When I first began seeking sources, people and articles and books, on the Jewish background of Yeshua
You make good point, for Jesus being crucified on a Friday. My question though, is as Christ followers, should we be celebrating His resurrection on a Sunday every year? Or in accord to when Passover occurs? I’m not Jewish, but started taking part in Passover a few years ago. Jesus’ death and resurrection has so much more meaning to me when understood along with the Passover. But I am frustrated that the Christian church decides to celebrate those things on a pagan holiday instead of looking at a perfectly sensible calendar. When do you celebrate His resurrection?
I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’m not convinced. Your argument hangs on the three days, citing Matthew 12:40 as not literal days. But the head priests thought otherwise in Matthew 27:62-66, which includes at 64, “Therefore, order that the grave be made secure ’til the third day; otherwise the talmidim may come, steal him away and say to the people, ‘He was raised from the dead.'” CJB
So when the priests and Pilate talk about three days, they’re also not literal days? Mark 15, 16; Luke 23, 24; John 19, 20; Matthew 27 all get interpreted and reinterpreted depending on these three days.
I’m rushing, so I hope this makes some sense. It’s taken in pieces from rather long notes I have.
Derek – I came to the same conclusion: Y’shua was crucified on Passover. Consider the sequence of feasts – particularly Reishit Katzir, (old vs new) and a full cycle of a “day” began at sunset.
Counting from zero or one also makes a difference. (In other words, is the day included?) I look at the feasts as the best indicators of the sequence timing, because it’s clear to Paul in 1 Cor 15 that Messiah’s resurrection was spoken of in the Scriptures, and not merely by one prophet such as Jonah.
In the Matthew 12:40 reference to Jonah, Y’shua does state he will spent three days and three nights in the kardia (heart) of the earth. But we must be careful not to assume this means burial. Kardia is about the seat of emotion/will and not physical burial.
Being taken in the Garden of Gethsemane is as good as being buried, because His free will to walk away was no longer available, and death is a kind of prison of the will.
So I think you’re right about Jonah as the sign – it’s about something miraculous with parallels, and the rejection of Messiah after His resurrection.
I always celebrate the resurrection of Messiah on the Sunday of Passover week. Most years it coincides with the Christian celebration, but some years it does not. This is because at the Council of Nicea, it was decided (with the influence of Constantine) that a different method for calculating resurrection Sunday was needed (specifically to be separated from the Jewish calendar). This is one of the few true examples of Constantine’s negative influence (he is often made the evil villain in silly and unhistorical ways).
I don’t get your argument. If the chief priests guarded the tomb until the “third day” is Matt. 27, that confirms my point. If he was in the tomb three full days and nights, they would have guarded it until the fourth day. Besides, who is to say they understood the timing Yeshua referred to anyway.
If Yeshua was not crucified on Friday, the question no one can answer is, “What Sabbath did they rush to bury him prior to?”
Thanks for this excellent series of articles, Derik.
I see only one thing to point out that makes your argument all the more airtight. You wonder in your earlier article why a lamb isn’t mentioned. In fact it is! It’s in the passage you quoted in your earlier article, Luke 22:15:
Hi Derek and fine blog readers.
I’ve done a boat-load of study on this stuff. Seriously, a boat-load. 🙂 Here’s my current understanding:
Nisan 14 (Tuesday): Yeshua ate Passover with His disciples.
Scriptural significance: the 14th day of the month is Passover
Nisan 15 (Wednesday): Yeshua was brought before Pilate early in the morning. After trials, mockings, and severe beatings, Yeshua was crucified in the afternoon. Wednesday night is his first day in the tomb.
[Scriptural significance: the 15th day is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, day 1. This is the high sabbath spoken of, causing them to take Yeshua down form the tree.
Nisan 16 (Thursday): Yeshua is in the tomb for the first day, and for the second night.
Nisan 17 (Friday): Yeshua is in the tomb for the second day and for the third night.
Nisan 18 (Saturday night): Yeshua is in the tomb for the third day. He rises Saturday night, thus rising on the 3rd “Yom”, having spent 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb. Scriptural significance: Saturday sundown starts the Feast of Firstfruits, Yeshua rises on Firstfruits, becoming as Paul states, “the first fruits from the dead”.
Nisan 19 (Sunday): The women go to the tomb in the morning to find Yeshua risen.
Ok? So that’s my best understanding. I’ve done a lot of research to arrive at this conclusion. There are probably holes in it and things not quite right. But that’s my best Scriptural understand I’ve come to at this point.
Sorry, but I have to point out all the reasons your answers are invalid. Love ya, man!
Nisan 14 ends at sundown. It is the day the Lambs are slaughtered and can be called Passover in some texts. Terminology is somewhat loose on this. The whole week can also be called Passover.
Nisan 15 begins at sundown after the lambs are slaughtered. Passover Seder is eaten on Nisan 15, not 14. This is not just rabbinic tradition, but is the clear meaning of the text of Torah also. Let me know if I need to clarify this.
Thus, the Seder is eaten on the first day of Unleavened Bread and not the day before. It is a Sabbath when the Seder is eaten. Thus there is no other Sabbath before which Yeshua needed to be buried.
One more thing: if he was in the tomb Wed, Thur, Fri, and until Sat night, he rose on the fourth day.
Please respond either here or on your blog and we can discuss.
Hey, no problem man, I’m learning. I said there are probably holes; you’ve probably found some. It’s complex as it is, then compounded by the fact that Hebrew days end at sundown, compounded further by the fact that 3 Holy Days are occurring in this timeline: Passover, 1st day of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits.
Let’s count the nights he’s in the tomb:
-Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night: 3 nights
Let’s count the days he’s in the tomb:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 3 days
On the end of the 3rd day (that is, Saturday on/before sundown), he rose. Thus, we can reconcile spending 3 literal days and nights in the tomb while still rising on the 3rd day without having to resort to difficult theories that abstract away the literal 3 days. You protest, “But then he’s raising on the 4th day!” I’d respond, “He’s rising at the end of the 3rd day!
And if you’re going to chide me more for the 4th day, I’m going to shout “Unfair! Unfair!” since your theory does more churn than that, abstracting away the literal 3 days. 🙂
Regarding your other alleged holes in my theory, let me study them more before getting back to you.
Being not Jewish, I have to consult them. Per my local rabbi, Passover is a sabbath and that week there were literally two sabbaths. I tend to agree with judahgabriel, though I’m not sold on it.
Yes, there are two Sabbaths that week. But as I said, the gospels depict Yeshua’s crucifixion as occurring on Passover. Thus, there is only one other Sabbath, which starts Friday at sundown.
For the crucifixion to be other than Friday, you would have to believe Yeshua had his Passover on the wrong night.
Going back to the Torah, the 2 sabbaths that would fall during this week are:
-The day after Passover, which is the first day of unleavened bread. God commands rest on this day.
-Friday evening to Sat evening shabbat.
As far as I’m aware, those are the only 2 sabbaths occuring during that week. God does not demand rest on Passover itself, nor on Firstfruits.
(To my knowledge, anyways. Do you guys know any different?)
Thanks judahgabriel for the correction – I’m at work without a Bible or any resource book or even my notes.
What you say is incorrect and the reason you are not getting it. Passover is an ambiguous term that can mean the day of slaughtering lambs (Nisan 14) or the first day of Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15) or the whole week or even the whole 8 days.
Leviticus 23 calls the day of slaughtering Passover and the day of the Seder the first day of unleavened bread.
So to be clear, and I’d gladly post the details on this since it seems to be confusing so many people: Nisan 14 afternoon (just before Nisan 15) is the slaughtering of Passover lambs, Seder is at the beginning of Nisan 15 just after sundown, offering the Chagigah (extra sacrifice) is Nisan 15 in the afternoon, and the Yom Tov (special Sabbath) starts at sundown between Nisan 14 and 15.
Part of the confusion is that we tend to look at the passover as an entire day, as opposed to a sacrifice. There is no actual Passover day. There is simply a day during which the sacrifice occurs. Then that evening is when the passover meal is, coinciding with the beginning of the first day of unleavened bread (hence the whole feast being called passover).
Please correct me if I’m wrong, the whole sunset to sunset thing sends my head through loops if I think about it to long.
Whoa, whoa, hold on now folks, misinformation going around like crazy now.
There are 2 things we are certain of:
-There is a real, single Passover day. 14th day of the 1st month. Torah states this:
“The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.”
There is another Feast, a week-long feast called Unleavened Bread, which lasts 7 days. It starts the day after Passover, 15th day of the 1st month. Torah states this:
“The LORD’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the fifteenth day of that month; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. On the seventh day, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.”
Torah does make a distinction between Passover and Unleavened Bread.
Derek: I understand that Passover is now (and perhaps was in the 1st century) ambiguous, meaning either the day of Passover or the week of Unleavened Bread.
Derek – is Pesach not a full day by itself? Because if Pesach is to begin at twilight on the 14th of Nisan, then the sun has set, but light is still in the sky (getting darker) and the Seder is to be held. The 13th – the day of the slaughtering of the lambs has just ended when the sun dropped below the horizon. It is not the 15th until we have a full sunrise and another sunset, meaning in Lev 23:6 Unleavened Bread does not start until after the next sunset – yes?
That would make Shabbat a double shabbat – 7th day and 1st day Shabbat for Unleavened Bread.
Messiah is buried before this Shabbat – to be considered an old planting and may be harvested after Reishit Katzir – on the 16th of Nisan. Thus he is the First Offering of the harvest.
Judah and Thrufire:
Your comments again are incorrect. Please think and study before making statements that further confuse the issue.
Neither of you have inquired into how these matters were interpreted in the Second Temple period. You both assume that you can simply interpret the English translation of Leviticus 23 and arrive at conclusions. You cannot.
Judah, this is part of the problem with self-made Torah interpretations. There is a reason the community studies Torah together. Interpreting Torah without reference to existing commentary is like trying to make your own Mercedes M-Class in your home shop. We must build on what has gone before.
Lev. 23:5 says bein ha-arba’im. It does not say evening or twilight. The phrase is ambiguous and the best literal interpretation is “between the evenings” which may be a reference to the ancient sundial. In any case, the slaughtering of lambs is followed by a period of cooking the lambs. These were not Lean Cuisine dinners to be cooked in a microwave.
The lambs had to be slaughtered early enough for cooking to be possible and in the Second Temple (check Edersheim’s The Temple on this) the times were put back almost as early as noon when the lambs could start being slaughtered at the Temple. This was noon on Nisan 14, not Nisan 13 as the both of you are saying.
The Seder then happens after sundown when it is Nisan 15.
I have the weight of all the historical documents and Jewish tradition on my side. If you wish to dispute this, then please explain the Mishnah and the tradition of Israel and why it is wrong. Furthermore, you haven’t mentioned that the gospels say (Matt 26:17) that the disciples asked Yeshua about preparing the Seder “on the first day of Unleavened Bread,” a nomenclature which your explanations cannot even begin to explain.
Now, shall we keep debating the date of the Seder (Nisan 15) or will you concede?
Tell us – how do you place Reishit Katzir? (which I believe is the key.)
“I have the weight of all the historical documents and Jewish tradition on my side.”
While I don’t disregard Second Temple work or tradition, it must be placed within the context of the physical world, and with all of Scripture. Tradition has it’s value, but it must fit both the written Word and the physical bounds.
Additionally, the very reasoning you used to describe Passover as being applicable to the whole of the Spring feast period can equally be applied to the words of Matt 26:17. If your explanation sufficed, then wouldn’t the same reasoning work equally well for Unleavened Bread, which was longer feast and held an equally important role? After all Bedikat Chametz does clear the leaven in preparation for the feast.
Also, on what basis should we make assumptions about how our Lord actually went about doing things, including directing preparation of the Seder? Almost everything He did was unexpected, yet right.
While I don’t disagree with what transpired at the Temple according to documents, it’s not conclusive that this is what actually occurred. Also a lamb to feed only those attending the seder with Y’shua would not be large, and the cooking time would not be overly considerable.
I will concede a blog is hardly the place for a deep discussion of such things. My apologies if I did not add to your discussion.
Please be careful pride doesn’t blind you to insight the Spirit may be offering. Time doesn’t permit me to continue.
Whew, this is getting a little heated. I didn’t want this to become a spiteful debate about things that, in the long run, don’t really matter that much.
Derek, I’ll respond after I’ve had time to study more on the objections you raised, and after things have cooled down a little. 🙂
By the way, to Derek and all blog readers, happy new year!
14 days till Passover means today is the 1st day of the 1st month of the Biblical year on the traditional Jewish calendar. Happy New Year!
:blows New Years horn:
Derek – Do you celebrate his resurrection on the Sunday of Passover week, even if its not three days later (or even if its earlier than 3 days)?
Isn’t it interesting that the New Year will be a much more important holiday in the World to Come (Ezek. 45:18)?
I do apologize for the heat of my arguments. I will tone it down. Thanks for reigning me in.
Yes, I feel the day of the week is important in celebrating the resurrection, so I always celebrate on Sunday. This all goes back to a debate between the Pharisees, whose opinion won out in the end, and the Sadducees, who ran the temple in Yeshua’s day. The Sadducees felt that Firstfruits (reishit katzir, as Thrufire put it) was always on Sunday (day after the Sabbath) while the Pharisees felt it was always the second day of Passover (day after the Yom Tov).
To make a long story short, I think in Yeshua’s time Firstfruits was always on Sunday. I think the Sunday aspect of the resurrection is important and has a long history in the tradition of Christianity (the Lord’s Day is a venerable tradition going back to the Didache and is most likely what Rev. 1:10 is referring to).
As I understand your most recent comment, you are making an argument that goes something like this: we should not assume that Yeshua and his followers agreed with the mainstream interpretation in his day about the timing of Passover. We should be open to the idea that Yeshua interpreted Torah differently from the rest of the community about the timing of Passover.
There are two reasons I don’t think this will work:
(1) The gospels speak as though the day of Passover arrived (Matt. 26:17) and not as though Yeshua had his own day of Passover. That is, the coming of Passover is regarded as a fact, not a debatable matter.
(2) Yeshua told his disciples that the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat (Matt. 23). He did not urge his disciples to buck the mainstream halakha, but rather taught them to follow it.
I really feel the burden of proof is on those who want to interpret Yeshua as some kind of Essene or rebel with his own privately determined calendar.
We know when Passover occurred in the Second Temple no matter how we might debate the text of Leviticus 23. Furthermore, I do not believe there is a better interpretation of Leviticus 23 than the one settled in the Jewish tradition.
Please, by email or comment, let me know your reasons for assuming the lambs were slaughtered on the 13th and the Seder was held on the 14th.
Having looked through the responses the past few days, I am encouraged–at least–that Derek has come out and said (as I have as well) that it is insufficient for any reader to examine the English of Leviticus 23 and then start making conclusions. Secondly, he has rightfully tried to point us to Second Temple Judaism and how the Passover season was remembered, considering the proper role of tradition and extant historical data.
The chronology issue of Yeshua’s death and resurrection is not an easy one to approach. It is especially not easy if one holds to what we might call a binary mindset for prophetic interpretation–thinking in 0s and 1s. Having to be sacrificed on *the day* of Passover to fulfill the requirement, or likewise having to be resurrected on *the day* of the waving of the sheaf to fulfill the first fruits typeology, is binary thinking in my opinion. What we can all agree on is that Yeshua was sacrificed and resurrected within the season of Passover. This is sufficient for me as an interpreter, as this same sacrifice–according to Hebrews–also fulfilled the sacrifical typeology of Yom Kippur, a holiday *seven months* later.
I would submit that it is very possible that we do not have all of the data we need to draw definite conclusions on Yeshua’s Passover chronology. I hold no spite to Sunday as a day of the week (God can do anything on Sunday if He wants, after all), but I find it very interesting that the 1901 American Standard Version rendered the clause Opse de sabbaton, appearing in Matthew 28:1 as “late on the sabbath day.” This is something that needs to be considered in our deliberations. Likewise, in terms of remembering Yeshua’s resurrection, the Quartodecimans of the Second and Third Centuries C.E. followed a tradition handed down to them by the Apostle John–remembering it three days after the Jewish Passover, meaning that it could occur on any day of the week.
What can be very discouraging about this season is trying to sort through, what I at least consider to be minor details–when we should be focusing much more heavily on the salvation history themes of the Exodus and Yeshua’s humiliation and sacrifice. These themes do not end when Unleavened Bread is over, but continue as we are to be brought to God’s mountain to be comissioned for His service, and as the Apostles had the Holy Spirit poured out on them. Too many of us tend not to focus on the larger themes that unite us, and we can get bogged down in minutiae that may never be resolved.
I really don’t have anything significant to add to the discussion, other than the fact that three years ago, I’d be arguing with Derek tooth and nail. Today, I couldn’t agree with him more. It just makes more sense, and simplifies things greatly.
What started changing my perspective from a three-days-and-nights 14 Nisan Good Wednesday proponent was the laws of sitting shiva. In Judaism, if a immediate relative passes away, one mourns for seven days. In learning about this custom, I read explicitly that mourning “any part of a day is considered as an entire day.” So if your father passes, God forbid, on Monday afternoon, your mourning for the last few hours of Monday is considered as your first day of mourning.
So if the Master died on those remaining hours of Friday 15 Nisan, it would have been reckoned as a complete day.
I agree that the three days and three nights does not have to be a full 72 hours, but I am not inclined toward the Good Friday to Sunday morning scenario. Consider how the salvation of Israel is to be found in their identification in an event that lasts two days and a day. Hosea 6:2 details,
“He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him” (NASU).
Israel here stands as a representative for sinful humanity (Hosea 6:7). What Hosea has prophesied is not that unlike what Paul says in Romans 6:3, “do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Messiah Yeshua have been baptized into His death?” (NASU).
I am more inclined to believe in a Thursday crucifixion, with Yeshua’s resurrection on Saturday evening, followed by the discovery of the empty tomb by the Marys on Sunday morning. This would leave Yeshua in the tomb for at least 48 hours, touching on a scope of three days and three nights (Thursday day/night, Friday day/night, Saturday day/night), but not being a full 72 hours. This is a middle position between the traditional reckoning, and those who follow a Wednesday chronology.
Yet as I have said above, we probably do not have enough information to be hard and fast on any of our scenarios. Our teaching focus during this season needs to be on what Yeshua suffered and endured for us, and how we truly can identify with His sacrifice.
I think we have to find out when the 14th of Nissan was in that day because Yeshua was crucified on the preparation day of the Passover.
I talked to a professor at the University of PA where I also work at to ask him about ‘mia Sabbaton’. He said that it either means one Sabbath or first Sabbath.
So if the 14th of Nissan was Wed. Yeshua was crucified and died on Wed. before the Passover.
Wed/Wed night= 1 day
Thurs/Thurs night= 2 days
Friday/Friday night= 3 days
Your professor friend most likely teaches classical Greek and not Biblical. He also, likely, is not aware of the context and issues.
The Romans and Greeks did not have weeks and thus had no word for a week. The 7-day week is purely a Biblical institution.
In the New Testament, the word Sabbath is often used for week. Mia sabbaton, the first of the Sabbath-period is a peculiar way, I admit, but nonetheless a way of saying the first of the week.
On the Jewish calendar, the first day of the week begins Saturday night at sundown.
Do you know of any other literature, besides the NT that uses
SABBATON to indicate a week? As far as I know, the
Septuagint never uses SABBATON in such a manner. How is “weeks” in Daniel 10:2 translated in the Septuagint? How do we know we aren’t incorrectly translating SABBATON as “week” in certain Biblical passages?
The answer is simple. Suppose we assume Sabbaton in the NT Greek means Sabbath. Let’s try and make sense of Mark 16:2, for example: “And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.”
If Sabbaton means “Sabbath,” then the women went to the tomb on the first of the Sabbath, which is Friday night. The sun does not rise at night. The verse makes no sense. Yet when we understand that there is no Greek word for week, a simple explanation is that Sabbaton means Sabbath-period which is a seven-day period, which is a week.
Or try Luke 18:12 where a man says he fasts twice a Sabbaton. If that doesn’t mean week, the guy has an interesting definition of fasting.
I wish I had a Septuagint to check. I tried online and couldn’t find a Greek version available on a quick search. Can anyone check the word for week in the LXX for Daniel 10:2?
Hebdomas is used in Daniel 10:2. According to Lidell-Scott, it basically means “seven.”
Interesting that a different Greek word is used in Daniel 10:2. That seems significant.
The smug Pharisee in the parable in Luke 18, in overzealous piety, possibly DID fast twice in the Sabbath, that is, he skipped two meals.
Yes, the implications of translating sabbaton as Sabbath lead to the non-traditional unthinkable….a Sabbath resurrection…..just before dawn! Why is this possibility not given serious consideration? It resolves most if not all the perplexities and seeming contradictions in the Gospel accounts. It correlates with the prophecy in Hosea 6:3 as well….His going forth is at
“Your professor friend most likely teaches classical Greek and not Biblical. He also, likely, is not aware of the context and issues.”
Hi he teaches biblical Greek and is very verse in Koine Greek.
“Yes, the implications of translating sabbaton as Sabbath lead to the non-traditional unthinkable
One of the things that needs to be seriously considered in regard to hebdomas used in the LXX and then sabbaton used in the NT is the signficant space of time which separated the different compositions–about three centuries. One composition shows the first major Jewish interaction with the Greeks, whereas the other shows a much more developed Jewish interaction with the Greeks, and a substantially large Jewish Diaspora in Greek-speaking lands.
There is no doubt that sabbaton is derived from the Hebrew Shabbat. But as Derek has pointed out, the Greeks and Romans had no concept of “week” until the Jews interacted with them. Prior to this time, “seven” was what would have had to represent week.
And BTW…shabbat in Hebrew can be used to represent week, and not just the weekly Sabbath. The word yom as well, has a variety of uses not limited to a day of twenty-four hours.
My point is that a Sunday resurrection is questionable and not so concrete because it doesn’t add up.
As noted above (29 Mar), all I support is that the empty tomb was found by the Marys on Sunday morning. I actually support that the resurrection took place on Saturday evening, the Marys being delayed by the earthquake.
A Thursday crucifixion hypothesis actually scores higher on the Resurrection Scorecard than all others…..except the Wednesday-Sabbath Dawn chronology.
The charts at the bottom of the page show the day/night cycles and help show the fulfillment of the criteria, including the wave sheaf offering. David Biven liked the chart. There was discussion at Jerusalem Perspective on this topic.
Link to Passion Chronology chart at Jerusalem Perspective:
Cool. Thanks for that info, Tandi.
Thanks for the interest. Discussion/critique welcome….here, there, anywhere!
Here is a summary statement:
“On the later of the Sabbaths, at the dawning on the first of the Sabbaths” (Matthew 28:1).
Contrary to Church tradition, the gospels put the resurrection of Yeshua on the Sabbath Day. The above translation is straight from the literal Greek, which was a literal rendition of the original Hebrew. The crucifixion was accordingly on Wednesday. Starting with these facts one can show the complete unity of the four gospels.
We must of course realize that modern Hebrew translations of the NT into Hebrew were made by Christian Missionaries, or Church indoctrinated scholars, that were prejudiced against the truth of a Sabbath resurrection. I don’t have the space to repeat all the arguments in my 200+ page book:
The book is free to read online as a service to the Messianic community. It covers numerous translations including the Syriac Texts, and shows how ‘one of the sabbaths’ was corrupted into Sunday. I also deal with the Mishnaic and Talmudic issues on this topic.
Correcting the Passion chronology leads to some interesting results, such as a bullet proof explanation of Daniel 9 and recovery of the time for the Shemmittah year (Sabbatical Year). The information in this book will allow us Yeshua believers to soundly beat the anti-Missionaries on the subject of Daniel 9 and the historicity of Yeshua’s resurrection.”
I assume that in sharing Gregg’s information that you concur with his conclusions that the Epistle to the Hebrews cannot be accepted as canonical Scripture?
I am the author of the mentioned book. You mention that “sabbaton” means “week” in other NT passages. The problem is that this is a case of circular reasoning. For it is those very passages that pertain to the resurrection and which are mistranslated, Luke 18:12 excepted, and ‘sabbatou’ there does not mean ‘week’ either. It is just redacted Byzantine Greek to say so.
Also, the words ‘mia’ and ‘sabbaton’ mean the same thing in both classical and koine Greek, and actually even more so in koine. Also, most secular scholars read a lot of classical, but they they are compentent enough with koine. What they lack is the bias of Church tradition to tell them what the Greek must mean before they read it.
The Greeks do have a word for week. It is “ebdomados”. Did you know that Dr. William Mead Jones produced a chart of the week demonstrating the concept of the “week” in over 160 languages and cultures in the world? Daniel 10:2 uses “ebdomados” in the LXX for Shavuah, i.e. “week” or “a seven”. The concept of the week is not exclusive to the bible, but is as old as Adam and Noah and all of their descendents.
The Greek “mia ton sabbaton” means “first of the Sabbaths” and Sabbaths is in plural. Refer to Lev. 23:15 where it says to count 7 sabbaths after Passover. It does not mean the first point in one sabbath (i.e. Friday night) as you misunderstood, but the first Sabbath after Passover.
Pingback: Passover & Crucifixion: Dissecting Daniel Gregg’s Comment « Messianic Jewish Musings
I’m new to the Messianic movement, so my apologies for not adding much to the conversation. I am the ultimate layman with six children, trying to steer my family towards Torah observance. While this conversation fascinates me, it’ll likely be years before I can speak intelligently on subjects such as this. For now, in these hectic days with a young and large family, the basics are about all I can keep up with!
Messiah came down to the sons of men.
Messiah showed us how to live Torah.
Messiah took our sins upon Himself.
Messiah was killed by the sons of men.
Messiah rose and
HE LIVES TODAY!!!!
It was very interesting to read your comments and I wanted to reply with a question. In John 13 begins and states before the Passover Yeshua has his meal with the disciples and he couldn
Thanks for the great observation about John 13:1. I had not taken it into account and so had to think about it for a few before replying.
There are only two options that I see: (1) interpret John 13 in harmony with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, or (2) interpret John 13 as contradicting Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
John 13 could be taken as saying, “[Just] before the Passover feast…” or “[Some time] before the Passover feast….”
The first option harmonizes. It means that on Nisan 14 as it was just before the feast, Yeshua had these thoughts. The second option assumes a contradiction.
I don’t mind admitting I am biased in favor of harmonization. Speaking strictly from a historical standpoint, I admit John 13 casts doubt on the Last Supper being a Passover.
As for the buying things for the feast, I have thought about it before and it too is odd. It doesn’t prove anything one way or another, since it is just what they surmised Judas might be doing. I may be wrong and don’t have time to check, but Edersheim may cite a text showing that purchasing goods for a feast was not strictly forbidden on a Yom Tov at that period. Anyone have time to check?
I would find it extremely odd for 1.the Disciples to suspect Judas to be purchasing something for a Feast that has already been in progress. 2 For one in a Jewish community be even suspected to make purchases on Yom Tov when it
I’m coming to this party rather late, but there’s a possibility that you may want to consider. Based upon my admittedly limited understanding of Hebrew, the instructions for the passover that G_d gives us in Exodus, Leviticus, and elsewhere call for the lamb to be slaughtered on the evening of Nisan 14. The word used is ????? (Strong’s 6153). This word means evening and refers to the beginning of the day. The word for “evening as the end of the day is ????? (Strong’s 6150). Some Bible translations render this word as “twilight”, but the Hebrew word for twilight is ?????? (Strong’s 5399).
I would argue that the Jews had, at some time prior to Jesus’ ministry, corrupted the timing of the Passover and that Jesus observed it correctly at the beginning of 14 Nisan. He did make one significant change though. Since Jesus represented G_d’s mercy and abundance, the bread that was eaten was the bread of prosperity… leavened bread. The Greek and Aramaic New Testament manuscripts all agree on that!
Again, I make no claims to being a Hebrew scholar. But I think these points are worth a closer look at least.
Thank you for your response, what I mentioned in my last posting was a follow up on the previous one which was dealing with John 13 begins and states before the Passover. So we have to reconcile this first and then let’s address the issue that you bring up that leavened bread was eaten at the Passover meal? I would argue that it would be very out of place and weird… Yeshua states in Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy them, but to fulfill them.” It’s very particular in Exodus 12:8 that the lamb is to be eaten without leavened bread. Thank you for you input and you
Thanks for the reply,
If the interpretation that I offered is correct, then we do have harmony between John and the synoptics. If the Passover was supposed to be observed at the beginning of 14 Nisan but tradition placed it at the end of 14 Nisan, then the synoptics would be referring to the intended time and John would be referring to the traditional time. I do agree that it is a bit “peculiar” to consume leavened bread with the meal but it does make sense when you consider that Yeshua is the “Bread of Life”. The new covenant that Yeshua instituted does incorporate numerous changes as part of his fulfillment of the Law and institution of the New Covenant.
As regards the day of the week (that started this whole thread), in order to harmonize the references to “before the Sabbath” and after the Sabbath in the New Testament (e.g. Mark 15:42 & Luke 23:56 in combination with Mark 16:1), it would seem that the only solution is a Wednesday Passover & crucifixion. Luke 23:56 would be referring to a Thursday Yom Tov and Mark 15:42 would be referring to the weekly Sabbath.
Granted, none of this is really important to our salvation or our commission as His followers… but it’s fascinating to ponder.
I have to agree with Yeshua being our sacrifice on Passover and that was my whole point and it being a Wednesday. That was the whole topic of discussion due to perception that it was on “good Friday” from Derek on this blog. I do enjoy being sharpened and sharpening however your point is turly correct none of our finding brings us closer to salvation nor should we ever think it does and it shouldn’t divide us. Shalom!
Hi Derek and readers check out the Pmary65 blog at http://pmary65.wordpress.com/ for added interest.
Interesting discussion. I’m still looking into all this, so I have reserved my judgment, but thought I’d add to the discussion. You state, “As to the first error, think of it this way. If Yeshua was crucified on Thursday, by the most generous reckoning this would mean a Thursday day and night, Friday day and night, and Saturday day and night, with the resurrection being on Sunday morning. Sunday is the fourth day from Thursday, not the third day.” I cannot see this criticism as a legitimate criticism, as it is an overexaggeration. We know from the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus died around the 9th hour of a 12-hr day, (I’m assuming the definition of the 12 hour day being the subdivision of the daylight hours into 12 equal parts). At that time, the gospels record the authorities were anxious to get the crucifixions over with before the next day came (at sunset). We are told in the gospels that Joseph of Arimathea went and petitioned Pilate for Jesus’ body, Pilate granted the request, and Joseph and Nicodemus took the body down, wrapped it in linen, put it in a never-used tomb that was nearby, applied 100 lbs of spices to the body, and rolled a stone over the entrance – all before the sunset when a sabbath was to begin. I am still attempting to determine if this sabbath was the regular weekly sabbath, or if it was simply the day after Passover, which the torah stated was to always be a day in which no work was done (in essence, a special sabbath). But the point is this. It would have taken at least a couple of hours for Joseph to petition Pilate, receive Pilate’s permission, go back, gather the body, and bury it. So Jesus was likely buried, at most, within an hour of the onset of the next day. In essence, we can say that Jesus was buried at the transition between the days, just as the Passover lamb is to be sacrificed at the transition between the days. So that began the evening. Therefore, if Jesus was perchance killed on Thursday afternoon, then he was “in the heart of the earth” that night (1st night), the following day (1st day – Friday daylight), the following night (2nd night), the following day (2nd day – Saturday daylight), the following night (3rd night) ,and was raised on the third day (3rd day – Sunday daylight, early in the morning). So your description of the first error, to my estimation, is not an accurate description of the idea you are attempting to disprove.
You state, “No, the sign of Jonah was not about a period of time. It was about the impossible turning of a hopeless situation. ” I cannot agree with this spiritualized interpretation, on grounds that Jesus himself clarified “what he meant by what he said,” (just as I have to do with my wife if I expect to remain married). Jesus clarified his statement regarding the “sign of Jonah” by stating that just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. To me, the heart of the argument lies in the specification of “three days and three nights”. Jesus could have said, “three days”, which might be more open to interpretation or spiritualization. But he said “three days AND three nights”, just as Genesis says it rained “forty days AND forty nights”. I cannot reconcile the idea that the sign of Jonah was not about a period of time, with the pains that Jesus took in his description to clarify the time aspect of his prophecy. He could have said, “Just as Jonah was in the fish for several days, the son of man will be in the heart of the earth for several days.” It sounds like you’re starting with a preconceived idea, and attempting to discredit any evidence that contradicts your preconception. If the phrase “three days and three nights” used twice in a row by Jesus isn’t enough to indicate a period of time to you, I don’t know what more Jesus could have said to make it clearer. Do you expect that if Jesus was referring to a period of time, that he would have said, “three days and three nights, with the end of the time period being on the third day, and not including the 32 minutes that preceded the first night as the first day, but rather only starting to count the days following the first night, since my burial will be at the going down of the sun on the day when I am killed, so don’t count that time period as the first day.” Come on. Why can’t we work harder in our attempts to come up with a literal interpretation up front that reconciles the gospel accounts instead of being so quick to judge that the accounts contradict? Do we assume that Jesus’ disciples were so stupid that they couldn’t tell time, yet were entrusted with recording the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection? At some point we have to abandon even Jewish man-made rules, including the rules of postponement of the molad of Tishri, in order to perhaps arrive at the truth of what God intended and what Jesus practiced. We cannot assume that Jesus observed any man-made traditions, because Jesus condemned such traditions openly. So we must interpret Jesus’ statements through a literal understanding of the torah requirements of the time an circumstances of passover (including the fact that the day after passover was to be a day of no work), rather than adopting either a western view (which is ignorant of the feast days that God instituted, and is therefore only cognizant of the weekly sabbath, and therefore Jesus must have been crucified on Friday), as well as a Jewish tradition view (which moved feast days so that they weren’t inconveniently placed the day before or after the weekly sabbath).
You seem very certain of your answers, as if this is all easily reconciled. How do you reconcile the Fourth Gospel’s timing with that of Matthew, Mark, and Luke?
Derek: Reconciling the Fourth Gospel seems to be a large problem. I’ve come accross some stating the following: (Which makes sense, but just because it makes sense doesn’t mean that it is true)
– The fourth gospel’s reading is mistranslated and shouldn’t say that they were having the seder or passover meal, but just a last meal.
Why?: Messiah is our passover and therefore should be slaughtered when the passover should ceremonially be slaughtered.
Here is a link with more information: http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Last-Supper-Passover-Meal
Comments are closed.