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And Look!, there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council Bible

“Look!” The Greek word is idou (#2400 ἰδού), and it is used to get our attention. See commentary on Matthew 1:20 (“Look!).

there was a good and righteous man named Joseph.” Joseph is mentioned in all four Gospels. For the relationship between Joseph and Nicodemus, see commentary on John 19:39.

The death and resurrection of Christ is the pivotal point in the history of mankind. Each of the Four Gospels describes the event, but describes different aspects of it. It takes some effort to make all the pieces on the subject fit together. To be sure, the central message is crystal clear and stands on its own in every Gospel—God raised Jesus from the dead and the tomb is empty. However, when just read side by side, the Gospels have apparent contradictions. But the fact that we must piece the records together to get the actual history of the account is the same thing we have to do in many other places in the Bible in order to understand the more intricate information God has for us in His Word.

Just because the Four Gospels do not read the same way about an event does not mean they contradict each other. In order for each Gospel to portray its own unique picture of the Messiah, it has to have information that the other Gospels do not have, or omit information that they do have [For the four unique Gospel portraits of Jesus Christ, see the commentary on Mark 1:1].

We must keep in mind that even when a record in one Gospel seems to flow smoothly from one event to another, words such as “and,” “now,” or “but,” can represent a break in time. Thus the two events connected by a conjunction do not necessarily follow one right after the other, but may have other events that occur between them. For example, there are a large number of verses that start with “and,” which read as if they followed immediately after the previous verse, when actually we can see from the scope of Scripture that time passed and other events occurred between the verses.

The only way to properly construct the chronology of the Four Gospels is to be willing to split the seeming flow of events in a Gospel when there is good evidence from the other Gospels that there are intervening events. By reading each Gospel quickly, and simply noticing what is included or excluded, the unique emphasis of each Gospel is more easily seen. In contrast, by reading the record of Jesus’ life event by event in all four Gospels, we get the composite historical account of what happened.

In fitting the records together we can see that sometimes large periods of time occur right in the middle of a verse, and only by splitting a verse into two parts can we reconstruct a proper chronology. It would have been helpful if the men who invented the verse divisions had started a new verse each time there was a break in the chronology of Christ’s life. However, because the verse divisions are man-made (in fact, the modern verse divisions we use today were not put into the New Testament until the mid-1500’s), they are not always put in the best places. They are good for reference, but unfortunately sometimes they conceal the true chronology of the biblical text rather than help us understand it.

To understand the events in the Gospels and Acts and be able to better see how they fit with the prophecies and feasts in the Old Testament, it is important to know that the Jewish day started at sunset, while the Roman day started at midnight (like our Western time does). This is important because, although an event that happened at 3PM would be counted on the same day in both Jewish and Roman time, an event between sunset and midnight would be a day earlier in Roman time than in Jewish time, because sunset would have started the new Jewish day. The study below lists the verses in chronological order. Commentary on the individual verses can be looked up under that specific verse reference. As we do our study, it is helpful to overview the chronology. The events below are recorded in both Jewish and Roman time.

Wednesday, 14th of Nisan (Jewish and Roman time): close to sunset

Wednesday, 14th of Nisan (Romans time; if after sunset, then the 15th Jewish time): just before or after sunset

Thursday, 15th of Nisan (the Special Sabbath): morning

Friday, 16th of Nisan:

Saturday, 17th of Nisan (the weekly Sabbath):

Saturday, 17th of Nisan: evening. The Resurrection. The event itself is not described in Scripture.

Saturday, 17th of Nisan: late in the day

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: very early Sunday morning

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: very early Sunday morning while it was still quite dark

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: around sunrise

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: just after sunrise

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: just after sunrise

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: sometime after sunrise

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: early to mid-morning

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: early to mid-morning (summary statement)

Sunday, 18th of Nisan: early to mid-morning

Sunday, 18th of Nisan:

Sunday 18th of Nisan: evening, before sunset

Sunday, 18th of Nisan (or soon afterward):

Sunday, 25th of Nisan:

Sunday, 25th of Nisan (or soon afterward):

Between Tuesday, 27th of Nisan, and the Ascension:

The Ascension:

The Day of Ascension to the Day of Pentecost:

Summary Statement:

[After the Day of Pentecost:]

[For information on the events of the last week of Jesus’ life, see commentary on John 18:13. For a more detailed explanation of the Wednesday crucifixion and Jesus’ three days and three nights in the grave, see commentary on Matthew 12:40].


Commentary for: Luke 23:50