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John 20:1 (KJV)
Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb

From the above sentence, my understanding :
A. It is the first day of the week (I deliberately disregard the name of the day) after it has just past around more than 7 hours but less than 15 hours. Say for example, that "early" of the first day of the week is 5 AM when Mary go to the tomb, assuming the the first day of the week starts at 6 PM, then 5 AM of the first day of the week has past 11 hours.

Next verse:

John 20:19 (KJV)
Then, THE SAME DAY at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.

From the above sentence, my understanding :
B. Jesus showing up to the disciples is when the first day of the week has past no more than 7 hours.

Illustration of the chronology:
The time Jesus rise from the death is on the first day of the week, say 7 PM.
In the evening of the same day, the first day of the week, say, around 9 PM Jesus show Himself to the disciples
Early of the first day of the week, still dark - say, around 5 AM Mary go to the tomb.

Combining those two of my understanding, it leads me to conclude :
The first people who see Jesus after His death are the disciples, not Mary Magdalene.

I've tried to put another option like this : "it is the same day, the first day of the week - and it is a week later". But after I look to another version, most of the version use "that" - for example:

New International Version
On the evening of THAT first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

which cause me to think the "that" is referring to the same day when Mary go to the tomb.

Later on, the writer use specific timing in verse 26 (KJV):

after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them

Continuing my question before in here, it is confirmed that the "after 8 days" in verse 26 is referred from the day of the resurrection.

Please note, my understanding on point-A and point-B is using the Jewish point of view of the "timing" when day begin. As to be simple, I use : in the Jewish pov, the day begin at 6 PM ----> so, "the first day of the week begin on 6 PM".

That's why in verse 19, I propose that event happen is on the first day of the week after 11 hours past (assuming Mary go to the tomb at 5 AM on the first day of the week).

Then on verse 21, I propose that event happen is on the first day of the week after 3 hours has past (assuming that Jesus show up to disciples at 9 PM on the first day of the week).

But it seems most people put the "timing" the event of verse 21 is on the first day of the week after 27 hours has past ? Hence the chronology : Mary first who see Jesus (say at 6 AM), then 15 hours later, in the evening (assumed at 9 pm) the disciples see Jesus.

What did I miss here ?
(once again, I deliberately avoid to use the name of the day to avoid me more confuse).


For addition:
The Bible in my own language, put the "timing" is at night.
This is the language "Ketika hari sudah malam" = "when day already night".

Also Bibletools about John 20:19 in this page mention:

the doors were shut; which is not merely expressive of the time of night,

and this :

It was not uncommon for the early Christians to hold their meetings for worship in the night. In times of persecution they were forbidden to assemble during the day, and hence, they were compelled to meet in the night

  • Were that so, then Mark 16:11 and Luke 24:10-11 would make little sense. – Lucian Aug 9 '20 at 9:16
  • A day begins at sunset. So the "first day of the week" would begin after the sun sets and "early" in the day is the beginning of night. It would be dark. – Revelation Lad Aug 9 '20 at 17:00
  • @Lucian, that's why I'm confused :). – karma Aug 9 '20 at 17:35
  • @RevelationLad, the point which to me is "vague" is : evening = what time?. If for example : A day begins at evening ---where evening is at/after sunset---, then I thought the word "evening" in verse 19 is between a few minutes to a few hours just past the beginning of the day, no morning yet. – karma Aug 9 '20 at 17:43
  • There are 3 meanings for ὄψιος: 1. an advanced point of time in the day (usually between sunset and darkness) 2. specifically the period between late afternoon and darkness 3. a marker of a point in time subsequent to another point of time i.e. after. Suppose sunset was a 6:00 PM ὄψιος could be referring to the period of time like 5:00 - 7:00 where the light of the day is diminished but it is not quite dark. In this case it would be the period before 6:00 PM because it was ὄψιος, the same day. – Revelation Lad Aug 9 '20 at 18:34
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The sequence of events in John 20 appears to be as follows:

  • Jesus rises from the dead very early in the morning while it is still dark
  • V1: Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb early in the morning while it is still dark to find the tomb empty
  • V2-9: Mary returns and tells Simon Peter, who, with John and Mary return to the tomb to inspect it.
  • V10: Disciples leave to go home having not yet seen Jesus
  • V11-13: Mary stays at the tomb, weeping, and speaks with the two angels
  • V14-17: Mary sees Jesus and chats with him and thus is the first to see Jesus alive
  • V18: Mary returns to the disciples and tells them she has seen Jesus alive
  • V19-23: Later that same day (Sunday), late in the afternoon Jesus appears to the disciples in the locked upper room
  • V24-25: Thomas doubts at some time over the next few days
  • V26-29: Eight days later (ie, one week later) Jesus appears to Thomas as well.

Thus, the order of appearances of the living Jesus to his disciples, according to John 20, is:

  • Mary Magdalene on Sunday morning
  • The 10 disciples (without Thomas) late in the afternoon of the same day
  • The 11 disciples including Thomas 8 days later

Technical Note about "evening"

The "morning" and "evening" sacrifice (eg, Deut 16:4, 1 Chron 16:40, 2 Kings 16:15, 2 Chron 2:4, 13:11, Ezra 3:3, etc, etc, were actually offered about mid-morning and mid-afternoon, what we would call about 9 AM and 3PM. So, "late in the evening" would be toward sunset on the first day of the week. That is, in Jewish reckoning, the day begins sunset and ends 24 hours later at sunset the following day. "Evening" is late afternoon.

  • Thank you for the answer, Dottard. You wrote : Jesus rises from the dead very early in the morning while it is still dark . I understand that. But my point is : "after how many hours the first day of the week past?". My own understanding is point-A. So assumed that Jesus rise at 4 AM early in the morning - and assumed that in the Jewish pov the day begin is at 6 PM, then the answer is "after 10 hours the first day of the week has past". – karma Aug 9 '20 at 8:37
  • Next you wrote : Later that same day, late in the afternoon Jesus appears to the disciples in the locked upper room (sorry I ommit your name of day), the similar question is : "after how many hours the first day of the week has past when Jesus appears to the disciples?" – karma Aug 9 '20 at 8:37
  • I read in verse 21 it only mention "evening", not "mid-evening" not also "mid-afternoon". If you say that "evening" in the verse is meant "afternoon", then no confusion. But I read in chabad.org and some other link, it say "The Torah defines a day as beginning with the evening" (chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/160961/jewish/…). Thank you, Dottard. – karma Aug 9 '20 at 8:55
  • We do not disagree. The day begins at sunset - no question. But what we call late afternoon and what they loosely describe as "evening" (about 3pm to 6 pm) are similar. Else John's account makes no sense. – Dottard Aug 9 '20 at 9:39
  • I understand that, Dottard. Please have a look to my addition in my question, as some article/commentary say it's at night. – karma Aug 9 '20 at 9:50

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