Common Figure of Speech/Colloquialism?

by rstrats 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • rstrats
    rstrats

    1. The Messiah said that three nights would be involved with His time in the "heart of the earth".

    2. There are some who believe 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 believe that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb.

    4. However, those two beliefs allow for only 2 nights to be involved.

    5. To account for the discrepancy, some of the above say that the Messiah was using common figure of speech/colloquial language of the time, i.e., that it is was common to forecast or say that a day or a night would be involved with an event when no part of the day or no part of the night could occur.

    6. In order for someone to legitimately say that it was common, they would have to know of more that 1 example to make that assertion.

    6. For the purpose of this topic, I would like to ask if there are any 6th day of the week crucifixion advocates who think the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the period?

  • Bobcat
    Bobcat

    Here is an extract from the NICNT-Matthew commentary (R. T. France, p. 491)

    . . . The different phrasing of the three-day period compared with the "third day" of Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64 and the "after three days" of Matt 27:63 is due to the LXX wording, but in Semitic inclusive time-reckoning these do not denote different periods as a pedantic Western reading would suggest.

    As France suggests, a difference of viewpoint between Semitic and modern Western time keeping may be at the heart of the problem. Here is an article on "inclusive time reckoning" if you are interested.

  • rstrats
    rstrats

    Bobcat,

    Do you try to explain the lack of a third night by saying that the Messiah was using common figure of speech?


  • venus
    venus

    Problem is not about common figure of speech. Truth is that Jesus got it wrongly, or Jonah's account was later addition for which writers were seeking endorsement through the mouth of Jesus.

    This is similar to Jesus referring to Noah's day. In Noah's days violence plummeted; yet Jesus was not aware of this fact because he said: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark." (Mathew 24:37, 38)

    Why such discrepancies? Richard Dwakins has got it correctly: “To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries." (God Delusion)

  • Bobcat
    Bobcat
    Do you try to explain the lack of a third night by saying that the Messiah was using common figure of speech?

    From what I read in the commentary it sounds more like a difference in viewpoint or way of looking at things. People back 2000 years ago weren't concerned as much about whether 3 days was exactly 72 hours.

    In the Matthew account at 27:63 the Pharisees understood Jesus to mean that "after three days I will rise again." According to that passage they didn't seem confused about what he meant.

    Another factor to consider is that the particular words chosen may have been used to create some sense of parallel with the LXX account of Jonah. So, in a sense, Jesus (or Matthew) may have taken some 'poetic license.' The people listening to him did not have a brochure of what he said to take home with them. But they were likely familiar with the Jonah account from Scripture readings in the synagogue. So, choosing words that would stick, although not technically accurate to a "pedantic Western" viewpoint, may have been the way to go. I'm sure many modern speakers use similar strategies to make their point memorable.

  • rstrats
    rstrats

    venus,

    re: "Problem is not about common figure of speech."


    It is for the purpose of this topic.

  • rstrats
    rstrats

    Bobcat,


    So you don't try to explain the lack of a third night by saying that the Messiah was using common figure of speech. I am hoping to hear from someone who does.

  • Bobcat
    Bobcat

    Fair enough.

  • rstrats
    rstrats

    Bobcat,
    re: "People back 2000 years ago weren't concerned as much about whether 3 days was exactly 72 hours."

    But would it be unreasonable to think that they might be concerned if a daytime or a night time was said to be involved with an event if no part of the daytime or no part of the night time could have occurred?

  • Bobcat
    Bobcat

    Hi rstrats,

    As I pointed out in one of my posts above, the wording may have been chosen to draw a memorable parallel with the LXX wording used in Jonah. And I could also see the possibility of the writer of Matthew choosing this wording just for its effects on the readers of his account.

    I do understand that in the account of Jesus' death and resurrection there were not three actual days and nights involved. But the post-resurrection accounts in the gospels and Acts don't mention any of the disciples - or even the religious leaders who had him killed - quibbling over this discrepancy.

    If all this happened in our time I don't doubt that these discrepancies would be highlighted ad nauseum. But my understanding is that people of the ANE were, generally, more concerned with the ideas conveyed rather than the actual precision of the wording.

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