“And it was the third hour when they crucified him” (Mark 15:25).

“Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. [Pilate] said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!'” (John 19:14).

How do we reconcile these two accounts? And what do “third hour” and “sixth hour” even mean?

Here is my answer for “TGC Asks”—along with a helpful chart on time reckoning in the first century.

For those wanting more on how to think about apparent discrepancies in the Gospel accounts, I would recommend Craig Blomberg’s The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel, and now Vern Poythress’s more focused book on Inerrancy and the Gospels: A God-Centered Approach to the Challenges of Harmonization (due out next month).