The scene of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem couldn’t be more dramatic. As he approaches the culmination of his ministry he knows that torture, humiliation and death awaits him. Along the road the Jews have assembled to cheer their saviour on. The Son of God passes them by, the lord, seated on two donkeys.
The reader at this stage would be forgiven, quite rightly, for asking what was Jesus Christ doing riding two donkeys at the same time? Why not just ride on one? Alas, this is the scene as described in the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew writes that Jesus has just instructed his followers thus; “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me… The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.” (Matthew 21:1-8)
So what is happening here? Did Matthew really believe that Jesus sat on two donkeys? Why?
There are many oddities in the New Testament which the book, The Christ Conundrum: The Skeptic’s Guide to Jesus, deciphers in detail. In this case, Matthew has been pinching prophecies from the Old Testament to construct a biography of Jesus. He wants to show that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies, but in this instance he makes a mistake. He misreads a prophecy in the Book of Zechariah (9:9) and believes that it refers to two donkeys. Actually the relevant passage only refers to one such creature, but this was lost in translation when the original Hebrew was translated into Greek – the version favoured by Matthew.
This demonstrates that Matthew was not an eye witness to Jesus’ life as numerous Christians have claimed. Instead Matthew was constructing Jesus’ biography by cherry picking prophecies from the Old Testament.