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    Ethics & Debate Center - Thread: Common Figure of Speech?

    1. #1
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      Common Figure of Speech?

      Actually, the title should be "Examples of Common Figure of Speech"?


      1. The Messiah said that He would be three days and three nights in the "heart of the earth"

      2. There are those who think that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with the resurrection taking place on the 1st day of the week.

      3. Of those, there are some who think that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb.

      4. A 6th day of the week crucifixion/1st day of the week resurrection allows for only 2 nights to be involved.

      5. To account for the lack of a 3rd night, some of those mentioned above say that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language.

      6. I wonder if anyone who falls in that group of believers could provide examples to support that belief; i.e., instances where a daytime or a night time was forecast or said to be involved with an event when no part of the daytime and/or no part of the night time could have occurred?
      Last edited by rstrats; 05-30-2018 at 12:51 PM.

    2. #2
      Josiah's Avatar
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      No "figure of speech" just not numbers used as Americans typically do in the 21st Century. But then the Bible wasn't written by Americans in the 21st Century?


      [From Apologetics Press]


      Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day?
      by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

      The most frequent reference to Jesus’ resurrection reveals that He rose from the grave on the third day of His entombment. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as prophesying that He would arise from the grave on this day (Matthew 17:23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Corinthians that Jesus arose from the grave “the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). What’s more, while preaching to Cornelius and his household, Peter taught that God raised Jesus up “on the third day” (Acts 10:40, emp. added). The fact is, however, Jesus also taught (and Mark recorded) “that the Son of Man” would “be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31, emp. added). Furthermore, Jesus elsewhere prophesied that He would be in the heart of the Earth for “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40). So which is it? Did Jesus rise from the dead on the third day or after three days?

      While to the 21st-century reader these statements may initially appear to contradict one another, in reality, they harmonize perfectly if one understands the different, and sometimes more liberal, methods ancients often used when reckoning time. In the first century, any part of a day could be computed for the whole day and the night following it (cf. Lightfoot, 1979, pp. 210-211). The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (from Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249, bracketed comment in orig.). Azariah indicated that a portion of a 24-hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” Thus, as awkward as it may sound to an American living in the 21st century, a person in ancient times could legitimately speak of something occurring “on the third day,” “after three days,” or after “three days and three nights,” yet still be referring to the same exact day.

      The Scriptures contain several examples which clearly show that in Bible times a part of a day was often equivalent to the whole day.

      According to Genesis 7:12, the rain of the Noahic Flood was upon the Earth “forty days and forty nights.” Verse 17 of that same chapter says it was on the Earth for just “forty days.” Who would argue that it had to rain precisely 960 hours (40 days x 24 hours) for both of these statements to be true?
      In Genesis 42:17 Joseph incarcerated his brothers for three days. Then, according to verse 18, he spoke to them on the third day and released them (all but one, that is).
      In 1 Samuel 30:12,13, the phrases “three days and three nights” and “three days” are used interchangeably.
      When Queen Esther was about to risk her life by going before the king uninvited, she instructed her fellow Jews to follow her example by not eating “for three days, night or day” (Esther 4:16). The text goes on to tell us that Esther went in unto the king “on the third day” (5:1, emp. added).

      Perhaps the most compelling Old Testament passage which clearly testifies that the ancients (at least occasionally) considered a portion of a twenty-four hour period “as the whole of it” is found in 2 Chronicles 10. When Israel asked King Rehoboam to lighten their burdens, he wanted time to contemplate their request, so he instructed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “after three days” (2 Chronicles 10:5, emp. added). Verse 12, however, indicates that Jeroboam and the people of Israel came to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘ Come back to me the third day’ ” (emp. added). Fascinating, is it not, that even though Rehoboam instructed his people to return “after three days,” they understood this to mean “on the third day.”

      From Acts 10, we can glean further insight into the ancient practice of counting consecutive days (in part or in whole) as complete days. Luke recorded how an angel appeared to Cornelius at “about the ninth hour of the day” (approximately 3:00 p.m.; Acts 10:3). “The next day” (10:9) Peter received a vision from God and welcomed visitors sent by Cornelius. “On the next day” (10:23) Peter and the servants of Cornelius departed for Caesarea. “And the following day they entered Caesarea” where Peter taught Cornelius and his household the Gospel (10:24). At one point during Peter’s visit,Cornelius spoke about his encounter with the angel of God. Notice carefully how he began the rehearsal of the event. He stated: “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour…” (10:30, NASB, emp. added). Although the event actually had occurred only 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius spoke of it as taking place “four days ago to this hour.” Why four days instead of three? Because according to the first-century method of reckoning time, a part of the first day and a part of the fourth day could be counted as whole days. Surely one can see how this information aligns itself perfectly with Jesus’ burial taking place on Friday and His resurrection occurring on Sunday. A part of Friday, all day Saturday, and a part of Sunday would be considered three days in ancient times, not one or two.

      Even though in modern times some may find this reasoning somewhat confusing, similar idiomatic expressions frequently are used today. For example, we consider a baseball game that ends after only completing 8˝ innings a “9-inning game.” And even though the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (and not 9 innings like the winning pitcher from the home team), he is said to have pitched a complete game. Consider also the guest at a hotel who checks in at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and checks out at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday—less than 24 hours later. Did the man stay one day or two days at the hotel? Technically, the guest was there for less than one full day (24-hour period), yet the hotel legally can charge him for two days since he did not leave before the mandatory 11:00 a.m. checkout time. Considering how flexible we are in measuring time, depending on the context, perhaps we should not be surprised at how liberal the ancients could be in calculating time.

      Further evidence proving that Jesus’ statements regarding His burial were not contradictory centers around the fact that even His enemies did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself. No doubt this was due to their familiarity with and use of the flexible, customary method of stating time. In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees even said to Pilate the day after Jesus was crucified: “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp. added). The phrase “after three days” must have been equivalent to “the third day,” else surely the Pharisees would have asked for a guard of soldiers until the fourth day. Interesting, is it not, that modern skeptics charge Jesus with contradicting Himself, but not the hypercritical Pharisees of His own day.

      The idiomatic expressions that Jesus and the Bible writers employed to denote how long Jesus would remain in the grave does not mean that He literally was buried for 72 hours. If we interpret the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection in light of the cultural setting of the first century, and not according to the present-day (mis)understanding of skeptics, we find no errors in any of the expressions that Jesus and the gospel writers used.


      REFERENCES

      Hoehner, Harold W (1974), “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 131:241-264, July.

      Lightfoot, John (1979 reprint), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

    3. #3
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      Josiah,
      re: "The Scriptures contain several examples which clearly show that in Bible times a part of a day was often equivalent to the whole day."

      I agree with regard to calendar days. But where are there any examples that show that it was common to forecast or say that a daytime or a night time would be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could have occurred?

    4. #4
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      ================================================== ============================================

      Much has been written and verbally argued over the years about the method of counting in the Biblical narrative. This is particularly true as applied to the crucifixion-resurrection situation and period.

      Why don’t we undertake a reasoned investigation of the situation, and see where that leads.

      There are three fairly obvious aspects to that particular probe (although I have yet to see any research actually based on that combination).

      Each of those aspects will be dealt with in a Post of its own – three Posts in all, of which this is the first.

      ================================================== ============================================

      The first aspect to be considered is:

      Does the term “days” in the Biblical narrative include the part days before and after the whole days, or does it only include whole days only?

      (Bear in mind that in modern Western culture, we actually use a third form – we exclude the first part day, but count the second. That can cause further confusion in some people’s minds.)

      The answer to the above question (which form was used?) is: both. Both forms were used.

      For instance, let’s compare Matthew 17:1 with Mark 9:2 and Luke 9:28.

      Matthew 17:1: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
      Mark 9:2: And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves...
      Luke 9:28: And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

      How many days was it before they went to the mountain – six or about 8?

      If counting whole days only, the answer is six. If counting part days also, the answer is “about” eight.

      ================================================== ============================================

      Matthew and Mark, both writing to Jews we are told (who are said to use only the part-day-inclusive counting), count whole days.

      Luke, writing to non-Jews, uses the part-day-inclusive counting form. But he adds a word (translated “about” – Strong’s G5616*) to make them aware that he was employing the imprecise form of counting.

      ================================================== ============================================

      Thus, using the method of counting as a basis for arguing the number of days pertaining to the crucifixion-resurrection scenario, is actually pointless.

      Other evidence needs to be considered.

      We will find that evidence, once considered, to be conclusive. And we will understand how absolutely dangerous to one side of the how-many-days debate, that evidence is.

      And we will comprehend just why that particular side attempts to keep attention focussed on that indeterminable counting issue. (Successfully so, I might add.)


      ================================================== ============================================

      * Strong’s G5616 – as if, about, as it were, etc.
      Seeking to understand with precision, God's holy and coherent revelation to us.

    5. #5
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      Pedrito,

      Are you a believer in a 6th day of the week crucifixion?

    6. #6
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      ================================================== ============================================

      rstrats, Post #5:
      Pedrito,

      Are you a believer in a 6th day of the week crucifixion?
      I suggest we follow the evidence and see where that leads.

      Evidence will be presented in two Posts yet to come.

      Why don’t we see where we end up with that?


      ================================================== ============================================
      Seeking to understand with precision, God's holy and coherent revelation to us.

    7. #7
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      Pedrito,
      re: "I suggest we follow the evidence and see where that leads. Evidence will be presented in two Posts yet to come. Why don’t we see where we end up with that?"

      Are you saying that you won't know if you believe in a 6th day of the week crucifixion until you get to the end of your coming 2 posts?

    8. #8
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      ================================================== ============================================

      rstrats, Post #7:
      Pedrito,
      re: "I suggest we follow the evidence and see where that leads. Evidence will be presented in two Posts yet to come. Why don’t we see where we end up with that?"

      Are you saying that you won't know if you believe in a 6th day of the week crucifixion until you get to the end of your coming 2 posts?
      I’m suggesting that sometimes it is wise not to jump the gun.

      There is an old adage:
      Patience is a virtue.
      Possess it if you can.
      Seldom in a woman,
      And never in a man.
      While I don’t necessarily agree with the end bit, it does tend to set the tone.


      ================================================== ============================================
      Last edited by Pedrito; 07-01-2018 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Insert rstrats Post number
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    9. #9
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      Maybe this question should also be answered: "What difference does it make to us on which day the Resurrection took place? "

    10. Likes Josiah liked this post
    11. #10
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      Pedrito,
      re: "I’m suggesting that sometimes it is wise not to jump the gun."

      I don't see what that has to do with you knowing right now if believe that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week? Do you or don't you?

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