How do you count the 3 day resurrection?

Hello :smile:

I recently have been asked to explain about how Jesus being crucified on a Friday and rising on Sunday morning qualifies as three days?
Just never thought about this and am at a loss to answer so would appreciate some suggestions/explanations?

Thanks !


It does seem confusing the way we reckon it in our culture today. According to the way the Israelites look at days, it begins at the end of dusk, and finishes just before dusk so the day begins when it gets dark. Their Sabbath, the seventh day begins Friday evening after the sun sets. Jesus was crucified and died on Friday late afternoon, the sixth day – the day by the way that God made man. So that counts as a day. When you add Saturday, and then that he showed himself on Sunday that counts as three different days. It was within three days. We don’t know that Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three 24 hour periods, because the text does not describe that. He may well indeed have been there for the same period of time.


I’m thinking specifically of Matthew 12:40 and Jonah 1:17

Where scripture says “ three days and three nights”…

I believe that scripture is true but can not fit in the three days and also nights ??


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Well the first thing is that Easter/our culture got it wong and it’s okay to say that lol

It was 3 days but we celebrate on Sunday. It’s more convenient than celebrating on a Monday when everyone has work and school. Just like how we celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas day. Jesus probably wasn’t born December 25th but that’s the day chosen to celebrate it.

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I have had the same thoughts. maybe this will help.

And here is another view same conclusion.



@Jimmy_Sellers, that’s a helpful link.

I agree; understanding the phrase “three days and three nights” as an idiom - vs a literal, mathematical calculation - is entirely appropriate and clears up the confusion.

Beyond the other Biblical examples of this that Ken provides, we can also acknowledge the differences in the precision with which we view time.

In today’s culture, at least for those of us interacting on Connect, we are accustomed to clocks and calendars. Because of our technology, there’s a precision that’s associated with time.

However, I don’t believe that same sentiment is appropriate when you are thinking about the mindset of a culture that doesn’t have watches and digital calendar alerts.


But even in todays culture when we say “see you in a couple of days” we don’t expect a precise meeting even through the majority of people that you known could give day, date and time as well as an address but we don’t.


Thanks all for the replies and the thoughts and the links!
I think I agree and understand where the dating is coming from now.
However,on behalf of someone who is challenging the authenticity of the bible though, and looking at this to show that the bible is not accurate… Can the explanations that we believe explain the "three days and three nights " question be adequate?

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Well, you can’t control what the questioner will consider and an adequate answer. I’ve seen people not accept any answers before lol

But the answers that are given here I do believe are adequate and that it will be up to the questioner to do research and look deeper into these things if they want to. Ultimately the fact Jesus rose from the dead is the bigger thing to question. If he really did rise from the dead what does that mean for the one questioning about the 3 days 3 nights bit?