About twenty years after my original conclusion and at least ten years after I first read Bacchiocchi, I made the discovery which I here insert, on Walther and what Appendix, Apollinaris, p. 305, will tell the reader. (Cf. p. 88.)
James A. Walther, Journal of Biblical Literature, June 1958, p. 118, “References in the Didascalia, in Epiphanius, in Victorinus of Pettau, and in the book of Adam and Eve, support the Tuesday Passover dating and the subsequent arrest of Jesus in the morning hours of Wednesday.”
Is this “Passover dating”? Doesn’t Walther think of the Last Supper?
Suppose any of the Sabbath or the First Day for resurrection-day, 16 Nisan. Counting inclusively, Saturday “the third day”, will give THURSDAY the first of the “three days”, 14 Nisan. Wednesday crucifixion would give four days. If resurrection on Sunday, Wednesday crucifixion would give five days and Tuesday crucifixion would give six!
Even if Walther basis his findings on real “source” material, these sources are too late in history to be of value for finding the day on which Jesus was crucified. The Didascalia dates late third century; Epiphanius, the late and Victorinus the middle decades of the fourth century .
Assuming “Passover” being “the day they slaughtered the passover (lamb)” – 14 Nisan – here called “Tuesday” (Roman time) – then the MEAL of that morning’s night had to have occurred on Monday night. Since the meal indicated the commencement of the Passover’s FIRST “first” day – 14 Nisan – the crucifixion had to have been on MONDAY’s subsequent daylight which is Tuesday. Saturday for resurrection day then would make it the fifth day, and Sunday the sixth day in stead of “the third day”.
Assuming crucifixion was on Passover’s Sabbath, 15 Nisan – here meant to have been “Tuesday”, the resurrection if on Saturday would have fallen on Nisan 20, and Sunday, on Nisan 21 – the last day of Unleavened Bread! The notion that Tuesday – whether as 14 or 15 Nisan – was crucifixion day therefore is most absurd.
We may class the last “reason”, “to become independent of the rabbis”, with the first, “to undo the effects of rabbinical calendar reform”. Two reasons remain, “to have the celebration of the
resurrection on the weekday on which Scripture records it”, and, “to make Christian observance uniform”. These are the reasons given for the Church to “come up with its own method”. How did the
Church “come up with its own method”?
Ken Collins supplies the answer by referring to the Church’s Synods. The fact that the Church had to “come
up” with these Synods tells
the real “reason” for them.
They had “to make Christian observance
uniform”, Ken Collins
says. Had Christian observance been
uniform, these Synods would not have been called. Were the issues discussed non-existent they would not have been
put on the agenda. The “reason” of the desire for uniformity – or shall we rather call it
the desire for conformity – was in
fact the only real reason for the
lengthy “Easter”-Debate. This debate
is first documented in connection with the lifetime of Irenaeus. Its implication already exists in the
martyrdom of Polycarpus. The 14th Nisan entirely rested on the Scriptural and, as Polycarpus said, “apostolic
tradition” that was “the only
one (he) knew”. From Irenaeus the Passover dating was one of the most serious issues between
See Appendix, Apollinaris, p. 305 (See p. 18)
According to the 14th Nisan method of Old Testament typology Sunday could not be counted the third of the three days Jesus was in the state of the dead. Synod after Synod of later centuries clearly had to do with a very reluctant sector of Christianity as regards giving up observance of the Sabbath and along with it the quarto-decimal calculation of Passover. The Synod of Nicea of 325 AD came a long time after the times of the writing of the New Testament with which we are concerned. Nevertheless this Synod reflects a status quo that persisted from New Testament times to the fourth century. The issue of the quarto-decimal dating of Passover as against the Sunday observance of Easter was the outstanding reason for Church division in medieval times into West (Roman Catholic) and East (Greek Orthodox). These developments are well investigated in many scholarly treatises available in many academic libraries and archives. Through being convened to discuss the quarto-decimal question the Councils imply the fact that the days of the week on which Christ was crucified and resurrected were the point of dissent among Christians. These Councils and their ‘Canons’ are not infallible – as the Roman Catholic Church claims. They could and did leave out matters of discord among believers. They could and did entertain heresies. They do not have authority in matters of faith and practice of the Church. It is the Protestant standpoint and ours.
“The other reason(s) the Church came up with its own method of calculating Passover (was) to have the celebration of the resurrection on the weekday on which Scripture records it”.
An interpretation of the meaning
of the events of the 11th Nisan and 10th Nisan different from this Paper’s,
results from moving the dating back.
The tenth was the day for separating
the lamb for Passover. This happened
not at the table in
See Appendix Apollinaris p. 305
“The identification of the week will depend on the year in which he was killed and the sequence of events of the week …”. The Paper 159 adds “events … as herein” – in the Paper that is. “A table of events … must be done in order to test the biblical chronology against the dates”, the Paper proposes. But should not the dates be tested against the Bible’s information? If so, a third major deviation from the Biblical facts can be identified in the Paper’s chronology of events. It will be found at “Later activities and events”, Mt.27:51-56, Mk.15:42-47, Lk.23:50-56, Jn.19:38-42 “Event(s)” of “The Day Before the Passover, The preparation day of the fourteenth of Nisan. The day of crucifixion 14 Nisan …”. Christ’s burial is placed on the same day as his crucifixion, “in haste before sunset …”. However, “Evening” – opsia, is part – the first part – of the new day. It is not some time in between the day of crucifixion and the day of burial. Christ was not taken off the cross before “it had become evening” and Joseph had asked Pilate for the body – Mk.15:42 and Mt.27:57. He was not entombed before the body was prepared “as was the custom of the Jews”, Jn.19:40. The interment had been finished well before sunset and evening, Lk.23:54-58, which implies that the crucifixion was the day before. See App. p. 106 Appolinarus
Appendix, pp. 18, 81, 90, 105. Apollinaris.
New International Commentary, Gospel of Luke, page 652:
“During the first centuries after Christ there is not the least indication in the writings of the church fathers that during the first hundred and fifty years A.D. any problem (and still less a contradiction) was seen in the four Gospels in connection with the dating of the crucifixion. Only about A.D. 170 do we come across signs for the first time that indicate that confusion arose concerning the evidence of the four Gospels for the dating of the crucifixion. It was about at that time that a conflict arose in Asia minor as to the day and date of the celebration of the Christian Passover.”
“The view that Christ was crucified on the FIFTEENTH of Abib was
attacked and refuted by Claudius Apollinaris Bishop of
160-180. He was known by Polycarp and was influenced by Polycarp's
example and his teachings. Apollinaris was also a contemporary of
Melito and Polycrates. Here is what Apollinaris says in regard to this
“There are, then, some who through ignorance raise disputes about these things (though their conduct is pardonable: for ignorance is no subject for blame – it rather needs further instruction), and say that on the fourteenth day the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples, and that (then) on the great day of the feast of unleavened bread He Himself suffered; and they quote Matthew as speaking in accordance with their view. Wherefor their opinion is contrary to the Law, and the Gospels seem to be at variance with them.” (Emphasis CGE.)
“Please notice that Apollinaris categorically says that this view is contrary
to the law and the Gospels! . . . . The truth is, Christ did not eat the legal Passover before his crucifixion, because He had to fulfil the Passover sacrifice typology Himself, and DIE as our Passover Lamb. Therefore, HE COULD NOT EAT THE LAMB THAT PASSOVER. Christ fulfilled that typology at the correct appointed time, late in the afternoon of Abib fourteenth; that is why Apollinaris says this view is contrary TO THE LAW AND THE GOSPELS! Keep in mind also that Apollinaris was influenced in his teachings by Polycarp, and that his contemporaries were Melito and Polycrates, who held the same views as Apollinaris. The view of the Quartodecimans was that Christ fulfilled the Passover sacrifice typology, that he did not eat the legal Passover prescribed by the law before his crucifixion.
In another passage, Apollinaris states the views of the Quartodecimans:
"The fourteenth day the true Passover of the Lord; the great Sacrifice, the Son of God instead of the lamb, who was bound, who bound the strong, and who judged, though Judge of living and dead, and who was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified, who was lifted up on the horns of the Unicorn, and who was pierced in his holy side, who poured forth from his side the two purifying elements, water and blood, word and spirit, and who was buried on the day of the Passover, the stone being placed upon the tomb." (Writings of Claudius Apollinaris, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 8, pages 772-773).
T misses THE MOST IMPORTANT IMPLICATION here! I shall indicate it after the following has been read . . . I’ll highlight the ideas I want to be looked at more closely:
“The following quote … shows the abhorrence that many of this era had
for the "Jews",
"When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that ALL should keep THE FEAST ON ONE DAY; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all WITH ONE ACCORD, and in the same MANNER? It was declared to be PARTICULARLY UNWORTHY for this, the HOLIEST of all festivals, TO FOLLOW THE CUSTOM [THE CALCULATION] OF THE JEWS . . . " ”
What is this MOST IMPORTANT IMPLICATION that emerges from reading Apollinarus’ arguments and the comments thereon? I have obviated it because
this is never noticed, and it is VERY SIMPLE AND VISIBLE! It is this, 1, “that ALL should keep the Feast ON ONE DAY”!
“THE CUSTOM [THE CALCULATION] OF THE JEWS” . . . Where did I read about this? . . . In the Gospels perhaps? Was it not Luke? Luke, yes! Where in
Luke? . . . Was it not where he writes of Jesus’ crucifixion? Crucifixion? . . . Let me quickly check! . . . Ah, here it is. He says, 23:54, “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on”. Yes, this is significant – Luke in fact here gives important detail, but it is not what I had in mind. . . . Somewhere else it speaks of the Jew’s <custom>. Let’s try John, 19 . . . let’s take it from verse 38. “And after this . . . there came also . . . by night, verse 39 . . . . then took they the body . . . Ah! Here it is, verse 40! “Then took they the body of Jesus . . . as the manner of the Jews is to
bury”! The “some who through ignorance raise disputes about these things … and say that on the fourteenth day the Lord ATE the (Passover) lamb with the disciples, and that ON THE GREAT DAY OF THE FEAST (15 Nisan!) of Unleavened Bread He Himself SUFFERED” (= crucifixion AND death) – are those for whom it was “particularly unworthy” to have “the HOLIEST of all (Christian) festivals, to follow the custom of the Jews”, and who would have the Passover Feast “ON ONE DAY” while the Jewish “CUSTOM” (or “manner”) was to have it on more than one day, on 14 AND on 15 Nisan! They SPLIT the Passover and made of it TWO feasts, “Good Friday” and “Easter”.
Apollinaris also explains what “some through ignorance raise disputes about”. He explains their mistake in saying “… that on the fourteenth day the Lord ate the lamb …”. The first error of these ‘ignorant’ was to think the Passover lamb was eaten that night of the fourteenth Nisan when Jesus went into the upper room with his disciples. There is nothing wrong with their dating at this stage – the beginning of fourteen Nisan after sunset – when Jesus indeed did join the disciples at table. The second error of these ‘ignorant’ people was that they “say … that on the Great Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – which is 15 Nisan – He himself suffered” (was killed)!
“Some through ignorance say: “The Lord ate the LAMB (ate Passover) with the disciples on the fourteenth, BUT (“And” with the connotation of “further erring”) that on the GREAT DAY of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (on 15 Nisan) He himself suffered (was crucified) …”.
“Some through ignorance” erred by reason of their “manner” of reckoning the ‘Jewish’ day in a ‘Roman’ world the ‘Roman’ way from midnight to midnight. “Wherefore their opinion is contrary to the law, and the Gospels (are at variance with them.”
Apollinaris was a ‘quartodeciman’. He celebrated Passover as a Christian would. For Apollinaris there was no contradiction in the Gospels or in the mainline Christian “opinion”. The ignorant “Need(ed) further instruction”.
“I will ransom thee from the power of the GRAVE (15 Nisan); I will redeem thee from DEATH (14 Nisan): O death. I will be thy plague (Jesus’ dying – day one); O grave, I will be thy destruction (Jesus’ interment – day two) … I will be thy KING (Jesus’ resurrection – day three). … I gave thee a KING in mine anger (“… delivered them Jesus”), and took Him away in my wrath (crucifixion and death). The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid. (interment) … I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from Him (Resurrection!) … After TWO days (14 and 15 Nisan – death and burial) He will revive us; in the THIRD day He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Hosea 13:14, 10-12, 14:4, 6:2.
What are Apollinaris, Hosea, the Gospels, and Paul, here speaking of? Don’t they all tell how Jesus our Passover Lamb was slain and buried? “ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES . . . AND BURIED”! “According to the Scriptures THE THIRD DAY RAISED”!
Three things on three consecutive days – according to three things:
1, “ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES”, 2, “ACCORDING TO JEWISH CUSTOM”, and, 3, ACCORDING TO “PASSOVER FEAST”, CHRONOLOGY OR “CALCULATION”.
prophecy is clearly Paschal-orientated. That is not only seen from the whole
context, but from specific references like 6:2. “I am exactly (KJV “yet”)
the LORD thy God from the
Paul gives “the Scriptures” the same emphasis in 1Cor.15, verses 3 and 4, “First of all that which I also accept true and believe: How that Christ according to the Scriptures died for our sins (on the first day of Passover): How that He also was buried (on the second day of Passover), and, How that He, the-according-to-the-Scriptures-third-day, rose again.”
The big fight in the early Church wasn’t merely about pushing the “Christian Easter” away from and after the Jewish Passover! The Jewish Feast over “THREE DAYS” that found its climax in the events of “the third day according to the Scriptures”, according to “some” had to be condensed into “ONE DAY”, says
Apollinaris, so that “ALL” should keep it the way these “ignorant” would have it.
Here’s how those “scribes” corrupted the Word of God. They changed “TIMES AND LAW” that “ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES” actualised on THREE consecutive days, by ‘TRANSLATING’ it so as to SEEM to have occurred on just TWO days. Forcing into ONE day Jesus’ crucifixion AND
burial they made void of one day altogether, to create “STILL SATURDAY”.
“According to the Scriptures” – the Passover of Yahweh-Scriptures – “the remains” of the Passover Sacrifice of God’s own Lamb was BURIED on the SECOND first day of Passover Feast Season, ONLY AFTER EGYPT’S CAPITAL HAD BEEN EXITED; ONLY AFTER DYING AND THE PLACE OF SUFFERING HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND. The lamb’s “remains” (as were the bones of Joseph) were in that night after slaughter, brought without of Rameses and was returned, “the next day”, to God’s earth (in the “land / garden”, says John) by burning in the wilderness at Succoth. In Jesus’ case his body in that night after slaughter, was taken from the cross and prepared for interment, “the next day”!
“The fourteenth day the true Passover of the Lord ”, says Apollinaris. Notice this passage has no indicative finite verb. The semi-colon should be replaced with a colon – THUS: Then read: “The fourteenth day: BEHOLD! The true Passover of the Lord : The Great Sacrifice, the Son of God, instead of the lamb, who was bound, who bound the strong, and who judged, though judge of living and dead, and who was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified, who was lifted up on the horns of the Unicorn, and who was pierced in his holy side, who poured forth from his side the two purifying elements, water and blood, word and spirit . . . ”
Clearly Apollinaris supposes all these to have been events of 14 Nisan. (He gets a bit mixed up though the moment he employs Greek myth.) Then by ellipsis Apollinaris continues,
“The fifteenth day – NOTICE: THE TRUE Passover of the Lord: who was buried THE DAY of the Passover, the stone being placed upon the tomb”. (“THE GREAT DAY OF THE FEAST”, above.)
This is a categorical affirmation of the fact Jesus’ interment was not of the same day as his crucifixion and death. Crucifixion and Burial which “according to the Scriptures” should have actualised on two consecutive days, and “Times and Law” of Passover which “according to the Scriptures” should have actualised on three consecutive days, so had to be interpreted as to seem to have occurred on two days only, reducing one to emptiness and aptly called “Still Saturday”. But on the “contrary” – “according to the custom of the Jews” – their Passover – found buried “According to the Scriptures” – the Passover of Yahweh-Scriptures – “the remains” of “our Passover” after Egypt’s capital had been exited; after place and day of dying and suffering had been left behind. “The Dead” had been buried “the next day” … “according to (Passover) Scriptures”. Says Apollinaris, “Behold! : The true Passover of the Lord: Who indeed was buried on the Day of Passover, the stone being placed upon the tomb!”]
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