Two Spice Preparations for the Body of Jesus?
Some try to disprove the fact that "Two Sabbaths" took place that week by this argument below:
Another verse used to support the idea of two Sabbaths is Luke 23:56 which says that after Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, the women returned and “prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Here, the Wednesday supporters claim that, if Jesus was crucified on a Friday and was buried at 5 p.m. (one hour before the Saturday Sabbath), there would be a contradiction against Mark 16:1 which says that the women bought their spices “when the Sabbath was past.” This helps generate the false belief that the only way to eliminate this discrepancy is to say that the spice preparation took place on the non-Sabbath Friday between Thursday and Saturday.
"The idea that there had been two Sabbaths, however, is not the only explanation that can be given. For when remembering that the Saturday Sabbath officially lasted from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Saturday, we can present a second solution that there had actually been two preparations. The first preparation would have occurred between 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday where the women prepared spices which they already had. (Notice how Luke 23:56 says nothing about when those particular spices were purchased). After preparing these spices, the women may have felt that they didn’t have enough, and so they went and purchased some more when the Sabbath officially ended at 6 p.m. the following evening. This, of course, would be the event that Mark 16:1 was referring to.
"Another possible explanation is that there were two separate groups of women – one that prepared their spices on Friday afternoon and the other that prepared on Saturday night. When observing how Luke 23:56 does not name the women who prepared their spices on Friday, it’s easy to rationalize that this group did not consist of Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, or Salome whom Mark 16:1 identifies as those who bought their spices on Saturday evening.
"The idea that there been two spice-preparations (one just before the Saturday Sabbath and the other immediately after) is not at all absurd. In fact, when remembering how there were two very similar episodes where Jesus cleansed the temple (one at the start of His ministry and the second near the end), this totally plausible notion becomes one that can never be disproved." (emphasis mine)
Answer: It is important to note that in such a view of this situation we base our considerations on "the fact that there was only one set of spices and ointments which were bought and prepared," NOT TWO!
Now there is the possibility that the women did not go once to purchase and prepare spices and ointments, but rather did this twice. However, "this can be safely disregarded in this case because for one there is really no mention in the text for such a double purchase, and secondly it would make absolutely no sense that the women would go again on the day after the Sabbath to purchase more spices when other gospel records already show that the women went to the grave with the ointments [they had already prepared NOT purchased Luke 24:1; Mark 16:1]very early [in fact at sunset] on the day after the weekly sabbath, and learned that the grave was already empty. This possibility therefore is to be discarded as a possible solution." ( Did the women buy spices before or after the Sabbath? by von Wolfgang Schneider, emphasis added). It was right at sunset when they came to the tomb and the spices were already prepared to anoint Jesus-what time did they have to purchase them, and then prepare the second set of spices? They didn't! These are the spices prepared and bought on the Friday after the annual Sabbath, and then afterwards they rested before the weekly Sabbath, and then brought the spices to the tomb already prepared at the "end of the Sabbath" (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1).
Now this argument that " (Notice how Luke 23:56 says nothing about when those particular spices were purchased)" can be made if there were "two separate groups of women." But, If there was only one group of women then we know when the spices were purchased and that was "after" the annual Sabbath "was past" which was the Day of Unleavened Bread (Mark 16:1).
And again a second set of spices were not purchased because as mention above the text reveal only one set of spices being purchased, and those spices were already prepared and they were bringing them to the sepulcher at sunset at the end of the Sabbath. (see Luke 24:1 *the phrase “very early in the morning,” in the Greek is “orthrou batheos.” meaning it dawned towards the first day of the week-this is what “orthrou batheos” connotes the day being “late” in the afternoon and the dawning of a new day).
Were there two groups of women? Let's compare the Gospels:
Matthew-"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the firstday of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." (Matthew 28:1). *Note to "see the sepulchre": "not merely to see it, for they had seen it before, and where, and how the body of Christ was laid in it; but to see whether they could enter into it, and anoint the body with the spices and ointments, which they had prepared and brought with them for that purpose." (Gill's Commentary; see also Pulpit and Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentaries).
Mark-"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." (Mark 16:1).
"And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun....Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." (Mark 16:2, 9) *Note-The word “morning” is the same word used in Mark 16:9, and John 20:1, meaning “dusk” or sunset (see Strong's #4404). Now the “rising of the sun.” The phrase here is “anateilantos tou hēliou.” The Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary says that the rising of the Sun is “not quite literally, but ‘at earliest dawn;’ according to a way of speaking not uncommon, and occurring sometimes in the Old Testament.” (Emphasis added) Strong’s #6079 the Hebrew equivalent in the Old Testament is “aphapayim” and it means, “dawning.” Job 3:9 says, “dawning of the day.” One must understand, “the New Testament Greek is actually a translation of older Hebrew idioms and expressions…we are mostly confronting the Jewish way of expressing time, not the Greek!” (Darkness at the Crucifixion, Alfieri, p.148, emphasis added). The dawning of a new day began at sunset for the Jews according to the Old Testament-this is the true meaning. Josephus, a first century Jewish historian in the Wars of the Jews 4:582 demonstrates this fact as well. Now Mark 16:9, The "first day of the week" was the time when he appeared to Mary, and not the time when Jesus resurrected. (Read our booklet Christ 7th Day Sabbath Resurrection for full details here)
Luke-Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. (see Mark 16:3)
"And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
"And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
"And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
"He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
"Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
"And they remembered his words,
"And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
"IT WAS Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles." (Luke 24:1-10).
John-"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." *Note The phrase “early, when it was yet dark” should read “early darkness yet being” (Marshall, p.453, emphasis added). Or “yet being early darkness.” (see also Apostolic Bible Polyglot). What is “Early darkness”?
“Dusk; EARLIEST PART OF THE EVENING, JUST BEFORE DARKNESS” (Webster’s Dictionary, p.52, emphasis added).
“Sunset; ...Dusk...sundown” (Collier’s Thesaurus, p.920, emphasis added).
Now Mary was Not alone as many commentaries will demonstrate. The Pulpit Commentary says, "Here all the evangelists are at one, although, judging from the synoptists, she must have been accompanied by other women. This is implied in the οἴδαμεν of John 20:2"
John 20:2 says when she confronts Peter and John, "...They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." Vincent Word Studies says, "The plural indicates that Mary was not alone, though she alone is mentioned as coming to the tomb." So the other women were with her. The Gospel of John focuses more on Mary and her experience of the resurrection than the other Gospels.
In all 4 cases Mary Magdalene was involved. The other women Mary the mother of James and Salome and Joanna were there and all had the spices "which THEY had prepared" (Luke 24:1). That group of women were responsible for preparing that one and only set of spices (Luke 23:55-56). Even though as the argument above says, "When observing how Luke 23:56 does not name the women who prepared their spices on Friday, it’s easy to rationalize that this group did not consist of Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, or Salome whom Mark 16:1 identifies as those who bought their spices on Saturday evening." There is nothing in the text that proves a second group of women theory, its pure fiction to try and cling onto a Friday crucifixion theory. The Gospels instead demonstrate that Mary and the other were the only ones who bought and prepared the spices.
In addition these spices they could not have purchase after the weekly Sabbath due to the fact that at sunset after the weekly Sabbath those spices were already prepared to anoint Jesus, there was NO TIME to purchase them, they were at the tomb with the spices at the "end of the Sabbath."
So this plainly demonstrates one group of woman not two, so we know when the spices were purchased- it was at the end of the Annual Sabbath, then prepared on the Friday. Afterwards they rested according to the commandment on Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Then at sunset they came to the tomb to anoint the Body with the spices they already prepared on the Friday.
In the end the argument concludes, "The idea that there been two spice-preparations (one just before the Saturday Sabbath and the other immediately after) is not at all absurd. In fact, when remembering how there were two very similar episodes where Jesus cleansed the temple (one at the start of His ministry and the second near the end), this totally plausible notion becomes one that can never be disproved." (emphasis mine)" This is just a Red herring.