The Sequence of the Execution of Jesus

Robert Howard Kroepel

Copyright © 2002

New Durham, New Hampshire, USA


What was the chronological sequence of the execution of Jesus?

The standard Christian chronological sequence of the death of Jesus as reported in Matthew/Mark/Luke/John is thus: Jesus is executed by crucifixion, in which (1) Jesus is hung on a cross and (2) dies.

There are two passages in Acts which contradict this chronological sequence:

The Book of Acts refers to the death of Jesus of Nazareth by the sequence of (1) execution and (2) being hanged upon a tree:

Acts 5:30: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree [emphasis added]. [These words are attributed to Peter and 'other apostles,' no less, and, therefore, prove that J was (1) executed and then (2) hung upon a tree/cross, in contradiction to the execution by crucifixion claims of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the Johanine Gospel.]

Acts 10:39: And we were witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree [emphasis added]. [These words are attributed to Peter, no less, and, therefore, prove that J was (1) executed and then (2) hung upon a tree/cross, in contradiction to the execution by crucifixion claims of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the Johanine Gospel.]

Notice that the chronological sequence in Acts is thus: (1) Jesus is slain/dies/is dead; (2) Jesus/Jesus's dead body is hung upon a tree.

The sequence of execution by crucifixion is not the same as the sequence of execution by some unknown method and then being hung upon a tree.

There is a serious Christian Bible contradiction herein.

If the writer(s) of Acts (said to be Luke, the same as in St. Luke?) simply intended to convey the sequence of the Jesus execution by crucifixion, as found in the Mark/Matthew/Luke/John gospels, then why did he/they not give the correct crucifixion sequence of hanging upon a cross [or tree] until death instead of the sequence of execution by some unknown means and then being hung upon a tree?

And if Luke wrote both St. Luke and Acts, then why did he contradict himself by writing the execution by crucifixion sequence in St. Luke and the execution then hanging upon a tree sequence in Acts?

What other reference do we have for the execution sequence described in Acts?

Deut. 21:22-23. And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou shall hang him upon a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day: (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land not be defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Words have meanings.

The words of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 clearly say/mean that one sequence of execution was (1) to kill the convict and then (2) hang his dead body upon a tree. The words do not say that an execution was to consist of death by hanging a convict upon a cross/being crucified.

The words of Acts 5:30 and Acts 10:39 clearly say/mean (1) Jesus was killed and then (2) Jesusís dead body was hung upon a tree. The words do not say that Jesus was killed by crucifixion or otherwise by hanging him upon a tree while alive until he died.

Thus, the Christian Bible condemns itself as inaccurate and therefore untrustworthy by contradictions, including the contradictions concerning the descriptions of the sequence of the death of Jesus.