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2019
-- As of January 20, 2017
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Skeptic Questions about Jesus answered, 2

Who carried the cross?

Simon of Cyrene (Matthew 27:32)
Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15:21)
Simon of Cyrene (Luke 23:26)
Only Jesus himself carried the cross. (John 19:17)

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Answer:

When in doubt, first reread the Scripture, and check the Greek source of the New Testament translation.

Going forth, then; they found (a) man, (a) Cyrenian --by name, Simon -- ; This one they compelled [by force] in order that he bear the Cross of Him.” Matthew 27:32

“They seized*into*possession* then, Jesus, and led away, and bearing the Cross of Him, He went out into that called, “Of a Skull-cap” , the place of which is called in the Hebrew ‘Golgotha” , where Him they crucified.” -- John 18:16b - 18a


In the above, John testifies that when Jesus was led away, He most certainly was bearing the cross. It says "He went out" bearing, but doesn't say he necessarily "arrived" bearing.

In the Greek, John is clearly clarifying a misconception that some may have had that Simon carried the Cross virtually the whole way, rather than halfway or less, from where the Dung Gate road and the Siloam Water Gate road met south of the Temple in the Lower city.

Because Simon was in Temple Service at the time of his being pressed into service, he could only exit and enter Jerusalem by the Dung Gate route, and therefore any other route than south from Antonio and East on the Water gate road is in error...even though this upsets hundreds of years of scholarship presumption, my presentation of the route appears to be absolutely correct as taken from both New and Old Testament requirements, and even earliest Church Tradition which mentioned a descent into Hinom (valley).

Now, in the 50s A.D., some confusion may have surfaced in the early Church amongst the Gentiles that Simon could possibly have carried the Cross from as far north as the Fortress Antonia, from which Jesus moved and carried the Cross South and then East from, prior to Simon’s being pressed into service. For this reason, John clarifies...and does NOT contradict. The answer, from Antonio's Gabbatha to the Dung Gate road, Jesus carried the Cross alone, and headed out toward Calvary. John never says that Jesus never had help later, and writes in such a context in the Greek.

So from Gabbatha north west of the Temple, south and then east on the (Gihon) Water Gate Road until the Dung Gate Road intersects it, Jesus carried the Cross alone. After which, Simon was kicked about with the knees by the Romans into compliance, and then took up the Cross. There is therefore no contradiction here.

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