I’ve got an old book here with me that was printed in 1907, entitled Difficulties in the Bible by R.A. Torrey. It’s an interesting read, not only for the quality of Torrey’s research, but also for the little quant things, such as the “wine” Jesus turned water into was really grape juice (“wholesome wine”), and that there was a pre-Adamic race that God killed for some reason.
One interesting chapter is entitled “Was Jesus really three days and three nights in the heart of the earth?”, which explores whether Friday afternoon to Sunday morning really works. He explains that the traditional Good Friday came about because it was claimed that it was the day before the Sabbath, which is obviously a Friday. He then goes on to say that John’s version said that the Sabbath was a high Sabbath, a “Passover sabbath” as he calls it, and this idea unlocks the day of Jesus’ death from having to be on a Friday. By inference, Torrey concludes that it was Wednesday afternoon that he was killed and that Jesus would have arose Saturday night, leaving the tomb empty for Sunday morning (exposition in case you hadn’t heard the theory before).
The reason I bring this up (apart from the timing) was something I read in Luke recently, where one of the apostles mentioned that that day (Sunday) was the third day since Jesus died, which sounds to me like Thursday. What are the arguements and evidence for each of these ideas? Is the Good Friday soley tradition based? Is Wednesday a better answer? Or Thursday?