The bull of St Luke



Chapter 23 Reading Plan

As with the other Gospels, this is the Roman chapter in the Passion story, Pilate being mentioned at the beginning and at the end, verses 1 and 52. However, the chapter divisions made many centuries ago may reflect a division which is more appropriate for St Mark's Gospel as I commented in the overview: Lk 23,1 = Mk 15,1. This is the result of the traditional style of reading which harmonises the Gospels.

With our overview of the whole passion story before we read chapter 22, we saw how the story as a whole unfolds. Luke relates four different hearings of Jesus before various authorities.

We also saw how the various hearings about Jesus began with the new day in 22,66. 23,1 therefore acts as a transition verse from Jewish to Roman hearings. It is not opening a new stage in the story. The conclusion therefore is that it is better to read all the various hearings together: 22,66-23,25. The four hearings taken together form the one trial of Jesus.

With that in mind, we can draw up our reading plan for this chapter which is straightforward. As the new day (22,66) unfolds, the trial ends in verse 25 when Jesus is handed over.
From verse 26, Jesus is led away to the place of execution. This concludes in verse 44 with Jesus' saying on the cross.
Then another stage begins in verse 44 with the note about the time. Jesus now dies and is buried. The day ends in verses 54-56 as the sabbath rest begins.

We have three pages therefore for our reading of this chapter:

We can now come to our reading of the trial of Jesus (22,66-23,25).