Matthew 27:38

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
In Serm., non occ.: Let your holiness consider of what might is the power of the cross. Adam set at nought the commandment, taking the apple from the tree; but all that Adam lost, Christ found upon the cross. The ark of wood saved the human race from the deluge of waters; when God’s people came out of Egypt, Moses divided the sea with his rod, overwhelmed Pharaoh, and redeemed God's people. The same Moses changed the bitter water into sweet by casting wood intoit. By the rod the refreshing stream was drawn out of the rock; that Amalec might be overcome, Moses’ outstretched hands were supported upon his rod; the Law of God is entrusted to the wooden ark of the covenant, that thus, by these steps we may come at last to the wood of the cross. de Cons. Ev., iii, 12: Matthew shortly says, “They parted his garments, casting lots;” but John explains more fully how it was done. “The soldiers, when they had crucified him, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier apart; and also ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Then were there crucified (with the like spikes and nails, says Nonnus, on John 19:19) two thieves, one on the right hand and another on the left. The cross was the punishment of such criminals, and Christ, as placed between them, seemed to be their chief and leader, exactly as the Jews wished, in order to dishonour Him. But God overthrew and turned back on them all their artifices. For, as S. Chrysostom says, "The devil wished to hide the matter, but could not." For though three were crucified, Jesus only was the distinguished one, to show that all proceeded from His power; for the miracles which took place were attributed to no one but Jesus. Thus were the devices of the devil frustrated, and recoiled on his own head; for even of these two one was saved. Thus, then, so far from marring the glory of the Cross, he greatly increased it. For it was as great a matter for the thief to be converted on the Cross, and to enter Paradise, as for the rocks to be rent. Symbolically: Christ betw...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Two robbers, or thieves, and Jesus in the midst; as if he had been the greatest malefactor of the three. (Witham)

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Non occ.: Having described how Christ was led to the scene of His Passion, the Evangelist proceeds to the Passion itself, describing the kind of death; “And they crucified him.”. ap. Anselm: The shape of the cross seems also to signify the Church spread through the four quarters of the earth.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Thus on the tree of life the salvation and life of all is suspended. Or otherwise; Two thieves are set up on His right and left hand, to signify that the entire human race is called to the Sacrament of the Lord’s Passion; but because there shall be a division of believers to the right, and unbelievers to the left, one of the two who is set on His right hand is saved by the justification of faith. ...


AD 420
This which was now done to Christ had been prophesied in the Psalm, “They parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” It proceeds, “And sitting down, they watched him there.” This watchfulness of the soldiers and of the Priests has proved of use to us in making the power of His resurrection greater and more notorious. "And they set up over his head his accusation written, This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” I cannot sufficiently wonder at the enormity of the thing, that having purchased false witnesses, and having stirred up the unhappy people to riot and uproar, they found no other plea for putting Him to death, than that He was King of the Jews; and this perhaps they set up in mockery. Hieron., non occ.: As Christ was made for us a curse of the cross, so for the salvation of all He is crucified as guilty among the guilty. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. de Cruc. et Lat. ii: He suffered on a lofty cross, and not under a roof, to the end that the nature of the air might be purified; the earth also partooka like benefit, being cleansed by the blood that dropped from His side.

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Or, according to the practical exposition, the cross in respect of its broad transverse piece signifies the joy of him that works, for sorrow producesstraitness; for the broad part of the cross is in the transverse beam to which the hands are fastened, and by the hands we understand works. By the upper part to which the head is fastened is denoted our looking for retribution from the supreme righteousness of God. The perpendicular part on which the body is stretched denotes endurance, whence the patient are called ‘long-suffering’. The point that is fixed into the ground shadows forth the invisible part of a sacrament. For because He is at once King and Priest, when He would offer the sacrifice of His flesh on the altar of the cross, His title set forth His regal dignity. Andit is set over and not beneath the cross, because though He suffered for us on the cross with the weakness of man, the majesty of the King was conspicuous above the cross; and this He did not lose, but rather confi...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
It was divinely provided that this title should be set up over His head, that the Jews might learn that not even by putting Him to death could they avoid having Him for their King; for in the very instrument of His death He not only did not lose, but rather confirmed His sovereignty. ap. Gloss. ord.: Or, by the two thieves are denoted all those who strive after the continence of a strict life. They who do this with a single intention of pleasing God, are denoted by him who was crucified on the right hand; they who do it out of desire of human praise or any less worthy motive, are signified by him who was crucified on the left. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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