Defense of Heinsius’ Position, Part 4

It is no objection that the Crucifixion of the two thieves mentioned at last in Mark 15:27 most likely followed immediately upon the Crucifixion of Christ, and was not delayed for three whole hours. Since, 1.  the Evangelist rightly narrates first in continuous succession those things that have regard unto the Crucifixion of Christ Himself and its consequences, even if those should happen somewhat later:  which sort of circumstances pertaining to the execution of this punishment were the title affixed to the Cross and the division of His garments.  Only after these have been related do Matthew and Mark subjoin the Crucifixion of the two thieves with Christ, as a fellowship given to the Lord to increase His reproach.  2.  Although they might have divided the garments of the Lord sooner, they do not appear to have done it before the Crucifixion of the thieves was accomplished, which Luke also narrates in the prior place, Luke 23:32-34, but in Matthew and Mark the division of the garments precedes in the order of narration.  3.  Similarly in Matthew 27 the Crucifixion of the two thieves related in verse 38 is preceded by the continuous activity of the Watch of Jesus’ cross, verse 36, which is immediately conjoined with the division of His garments mentioned in verse 36; because of course the Watch of the Cross was also pertaining to the circumstances and consequences of the suffering endured by the Lord Himself; with which the crucifixion of the thieves did not have so close a tie, which was added more circumstantially to the suffering of the Lord to aggravate His shame:  seeing that it is otherwise certain that the crucifixion of the two thieves was first accomplished, before the soldiers composed themselves to sit by the Lord’s Cross and to keep watch over it.  4.  Not dissimilarly could a quarrel be moved concerning the history of the Title affixed to the Cross, which is not narrated in its own place by Luke, Luke 23:38, if you compare the other Evangelists.  But it is able to be observed that Luke wanted to relate that particle of the history, although somewhat later, so that thus in the argument related of this Title, This is the King of the Jews, also written in Latin, he might indicate what furnished the opportunity for even Roman soldiers in their ignorance to mock our crucified Jesus in the manner that precedes in verses 36, 37.  But that is enough.


This Disputation was defended publicly on December 4, 1754, by JOHANNES HABBEMA, of Frisian Leeuwarden, now Doctor of Theology and Minister of the Divine Word in the towns of t’Wyzel and Kooten.[1]

[1] Johannes Habbema (1732-1800) was a Dutch Reformed Theologian and Pastor.

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