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Reviews on ‘Three Days and Three Nights’
r. 1.1.7 • • Further update on ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’. Added the comment on Chapter 8 and Appendix B of Wishon’s book.
r. 1.1.5 & 1..1.6 • r. 1.1.4 • • • r. 1.1.3 • Expanded in the attached DF file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’, updated Further expansion in ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’. Added review/comments on Wishon’s book. Edited on the comment on Woodrow’s article. Further update on ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’.
r. 1.1.2 • • Edited on Coulter’s section. Comparison chart added.
r. 1.0.9 • Introduction expanded. • Section V. – A short comment on Hoehner included. • Attachment: PDF file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’, updated
r. 1.0.8 Section II - Material on Torrey is included. r.1.0.7 Section III - Material on Wishon is included. r. 1.0.6 Section IV – Material on Woodrow is included. r. 1.0.5 Section I – Material on Coulter is included.
Reviews on ‘Three Days and Three Nights’
his paper began in the process of my writing on ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’, which is attached here as a PDF file. The sole desire is to have people be encouraged to challenge everything coming into one’s life, including reading and understanding of the Scripture, so that only truths which are in harmony with God’s Word and God’s love will remain with us – in our thinking, feeling, saying, and doing, in short, our own being which is called ‘soul’ in some English Bibles, and, by God’s grace through our Yeshua the Messiah, being liberated from our mortal being deluded by the principle at work in the world, pursuit of power and pleasure, in every realm of human endeavor, be it personal, social, political, philosophical and religious.
Available on http://tiny.cc/bostonreaders or www.scribd.com/ounbb for download where a new English translation of the New Testament in IRENT series (which began almost 10 years ago) is uploaded as is being updated continually. Please be challenged and challenge. I myself love to receive your generous donation; donation, yes – but, no, not with money, but your very challenge with comments and critiques from your love of the Scripture. (email@example.com) May the name of our Creator God be honored every day as we live and love His Son as we are loved by Him.
Reviews on ‘Three Days and Three Nights’
Introduction Section I. A book chapter review on Fred R. Coulter’s which is of Wednesday to Saturday evening scenario. Section II. A book chapter review on Reuben Archer Torrey’s which is of the same scenario. Section III. A book review on Larry M Wishon’s which is of the same scenario. Section IV. A monograph review on Ralph Woodrow’s which refutes the Wednesday scenario. Section V. A brief comment on the classic, now outdated, book by Harold W. Hoehner. Attachment: PDF file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’.
he Matthean unique phrase (Mt 12:40) “so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”— a statement made by Yeshua Himself — is an important one by itself to deserve better understanding. There two are coupled together, each needs to be understood clearly: (1) The phrase ‘heart of the earth, and (2) The period indicator ‘three days and three nights’. Additionally, we have to properly understand what it is meant by ‘sign of prophet Jonah’ (v. 39) – (all phrases as in KJV translation). Besides, this Scriptural verse now stands very important because it has been the only one which brought a number of people to challenge the validity of the traditional position of the timeframe from Friday Crucifixion to Sunday (dawn) Resurrection. It is rightly so. Though it eventually led the Passion Week chronology to be clarified, the proponents of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario encountered a fatal stumbling block without their realizing it, and the scenario failed to come up with the correct timeline of the Passion narrative. As to the phrase ‘three days and three nights’, most agrees that the end-point of this specifically stated period with the Resurrection of the Messiah. Then what would be its start-point? That’s the point various positions diverge. The so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario has ‘heart’ in the text equated with ‘depths’, ‘underground’, ‘grave’, or ‘tomb’ so that the period was taken to refer to the period of duration of Yeshua′s burial. Such that, they had to come
up an erroneous claim that His resurrection had to be in the evening instead of dawn to fit a 72-hours period as they insist to be precise! This paper is some reviews on several of the books and the book chapters which cover this topic and will be expanded to include other books as well. For in-depth discussion of what and why of problematic interpretations and explanations in the various positions, traditional as well as alternative, proposals and how these can be clarified and what seems contradictory is resolved satisfactorily in harmony of the whole of the Scripture, see the file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’ (an attached file to this work). Whether the crucifixion was found to be on Friday, Thursday, or Wednesday is by itself immaterial. Also immaterial is whether the resurrection was found to be on Saturday or Sunday, since the named days of the solar week of our modern calendar do not correspond to the numbered days of the lunar week followed in the Scripture. What we should be concerned with is the internal chronology of the Scripture and the timeframe of the Passion and Passover Week itself. It is that on Abib 14th (Passover day of the feast) in the afternoon He died as ‘our Passover lamb’ and laid in the tomb in the evening that same day (Abib 14), and, after the High Sabbath of Abib 15th (the first day of Matzah Festival) having past, He rose to Life when at dawn of Abib 16th (Wave Sheaf Day) as the Firstfruits. The year of His crucifixion can be proved to be CE 30, not CE 33 as the Friday crucifixion scenario demands. It is most likely that Abib 14 in CE 30 fell on Thursday. (Taking Nisan 15 it is possible to be Wednesday, but the astronomical data they picked needs to be scrutinized.) The fact is, at the root of all confusions, contradictions, and controversies on the issue of Passion Week chronology is the ubiquitous misunderstanding of the calendar system. Not availing themselves of the simple, concise, and correct calendar system which is Scripture-based, most tries to understand the narratives with the un-biblical rabbinic Hebrew calendar in their mindset as well as modern Gregorian calendar on top of it. In addition, people tend to read the Scripture without proper attention to the context, locally as well as
in whole, to keep them in harmony. The result has been full of conjectures and contorted arguments.
To help the readers who also here are two charts to find easy to communicate as if all are talking in their own language, somewhat but significantly different from each other. With this bearing the readers should be able to discern those arguments by the various writings, which are at worst foggy, especially Torrey’s book. [From Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology.] Three major calendar systems
A table: Abib vs. Nisan Compared:
Throughout this paper, it will become obvious why it is useful and necessary to distinguish these two which is supposed to be same month.
Section I. Fred R. Coulter What he wrote:
Ch. 6 -- Jesus in the Tomb ‘Three Days and Three Nights’ And the Resurrection in the book by Fred R. Coulter The Day Jesus the Christ Died – The Biblical Truth about His Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection (2004) www.biblicaltruthministries.org This is a typical Wednesday Crucifixion scenario with Saturday evening Resurrection with claims and explanations.
Positive with claims and explanations:
• That ‘three days and three nights’ cannot be other than what it says – three full 24hour days, on which Friday crucifixion scenario proponents simply brush aside. That the Crucifixion was on Nisan 14 (= Abib 14) is clear and correct.
Problematic claims and explanations:
• That ‘three days and three nights’ is interpreted by the author as nighttime x 3 and daytime x3, opposite of what the Scripture reads ‘three nights and three days’. Not insignificant since the author wants to be careful with every word in the Scripture to find support or proof for his claim, he should have been attentive to the sequence in the phrase as well. That ‘heart of the earth’ should be taken as a tomb or burial place is a result of casual reading of the Scripture and many accepts without critical eyes – whether they are for a Wednesday crucifixion or the conventional Friday crucifixion scenario. Only a few writing may be found to stay out of this idea. The heart of the earth is an ancient expression for the city Jerusalem itself as the center of the world. Once the idea that ‘three days and three night in the heart of the earth’ is interpreted as ‘full three days of 72 hours’, there is no other way that everything has to be
interpreted to fit together. Consequently date and time of His Resurrection are chosen, despite the Scripture plainly says otherwise. It’s an eisegesis par excellence. • That there can be two sabbaths in a week has no Scriptural basis. Sabbath day is on 7th day of the lunar week – only once. The High Sabbath is called as such because it is a weekly sabbath on which the first day of week-long festival begins. This complex scheme all began when they put ‘heart of the earth = tomb’. Eventually having made up on such ideas to explain things away, Nisan 15th – which is High Sabbath (7th day of the lunar week) – had to move to 5th day (Wednesday nighttime – Thursday daytime). A day is that which begins at sunrise, not at sunset which the author takes from rabbinic Hebrew calendar system, an artificial one developed by Hillel II in the 4th century CE.
His article should be enjoyed for reference purpose and every explanation and claim should be subject to scrutiny to see why he makes them, in view of the fact that Yeshua (aka Jesus) was crucified as the Passover lamb on Abib 14 (Nisan 14) and rose to Life on Abib 16 dawn (Nisan 17). The date of His crucifixion falls most likely on Thursday, with His resurrection on Sunday. If it falls on Wednesday (as some Hebrew calendar claims), His resurrection would be at the dawn of, not in the evening of, Saturday. See the attached file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’ which is an attached file in each of the four Gospels of IRENT series of English translation of N.T., downloadable from tiny.cc/bostonreaders as well as on www.scribd.com/ounbbl.
Coulter’s Book Chapter 6;
[Note – Punctuation of quotation marks and apostrophe are edited. Bible book abbreviations are shortened. Bible quotations separated from the main text. Original page number is indicated toward the end of pages, placed outside the sentences. 'Jacob' instead of 'James'; 'Master' instead of 'Lord'; ‘tomb’ instead of ‘sepulchre’; ‘aromatic spices’ instead ‘spices’; ‘perfumed oil’ instead of ‘ointments’ or ‘aromatic oil’. Typo corrected: ‘ago’ > ‘agone’] [Some comments are inserted to be shown in Red letters.]
CHAPTER SIX pp. 71-79 Jesus in the Tomb ‘Three Days and Three Nights’ And the Resurrection
• • • • • • •
The Exact Length of Time That Jesus Was in the Tomb The Scriptural Definition of a Day An Analysis of the Phrase 'Three Days and Three Nights' in the Book of Jonah Jesus Said That He Would Rise Three Days After His Death Additional Statements of Jesus Confirm That He Was in the Tomb for Three Days and Three Nights Scriptural Evidence of Two Sabbaths during the Three Days and Three Nights Two Women View the Tomb Late on the Weekly Sabbath
The Exact Length of Time That Jesus Was In the Tomb Many prophecies in the Old Testament foretold the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ The prophet Daniel foresaw that His life would be taken (Dan. 9:26) and both David and Isaiah described the suffering and humiliation that He would endure before His death (Psa 22, Isa 53). Other prophecies pointed to His resurrection to immortality (Psa 16:10-11, Dan 7:13-14, Isa 9:6-7). However, there is no scripture in the Old Testament that foretold the length of time that the Messiah would be in the tomb before He was resurrected from the dead. This prophecy is found only in the Gospel accounts, spoken by Jesus Himself: «Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Master, we desire to see a sign from you.” And He answered and said to them, “ A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”» (Mt 12:38-40) Jesus spoke these words because the scribes and Pharisees did not believe in Him, nor did they believe that His works of healing were done by the power of God. When they challenged Him to perform a miraculous sign in their presence, Jesus did not do so. Instead, the only sign He gave them was the sign of Jonah the prophet. The fulfillment of this sign was a testimony not only to that generation but to all future generations that He was the Messiah. The vast majority of Christians today believe that Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb on a Friday, and He was resurrected on Sunday morning. Thus, He was
not in the tomb for three days and three nights, as He had prophesied, but for two nights and one full day. This traditional interpretation of Jesus′ death and resurrection is completely contrary to the Gospel accounts. Nearly all churches within Christendom have misinterpreted or rejected the scriptural record. In its place, they have adopted an ancient Babylonian religious tradition that predates the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ by thousands of years. a
For historical evidence of the Babylonian practice, see The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop and The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer.
– p. 71 –
Various theories have been advanced in an attempt to reconcile this ancient religious tradition with the scriptural accounts, but the error is clearly exposed by examining the accounts that have been accurately recorded and faithfully preserved in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospel accounts do not support the traditional belief in a Good Friday crucifixion and an Easter Sunday resurrection. The facts that are recorded by the Gospel writers reveal a profoundly different timeframe for the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
The Scriptural Definition of a Day
Some have claimed that Jesus was using an idiomatic expression when He declared that He would remain in the tomb for three days and three nights. They teach that His words should be interpreted as referring to parts of days rather than to whole days. But when the scriptural use of the term 'day' is examined one finds that it is very specific. The Scriptures of the Old Testament show that a day consists of an evening and a morning (Gen 1). An entire day has two portions: the night portion, which begins at evening, or sunset; and the day portion which begins at sunrise or morning. These two consecutive period are identified as one complete day, reckoned from sunset to sunset, or evening to evening (Lev 23:32, KJV). According to Scripture, each day has an average of twelve hours in the night portion and twelve hours in the day portion, making a complete day of twenty-four hours. Jesus Him elf verified that the day portion is about twelve hours long when He said, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” (John 11:9) Jesus also spoke of the three watches of the night, which extended from sunset to sunrise and were each four hour long, making a total of twelve hour (Lk 12:36-38). There is no question that Jesus included a full twelve hours of daylight and a full twelve hours of night in reckoning the length of each calendar day. This scriptural method of
reckoning time had been used by the Hebrews for centuries. Moreover, it is clear that Jesus and Hi disciples observed the Pa saver and the holy days of God each year according to the determination of the Hebrew Calendar, as God had ordained. This is a key fact in understanding the exact length of time that Jesus was in the tomb. When the four Gospel accounts are examined, it is clear that the Gospel writers used the scriptural method of reckoning each day from sunset to sunset, or evening to evening. Beginning six days before Jesus′ last Passover until the day after His resurrection, d1e Gospel writers accurately recorded all the events day by day. They took careful note of the mornings and evenings, making it possible to determine the beginning and end of each day. The fact that they meticulously noted the mornings and evenings demonstrates that these days were whole days composed of twenty-four hours. Nowhere do the scriptural records leave room for an interpretation of partial days or partial nights. – p.72 –
An Analysis of the Phrase ‘Three Days and Three Nights’ in the Book of Jonah
Jesus′ prophecy that He would be in U1e grave for three days and three nights is a direct reference to Jonah 1:7, which speaks of Jonah's symbolic entombment in the belly of a great fish: «Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights .» (KJV) The word 'days' in this verse is translated from the Hebrew yom, and the word 'night' is translated from the Hebrew lailah. Both of these words are preceded by the cardinal number 'three', which is translated from the Hebrew shalosh. This cardinal number is used as an adjective before the nouns 'days' and 'nights' to express a specific period of time. Other scriptural references confirm the use of cardinal numbers to record the exact duration of a condition or event: Gen 7:4 'seven days' Gen 7:12 'forty days and forty nights' Exo 10:23 'three days' Exo 24:18 'forty days and forty nights' Lev 12:4 'three and thirty days' 1Sam 30:12 'three days and three nights' 1King 19:8 'forty days and forty nights' The use of a cardinal number with the terms 'days' and 'nights' shows that these terms are being used in a very specific sense. The presence of the Hebrew waw (the conjunction 'and') between 'days' and 'nights' makes the meaning of the text
even more emphatic, limiting the duration of Lime to the exact number of days and nights that are specified. By the Scriptural method of reckoning time, it takes an 'evening' and a 'morning' to complete one full day (Gen 1:5). Just as 'the evening and the morning' in Genesis 1 denote a whole day of twenty-four hours, so the term 'a day and a night' denotes a full day of twenty-four hours. In the same way also, the expression 'three days and three nights' denotes three whole days of twenty-four hours each. The Hebrew text leaves no room to interpret the expression 'three days and three nights' in Jonah 1:17 in a broad or general sense. The use of this same Hebrew expression in I Samuel 30:12 demonstrates that it is a literal period of three 24hour days: «... for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk water, three days and three nights.» (KJV) The following verse in I Samuel 30 uses the expression 'three days ago' in reference to the period of three days and three nights. These were the words of an Egyptian who was accustomed to reckoning days from sunrise to sunrise. The use of the expression 'three days ago' by the Egyptian confirms that he had completed a full three days and three nights of fasting from sunrise on the first day until sunrise on the fourth day. – p. 73 –
The literal meaning of 'three days' in I Samuel 30: 13 is confirmed by the use of the same Hebrew expression in II Samuel 24:13 to describe a specified duration of time: 'three days′ pestilence'. The construction of the Hebrew text does not allow the expression 'three days and three nights ' in Jonah 1:17 to be interpreted in any manner except the literal sense of three 24-hour days. The Hebrew terminology cannot be interpreted as an idiomatic expression that is describing incomplete units of time, such as part of a day and part of a night. To denote incomplete units of time, the Hebrew text uses a word that means 'to divide'. This word is not found in the expression ‘three day and three nights’,·either in Jonah 1:17 or in 1 Samuel 30:12. However, this word is found in reference to duration of time in Daniel 12:7: «... a time, times, and half a time''. The word 'half' is translated from the Hebrew word meaning 'to divide'. Since this word is not used to describe the duration of time in Jonah 1:17 and 1Samuel 30:12, it is evident that the Hebrew text is describing complete units of time – three 12-hour days and three 12-hour nights. By testifying that Jonah was in the belly of the fish ‘three days and three nights’,·the Scriptures reveal that a full 72 hours had elapsed before Jonah was cast out on the shore. The New Testament reveals that Jesus the Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament before He became a man. He was the One who caused the great fish to swallow Jonah and descend to the bottom of the sea for a period of time before swimming to the shore and depositing Jonah on the land. As the Lord God, He knew exactly how long Jonah had remained in the belly of the fish, and He inspired Jonah to record this duration of rime, which was a foretelling of His
future burial. There is no question concerning the length of time that passed as Jonah lay in the belly of the fish, because this fact is preserved in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Since the Hebrew text cannot be interpreted in an idiomatic sense, but must be interpreted literally, it is clear that three whole days and three whole nights passed while Jonah lay in the fish's belly. Jesus was fully aware of this fact of Scripture when He declared to the Jews, «... in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights ». (Mt 12:40)
Jesus Said That He Would Rise Three Days After His Death
The Gospel writers record that Jesus made specific statements to His disciples concerning the length of time that He would be in the tomb and when He would be resurrected: «And He began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, but after three days to rise from the dead'.» (Mk 8:31; see also Mt 16:21 and Mk 9:31) Jesus proclaimed to His disciples that He would not rise from the dead until three days after He had been killed. Jesus′ statement that He would rise three days after He had died is most significant. – p. 74 – According to Jewish law, to be declared legally dead, a person had to be dead for more than three full days. If someone who appeared to be dead revived and carne back to life prior to three full days, he or she was not legally deemed to have been dead. Therefore, if Jesus had risen from the dead before 3 PM on the afternoon of Nisan 17, a weekly Sabbath, He would not have been considered legally dead. As a result His return to life would not have been considered a true resurrection from the dead. Knowing this fact, one can understand why Jesus delayed going to Lazarus in the account in John 11. Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick unto death, but He deliberately remained where He was for two more days (John 11:6). He knew that Lazarus would not be considered legally dead until he had been dead for four days. When Lazarus was legally dead, Jesus went to resurrect him from the grave: «Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who had died, said to Him, “Master, he already stinks, for it has been four days.” Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you will believe, you shall see the glory of God?’ Then they removed the stone from the tomb where the dead man had been laid. And Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said, 'Father, I thank you that
you have heard Me. And I know that you hear me always; but because of the people who stand around I say this, so that they may believe that you did send me.' And after He had spoken these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And he who had been dead came forth, his feet and hands bound with grave clothes, and his face bound up with a napkin. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.”». (John 11: 39-44). Like Lazarus, Jesus had to remain dead for a minimum of three full days in order to be declared officially dead. If He had been crucified on a Friday and restored to life on Sunday morning at sunrise, His death would not have been "valid" since only two nights and one day would have passed between Friday sunset and Sunday morning. In order for His death to be publicly recognized and acknowledged, it was necessary for Jesus to remain in the grave for three nights and three days before He was raised from the dead. The Scriptures reveal that Jesus died at the ninth hour, or 3 PM, on the Passover day, Nisan 14, which fell on Wednesday, April 5, in 30 AD (Mt 27:46 and Mk 15:34), and He was placed in the tomb just before sunset at approximately 6 PM. The Gospel of Matthew describes His burial by Joseph of Arimathea: «And when evening was coming on, a rich man of Arimathea came, named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. After going to Pilate, he begged to have the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given over to him. And after taking the body, Joseph [with the help of Nicodemus (John 19:39)] wrapped it in clean linen cloth, and placed it in his new tomb which he had hewn in the rock: and after rolling a great stone to the door of the tomb, he went away.» (Mt 27:5760) Luke records that 'a Sabbath was coming on' (Lk 23:54), which means that by the time they had closed the entrance of the tomb with a huge stone, the Sabbath was nearly upon them. – p. 75 –
Since all Sabbaths were reckoned from sunset to sunset, it is clear that the sun was about to set. Both Matthew and Mark testify that Jesus died at the ninth hour, or 3 PM. Luke's account shows that they closed the entrance to the tomb with a huge stone just before sunset. Because the Passover is in the spring of the year when the days arc twelve hours in length, we know that the tomb was closed at about 6 PM. Since He died about 3 PM. Jesus was dead for approximately 75 hours before He was resurrected. The total length of time included three days (from sunrise to sunset) and three nights (from sunset to sunrise) plus approximately three hours. Because He had been dead for more than three days, His death was legally established. When He appeared to His disciples three days after He had been placed in the tomb, the reality of His resurrection was beyond question.
Additional Statements of Jesus Confirm That He Was in the Tomb for Three Days and Three Nights
While Matthew and Mark record Jesus saying that He would be raised 'after three days', Luke records that He would be raised 'on the third day'. Luke wrote: 'For He shall be delivered up to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and insulted and spit upon. And after scourging Him, they shall kill Him; but on the third day, He shall rise again.' (Lk 18:32-33) The apostle John records another statement by Jesus that He would be raised up 'in three days'. Jesus made this statement when the Jews confronted Him for casting the money exchangers out of the temple and driving out the animals they were selling: « ... The Jews answered and said to Him. “What sign do you show to us, seeing that you do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said. “This temple was forty-six years in building, and you will raise it up in three days?” But He spoke concerning the temple of His body. Therefore, when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scriptures, and the word that Jesus had spoken.» (John 2: 18-22). The phrase 'in three days' contains the Greek preposition en. This Greek preposition, which is translated 'in' in John 2:19-20, can also mean 'within'. At first glance, the statements 'in three days ' and 'on the third day'·appear to conflict with the statement that He would be raised 'after three days'. How is it possible for all three of Jesus′ statements to be correct? When we understand Jesus′ statements, we find that instead of being contradictory, they reveal the exact time that He was raised from the dead. Jesus made it clear that He would be raised after He had been dead for three days. The other statements, 'in three days' and 'on the third day', do not include the total time that He was dead but only the time that He was buried in the tomb. The Gospel accounts show that Joseph or Arimathea and Nicodemus closed the tomb just before sunset, three hours after Jesus died on the cross. – p. 76 – Although He was in the tomb for exactly three days and three nights, He was dead for a longer period than that. Thus He rose from the dead 'after three days'. The difference between this statement and the statements 'in three days ' and 'on the third day' is that these two statements refer to His burial 'in the heart of the earth three days and three nights '. When one compares all of Jesus′ statements, it is evident that they place specific limits on the time frame between His death and resurrection. Of itself, 'in three
days ' could mean any time on the third day, even the first minute of the third day. 'On the third day' could mean any time on the third day up to the last minute on the third day. But the statement that He would "be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights " shows that three whole days and three whole nights would pass while He lay in the tomb. [Such interpretation of ‘heart of the earth’ = ‘tomb’ is the linchpin of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario, which is effectively pull out. See the review section on Woodrow’s – ARJ] When all of Jesus′·statements are taken into consideration, there is only one moment of time to which all can apply. Here is the explanation: The end of the third day is still 'on' and 'in' the third day. At the end of the third day, precisely at sunset, Jesus was resurrected. This was the only moment of time that could fulfill all of Jesus′ prophecies concerning the lime of His death, the length of time that He would be in the tomb, and the lime of His resurrection. The Gospels record that Jesus died on the Passover day, Nisan 14, which fell on a Wednesday in 30 AD. [He does not elaborate how he came up with the year and how Nisan 14 fell on Wednesday. – For this, see the review section on Wishon’s book. – ARJ] Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placed Jesus′ body in the tomb and closed the entrance with a huge stone when the sun was setting at approximately 6 p.m. ending Nisan 14. [The attentive reading of the pertinent Gospel texts tells that the entombment process was in the evening (i.e. after sunset). - ARJ] Jesus was resurrected from the dead precisely three days and three nights later, when the sun was setting at the end of the weekly Sabbath, or Saturday, [counting from what point of time? If he means as the proponents of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario, at the time of His burial as the start point. – then it forced to have the resurrection in the evening, that is (the beginning) of the first day of the week – ARJ] Nisan 17, 30 AD. As He had prophesied, He remained in the tomb for three full days and three full nights. Jesus the Christ was raised from the dead at sunset on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. He had already been resurrected when the sun rose on Sunday, the first day of the week. (Please see the chart on pages 80-81) Scriptural Evidence of Two Sabbaths during the Three Days and Three Nights According to religious tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. This religious tradition appears to be supported by the statement in John 19:31 that the day of His death 'was the preparation'. Most have assumed that this statement refers to the Jews' preparation for the weekly Sabbath. They fail to realize that the Passover day, on which Jesus died, has always been a preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which immediately follows (Lev 23:4-6). The first day of this feast, Nisan 15, is observed as an annual holy day, or 'high day'. Like the Passover day, it may fall on different days of the week. Regardless of which day of the week it falls on, it is always observed as an annual Sabbath, and the day portion of the Passover is always used as a day of preparation. – p. 77 –
It is erroneous to interpret ‘the preparation’·in John 19:31 as evidence that the day of the crucifixion was a Friday. The mistaken belief in a Friday crucifixion is based on the assumption that there was only one Sabbath during the crucifixion week. However, the Scriptures clearly reveal that during that week there were two Sabbaths. The first Sabbath was an annual holy day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The second Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Consequently, during the week of Jesus· crucifixion there were two preparation days. The day portion of Nisan 14, the Passover day, was the preparation day for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th, which was an annual Sabbath. The following day, the 16th, which was a Friday, was the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath. When the Gospel of John is examined, it is evident that the Sabbath immediately following the day Jesus died was an annual Sabbath: «The Jews therefore, so that the bodies might nor remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was a preparation day (for that Sabbath was a high day) ... » (John 19:31). The term 'high day' was never used to refer to the weekly Sabbath, but only to annual Sabbaths. John's use of this term makes it clear that the Sabbath that was about to begin was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15. Mark's account makes reference to the coming of sunset, which would bring the end of the preparation and the beginning of the annual Sabbath, or high day: «Now evening was coming, and since it was a preparation, (that is, the day before a Sabbath) …» (Mark 15:42). As the Gospel of Luke shows, this Sabbath was about to begin when Jesus was put into the tomb: «Now it was a preparation day, and a Sabbath was coming on. And the women also, who had come with Him from Galilee, followed and saw the tomb, and how His body was laid.» (Luke 23:54-55) The Gospels record the events that followed Jesus′ burial. On Nisan 15, the day after the crucifixion, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate to request that guards be assigned to watch Jesus′ tomb. Because they were afraid that the disciples would come and steal away His body, they did not hesitate to take care of their business on the holy day (Mt 27:62-66). While the priests and Pharisees went to Pilate, the women who followed Jesus were observing the annual Sabbath, as commanded by God. They could not buy aromatic spices on that day because all the businesses were closed in observance of the command to rest (Lev 23:6-7). After the end of that Sabbath, or high day, they bought aromatic spices and perfumed oils to anoint Jesus. Mark relates this event: «Now when the Sabbath had passed. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jacob, and Salome bought aromatic oils, so that they might come and anoint Him.» (Mark 16: 1)
It is quite evident that the women could not have purchased the aromatic spices until after the high day, or annual Sabbath, had ended. The high day began when the Passover day, Nisan 14, ended at sunset. – p. 78 –
The observance of the high day, Nisan 15, lasted until the following sunset which began Nisan 16. The women bought the aromatic spices ‘when the Sabbath had passed’ and prepared them on the same day. When they had finished, they observed a second Sabbath: «And they returned to the city, and prepared aromatic spices and perfumed oil, and then rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.» (Lk 23:56) The Gospel records concerning the buying and preparation of the aromatic spices by the women clearly reveal the observance of two Sabbaths during the crucifixion week. Two Women View the Tomb Late on the Weekly Sabbath Before the weekly Sabbath came to an end, Matthew records that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to observe the tomb: «Now late on the Sabbath [this rendering is in ASV, not in KJV which says ‘in the end of the Sabbath’; most renders it as ‘after the week’ – ARJ] as the first day of the weeks was drawing near. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to observe the tomb.» (Mt 28:1) Because it was still the Sabbath day, the women did not come to anoint His body with the aromatic spices they had prepared. Perhaps they went to observe the tomb because they remembered Jesus· words that after three days and three nights in the grave, He would rise from the dead. After the two women viewed the tomb and saw that the stone covering the entrance was still in place with the soldiers standing guard, they returned home for the night. The next morning, as they were corning back to the tomb, they were wondering who might roll back the stone so that they could anoint Jesus′ body: «… And very early on the first day of the weeks, at the rising of the sun, they were coming to the tomb: and they were asking themselves. 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’» (Mk 16:2-3) But when the women arrived, they found that the stone had already been removed and the tomb was empty. The three days and three nights had ended at sunset on the weekly Sabbath, and Jesus had risen from the dead! (For further discussion of the third day see Appendix B, page 145 – titled “Today is the Third day Since These Things Took Place”.)[See below] [See Chart on pages 80-81 for The Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb and the Resurrection After Three Days and Three Nights] – p. 79 –
“Today Is the Third Day Since These Things Took Place" p. 145 APPENDIX B "Today Is the Third Day Since These Things Took Place" Those who believe in a Sunday resurrection point to a statement in Luke 24:21 as evidence that Jesus rose from the dead at sunrise on the first day of the week. This statement was made by two of Jesus' disciples: " ... today is the third day since these things were done." Because this statement was made on the first day of the week, many have assumed that Jesus rose from the dead early that morning. The King James Version reads: "And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it carne to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. ''And he said unto them, 'What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?' And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, 'Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass the re in these days?' And he said unto them, 'What things?' "And they said unto him, 'Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done' " (Luke 24:1321 KJV). A precise translation of Luke 24:13-21 conveys the true meaning of the Greek text as follows: "And behold, on the same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about sixty furlongs from Jerusalem. And they were talking with one another about all the things that had taken place. "And it carne to pass, as they were talking and reasoning, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them; but their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said lo them, 'What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you walk, and why are you downcast in countenance?' Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, 'Arc You only traveling through Jerusalem, and have not known of the things that have happened in these days?' ''And He said to them, 'What things?' And they said to Him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarean, a man Who was a prophet, Who was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the judgment of death, and crucified Him. And we were hoping that He was the one Who would redeem Israel. But besides all these things, as of today, the
third day bas already passed since these things took place ' "(Luke 24: 13-21). When correctly translated, Luke 24:21 docs not support the teaching that Jesus the Christ was raised from the dead on the first day of the week at sunrise. Those who believe that He was resurrected at sunrise on Easter Sunday have been taught a falsehood! This religious myth rejects the sign of Jonah, which was the only sign that Jesus the Christ gave as proof that He was the Messiah. Those who participate in the traditional observance of a Friday crucifixion and an Easter Sunday resurrection are observing traditions of men. Jesus said, "Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me.' But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men .... Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition" (Mk 7:6-9). The God of truth cannot be honored by practicing a lie. God the Father rejects that kind of vain worship. Rather. He is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said: ''But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). In order to worship God the Father and Jesus the Christ in spirit and in truth, one must repent of his or her s ins, accept the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ for the forgiveness of sins, be baptized by full immersion in water, receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, and live from that time forward in the love and grace of God by keeping His commandments. These commandments include keeping the seventh-day Sabbath each week, and keeping the Christian Passover and the annual holy days of God at their appointed times each year. Only those who are under His grace, keeping all His commandments and living by His every word, are worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. Please see "Today is the Third Day Since These Things Took Place'' in [Coulter’s own] A Harmony of the Gospels, pages 316-321 for a full exegetical study of Luke 24:1321.
Appendix J Jesus' Three Days and Three Nights of Entombment and His Resurrection Many prophecies in the Old Testament foretold of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The prophet Daniel foresaw that Jesus' life would be taken (Dan 9:26), and both David and Isaiah described the suffering and humiliation that He would endure before His death (Psa 22: Isa 53). Other prophecies pointed to His resurrection to immortality (Psa 16: I 0-l l: Dan 7:13-14: Isa 9:6-7). However, there is no passage in the Old Testament that foretells the length of time that the Messiah
would be in the tomb before He was resurrected. This prophecy is found only in the Gospel accounts, spoken by Jesus Himself: ·'Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying. ·Master, we desire to see a sign from You.' And He answered and said to them. ·A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, in like manner the Son of man shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights'”. (Mt 12:38-40). The fulfillment of this sign-the only sign Jesus gave that He was the Messiah-was a testimony nm only to that generation, but to all future generations that He was, and is, the Christ. Nearly all churches within Christendom have misinterpreted or rejected the scriptural record. The majority of Christians today believe that Jesus was crucified and laid in a tomb on a Friday, and that He was resurrected on Sunday morning. Thus, according to their reasoning, lie was not actually in the tomb for three days and three nights, as He had prophesied, but for two nights and one full day – which, if true, would discredit Him as our Savior. However, the Gospel accounts do not support the traditional belief in a ‘Good Friday’ crucifixion and an ‘Easter Sunday’·morning resurrection. The facts recorded by the Gospel writers reveal a significantly different time frame for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Scriptural Definition of a Day Most Orthodox Christian scholars claim Jesus was using an idiomatic expression when He declared that He would remain in the tomb for "three days and three nights" – suggesting that His words should be interpreted as referring to pans of days rather than to whole days. But when the scriptural use of the term "day'' is examined, one finds that it is very specific. The Old Testament shows that a day consists of an evening and a morning (Gen 1). An entire day has two portions-the night portion, which begins at evening or sunset, and the day portion, which begins at sunrise or morning. These consecutive periods are identified as one complete day, reckoned from sunset to sunset, or evening to evening (Lev 23:32). According to Scripture, each day has an average of 12 hours in the night po11ion and 12 hours in the day portion, making a complete day of 24 hours. Jesus Himself verified that the day portion is about 12 hours long (John 11:9.) This scriptural method of reckoning time had been used by the Hebrews for centuries. “Three Days and Three Nights” in the Book of Jonah Christ's own prophecy that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights is a direct reference to Jonah 1:17, which speaks of Jonah's symbolic entombment in the belly of a great fish: “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up
Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” The construction of the Hebrew text here does not allow the expression "three days and three nights'' to be interpreted in any manner except the literal sense of three 24-hour days. In Hebrew, the phrase "a day and a night" denotes a full day of 24 hours. In the same way, the expression "three days and three nights" denotes three whole days of 24 hours each. The Hebrew terminology cannot be interpreted as an idiomatic expression describing part of a day and part of a night. To denote incomplete units of time, the Hebrew uses a word that means ''to divide" – such as in Daniel 12:7, where the term is translated "half a time." However, this word is not found in the expression ''three days and three nights'' recorded in Jonah 1:17. It is evident that the text is describing three complete 24-hour periods of time. Fully aware of this fact of' Scripture. Jesus declared to the Jews that He would be in the heart of the earth for "three days and three nights " (Mt 12:40). Jesus Said That He Would Rise Three Days after His Death The Gospel writers record that Jesus made specific statements to His disciples concerning the length of time that He would be in the tomb and when He would be resurrected: "And He began to teach them that it was necessary for the Son of man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, but after three days to rise from the dead" (Mark 8:31: see also Matt. 16:21 and Mark 9:31). Jesus proclaimed to His disciples that He would not rise from the dead until three days after He had been killed. Jesus· statement that He would rise three days after He had died is acutely significant. According to Jewish law to be declared legally dead, a person had to be dead for three full days or more. Therefore, if Jesus had risen from the dead before 3 PM on the afternoon of Ni san 17, a weekly Sabbath. He would not have been considered legally dead. As a result, His return to life would not have been considered a true resurrection from the dead. If He had been crucified on a Friday and restored to life on Sunday morning at sunrise. His death would not have been "valid'' since only two nights and one day would have passed between Friday sunset and Sunday morning. In order for His death to be publicly recognized and acknowledged, it was necessary for Jesus to remain in the grave for three nights and three days before He was raised from the dead. The Scriptures reveal that Jesus died at the ninth hour, or 3 PM. on the Passover day. Nisan l4, which fell on Wednesday, April 5, in 30 AD (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). He was placed in the tomb just before sunset at about 6 PM. Matthew describes His burial by Joseph of Arimathea: "And when evening was coming on, a rich man of Arimathea came, named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
After going to Pilate, he begged to have the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given over to him. And after taking the body. Joseph [with the help of Nicodemus (John 19:39)] wrapped it in clean linen cloth, and placed it in his new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock: and after rolling a great tone to the door of the tomb, he went away" (Matt. 27:57-60). Luke records that "a Sabbath was coming on'' (Luke 23:54), which means that by the time they had closed the entrance of the tomb with a huge stone – at about 6 PM – a Sabbath was nearly upon them. Since all Sabbaths are reckoned from sunset to sunset, it is clear that the sun was about to set. Jesus was resurrected from the dead precisely three days and three nights later, when the sun was setting at the end of the weekly Sabbath, or Saturday, Nisan 17. As He had prophesied. He remained in the tomb for three full day and three full nights. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead just before sunset on the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. He had already been resurrected for nearly twelve hours when the sun rose on Sunday, the first day of the week. Two Sabbaths During the Three Days and Three Nights According to religious tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday – which appears to be supported by the statement in John 19:31 that the day of His death “was the preparation [day]”. Most have assumed that this statement refers to the Jews ’·preparation on Friday for the weekly Sabbath. However. they fail to realize that the Pas over day, on which Jesus died, has always been a preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which immediately follows (Lev. 23:4-6). The first day of this feast, Nisan 15, is observed as a high day - an annual Sabbath. The day portion of the Passover (Nisan 14) is always used as a day of preparation for this yearly holy day. It is erroneous to interpret the preparation day" in John 19:31 as evidence that the day of the crucifixion was a Friday. The Scripture clearly reveal that during the crucifixion week there were two Sabbaths. The first Sabbath was an annual holy day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, which fell on Thursday that year. The second Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, or Saturday. Thus, that week there were two preparation days. The day portion of Nisan 14, the Passover day, was the preparation day for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th, which was an annual Sabbath. The following day, the 16th, which was a Friday, was the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, the 17th. In reading the Gospel of John, it is evident that the Sabbath following the day Jesus died was an annual Sabbath. The Jews, therefore, so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was a preparation day (for that Sabbath was a high day) ...” (John 19:31). The term "high day" is never used to refer to the weekly Sabbath, but only to annual Sabbaths. John's use of this term makes it clear that the Sabbath which was about to begin was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15. The women who followed Jesus observed the annual Sabbath, as commanded by God. They could not purchase spices on that day because all the businesses were
closed in observance of the command to rest (Lev. 23:6-7). After the end of that high day, they bought spices and aromatic oils to anoint Jesus. ·'Now when the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic oils, so that they might come and anoint Him'·(Mk 16: 1). The women bought the spices “ when the Sabbath had passed” and prepared them on the same day. When they had finished, they observed a second Sabbath. “And they returned to the city and prepared spices and ointments, and then rested on the [weekly] Sabbath according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56) The Gospel accounts clearly reveal the observance of two Sabbaths during the crucifixion week.
"Today Is the Third Day Since These Things Took Place" Those who embrace a Sunday resurrection point to a statement in Luke 24:21 as evidence that Jesus rose from the dead at sunrise on the first day of the week. This statement was made by two of Jesus’· disciples as they walked along with a “stranger” - not knowing that the stranger was actually the resurrected Christ. As Jesus listened to their conversation. He asked what “things”· they were talking about. They answered, “concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done ". (Luke 24:13-21 KJV) Because this statement was made on the first day of the week, many have incorrectly assumed that Jesus rose from the dead early Sunday morning. However, the Gospel accounts clearly show that Jesus had already risen from the dead before the women came to the tomb m sunrise. There is no question that Jesus was in the tomb for three days and three nights – beginning at sunset on Wednesday. Nisan 14, and ending at sunset on the weekly Sabbath, Nisan 17. Jesus rose at the end of three full days and three full nights, exactly as He had declared. The problem with Luke 24:21, according to A. T. Robertson, is that the phrase ‘today is the third day’·is an idiomatic expression-and is most difficult to translate into English (Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament. s.v. Luke 24:21). Because the phrase is idiomatic, its actual meaning cannot be understood by a literal translation-which only serves to distort the true meaning. With this in mind, scholars and translators have stud1ed how such idiomatic expressions were used by various writers of that era-such as the historian Josephus and others who used classical Greek. What they have discovered is that the idiom is an expression of completed time. In other words, "today is the third day" actually indicates “as of today, three days have already passed”. Berkley's translation, for example, renders the phrase as “three days have already
passed”; Moffat translates the phrase as “three days ago”:· Both of these translations properly convey the idiom to show a period of time which has been completed. Based on this information, a precise translation of Luke 24:21 would be: “But besides all these things, as of today, the third day has already passed since these things took place.” Thus, Luke 24:21 in no way supports the teaching that Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week at sunrise.
Coulter’s Chart – from the crucifixion to resurrection timeline The Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb and the Resurrection After Three Days and Three Nights (pp. 80-81)
Review Comments on the chart:
(1) A critical error – Nisan 15 of High Shabbat is wrongly on 5th day of the Week. It should be on 7th day of the week with only one sabbath in a week, whether in the seven-day long festival or not. (2) His timeline is tied to the named days of the solar week; hence he sticks to the un-biblical idea of ‘two sabbaths’ in a week. (3) Instead of the biblical phrase ‘three days and three nights’, he has ‘three nights and three day’. There is no such thing which he labeled as ‘Third day in the tomb’. He mixes up with ‘daytime’ and ‘day of the week’ (4) The fundamental error of the so-called Wednesday scenario is shown here – resurrection in the late afternoon / evening.
Note on p. 80 (left half of the chart): The Key To The Time Period From The Burial To The Resurrection: Jesus Said He Would Be In The Heart Of The Earth (The Tomb) Three Days And Three Nights, A Complete 72-Hour Period. Mt 12:38-40; 27:63 John 2:18-22 Mk 8:31; 9:31 Acts 10:40 Lk 13:32; 18:33; 24:7, 46 1Co 15:4 Review comments: He wrote here ‘three days and three nights’, but what he says is actually ‘three nights and three days’. The phrase ‘in the heart of the earth’ does not mean a tomb of grave, but Jerusalem where Yeshua had ‘three days and three nights’ from carrying the cross to resurrection. Note on p. 81 (right half of the chart) – Knowledge of a Wednesday crucifixion was passed down for at least three centuries after the founding of the apostolic church. The Didascalia, which dates from the third century, offers historical evidence that the belief in a Friday crucifixion was a change from the original teaching. The following description of the day of Jesus′ crucifixion appears in Book V of the Apostolic Constitutions, which contains the original words of the Didascalia: «For they began to hold a council against the Lord on the second day of the week, in the first month, which is Xanthicus; and the deliberation continued on the third day of the week; but on the fourth day [Wednesday] they determined to take away His life by crucifixion» (Apostolic Constitutions – Didascalia Apostolorum, book V, section III, paragraph xiv). A church historian explains the significance of this record in the Didascalia: «... the only reason can have been that Jesus′ passion began on a Wednesday, i.e., the day when He was arrested [and crucified]» (Lietzmann, A History of the Early Church, p. 69). Review comments • There is a typographical error – it is section III (as corrected in red font), not section I. • The fourth day corresponds to but the red letter [Wednesday] itself is not in original. To be noted is that the text in Didascalia quoted from Ante-Nicene Fathers follows the biblical expression using numbered days of the week. However, it is, without doubt, of the solar week, with the first day of the week being Sunday, the seventh as Saturday (Sabbath) and the fourth as Wednesday. Their Passion Week timeline is parallel to the liturgical ‘Holy Week’ of Constantine Catholic tradition. • [and crucified] are not in the original, and quite misleading for the readers. Both Didascalia and Lietzmann are NOT saying that the day [Wednesday] was the day of His crucifixion!
A comment on the timeline mentioned in Didascalia:
The portion relevant for timeline in Didascalia reads: (see www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.ix.vi.iii.html)
And on the fifth day of the week, when we had eaten the passover with Him, and when Judas had dipped his hand into the dish, (the story continues to the setting at the Mount of Olive-grove)
…. in their madness cast upon Him, till it was very early in the morning, and then they lead Him away to Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas; and when they had done the like things to Him there, it being the day of the preparation, they delivered Him to Pilate the Roman governor, …. when the first day of the week dawned He arose from the dead,
we find that what the Judean authorities ‘determined’ on the fourth day is their decision to move forward their plan to take hold of Him to bring Him to crucifixion. It does not refer to the crucifixion day as Coulter wants to read. Nor is it saying that the day does not even refer to the day of His arrest – the day their decision came to be undertaken.
Now, we can safely put aside the issue of whether this fourth day was meant to be Wednesday or not. If we simply take it as the fourth day of the Passion narrative Week (which corresponds to the fourth day of the lunar week in that month), the timeline reconstructed this way does exactly match with the very timeline that’s drawn from the internal chronology based on the Scripture-based calendar. The fourth day was the day of their deliberation to get on action to have Him into their hands (Mt 26:3), that is on Abib 12. This should be the day of the Lord’s Last Supper in the evening and His Arrest in the night to be followed by the Trial through the morning, that is, Abib 13 (fifth day of the week), which is followed by the Crucifixion on the next day (Abib 14, sixth day). However, the author instead followed the timeline of the traditional liturgical Holy Week, by adding one more day between the Judean authorities action and the Last Supper. (It’s easier to check with the Summary Charts below copied from “Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology”.) Also to compare with the above Coulter’s chart.
Summary Chart I-a: First portion of the Passion Week
From Bethany Arrival to Crucifixion — Summary Comparison of Various Scenarios in Three Different Calendar Systems
Summary Chart I-b: Last portion of the Passion Week
From Crucifixion to Resurrection — Summary Comparison of Various Scenarios in Three Different Calendar Systems
S-B S-C S-X
Basic Scenario (after Doig, Boice, etc.) Scenario – (C onventional scenario) Alternative Scenario with a claim of the Resurrection on evening. [Note: the full moon falls not on Passover, but on Nisan 16.]
[*after Coulter (2004) – The Day Jesus the Christ Died, pp. 80-81.] ††
Crucifixion of Messiah Resurrection at dawn, 1st day. Resurrection at dawn, Sunday
Wave sheaf offering Full moon Resurrection in the evening
Notice carefully. It is only with S-b , not S-X or S-C, that the various phrases in the Gospel texts, such as ‘on the third day’, ‘in three days’, ‘after three days’ as well as ‘three days and three nights’, remain all compatible with each other, in total harmony without contradiction. One has just to see whether it should be inclusive or exclusive counting, whether it is about counting off dates or about describing a duration of period, and how the beginning and the end point of the period under consideration. Note: The period He remained in the tomb = N 1, D 1, N 2, D 2; N 3 = 3 nights and 2 days.
Section II. Reuben Archer Torrey
Reuben Archer Torrey (1996) Difficulties [Whitakerhouse] (paperback) Ch. 21
in the Bible
Was Jesus Really Three Days and Nights in the Heart of the Earth? pp. 155-164 This is written as a proponent of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion with Saturday evening resurrection. This short chapter was surprisingly difficult to follow his arguments. For many years since I made an initial draft for critical comment on this Torrey’s writing it has remained befuddled by his arguments, not by confusions inherent in the various scenarios proposed for the timeframe of crucifixion to resurrection of the Messiah, until the right time arrived a year ago and found a chance to rewrite on this with realizing a need of paradigm shift and encountering an important breakthrough in understanding the Biblical chronology. Some crucial portion of his argument is difficult to follow, because he does not make it clear what is to be meant by the word ‘Passover’ in this statement.
Though it is obviously CE 30 as the crucifixion year, he does not make it stand out clear and no elaboration to prove it is given. Reviewer’s comments are put within the text which is listed paragraph by paragraph. Editorial Notes for the text copied: • • • • Blue is for the reviewer’s comments; brick color for clarification of his text; Bold is mine, except in Para #20 is original, underline is added there. Word changed: ‘tomb’> ‘sepulcher’; ‘tomb’ > ‘grave’; ‘two disciples’ > ‘two men’; ‘Matzah’ > ‘the Unleavened Bread’; Here Nisan (as 7th month of the year with sunset-to-sunset day of rabbinic Hebrew convention) is retained. Abib is added when it is helpful (as 1st month of the year with sunrise-to-sunrise day of the Scripture-based calendar)
General comments: Torrey follows the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario; the crucifixion was on Wednesday and the resurrection had to be on Saturday evening to fit their interpretation of ‘the heart of the earth’ = ‘the tomb’ – which has no biblical and historical support – and ‘three days and three nights’ are full three 24-hour days – which is correct. As to ‘14th of Nisan’ he mentioned once in Para #6 “… [Jesus] Himself died on the cross at the very moment the Passover lambs on the 14th day of Nisan. As to CE 30, he mentions it once in Para #13. While he does not specifically say the year of the Crucifixion was CE 30 and nothing is further elaborated on this point, it can be seen that it is what he takes. (See my review section on Wishon’s book.) When he mentions ‘Passover’, he does not make it clear whether he refers to ‘Passover’ on Nisan 14/Abib 14, ‘Passover feast with the meal’ Nisan 15/Abib 14, or ‘Passover Festival of Matzah’ Nisan 15/Abib 15. This sort of confusion is actually at the heart of the Passion Week chronology problems and cannot be cleared unless one takes a paradigm shift from the non-biblical calendar systems (with solar week and sunset-tosunset or midnight-to-midnight day) to the Scripture-based calendar system (with lunar week and sunrise-to-sunrise day). He mentions a time-line in the first part of the Passion Week, but does not match with the Bible says.
Chapter Text and comments paragraph by paragraph Paragraph 1 In the twelfth chapter of G-Matthew, Jesus is reported as saying, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mt
12:40). According to the commonly accepted tradition of the church, Jesus was crucified on Friday, dying at 3 PM, (or somewhere between 3 PM and sundown), and was raised from the dead very early in the morning of the following Sunday. Many readers of the Bible are puzzled to know how the interval between late Friday afternoon and early Sunday morning can be figured out to be there days and three nights. It seems rather to be two nights, one day, and a very small portion of another day. [This is the linchpin for the
Wednesday scenario. However this is their unsupported interpretation of the text of Mt 12:40, which does not refer at all to Yeshua being in the tomb.]
The solution proposed by many commentators to this apparent difficulty, is that “a day and a night” is simply another way of saying “a day”, and that the ancient Jews reckoned a fraction of a day as a whole day. So they say there was a part (a very small part) of Friday (or a day and a night); all of Saturday, another day (or a day and a night); and part of Sunday (a very small part), another day (or a day and a night). [This is
a correct statement, as far as it goes.]
There are many persons whom this solution does not altogether satisfy, and I confess it does not satisfy me at all. It seems to me to be a makeshift, and a very weak makeshift. Is there any solution that is altogether satisfactory? There is. [He brings up the nonexistent problem to give
it an answer which is not in harmony with the whole Passion week narratives. goes on a Wednesday crucifixion scenario to fit the Gospel narratives on to this way of his interpreting the particular text in G-Mt.] Para 3
The first fact to be noticed in the proper solution is that the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is just said that Jesus was crucified on "the day before the sabbath" (Mk 15:42). [This statement itself is correct. However, he is not aware
that the named days of the week have no correspondence to the numbered days of the week, the former being of the solar week of Roman calendar and the latter being of the lunar week of the Scripture-based calendar.]
As the Jewish weekly Sabbath came on Saturday (beginning at sunset the evening before), [again he is not aware that Saturday of the solar week does not correspond to 7th day of the lunar week] the conclusion is would be naturally drawn that, since Jesus was crucified the day ‘before the Sabbath’, He must have been crucified on Friday. [This is the position of the
traditional Friday crucifixion scenario – which is to be shown in error, but not by the Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday evening resurrection timeframe, which he is trying to explain.]
However, it is a well-known fact, that the Bible bears abundant testimony, that the Jews had other Sabbaths besides the weekly Sabbath which falls on Saturday. The first day of the Passover (Unleavened Bread) week, no matter upon what day of the week it came, was always a Sabbath (Ex 12:16; Lev 23:7; Num 28:16-18). [That
this idea of ‘two sabbaths’ in the festival week is fatally mistaken, see the attached PDF file ‘Clarifying the Passion Week Chronology’.]
The question therefore arises whether the Sabbath that followed Christ's crucifixion was the weekly sabbath [on 'Saturday' = Friday evening to Saturday sunset, as he understands, in rabbinic Hebrew convention:] or the Passover Festival Sabbath. The Passover Festival Sabbath, falling on the 15th day of Nisan which came that year on Thursday. [Again Passover Day of Nisan 14 is taken
Wednesday, which is probably inaccurate.] Para 5
Now, the Bible does not leave us to speculate which Sabbath is meant in this instance; for G-John tells us in so many words, in Jn 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was "the preparation of the passover" (italics for emphasis added). In other words, it was not ‘the day before the weekly sabbath’, (that is, Friday), but it was the day before the Passover Festival Sabbath, of which is the first day came that year on Thursday -- that is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday [=on Passover day] [He correctly
understands that the crucifixion was before the ‘preparation day’ of Passover, that is, crucifixion on the Passover day.] G-John makes this as clear as daylight. [Note: In AD 33, ‘double sabbath’ according to the Friday crucifixion proponents, the idea which itself has no biblical support. It is simply that the first day of the 7day long festivals is on the 7th day of the lunar week (i.e., sabbath)] Para 6
The G-Jn was written later than the other Gospels, and scholars have for a long time noticed that in various places there was an evident intention to correct false impressions that one might get from reading the other
Gospels. One of these false impressions was that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples at the regular time of the Passover [He needs more detailed explanation: what is meant by ‘regular time’? The time the Jews did?]. To correct this false impression, G-John clearly states that He ate it [His last supper] the evening before [Jn 13:1-2], and states implicitly that He Himself died on the cross at the very moment the Passover lambs on the 14th day of Nisan [≡the Passover Day] [Jn 19:31, 42 - ?]. (See Ex 12:06 in the Hebrew and the RV margin.)
God's real Paschal Lamb, Jesus, of whom all other paschal lambs offered through the centuries were only types, was therefore slain an the very time appointed by God. (Ex 12:5) Everything about the Passover Lamb was fulfilled in Jesus. First, He was a Lamb without blemish and without spot (Ex 12:5). Second, He was chose on the 10th day of Nisan (Ex 12:03); for it was on the 10th day of the month, the preceding Saturday, [again the Scripture
has nothing to do with the named days of the solar week. Whether this date fell on Saturday is immaterial, except that the their own construction of the time line of the first part of the Passion week is affected since there are certain things which cannot occur supposed on ‘Saturday’ being sabbath day.] that the triumphal entry into
Jerusalem was made.
We know this because He came from Jericho to Bethany six days before the Passover (Jn 12:1). That would be six days before Thursday
[i.e. before ‘First Day of the Matzah Festival’, Nisan 15, rather than ‘before Passover Day’ = Nisan 14], which would be [Nisan 9] Friday. [Note: Hoehner for the Friday Crucifixion scenario puts Bethany arrival one day earlier – Nisan 8 Saturday CE 33, counting back from Nisan 14 Friday.]
Furthermore, it was on the next day that the entry into Jerusalem was made (Jn 12:12 and following), that is, on Saturday, the 10th day of Nisan. [This would make ‘Palm Saturday’ in contrast to ‘Palm Sunday’ of the
traditional Holy Week. He does not concern about whether this event was permissible on Saturday sabbath.] It was also on this same day that Judas
went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Mt 26:6-16; Mk 14:3-11). As it was after the supper in the house of Simon the leper, , and as the supper occurred late on Friday or early
on Saturday, after sunset, after the supper would necessarily be on the 10th of Nisan. [I’m not sure how Torrey got completely mistaken here. It was
NOT on the same day. The Passion narratives tell that it was a few days later! Note that reconstructing time-line in the first part of the Passion Week for anyone’s liking by itself would not prove or disprove whether the crucifixion was on Wednesday or Friday. Para 9 This being the price set on Him by the chief priests, it was, of course,
the buying or taking to them of a lamb, which according to law must occur on the 10th day of Nisan. Furthermore, they put the exact value on the Lamb that Old Testament prophecy predicted (Zec 11:12; Mt 26:15).
[This is a correct explanation. His error is shown in the preceding paragraph where he bunched so many events into this one single day of Nisan 10.] Para 10
Third, not a bone of Him was broken when He was killed (Jn 19:36; Ex 12:46; Num 9:12; Ps 34:20). [This is not relevant to the dating issue about
which this chapter is written.]
And fourth, He was killed on the 14th of Nisan [≡Passover day], between the evenings, just before the beginning of the 15th day at sundown (Ex 12:06). [His understanding of when the lambs were to be slaughtered is as
confusing as any scholars.]
If we take just exactly what the Bible says, that Jesus was slain before the Passover Sabbath, the type is marvelously fulfilled in every detail; but if we accept the traditional theory that Jesus was crucified on Friday, the type fails at many points. [His observation is correct and important. It
refutes Friday scenario well.] Para 11
Furthermore, if we [were to] accept the traditional view that Jesus was crucified on Friday and ate the Passover on the regular day of the Passover, [What does it mean by ‘the regular day of the Passover’? Does he refer
to Nisan 15 evening which is the first day of the Festival? Torrey failed to make it clear to help the readers from confusion.] then the journey from Jericho to
Bethany which occurred six days before the Passover (Jn 12:1), would fall on a Saturday [in AD 33] – that is, the Jewish Sabbath. Such a journey on the Jewish Sabbath would be contrary to the Jewish law.
Of course, though it was impossible for Jesus to take such a journey on the Jewish Sabbath, because in fact [by Torrey’s calculation it was] on the Jewish Sabbath [was it possible on Sabbath?!], Saturday His triumphal entry into Jerusalem be made. [making it ‘Palm Saturday’] [Cf. on AD 30 Nisan 10 Sunday if Nisan 14 falls on Thursday]. This was altogether possible, for the Bible elsewhere tells us that Bethany was a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem (Lk 24:50; Acts 1:12 from the Mount of Olive-grove to Jerusalem).
[cf. Jn 11:8 ‘Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off’’]. Para 13
It has also been figured out by the astronomers that in the year AD 30, which is the commonly accepted year for the crucifixion of our Lord
[Torrey on his part does not elaborate on how this correct year CE 30 was to be the year of the Crucifixion.], the Passover was observed [does he refer to the Passover meal to be eaten?] on Thursday, April 6, the moon being full that day [does he mean this to be Nisan 15? Actually when the full moon rises in that evening, doesn’t it make it belong to next day Nisan 16? ]. The chronologists who have supposed that the Crucifixion took place on Friday [does he mean on CE 33, which fits the Friday crucifixion scenario?] have been greatly perplexed by this fact that in the year AD 30 the Passover [- Torrey probably had this to refer to Passover Festival of Nisan 15, not Passover feast of Abib 14. Another incidence of confusing statement] occurred on Thursday. Para 14
One writer, in seeking a solution to the difficulty, has suggested that the Crucifixion may have been in the year AD 33. [Note. In that year, Nisan 14
was Friday Apr. 3].
Although the full moon was on a Thursday that year also, the time was only two and a half hours from being Friday. Consequently, he thinks that perhaps the Jews may have observed the Passover [Problem: What
does it mean by observing the Passover? Having a Passover meal (on Nisan 15 /Abib 14 evening)? Or, the Festival of Matzah (on Nisan 15 /Abib 15)?] on Friday [? as the Passover meal on the first day of Festival of Matzah], instead, and that the Crucifixion therefore took place on Thursday. [Problem: Torrey here does not make it clear but it seems he has in mind an alternative scenario, on the same year, CE 30.]
However, when we accept exactly what the Bible says – namely, that Jesus was crucified not on the Passover day [He was crucified on the
Passover day. What Torrey is in is confusion of the terms. Here he took it as the day the Passover meal was eaten – Nisan 15 evening – the first day of the Festival] but on “the preparation of the Passover” (Jn 9:14) [I doubt Torrey really understands here what this phrase is meant by – as sabbath-preparation which comes the day before the Matzah festival], and that He was to be three days and three nights in the tomb (> grave) [Such a fundamentally faulty interpretation which causes the whole timeframe of Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday evening resurrection crumble] — then the fact that the “preparation of the Passover” that year was on a Wednesday [in CE 30; – again possible; Thursday is more likely] and His resurrection early on the first day of the week, allows exactly three days and the three nights in the tomb (> grave) [- wrong interpretation the Matthean phrase]. Para 15
To sum it all up, Jesus [has to have] died just about sunset on Wednesday
[was it to be just before or just before sunset? – that would make it different Nisan dates] [because] [as Torrey claims] seventy-two hours later, exactly [prob. meant ‘fully’ rather than precise 72-hour period in modern tongue] three days and
three nights, at the beginning of the first day of the week, Saturday at sunset, He arose again from the tomb (> grave). When the women visited the tomb (> sepulcher) in the morning just before dawn, they found the tomb already empty.
From this, we are not driven to the make-shift that any small portion of a day is reckoned as a whole day and night, but we find that the statement of Jesus was literally true. Three days and three nights [again he repeats of the basic faulty interpretation of ‘heart of the hearth = tomb’] His body was dead and lay in the tomb (> sepulcher) While His body lay dead, He Himself, being quickened in the Spirit (1Pe 3:18); went into the heart of the earth and preached unto the spirits that were in prison (1Pe 3:19).
[Beside this being one of interpretations difficult to accept, his comment on this is irrelevant to the topic,] Para 17
The two disciples
on the way to Emmaus early [the Greek text does not say ‘early’; it is prob. around midday.] on the first day of the week, that is,
Sunday, [though it may fall on Sunday in that year in that month, ‘first day of the biblical lunar week’ by itself is not same as ‘Sunday’] said to Jesus, in speaking of the Crucifixion and events accompanying it, “Besides all this today is the third day since these things were done” (Lk 24:21). Some people have expected to this, and it is said that, if the Crucifixion took place on Wednesday, Sunday would be the fourth day since these things were done; but the answer is very simple [but actually not by Torrey’s reasoning].
These things were done at sunset, just as Thursday was beginning. They were therefore completed on Thursday, [Problem: Torrey got it wrong about
“these things”; that this phrase refers to the crucifixion and all the events described in the Biblical narratives as clearly stated in the preceding verse Lk 24:20 ‘and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.’] and the first day since Thursday [that is, But why the counting should begin from the day after crucifixion, not the day of His crucifixion day itself, other than his seeing it to fit the timeframe He wants to prove] would be Friday, the
second day since Thursday would be Saturday, and “the third day since” Thursday would be Sunday, the first day of the week. So the supposed objection in reality supports the scenario [that is of the Wednesday-Saturday
timeframe. (‘scenario’ rather than ‘theory’ Torrey used.]. [There is the problem of understanding ‘third day’ to be resolved.]
On the other hand if the Crucifixion took place on Friday, by no manner of reckoning could Sunday be made “the third day since these things were done. [Note: Friday crucifixion scenario is tenable only if the phrase is
understood same as ‘on the third day’ by counting off dates like Friday Crucifixion as Day 1, and Sunday as Day 3. Actually this Lukan phrase fits well to a Thursday crucifixion scenario (with Friday as Day 1 and Sunday as Day 3, with Sunday dawn resurrection,] Para 19
There are many passages in the Scriptures that support the theory advanced above and that make it necessary to believe that Jesus died late on Wednesday [His claim that “... make it necessary to believe” is presumptuous]. Some of them are as follows. [All instance of emphasis are added.]
Para 20 [Text is all from ESV; Torrey has them from RV] Mt 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [Problem: This phrase does not refer to duration of His entombment; the Achilles’ tendon of the so-called Wednesday scenario with Saturday evening resurrection is severed.] Mt 26:61 "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'" Mt 27:40 "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! Mt 27:63 "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while He was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' Mk 8:31 the Son of Man must suffer many things … and be killed, and after three days rise again. Mk 9:31 and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days He will rise." Mk 10:34 And they … and flog him and kill Him. And after three days He will rise." Mk 14:58 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.' Mk 15:29-30 Lk 24:21 Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Jn 2:19-21 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (20) The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" (21) But he was speaking about the temple of his body. [Omitted here is v. 22 which Torrey
[Here, Torrey failed to elaborate on reckoning of days; how diverse Biblical expressions in the Greek text vis-à-vis English translation, such as ‘in three days’; ‘after three days’ vs. ‘three days after (something)’; ‘three days later’; ‘on the third day’ (inclusive counting); ‘on the third day since’ (exclusive counting).] Para 21
There is absolutely nothing in favor of a Friday [true, but even Wednesday with Saturday evening resurrection] crucifixion, but everything in the Scripture is perfectly harmonized by a Wednesday crucifixion. [Not quite
so. It is possible to have the timeframe of Wednesday crucifixion but to Saturday
dawn to explain everything if Abib 14 (Nisan 14) is precisely nailed on to Wednesday. It is, however, more likely the timeframe of ‘Thursday crucifixion to Sunday dawn resurrection’, that is in harmony with all the statements in the Passion narratives of all the four Gospels.] It is remarkable how many prophetical
and typical passages of the Old Testament are fulfilled and how many seeming discrepancies in the Gospel narratives are straightened out when we once come to understand that Jesus died on Wednesday [ rather Thursday], and not on Friday.
Section III. Larry M. Wishon
The Only Sign Given (2010)
Basically, his book is a clearly written for the so-called Wednesday Crucifixion scenario with Saturday evening resurrection. Below are the title page, the preface, and the back cover. My review comments are noted on each. Also is the content of the book. My review comments on what is in the book itself are listed for each chapter of his book. Positive with claims and explanations: • To the point and correctly, he tells how to find which day of the (solar) week is the day of His Crucifixion to fall on, by finding the year of His death as CE 30. • He correctly showed how CE 30 was the year. [ • Easily written with many issues discussed to challenge the traditional position, it gives detailed and helpful expounding of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario (with Saturday evening resurrection) so far published. Problematic with claims and explanations: • His idea of ‘sign’ as to what it signifies and of ‘the only sign given’ is not in the Scripture. • Misunderstanding of the expression ‘heart of the earth’ as ‘tomb’ which led misunderstanding of the phrase ‘three days and three nights’ as the duration of His burial. • Consequently, he had to buy the idea of ‘resurrection at evening’ contrary to the Passion Week narratives in whole, to satisfy the
precisely 72 hours they wish to entertain for the duration as they (wrongly) interpreted the Matthean phrase. • He finds the crucifixion day (Nisan 14) on that year 30 CE to fall on Wednesday, according to some astronomical data available online. It is more likely rather on Thursday, which would make the Resurrection on Sunday – at dawn, not in the evening.] • Because he follows the rabbinic Hebrew convention of a calendar day which is reckoned to start at sunset, he could not extricate himself from exegetical quagmire of his own making. In order to satisfy the idea of taking ‘three days and three nights’ as the duration of Yeshua’s burial in the tomb, he had to take strange interpretation of the Scripture texts to claim that His resurrection should be in the evening rather that dawn as the Passion narrative clearly tells.
Three Day and Three Nights The Only Sign Given
The Sign of Jonah the Prophet was The only sign Jesus gave To those who demanded a vindicating sign of the Messiahship of Jesus. (a) That sign of Jonah was that He would come out of the grave ALIVE after three day [sic] and nights. (b)
DID HE FULFILL THIS SIGN OR NOT?
By Larry M. Wishon
Review Comments: (a) The ‘sign’ the Judean authorities were demanding is not the proof of His Messiahship. (b) The expression ‘came out alive’ is non-biblical. He did NOT come out ALIVE, as if He did not quite die. The period ‘three day [sic] and three nights’ does not refer to the duration of His burial.
Preface (p. 1-11) (p. 13-20) (p. 23-71) (p. 73-83) (p. 85-100) (p. 103-112) (p. 115-122) (p. 125-129) (p. 131-145) (p. 147-152) Ch. One: Introduction Ch. Two: The Crutch of the Onah Ch. Three: Death, Burial and Resurrection Chronology Ch. Four: More than one Sabbath? Ch. Five: First day of the week Ch. Six: The "prote" of Mark 16:9 Ch. Seven: Calculating the dates Ch. Eight: Dating the Passion Week Ch. Nine: Textual Analysis Ch. Ten: The End of the Matter Appendices Appendix A: Dating Herod's Death Appendix B: Counting to Passover Appendix C: John and the Synoptics Author Profile: About Larry Wishon Personal Notes: Make your personal notations here.
(p. 155-159) (p. 161 -167) (p. 169-173) (p. 175) (p. 177)
My review comments on the pertinent portion of his book are to be listed below under each chapter. (to be updated)
Ch. 2. - The Crutch of the Onah He correctly pointed out that a Jewish convention of counting a portion of a day as a full day is wrongly applied by the proponents of the Friday-Sunday scenario to explain away the quandary they have.
However, as the author writes to conclude this chapter, saying “However, it is a
gross misapplication of these Jewish terms [? the term ‘onah’?] to equate them to our western calendar days”, and without further
elaboration on why he thinks it is misapplication, he wants to move on the favorite (fabricated by others) idea of two sabbaths in the Festival week – a favorite and fabricated idea loved by the proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion scenario. There is no need to allocate 8 pages on this issue, because it is simply that such Jewish reckoning convention applies only for counting off a date (or two dates at start and at ending of a period), not for reckoning of duration itself, which is what our phrase ‘three days and three nights’ is concerned with.
Ch. 3 – Chronology
p. 61~ In the end of the sabbath [KJV Mt 28:1] – the phrase here ‘end’ [sic] is translation of the Greek word opse, which in every other instance of its use is translated as ‘evening’. This word, along with its other from, opsia, appears 18 times in the NT and both are always translated as ‘even’ or ‘evening’, except here in Mt 28:1. This word also appears four times in the LXX, and in every instance it is translated as ‘evening’. Thayer’s gives us a very good clue as to how this phrase should be understood. He says, “opse followed by a genitive seems always to be partitive, denoting late the period specified by the genitive (and consequently still belonging to it).’’ Since we know that the word here’ ‘sabbatōn’ is the genitive case, then we may read it “and late on the sabbath”. There is another rendering that may be correct for this particular verse, that is, translating sabbatōn as ‘week’. … With this in view, we could translate this phrase, “and late in the week’ as it was drawing in the first of the week”. However, whether we translate this as “in the end of the sabbath” or “late in the week”, it is pointing to the same time, toward the end of the seventh day.
Comment: [Note. It is the phrase ‘in the end’ in KJV translation which is for the Greek word, not just the word ‘end’ as the author wrote] He wrote ‘we may read it’ (underlined in the text cited by me). However, we don’t see any justification to do that.– Just because someone named Thayer says so? His last statement ‘it is pointing to the same time, toward the end of the seventh day’ is, when examined carefully, actually against the context. Whether one renders it as ‘after the week’ (rather than ‘after the sabbath’) or ‘late in the week’, the phrase should be understood in its own the context. If G-Mt has in mind just before sunset, ‘late on’ would be his idea; if he means after sunset, then ‘after’ is correct. So what is the point the author is trying to get at? That the women went to the tomb in the evening as it was getting darker and darker? A really excellent way to prove that the resurrection was in the evening! The Greek phrase is to be properly rendered rather as ‘after the week’, than ‘after the Sabbath’, etc.
Ch. 4 – More than one Sabbath? He claims that in addition to weekly Sabbath, there is another Sabbath which is the first day of the Festival. [Cf. Instead of the Wednesday crucifixion scenario’s idea of two sabbaths in the Festival week, the Friday-Sunday scenario has it as ‘double sabbath’ since they see Nisan 15 falls on Saturday in CE 33.] The truth is that there is only one kind of sabbath day in the Scripture. The wrong idea is a result of confusing about ‘week’ – it is solar week which is used in rabbinic Hebrew calendar just as it Roman calendars, whereas it is lunar week in the Scripture-based calendar. It has one shabbat on 7th day of a full lunar week, which has nothing to do with Saturday. The first day of week-long Festivals always begins on the weekly sabbath day.
p. 80 “It is impossible for both Luke and Mark to be correct in their reports, unless we are dealing with two sabbaths [in that week].
Comment: this is resulted from their misunderstanding of the Gospel texts; there is no contradiction when one sees they meant only one same sabbath. No two sabbaths are needed to see both Luke and Mark are correct.
p. 82 “If we know that Passover was always the Fourteenth of the first month, Nisan (Abib), then we can rightly deduce
that the day following, the Fifteenth, was always a sabbath, no matter what day in seven-day Sabbath cycle it fell.”
Comment: This statement is mixture of errors. The 14th Nisan (Abib) is the Passover day. The 15th day is the first day of the Festival, which is always on the weekly sabbath. By ‘seven-day Sabbath cycle’ the author must be thinking in terms of solar week as in Roman calendar. Ch. 5 – First Day of the Week (+ Ch. 6 – The ‘prōtē’ of Mark 16:9)
p. 98 But our point here I that it was not so in the first century, when the events of the gospels took place and when the gospels were written. The fact of Sunday being the first day of the week was a later development, and has no bearing or place in the gospel chronologies.
Comment: he is not aware that the two (named vs. numbered days of the week) do not correspond because one is of a solar week and the other is of the lunar week.
p. 100… The second part of the question is – Did Jesus rise from the dead on Sunday morning? No. There is no scriptural support for a Sunday morning resurrection. What the Scriptures do reveal is that the morning of the first day of the week was the time of discovering the empty tomb. The resurrection is never said to have occurred on the morning of the first of the week. Does the Bible actually tell us when Jesus rose from the dead? Yes, it actually does.”
Then he follows with Ch. 6 <The ‘prōtē’ of Mark 16:9> to claim to have found the correct time. It was correct for him, because that was actually what he was looking for in a manner of circular reasoning. Comment: The argument and claim of ‘evening time resurrection’ cannot be based on such contorted analysis of a single Greek word, unsupported by Greek grammar and syntax, being detached from the rest of the Gospel narratives. It was forced to fit their predetermined conclusion. Can he tell us about what Yeshua was doing until He showed to the disciples in the early morning after He rose in the evening – was He roaming somewhere in the garden, rather like a spirit (or ghost), or as a human being? That He rose
and that the women came to the tomb may be to happen one after another like coincidences – He happened to rise at that time and the women happened to come to the tomb around same time?
Ch. 8 – Dating the Passion Week (p. 125)
Also Appendix B Passover Reckoning (p. 161) Since the author is not acquainted with the Scripture-based calendar system (with a day to begin at sunrise on the Scripture-based calendar), he simply accepts and follows the rabbinic Hebrew calendar (with a day reckoned to start at sunset) for his overall arguments for dating. Especially so for interpreting the astronomical date to reconstruct the calendar of 30 CE, it resulted to settle the Passover Day on a wrong date erred by one day. That is, instead of finding the correct date of Abib 14 (Thursday) with the Passover Full Moon, he finds it as Nisan 15 Wednesday. The Full Moon is found strangely on Nisan 16, after the middle of the month!
Ch. 9 – Textual Analysis
p. 98 But our point here I that it was not so in the first century, when the events of the gospels took place and when the gospels were written. The fact of Sunday being the first day of the week was a later development, and has no bearing or place in the gospel chronologies.
Comment: The subtitle ‘textual analysis’ is a misnomer, which suggests ‘textual criticism’. It should be simply ‘Biblical text analysis’.
p. 135 Mt 28:1-2 …. The phrase ‘end of the Sabbath’ in Greek is opse sabbatōn, meaning “the
evening of, or late one the Sabbath. …. But our point here I that it was not so in the first century, when the events of the gospels took place and when the gospels were written. The fact of Sunday being the first day of the week was a later development, and has no bearing or place in the gospel chronologies.
Comment: The Greek phrase means ‘after the week’ with sabbatōn in plural.
p. 135 – 6 [A.T. Robertson] also points out that the phrase, ‘as it began to dawn’, was used for the starting of twenty-four hour day at sunset, not the dawning at sunrise. The Greek verb epiphōskouse (- not epiphoeskoe – ARJ), translated here ‘as it began to dawn’, is used only here and in Luke 23:54. Both references are point to the beginning of new day according to Jewish reckoning, not the sunrise of morning. As stated before, the day begins at sunset, not sunrise.
Comment: The Greek verb epiphōskeō literally means ‘to dawn/light’ telling light appears at the dawn, not light disappears at dusk. Rather than looking the meaning of the word itself, it is turned around to mean the opposite, simply satisfy the erroneous claim of His resurrection being in the evening. It is obvious that he does not know shabbat rest applies only for daytime. (Night time is already time for rest, even when the Israelites did not have shabbat during their bondage in Pharaoh’s Egypt, laboring every day!). ‘Day’ in the Scripture is that which begins at sunrise, whether it refers to daytime or to a calendar day. That which begins is night, not day!
PREFACE The topic of the third day resurrection of Jesus has been written about many times. One comes to a settled belief or opinion about the third day from either what you've been taught or perhaps through personal study.
Many times when we approach a topic of study, we bring to it certain expectations or prejudices. This topic of the third day resurrection is no different. If we hold to a Friday-to-Sunday time-frame, we tend to read the Scriptures through that perspective. This is also true if we hold to a Wednesday-to-Saturday time-frame. Would it not be prudent to approach the Scriptures from an attitude of allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves? It is a best practice to allow the Bible to interpret itself, where it does. When we need to look to outside sources for understanding, we should understand the perspective, if any, that source brings to the topic. I have made every effort in this writing, to allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves, using outside sources only when it speaks directly to the issue at hand. I also need to make clear, that I am not affiliated with any denomination, so I have no denominational agenda to propagate. I have been studying and writing about this topic over the span of the last 20 years. As I continued to study, more and more information surfaced concerning this third day issue. I feel there is sufficient information at this point, to come to a solid conclusion. (a) Larry Wishon 2012
(a) A commendable bold claim, but his goal is not reached. From the beginning he stumbled because he believed (to justify the Wednesday scenario) that ‘heart of the earth’ = ‘tomb’. This linchpin is easily pulled off and thrown away. [See the Section on Ralph Woodrow’s] Back Cover
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day demanded a vindicating sign from God, to prove (a) that He was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus said “… no sign shall be given, except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” The sign of Jonah was just as Jonah came out alive after three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man would come out ALIVE (b) after three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The traditional Friday to Sunday morning scenario is obviously not literally three days and nights. (c)
So what happened to the rest of the time? If the prophetic saying of Jesus, concerning being in the grave for three days and nights was not fulfilled exactly as he said, then can anything else he says be trusted? This is the natural conclusion one would come to if this saying in not exactly fulfilled. Where did these three days and nights go? THEY HAVE BEEN THERE ALL THE TIME, BUT THEY WERE BURIED UNDER THE DEBRIS OF OUR TRADITIONS. (d) Larry Winshon, author of Redigging the Wells of Our Fathers , digs into this issue and brings the three days and nights back into the Light.
(a) The ‘sign’ here has nothing to do with a proof of His Messiahship. Judean authorities were not looking for it, neither they did know He was, nor He wanted them everyone to know it (Mt 16:20; //Mk 8:30; //Lk 9:21) (until all is ‘finished’ (John 19:30) (b) Come out ALIVE? No. He died; He didn’t stay alive as Jonah did. (c) This is a correct observation. The Friday-to-Sunday timeframe has no Scriptural basis. (d) It remains half-buried in the proposal he is advocating in this book to support the so-called Wednesday to Saturday evening time frame.
Section IV. Ralph Woodrow • A monograph: Three Days and Three Nights – Reconsidered in the Light of Scripture
‘Three Days and Three Nights’ (June 2013)
www.ralphwoodrow.org/articles/three-days.pdf (The two pages from it are below.)
What he wrote:
A rebuttal of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario, which he himself once took.
Positive with claims and explanations:
In the first portion of the newsletter, he offers the true meaning of ‘hear of the earth’ to effectively pull the linchpin out of the so-called Wednesday crucifixion scenario (with Saturday evening resurrection). In the second portion, which deals with the biblical phrase ‘three days and three nights’ itself, his presentation shows a departure from the traditional understanding of it as the period of His burial in the tomb (claimed both in the Wednesday as well as Sunday Crucifixion scenarios). This was not given enough emphasis it deserves. [Note: Though he does not elaborate, he takes the night of the betrayal and arrest of Yeshua as the beginning of the period of ‘three days and three nights’ to be reckoned.] In his monograph the author understands the phrase ‘on the third day’ after the crucifixion the His resurrection clearly and correctly according to the Passion narrative as 1st day 2nd day 3rd day 14th of the month 15th of the month 16th of the month
This is from p. 22 of his booklet To put this in outline form, we have the following: 1. PASSOVER—when Christ died as our Passover—on
the fourteenth of the month. 2. THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD—an annual holy day and also the weekly sabbath—the fifteenth day of the month. 3. OFFERING OF FIRSTFRUITS—when Jesus, the firstfruits, was resurrected—on the sixteenth day of the month. These days were: 14, 15, 16 —not 14, 15, 16, 17, 18!
Problematic claims and explanations:
However, these days in the Scripture are days in the lunar week with sunrise-to-sunrise day, it would NOT correspond to Gregorian named days of the solar week as he likes to see: Day 1 (Nisan 14) → Friday Day 2 (Nisan 15) → Saturday Day 3 (Nisan 16) → Sunday Thus he finds himself supporting the traditional Friday crucifixion scenario. Deficiency in this particular argument is actually dealt in the position of the Wednesday crucifixion scenario itself (though it has gone only half way to reach the correct answer), that is, ‘three days and three nights’ can NOT be less than three full days, if not precisely 72 hours. Again, it should be noted that what the author explains is actually ‘three nights and three days’, not ‘three days and three nights’ as the Scripture says. Two comments are places at the end the quoted text.
RALPH AND ARLENE WOODROW P.O. BOX 21, PALM SPRINGS, CA 92263-0021 June 2013
"THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS" Studies about "three days and three nights" commonly focus on how to properly explain the time Jesus was in the tomb. Some insist, quite logically, that from Friday evening until Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. Others point out that by Jewish reckoning, a part of a day can count as a whole. But there is something else that should be carefully noticed in Matthew 12:39, 40. Jesus said: “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three day and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Where? In the heart of the earth! It is commonly assumed that Jesus' use of the term "heart of the earth" referred to the rock-hewn tomb in which he would be buried. If so, this would have unmistakably implied that he was going to die. But it is evident this was not the meaning conveyed to the disciples in Matthew 12. It was not until later – in Matthew 16 – this was first · revealed. "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed." Notice Peter's reaction upon hearing this: <<Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, “Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be unto you.”>> (Mt 16:21-23) This was the first time the disciples heard that Jesus would be killed. They were surprised, shocked! Apparently, then, Jesus' earlier statement about "the heart of the earth" did not automatically convey the meaning of a tomb. On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that JERUSALEM was considered the heart or center of the earth. Greek scholars agree that the word translated "heart" (in Matthew 12 and elsewhere) refers to that which is central in man, and so, by analogy, the middle part of anything, even though inanimate. Some present-day examples may be seen in expressions like "the heart of a watermelon", "the heart of a matter", "the heartland", etc. In somewhat the same way, the word "navel" has also been used. According
to a Jewish Midrash: “As the navel is set in the middle of a person, so is Israel the navel of the world, and Jerusalem is its center.” In Ezekiel 38:12, the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel spoke of Israel, and by extension Jerusalem, as being in "the midst of the earth", "the center of the earth", "the middle of the earth", "the heart of the country", "the navel of the earth", etc. (See various translations). The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament – often quoted in the New Testament – used the word "navel" in this place. Long before the Christian Era, as the Encyclopedia Judaica says, Jerusalem was believed by Jewish people to be "situated in the center of the land of Judah, and was regarded as the center of the world, the tabbur ha-arez ('the navel of the earth')." The Jewish Book of Jubilees says the same. Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher who lived at the time of Christ, described Jerusalem "as situated in the center of the world" (Legatio ad Gaium, 294). Also writing in the first century, the Jewish historian Josephus, having mentioned the borders of Judea, said: "The city Jerusalem is situated in the very middle; on which account some have, with sagacity enough, called that city the Navel of the country" (Wars of the Jews 3, 3:5). According to the Jewish Talmud, the wording of Song of Solomon 7:2, "Thy navel is like a round goblet wherein no mingled wine is wanting," referred to the Sanhedrin. The question is then asked: “Why was it called 'navel'? Because it sat at the navel-point of the world” – Jerusalem. Eusebius mentions that Constantine, as a follower of Apollo, had believed Delphi was the navel or center of the world. But upon professing Christianity, this position was given to Jerusalem. Just as Cicero had referred to the town of Enna as the "navel" of Sicilybecause of its central location-so Jerusalem was called the navel of the land of Israel. When Pope Urban sought support for the First Crusade to conquer the Holy Land, he declared: "Jerusalem is the navel of the world." Psalms 74:12: <<For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth>> is a possible reference to Jerusalem which was called "the city of the great King" (Mt 5:35). According to Midrashic legend, the Temple was situated in the center of the world, at Jerusalem.
The Jewish Encyclopedia says Rabbis interpreted the phrase "midst of the nations" (Ezek. 5:5) as referring both to Palestine and to Jerusalem as the center of Palestine. Wesley’s Notes, citing this same verse, says Jerusalem was set in the midst of the nations to be as the heart in the body, to invigorate Divine life. An article in Decision magazine (March, 1996), also citing Ezekiel5:5, refers to Jerusalem as the center of the earth. The article goes on to mention the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem, where a mark on the floor – equidistant between the sepulcher and the place where the cross is supposed to have been – is called '"the center of the world". Byzantine hymns spoke of the Cross being "planted in the center of the earth". According to a Jewish legend, Melchizedek was brought by the angel Michael "to Jerusalem, the center of the earth". Solomon Ben Isaac Jarchi (a noted rabbi born A.D. 1104) taught that Jerusalem was literally the center of the world. Warder Cresson, a convert to Judaism, wrote a book in 1844: Jerusalem, the Center and Joy of the Whole Earth. Hayyim Selig Slonimski (1810-1904) argued that the dateline should be fixed, not from Greenwich, but from Jerusalem, the center of the earth, according to the Talmud. An in-depth PBS documentary on Jerusalem was titled: Jerusalem: Center of the World. During the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for maps to picture Jerusalem at the center. Some maps employed a three-leaf clover design-representing the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa-the three drawn together by a ring encircling Jerusalem at the center.
Because Jerusalem was regarded as the center, middle, navel, or heart of the earth, directions – east, west, north, and south – were figured from there. The disciples were to be witnesses "in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8), "beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk 24:47). Jerusalem was the center; the uttermost parts of the earth were the most remote places from there. In Matthew 12 (the chapter that mentions the three days and three nights), the queen who came to hear Solomon's wisdom in Jerusalem, came there from the
"uttermost parts of the earth" (Mt 12:42), wording which, again, places Jerusalem at the center. It is evident, then, from a variety of sources: Jerusalem was regarded as the heart or center of the earth. According to George Larosa, Bible translator and expert on expressions used in his native East, the experience of Jonah provided the basis for a proverbial saying: people who were caught in a perplexing situation would say they were "in the whale's belly." In similar circumstances, we might speak of being in a jam, in a tight squeeze, in a pickle, in a pinch, in a crunch, etc. But in the eastern Aramaic culture, they would say they were in the belly of the whale. So, did Jesus experience a difficult predicament – a belly of the whale experience that lasted three days and three nights? And, did this predicament of three days and three nights occur "in the heart of the earth" – in Jerusalem? Jesus told his disciples that "he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed" (Mt 16:21); that in "Jerusalem ... the Son of man shall be betrayed ... and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him" (Mt 20: 17-19). His "decease" would be "at Jerusalem" (Lk 9:31). When the beginning of the three days and three nights ordeal in Jerusalem swiftly approached, Jesus said: “Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Mt 26:46) Until this precise time, Jesus had always experienced Divine protection. As a baby, he was protected from Herod by the flight into Egypt. In the temptation, when Satan would have destroyed him, angels ministered unto him. On the Sea of Galilee he was protected from the wrath of the storm. At Nazareth, when a mob was ready to throw him over a cliff, he escaped their plot. But now, on the night before the crucifixion, he would be arrested-and not escape. Twelve legions of angels could be dispatched to save him (Matt. 26:53)-but this would not happen. He would be mocked, beaten, and finally die — the "cup" would not be taken from him (Mt 26:42). Things began to close in. He spoke of past blessings, "but now" things were different (Lk 22:35-37). It was crisis time. As the mob approached to take him, he said: “When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Lk 22:53) The forces of darkness would swallow him up. With the Divine protection lifted, they were able to bind him (John 18: 12) and Pilate was granted power "from above" to condemn him to be crucified (John 19:11).
The beginning of this unique period in the life of Jesus is clearly defined – it was the night before his crucifixion. The end of this period, when the Divine protection was restored, was clearly demonstrated by his resurrection! (cf. Acts 1:3). If, then, we include these things that led up to Jesus' death as a part of his "belly of the whale" experience – and not just the time in the tomb - we can account for three days and three nights. On the first night, he was betrayed and delivered into the hands of men. The next day he was crucified and buried. Night followed, and another day: the Sabbath. Another night followed (now three nights) and the resurrection occurred the next morning (now three days). (See Comment 1) If this explanation of "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" – at Jerusalem – is correct, there is no more hassle about how to reconcile two conflicting sets of scriptures. All of the twenty references about "the third day" or "in three days" can be taken to mean just that: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. (See Comment 2) The longer period involving "three days and three nights" – mentioned in only one New Testament verses freed to have its own unique beginning one night earlier: on what we call Thursday night. For some this explanation may qualify as a "theory", while others may find it stronger than that. We are content to let every believer be persuaded in his own mind (Rm 14:5). Far greater than some details we may (or may not) understand, is the fact that Jesus did come forth from the tomb, he lives today, and because he lives we can live also — forever! — Ralph Woodrow
Comment 1 Here he says ‘now three days’ he uses ‘day’ which refers to a 24-hour day, whereas the meaning of ‘day’ in his counting off ‘days and night’ is daytime period. Putting what the author is saying into a table. 1st night (N1) betrayed and delivered into the hands of men next day (D2) crucified and buried + night (N2) followed another day (D3) Sabbath + another night (N3) followed next morning resurrection Here, if we break down ‘three days and three nights’ as D1, N1, D2, N2, D3, N3, his reckoning does not account for D3. This way he makes up only ‘three nights and two days’. This is much improved than the reckoning possible in the traditional Friday crucifixion to Sunday resurrection scenario: D-1 is unclear; N-1 (Fri-Sat); D-2 (Sat); N-2 (Sat-Sun). Here D3 and N3 are missing and D-1 is non-existing. Thus it makes up Two Nights and One Day, when the period is taken as the duration of His burial as most do. Comment 2 As shown in the reckoning of days and nights, it means mean just that, 14th, 15th, 16th Nisan. It can NOT be taken to mean ‘Friday, Saturday, Sunday’.
Section V. Harold W. Hoehner
Harold W. Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Google eBook http://books.google.com/books?id=fS28b9GC1dcC)
It covers much more extensively to prove the traditional Friday Crucifixion - Sunday Resurrection. Plenty of resource materials there, but arguments and contra-arguments tends to build on the attitude of his interpretation is the right one. Often circular logic is used; one assumption proves the other statement, which serves as a proof for the initial assumption. Does not have much in depth knowledge on the different calendar systems which ultimately leads him fail to find right observations and right conclusion. Only a small portion deals on the subject of ‘three days and three nights’.
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