If we were to insert the word "on" into the previously examined passages, then they would say something like, Jesus would be raised "on" the third day. This addition somewhat agrees with the philosophy of those who truly believe that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday, where they claim that Jesus was in the tomb for part of the day on Friday, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday and that he rose "on" this third day from the grave. The problem with this interpretation is that the thirty-first verse of the eight chapter of the book according to the gospel of Mark, tells a slightly different story.
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31).
Please note that this passage did not use any words that would imply that Jesus was to be raise in three days or that he would be raise on the third day. This passage clearly states that after three days Jesus would be raise again, which is somewhat different from what the earlier passages that we examined appeared to imply. They appeared to suggest that Jesus would be raised again "on" the third day. But what if the meaning of the earlier passages were intended to be interpreted as after the third day, instead of "on" the third day? If this interpretation was used of the earlier passages, then they would all be in agreement with this passage, which would show that intent was to say that Jesus would be raised after three days or after the third day.
But aren’t you manipulating the meaning of the passage so that you can be right, you may ask. Some may see it that way, but is that what we are really doing, manipulating the words that God has provided for us. One of the many definitions for the word manipulate is to falsify something, as in to change or present something in a way that is false but personally advantageous. Another definition for the word manipulate along the same lines is to influence someone, or to control something, in a clever or dishonest way. Actually, what we are doing is exactly God has told us to do. God has told us to study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, so that we can rightly dividing the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15), but most of us do not adhere to this command. And no, we are not talking about rightly dividing the word of truth; we are talking about studying to show yourself approved unto God. This word of truth is given to tell us what to believe (for doctrine), what is wrong (for reproof), how to correct wrong (for correction), how to live (for instruction in righteousness). We are to rely on this word of truth because it includes everything needed to grow in maturity, to be perfect (meaning proficient or capable), and to do what God wants (II Timothy 3:16-17), but first we must study it. God tells us to attend to his words because they are life unto those that find them, meaning God’s words are full of abundant life unto those that hunt for, look for, or seek those words (Proverbs 4:20-22). God has told us to study his word, to hunt for, look for, and seek the answers that he has provided us through his instruction manual, by rightly dividing his word of truth. So let us go forward, study this word of truth that we may rightly divide it.
The problem is that there exists this confusion as to how the phrase the third day should be interpreted. Knowing that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), then the confusion must lie within those who have interpreted the passage. We know that it appears as if we have taken it upon ourselves to rewrite or redefine what many say are the words of God, but this is not what we have done. We have looked at every possible translation that is available to us in an attempt to determine the correct interpretation of the passage. We will be the first to admit that we are not Bible scholars or the like, but we are sure that we do not have to be one in order to understand all that God has provided for his children in his word. We believe that God has imparted all the wisdom that we need in order to understand his word, if and only if, we follow his instructions. We are not rewriting or redefining the words of God; that has already been done long before we came on the scene. However, we are trying to find all of the hidden truths that God has placed in plain sight in his word; truths that only those who follow his instructions can find.
Each one of us has a favorite Bible translation that we like to read. We consider it to be the most correct and complete translation in existence. With so many translations on the on the market, how do you know if the one that you favor is the most correct translation? Is the King James Version the most correct translation? Or maybe it is the Modern King James Version? What about the New American Standard Bible translation, is it the one? Or could it be The Living Bible? Whichever translation you have laid claim to, it is important that you realize that what you read in one part of your Bible may appear to conflict with something that you read in another part of your Bible. This is not an error on the part of God, because he is not the author of confusion, but the error lies with the translations and the interpretations of man. It is your responsibility to sift though the mistranslations and the misinterpretations to get to the truth. And this is why you have to study his word, learn about his word, investigate his word, look at and carefully consider his word. The truth is in there, you just have to rightly divide it out.
Here is one interesting thing to note about the thirty-first verse of the eighth chapter of the gospel according to Mark; every Bible translation from those listed above, with the exception of two, used the phrase, after three days to describe the length of time before Jesus would be raised from the dead. The New Living Translation used the phrase three days later and the Weymouth New Testament Bible used the phrase after two days to describe the length of time before Jesus would be raised from the dead. It appears that the New Living Translation is closer to the interpretation of the other translations, but with the Weymouth New Testament Bible interpretation, it appears to be all alone with its interpretation.
Now unless we have misinterpreted something here, each of the Bible translations that we have examined, with the exception of one, has stated that Jesus would be raised from the dead after three days. This means that the phrase, the third day, must carry a different translation than the one that has been provided for us. While researching the interpretation of the phrase, the third day, we were taken back to the very beginning, taken back to the book of Genesis. There we found something very interesting.
We know that in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. We know that the earth was without form and void, and that darkness was upon the face of the deep. We know that God said, Let there be light and all that he said came to pass. We know that God divided that light from the darkness and called the light, Day and that he called the darkness, Night. But did you realize that the evening and the morning were the first day. We know that God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters and all that he said came to pass. We know that God made the firmament and divided the waters from under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament. We know that God called the firmament Heaven. But did you realize that the evening and the morning were the second day. We know that God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear and all that he said came to pass. We know that God called the dry land, Earth and after gathering together all of the waters, he called them Seas. We know that God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth and all that he said came to pass. But did you realize that the evening and the morning were the third day.
Here is our point. The first day would have consisted of an evening and a morning, in totality, as a whole. The second day would have consisted of an evening and a morning, in totality, as a whole. And the third day would have also consisted of an evening and a morning, in totality, as a whole. This means that there were three evenings that passed and there were three days that passed before we got to what was called the third day. So, when the scriptures spoke of the third day, we have to wonder if the phrase was to be interpreted the same way as it was defined here in the book of Genesis.
Enjoy your blessings - KW