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Luke 23 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Luke 23 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.

6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.

7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.

10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.

11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

"Herod with his men of war ... arrayed him in a gorgeous robe."
"Who put the robe on Jesus?

12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,

14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.

17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:

19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)

20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.

21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.

23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.

24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

"They laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian ... and on him they laid the cross."
Who carried Jesus' cross?

27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

32 And there were also two others, 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.

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,

"The soldiers also mocked him ... offering him vinegar."
What did the soldiers give Jesus to drink?

37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

What did the sign over Jesus say?

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

(23:39-42) "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."
Did both thieves revile Jesus?

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

"To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Jesus tells the "good thief" that they will both be in heaven "today." But how can that be since it's only Friday and , according to the gospels, Jesus lay dead in the tomb Friday night and all day Saturday.
The phrase "truly I say unto you" is used by Jesus more than 50 times in the NT. In all verses except this one, the Watchtower places the comma after the word "you". [more]
The observation the author of the SAB makes about the translation of the Jehovah Witnesses is of course entirely correct. The Jehovah Witnesses actually believe very little of what is written in the Bible, such as that after death people will either appear in hell or heaven, see chapter 16:22-23.
So there is no third place as the author of the SAB seems to suggest: that Jesus was not in hell nor in heaven, but “just in the tomb.” After his death his soul appeared in heaven, only his body rested in the tomb, see verse 46.

44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

(23:44-45) When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over all the earth." It is strange that there is no record of this extraordinary event outside of the gospels.
See Matthew 27:45 on the witnesses outside the gospel on the darkness over all the earth.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
What were the last words of Jesus?

47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

"Certainly this was a righteous man."
What did the Centurion call Jesus when he died?

48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

"The women ... stood afar off."
From where were the women watching?

50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:

"He was a good man, and a just"
Has the ever been a good person?
Has the ever been a just person?
(23:50-53) "Joseph ... of Arimathaea ... took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre."
Who buried Jesus?
Joseph of Arithmataea is called good and just because such he was in the civil sense, in the eye of man. It is another to be good and just in the eye of God, because God sees the heart.
On who buried Jesus, see John 19:38.

51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.