I realise that the word παρασκευή has a wider range then just a reference to a day, for example Eph 6:15 is not a reference to a specific day however it is the understanding of this term in regards to a specific day that I wish to investigate.
Six times in the gospel accounts of the crucifixion we read that it was "the day of preparation" or something similar (Matt 27:62; Mar 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14; 31; 42) on each occasion the noun παρασκευή is used.
Some sources are very specific that this noun refers to the sixth day of the week (our Friday), for example:
literally preparation; in Jewish, NT, and early Christian usage, only of a definite day, the sixth day of the week, the term for the Friday preceding the Sabbath, when all preparation for the Sabbath had to be completed and after which no work was permitted (MK 15.42; LU 23.54; JN 19.31, 42) [Friberg, Analytical Lexicon]
The day that was used to prepare for the Sabbath on the following day.[(2014). Sacred Time. D. Mangum, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, & R. Hurst (Eds.), Lexham Theological Wordbook. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.]
67.201 παρασκευή, ῆς f: a day on which preparations were made for a sacred or feast day—‘day of preparation, Friday.’ τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον, ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν παρασκευήν, συνήχθησαν ‘on the next day, the day after the day of preparation, they met’ or ‘the next day, which was a Sabbath, they met’ Mt 27:62. The identification of παρασκευή with Friday became so traditional that it eventually came to be the present-day Greek term for ‘Friday.’[Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 653). New York: United Bible Societies.]
And see here
In the commentary cited above there is an interesting link to Josephus Ant 16:6: 2 which says:
“Caesar Augustus, high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus:—Since the nation of the Jews have been found grateful to the Roman people, not only at this time but in times past also, and chiefly Hyrcanus the high priest, under my father,a Caesar the emperor, (163) it seemed good to me and my counsellors, according to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers, as they made use of them under Hyrcanus, the high priest of Almighty God; and that their sacred money be not touched, but be sent to Jerusalem, and that it be committed to the care of the receivers at Jerusalem; and that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour;b [Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson.]
However not all the lexicons agrees that that when παρασκευή it refers to the sixth day exclusively. for example Gingrich states:
preparation, i.e. day of preparation for a festival, Friday Mt 27:62; Mk 15:42 ; Lk 23:54; J 19:14, 31, 42.* [pg 150]
the day of preparation (for a Sabbath or feast):—day(1)[Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.]
If this term refers specifically to a Friday it would seem to me that this would put an end to the disputes about which day of the week Jesus Christ died.
Does παρασκευή refer specifically to the sixth day of the week or could be used to speak of preparation day prior to a Sabbath or feast?