Questions I put to Prof. Samuele Bacchiocchi


he has ever since avoided to answer.


I herewith submit some questions on a pivotal point of exegesis I hope you will favourably consider to put to Professor Samuele Bacchicchi when he visits you.

They are understandable and matter of fact questions which Professor Bacchiocchi might recognise not too strange to answer.


As far as his time allows, Professor Bacchiocchi is well acquainted with my views and criticisms. I therefore have limited my questions to just this one point, the meaning of the Greek word “opse” in Matthew 28:1, Professor Bacchiocchi wrote a book, “The Times of the Crucifixion and Resurrection” on in which he treats on the subject.


I present the questions as though I ask them in person, so as not to perhaps embarrass you. (Emphasis - with capital letters - is mine.)


Preliminary Question: Professor Bacchiocchi, Do you realise that the meaning you attach to this word “opse” in Matthew 28:1, is in disagreement with men like Tyndale, Webster, Lightfoot, Young and Knoch - and Dionysius of centuries before them?


Professor Bacchiocchi, I today have four questions for you on your interpretation of the phrase in Mt.28:1, “In the end of the Sabbath”.


First Question: Professor Bacchiocchi, How can you claim “NUMEROUS evidences” (“The Time of the Crucifixion and Resurrection”, p. 49, 84 et al.) that Matthew uses the sunrise day-reckoning and not the sunset day-reckoning in chapter 28:1 while you fail to present a SINGLE example of Matthew's use of the sunrise reckoning - except 28:1 itself?


My Second Question is: Professor Bacchiocchi, You claim the Greek word “opse” in Mt.28:1 should be understood to mean “after”, and not “late” as in the King James Version and Revised Standard Version. In “The Time of the Crucifixion and Resurrection”, your statement reads as if A.T. Robertson is saying, “Later Greek authors, like Philostratus, use the word “opse” in the sense of 'after', like “opse toutohn” - 'after these things'“ .


The question is, 1, Does A.T. Robertson simply say that “Philostratus shows examples where “opse” has the sense of 'after', like “opse toutohn” - 'after these things'“, - as you assert he does?


(Robertson says,  “Philostratus shows examples where “opse” WITH THE ABLATIVE has the sense of 'after', like “opse toutohn” - 'after these things'“. - Bacchiocchi keeps Robertson's consideration of the Ablative, mum.

If the use of “opse” in Mt.28:1 is regarded as a case of the Ablative, the KJV supplies the perfect example, “In the end of the Sabbath”!

The example given from Philostratus of “opse toutohn”, is translated “superfluities (to the games)” in the Loeb Classical Library, and contextually has precisely that meaning. “These things” that should be reckoned mere “superfluities”, were made such a fuss of one might think they are the games!)


Professor Bacchiocchi, the question further is,

2, Does A. T. Robertson say, “later Greek AUTHORS, like Philostratus” - as you assert he does : the plural?

(Robertson says, “Philostratus shows examples”; “Philostratus uses it (the word “opse”) also in the sense of ...”. Robertson speaks of NO OTHER author.)


The question further is, 3, Does A. T. Robertson say, “Philostratus use(s) the word 'in the sense of 'AFTER' “ - as you assert he does?

(Robertson's exact words are, “Philostratus uses it (“opse”) also in the sense of LATE ON” - directly the opposite of what Bacciocchi pretends Robertson says!)


My Third Question is: Professor Bacchiocchi, In your 4th paragraph on page 87 of “The Time of the Crucifixion and Resurrection”, you state, “...the term “opse” is used in the New Testament and in CONTEMPORARY Greek literature as meaning not only “late” but also “after”“.

I take it you mean with “contemporary Greek literature”, first century “Greek literature” - that is, “Greek literature” “contemporary” with “New Testament” “Greek”.

Now, Professor Bacchiocchi, please supply us with JUST ONE example from this Greek of the incidence of the “use”, of “opse”, with the “meaning ...(of)”after”? Will it be Mt.28:1, perhaps?


Then, Professor Bacchiocchi, please explain to us how you “... have ... (done) justice to Matthew 28:1” by applying to the word “opse” in Mt.28:1, your, and the alleged meaning from Philostratus of TWO CENTURIES LATER than the time of the New Testament's composition?


Then, Professor Bacchiocchi, please explain to us how your 'conclusion' is lauded with such startling nonchalance, that,

1, To say that “opse” means “late in / on the Sabbath” in Mt.28:1, is an “ignoble and baseless attempt” that “lacks both Biblical and historical support”, and

3, that your meaning for “opse”, “after”, (p.60d TCR) is “clearly support(ed)” by “the cumulative witness of the Gospels and of history”?

3. Do you also consider “ignoble and baseless” the “attempt” to translate “opse” with “late in” of the Authorised and Revised Standard Versions (to mention but two)?

My fourth question for you, Professor Bacchiocchi today, is on your use of Walter BAUER'S interpretation of the phrase “In the end of the Sabbath” in Mt.28:1.


In The Times of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, p. 51-52, you assert, “The same explanation ... 'AFTER the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning', is given in several standard Greek lexicons of the New Testament. Walter Bauer's lexicon, for example, points out that “opse” is “used as an improper preposition with Genitive [meaning] after, (“opse sabbaton”) after the Sabbath ... Bauer gives several examples of this usage ('after') including one ... where the following phrase occurs: “later than the hour decided upon”“.


The question in the first place must obviously be, Professor Bacchiocchi, How can you say Walter Bauer “gives several examples of this usage 'AFTER'“, when the phrase that occurs in the very example you quote from him, reads, “LATER than the hour decided upon”?


But, the question in the second place, Professor Bacchiocchi, for any person who has not checked your references, is less obvious. It is this: How can you say Walter Bauer “gives SEVERAL examples of this usage 'after'“, when he gives BUT FOUR examples, and ALL four of “opse” meaning “LATE”, and none but Mt.28:1 ITSELF, as an example of “opse” meaning “after”?


The question in the third place, Professor Bacchiocchi, is: Where does Bauer ever state or imply that “opse” means “after ... as ... day ... was DAWNING”?

(While Bauer favours “after the Sabbath” in Matthew 28:1, he would think of “opse” with regard to Mt.28:1 as representing the “EVENING”. He defines “opse”, a “LATE hour of day”. Bauer NEVER defines “opse” in terms or concept of the early morning “dawning”! Neither does A.T. Robertson, or any “Greek author” of any period of



My last question, Professor Bacchiocchi, to you this day, is: Kindly tell us Robertson's final conclusion on this matter?

(“It is a point for exegesis”, says Robertson, “not for grammar, to decide. If Matthew has in mind just BEFORE SUNSET, 'late on' would be his idea; if he means AFTER SUNSET, then 'after' is correct.” Robertson allows the “morning” or “DAWNING”, no consideration! The time of day involved revolves around “sunset”, according to Robertson!)


Ad lib question:

Prof. Bacchiocch, how do you want me or us to regard your view, which you expressed in “End Time Issue 73”,

“... were the Gospels' writers alive today, I have reason to believe that they would appreciate help in correcting some of their inaccuracies. Incidentally, some of the inaccuracies are very glaring. For example, the Synoptic Gospels place Christ's crucifixion on the day after Passover (Nisan 15), while John on the actual Passover day (Nisan 14). It would be nice if we could ask them to reconcile their differences and give us the exact date of the Crucifixion.”


Bacchiocchi endorses this (R.W. Olson):


To these could be added the numerous discrepancies in the NT. For example, the Gospels do not agree even on the date of Christ's crucifixion. The Synoptic (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tell us that Jesus was crucified on Nisan 15, that is, the day after Passover, while John places the crucifixion of Nisan 14, that is, Passover day.”


Dear Prof. Bacchiocchi, How in God's Name dare you claim “inaccuracies” in the Gospels of which “some are glaring”! You say John places Christ's crucifixion “on the actual Passover day” - plainly untrue, because he says “it was the Preparation of Passover”. This day, say you, “the Synoptic Gospels place on the day after Passover” - while they say it was the very day “the passover should be slaughtered”!


It shows, Samuele Bacchiocchi is a non con poop.




















Gerhard Ebersöhn

Suite 324

Private bag 43

Sunninghill 2157