Originally Posted by rstrats
CatholicCrusader started a topic in Bible Chat, "The Good Thief and Salvation by Faith Alone". There is a paragraph in it that I tried to comment on but for some reason I wasn't able to.
From the topic: "It is also noteworthy that the good thief seems to have been catechized to some level. He knew Jesus had done nothing wrong, that Jesus was Lord, and that Jesus was going to his kingdom after he died (something Jesus made clear only to his disciples—Matt. 13:10-11). It is possible, then, that the thief on the cross was a fallen-away disciple (cf. Matt. 27:44) who repented on the cross."
My comment: That would have had to have been the case because (unless there were more than 2 thiefs) the so called "good thief" had mocked and reviled the Messiah earlier during the ordeal.
EW. Bullenger discovered this and laid his explanation out well here.-
THE "OTHERS" CRUCIFIED WITH THE LORD
(Mat 27:38 and Luk 23:32)
Mislead by tradition and the ignorance of Scripture on the part of medieval painters, it is the general belief that only two were crucified with the Lord. But Scripture does not say so. It states that there were two "thieves" (Gr. lestai = robbers, Mat 27:38. Mar 15:27); and that there were two "malefactors" (Gr. kakouryoi, Luk 23:32).
It is also recorded that both the robbers reviled Him (Mat 27:44. Mar 15:32); while in Luk 23:39 only one of the malefactors "railed on Him", and "the other rebuked him" for so doing (v. 40).
If there were only two, this is a real discrepancy; and there is another, for the two malefactors were "led with Him to be put to death" (Luk 23:32), and when they were come to Calvary, "they" then and there "crucified Him and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left" (v. 33).
But the other discrepancy is according to Matthew, that after the parting of the garments, and after "sitting down they watched Him there", that "THEN" were there two robbers crucified with Him, one on the right hand and the other on the left" (Mat 27:38. Mar 15:27).
The two malefactors had already been "led with Him" and were therefore crucified "with Him", and before the two robbers were brought.
The first two (malefactors) who were "led with Him" were placed one on either side. When the other two (robbers) were brought, much later, they were also similarly placed; so that there were two (one of each) on either side, and the Lord in the midst. The malefactors were therefore the nearer, and being on the inside they could speak to each other better, and the one with the Lord, as recorded (Luk 23:39-43).
John's record confirms this, for he speaks only of place, and not of time. He speaks, generally of the fact: "where they crucified Him, and with Him others, two on this side, and that side, and Jesus in the midst" (Joh 19:8). In Rev 22:2 we have the same expression in the Greek (enteuthen kai enteuthen), which is accurately rendered "on either side". So it should be rendered here: "and with Him others, on either side".
But John further states (19:32, 33): "then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him. But when they came (Gr. = having come) to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs." Had there been only two (one on either side) the soldiers would not have come to the Lord, but would have passed Him, and then turned back again. But they came to Him after they had broken the legs of the first two.
There are two words used of the "other" and "others" in Joh 19:32 and Luk 23:32 (See Ap. 124. 1).
see- The Five Crosses at
Ploubezere, Near Lannion,
Cotes-du-Nord, Brittany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Crosses
In the former passage we read, "they brake the legs of the first and of the other." Here the Greek is allos which is the other (the second) of the two when there are more (see Mat 10:23; 25:16, 17, 20; 27:61; 28:1. Joh 18:15, 16; 20:2, 4, 8. and Rev 17:10). In the latter passage (Luk 23:32) the word is heteros = different (See Ap. 124. 2): "and others also, two were being led with Him." These were different (*1) from Him with Whom they were led, not different from one another; for they were "in the same condemnation", and "justly", while He had "done nothing amiss" (vv. 40, 41).
From this evidence, therefore, 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 Greek, gets (and gives) its own exact va 473 lue, and its full significance.
To show that we are not without evidence, even from tradition, we may state that there is a "Calvary" to be seen at Ploubezere near Lannion, in the Cotes-du-Nord, Brittany, known as Les Cinq Croix ("The Five Crosses").
There is a high cross in the center, with four lower ones, two on either side. There may be other instances of which we have not heard.
"In the Roman Catholic church... the altar slab or "table" alone is consecrated, and in sign of this are cut in its upper surface five Greek crosses, one in the center and one in each corner... but the history of the origin and development of this practice is not fully worked out" (Encycl. Brit.,
11th (Cambridge) ed., vol. i, pp. 762, 763). This practice may possibly be explained by the subject of this Appendix.
(*1) Cp. Mat 6:21, 24; 8:21; 11:3. Luk 5:7; 6:6; 7:41; 9:56; 14:31; 16:13, 18; 17:34, 35; 18:10; 28:40.