When Jesus had been sentenced to crucifixion, he was marched out to the place of his execution, Golgotha. The gospels disagree, however, as to who it was that carried Jesus’ cross.
The synoptic gospels are unanimous in saying that Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry Jesus’ cross:
As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. [Matthew 27:32 (NRSV)]
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. [Mark 15:21 (NRSV)]
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. [Luke 23:26 (NRSV)]
John, however, has Jesus carry his own cross:
… and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. [John 19:17 (NRSV)]
So who carried Jesus’ cross to Golgotha, Simon of Cyrene or Jesus himself?
N.B. All posts are written in a style sympathetic to the claim of Biblical error, even in cases where the author ("Errancy") disagrees with the claim. See the About page for the site's philosophy.
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