Problem: The curtain was torn before or after Jesus died
Verses: Mark 15:37-38, Luke 23:45-46; Status: Weak

This is Mark 15:37-38:

And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (ESV)

Matthew 27:50-51 is similar. Luke, however, seems to reverse the order of events. This is Luke 23:45-46:

And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last. (ESV)

Meh. The events seem to happen at roughly the same time. One can therefore either describe the death of Jesus first, or the tearing of the curtain first. Either way is fine. The ESV uses the word "then" in Luke, apparently indicating a specific order of events, but the Greek word seems to be "kai", which is more literally translated "and".

Updated: 2010-03-26

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