Monday, December 15, 2008

3 Days, 3 Nights - Wednesday Crucifixion?

The following came from a discussion (now closed) on
CDF ( )
and I offer it here for futher comments, should anyone desire...

So, let's objectively look at this...

Robin, Sandra and Bob (hereafter referred to as "The Three")
want us to "accept Jesus at His word"
when it comes to Matthew 12:40:

Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in
the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth.

The Three insist upon an absolute literal reading of this
verse, yet even though it is a similitude (a comparison
to Jonah) and other verses, like John 6:53ff:

Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say
unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and
drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Let's not get too distracted into discussing John 6 here, I
just raise that as a point that where Jesus is clearly NOT
using similitude and even says "Verily, verily..." (like I
REALLY mean this folks!) The Three will insist this is NOT
to be taken literally. I only bring this up to demonstrate
their inconsistency on the matter of reading Scripture.

Back to Matthew 12:40...
Point 1:
It IS a similitude - a comparison to Jonah - and thus not
a literal statement, but "AS Jonah..."

Objection 1 to Point 1:
It is a direct comparison to Jonah's three days and
three nights in the belly of the whale - so this reading
demands a literal three days and three nights "in the
heart of the Earth."

Response 1 to Objection 1 to Point 1:
Even still, this can be interpreted in a way which a
literal view of "three days and three nights" can be
applied, IF you begin counting at the time of Jesus'
betrayal, on Thursday night. If you do that, then
there's exactly three days and three nights in
Jesus' suffering/passion until He rises from the
dead on the Third Day.

Response 2 to Objection 1 to Point 1:
If we are taking Jesus "literally" on "heart of the Earth"
then we should assume they are burying Him at the
molten core of the Earth - for that would be the "heart."
Thus, unless we are to believe Jesus was buried in
the molten core of the Earth, then we must accept
that this is NOT a literal statement. If it is not a
literal statement then we must use interpretation to
get to what Jesus really means. Thus, the
interpretation that He was buried in a tomb as the
"heart of the Earth" is valid. This also opens up the
interpretation that "heart of the Earth" could be
referring to the time of His Passion, until He rose
victorious from the grave and death.

Point 2:
Jesus rose from the dead on the Third Day, which is
Sunday, and Scripture tells us it was about dawn
when there was a great earthquake and the stone
was rolled away and an angel sat upon the stone
as the two Marys approached. Keeping in mind as
well they were on their way to the tomb just before
sunrise, then the earthquake happened, then they
spoke to the angel, then they spoke to Jesus who
instructed them not to touch Him because He had
not yet risen to His Father, and yet shortly there-
after He appears to the Apostles and encourages
St. Thomas to touch His wounds.

Objection 1 to Point 2:
Scripture says Jesus rose AFTER the third day,
not ON the third day. (This was an actual objection
on CDF).

Response 1 to Objection 1 to Point 2:
Well, Scripture does NOT say "AFTER" the third day!
The references are just "the third day..." allow me to
quote: (all quotes here are from the KJV)

Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to
shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto
Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders
and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and
be raised again the third day.

Mat 17:23 And they shall kill him, and the
third day he shall be raised again. And they
were exceeding sorry.

Mat 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to
mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the
third day he shall rise again.

Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre
be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples
come by night, and steal him away, and say unto
the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last
error shall be worse than the first.

Mar 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said
unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the
hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after
that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

Mar 10:34 And they shall mock him, and shall
scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall
kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Luk 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer
many things, and be rejected of the elders and
chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be
raised the third day.

Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and
tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do
cures to day and to morrow, and the third day
I shall be perfected.

Luk 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and
put him to death: and the third day he shall rise

Luk 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be
delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be
crucified, and the third day rise again.

Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he
which should have redeemed Israel: and beside
all this, to day is the third day since these
things were done.

Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is
written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day:

Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day,
and shewed him openly;

1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that
he rose again the third day according to the

Not ONE of these verses say "after!" It is more
logical and contextual to say it was "on" the third

Why do our challengers say it was AFTER the
third day? Because they argue for a Wednesday
crucifixion. This heretical teaching did not see
the light of day until the 20th century and primarily
from the pen of Herbert W. Armstrong. There are
problems with a Wednesday crucifixion theory, it
doesn't match the antitype (see graphics on: ) whereas
the Friday crucifixion most certainly does.

How do we trace this down? Let's start with the year.
Tradition holds that Jesus died when He was 33 years
old. We know that the sun was darkened and there was
a great earthquake.

Phlegon was a Greek historian who wrote an extensive
chronology around AD 137:
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33)
there was the greatest eclipse of the sun and that
it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon]
so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There
was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things
were overturned in Nicaea.
- Phlegon, 137 AD
So we have pretty good evidence that it was in 33ad that
these events, also recorded in Scripture, which signified
the death of our Lord. We also have a letter from Pontius
Pilate to Tiberius Ceasar:
Now when he was crucified darkness came over
all the world; the sun was altogether hidden, and
the sky appeared dark while it was yet day, so
that the stars were seen, though still they had
their luster obscured, wherefore, I suppose your
excellency is not unaware that in all the world
they lighted their lamps from the sixth hour until
evening. And the moon, which was like blood,
did not shine all night long, although it was at
the full, and the stars and Orion made
lamentation over the Jews because of the
transgression committed by them.

- Pontius Pilate, 33 AD
Well, what was recorded (100 years later) as an eclipse
could not have been - for Pilate records that the Moon
was full (which it would have been for Passover falls on
a full moon - so an eclipse is out of the question). The
real point here is it went dark and some tried to explain
this away as an eclipse - but it was truly the power of

Anyway, the point is 33ad is the year and what DID happen
that year, on April 3rd, was a LUNAR eclipse - which would
make the moon appear blood red. This according to the
NASA evidence provided earlier.

Passover also occurred on April 4, 33ad. This makes the
Friday beforehand the "day of preparation" and Saturday
is a "High Sabbath" as opposed to the regular weekly
Sabbath. The "meal" Jesus was eating with the Apostles
on Holy Thursday was the "Feast of the Unleavened" and
on Friday, at 3pm, the paschel lamb was to be sacrificed,
and - HE WAS! It was at 3pm on Friday, April 3, 33ad,
that Jesus cried out, "It is finished."

The ONLY response our detractors have had is that Jesus
said 3 days and 3 nights in Matthew 12:40 and "I'll listen
to Jesus before I listen to the Catholic Church." Well, we've
shown how this CAN be interpreted as a literal 3 days and
3 nights and/or that one doesn't HAVE to view this as
absolutely literal. We have demonstrated FROM SCRIPTURE
the course of events AS THEY HAPPENED and AS
SCRIPTURE RECORDS THEM - and the heretical view of
Herbert Armstrong and a Wednesday crucifixion just doesn't
add up.


Originally posted here:


  1. It's perfectly and simply explained at

    Scriptures confirm it. Pastors agree with it. Non-believers have been unable to disprove it even in long debates.

    It is exactly what the Scriptures say, 3 days and 3 nights

  2. "Perfectly and simply explained" by the commentor on HER website. But this comment is very vague. Scott, she agrees with your 'belly of the earth' commentary. I can't tell from her website what denomination, if any, she belongs to. I would not recommend her website to any serious Catholic or any other apologist but she does agree with you on this point, at least.

  3. Thanks to both Jen and Cathmom5! I believe most Christians are in agreement here - it is just interesting that some follow the lead of Armstrong and go off on a completely literal view of Matthew 12:40 - even of that view puts them in conflict with other parts of Scripture. They don't want to look at the other parts of Scripture - they simply want to find fault with Catholicism so when they THINK they have found an argument to support them, they jump on it - sadly, to their own demise.

  4. Add'l support for the traditional view may be found through integration of period Jewish sources, as here:


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