Not everyone believes that the Bible is the infallible word of God. The English Bibles have been translated from the original Greek and Hebrew. The majority of theologians would probably agree that the no translation is 100% accurate. Those who believe the Bible to be infallible, generally believe that to be true only “as written in its original language. " I agree.
When it comes to the “Resurrection Day", it would seem, most theologians have either ignored or failed to study the account in its original Greek. It is almost universally held that Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week. Very few people are aware that there is a controversy concerning this matter. The original Greek and certain translations actually give the account of a Saturday or Sabbath resurrection.
This is very significant for two reasons. 1) The vast majority of Christians in the world worship on Sunday. They site the Sunday resurrection as their reason and authority for observing Sunday as a day of worship rather than any scriptural authority. This would seem harmless if it were not for the fact that it is in direct contradiction to Gods Commandments. The fourth commandment states:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Ex 20:8-11)
2) It is commonly taught that Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday. This would make him a false prophet because he clearly prophesied: "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. " (Math. 14:40) How can we expect the world to accept Jesus as the Son of God when we present him as either a false prophet or a liar? Between Friday and Sunday morning there is only two nights!
To get to the truth, all of the scriptures regarding the crucifixion and resurrection must be examined. It is also necessary to examine the original Greek, for this we will rely on The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible and the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon and other Greek dictionaries.
When it comes to the day of the crucifixion, most scholars and Bible teachers do not base their teachings on scripture. Instead they rely on both tradition and the uncertain year in which Jesus was crucified. They believe if one knows the year, then one would know the day of Passover and therefore, the day of the crucifixion. This is not an examination or debate on what year the crucifixion occurred, it is strictly an examination of scripture. The Bible, in its original language, provides us what God has to say on the subject.
Three Days In The Tomb
Jesus did give us very specific insight that would help us determine on what day he was crucified. The statements made by Jesus are very key. Jesus stated that he would be in the grave three days and three nights and that he would rise on the third day:
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. (Matthew14:40)
. . and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:33)
. . Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (Luke 24:33)
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. (Luke 9:22; see also Math. 17:23, 19; Mark 9:31, 10:34)
If Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights and rose on the third day then the counting for those days and nights must start with the night. This way you would get night/day, night/day, and night/day with Jesus rising on the third day. If Jesus was crucified on Friday as popularly believed then his resurrection would have been on Monday. This is determined by counting the days and nights as follows: Friday night/Saturday, Saturday night/Sunday, and Sunday night/Monday . Therefore, we are left with two possibilities; either Jesus was wrong or our traditional beliefs are wrong.
It is our traditional beliefs that are wrong! The prophecies of Jesus are perfect and true. Jesus was and is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). Every Lamb that was sacrificed before him was a picture of his perfect sacrifice. His death occurred at the time of the Passover sacrifice and scripture bears this out.
The Last Supper
Remember in Bible time keeping a new day begins at sundown, evening is the beginning of the day. The Last Supper was in the evening before Jesus’ crucification. The gospel of Mark shows us that this was the day of the Passover sacrifice (Mark 14:12). Since it was the day of the sacrifice and the day had just begun at sundown, the lamb was to be slain the next afternoon. The disciples not knowing the fate of Jesus expected to eat the Passover lamb the following evening after it had been sacrificed.
And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? (Mark 14:12; see also Luke 22:7; Math. 26:17; John 13:1-3)
The gospel of John confirms this. At the trial of Jesus, the chief priests didn't go in to the judgment hall because they didn't want to be defiled. If they were defiled, they would not have been able to eat the Passover sacrifice which had not yet been killed.
Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. (John 18:28)
During the Last Supper Jesus identified Judas as a traitor and asked him to quickly do what he was about to do (John 13:26-27). Later that evening, after the Last Supper, Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested (Mark 14:44-46). Jesus was then tried that same evening (John 18:28).
Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13:26-27; see also Matt.26:25, 47; Mark 14:18-20, 43; Luke 22:21-22, 47-48)
And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. (Mark 14:44-46; see also Mat. 26:48-50 & Luke 22:47-48)
The Day of the Crucification
At Jesus’ trial, Pilot ordered the crucification of Jesus to satisfy the Jews. Later that very day Jesus was crucified (John 19:14-18). Jesus was crucified on the Passover at the very time the Passover lambs were to be sacrificed.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. (John 19:14-18; see also Math. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45)
Jesus was crucified and died on the same day. That day was the day of the Passover sacrifice (John 19:14-31) or the Passover day (Ex. 12:21-24). His body was buried in the tomb before sundown (Luke 23:50-54). Sundown began the Passover festival, a Sabbath day (Num. 28:16-18).
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day, ) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31; see also Mat. 27:50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46)
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. (Exodus 12:21-24)
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:50-54; see also Math. 27:57-60; Mark15:43-46; John 19:38-42)
And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein: (Numbers 28:16-18)
The Day After The Crucification
The next day, the day after the crucification, was the first day of the Passover festival; it was a Sabbath. According to scripture, the disciples rested (Luke 23:56). That same day, Pilot has the tomb of Jesus sealed (Math. 27:62-66).
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56)
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 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. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. (Math. 27:62-66)
The Second Day After The Crucifiction
The second day after the crucifiction of Jesus was also the second day of Passover. It was the day after the Passover Sabbath.
On this day Mary Magdaline, Mary the mother of James and Salome went and bought spices (Mark 16:1). They then would have needed to prepared the spices, this apparently took most of the day. Scripture records in Luke 24:1 that the spices had been prepared prior to arriving at the tomb. The spices could not have been bought on Sunday, as is popularly believed, because they would not have been able to buy spices early in the morning, prepare them and then reach the tomb at sun up.
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (Mark 16:1)
This is an important text in establishing a time-line. In Mark, this text comes directly after Mary sees Jesus buried. When the Sabbath is past, this being the Passover Sabbath which was past, they went and bought spices. Jesus had been in the tomb one day when they bought the spices. On a normal Sabbath the market might be open for a period when the Sabbath ended after sundown but this was a holiday and the market likely didn't open till the next day. The market may have even opened late.
Mary Magdaline lived in Bethany (John 11:1) which was about 2 miles from Jerusalem (John 11:18). The spices would have needed to be bought, prepared and then carried the two miles to Jerusalem. As scripture records, they did not do this until the next morning which would have been the morning of the third day.
There is only one scenario that would make this day both the day after the Sabbath and the day before the Sabbath (preparation day) at the same time. That scenario would be a crucifiction on Wednesday. With Jesus being crucified on Wednesday, Friday would be both the day after the Sabbath and the preparation day which is the day before the Sabbath.
This is the only accounting of time that perfectly matches up with all of scripture. It perfectly accounts for every scripture concerning the crucifiction and resurrection. It accounts for the prophecies of Jesus being three days and nights in the tomb. It accounts for every scripture leading up to the crucifiction; every scripture concerning the day of the trial and crucifiction and every scripture concerning the days after the crucifiction. As we shall see, if further matches perfectly with the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus in the original Greek.
The Resurrection Day
The third day after the crucifiction was the seventh day Sabbath. Scripture says that Mary Magdaline, and Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus but when they got their, he had already risen from the dead (Mark 16:2-6; Mathew 28:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, Concordant Literal New Testament).
Although it was the Sabbath, according to the teachings of Jesus, it would be permissible to anoint the body of Jesus on the Sabbath. Jesus taught it was right to do good on the Sabbath (Mark 3:4-5 & Luke 14:3-5). The following verses are from the Concordant Literal New Testament. This version of the Bible is consistent with the original Greek account of the resurrection. When you read these texts, is is important to remember that a biblical day begins at sundown. Therefore, the day begins with evening evening:
And, very early in the morning on one of the sabbaths, they are coming to the tomb at the rising of the sun. And they said to themselves, “Who will be rolling away the stone for us out of the door of the tomb?" And, looking up, they behold that the stone has been rolled back, for it was tremendously great. And, entering into the tomb, they perceived a youth sitting at the right, clothed with a white robe, and they were overawed. Now he is saying to them, “Be not overawed! Jesus are you seeking, the Nazarene, the Crucified. He was roused! He is not here! Perceive the place where they place Him! (Mark 16:2-6)
Now it is the evening of the sabbaths. At the lighting up into one of the sabbaths came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to behold the sepulcher. (Matthew 28:1)
Now in the early depths of one of the sabbaths, they, and certain others together with them, came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they make ready. (Luke 24:1)
Now, on one of the sabbaths, Miriam Magdalene is coming to the tomb in the morning, there being still darkness, and is observing the stone taken away from the door of the tomb. (John 20:1)
The Young's Literal Translation provides a very similar translation as the Concordant Literal New Testament. Between the texts above and below, the only uncertainty is in regards to how long after sunrise they arrived at the tomb.
and early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths, they come unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun, (Mark 16:2 Young's Literal Translation)
And on the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb, (John 20:1 - Young's Literal Translation)
This sequence of events after the death of Jesus fits his prophecy of three days and three nights in the grave perfectly. They also show that the resurrection was on the third day, the Sabbath day. Scripture shows there were two Sabbaths. The Passover Sabbath the day after the crusifiction and the seventh day Sabbath, which was the day of the resurrection. There is only one day of the week Jesus could have been crucified in accordance with the details given in scripture and that is on Wednesday (see figure 2, page 9).
Now the KJV and other popular modern English translations say that Mary Magdaline, and Mary the mother of James and Salome went to the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week (Math. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). This is not a correct translation of the Greek. The Greek word translated as “day of week" is “Sabbaton". “Sabbaton" means Sabbath.
The translation of the Greek word “Sabbaton" as “day of week" has nothing to support it. This translation violates its common use in the Bible, it violates its definition in Greek dictionaries and it also violates common language principals.
"Sabbaton" is used sixty-eight (68) times in the new testament, of these fifty-nine (59) are translated “Sabbath"; eight (8) are translated “day of week" and one (1) is translated “week". Simple reasoning tells you that the end of the seventh day is the end of the week but it does not mean that the Sabbath means week. Every translation to “day of week" refers incorrectly to Sunday.
The word week does not occur any where else in the New Testament. Therefore it is necessary to refer to another source, besides Strong's Concordance, to check the accuracy of this translation. By referring to The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Greek, /u> and , u>NTC's New College Greek and English Dictionaries we are able to obtain Greek translations for the following words “Sabbath", “Saturday", “Sunday" and “week:"
Sabbath - Ã±²²±Ä¿½ - sabbaton
Saturday - Ã±²²±Ä¿ - sabbato
Sunday - ºÅÁ¹±Ç
week - µ²´¿¼±´± - ebdomadav
day - ¼Á± - meravi
Neither of these Greek dictionaries translate “Sabbaton" as “day of week" or “week". But these Greek dictionaries make it evident that, if Jesus had risen on the first day of the week, the Gospel writers had several options to make it clear. The writers could have used either of the above Greek words for week or Sunday as follows:
proton mera kuklo ho ebdomada - first day of the week
protos mera kuklo ho ebdomada - first day of the week
kuriache - sunday
The bible writers chose not to use the above to describe the day of the resurrection, why? It seems evident that it is simply because Jesus rose on the Sabbath, “mia ton sabbaton" (one of the Sabbaths).
According to Webster's, language is “a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, gestures, marks or especially articulate vocal sound. " A word is “a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use. " If “Sabbaton" can be translated as either “Sabbath", “day of week" or “week" it violates the definition of language and the definition of a word.
If you were trying to determine the meaning of “Sabbaton" and were given the three definitions above, context would not aid you in determining the meaning. You wouldn't know what someone meant when they used the word. Therefore, you would be unable to communicate ideas or a single meaning when using the word. But this is not the case, “Sabbaton" has one single definition as the Greek dictionaries show; it means “Sabbath".
There are two other instances, besides the day of the resurrection, when “mia ton sabbaton" is translated as “first day of the week. These are Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. In both instances the correct translation is “one Sabbath". The word Sunday or first day of the week never appears in the original Greek New Testament.
According to Peter A. Michas in The Rod Of An Almond Tree In God's Master Plan, “One of the sabbaths" has a specific meaning. By Jewish tradition, it refers to one of the seven weekly sabbaths between Passover and Pentecost. These seven Sabbaths were not simply called “Sabbaths", they were called “one of the Sabbaths" or “the first of the Sabbaths" (this last translation is less accurate as previously explained).
Michas states that the correct translation of Mark 16:2 and similarly the other gospel accounts of the resurrection is: “And very early in the morning on one of the Sabbaths, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. " This translation is supported not only by the Concordant Literal New Testament but by the Young's Literal Translation, The Interlinear Bible and The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English.
How did this inaccurate translation come about? I don't know, but at the time the King James was translated in 1611, most Christians were worshiping on Sunday. The evidence would indicate that the King James was translated in accordance with the translators own doctrinal beliefs rather than by what scripture actually said. Jesus says, “in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7).
Adlai Loudy, translator of the Concordant Literal New Testament, said the following about the translation of the phrase “one of the Sabbaths" in his book GOD'S EONIAN PURPOSE:
The original, in all three of the oldest manuscripts, reads: mia ton sabbaton, ONE OF THE SABBATHS. Our translators presumed to know more than the great Author and corrupted the word of God. They altered “one" to read “first, " inserted the word “day, " for it is not in the original and is not needed in the translation, and changed “sabbaths" to the singular “week. " Can one imagine a more perfidious and deceptive act of man? It truly is repugnant to those who reverently regard the original as the very word of God, and want it to speak to them as He was pleased to give it.
I pray that the scriptural information and analysis provided above has brought you a deeper understanding of Gods word. I pray that God's Holy Spirit may convict you of the truth and that he may lead you and show you what to do with that truth. I pray that you may see the perfect hormony in God's Holy Scriptures. When Jesus said he would be in the tomb three days and three nights he meant it. When Jesus said he would be perfected the third day he meant it. When Jesus said he would rise from the dead on the third day, he meant it. When the disciples recorded in the gospels that Jesus rose from the dead on the Sabbath, that's what they meant. When John said that Jesus appeared to him and the other disciples in the upper room on one of the Sabbaths at evening. That's what he meant (John 20:19). Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, rose from the dead the third day just as he said he would; that day was the Sabbath and scripture bears record of it.
I pray the words of the Apostle Paul, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:14-15). May God richly bless you and lead you into all truth. Amen.
Copyright John Durr
John Durr is author of an astounding new eBook entitled: “The Soon Coming Judgment of God Upon America And How To Escape It!" The book uses Bible prophecy, little known American history and current events to prove that the United States is the Babylon of Bible prophecy. This is a must read for every American because the Bible clearly says Babylon (America) will be destroyed. The book not only describes how the U. S. fulfills every description of Babylon, it carefully shows what the reader needs to do in order to be saved from this coming judgment. The eBook is available at: http://americascomingjudgment.com/