A Review of Alex Tennent’s attack on the Ressurection Sabbath
This is a review of T. Alex Tennent’s attack on the Resurrection Sabbath: Why the Saturday Resurrection Theory Is False, and Why It Matters. (Accessed 4/13/2016) Tennent’s argument is a short essay promoting his book, The Messianic Feast and his Thursday to Sunday Passion theory. To be fair, he is rebutting the Sabbath afternoon and Saturday evening theories. On the other hand, at this point in history, an author who publishes his research on this subject should be aware that the literal sense of the Evagelists’ resurrection texts states it was on “the first of the Sabbaths.” The Messianic Faith places the resurrection on the weekly Sabbath just before dawn, and the crucifixion on Wednesday afternoon, the 14th of Nisan. When this is accounted for all the objections go up in smoke. He begins like this:
Those who teach the Saturday resurrection usually believe in a Wednesday crucifixion (which they believe was the 14th day that year). They are not always clear on whether they believe the last supper was the Passover or not (my book makes it clear that it was not). The Saturday resurrection option is popular among those who understand that Jewish law would never have Jesus crucified on the holy 15th-day high Sabbath, but this Saturday option falls short of the scriptures because of the reasons listed below:
What is not stated here at the beginning should be. Tennent’s solution to the Passion problem is the Thursday Crucifixion theory. This theory’s reason for being is that it offers a way for defenders of Easter Sunday to explain Matthew 12:40 and Mark’s after three day statements. What it does not explain is its lack of congruence with many other Scriptural texts that the translator’s of English versions have suppressed. They would have suppressed Matthew 12:40 and Jonah 1:17 also if they could have. But the phrase was too easy to remember and understand. It survived only because the translators would look like fools to eliminate it. Instead they opted to undermine it by interpretation. That is why the debate often centers around Matthew 12:40. As important as this text is, the Church truly needs to be confronted with what the Evangelists state is the resurrection day: “The first of the Sabbaths.”
The Last Supper was on Tuesday evening, March 23, AD 34. John makes it plain that it was not the official Passover Seder, and Exodus 12:15 explains the other three Evangelists. Messiah died on Wednesday March 24, AD 34 (Nisan 14) and rose from the dead at dawn on the weekly Sabbath following, which is called Resurrection Sabbath. We do not call it after the name Saturday, which is a Roman term for the seventh day of the week. We call it Resurrection Sabbath after the Sabbath, which is the Scriptural name for the seventh day. The Saturday afternoon theory may also be called the Resurrection Sabbath, but it has to be treated with the Saturday evening theory, since it is for the most part subject to the same criticisms.
No early historian even mentions a Saturday resurrection, because all of the sides in the early disputes agreed on the Sunday resurrection. Several early doctrinal disputes did arise between Roman Christians and Messianic Jewish believers, and the “Setting the Table 1” chapter of The Messianic Feast documents some of these disputes. The Messianic Fourteenthers (i.e., those early Jewish believers who were called this because they understood that Jesus was crucified on the 14th day) wrote of a Sunday resurrection, as did those called Church Fathers in Rome. Although early Jewish believers disputed the Roman concept of a 15th-day crucifixion and other Roman beliefs, both sides in these early doctrinal disputes wrote of and agreed on the Sunday resurrection.
Tennent is here charging his opposition with argument from historical silence. But a fair sampling of the what early Nazarene dissent there was against the Church of Rome has not survived because the Church of Rome eliminated their writings in their zealous promotion of the Easter heresy. If a person is truly a Torah Observant Messianic, then one may as well also ask how many pro-Torah Nazarene historical writings have survived. The answer is almost none, save the Apostolic Writings alone (a.k.a. New Testament). So Tennent’s argument is unacceptable from a Messianic point of view. It proves too much. It proves the anti-Torah position is correct because it is the only view that survived. This is because the Church of Rome eliminated all pro-Torah Nazarene writings also. Really, an argument from silence is only fallacious when the silence is not artificially caused by persecution. It is a historical fact that Rome promoted their version of Easter Sunday with persecuting fanaticism. The argument is also circular. Our side is the only side there was (because we killed the other side) and the truth must be our side because there is no other side.
There are historical writings that exist, that the Almighty preserved, which say the resurrection was on the Sabbath: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Tennent does not exhibit awareness that they name the resurrection on the “first of the Sabbaths” in the original texts. Either he is suppressing the facts or he is blissfully ignorant of the original language. Using temporal anachronism, Tennent tries to lead the reader into thinking that there was a Messianic voice in Rome representing the primitive Messianic Faith when Rome started promoting Easter Sunday, which then did not stand up to correct Rome, as would be expected. The doctrinal disputes he refers to are mentioned in the book of Romans and all took place before the Easter Sunday heresy was introduced. By the time the Easter Sunday heresy was introduced the Messianic voice was completely marginalized by the Church of Rome.
Tennet tries to tell us that the Quartodeciman Christians were Jewish. It is quite clear that they cannot be called Jewish. The vast majority of them were non-Jews. Like every other Christian group, Catholics included, they no doubt had some Jews among them, perhaps a slightly higher small percentage. The Quartodeciman’s celebrated the crucifixion and resurrection at the same time that the Jews and Nazarenes observed Passover. The Nazarenes still existed, they say, till about the sixth century, when Islam took over the near east, but no extant writings survived except the Apostolic Writings and what their enemies reported. The lunar 14th in the Roman reckoning included the night after the day part of the 14th, which was the time for the Passover Seder. At this time the Quartodecimans solemnized the Passion and remembered the resurrection. According to the history reported by Roman Catholic sources the Quartodecimans were not Torah-observant. And clearly not so, because the argument would not have been over when to solemnize the Passion. It would have been a classic Torah and anti-Torah battle. They merely retained the 14th day of the moon as the date to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection. For this reason Tennent’s effort to forge a link to the primitive Messianic Faith via the Quartodecimans fails. They were well compromised against Torah, but not quite as compromised as to celebrate Easter Sunday with the Church of Rome. It is therefore irrelevant that they agreed with Rome that the resurrection was on Sunday. They also agreed with Rome on the status of Torah. They came from a time after the knowledge of Torah necessary to understand Resurrection Sabbath was eliminated from the Church (ca. AD 100 - 140).
There are many groups today, Jewish and non-Jewish that claim to keep some part of Torah, but believe in a Sunday resurrection. The Seventh Day Adventists believe in a Friday Crucifixion and Sunday resurrection. It would be a logical mistake to argue that because they keep the Sabbath they represent the views of the primitive Messianic Faith. The error is called the equivocation fallacy. This likewise is Tennent’s error with the Quartodecimans. Just because some group historical or otherwise keeps some part of Torah that Rome does not does not entitle that group to the legacy of the primitive Messianic Faith.
Paul called Jesus the “first fruits” because his resurrection on Sunday (the morrow of the Sabbath) fulfilled this offering (Leviticus 23:10–14; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23). Early church writer Clement of Alexandria (a Fourteenther who understood that Jesus was crucified on the 14th day) wrote that the resurrection was on the morrow of the Sabbath (i.e., Sunday), when the priest was to offer up this sheaf of the first fruits. In the following quote, early “Fourteenther” Clement shows how Christ fulfilled this offering: “He certainly rose on the third day, which fell on the first day of the weeks of harvest, on which the law prescribed that the priest should offer up the sheaf” (click here for full quote in book, on p.381). Clement shows another way the Messiah’s words about being resurrected “on the third day” could apply, with a Thursday crucifixion and Friday being the 15th day high Sabbath and first day of the seven day Feast, then Sunday would have been “on the third day” of this seven day Festival. By forcing a Saturday Sabbath resurrection it would render Christ as our “day-early first-fruits” offering, by it not taking place on the “morrow of the Sabbath.”
The Messianic Faith calls Messiah Yeshua, but Tennent seems to prefer his non-Hebrew name. Anyway, the notion that first fruits was always on Sunday is a Sadducean doctrine. The majority of the Jews followed the Pharisees who taught that first fruits was on Nisan 16. And to this day, the majority of the Rabbis teach the same. Paul was from the sect of the Pharisees and was able to say he was one late in his ministry (Acts 23:6). The morrow of the Sabbath (Lev. 23:11, 15) was the day after the Annual Sabbath (Nisan 15), i.e. it was Nisan 16. The Hebrew sense of morrow, מָחָר is essential to understanding Lev. 23:15 and 16. I explain this thoroughly in other articles.
Tennent equivocates Clement of Alexandria with the Quartodecimans. Clement was certainly not a Quartodeciman (fourteener). He wrote against the Quartodeciman position of Melito of Sardis. Now Clement did agree with John that the crucifixion was on the 14th day, but this does not make him a fourteener (Quartodeciman). The third day was indeed the first day of the seven weeks (i.e. Nisan 16), but it wasn’t on Sunday in AD 34. It was between Friday sunrise and Sabbath sunrise. Just before dawn on the Sabbath the resurrection happened. This is explained by the charts in the index and by the Resurrection Day Book.
Tennent speculates on a Thursday crucifixion, and suggests that Friday is the 15th of Nisan. The only problem is that the Friday-Sunday Church has been looking for the fabled 15th of Nisan on a Friday, and have yet to find it via astronomical calculation. That is, the 15th of Nisan never lands on Friday in any of the years possible for the crucifixion. Tennent does not inform the reader in his promotional that most Jews put first fruits on Nisan 16, which could be any day of the week, depending on the year. Does he inform the reader in his book? It doesn’t matter. I have informed you. The fact unwinds his proof text and also his “day-early” insult of the historical timing of first fruits.
Those who teach this Saturday resurrection usually believe in a Wednesday crucifixion, but this would make Sunday the fourth day since Jesus was delivered up, condemned, and crucified instead of the third day since “these things” happened (Luke 24:1, 19–21; John 20:1). Jesus said he would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40). He did not mean to the exact second, but that he would be in the tomb for a portion of three different days and nights. The occurrence of the Last Supper on late Wednesday and the crucifixion on Thursday fit this perfectly. He was in the tomb for a portion of Thurs-day, Fri-day, and Satur-day, and for a portion of Friday nighttime, Saturday nighttime, and Sunday nighttime (Sunday nighttime started at sundown on Saturday). The Wednesday crucifixion with a Saturday resurrection would have Jesus in the tomb for a portion of four days—Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This Saturday option does not fit the scriptures, and the Messiah said the scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35). There is no Greek variant in these verses that would change this timing.
The Thursday theory, even though there is no Friday for Nisan 15, is consistent with Luke 24:21, however so is Resurrection Sabbath. The resurrection was just before dawn on the Sabbath, and Luke 24:21 was spoken on the road to Emmaus about mid-afternoon on the Sabbath. John 20:1 and Luke 24:1 say the resurrection was on “the first of the Sabbaths.” Tennent’s objections are only valid against a Saturday Evening resurrection or a Sabbath after noon resurrection in which the women go to the tomb on Sunday. But with the resurrection at dawn on the first Sabbath after Passover, the women go to the tomb then, and not the first day of the week. All the alleged difficulties vanish. Tennent’s manuscript statement misleads the reader by mentioning the lack of Greek variants. There are no Greek variants, but the English texts vary from the Greek. All the Greek texts say, “first of the Sabbaths” for the resurrection day. Matthew 28:1a says it was the later of the Sabbaths in Passion week also. The key is in Lev. 23:15, where commandment is given to count seven Sabbaths after Passover.
Some say that the Saturday resurrection is the only way to fulfill the three days and three nights exactly by having the Messiah resurrected late Saturday afternoon, exactly 72 hours after he entered the “heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). But the Jews did not have stopwatches or atomic clocks to mark exact times, so when Jesus said “three days and three nights,” he did not mean exactly 72 hours to the minute. In the Old Testament interpretation, even a portion of a day or night counted as the whole day (such as for ritual cleansings). Jesus said he would be in the “heart of the earth” for three days and three nights just as Jonah was in the whale, and no proof exists that Jonah fulfilled this timing to the exact minute.
We really have no dispute here. Days are counted inclusively in Hebrew, today, tomorrow, the third day, and today, yesterday, the third day. And part of a day at the beginning of a count need not be a whole day. These facts are fatal blows to the Sabbath afternoon and Saturday evening theories. But Resurrection Sabbath is completely unscathed.
Jesus also said he would be killed and arise from the dead on the third day (Matthew 16:21 and Luke 24:7), meaning the third day after he was killed. The scriptures are clear that the Thursday scourging and crucifixion fulfills this, where Friday is the first day since, and Saturday is the second day since, and as the disciples are walking on Sunday it is the “third day since these things happened” (which is exactly what the scriptures prove in Luke 24:1, 19–21).
Again, we have no dispute with the counting method for “on the third day.” The resurrection on Resurrection Sabbath at dawn is not vulnerable to these objections. Tennent has run afoul of some technical problems in his understanding of the word after and his use this time of exclusive counting. The Resurrection Sabbath does not have the need to invoke these technical errors, and neither does Tennent’s view have to. But they are not relevant to his objections or our defense. I simply cannot approve of his way of stating the matter.
The Saturday resurrection option rejects Mark 16:9, which states (in Greek) that Jesus arose early on the first day of the week—our Sunday. Also, if Jesus had arisen on Saturday, why would he have waited more than twelve hours (until the following day) to reveal himself? Some say that the scripture in Matthew 28:1, translated as “in the end of the Sabbath” by the King James Version, shows a Saturday resurrection. But the Greek actually says “after the Sabbaths,” with the plural “Sabbaths” probably referring to the 15-day Sabbath (Friday that year) and the Saturday Sabbath that followed it.
This is not a problem for Resurrection Sabbath since the resurrection was just before dawn. There is no 12 hour waiting period. The text says, “the first Sabbath day” (Mark 16:9) which directly refutes Tennent as does Mark 16:2, “And very early on the first of the Sabbaths....” But Mark 16:9ff is a poor apologetic. That is because most scholars do not regard the longer ending as genuine. That includes yours truly. The book originally ended at vs. 8 with the words, “and they were stunned (or shocked or alarmed).” The problem was that many did not understand Marks closing word “fear,” which includes the idea of being stunned speechless. This agrees with Mark’s style and abruptness. The longer ending does not agree with Mark’s vocabulary style or the other Evangelists on the phrase “first of the Sabbaths.” In Mark 16:9 the statement of “the first Sabbath day,” is a hapax saying. The longer ending also has false doctrine about baptism.
In Matthew 28:1, the Greek does not say “after the Sabbaths.” It says “And the late [one] of the Sabbaths,” which in a more idiomatic English is “The later of the Sabbaths....” The word οψε simply does not mean “after.” Tennent’s theory also requires Nisan 15 to be a Friday. We can now calculate the calendar for any year in the first century using retro-calculation. The results do not cooperate with his assumptions for any possible year of the crucifixion. It should be pointed out that Resurrection Sabbath is based everywhere on the normal or usual senses of words in the original languages. Every other theory is forced to violate the rule that the first normal sense to make sense is the real sense. The first day of the week theory violates Okkam’s Razor with its many ad hoc assumptions about the sense of the original text.
Luke 24:1 and John 20:1 show Mary Magdalene and the others leaving very early in the morning (while it was still dark) with spices to anoint the body. If Jesus had been crucified on Wednesday, why would these women have risen and left home in the darkness of Sunday morning when they had all day Friday to complete this task? After all, if the 14th-day crucifixion was Wednesday and the 15th-day Sabbath was Thursday, then Friday would not have been a Sabbath—and that would have been the obvious time to anoint the body, rather than waiting until the fourth day when decay would have set in. By waiting until Sunday (Luke 24:1) to come and anoint the body they would have known that corruption would have set in, as was said of Lazarus on the fourth day, “by this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days.” (John 11:39). And the scripture says of the Messiah that he would not see corruption (Acts 2:25-27).
The main embalming was done of Joseph and Nicodemus on Friday. Messiah was buried hastily in a sheet before sunset on Wednesday, but the grave clothes were linen strips at the end. So on the day between the Sabbaths, the dressing was changed. The final task was done at the end of the third day (dawn on Sabbath), and this was simply a freshing up of the grave with sweet spices. It was done when it was done, because it was considered the last practical time to enter the grave before decay ensued. And it was the only remaining discreet time to do it. Some will object to the women doing this on the Sabbath, but Jewish respect for the dead was so great that even the Jewish Traditional law granted an exemption for it. The objections stated are valid against the Sabbath afternoon or Saturday evening theories, but not for the Resurrection Sabbath. The women went to the tomb at dawn on the Sabbath, right at the end of the third day when the fourth day was barely beginning.
The proof for the Sunday resurrection is quite strong; it is the only possible way to fit the template challenge for this Jewish feast (see link here), whereby all of the scriptural time keys harmonize and make sense. While it is true that when Mary Magdalene and the others arrived early Sunday morning, Jesus had already arisen, it must be remembered that anytime after sundown on Saturday would then be Sunday.
It is only strong based on corrupted English translations that put abnormal and unusual senses onto the original text. The proof is really circular reasoning. The originals say first of the Sabbaths. It is one possible way to fit things based on English translations, but they are inconsistently fitted if the context is enlarged to include Daniel 9 and Sabbatical years or statements such as Luke 3:1 and John’s Passovers. But again the English is incorrect. The Translators made the original say what they wanted it to say. Also, there is no way to calculate a Nisan 15 on a Friday for any possible year of the crucifixion.
Any option that does not have Jesus eating the Passover at the last supper would still have to explain Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, and Luke 22:7, which on the surface appear to show it was the Passover. The “Three Major Greek Keys That Unlock the Gospels” chapter lists what I believe is the proper way to interpret these scriptures, using the accepted rules of Greek grammar.
And is this a point against the Resurrection Sabbath? Hardly in light of the fact that Tennent believes the crucifixion was on Nisan 14 and that his theory requires it. The key to solving the mystery is to realize that the problem with these texts did not start in the Apostolic Writings (a.k.a. New Testament). The problem also exists in Exodus 12:15. All the texts mean “the head most day,” and refer to Nisan 14. Delving into this problem is beyond the scope of this review.
Conclusion: To believe the Saturday resurrection, we therefore have to believe that the apostles and the early Messianic Jews did a horrible job of teaching and handing down the supposed truth of a Saturday resurrection, because both sides (the Messianic Jewish believers and the Roman Christians) fully agreed on the Sunday resurrection.
He repeats his equivocation error, covered earlier in this review. Those whom he identifies as early Messianic Jews were not Messianic Jews, or any sort of representatives of the primitive Messianic Faith.
Why it even matters: There are many reasons why it matters whether Jesus (Yeshua) was raised from the dead on Saturday or Sunday. For one thing, the Messiah said to buy the truth and sell it not. Truth is always important; oftentimes it builds out bigger truths that can only happen correctly if the smaller foundational truths you build upon are in fact true. The Sunday resurrection fits with a Thursday crucifixion (where Sunday is the 3rd day since all “these things happened”—i.e., arrest, trial, and crucifixion—Luke 24:1, 18, 19, 21). This then opens the door to understanding that Jesus was crucified on the 14th day in which the lambs were offered up, which then proves that his final supper the night before could not possibly have been a Passover. This then opens one’s eyes to the fact that they were eating regular leavened bread at this meal (all of the Greek scriptures show this as Course 1 proves linked here). And finally, this proves that the unleavened-bread Communion ritual handed down by Rome was not what Jesus or the early Messianic Jews taught or believed, which then helps us to see what the Messiah really meant in his vitally important parables at the last supper. This is all explained in my book,
“Oftentimes it builds out bigger truths that can only happen correctly if the smaller foundational truths you build upon are in fact true.” Well said. But Tennent does not have the truth. He has a corrupt theory based on miss translations. With the Resurrection Sabbath in place we do solve Daniel 9 exactly and then use the results to solve the birth of Messiah and also the rest of Biblical Chronology, exactly and precisely at Torah Times.
The word ἄζυμα (unleavened) is not used at the Last Super. But the word for bread is, ἄρτος which in Hebrew is לֶחֶם. That the plain word for bread in both Greek and Hebrew may mean unleavened bread is proved in Deut. 16:3. where unleavened bread, matsot is called the “bread of affliction.” There is therefore no proof that leavened bread was used at the Last Super. There is proof that Messiah had a leavened product on the cross on Nisan 14, while it was still legal, but this has little to do with the intent at the Last Supper. It is known that as a custom the Galilean Jews abstained from leaven from the beginning of Nisan 14 while the Judean Jews did so only on the day part of the 14th of Nisan. Therefore, it is probable that unleavened bread was used at the Last Supper. It is not unreasonable to interpret the Last Supper as a demonstration Seder. The words “Do this in remembrance of Me” belong to a textual corrupt section of Luke. It is my judgment that they do not belong there. Paul obtained these words, most likely, from Peter himself, and not by reading Luke. It is not unlikely then that Peter’s instruction was that that Yeshua intended the memorial to be done at the actual Passover Seder. Our practice is to remember the death of Messiah in the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine. The unleavened bread is the bread of affliction. And we do this once a year in the night following the day part of Nisan 14. 1 Cor. 5:7-8 surely puts a tarnish the notion that the bread used at the Last Super was leavened. The so called Messianic practice of doing this with leavened bread, weekly, or quarterly, is taken from the influence of the Church of Rome and the Protestants. It is not the primitive Messianic Faith. For this reason it is our rule that we imitate neither Rome nor the Protestants. The theology taught concerning the Eucharist by those they are imitating is heretical. But that is not the subject of this review.
The original article was a bog which posters commented on. Here I review some of what one poster said, and Tennent’s reply:
Joseph says: March 9, 2016 at 8:35 am First off, Our Lord died for our sins according to the Scriptures; He was buried; and he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. I started reading your article and right off the bat you say “No early historian even mentions a Saturday resurrection”. Not true. Matthew literally reads “It was the latter of the Sabbaths” in 28:1. OPSE is usually translated as a preposition, as in “AFTER the Sabbath (singular). But OPSE is a adverb not a preposition. It simply does not function as a preposition. “I jumped High that day”, “I jumped VIGOROUSLY that day”; when we take these two examples with the adverbs “high” and “vigorously” in these statements, we understand that the adverb does not change the fact that I jumped that particular day. The adverb simply don’t have the power to change the day. And the other two instances of OPSE has the same meaning of late/later/latter. Since we are dealing with a plural of Sabbaths, it does becomes “latter of the sabbaths”. Another mention of this is the “gospel” falsely attributed to Peter in the early second century. This writing follows Matthew’s transmissions (“tradition”) closely and put the resurrected at the beginning of night on Saturday, the so-called Lord’s day it is advocating. Only difference between the two timings is a matter of the day with a small margin in between, that is, Sabbath or “the Lord’s day”. Writing names Didascalia Apostolorum an advocate of Friday crucifixion, places the arrest of our Lord on the fourth day of the week, and attempts to explain away the difficulty. Epiphanius of Salamis in the fourth century mentions the same thing. Socrates in the fifth century mention those in he East who celebrate the resurrection on the Sabbath day. Here we are dealing with the voices which we still have today, and the Friday/Sunday proponents has the majority of work preserved in our day. Bishop Gregory of Tours in the 6th century says that many deem the resurrection to be on the seventh day. We see that not even the Friday/Sunday advocates denied that our Lord was arrested on the fourth day of the week. And just about all advocates today would not deny that the arrest and crucifixion took place in the same 24 hour period (the same day in Jewish reckoning). Thus three days “after” is the Sabbath, and the third day of unleavened bread according to the Scriptures. You also mentioned Paul, that he said our Lord is the first fruits and the first fruits begin the day after the Sabbath. I am completely assured that he fulfilled first fruits. But just like the Passover lamb are sacrificed on the eve of Passover, so also the first fruits are reaped on the eve of first fruits. The day after the Sabbath is the offering not the reaping of the first fruits. According to an ancient first fruits custom, we find out that the first fruits were reaped at the end of the Sabbath day (please look this up) and not on first fruits itself. This brings us to the time of Matthew at the closing of the Sabbath day, well the literal translation of Matthew that is. Three days after Passover was therefore the Sabbath when the first fruits were reaped, and this is the third day (of Unleavened Bread) according to the Scriptures.
Joseph is correct in his translation of Matthew 28:1a. But he is incorrect to make an issue out of the part of speech. Words are often used in multiple parts of speech, e.g. the first (adj.) man, the man came first (adv.), the first (noun-substantive) of the men. To apply this: the late man, the man came late, the late of the men. The context and plural of Sabbaths demand, “the late of the Sabbaths,” which is the later of the Sabbaths in smoother English. Now the objection that “after” is a preposition is valid. It does appear that οψε is not used as a preposition in other contexts. The lexicons have it labeled as an adverb, but as I have just shown, the same word can be used as adjective and noun-substantive. It is not used in Matthew 28:1a as an adverb. There is no verb to modify. Nor does it modify a noun. It is not used as an adjective. This leaves only one use left, and that is as a noun substantive, “the late [one] of the Sabbaths.” This is how the grammar normally works.
Socrates historical statements about the Sabbath were applied to Churches that celebrated the mysteries on both Sabbath and Sunday. These statements really do not express a belief in a Sabbath Resurrection. Gregory of Tours statement applies to Bishops who were advocating that Sunday was the seventh day of the week, just as calendars in continental Europe say to this day. What this does imply is that they did not read the Evangelists to say “first day of the week,” but “prima Sabbatorum” which they took to mean that Sunday was the new Sabbath and the seventh day. It also implies that the Church did not yet have a lock on “first day of the week,” and the silencing of opposition.
The third day of unleavened bread that week was Friday Sunset to Saturday sunset, i.e. the weekly Sabbath. That’s a nice line up, but it is not the proper explanation of the third day passages which are based on messianic prophecy and require inclusive counting. The poster is correct that the first fruits were reaped just after sunset, but this was not done till after sunset. So his type match misses the Sabbath. The solution is that the Pharisees were correct. Nisan 16 that year was between Friday sunrise and Sabbath at dawn. The reaping occurred just after sunset on Thursday. Then the offering lasted a day and a night following till just before dawn on the Sabbath (cf. Lev. 6:9-10). The poster failed to take note of Mat. 28:1b, “at the dawning on the first of the Sabbaths,” particularly the phrase dawning. It says, “And the later of the Sabbaths, at the dawning....” that rules out a resurrection in the afternoon or evening.
Tennent’s reply (edited to remove redundant points answered in the main review):
Hello Joseph, and thank you for your comment. The best Greek scholars do not agree with you (which I agree does not necessarily make your view wrong). For instance Lenski’s Commentary (who is excellent in Greek) says that although that Greek word is sometimes translated “late” in the classics, in the Koine (which the NT uses) when its connected to a Genetive (as in Matthew 28:1, it means “after” as Bauer states (BDAG) here: marker of a point of time subsequent to another point of time, after, w. special ref. to lateness, funct. as a prep. w. gen. ovye. sabba,twn after the Sabbath Mt 28:1 Mark agrees that it was after the Sabbath had passed: NAS Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Then Luke shows how the context in which this is spoken is also very important, for the reason they give the timing is because these women were going to perform “work” that was not allowed on the Sabbath (finishing the burial of the body). These women were not going against what they believed was God’s law, but waited reverently for the Sabbath to be over before going out, very early that Sunday morning, not late on the Sabbath, against God’s law: NAS Luke 23:56 And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Another huge point that Luke shows (the very next verse from the one given above) is that the day they were walking with the Resurrected Messiah was the first day of the week, which was later called Sunday in Rome: ... On your other points, I believe that the so called “gospel of Peter” is spurious, probably done up by someone in Rome. There were reasons it was not included in the canon of New Testament scripture around 200AD when that was done. And as for Socrates, since he lived more than 400 years before Christ I’m not sure how he could have commented on the Resurrection? ...
The best Greek scholars are Roman Catholics or Protestants that are anti-Torah. They are best at least in terms of education and degrees. But when the evidence points the other way, an argument based on authority is a logical fallacy. Invariably the argument ends up being a contest between those who base their beliefs on observation and those who would rather believe something else because an authority says it than believe what is plain to see. It is misleading to say that οψε “is sometimes translated late in the classics” but that “in the Koine when its connected to the Genitive it means after.” The concordant word study facts are that the primary meaning of the word is “late” in all kinds of Greek, including the Koine. The stated rule for the Koine was in fact made up ad hoc just to cover exactly one case: Matthew 28:1a. This rule has earned the ignominious designation of “improper preposition.” Thayer’s editor denies that it is proper at all. Liddell and Scott question it. On the other hand, “The late [one] of the Sabbaths...” follows the rules exactly right according to the norm.
It is also misleading to argue that Mark 16:1 supports a Sunday resurrection when it is frequently made clear that this verse refers to the annual Sabbath.
Again we face circular reasoning from Luke 23:56-24:1. This is because the passage was mistranslated. The first mistake was putting the chapter division at 24:1. The second was including the words “according to the commandment.” Codex Bezae omits those words. The third mistake was translating the remaining Greek word “rest,” when it means “quiet,” as the book of Judges uses it. So the passage goes like this: “And they returned and prepared spices (chapter end). Now on the one Sabbath they were quiet, but on the first of the Sabbaths at deep dawn .....” Since the chapter begins in the middle of vs. 56, the preparing of spices does not have to happen before the Sabbath in 56b.
In explaining Luke 24:21, Tennent counts exclusively. There are two better ways than using exclusive counting explained in my articles on Luke 24:21.