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How Is This Three Days?


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This question was originally raised on the "12 hours" thread

 

(Piprus @ Apr 8 2007, 04:25 PM) post_snapback.gifOne christian question that always bothered me about easter: If he was crucified on good Friday, and had to be buried before sundown (the beginning of shabbat), and had to stay in the ground three days, how does that take you to Sunday? Shouldn't the resurrection day be Monday?

 

Here's one theory: Before sundown on Friday counted as Day 1. All day saturday naturally counted as Day 2. Sunday morning just as the sun was rising counted as Day 3.

 

If days are counted by when you can see the sun (cloud cover does not count; daylight hours do) then he was in the ground three days. Or a part of three different days. I am told that this is how Jews of the time counted days.

 

I remain unconvinced. I would be more inclined to believe it if someone dug up a story about a pre-Christian pagan European holiday that celebrated this Friday and this Sunday. It seems most Christian holidays were a mere transformation of pagan holy days from pagan into christian. So why not Good Friday, too?

 

Somewhere on the Easter threads these past few days I came across info as to the name of the pagan holiday that was transformed into Easter--Ostara or the likes. Anybody know more about this holiday and how and when it was celebrated? If so, what is the mythology or story that goes with it?

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Good question. Does the Bible ever actually talk about Jesus being dead for 'three days' or does it just talk about him rising from the dead 'on the third day'? :scratch:

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Good question. Does the Bible ever actually talk about Jesus being dead for 'three days' or does it just talk about him rising from the dead 'on the third day'? :scratch:

 

You bet it does! Jesus himself is reported to have said:

 

Matt. 12:40 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. (KJV)

 

Thus, the Friday night to Sunday morning makes a liar of Jesus. It is NOT three whole days and it is only two nights no matter how you twist it. My mom did not like when I asked her. But I had to believe it all the same. That is one reason I have deconverted--I will no longer lie.

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Oh OK. Well, that's even worse that just saying 'three days'. There's really absolutely no way to say Friday afternoon til Sunday morning is three days and three nights, obviously.

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We've actually dicussed this last year and probably before that too. I think this question is something that most Ex-Christians suddenly realize and just go "WHAT THE HECK???" It's one of the core concepts of Christianity, and never thought about it until now.

 

Not only did Jesus not stay dead, (if he was the payment shouldn't it be like money stay in the shop owners cash register, not that I buy something and get the money back a few days later), but he didn't stay dead full 3 days. Very stupid theology, indeed.

 

The explanation I've heard is that in the Jewish tradition (I'm not sure if this is actually true or just invented "tradition" to explain the contradiction) the word "day" didn't have to mean a full 24 hour day, but just a day was started or ended it still could be counted as a "day". I think it's weird and pretty suspicious its just an excuse.

 

What I do know is that a Jewish day started in the evening and went on to the next evening. So Friday 6 PM to Saturday 6 PM was really Sabbath. This means Jesus (supposedly) died no later than 5 minutes to 6 PM Friday, and was risen 6:05 AM Sunday morning for it to be actual "3 days" = 48 hours and 10 minutes. Even if the tradition could allow such counting, I think it cheapens the whole story, three days should be three friggin days, 24 x 3, nothing less.

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I am inclined to think the error is not so much in the biblical text as in the days that got chosen to celebrate the events, i.e. Good Friday for crucifixion and Easter Sunday for resurrection.

 

I do not hereby say that Jesus existed or that the resurrection occurred in historical time. I am saying the story pre-existed the official holidays. I don't know of any record that the early Christians celebrated Jesus' birth (Christmas), death (Good Friday), and resurrection (Easter). Some Christians also celebrate the ascension. I grew up with that tradition.

 

We know that many Christian holidays (as we know them today) were originally pagan holidays in pre-Christian Europe. Was there a set of pagan holidays that fit Good Friday and Easter Sunday? If so, might those early European popes (or whoever decided these things) have disregarded mathematical inconveniences in the name of religion?

 

In other words, I understand that the authorities had a very difficult time getting people to leave the old gods for the new ones i.e. Jesus and God. I understand that using pagan holidays was one method of getting people to cooperate. Why?

 

We know that the common people believed their very lives (food as in crops for the coming year's grocery supply) depended on the good will of the gods. These fears were well-founded. Late frosts, early frosts, lack of rain, too much rain--all of these could wipe out the food supply for the coming winter in one fell sweep. For people already living on the edge of subsistence, this was a life and death issue. They believed, not unreasonably, that the gods regulated the weather.

 

Forsaking these gods (religion that worked) for some new (untried) deities seemed far too hazzardous a risk even to consider it. By keeping the old holidays it would have been easier for the authorities to convince people that the gods would not be upset and angry--and that the food supply would not suffer--because they apostated. More than a thousand years later it is really difficult for us to understand the mindset that established the church calendar. But it occurs to me that in this situation it might have been wiser to disregard mathematical inconveniences than to change the holidays.

 

The mathematical inconvenience I refer to is the fact that it is not three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. My question is: What set of pagan holidays may have pre-existed (and been the model for) the Christian Good Friday and Easter Sunday? Does anybody here know enough Pagan history and/or mythology to make any suggestions?

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You bet it does! Jesus himself is reported to have said:

 

Matt. 12:40 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. (KJV)

 

Researching the word "day" in this verse, in the lexicon here reveals one meaning as this:

Eastern usage of this term differs from our western usage. Any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression "three days and three nights" does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.

This lexicon is NOT my favorite one, by any means... however, it is the most convenient one I know.

 

Yet, this seems to NOT be a physical resurrection, as the perponderance of the evidence shows that Jesus' tomb has probably been found now and there's an indication that he never rose from it physically. It would have to mean spiritually, if this verse is to be held to mean anything that came to pass, IMO.

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I remain unconvinced. I would be more inclined to believe it if someone dug up a story about a pre-Christian pagan European holiday that celebrated this Friday and this Sunday. It seems most Christian holidays were a mere transformation of pagan holy days from pagan into christian. So why not Good Friday, too?

 

This could be, RubySera, as Easter and Christmas do pre-date Christianity and were brought in and "sanctified" many decades after the church was up and running. I was never much on these holidays, religiously speaking that is (I loved the gifts and chocolate bunnies, of course!) so have nothing invested in them either way. Still, I think it's fine to "adopt" a holiday that had other meanings and bestow upon it other meanings.

 

The issues here, though, is how are "three days and three nights" arrived at if Jesus died on a Friday and was found alive on a Sunday. Clearly, the writers of the Bible were quite aware of this "requirement" (after all, they placed it on the lips of Jesus). The point is that the Bible does not say the day on which Jesus died. Nor does it say the day on which he was resurrected. Does it?

 

I mean, it does NOT say that he had to be buried before the weekly Sabbath, but before the Sabbath. There were yearly and "high day" sabbaths, in addition to the weekly Friday sunset to Saturday sunset Sabbath. John 19.31 makes it clear that this was a "high day Sabbath." Seems to me that this is the explanation, then: Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and that evening commenced a "high day Sabbath," not the weekly Sabbath.

 

He was in the tomb Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night and was resurrected on Saturday before sunset. Remember the women were at the tomb early on the first day and he already had risen. That's three nights in the tomb and three days (all day Thursday, all day Friday and all day Saturday).

 

Good Friday is not when Jesus was crucified and Easter Sunday is not when he was resurrected. Just another example, much like the nativity story we see re-enacted yearly, in which the facts and the fiction do not jive. Seems to me.

 

-CC

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We know that many Christian holidays (as we know them today) were originally pagan holidays in pre-Christian Europe. Was there a set of pagan holidays that fit Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

It was probably based on HanSolo's religion, and that is how we got the cute Easter Bunny. :)

 

You're probably right, the Easter Bunny and the "Easter Eggs probably incorporated some God/Goddess of Fertility.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostara

 

Ostara is a modern Neopagan holiday. The celebration of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. Day & Night are equal length. It is a time for planting and celebrating the first signs of fertility and rebirth. Symbols of Ostara like eggs, chicks, and rabbits have been adopted by Christians in their Easter holiday. The word, Easter is from the goddess Eostra, Ishtar or Astarte.

 

Origin

 

It is loosely based on several holidays which were celebrated around the Vernal Equinox, and has a strong relation to many known Pagan religious observations. The name goes back to Jakob Grimm, who, in his Deutsche Mythologie, speculated about an ancient German goddess Ostara, after whom the Easter festival (German: Ostern) could have been named. Grimm's main source is De temporum ratione by the Venerable Bede. Bede had put forward the thesis that the Anglo-Saxon name for April: Eosturmonath was named after a goddess Eostre; see Eostre for more information on the etymology.

 

Festival

 

Ostara is one of the eight major Wiccan holidays or sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. Ostara is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox. Among the Wiccan sabbats, it is preceded by Imbolc and followed by Beltane.

 

"The Festival of Ostara at the spring equinox marks the end of winter and the beginning of the season of rebirth (spring), and is celebrated by a blot in honor of Frigg and Freya and/or the disir, the collective of female fertility deities."[1] The "blot" is a celebratory meal (also known as "cakes and ale") that is believed to be shared with the the God/ess.

 

In the book Eight Sabbats for Witches by Janet and Stewart Farrar, the festival Ostara is characterized by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death. Other variations include the young God regaining strength in his youth after being born at Yule, and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect.

 

Wiccans use the term "Cakes and Ale" rather than blots, which is what Heathens and other Norse or Anglo Saxon religions do.

 

IIRC, Froh Ostara (with an umlaut I can't type in) is still the phrase used for "Happy Easter" in Germany. At least, it was when I was there.

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I did some research of the biblical account. I did not look up all the references but enough to make me ask some questions.

 

First, several days are mentioned:

 

  • first day of unleavened bread (arrest during night)
  • day after the first day of unleavened bread (trial, condemnation, crufixion, death)
  • day of preparation=day before Sabbath=our Friday (burial) [This seems to be same day as trial and crucifixion but this not necessarily the case. Mark 15:42 says burial was the day before the Sabbath.]

  • Sabbath=our Saturday "rested the sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56)
  • first day of the week, which was the "end of the Sabbath"=our Sunday (resurrection)

Which day of the week is the "first day of unleavened bread"? Is the "day of preparation" the same as "the day after the first day of unleavened bread"? In other words, was he buried the same day that he died?

 

Timeline

 

  • During the night of First day of unleavened bread: arrest (Matt. 26:17, 57, 75; Mark 14:12, 46, 72; Luke 22:7, 54, 61)
  • Next morning, day after the first day of unleavened bread (second day of unleavened bread?): Trial, Execution, and Death (Matt. 27:1-2; Luke 22:26)
  • day before the Sabbath: burial (Mark 15:42 Is this the same day as his death?)
  • Sabbath
  • First day of the week; right after the Sabbath ended: resurrection

Arrest, Crucifixion, and Death:

 

The arrest was during the night of the first day of unleavened bread (Matt. 26:17, 57, 75; Mark 14:12, 46, 72; Luke 22:7, 54, 61). The next morning (the day after the first day of unleavened bread) he was brought before Pilate (Matt. 27:1-2; Luke 22:26). He is condemned, crucified, and dead the same day (Matt. 27:26, 35, 50).

 

All of this would have been the day AFTER the first day of unleavened bread. What day of the week was the "first day of unleavened bread"? The crucifixion was the day after that.

 

Burial

 

Mark 15:42. 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 Jesus.

 

Was this the same day as the crucifixion? If not, we can work in an extra day or two that he was dead, but he was not in "the heart of the earth" that day if he was still on the cross. Well, if the cross along with the body had been thrown out into some pit or valley, it might have been called the "heart of the earth." I don't know where they put these bodies, nor do I know if they threw out the crosses. Did they have enough wood for that? Did they have to take the bodies off the crosses in order to re-use the crosses? I'm not sure that they had all that many forests.

 

Luke 23:53-54; Matt. 27:57 He was buried on day of preparation as "the Sabbath drew on" (Luke). Matthew says he was buried in the evening, but does not say the evening of which day. For the day of the crucifixion, Luke gives the times throughout the day that the various events took place but he does not tell us which day it was.

 

Thus, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke it is possible to fit in an extra day or two of being dead on the cross. I did not look at John.

 

Resurrection

 

The resurrection happened the "first day of the week" (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19).

 

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.

 

Thus, the resurrection was the day after the Sabbath. That would be our Sunday .

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostara

 

Grimm's main source is De temporum ratione by the Venerable Bede. Bede had put forward the thesis that the Anglo-Saxon name for April: Eosturmonath was named after a goddess Eostre; see Eostre for more information on the etymology.

 

Amethyst, this article is very interesting. I don't know what language the Anglo-Saxons spoke but, based on my Pennsylvania German, Eosturmonath sounds very much like it could mean Easter-month. That article mentions a lot of different spellings/pronunciations for the word. I find myself just saying Oshtra (long O) because that is how we say it and I don't know exactly what pronunciation the article means in all cases.

 

About Bede. I never knew a thing about him except that his name was on the chapel at the first college I attended. It was Anglican, so I assume St. Bede was an English saint. That title sounds like he wrote in Latin so he must have written it a very long time ago (possibly during the Roman Empire days?).

 

Ostara is a modern Neopagan holiday. The celebration of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. Day & Night are equal length. It is a time for planting and celebrating the first signs of fertility and rebirth.

 

Re "time for planting." Depends where one lives and what the weather is like. In this part of the world, some years it is possible to plant in early April and some years it is not. This year is one of the latter. I guess these traditions started in another part of the world, probably Europe and it might be warmer there.

 

Symbols of Ostara like eggs, chicks, and rabbits have been adopted by Christians in their Easter holiday.

 

These are not in the Bible. The Christians I come from believed Easter eggs and Easter rabbits were worldly, same as Santa Claus, and therefore not acceptable. We would eat the candies but we denied them the right to serve as Christian symbols.

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I used to have some very entertaining debates with my ex (she was a fundy) about this one.

 

Friday evening to Sunday morning is two nights and one day - not three nights and three days.

 

It's fun to watch fundies squirm when you point that one out :HaHa:

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This whole "3 days" thing is supposed to be the "sign of Jonah" so perhaps it would help to look at that?

 

Jonah 1:17

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Hmmm...not really. Well maybe a little. Three days and three nights. It's just a little better clarified, perhaps?

 

So the best we can do is look up the words for day and night used here and see what they mean in Strong's:

days

-----

Yowm

 

day, time, year

 

1. day (as opposed to night)

2. day (24 hour period)

1. as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1

2. as a division of time 1b

3. a working day, a day's journey

4. days, lifetime (pl.)

5. time, period (general)

6. year

7. temporal references

1. today

2. yesterday

3. tomorrow

Days can mean just about anything it seems. Let's try nights:

 

nights

------

Layil

 

night

 

1. night (as opposed to day)

2. of gloom, protective shadow (fig.)

Well, there's less to that one at least.

 

But there is hope. There's one verse that really clarifies what this GOD thinks of these words:

Genesis 1:5

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Ahhh...good old god. I knew he wouldn't let us down. The words for "day" and "night" are the same used by Jonah. And certainly his son would use the same definition for day and night that good old dad used from THE VERY FIRST DAY (and night). How could he not? It's practically the first definition of ANYTHING.

 

So, Jonah stayed in the whale (fish) three cycles of light and three darkness (no light).

 

Jesus, giving the "sign" of Jonah, would then stay in the tomb three cycles of light and darkness (no light) as per the definition given by his father (or perhaps even himself depending on your theology at this point) in Genesis 1:5. It's really not important what the Jews thought a day was now was it? After all it was supposedly this GOD who kept Jonah in the fish...not the fish, Jonah, the Jews nor the author of the story. The same now applies to dead jesus. He's in the tomb and the only one keeping him there is this GOD keeping this sign (same "sign" means the same rules). And "evening and morning were the first day" so it takes ONE evening and ONE morning to make a day. Jesus HAD TO stay in the tomb for THREE of those. He did NOT do this depending on WHEN people believe they tossed him in the tomb (Friday being the most popular choice).

 

So the answer is the three days is according to how this god defined a day (Genesis 1:5). Nothing else really matters (unless you're writing an apology :) ).

 

mwc

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I did some research of the biblical account. I did not look up all the references but enough to make me ask some questions.

... .

 

Thanks for providing the research! My hats off.

 

-CC

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This whole "3 days" thing is supposed to be the "sign of Jonah" so perhaps it would help to look at that?

...

mwc

 

More great research!

 

I'm sticking with my theory that he died on Wednesday and he was raised before sunrise on Sunday morning. Three days and three nights in "the belly of the whale": Wednesday night-Thursday daylight (1 of each), Thursday night-Friday daylight (1 of each), and Friday night-Saturday daylight (1 of each), awakening sometime after sunset Saturday and before sunrise Sunday. I think Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God taught it this way, too. Anyone remember him???

 

-CC

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This whole "3 days" thing is supposed to be the "sign of Jonah" so perhaps it would help to look at that?

 

MWC, you have sparked a suspicion I have about this...

 

3 days must have to do with something customary back then. We all know that Jonah and the whale is just a fable. I think Titus 1:14 even illudes to that. Yet, all we have to do is just think about it... there is no one that is swallowed by a big fish/whale and lives three days and then spit out totally fine. Just ain't gonna happen. :HaHa:

 

What is the metaphorical significance of the time in the whale? Do you know of any old Jewish customs concerning death that references 3 days? :scratch:

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I did not read both of these Q&A's in full and won't be doing so just now, but I throw them here in case others are interested:

 

How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb?

 

 

Was Jesus Crucified on a Wednesday?

 

-CC

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More great research!

 

I'm sticking with my theory that he died on Wednesday and he was raised before sunrise on Sunday morning. Three days and three nights in "the belly of the whale": Wednesday night-Thursday daylight (1 of each), Thursday night-Friday daylight (1 of each), and Friday night-Saturday daylight (1 of each), awakening sometime after sunset Saturday and before sunrise Sunday. I think Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God taught it this way, too. Anyone remember him???

I'll give you a Wednesday death, which means that we really don't count Wednesday as a day. This would give us the full count needed.

 

Based on the calendars I could find this gives us a total of two possible dates for the death to occur: April 7, 27 (14th Nisan - 3787 Hebrew) or April 3, 30 (3790). I've looked on a number of calendars and some calculate these dates differently so I used a majority vote (I mainly used this one but I used this one too). No matter what these two years are Wednesday years even if the reported days are different.

 

But do these dates work? Let's ask G.Luke:

3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene

Okay. Tiberius reigned from 14AD to 37AD, Pontius Pilate from 26-36, Herod (Antipas) from 4BC-39AD and Herod (Philip) from 4BC to 34AD. The jury is out on Lysanias (28-29?).

 

The 15th year of Tiberius is 29AD. Too late for our first Wednesday year. So only the 30AD date has a chance (of course if the dates for Lysanias are correct then the game is over since this leaves only a Monday or Saturday crucifixion...and neither are truly workable even though both likely have proponents).

 

So this leaves 30-34 as a possible window to kill this guy off and only 30 as a reasonable Wednesday year (the other date would be 33 as that's a Friday...all the rest would be Monday Passovers).

 

We need more information.

 

This next major piece of information we have to go on is that by the time jesus comes back to life, John the Baptist has been put to death. Rather than digging out Josephus and all, I'll just shortcut the process by putting the link to the Wikipedia article. In a nutshell it pretty much says that we can conclude that JtB was done in by Herod around 36AD.

 

As you can see this is well outside our defined window for killing jesus. It puts it in the very last year Pilate would have even been in the area (we don't know exactly when he left but since Passover occurs fairly early there's the chance he would have been around in early 36). Of course getting from the coast over to Jerusalem over the course of a week, for an event he wouldn't have cared about, wouldn't have participated in (and, no, he didn't release prisoners) and couldn't have "defended" as he didn't have the command of more than a small amount of troops is really ridiculous (of course later men in his similar position would have the latter ability but how could the authors have known that he did not? They WEREN'T historians after all).

 

So now we have a real problem. Using all the sources of information available to us we are unable to get jesus into the grave BEFORE 36AD and that's a Monday Passover from what I could find. I guess we'll just have to start treating some sources as "less" reliable for no reason other than we WANT this happen. So, sorry Josephus, you're outta here. See how easy that is? Now, we can say JtB died most any time AFTER 29AD AND we can still put jesus in the tomb in 30AD...AS LONG AS...we ignore G.John and his THREE Passover's and just use the synoptics and their ONE. Because otherwise we WILL overshoot out goal. So we need to pick the parts of the story we like in order to make it all come together. because we need this Wednesday date so we'll go with the synoptics and ignore G.John (this also throws off the dates above just a bit since it's pretty obvious he does celebrate the sedar, the last supper, with his pals...oh well...making this work is a messy business so we have to simply work with what we've got).

 

It's now 30AD. It's a Wednesday. We've managed to kill off JtB early. We've ignored G.John and his extra Passover's. We've snuffed out a god somehow. We've did it all. First we'll pat ourselves on the back (pat pat) and now we need to find which synoptic we're going to follow in order to plop him in a tomb before dark and the Passover that we celebrated last night. G.Luke has him taken down and a simple rest made for the Sabbath. Nope. Looks like just one day skipped. G.Matthew has them putting him in the tomb then the "day of getting ready" and then the Sabbath. This is a "maybe." G.Mark has similar but explains the "day of getting ready" is the day before the Sabbath and that's when he was tossed in the tomb. So they all really have death, tossed in tomb, Sabbath, resurrection. I'm finding it difficult to justify the Wednesday death and 3 days in the tomb that I've worked so hard for.

 

How can We justify it? Put him in the tomb on Wednesday. Thursday is the Passover (Sabbath). Friday they get the "spices" (another "prep" day). Saturday is another Sabbath. Sunday he pops out of the tomb. Since touching a corpse would make them unclean they simply waited until the beginning of the week to do all this "dirty" work. I know the drill but the bible sure doesn't seem to have gotten the message on all this.

 

This is why I used the 14th Nisan for the dates. I used the day before Passover because we needed him to die on the day of preparation (the day of unleavened bread) of Passover even though the synoptics indicate he's has a Passover meal (G.Mark states clearly "...Where is my guest-room, where I may take the Passover with my disciples...and they made ready the Passover. 17 And when it was evening he came with the twelve. 18 And while they were seated taking food, Jesus said, Truly I say to you, One of you will be false to me, one who is taking food with me.") then dies (quite impossible they'd kill anyone on Passover...G.John being the dissenting voice in all this). This is clearly the day AFTER the Passover even though jesus dies at the EXACT same time the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the temple.

 

To my knowledge there are NO Tuesday Passovers (15th Nisan) during range 26-36AD so that he could actually die on a Wednesday having eaten Passover with his pals the night before. This alone would make a Wednesday burial, as per the synoptics, impossible much less any resurrection. Not to mention it kills off the Sabbath, Friday, Sabbath requirement as well. How many more ways should I destroy this fantasy?

 

mwc

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3 days must have to do with something customary back then. We all know that Jonah and the whale is just a fable. I think Titus 1:14 even illudes to that. Yet, all we have to do is just think about it... there is no one that is swallowed by a big fish/whale and lives three days and then spit out totally fine. Just ain't gonna happen. :HaHa:

 

What is the metaphorical significance of the time in the whale? Do you know of any old Jewish customs concerning death that references 3 days? :scratch:

I can't think of anything special about the number 3 that really stands out more than any other "magic" number. It might (and this is just speculation) have to do with the sun, moon and earth. The 3 main bodies that related to people of the day and it just sort of went from there? The Jews did seem to like it though. Perhaps someone more into gematria could shed more light on this for you?

 

Edit: I found this for you. Seems the number three in Hebrew mysticism relates to reward and punishment. Whether it always has is a mystery to me so take it for what it's worth (based on some of what is said this all seems to be a fairly new school of thought).

 

mwc

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I heard something once (but I can't confirm this to be true) that 3 days were required in the old days because of false deaths. They didn't have the same means of determining someone being medically dead, and at rare occasions someone could go into a temporary coma (or something) and to avoid this problem they would wait a few days before it could be definitely concluded they were dead and they could burry them. (And maybe this was the original reason to the "wake"?) I haven't found any information on this, so if someone can confirm this or disprove it, it would be nice. I find it interesting though if that's the case, because if it did happen on occasions that someone could be in a temporary comatose, then Jesus being dead for 2 days and alive again wouldn't be such a big event, basically it had happened before.

 

I know that some people have faked their death by taking blowfish poison, and this is the reason to the "zombie" stories. The toxin is called Tetrodotoxin and can be found in other animals as well. But doing this is very dangerous and risky and if successful it puts the person in a very low "energy state" for a few days. The hearts beats so slow and soft that no one can find a pulse. Maybe this was on the sponge the soldier fed to Jesus? ;)

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...

How many more ways should I destroy this fantasy?

mwc

You are a scholar, mwc. I tip my hat to you. I admire you and your intellect and your research. I do, I do, I do.

 

But I return to my overarching point about such things: It doesn't matter all that much. He died. He came back. Those are the two issues that matter. The other details are important, as well, but not as much.

 

May I use another homely example: My father's mother did not know if she was born on July 5 or July 25 in 1919. She celebrated July 5 all her life, but when she got around to getting her birth certificate when she was in her 40's (remember, these were poor, rural folk, born at home) it declared that she was born on July 25. That rocked her world!

 

The fact remains: Grandma was born. I'm not sure when. But it likely was indeed in July of 1919. (I don't remember which date we ultimately put on her grave marker??) The specific date doesn't matter, really. She'd dead now. Likewise, the day Jesus was crucified and the day he was risen don't matter all that much (thought this discussion is fascinating!). That he was crucified and that he was risen...therein lies the greatness of the story. (Not trying to convince anyone he did live or did die or did rise again...!)

 

All of that said, I tip my hat again to your fine mind and your thorough research and your steady scholarship!

 

-CC

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I heard something once (but I can't confirm this to be true) that 3 days were required in the old days because of false deaths. They didn't have the same means of determining someone being medically dead, and at rare occasions someone could go into a temporary coma (or something) and to avoid this problem they would wait a few days before it could be definitely concluded they were dead and they could burry them. ...

When I was growing up, in my hometown the dead were buried "on the third day." There were two nights of visitation (what many call a wake) and the third day was the funeral. We're much too busy these days for that drawn-out process, so it has been truncated. You die. Visitation is the next evening. Burial is the next day. Now that we embalm everyone the possibility of being buried alive is no longer a consideration.

 

-CC

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You are a scholar, mwc. I tip my hat to you. I admire you and your intellect and your research. I do, I do, I do.

Well thanks...

 

But I return to my overarching point about such things: It doesn't matter all that much. He died. He came back. Those are the two issues that matter. The other details are important, as well, but not as much.

I knew there had to be a "but." :)

 

Actually there comes a point when the details and the overarching point become pretty much one and the same. If we cannot stuff this guy in the ground, as per the overarching point, is this not a result of these details I discussed? I believe so. He needs to go in the ground. No suitable date during the years 26-36CE is available that meets all the criteria. As I pointed out numerous times, even ignoring part of the data (which is dishonest in my opinion), it still doesn't add up. Sad but true.

 

I snipped your example for brevity but I'm going to refer to it nonetheless as it makes a good point.

 

In the case of CC's grandma we must now ask ourselves "Who the hell is CC?" Is that not a fair starting point? Sure it is. Maybe you just made that all up to make a point to us? So now you can either decide to provide evidence of said grandma and back your story or decide we're not worth it. But you and your grandma are just anonymous figures to us at this point. Sure, you are a "something" as writings appear under your credentials, and we decide to accept them as coming from the same author (with the weak password protection and all it implies) but it's a weak trust system nonetheless. The same really goes for everyone to some degree (some people seem "proven" but that's for another discussion).

 

So to say that the story of jesus is somehow "proven," well, it's not. It's in the same category as your grandma, except, the ONLY thing I can do is analyze the various bits of 1800 year old data that are still around since none of the anonymous authors are going to stand up to the challenge of giving me more information. Certainly the central figure in all this left absolutely nothing to clue anyone in (and if he was who he said he was he should have known that just a few of us would have some "questions" about all this in the here and now). What this means is the details are vital to figuring this story out as this point. Logic tells us that you had to have a grandma so that gives you a very low hurdle to jump as well.

 

The story we're dealing with invokes "special" circumstances and must be looked at a little more closely. Again, if we can't reasonably get the guy into the ground then it doesn't matter how many days passed since he never popped back out again. Notice I'm using the term "reasonably." I felt I tried fairly hard to put him on the cross and in the tomb...without cheating the actual text(s) (although I did "ignore" evidence just to even get a workable time frame). Seems to me the most important event in the history of the world should be able to stand up to my simple scrutiny.

 

mwc

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