"Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 138

Context: The writer, possibly Paul's friend the physician Luke, or an unknown author tells the life of Christ. Jesus, having completed His ministry, is betrayed by Judas, one of His twelve disciples; is denied by Peter, another one of His twelve disciples; is taken prisoner and tried by the high priests in Jerusalem; is turned over to Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judaea, for trial; and, though His only offense is rightfully claiming to be the Son of God, is condemned to death by crucifixion. Yet as He hangs on the cross, flanked on either side by criminals who are also being crucified, Jesus is able to pray for the forgiveness of those who have persecuted Him:

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Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

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