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Three days, Third day etc.
07-10-2017, 08:12 PM
Post: #1
Three days, Third day etc.
The length of time Jesus spent in the tomb is presented differently in the several gospels. The resurrection is said to have happened on the third day, or after three days and even after three days and three nights.

The Synoptic Gospels

The Synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke) all have Jesus being crucified on Passover. The Last Supper the evening before was a Passover Seder. (Mk 8:31 9:31 10:33-34) After three days would seem to rule out counting parts of days as whole days. If today were Friday, after one day would be Saturday, time unspecified. After two days would be Sunday. After three days would be Monday.

Matthew says three times that Jesus will be resurrected ‘on the third day’. (Mt 16:21 17:23, 20:18-19) Those passages in Matthew are very close in wording to the ones in Mark but change ‘after three days’ to ‘on the third day’. If one counts a small piece of Friday, then Saturday (from Friday sunset), then part of Sunday (from Saturday sunset), ‘on the third day’ can be justified, barely.

But then Matthew also says:

Quote:Matthew 12:40
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Three days and three nights, even counting the small piece of Friday as a day, still comes out to be sometime on Monday. For this to be reconciled with Matthew saying ‘on the third day’ would require leaving out Friday.

Luke also says ‘on the third day’. (Luke 9:22, 18:31-33) but with no Jonah reference.

John

John differs from the Synoptic gospels in having Jesus crucified not on Passover but on the day before. (John 19:14) According to John “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.” (John 19:31) It is unclear whether ‘special Sabbath’ means Passover or if the weekly Sabbath is special because Passover falls on it. If the latter, then it is Friday and the difficulties encountered in the Synoptic gospels are still there. If the crucifixion took place on Thursday and Friday was Passover, then three days and three nights can be made to fit. A piece of Thursday (before sunset) Thursday night into Friday morning, Friday until sunset, Friday night in Saturday morning, Saturday until sunset and Saturday night into Sunday morning. Three days and three nights, counting the piece of Thursday.

Reconciling this with ‘after three days’ and ‘on the third day’ requires a bit of juggling on what is to be counted as a day. ‘After three days’ requires counting the piece of Thursday as a day, plus Friday and Saturday. ‘On the third day’ requires leaving out Thursday and counting Friday, Saturday, Sunday (from Saturday sunset).

John’s version of the events allows making some sense of Matthew’s ‘three days and three nights’, even if it requires shifting the meaning of ‘days’ around. However, John having the crucifixion the day before Passover and not on Passover blatantly contradicts the Synoptic gospels and eliminates the Eucharist institution at the Passover Seder.

Bottom Line:

What solutions might there be to these discrepancies? If one views the gospels as the literal Word of God, how can all of this be reconciled? If one does not view the gospels that way, are there specific reasons for the different phrases used?


I have my own answers but this post is already long enough and I would like to see what other people might have to say first.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
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07-10-2017, 11:42 PM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2017 11:42 PM by The_Squid.)
Post: #2
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
Why would you think there are "solutions" as if there are ways to interpret what they said because they actually meant something else entirely? The "solution" is to say "yes, those are discrepancies" and not to try and dogmatically will them away, or try and make stuff up about how they actually meant something else.

It's another example of the bible likely being a book of myths written by Iron Age people who were trying to make sense of their world.

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07-11-2017, 06:59 AM
Post: #3
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-10-2017 11:42 PM)The_Squid Wrote:  Why would you think there are "solutions" as if there are ways to interpret what they said because they actually meant something else entirely? The "solution" is to say "yes, those are discrepancies" and not to try and dogmatically will them away, or try and make stuff up about how they actually meant something else.

It's another example of the bible likely being a book of myths written by Iron Age people who were trying to make sense of their world.

IMO they cannot be removed but I am interested in attempts to do so. I am also interested in explanations for why the several authors said what they did. I have my own conjecture but I want to see what others might say first.

The Gospels are (again IMO) not attempts to explain the world but to deal with problems that arose during the early evolution of Christianity. They are considerably more sophisticated than you give them credit for.

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07-11-2017, 12:37 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2017 12:37 PM by Caesar Saladin.)
Post: #4
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
I think the authors of the various Gospels were trying to have their version of events taken as the definitive version; likely they did not expect the previous works to survive, but they could not have foreseen the collection of all four extant 'Gospels According To' into one volume.

From a 'Bible' point of view, it would seem to me that those who compiled the various manuscripts would have picked just one of the 'Gospels According To' as the only official Gospel and relegated the others to the collection of apocrypha. It would have no doubt eliminated many of the problems we have to this day with resolving the conflicting accounts.

When someone asks "What would Jesus do?" remind them that flipping tables and chasing people with a whip is entirely possible.
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07-11-2017, 07:49 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2017 08:35 PM by Imprecise Interrupt.)
Post: #5
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-11-2017 12:37 PM)Caesar Saladin Wrote:  I think the authors of the various Gospels were trying to have their version of events taken as the definitive version; likely they did not expect the previous works to survive, but they could not have foreseen the collection of all four extant 'Gospels According To' into one volume.

From a 'Bible' point of view, it would seem to me that those who compiled the various manuscripts would have picked just one of the 'Gospels According To' as the only official Gospel and relegated the others to the collection of apocrypha. It would have no doubt eliminated many of the problems we have to this day with resolving the conflicting accounts.

I also see the various gospels being written in competition for the gospel. But that is a different topic from what I am trying to present. I do not see the three/third issue to be related to that very much.

By the time the idea of a definite canon appeared, in the 2nd century in reaction to Marcion rejecting much of the traditional but informal collection of works, the four gospels that would become canonical had been so widely known for so long that rejecting any of them would have been unthinkable.
Here is my take on resolving the discrepancies concerning ‘after three days’, ‘on the third day’ and the Friday burial, Sunday resurrection scenario.

Paul was the first to introduce the third day theme.

Quote:1 Corinthians 15
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

This is probably a reference to Hosea.

Quote:Hosea 6
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.

Mark, the first gospel written, shows that the author was familiar with 1 Corinthians. The Eucharist institution formula in Mark 14 connects directly with that in 1 Corinthians 11. Why then does Mark say ‘after three days’ and not ‘on the third day’ as Paul said and as Matthew (mostly) and Luke would later do?

The ‘after three days’ is even more puzzling when one considers that Mark is the first to recount a late Friday afternoon burial and early Sunday morning resurrection. ‘On the third day’ is just barely justifiable. Why would Mark change it from Paul, with whom he was plainly familiar?

Mark shows definite signs of having received a number of early traditions about Jesus that are not found in Paul. Some of those traditions sound very believable for the putative time and place. One example is the argument with the Pharisees in Mark 7 over strict enforcement of ‘man-made’ rules versus the ‘pure’ Torah. Sounds like the early days of the Shammai era and is fully compatible timewise with the tenure of Pilate. Mark is the first one to speak about Pilate. The possibility arises that the Friday burial, Sunday empty tomb scenario could be an early tradition, representing some actual occurrence. An invented story would have Jesus emerging triumphant from the tomb in front of witnesses and a more satisfactory presentation of the three/third issue. If the Friday/Sunday scenario is the actual case – and it seems like the best explanation – it makes Mark’s ‘after three days’ all the more puzzling.

Before delving further into Mark, let us deal with another anomaly. Luke and Matthew say ‘on the third day’ (as per Paul) two times and three times respectively. They also concur in the Friday/Sunday scenario, making it a better strategy to follow Paul (on the third day) and not Mark (after three days).

But Matthew also says ‘three days and three nights’. This is incompatible with ‘on the third day’. Recall that Matthew references scripture numerous times to support his case of Jesus being the genuine Messiah as prophesied. Sometimes this goes beyond the merely literal as in the two animal entry into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. To make the Zechariah quote into an unmistakable prophecy as opposed to just another someone riding a donkey, Matthew turns Zechariah’s repetition for emphasis into literally riding two animals. It is not all that surprising that Matthew should ignore his own ‘on the third day’ (three times!) and bring in yet another scriptural reference in connection with the resurrection. Jonah in the whale three days and three nights; Jesus in the earth three days and three nights. Jonah comes out of the whale; Jesus comes out of the earth. ‘Three days and three nights’ should not be considered actually literal any more than the two animal entry should be considered actually literal. They are literary devices, not literal accounts.

Back to Mark…

Why after three days? There was a tradition in Jewish folklore that the soul would stay near the body trying to get back in.

Quote:Although the soul protests its birth into the world, it also protests the body’s death. It lingers near the body for three days, hoping that it will return to life (Tanhuma, Miqetz 4; Pequdei 3). After three days, the soul returns to God to await the time of resurrection (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 90b-91a).

http://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/arti...the-world/

Quote:According to rabbinic lore, the complete severing of the relation between body and soul does not take place until three days after death (Gen. R. 100:7; Lev. R. 18:1; MK 3:5). During that time, the soul hovers over the grave in the hope that it may be restored to the body, departing only when decomposition begins.

Jewish Traditions: A JPS Guide Page 113

If a resurrection took place in less than three days, it might be claimed that the soul of Jesus managed to get back in the body. In addition there are various Talmudic references (listed here) concerning people who appeared dead but were in fact alive and woke up within three days. The tradition apparently received by Mark was of a Friday burial and a Sunday empty tomb. This would be subject to the claim that Jesus was not really dead. So Mark says that it took place after three days, even though that is not what Paul said and even though that contradicts his own Friday/Sunday account.

We can see an awareness of this three day belief in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after four days in John 11. Jesus deliberately waits for four days after Lazarus has died, when decomposition has definitely set in. “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (Jn 11:39) Now John disconnects the burial of Jesus from the weekly Sabbath as in the Synoptic gospels. In addition, he has the burial rites performed before the burial (John 19) not put off until Sunday due to the impending Sabbath. By changing the impending weekly Sabbath into the impending Passover John gives no indication of how long Jesus was in the tomb before the resurrection. In this way John circumvents the three/third problem. But raising Lazarus establishes Jesus as having mastery over death. “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25) In John there is no reason to doubt Jesus died and rose from the dead.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
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07-12-2017, 05:27 AM
Post: #6
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-11-2017 07:49 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  ...
We can see an awareness of this three day belief in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after four days in John 11. Jesus deliberately waits for four days after Lazarus has died, when decomposition has definitely set in. “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (Jn 11:39) Now John disconnects the burial of Jesus from the weekly Sabbath as in the Synoptic gospels. In addition, he has the burial rites performed before the burial (John 19) not put off until Sunday due to the impending Sabbath. By changing the impending weekly Sabbath into the impending Passover John gives no indication of how long Jesus was in the tomb before the resurrection. In this way John circumvents the three/third problem. But raising Lazarus establishes Jesus as having mastery over death. “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25) In John there is no reason to doubt Jesus died and rose from the dead.

"In Mark's Gospel, Jesus is not interested in teaching about himself. But when you read John's Gospel, that's virtually the only thing Jesus talks about is who he is, what his identity is, where he came from," Ehrman says. "This is completely unlike anything that you find in Mark or in Matthew and Luke. And historically it creates all sorts of problems, because if the historical Jesus actually went around saying that he was God, it's very hard to believe that Matthew, Mark and Luke left out that part — you know, as if that part wasn't important to mention. But in fact, they don't mention it. And so this view of the divinity of Jesus on his own lips is found only in our latest Gospel, the Gospel of John." -Bart Ehrman-

I should forget about 'John' .. it only convinces people who don't take a logical approach to religion/God

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07-12-2017, 11:47 AM
Post: #7
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-12-2017 05:27 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  
(07-11-2017 07:49 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  ...
We can see an awareness of this three day belief in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after four days in John 11. Jesus deliberately waits for four days after Lazarus has died, when decomposition has definitely set in. “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (Jn 11:39) Now John disconnects the burial of Jesus from the weekly Sabbath as in the Synoptic gospels. In addition, he has the burial rites performed before the burial (John 19) not put off until Sunday due to the impending Sabbath. By changing the impending weekly Sabbath into the impending Passover John gives no indication of how long Jesus was in the tomb before the resurrection. In this way John circumvents the three/third problem. But raising Lazarus establishes Jesus as having mastery over death. “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25) In John there is no reason to doubt Jesus died and rose from the dead.

"In Mark's Gospel, Jesus is not interested in teaching about himself. But when you read John's Gospel, that's virtually the only thing Jesus talks about is who he is, what his identity is, where he came from," Ehrman says. "This is completely unlike anything that you find in Mark or in Matthew and Luke. And historically it creates all sorts of problems, because if the historical Jesus actually went around saying that he was God, it's very hard to believe that Matthew, Mark and Luke left out that part — you know, as if that part wasn't important to mention. But in fact, they don't mention it. And so this view of the divinity of Jesus on his own lips is found only in our latest Gospel, the Gospel of John." -Bart Ehrman-

I should forget about 'John' .. it only convinces people who don't take a logical approach to religion/God

When John wrote, there were already three gospels dealing with the life of Jesus in more or less similar ways. Each of the Synoptic gospels addresses a specific goal and the stories are structured to serve that end. Matthew starts off with Mark’s story and takes it in his direction. Luke also uses Mark but his main thrust is refocusing the story told by Matthew into a different direction. John also has a goal of his own and pursues that goal. He uses some of the contents of the Synoptics but feels no need to tell that story over yet again. Instead he concentrates on theology and on a rejection of a basic message of Mark that was carried forward in Matthew and Luke.

The details of all that are much too involved to address here. But concerning the idea of the divinity of Jesus, that was put on the table by Paul when he took the Son of God appellation, a title of the Messiah, and connected it to Philo’s quasi-divine Son of God aka Logos. It was implicit in the Synoptic Gospels if not shouted out loud. John simply exposed the full ramifications of that connection.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
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07-12-2017, 07:59 PM
Post: #8
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
The NT is unreliable concerning the life of Jesus. It says Jesus was crucified on a Friday evening and rose on Sunday morning. That is why there is a "Good Friday", and an "Easter Sunday". If you confront a Christian about the "three days" between crucifixion and resurrection, they will either say it's Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or he was crucified on a Thursday. This is one of many contradictions in the NT. What they are saying is that the NT isn't true, and you can't trust it. Three days and three nights is 72 hours. Jesus allegedly arose after 36 hours.
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07-12-2017, 08:12 PM
Post: #9
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-12-2017 07:59 PM)susanblange Wrote:  The NT is unreliable concerning the life of Jesus. It says Jesus was crucified on a Friday evening and rose on Sunday morning. That is why there is a "Good Friday", and an "Easter Sunday". If you confront a Christian about the "three days" between crucifixion and resurrection, they will either say it's Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or he was crucified on a Thursday. This is one of many contradictions in the NT. What they are saying is that the NT isn't true, and you can't trust it. Three days and three nights is 72 hours. Jesus allegedly arose after 36 hours.

In my Post #5 I put forward my explanation of why the several authors wrote the different things that they did. Do you have any comments to offer on that?

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
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07-13-2017, 11:38 AM
Post: #10
RE: Three days, Third day etc.
(07-12-2017 07:59 PM)susanblange Wrote:  The NT is unreliable concerning the life of Jesus. It says Jesus was crucified on a Friday evening and rose on Sunday morning. That is why there is a "Good Friday", and an "Easter Sunday". If you confront a Christian about the "three days" between crucifixion and resurrection, they will either say it's Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or he was crucified on a Thursday. This is one of many contradictions in the NT. What they are saying is that the NT isn't true, and you can't trust it. Three days and three nights is 72 hours. Jesus allegedly arose after 36 hours.


The New Testament is Not unreliable -- it's how 'we' choose to interpret it.

It also goes back to Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Then there is the fact that any part of a day is considered to be 'a day' and any part of a night is considered to be 'a night'.

We don't know How early on that 1st day of the week that Christ resurrected. Except that it was on that 1st day of the week. Maybe it's the RCC that started Good Friday. But it's more likely a Thursday event.

Jesus Christ died exactly when / how He was meant to and He arose exactly when He was supposed to.
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