How long was Jesus dead for? Matthew 12:40?


#1

In Matthew 12:40 the Lord states:

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.

How do we reconcile this statement with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter? Even if Friday and Sunday are counted as days, I'm really struggling to understand where the third night is counted?
Thanks


#2

The way it was explained to me was that the Jews of the time counted even partial days as a day ie Friday was one, Saturday was two and Sunday was the third day


#3

[quote="getysbg, post:2, topic:337506"]
The way it was explained to me was that the Jews of the time counted even partial days as a day ie Friday was one, Saturday was two and Sunday was the third day

[/quote]

He's more specifically referring the the 3 nights part. With the daytime of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, he wants to know where the 3 nights come in to play being that there are only 2 nights between Friday and Sunday.


#4

[quote="MattofTexas, post:1, topic:337506"]
In Matthew 12:40 the Lord states:

How do we reconcile this statement with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter? Even if Friday and Sunday are counted as days, I'm really struggling to understand where the third night is counted?
Thanks

[/quote]

Go to part D:

philvaz.com/apologetics/num56.htm

D) The Meaning of "Three Days and Three Nights" in Jewish Reckoning

"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." (Matthew 12:40; cf. Jonah 1:17 RSV)

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS : What Does This Really Mean?

Now the Jewish reckoning of time must be considered. Before I appeal to scholarly sources which are overwhelming in support of my position, let's see what can be established simply from statements we find in the Bible. First, there is the similar reference to days/nights in the account of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus is said in Matthew's Gospel to have fasted "forty days and forty nights" (Mt 4:2) while the parallel account in Luke's Gospel Jesus fasted simply "forty DAYS" (Lk 4:2). Here we definitely see that "forty DAYS and forty NIGHTS" is equivalent to "forty DAYS" -- just as "three days and three nights" (Mt 12:40) would be equivalent to "ON the third day" and "AFTER three days."

Second, the phrase "EIGHT days later" (John 20:26 RSV, the Greek reads literally "AFTER eight days") is definitely equated with "a week later" (compare the KJV, RSV, NIV, NASB, etc). The NASB has both readings: in the text "AFTER eight days" and in the margin "or a week later."

This one is very helpful in understanding the phrase "AFTER three days" (cf. Mk 8:31 and texts above). Jesus appears to his disciples in the Upper Room on the first day of the week, Sunday (Jn 20:19), and appears to them again on the following Sunday -- which is referred to as "eight days later" or literally in the Greek: "AFTER eight days" (Jn 20:26).

Why? Because of the Jewish "inclusive reckoning" of time that PART of a day is considered a WHOLE day (see also documentation below).

To see this Jewish reckoning "after eight days" = "a week later" :

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN

day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4 day 5 day 6 day 7 day 8

part whole whole whole whole whole whole part

Since the days are counted "inclusively" -- a part of both Sundays are included as WHOLE days -- then Sunday to Sunday is called "AFTER eight days" = one week later (Jn 20:19,26; cf. Lk 9:28; Mt 17:1; Mk 9:2).

"'A week later' (26) represents the Greek for eight days which brings the chronology to the Sunday after Easter." (New Bible Commentary, edited by D.A. Carson, R.T. France, et al [1994], p 1064)

"The expression used in this passage, 'after eight days,' need not mean Monday, since it was customary to count the days inclusively, as we shall note below...in conjunction with the designation eighth day..." (Sam Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday [1977], p 87)

We can see now that since Sunday to Sunday = "after EIGHT days" then similarly, Friday to Sunday = "after THREE days" (e.g. Mk 8:31 et al).

FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY

day 1 day 2 day 3

part whole part

See how simple this is -- the Jews in reckoning time counted inclusively and a PART of a day is considered a WHOLE day, hence "AFTER three days" or "three days and three nights" need not mean three COMPLETE days or EXACTLY 72 hours, but could mean a period slightly over 24 hours.


#5

This way of counting is still with us today in the musical definition of an octave as being 'the interval between eight notes' when we can only count seven note spaces in between.


#6

Thanks!


#7

This seems pretty resolved, but it’s worth noting that the french say “quinze jours” or fifteen days, instead of two weeks.


#8

[quote="MattofTexas, post:1, topic:337506"]
In Matthew 12:40 the Lord states:

How do we reconcile this statement with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter? Even if Friday and Sunday are counted as days, I'm really struggling to understand where the third night is counted?
Thanks

[/quote]

Protestant Scholars on “Three Days and Three Nights”

R. T. France

“Three days and three nights was a Jewish idiom to a period covering only two nights” (Matthew, 213).

D. A. Carson

“In rabbinical thought a day and a night make an onah, and a part of an onah is as the whole. . . . Thus according to Jewish tradition, ‘three days and three nights’ need mean no more than ‘three days’ or the combination of any part of three separate days” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 8:296).


#9

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