Internet historian and author Daniel Gregg has claimed that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday afternoon, died, and was resurrected from the dead in the wee hours before sunrise Sabbath morning. (Source: "A Sabbath Resurrection and Wednesday Crucifixion of Yeshua the Messiah")
Unlike most who believe in the Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday afternoon resurrection theory, Gregg opts for placing the resurrection in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday. Gregg even has his own translation of the New Testament called the Good News of Messiah.
Gregg claims that traditional Christianity is under a Satanic deception that has covered up the truth of the Sabbath resurrection and replaced it with the teaching that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday so it could abandon Sabbath worship and worship instead on Sunday.
His main argument seems to be that in the original Greek in Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1-2, and John 20:1-2 the verses literally state that it was not on the first day of the week as most translations have it, but on the "first of the Sabbaths". This leads Gregg to assert that Jesus actually rose from the dead Saturday morning before sunrise.
He goes to great lengths to prove this, bringing forth many claims that support his belief in the Sabbath resurrection. He claims that those who believe otherwise are deceived by Satan. Much of his chronology depends on the truth of the annual Sabbath Nisan 15. Without it, his whole case collapses like a house of cards. Gregg claims there were not one, but two Sabbaths in Passover week the first being the annual Sabbath that fell on Thursday and the "first of the Sabbaths" in the resurrection accounts that refer to the first weekly Sabbath of the seven weekly Sabbath countdown toward Shavuot. In Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1 the English words "first of the week" literally are "the first of the Sabbaths" or "one of the Sabbaths" since in the original Greek they are in the plural.
There are three main theories of what the plural "Sabbaths" refer to in the resurrection accounts.
They refer to the fact that there was more than one Sabbath the week Jesus died, the annual Sabbath, and the weekly Sabbath.
They refer to the first of the seven Sabbath countdown toward Shavuot (Pentecost).
They refer to the "first (day) of the week".
These are the three possible solutions to the reason for the plural Sabbaths in the Greek text. If you can think of one more, add it to this question at the bottom of the article. I will add it to this question when able.
Regarding # 1, there were no other Sabbaths besides the weekly Sabbath the week Jesus died. So, this can be ruled out.
Regarding # 2, it is true that according to Leviticus 23:11, there was to be a seven Sabbath countdown to Shavuot (Pentecost) from the day after the first weekly Sabbath after the Passover. It meant however that the very next weekly Sabbath after this would be the first Sabbath in the seven Sabbath countdown. Therefore, the "first of the Sabbaths" in Passion Weekend could not be referring to the seven Sabbath countdown. The next Sabbath would begin that countdown.
Regarding # 3, the only remaining theory is that the "first of the Sabbaths" was a Greek idiom meaning the "first of the week" as many scholars have claimed over the centuries. Gregg absolutely detests this one, claiming those that take this position are not only wrong but deliberately mislead people by spreading the big lie.
It is interesting to note that Acts 20:7 refers to a "first of the Sabbaths" that is translated as "the first day of the week" in most English versions. However, this "first of the Sabbaths" occurs about 11 days AFTER the Days of Unleavened Bread so it could not possibly be referring to the second Sabbath that falls after Nisan 14.
Others on this site have offered their opinions about the plural "Sabbaths" used in the resurrection accounts.
There is plenty on BHSE about the so-called annual Sabbath Passover week. I have answered this issue twice at the following link:
In any case, Gregg makes some errors in his reasoning but does that diminish his claim? It seems to me it does. But I am interested in the opinion of others.
The phrase "first of the Sabbaths" can be an idiom and mean the "first day of the week."
The Jewish Translators of the Septuagint translated the Hebrew word Shabbat into WEEK and WEEKS in Leviticus 23:15,16.
The Feast of Weeks
15 And ye shall number to yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day on which ye shall offer the sheaf of the heave-offering, seven full WEEKS 16 until the morrow after the last WEEK ye shall number fifty days, and shall bring a new meat-offering to the Lord.
That was the case two or three centuries BEFORE Christ walked the earth. About two or three centuries (I don't know for sure) after Jesus walked the earth the Jewish authorties called Shabbat a WEEK in Menachot 65a in the Talmud.
Even in 1917 the JPS translators of the Tanach translated Sabbath as week or weeks twice in Leviticus 23:
15 And you shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering seven WEEKS; they shall be complete.
16 You shall count until the day after the seventh WEEK, [namely,] the fiftieth day, [on which] you shall bring a new meal offering to the Lord.
It is apparent that the word Shabbat can be translated as WEEK, depending on the context.
There have been Christians that have worshipped on Saturday dating back to the first century CE and there have been Christians who also celebrated Sunday as the Lord's Day. But that's another subject.
My question is this: "Could Jesus have risen from the dead before sunrise Saturday morning?" Have you ever heard of this before? What think ye?