I. The English Translations
A. KJV – “And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.”
B. ESV – “while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.”
II. The Greek Texts
A. Textus Receptus – “καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ὁ ἥλιος”
- "and darkened was the sun"
B. Critical Text – “τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλιπόντος”
- "the sun was eclipsed"
III. A Question
A. Why do the modern versions translate “eclipontos” as “light failed” rather than as “was
B. The scholars who use the English translation of “light failed” are the very same ones who assert
that “eclipontos” is the correct Greek word.
C. Answer: There was no eclipse of the sun at the time of Christ’s crucifixion.
IV. An Error with a History
A. This particular error was actually written about by the Church fathers.
- Origen (A.D. 186-253) explained that unbelievers changed the word to eclipse in an effort
to discredit the account.
- Jerome (A.D. 347-420) made the same argument.
B. Every church father who quoted this phrase used the wording found in the TR.
C. Every 2nd and 3rd century source agrees with the TR.
V. Additional Support for the Textus Receptus
A. In total, there are only 3 manuscripts and 1 ancient version which read “eclipsed” instead of
B. There are more than 1400 manuscripts, versions and quotations which agree with the TR.
C. The modern critics themselves prove that the error in their text is an embarrassment by hiding
that error in their English translations.