THE RECKONING OF HOURS IN THE FOURTH GOSPEL BY NORMAN WALKER West Ewell, Surrey, England The apparent contradiction of Mark's statement that Jesus was crucified at "the third hour" (xv 25) by John's statement that Jesus was condemned at "the sixth hour" (xix 14) has been much discussed by commentators. Two methods of reckoning were in use in those days, to wit, the twelve hours of daylight from dawn to dark used everywhere by the common people, by the writers of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts and by Josephus, and the Roman priestly, Egyptian and Hipparchan reckoning of hours 1) from mid- night to midday, and midday to midnight, for which there is some evidence of use in Asia Minor 2). As this latter method is also ours today, we may conveniently term it the "modern" method, as against the former "Jewish" method. Now in the Fourth Gospel there are four statements regarding numbered hours, to wit, (a) "the tenth hour" of i 39, after which the two disciples "abode with Him that day". Jewish reckoning makes this 4 p.m., an unusual time to begin a day's stay. But modern reckoning makes this io a.m., a quite satisfactory
Novum Testamentum – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1960
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