Teaching: How Many Were Crucified with Jesus?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

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Let’s get started:

A majority of Christians have been taught that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified along with two others, and that his cross was in between the other two. We have seen many displays, pictures, monuments, bumper stickers, crosses along the roadside, crosses in churchyards, and the like – all showing three crosses.

This fascinating study clearly demonstrates how God has protected His Word through the centuries and how the truth is still available to those who hunger and thirst after it. We are exhorted by God to study His Word and to “rightly divide” it. Although some things may be difficult to understand, this particular topic and the supporting verses are quite clear and easily understood. If you can grasp what is presented here, paying close attention to detail and staying your mind on the fundamental truths we will cover, you will, of necessity, find yourself in a quandary: do you continue to believe what you have been taught or do you change your mind to bring your belief into alignment and harmony with God’s Word? I pray that you will consider the material presented here, and that you will ask God to help you as you study His wonderful, matchless Word. God wills not only that all men be saved, but also that they also come unto a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4).

A major reason for so much confusion regarding the “others” crucified with Jesus is that men have interpreted the Word of God to suit themselves, their theology, and their traditions. Instead of going to God’s Word and studying it for ourselves to determine if what we are being told is correct, we too often choose to believe men and women with degrees from Bible colleges and seminaries. We say that hundreds of years of tradition can’t be wrong, but I hope to show you differently here.

Jesus Christ challenged the religious traditions of his time, as per the following verses:

Matthew 15:1-3 (KJV)
(1) Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
(2) Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
(3) But he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

This identifies the root of the problem: a lack of real faith in the integrity of the Word of God. Such faith leads to the indispensable conviction that the Word cannot contradict itself. When one is rooted and grounded in that premise, he has a basis from which to work out what seem to be apparent contradictions, of which there are many in the Bible.

When it comes to the subject of the others crucified with Jesus, the key is to realize that, as with any author, one part of the narrative may not tell everything about a particular incident. At another place, the author may choose to add more information. Because we know that God cannot contradict Himself, if what He tells us in Matthew is different than what he tells us in Luke about the same event, we know that we must put the two together to get the whole picture. You could call this principle “narrative development.”

Before we begin our study of the four crucified with Jesus, let’s discuss the problems created by traditional teachings. The two thieves and the two malefactors described in God’s Word have, by tradition and the ignorance of Scripture on the part of medieval painters, been made to be the same. In other words, only two were crucified with Jesus. But if we let this stand, we have a major discrepancy in the Word of God. Matthew 27:38 (and Mark 15:27) clearly state that there were “two thieves,” while Luke 23:32 says “two malefactors.”

Matthew 27:38
Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Luke 23:32
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

Furthermore, both, thieves (or robbers) reviled Jesus, but only one of the malefactors “railed on him,” while the other malefactor defended Jesus.

Matthew 27:44
The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Luke 23:39 and 40
(39) And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
(40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

Another discrepancy created by traditional teaching is regarding the timing of the crucifixion of the two malefactors who were “led with him to be put to death” and the timing of the crucifixion of the two thieves.

Luke 23:32 and 33
(32) And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
(33) And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

The two malefactors were crucified at the same time Jesus was. Yet, Matthew 27 says that after a number of things happened at Calvary, two thieves [robbers] were crucified with him.

Read the rest of the article here.

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