The Word's Christian Fellowship, Inc.
#119 Get The Picture?                                                                                       August 2, 2015

In studying the Gospel records in recent times, one of the problems that I continually deal with in working God’s Word is accurately picturing what God’s Word actually reveals regarding the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.  There are a multitude of exquisite word-pictures in the Gospel records that have remained hidden from the view of a student of God’s Word like me, because of a variety of reasons, one of which is translation. 

I encountered a picture problem that needed clarification recently with Matthew 26:3.

          Matthew 26:3:  Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the
          people,  unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, [emphasis added]

When I read the word “palace” in this verse I didn’t understand it.  I can easily picture a palace of modern times with a fleet of Rolls Royces out front and security cameras mounted everywhere.  I can even picture a palace from a few hundred years ago.  There would be a moat, a wall, guard towers and the massive structure would be located on a hill or even the side of a cliff.  But “the palace of the high priest” in the lands and times of the Gospel records stumped me. 

Quite simply, the Greek word translated  “palace” is not accurate.  It’s the Greek word aule and its primary meaning is courtyard, which is an uncovered area with a house or other structures surrounding it.  All those evil men gathered in “the courtyard of the house of the high priest.” 

Understanding the meaning of aule is very important when reading the Gospel records regarding the mock and illegal trials of the Lord Jesus Christ.

          Matthew 26:58:  But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace (aule - courtyard), and
          went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

          Matthew 26:69:  Now Peter sat without in the palace (aule - courtyard): and a damsel came unto him,
          saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.

          Mark 14:54:  And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace (aule - courtyard) of the high priest:
          and he  sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

          Mark 14:66:  And as Peter was beneath in the palace (aule - courtyard), there cometh one of the maids
          of  the high priest:

          John 18:15:  And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known
          unto  the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace (aule - courtyard) of the high priest.

The Lord Jesus Christ, during the mock and illegal trials he was subjected to, was never taken to the “palace” of the high priest.  God’s Word never accurately speaks of a “palace” of the high priest.  That word is a mistranslation of the Greek word aule and should have been translated courtyard.

There is a significant difference between a courtyard and a palace, isn’t there?  It’s the difference between truth and error in our understanding of the word-picture God has painted for us in His Word, isn’t it?

Get the picture?

                                                    © Stephen A. Harrison  The Word’s Christian Fellowship, Inc.  4415 Yank Road  Wilson, NC 27893