From the sixth hour (apo ekth wra). Curiously enough McNeile takes this to mean the trial before Pilate ( John 18:14 ). But clearly John uses Roman time, writing at the close of the century when Jewish time was no longer in vogue. It was six o'clock in the morning Roman time when the trial occurred before Pilate. The crucifixion began at the third hour ( Mark 15:25 ) Jewish time or nine A.M. The darkness began at noon, the sixth hour Jewish time and lasted till 3 P.M. Roman time, the ninth hour Jewish time ( Mark 15:33 ; Matthew 27:45 ; Luke 23:44 ). The dense darkness for three hours could not be an eclipse of the sun and Luke ( Luke 23:45 ) does not so say, only "the sun's light failing." Darkness sometimes precedes earthquakes and one came at this time or dense masses of clouds may have obscured the sun's light. One need not be disturbed if nature showed its sympathy with the tragedy of the dying of the Creator on the Cross ( Romans 8:22 ), groaning and travailing until now.