hard evidence . . .
Troy W. Martin
martin at sxu.edu
Tue Apr 11 14:56:12 EDT 2000
In an earlier post, you stated that Jews reckoned the day from sundown to sundown. In
a subsequent post, you state, "John 20:19 is interesting because it treats the evening
at the end of the1st day as part of that 1st day -- a very un-Jewish way of looking at
days of the week." Actually, the Jewish time-keeping system did not reckon the day
from sundown to sundown but from the first three night lights to the first three night
lights. The Evening Watch began at sundown, but one day did not change into another
until the first three night lights became visible sometime during the Evening Watch.
Mk 15:42 clearly demonstrates that the day does not change with the beginning of
evening. Thus, Jn 20:19 recounts events on the first day of the week after the sun had
set. The second day of the week will not begin until a short time later when the
first three night lights appear. Since Jews count days inclusively, the reference to
eight days later in Jn 20:26 also indicates the first day from Sabbath.
I appreciate your concern about how all this relates to Paul and the Pauline
communities composed primarily of non-Jews. I am not sure the reference to the first
day of the week in 1Cor 16:1-2 is hard evidence of the "Gentile Mission" since this
reference is expressed in terms of a Jewish time-keeping system. I do think,
however, it is important to ask which time-keeping system Paul and his communities
observed. I have argued in several places that Paul and his communities observed a
Jewish time-keeping system and rejected the various Pagan options that would have
involved them in idolatry. If you are interested in my discussions of these temporal
issues, please see my articles "Pagan and Judeo-Christian Time-Keeping Schemes in Gal.
4:10 and Col. 2:16" New Testament Studies 49(1996) 105-119 and "Time and Money in
Translation: A Comparison of the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard
Version," Biblical Research 38 (1993) 55-69. My most extensive treatment is chapter 5
of my book By Philosophy and Empty Deceit: Colossians as Response to a Cynic Critique
(JSNT Sup 118; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996).
Thank you for sharing my interest in time.
Troy W. Martin
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