected to the identical adverse conditions they would expire simultaneously.

None of this forensic conjecture is even necessary since the text itself provides an answer as to why Jesus died before the others' deaths were hastened through the breaking of their legs... neither the executioners nor the aforementioned vicissitudes were in control of when Jesus died according to John's narrative, rather Jesus himself was --- he earlier asserted that no one takes his life from him, he possesses and exercises the power to relinquish it (10:18). When he recognizes that the time to die has come (19:28), he acts to fulfill scripture (19:29) and then gives up his spirit (19:30). That he dies in this voluntary manner and avoids the hastening breakage of bones itself fulfills scripture, as does the postmortem spear thrust (19:36-37). Trying to ascertain the motive of the soldier is misguided and irrelevant to the Johannine narrative of events unfolding according to the divine will.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

puddleglum

Well-known member
I just noticed that John 19:32 says, "So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him." The word "other" is singular, indicating that there were only two crucified with Jesus. If there had been four the word others would have been used.
 
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