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Author Topic: Three Hours Of darkness  (Read 1576 times)
bronzesnake
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« on: February 09, 2009, 03:01:13 AM »

Three Hours Of darkness

Matthew 27:45
The Death of Jesus
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33
The Death of Jesus
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-45
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

So, let’s make it clear. I assert that the three hours of darkness was not some metaphor, and was not supposed to denote some allegorical spiritual lesson. It was a real historical event based on eye witness accounts and I can also provide proof that this is an historical event through corroboration by non biblical historical documentation!

Non Biblical Corroboration:
At least three ancient historians, Thallus, Phlegon, and Africanus wrote about this mysterious three hours of darkness.

Thallus wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world since the Trojan War. Thallus wrote his regional history in about AD 52
 Thallus’s original writings have been lost, however, he is specifically quoted by Julius Africanus, a renowned third century historian. Africanus states…

‘Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun—unreasonably as it seems to me.’

So it appears that Julius Africanus doesn’t accept the naturalistic explanation which Thallus came up with!


Phlegon was a Greek historian who wrote an extensive chronology around AD 137:
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33)

there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’

Now we know this explanation of an eclipse is not correct because Jesus was crucified at Passover time, and Passover was held during a full moon!
An eclipse could not have caused the three hours of darkness at the crucifixion because they don’t occur during the full moon. Isn’t it exciting to read this explanation where it states “so that stars even appeared in the heavens”!
That is really dark! The stars were visible during this three hours! Amazing!

This description by Phlegon is extremely interesting because not only does it give details such as the stars being visible during the day at the three hours of darkness, but it corroborates the gospel accounts. He gives the year the exact time of day, and he also mentions a great earthquake which are also described in the Gospel of Matthew 27:51


Africanus composed a five volume History of the World around AD 221. He was also a pagan convert to Christianity.

Africanus: “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the Passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the Passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth—manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period.”

So Africanus is upset about the eclipse explanation and rightly so!
He also raises the question as to how an eclipse could cause an earthquake or raise people from the dead! Also an eclipse could never last for three hours! At best they last only a few minutes as any who has ever witnessed one will tell you!

There has been much debate as to whether this event was regional or world wide, and truthfully, I can’t say for certain, but I believe personally that it was world wide, after all we are talking about the death of God!
However, we do have good information that it was far reaching if not world wide as Dr Paul Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, notes ‘This phenomenon, evidently, was visible in Rome, Athens, and other Mediterranean cities.’

On the other hand, Africanus writes of the darkness as a global event.

Tertullian, the famous second century apologist, also hails the darkness as a ‘cosmic’ or ‘world event’
 Tertullian wrote:
At the moment of Christ’s death, the light departed from the sun, and the land was darkened at noonday, which wonder is related in your own annals, and is preserved in your archives to this day.

Tertullian infers that documentation of the darkness could be found in legitimate historical archives of the day.

OK so to sum up;
We have the gospels describing three hours of darkness - an earth quake - and a resurrection event all occurring at the death of Jesus Christ.
To corroborate, we have several non biblical historical accounts which lend almost unprecedented legitimacy to the Gospel accounts.

Bronzesnake
 
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Barbara
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 11:26:43 AM »

Thank you, bronzesnake!

Very interesting study!!
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 02:55:31 PM »

Amen!

Yes, there is much that we can find that does indeed corroborate the facts of the Bible. This is just one of the many. Thanks brother for posting this.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
bronzesnake
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 03:07:47 PM »

You are very welcome my freinds.
I just love this kind of study, and I'm going to be posting lots more God willing!

John
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