Monday 12 April 2021

Monday quote

When Jesus and Paul address the issue of greed as a factor that can exclude self-professed believers from the kingdom of God, they are not talking about problems with greedy impulses that all humans struggle with on a daily basis but those who extort and defraud and steal from those living on the economic margins of life and who amass great wealth in the process.

Robert A. J. Gagnon.

Monday 5 April 2021

Monday quote

The primary source of the appeal of Christianity was Jesus—His incarnation, His life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.

Kenneth Scott Latourette.

Friday 2 April 2021

Passion week

The passion week is dated from the time that Jesus arrives in Bethany. John tells us that this was 6 days before the Passover.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. (Joh 11:55–12:2)
This raises several questions. What day does John mean by Passover? And is he using inclusive or exclusive reckoning?

We know that Jesus died on a Friday afternoon, and was raised after the Sabbath, that is, on Sunday prior to dawn. It was likely that the Jewish new day began at dusk in the first century. The Last Supper was a Passover meal eaten on Thursday after dusk; the lambs were sacrificed on the Thursday afternoon.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. (Luk 22:7–15).
Now John also states that the washing of the disciples feet occurred during the time of the Last Supper. John writes,
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (Joh 13:1–5).
I have previously argued that the feast on the Friday is distinct from the Passover meal on the Thursday. John also tells us that the Jews did not wish to defile themselves on Friday morning so that they could eat the Passover.
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. (Joh 18:28)
Again John is referring to a Friday feast which follows the Passover meal that occurred the night before when they ate the lamb. Though this does not necessary tell us what day John is referring to in 12:1.

Luke says the day of Unleavened Bread (which is the Passover), when the lamb was sacrificed, was Thursday (Luk 22:7). Matthew and Mark say that this day (Thursday) is the first day of Unleavened Bread. When John refers to Passover in 12:1 he may be referring to this day, ie. the Wednesday-Thursday, but it is more likely that he is referring to the Thursday-Friday. If the feast were after sunset on the Friday then it would be the Friday-Saturday, though that is the Sabbath.

So the terminius ad quem for John's 6 days before Passover is probably the Jewish day beginning Thursday at sunset which goes through to Friday sunset; the middle columns in the table. A day later if John is referencing the Passover Feast and if this occurred after sunset; this seems less likely.

DayEventInclusive days priorExclusive days prior

# days# days# days# days# days# days
Wednesday-ThursdayPassover daytime123012
Thursday-FridayPassover meal evening12
Friday-SaturdaySabbath, Unleavened Feast1

If John is using inclusive reckoning, 6 days before Passover is from Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset. If exclusive reckoning then 1 day earlier.

Inclusive reckoning is more likely. The 3 days of Jesus in the grave are inclusive. Matthew and Mark both write that the Passover is in 2 days (Mat 26:2; Mar 14:1) though is is unclear whether they mean the following daytime (1 day), or the Passover meal after sunset the next day (2 days). So Jesus probably arrived in Bethany on the Sunday prior to sunset, 6 inclusive days before the Passover lambs were slaughtered on Thursday before sunset.

They gave a dinner for Jesus and Mary anointed him (Joh 12:2-3).

The next day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. (Joh 12:12–14)
This is during daylight hours, thus would be the Monday. Though traditionally the church celebrates this as Palm Sunday.

Mark states that Jesus looked around the temple that day, but returned to Bethany because the hour was late (Mar 11:11).

The next day (Mar 11:12), the Tuesday, Jesus returned to Jerusalem. He cursed the fig tree as he departed Bethany. When he got to Jerusalem he entered the temple and threw out those buying and selling, overturning the tables of the money changers and sellers of doves.

Jesus returned to Bethany that evening and came back into Jerusalem on the Wednesday morning. At that time the disciples saw the cursed fig tree (Mar 11:20).

During his time in Jerusalem Jesus does a lot of teaching.
And he was teaching daily in the temple. (Luk 19:47).
The synoptic gospels do not lay out a strict chronology.
On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel (Luk 20:1 NASB).
John mentions events over these days without clear chronological references.

Events during these days include:
  • Parables: Ten virgins; Talents; Tenant farmers in the vineyard; Wedding banquet; Sheep and goats;
  • Interaction with leaders: Jesus' authority questioned; Marriage and the resurrection; Paying taxes to Caesar; Seven woes; Greatest commandment; Christ is David's son and Lord; Widow's offering
  • Olivet Discourse
Thursday was the day that the lambs were being sacrificed for the Passover meal. Jesus sent his disciples into Jerusalem to meet a certain man and prepare the meal. That evening, the next day, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples.

The following day was the Passover Feast, that is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was the day that Jesus was crucified: Good Friday.


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