On What Day Did Jesus Rise?

The May/June 2016 Biblical Archaeology Review Biblical Views column

On what day did Jesus rise? After three days or on the third day? In his Biblical Views column “It’s About Time—Easter Time” in the May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Ben Witherington III examines this question. Read his Biblical Views column in full below. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily in 2016.—Ed.



“It’s About Time—Easter Time”

by Ben Witherington III

One of the problems in reading ancient texts like the Bible in the 21st century is the danger of anachronism—by which I mean bringing unhelpful modern ideas and expectations to our readings. This problem becomes all the more acute when dealing with ancient texts on which much historical import hinges.

ben-witherington

Ben Witherington III

For example, we are a people obsessed with time—and with exactness when it comes to time—down to the nanosecond. In this regard, we are very different from the ancients, who did not go around wearing little sundials on their wrists and did not talk about seconds and minutes. They did not obsess about precision when it comes to time.

Take a few examples from the Gospels that may help us read the stories about Jesus’ last week of life with more insight.

Some texts tell us that Jesus predicted he would rise “after three days.” Others say he would rise “on the third day.” In Matthew 12:40 Jesus mentions, “three days and three nights,” but this is just part of a general analogy with the story of what happened with Jonah and the whale, and as such the time reference shouldn’t be pressed. Jesus is just saying, “It will be like the experience of Jonah.”

On the other hand, in Mark 8:31 Jesus says, “The Son of Man will rise again after three days.” He mentions the same event in John 2:19 as “in three days,” and on various occasions the Gospel writers tell us Jesus used the phrase “on the third day” (see, e.g., Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Luke 24:46). On the face of it, this might seem to involve a flat contradiction. While both predictions could be wrong, is it really possible both could be right?
 


 
In our free eBook Easter: Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus, expert Bible scholars and archaeologists offer in-depth research and reflections on this important event. Discover what they say about the story of the resurrection, the location of Biblical Emmaus, Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, the ancient Jewish roots of bodily resurrection, and the possible endings of the Gospel of Mark.
 

 
tanner-three-marys

On what day did Jesus rise? On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome came to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body (Mark 16:1–2), as depicted here in Henry Osawa Tanner’s “The Three Marys” (1910). Photo: Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, Tennessee.

The problem with this sort of modern reasoning is that it assumes the Gospel writers intended always to write with precision on this matter. In fact the phrase “after three days” in the New Testament can simply mean “after a while” or “after a few days” without any clear specificity beyond suggesting several days, in this case parts of three days, would be involved. In fact, the Hebrew Bible provides us with some clues about these sorts of differences. Second Chronicles 10:5, 12 clearly says, “Come to me again after three days … So … all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day because the king had said ‘Come to me again the third day.’” Apparently “after three days” means the very same thing as “on the third day” in this text. Is this just carelessness, or is it in fact an example of typical imprecision when it comes to speaking about time? I would suggest that the phrase “after three days” is a more general or imprecise way of speaking, whereas “on the third day” is somewhat more specific (though it still doesn’t tell us when on the third day). These texts were not written to meet our modern exacting standards when it comes to time.

One of the keys to interpreting the time references in the New Testament is being aware that most of the time, the time references are not precise, and we must allow the ancient author to be general when he wants to be general and more specific when he wants to be more specific. Especially when you have both sorts of references to the time span between Jesus’ death and resurrection in one book by one author, and indeed sometimes even within close proximity to each other, one should take the hint that these texts were not written according to our modern exacting expectations when it comes to time references.

Isn’t it about time we let these authors use language, including time language, in the way that was customary in their own era? I would suggest it’s high time we showed these ancient authors the respect they deserve and read them with an awareness of the conventions they followed when writing ancient history or ancient biography and not impose our later genre conventions on them.1

——————

“Biblical Views: It’s About Time—Easter Time” by Ben Witherington III originally appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2016. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily on April 18, 2016.
 


 
Ben Witherington III is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University, Scotland.
 

 

Notes:

1. For help with understanding how to read the Bible in light of its original contexts, see Ben Witherington III, Reading and Understanding the Bible (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2014).
 


 

Related reading in Bible History Daily:

When Was the First Communion?

Jesus’ Last Supper Still Wasn’t a Passover Seder Meal

Tour Showcases Remains of Herod’s Jerusalem Palace—Possible Site of the Trial of Jesus

The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Makes All the Difference

How Was Jesus’ Tomb Sealed?
 


 

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  1. Michael says

    “The problem with this sort of modern reasoning is that it assumes the Gospel writers intended always to write with precision on this matter.” Seriously, Dr. Witherington? I’m generally an ardent reader of yours, but unfortunately, this statement (and this column) represents theological and philological rubbish of the first order. Overlaying a subjective comment like this with a crudely formed “label” of “quasi-hopeful-‘fact'” violates several tenets which your previous writings otherwise seem to embrace. This column definition of “precise” is simply subjective conjecture and should be referenced as such. Respectfully submitted.

  2. david says

    Thank you for the good commentary. If I may, some insight gained through personal experience. When someone says come back in three days and it will be on sale. You need to determine a starting point. Is the day of the experience to be included in the calculation? Or does the three day period begin at close of business or the dawn on a new day. So unless the start is established – starting tomorrow, in three days : Starting today, in three days – does more clearly identify the date. But the end is only established by “on the third day” not “in three days” or “in three more days” which could mean on the fourth day. Then the question arises: did the dialect have a term assigning “more” as being additional or was it understood without the modern specificity as to the start and end points. It appears that ” in three days addresses the third day from the moment the statement was made so to assign a time as well as a date unless either was incorporated into the direction. Just a thought.

  3. david says

    A unrelated question, but attaches to the question of specific: We are told Moses sent Zaporah and the two sons to Jethro who received them. Then we are told that Jethro found Moses in the desert, and brought Ziporah the the two sons with him. BUT, we are only told of Jethro’s departure, not Ziporah or the two sons. Yet there us no further mention of the wife or the sons of Moses. This could be because woman and children were not normally recorded unless they had a significant part in something else being recorded.

  4. Michael says

    There is no question regarding “what day did He rise?” because all four Gospels state that the morning of the first day of the week to tomb was found empty with no ambiguity.
    Any time after sunset on Saturday would be first day of the week and He could have risen any time from sunset that Saturday to the time the women showed up there in the morning. If He actually rose on the Sabbath (prior to sunset) we are left with a group of Roman guards (and anyone else for that matter) who didn’t notice an open tomb for a very long period of time which would have included a lot of daylight time of that Saturday.
    The real question is “what day did He die?”. Lots of debating room for this one but not for the day of Resurrection.

  5. Richard says

    Dr. Witherington, I too agree with much of what you have written, but in this case, I believe that an interpretation like that of Dr. David Regan which argues for a Wednesday crucifixion (and satisfies all of the scripture as it is written) makes more sense to me than the utilization of vague reference to inexact timekeeping. Blessings.

  6. Richard says

    Michael says, “There is no question regarding “what day did He rise?” because all four Gospels state that the morning of the first day of the week to tomb was found empty with no ambiguity.”. An open tomb is not a pre-requisite for the resurrection; Jesus was able to subsequently appear at will in locked rooms and therefore He could surely have risen from the tomb before the stone was rolled away. The rolling away was primarily for the benefit of His followers (see for example Matthew 28:7 “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”) Therefore, whilst Jesus may have risen on the first day of the week, He could have risen on the Sabbath. We are not told in Scripture exactly when He rose, there are no recorded witnesses to the act of resurrection, but plenty to the fact of resurrection.

  7. Ana says

    I agree with David as to taking into consideration the starting point in order to measure the time. Besides, the prophecy reads “…so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). I do not find the resurrection of Christ to have taken place on Sunday. Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:2-6; Luke 24:1-3, and John 20:1-2 tell us that when visitors went to Jesus tomb EARLY IN THE MORNING OF SUNDAY, they all found it empty (He had already resurrected!). The Lord fulfilled Daniel`s prophecy “…and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…” (Daniel 9:27). This means that Jesus sacrifice was held a Wednesday at 3pm and He resurrected on Saturday (“Shabath”) at 3pm (three days and three nights). That is why we now rest in Jesus, Who is our “Shabath” as stated in Hebrews 4:1,3,5-6 (so we have entered into His rest and this is the meaning of the word “Shabath”). Please read also Hebrews, chapters 9 and 10, as well as I Corinthians 5:7).

  8. Raj says

    Bible says if you believed that Jesus is Son of God and our saviour that is enough for lay man .Fighting on historical issues of Bible text has nothing to do with salvation because it is purely based on our faith.

    Raj Kumar
    pathankot
    india

  9. Brent says

    There is no confusion in the scriptures Yehoshuah rose on the third day the first day of the week, Sunday. But I understand where you are coming from in terms of what the writers meant ie. the third day or after three days. The confusion in the passage is that the Bible says, “after three days and three nights,” (Matthew 12:40) when only two nights had passed Friday and Saturday. It lets the readers know, as you say, that time wasn’t as much an issue to Yehoshuah or the Israelites as we think it might be. Jesus spoke in parables and his goal was to fulfill prophecy regarding the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament. Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, (Jonah 1). Jonah was visited by the Lord and he fled into a boat for Tarshish. When on the sea a violent storm threatened to destroy the ship and the sailors cried out to their gods while Jonah slept. The whole story mirrors the New Testament story of Yehoshuah and his disciples in the boat. While they were on board a violent storm threatened to sink the boat and they all cried out to Yehoshuah who was sleeping (Matthew 8:23-27). When doing the arithmetic the whale must have let Jonah go at night time, but our Lord and savior was let go during the day because He is the Light of the World and there is no darkness in Him. God the Father resurrected him during the day because He is God and God has no boundaries, not even prophecy can restrain His right hand. This also demonstrates that God the Father is greater than the Son and only God knows the day, the hour and the minutes.

  10. James says

    So Ben in your opinion what day did Christ rise because I didn’t see a clear cut answer from your article?

  11. Murray says

    This explanation doesn’t do much for me. David Regan’s explanation referred to above has more merit in my humble opinion. However, I also like an intriguing explanation posed by Jacob Prasch – where he considers how God intervenes with time, demonstrating His power over the celestial bodies, for His sovereign purposes. Examples from Joshua, Revelation, and 2 Kings – where God increased the length of a day, will shorten the length of a day, and even made the sun go backwards. Consider also the biblical themes in regards the creation narrative, and the Jewish understanding of “light-to-dark”, where a day is determined by the sun going down. Moreover, the imagery and meaning of the feasts instituted by God, in particular Passover and First Fruits, which are undeniably associated with the crucifixion and resurrection. Now consider Amos 8:9, where it states: “”In that day,”declares the Sovereign LORD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.” Whilst arguably having second coming implications, it also has first coming implications. Luke 23:44 tells us that “it was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining”. On that
    Friday (Passover), it went from day to night at around noon, then a new day began three hours later (at 3pm). Jesus, the paschal lamb, was crucified on Passover Friday, and rose again (three days and three nights) later on the Sunday, as the First Fruits of the resurrection, fulfilling the Spring Feasts ordained of God – “the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world”. Soon He will fulfil the Fall Feasts, all according to God’s plan.

  12. Nate says

    Another way we apply time to our understanding is seen in the time markers we have to show when a day begins and ends, and not to the writer’s understanding. In the case of the passion week, Americans and others celebrate good Friday as when Yeshua died. But this is not the case.
    The Jews (even today) go by the Lunar Calendar, and their days begin and end at sunset. One of their days, encompass 2 American days. So on Tuesday at sunset marks when Yeshua and His disciples partook in the Last Supper, went to the garden, was arrested in the early morning hours of our Wednesday; in which during the day and afternoon, He was tried, beaten, crucified, and buried all before Wednesday at sunset (and the beginning of Passover, not on Passover as some suggested).
    Wednesday at sunset to Thursday at sunset was one day in the tomb. Thursday at sunset to Friday at sunset was day two. Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset was Shabbot, and the third day. Saturday at sunset is when He rose again at the Festival of First Fruits which should be celebrated on the day after Shabbot, and is no longer celebrated by the Jews.

  13. Rick says

    In the fourth paragraph Ben said:

    In Matthew 12:40 Jesus mentions, “three days and three nights,” but this is just part of a general analogy with the story of what happened with Jonah and the whale, and as such the time reference shouldn’t be pressed. Jesus is just saying, “It will be like the experience of Jonah.”

    Ben is taking us down the wrong path. Matthew 12:40 sets the standard for the understanding of all the remaining Scriptures regarding the three days and three nights.

    Matthew 12:40 KJV “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

    Christ was very specific here. If He is to be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, then His death must occur during the day, so that day one can be counted. After each day, a night is counted. Therefore, after the third night the count must stop. One cannot count into the fourth day, otherwise you no longer are dealing with three days, rather with four. So, Christ died on day one and rose from the dead during the third night. All remaining Scriptures on this subject matter support this scenario.
    Rick

  14. Robert says

    Jesus raises at 9 PM Saturday. He celebrates Passover which is Tuesday night, then he goes to the Mount of olives, with Peter an the Boarneges, to pray for at least three hours. Judas come about 4 AM with Caiaphas agents and arrest Jesus. He gets Judged and crucified the same day about 2 PM on Wednesday. He dies at 9 PM and spends the 3 days in the belly of the fish, like Jonas. On Saturday the Glory opens and Jesus goes to it. Mary Magdalene, Jesus mother and other women arrived at the tomb about 5 or 6 AM Sunday where the angel is waiting for them to let them know Jesus will catch up with his Apostles in Galilee later on.
    The Bible is not a reference book, it’s more of a behavioral, ethical and altruistic manual. Serious scholars of the Bible consent that Jesus was born about 8 years prior the Roman Calendar date, when Earth Jupiter and Saturn align with each other, because that day marks the birthday of a great and very important leader; this day was in late August or early September. December 25 is the celebration of the Roman Saturnalia which was Bacchanalian in nature, and thus ended up in a big orgy.

  15. Rick says

    Robert, the Bible does not teach a 9 PM resurrection on Saturday. The Bible does not teach a Tuesday Passover, it teaches that every Passover is a Friday – that never changes. So, what do you do, just sit around and make things up because you are bored. Go get a hobby, take up fishing. BTW Earth, Jupiter & Saturn have never aligned. You’re an idiot.

  16. Rick says

    Regarding Michael’s comments from 4-18-16.

    You’re right when you said: “…all four Gospels state that the morning of the first day of the week to (sic) tomb was found empty with no ambiguity.” The tomb was empty before Sunday began; therefore, He rose from the dead Saturday night. That having been said, you need to come on board with that which the Bible teaches about a Biblical day. A day begins at sunrise. Any scholar who teaches otherwise is being purposefully deceptive and dishonest. If he is actually too stupid to know that a day start is sunrise, then he needs to put his briefcase away and go get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers. Don’t listen to them, they are flat out lying. There is no way anyone can calculate the 3D/3N with a sundown day start – it cannot be done.

    Sunset on Saturday night does not mean a new day has started. It merely means that the daylight portion of Saturday is over and the night time portion of Saturday has begun. Saturday is then officially over at sunrise.

  17. Rick says

    Regarding Ana’s comments from 4-18-16.

    I’m encouraged by your correct understanding of Daniel 9:27. However, regarding the 3D/3N you have been led down a wayward path. Since Mt. 12:40 says 3D/3N that means if He died during the day, and His body did, then He must have risen during the night. Trying to count twenty-four hours days is not specified as a requirement. Please consider this, the first day His body was dead it was also alive that same day. So, even if His body were only dead for 3 hours of light during that first day, that counts as day one. The dark hours following day 1, are night 1. Day 2 and night 2 are full time periods. Day 3 is a full day of light, followed by night 3. Sometime during the 3rd night He must rise, otherwise if He does not rise until after sunrise He has entered into a 4th day. Mt. 12:40 will not support this scenario. All the Scriptures regarding this subject must be in agreement with each other, and they are. We are never to pit two Scriptures against one another as if they contradict one another. Instead, we are to add the information from all the Scriptures and discern how they support one another and give us a full story.

    Witherington included a link to James Tabor. Tabor routinely pits Scriptures against one another and hasn’t a clue how to add the information together and discern the proper meaning. Tabor is not a Bible scholar, he is a scholar of confusion, and Witherington quoting Tabor’s work is a real red flag. Basically, Witherington’s article is bogus. It’s only value is to use it as a catalyst to begin a Biblically correct discussion on the subject.

  18. Sandra says

    Terrible article! First of all, the title of the article suggests some insight into which day Jesus arose. However, the article didn’t even come close to addressing its title!

    Furthermore, instead of actually addressing the fact that there is not three days or three nights between Friday afternoon, when mainstream Christianity acknowledges Christ’s crucifixion, and Sunday morning, when it recognizes His resurrection, instead the article does yet another religious “song and dance” about the imprecision of time!

    First of all, while men were the authors of each and every book of the Bible, two verses tell us that these holy men wrote it by “divine inspiration”, or revelation from God…2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1: 20-21. And while man may not be precise, God IS. There is a significance to the number 3 in the Bible; it is the number of the Holy Trinity.

    Second, mainstream Christians have been bamboozled for centuries when it comes to the “blending” of pagan and Christian holidays during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century A.D. Also, Christians have not been taught the specifics of the life of Jesus. That he was a Jew, for example. Modern day Christians seem to have lost sight of this salient fact, and that is part of the reason why there has been such a “cover up” of the true death and resurrection of Jesus.

    Jesus was a Jew. He was NEVER a Christian. It was not possible for ANYONE to be a Christian until AFTER the death, resurrection AND ascension of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when the Bible says Jesus rose on the third day, that’s exactly what it means. That, however, is problematic with the modern day conception, as I mentioned, of “Good Friday” being the day of the crucifixion.

    Extremely important to remember, also, is that we cannot simply apply current day customs to ancient day matters of fact. In other words, we cannot take our modern convention of midnight to midnight as the 24 hour period talked about in the Bible. Why? Because Jesus was a Jew. And ancient Jewish tradition marks their “days” much differently than we do today. For the ancient Jews, their “day” began at sunset, at around 6 pm. So already, our calculations are “off”. Furthermore, Jews don’t celebrate their “regular” Sabbath on Sunday – they celebrate it on Saturday. In fact, they still do. This isn’t rocket science. It’s not that difficult to figure this out.

    John 19:31 gives us another clue as to the death and resurrection of Jesus. It says the Jews requested of Pilate that because it was “the preparation”, they be allowed to break the legs of any of those who were crucified (in order to hasten death) so that they would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath day, for that Sabbath was a “high day”. The preparation day was the day before the Jewish Passover, which occurred on Thursday of the crucifixion week. All holy days were considered Sabbaths, so this was not the regular Saturday Sabbath they were talking about, because the regular Saturday Sabbath is not a “high Sabbath”, but a feast day, the Passover Sabbath. This also makes a great deal of sense when we think of Jesus as being the Passover, or “sacrificial” Lamb.

    Preparation day is what the Jews called the day before a “high” Sabbath, or feast day. So we know that Jesus died on a preparation day, before a Jewish Sabbath which was the Passover Sabbath. We know the Jewish “day” runs from sunset to sunset, or about 6 pm-6pm. We know the regular Jewish Sabbath is celebrated on Saturday, as the seventh day of the week in which God commanded us to rest from our labors. And we know that Jesus was dead for three days and three nights before he was resurrected. We also know from scripture that when Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome came on early Sunday morning, Jesus was already risen.

    So, if we do a little math and use some common sense and the brains the good Lord gave us, we can connect the dots quite easily. The first clue is that Jesus was crucified the day of the preparation, which was the day before the Jewish Passover, which was on a Thursday. So that means Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday. We also know that he was crucified in the afternoon, about the 9th hour, and was buried that same day, so before 6 pm on Wednesday. So if we use our math skills, we count Wednesday 6pm – Thursday 6pm as the first evening and the first day. Thursday 6pm – Friday 6pm the second evening and day. Friday 6 pm – Saturday 6 pm, the third evening and the third day. And that means Jesus rose on Saturday, around 6 pm or so. 3 days and 3 nights exactly, just as the Bible says, with no contradictions.

    We cannot make the Bible fit our preconceived notions; instead, we must bend our beliefs to what the Bible actually says…because it [the Word of God] says what it means and means what it says.

    I have no idea why Friday became the day Christians celebrate as the crucifixion of Christ, but clearly, that is incorrect. This article, instead of explaining any of this, instead gives the lame excuse that sometimes the authors meant one thing and sometimes they meant something else, and time is “imprecise”. Preposterous! If, as the Bible says, its authors wrote by the divine Will of God, then it is not the Bible that is imprecise, nor its authors, but instead, modern day man’s understanding and interpretation of it. And yes, THAT matters, too. Else, why should we even bother to read it, let alone believe it?

    Terrible article.

  19. Rick says

    Regarding Sandra’s comments from 4-20-16.

    Please do not confuse the johnny-come-lately Rabbinic Judaism day start time of sundown with the Biblical day start time of sunrise. Here is a quote from my comments to Michael from post 16:

    That having been said, you need to come on board with that which the Bible teaches about a Biblical day. A day begins at sunrise. Any scholar who teaches otherwise is being purposefully deceptive and dishonest. If he is actually too stupid to know that a day start is sunrise, then he needs to put his briefcase away and go get a job at McDonalds flipping burgers. Don’t listen to them, they are flat out lying. There is no way anyone can calculate the 3D/3N with a sundown day start – it cannot be done.

    Sandra said: “So, if we do a little math and use some common sense and the brains the good Lord gave us, we can connect the dots quite easily. The first clue is that Jesus was crucified the day of the preparation, which was the day before the Jewish Passover, which was on a Thursday. So that means Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday.”

    You slipped in the sundown day start goo. Your common sense started to work for you, but then you said preparation day was Thursday (which is correct and preparation day is also the day of the crucifixion), immediately followed with Wednesday was crucifixion day. Since the Scriptures make plain that He was crucified on the last preparation day prior to Passover, then a Wednesday crucifixion doesn’t fit. Mt. 27:62-63, Mk 15:42, Luke 23:54, Jn 19:14, Jn. 19:31.

    That which I said to Ana is post #17, I will repeat here.

    Trying to count twenty-four hours days is not specified as a requirement. Please consider this, the first day His body was dead it was also alive that same day. So, even if His body were only dead for 3 hours of light during that first day, that counts as day one. The dark hours following day 1, are night 1. Day 2 and night 2 are full time periods. Day 3 is a full day of light, followed by night 3. Sometime during the 3rd night He must rise, otherwise if He does not rise until after sunrise He has entered into a 4th day. Mt. 12:40 will not support this scenario. All the Scriptures regarding this subject must be in agreement with each other, and they are. We are never to pit two Scriptures against one another as if they contradict one another. Instead, we are to add the information from all the Scriptures and discern how they support one another and give us a full story.

  20. Rick says

    Regarding Nate’s comments from 4-19-16, post 12.

    Your explanation is unnecessarily confusing. There is no need to try and tell the events of crucifixion week according to the current day Rabbinic Judaism calendar. That calendar did not exist during all Biblical times from Genesis to Revelation. So, it is best to trash it. During all Biblical times a day start was sunrise. Please refer to my comments to Michael in post #16.

    Thus, it was Wednesday night that the Last Supper occurred.

    Thursday was crucifixion day. And day 1 in the count of 3D/3N. Following Thursday day is Thursday night which is night 1. Mt. 27:62-63, Mk 15:42, Luke 23:54, Jn 19:14, Jn. 19:31.

    Friday (Passover) day with Friday night following is Day 2 and Night 2.

    Saturday is Day 3. Saturday night is Night 3. He rose from the dead prior to Sunday sunrise. He had to, otherwise a 4th day would enter into the count and Mt. 12:40 does not support a 4th day.

  21. Rick says

    Regarding Murray’s comments from 4-18-16, post 11.

    Murray said: “Luke 23:44 tells us that “it was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining”. (sic)

    Let’s look at Lk 23:44 KJV, “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.” It says that about the sixth hour, it does not say about noon. The crucifixion began about mid-morning, which is close to 9 AM in modern terms.

    Have you ever thought it strange that God didn’t begin the darkness has soon as Christ was lifted up? Why would He wait three hours to begin the darkness? The answer is simple, He didn’t wait. He began the darkness when Christ was lifted up.

    Most exegeses totally ignore correct Biblical time keeping – in most cases they don’t even know about it. In Luke 23:44 the sixth hour and the ninth hour have two possible meanings and applying the correct meaning must be determined from the context. The sixth hour could mean from 11 AM to Noon, using modern time keeping. The 2nd alternative, and the correct one to be applied in this case, is that the sixth hour means anytime beginning mid-morning until high noon. Therefore, the sixth hour means that the darkness began at mid-morning or approximately 9 AM.

    The same is true of the ninth hour. It can mean the 9th hour after sunrise or it can mean high noon to mid-afternoon. In this case the latter is correct. Therefore, the darkness ended sometime between high noon and mid-afternoon. Most likely it ended about 3 PM in our modern way of keeping time.

  22. Rick says

    Brent, in post #9 on 4-18-16, said:

    “The confusion in the passage is that the Bible says, “after three days and three nights,” (Matthew 12:40) when only two nights had passed Friday and Saturday. It lets the readers know, as you say, that time wasn’t as much an issue to Yehoshuah or the Israelites as we think it might be.”

    Actually time was extremely important, and in order to fulfill prophecy it was very precise. It just isn’t precise to those who want to apply modern day ideas to crucifixion week reality.

  23. Reggie says

    Great responses Rick. Excellent! I agree also, from a Western mindset, we miss so much of what goes on in scripture b/c we are largely ignorant to ancient practices & understandings of both the Jews & Greeks. I further want to reiterate, as Chuck Missler often points out, that the more we dive into scripture & the more we learn & study, the more precise scripture actually becomes. I believe that God is the ultimate mathematician & that his calculations are always precise. If we believe that the Bible is indeed God’s written Word, then we can easily have faith in understanding that the scale of precision was in fact invented by God himself, and thus, his Word is perfect & when revelant, it is never generalized. Often times, through our microwave mindset, we generalize too much, which almost always proves to be detrimental to either our own learning, or to that of others.

  24. Reggie says

    relevant. Sorry. I’m my own grammar Nazi. And since i’m here, Rick, although I agree with your assertions, some of your retort was a little terse. Just sayin :-).

  25. DAVID says

    Many of Rick’s self referenced assertions would make more sense to those in Alice’s Wonderland.

    Assuming the scriptures are inspired by God, then any disagreement is usually not in what was written but in the understanding of the meaning of what was written.

    Any scriptures, that leave room (As Dr Ben Witherington III proposes) for more than one consistent understanding, were not inspired to be written that way by accident.

    Our choice of one understanding, over another potentially valid understanding, as “the truth”, can give God the evidence of our true heart/bias and whether we really love/respect our neighbor’s divinely endowed equal right to choose based on his/her God given understanding not on ours. It would be wrong to force our neighbor to choose our understanding contrary to his/her own.

    As Paul said… 23 …..for whatever is not from faith is sin. (Rom 14:23 NKJ)

    Two pieces of information that have to be fit into any consistent understanding are in Luke and Mark. In Luke, the spices were prepared before the Sabbath. In Mark, the spices were bought after the Sabbath.

    56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
    (Luk 23:56 NKJ)

    NKJ Mark 16:1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

    The only scenario that I can understand to be consistent with all the scriptural information is that they bought the spices after the first annual holy day Sabbath of the year (which occurs on the 15th day of the first month of God’s year) and after that they prepared the spices before resting on the weekly seventh day Sabbath.

    If the crucifixion/resurrection occurred in 30 CE, then the fifteenth day of the first month was Thursday, the first high holy day of the year. After the annual Sabbath on Thursday, they bought and prepared the spices on Friday and rested on the seventh day weekly Sabbath which was the seventeenth day of the first month and the third day that the Christ was in the tomb. The Christ kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month and died the following day of the fourteenth (between the evenings) at the time the Jews were sacrificing the Passover lambs before eating the Passover on the evening of the fifteenth. The Christ was put in the tomb on the 14th day of the first month just before sunset and the beginning of the first annual Sabbath of the year and 3 days and three nights later He was resurrected on the weekly Sabbath just before sunset. He was in the tomb on the 15th, 16th and 17th days of the first month.

  26. Rick says

    Hi Reese, (post 24)

    You’re correct, I’m terse or more at times. I corresponded with James Tabor, once briefly. He’s a total flake and disinformation agent, yet his writings are posted as if he has something worthwhile to say. When I shared a couple of paragraphs from one of my teachings, he took offense as if I’d written it just to insult him. When I wrote it, I had never even heard of him. His offense is understandable, however, because many of my teachings are written to expose reprobates and shills. And they don’t like that. In Tabor’s case, the LORD guided me to hit the nail on the head. This is a man who has spent his life mocking God, and his reward awaits him. I pray that he would repent before its too late.

    I’d given Bill Witherington a chance to respond to me before I began posting on this article. Apparently, he wasn’t interested. I’m not surprised.

  27. Rick says

    RE David’s comments on post #25.

    David you said: “The only scenario that I can understand to be consistent with all the scriptural information is that they bought the spices after the first annual holy day Sabbath of the year (which occurs on the 15th day of the first month of God’s year) and after that they prepared the spices before resting on the weekly seventh day Sabbath.”

    The first annual holy day Sabbath of the year was Passover and that is always on Abib 14 (a Friday from sunrise until the following sunrise). This is the only sabbath that has no prohibition against doing servile work. The 15th is a dual sabbath: a weekly sabbath and the first day of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I am using the Calendar of Scripture, not Gregory’s calendar nor the current day Rabbinic Judaism calendar. Neither of these calendars fit into crucifixion week because they did not exist in all Biblical times.

    We must question whether or not we have even understood that which Luke 23:56 and Mark 16:1 have told us? Very possibly we have not interpreted these verses properly. Please return with me to Luke 23:53-56. We are told that the women followed Joseph and Nicodemus to the gravesite, and that day was the preparation (Thursday, the day prior to Passover – it was not the sabbath yet). Then they returned and prepared the spices. This means they already had the spices prior to either sabbath even beginning.

    Mark 16:1 tells us that they had bought the spices. It doesn’t say the day on which they bought them. Obviously it was prior to Friday (the first of two back-to-back sabbaths) because His Body was placed in the tomb prior to Friday even beginning.

    David, you also said: “The Christ kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month and died the following day of the fourteenth (between the evenings) at the time the Jews were sacrificing the Passover lambs before eating the Passover on the evening of the fifteenth. The Christ was put in the tomb on the 14th day of the first month just before sunset and the beginning of the first annual Sabbath of the year and 3 days and three nights later He was resurrected on the weekly Sabbath just before sunset. He was in the tomb on the 15th, 16th and 17th days of the first month.”

    1. Christ never ate the Passover Feast that year and He even told His disciples that He would not. Luke 22:15-16.

    2. Christ was not even taken down from the tree until after sundown, so His body could not have been placed in the tomb prior to sundown. Mark 15:42-43 KJV, “42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of [Yahoshua].” One must understand that which “even” means in this context. It means sunset.

  28. Brian says

    Jesus died upon the Cross at the ninth daylight hour on March 23, A.D. 30; the tenth of the Kalends of April (Lactantius, Letter to Donatus, .2). This de facto fell on a Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan, in a properly reckoned calendar. A look at the NASA and Kaluchi software and other systems shows that our actual reckonings are off because of adjustments made during the last millenium attempting to correct it.

    At Sunset (Shkias HaChamah) Joseph of Arimathea and Nico-demus (a Greek translation for “Chief Rabbi of Eretz Israel”– of all Israel outside Jerusalem) embalmed Jesus’ body just south of the Olivet fault, near the Kidron & Hinom Juncture on Olivet, just north of En Rogel. They finished by the time of the appearance of the first three small stars at which time was called “Tzais HaKochavim”.

    The time between Shkias HaChamah and Tzais HaKochavim is called “between suns”. It is at this time that we are in the twilight zone in which the days change, a time of erev or disorder (as we find implied in Genesis 1).

    Jesus was buried from Tzais HaKochavim Wednesday night (now the 15th of Nisan) through Thursday night (now the 16th), through Friday night (now the 17th), through to Saturday night (now the 18th): three nights and three days.

    In all likelihood, He rose again from the dead in the third watch of the night. Jesus was indeed in the earth for an entire three nights and three days. In fact, He was obligated to rise again prior to the completion of a 4th night in order to fulfill prophecy, which He did so do.

    When the first light began to break on the eastern sky, but while it was still dark, we see the passages of Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 in this reverse sequence called “Alos HaShacar”: which is defined as “first light which appears before the sun itself is visible”.

    The time in which the women left for the tomb was at this point, but on the leeward or western side of Olivet, the tomb and the valley of the Kidron would have remained in darkness even after that “Naitz HaChamah” (the rising of the sun as it slips upon and above the horizon). Therefore, there is no discrepancy in the Gospel accounts: none. Anyone with a brain will not that the two witnesses of Revelation 11:8 die in the same curving juncture / “Plateia” where Christ was crucified, where the Kidron (Egypt or Nile or winter rising wadi torrents) and Hinom (the place of burning or Sodom) Valley meet. It is a place on Olivet under the third peak between En Rogel (which water’s the garden) and the Azal fissure near where David’s Tomb once was. But all this for another time.

    At such a point as Alos HaShacar, Jesus had long since arisen, probably at about 3 am, such as when the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee once thought Him a ghost walking upon the water. 3 am would follow the last passing of the Centurion visiting the various sentry posts,

    Polybius, Book 6.36
    “When this time comes, the man to whom the first watch fell by lot makes his rounds accompanied by some friends as witnesses.

    He visits the posts mentioned in his orders, not only those near the vallum and the gates, but the pickets also of the infantry maniples and cavalry squadrons.

    If he finds the guards of the first watch awake he receives them, but if he finds that anyone is asleep or has left his post, he calls those with him to witness the fact, and proceeds on his rounds.

    Those who go the rounds in the succeeding watches act in a similar manner.

    As I said, the charge of sounding a bugle at the beginning of each watch, so that those going the rounds may visit the different stations at the right time, falls on the centurions of the first maniple of the triarii in each legion, who take it by turns for a day.

    Each of the men who have gone the rounds brings back the tesserae at daybreak to the tribune. If they deliver them all they are suffered to depart without question;

    but if one of them delivers fewer than the number of stations visited, they find out from examining the signs on the tesserae which station is missing,

    and on ascertaining this the tribune calls the centurion of the maniple and he brings before him the men who were on picket duty, and they are confronted with the patrol.

    If the fault is that of the picket, the patrol makes matters clear at once by calling the men who had accompanied him, for he is bound to do this; but if nothing of the kind has happened, the fault rests on him.”

    The women and the apostles come to the tomb before 6:00 am, meaning that the last watch of 3:00 am, the Third Watch, had been verified by at least 2 witnesses as to the security and alertness of the Tomb of Jesus.

    Therefore, we are able to isolate a time of about 4:42-5:00 am for the appearance of the women at the tomb, and the arrival of the apostles as likely between 5:00 am -5:40 am…the times being very general and approximate. Jesus bodily Resurrection after the last centurion passed through in making his rounds, would have likely been between 3:08 and 4:25 a.m. in the morning, approximately. This would have been just as 3 1/2 days had expired and prior to 3 days and 4 nights so the prophecy was literally and fully fulfilled, as a 4th night had not yet completed.

  29. Rick says

    RE Brian’s comments on post #28.

    What do you mean by a properly reckoned calendar. If this calendar shows Nisan 14 in the Wednesday slot, then it is flat out wrong. The 14th always lands in the Friday slot, every month of every year, since the beginning of time. If you have not this understanding then your calendar is of no value to your calculations. Using NASA to support your point of view gives you no help.

    You next mention 3 stars appearing, as if this has value as well, because it most certainly has no value at all except to tell us that sundown occurred at least 30 minutes prior. And Arimathea did not even take Yahoshua off the tree until after sundown* and the appearance of many stars, therefore he certainly wasn’t through preparing His body in such a short time. In fact, Lk 23:54 tells us that Arimathea didn’t finish until near dawn: “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.”

    * Mark 15:42-43 KJV, “42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of [Yahoshua].” In verse 42 “even” means sundown in this context.

    Also, you speculated a Wednesday crucifixion. These verses make it very clear that the crucifixion occurred on Thursday (preparation day), the day prior to the sabbath of Passover.

    Your “between the suns” speculation is of no help either. Erev/opsios has four possible meanings, but it is generally the time between the two evenings. The two evenings are high noon and sundown. Would you like some study material to guide you to the proper place to start in your Bible?

    You also have posed a 3 day and 3 night scenario which actually includes 4 nights. This does not align with Biblical teaching. Mt 12:40 is explicit that there be only 3 nights. He must have died in the day time and risen the 3rd night. If one enters a 4th night, then you have 3D/4N. Completing the 4th night is not required for it to count. You can’t have a partial night and use that as an excuse not to count it. Besides, where did you ever get the idea that 3D/3N had to be 72 hours? It is not taught in the Scriptures. The count is very simple, any layman or child can grasp the concept and do the count. Yahoshua said 3D/3N and He did not say 72 hours, nor imply it.

    That having been said, I am in somewhat agreement with you about the time of the resurrection. It was most likely during the 3rd watch of the night. The women arrived at the tomb while it was still officially night time, all four gospels are in agreement about this.

  30. Brian says

    In reply to Rick, you are in extreme error that the 14th of Nisan has always fallen on a Friday.
    The Passover falls on the 14th day of Nisan of any and every given year in the Jewish calendar, but it did not always fall on a Sabbath day (Friday to Saturday).

    In 2014, technically what daylight time did the 14th of Nisan Passover fall on Rick? Never knew? Check out a calendar that shows you that YOU are wrong again.
    https://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=2014&v=1&maj=on&min=on&nx=on&mf=on&ss=on&mod=on

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/passover.php

    http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?country=1&year=2014

    The very word for “evening”, ereb / erev, has some 16 differing definitions to its usage, not just 4, as you claim.

    In brief, as to the 14th of Nisan being the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion: Polycrates states –
    “John, moreover, who rested upon our LORD’s bosom, he also was a priest [like Phillip] and bore the Petalon [the flying oracle – the plate of the high priest and the Urim and Thummin shoulder stones], (being) both a witness and a teacher. He is buried in Ephesus, (as is) Polycarp of Smyrna, both bishop and martyr.
    Thraseas, also, bishop and martyr of Eumenia, is buried at Smyrna. …Sagaris, bishop and martyr of Eumenia, who rests at Laodicea. Moreover, the blessed Papirius, and Melito…who now rest at Sardis…. All these observed the Passover on the 14th Day as according to the Gospel, never in any respect deviating, but following the rule of Faith.”
    –Polycrates, ca. 190 A.D. (cited by Eusebius, History of the Church, 5.24)

    As the Apostle Paul states in I Corinthians, Jesus was the FIRSTFRUIT because like the fulfilling of Leviticus 23’s festivals as part of his ministry, Jesus was raised from the dead on First-Fruits on the HEBREW religious Calendar. Men of the tribes of Israel, Israelis who were Hebrew Christians as the Apostles Phillip and John, and their various disciples, were “Quartodecimans”, as it were: those who Ultra-Orthodox observed the Sabbath and the Jewish Calendar in remembering the Passion on its Jewish date, “the (observers of the) 14s” or “the (society of the) Fourteeners”.

    Another observation, and this is extremely important: consider this – that for John to bear the Petalon as the High Priest’s of the Christians on Earth, means that the mantle had passed to John in Ephesus, the co-Apostle and co-Son of Thunder with Peter, (and not to Clement in Rome,) as the highest ordained mediator of Christ’s Church on earth. Paul tells us rightly, that there is only ONE mediator between GOD and all mankind, and that ONE is Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5). If this is so, then to what purpose was John serving? In all considerations, John was probably acting as a mediator between Christ and His Church, praying as Job did for his family (cf. Job 1:5,8). In effect, while Peter acted as an administrative leader of sorts, the priesthood capacity that Rome’s Vatican claims NEVER was in Rome and the whole claim to the papacy and a power of mediation priesthood is a hoax, as that Aaronic line if even such a claim could be made, that line went through the Apostle John at Ephesus of Asia, NOT Peter. .

    Further, even some rabbinics will say that the Jewish calendar is not likely off by more than a day to at most a few days:
    http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-category/the-jewish-calendar-and-holidays/page/2/?p=1320
    so that means that the correction in 1752 for America in altering the calendar to correct it to make it a Gregorian, might not have been entirely correct nor entirely successful other than altering a Jewish Sabbath day, and then Jews following along with the new calendar.

    March 23 would be the correct Passover date as Lactantius, On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died, .1 indicated; being the 10th of the Kalends of April or March 23.

    Software programs are only as accurate as the software designer, usually bachelor degree at best working with not always accurate information, and if he or she commits flaws in the software programming, the whole calculation becomes flawed at and after some y-factor point. There was an alteration on what day the actual Sabbath day now truly falls because of the Gregorian Calendar “adjustments”.

    I also think an emphasis of location is important, as stated in Revelation, as it has deep theological teachings in prophecy in ways that very few others have ever researched, let alone made known (if they have). But those Hebrew and Gematria examples would be for other postings.

    “And their dead bodies (that of the Two Witnesses, shall lie)
    in the STREET [Gr. – Plateias] of the great city,
    which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt;
    where also our LORD was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8 – re: KJV)

    In this passage of Revelation 11:8, we read, the word for “street” in the Greek as being πλατειας: PLATEIAS. To translate it simply as “a street” only, in this passage, is misleading and lost upon the English language reader.

    The plateia is “the outer darkness”:
    a) “the echoing chasm”(outside a city);
    b) “it is the fork of two highways;
    c) it is that open area of two valleys joining; and,
    d) it is also an open area’s corners or exalted points, be it a courtyard or park, that acts as a type of embankment or curve to be merged into.

    The outer darkness and plateia are represented by “curves”. Darkness is a curvature of the principle of light. The Hebrew word for “righteousness” involves the concept of a perfectly straight line, rod, or beam. The concept of sin is to be curved, not fit as a straight line, to miss the mark due to a veering off. Plateia incorporates into its concept, not only a veering off, but a “dropping off”: such as an embankment that veers off downward, and becomes a ditch or chasm. This is representative of sin, and its end- result. Jesus tells us if those who are in bondage to sins, lead others suffering from the same bondage to the same types of sins, they shall both fall into destruction — as though into a ditch.

  31. Rick says

    Brian (from post #30),
    As I said, you using a bogus calendar. You cannot possible discern the proper dates for events using the dysfunctional Rabbinic Judaism calendar. It did not exist in all Biblical times from Genesis to Revelation. I use the Calendar of Scripture. And in this calendar Passover always falls on the 14th of Abib and the 14th of all months, every year for thousands of years is always in the Friday slot.

    I don’t know where you get your definitions from, but the Bible shows that ereb/opsios has only four meanings in Scripture – never anything else. If you would like to know where to find this information in Scripture, then let me know. These are the four, and only four, possible meanings: the first evening of the day which is high noon, the second evening of the day which is sundown, any time between these two evenings, and the entire time between the two evenings. There is no such thing as “afternoon” in the Bible. Evening is identical to our modern day afternoon.

    All your ancients who observed the Passover on the 14th is fine. They can have a good time. But the crucifixion of Yahoshua did not occur on Passover. The Scriptures teach that it occurred the day before. Once again, would you like a reference to get you started in studying the Bible rather than studying the writings of men?

    As far as your society of the Fourteeners, they are in error. Christ was not murdered on the 14th. He was crucified on Thursday the 13th and rose 3D/3N later on Saturday the 15th. John did not continue to observe Passover after Christ ascended – the reason for doing so had been fulfilled.

    The Bible does not speak of the Apostle John’s role after Christ departed. However, we know he wasn’t running around wearing a petalon or engaging in dead Jewish rituals. Show me some Biblical evidence for any of this poppycock and I’ll consider it.

    The Rabbinic Judaism calendar and Gregory’s calendar are equally corrupt.

    It seems you enjoy spinning yarns with all the reading you do on this topic. You are studying the gospel of men, not the gospel of God. I would strongly urge you to throw all of this material in the dumpster where it belongs and start studying your Bible. Then maybe you could have a straightforward discussion. We are to honor our risen Savior by our study, words, and deeds. You are honoring only the pillow dreams of errant and fallen men. Divorce yourself from such activity and pursue Christ with all your heart and save your soul from destruction.

  32. Brian says

    Rick says:
    “I use the Calendar of Scripture. And in this calendar Passover always falls on the 14th of Abib and the 14th of all months, every year for thousands of years is always in the FRIDAY SLOT” [So claims Rick, but emphasis mine].

    Anyone can look at a calendar such as in 2014 and see Rick is lying or clearly deceived in his own mind if he continues to insist the point. I need only ONE example to prove him wrong, and space won’t allow dozens or hundreds of more examples.
    Passover: April 22 (in Israel, April 21)
    April 21 is a Monday, April 22 is a Tuesday.
    http://antipas.net/heb_cal_2013-14.htm

    Rick says, “As far as your society of the Fourteeners, they are in error.”

    Never mind that I cited the quote and information as being from the EARLY CHURCH, “–Polycrates, ca. 190 A.D. (cited by Eusebius, History of the Church, 5.24)”

    But of course, Rick says throw everything in the trash because everything but what he says is a lie. I presume he pretends that “poof” the Bible magically appeared, or something? Maybe he can even say “poof” and what year that allegedly was?

    Rick asserts, “The Bible does not speak of the Apostle John’s role after Christ departed.”

    Perhaps he ought to be cognizant of Acts 1:13 as one of the Apostles,
    as one of the co-leaders of the Church co-equal with Peter, in Acts 3:1,3-4, 11; Acts 4:6, 13, 19; Acts 8:14; Galatians 2:9 (as Peter himself designates in his preachings at Rome Mark 3:16-17, which Mark records in his Gospel)

    or of John’s role in Revelation 1:1,4,9 and Revelation 21:2 and 22:8, and that he has been identified as the same John by Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.3 who says:
    Sed et quae Ephesi ecclesia a Paulo quidem fundata Johanne autem permanente apud eos usque ad Trajani tempora testis est verus Apostobrum traditionis.

    “Indeed, what is more, those Ephesus called out ones —
    of Paul, certainly founded —
    John however /moreover permanently in the presence / house of
    advanced all the way up to the times of Trajan
    as one who gives credible evidence as a true witness,
    testifying of the true Apostolic Tradition.” ) and others such as Caius, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Epiphanius, and various others affirming he wrote Revelation and oversaw the Churches at Ephesus of Asia, et cetera.

    No, according to Rick, the Bible passages of Acts, Galatians, and Revelation don’t exist for him as he Marcion cuts them out and ignores them. Uh huh. And then he turns around and asks would I like to know more about his lack of understanding of Scripture? If he refuses Patristics, Halikhot, a deeper understanding of Greek and Hebrew Biblical Texts, and a general literacy he clearly lacks, then to explain anything more (such as how Jesus in John 11:9 self-defines the parameters of time reckoning in the prophecy) to a someone something that Proverbs says not to waste my time with, I will say my reply of “No thanks.” is sufficient to end the interaction there.

  33. Rick says

    Why do you want to moderate my comments? I am not a dunce as you apparently are. Contact me directly if you have the decency to do so. Which you don’t. You are part of the problem. Why don’t you moderate post #32. It is far more insulting a post than mine. Mine is truthful, which BAR apparently cannot handle. His post is that of a purposeful shill. You too are a shill and an idiot if you cannot discern that. I’ve written you antichrists off before twice in the past, beginning many years ago. I guess it’s my own fault for coming back here to an antichrist forum situation. I won’t make the mistake again. Keep lying to the world with your idiot scholars, such as Witherington and Tabor and you will join them in hell if you do not repent first.

  34. Rick says

    To the moderator, in plainer English regarding post #32. It is so outrageously scholastically dishonest, it is not worthy of a response. Can’t you see it? Why does this not offend you?

  35. ransford says

    so what is the very intention of the writer of this article

  36. Gary says

    Actually, the Big Picture has been missed, for two millennia.

    When speaking of a journey in the ancient world, where there are many uncertainties, and possibilities of delay? Time was calculated thus:

    1.) I will arrive today. This is a short journey, relative to your neighboring vicinity. Via word-of-mouth, you know the factors in your vicinity which might affect your journey. Assuming you are walking at an untiring pace, which most people were doing, a journey of twenty-five miles or less, can generally be calculated.

    2.) I will arrive tomorrow. You are speaking of a distance of about fifty miles, or less. This is a day away, from the most recent word-of-mouth information about conditions in your vicinity. Bandits could have moved in; the Romans, may be there; there may be an uprising. This is assuming that there is no good communication network over distance by fire, or by horns. Nor, the evidence of the flames and the smoke of cities burning. The Roman foot soldiers, of course, could do the fifty miles and somewhat more in a day of forced march, if they had to. But the merchant, or the shepherd? Well, there is no time-clock to punch before 8:00 A.M. on Monday. And fifty miles, still has you within Semitic territory, which would be safer for you, overall. And your arrival in two days? It is pretty well a certainty, almost every time.

    3.) On the third day, means just that – The third day. Or maybe, I will be delayed a bit? And it will be the fourth, or the fifth, or even the tenth, day? But it will be relatively soon. Seventy-five miles could find you going from one country to another, and almost definitely through some wilderness country. And all that goes with that, can include storms, sickness, injuries, roving bandit bands, ethnic strife, and other nationalistic territorial concerns. But you most likely will arrive on the third day; or, at the worst, the day after. At least most of the time…

    4.) After the third day? You are talking about crossing one-hundred miles of city, rural, and wilderness areas. You are most likely traveling from one country to another, or even through several countries. So, when will you arrive?

    You can reasonably expect to arrive, on the fourth day. Or you could arrive on the fifth day; or, on the tenth; or, weeks later – Or, never. It could be years, if you had to abort your trip, and start over. An intervening war, of course, can do that.

    Or, depending upon your frame of reference? If you are thinking about the Big Picture, when you say it?

    It could be, millennia…

    The Third Day? Or, After the Third Day?

    These words, are not necessarily referring to the Resurrection, per se…

    But it Is guaranteed, That What This Word Is Ultimately Referring To, Is the Coming of Mashiach.

    And none counted amongst men, Can Know of the Day, nor the Hour…Only the Father of All, Can Know.

    Everyone, is always missing this Clear Depth of Prophecy…
    So – The Third Day After?

    It Is the End Time – It Is the Advent, of Mashiach.

    And whether it Is the Advent of Mashiach ben David? Or Mashiach ben Yosef? Or Yeshua the Nazarene? Or All Three of Them Rolled Into One?

    That Is actually, entirely inconsequential, in the final analysis…

    For Mashiach, Has Come!

    As Promised…

    And none who are counted amongst men, Have Known of the Day, nor of the Hour.

    And This, Is the True Meaning, of the Third Day After. Call it the Third Day, or After the Third Day, or the End of Days, or the Ancient of Days…

    Call it, whatever you will.

    It actually surprises me, that I have not yet encountered this perspective anywhere. For it Is intuitively obvious, To Those Who Think Beyond the binding perspectives of their own background-cultural, religious traditions – To Those Who Read the Word Within the Scriptures, with no Veil of pre-conceived notions, Clouding Their Vision.

    Mashiach Coming, Is far more important than whether Mashiach Has Come, or not. It is not even worth arguing about. For every generation, Has its Thirty-Six Tzaddikim, or more – And Mashiach Promised, Hidden Within Them.

    What Is the Covering Cloud, the Chuppah?

    Is it not but the Origin of the seas, of the many waters, churning forever against themselves below, and Heaven Above, all To no Avail?

    Thus, Is Mashiach, Forever Available To them.

  37. dr jim says

    how about this….the jewish “day” started at night(6pm modern time)jesus died at 3pm(day) on friday…friday after sunset “night” lasted till 6pm….(day and night of friday) and then it was sat”night” after 6pm till saturday at 6pm..(day and night of saturday)….then it was sunday “night “after 6pm till sunday morning …(day and night of sunday)

  38. Patricia says

    When the bible says three days and three nights that is precisely what it meas. Jesus aligns the time scale of his death and resurrection with Jonah’s three nights and three days in the belly of the whale (Jonah 1:17). He says, “For as Jonah was thre days and three nights in the whale’s belly so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12.40)

    As someone who pondered this problem and was never happy with the answers I received, I am indebted the the previous Rabbi of London for the following insight, which is as follows: “I am always astonished at you ChrIstians, in believing that from any ordinary Friday to the following Sunday, was ever supposed by the Jews to be three days and three nights. I have read all sort of explanations on the subject, but all I have read were based on a wrong foundation. What happened on the occasion you refer to, when that “man” was crucified was this; we had sometimes to incude an extra day in a similar manner to your leap year day (29th February) but it was the rule to make that day not only a Sabbath, but a special one and its place was just before the ordinary Sabbath Day. This seems to be alluded to in one account in your Gospels (John xix.31) ‘for that Sabbath was an high day,’ and the day afterwards was the ordinary Sabbath.” Jesus hung on the cross on the Friday, the first day, during which he died, then he had to be buried before the Special Sabbath began at 6 p.m., whereupon began the start of the next High day, an evening and a morning,as the bible counts days; the next day (from eveing to morning) was the normal Sabbath, and on Sunday beginning at 6pm of course, this is indeed the third day when Jesus, as he prophesied, rose from the dead.
    I hope this helps. It helped me. All blessings of the Passover and Easter. Trish

  39. brad says

    Matthew 28:1
    [ Jesus Has Risen ] After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    Mark 16:2
    Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb
    In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

    Mark 16:9
    When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.

    Luke 24:1
    [ Jesus Has Risen ] On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

    John 20:1
    [ The Empty Tomb ] Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
    Biblegateway.com

    After a deep dive it seems the majority of Biblical scholars agree a part of a day is considered a “day” …

    and every Gospel account has Jesus rising on Sunday…

    Our option is to either be on the side of the Biblical text or what we believe was practiced or considered “normal” or common knowledge at the time which remains up for debate. I wish the Bible was more time accurate as well—it seems crazy to me that we do not know 100% for sure when the most important person to walk this earth was born or when he died—(I personally believe after years of study and reading every review and description I can find was: Winter of 5BCE or 4BCE and April 3rd, 33 CE at 3pm when the afternoon lamb sacrifice began) but if we asked a person of the time I believe they would say: “He was crucified in the springtime.”

  40. Damon says

    Jesus was born in 3 BCE, began his ministry in a Sabbatical year (CE 27/28) and was crucified on April 5th, CE 30, which was a Wednesday.

    Ernest Martin wrote an excellent study addressing all of the issues surrounding Jesus’ birth, here:

    http://www.askelm.com/star/index.asp

    According to this calculated calendar, April 5th, CE 30, is a Wednesday:

    http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/?roman=30

  41. George says

    I believe the Holy Spirit guided this account as He did the rest of the Scriptures. Two items come together to establish His day of death and resurrection, the feasts and the “three days and nights” given in Scripture. The Biblical Feasts were a prophetic rehearsal for Him to complete. He entered Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, Nisan 10. He was crucified on Nisan 14, the day called Passover but was really only the day the lambs were killed, Thursday. Jewish days commence at sundown. He was placed into the tomb on Thursday prior to sunset, this being the first day of the three days and nights. He remained in the tomb Friday night and day, Saturday night and day,and Sunday night, arising from the dead BEFORE the daylight period of Sunday, three days and nights.
    Additional evidence is the failure of the women to anoint Him properly for burial. They approached the tomb at the earliest possible moment that they could. They could NOT work on the High Sabbath, the first day of Unleavened Bread, nor on the weekly Sabbath for the same reason. They approached the tomb while it was still dark (night) being ready to work as soon as it was light.
    Further, the Feast of Firstfruits in this particular week fell on Nisan 17, Sunday. Jewish authorities dispute to this very day, which day, the first day following the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread or the day following the Sabbath during the week of Passover is the day of Firstfruits. In the week being considered, all agree that Firstfruits was on Nisan 17, the first day of the week following the entombment. He entered on Nissan 10 when the Passover lamb is examined for four days to ensure it is kosher, He was killed the day the Passover lamb is killed,Nisan 14, and He arose on the feast of Firstfruits Nisan 17, exactly in sync with the Feasts and the three days and nights.

  42. Jefferson says

    There is another reference that indicates the Jews were not precise about times, but were somewhat general at times. Esther made a request for her people to pray for her in 4:16: “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day…”
    Then notice in 4:1: “Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms,…:
    To them, there was no contradiction between “three days, night or day” add “on the third day.”

  43. John says

    As Brad so aptly pointed out “every Gospel account has Jesus rising on Sunday…”

    This is all that Scripture makes clear to us and it is all we need to know. It was on a Sunday. Sunday is the day of his resurrection and “Sunday” of every week, as emphasized in Scripture, is when we should remember His resurrection–not on an annual basis.

  44. brad says

    John 19:31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

    and

    John 19:41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

    Again I am not a Biblical scholar, and there are certainly many options of Jesus day of crucifixion, but I believe Christ was indeed crucified on Friday of Passover 33CE. The main area of confusion is earlier in John, he speaks of the “Day of Preparation”. Similar to the texts above I believe this “day of preparation” was not preparation for Passover/Friday but the Sabbath/Saturday. Even John above has Jesus on the Cross on Passover which in 30 and 33 CE/AD the only plausible options during 26-36CE was a Friday. Also John the Baptist and many other prophecies including Christ Himself referred to Him as the Perfect Lamb of God (“who takes away the sins of the world”). Jesus said He came to Fulfill the law – which I believe He did to the absolute letter—not abolish the law. Being the perfect Lamb of God and sacrifice, He died at the exact moment the shofar blew and the afternoon sacrifice on the temple mount on Passover began…”It is finished”…the earth shakes, the veil is torn from top to bottom showing God did the tearing, allowing each of us direct access to God through Jesus body which is the veil (Hebrews). Glory! Wow! Thank you Lord!

  45. MARY says

    While we’re all making assumptions, some logical and others not, I believe we should read the Bible scriptures that make clear reference that Jesus ‘would rise ON the third day’ and eliminate this theory of ‘dead for three days and three nights’. We should not take the scriptures out of context, nor compare one scripture to another, i.e. Jonah. Read: {Matthew 16:21 (NIV) “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”}
    The fact that the tomb was found empty on Sunday does not establish that Jesus rose on Sunday…

  46. Sisu says

    I’m surprised he did not mention Jews reckon the start of day from sundown to sundown – not sunup or midnight.
    Christ was buried before sunset on Friday – which is “day one”. Was in the tomb Friday night and Saturday daylight which is the second day. And still in the tomb some part of Saturday night which is a third day.

  47. Rick says

    I am Rick C, not the arrogant and argumentative “Rick” of earlier posts here. The ancient Hebrew reckoning of days is called ‘inclusive counting’ wherein part of a day counts as a day (so that a half day plus a full day plus a half day equals three days). I’m sure though, that common sense or convention would not allow a 26-hour period that includes (in the Western, absolute sense) one hour before sunset, plus the Hebrew day of 24 hours from sunset to sunset, plus one hour after sunset to equal a “three day” period in even the broadest sense.

  48. Tai says

    It’s About Time—Easter Time”
    by Ben Witherington III
    In the last days, confusion will reign. This article is all about that.
    Biblical Archaeology… I haven’t seen one story on Passover is not Easter. Baal worship and Ishtar. How there can be “two Passovers” in one week. Instead you give us fluff, like this Dr. Witherington. How did the city of Luxor get rebuilt over the top of the ancient city. Archaeologically speaking, was it covered in it’s own fluff?


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