Monday, 24 March 2008

3 days and 3 nights

How do we resolve this phrase with the other verses we have examined?

It is an idiom.

This may sound like an unusual position for a young earth creationist. However my hermeneutic seeks to understand Scripture in a straightforward manner which means that I am not a literalist or a symbolist but rather try to interpret what the passage is actually saying in context. The relevant passages are:
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Mat 12:38-41)
An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and departed. (Mat 16:4)
And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights. (Jon 1:17)
Looking at the 2 passages in Matthew it is clear that the sign of Jesus' Messiahhood parallels the sign of Jonah. And Jesus condemns them for failing to recognise him noting that the Ninevites repented at the message of a lesser person. This suggests that the sign of Jonah was that he had been swallowed by a great sea creature yet lived to speak of it. It is as if Jonah had come back from the dead and indeed Jonah uses the metaphor of Sheol (Hades) for his predicament.
"I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,/
and he answered me;/
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,/
and you heard my voice. (Jon 2:2)
So the focus of the argument is that Jesus will parallel Jonah's experience which is the sign. And they should repent as Jesus is greater than Jonah. The passage in Jonah says 3 days and 3 nights so Jesus quotes this and then applies it to himself.

The days and nights are literal, the association with day and night means the day is literal and the association with a number means the days are literal, but the phrase can encompass less than a whole day. We have:
  • 1 day(time) and 1 night meaning 1 (revolution) day (or part thereof)
  • 2 day(time)s and 2 nights meaning 2 (revolution) days (or part thereof)
  • 3 day(time)s and 3 nights meaning 3 (revolution) days (or part thereof)
The phrase is "day and night" with the number mentioned twice for emphasis.

Consider the phrase:
For in 7 days I will send rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights,... (Gen 7:4)
The emphasis is not on the fact it will rain for precisely 960 hours. It is on the continuous nature. The 7 refers to revolutional days, the 40 refers to daytime days. God could say, "...I will send rain on the earth 40 (revolutional) days,..." it means the same thing. But by saying day and night it is saying that the rain will come continually—even during the nighttime!

The other data we have previously examined states that Jesus was raised on the 3rd day with specific details that
  • Jesus died on Preparation day (1st day)
  • which was followed by the Sabbath day—7th weekday (2nd day)
  • then he rose on the following day—1st weekday (3rd day)
Combining this with an understanding that "x days and x nights" is an idiom meaning x revolutional days (or part thereof) with emphasis on daytime and nighttime, we see that all the texts are compatible and justice is done to every biblical, chronological record of the crucifixion.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

How many days in the tomb?

The traditional understanding is that Jesus was crucified on the Friday and rose on the Sunday. Based on Jesus statement of 3 days and 3 nights some have argued that Jesus was dead for 72 hours, dying Wednesday at sundown and rising Saturday at sundown (which would be at the end of the Sabbath).

Clarity is needed on how days are recorded. Jews at the time of Jesus counted days from sundown to sundown, so at dusk on a Friday the next day would begin, being their Sabbath. The West follows a midnight to midnight reckoning of days with midnight being the mid point between 2 noons and noon being when the sun is at its zenith (though there are some modifications to this).

The points to resolve are:
  • Day of crucifixion
  • Sabbath day and any intervening days
  • Day of resurrection
  • Number of days in the tomb
I would like to tackle the days in reverse order. In general I will not be quoting Scriptures already mentioned in the previous few posts.

Day of resurrection

There is little room for movement here. Several passages clearly state the Jesus rose on the 1st day of the week. This occurred before dawn as the women arrived at the tomb before dawn and Jesus had already risen. Jesus could have risen any time from the end of the Sabbath at dusk the previous evening till near dawn. We are not told exactly when (I favour early in the morning) but there is no disagreement between the schools of thought on the specific day here.

Sabbath

The day before the 1st day of the week must be the 7th. This is the Sabbath day. At least some of the verses discussing the Sabbath are referring to the normal weekly Sabbath as they specify that it came prior to the 1st day.
  • Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the 1st day of the week,... (Mat 28:1)
  • When the Sabbath was past,... very early on the 1st day of the week,... (Mar 16:1-2)
  • On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. But on the 1st day of the week, at early dawn,... (Luk 23:56-24:1)
The only way further days can be included is if there are more "Sabbaths" prior to the 7th day. Chuck Missler argues for this in an article titled, The Day of Debt. He claims that the Jews had other "Sabbaths" including the 1st day of Unleavened Bread which was to start on Nisan 15. The references he gives for this argument are Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:5-7 and Numbers 28:17. These verses are discussing regulations for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread but none of them actually say that the 1st day of Unleavened Bread is a "Sabbath." Further, the feast was to last 7 days so any "Sabbath" would likely be at the end of the 7 days not the beginning.

What further complicates matters is that there is disagreement over whether the last supper occurred on the Passover or the day before the Passover. The synoptic gospels state that the day of the last supper was the 1st day of Unleavened Bread. I am uncertain what exactly this implies but it suggests that the crucifixion was on the 2nd day of Unleavened Bread, and further that the customs of the Jews in the 1st century may have not occurred exactly as prescribed in the Law of Moses. Whatever the solution to this is, it means that even one argues that the 1st day of Unleavened Bread was a "Sabbath," this "Sabbath" was over before the crucifixion.

The other argument put forward for 2 "Sabbaths" that week is that Matthew 28:1 (see above) should be translated:
Now after the Sabbaths,...
That is, in the plural. I cannot adequately comment on this not being conversant in Greek. None of the English translations do this (though this does not disprove the argument). The word "Sabbath" in Matthew 28 is σαββατων and it appears in this form for both the word "Sabbath" and the word "week" later in the verse, to wit, "the 1st day of the week." The parallel passages in Mark and Luke use the forms σαββατου and σαββατον. Those versed in Greek can enlighten me but I suspect there is nothing in this.

John mentions that this Sabbath was a high day. By this I think it is likely that he means it occurs during a festival.

Day of crucifixion

All 4 gospels confirm that Jesus was crucified on the day of Preparation; mentioned once in each of the Synoptics and 3 times in John. They all state that the day of Preparation was immediately prior to the Sabbath; Luke informing us that Sabbath was in fact beginning near the time Jesus was laid in the tomb. John adds that the request for breaking the legs was to ensure the death of the men so their bodies could be got down before the Sabbath commenced.

Thus the day of Preparation, if we are correct about there being only 1 Sabbath, must be the 6th day of the week—Friday.

What are we to make of John's comment?
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. (Joh 19:14)
John mentions the day of Preparation 3 times and connects this with the Passover specifically in this verse. This had led to disagreement over the date Jesus was crucified, some claiming this day was lead up to the Passover and others the day previous with the Passover corresponding to the Last Supper (John 18:28 is also relevant here). Without resolving this issue, I will put forward my provisional thoughts.

Does the day of Preparation mean the 6th day every week? Is it when they prepared for the Sabbath? as they were not allowed to work on the Sabbath.

While there could be be preparation for the Passover, the words do not necessarily imply this. If "day of Preparation" was the name of the day, albeit a very descriptive one, then genitive case could just mean the day that occurred during that festival. Consider if we translated it:
Now it was the Passover's Day-of-Preparation
In English we say Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The adjectives describing the days refer to the holiday. Friday and Sunday are not days that happen at Easter, they happen every week; the same may be true of the day of Preparation.

Number of days in the tomb

There are multiple mentions of the number 3 and the adjective 3rd as documented in previous posts. This could mean that there were 3 days from the crucifixion then on that 3rd day, or after the end of that 3rd day Jesus would rise. One cannot say which is intended for several of the passages and if we had them alone we would be less certain.

The additional information as detailed above would suggest that an inclusive rendering is what is meant.

But several of the passages specifying 3 days show that these were to be counted inclusively.

Several times Jesus says that he will rise on the 3rd day. After the resurrection Jesus reminds people that he was to rise on the 3rd day, the angel says the same to the women at the tomb. And Peter and Paul both say Jesus rose on the 3rd day. On the road to Emmaus the 2 disciples tell Jesus that this is the 3rd day since this happened. Jesus had already risen but they were still within the 3rd day.

Further evidence that "after 3 days" can be equated with on the "3rd day" in the minds of 1st century Judaism is seen in the Pharisees' request to Pilate:
"Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After 3 days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the 3rd day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." (Mat 27:63-64)
Though they mention after 3 days, in their minds they only needed to place the guard until the 3rd day, not thru that day until the 4th day.

Thus the information we have considered so far consistently points to a Friday crucifixion and a pre-dawn Sunday resurrection; and that the 3 days were to be counted inclusively. Now onto the Jonah analogy.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Resurrection accounts

The previous passages quoted predictions of the Passion. Following are the passages that describe the death and resurrection of Jesus at the time of these events.

These passages state that the day of his crucifixion was "Preparation Day." They mention the Sabbath day. They state that on the first day of the week when the women went to the tomb before dawn Jesus had already been raised. Most people agree that at the time of the New Testament a new day commenced at sundown (dusk) and sunrise (dawn) occurred half way thru a 24-hour day (See Luke 23:54).

Mentions of Preparation day, Sabbath and the first day of the week

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After 3 days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the 3rd day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Mat 27:59-28:6)
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mar 15:42-43)

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. (Mar 16:1-6)
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

But on the 1st day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the 3rd day rise." (Luk 23:52-24:7)
So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the 6th hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." (Joh 19:13-15)
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. (Joh 19:30-31)
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Now on the 1st day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. (Joh 19:41-20:1)
On the evening of that day, the 1st day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." (Joh 20:19)

Mention of the duration

And there are some further passages after the event mentioning the duration. Jesus meets 2 men walking to Emmaus.
And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the 3rd day since these things happened. (Luk 24:19-21)
The same day Jesus appears to the Eleven and teaches them.
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the 3rd day rise from the dead,... (Luk 24:45-46)
Peter teaches the Gentiles about Jesus.
And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the 3rd day and made him to appear,... (Act 10:39-40)
Paul reminds the Corinthians what he has previously taught them
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the 3rd day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the 12. (1Co 15:3-5)
So we have several mentions of the number of days and a reasonably detailed chronology of the events which I will unpack later.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Mentions of the crucifixion prior to the event

There are several places where the death of Jesus and it duration are predicted. I have included duration specific prophecies and these are predominantly Jesus' own words, though prediction of his death occurs in the Old Testament.

Jesus' predictions of his own death

There are numerous verses to be found where Jesus mentions he was to be put to death then rise after 3 days. This is because Jesus told his disciples several times and these episodes are recorded in the synoptic gospels which describe several of the same events.
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the 3rd day." And they were greatly distressed. (Mat 17:22-23)
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the 3rd day be raised. (Mat 16:21)
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the 3rd day." (Mat 20:17-19)
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after 3 days rise again. (Mar 8:31)
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after 3 days he will rise." (Mar 9:30-31)
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after 3 days he will rise." (Mar 10:32-34)
Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the 3rd day be raised." (Luk 9:20-22)
And taking the 12, he said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the 3rd day he will rise." (Luk 18:31-33)

Jesus' temple analogy

Jesus was explicit with his comments to his followers about his death and resurrection. He alluded to it in public with his comment about the temple.
So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in 3 days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (Joh 2:18-21)
Jesus frequently spoke in figures of speech, he spoke in parables to the crowds but explained the meanings to his close followers. Those who wanted to gain understanding sort out the truth, those who cared little continued in their ignorance.

This is obvious in these words of Jesus for they were remembered by many which testifies to the 3 days, though they continued to misapply the temple of which Jesus spoke to the building and not his body. Firstly at Jesus' trial:
Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last 2 came forward and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in 3 days.'" (Mat 26:59-61)
For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in 3 days I will build another, not made with hands.'" Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. (Mar 14:56-59)
And then at the crucifixion:
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." (Mat 27:39-40)
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (Mar 15:29-30)
Even though these people were incorrect about what Jesus meant by "temple" (note the irony in the derision of the last 2 comments), their statements are useful in their testimony that Jesus had predicted 3 days.

Analogy to Jonah

Many of those who did not believe in Jesus asked for a sign. Matthew records Jesus referring to Jonah on at least 2 occasions.
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Mat 12:38-41)
An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and departed. (Mat 16:4)
The famous episode in the book of Jonah mentions that he was swallowed by a large sea creature where he remained for 3 days:
And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights. (Jon 1:17)
This is relevant because of the phrase "3 days and 3 nights" which some claim implies Jonah was in the sea creature for 72 hours and Jesus would be dead for 72 hours. We will come back to these passages for further consideration later.

An Old Testament allusion

There are several passages that discuss the death of the Messiah, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 being good examples. Some suggest that there is also an allusion to the duration of his death in Hosea:
"Come, let us return to the LORD;/
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;/
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up./
After 2 days he will revive us;/
on the 3rd day he will raise us up,/
that we may live before him./
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;/
his going out is sure as the dawn;/
he will come to us as the showers,/
as the spring rains that water the earth." (Hos 6:1-3)
Hosea married a prostitute as a symbol of God's relationship with unfaithful Israel. The interesting thing about this passage is that it invites people to return to the Lord even though they have been unfaithful and God has disciplined them for this (torn, struck). God has disciplined Israel in order that he may restore them to right relationship (heal, bind up). The mention of 2 and 3 days is concerning the reviving and raising of Israel to right relationship, though this can only occur through atonement and therefore the time frame would apply to atoning sacrifice.

It is possible that when Jesus mentions that Scripture teaches that he must rise after 3 days (Luke 24:46) that he was referring to this passage.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

On what day was Jesus crucified?

During discussion on my facts of Christmas post Starwind stated
I also note the Star of Bethlehem site endeavors to place the crucifixion on a Friday for which there is no biblical warrant, and which leads to no reconciliation of Jesus being 3 days & nights in the tomb.
I mentioned that I held to a Friday crucifixion and Starwind asked for my reasoning, specifically how I
count 3 days and 3 nights leading up to Sunday morning.
I will address this over the next few posts.

There are several passages that give us information about the day of crucifixion and resurrection. They can be arranged in several groups.
  • Jesus' predictions of his own death
  • Jesus' temple analogy
  • Analogy to Jonah
  • Resurrection accounts
    • Mention of Preparation day
    • Mention of the Sabbath day
    • Mention of the first day of the week
    • Mention of the duration
  • Other allusions
I will quote all the relevant passages with some discussion, remembering that one of my hermeneutical principles is to favour an interpretation that does justice to all relevant Scripture.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Messianic Miracles

The Old Testament prophesied about the coming of the Messiah. There were several clues that God had given his prophets over hundreds of years about who and when the Messiah would be. God brought these things to pass in Jesus.

Beresford Job has an interesting article on the rabbinical requirements for the Messiah. His article is based on material by Arnold Fruchtenbaum at Ariel Ministries. The ancient rabbis had a theory about the Messiah and grouped miracles into messianic and non-messianic miracles. The messianic miracles were a list of miracles that could only be performed by the Messiah. Their reasoning meant to them that the person doing these miracles would be the promised Messiah.

Now this is man's requirement so there is no divine necessity that these miracles be performed by Jesus. Further there is no reason to think the Pharisees were correct in their assertion that only the Messiah could perform these miracles; God could surely work these miracles in any of his servants by the power of his Spirit.

Nevertheless, Jesus acquiesced to these requirements-of-men and there could be no doubt Jesus was the Promised One of God.

What were these miracles?

Healing a Leper. Casting out a dumb demon. Healing a man born blind.

The healing of a leper miracle was reasoned because it had never happened to a Jew since the episode with Miriam. Further the Mosaic Law prescribed the law for investigating healing and ceremonial requirement for one who was healed but not a method for healing.

The healing of a man born blind was also because it had not been known to happen and it was reasoned that the Messiah would be able to do this.

The casting out of a dumb demon came about because of the rabbinical methodology for dealing with demons. They would start a conversation with the demon, get the demon to name himself, then cast the demon out with the use of his name. Obviously this would not work with a mute demon—one that would not speak and dumb he possessed person.

Jesus performed all 3 miracles and that in the presence of the Pharisees. Not that this was necessary for Jesus to do, he was under no obligation to the Pharisees, and the Bible did not hint at these as messianic signs, it gave other ones. Nor was the Pharisees' theology necessarily correct. But by Jesus' actions they were confronted with who he really was by their own reasoning.

The article is worth a read for expanded details about the so called messianic miracles, how Jesus used these miracles to confront the Pharisees with his Messiahhood, and how Jesus performed these miracles in ways that, while consistent with God's law, intentionally broke their traditions.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Random quote

If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Hurricanes not evidence for global warming

My previous post mentioned recent data showing cooling. I usually follow links to the source. I was either remiss or the DailyTech did not initially have the links. Either way, the compilation of the source data is here. The data has been further normalised and smoothed.

This site mentioned a recent press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They have found that the number of hurricanes has not increased
...economic damages from hurricanes have increased in the U.S. over time due to greater population, infrastructure, and wealth on the U.S. coastlines, and not to any spike in the number or intensity of hurricanes.
and that there is no correlation between global warming and hurricane damage
There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.
The report appears to assume global warming.

Of course this press release has neglected to be mentioned in most news outlets.

The hurricane connection was always suspicious. When a link was not found in the all-hurricane data the analysis was restricted to category 4 and 5 hurricanes. This is suspect as multiple analyses will always lead to some apparent correlation that is purely chance. And better data collection means more recent hurricanes are likely to be graded higher than old ones of the same intensity.

Actually a warmer earth would likely lead to less hurricanes if the warming was predominantly the poles. This is due to the smaller difference in temperatures between the equator and the poles. Thermodynamics shows that work available is related to the difference in temperature. Hurricanes are quite complicated and not fully understood so this prediction is at the lowest level.

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