Scarlet or purple cloak


On Good Friday:
Matthew 27:28 They (the soldiers) stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Mark 15:17 They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
John 19:2 And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak

Why is one gospel account that Jesus has a scarlet cloak and two other accounts mention a purple cloak?



I think it depends on which translation you read. The Knox version on New Advent translates ‘scarlet’ for all three of those verses. Roman soldiers traditionally wore a scarlet, purple, or white cloak.


From the linked article in post #2:

In Republican and Imperial Rome, the paludamentum was a cloak or cape fastened at one shoulder, worn by military commanders (e.g. the legionary Legatus) and rather less often by their troops. As supreme commander of the whole Roman army, Roman emperors were often portrayed wearing it in their statues (e.g. the Prima Porta Augustus) and on their coinage. After the reign of Augustus, the paludamentum was restricted to the Emperor.[1] Children would also wear it sometimes, when there was bad weather and they needed protection.

According this article, Augustus died in 14 AD.


I personally think Mark’s and John’s accounts are more symbolic at this point (purple was after all the royal color; it underscores their view that Jesus really is King); Matthew’s “scarlet chlamys” on the other hand has more verisimilitude and is probably more historical (since that was what soldiers actually wore and is more likely to be at hand than a literal ‘purple’ garment).



My wife has green eyes (according to me),
My wife has blue eyes (according to her).



Did you know that in Chinese (and in Japanese), the character 青 can mean both ‘blue’ and ‘green’ depending on context? In fact, many languages seem to consider blue and green to be just (different shades of) the same color. :wink:


I better not tell my wife that. :smiley:


I once discussed this with someone whose first language has only one word for blue/green. While she freely admitted to using the same *word *for the colour of the sky and the colour of the grass, she also firmly stated that they are not the same colour. The limitations of taxonomy are not necessarily reflective of limitations of perception or thought.


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