6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.

Leviticus 23:6-7

31Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

John 19:31

Is he saying:
a) the upcoming day (which starts at sunset) is a Sabbath i.e. 7th day of week AND it falls on Nisan 15?

Or, if the upcoming day is Nisan 15 and NOT the 7th day of the week, is John saying:
b) Nisan 15 is a sabbath because Leviticus 23 says to rest

Based on reading a bunch of English translations, it seems (a) is correct.

  • Stop arguing in the comments please. If you have something to say, and that something answers the question, then write an answer. Otherwise maybe you can write your own question on some related topic?
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 25 at 7:21
  • @curiousdannii- I hope you are not including me in your statement. I answered the OP's question by pointing to a previous answer of mine which was very relevant and then tried to stop the further discourses with further emphasis. I also answered the OP's follow up question in one further comment under the one answer here by pointing to another relevant answer of mine, so I personally did answer the OP, in more ways than one. Jun 25 at 8:55

It is true that in the Hebrew, "Sabbath" almost always refers to the weekly Sabbath with only very few exceptions such as Lev 16:31, 32 where it refers to the Day of Atonement.

However, in NT Koine Greek, Sabbath only ever refers to the weekly Sabbath or a period of 1 week. See BDAG. This remains true in non-Biblical Koine Greek was well. Put another way, "Sabbath" never refers, in Koine Greek, to one of the Jewish annual "sabbaths" - it only refers to the weekly Sabbath or a period of one week.

The above is confirmed by another fact as well. The word παρασκευή always refers to the day of preparation = Friday in both NT Greek, and early Christian literature as per BDAG, again. The same word was transliterated into Latin and also designates Friday in Latin as well. Put another way, the word never designates the day before an annual Sabbath.

Therefore, Nissan 15, in the NT was never referred to as "Sabbath" unless it actually fell on a weekly Sabbath. Therefore, I agree that of the OP options, (a) is correct.

  • 2
    @Maximus1987 - there are several questions about that on this site; but the simple answer concerns the Jewish habit of using inclusive time reckoning. See hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/38723/…
    – Dottard
    Jun 22 at 1:24
  • 1
    @Maximus1987 - you are assuming that Matt 12:40 refers to Jesus time in the tomb which is not necessarily correct - but even if it were, that is still Hebrew idiom.
    – Dottard
    Jun 22 at 1:29
  • 1
    @Maximus1987 - hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/38723/… the second answer is the one I prefer as fitting with the Bible text facts of user25930
    – Dottard
    Jun 22 at 1:31
  • 1
    @Dave - can you point to another instance in the NT or other 1st cent Koine literature where "Sabbath" refers to an annual festival? One cannot merely assert these things as true without evidence.
    – Dottard
    Jun 23 at 3:26
  • 1
    @Dave - correct - that Sabbath was a weekly sabbath that was also Passover. QED
    – Dottard
    Jun 23 at 5:26

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