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Matthew 12:40 Using Idiomatic Language?

Whenever the three days and three nights of Matthew 12:40 is brought up in a “discussion” with 6th day of the week crucifixion folks, they frequently try to get around the verse by arguing that it is a common Jewish idiom for counting any part of a day as a whole day. I wonder if anyone (who thinks that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week and who thinks that the "heart of the earth" means the tomb) knows of any writing that shows that a phrase stating a specific number of days and/or a specific number of nights was ever used in the first century or before when it absolutely couldn't have included at least parts of each one of the specific number of days and at least parts of each one of the specific number of nights?

Re: Matthew 12:40 Using Idiomatic Language?

Since the Bible is not absolutely clear as to what day of the week the Lord Jesus died on, Christians are free to disagree on it. So I don't know that "getting around it" is the issue. It is a matter of trying to understand the Word. Christians, like Scroggie have argued that Christ died on a Wednesday. There is a Thursday theory also, but the general opinion is that it was a Friday, which starts at 6 PM / sundown on what we call Thursday & ends on 6 PM / sundown on what we call Friday.

It is not bad to question a general conclusion of scholarship & ask for proof. In this case you ask for proof that the Jews (or Hebrews) counted parts of days as whole days in tallying up time-periods. What I would be most interested in is the general way in which time is reckoned in the Bible. But you could also check out Josephus and Philo for 1st century Jews.

Since you brought up the topic & are interested in it, why don't you do the research for yourself & tell us what you find? Perhaps you will find arguments or proof in Bible encyclopedias like ISBE.

Re: Matthew 12:40 Using Idiomatic Language?

re: "So I don't know that 'getting around it' is the issue."

Sure it is. Those who say that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week need to find some way to explain away or "get around" the 3rd night that the Messiah said He would be in the "heart of earth".

re: " ask for proof that the Jews (or Hebrews) counted parts of days as whole days in tallying up time-periods."

Actually, I'm not. As regards the Jewish practice of counting any part of a calendar day as a whole calendar day I would agree, but when "nights" is added to "days" to yield the phrase "X days AND X nights" it normally refers to a measurement of a time period where "day" refers to the light portion of a 24 hour period and "night"refers to the dark portion of a 24 hour period. No one In the history of apologetics as far as I know has ever presented any historical documentation that the phrase X days AND X nights was a unique first century idiom of Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek which could mean something different than what the phrase means in English.

re: "... why don't you do the research for yourself..."

That's what I thought I was doing. Surely you aren't suggesting that surveying folks about what they already know with regard to an issue isn't doing reasearch?

Are you a 6th day of the week crucifixion advocate?

Re: Matthew 12:40 Using Idiomatic Language?

I wrote an answer, & this system refused to post it calling it spam!!!
If you want to discuss this further, go post at BibleAndTheology.dom

Re: Matthew 12:40 Using Idiomatic Language?

6th day of the week? Or Friday Or Preparation Day?

The research to do in in the ancient sources, comparing usages, and equivalent expressions including the Hebrew of Jonah 1. Is "three days & 3 nights" equivalent to "on the 3rd day"? The one should consult sites that specialize in this issue are in order. Did you check the one I posted?

English usage does not determine language usage done 1000 years before there was an English language.

I Advocate:

1) Bible = Word of God
2) Jesus is 2nd person of Trinity, YHWH,
3) Jesus is YHWH become man.
4) He was crucified, paying for the sins of man.
5) He rose from the dead.
6) He offers salvation to whosoever believes in Him;
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ & you shall be saved.
For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
For by grace you are saved through faith, & that not of yourselves, not of works lest anyone should boast.

BTW, if you died tonight, where would you go & how do you know?
and hypothetically, if you stood at the Pearly Gates and wanted admittance, but you were asked, "WHY SHOULD WE LET YOU IN?"
what would be your answer?

Moved to

Because of difficulty posting here due to the Captcha system & having my post labeled spam (which it was not) by the system, then having it evaporate, I move the discussion (for myself) to

Your use of "6th day of the week" sounds odd to me, as I don't recall the Bible ever using such language for Friday. Isn't Friday "Preparation" in the Bible, while other days bear numbers?

At any rate, an interesting discussion of the 3 days & nights & how to count time in the Bible is found at