Skip to comments.The Resurrection On One Of The Sabbaths ?
Posted on 06/05/2009 9:05:52 AM PDT by Pmary65
The resurrection of Jesus is a central belief to the Christian faith where the Gospel story tells the events for which there has been much Biblical interest, inquiry and academic discussion to this day. It is my hope that this presentation may provide some edification to the unanswered questions of bible believing followers.
The traditional belief for Christians regarding Passover depicts Jesus being crucified on Good Friday and resurrecting early Easter Sunday morning.
This belief has been the general consensus for main stream Christianity over the past two millenniums. Many Bible Church authorities and independent study groups have delved deeply into scripture establishing their views in favor of manufactured evidences. These so-called evidences mingled through scripture for the most part have become the widely accepted margin received by the moral majority of Christian believers.
I hereby offer a critical view regarding the crucifixion and resurrection events from an un-biased vantage point which has resulted after many years of independent bible research and study. Here we will be scratching the surface and re-joining the various points of interest. There is much to be said about all of this. In time well see what comes of it. I know many will refute this presentation but hopefully some light in perspective-ness may be gained to those with an open mind.
The true essence of understanding Jewish chronology is modeled with the reckoning of time from the very beginning as described in Genesis 1:4,5.And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. KJV. The other verses in Genesis 1:8 ,13, 19, 23, and 31 say; And the evening and the morning were the (e.g. second, third...etc.) day. Thus complying that each and every day (24hr.period) began consecutively from sunset to sunset.
The Jewish authors of the New Testament and the Old Testament understood inclusively that this was the way and that the next Day period always began with night darkness and was followed by daylight in the morning. The night time hours were divided into 4 equal interval watches and the daylight time were divided into 12 equal hours. Thus the day was always determined and observed from sunset to sunset.
In regards to the timing of Passover the Jewish Historian Josephus (~70 A.D.) clarifies; So the high priests, upon the coming of their feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh, but so that a company not less then ten belong to every sacrifice, and many of us are twenty in a company. (Wars of the Jews 6:9:3) William Whiston. Here in a western reckoning of a time from about 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm. The Passover lamb would then be prepared for roasting over an open fire on the 14th of Nisan in the last (12th) hour with the day ending around 6:00 p.m. in preparation of the night time Seder to follow on the beginning of Nisan 15th. Here reads, Exodus 12:8; "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. KJV.
What you need to recognize is the word Passover to a Jew was a loose - common term that was generally applied to the whole 8 day festival (e.g. like the 12 days of Christmas to a Christian).
The Jewish Pharisee Historian Josephus 70 A.D. clarifies with particular reference to the Passover period in several places as follows; In the month of Xanthicus which is by us called Nisan on the fourteenth day of the lunar month every year slay the sacrifice which was called the Passover and Josephus continues; The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the Passover and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues seven days, wherein they feed on unleavened bread (Antiquities of the Jews 3:10:5) William Whiston.
Josephus also asserted elsewhere; As this happened at the time when the feast of unleavened bread was celebrated, which we call the Passover (Antiquities of the Jews 14:2:1) and As the Jews were celebrating the feast of unleavened bread, which we call the Passover it was common for the priests (Antiquities of the Jews 18:2:2). William Whiston.
Consider as well; They left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our fore-father Abraham came into Canann (Antiquities of the Jews 2:15:2) William Whiston.
St Pauls wonderful statement; Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For Christ are Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7,8) KJV.
These events were willfully commemorated (Nisan 15) and fulfilled by Jesus with his disciples at the last supper Passover ceremony 'On the first day of unleavened bread'- 'Protos Heemeras ' as described in Matthew 26:17,Mark 14:12,and Luke 22:7.
Greek Biblical exegesis is often formulated through the Interpreters preconceived theological beliefs.
On the difficult passages, exegesis often comes through sensible theological debate.
The Saturday Nisan 17th Sabbath resurrection scenario falls into a chronological arrangement of its own. A view shared by many believing that Jesus was crucified on the late afternoon (Passover Preparation) of Wednesday Nisan 14th fulfilling the conditional Sign of Jonah (MTH 12:39, 40 i.e. 3 days & 3 nights).
Here the big picture suggests interesting details; -The temple cleansing and upsetting of money changers (MRK 11:15) coincided on the weekly Sabbath of Nisan 10 (EX 12:3 i.e. day of procurement) four days prior to the Passover on Wednesday Nisan 14. However, buying and purchasing were totally prohibited on Sabbath days in stringent abidance to Jewish law. -Our Lord and disciples are denied (cut short) to have kept the ceremonial traditional Passover Seder which was customarily observed in the night at the beginning of Nisan 15th on the first day of unleavened bread (EX 12:8; MTH 26:17; MRK14:12; LUK 22:7). There the previously slain lamb was now (Nisan 15) then sacrificed (consecrated) by the Jews through oral (eaten) ingestion. * Note - The Synoptic Gospels all agree in the timing, however, the other setting as described in John 13:1 was nothing more then an anticipatory casual meal partaken on an earlier day prior to the feast. -The Sanhedrins uncustomary night-time judicial process along with 3 reproaches by Pilate (LUK 23:22) occurs within a narrow time line of 15 hours or less for the judgment - sentencing and crucifixion (MRK 15:25) of Jesus.
* Note - Some of these comments are in line with the traditional Friday (Nisan 14) crucifixion as well. There Jesus and his disciples travel on the Sabbath day (JHN 12:1) arriving in Bethany six days before the Friday Passover. However, Sabbath travel was imperatively limited in accordance to Jewish law.
In order to have the chronology put into a proper perspective, a more feasible time lines regarding the crucifixion and resurrection events are essential. Let us consider a median near the end of the Passover period. To acquire such a median let us re-consider a linguistic approach from the ORIGINAL Greek Texts for the resurrection verses at; Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; and John 20:1,19 of the New Testament.
In those verses we commonly find the Koine Greek phrase; 'μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων' which is transliterated 'mia ton Sabbaton' and is translated to literally mean; 'one of the Sabbaths'. As well, the phrase can be found similarly within other N.T. verses such as Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 . This phrase has been traditionally perceived, interpreted, and understood to read as ; the first day of the week or the first of Sabbaths. However, let us consider specifically the Koine Greek word 'σαββάτων' which is transliterated as 'Sabbaton' where the literal English rendering is translated as 'Sabbaths' and is plural of meaning in line with Greek Syntax rules.
In the key verse of Matthew 28:1 the word 'Sabbaton' appears twice in the same sentence and plural in meaning at both instances. The full sentence of Matthew 28:1 would render something like; "After the Sabbaths (plural) as it was lighting up on one of the Sabbaths (plural) Mary of Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb."
What could this possibly mean according to Greek Syntax without it being a contradiction to itself? Hence Matthew 28:1 may be describing details like ; After [post-late-end] the Sabbaths (plural) as it was lighting up (twi-light) on one (cardinal) of the ( par-titive genitive ) Sabbaths (plural)...... . A description that may pertain to a time interval when the Passover period was finished and had already completed e.g. End ( opse-adverbial ) the 2 High Sabbaths (Nisan 15 & 21 i.e. EX 12:16 ) of the Passover period onto a weekly Sabbath ( 1 0f 7 ) within the 50 day duration between Passover (from the sheaf offering LEV 23:11) leading up to Pentecost.
Here Jesus would die on Wednesday Nisan 20th the preparation day to Thursday Nisan 21 (Holy Convocation day) and would resurrect 3 days and 3 nights later (MTH 12:39, 40) on the weekend Sabbath of Saturday Nisan 23rd.This day being an integral Sabbath of a series of 7 complete weekly Sabbaths (LEV23:15, 16) with in the 50 day period. This group of weekly Sabbaths for that year should have been; Nisan 16th, Nisan23, Nisan30, Iyar 7, Iyar 14, Iyar21, and Iyar 28. Here Jesus resurrected on the 2nd weekly Sabbath with-in a group of 7 Sabbaths. Thus Pentecost arrives later on Sivan 6th the eighth weekly Sabbath after Passover simultaneous to the 50th day which would have been a rare celebrated occasion! * Here in this time table the 50 day omer count commences after the High (Annual) Passover Sabbath (Friday) of Nisan 15th (not after the weekend Sabbath) where both the sheaf offering (Saturday Nisan16th) and the day of Pentecost (Saturday Sivan 6th) coincide separately on weekend Sabbaths for that particular year.
A clear account by Historian Flavius Josephus (~70 A.D.) describes when the omer count commenced in his book The Antiquities of the Jews book 3 chapter 10 paragraph 5 line 250 follows; But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month (Nisan), they partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. William Whiston (i.e.LEV 23:11)
* The Greek Septuagint O.T. (~270 B.C.) clarifies when the Passover sheaf offering was offered in Leviticus 23: 11 ; "and he (the priest) shall lift up the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you. On the morrow (Nisan 16) of the first day (Nisan 15) the priest shall lift it up." Sir Charles Lee Brenton Lancelot.
* Note - This practice was regardless of whatever weekday the 16th of Nisan fell upon for each particular year. This practice has been the recognized view by Jews all along from the earliest days through the middle ages right up into modern times.
* To support this chronological hypothesis even further an important verse at St. Luke 6:1 strongly supports the idea that the author was in recognition of a series of Sabbaths between Passover and Pentecost thus reading;
"And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first, that he went through the cornfields and his disciples plucked the ears of corn and did eat rubbing them in their hands." KJV.
This verse has created much debate amongst bible commentators as to what the 'second Sabbath after the first' could mean. In Adam Clarke's commentary we receive an analysis from him and some other various Commentators giving their explanations for this passage; [Quote]
"ενσαββατω δευτεροπρωτω, In the first Sabbath after the second." What does this mean? In answering this question, commentators are greatly divided. Dr. Whitby speaks thus: "After the first day of the passover, (which was a Sabbath, Exodus 12:16,) ye shall count unto you seven Sabbaths complete, Leviticus 23:15, reckoning that day for the first of the first week, which was therefore called δευτεροπρωτον, the first Sabbath from the second day of unleavened bread; (the 16th of the month;) the second was called δευτεροδευτερον, the second Sabbath from that day; and the third, δευτεροτριτον, the third Sabbath from the second day; and so on, till they came to the seventh Sabbath from that day, i.e. to the 49th day, which was the day of pentecost. "
"The mention of the seven Sabbaths, to be numbered with relation to this second day, answers all that Grotius objects against this exposition." WHITBY'S Notes.
"I think, with many commentators, that this transaction happened on the first Sabbath of the month Nisan; that is, after the second day of the feast of unleavened bread. We may well suppose that our Lord and his disciples were on their way from Jerusalem to Galilee, after having kept the passover." Bp. NEWCOME.
"The Vulgar Latin renders δευτεροπρωτον, secundoprimum, which is literal and right. We translate it, the second Sabbath after the first, which is directly wrong; for it should have been the first Sabbath after the second day of the passover. On the 14th of Nisan, the passover was killed; the next day (the 15th) was the first day of the feast of unleavened bread; the day following (the 16th) the wave sheaf was offered, pursuant to the law, on the morrow after the Sabbath: Leviticus 18:11. The Sabbath, here, is not the seventh day of the week, but the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, let it fall on what day of the week it would. That and the seventh day of that feast were holy convocations, and therefore are here called Sabbaths. The morrow, therefore, after the Sabbath, i.e. after the 16th day of Nisan, was the day in which the wave sheaf was offered; and after that seven Sabbaths were counted, and fifty days completed, and the fiftieth day inclusively was the day of pentecost."
"Now these Sabbaths, between the passover and pentecost, were called the first, second, Sabbaths after the second day of the feast of unleavened bread. This Sabbath, then, on which the disciples plucked the ears of corn, was the first Sabbath after that second day. Dr. Lightfoot, has demonstrably proved this to be the meaning of this σαββατονδευτεροπρωτον, (Hor. Hebraic. in locum,) and from him F. Lamy and Dr. Whitby have so explained it."
"This Sabbath could not fall before the passover, because, till the second day of that feast, no Jew might eat either bread or parched corn, or green ears, 23:14.) Had the disciples then gathered these ears of corn on any Sabbath before the passover, they would have broken two laws instead of one: and for the breach of these two laws they would infallibly have been accused; whereas now they broke only one, (plucking the ears of standing corn with one's hand, being expressly allowed in the law, Deuteronomy 23:25,) which was that of the Sabbath. They took a liberty which the law gave them upon any other day; and our Lord vindicated them in what they did now, in the manner we see. Nor can this fact be laid after pentecost; because then the harvest was fully in. Within that interval, therefore, this Sabbath happened; and this is a plain determination of the time, according to the Jewish ways of reckoning, founded upon the text of Moses's law itself."
Dr. WOTTON'S Miscellaneous Discourses,
"The word δευτεροπρωτω, the second first, is omitted by BL, four others, Syriac, later Arabic, all the Persic, Coptic, AEthiopic, and three of the Itala. A note in the margin of the later Syriac says, This is not in all copies. The above MSS. read the verse thus: It came to pass, that he walked through the corn fields on a Sabbath day. I suppose they omitted the above word, because they found it difficult to fix the meaning, which has been too much the case in other instances." [Quote]
* The 'high (great) Sabbath' of St John 19:31 (in relation over-all to this proposed chronology) could apply to the 7th final day (Holy Convocation) of the Passover period which occurred on a Thursday Nisan 21rst for that year. The final (7th) day of the Passover period that commemorated the Israelites deliverance from bondage in Egypt.
* Any day before a High Sabbath (Holy Convocation) day was regarded as a preparation day. The intermediate days on the Passover period in-between the High days or weekly Sabbaths were regarded as secular days, thus allowing time for regular activities such as buying and working (e.g. preparation of spices).
* The verse of Mark 16:9 in the original Greek shows protos sabbatou which is translated literally to mean first (ordinal) Sabbath (singular). The author here may be referring to the creation Sabbath as it was preeminent in nature for the seventh day weekly cycle of rest.
* The series of weekly Sabbaths between Passover and Pentecost signified a moment in fulfillment of Gods promise for the freedom and liberty to all descendents with lineage of the ancestral fore-fathers on route to the Promised land.These Sabbaths may have been referred to by the Jews as the Queen of Sabbaths which were spiritually embraced as a bride in reflection of Gods total fullness forth- coming.
* The Apocryphal Gospel of St. Peter at verse 12 is of reference to a moment in time after the crucifixion when the disciples were clearly in bereavement and the resurrection event had not yet been fulfilled;
Now it was the last day of unleavened bread, and many went out of the city returning to their houses, the feast being at an end. And we the twelve disciples of the Lord wept and were in sorrow, and every man withdrew to his house sorrowing for that which had come to pass. H.B. Swete.
* Jesus affirmed his position of authority;
And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. (St. Mark 2:27, 28) KJV.
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So what can you tell us about yourself, Pmary65?
Passover in Israel is 7 days, not 8.
The eighth day was added during the Diaspora because of concerns that local calendars/times might be off.
What was the middle bit?
I guess; I’m Jewish and just happend to see the 8th day reference, and knew that was wrong.
To me, this basic mess-up would call into question anything else in the article.
Many Christian traditions are based on the misunderstanding of a group of books written by Jews, which includes the New Testamnent.
I’m a Seeker of truth not an expert!
The actual translation is "MIA TWN SABBATWN". Sabbaton is not Sabbatwn
Sabbaton is the invented Greek word for Sabbath (the Greeks had no such word....or day). Sabbatwn is also an invented Greek word meaning "Special Sabbath". If you look at the link you'll notice that in each case where the word Sabbatwn is used it designates either an Annual Sabbath (one of God's seven) or it designates one of the seven Special Sabbaths between Passover and Pentecost.
All of the resurrection passages use the word Sabbatwn, not Sabbaton. These are [Matthew 28:1][Mark 16:2][Luke 24:1] and [John 20:1]. In addition you'll also notice the word Sabbatwn describing the Sabbath in [Acts 20:7] and [I Corinthians 16:2] which are verses always included in an incorrect attempt to prove up a Sunday resurrection. If it is a normal Sabbath being referenced the New Testament will use the word Sabbaton, Sabbasin......or if the word Sabbath is an adjective (like in Sabbath day) it will be Sabbatou. Sabbtw is the singular form of Sabbatwn.
The word Sabbaton is derived from the Hebrew and the associated words in the link come from the Hebrew also. Here is [Leviticus 23:32] describing the "Day of Atonement" from The Tanakh [32 abaṯ abāṯwōn hû lāḵem wəinnîṯem eṯ-nafəōṯêḵem bəṯiəâ laḥōḏe bāereḇ mēereḇ aḏ-ereḇ tiəbəṯû abatəḵem: f] This is the Hebrew with English script and pronunciation....obviously.
As you can see.....the Apostles attempted to transliterate the same sound of Sabatwon (Hebrew) into Sabbatwn (Greek) when referencing a "Special Sabbath" and you also find this usage in the Septuagint as well.
SABBATWN in the Greek is never used to describe an ordinary Sabbath.....only the Sabbath on which the resurrection occurred or an annual Sabbath....one of seven.
The Jewish Historian Josephus (~70 A.D.) The Antiquities of the Jews , Book 2 Chapter 15 Line 315-7 says; “So the Hebrews went out of Egypt, while the Egyptians wept...it is that in memory...we keep a feast for eight days.”
As well for the benefit of the dispersed community,a diaspora Passover period was introduced later around 360 C.E. by the famous Jewish Mathematician - Astonomer Ben Hillel II. He correctly regulated the 19 year metonic (lunar-solar)cycle calendar with intercalary months and lengthened the various feast periods with Passover extending to Nisan 22nd.
Keep in mind that “The sign of Jonah’ was the only sign given !
Could you please be a little more specific as in the ‘middle bit’ about what?
Again - The famous Jewish Historian Josephus(70 A.D.) describes Passover as; “eight days” in Antiquities of The Jews- Book 2 Chapter 15 Paragraph 1 Line 317.
As well, Antiquities of The Jews Book 11 Chapter 4 Verse 8 Line 110 says; “ And they offered... the Passover, on the fourteenth day...”
Most people when they hear the phrase ‘8th day’ think of it as a misnomer for Sunday.That’s not what I’ve been making reference to.
PS. Be proud of who you are and of those whom you’ve came out of! You’ve rubbed off in a very good way.
Truly Amazing! A difference in spelling by the changing of one small letter can ascertain a meaning of significance correctly attributed to the one Greek word; ‘Sabbatwn’.
Thank You very much for the clarification.
Which pretty much eliminates a Friday crucifixion anyway.
You are very welcome.
What you have indicated is that a sabbath was the true original day for the Lord’s resurrection. If this was the case as you have explained it, how then was it that the eighth day known as SUNDAY and as the first day of the week did become the mainstream staple for Christian weekly worship?
This is not an easy question to answer. There is much to take into account for the transformation of Sabbath to Sunday worship for Christianity. I will keep it to a brief minimal. History shows that after the fall of Jerusalem (~68 A.D.) Judean-Christian practices were suppressed and dissolved under the influences of the early Caesars permeating to an all time low. A new premise for Christians eventually opened up under the campaign of Emperor Constantine the Great (~324 337 C.E.)
In his civil reign magistrates complied with legislated Sunday observance (~321 C.E.) in all of the Roman Empire.
New considerations followed for Christians by the established dual Church-State formation giving organization to a string of church councils. A formal gathering of bishops at Arles (~317 C.E.), Nicaea (325 C.E.) resolved the Easter debate. This paved the way for treatise and established Church canons at Laodicea (~368 C.E.) giving further state tolerance to Christians living along side the pagan worshippers of Mithraism.
The Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (~325 C.E.) was a rallying contender in aid to the newly formed Christian campaign having his hands in it in several ways. He was a magnificent scholar with a huge literary influence which has created some speculation by various critics that he may have edited bible writings of earlier church fathers to sway support for his emperors new found claims in justification for Sunday worship. Here we have Eusebiuss account of Constantine speaking of unanimity regarding Easter against the practice of the Jews;
At the meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present, that the feast ought to be kept by all in every place on one and the same day For we have it in our power, if we abandon their custom, to prolong the due observance of this ordinance to future ages, by a truer order, which we have preserved from the very day of passion until the present time. Let us have nothing in common with the Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way. [Quote]
Eusebius: The Life of Constantine Chapter XVIII
From the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church
Philip Schaff & Henry Wace
Eerdmans and T&T Clarke 1997
Here is a quote from the late Dr. William Smith D.D.
We are therefore come, in strict propriety of speech, to the beginning of the fifteenth day; for we formerly saw, that the Jewish manner of computing time was from sunsetting to sunsetting. The Paschal lamb, therefore, although it was killed on the fourteenth day of the month, was not eaten till the beginning of the fifteenth; for it was killed between three oclock in the afternoon and sunset, but was not eaten till after sunset. [End Quote]
Antiquities of the Jews and Their Customs Illustrated, Vol.I, Part IV, Sec.I William Brown D.D.
* Note If Jesus died on an afternoon of Friday Nisan 15th a preparation day before a weekend Sabbath of Nisan 16th with a resurrection on an early Nisan 17th Sunday morning the phrase one of the Sabbaths becomes an idiomatic expression.The time duration in the grave would be about 36 hours barely enough time to qualify for the only sign given as warranted by Matthew 12:39, 40.
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