Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tomb timing

Herman Hoeh would have had an answer. The Huffington Post has an article about the dreaded three days and three nights Jesus was supposed to have spent in the tomb, a seasonal nod to Easter. They interviewed Marcus Borg and a Seventh-day Adventist luminary. Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) was also dragged into the debate alongside Ben Witherington III. They all repeat the standard line about inclusive counting, or just shrug their shoulders.

Obviously none of these guys has read Hoeh's The Crucifixion Was Not on Friday (available for the delectation of contemporary readers online.) Or, for that matter, the Herbal classic, The Resurrection Was Not on Sunday.

Considering how much hooha (hooey-ha, hoeh-ha?) was once made of this, it's a tad surprising that neither the Cincinnati nor the Charlotte sectarians have published their own booklet-style dissertation on the topic. Now why do you think that is?

In any case, don't expect too many of Herman and Herb's latter-day devotees to write to the Huffpost to draw attention to their proud denominational distinctive. They tend, after all, to be more the WorldNetDaily type.


  1. It was the kind of thinking and argumentation employed in "The Resurrection was not on Sunday" that basically got HWA started (cf. "Foundation for Sunday Sacredness Crumbles".) Given the booklet's foundational importance, it is particularly interesting to note that it was one of the few in which Herbert W. Armstrong was careful to acknowledge his sources – albeit with consummate salesmanship. I still recall reading an earlier black-and-white edition and being impressed by its mention towards the end that "this truth has been published in the Sunday School Times". In the version published as an article in The Plain Truth in April 1954, the following words appeared at the end: "The PLAIN TRUTH concerning the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ is fast sweeping the world. Thousands are coming to see it. This truth has been published in the Sunday School Times. The Oxford University Press, in their 'Companion' Bible, publish a table proving this newly revealed truth of the Bible." Careless reading of well-crafted wording like that can lead to misunderstandings, even if you take the author's advice and "read this twice".

    More tragically, the booklet is also important as an object lesson in spectacularly missing the point.

  2. The entire issue can be cleared up simply by determining which year the crucifixion took place. There is no dispute that the event occurred on the Passover. Determining which day of the week the Passover occurred in a given year is merely an astronomical exercise.

  3. Au contraire mon fraire, perhaps the major Armstrongist players aren't about to waste their precious retirement dollars on yet another useless booklet, but be certain that there are others out there who "have the truth".

    Please note with interest this entry from the Year 2000.

    I happen to know that the very not Armstrongist Seventh Day Church of God of Caldwell, Idaho, which also has kept the Feasts since 1919, has published a similar work from The Herald of Truth, but unfortunately is not yet online, due to the slowness of the Website Administrator.

  4. Determining which day of the week the Passover occurred in a given year is merely an astronomical exercise.

    It's not that simple because people cannot agree on the Calendar and how to calculate what day of the week the Lord's Supper occured on the evening of the 13th and the Passover on the 14th.

    Two calendars do agree: In 30 AD, Jesus would have had His Last Supper on the evening of Tuesday night, crucified during the day on Wednesday and in the tomb at sunset at Passover in the evening Wednesday night. He would have been in the tomb Thursday, Friday, Saturday and have arisen Saturday night just as the first day of the week began.

    This method of calculation would mean that the Jews would have had 40 years of testing and trials until the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

    One should also note that according to Scripture, if it is read carefully, the Passover begins the Days of Unleavened Bread.

    Having said all that, it should be clear that no one but those left in the Church of God Most High and those of the Seventh Day Church of God (publishing The Herald of Truth) actually accept such a scenario. United claims the calculations work out for 31 AD, but then, they use Postponements which were not in use during the First Century AD (and there are instructions for the Priests on how to prepare for the Sabbath when the Day of Atonenment falls on a Friday). It should be noted that everyone is pretty much self-satisfied that all the major questions were settled long ago, except for the ones involving how the ministers are going to be continued to be paid and how they will retain their retirement.

    Not to worry.

    This is all an intellectual exercise. It should be clear that everyone including Armstrongists don't actually believe the Bible, in spite of their claims, but it isn't just the Armstrongists, Protestants at large don't seem to really look at what Scripture says and the Roman Catholics don't even pretend it has any authority.

    So none of this makes any difference whatsoever and no one really cares, except to claim that they are right without looking into it.