Can you evaluate a website that advocates a Friday crucifixion and another website that advocates a Wednesday crucifixion?


Email Received:

I read through your Good Thursday commentary. Then I read information at two other websites. The first one advocates a Friday crucifixion, and the second one advocates a Wednesday crucifixion:

  1. http://www.bibleresearch.org/observancebook5/b5w79.html: In the "Luke's Account" section it says that the weekly Sabbath is the only day with a preparation day and the word Sabbath in both Mark and Luke's accounts is the Greek word 'sabbaton' (the weekly Sabbath), which is followed by the first day of the week (Sunday). The apostle John records that this Sabbath was also a High Day (i.e., an annual festival day). See Jn.19:31. Their site has a chart showing the days and nights from Sunday to Sunday: http://www.bibleresearch.org/observancebook5/jesusfinalweek.html.

  2. http://www.tgm.org/3DaysN3Nites.html: On that page they quote Luke 23:54-56 and 24:1: "And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath (the High Sabbath or Holy Day - the Feast of Unleavened Bread) drew on (the sun was going down). And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." (Lk 23:54-56) "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning (at sunrise), they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." (Lk 24:1) At the bottom of their page is a chart showing the days and nights from Wednesday to Sunday.

Do you find problems with these website pages and charts? On the second one, wouldn't it be better if "Sabbath" and "Sabbath day" would have been written "Sabbaths" and "Sabbath days"?


Tedís Response:

1. On the first website's chart, they indicate that it was Monday when Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Yet, everyone else I've ever known who advocates a Friday crucifixion believes that Jesus entered Jerusalem on the first day of the week (Palm Sunday). I believe this as well. This was on the 10th of the month (Exodus 12:3), so Jesus the Lamb would have been slain on the 14th of the month (12:6), which would have been the fourth day of the week (Thursday).

I do not know what that site means by saying that "the weekly Sabbath is the only day with a preparation day." I know of no preparation day mentioned for the weekly Sabbath anywhere in the Bible, and they do not provide a reference. It sounds like something made up to fit into the theory of whoever created that web page.

The only "preparation day" on the Hebraic calendar is the day (Aviv 14) on which preparations are made for the Passover feast. In ancient Israel, the Passover lamb was slain at mid-afternoon on that same day, which technically is when "Passover" began. From then until sunset, the lamb was prepared and roasted, to be eaten after sunset on the first evening of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Aviv 15).

Both Mark 16:42 and Luke 23:54 indicate that it was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath was about to begin. That website makes the assumption that the "Sabbath" in question was the regular weekly Sabbath. However, John 19:31 is clear that the Sabbath in question was a "special" or "high" Sabbath.

Leviticus 23:6,7 shows that the 15th day of that month is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when there was to be a sacred assembly (or holy convocation) and no regular (or servile) work was to be done. The requirements for that day meet the definition of a Sabbath, described in Leviticus 23:3. That is why Aviv 15, beginning at sunset following Aviv 14, is called a "special" or "high" Sabbath.

Near the end of the day of preparation, when Jesus was placed in the tomb, the women were there and saw where He had been laid (Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55). However, it was not until the first day of the week, following high Sabbath and the regular weekly Sabbath, that the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body (Mark 16:1,2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).

Matthew 28:1 shows that the first day of the week (Jesus' resurrection day) had followed two Sabbaths. Here is the direct translation from the Greek:

This refers to the day following the two Sabbaths (a high Sabbath plus the weekly Sabbath) that had passed since Jesus' crucifixion. Therefore, the crucifixion must have taken place on Thursday, not on Friday (nor on Wednesday).

I do think it would have been better written in the Bible as "Sabbaths" instead of "Sabbath" and as "Sabbath days" instead of "Sabbath day"; however, that is not how it was translated from the Greek. Maybe many translators have a bias for believing in a Friday crucifixion, so they wrote "sabbath" and "sabbath day." If that is not the reason, I do not know why.


2. On the second website's chart, they list "Preparation Day" twice, on both Wednesday and Friday. On the day of preparation for the Passover feast, leaven was removed from the homes, the food (including the bitter herbs) for the Passover meal was prepared, and the Passover lamb was slain and roasted. There were not two different days of preparation.

The chart indicates that the women bought and prepared spices to anoint Jesus' body on the second preparation day. It says that this took all day. Whoever made the chart did not provide any specific biblical reference for this, and I can find no support for it. I think there is a better explanation that is much more simple.

The women who had come with Jesus observed that He had been placed in the tomb (Luke 23:55). Then they returned home to prepare the spices and perfumes (23:56). There was not much for the women to prepare, since Nicodemus already had brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and had wrapped them, with Jesus' body, in strips of linen (John 19:39,40).

Since there was not a great amount for the women to prepare at home, there still was enough time remaining on the day of preparation for them to do this. The women rested the next two days (high Sabbath and weekly seventh-day Sabbath). Following the regular Sabbath, after sunset when the first day of the week had begun, they bought more spices and then went to the tomb, after sunrise, with all of their spices and perfumes (Mark 16:1,2).

The main reason some people advocate a Wednesday crucifixion is because they believe that Matthew 12:40 required three full days and three full nights, or a full 72 hours, to be fulfilled. They either do not understand or do not accept that any portion of a day could be considered a "day," and any portion of a night could be considered a "night." Therefore, they need to force an extra day into the week to make their theory seem plausible. In this case, they call the extra day another day of preparation, and they have the women spending all of that day preparing spices. I do not see any evidence for this at all.


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