An anonymous reader sends me this. In Mark, after Jesus is seized by the soldiers, one of Jesus' followers attacks with a sword. This is Mark 14:45-47:
Matthew 26:49-51 agrees, and is even more explicit about the order. However, when Luke retells this story, he can't present things in this order, because he wants to mention that Jesus healed the man (a detail only found in Luke). Thus, he reorders events so that Jesus is still free when the man's ear is cut off. (Of course, this is troubling, because it casts doubt on the truth of Luke's version of the story.) This is Luke 22:47-51:
It seems clear enough that, in Luke's version, Jesus hasn't been seized yet. And indeed, Luke tells us later (verse 54) that the men seized Jesus at that point. For what it's worth, John 18:4-12 also agrees that Jesus had not yet been seized when the man's ear was cut off.
In searching for solutions, my first thought was that perhaps Jesus was seized, but broke free to heal the man, and then was seized again. However, John presents the soldiers as being unwilling to come near Jesus until after Simon Peter attacks, which seems to make this harmonisation impossible.
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