Page 6 - A True Gospel Chronology from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection
P. 6

  A Faulty Timeline
William Barclay, a well respected and renowned Bible scholar, says this about the saying of Jesus as reported in Matthew 12,
"Matthew says that the sign is that, as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. It is to be noted that these are not the words of Jesus, but the explanation of Matthew.”2
I OBJECT: The witness was not present when these words are reported to have been spoken. I believe we place ourselves on very shaky ground when we take the scribal razor in hand, and determine what is and what is not the true words of Jesus. However, this seems to be a rather common practice among many critical scholars.
Now we have to ask, “Mr. Barclay, what are you basing this determination upon?" He answers,
"The fact is that Matthew understood wrongly the point of what Jesus said; and in so doing he made a strange mistake, for Jesus was not in the heart of the earth for three nights, but only for two. He was laid in the earth on the night of the Good Friday and rose on the morning of the first Easter Sunday.”3
UNDERSTOOD WRONGLY? A STRANGE MISTAKE? Where is he getting his information from? Is this not witness tampering? He is promoting the hearsay of tradition as the guide for his interpretation.
He is making this assumption of the incorrectness of Matthew's report based not upon what Jesus said, but based upon the faulty timeline of a Friday crucifixion and Sunday morning resurrection.
2 Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew, The New Daily Study Bible, (n.p., Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 58
3 Ibid
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