Home > chronology, crucifixion, Easter > >Textual problems with a Wednesday crucifixion

>Textual problems with a Wednesday crucifixion

>Thanks for the responses Mark Call and Starwind. I wish to respond to some of the issues raised. To be clear, I don’t think there are any real issues with a Friday crucifixion. Sans the 3 days and 3 nights passage, there is nothing in the other passages that would contradict this interpretation. Given that I think that “3 days and 3 nights” is an idiom, this fits a Friday crucifixion also.

If we propose a Wednesday crucifixion we strike some difficulties. I think these difficulties are great enough to refute it. The issues are:

  • Other Sabbaths
  • Friday activities
  • Duration of death
  • Discontinuity
  • The phrase “on the 3rd day”

The reconstructed view is to allow 72 hours in the tomb. It is proposed that Jesus died late Wednesday, that he is buried about the time of dusk (new day starting) and rose at dusk at the end of the Sabbath on Saturday. This proposal is consistent with some verses, for example several of the passages referenced by Art Kohl in his article Is it “Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday?” Or, “Palm Friday, Good Wednesday and Easter Saturday?”. However it does seem to contradict several passages that are not referenced. It is not so much whether one can defend his position with several verses but rather does the interpretation do justice to the entirety of relevant Scripture.

Other Sabbaths

Are there other days referred to as Sabbath other than the 7th day? I am open to this possibility. Leviticus 25 refers to a Sabbath of years. The concept of 6 days work and 1 day rest is paralleled in 6 years and 1 year implying the land “works” in growing food and gets “rest” every 7th year. I have yet to be convinced this is the case for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In Leviticus 23 we read

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

“6 days shall work be done, but on the 7th day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.

“These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the 1st month, on the 14th day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover. And on the 15th day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for 7 days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the 1st day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for 7 days. On the 7th day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”

Here God is introducing his holy convocations. These are the weekly Sabbath (7th day) and 1st day of Unleavened Bread and the 7th day of Unleavened Bread. Later in the chapter it identifies several other holy convocations: the 50th day of the Feast of Weeks (always the 1st day of the week), the Day of Trumpets (1st day of the 7th month), the 1st day of the Feast of Booths (15th day of the 7th month) and the day after the Feast of Booths (22nd day of the 7th month). So we have several days during the major feasts and every Sabbath (7th) day all labelled holy convocations. This however does not imply that holy convocations are all called “Sabbaths.” Dogs are animals, birds are animals, but birds are not dogs. I have not identified the word “Sabbath” used other than for the 7th day, the analogy to years excepted, though I would be interested to be pointed to any.

Friday activities

Assuming that Jesus was crucified on the Wednesday and Wednesday dusk thru Thursday was a special Sabbath what happened on the Friday? The women went to the tomb to wrap Jesus’ body in spices on the 1st day of the week. They would have done this on the Friday. That they did not is a strong argument against a Wednesday crucifixion.

Duration of death

While minor, if Jesus’ specification of 3 days and 3 nights means 72 hours, why is this counted from his burial and not his death? If the starting point is his death, which it should be, he would have risen prior to the Sabbath, not as the Sabbath was beginning.

Discontinuity

Part of the problem I have with the reconstructed view is that there is no explanation of multiple Sabbaths in the gospel narratives. Luke likely wrote to a Gentile who may not be familiar with the intricacies of special Sabbaths. Why not explain this? even in minor detail. And should not all the days be mentioned? It reads like a continuous narrative and yet there is no mention of the Friday and what happened on that day.

The phrase “on the 3rd day”

The meaning of “after 3 days” can reasonably be interpreted to mean during day 3. The phrase “on the 3rd day” can not reasonably be interpreted to mean on the 4th day after 3 whole days have been completed. Further, the guards were to be placed until the 3rd day which, at the most, could mean until the Saturday and they would not be expected to still be there on Sunday morning.

As mentioned the reconstructed view is an attempt to allow 72 hours in the tomb based on an unnecessary, excessive literalism of an idiom—I don’t deny that the phrase is somewhat literal: it means days and not months, years, or an unspecified time period. In doing so the reconstructed view solves one “problem” at the expense of creating many. A Wednesday crucifixion is untenable based on other passages that discuss the crucifixion.

It is not the passages that are consistent with a reconstructed view I am interested in, these are non discriminatory as the traditional view is consistent with them also. It is the problematic passages I am interested in. How does one understand these passages within the reconstructed view?

Categories: chronology, crucifixion, Easter
  1. Starwind
    2008 April 2 at 19:34

    Bethyada:
    However it [?] does seem to contradict several passages that are not referenced.
    Does “it” refer to Kohl’s article, or to the 3 days/nights viewpoint in which case I’d like to know which passages that viewpoint contradicts, please.
    This however does not imply that holy convocations are all called “Sabbaths.”
    But John makes this very point:

    Joh 19:31 Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

    The meaning of “after 3 days” can reasonably be interpreted to mean during day 3.
    Can “after 1 day” likewise be reasonably interpreted to mean “today”?
    In answer to my question,

    Mar 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.
    [in your view, on what day at roughly what time did the women buy spices?]
    Mar 16:2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

    you responded:

    But to answer your question (which is a valid claim) I would suggest that they bought them either after sundown on Saturday on the 1st day of the week or just prior to going to the tomb. If there was preparation of the spices to be done (I don’t know) then buying them after sundown on Saturday would give them time to do some preparation that evening.

    If in your view these two events occured on the same day, why were they described as ‘after the sabbath’ and then ‘on the 1st day’? Why not after the sabbath, and next morning or ‘on the evening of the 1st day and next morning’? Mark seems to be taking pains to distinquish days.

  2. Starwind
    2008 April 3 at 05:13

    This however does not imply that holy convocations are all called “Sabbaths.”
    But all holy convocations were ‘days of rest or no labor’, and sabbath doesn’t mean “saturday” though it most usually refers to the last day of the week, but rather sabbath means ‘rest from labor’, which applies to every holy convocation as well as the last day of the week.
    In Lev 23:3 sabbathH7676 of completeH7677 restH7677 a holyH6944 convocationH4744. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbathH7676

    H7676 shabbath: A noun meaning Sabbath, Day of Atonement, Sabbath week or year, weeks.
    H7677 shabbathon: A masculine noun meaning a time to rest, a special holiday, a day of rest, a Sabbath feast.

    and then Lev 23 goes to list the holy convocations which included the 1st & 7th days of Feast of Unleavened Bread.
    They were observed as sabbaths, as days of ‘rest from labor’.
    If labor was to be avoided on a holy convocation (and the rules were much more involved than ‘not laboring’) the vernacular would not be ‘a day of rest from labor’ rather the vernacular would be ‘a sabbath’. There is little distinction in the language for ‘resting from labor’ on either the 7th day of the week or on holy convocations, ‘resting from labor’ on either day would be called ‘a sabbath’ rest.

  3. 2008 April 3 at 09:50

    Starwind If in your view these two events occured on the same day, why were they described as ‘after the sabbath’ and then ‘on the 1st day’? Why not after the sabbath, and next morning or ‘on the evening of the 1st day and next morning’? Mark seems to be taking pains to distinquish days.
    I don’t know. I don’t see it as a big issue, much smaller than the problem of buying on the Friday yet not anointing that same day.
    But a possible solution.
    When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. (Mark 16)
    Mark is pointing out that they bought the spices just after sundown. When the Sabbath was over has the implication that shortly after sundown the women bought spices. Then they sleep. The next comment
    And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.
    So after the night but early in the morning. It would be appropriate to mention the day to show that it was soon after but unnecessary to repeat the comment after the Sabbath. It is known that the 1st day of the week is after the Sabbath but the earlier mention was to show that they bought spices as soon as they were able.
    Just a possible solution.
    Incidentally, while the day began at sunset for the NT Jews I wonder if this was not the case a millenium or 2 prior; but for another time.

  4. 2008 April 3 at 10:26

    Starwind But all holy convocations were ‘days of rest or no labor’, and sabbath doesn’t mean “saturday” though it most usually refers to the last day of the week, but rather sabbath means ‘rest from labor’, which applies to every holy convocation as well as the last day of the week.
    The word “Sabbath” comes from the word “rest” and the Sabbaths are days of rest. This does not logically mean that all days of rest are Sabbaths. Now it may be the case but you need to show me documentary evidence of the same because the claim is not true by logic alone.
    6 days work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath(07676) of complete_rest(07677), a holy assembly. You must not do any work; it is a Sabbath(07676) to the Lord in all the places where you live. (NET)
    The word translated complete_rest (shabbathown 07677) has a word count of 11 in the Bible. I am not certain of the verses it appears in but would be interested in knowing.
    Still the word shabbathown is derived from the word shabbath and is not the same as it (though it could be somewhat synonymous). Are there texts where the word shabbath means other than the 7th day? The only example I know of is when it is joined to the word year meaning 7th year rather than 7th day.

  5. Starwind
    2008 April 3 at 19:54

    Still the word shabbathown is derived from the word shabbath and is not the same as it (though it could be somewhat synonymous). Are there texts where the word shabbath means other than the 7th day? The only example I know of is when it is joined to the word year meaning 7th year rather than 7th day.

    Day of Atonement: Lev 16:31, Lev 23:32
    Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah (1st of Tishri): Lev 23:24-25
    Tabernacles or Succoth (15th-22nd): Lev 23:39
    Sabbath year: Lev 25:2-4

    Note further that both the Day of Atonement and Trumpets (or Rosh HaShanah) are delcared a ‘holy convocation’ and a day of ‘no work’ as a well as sabbath’s, and that Tabernacles (or Succoth) is declared to begin and end with a ‘rest day’ (shabbathon). The only difference between these declarations of ‘sabbath’ and that of the 1st and 7th days of Unleavened Bread, is the degree of work proscribed.
    Only on the weekly sabbath and Day of Atonement, was all work was proscribed.
    On Trumpets, Tabernacles and Unleavened Bread, all servile work was proscribed, and while there is no distinction in the proscribed work, only Unleavened Bread day 1 and 7 did not have the word “sabbath” or sabbathon” attached to it, but the proscription on work and being a holy convocation was otherwise identical.
    Note also that Trumpets is declared as both sabbath and ‘no servile work’, whereas Unleavended Bread days 1 & 7 are declared as ‘no servile work’. There is no distinction in the work proscribed from Trumpets (explicity declared a sabbath) and Unleavened Bread (a sabbath in identical practice).
    When arguing from the gospel passion-week accounts that “sabbath” attaches only to the 7th day or Saturday, that argument is based on the contested presumption that Unleavened Bread is not a “sabbath”. There is no argument that Unleavend Bread day 1 is in fact observed, and no argument that it falls on the day after preparation, and no argument that it always falls on the 15th of Nisan/Ab. But the same cannot be said of the weekly sabbath. It seldom followed preparation day or fell on the 15th of Nisan/ab. Between 27 AD and 36 AD, only twice did Nisan 15 fall on a Saturday – AD 33 and AD 36. However Unleavened Bread day 1 was observed as a holy convocation and day of ‘no servile work’ in *every* year, and in most years the argument that “sabbath” attaches only to saturday can not be made specifically, and thus the argument can not be made generally either.

  6. Starwind
    2008 April 3 at 19:54

    (continued)
    In other words, the only reason you argue “sabbath” after preparation day must refer to Saturday, is because you have assumed a priori that no other day of ‘rest from work’ ever follows preparation day. In fact the opposite is true 8 years out of 10. The only years it can be true are AD 33 and AD 36, neither of which are acceptable years for the crucifixion of Jesus as they are way too late in his life. Even delaying Jesus birth from 5 BC to 2 BC to accommodate the same age at crucifixion still conflicts with Jesus being crucified in Tiberius’ 18th Year as recorded by Eusebius (because Tiberius 18th year can not have been later than 32 AD reckoning his years from after Augustus’ death, best case). And there are other conflicts for AD 33, IMO, though you’d likely contest them on similar grounds.
    Much of our disagreement is going to pivot on whether Unleavened Bread day 1 was observed as a sabbath, in practice and vernacular, if not in name.
    John 19:31 refers to the sabbath following preparation as a “high day”, and the argument advanced is because Passover or Unleavened Bread day 1 fell on Saturday, making it a ‘double sabbath’. Except that Passover is neither sabbath nor entire day, and Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15th) seldom falls on Saturday. It is also illogical and inconsistent to declare Unleavened Bread day 1 not a sabbath generally but then contrarily deem it one sabbath of a ‘double sabbath’ when it falls on Saturday, specifically.
    The Greek word ‘megas’ translated “high” in John 19:31 is translated “greatest” in John 7:37 refering to the 8th or last day of Tabernacles (a sabbath), but the reason for John’s qualifying it as ‘greatest’ (or megas) is not a ‘double sabbath’ (Tisrhi 22 falls on Saturday only in AD 27 and AD 30) but that it was a sabbath.
    Likewise, ‘megas’ in John 19:31 refers to a holy convocation day on which no servile work is done, Unleavened Bread day 1.

  7. 2008 April 4 at 11:06

    For reference:
    Day of Atonement
    “This is to be a perpetual statute for you. In the 7th month, on the 10th day of the month, you must humble yourselves and do no work of any kind, both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides in your midst, for on this day atonement is to be made for you to cleanse you from all your sins; you must be clean before the Lord. It is to be a Sabbath (shabbath 07676) of complete_rest (shabbathown 07677) for you, and you must humble yourselves. It is a perpetual statute. (Lev 16:29-31 NET)
    The Lord spoke to Moses: “The 10th day of this 7th month is the Day of Atonement. It is to be a holy assembly for you, and you must humble yourselves and present a gift to the Lord. You must not do any work on this particular day, because it is a day of atonement to make atonement for yourselves before the Lord your God. Indeed, any person who does not behave with humility on this particular day will be cut off from his people. As for any person who does any work on this particular day, I will exterminate that person from the midst of his people! You must not do any work. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all the places where you live. It is a Sabbath (shabbath 07676) of complete_rest (shabbathown 07677) for you, and you must humble yourselves on the 9th day of the month in the evening, from evening until evening you must observe your Sabbath. (shabbath 07676)” (Lev 23:26-32 NET)
    Trumpets
    “Tell the Israelites, ‘In the 7th month, on the 1st day of the month, you must have a complete_rest (shabbathown 07677), a memorial announced by loud horn blasts, a holy assembly. You must not do any regular work, but you must present a gift to the Lord.’” (Lev 23:24-25 NET)
    Booths
    “‘On the 15th day of the 7th month, when you gather in the produce of the land, you must celebrate a pilgrim festival of the Lord for 7 days. On the first day is a complete_rest (shabbathown 07677) and on the 8th day is complete_rest (shabbathown 07677). (Lev 23:39 NET)
    Sabbath year
    The Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land must observe a Sabbath (shabbath 07676) to the Lord. 6 years you may sow your field, and 6 years you may prune your vineyard and gather the produce, but in the seventh year the land must_have_a_Sabbath (shabbath 07676) of complete rest (shabbathown 07677)—a Sabbath (shabbath 07676) to the Lord. (Lev 25:1-4 NET)

  8. 2008 April 4 at 11:08

    It is to be a Sabbath (shabbath 07676) of complete_rest (shabbathown 07677) for you,
    This gives a good argument for the Day of Atonement being referred to as a Sabbath

  9. Starwind
    2008 April 4 at 14:43

    Note that also that Lev 23:11 and Lev 23:15 refer to Unleavened Bread Day 1 (Nisan 15th, the day after passover) as a sabbath.

  10. 2008 April 4 at 23:43

    The LORD spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest, and he must wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for your benefit—on the day after the Sabbath (shabbath 07676) the priest is to wave it. (Lev 23:9-11 NET)
    ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath (shabbath 07676), from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths (shabbath 07676).‘You shall count 50 days to the day after the 7th Sabbath (07676); then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. (Lev 23:15-16 NASB)

    The first of these is Firstfruits which is not unleavened bread. And I think this refers to the 7th day. So when the first of the harvest comes in they note the next Sabbath (7th) that occurs then present Firstfruits on the following day, ie. the 1st day of the week.
    From this day (1st day of the week) they count 7 weeks until the day after the 7th Sabbath (ie. the 1st day of the week) for the Feast of Pentecost.
    So both of these Sabbaths are 7th days and neither of the references are concerning Unleavened Bread.
    Of relevance to our discussion, note here that they are to count from Sunday to Sunday which we would say is 49 days counting the first Sunday as day 0, but the Hebrews are counting this as 50 days with the first Sunday as day 1.

  11. 2008 April 4 at 23:53

    We have not identified any Old Testament references to Unleavened Bread day 1 and 7 being called “Sabbaths.”
    And even if they were labelled such we have the difficulty that the day prior to the crucifixion (preparing for the last supper) is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread which makes the day of crucifixion day 2 of the feast.
    Now on the 1st day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” (Mat 26:17)
    See also Mar 14:12 and Luke 22:7.

  12. 2008 April 6 at 22:08

    Sorry – didn’t see this new thread until today, bethyada. I’ve got a bit to catch up on.
    But this hit me on first reading:
    While minor, if Jesus’ specification of 3 days and 3 nights means 72 hours, why is this counted from his burial and not his death? If the starting point is his death, which it should be, he would have risen prior to the Sabbath, not as the Sabbath was beginning.
    No, the timeframe from 3 PM to 6 PM Wednesday would mean 72 hours is elapsed as of 3 PM to 6 PM ‘Saturday’ – late on the afternoon of the weekly Sabbath. No discrepancy there; when the women came at the ‘end of the Sabbath’, He would already have risen.

  13. 2008 April 6 at 22:18

    And this:
    …there is no explanation of multiple Sabbaths in the gospel narratives. Luke likely wrote to a Gentile who may not be familiar with the intricacies of special Sabbaths. Why not explain this?
    Basic Biblical literacy, bethyada. I suspect Luke would have trouble comprehending the level of ignorance of “Bible 101” that characterizes ‘the Church’ for the last 1700 years or so.
    After all, as was noted in Acts 15, “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” They expected, as God clearly did, that those who chose to follow Him would seek to know Him, and His commandments.
    (By analogy, look what has happened to the Bill of Rights in only 200 years, to a people ignorant of the most basic principles of law. I have trouble imagining that the Founders would have felt the need to explain what “Congress shall make no law”, or “shall not be infringed” means, but those words have been ignored as well.)
    I contend that this is the same issue that Yeshua raised time and again: …”by your traditions” you have made the commandments of God of “null effect”.
    The need to re-explain what should have been, and remained, obvious shows how far we have fallen, and why the warning of Hosea is so apropos:
    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. And because you have rejected knowledge…”

  14. 2008 April 6 at 23:01

    Starwind does a good job above on again explaining the “sabbath” issue.
    (I cannot help but note here that the issue is FAR clearer in the original Hebrew context than the tortured attempts to justify the English merit. Same thing goes for the “after three days” contortion.)
    Here’s therefore where I’d start in on the comments above:
    “When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.” (Mark 16)
    Mark is pointing out that they bought the spices just after sundown. When the Sabbath was over has the implication that shortly after sundown the women bought spices. Then they sleep.
    Not in the least. A far less tortured reading is that “after the Sabbath”, they bought spices. That would be FRIDAY.
    Why assume things that require bizarre assumptions – like merchants who open after dark on their day of rest, or before dawn? I’ve always thought the Friday crucifixion failed on that ground alone – who would believe they bought all that stuff after nightfall and got it ready before dawn? Sounds like a long night for all…
    The next comment:
    “And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.”
    So after the night but early in the morning. It would be appropriate to mention the day to show that it was soon after but unnecessary to repeat the comment after the Sabbath.
    Unless, of course, it was a different day. The text makes perfect sense, read with which sabbath is meant in context.
    It is known that the 1st day of the week is after the Sabbath but the earlier mention was to show that they bought spices as soon as they were able.

    None of that in the least weakens the case for what actually happened, bethyada. They bought spices on Friday, made their preparations and then WENT TO THE TOMB “as soon as they were able”. Which may very well have been after dark following the Sabbath, when the “first day of the week” DAWNED, as the Hebrews reckoned. That reading is no harder to swallow than that they found a spice store open so late. ;)
    I believe the English versions that say things like “after the sun [sic] had risen” are in fact later modifications, and are in error. They reflect a text that has been sculpted to fit the belief of a later era, rather than the converse.
    The problem, of course, is that such conclusions are FAR harder to “prove” – again, some amount to arguments from silence in Scripture. But I have never been fond of taking the English at face value, either, when it requires accepting contradictions with other Scripture, with cultural context, or with God’s demonstrated character.
    The real beauty of the ‘three days and three nights’ prophecy is — again — that He did exactly as He said, and Wrote. And every bit of it is consistent; in fact, miraculously so!

  15. 2008 April 6 at 23:16

    Oh – this point about Hebrew is important, bethyada:
    Still the word shabbathown is derived from the word shabbath and is not the same as it (though it could be somewhat synonymous).
    What generally “counts” in Hebrew is the root word, usually three characters. Words which share the same root have meanings which share key characteristics, and merit study on that basis alone.
    The suffix (such as “-it” or “-on”) indicates a plural.

  16. Starwind
    2008 April 7 at 05:54

    Bethayda:
    We have not identified any Old Testament references to Unleavened Bread day 1 and 7 being called “Sabbaths.”
    Not quite. I gave you Lev 23:11 and Lev 23:15 which refer to Unleavened Bread Day 1 as a sabbath. You dispute that, but you’ve not offered a scriptural basis for your dispute.
    The first of these is Firstfruits which is not unleavened bread. And I think this refers to the 7th day. So when the first of the harvest comes in they note the next Sabbath (7th) that occurs then present Firstfruits on the following day, ie. the 1st day of the week.
    First Fruits wave offering (whence the count commences) is Unleavened Bread day 2 – that is irrefutable.
    From this day (1st day of the week) they count 7 weeks until the day after the 7th Sabbath (ie. the 1st day of the week) for the Feast of Pentecost.
    That would make the Feast of Weeks a “variable” feast on a different day, year to year. God has *no* variable feasts, they are all at “appointed times”. That is why the Hebrews have postponement rules and a sacred calendar.
    Of relevance to our discussion, note here that they are to count from Sunday to Sunday which we would say is 49 days counting the first Sunday as day 0, but the Hebrews are counting this as 50 days with the first Sunday as day 1.
    A Sunday to Sunday count is what the Saducees (who had control of the Temple and with Herod’s support) introduced over the objections and opposition of the Pharisees. But the Saducees didn’t control the sacred calendar (they didn’t know how to compute the postponements and intercalary months) and so they guessed at some regulations. The Sunday-to-Sunday count for the Feast of Weeks is one of them. The church merely propagated the Saducee’s error.
    I am writing a detailed explanation with all relevant cites. It’ll take me another couple days, then I’ll post a link to it.

  17. Starwind
    2008 April 7 at 06:04

    Bethyada:
    And even if they were labelled such [Unleavened Bread day 1 and 7 being called “Sabbaths.”] we have the difficulty that the day prior to the crucifixion (preparing for the last supper) is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread which makes the day of crucifixion day 2 of the feast.
    The day prior to the crucifixion is Preparation Day Nisan 14th, The crucifixion was late on Nisan 14th with entombment into the night of Nisan 15th (Passover). Nisan 15th is Unleavened Bread Day 1.
    Preparation Day (Nisan 14th) and Unleavened Bread Day 1 (Nisan 15th) are both overlapped by Passover which spans from the late day of Nisan 14th into the evening of Nisan 15th. Passover is “between the eves” of the two days. Passover is not actually an entire day, it is an “evening”.

  18. 2008 April 7 at 09:07

    The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.
    “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.
    “These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the LORD for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”
    And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD. And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the LORD with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
    “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. (Lev 23:1-16)

  19. 2008 April 7 at 10:19

    Starwind First Fruits wave offering (whence the count commences) is Unleavened Bread day 2 – that is irrefutable
    Yet I will try :)
    I don’t think that Firstfruits is the same as Unleavened Bread or always on day 2 of such. I think the wave offering is of the first grain on the day after Sabbath (7th day/ Saturday). My proof is taking the word “Sabbath” in Leviticus 23 to mean 7th day of the week.
    Your proof (even if your claim is true) is circular. You claim that Firstfruits is on day 2 of Unleavened Bread and because it is on the day after the “Sabbath” therefore the “Sabbath” must be day 1 of Unleavened Bread.
    But what if Sabbath here means 7th day? then there is no connection to Unleavened Bread.
    That would make the Feast of Weeks a “variable” feast on a different day, year to year. God has *no* variable feasts, they are all at “appointed times”.
    And why can an appointed time not be a day of the week rather that a date of a month. Sabbaths occur regularly but at slightly different times each year.
    That is why the Hebrews have postponement rules and a sacred calendar.
    Now they do, it is unlikely the current Jewish calendar was enacted at Sinai.
    A Sunday to Sunday count is what the Saducees … introduced over the objections and opposition of the Pharisees.
    My comments are based on Leviticus which pre-date either sect by over 1000 years and the claim that the word “Sabbath” in the Feast of Weeks is the 7th day. That my solution may coincide with Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes or any other sect is irrelevant given my data set.

  20. 2008 April 7 at 10:41

    Starwind The day prior to the crucifixion is Preparation Day Nisan 14th, The crucifixion was late on Nisan 14th with entombment into the night of Nisan 15th (Passover). Nisan 15th is Unleavened Bread Day 1.
    Preparation Day (Nisan 14th) and Unleavened Bread Day 1 (Nisan 15th) are both overlapped by Passover which spans from the late day of Nisan 14th into the evening of Nisan 15th. Passover is “between the eves” of the two days. Passover is not actually an entire day, it is an “evening”.

    I have my own theory on the 14th and 15th. I am not sure that the phrase “between the two evenings” means dusk to dusk, I wonder if it may mean from dusk to dark.
    But more importantly, your claim fails to account for the cites from Mat 26:17, Mar 14:12 and Luke 22:7 about the first day of Unleavened Bread.

  21. 2008 April 7 at 11:05

    Mark Call, your points are noted. I am not certain that my solution is any more bizarre than yours. While I have not spent a lot of time on the chronology of the crucifixion I have spent many hours on the chronology of the OT and I am aware of the many difficulties that arise. We may not agree on this for the time being but I have have as many issues with your solution as you do with mine. They are:
    * 3 days and 3 nights means 72 hours but that is not from turn of day to turn of day but rather 3 hours before sunset to 3 hours before sunset 72 hours later. Therefore by Hebrew reckoning encompassing 3 hours of day 4, all of day 5, all of day 6 and 21 hours of day 7. 72 hours but parts of 4 days.
    * Jesus rises late on the 7th day not early on the 1st day.
    * Dawn means dusk because the new day starts (dawns) at dusk and “the sun had risen” (Mark 16) is a late manuscript addition. Is there any manuscript evidence of this claim?
    * Spices are purchased on Friday yet they are unable to get to the tomb before sunset
    Mark Call The real beauty of the ‘three days and three nights’ prophecy is — again — that He did exactly as He said, and Wrote.
    But we both believe this. It is just they we are claiming different things about what Jesus meant by 3 days and 3 nights.
    Example: You say “he lucked out” and to you that means he got lucky. It is an idiom.
    I say “he lucked out” and to me that means he had bad luck, his luck ran out, he did not get what he wanted. To me it is a phrase that has a more literal sense.
    Neither of us are right about the phrase, but if we hear the phrase it matters what the person meant by it, not what we think. If I hear the phrase in conversation or a British movie I assume 1 thing and in an American movie the opposite.
    Your solution makes sense to you because you see the 3 days and 3 nights comment as so obviously literal that the issues I highlighted above mean little to you. To me these issues are highly significant, and too great to force literalisation of an idiom.
    Note that I am not making my claims because of extra-biblical constraints. We are both appealing to Scripture but our presuppositions differ.

  22. Mark Call
    2008 April 7 at 15:37

    Fair enough, bethyada. I agree that our presuppositions differ; without being too coy I would merely add that I’ve been working on that particular problem for a long time. ;) In other fora, I have pointed out from time to time that I have had some lengthy midrashim over time with friends, teachers, and several Orthodox rabbis about Moses being the “humblest” man of all time.
    I have become convinced that a humble man is “teachable” – especially by God – and able, eventually, to disabuse himself of man’s traditions in favor of His “teaching and insruction” (torah).
    Which is why He also informs us that “iron sharpens iron”. Thanks to both of you.

  23. Mark Call
    2008 April 7 at 15:55

    And a couple of specifics:
    3 days and 3 nights means 72 hours but that is not from turn of day to turn of day…
    I haven’t not ever actually made the “72 hour” claim myself, nor do I now. Other references do say something implying ‘in the ground’ or the tomb, but otherwise the accounts are silent on these specifics.
    Jesus rises late on the 7th day not early on the 1st day.
    ENTIRELY possible; neither confirmed nor denied by the Gospels. To claim that He ROSE on the ‘seventh day’ is conjecture inferred from when the women may have gone to the tomb, since there were no witnesses.
    Dawn means dusk because the new day starts (dawns) at dusk and “the sun had risen” (Mark 16) is a late manuscript addition. Is there any manuscript evidence of this claim?
    Yes; I have seen articles (which I won’t now claim to be able to find ;) addressing this issue. What I can cite as evidence noted in every such examination is the obvious:
    Compare the accounts in the Gospels (and even various translations of the SAME book). You will not find that they are consistent on this point.
    (As I went to BlueLetterBible for a quick comparison cite, I also noted this in Mark 16:1 – emphasis added:
    And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
    This reading clearly seems to say they had ALREADY purchased those spices; perhaps on Friday before the weekly Sabbath. ;)
    Matt. 28:1
    In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

  24. Starwind
    2008 April 7 at 16:26

    Bethyada:
    I am not sure that the phrase “between the two evenings” means dusk to dusk,
    It doesn’t.
    It is usually translated “twilight” in English. The Hebrew day had two evenings, the 1st was noon to 6 PM of the previous day, the 2nd was 6 PM to midnight of the following day. “Between the eves” or twilight was between them, anywhere from 3PM to 9PM, roughly.
    your claim fails to account for the cites from Mat 26:17, Mar 14:12 and Luke 22:7 about the first day of Unleavened Bread.
    Nothing has failed. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are entirely correct. The paschal lamb was killed (and the seder meal observed) ‘between the eves’ at twilight as Preparation day (Nisan 14th) became Unleavened Bread Day 1 (Nisan 15th).

  25. Mark Call
    2008 April 7 at 16:26

    Durn! I don’t even know what key I mis-typed for that, but the post went off half-cocked, before I even proofed or closed the type changes!
    Let’s try the last part again:
    And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
    This reading clearly seems to say they had ALREADY purchased those spices; perhaps on Friday before the weekly Sabbath. ;)
    Matt. 28:1
    In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre…
    This one clearly differs, and sounds like He had already arisen before the “end of the [weekly] sabbath”.
    Luke 23:54-56 —
    [after His body was taken down] And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. [Which sabbath? The one which always follows the Day of Preparation.]
    And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. [
    When? Still on the Day of Preparation, Wednesday, after His death.]
    And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

    Let me parse this as I contend makes sense, bethyada:
    And they returned [after seeing the tomb], and prepared spices and ointments [When did they get these? It was by now Erev Pesach]; and [then] rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
    Luke 24:1 —
    Now on the first [] of the week, very early…
    I removed the italicized words [], not in the original text. The original Luke certainly does not preclude a dusk trip here.
    John 20:1 —
    The first [] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone [already] taken away from the sepulchre.
    Note that Mark differs in being the ONLY account which adds the words “AFTER the sun had risen” — or any such claim. Note as well that NO TEXT says ‘first DAY of the week’ – the word ‘day’, with the SunDAY implications, is added in EVERY case.

  26. Starwind
    2008 April 9 at 00:14

    ok… I’ve written my comprehensive proof of Two Sabbaths? during Passion Week and incorporated it in to my Passion Week Harmonization and Chronology.
    I am seriously interested in any criticisms (from anyone reading) and any typo’s, incorrect scripture cites, ommissions, etc. I’d like to vet my argument.

  27. 2008 April 10 at 03:48

    Starwind, I have had a read. It is quite detailed but I think your proposals could be clearer. Basically you claim that Unleavened Bread day 2 is the same as Firstfruits day 1. If this is the case then it follows that the “Sabbath” in Lev 23 means day 1 of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) by virtue of the Nisan 15 not occuring on the 7th day of the week each year. Fair enough.
    But it is unclear why one should believe that Firstfruit is on Unleavened Bread day 2 every year from biblical data. You have not convinced me. I still think that Firstfruits is on the 1st Sunday in harvest. This is made all the more certain to me as day 50 (inclusive reckoning) would also be a Sunday, the day after Sabbath (Sabbath meaning 7th day here according to my claim).
    I suggest you discuss both options and state more explicitly why one solution is incorrect and your solution is correct.
    Incidentally, some emails to CreationOnTheWeb following their Easter post led to this follow up post on the meaning of “Easter” and the day of the crucifixion. It claims Friday not Wednesday but it is still interesting reading for the discussion.
    And a further link on the dates of crucifixion is here: http://www.bible.ca/d-3-days-and-3-nights.htm
    Again, it disagrees with your theory but there is much data on the site that may be useful (eg. a table of various scholars on their dates for the crucifixion).

  28. 2008 April 10 at 04:06

    I had a read too, Starwind, and find myself agreeing with bethyada on his confusion regarding the specifics of your proposal.
    I am familiar with the argument (which has not been given much attention on recent threads yet) that there was a difference in the way the night for the Passover meal was to be reckoned. This has been postulated as the reason for why Yeshua kept the meal one night earlier than the Pharisees.
    I do tend to agree that the day of First Fruits would be the day after the weekly Sabbath (always the first of the week; likewise the 50th day at Shavuout).
    It would seem, bethyada, that such concern over which of the two Sabbaths is being referenced would tend to make at least part of the point here, however. ;)

  29. 2008 April 10 at 04:34

    I have had a second read and have some further comments.
    Firstly, there is disagreement about what second-first Sabbath means. Others claim it was to do with the priestly cycles which changes weekly on the Sabbath.
    I don’t see any agricultural reason why Unleavened Bread would always occur within the 1st week of the harvest being ready. If it is ready more than a week before then Firstfruits is delayed.
    You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count 50 days to the day after the 7th Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. (Lev 23)
    The comment that Pentecost is the day after the 7th Sabbath is highly suggestive that Saturday is intended. Else you need to propose that not only is the 2nd day of Unleavened Bread a Sabbath but every 7 days after that for 7 weeks is a Sabbath, besides the usual Saturday Sabbaths.

  30. Starwind
    2008 April 10 at 12:05

    Bethyada
    Basically you claim that Unleavened Bread day 2 is the same as Firstfruits day 1.
    No, that is not my claim. There is some confusion in feast names, and I wasn’t as precise in my wording as I should have been. I have rewritten my argument.
    Unleavened Bread Day 2 is the day of “waving the sheaf of first fruits”. I use that term consistently now. I’ve also added a brief explanation on the different names for Feast of Weeks, one of which is “Day of First Fruits” and that is not a day after a sabbath nor part of Unleavened Bread.
    If this is the case then it follows that the “Sabbath” in Lev 23 means day 1 of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) by virtue of the Nisan 15 not occuring on the 7th day of the week each year.
    Well, that’s reversed. Unleavened Bread day 1 is a “Sabbath” by virtue of it having been specifically declared so in Lev 23:11 & 15, as well as a day of “no laborius work”.
    But Unleavened Bread day 1, sabbath or not, always falls on Nisan 15, every year. That is the whole point of the Hebrew postponement rules and intercalation is to “fix” the sacred calendar such that its dates never vary year to year.
    But it is unclear why one should believe that Firstfruit is on Unleavened Bread day 2 every year from biblical data
    “Firstfruit” isn’t. “waving the sheaf of first fruits” is. That was my error in not anticipating that confusion and my imprecise terminology. Hopefully that is now corrected.
    I still think that Firstfruits is on the 1st Sunday in harvest
    Correctly, “Day of First Fruits” which is also “Feast of Weeks” always falls on Sivan 6th and the weekday varies. The only reason it would always fall on a Sunday is because of incorrectly counting the Omer from a Saturday, instead of from Nisan 16th.
    If you begin the count relative to a specific weekday, the end day will always be the same weekday, but the date will vary. If you begin the count from a fixed date of the month (Nisan 16th), the end day will always be a specific date of the month (Sivan 6th), but the weekday will vary.
    That again is the whole point of the postponement rules and intercalation – to keep the appointed times fixed and the weekdays fall where they may.

  31. Starwind
    2008 April 10 at 12:14

    Mark Call, Bethyada;
    I do tend to agree that the day of First Fruits would be the day after the weekly Sabbath (always the first of the week; likewise the 50th day at Shavuout).
    That is the Sadducean viewpoint you’re espousing. It derives from misinterpreting Lev 23:11 & 15, and ignoring the requirements that the Omer be counted in a way that yields a fixed “appointed time” for Shavuout and the testimony of Joshua 5:10-11 and requirements of Deu 16:9-10
    You both should read Counting the Omer at TorahResource.com. Its an excellent overview of the disagreement between the Pharisees, Sadducees and Qumran sect on this very issue.

  32. Starwind
    2008 April 10 at 12:37

    Bethyada;
    Firstly, there is disagreement about what second-first Sabbath means. Others claim it was to do with the priestly cycles which changes weekly on the Sabbath.
    Those priestly cycles already had specific names, “ministrations”, “divisions” or “courses”, laid out in 1Ch 24:4-19. And naming sabbaths after each one wouldn’t work because 3 times a year all the priestly divisions were on duty, and the last sabbath of the year would have gone unnamed. OTOH the 7 sabbaths between Unleavened Bread day 2 and Feast of Weeks were part of counting the omer. they were specifically counted off, “Count seven weeks” was the command.
    I don’t see any agricultural reason why Unleavened Bread would always occur within the 1st week of the harvest being ready. If it is ready more than a week before then Firstfruits is delayed.
    It wasn’t agricultural. It was calendrical. It was an appointed Feast at a fixed calendar date – Nisan 15th, the day after another fixed calendar date – Passover, Nisan 14th.
    “Day of First fruits” or the “Feast of Weeks” would never be delayed because it too was on a fixed calendar, and counting the Omer from Unleavened Bread day 2 (Nisan 16th) always ended on Sivan 6th.
    The comment that Pentecost is the day after the 7th Sabbath is highly suggestive that Saturday is intended
    No, “Sabbath” means week in that context. Count seven weeks, or seven complete sabbaths, i.e. full weeks. Counting partial Saturdays wouldn’t make much sense.
    7 weeks + 1 day = 49 days + 1 day = 50 days.

  33. 2008 April 10 at 16:08

    …do tend to agree that the day of First Fruits would be the day after the weekly Sabbath (always the first of the week; likewise the 50th day at Shavuout).
    That is the Sadducean viewpoint you’re espousing.
    I was aware of that, and had concluded based on earlier study that it was the proper interpretation.
    It derives from misinterpreting Lev 23:11 & 15, and ignoring the requirements that the Omer be counted in a way that yields a fixed “appointed time” for Shavuout and the testimony of Joshua 5:10-11 and requirements of Deu 16:9-10
    You both should read Counting the Omer at TorahResource.com.

    Will do. I’ll take another read of your notes with the clarifications as well. Thanks,

  34. Starwind
    2008 April 10 at 18:46

    Bethyada, Mark Call.
    FYI, on the two sub-issues of ‘counting the Omer from a weekly sabbath’ and the ‘second-first Sabbath’ I have tweaked my explanation again to bring those issues into sharper focus, hopefully.
    So you may want to reread yet again as of this posting. Hopefully the reading is getting easier as I’ve further corrected some of my awkward phrasing.

  35. Starwind
    2008 April 10 at 20:40

    BTW, I very much appreciate you both taking the trouble to identify for me what you find unclear or unpersuasive. Iron sharpens iron :)

  36. Mark Call
    2008 April 21 at 03:25

    Happy (belated) Pesach to all…
    (the real ‘Passion week’ ;)

  37. Azriel Moshe Klaf
    2008 June 18 at 10:26

    See counting of the omer at Karaite.org for the counting to Shavuot.

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