"Good Friday" or Wednesday??

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Sonoftheday, Mar 20, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    With "Good Friday" being tommorow I felt curious enough to raise a subject that has probably been raised here before (probably every year, that seems to be the trend with questions regarding "holidays").

    Did our Lord and Saviour give His life for us on the Sixth or Fourth day of the week??
  2. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Well Matthew and John make no direct mention of the day of the week but Mark and Luke clearly says that the crucifixion occurred on the day before the Sabbath, with Matthew and John also mentioning the "Day of Preparation".
  3. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    Here are a couple of passages that point to a Wednesday crucifixion.

    The 9th hr is 3PM, if it were on friday Christ would only be in the grave for one night and one day. Because Christ was rissen before daybreak on the first day. John 20:1, Mark 16:1-8

    The Sabbath Day mentioned was the passover, a high sabbath day, not the seventh day sabbath.
  4. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior

    I'ver wondered this too, I've heard arguments for a Wednesday crucification since if Christ died on Friday evening and was buried, the next night would be night one (Saturday night), the next night would be night two (Sunday night) and the next night would be night 3 (Monday night) and then Tuesday Morning would be the day he would have been raised? Do I have that right?

    But if he died on a Wednesday night, then he would have been raised on a Sunday morning correct? :think: bery bery interesting
  5. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    If Christ was crucified on Wednesday, why would Wednesday night not be night one?
  6. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I read a good article once that explained that it would most likely have been not Wednesday or Friday, but Thursday. Since Jesus was taken down and buried on the day He died, He would have been in the grave Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night, and risen on Sunday.
  7. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior

    I've never counted the day of an event as day one, since a full day would be 24 hours. Right when the event happened is when I would start counting.

    For example, I will arrive in Los Angeles the evening of March 26th, so since it's the evening of March 20th, I would say the evening of the 21st is the 1st day, the evening of the 22nd is the 2nd day, the evening of the 23rd is the 3rd day.. all the way up to the evening of the 26th which would be 6 completed days instead of 7days ) :gpl:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  8. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    I believe the argument is:
    Wednesday 6pm- thurs 6 am= 1 night
    Thurs 6am-6pm= 1 day
    Thurs 6pm- fri 6am= 2 night
    fri 6am-6pm= 2day
    fri 6pm- sat 6am= 3night
    sat 6pm- 6pm= 3 day
    and he rose before daybreak on Sunday (the First day) but because they counted days from sunset to sunset rather than sunrise to sunrise it was still on sunday, but the night had not gone by making it 4 nights.
  9. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    oops I said that wrong. He would have died on Thursday, Friday night started the first day/night (after sunset), Saturday night would have started at sunset the next day, then Sunday(the third day would have started at the next sunset) and He arose that morning of that day.
  10. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    1 Cor 15 says He was raised on the 'third day'. Wouldn't you start counting with the day of His death? In other words, Friday? Friday was the first day of His death, Sat the second day of His death, and Sun the third day of His death.
  11. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am pretty sure, from my studies of Christ's postressurection appearances on the Lord's day, that the Jewish way of counting would not have included the day of his death as the first day. But I am unsure of that, I think Bruce (Contra_Mundum) told me something about this.

    NEVERMIND, I found the post where he told me, and the Jewish way of counting was to include the day. If a Jew said in Three days I will rise that could mean on Friday he would die, however I am still confused on how to fit 3 nights into a friday crucifixion.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  12. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If He died on Thursday afternoon, that evening, after sunset, would be the new day (Friday, day one), because of the Jewish way of starting a day at sunset. So according to our way of doing things, it would be the same day, but not according to the Jewish way. If He died on Friday, there would not be enough days, and if He died on Wednesday, there would be too many nights.
  13. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    I am preparing a sermon on this area right now and that is precisely how I would read the scriptures.

    John McArthur points out that:

    The Jewish Talmud – a major commentary on scripture and tradition, says ‘a day and a night makes one onah (season), and a part of an onah is as the whole’.

    It is an interesting area for thought but perhaps something which we can over-think.
  14. Presbyterian Deacon

    Presbyterian Deacon Puritan Board Graduate

    Three days--Friday Saturday Sunday as cited by:

    Alfred Edersheim The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (volume 2, page 630):

  15. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Wow this is confusing.
  16. Gesetveemet

    Gesetveemet Puritan Board Freshman

    Here are a couple books which teach a Wednesday crucifixion



    An Historical Harmony of the Gospels
    by: Robert J. Sargent.

    A four-column chronological harmony of the four Gospel accounts of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, accompanied by maps, chronological notes, and a detailed chart of the “passion week.”

    Unlike most other harmonies, this volume does not correct the Word of God and it presents a Wednesday crucifixion in accordance with Matthew 12:40.

  17. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    EW Bullinger also recons it to be Wednesday. But he also reckons there were 5 crosses instead of 3.
  18. jambo

    jambo Puritan Board Senior

    I am a Thursday man myself. Although the Jews considered part of the day as a whole nevertheless three days and three nights is quite specific. It was the day of preparation for the passover (Jn 19.14, 42) and in Jn 19.31 the sabbath is described as a high day (NASB) or Special sabbath (NIV) you could have Thursday (day of preparation), Friday (Passover) and Saturday (regular weekly sabbath). Thus at dawn on Sunday Jesus had arisen
  19. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor


    The ancient method used by the Jews was to count "days" by days that are touched, rather than 24-hour periods. In other words, if you stayed in Chicago on Monday night, all day Tuesday, and early morning Wednesday, that would be three days.

    Three years could have been reckoned as one day in one year, a whole calendar year, and one day in the next. Because the time touches "three years", it would be called "three years".


  20. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    The worst thing that happened to the resurrection was easter sunday.
  21. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior


    Well.. whether Christ died on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The point is he did DIE and he ROSE again =)

    Christ is Risen! :sing:
  22. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

    A thought I was presented with that seems to weigh heavily against Wednesday (in my opinion) is this.

    The women were going to dress the body of Jesus. They would not have done this on a Sabbath day, whether High or weekly. The Wednesday teaching says that Thurs was a High Sabbath and then friday was a day of open market a regular working day. Why would the loved ones of Jesus not have went to dress his body on Thursday if if this viewpoint were correct?

    This still leaves it to either Thursday Or Friday. To which I am leaning toward Thursday because I do not see how the following statement can be true given a Friday Crucifixion;

    Where are the three nights? There is Friday night = 1 and the partial Saturday night = 2
  23. Sonoftheday

    Sonoftheday Puritan Board Sophomore

  24. shackleton

    shackleton Puritan Board Junior

    I was just getting ready to start a post on this same topic and saw this, thanks! I have been hearing arguments about this a lot lately, here is what someone sent me a few weeks ago:

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

    Truth isn't a matter of your personal viewpoint. Learn to see things as they really are, not as you imagine they are. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it. No matter what you believe, it never changes the facts. If they are there, the facts always speak for themselves. The truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of people. If sixty-million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.
    Anatole France

    My friend, Bob Kopp, recently experienced one of life's nagging annoyances: A "tradition" that continues despite reason.

    While I know some presbyters are infuriated by the honest asking of simple questions these days, I must ask this question:

    If the intention of Saturday presbytery meetings is to encourage attendance but records
    reveal attendance for Saturday presbytery meetings is worse than any other day,
    why do we continue holding Saturday presbytery meetings?

    I assume there's a profound reason for this; kinda like Calvin being asked why he covered his head while preaching in the cathedral and he answered, "Because it's cold in the cathedral...and there are pigeons."

    This brings me to one of my pet peeves: The way we celebrate Holy Week. It, too, is a tradition without reason.

    This is "Holy Week:" Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday. Right? Or has the tradition obscured the truth from us? Remember the words of Jesus:

    Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
    Matt. 5: 17-18

    Jesus came to fulfill the Law.

    Remember the words of Abraham:

    So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
    And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
    Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
    And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
    Gen. 22: 5-8

    Remember the words of John the Baptist:

    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! "
    John 1: 29

    Jesus Christ is the lamb God has provided to take away the sins of His covenant people, whatever their race or nationality. Jesus fulfilled the Law.

    Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.
    Ex. 12: 1-11

    Did Jesus fulfill the Law? Was He the Lamb God provided? Was He in the earth three days and three nights, as He said He would be. Let's see.

    The traditional view is that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. The Roman Catholic Church puts the date as April 7, 30 AD. Does this date "fulfill the Law?"

    Nearly one third of the Gospels is committed to Christ's last week, Holy Week; so the importance of this week cannot be underestimated. The Gospels are detailed for a reason. However, to conform with the traditional view that Jesus was crucified on Friday, requires an entire day for which nothing is said. A day of silence in the midst of the most important week in Scripture. (And, of course, Jesus Himself would have had to be mistaken.)
    There is nothing in the Bible to support such a supposition. It was fabricated to justify a Friday crucifixion. Remember, Jesus said, the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Have you ever heard a believable explanation of how Jesus' dying on Friday and rising on Sunday constituted three days and three nights in the heart of the earth? Even as a child, that never made sense to me.

    Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
    Matt. 27: 45-46

    According to Scripture, Jesus hung on the Cross from noon until at least 3:00 PM. If we assume this was a Friday, and that Jesus was buried immediately, from death to resurrection would be less than 40 hours; He would have been in the earth two nights, not three. Was Jesus mistaken?

    On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb. . .

    If Jesus fulfilled the Law as the Lamb of God, He would have been taken by the people on the tenth day of the first month of the Jewish year, Nisan. What event would have constituted His being taken by the people? Palm Sunday.

    The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
    “ Hosanna!
    ‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
    The King of Israel!”
    John 12: 12-13

    If Palm Sunday was the tenth day, then the fourteenth would have been Thursday, not Friday. There was no silent day, as we have been led to believe.

    you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. . .
    During these days, Jesus visited Jerusalem, but stayed in Bethany. It was during this time that He was anointed with the expensive perfume. This infuriated Judas and motivated him to betray Jesus.

    Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

    The word translated twilight literally means between two evenings. Noon would be an acceptable fulfillment of this provision.

    And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
    Lev. 23: 6

    The fifteenth day of Nisan was as a holy day, to be treated as a sabbath day.

    Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
    John 19: 31

    The fifteenth day of Nisan, observed as a sabbath, could fall on any day of the week. If the crucifixion was on Thursday, then Friday would be the sabbath of the Passover, followed immediately by the sabbath of the week. Two sabbaths in that week.

    And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre,
    Matt. 28: 1 (Young's Literal Translation)

    Most translations miss this crucial point by failing to translate the plural Greek, sabbaths, and using the singular instead. But the Bible, in its original Greek, makes it clear that there were two sabbaths: The Passover sabbath and the weekly sabbath. Because the traditional view does not take the Bible literally, it assumes that the crucifixion had to occur on a Friday.

    Based on what the Bible actually tells us, we can see that Holy Week would have occurred like this:

    *Palm Sunday: The people select their Passover Lamb. This is the tenth day of Nisan.
    *Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: Jesus visited Jerusalem, but spent His nights in Bethany. These were the days when the lamb was kept up.
    *Wednesday night: The Last Supper
    *Early Thursday: Before dawn Jesus was examined by the Sanhandedrin and condemned to die. (Matt. 26: 57ff) He was then turned over to Pilate, who examined Him and reluctantly ordered His crucifixion. (Matt. 27: 1-26)
    *Noon on Thursday: Jesus Christ was crucified. The Lamb of God slain for the sins of His people.
    *At 3:00 PM, Thursday: Jesus was buried by Joseph and Nicodemus, quickly, as the sabbath of the Passover was about to begin at sunset, the fifteenth day of Nisan.
    *Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights: Jesus was in the earth, as He foretold.
    *Sunday: Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The women who could not get to the tomb because of the two consecutive sabbaths, and the disciples saw Him.

    Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
    But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.
    Matt. 28: 1-6
    The days of Holy Week are all faithfully accounted for according to Scripture. The Law was obediently fulfilled. The prophecy was true.

    So, when did this happen? According to Goldstine's New and Full Moons, there is only one year between AD 26 and 34 when the fourteenth day of Nisan fell on a Thursday: 30. The rule governing the observance of Passover and the astronomical limitations governing the application of these rules combine to make Thursday, April 6, AD 30, the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

    This week, when your church celebrates Holy Week, how will you observe it: Biblically or traditionally? Why?

    Almighty God,

    Shed down upon Thy people heavenly wisdom and grace;

    enlighten us with true knowledge of Thy Word;

    inspire us with a pure zeal for Thy glory;

    and so order all our doings that unity and peace may prevail among us.

    May truth and righteousness flow from us, and Thy Gospel everywhere be purely preached and truly followed.

    Bless Thy holy Church that we may grow up in Him who is one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    In His name we pray.


    Blessed are the saints who have been equipped with the sound doctrines of TULIP!

    The Old Gray Dog
    James E. Tuckett

    PS Next week, this Ponder will be posted to The Dog's Blog on the Westminster Fellowship web site.

    The Westminster Fellowship
    Clearly and Unequivocally Proclaiming What it Means to be Reformed Christians
    Westminster Fellowship Home Page
  25. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    The problem that I have with this entire debate is that, for the first several hundred years of the church, the calculation of the date of Easter was a matter of the highest importance.

    People were excommunicated for celebrating Easter on the "wrong" day. This was done by people who were only one or two generations removed from the actual Passion of our Saviour.

    The idea that these people were unaware of the very day of the week that Christ died is, well, just not credible.
  26. ModernPuritan?

    ModernPuritan? Puritan Board Freshman

    Christ said He was Lord of the sabbath.
  27. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The ancients counted differently than we. We do not include the first day. For a Roman beginning on Friday, then, Sunday would be the third day, while for us Monday would be the third.
  28. Gage Browning

    Gage Browning Puritan Board Freshman

    Day of Preparation = Friday

    The phrase “day of preparation of Passover" (Jn 19:14) refers to the preparation of the coming Sabbath and not to the preparation of Passover day proper when the lambs are slaughtered for the evening meal. This is evidenced by the fact that the Greek term paraskeue was a technical term equivalent to "Eve of the Sabbath" thus referring to the preparation for the Sabbath and not of Passover day itself. (cf. Josephus' Antiquities 16.163-64).
    In the literature written before Jesus' day, the term paraskeue was used in Judith 8:6 and 2 Maccabees 8:26 as "the day before the Sabbath" (Friday). In the Didaché, In Section VIII, we read "Let not your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and the fifth day of the week, but do you keep your fast on the fourth day and on the preparation." (Lit. the "second of the Sabbath", the "fifth of the Sabbath", the "fourth of the Sabbath", and "PARASKEUE").
    The word paraskeue is actually a technical term for Friday and in pre-Christian literature was always understood as a word for “Friday”. Even in modern Greek the word for “Friday” is paraskeue.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page