After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

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Ben C. Smith
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After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:48 pm

A recent discussion of the four days during which Lazarus lay dead has prompted me to collect, from various scattered posts on this forum and from my own notes, my list of exceptions to what I kind of think of as "Bernard's Rule." Bernard Muller and I have debated the expressions "three days" and "third day" before vis-à-vis the resurrection of Jesus. His contention was (and probably still is) that "after three days" usually meant "on the fourth day." My contention was (and still is) that there are enough exceptions in antiquity, enough authors or editors for whom "after three days" and "on the third day" appear to be equivalent, to cast doubt on definitively divergent interpretations of "on the third day" and "after three days" in the early Christian writings. Bernard's way of interpreting these expressions may have constituted a majority in antiquity, and the examples he gives on his website are very valuable, but I think that there is good evidence for a strong minority position, and that is what this list of examples is about.

First, one that is not definitive but which fits the rest well enough on this list:

Genesis 42.17-25: 17 So he put them all together in prison for three days [καὶ ἔθετο αὐτοὺς ἐν φυλακῇ ἡμέρας τρεῖς]. 18 And Joseph said to them on the third day [εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ], "Do this and live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die." And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us." 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not tell you, 'Do not sin against the boy,' and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood." 23 They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 And he turned away from them and wept. But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them.

The brothers are in prison for three days, but they appear to have been released on the third day. This example is not the clearest one, however, as there is leeway to imagine that, while Joseph visited them on the third day, they were not actually released until the fourth.

Next, an example which Bernard used to regard as his sole exception:

1 Kings 12.1-12: 1 Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon). 3 Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, 4 “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” 5 Then he said to them, “Depart for three days, then return to me [ἀπέλθετε ἕως ἡμερῶν τριῶν, καὶ ἀναστρέψατε πρὸς μέ].” So the people departed. 6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?” 7 Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” 8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! 11 Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’” 12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day [ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ] as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day [ἀναστράφητε πρὸς μὲ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ].” (= 2 Chronicles 10.1-12.)

Departing for three days and then returning is thus treated as equivalent to returning on the third day.

Third, an example from what was possibly my favorite book of the Bible in my (evangelical) childhood:

Esther 3.12-13: 12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month [μηνὶ πρώτῳ τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ, Nisan] the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews — young and old, women and children — on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

Esther 4.16: 16 [Esther said,] “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. And do not eat or drink for three days, night or day [μὴ φάγητε μηδὲ πίητε ἐπὶ ἡμέρας τρεῖς, νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν]. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 5.1-2: 1 And on the third day [ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ] Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

On the one hand, the fast was supposed to last for three days, night and day, after which Esther was supposed to visit the king's throne room. On the other, Esther visited the throne room on the third day.

Fourth, moving from Jewish to Christian examples:

Matthew 27.62-66: 62 Now on the next day, [ad]the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days [μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας] I am to rise again.' 64 Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day [ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας], otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Making the grave secure until the third day is treated as equivalent to preventing mischief which might occur up to and including a point in time after three days.

Fifth, another Christian example:

Acts 10.1-48: 1 Now there was a certain man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually. 3 About the ninth hour of the day [ὡσεὶ περὶ ὥραν ἐνάτην τῆς ἡμέρας, day 0, starting point] he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in to him, and said to him, "Cornelius!" 4 And fixing his gaze upon him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 "And now dispatch some men to Joppa, and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter; 6 he is staying with a certain tanner named Simon, whose house is by the sea." 7 And when the angel who was speaking to him had departed, he summoned two of his servants and a devout soldier of those who were in constant attendance upon him, 8 and after he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 And on the next day [τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, day 1], as they were on their way, and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry, and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11 and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat!" 14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean." 15 And again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy." 16 And this happened three times; and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. 17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon's house, appeared at the gate; 18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there. 19 And while Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 "But arise, go downstairs, and accompany them without misgivings; for I have sent them Myself." 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, "Behold, I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for which you have come?" 22 And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, was divinely directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you." 23 And so he invited them in and gave them lodging. And on the next day [τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, day 2] he arose and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the next day [τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, day 3, finishing point] he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 And when it came about that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man." 27 And as he talked with him, he entered, and found many people assembled. 28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. 29 "That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. And so I ask for what reason you have sent for me." 30 And Cornelius said, "Four days ago to this hour [ἀπὸ τετάρτης ἡμέρας μέχρι ταύτης τῆς ὥρας, still day 3], I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, 31 and he said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 'Send therefore to Joppa and invite Simon, who is also called Peter, to come to you; he is staying at the house of Simon the tanner by the sea.' 33 "And so I sent to you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord." 34 And opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him. 36 "The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all) — 37 you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. 39 "And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 "God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Three days later, the initial event is described as having happened four days ago to the hour.

Acts 10 Inclusive Counting of Days.png
Acts 10 Inclusive Counting of Days.png (12.6 KiB) Viewed 514 times

Sixth, back to a Jewish example, from the Talmud:

Talmud, Nazir 5b: .... We have learnt: If a man says, 'I declare myself a Nazirite,' he polls on the thirty-first day.3 Now, this fits in well enough with the view of R. Mattena, but how is it to be reconciled with Bar Pada's view? — Bar Pada will say: Consider the clause which follows, [viz.:] Should he poll on the thirtieth day, his obligation is fulfilled. We see, then, that the second clause [of this Mishnah] lends support to his view, whilst the original clause [must be read] as though it contained the word [I declare myself a Nazirite for thirty] 'whole' [days]. Does not this second clause need to be reconciled with R. Mattena's view? — He considers part of a day equivalent to a whole day. But have we not learnt: '[Should someone say,] "I intend to be a Nazirite for thirty days," and poll on the thirtieth day, his obligation is not fulfilled'?7 — [We presume that] he said, 'Whole days.' ....

Talmud, Nazir 16a: .... Now seeing that R. Jose is of the opinion that part of a day counts as a whole day, how is it ever possible for there to be a certified female sufferer from gonorrhoea to offer the [prescribed] sacrifice, for if the issue is observed in the second half of the day, then the first half of the day counts as the period of 'waiting'? — It is possible either if she should have continual issue for three days, or alternatively, if she observes the issue on each of the three days shortly after sunset, so that there is no part of the day that can be reckoned [as a period of cleanness]. ....

For some of the rabbis, part of a day counted as the whole day. This issue arose at least partly in connection with the Nazirite vow of 30 days: is the sacrifice marking the end of the vow to be offered on the thirtieth day or only after the full thirtieth day had completely passed?

Finally, another Jewish example, this one from the Midrash:

Genesis 22.3-4: 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.

The Midrash Rabbah at this point (in section 1 of chapter 50) offers a list of other significant third days, including:
  • The third day of revelation: "And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning" (Exodus 19.16).
  • The third day of resurrection: "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up" (Hosea 6.2).
  • The third day of Esther: "Now it came to pass on the third day that Esther put on her royal apparel" (Esther 5.1).
  • The third day of the tribal ancestors: "And Joseph said unto them the third day: 'This do, and live'" (Genesis 42.18).
So far so good. But we also find this one:
  • The third day of Jonah: "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" (Jonah 2.1).
This equivalence is very similar to Jesus rising on the third day after supposedly being buried for three days and three nights in the manner of Jonah.

What strikes me about the Christian usage of "third day" or "three days" with respect to the resurrection of Jesus is just how consistent the number three (3) is. Whether the actual time period one has in mind amounts to less than two full 24-hour periods (as in the synoptic passion narratives) or refers to a full three days and three nights (as the comparison with Jonah might be read as implying), the number 3 is what seems to have mattered. I myself have argued for a possible early Christian tradition that Jesus remained in the tomb for six days, rising on the seventh, after the pattern of Daniel's tenure in the lion's den according to the tale of Bel and the Dragon, but that suggestion, even if true, is hardly enough to overturn the overwhelming emphasis elsewhere on the three days or on the third day; besides, my case for the six days in the tomb is highly speculative, and I doubt it will persuade more than a tiny percentage of those bored enough with life to read it all the way through and give it a fair shake. I have also argued for a resurrection connection involving eight days, but even I do not think that the eight days comprised an actual tradition about Jesus' tenure in the tomb; I think, rather, that certain authors might have used the number 8 symbolically, nothing more.

I do not think that the burial period of three days derives from actual memory or from some early narrative describing what the attentive reader could interpret as a period of three days (however tallied). Rather, I believe that the three days were probably supremely symbolic right from the start (these examples are not exhaustive):

Descent of Inana: They shouted at her — it was the shout of heavy guilt. The afflicted woman was turned into a corpse. And the corpse was hung on a hook. After three days and three nights had passed, her minister Ninsubura carried out the instructions of her mistress.

Hosea 6.2: 2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.”

Midrash, Genesis Rabbah 100.7: Bar Kappara taught: Until three days [after death] the soul keeps on returning to the grave, thinking that it will go back [into the body]; but when it sees that the facial features have become disfigured, it departs and abandons it [the body]. Thus it says, "But his flesh grieveth for him, and his soul mourneth over him" (= Job 14.22).

Midrash, Leviticus Rabbah 18.1: For three days [after death] the soul hovers over the body, intending to reenter it, but as soon as it sees its appearance change, it departs, as it is written, "When his flesh that is on him is distorted, his soul will mourn over him" (= Job 14.22).

YMMV.

Ben.
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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Difflugia » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:14 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:48 pm
  • The third day of Jonah: "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" (Jonah 2.1).
This equivalence is very similar to Jesus rising on the third day after supposedly being buried for three days and three nights in the manner of Jonah.
This doesn't affect the rest of your analysis, but I've come to think that Matthew 27:62 contains a relevant scribal interpolation. All extant manuscripts read (ESV):
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate...
I think that the bolded "after" wasn't originally part of Matthew's text, so the "next day" was intended to be Friday, "the Preparation." That would give Matthew his three days and nights for "the sign of Jonah."

My reasons for thinking this are;
  • Matthew himself is the one that added the "three days and three nights" quotation of Jonah 1:17. Considering Matthew's cavalier modifications to other OT quotes to match his narrative ("...they shall call him Immanuel..."), it seems odd to me that he would leave a quote intact that he knew he couldn't match exactly.
  • 27:62 in its original Markan context (Mark 15:42) seems only to serve to place the burial on Friday ("the Preparation"), giving him two nights in the grave. If Matthew didn't want to change that, he could have simply left the verse in the same context a paragraph earlier, before Matthew 27:57. Instead, he apparently moved the reference to "the Preparation" a paragraph and day later, but clumsily added the single Greek word μετὰ, "after."
  • If that was really his intent, one would expect him to just change "the Preparation" to "the Sabbath." I've yet to read a scholarly commentary on that verse that isn't baffled as to Matthew's wording. Commentaries that tend toward harmonization propose justifications that are completely ad hoc.
  • If "after" is a later scribal insertion to reharmonize Matthew with Mark and Luke, then Matthew's original moved the burial back a day to Thursday, This would put Jesus in the grave for three nights instead of two.
The glaring problem with this is that there's no manuscript evidence. If there was such a scribal change, it was present in the ancestor to all extant manuscripts.

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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:08 pm

Difflugia wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:14 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:48 pm
  • The third day of Jonah: "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights" (Jonah 2.1).
This equivalence is very similar to Jesus rising on the third day after supposedly being buried for three days and three nights in the manner of Jonah.
This doesn't affect the rest of your analysis, but I've come to think that Matthew 27:62 contains a relevant scribal interpolation. All extant manuscripts read (ESV):
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate...
I think that the bolded "after" wasn't originally part of Matthew's text, so the "next day" was intended to be Friday, "the Preparation." That would give Matthew his three days and nights for "the sign of Jonah."

My reasons for thinking this are;
  • Matthew himself is the one that added the "three days and three nights" quotation of Jonah 1:17. Considering Matthew's cavalier modifications to other OT quotes to match his narrative ("...they shall call him Immanuel..."), it seems odd to me that he would leave a quote intact that he knew he couldn't match exactly.
  • 27:62 in its original Markan context (Mark 15:42) seems only to serve to place the burial on Friday ("the Preparation"), giving him two nights in the grave. If Matthew didn't want to change that, he could have simply left the verse in the same context a paragraph earlier, before Matthew 27:57. Instead, he apparently moved the reference to "the Preparation" a paragraph and day later, but clumsily added the single Greek word μετὰ, "after."
  • If that was really his intent, one would expect him to just change "the Preparation" to "the Sabbath." I've yet to read a scholarly commentary on that verse that isn't baffled as to Matthew's wording. Commentaries that tend toward harmonization propose justifications that are completely ad hoc.
  • If "after" is a later scribal insertion to reharmonize Matthew with Mark and Luke, then Matthew's original moved the burial back a day to Thursday, This would put Jesus in the grave for three nights instead of two.
The glaring problem with this is that there's no manuscript evidence. If there was such a scribal change, it was present in the ancestor to all extant manuscripts.
Interesting idea. Just to be clear, the scribal maneuver would involve the changing of the grammatical case of "the Preparation" as well as the insertion of the preposition:

Matthew 27.62: Τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν παρασκευήν [without the μετά this would have to be ἡ παρασκευή], συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πρὸς Πιλᾶτον.

If my example from Esther, especially, holds up, as well as that equivalence in the Midrash between "on the third day" and "for three days and three nights," then is it possible that Matthew thought along the same lines, especially as he seems to equate "after three days" with "until the third day" or whatnot? Not saying your idea is out of bounds, not at all; just exploring.

ETA: There is no doubt that calling the day in question "the day after the Preparation" (instead of "the Sabbath," per the extant text) is weird.
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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Difflugia » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:53 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:08 pm
Interesting idea. Just to be clear, the scribal maneuver would involve the changing of the grammatical case of "the Preparation" as well as the insertion of the preposition:

Matthew 27.62: Τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν παρασκευήν [without the μετά this would have to be ἡ παρασκευή], συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πρὸς Πιλᾶτον.

I'd like to say that I was just ignoring the case for simplicity, but I didn't actually notice. :oops: I even read German, so I can't just blame caseless, genderless English.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:08 pm
If my example from Esther, especially, holds up, as well as that equivalence in the Midrash between "on the third day" and "for three days and three nights," then is it possible that Matthew thought along the same lines, especially as he seems to equate "after three days" with "until the third day" or whatnot? Not saying your idea is out of bounds, not at all; just exploring.
I think that's plausible. The "three days and three nights" is also separated from the "after three days" by fifteen chapters, making a Matthean "bait and switch" (or just "editorial fatigue?") a reasonable possibility. In fact, I originally thought Matthew was just being kind of sloppy and I didn't give it a second thought until I was specifically lining up the parallel accounts while talking to an inerrantist.

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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:36 pm

John 2: 19 - 21 (RSV, Again...)

[19] Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
[20] The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?"
[21] But he spoke of the temple of his body.

Hello Ben --

Please add this to your List.

Much Mischief here. The character "Jesus" is suddenly tied up into a Transcendent Story where he will be in the earth three days and three nights (Matthew) -- or is it the Temple (BTW, note the Pun on Temple and Body. Guards of the Body, indeed!). Note that "The Jews" KNOW what the subject is. The Temple. 46 Years. I've already done the Math. This is a Story of the Hasmoneans and the Death of Antigonus.

Matthew 12: 39 - 40 (RSV):

[39] But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
[40] For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

For those who are...ummm...Literalist Historians (Or is it "Historical Literalists"?), there should be many other Stories that back up the idea that there was something else on everyone's mind instead of a rising savior/god:

Luke 13: 11 - 13 (RSV):

[11] And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.
[12] And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity."
[13] And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God.

I'm big on 4 BCE and 9 CE Passovers and Feasts. The March to Jerusalem for the 9 CE Passover may have started at the end of Year 8, hence 8/9. Here is a Scene from the Preparation for the Passover and Feast of 9 CE. The Priest who survived the Slaughter of 4 BCE has been asked by Jairus to make one more attempt at a Miracle - the Overthrow of the Romans and Herodians.

The Key Date in the Passage is "18 Years". Subtracting 18 years from 8 CE gives 10 BCE. What happened in 10 BCE? it may be proved that Herod finished the Cloisters and opened the Temple on a particular day:

Josephus, Ant..., 15, 11, 6:

But the temple itself was built by the priests in a year and six months; upon which all the people were full of joy; and presently they returned thanks, in the first place, to God; and in the next place, for the alacrity the king had showed. They feasted and celebrated this rebuilding of the temple: and for the king, he sacrificed three hundred oxen to God, as did the rest every one according to his ability; the number of which sacrifices is not possible to set down, for it cannot be that we should truly relate it; for at the same time with this celebration for the work about the temple fell also the day of the king's inauguration, which he kept of an old custom as a festival, and it now coincided with the other, which coincidence of them both made the festival most illustrious.

You celebrate the Temple and Herod's ascension on the same day. The woman is bent over for 18 years because she cannot stop "Worshiping" Herod.
Not Metaphysics of a savior/god.
The "Jesus Character" has been rewritten over a Priestly Story.

The original 4 BCE Story finds "Three days and Three nights" as a True Statement. Bilgah is on Duty for the Passover on:

Tuesday Night/Wednesday
Wednesday night/Thursday
Thursday night/ Friday

Friday night: The Weekly Sabbath where the next Mishmarot Group - Immer - rotates into Jerusalem. The Herodian Temple will not be used. It will be destroyed. In it's place will be a Temple not built with human hands. Happened before. Some guy named Moses?

Anyway, it's there. Makes more sense than a savior/god religion that reinstates human sacrifice.

CW

davidmartin
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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by davidmartin » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:46 am

So Ben, would it be right to think that Matthew placed old testament references to Jesus (any that they thought could be applied) above existing accounts? Does there need to have been an original source of the Matthew text or just a belief that these references were always superior?
It would suggest 'team Matthew' wasn't privy or favorable to listen to those who may have had an inkling of what actually happened but since they had a copy of, and knew their way around, the Hebrew scriptures they 'knew better'?

Do you think the resurrection account of Matthew was taken from Mark or another source? It's got some differences, what do you make of this part?
Here we have a Roman guard at the tomb, no messing around ... i'm sure those guys wanted to be there right? Of all the places to get sent... they must have been handpicked badasses!

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Joseph D. L.
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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:39 am

Hey David, I made a post detailing my hypothesis that the resurrection accounts of Mark and Matthew were largely built on Gospel of Peter’s common source:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6410

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: After three days, on the third day, or three days & three nights.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:04 am

davidmartin wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:46 am
So Ben, would it be right to think that Matthew placed old testament references to Jesus (any that they thought could be applied) above existing accounts?
If by "Old Testament references" one means "one's own interpretation of Old Testament references," then yes, I actually think that virtually all of the Christian authors did that.
It would suggest 'team Matthew' wasn't privy or favorable to listen to those who may have had an inkling of what actually happened but since they had a copy of, and knew their way around, the Hebrew scriptures they 'knew better'?
In my own current view, virtually every single detail of the passion story derives from scriptural interpretation, filling in the blanks, and theological necessity.
Do you think the resurrection account of Matthew was taken from Mark or another source?
I think that, in general, something like Mark preceded something like Matthew. This is not to say that every single detail in Mark precedes every single detail in Matthew. There has been harmonization across the various texts; these harmonizations most certainly show up in our extant manuscript record, which at best can deliver us the archetype; but the archetype is very unlikely to be the autograph, and surely there were harmonizations in between those two, as well, which by definition would not show up in the extant record.

That said, I also do not think that Mark was the first of everything. I think, for example, that the version of the passion in which Jesus was killed on Passover day (as in John and Peter) preceded the version in which he was killed on the next day (as in Matthew, Mark, and Luke). I think that there was a story developing, and that we are not seeing everything that went into it; our extant gospels are just the bits of the iceberg still floating above water, as it were.
It's got some differences, what do you make of this part? Here we have a Roman guard at the tomb, no messing around ... i'm sure those guys wanted to be there right? Of all the places to get sent... they must have been handpicked badasses!
This Matthean part looks like an addition to the developing story, for sure. To my eye, it looks like the kind of addition that would arise from debating opponents who take the story nearly as seriously as a Christian. The opponent would say, "Well, surely the disciples could have stolen the body!" And a reply would be, "Well, you know how those Romans are; they were probably guarding the tomb," and then this reply gets less speculative and more "historical" over time. Not all ancient (or modern!) opponents of Christianity are on the same level so far as skepticism is concerned. It has probably been more common throughout Christian history for opponents to try to poke holes in the existing story than for opponents to doubt the entire story from start to finish (as is more the fashion nowadays).

YMMV.
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