Dr. Bacchiocchi with some scholastical footwork tries to prove
the Greek word PARASKEUE - Preparation, is a technical
designation for FRIDAY. "Five times" he writes, "is the term
'Preparation - PARASKEUE' used in the Gospels as a technical
designation for 'Friday' (MAT. 27:62; MRK 15:42; LK 23:54; JN
19:31,42), besides the occurrence of JN 19:14". He claims the
technical terms "PARASKEUE - Preparation", and "PROSABBATON -
Sabbath-eve" are unmistakably designating what we call "Friday."
Still further, Dr. B. adds to this the Hellenistic Jews, common
Greek and Aramiac societies, the Didache writings and Tertullian,
In answer to this, let me say first, and once more - the Bible is
not to be understood or interpreted by what Hellenistic Jews did
or did not, by the world's association of certain words with days
of the week, by the Didache (about 100 A. D.) which some use to
uphold Sunday observance, or by a fallible man such as
Tertullian. Secondly, let's look at the Greek word for
PREPARATION. It simply means - a making ready, preparation,
equipping, that which is prepared, equipment, readiness. See such
Bible Concordances as THAYER'S; STRONG'S; VINE'S. This Greek
word has NOTHING in itself to do with ANY particular day of the
week, a number, or the word "FRIDAY." It just simply means, to
prepare, make ready. There are some "scholars" and Bible
Handbooks (quoted by the Church of God,Denver) that shows Jews
used this word for any day prior to a Sabbath (weekly and
Here are the six places in the NT where this word appears as
given in the INTERLINEAR GREEK-ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT. MT. 27:62,
"Now on the morrow, which is after the preparation..." MAR.
15:42, "...since it was preparation, that is before sabbath.."
LK 23:54, "And it was preparation day, and Sabbath was coming
on." JN 19:14, "And it was preparation of the passover..."
Verse 31, "....that might not remain on the cross the bodies on
the Sabbath, because preparation it was ...." Verse 42, "... on
account of the preparation of the Jews...."
None of these verses say it was the preparation before the 7th
day weekly Sabbath. There were SEVEN annual Sabbaths or Feast
Sabbaths also observed by the Jews - the day before them the
people also prepared or made ready for its observance. Notice
how LUKE not to confuse with Mark, the account of the women
buying and preparing the spices, tells us that after doing so
they rested on the SABBATH DAY according to the commandment (LK
23:56). Mark wrote "And being past the sabbath, Mary .... bought
aromatics. . . . " (Chap. 16:1). There had to be TWO Sabbath days
- one on Thursday, after which the women bought spices and
prepared them (this was called by Mark "the sabbath" as it was,
but an annual Sabbath, the 15th of Nisan) and then as Luke wrote,
they rested on the Sabbath according to the Commandment - fourth
of the ten in EX. 20. The two writers wrote in such a way that
when put together, knowing the facts about the Festival of
Unleavened Bread, and how the 15th of the first month is a
Sabbath and can fall during the week, both wrote correctly. One
concerning the annual Sabbath as a bench mark, the other the
weekly Sabbath as a bench mark.
How easy - a child can understand!
John was inspired to further help us not to think that this
preparation was for the weekly Sabbath by saying "And it was
preparation of the PASSOVER...." (JN 19:14).
This is not to be understood as Geldenhuys explains, quoted by
Dr. B., as the Friday that falls during Passover week. But it
was the day many Jews got ready on, prepared themselves and
their homes to partake of the PASSOVER meal, on the evening of
the 15th of Nisan, just as they do to this very day. Jesus ate
the Passover the evening of the 14th (MT. 26:2, 18-30), was
arrested and beaten that night - crucified during the day of the
14th, when many Jews were preparing to YET EAT the PASSOVER meal.
See JN 18:28. That meal was held by many on the 15th - an annual
Sabbath, the first day of the Unleavened Bread feast, in accord
with the teaching and practice of the Pharisees sect. John
further shows that the 15th of Nisan, the Sabbath coming was
somehow different than the regular weekly sabbath by designating
it "an high day" (JN 19:31).
Concerning this idea put forth by Geldenhuys and others (of which
Dr. Sam B. is part) that JN 19:14 is Friday of Passover week, the
writer in the l.S.B.E. under "Preparation" says this:
"This method of harmonizing seems to the present writer to be
forced, and it therefore seems wiser to give to the words of JN
19:14 their natural interpretation, and to maintain that,
according to the author of the Fourth Gospel, the Passover had
not been celebrated at the time of the crucifixion...." (emphasis
It had not been celebrated by those who followed the Pharisees
sect. Jesus and his followers done already observed "the
Passover" at the beginning of the 14th day, as it was originally
instituted in Exodus 12. That truth I have expounded fully in
over a dozen studies.
Thirdly. Because the word PREPARATION - PARASKEUE, becomes
associated with the 6th day of the week, more than say the day
before the Passover (as it only happens once a year whereas the
day before the weekly Sabbaths comes 52 times a year) does that
mean the word has changed its meaning, that it now means Friday
or 6th day and no longer to make ready, or preparation ? Does
the popular association of this word with the day before the
weekly Sabbath mean that it can no longer be used in any other
setting or before any other day of rest or Sabbath? This is what
Dr. B. would want us to believe it seems. Most people associate
the word "restday" with Sunday. The words themselves do not mean
"first day" or "Sunday" but through common and frequent weekly
use they have come to be thought of as Sunday, for that is when
most people rest. Now is it wrong or improper to use this word
"restday" when meaning THANKSGIVING DAY (as it is a rest for most
Of course not!
Despite what some "Greek language authorities" so called, say or
claim to the contrary, the Gospel writers did use the Greek
PARASKEUE - preparation, in describing the day before
the 15th of Nisan Sabbath, which did not fall on the weekly
Sabbath in Passion week, but on a THURSDAY, creating two Sabbaths
that week. So making it possible for the women to BUY spices
AFTER a Sabbath, prepare them on that Friday, and then rest
according to the fourth commandment Sabbath, as Mark and Luke
clearly tell us. All this making it possible for Jesus to be in
the tomb 3 days and 3 nights - a full 72 hours, from just after
sunset Wednesday to shortly after sunset Saturday (this truth of
"after sunset" is added here, as further in-depth study in 1998
on the word "evening" and the Greek tenses in certain verses
in the gospels showed to be the correct understanding).
Oh, the simple truth of God's word - so simple a child can find
it. I am reminded of my young childhood (about 8-10 years old) in
Sunday school, when after finding and believing ACT 1:11,
I said "Jesus is going to literally - bodily return to this
earth" and caused shocked looks from adults. You see my Church of
those days did not preach or believe in the literal second
coming of Christ. But, I knew it was so from that day on - it was
so plain, so simple - I had no preconceived ideas, just saw an
easy to understand verse and believed it.
Matthew 12:40 with JN 1:9 is just as easy to read and believe.
It may not square with the ideas, theories and teachings of the
majority of a so called Christianity, but most of that popular
religion practice and believe things that cannot be found in the
Bible. Some are so filled with traditions of men and preconceived
beliefs or the scholastic philosophies from theological schools,
that it is practically impossible for them to acquire the simple
belief of a child. It was no different in Jesus' day, that's why
He said, "I thank you Father, that you have hid these things from
the wise and prudent and have revealed them unto babes."
A CEREMONIAL SABBATH
Dr. Sam states the annual feast days are never designated simply
as "sabbaton" as is used in the Passion narratives of the
Gospels, so the Sabbaths of Passion week cannot be any annual
Sabbaths. Concerning this Greek word "sabbaton" Vine's Expository
Dictionary of NT Words says this: "SABBATON or SABBATA: the
latter, the plural form, was transliterated from the
Aramaic word, which was mistaken for a plural; hence the
singular, SABBATON, was formed from it. The root means to cease,
desist (Heb., SHABATH; cp. ARAB., SABATA, to intercept,
interrupt); the double 'b' has an intensive force...." (p. 983).
In LEV. 23:3 this plural word SABBATA is used where the singular
SABBATON is meant, as the 7th day only is spoken about. Lev. 23
verses 26-32 are talking about the annual FAST-REST of the feast
day of ATONEMENT, the last part of this verse is rendered into
English as, "..... from evening to evening ye shall keep your
sabbaths. " (THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION: GREEK AND ENGLISH - Sir
Lancelot Brenton - Zondervan publishing). The Greek for
"sabbaths" is SABBATA. If the plural form is here correct, then
ALL the rest days upon which no servile work is to be done in
this chapter are called by the one Greek word SABBATA. If it
should be the singular SABBATON then we see that the 10th day of
the 7th month - the ceremonial (as some call it) Sabbath of
Atonement is called SABBATON! Either way, it is quite correct to
use the Greek word SABBATON for both the weekly Sabbath or
the annual Sabbaths - they are all days of rest upon which no
servile work is to be done - to cease or desist from such work,
which is termed SABBATON in NT Greek, and which word is not
intrinsically connected with only the seventh day of the week.
The word is translated "week" many times in the NT., i.e. MT
28:1; MRK 16:2,9; LK 18:12; 24:1; JN 20:1,19; ACTS 20:7; 1 COR.
16:2. The word SABBATON is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew
SHABBATH which is the intense form of SHABATH, which in turn is a
root, meaning REPOSE, desist, cease.
The OT was written in Hebrew NOT Greek. Let's take a look at the
The most common one used is SHABBATH, number 7676 in STRONG'S
CON. which is the intensive form of SHABATH (#7673 in STRONG'S)
which as previously stated is a primary root, meaning CEASE,
desist, rest. Also used a few times in the OT is SHABBATHON
(#7677 in Strong's) which is from #7676 - a Sabbatism. All three
are basically the same when applied to a day on which no servile
work is to be done.
The word SHABBATH is used in EX. 20:10 with reference to the 7th
day of the week. This same word is used in LEV. 23:32 with
reference to the annual day of ATONEMENT Sabbath, "from even,
unto even shall ye celebrate your SABBATH". Here is what the
THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OT says about the word SHABBATON: "In
addition to designating the Sabbath (EX 16:23), this word may
apply to the day of atonement (LEV. 16:31; 23:32); to the feast
of trumpets (LEV. 23:24); and the first and eighth days of
tabernacles (LEV. 23:39). The ending - ON is characteristic of
abstract nouns in Hebrew...." (Vol.2, p.903).
The Hebrew for "the sabbath of rest" in EX 35:2 and EX 31:15 is
Here the weekly seventh day is being mentioned. In LEV. 16:3,1
the annual feast day of ATONEMENT is called in Hebrew SHABBATH
SHABBATHON Again in LEV. 23:3 the weekly Sabbath is called
SHABBATH SHABBATHON and so is the day of ATONEMENT (verse 32).
The Hebrew in the last part of verse 32 for "shall ye celebrate
your sabbath" is SHABATH SHABBATH.
We can see how the Hebrew is applied to BOTH the weekly Sabbath
and the annual Sabbaths. I refer you to the ENGLISHMAN'S HEBREW
AND CHALDEE CON. of the OT, pages 1234, 1235. All of God's REST
days (weekly or annually) are SHABBATH - SHABATH days. All of
God's days upon which no servile work is to be done are
SHABBATHON (Sabbath observance) days. God's weekly Sabbath and
God's seven annual Sabbaths are all SHABATA (Hebrew) Sabaton
(Greek) days - days upon which we CEASE or REST from our regular
In Ezekiel 20, God is telling us how He chose Israel - brought
them out of Egypt, and told them to cast away their abominations
and keep His statutes. God tells us He gave them "my SABBATHS"
(v. 12,13,16,20,21,24). The Hebrew is SHABBATH while the Greek is
SABBATA (Sabbaton. When God brought Israel out of Egypt did He
only give them the seventh day of the week Sabbath? Oh, NO! He
gave them His FESTIVALS with their seven annual REST - cease to
work (SHABATH, Hebrew - SABATON, Greek) days, see EX. 12:15-16;
23:14-17; 16:22-30; Deut. 16:16; LEV. 23.
When Israel rebelled in the wilderness against God's statutes and
judgments - when they greatly polluted His Sabbaths (Greek -
SABBATA), did they only pollute the seventh day weekly Sabbath
while keeping the annual Sabbaths? I think NOT! They polluted all
the rest days God gave them to cease servile work on. All the
rest days God gave Israel in the wilderness are classified under
"my SABBATHS" in Ezekiel 20. The one word SHABBATH (Hebrew)
SABBATON or SABBATA (Greek) is used for both the weekly and
It would be difficult for someone like Dr. Bacchiocchi or the
Adventist organization which he is part, who do not observe the
seven annual REST days of God, to understand or appreciate
the use of the Hebrew word SHABBATH or the Greek word SABBATON
with a rest day other than the weekly Sabbath, as the 7th day of
the week is the only day they associate the word SABBATON with.
(This was written before Dr. Sam came to see the truth of
observing the Festivals of God as listed in Lev.23. I am very
pleased he now observed those wonderful festivals). This was not
the case with the true Christians of the first century A. D.
or the writers of the Gospels. Neither was it the case with most
Gentiles of that time who were quite familiar with the fact that
the Jews had other SABBATON days other than the seventh day of
the week. It is certainly not the case with those of us today who
keep all of God's holy rest days.
If the 15th of Nisan (first annual Sabbath day of the feast of
Unleavened Bread) should fall on a Thursday one year, and I was
to meet one of my fellow church brothers on the following
Friday, I may say to him (if we were together) on the Wednesday
of that week something like, "Well John, I'll meet you at city
hall after the Sabbath at 11. He would completely understand
that I was meaning the Sabbath of the 15th of Nisan -Thursday
that year. I would not have to say to him, "Well John, I'll meet
you... .after the first Sabbath of the feast of Unleavened
Bread." I may say to my wife on the Monday of that week, "Honey,
I'd better get my suit in to the cleaners today so I can get it
dry cleaned and back by Wednesday, before the Sabbath comes."
She knows I'm speaking about the 15th of Nisan Holy day. I do not
have to say to her, "Honey I'd better get my suit to the cleaners
today so I can get it back before the first Holy rest day of the
Unleavened Bread feast comes."
It may be the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan - the Wednesday in
our explanations I've been using. I may have a plumbing problem
at home that I'm busy repairing - a church brother calls on the
phone and in part of the conversation I may say something like,
"I'm rushing to get this plumbing back together again before the
Sabbath starts." He knows I mean the 15th of Nisan Sabbath - I do
not have to say "....before the first Sabbath of the Unleavened
Bread feast" or "before the holy rest day of Nisan 15th."
Those of us who keep God's festivals know that the day before the
14th of Nisan (the Passover) and the day before each annual
Sabbath is "PREPARATION" day. We may very well use this word when
talking to each other before and coming up to any one of God's
seven annual holy days.
Even close relatives who are not part of our faith but know what
we practise, may say to another relative not familiar with the
days we keep, "Oh, it may not be the best to visit sister
today, as she will be very busy - she uses this day as a
preparation day for the feast of Trumpets that she and her family
We who observe the festivals of Lev. 23 and others who do not,
but are close friends or relatives familiar with our practices,
know that the words SABBATH AND PREPARATION are not intrinsically
tied to just the seventh day and sixth day of the week. It was no
different for the Jews, early Christians and many Gentiles of the
first century A. D.
HIGH DAY ?
Dr. B. points out by referring to Israel Abrahams, a noted Jewish
scholar that there is no instance before JN 19:31 of the use of
the term 'high day' or 'Great Sabbath' in Rabbinical
literature. In doing this he also destroys any argument he may
have for believing this phrase means a "special weekly Sabbath,"
(as he claims it does because he believes the 15th annual
Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath fell together in the year Jesus
died) because what can be shown by later Rabbinic use and
literature of the term "Great Sabbath" or "high day" can
have no bearing on the way John used it. And further, terms such
as "Good Friday" or "Holy Saturday" coined by the Roman Catholic
church much later than John, can also bear no proof in supporting
the belief that "an high day" in JN 19:31 means special weekly
Sabbath, special because the 15th of Nisan Sabbath is believed to
have fallen upon the weekly Sabbath.
Exactly what John had in mind by calling the Sabbath that was
coming a "GREAT DAY" or "High Day" we may have to wait until the
resurrection to ask him. But here is one thought.
As most of the Jews and their religious leaders did not eat the
Passover meal until the evening of the 15th (as the Jews do to
this day) as shown in JN 18:28, the start of the first annual
Sabbath of the feast of Unleavened Bread, it may be that John was
merely saying that the coming Sabbath was great because the
Jewish society had fused the Passover meal and annual Sabbath
into one, whereby making that particular Sabbath "great" in their
Since the first writing of this reply to Dr. Sam in 1986 (now
editing in 1998), the Church of God, 7th Day, out of Denver have
discovered some interesting and enlightening facts.
Quoting from their booklet on the subject: ".......In
JN.19:31......The NIV renders the tow Greek words 'megale hemera'
as 'special.' The KJV and many other translations render
'megale hemera' as 'high day.' The Greek words 'megale hemera'
literally means 'great day.' ....... there is Biblical evidence
to support the argument that the reference to this sabbath as a
'great day' (megale hemera) is a reference to a
festival.....sabbath..... In the Septuagint version
of the Old Testament (Greek translation of the OT - Keith Hunt)
Isaiah 1:13 uses the phrase 'great day' to refer to the festival
sabbaths. The latter part of verse 13 says, '....I cannot bear
your evil assemblies.' In the Hebrew text, the word from which
'assemblies' is translated is 'atsarah' which means 'solemn
assembly.' ....... In the Greek version of Isaiah 1:13, the word
'atsarah' is translated is translated as 'hemeran megalen' which
means 'great day.' Thus the Greek text of Isaiah 1:13 uses the
same reference for an annual Jewish festival sabbath as does John
in John .....19:31. The meaning assigned to 'assembly' ('solemn
assembly' in Isaiah 1:13) is recognized as a reference in general
to the festival sabbaths of Israel. Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance of the Bible indicates Isaiah's reference to
'atsarah' is a reference to any festival or holiday, and not to
the Passover Sabbath alone."
The context of Isaiah 1:13 and the very verse itself would prove
Strong's Con. to be correct. This Greek phrase 'megale hemera'
includes ANY special day - any Sabbath of God (weekly and annual)
as well as New Month day. God is telling Judah (and He is
speaking to Judah in Isaiah chapter one, see verse one) that when
they call any "great day" (megale hemera) to meet upon, He cannot
bear with them for they continue to do evil, there is no
repentance and no real desire to do His will, notice verses
To be perfectly honest with the Scriptures, this Greek phrase we
are looking at, can refer to the weekly Sabbath as well. The
context of Isaiah 1:13 includes the weekly Sabbath also.
The Church of God (7th Day), Denver, do not understand the truth
of John 7:37, where this Greek 'megale hemera' is again used.
They think verse 37 refers to the 8th day coming after the seven
day Feast of Tabernacles, and so believe once again that this
Greek phrase is used only for annual Sabbaths. But the truth is
that John 7:37 is concerning the last or 7th day of the Feast of
tabernacles, which had become a special day with the Jews, in how
they observed it with certain rituals and ceremonies concerning
the use of "water." Hence Jesus taking the opportunity to talk
about the true fountain of living water. All this is fully
explained in another study I have called "The Truth about John
So, the Jews used this Greek phrase 'megale hemera' for ANY
special day, whether a Sabbath or not (the 7th day or last day of
the feast of Tabernacles is not a Sabbath day as Lev. 23
It may also be true that this phrase used by John was simply
borrowed from Isaiah 1:13 and was not in common use among the
Rabbis of his time. It may be peculiar to John. To John the
Sabbath coming the day following the death of Jesus was a "great
day." By itself it cannot prove this was used only for an annual
Sabbath, or for a day when an annual and weekly Sabbath came
together on the same day.
John's use of "an high - great day" cannot prove by itself that
an annual Sabbath is meant, then on the other hand it cannot
prove it was a special weekly Sabbath either, as this phrase
is not found in Rabbinical literature before JN 19:31.
The only way to understand what Sabbath was coming as Jesus was
put into the tomb, and what "preparation" day for the Passover it
was, and how the women could buy spices AFTER the Sabbath,
prepare them and then rest on the Sabbath according to the fourth
commandment, is by believing Jesus meant what He said and said
what He meant in MAT 12:40 in that He would be 3 days AND 3
nights in the tomb, and that there was then TWO Sabbaths in that
Passover week, one on a Thursday (the 15th of Nisan Sabbath, the
first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread) and then the weekly
Sabbath on the following Saturday.
We shall study more later about the two Sabbaths of Passover
PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER
I do not teach that the Greek "Preparation of the Passover" is
used as a technical designation for the day before the Passover.
As I've stated before, it is merely a Greek word that means -
make ready, prepare, equip, and has no intrinsic connection with
FRIDAY or any specific day. The day before any weekly or annual
Sabbath or the day before the 14th of Nisan, was "preparation" as
it is in Jewish homes and those who keep God's festivals today.
This word PARASKEUE is used only 6 times in the NT (MT. 27:62;
MRK. 15:42; LK 23:54; JN.19:14,31,42). Because people do not
believe Jesus knew how many hours there was in a day (which he
did - JN 11:9) and because they do not believe Jesus meant 3 days
and 3 nights (72 hours) but two nights one day and part of a
second day, in Mat. 12:40. Because they do not believe Jonah was
3 days and 3 nights in the fish but some length of time less than
Because they will not see the Sabbath following the preparation
in the above cited verses, was not automatically meaning the
weekly Sabbath at all. Because they will not see that there
were TWO Sabbath days during Passion week.
Because of all this, they assume the Sabbath after "preparation -
PARASKEUE" is SATURDAY and that PARASKEUE used as the preparation
day before MUST BE "Friday".
Do you see the CIRCLE of their reasoning? PARASKEUE used in these
six places must mean Friday as the Saturday Sabbath was coming,
and as the Sabbath following PARASKEUE was Saturday then
PARASKEUE - preparation, must mean "Friday" at all times. This
circle of reasoning, based on false assumptions based on a false
pagan festival of EASTER (that was adopted by the Roman Catholic
church in place of the PASSOVER) based on the false assumption
that Jesus rose Sunday morning (there is not ONE verse that says
Christ's resurrection took place on the morning of the first day)
has led some to write, "The fact must be faced that no example of
the use of PARASKEUE is cited for any day other than Friday,"
(Leon Morris, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN). Now I do not see
the word "Friday" in the NT at all - so the burden of proof rests
with Leon Morris and others like him to prove to me that the
Sabbath following PARASKEUE was Saturday and that PARASKEUE is
equivalent to the word "Friday" at all times. With my child-like
belief in what Jesus said in MAT. 12:40 with JN 11:9 Leon Morris,
Dr. Sam, and other so called "scholars" will never prove it, for
it is not provable.
Again let me repeat, you do not need a degree in Greek or Church
History to understand the plain teachings of God's word. You do
need to read ALL of the scriptures on a particular topic, let the
Bible interpret itself and have a little child's belief.
Dr. Bacchiocchi writes "....Christian tradition has unanimously
held to the Friday - Crucifixion/Sunday - Resurrection
chronology." I answer to this, that so called Christian
tradition has, since about 150 A. D. held to an EASTER tradition
in place of the PASSOVER celebration. Christian tradition has
held from about the same time or earlier, to a Sunday
observance in place of the Sabbath. This same traditional
Christianity has held from about the 4th century, to a December
25th birthday of Christ. There are other long held customs and
beliefs of traditional Christianity that are just as unfounded
Biblically as those mentioned above. If traditional Christianity
can be so wrong on the above, it certainly can also be on
the length of time Jesus was in the tomb. Dr. B. acknowledges
that some early Christian writers did place the Last Supper on
TUESDAY evening and not Thursday evening, but then goes on to say
regarding the Crucifixion "no early Christian writer ever
disputed or doubted its occurrence on Friday." What does Dr. Sam
think those early Christian writers were doing that placed the
Last Supper on Tuesday evening? Does he think they were teaching
Jesus partook of the Passover meal on Tuesday evening but was not
put on the cross until Friday?
Does he think they were teaching that the events recorded in the
Gospels from the Passover meal to Jesus being put on the stake
lasted from Tuesday evening to Friday morning? Surely it should
be obvious to any logical thinking person that a writer claiming
Jesus partook of the Last Supper on Tuesday evening is at the
same time claiming Jesus was not crucified on a Friday but on a
As to Dr. Sam's statement, "The absence of any early Christian
polemic regarding the day of Christ's Crucifixion and
Resurrection, offers, in our view, an overwhelming proof of the
trustworthiness of the traditional chronology of the Crucifixion
and Resurrection," I will repeat that those early Christian
writers who maintained Jesus ate the Last Supper on Tuesday
evening, were putting forth the argument that Jesus was NOT
crucified on a Friday. Even those early Christian writers who
adapted Sunday as the Lord's Day in place of the seventh
day Sabbath, did not emphasis Christ's resurrection on Sunday as
number one proof for the change of day, (see Dr. Bacchiocchi's
book FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY, pp. 270-273).
I submit that the belief that Jesus had risen Sunday morning had
not yet cemented itself in Christianity at large, and that there
were many who still knew in those early days, that Jesus
ate the Passover meal on Tuesday evening and was hence crucified
on Wednesday and resurrected 3 days and 3 nights later.
You can find early writings in defense of Sunday observance but
where do you find early writings to counter this and uphold
Sabbath keeping and answer the claims (one being the
Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday) being put forth by Sunday
observing theologians, outside of the Bible. There is just a
little here and there to show that God's people continued to keep
the Passover and not Easter, and that Jesus ate the Passover on
Tuesday evening. But in the main, the extra Biblical writings of
God's true servants in response to "those who taught Sunday and
Easter observance, and the idea that Jesus was crucified on a
Friday and resurrected on a Sunday morning" was diabolically
destroyed by a religious force that claimed to be Christian
but was in reality the power and working of the Adversary - Satan
the Devil, that God says has deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9)
and made the inhabitants of the world spiritually drunk on her
spiritual fornications and lies (Rev. 17: 1-5).
It is the pagan Easter observers and their theory of a Sunday
morning Resurrection (there's not one single verse that says
Jesus rose on the MORNING of the first day of the week in the NT)
that is based on human fantasy, who teach Christ died on a Friday
(Dr. Sam is one exception, not being an Easter observer) and not
those of us who believe what Jesus clearly said in MAT. 12:40.
CHAPTER FOUR - THE DAY OF THE RESURRECTION
LATE OR AFTER?
I completely (and have always so, believed and taught) agree with
Dr. Sam's study and conclusion of how MAT. 28:1 should read. I
can do no more than quote him, ".......in the light of the above
considerations on the language and context of Matthew 28:1, we
conclude that this passage offers no support whatsoever to the
view of a late Sabbath afternoon....... visit of the woman to the
sepulchre. The indications submitted have amply established that
the plain sense of MAT. 28:1 is: "After the Sabbath, as dawn on
the first day of the week......" (NIV).
The internal evidence of the other Gospel writers, the very
context of the verses that follow MAT. 28:1, and the fact that
there is no hint whatsoever anywhere in the NT that the women
came to the tomb TWICE (once late on the Sabbath, and again early
on Sunday morning), leaves know doubt that the Greek word under
dispute in MAT.28:1 should be understood and translated as
"After" and not as "Late on." I refer the reader on this
particular point of out topic to both Dr.Sam's book and to the
book on the same subject (The 3 days and 3 nights) by Ralph
Woodrow. While I disagree with their overall teaching about 3
days and 3 nights, they are quite correct on this one point. The
Church of God(7th Day), Denver, are very incorrect here in their
stand that MAT. 28:1 should read, "Late on the Sabbath...."
I will take the time to quote from the booklet by Woodrow:
"......MAT. 28:1: In the end of the Sabbath.......The context
mentions a great earthquake, an angel descending from heaven,
rolls back the stone from the tomb, and announces that Jesus
has risen from the dead! The women quickly go to tell the
disciples the glad news, and then actually see the risen Christ
......all of these things, took place 'in the end of the
Sabbath,' we are told, so not on Sunday morning at all! .......
So, 'in the end of the sabbath.' or 'late on the sabbath' (as
some translate it), was when the resurrection took place. One
The women came to the tomb 'late on the sabbath.' The stone was
rolled away 'late on the sabbath.' The tomb was empty 'late on
the sabbath.' The angel said Jesus had risen, 'late on
the sabbath.' Since all these things happened 'late on the
sabbath,' he reasons, 'Is it not the silliest kind of nonsense to
say that the resurrection took place on Sunday morning?'
If it was late on the sabbath when the women discovered the stone
was rolled away, why would they be asking the next morning: 'Who
shall roll us away the stone from the door of
the sepulchre/' (MARK 16:2,3).
If it was late on the sabbath that the women found the tomb
empty, why would they be taking spices to anoint the dead body
the next morning, knowing it was not there? (LK. 24:1).
If it was late on the sabbath that the angel told the two Marys
to 'go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen' (MAT.
28:7), why would the disciples be so unconcerned that they
calmly waited until morning before going to check it out? The
fact is, they 'ran' to the tomb as soon as they heard the report!
If it was late on the sabbath that Mary Magdalene visited the
tomb, found it empty, and actually saw and worshipped the
resurrected Christ, why would she be weeping the next
morning at the tomb and asking the supposed gardener where the
body had been placed? (JN. 20:1,11,15).
If it was late on the sabbath that the women discovered the empty
tomb, why do the other accounts link it with dawn, and why does
even Matthew 28:1 say it was 'as it began to dawn'? Dawn is when
the sun is coming up, not when it is going down! ........."
Very logical questions as we look at all the accounts of the four
Gospels. There is no way around it, the only conclusion is that
MAT. 28:1 should not be taken as "late on the sabbath" but "after
the sabbath" or "ending the sabbath, as it began to dawn
towards......" Matthew is telling us the same as the other three
Gospel writers, that the Sabbath ENDING, after it was over, and
as it was BEGINNING to DAWN TOWARDS the first of the week (there
is only one dawn in any 24 hour day), as John was inspired to
write "while it was yet DARK" (more darkness than light yet the
sun was on its way up, maybe a red yellow skyline where the sun
would come up), the ladies came FOR THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME to
the tomb to anoint the body of Christ, with the spices they had
BOUGHT after the Sabbath (and prepared them after that 15th of
Nisan Sabbath), then rested on the Sabbath according to the
commandment (7th day Sabbath). Being excited to do this anointing
work they left their homes very early the night of the first day,
coming to the tomb while it was still yet dark, wondering who
would roll away the stone from the entrance. It was already
rolled away. An angel was already there to tell them Christ was
not there for He had already risen from the dead, as He
said He would.
TWO SABBATHS OR NOT?
I must comment on how Dr. Sam tries to synthesize MRK. 16:1 with
LK. 23:56. He outrules the women buying the spices on Saturday
night, but, he says, "....... the women could easily have gone
out to purchase spices early Sunday morning....... " and he
further surmises and theorizes, ".......according to Luke the
women had already started to prepare 'spices and ointments' on
Friday afternoon (LK. 23:56). Thus, it is possible that the women
went out very early Sunday morning to buy only those missing
ingredients and then they went back home to finish the mixing,
before hastening to the tomb. According to Mark, 'they went to
the tomb when the sun had risen' (MRK. 16:2) ......." (emphasis
I must give Dr. B. credit for trying and coming up with an
ingenious theory - most of his colleagues will just ignore MRK.
16:1 and LK. 23:56. But that is all I can give him credit for
- an imaginative theory.
First, we are to believe the women FORGOT some ingredients on
Friday when buying the spices. There were THREE women doing this
buying (MRK. 16:1; LK. 23:55-56) at least, and we are to believe
they all still forgot some of the things they would need.
Secondly, we are to believe the stores were open very early
Sunday morning (none of these women had any of the forgotten
ingredients at home with them or any friend to borrow them
from it seems) so these women could buy the forgotten items,
return and finish preparing the spices and get to the tomb " as
it began to dawn towards the first of the week " (MT. 28:1)
and "when it was yet dark " (JN 20:1).
Thirdly, we understand Mark's statement "when the sun had risen"
by the question, "how much had it risen" which is answered by
Matthew and John in that it was BEGINNING to dawn TOWARDS the day
but was still "yet dar." There was still more darkness than light
when they ARRIVED at the tomb. Have you ever arose early in the
morning when the sun was still down over the horizon but light
was beginning to break forth, yet it was still more dark than
light? I have. This was the time of day or night (whichever way
you want to look at it) that the woman arrived at the tomb - it
is only by putting Matthew's and John's account with Mark's that
a clear picture is formed. To quote only Mark is nice for those
who would like 3 or 4 hours after sun rise, so the women could
get to the store, buy the items they had all forgotten on Friday,
return and finish preparing them, and still get to the tomb
during the morning of the first day to see the resurrection of
But the plain Biblical fact is NONE of those who went to the tomb
that early morning SAW Jesus being resurrected - when they got
there Jesus was already gone - the stone was already rolled away
and Christ was not there. THERE IS NOT ONE VERSE IN THE NT THAT
SAYS JESUS WAS RESURRECTED ON SUNDAY MORNING! You try to find it.
Yet those who speak of Christ being resurrected on a Sunday teach
it as if it is a Biblical FACT, although they cannot show one
verse that says He was. And still they want to say that those
of us who believe Jesus to have been in the grave for three days
and three nights as He said He would be, base our belief "on
human fantasy and not on a Biblical fact." At least I can
give you the reader, the fact of MAT. 12:40 to back up by belief
Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday, where can they give me a
verse that says Jesus was resurrected on Sunday morning? The
gospel writers tell of several different visits made by the
disciples to the tomb on that first day of the week. In EVERY
instance, they found the tomb EMPTY! An angel said, "He is not
here: for he is risen, as he said" (MAT. 28:6). The angel did not
say "He has just a few minutes ago risen" or "He rose an hour
after sun up this morning" or "He was resurrected earlier this
morning on the first day of the week."
The first day of the week was WHEN the disciples DISCOVERED that
he was risen, but nowhere does the Bible actually say this was
the time of the resurrection.
The only verse which seems to teach a Sunday morning resurrection
is MRK 16:9, "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of
the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene....... " But this
verse does not say that early on the first day Jesus was "rising"
or that he "did rise" at that time. It says that when the first
day of the week came, he "WAS RISEN" - past perfect tense in the
Greek. An action having taken place in the past but continuing in
Since there were no punctuation marks in the Greek manuscripts
from which our NT is translated, the phrase "early the first day
of the week" could just as correctly be linked with the time
Jesus appeared to Mary. By simply placing the comma after the
word risen , this verse would read: "Now when Jesus was risen,
early the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary
Magdalene." The following verses show Mark is recording some of
the APPEARANCES of Jesus and not explaining on which day Jesus
The Greek is very revealing in LUKE 23:54,56. The definate
article "the" DOES NOT appear in verse 54. It reads in the Greek,
"And day it was preparation and Sabbath was coming on" (Berry
Verse 56 reads, "And having returned they prepared aromatics, and
the Sabbath remained quiet, according to the commandment" (Berry
Interlinear). The definate article "the" is in the Greek in verse
A small but somewhat meaningfull point. One Sabbath (the 15th of
the first month - first day of the Unleavened Bread feast) is
just "Sabbath" but when they rested according to the commandment
Sabbath it is "the Sabbath" or "the Sabbath according to the
commandment" - the fourth commandment of the big ten - the 7th
day weekly Sabbath.
A little more proof the writers of the Gospels knew there were
TWO Sabbaths during the Passover week when Jesus was put to
And in passing (will say more later on this point) the Greek word
for "was coming on" in verse 54 is in the IMPERFECT tense. The
Sabbath HAD come and was continuing.
It is time for all people who call themselves after Jesus Christ
to, "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered
unto the saints" (Jude 3). Those who have the greater knowledge
of God's word and are in positions of leadership need to STAND
STRONG and LEAD in example and teaching.
I call on Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi to KEEP and observe the 14th of
Nisan PASSOVER as the early first century true Christians did. I
call upon him to observe the FESTIVALS of God as the early
Christians did. I call upon him to strongly stand up and
denounce the pagan festivals that his denomination is practicing.
I call upon him to acknowledge the errors of E.G. White and to
shout out loud and clear to the leaders and members of the
Seventh Day Adventist Church that it is IDOLATRY to base their
religion on the so call "inspired" writings of ELLEN WHITE. Yes,
it may cost Dr. Sam his job he may find himself "put out"
of the Adventist organization. But then he'll be "put into" the
true body of Christ.
Since all the above was written (back in 1986) it is a pleasure
to state that Dr. Sam has indeed accepted the truth that the
Festivals of God (as outlined in Lev.23) should be observed. He
is busy promoting them, and for that courageous stand I praise
the Lord. He does not hold E.G. White as infallible, and he does
denounce the false pagan festivals such as Xmas and Easter.
TO BE CONTINUED
Written in 1986