What were Jesus’ last words?

What were Jesus’ last words?

What were Jesus’ last words?  Some atheist websites claim that the following Bible verses

Jesus Last Words

contradict each other because they contain somewhat conflicting accounts of Jesus’ last words.

Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Matthew 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Luke 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

John 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Mark 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Do these verses contradict concerning Jesus’ last words?  No.  The law of non-contradiction states that “A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same way.  Is it possible that all these verses could be true at the same time?  Absolutely.  In order for this to be a real Bible contradiction, the atheist must show that these verses cannot all be true at the same time.  We as Christians simply have to show how these verses could be reconciled.

Define “last words”

I would define someone’s last words as what they spoke during the last movements of their lives.  The patriarch Jacob spoke many last words over his sons before he died (Gen 49).  His long prophecy over his boys could all be considered his last words.

Jesus’ last words

Now consider the four accounts of Jesus’ last words.  Remember that each gospel writer is giving their own account of the gospel.  Mathew, Mark, Luke and John all key in on different aspects of the life of Christ.  Also consider the possibility that John may have been closer to the cross than the rest of the disciples and had heard words the others had not.

It is likely that Jesus used a combination of the three different statements for example; My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me, it is finished, into thy hands I commend my spirit.  It’s not hard to imagine Christ using all three statements together.  It’s certainly not contradictory.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Ed March 28, 2016, 1:34 pm

    “Deceit” is a strong word. It was used correctly to explain the last words of Jesus salad you tried to make. Mark, the oldest account of Jesus,the Jesus is man version, starts with a baptism and NO mention of a miraculous conception.Jesus was a righteous man receiving the HS and doing gods will and in Mark and Matthew ends with “why hast thou forsaken thee” as a man would. Later versions evolve to get the virgin birth. Jesus is Demigod version says “into thy hands” and the Jesus is god version ends with”it is finished”. That is why many people call it a contradiction. It is because it is one.The fact that the oldest account doesnt even mention the virgin bith could disqualify it as unbelievable in many people’s opinion.

  • Shahul September 12, 2015, 10:45 am

    Its amazing how people like you go all out to tweak and harmonize things ridiculously. If you would sincerely ask yourself if what you’re trying to explain makes sense, you would know it right away. There is absolutely no intellectual honesty and integrity in your explanation.

    My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me
    is certainly not the same as
    it is finished or into thy hands I commend my spirit

    “My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me” signifies a person’s agony that he was betrayed. “into thy hands I commend my spirit” signifies a person who has reached contentment and satisfaction. They are at both extreme ends.

    Trying to harmonize these two only shows deceit.

    • Morten Simonsen March 27, 2016, 2:06 pm

      “Deceit” is a strong word. The gospels have been around for everybody to study for a couple of thousands of years, and they clearly do not attempt to be word-for-word accurate about what Jesus said. Everyone has accepted that a long time ago (or should have). Except you haven’t – you seem to require that the Bible is meticulously accurate in every detail. However, I would say that nothing can really be totally accurate, you can always require more details. Hence, the Bible cannot be required to be detailed in every aspect (what was the “last sentence” and the “sentence before last”), if that type of detail do not carry any special meaning for the writer/reader. Can the Bible be infallible then? I guess it depends on what kind of detailed level you put forward this requirement. Obviously the creation story is not detailed – that’s for sure – a detailed account, no matter how that happened, could probably be millions of pages.

      So the word infallible must be understood as – infallible in terms of what it is meant to communicate. At least that’s how I view it. For that reason, I find the word “deceit” rather misplaced.


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