Then the High Priest tore his robes
It is very interesting that Matthew and Mark both have this phrase “Then the High Priest tore his robes” but Luke and John do not. Instead in John 19:23, we read “But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom.” Luke is silent both as to the High Priest tearing his robes and Jesus having a seamless tunic.
R.E. Brown citing Philo[i] noted that the High Priest does not rend his robes because his seamless garments are a reminder of nature’s unbroken harmony and oneness. Josephus describes the floor length tunic of the High Priest as “not composed of two pieces to be stitched at the shoulders and sides: it is one long woven cloth.”[ii]
It looks like Matthew and Mark added the detail about the High Priest tearing his robes and that John added the detail about the seamless robe. Adding details for dramatic effects is a sign of the rewriting of the sources. Luke is not only providing the most accurate account but also he has delayed his ironic announcement until the end of Stephen’s last sermon.
This is a work in progress.