Purple or Scarlet?

November 27, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Q&A | Leave a comment
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Question: John 19:2 and Mark 15:17 say that the robe which the soldiers put on Jesus shortly before His Crucifixion was purple. However, Matthew 27:28 says that the robe was scarlet. Which one is true?

Answer: “Purple” and “scarlet” and sometimes “crimson” are variations of the same color when used to describe fabrics in antiquity. Back then, garments were hand-dyed and hand-washed, often exposed to harsh scrubbing and extreme weather, so they faded much more easily than our garments today. The Holy Spirit caused different Gospel writers to describe the robe that the soldiers put on Jesus as both purple and scarlet, because, from Pilate’s and the Romans’ point of view, it was just a faded old garment used to mock Him, but, from our point of view, the royalty symbolized by the color purple was suitable to the King of the Universe, God Almighty, which is Who Jesus was.

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