The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 23, Part 2

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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 23 Part 2 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-28-2012

Last week at the end of the first part of this presentation of Luke chapter 23, we addressed what was seen as two ages-old Christian Identity heresies, both of which are unnecessary innovations. The first belongs, so far as I know, to Wesley Swift, who told a fantastic story about Barabbas called The Blue Tunic Army Of Christ, a story which is not substantiated in history and which is refuted by the words of the Gospel writers alone. Barabbas was a mere robber, and not the great leader of an army for God. The second is the misconception concerning Luke 23:34, where some perhaps well-meaning but poorly studied individuals like to claim that the first sentence of that verse should be read in part “Father forgive them not, for they know what they do.” Yet the Greek sentence in question is correctly translated as it is found in the King James Version, where it reads “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The Greek grammar proves that the King James Version translation of the sentence is correct, where in all of Luke's writing wherever a verb is accompanied with a negative particle, forming a negative verb, the negative particle precedes the verb which it negates, and never follows it.

However concerning this passage, in truth the earliest manuscripts are divided, and it is not found in the majority of them. Therefore it is most likely that the passage is an interpolation, and for that reason it is not found in the Christogenea New Testament. Many Identity Christians who have not known this have wondered how Christ could forgive his murderers. However even the context is obvious, that the verse saying “And casting lots they divided His garments” refers to the Roman soldiers, and not at all to the Judaeans who brought Christ before Pilate. Therefore if the statement concerning forgiveness is admitted into the narrative it can only refer to the Roman soldiers, and not to the Judaeans. The Judaeans knew what they were doing, as even Pilate knew they wanted Christ executed out of envy (Matthew 27:18, Mark 15:19), and the Roman soldiers were truly ignorant of the entire situation and were only following orders. Christ Himself told Pilate “You do not have any authority over Me if it was not given to you from above. For this reason he who delivered Me to you has greater fault”, fully indicating that the jews alone were primarily responsible for His execution.

All of this, I am persuaded, needs to be reinforced, because the idea of examining Scripture from the perspective of Christian Identity, which is certainly found to be true when examined honestly, is already ridiculed by the mainstream academics and clergymen everywhere. For that reason, we need sound scholarship, and we need to shed the many fantastic tales that have infiltrated Identity circles these past hundred and fifty years. We need to do this because despite all of the Covenant-deniers, despite all of those who despise the plain truth and the evident fulfillment of the promises of Yahweh our God, the truth can and will stand on its own, and it can only do so, it must do so without lies. The truth is incompatible with lies.

All of this leads me to discuss one more heresy which has been introduced into Christian Identity lately, by certain so-called pastors who are not very good scholars, and who may even be purposeful frauds. I mean those who have espoused the fraudulence of Ron Wyatt. Ron Wyatt made up a fantastic story about the mount called Kranion, which is Golgotha or the Skull. Wyatt claims that the Ark of the Covenant was buried in a cave under Golgotha and that the blood of Christ was found on the mercy seat of the ark where he allegedly found it. Now there is a segment of those who claim that the blood of Christ had to spill onto the mercy seat in order for the so-called atonement of Christ to be complete. First, they are confusing the ideas of atonement and propitiation. Christ is our propitiation, but nowhere in Scripture is it stated that He made our atonement, except in Romans 5:11 where a Greek word meaning reconciliation was mistranslated as atonement, something which it does not mean. A propitiation is a free-will forgiveness, a free gift, as Paul called it. An atonement implies that we ourselves give compensation for our sins, which is not true if our sins are remitted at the cross. The confusion of these ideas is long extant in Christianity. Those who promote the lies of Ron Wyatt also promote the confusion between propitiation and atonement in order to compel people to believe those lies.

Here I will quote some notes concerning propitiation and atonement that I posted to Christogenea on this topic, on July 24th, 2010, where at that time I said:

“This debate has come up around me several times this week, and I thought I'd share a few notes on the topic. All of the definitions below are from either The American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd edition, or Liddell & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, or The New College Latin & English Dictionary, depending on the language of the word being defined. They are abridged, and some of my own comments are added.

Propitiate: to conciliate, appease.

Propitiation: The act of propitiating. Latin propitius, a disposition of favor (one can think pro-pity, a setting forth of pity or mercy). The Greek word translated propitiation in the New Testament is hilasmos, which is a means of appeasing, a conciliation.

To appease: to bring peace or calm, to satisfy or relieve.

To atone: to make amends or reparations for an injury or wrongdoing, to expiate.  

The only time we see the word atonement in the popular versions of the New Testament is at Romans 5:11, but the Greek word is katallage, and it means reconciliation. Modern versions such as the NAS and ASV have recognized this and translate the word as reconciliation. It does not ever mean atonement, and it cannot mean atonement. Therefore, the word atonement does not appear in the New Testament, unless one is an advocate of "Church Greek", which is not the Greek of our Redeemer and His apostles who spoke and wrote Koine Greek.

Therefore the word atonement is not found in the New Testament. Christians confuse propitiation and atonement, however these are not the same, although the "Church Greek" devisors would like Christians to confuse them. The devisors of "Church Greek" want to confuse these terms, because they strive to eliminate the idea of Christ's propitiation as an act of conciliation between Israel and Yahweh our God, endeavouring to destroy the racial covenants between Israel and Yahweh. The matter of reconciliation stands in the way of the universalism of the "Church".

Christ is not our Atonement, He is our Propitiation, and there is a world of difference. We can never fully make our atonement, because we cannot ever repay Yahweh for our sins, national or personal. Therefore we need His propitiation. As Paul explained in the same chapter of his epistle to the Romans, earlier in the same paragraph, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The idea of atonement requires an action on the part of one making an atonement, where the idea of propitiation requires no such action.

Under the New Covenant our reconciliation with Yahweh is consciously effected upon our acceptance of the propitiation of Christ, but atonement was not on the cross. He effected our propitiation on the cross whether we are conscious of it or not. He can make a propitiation for us, but He cannot make amends for us, paying Himself back for our sins on our behalf. Our conciliation is achieved by our acceptance of His propitiation, if indeed He accepts us, and that is the only manner by which we can make atonement. Eventually all Israel will accept His propitiation!

We all have some Judaized churchianity baggage to lose if we are ever going to come to a better knowledge of the truth. Like the children of Israel covered their door frames with the blood of the Passover lamb, Christians must allegorically cover themselves with the blood of Christ, and the old Ark of the Covenant has little to do with that.

Ron Wyatt made up a lot of fantastic stories which are not substantiated and which we do not need in order to demonstrate the basis for our Christian profession. His claims are based upon emotion and not upon substantiated and documented evidence. He is proven to be false although those proofs would take many pages in order to elucidate truth of the matters. Clifton Emahiser has compiled many of those proofs in a series of papers. We are much better off without Ron Wyatt. The remnants of Noah's Ark have not been discovered, the Exodus crossing could not have been at the Gulf of Aqaba, which is refuted by history and Scripture, and the Ark of the Covenant was not found under Golgotha, nor shall it ever be. Christ did not have 24 chromosomes, He had 46 like the rest of the seed of Abraham which He took upon himself. None of this fantastic drivel helps our cause, and its promotion damages our credibility badly. Only a paid shill would seek to discredit Christian Identity by promoting these fantastic falsehoods from within.

The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 23 Part 2

Last week we left off our presentation of Luke chapter 23 with verse 34, and in the Christogenea New Testament, following what we believe are the most reliable of the oldest manuscripts, the text of that verse should read in its entirety:

34 And casting lots they divided His garments.

Mark 15:24 states “And they crucify Him and part His garments casting lots for them, for what anyone should take.” Matthew 27:35-36 has it thus: “35 Then crucifying Him they parted His garments casting lots, 36 and being seated watched Him there.” But the King James Version adds to the verse at Matthew 27:35 the following: "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots". These words referring to Psalm 22:18 began to appear in Greek manuscripts of Matthew in the 9th century AD. It is evident that they may have been copied from Eusebius, or from certain Vulgate or Syriac manuscripts, where they also appear, and are perhaps originally a commentary note which made its way into the text.

However John, in chapter 19 of his gospel, acknowledges the fulfillment of these things, where he writes “23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Yahshua, took His garments and they made four parts, a part for each soldier, and the shirt. Now the shirt was seamless, woven altogether from the top. 24 Therefore they said to one another: 'We shouldn’t tear it, but we should cast lots for it, whose it shall be', that the writing would be fulfilled: 'They divided My garments among themselves and cast lots for My clothing'. So therefore the soldiers did these things.” These words are generally attested in all of the oldest manuscripts of John.

Psalm 22:12-18, and we must acknowledge that these words describe poetically both the events which befell David in his own time, and at the same time prophesy the things which the Christ would suffer in David's distant future: “12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”

35 And the people stood watching, and the leaders then mocked Him saying “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the anointed Son, the chosen of Yahweh!”

Psalm 22:7-8: “7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”

The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text “and they and the leaders mocked Him”; the Codex Bezae only has “and they mocked Him”; the text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75, the Codex Sinaiticus (א) except that it wants the word then, and the Codices Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C). The word for son is found in the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codex Vaticanus (B). All of the others of the oldest manuscripts want the word, where the end of the verse would be read either “...if He is the anointed one, the chosen of Yahweh” “...if He is the Christ, the chosen of Yahweh”.

John does not record the mocking of Christ on the cross. The accounts supplied by Matthew and Mark are much lengthier, and here is the version from Matthew: “39 And those going by blasphemed Him, shaking their heads 40 and saying: 'He destroying the temple and building it in three days, save Yourself! If You are a Son of God, then You must come down from the cross!' 41 Likewise also the high priests mocking along with the scribes and elders said: 42 'He has saved others, is He not able to save Himself? Is He King of Israel? Let Him descend now from the cross and we shall believe in Him! 43 He trusted in God, He must deliver Him now if He wishes, for He said that I am a Son of God’!'

The Judaeans did not believe that their Messiah could die, and therefore they did not accept Yahshua as Messiah. For that reason we see these words attributed to Peter in exhortation of the Judaeans, recorded in Acts chapter 2: “22 Men, Israelites [he is not addressing Edomites], hear these words! Yahshua the Nazoraian, a man appointed for you by Yahweh with powers and wonders and signs which Yahweh had done through Him in your midst even as you yourselves know, 23 He by the appointed will and foreknowledge of Yahweh was surrendered, who crucifying through lawless hands you have slain! [While the lawless were responsible, the nation went along with the crime and must therefore accept blame.] 24 Whom Yahweh has resurrected, having undone the travails of death, in which manner it was not possible for Him to be held by it. [If the Creator God cannot transcend His Own Creation, then we should throw away our Bibles and seek the desires of the flesh, because there is no hope in the spirit.] 25 Indeed David said for Him: ‘I saw Yahweh before my face continually, for He is on my right hand, that I am not shaken. 26 On account of this my heart has rejoiced, and my tongue has exulted, and further even my flesh shall rest in hope 27 because You shall not leave my soul behind in Hades, nor give over Your Sanctioned One [the Anointed, David in his time, and Christ in His Own] to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life. You shall fill me with gladness with Your presence.’ 29 Men, brothers, I had to speak with frankness to you concerning the patriarch David, because he also has died and is buried, and his tomb is among us unto this day. [The words are not true unless they refer to the Messiah rather than to David himself.] 30 Therefore being a prophet and one who knows that Yahweh had sworn an oath to him that one from the fruit of his loins is to sit upon his throne, 31 having foreseen he had spoken concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that He would not be left behind in Hades nor His flesh see corruption. [If Christ is not resurrected, David has no hope for life beyond his own flesh.] 32 This is Yahshua whom Yahweh has resurrected, of whom all of us are witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted with the right hand of Yahweh, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured forth this, which you also see and hear. [Referring to the Holy Spirit and the ability to speak in tongues which the men had witnessed as it is recorded earlier in the chapter. ] 34 For David had not gone up into the heavens, but he himself says: ‘Yahweh said to my Master, sit at My right hand, 35 until I shall place Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet.’ 36 Therefore all the house of Israel must know with certainty, that Yahweh also has made both His Prince and Christ that Yahshua whom you crucified!”

Paul reveals this same obstacle to spreading the Gospel among the Judaeans and taught that the Scripture indeed prophesied these things, as it is recorded at Acts chapter 26 where he says: “22 However obtaining assistance from Yahweh, unto this day I have stood bearing testimony to both the small and the great, saying nothing outside of the things which both the prophets and Moses said are going to happen, 23 whether the Christ was to suffer, whether first from a resurrection from the dead is a light going to be declared to both the people and to the Nations.” Of course Paul was referring to both the remnant Israelite people of Judaea and to those nations of ancient Israel in dispersion, whether or not his audience was actually conscious of what he was referring to.

36 And they sported with Him, and the soldiers coming forth were offering Him vinegar 37 and saying “If You are the king of the Judaeans, save Yourself!” 38 And there was an inscription over Him, “This is the King of the Judaeans”.

The charge in Matthew reads “This is Yahshua the King of the Judaeans”, and in Mark it reads only “The King of the Judaeans”. Neither Matthew, Mark nor Luke agree on the precise wording of the inscription, which they all seem to be paraphrasing. All of the manuscripts of Matthew present a consistent reading of the passage which agrees with the rendering that appears in the King James Version. In Mark the reading of the Codex Bezae is identical to that found in Matthew, but all of the other ancient manuscripts agree with the translation found in the King James Version of Mark.

However the manuscripts of Luke are not so consistent as the other gospels where this passage is concerned. While they vary somewhat with one another, the Codices Sinaiticus(א), Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text generally have this verse to read: “And there was an inscription written above Him in the letters of the Greeks and Romans and Hebrews: ‘This is the King of the Judaeans’.” The Codex Ephraimi Syri (C) has “And there was an inscription over Him written ‘He is King of the Judaeans’.” The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codex Vaticanus (B).

Regardless of which of the manuscripts of Luke we prefer to follow, the apostle John does go into more detail, and all of the ancient manuscripts generally agree that he wrote at John 19:19-20: “19 Then Pilatos wrote an inscription and set it upon the cross, and it was written: “Yahshua the Nazoraian, the King of the Judaeans”. 20 Therefore many of the Judaeans read this inscription, because the place where they crucified Yahshua was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew in Roman, and in Greek.” John mentions the writing on the inscription at a slightly earlier point in the narrative than the other apostles, and explains that the Judaeans contended with Pilate over the wording, where he goes on to record this exchange, at John 19:21-22: “21 Then the high priests of the Judaeans said to Pilatos: 'Do not write King of the Judaeans, but that He said I am King of the Judaeans!' [and] 22 Pilatos replied: 'That which is written, is written!'” Luke may have mentioned the sign here at this point because he wanted to explain how the soldiers, who may have been fluent in either Greek or Latin, knew anything of the reason for the Crucifixion.

At Acts 10:1 we see a reference to a cohort of Roman soldiers “called 'Italian'”, ostensibly because it was made up of soldiers who were from Italy. The Romans commonly assembled cohorts or legions of soldiers from a particular region and then they employed them overseas, a practice which helped them to maintain their tyranny. [It is also a practice which the American tyranny is beginning to employ today.] In his description of the first Herod’s funeral, Josephus in the 17th book of his Antiquities [17.8.3 (17:196-199)] lists bands, or cohorts of soldiers, each made up of Thracians, Germans, and Galatians who were in attendance at Jerusalem. The soldiers at the Crucifixion, while they are called Roman, apparently meaning of the Roman army, were not necessarily Roman by race but may have been from any of the provinces where Greek or Latin were commonly understood.

39 Then one of the criminals hanging blasphemed Him saying “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other replying and censuring him said “Do you not fear even Yahweh, seeing that you are in the same judgment? 41 And we justly indeed, for we receive worthily for what we have done. But He has done nothing improper.” 42 And he said “Yahshua, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom!” 43 And He said to him “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in paradise.”

Luke alone attests to this exchange between Christ and the criminals condemned alongside of Him. Matthew (27:44) says only: “And with that same thing even the robbers who were crucified with Him reproached Him.” Mark only has “And those crucified together with Him reproached Him.” There are various differences among the oldest manuscripts here in Luke, but they all generally record something similar to what is seen here.

Many people want to move the word “today” in Luke 23:43, claiming that it should be translated “Truly today I say to you, you shall be with Me in paradise”. Those fools who make this assertion are those who purport that the Spirit of a man is not conscious from the time in which he dies unto the time of the resurrection, in spite of the many Scriptures which reveal that the Spirit of a man does not die at all. They should at least learn proper Greek before attempting to pervert the Gospel of God, since their reading is quite contrary to Luke's grammar when it is compared with the many places where similar statements appear. In this passage Christ clearly states to the man that “today you shall be with Me in paradise.” One's reading of Scripture should not be based upon what one believes about the Bible. Rather, what one believes about the Bible should be based upon a sound reading of Scripture.

The word παράδεισος (3857), which is only transliterated both here and in the King James Version as paradise, it is actually a Persian word, and according to Liddell & Scott it was first used in Greek by the historian Xenophon in the 4th century B.C. It is very much like the Hebrew word pardec (#6508), which in his Hebrew lexicon Strong defined as a park. The Hebrew word pardec is very likely the original source of our English word park, and much of the English language can be demonstrated to have originated with Hebrew.

44 And it was already about the sixth hour and darkness came upon the whole land until the ninth hour,

Many of the manuscripts want the word rendered already. The hours were counted from sunrise, and measured on sundials. The sundial appears in Scripture at 2 Kings chapter 20. The sixth hour was around noon, and the ninth hour around 3:00 PM.

45 there being an eclipse of the sun, and the curtain of the temple had torn in the middle.

The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text upon which the King James Version is based want the words describing an eclipse, and have instead only “and the sun was darkened”. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), and Ephraemi Syri (C).

The Codex Bezae has the second part of this verse, where it says “and the curtain of the temple had torn in the middle”, after the text of verse 46 rather than here.

Luke does not record the words attributed to Christ which are found in Matthew and Mark, which are interpreted to say “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ” Neither does Luke record the centurion's having given Christ a sponge full of vinegar to drink, the account of which is found in Matthew and Mark. Neither does Luke record the piercing of Yahshua's ribs with a lance, which is found, albeit told in different ways, in both Matthew and John. The gospel of John does not mention the darkness, the earthquake, or the tearing of the veil, among other things. However it describes other events, such as the committal by Christ of His mother Mary to the apostle, which the synoptic gospels do not treat at all. As we have often discussed in our presentation of the gospels, the gospel accounts do not conflict with one another, however they all record different aspects of these events from different perspectives, and one needs to thoroughly study all four of them in order to gain an understanding of the larger picture.

Various commentators have made different proposals in reference to what the tearing of the veil of the temple signifies. The epistles of Paul can help us to understand precisely what it means.

Hebrews 6:13-20: “13 For Yahweh, in having promised to Abraham, since He had by no one greater to swear, swore by Himself 14 saying: Truly, 'blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.' 15 And so having patience he obtained that promise. 16 For men swear by the greater, and the oath in confirmation to them is an end of all disputation. 17 By which Yahweh is more abundantly desiring to display to the heirs of the promise the immutability of His will, mediated by an oath; 18 that by two immutable facts, in which it is impossible for Yahweh to lie, we who are fleeing for refuge would have powerful encouragement to grasp the expectation being prescribed. 19 Which we have as both a secure and firm anchor of the soul, and itself entering into that within the veil 20 where Yahshua entered, a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest in accordance with the order of Melchisedek, for the ages.”

Hebrews 10:19-23: “19 Therefore brethren, having liberty into the entrance of the holy places in the blood of Yahshua 20 by a new and living way through the veil which He has consecrated for us, that is, of His flesh, 21 and a great priest over the household of Yahweh, 22 we should approach with a true heart, in certainty of faith having purified the hearts from a wicked conscience, and having washed the body in pure water 23 we should hold fast the profession of the expectation without wavering; for He making the promise is trustworthy. ”

In the Old Covenant, the veil concealed the inner sanctum of the temple which represented the abode of Yahweh and only the high priest could enter beyond it at the times determined. Here in Hebrews we learn that the veil represented the flesh, and beyond the veil is the Spiritual realm in which Yahweh God truly abides. Israel was alienated from God because they violated the laws of the Old Covenant which they had once agreed to. God, having come in the flesh as a man, destroyed the veil so that the children of Israel would no longer have any barriers accessing Him, being reconciled to Him. All throughout the opening chapters of the epistle to the Romans Paul is explaining the relationship of Israel to Yahweh God and to the laws of God. In Romans chapter 7 Paul explains the basis for Israel's reconciliation to Yahweh their God:

Romans 7:1-6: “1 Are you ignorant, brethren (I speak to those who know the law,) that the law lords over the man for as long a time as he should live? 2 For a woman [meaning Israel, the allegorical wife of Yahweh] married to a living husband is bound by law; but if the husband should die, she is discharged from the law of the husband: 3 so then as the husband is living, she would be labeled an adulteress if she were found with another man; but if the husband should die, she is free from the law, she is not an adulteress being found with another man. [Therefore Yahweh God chose to die, fulfilling the law, so that the children of Israel would not have to be judged by the law, under which they would all be condemned and the promises to the fathers would fail.] 4 Consequently, my brethren, you also are put to death in the law through the body of Christ; for you to be found with another, who from the dead was raised in order that we should bear fruit for Yahweh. [Christ died for the benefit of us all, so that Israel may live.] 5 Indeed when we were in the flesh, the occurrences of fault, which were through the law, operated in our members for the bearing of fruit for death; 6 but now we are discharged from the law [Yahweh fulfilled it by dying on our behalf], being put to death in that which we were held [we must recognize His sacrifice on our behalf], so that we are bound in newness of Spirit, and not oldness of letter.”

Therefore Paul also wrote, at Ephesians 2:14-22: “14 For He is our peace, Who has made both one [meaning remnant Israel and cast-off Israel, which is evident in verses 11 through 13, and in the “one stick” prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37], and having broke down the middle wall of the enclosure: the hostility in His flesh [represented by the veil of the temple], 15 having annulled the law of commandments in ordinances [which are the judgements and the rituals of the law which temporarily satisfied transgressions], in order that He would establish the two with Himself into one new man [the flesh and the Spirit], making peace, 16 and again reconcile both in one body to Yahweh through the cross, having slain that hostility by it. [The tearing of the veil signifies reconciliation between Yahweh and cast-off Israel.] 17 And having come He announced the good message, peace to you who were far away, and peace to those near. 18 Because of Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So therefore you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow-citizens of the saints and of the household of Yahweh, 20 being built upon the foundation of the ambassadors and the prophets, Yahshua Christ being the cornerstone Himself. 21 In whom the whole building joined together grows into a holy temple with the Prince, 22 in which you also are being built together into an abode of Yahweh in Spirit.”

46 And crying with a great voice Yahshua said “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit!” And saying this He expired.

The spirit does not die. Rather, the body dies when the spirit departs from it.

47 Then the centurion, seeing that which happened, extolled Yahweh saying “This man really was righteous!”

Mark 15:39 relates thus: “And seeing it the centurion, who stood nearby from opposite Him, that thusly He expired, said 'Truly this man was a son of God!'” Matthew agrees, but has the centurion “and those with him” making the exclamation.

48 And all the crowds which stood together at that spectacle, observing the things which happened, smiting their breasts returned. 49 Then all those acquainted with Him stood at a distance, and the women who followed Him from Galilaia, to watch these things.

These circumstances are fully corroborated by both Matthew and Mark. However Mark mentions a couple of other women by name, where Matthew simply says there were “many women” who had been in the company of Christ since His departure from Galilaia.

50 And behold, a man named Ioseph, a council member, being also a good and righteous man

The common Greek word βουλευτής is council member here, noting that the phrase here is not from any form of συνέδριον, which is often merely and errantly transliterated as sanhedrin. All four gospels mention Joseph of Arimathaea, who is only mentioned in Scripture in connection with the burial of Christ.

51 (he was not in agreement with their counsel and action), from Harimathaia a city of the Judaeans, who awaited the Kingdom of Yahweh, 52 he going before Pilatos requested the body of Yahshua. 53 And taking it down he wrapped it in linen and set Him in a tomb hewn in stone where there was never anyone laid. 54 And it was the day of preparation, and Sabbath was beginning.

John 19:38-42: “38 Then after these things Ioseph from Harimathaia, being a student of Yahshua (but secretly on account of fear of the Judaeans), asked Pilatos that he may take the body of Yahshua, and Pilatos permitted it. Therefore he came and took His body. 39 Then Nikodemos also came (he having come at first to Him at night [cf. John chapter 3]), bearing a mixture of ointment and aloe, about a hundred pounds. 40 Therefore they took the body of Yahshua and they bound it in linen cloths with the perfumes, just as it is a custom with the Judaeans to bury. 41 Now there was in the place where He was crucified a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one as yet was buried. 42 So there, on account of the preparation day of the Judaeans, because the tomb was near, they had laid Yahshua.”

The passage found at Deuteronomy 21:22-23 explains why Christ had to be buried immediately, and therefore because this was also the preparation day for a feast, a nearby tomb was expedient: “22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

We see that Joseph of Arimathaea was a wealthy man, who also had ready access to the governor of the province, and who also had a right to claim the deceased body of the Christ. While there must have been legitimate reasons for his being in a position to do these things, there are no early documents which can offer explanations, and there are also many later fables which have been devised. However Joseph must have been related to Christ in some manner, having had a right to claim his body. Joseph is called an “honorable councilor” by Mark and “a council member” by Luke, where he must have meant that he was one of the members of the Sanhedrin since Luke also tells us that “he was not in agreement with their counsel and action” concerning the plot against Christ. Luke also tells us that Joseph “awaited the Kingdom of Yahweh”. In John chapter 19 we learn that Joseph was a student of Yahshua “secretly on account of fear of the Judaeans” and that Nicodemus, a Pharisee who had also come to Yahshua secretly, an event which we see described in John chapter 3, had helped him care for the body of Christ and place it in his tomb. Joseph's actions here are often seen as the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:9: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.”

55 Then the women following after, who were they who came with Him from Galilaia, saw the tomb and how His body was set, 56 and returning they prepared herbs and ointments, then indeed they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

There has been at least one similar tomb uncovered by archaeologists in a garden in Jerusalem, which some imagine may be this very tomb. It has become quite a tourist attraction. The tomb is actually in a part of a wall built onto the side of a hill or an embankment, with a doorway or an archway opening to a hollow in the hill. A large rounded stone was at one time placed into a groove front of the archway, which could be rolled out of the way when necessary. Among the Hebrews in ancient times, bodies of dead family members were laid out in the family tomb until all of the flesh had decayed from their bones. Once that process was complete, the bones were removed and placed into an ossuary, a stone, chalk, or wooden box that was made to hold the bones of the dead. Poorer families dug deep holes in the ground for the same purpose. The moving of the bones would make room for the next family member who passed to be laid out in the tomb.

For the garden tomb mentioned, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPe6eXkirmE

and: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/jerusalem-garden-tomb

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