Crucifixion darkness

Share This

« Back to Glossary Index

The Crucifixion darkness is an episode in three of the Canonical Gospels in which the sky becomes dark in daytime during the crucifixion of Jesus. More…

Share with friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Crucifixion darkness (Wikipedia)
"Christ on the Cross", by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890), showing the skies darkened

The Crucifixion darkness is an episode in three of the Canonical Gospels in which the sky becomes dark in daytime during the crucifixion of Jesus.

Ancient and medieval Christian writers treated this as a miracle, and believed it to be one of the few episodes from the New Testament which were confirmed by non-Christian sources. Pagan commentators of the Roman era explained it as an eclipse, although Christian writers pointed out that an eclipse during Passover, when the crucifixion took place, would have been impossible; an eclipse cannot occur during a full moon.

Modern scholarship, noting the way in which similar accounts were associated in ancient times with the deaths of notable figures, tends to look upon this phenomenon as a literary invention that attempts to convey a sense of the power of Jesus in the face of death, or a sign of God's displeasure with the Jewish people. Scholars have also noted the ways in which this episode appears to draw on earlier biblical accounts of darkness from the Book of Amos and the Book of Exodus.

« Back to Glossary Index