written on cross

Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning what was written on the cross. The argument is that Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, and John 19:19-20 are contradictory. However, there is a reasonable explanation that solves this alleged contradiction in the Bible.

Scriptures – What Was Written on the Cross?

Matthew 27:37

And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Matthew 27:37

Mark 15:26

And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”

Mark 15:26

Luke 23:38

There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

Luke 23:38

John 19:19-20

19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.

John 19:19-20

The Answer – What Was Written on the Cross?

There are at least two possible solutions to this alleged contradiction.

The Inscription Was Written in Several Languages

The inscription on the cross was written in several different languages. It is possible that the different translations were worded slightly differently, and the gospel authors are referring to different translations of what was written on the cross.

The Authors Are Paraphrasing

It is also possible that the authors are simply paraphrasing what was inscribed on the cross. All four authors are conveying essentially the same information, just in slightly different words.

Perhaps the authors did not intend to convey exactly what was written on the cross, but rather merely the general message of what was inscribed on the cross.

Related to “What Was Written on the Cross?”

To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.

These books are also excellent resources:

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