Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb
A concise explanation from Answering the Skeptics II

Bakunin writes:
Nowhere is there as many contradictions between the
versions of the story as here. Was Jesus resurrected on
the third day or after 3 days, which is on the fourth?

Dr. Foster writes:
This can easily be explained by understanding the Jewish expression of time. The authors did not mean exactly three days or 72 hours or 4320 minutes or 259,200 seconds. The Babylon Talmud records that "The portion of a day is as the whole of it." Esther 3:16 and 5:1 confirm this, as does 1 Samuel 30:12 and 30:13. Also, the Jewish day begins around 6 PM in the evening, since Elohim created the heavens and earth on the very first day out of darkness. There are also fourteen references to Christ being raised "on the third day."

The "three days and three nights" in reference to Christ’s period in the tomb can be calculated as follows. (1) Christ was crucified on Friday. Anytime before 6 PM Friday would be considered "one day and one night" in Jewish time. (2) Friday 6 PM to Saturday 6 P.M. would be the second Jewish day. (3) Saturday 6 P.M. until Sunday 6 PM would be the third Jewish day. This is the day that Christ was raised from the dead, just as He predicted.

It is interesting to note that all of the other religious leaders are still dead in their graves, and you can still go and worship them there if you want. Christ proved his deity by raising Himself from the dead and fulfilling over 300 Old Testament prophecies. His tomb is still empty today, because He is God who became a man to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life. Jesus said, “I am He that lives, and was dead; I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and hell."

From Answering the Skeptics II.


Anonymous said…
Intriguing that the reckoning of a 'portion of a day is teh whole of it' applied to Jesus in the tomb.

It actually had a very specialised meaning, and was never cited elsewhere. It was a one-off ruling, designed to see exactly how long a woman was unclean while menstruating.

As Jesus was not menstruating while in the tomb (he wasn't even a woman), the rulin hardly applied to him.
Anonymous said…
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BK said…
I find your response intriguing. I went to the site you posted and saw the discussion of the various menstuation periods but saw no Scriptural reference about 24 hours. If you are still around, could you point out more clearly what you are referencing?
Anonymous said…
Why would the Jews have one way of counting days for menstrating and another way of counting days for everything else?
BK said…
It seems to me that Dr. Foster would be saying exactly that: the numbering of days for menstruation is the same as the numbering of days otherwise. So, unless someone can show me where there is an inconsistency, or can show me why the same numbering system should not apply to both, I think that regardless of where the numbering system is found it is evidence as to how it is used elsewhere.

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