Vol.IV No.VII Pg.7
August 1967

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

Mark 15:25 says Christ was crucified "the third hour" of the day. But John says Christ was still in Pilate's Hall at "the sixth hour" (Jn.19:14). Please explain this. TA


The Jews counted time from 6: in evening to 6: the next morning as the 12 hours of the night; and from 6:a.m. to 6:p.m. as the 12 hours of the day. Thus, by Jewish count, the "third hour of the day" was 9:a.m., our time. (see Acts 2:15) Thus darkness covered the land from the sixth to the ninth hour, (noon to 3: p.m. our time) according to Matt. 27:45 Mk. 15:33 Lu. 23:44, writers using Jewish time.

But John, writing later, and at a time when Roman time was more likely to be used by his readers, used the Roman method of computing time. Roman time began at midnight, as does our's today, and "the sixth hour" would be 6: a.m. (Compare John 20:1 where we are told that Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre on the "first day of the week, when it was yet dark," i.e., very early in the morning. Then, in verse 19, "the same day, at evening, being the first day of the week, --" showing that by John's manner of computing time (the Roman method) it was still the "first day" even though the evening was come -- and by Jewish time it was no longer the "first day").

Jesus was still in Pilate's Hall at "the sixth hour" Roman time; (or 6: a.m. our time) and was crucified at the "third hour" Jewish time; (or 9:a.m. our time) and died about the "ninth hour" Jewish time; (or about 3: p.m. our time). There is no contradiction in Mark and John's account. Bro. Turner:

Is Bible teaching in a Bible class "public teaching?" Please answer in Plain Talk. Thank you. SW


Seems to me a "class" would be as "public" or as "private" as the sponsor chose to make it.

"Class," in the sense evidently employed here, is "a body of students meeting regularly to study the same subject". Now "public" means "open to common or general use, enjoyment, etc., as, a public meeting" (Webster). If a "class" is open to all comers, old or young, male or female; it is certainly a "public" class. A teacher of that sort of class would certainly be teaching "publicly".

But a "class" could be, and often is, limited to a certain age, sex, or even individually chosen students. In such cases the "privacy" or "public" nature of the class is regulated by those having charge of such affairs. If you taught a "class" in your home, but invited and allowed all who would come to be a part of that class, this would be a "public" class.

A class could be "public" within a stipulated field; i.e., open to all who are six years old males. As any thoughtful person can see, "public" and "class" are not, in and of themselves, sufficient evidence to either accept or reject a thing. It is sad that brethren will allow such trivia to set their course.