The Crucifixion On Thursday —Not Friday -- By: J. K. Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 027:107 (Jul 1870)
Article: The Crucifixion On Thursday —Not Friday
Author: J. K. Aldrich


The Crucifixion On Thursday —Not Friday

Rev. J. K. Aldrich

It is generally believed that our Saviour was crucified on Friday, the fifteenth day of the Jewish month Nisan. A careful examination of the subject has confirmed us in the opinion that the established theory is incorrect. We believe he was crucified on Thursday, for these reasons: 1. If he was crucified on Friday, his body could not have lain three days and three nights in the grave, and, in all probability, he must have risen on the second, and not the third day, according to the scriptures. 2. If he was crucified on Friday, there is a plain discrepancy between John and the other Evangelists. 3. His crucifixion on Thursday, removes both these difficulties.

1. On the assumption that Christ was crucified on Friday, he lay in the grave but two nights and a part of three days, whereas it is said that he should be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40). The language here is specific, and it was uttered by the Saviour, who by reason of his divinity was omniscient. He foreknew the controversy that would arise in regard to the interval between his death and resurrection; that the term “three days and three nights” would be understood literally, and that if the period between his death and resurrection did not correspond

it would produce scepticism and caviling among the enemies of the truth. Moreover, he was the living embodiment of the truth, and we believe that with reference to so important an event, he would not have used language which was evidently liable to mislead. When he said three days and three nights, the Jews, no doubt, understood him to mean precisely that which the language is naturally intended to convey. The efforts made by commentators to explain it differently are to get over a difficulty — square it to a particular theory. Their explanations are unnatural and forced.

Assuming that he was crucified on Friday, the common statement is, that “he was in the grave but two nights, and a part of three days,” since the first day of the week was the day of his resurrection. In advocating this theory, they say: “This computation is, however, strictly in accordance with the Jewish mode of reckoning. If it had not been the Jews would have understood it, and would have charged our Saviour with being a false prophet, for it was well known to them that he had spoken this prophecy. Such a charge, however, was never made; and it is plain therefore, that what was meant by the prediction was accomplished.” No attempt is here made to prove that Christ was crucified on Friday. That which should have been ...

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