Wednesday Crucifixion?

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Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 21 2014 5:47 PM

Did you really say This about the possibility of a Wednesday crucifixion?  >>>>>

MJ. Smith:
You have resurrected a thread that is nearly 3 years old.
 Stick out tongue

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 21 2014 6:25 PM

Paul C:

Did you really say This about the possibility of a Wednesday crucifixion?  >>>>>

MJ. Smith:
You have resurrected a thread that is nearly 3 years old.
 Stick out tongue

Now that is really funny!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 21 2014 6:32 PM

Big Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Jack Hairston | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 22 2014 9:16 AM

John Kight:

Yesterday my pastor presented to the congregation his view of "Holy Week" and up held a Wednesday view of the Crucifixion. He made a great case for his position, and even though I've herd of the theory I've never actually look into it in detail.

 

The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: "A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it"

--Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbat ix:3, I.1.J as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 22 2014 10:00 AM

John Kight:

Yesterday my pastor presented to the congregation his view of "Holy Week" and up held a Wednesday view of the Crucifixion. He made a great case for his position, and even though I've herd of the theory I've never actually look into it in detail. I ran a search of my entire library for "Wednesday NEAR Jesus NEAR Crucifixion" and found next to nothing about this theory. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

 

The problem with attempting to set a date for the crucifixion lies in the fact that the gospels are not HISTORICAL presentations and cannot be relied on to provide precise historical information.  The gospels are THEOLOGICAL.  The view that Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights rests upon the comparison being made with the story of Jonah and are not therefore necessarily historically precise.  The synoptics present the view that Jesus was crucified on the day in which the Passover lamb was slain and presents the Last Supper as a celebration of the Passover.  This is not the case with John.  John specifically states that the Jews wished to avoid ritual defilement so that they would be able to celebrate the Passover.  What it amounts to is that attempting to reconcile these accounts is an attempt to square the circle.  Read to understand the theological points being made and not for the construction of a precise historical sequence (Besides, how does the precise sequence matter? ["At this point, what difference does it make?" Wink]) 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 22 2014 10:36 AM

I think the historical / theological distinction only applies to 'prove it' or 'nail it' type discussions among the 'edicated'.

I've no doubt 'normal' people in the first century wanted know exactly what Jesus was doing in Joseph's tomb for 2+ days. If he was really dead, did he leave the tomb for Gehenna (pre-punishment Gehenna)?

Then there's travel time to Gehenna, time to break down the gates (battle the Evil One?), and of course Jesus typically took 3 days to preach (the dead not needing loaves and fish).  Travel time back, to then meet Mary, a couple Emmeus guys, plus the team.

As much as it sounds like bad humor, there was a day when people asked common sense questions. Mat 27.52 is most illustrative of real history running afoul of later theology. The saints (presumably preached to by Jesus) awakening (but not rising), even before Jesus was taken off the cross. 


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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 22 2014 3:07 PM

George Somsel:

The problem with attempting to set a date for the crucifixion lies in the fact that the gospels are not HISTORICAL presentations and cannot be relied on to provide precise historical information.  The gospels are THEOLOGICAL.  The view that Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights rests upon the comparison being made with the story of Jonah and are not therefore necessarily historically precise.  The synoptics present the view that Jesus was crucified on the day in which the Passover lamb was slain and presents the Last Supper as a celebration of the Passover.  This is not the case with John.  John specifically states that the Jews wished to avoid ritual defilement so that they would be able to celebrate the Passover.  What it amounts to is that attempting to reconcile these accounts is an attempt to square the circle.  Read to understand the theological points being made and not for the construction of a precise historical sequence (Besides, how does the precise sequence matter? ["At this point, what difference does it make?" Wink]) 

Setting a date for the crucifixion is easy breezy, George. Scripture says explicitly it happened on the 14th day of the first month. What year? Well, that's not so easy, because it literally depends (or rather depended) on the weather. But the ballpark is pretty small. There are certain prophecies that make it potentially possible to narrow it down very closely, but those weather conditions I mentioned could throw it off by a day, a month, or a day and a month. I'm not sure that there is any extant record that could make it certain. However, the fact that it was on Wednesday is a 100% lock. Prophecy demands it.

Despite what you say, there is a way to reconcile the difference between the Synoptics and John that makes perfect sense, aligns with all prophecy, and leaves no loose ends. In other words, it actually happened--it isn't some hypothetical theological construct. I will address that in my book The Priesthoods of Passover, but I have to finish about 4-5 other books first before addressing that issue. People have to get their minds around the fact that YHWH does all kinds of things they don't think Him capable of. Once those log jams are addressed, people will be able to accept things they would otherwise say "can't be true", not because the Bible disagrees but just because they are convinced "God would never do that". Those fuzzy feelings, based mostly on assumptions, not Scripture, literally cause people to make excuses for why explicit things can't be possible. I've seen it happen often...after reams of information are presented, much of which can't be and isn't denied, folks simply say, "I don't believe that" without providing a single shred of countervailing evidence, thus fulfilling Hab. 1:5. That prophecy is going to be getting a most strenuous workout...right up to the point where denials become pointless. That's when people just start saying, "Maybe so, but I just don't care."

I suggest that no one assume they know YHWH enough to predict His behavior--or limit it, since He has explicitly said He has saved more than just a few surprises for the end...mind-blowing kinds of things. Obviously, something has to account for Hab. 1:5. But yeah, Yeishuu`a ate Passover and was Passover. Those who say that is impossible (and there are more than a few) are wrong.

Oh, and the Jews, they have really painted themselves into a box. The rabbinic interpretations of certain key concepts are just not in the ballpark. Of course, the Christians rely on those interpretations themselves, and so they are just as dislocated. Fun times ahead--fun times.

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 22 2014 10:30 PM

George Somsel:

The view that Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights rests upon the comparison being made with the story of Jonah 

Has anyone done the study to prove exactly how long [in hours] that Jonah was in that what ever it was? [Reference please]

[or do we run into the same problems in 800 BC as we are doing in [about] 31 AD?]

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 8:20 PM

Maybe I should make the following my forum signature:

"Please abide by the following guidelines as you interact on our forums. ... 2. Please do not discuss or debate biblical, theological, or other controversial topics. Use one of the many web forums intended for these kinds of discussions."

Wink

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 8:42 PM

David Ames:

George Somsel:

The view that Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights rests upon the comparison being made with the story of Jonah 

Has anyone done the study to prove exactly how long [in hours] that Jonah was in that what ever it was? [Reference please]

[or do we run into the same problems in 800 BC as we are doing in [about] 31 AD?]

Well, I don't think it is quite the same as the timing of the crucifixion--there is much more info to go on where that is concerned.

But the only thing there is to go on from Jonah is Jon. 1:17. The question is pretty simple...does this mean what it seems to be explicitly saying, or is it an inexplicable overstatement that actually means something much less detailed? It says, three days & three nights, not three days & nights, not three days, nor anything else that is less specific. Why introduce the unnecessary specificity and then make a point of quoting that unnecessary specificity if the unnecessary specificity was unnecessary and misleading?

Let me also add this point--the number three is rife throughout the Tanakh. Things are forever happening "in three days" or "after three days". But Yeishuu`a, after stating that this was the ONLY sign He would give (in Mt. 12:39, Mt. 16:4, and Lk. 13:29), with all those other options to quote from, specifically chose the highly specific wording of Jonah. Why?

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 8:57 PM

SineNomine:
Maybe I should make the following my forum signature:

would it make a difference?

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 8:59 PM

Super.Tramp:

SineNomine:
Maybe I should make the following my forum signature:

would it make a difference?

Probably not much of one, je pense.

But it would alleviate my frequent temptation to quote from that particular forum guideline in reply to all-too-many of the threads around here.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 9:10 PM

SineNomine:
But it would alleviate my frequent temptation to quote from that particular forum guideline in reply to all-too-many of the threads around here.

It always gets worse on Fridays, after 5pm.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 23 2014 9:32 PM

Super.Tramp:

It always gets worse on Fridays, after 5pm.

Angel

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 24 2014 4:36 AM

SineNomine:

Super.Tramp:

SineNomine:
Maybe I should make the following my forum signature:

would it make a difference?

Probably not much of one, je pense.

But it would alleviate my frequent temptation to quote from that particular forum guideline in reply to all-too-many of the threads around here.

Why bother? This—and many other—discussion does not even come close to the chaos that caused the Forum Guidelines to be written in the first place. I personally have no problem with the civil sharing of ideas, or even with the reasoning that led to the conclusion. When those discussion spill over into personal attacks, then it is time to call attention to forum decorum. The overly-frequent appeal to the Forum Guidelines reduces the effectiveness of such cautions.

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Michael A. Lasley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 24 2014 9:58 AM

Since I believe that the Bible is inerrant, I cannot accept a Friday crucifixion since there is no way to get 3 days and 3 nights into it. Also, the story of Jonah is the sign that Jesus gave the scribes and Pharisees. The best analysis I found when I taught this was R. A. Torrey's "Difficulties in the Bible" which is available in Logos. In fact there are 2 versions available.

Torrey, R. A. (1998). Difficulties in the Bible: Alleged errors and contradictions. Willow Grove: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

Andrews, E. D., & Torrey, R. A. (2011). Difficulties in the Bible Updated: Alleged Errors and Contradictions. Cambridge, OH: Edward Andrews.

His analysis is in Chapter 21. Here it is an excerpt from the original book:

WAS JESUS REALLY THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH?

Matthew reports Jesus as saying, “As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale (“sea monster,” RV marg.), so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (12:40). According to the commonly accepted tradition of the church Jesus was crucified on Friday, dying at 3:00 p.m., or somewhere between 3:00 p.m. and sundown, and was raised from the dead very early in the morning of the following Sunday. Many readers of the Bible are puzzled to know how the interval between late Friday afternoon and early Sunday morning can be figured out to be three days and three nights. It seems rather to be two nights, one day and a very small portion of another day.

The solution of this apparent difficulty proposed by many commentators is that “a day and a night” is simply another way of saying “a day,” and that the ancient Jews reckoned a fraction of a day as a whole day, so they say there was a part of Friday (a very small part), or a day and a night; all of Saturday, another day, or a day and a night; part of Sunday (a very small part), another day, or a day and a night.

There are many persons whom this solution does not altogether satisfy, and the writer confesses it does not satisfy him at all. It seems to him to be a makeshifts very weak makeshift.

Is there any solution that is altogether satisfactory? There is.

The first fact to be noticed in the proper solution is that the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the sabbath” (Mark 15:42). As the Jewish weekly Sabbath came on Saturday, beginning at Sunset the evening before, the conclusion is naturally drawn that as Jesus was crucified the day before the Sabbath He must have been crucified on Friday. But it is a well-known fact, to which the Bible bears abundant testimony, that the Jews had other Sabbaths beside the weekly Sabbath which fell on Saturday. The first day of Passover week, no matter upon what day of the week it came, was always a Sabbath (Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7; Numbers 28:16–18). The question therefore arises whether the Sabbath that followed Christ’s crucifixion was the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) or the Passover Sabbath, falling on the 15th of Nisan, which came that year on Thursday. Now the Bible does not leave us to speculate in regard to which Sabbath is meant in this instance, for John tells us in so many words, in John 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was “the preparation of the Passover” (RV), that is, it was not the day before the weekly Sabbath (Friday) but it was the day before the Passover Sabbath, which came that year on Thursday. That is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday. John makes this as clear as day.

The gospel of John was written later than the other gospels, and scholars have for a long time noticed that in various places there was an evident intention to correct false impressions that one might get from reading the other gospels. One of these false impressions was that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples at the regular time of the Passover. To correct this false impression John clearly states that He ate it the evening before, and that He himself died on the cross at the very moment the Passover lambs were being slain “between the two evenings” on the 14th of Nisan (Exodus 12:6, Hebrew; cf. RV marg.). God’s real Paschal Lamb, Jesus, of whom all other Paschal lambs offered through the centuries were only types, was therefore slain at the very time appointed of God.

Everything about the Passover lamb was fulfilled in Jesus. (1) He was the Lamb without blemish and without spot (Exodus 12:5). (2) He was chosen on the 10th of Nisan (Exodus 12:3), for it was on the tenth day of the month, the preceding Saturday, that the triumphal entry into Jerusalem was made, since they came from Jericho to Bethany six days before the Passover (John 12:1—that would be six days before Thursday, which would be Friday); and it was on the next day that entry into Jerusalem was made (John 12:12 ff.), that is, on Saturday, the 10th of Nisan. It was also on this same day that Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:6–16; Mark 14:3–11). As it was after the supper in the house of Simon the leper, and as the supper occurred late on Friday, that is, after sunset, or early on Saturday, “after” the supper would necessarily be on the 10th of Nisan. This being the price set on Him by the chief priests, it was the buying or taking to them of a lamb which according to law must occur on the 10th of Nisan. Furthermore, they put the exact value on the lamb that Old Testament prophecy predicted (Matthew 26:15; cf. Zechariah 11:12). (3) Not a bone of Him was broken when He was killed (John 19:36; cf. Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20). (4) And He was killed on the 14th of Nisan between the evenings, just before the beginning of the 15th of Nisan at sundown (Exodus 12:6, RV marg.).

If we take just exactly what the Bible says, that Jesus was slain before the Passover Sabbath, the type is marvelously fulfilled in every detail; but if we accept the traditional theory that Jesus was crucified on Friday, the type fails at many points.

Furthermore, if we accept the traditional view that Jesus was crucified on Friday and ate the Passover on the regular day of the Passover, then the journey from Jericho to Bethany, which occurred six days before the Passover (John 12:1), would fall on a Saturday, that is, the Jewish Sabbath. Such a journey on the Jewish Sabbath would be contrary to the Jewish law. Of course it was impossible for Jesus to take such a journey on the Jewish Sabbath. In reality His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday. This was altogether possible, for the Bible elsewhere tells us that Bethany was a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem (Acts 1:12; cf. Luke 24:50).

It has been figured out by the astronomers that in the year 30 A.D., which is the commonly accepted year of the crucifixion of our Lord, the Passover was kept on Thursday, April 6, the moon being full that day. The chronologists who have supposed that the crucifixion took place on Friday have been greatly perplexed by this fact that in the year 30 A.D., the Passover occurred on Thursday. One writer in seeking a solution of the difficulty suggests that the crucifixion may have been in the year 33 A.D., for although the full moon was on a Thursday that year also, yet as it was within two and half hours of Friday, he thinks that perhaps the Jews may have kept it that day. But when we accept exactly what the Bible says, namely, that Jesus was not crucified on the Passover day but on “the preparation of the Passover,” and that He was to be three days and three nights in the grave, and as “the preparation of the Passover” that year would be Wednesday and His resurrection early on the first day of the week, this allows exactly three days and three nights in the grave.

To sum it all up, Jesus died about sunset on Wednesday. Seventy-two hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at the beginning of the first day of the week (Saturday at sunset), He arose again from the grave. When the women visited the tomb just before dawn the next morning, they found the grave already empty. So we are not driven to any such makeshift solution as that any small portion of a day is reckoned as a whole day and night, but we find that the statement of Jesus was literally true. Three days and three nights His body was dead and lay in the sepulcher. While His body lay dead, He Himself, being quickened in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18), went into the heart of the earth and preached to the spirits which were in prison (1 Peter 3:19).

This supposed difficulty solves itself, as do so many other difficulties in the Bible, when we take the Bible as meaning exactly what it says.

It is sometimes objected against the view here advanced that the two on the way to Emmaus early on the first day of the week (that is, Sunday) said to Jesus in speaking of the crucifixion and events accompanying it, “Besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21); and it is said that if the crucifixion took place on Wednesday, Sunday would be the fourth day since these things were done. But the answer is very simple. These things were done just as Thursday was beginning at sunset on Wednesday. They were therefore completed on Thursday, and the first day since Thursday would be Friday, the second day since Thursday would be Saturday, and “the third day since” Thursday would be Sunday, the first day of the week. So the supposed objection in reality supports the theory. On the other hand, if the crucifixion took place on Friday, by no manner of reckoning could Sunday be made “the third day since” these things were done.

There are many passages in Scripture that support the theory advanced above and make it necessary to believe that Jesus died late on Wednesday. Some of them are as follows: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days” (Matthew 26:61). “Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself” (Matthew 27:40). “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again” (Matthew 27:63). “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). “They shall kill him, and when he is killed, after three days he shall rise again” (Mark 9:31, RV). “They shall scourge him, and shall kill him, and after three days he shall rise again” (Mark 10:34, RV) “Destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands” (Mark 14:58, RV). “Ah, thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself!” (Mark 15:29). “Besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21). “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou raise it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said” (John 2:19–22).

There is absolutely nothing in favor of Friday crucifixion, but everything in the Scripture is perfectly harmonized by Wednesday crucifixion. It is remarkable how many prophetical and typical passages of the Old Testament are fulfilled and how many seeming discrepancies in the gospel narratives are straightened out when we once come to understand that Jesus died on Wednesday and not on Friday.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 24 2014 10:45 AM

My first post in this thread referenced Torrey's take on this, but there is much, much more besides. His breakdown is a drop in the bucket.

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Fred A Kuypers | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 7:55 AM

Hi Mr. Williams;

I have read your response to the crucifixion and have a question. What did Esther mean when she asked everyone to fast for her meeting with the king. In Esther 4:

Est 4:15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
Est 4:16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Est 4:17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Did Esther mean just a part of each day? Did she mean 12 hour days and 12 hour nights or just a part of that? 

Later in chapter 5 of Esther it is said:

Est 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

Did this take place after the three days and three nights? When you say "We must think Eastern not western. Any part of a day is a day, in eastern thought." I would say that Esther proves that eastern thinking referred to three full days or 72 hours later and this would occur after the 72 hours of fasting. 

So why would the 3 days and 3 nights of Christ be different? 

Thank you for your time.

Fred K 

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 21 2019 9:54 AM

Three full days or parts of three days where a part of a day counts as a day we can not prove beyond all doubt. 

Minimum is two full nights and one full day and some parts of two other days. But does it make any difference to our salvation?

Posts 139
Jerome Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 24 2019 9:05 AM

Thanks to all who have participated in this thread.

Two years ago or so my wife suggested that we undertake the task of varnishing the wooden shelves (made of stair treads) in my library room.

In the process of removing all the books, about three or four shelves at a time, I discovered in my library a long-forgotten (on my part) book by Roy M. Allen, titled Three Days in the Grave.

I wish this could be a resource in Logos!

On the back panel of the dust jacket is a review by Keith Brooks, editor of Prophecy Monthly:

"Students who have had their pet theories as to the day on which our Lord was crucified should invest in a new book, THREE DAYS IN THE GRAVE by Roy M. Allen.

"The author is a scientist as well as a theologian and those who read this book will realize that they are dealing with one capable of thinking to the bottom of things. Mr. Allen is one man who has fairly set forth the strongest arguments for the three theories--Friday, Wednesday and Thursday, presenting the arguments against each and carefully analyzing all in the light of Scripture. While...(some attempt to)…make Friday fit in with Jewish ceremonies, Mr. Allen demolishes this completely. Wednesday crucifixion which the editor [Keith Brooks] once attempted to defend in a tract, we admit is left tottering and we have been amazed that we so thoughtlessly used some passages for its support. The alternative, Thursday, seems to meet all Scripture statements in the most satisfactory way, meeting the words of Matthew 12:40 and every other passage, as well as fitting the Passover details."

Mr. Roy M. Allen is the author of all the articles in the Encyclopedia Americana on the microscope and microscopy (from the "About the Author").

First edition, 2000 copies, 1942. Loizeaux Brothers Printing Company, Inc.

This is a hard cover book of 159 pages. It includes a detailed fold-out chronological chart at the back of the book.

I have found this book to be a fascinating, meticulously detailed, convincing study of the issues reflected in this thread's discussion.

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