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|NASB||John 13:38 Jesus *answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.|
|John 13:38 Jesus answered, "Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before a rooster crows you will deny and completely disown Me three times.|
I've been asked by a skeptic about the seeming contradiction in the Gospels with Jesus' words to Peter about the "denials." Could someone give me a rundown on how the verses (Mt 26:34,58, 69-75 Mk 14:30, 54, 68-72 Lk 22: 36, 54-62 and Jn. 13: 38, 18: 15-27) fit together without being contradictory? Thanks.
Bible Answer: Greetings Tip!
Here's the answer from '101 Cleared Up Contradictions in the Bible' about Peter and his denials of Christ.
"48. Did Peter deny Christ three times before the cock crowed (John 13:38), or three times before the cock crowed twice (Mark 14:30, 72)?
(Category: discovery of earlier manuscripts)
This accusation is that Jesus says to Peter "the cock will not crow till you have denied me three times" (John 13:38) and also "Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times" (Mark 14:30). However, as the King James translation has it the cock crowed prior to Peter's third denial in Mark, while the prediction in John failed. This problem is one of manuscript evidence.
Matthew 26:33-35, 74-75 "before the cock crows you will disown me three times"
Luke 22:31-34, 60-62 "before the cock crows today, you will deny three times that you know me"
John 13:38 "before the cock crows, you will disown me three times"
Mark is therefore the odd one out. This is probably due to the second crow being a later addition to the original Gospel for some unknown reason. Some early manuscripts of Mark do not have the words "a second time" and "twice" in 14:72, nor the word "twice" in 14:30, or the cock crowing a first time in verse 14:68 as in the King James translation. Therefore an erroneous addition is spotted by the clarity of having 4 accounts of the event and many early manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark.
However, another explanation is plausible if the first crow verse (68 in the King James) was not in the original but the others ("twice" in 30 and 72) were, as in the New International translation. For as a cock can (and often does) crow more than once in a row, there would be no contradiction (the first and second crows being together, with Peter remembering Jesus' prediction on the second crow), for since we may be very sure that if a rooster crows twice, he has at least crowed once. Mark therefore just included more information in his account than the other gospel writers.
Although I am not an expert on the manuscripts used for the King James translation and do not know a great deal about why later, more accurate translators had enough manuscript evidence to omit verse 68 but not the others, I think that the first reason is more likely."