Page 28 - A True Gospel Chronology from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection
P. 28

  The Burial [3 pm to sunset of 14th of Abib]
Preparations for Burial. After receiving permission from Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea takes down the body of Jesus and prepares him for burial. Joseph likely had a team of servants assisting him with this effort.
It is at this point that the annual sabbath of the Fifteenth of Abib is fast approaching. The burial team must prepare the body of Jesus and have it in the tomb before sunset. This all occurred during the time which John calls the preparation. That is, it was the preparation for the approaching sabbath of the Fifteenth. (Mt. 27:57-58; Mk. 15:42; Lk. 23:50-54; Jn. 19:38-40)
Note on the use of the term, Preparation:
The Hebrew term for 'preparation' is erev shabbat (meaning 'evening before Sabbath’). Its Greek equivalent is prosabbaton (meaning 'before Sabbath’), along with paraskeue, also translated as ‘preparation’. We have long been conditioned to think when we see the term 'preparation' in the Scriptures, we think that it means the whole day of Friday. Some so-called translations actually translate paraskeue as Friday. The New Living Translation renders Luke 23:54 in this way, “This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.” This can hardly be called a translation, but is more of a gross interpretation.
Samuel Lachs, in his A Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament (p. 437), informs us that the term preparation refers to the day before the weekly Sabbath or the day before a holiday. It most specifically points to the period of the day between the hours of 3 pm to sunset. Hence, preparation is more of period than the whole day. Even the Hebrew word points to this fact, when it is stated to mean, evening before Sabbath. Here, Preparation signifies the time or period known as evening before a sabbath. This period of preparation is from the ninth hour to sunset.
Josephus also mentions the period of preparation in his report of a letter from Caesar Augustus concerning the proposed treatment of the Jews, where he states that,
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