We read in Mtt 27:48 how a person standing by the cross , runs to get sour wine for Jesus to drink, after the Lord cries aloud in Aramaic. Jn 19:29 states that a jar of sour wine was there. It was to this jar that the person ( could be a soldier) was running. Now, sour wine or vinegar has the properties to quench thirst and also to kill pain. Calvary having been a place where crucifixion was regularly held, there is a possibility that a jar of sour wine was permanently kept somewhere nearby in a shaded place. The shelf- life of vinegar being good, there was no problem with its getting spoilt. Nor would someone steal it. As a matter of fact, the jar would serve as the source of last drink to the crucified convicts. (It is also clear from Mtt 27:34 where Jesus refuses the gall- mixed wine offered to him before the crucifixion ).In other words, Jesus was made to share his last drink before his death , with criminals. But one seldom comes across writings on the issue. My question therefore is : Are there any apocryphal writings of writing by scholars,on the last drink that Jesus had on the cross ?

1 Answer 1


Are there any apocryphal writings, or writing by scholars on the last drink that Jesus had on the cross?

There are no apocryphal writings on this subject matter.

Very few scholars would have written about what Jesus drank on the Cross, other than simply mentioning the fact that that someone offered him something to drink while being crucified. To be honest this is a minor detail in the narratives of Christ’s Crucifixion.

The Holy Sponge is one of the Instruments of the Passion of Jesus. It was dipped in vinegar (in some translations sour wine), most likely posca, a regular beverage of Roman soldiers, and offered to Jesus to drink from during the Crucifixion, according to Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, and John 19:29. - Holy Sponge

Matthew 27:34 tells us the “they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.”

There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.Matthew 27:34

Was it myrrh or gall (or both) that was mixed in the vinegar?

Matthew and Mark both describe a drink offered to Jesus on the cross, which he refused. They both describe it as wine mixed with something, but they seem to disagree on what. Was the wine mixed with myrrh or mingled with gall? Let’s take a look:

Gall: Matthew 27:34, “they gave Him wine to drink mingled with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.”

Myrrh: Mark 15:23, “And they tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.” Gall is bile secreted by the liver. Biblically, it is used to denote bitterness of spirit (Acts 8:23; Lam. 3:19). Myrrh is an aromatic gum that grows in Arabia, Abyssinia, and India. It was used to sweeten the smell and taste of various foods. It was also used in embalming (John 19:39).

Most probably, both gall and myrrh were added to the vinegar. The text does not explicitly state this, nor does it exclude the possibility. Nevertheless, “The ancients used to infuse myrrh into wine to give it a more agreeable fragrance and flavour.”

Was the vinegar given to Jesus on the cross mingled with gall or myrrh?

A few scholarly commentaries do exist on Matthew 27:34:

Matthew 27:34 The Jews were in the habit of giving the criminal a stupefying drink before nailing him to the cross. Sanhedr. vi. See Wetstein, ad Marc. xv. 23; Doughtaeus, Anal. II. p. 42. This drink consisted of wine (see the critical remarks) mixed with gall, according to Matthew; with myrrh, according to Mark. χολή admits of no other meaning than that of gall, and on no account must it be made to bear the sense of myrrh or wormwood[36] (Beza, Grotius, Paulus, Langen, Steinmeyer, Keim). The tradition about the gall, which unquestionably belongs to a later period, originated in the LXX. rendering of Psalm 68:23; people wished to make out that there was maltreatment in the very drink that was offered.

[ΓΕΥΣΆΜΕΝΟς] According to Matthew, then, Jesus rejected the potion because the taste of gall made it undrinkable. A later view than that embodied in Mark 15:23, from which passage it would appear that Jesus does not even taste the drink, but declines it altogether, because He has no desire to be stupefied before death. - Meyer's NT Commentary

The following articles may be of interest to some:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .