1 Kings 13 vs. Mohammed vs. Joseph Smith

There are three historical accounts that have remarkably similar parallels.

In the Old Testament, in 1 Kings 13 is the historical account of a prophet from Judah who is sent to Bethel to confront the rebellious King Jeroboam with a message from God. God instructs the prophet from Judah not to eat or drink anything while in Bethel and not to return to Judah using the same path that he took to get to Bethel (v.8-9). During the course of the Judean prophet’s stay in Bethel, he is confronted by an “old prophet” (v.11) who tries to get him to dine with him at his house in Bethel (v.15). The Judean prophet rebuffs the offer informing the old prophet that God had instructed him not to dine in Bethel (v.16-17). The old prophet then informs the Judean prophet that an angel from God revealed new instructions to him and that the newer revelation from God, contrary to the first, permitted him to dine in Bethel after all (v. 18). The Judean prophet decides to adhere to the new revelation and ends up dining in the home of the old prophet (v.19). For his disobedience, God sends a lion to slay the Judean prophet (v.21-24). Was the Judean prophet wrong for rejecting the old revelation of God for the purportedly new revelation from an angel?

Mohammed (570-632) was an Arabian prophet who, according to Islam, was the last messenger of Allah. As a prophet, Mohammed’s message to his contemporaries was that an angel named Gabriel had brought him new revelation from God. This new revelation is contained in the Quran, Islam’s central religious text. The Islamic understanding of this new revelation is that the old revelation is wrong in certain places. For instance, the Quran denies that God has a son (in Surah 10:68; 19:88, etc.) whereas both the O.T and the N.T. affirm the existence of God’s son (in Psalm 2:7 & John 3:16, etc.). In another example, the Bible describes God as triune (Isaiah 48:16, 1 John 5:7) whereas the Quran (Surah 4:171, Surah 5:17; 5:70-75) repudiates this claim. As is evidenced by the millions of professing Muslims today, many have chosen to affirm the new revelation’s claim that it has superseded the old. Are Muslims wrong for rejecting the old revelation of God for the purportedly new revelation from an angel?

Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was an American prophet, who according to Mormonism (or the Latter Day Saints or LDS), was chosen by God to initiate the restoration of the Christian church. As a prophet, Joseph Smith’s message to his contemporaries was that an angel named Moroni had brought to his attention new revelation from God. This new revelation is contained in the Book of Mormon, one of Mormonism’s standard works. The LDS church’s understanding of this new revelation is that the old revelation is wrong in certain places. For instance, the Book of Mormon teaches that little children do not have a sin nature and are therefore incapable of committing sin (Moroni 8:8) whereas the Bible insists that all descendants of Adam, except Christ, are already sinners at conception (Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5). In another example, the Bible asserts that Adam and Eve could have kept God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) without disobeying God’s command regarding the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17). Hence the Bible portrays Adam’s disobedience as unnecessary and ruinous (Romans 5:12-19). On the other hand, the Book of Mormon maintains that Adam and Eve’s obedience of Genesis 2:17 would have rendered them childless and hence their disobedience was a laudable act which brought joy to mankind (2 Nephi 2:23-25). As is evidenced by the millions of professing Mormons today, many have chosen to affirm the new revelation’s claim that it has superseded the old. Are Mormons wrong for rejecting the old revelation of God for the purportedly new revelation from an angel?

Historical AccountProphet’s name was:Claimed to receive “new” revelation from an angelThe angel’s name was:Does the new revelation claim to supersede the original revelation?Was the decision to follow the “new” revelation right or wrong?
1 Kings 13Not givenYesNot givenYesWrong (v.21-24)
Islamic HistoryMohammedYesGabrielYes?
Mormon HistoryJoseph SmithYesMoroniYes?

Does the Bible weigh in on which road the decision maker should have taken? Yes. In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul says that the decision maker should always disregard new revelation if it does not accord with the old, even if the new revelation is delivered by an angel.

On Which Day Did Christ Die?

On Which Day Did Christ Die?

Download the PDF version here.

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth…and the third day he shall be raised again. (Matt 12:40, 17:23 KJV)

Some Things To Think About

  • Like Mark 8:31’s “after three days “, Matt 12:40’s “three days and three nights ” cannot refer to a 72 hour period (i.e. three full days and three full nights) because in Matt 17:23 Christ was also prophesied to rise on the 3rd day. [2, 7, 10]
  • If one allows for the accepted Hebrew idiom of regarding any part of a 24 hour day as a whole day [2] , then Friday would satisfy Matt 17:23’s “the third day ” but still fail Mark 8:31’s “after three days ” & Matt 12:40’s “three days and three nights .”
  • Likewise, even if one explains Matt 28:1’s plural Sabbath as referring to overlapping Sabbath days, John 12:1’s Ephraim to Bethany 20-mile trip occurring six days earlier (i.e. on a Sabbath) clearly violates the expectations for a Sabbath day’s journey [5] .

A Thursday crucifixion is the only option which satisfies Mark 8:31’s “after three days “, Matt 12:40’s “three days and three nights”, Matt 17:23’s “the third day “, Matt 28:1’s plural Sabbath and John 12:1’s trip to Bethany occurring 6 days earlier.

Explanations

  1. It may be observed that the Jews, speaking of their Passover, sometimes speak according to their civil computation, wherein they measured their days from sun-rising to sun-rising. Sometimes according to their sacred computation, which was from sun-set to sun-set. (TSK Mt 28:1)
  2. The Jewish idiom “three days and three nights” allowed for any portion of a day or night to be reckoned as the whole (See 1 Samuel 30:12-13; Ester 4:16; Ester 5:1; Judges 14:17-18, Matthew 27:63-64 etc.). If “three days and three nights” is taken literally to mean seventy-two hours,
    there would be an apparent contradiction with the many prophecies and records that He would rise on “the third day” (Mat 16:21, 17:23, 20:19; Mark 9:31, 10:34; John 2:19; Luke 13:32, 18:33, 21:7,21,46; Acts 10:40; 1Co 15:4; etc.) Henry Morris DSB.
  3. In Matt 28:1, the Greek word for Sabbath (i.e. Sabbaton) is plural (e.g. YLT, ISV). This is not the first time translators have neglected to rightly render the Sabbath as a plural noun. For instance, Mark 1:21 & Luke 4:31 are both parallel verses with a plural Sabbath but for some reason, the plurality only appears in Luke.
  4. At the evening, between the evenings or both? Verses like Numbers 9:5, Deut 16:6 & Joshua 5:10 would suggest that the command to kill and eat the Passover was understood to convey an evening sacrifice, however the Hebrew text (of Exodus 12:6) actually states: beyn haarbayim , “between the two evenings.” (Clarke)
  5.  Six days from a Friday turns out to be the preceding Sabbath day. As the trek from Ephraim to Bethany (i.e. 20 miles) was longer than what a “Sabbath day’s journey” (i.e. about a mile or two in Acts 1:12) permitted, it seems clear that Nissan 14th could not be (Good) Friday (Missler)
  6.  John 19:14’s “the third hour” means the third hour after sunrise or 9:00 a.m. using the Jewish civil computation of a 24 hour day. John, writing mainly for Gentile readers, used the Roman computation of a day, commenting that Jesus was before Pilate at “about the sixth hour” (John 19:14). Since the Roman day started at midnight, this would have been about 6:00 a.m. (Morris). Moreover, “the preparation of the Passover” must refer to the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread since in John 13:1-2, the “feast of the Passover [i.e. the seven-day Feast of Unleavened bread]” was approaching with “supper [i.e. Passover supper] being ended.”
  7. Only Thursday allows for three Days and three Nights: 1. (Day 1 was Nissan 14th’s Morning, Night 1 was Nissan 15th’s Evening) 2. (Day 2 was Nissan 15th’s Morning, Night 2 was Nissan 16th’s Evening) 3. (Day 3 was Nissan 16th’s Morning, Night 3 was Nissan 17th’s Evening when Christ arose!)
  8. Nissan 14th would have been the Day of Preparation for both the High Sabbath (i.e. 1st day) of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Friday, Nisan 15th) and the weekly Sabbath (Saturday, Nisan 16th). As such was the case, John 19:14 could refer to that day as the “preparation of the Passover.”
  9. The Feast of Firstfruits was always on Sunday or the “morrow after the sabbath.” The term “sabbath” in Lev 23:14 refers to the weekly Sabbath which fell within the 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and not to the High Sabbath of Nissan 15th (See Lev 23:10-16). This interpretation is confirmed by the implications of the Feast of Weeks’ (Shavuot or Pentecost) instructions to reach the 50th day by counting 7 (weekly) sabbaths from the starting point of Firstfruits. Any other interpretation of Firstfruits’ computation must equivocate on the term “sabbath” in Lev 23:11, 15 & 18 because the 49 days succeeding Firstfruits do not contain 7 High Sabbaths.
  10. The word “days” in Matt 17:23’s “three days and three nights” refers to the daylight portion of a day (i.e. 12 hours). A similar usage occurs in John 11:9 where Jesus asks: “Are there not 12 hours in the day?” However, regarding Acts 10:40’s “Him God raised up the third day” (like Matt 17:23 & 1 Cor 15:4) the word “day” there refers to a 24 period of time. Hence, Matt 27:63-64’s usage of both the 12 hour day (v.63) and the 24 hour day (v.64) proves that both interpretations of “day” were employed in the gospels. Adopting the correct understanding of the term “day” will protect the reader from forming invalid expectations.
  11. John 19:14’s the “preparation of the Passover” must refer to the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread since in John 13:1-2, the “feast of the Passover [i.e. the seven day Feast of Unleavened bread]” was approaching with “supper [i.e. Nissan 14th’s Passover supper] being ended.” Hence, “eat the Passover” in John 18:28 need only refer to whatever was to be eaten on the 15th of Nissan as a result of the Feast (See Num 28:17).

Melchizedek is said to have no descent and is yet a descendant.

melchizedek2In the series “12 reasons why Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God” the following article is reason # 11.

In the Hebrews 7 description of Melchizedek we come across yet another riddle. Past riddles have included:

  • The realization that Melchizedek is innately eternal and yet only God is innately eternal (See Reason 4)
  • The realization that Melchizedek lives forever and is a high priest forever due to an unchangeable priesthood yet “after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest” of his order Who is also an eternal high priest. (See Reason 6)

This time we have a person (i.e. Melchizedek) who is said to be “without decent” but is yet a descendant of the Israelite tribe of Judah.

For in Hebrews 7:3 we read:

[For this Melchizedek is] Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Yet in Hebrews 7:6,13-15 is says:

6 But he [i.e. Melchizdek] whose descent is not counted from them [Levi] received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises…13 For he [i.e. Melchizdek] of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

The only way to resolve this apparent contradiction is if Melchizedek is actually the pre-incarnate Word of God. For the Word of God lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23-25) being found in the beginning with God (John 1:1) and therefore He has no decent. Yet, the Word of God became flesh (John 1:14) and entered the world as a descendant of King David who himself “sprang out of Juda.”