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Peter at Jesus' trial

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posted on May, 3 2013 @ 11:03 PM
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A question to Christians about Jesus' trial. I have found many inconsistencies within just this small portion of Jesus' story, and I would like to know your thoughts on them.

When Jesus was arrested, Peter is said to have pulled out a sword and proceeded to cut the ear off of a servant of the high priest Caiaphas, the man behind Jesus' arrest. The four gospels' renditions follow:


John 18
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”



Mark 14
46 Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 47 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.


We must assume this unnamed man is Peter.


Matthew 26
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.


Again, we must assume this unnamed companion is Peter.


Luke 22
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.


And again, we must assume it was Peter who cut the servants ear off.

You would think that Peter cutting one of the high priests servants ears off would spur an immediate arrest of him. They wouldn't let him go his merry way would they?

Well, according to the bible, he wasn't punished one bit, in fact he was allowed into the courtyard to stand with those he had just attacked!


John 18
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.



Mark 14
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.



Matthew 26
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.



Luke 22
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.


Why would the high priest and his guards allow a man who just cut off one of their servants ears to come and sit with the guards? Why wasn't he arrested as soon as he cut the ear off? That's a very strange scenario in my opinion.

How would Christians explain this discrepancy?

Now on to another of the inconsistencies, having to do with Peter's entrance into the courtyard after he cut the servants ear off.

The account in John states that Peter had to wait outside the door of the courtyard as another disciple went inside to ask for his admittance.


John 18
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.


The account in Mark says nothing about Peter waiting at the door, but says he follows Jesus right into the courtyard.


Mark 14
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.


So did he wait at the door or did he follow Jesus right into the courtyard?

Another inconsistency between the gospels:


Mark 14
44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him.



John 18
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”



Luke 22
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”


Three out of the four gospels contradict one another in this instance. Mark states that Judas kissed Jesus to give away his identity, John doesn't mention Judas kissing Jesus but instead states that Jesus gave himself up with his own words, and Luke implies that Jesus stopped Judas before he could kiss him, hence the "but" before Jesus spoke to Judas.

So my question is this: how can you hold onto the idea that the bible is the infallible, inerrant word of god if their are clear inconsistencies and contradictions just within this one portion of the story?

And I must ask again, why was Peter allowed into the courtyard to sit with the Roman guards right after cutting a servants ear off? And why wasn't he arrested the moment he did it?

Thank you for reading, I look forward to your replies.


edit on 3-5-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 3 2013 @ 11:58 PM
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I would point out that in court when there are minor inconsistencies in witness testimony it's considered reliable testimony from eyewitnesses. It's a sign of collision when all the witnesses have the exact same story, and a good lawyer will object on grounds of collusion.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:01 AM
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Without giving it any thought or research, here are some possibilities for why Peter wasn't arrested right away.

1) Roman soldiers have armor, weapons, authority, and experience. Peter attacking one of them, especially when the Apostles had previously shown no propensity for violence, must have been a huge shock. I can see a moment's hesitation, especially since it was supposed to be a cake walk, it was all set up with Judas.

2) Jesus made the ear right again, almost instantly. I can see them wondering if it had really happened.

3) These are disciplined guys, they had orders to take Jesus, not Peter. That may have added to the confusion.

4) Previously Jesus had walked through an angry mob untouched. Could some of that power been used here?

But excellent question, I don't know what the soldiers were thinking.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:01 AM
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And I must ask again, why was Peter allowed into the courtyard to sit with the Roman guards right after cutting a servants ear off? And why wasn't he arrested the moment he did it?


You know what... that's a very good question, actually. Never thought about it.

Imagine being wanted by the police and your friend attacks one of the cops who were sent to arrest you.... and then they arrest only you and leave your friend behind?


Or maybe the priests were not interested in Peter and didn't want to waste time on him ... perhaps they let Peter go because the servant was healed instantly.
edit on 4-5-2013 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:03 AM
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Luke 22
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.


If you continue to read verse 51 it says...But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.

Since Jesus healed him I believe there was no need to arrest him. Probably more out of shock and confusion more than anything else.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by kijne
 


Possibly, but that still doesn't take away Peter's actions. It doesn't answer why they allowed him into the courtyard afterwards either. I would think they'd remember the face of the guy who did something as shocking as cutting someone's ear off, especially since he followed them the whole way to the courtyard.
edit on 4-5-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


The word of god is supposed to be without error though, right? I don't understand how an infallible book can be so fallible at times.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:18 AM
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I have to re-read some of this and look up the passages, although I don't think the Bible should be regarded as the inerrant word of God, and I'm skeptical whether anyone can actually regard it as such without ignoring 90 percent of it, or regarding large tracts as metaphorical.

Very few Christians, especially of the evangelical type, will give all their possessions to the poor, for example (Mark 10: 21) or pluck out an eye to avoid temptation (Matt 18: 9), or become a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake (Matt 19: 12). A lot of what is directly said and instructed becomes metaphorical to save the Bible from its so-called inerrancy.

From a literary perspective the descriptions are very thin and open to interpretation and motivation.

Nevertheless, considering the after-the-fact descriptions some people don't find innerancy, but they find enough confluence of events to convince them of a general truth.

In that sense I suppose cutting off the ear generally occurred with a miraculous re-attachment.
Now if the ear becomes re-attached that reinforces the supernatural status of Jesus, which is not what His accusers wanted to dwell upon.
So it might have been like, oh yeah we've seen His miracles, and now he re-attached an ear, but let's rather not mention it or we'll all be in trouble for being drunk or crazy, or followers of His powers.
It's safer if we all just forget about the little ear incident for now, because there's big doo-doo coming in which we don't want to be implicated, so lets deny Him and what happened.

That could be one interpretation.
We won't mention it, as long as you don't mention it, because you disciples don't want to be crucified with Him, and we want to keep our jobs.
At that point everyone was in denial.

Perhaps that's human nature (which a lot of the Bible really makes us aware of).
Consider a schoolyard fight, or a bar fight.
A punches B, but when the teacher or police approach they're happily sitting together.
At that point nobody had an instruction for violence or a scuffle by the authorities.
It was before the trial.
They could have all been deemed guilty and unprofessional over a severed ear.
edit on 4-5-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


Interesting interpretation, it's very possible that was the case. Though that still doesn't explain why he was allowed in the courtyard afterwards.

Thanks.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


The word of god is supposed to be without error though, right? I don't understand how an infallible book can be so fallible at times.


Just because the 4 gospels don't describe the event exactly the same doesn't mean they contradict each other. The book of Luke is the only gospel that describes Jesus healing the servant while the other gospels don't mention that. Does that mean the healing contradicts with the other gospels? I don't believe so. I think it depends on what the writer's point of view is.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 

Dear 3NL1GHT3N3D1,

Though that still doesn't explain why he was allowed in the courtyard afterwards.
Now that one seems easy.

Two factors at play. One, it was dark, was Peter recognized? But the more basic answer is

Two, the guards and officials were there to arrest Jesus and take Him (somewhere or other, I forget). So, what did they do? I can almost see the Temple officials smugly leading the way to wherever, and the soldiers surrounding Jesus to prevent escape as they marched off on their mission. Who was left to recognize Peter? Nobody else knew he was involved in the arrest.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


But John's gospel states that one of Jesus' other disciples goes in ahead of Peter to have him admitted. How could they not have known it was him when a known disciple vouched for him?

That brings up another question, who was this other disciple and why was he/she affiliated with the high priest?
edit on 4-5-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:11 AM
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As far as the ear getting cut off goes - Jesus healed the ear
How can you charge a man for a crime when there is no evidence that it happened?

What were they going to take him in for...cutting the servants ear off? Then why does he still have 2 ears?



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by coldkidc
 


Probably for the same reason they arrested and killed Jesus for not committing a crime. Even Pilate found Jesus blameless, yet that didn't stop them from killing him.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:21 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


No - they couldn't find fault until he opened his mouth & admited he was the son of God

That's all they needed to claim blasphemy and move on down the road into the punishment phase



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 

Dear 3NL1GHT3N3D1,

You know, if I ever get to Purgatory I suspect my punishment will be to type your name a million times. Do you realize how much "hunt and pecking" I have to do?



But John's gospel states that one of Jesus' other disciples goes in ahead of Peter to have him admitted. How could they not have known it was him when a known disciple vouched for him?
I haven't done any thinking on this, so forgive me. Besides it's after 1 in the morning and us old folks don't last as long as you younguns.

Peter was admitted as one of the followers. There was no reason to keep him out, the gate guard didn't want him for anything, and of course he'd be interested in seeing what happened to his Master. The public was allowed in, why not him?


That brings up another question, who was this other disciple and why was he/she affiliated with the high priest?
In John's Gospel, when an Apostle is not given a name, it is usually (if not always) John himself. It's generally thought that it was modesty that led him to keep himself out of the limelight.

"Affiliated" with the High Priest? I thought the verse was "known" to the High Priest. You've got me. Maybe he introduced himself first, thus, getting known to the High Priest, or maybe the High Priest had heard stories about him, or perhaps they met at a Temple ceremony. A better scholar will give you a better answer.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by coldkidc
 


Pilate said he found him blameless after he admitted to being the son of god.



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


If the public was allowed in, there would have been no reason for Peter to be stopped at the door.

Why was the disciple allowed in but not Peter? He must have had some kind of special privilage if that were the case. And why did the disciple have authority to vouch for Peter if he was not somehow affiliated with the high priest?
edit on 4-5-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:37 AM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


Yes - Pilate did - but he gave control to the Jews when he offered Barabbas as an alternative thinking that would get Jesus off the hook

Could just be a matter of the fish they wanted to cook vs. the fish that was too small to mess with - tunnel vision,

Besides, the guards probably didn't want to appear incompetent trying to explain how this guy cut this other guys ear off but somehow magically it didn't actually end up being cut off

With so much going on I wouldn't be surprised if you told me nobody outside of those there to witness it when it happened even heard about it that night



posted on May, 4 2013 @ 01:37 AM
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John 18
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”


Didn't Peter fight for him? Why would he say this knowing that Peter fought for him?


Weird.






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