By RalRey
283 days ago

Four prisoners: two thieves and two malefactors ( II )

.
I published an article entitled "Four prisoners: two thieves and two criminals" in which I presented an introduction on an interesting biblical theme related to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today I offer a second part, to see other details and dig a little deeper.

Matthew points out that two thieves, in Greek "duo lestai", were crucified with Jesus after Jesus himself was crucified. Marcos narrates the same as Mateo and does not add any additional information. Luke reports that when they took Jesus out of the Praetorium they took two evildoers with him, in Greek "duo kakourgos", to kill them together with the Lord Jesus Christ.

An evildoer is the one who does wrong. A thief is a wrongdoer, but not all evildoers are thieves. A murderer is someone who does wrong, but not all who do wrong are murderers. When they took Jesus out of Jerusalem, according to the Gospel of Luke, they also took two malefactors with the Lord to crucify them with him .

Luke 23:33
And when they came to the place which is named Golgotha, they put him on the cross, and the evil-doers, one on the right side, and the other on the left.

The word "evildoer" is the word "kakourgos" and the word "robbers" is the word "lestai". The word Luke uses is different from Matthew's because the people he refers to, who took Jesus to be crucified with him, are totally different people. They were not two robbers like in Mateo, but they were "kakurgoi", malefactors.

Now let's see something else that is very interesting in terms of what Matthew tells. He says that the thieves, both, insulted Jesus.

Matthew 27:44
And the thieves who were on the crosses said evil words to him.

The people next to the crosses said "I trusted God, save him now" and the thieves who joined the conversation also "insulted" him. They told Jesus: "If you really are the Son of God, why do not you come down from that cross?" Matthew says that the two thieves were insulting Jesus.

Now look at what Luke adds in verses 39 and 40 of chapter 23:

Luke 23:39
And one of the evil-doers on the cross, with bitter feeling, said to him, Are you not the Christ? Get yourself and us out of this.
Luke 23:40
But the other, protesting, said, Have you no fear of God? for you have a part in the same punishment,

The two thieves, according to what Mateo declares, "the same insulted him". But in the Gospel of Luke we see that only one of the evildoers insulted Jesus; one of the malefactors said to the other: "You better shut up because you are in the same sentence as him."

It is illogical to think that the robbers presented by Matthew are the same evildoers in Luke. Matthew narrates that the soldiers crucified Jesus, distributed their garments, sat down, put their cause written on the cross, then brought the robbers. And Luke says that the soldiers took two malefactors with Jesus to crucify them with him, which they did as soon as they reached Calvary.

If we put together the two narrations, that of Matthew and that of Luke, a question that becomes easy, we see a chronological sequence of actions that paint us a single image: 1) Jesus was taken to Calvary to be crucified and with Jesus two evildoers. 2) The soldiers crucified Jesus and the evildoers, one on the right and one on the left. 3) They put their cause in their head. After distributing their clothes, they sat down and stayed that way for a while. 4) Then, after doing all the above, they crucified two thieves, one on the right and the other on the left.

The two thieves, according to Matthew, insulted Jesus, but only one of the malefactors insulted him. The other malefactor did not insult him, but he consciously told Jesus "... remember me when I enter your kingdom", Jesus said to him: "Truly I say to you today [that] you will be [the future time] with me in paradise "


Note: The photograph portrays a digital work done by RalRey
283d
Melsdename Very cool article
283d
283d
RalRey Thanks for reading and commenting.
283d
283d
Melsdename You are quite welcome sweetie @RalRey
283d
283d
carmen3521 Interesante articulo
283d
283d
RalRey @carmen3521 Thanks for reading and commenting.
283d
283d
Deliana Impressive article!
283d
283d
RalRey @Deliana Thanks Deliana for reading and commenting on my article
283d
283d
indexer I find this to be an extraordinary idea. Just because two storytellers use slightly different words to describe the same incident does not mean that they must be telling different stories.
283d
283d
indexer There is another problem with your account. This is that if you regard both Matthew and Luke as being correct, and that the thieves were not the same people as the malefactors, then you have to reject the version given by John, who is crystal clear about the presence of only two other victims of crucifixion. Somebody has to be wrong here!
283d
283d
Explorer2017 You're right not all evil doers are thieves, but all thieves are evil doers. Therefore, therefore those 2 evildoers and 2 thieves are the 2 distinct persons not four.
283d
283d
RalRey @indexer The underlying question is not only in the words used by the evangelist, that describe a type of people and another type, but in the content of the narrations and in the chronological order presented by those actions that give a unique image of the historical fact. the biblical fact. And they are not slightly different words, but they are different words. On the other hand, it is not that they tell different stories, but that they tell details of the same story that, armed like a jigsaw puzzle, they give us a unique story.
283d
283d
RalRey @indexer The only ones wrong are the readers who read badly and understand badly, in this particular case. But God and none of the evangelists are wrong. And as for what Juan says about this fact, I'll talk about it in my next installment of this series. Thanks for reading and commenting.
283d
283d
indexer @RalRey If you are not careful, you end up saying that because this is "God's Word", and God cannot be wrong, then any factual disagreements between different Biblical passages can be explained as not being disagreements at all. Logic then gets turned on its head, and you have a God who is happy to defy logic! Is that what you believe?
283d
283d
indexer @Explorer2017 I agree with you 100%. This argument about four companions of Christ on Golgotha is not one that I have encountered before - for very good reasons! If you accept this notion, you really have to wonder why none of the Gospel writers appeared to be able to count, as none of the witnesses reported seeing the five men on crosses - only three!


I fear that RalRey is making a logical error here. Describing things differently does not add to number of things seen - it only changes the nature of what you think has been seen.
283d
283d
RalRey @indexer I agree that we have to be careful, that we have to read carefully, that we have to scrutinize, as indicated by the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Bible is God's Will, it is His Thought, and of course there is no disagreement between one passage and another, they complement each other and agree with each other. And with all respect for his position in front of the Bible and before YHVH God, the God in whom I believe, whom I believe and love, is happy to challenge the logic of men, has always done so.
283d
283d
RalRey @indexer This is not a vision particularly mine, there are many people, many believers, many Christians who have it, have welcomed it. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell different perspectives of the same story. But Juan proposes something different in which he shows the presence of the four inmates, who, I said, will be presented in the next installment of this series of publications that I am sharing on this platform. But I offer something in advance: Matthew, Mark and Luke were interested in when and how things happened, in when the events took place, while John was interested in the place of action, the place of events, where:

John 19:18
Where they put him on the cross with two others, one on this side and one on that, and Jesus in the middle.
283d
282d
indexer OK - let's look at this from a different perspective. Two passers-by witness a street robbery. The first witness says: "There were two men who did this. Both had beards". The second witness says: "Two men did this. They were clean-shaven." At the police station the sergeant takes statements from the witnesses and questions them carefully about the different descriptions they gave. Now - do you imagine for one second that it crosses his mind that the witnesses saw two different pairs of robbers and that actually there were four of them? And that each witness failed to even notice the other two? I think not! But that is what you are trying to persuade us was the case with the Crucifixion!
282d
282d
Explorer2017 @indexer You're right his logic is illuding.him.
282d
281d
RalRey @indexer The case presented as an argument does not fit the case I am presenting, since none of the evangelists offers physical characteristics of the characters in question that can differentiate some people from others. They narrate temporal situations and describe the places where the events of the crucifixion took place. As you say, in that context it's not what I'm trying to expose. Therefore, with all due respect, I consider the argument that is conveyed as inappropriate and out of place.
281d
281d
RalRey @indexer Oh! I forgot to say that in addition to narrating temporary situations and describing the places of events, they point out exactly who the four prisoners are: two are labeled as thieves (from the Greek: lestai) and two are labeled as evildoers (from Greek: kakourgoi)
281d
281d
indexer @RalRey You mistake the point of my analogy. It is about how witnesses might describe people differently - and it doesn't matter what it is that determines the distinction. The point is that if the two witnesses make a distinction - for whatever reason - that cannot be taken as evidence that they are describing different people. It also brings into question how two witnesses could fail to see other people who are in the same situation as the people they have observed but do not meet the criteria of their description.

Something else to remember - neither Matthew and Luke observed the Crucifixion. Their text was lifted almost word-for-word from the author of Mark - who was also not a first-hand witness. In other words, none of them had any direct evidence of why the other men were being crucified, and you also have to wonder whether any witness would have been able to know this, or if they would have taken the trouble to find out. Public executions were common, and people knew that there were various reasons why someone might be executed - such as being a thief. So calling a victim a thief was nothing remarkable. If you didn't want to be that precise - or wanted to avoided an inaccuracy - you might use a catch-all word such as "malefactor".

In other words, none of the gospel writers knew the answer to that question, and - to be frank - it was not something that greatly concerned them. It was not important to them to know that particular detail.

You also have to bear in mind that the evangelists were not historians, and it is a huge mistake to read the gospels through the modern lens of a reader of history, who looks for detail and accuracy at every turn. You have to take into account the context of these writings, which was to make specific points for the edification of specific audiences. Matthew was not writing for the same people that Luke was writing for, so you have to expect differences.
281d
281d
RalRey @indexer If Matthew, Mark, Luke or John did not know anything, they had no knowledge, if they were not witnesses of anything, they were not historians and they were the most ignorant of the Earth, the God, YHVH God, the Creator God of the universe. Creator and giver of life, God of Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jacob, God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, God, El-Shadday, the great and omnipotent God, Almighty God, look, observe and know everything, and use with divine precision the right words to communicate the thoughts that He wants to communicate to men. Therefore, it inspired the Writers of the Old Covenant and those who wrote the New Covenant. YHVH God led these ignorant men to write what they had and should write (II Timothy 3:16). Thus, his thought and will were revealed to men in these times.

Here it does not matter why those four transgressing men were executed together with Jesus. If God did not care too much, did the evangelists and I have to be interested? This happened so that the prophecy of Isaiah would be fulfilled when he said that he would be counted with the transgressors: Isaiah 53:12.

At this time, and I think we touch on this point, it does not matter much for what kind of people they wrote, whether for Jews or Gentiles. The important thing is that they wrote for the men of today, you my dear friend and I among them, so that we may be saved and so that we may come to the knowledge of the Truth of YHVH, revealed in the Word present in the Bible.
281d
281d
indexer @RalRey You and I are looking at these writings through different lenses, and that is why we will never see the same things. I am looking at the words on the page - as words - and at what we know about the people who put them on the page - their background, their sources, the contexts in which they wrote. You are looking through a different lens - a religious one - which is why you do not see the same problems with these texts that I do, and why you have very different interpretations of their meaning and significance.

But that's OK - people are perfectly entitled to look at anything through any lens they might choose to use. However, they are on a fool's errand if they imagine for one moment that will be able to persuade someone looking through a different lens that they are mistaken!
281d
280d
RalRey @indexer I agree with you, but not quite, I can not. Certainly, you and I are seeing these scriptures through different perspectives, that is inevitable, since you belong to another culture, you have a different formation from the one I have, different purposes in terms of knowledge search. But mainly we have different attitudes towards these words, you have an attitude of scientific and intellectual search, but you lack the spiritual purpose in front of that search; and I, who am also motivated by scientific, precise and intellectual knowledge, interested in expanding my general culture, I am also interested in these words, the biblical words because I accept them as the revealed Word of God. You have an attitude of rejection of these words as The Word of God, but I, on the other hand, have an attitude of humility and acceptance in front of these words because I consider them inspired by God YHWH.

And I, of course, respect your position, I agree that you do not believe in God or in His divine Word; and it does not surprise me, nor does it bother me that it is so, because a large part of humanity does not believe. But my position, which I have chosen to have, is to be on the side of God, YHVH God, I believe in Him and I believe that The Bible is His revealed Will for men. There is a large part of humanity that is on that side, and that is on the side of the Word correctly exposed, without private interpretations, but adjusted to what God meant and said when revealing His Will.

Now, it is wrong to imply that I and many like me are in a mess of fools because, as you say, we imagine that we can persuade someone by looking through a different lens. Although I do not agree with the concept of persuading, that is not the intention, but we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit and a correct exposition of the Word, make many understand, believe, be reconciled with YHVH God and be saved, when they come to the knowledge and conviction of the Truth, as is the purpose of YHVH God and His beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
280d