Page 22 - A True Gospel Chronology from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection
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 C. The last third day saying listed was used by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and the first temple cleansing.
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
This event and saying apparently made an impression of the Judaic leaders, because they brought it up to Him while on the cross.
Mark 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
When we look at all of these sayings as a whole, we might be left scratching our heads. Is it “in three days,” which could mean at any point within a three day period? Is it “after three days,” which would require the passing of three days? Is it simply, at some point on “the third day”?
To answer these questions, we can call upon that helpful hermeneutical tool, USUS LOQUENDI (use of words). A definition of this is,
When a writer has treated a given subject in different parts of his writings, or when different writers have treated the same subject, it is both justice to the writers, and important in interpretation, to collate and compare all that is written. The obscure or doubtful passages are to be explained by what is plain and simple.11
When we compare all the different sayings given by Jesus, which is the plain and simple one? If we were to sit down and discuss this, we might have as many answers as we had minds. In other words, we probably could not come to a consensus.
So we must ask a different question. Which was the plainest and simplest to understand to those He spoke to? Whether we are talking about His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, on the Emmaus Road, or the Pharisees requesting a guard at the tomb, it is obvious that they understood, three full days were meant.
11 Milton S. Terry. BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS, 1890
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