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This is not mine but it's worth considering in the scope of this discussion.
DON’T THE GOSPELS GIVE CONTRADICTORY REPORTS AS TO THE TIME CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED?
One of the so-called contradictions that we hear brought up concerns the disagreement between the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John as to the time of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Mark 15:25 (KJV) states, “and it was the third hour, and they crucified him,” while in John 19:14 (KJV) we read, “And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!”
This does indeed present a difficulty, since Mark has Jesus being crucified at the third hour, or nine o’clock in the morning, according to Jewish reckoning, while John places Jesus before Pontius Pilate at about the sixth hour, or noon.
Many say this discrepancy is impossible to reconcile, while others say the difference between the two is a result of a mistake early in the copying process. Neither of these two views is plausible or acceptable.
There are two possible solutions which carry reasonable weight. One solution centers on the word “about” in John’s statement of the time. He reveals that it was not exactly the sixth hour, but only about this time.
Also, Mark’s account does not force us to believe that it was at exactly 9 a.m. when Jesus was put on the cross. This can be observed by understanding the way the New Testament calculates time.
The night was divided into four watches, each consisting of three hours (see Mark 13:35), and the day was to some extent likewise divided into periods. In light of this, we can imagine that Mark’s statement about the “third hour” simply meant that Jesus was crucified sometime during the third hour (between nine o’clock and noon), while John’s statement that the trial ended about noon can mean before noon.
Thus, if the crucifixion took place between nine o’clock and noon, Mark could have placed it at the earlier period (nine o’clock) and John at the later period (noon) without there being any discrepancy.
“If the crucifixion took place midway between nine and twelve o’clock, it was quite natural that one observer should refer it to the former, while another referred it to the latter hour.
“The height of the sun in the sky was the index of the time of the day; while it was easy to know whether it was before or after midday, or whether the sun was more or less than halfway between the zenith and the horizon, finer distinctions of time were not recognized without consulting the sun dials, which were not everywhere at hand” (The Expositor’s Greek New Testament, commenting on John 19:14).
Another possibility is that John is using a different method of reckoning time than Mark. We know for a fact, from Plutarch, Pliny, Aulus Gellius, and Macrobius, that the Romans calculated the civil day from midnight to midnight, just as we do today.
Thus John’s “sixth hour” would be six o’clock in the morning. This would make 6 a.m. the time of the last of the trials of Jesus, and of His sentencing, giving adequate time for the events leading up to the crucifixion which, in Mark, was at 9 a.m. or afterward.
There is good evidence that John used this method of computing time. This is not unusual in Scripture to have different authors use different methods of measuring time and determining dates.
In the Old Testament, the writers often would state their important dates by the calendar system of the country they were serving under at that time. For instance, in Jeremiah 25:1 and 46:2, the time was by Palestinian reckoning, and Daniel 1:1 was Babylonian reckoning, the same year.
A New Testament example is John 20:19. The evening of the day Jesus rose from the dead is considered part of that same day. Apparently John is not reckoning by Jewish time. According to the Jewish system of reckoning time, the evening in question would be part of Monday, the first day of the week, since the Jewish day began at sunset.
This possible factor, along with the one previously mentioned, shows that the difficulty in these two passages is not at all impossible to solve, nor does it pose any difficulty that is without a reasonable explanation.
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES
W.F. Arndt, Does the Bible Contradict Itself?, 5th rev. ed., Concordia Press, 1955
The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Edited by W. Robertson Nicoll, Eerdmans, 1951
URS your questions will be answered in due time.
If that's the case what day is the day of Pentecost?
Penta means 50 or 5.
The United States Department of Defense Headquarters is named the Pentagon because it has 5 sides.
So after 7 Sabbaths the 50th day is the 1st day of the week which in today is Sunday. OK the day of Pentecost in which the desciple gathered in Jerusalem was a Sunday. It was also the day in which the Church was born. In fact it this High Sabbath always falls on a Sunday.
It signifies the Harvesting of Firstfruits or the Church.
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE CONTRADICTIONS IN THE RESURRECTION STORY
The New Testament makes the assertion that the truth of Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus.
The apostle Paul stated, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ.… And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins… . If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Corinthians 15:14, 15, 17, 19, KJV).
A common objection to the fact of the resurrection is that the four Gospel narratives contain hopeless contradictions. If the four accounts were placed in parallel columns, a number of apparent differences would be highlighted. However, these apparent differences ultimately confirm the truthfulness of these accounts, rather than refute them.
If all four Gospels gave exactly the same story, in exactly the same order, with exactly the same details, we would immediately become suspicious. We could also wonder why all four writers did not simply attach their names as co-authors of one account. Obviously, this is not the case. None of the four Gospels gives all the details of what transpired.
Matthew is the only writer who records the first appearance to the women, while only in Luke do we find the account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The appearance of Mary Magdalene is omitted by both Matthew and Luke. Only John records the appearance of our Lord in the upper room, when Thomas was absent and the appearance on the sea of Galilee.
It is quite clear that all of the Gospels relate their portraits of Jesus differently. This is what we should expect. No four witnesses (or news reporters), all of whom witness a series of events, will write them up in exactly the same way, detail for detail. If they did, there would be obvious collusion.
If the differences concerned the main points of the story, then there would be justification for doubt, but when the salient points are agreed upon by every witness, insignificant differences add to, rather than subtract from, the validity.
It should be noted, too, that none of the details necessarily flatly contradicts any others, but in some plausible way they correlate together to supply the larger picture. The variations in detail the different writers chose to include in the resurrection narratives consist of incidental things which in no way jeopardize the main plot of the story.
One of the seeming contradictions that bothers people concerns the time the women came to the tomb, related differently by John and Mark. Mark’s account has the women coming to the tomb at the rising of the sun, while John states that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb when it was dark.
This difficulty is solved when it is realized that the women had to walk quite some distance to reach the grave, since they stayed in Jerusalem or Bethany. It was dark when they left the place in which they were staying, but when they arrived at the tomb the sun was beginning to shine. Therefore, Mark is speaking of their arrival, while John refers to their departure.
The area which has generated the most discussion concerns the angels who were at the tomb of Jesus. Matthew and Mark relate that one angel addressed the women, while Luke and John say that two angels were at the tomb.
This seems to be a discrepancy, with Matthew and Mark knowing of only one angel while Luke and John speak of two. However, Matthew and Mark do not say that there was only one angel at the tomb, but that one angel spoke to the women.
This does not contradict Luke and John, for Matthew and Mark specify that one angel spoke, but they do not say there was only one angel present or only one angel spoke. Quite possibly one of the angels served as the spokesman for the two, thus he was emphasized. There is no need to assume a discrepancy.
Though they report some of the details differently, the Gospels agree in all important points. The accounts are in harmony on the fact that Jesus was dead and buried; that the disciples were not prepared for His death, but were totally confused; that the tomb was empty on Easter morning; that the empty tomb did not convince them that Jesus had risen; that Mary thought the body had been stolen.
The Gospel writers also concur that the disciples had certain experiences which they believed to be appearances of the resurrected Christ. That normative first century Judaism had no concept of a dying and rising Messiah is a historical fact.
The disciples proclaimed the resurrection story in Jerusalem, in the place where Jesus had been killed and buried. All these facts considered together constitute a powerful argument for the validity of the resurrection story.
The venerable scholar, Wilbur Smith, had this to say about the differences in the resurrection accounts and the areas in which the Gospels agree:
“In these fundamental truths, there are absolutely no contradictions. The so-called variations in the narratives are only the details which were mostly vividly impressed on one mind or another of the witnesses of our Lord’s resurrection, or on the mind of the writers of these four respective Gospels.
“The closest, most critical, examination of these narratives throughout the ages never has destroyed and can never destroy their powerful testimony to the truth that Christ did rise from the dead on the third day, and was seen of many” (The Supernaturalness of Christ, W.A. Wilde Company, 1954, p. 205).
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES
George Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, Eerdmans, 1975
Wilbur Smith, The Supernaturalness of Christ, W.A. Wilde Company, 1954
W.J. Sparrow-Simpson, The Resurrection and the Christian Faith, Zondervan, 1968
Merrill Tenney, The Reality of the Resurrection, Harper and Row, 1963
URS there's a lot of words we use today that aren't in the bible. That doesn't mean that those events don't exist or occur.
URS we don't observe certain "instructions" in the BIBLE because they don't apply to us "gentiles".
URS if you want to keep the LAW (all 613 in the OT and 128 in the NT) go ahead and do it. But please don't try and impose it on the rest of us. Just don't forget if you break one law you break all of them, and have to start all over again (James 2:10).
On the other side if you don't want to celebrate Easter and Christmas please don't. But please don't try and stop the rest of us from celebrating it. We know why we're celebrating it and we don't owe you an explanation for it.