Friday, March 21, 2008

Purple or Scarlet Robe?

MYTH
The Bible contradicts itself on the color of the robe the soldiers put on Jesus

1. Was Jesus clothed in a purple or scarlet robe? The following quotations of inspired passages come from the Dhouay-Rheims Bible translation @ Kevin Knight's http://newadvent.org, as is customary for this blog's Scriptural citations. Witness the following beautiful depiction of the Lord Jesus, which shows Jesus robed in the color purple, which is based on a misunderstanding of the words of St. Mark.
2. Matthew 27:27-31 says,
Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band. And stripping Him, they put a scarlet cloak about Him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews. And spitting upon Him, they took the reed and struck His head. And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him and put on Him His own garments and led Him away to crucify Him.
3. Mark 15:16-20 says,
And the soldiers led Him away into the court of the palace: and they called together the whole band. And they clothed Him with purple: and, platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon Him. And they began to salute Him: Hail, King of the Jews. And they struck His head with a reed: and they did spit on Him. And bowing their knees, they adored Him. And after they had mocked Him, they took off the purple from Him and put His own garments on Him: and they led Him out to crucify Him.
So are the Evangelists saying that Jesus was clothed with a garment that was the color scarlet and not the color scarlet at the same time? No. That would violate the law of non-contradiction: a and not-a cannot be true in the same sense at the same time. On the contrary, the Bible is completely inerrant; error is not compatible with inspiration. The color of the robe was scarlet, but Patriarch St. Mark I the Evangelist of Alexandria used "purple" because "purple" was the type of dye used to color the robe, as J.P. Holding of the exemplary site http://tektonics.org observes,{1} citing Acts 16:14: "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshiped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul." Thus the following depiction of our Lord Jesus is accurate:
Notes & References
{1} http://www.tektonics.org/uz/wally01.html. God bless you and yours, Mr. Holding, and I pray you enter the Catholic Church in the near future!

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