Friday, January 26, 2024

Refusing To Understand

Hello readers! It’s me again. I had retired from blogging. I came out of retirement, briefly, to write this post. And the most succinct thing I can say about it is - I don’t know why I do this to myself. 

Lately, I have been working on updating the Easter FAQ (if you’ve never read it, or haven’t read it in a while, please do check it out, we answer almost everything there). After finishing, an idea popped into my head. I haven’t been to a Church of God website in a couple years. I was curious to see if they’ve improved their research skills. Maybe all of this information on the Interwebs has gotten through. Maybe things have changed for the better. I figured the most recent article on Easter from the United Church of God should be a fairly good representative. So, I pulled up the showpiece from 2023, “Good Friday + Easter Sunday It Doesn’t Add Up!” by Scott Ashley and Mario Seiglie.

Why, oh why do I do this to myself!?

Have research skills improved? No. Has intellectual honesty increased? No. Have they stopped posting the same old nonsense from 75 years ago? No. Have they stopped posting blatantly false information? Sadly, no.

Let’s see if the patented As Bereans Did gauntlet still works. It might need a little oil.


Mr. Ashley and Mr. Seiglie start with the classics, and quote Matthew 12: 40.

“This was the only specific sign Jesus gave that He was the promised Messiah: ‘For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’”

It's the good old “72 hours is the only sign Jesus gave” claim. We address this in depth in our 2013 article “Three Days and Three Nights”. Where did they get this claim? From Herbert Armstrong.

"He expressly declared that the only sign He would give to prove He was the Messiah was that He should be just three days and three nights in the rock-hewn sepulcher in 'the heart of the earth.' "
-Herbert Armstrong, "The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday", 1972, p.4

But let’s ask - is that the only specific sign Jesus gave? No.

Jesus gave one sign, stated in two ways.
In Matthew 12: 39-40 & 16: 4, and Luke 11: 29-30, He gave the sign of Jonah the prophet. Only Matthew 12 mentions time. The others do not. So, are the specifics of the timing really the point when only one selection out of three mentions it? Jonah is mentioned in all three. Some people can't see past the time aspect as if that's all there is to it. There is another thing to consider.
When we go to John 2: 18-19, we see an entirely different sign, the sign of the temple being destroyed and rebuilt in three days. Notice, three days, not three days and three nights. Seems pretty specific to me.
So, straight off the starting line, the UCG is wrong. That temple sign means the sign of Jonah is not the only one.

Yet, Jesus said only one sign would be given. A clear Bible contradiction? No. If we understand what Jesus was really referring to. Both the sign of Jonah and the sign of the Temple are the same sign, spoken in two ways. That sign is: His death and resurrection.
That is the one and only sign.

Ashley and Seigli will disagree, of course, because the founder of their church said this:

"That evidence was not the fact of the resurrection itself. It was the length of time He would repose in His grave, before being resurrected."
-Herbert Armstrong, "The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday", 1972, p.4

But as you can see with your own eyes, it really was the fact of His resurrection after all. There was a time component in the resurrection, but the time component itself is not the sign.

There was one sign stated in two ways. Just as Jonah and the Temple are one sign spoken of in two ways; the phrases "three days and three nights" and "three days" are one time period spoken of in two ways. It's the same.

We have quite a bit more for you on this topic in our article "Three Days and Three Nights".

Now that we know what the only sign actually is - the fact of a death and a resurrection - we can put to bed any talk about, "The only sign is a literal 72-hour three days and three nights." That was never the sign. If the time were the sign, don't you suppose someone would have been there to witness it? The only people there were Roman guards who were passed out in fear. Exact time isn't much of a sign if nobody witnessed it. But that He was dead and came back on the third day .. no lack of witnesses for that sign.
The whole claim about 72-hours is nothing but a gross oversimplification of the intricacies and beauty of the Biblical narrative. (That's for another article.)

These UCG authors aren’t exactly hitting a bullseye on Jesus’ signs. I imagine this is going to devolve into arguing over what the definition of “specific” is.


Next stop is the well-worn argument about Friday to Sunday not being 72 hours. 

Did you know you can use the truth to misdirect and deceive? I’ve read countless times in my day how, “Satan quotes the Bible, too.” It is actually true that Friday evening to Sunday morning is not 72-hours. But could there be a very important detail we are not being shown? After that last section about signs, can we be confident Ashley and Seiglie have looked at all of the evidence? I don’t think so.

If we let the Bible interpret the Bible (people still do that, right?), we might be able to go in search for the Bible’s own definition of “three days and three nights”. Let’s do that now.

Jesus refers to Jonah. Is there any marker of time in Jonah that will prove this is a literal 72-hours? None at all. It just says three days and three nights, then moves on. A definition of 72-hours is not something we got from Jonah. It has to be read into Jonah.

If we turn to I Samuel 30: 12, we will see the same phrase. The young Egyptian hadn’t eaten for three days and three nights. Then, in the very next verse he says, "I fell sick three days ago". That doesn’t seem to be 72-hours. In fact, it gives the sense of less than 72-hours. It seems like “three days and three nights” and “three days” are two different ways to say the same thing. It's as if "three days and three nights" is an ancient idiomatic expression not intended to be understood as a specific time down to the hour. A definition of 72-hours is not something we got from Samuel.

If we go to Esther 4: 16, we see the phrase "three days, night or day". Not exactly the same, but practically identical. Esther tells the Jews, "Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day ... then I will go to the king." Chapter 5: 1 says, "On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace." Did you catch that? The time marker in Esther shows this "three days, night or day" period ended "on the third day". There is no way “on the third day” is 72-hours here. Esther puts a nail in that definition.

A definition of 72-hours is not something we get from the Bible. It has to be put into the Bible. When we let the Bible interpret the Bible, its own definition of "three days and three nights" is clearly less than 72-hours.

Here is where Herbert Armstrong and all who read his material will remind us Jesus said there are 12 hours in a day (JON. 11: 9). No one on either side denies there are 12 hours in a day. But this isn't about there being 12 hours in a day. This is about whether "three days and three nights" is meant to be understood literally. From its other uses, clearly is not. If you are going to hold "three days and three nights" to this literal standard, then all the rest of the descriptions must be literal as well. That simply is not possible.

The authors, as have everyone before them since Herbert Armstrong, speak only about Matthew 12. But did you know that isn’t the only verse where the length of Jesus' interment is described? The length of Jesus' entombment was described in much more than one way:

  • "The third day" 11 times.
  • "In three days" 5 times.
  • "After three days" 2 times.
  • "On the third day" 1 time.
  • "Within three days" 1 time.

    (These come from the KJV.)

Several different phrases that all describe the exact same event, yet some say “within” and some say “after”. Some of those are the same phrases used in Esther and Samuel. Of course they are! They are very Hebrew ways of talking about time. Do you get the sense the Israelites didn’t talk about time in the same way we do today? Do you think there might be even a small chance that forcing a modern American view of time into an ancient Israelite discussion while completely ignoring idiomatic figures of speech is why the timeline doesn’t make sense to Ashley and Seiglie? Maybe if they stop trying to make the Bible say what they want it to say, and just let it say what it does say, there won't be so much confusion?

They go on,

“Most theologians and religious scholars try to work around it by arguing that any part of a day or night counts as a day or night.”

Yes, most theologians do argue that. And for good reason. Because that is how the Jews understood time. The concept is called the onah

Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah (circa 90-155 AD), was President of the Sanhedrin after Gamaliel II (grandson of the Gamaliel that taught Paul) and is considered one of the great Rabbis whose views are recorded in the Mishnah. In the Jerusalem Talmud, in the Sabbath tractate chapter 9 part 3j, it says this:

“It has been taught: R. Eleazar b. Azariah says, ‘A day and a night constitute a span [onah], and part of a span [onah] is equivalent to the whole of it.’"

Rabbi Hiyya bar Abba (circa 180-230), who was also considered a great sage of his day, is recorded in the Mishnah as well. In the Talmud, Pesachim 4a v6, Rabbi Hiyya says this:

"...and part of the day is as the whole of it".

This cannot simply be ignored as something the theologians made up. It cannot be dismissed as if this is some perversion of the Pharisees. This is how they understood things. If you want to understand how people of that time and place thought about time, then it would serve to heed this. It might not be what we think. We might even think it's nonsensical. But our opinions do not matter. The Bible wasn't written by modern minds in King James English. It was written in Hebrew by people who genuinely consider a part of a day to count as the whole of it when you're counting time. They even had a word for it! Put yourself in their shoes. If they read about how we count time, they would say we are the ones who don't make sense.

The word onah is ancient Jewish word that describes inclusive reckoning. Inclusive reckoning is where the first item and last item in a series are included in the count. This isn’t some novel concoction. All the Mediterranean counted inclusively. It can be demonstrated in the Bible itself, from start to end. You want to talk about “God-given time reckoning”, this is it!
Would you like an example? Here:

(EXO. 19: 10-11) 10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people."

Do you see how God says today (day 1), tomorrow (day 2), and the third day? That's inclusive reckoning. To put this another way, today (Friday), tomorrow (Saturday), and the third day (Sunday). Do you think He spoke those words immediately after sunset at the absolute beginning of the day? No. Do you suppose the Israelites arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai directly at sunset 72-hours later? No. So, even God included part of a day as the whole of day 1 and and part of a day as the whole of day 3. Onah!
It's completely Biblical, folks!

Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, the math actually does add up and makes sense IF you are willing to think like the people who wrote the Bible?
Yet, Ashley and Seiglie say:

“Clearly something doesn’t add up. Either Jesus misspoke about the length of time He would be in the tomb, or the “Good Friday–Easter Sunday” timing is not biblical or accurate.”

Oh, dear reader, the length of time was spoken about in six different ways in over twenty verses. The only thing that doesn’t add up is why these two gentlemen had every opportunity to read their Bibles and see for themselves what I'm telling you now about how the Jews count time - how God Himself counted time - but they refused. What they are really saying in that quote is, "If the Bible doesn't say what we want it to, then it's wrong." We here disagree. We feel if we don't conform to what the Bible is really saying, then we are wrong. Therefore, we propose a third option - Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in a way they would understand. Don’t you suppose He would use terms His audience would relate to?

Let's ask, did the Pharisees Jesus was talking to understand either what Jesus said or the example of Jonah that Jesus gave as meaning 72-hours?

(MAT. 27: 63) “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’

The priests and Pharisees say "after three days". That isn't at all 72-hours. Oh, they got the point. They understood exactly what Jesus was claiming. Yet, not a single one of these people who spent years of their lives memorizing the scriptures and analyzing them took Jesus or Jonah to mean 72-hours.

Doesn't that say something?

Read our article “Three Days and Three Nights” for more.


Now we go on to the two sabbaths of Matthew 28. Typical fare. Predictable. So typical that we have an article on that, too. Written in in 2013. It's called "The Two Sabbaths of Matthew 28". The name's not very creative, but it's super practical. Nothing has stopped the authors from reading it, or any of the myriad other articles online like it.

We are told, “Two kinds of ‘Sabbaths’ lead to confusion.” Well, I can’t argue against that. It sure does!
…but not in Matthew 28.

The authors review how Old Covenant annual holy days operated, and how work was prohibited, and how that made them Sabbaths. So far so good. Then they say,

“Because traditional Christianity long ago abandoned these biblical annual Sabbath days (as well as the weekly Sabbath), for many centuries people have failed to recognize what the Gospels plainly tell us…”

Is that what it is? People don’t keep a Sabbath, therefore they aren’t aware of them? Well whadda ya know! All this time I thought it was because the Greek word sabbaton doesn’t actually support being defined as a combination of an annual Sabbath and a weekly Sabbath.

Let’s see the Strong's Concordance definition of that word. 

4521 Sabbaton: the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension a se'nnight, that is, the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: - sabbath (day), week.

Do you see anything in there that says "sabbaton means a combination of an annual Sabbath and a separate weekly Sabbath two days later"? No. You don’t see it because that isn’t one of the possible definitions. It cannot mean what they say it means.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

The word sabbaton only refers to the weekly Sabbath; never an annual Sabbath. Greek has an entirely different word for annual Sabbaths: hoerte. In Colossians 2: 16, Paul separates "Sabbath day" (sabbaton) from "holyday" (heorte) in the same sentence. They are separate.

Even if for sake of argument we accept a Friday-Sunday timeline, and see John 19: 31 as saying the weekly Sabbath was also a high day, sabbaton still does not refer to a holy day. John says the sabbaton (weekly Sabbath) was high - using the Greek word "megas". Two days overlapped but separate. The words are still distinct in their use and their meaning.

Do you know why not a single Bible translation renders Matthew 28: 1 as Ashley and Seigli do? (Except maybe Fred Coulter's.) It’s not because Bible translators don’t keep the Sabbath and therefore don't know what a Sabbath is. It’s because they do know Greek.

What Ashley and Seiglie do here is utterly intellectually dishonest! It's one thing to redefine "three days and three nights" but it's another thing entirely to redefine Greek words. To be fair, it wasn't them. This is a very old claim. It was really Herbert Armstrong who committed the crime. These two just repeat it. But that makes me wonder who is worse? Herbert Armstrong's booklet "The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday" first came out in 1951. Ashley and Seiglie have had decades to correct this error. They just refuse to. It's not like they didn't have a Strong's Concordance!

Read our article “The Two Sabbaths of Matthew 28” for more. 

Pointing you at this article allows me to skip rebutting the rest of their misinformation and go straight on to … well, more ridiculous misinformation about another topic. Why do I do this to myself?


In the final section, Ashley and Seiglie promise us evidence of a Wednesday crucifixion and a Saturday resurrection hidden in arcane documents you’ve never heard of (unless you've read Herbert Armstrong's booklet "Plain Truth About Easter" which is apparently where they got both of these sources). They then proceed to deliver a nothing burger.

First, they mention the Didascalia Apostolorum. The document is real, it claims to be from the Apostles but it really isn't, and it does show a Tuesday evening Last Supper. They are only interested in a Tuesday Last Supper because they are looking for support for a Wednesday crucifixion. Alas, it is quite clear about the Friday crucifixion. Just because Armstrongism and the Didascalia both have a Tuesday evening Lord's Supper doesn't mean anything. The two are very different otherwise. The authors get no support here.

What's more, the Didascalia was written in the 200s. Ashley and Seiglie just quoted from a document that exonerates Constantine. He is innocent of the charges of inventing the Friday-Sunday timeline.
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for Ashley and Seiglie to refer to the Didascalia after all!

Next, they quote from Epiphanius of Salamis. Epiphanius is known to have read the Didascalia Apostolorum. I would venture a guess that Ashley and Seiglie happened across Epiphanius while reading about the Didascalia. Epiphanius believed the Didascalia to be genuine. That's why he was quoting it. Since he's quoting the Didascalia, Epiphanus isn't really a second source apart from the Didascalia, is he? No, he isn't.

Ashley and Seiglie wouldn’t mention either the Didascalia or Epiphanus if they didn’t think there was some way of spinning it to their benefit. And so they do. They say,

“Nonetheless, the document demonstrates that Passover was then understood by some to have been on Tuesday evening, which would place the crucifixion on the next day, Wednesday.”

No. It doesn’t place the crucifixion on Wednesday at all. It ends the paragraph with these words, “…they crucified Him on the same Friday.”
Does it support the idea that some people believed the Last Supper was on Tuesday? Yes. Does that fact provide any support for a Wednesday crucifixion? No. To make that claim is to assume a Wednesday crucifixion is so natural that all one needs is a Tuesday Lord's Supper. It's begging the question (assuming the conclusion is true from the start, therefore evidence must fit it). It is also non sequitur (it does not follow that just because we see a Tuesday Lord' Supper there must be a Wednesday crucifixion). That is not how logic and evidence works. Most especially when the source material flat out contradicts the conclusion.

If you’re going to reference a source, you can’t just yank out the parts you like and change the rest. That's called cherry picking. The Didascalia, in chapter XXI, goes into a good amount of detail about the timeline between the Tuesday Last Supper and the Friday crucifixion. It doesn’t support Ashley and Seiglie at all. The authors don’t seem to care what the Didascalia says. What they do here is presumptuous.

This is exactly what they did with the Bible commentaries they mentioned in their article. The commentaries agree with them in one point, that sabbaton can be plural, but completely disagree with their conclusion, yet they cite the commentaries anyway as if everyone is in harmony.
But it gets worse.

Feeling they've demonstrated the crucifixion was on a Wednesday, which they have not done, Ashley and Seiglie add two more references. These last two are intended to demonstrate that there were some people who believed Jesus rose on Saturday. They mention Socrates of Constantinople and Gregory of Tours. When I checked, I honestly don’t know where they got this idea that these sources support them.

I cannot find the provided quote from Gregory of Tours. They didn't give the name of the writing. In his “History of the Franks” Book I chapter 18, Gregory only says, “The day of the Lord's resurrection is the first, not the seventh.” (Meaning the Lord was resurrected on Sunday not Saturday.) He doesn’t mention anyone believing it was on the seventh. Might be possible some did. People believe crazy things (like sabbaton can mean an annual holy day and a weekly sabbath two days apart). But I can't find where he say so.

As for Socrates of Constantinople, Ashley and Seiglie straight up butcher what he says.
In his book "Ecclesiastical History" chapter XXII, Socrates is referring to the account of the Quartodeciman Controversy recoded by Eusebius. Socrates is paraphrasing Eusebius.

Ashley and Seiglie look at the quote, they see the word “sabbath”, and they conclude it means the weekly Sabbath. But that isn’t what Socrates means when he uses that word.
To understand why not, you must understand that Socrates is talking about the differences over Pascha, and summarizing Eusebius’ account.
The issue being discussed wasn’t about when Jesus was resurrected. It was about when people were honoring the Last Supper. The word sabbath here does not refer to Saturday or to a resurrection on Saturday. It refers to a remembrance of the Lord's Supper.

Read it for yourself:

“In Asia Minor most people kept the fourteenth day of the moon, disregarding the sabbath: yet they never separated from those who did otherwise, until Victor, bishop of Rome, influenced by too ardent a zeal, fulminated a sentence of excommunication against the Quartodecimans in Asia. Wherefore also Irenæus, bishop of Lyons in France, severely censured Victor by letter for his immoderate heat; telling him that although the ancients differed in their celebration of Easter, they did not desist from intercommunion. Also that Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who afterwards suffered martyrdom under Gordian, continued to communicate with Anicetus bishop of Rome, although he himself, according to the usage of his native Smyrna, kept Easter on the fourteenth day of the moon, as Eusebius attests in the fifth book of his Ecclesiastical History. While therefore some in Asia Minor observed the day above-mentioned, others in the East kept that feast on the sabbath indeed, but differed as regards the month.”
-Socrates of Constantinople, "Ecclesiastical History", book V, chapter XXII

Socrates tells of a third option in the East.
The Quartodecimans followed the Jews, in the calendar, but were not exact because they kept the 14th which was a day earlier than the Seder - as Jesus was. As for the second group, it is difficult to interpret exactly what he means, but judging from a phrase he uses earlier in this book, "sabbath of the Passover", maybe Socrates of Constantinople used the word 'sabbath' here in reference to the annual sabbath. It is possible the second group were people who observed Pascha on the 15th day of the month. Socrates is clear they were not following the Jewish calendar in this. They differed from Quartodecimans and Jews both in the month, insisting the Pascha must be after the equinox. (Which speaks to one of the issues Rabbi Hillel II corrected in his calendar reforms.) This type of calendar dispute is discussed in detail by Anatolius of Alexandria in his work "The Paschal Canon".
But from the context, nothing I've read in this book or any other leads me to believe Socrates was referring to the weekly Sabbath. When the weekly Sabbath is mentioned in relation to Pascha, it is in reference to strict fasting and a vigil in remembrance of the entombment, not the Pascha itself. No one regularly observed the Lord's Supper on Saturday.

Wait just a minute. This is the same mistake Herbert Armstrong made in his booklet "Plain Truth About Easter" (see 1973 version, pages 20-21). Funny, Socrates and the Didascalia were his two cited sources as well. Isn't that a strange coincidence? They are just copying off of Armstrong. I thought Armstrong was irrelevant these days? I do recommend allowing him to be.

I can't tell you how many articles and booklets have been written to condemn Sunday observance which reference this very same Quartodeciman Controversy. Armstrongist material since the start have condemned mainstream Christianity as pagans for not being like the Quartodecimani. Socrates says the Quartodeciman side disregarded the sabbath. If Socrates uses sabbath to mean Saturday (which he does not), then guess what - Socrates undermines everything Armstrongist literature said in favor of the wonderful law-keeping Quartodecimani.
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for Ashley and Seiglie to refer to Socrates after all!

Ashley and Seiglie never read through their source until they understood it. They just trusted Armstrong. They were so ideologically committed to a conclusion decided in advance, they couldn't see the source material literally says the opposite of what they were claiming.

For all the promise of Wednesday crucifixions and Saturday resurrections, they managed to come up with naught. All we got was more false history, more cherry picking, and more misquoting, and more redefining words, just like we used to get from Herman Hoeh.


Have you noticed what these authors have been doing this entire time?
They have a pre-existing ideological commitment. Maybe it's to 'three days and three nights' being 72-hours exactly. Maybe it's to a Wednesday crucifixion. They start with the conclusion, then they go looking for evidence. Is it any wonder they only accept evidence they think supports their conclusion?

Mind you, they didn't start with a hypothesis then set off to see if the evidence supports it. No. They started with a conclusion and went to see if they can cherry pick something to support it. They were so committed that they went out in search of people who understood the Lord's Supper was on a Tuesday, then didn't care when the source utterly contradicted everything else they had to say. Because, to them, a Tuesday Passover demands a Wednesday crucifixion, even if what they are reading specifically says otherwise. They were so ideologically committed that they saw the word sabbath in Socrates of Constantinople and concluded it had to mean weekly Sabbath, even though the source wasn't even talking about Saturday, or the resurrection for that matter, and literally contradicts their point. As if there is no way that word could mean anything else. They were so ideologically committed that they redefined the word sabbaton. If you know the larger story that I don't even didn't get into here, then you know they in fact redefined sabbaton twice! And not just sabbaton, but prosabbaton as well (MAR. 15: 42). The word prosabbaton was the  name for Friday.

If they read the Didascalia and Socrates and the Greek dictionary this way, you can be certain they read the Bible this way.

They are ministers in the system, though. They get paid to have this conclusion. If they don't tow the line they are out of a job. But for you and I, is that how we should research? No.

If we genuinely search for truth, what we should do is be intellectually neutral and unbiased arbiters in that search for truth. Let the material say what it says. Let the truth be what it is. Truth can take care of itself. It doesn't need us to protect it.
I have always liked the definition of truth as "reality as it actually is." Truth is reality as it actually is. If we try to force reality to be one thing or the other, what is that called? Error, delusion, or worse, deception. If we do that, are we really looking for truth in the first place? This is why you see me using the phrase intellectual honesty. Being honest with the evidence.
When evidence is flat out ignored, when definitions of words are changed, when a source is used to come to a conclusion specifically denied by that very source - they pointed out that it disagreed with them for crying out loud - is that being intellectually honest?
Is that reality as it actually is?
Is that God's truth?
No. It isn't.

The best advice I can offer is to do the opposite of what your gut tells you and try to prove yourself wrong. Yes, be your own critic. Before I write a single word, I read and reread the source until I believe I understand what the author was saying. I try my best to understand the source as the author intended. Just like when I read Matthew 28 I try to understand it as the ancient Hebrews would have, not the way I want things to be. Then I mull the possible meanings over in my head until I think I understand. Then I try to poke holes in my conclusions and prove myself wrong. I do that until I can't poke any more holes. That way, I get as close to the truth as I can.
Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes you don't. And sometimes the best conclusion you can come to is - I don't know. The answer can be uncertain. So, let it!

If you do these things, at least you will end up far closer to the truth than otherwise.

These authors could be fine people, with families and folks who love them. I don't know. I've never met them. My article is not about who they are as people. This article is about what they've written and the methods they've used. (Or is it about Herbert Armstrong's ideas and methods? They are the same, after all. I thought he wasn't relevant anymore.)
They've written a propaganda piece. They have access to all this history, sure enough. Rather than quote it accurately, learning what was meant to be understood, they twisted it beyond recognition because they had an agenda to satisfy.

If they do this to history books, do you think maybe they do the same thing to the Bible? Do you think they only treat this one subject in this way?


Why! Why do I do this to myself??

I could have left well enough alone, but no. I just had to go and look into that Palantir. I had hope! But now none. I am sorely disappointed to see that not only have things not improved in the Armstrongist splinter churches, but they've somehow managed to degrade just that much farther.

The Church of God splinter group articles on the last days of Jesus' life are, well, not so good. They don't understand what sign Jesus gave. They don't understand how Hebrews counted time. They don't understand the proper definition of Greek words like sabbaton or prosabbaton or paraskeue. They don't understand ancient documents when they read them.
Is it really honest to purposefully make a mess of things then complain how everything is a mess? "I redefined, and obfuscated, and misrepresented, and cherry picked, now things don't make sense. Why!?"
It's not that things can't add up, it's that when we try to force an answer from bad math it won't add up. It's not that they can't understand, it's that they refuse to understand.

I started out looking for hope. I couldn't find a single ray of hope in any of this, except possibly that the piece seemed to lack any heart. How is that a ray of hope? Because it means they don't really love what they're dishing out anymore. Maybe there's an end to this tunnel after all.

I want to share with you the reason this blog has so many articles on the holidays. It's not because we are stuck on holiday topics. It's because these fields are always so ripe with examples like the ones in today's article. Few other topics make it so easy to demonstrate the rank ideological bias in Armstrongism. Every time they write an article on holidays it has this same kind of thing like we saw today. We just grab that low-hanging fruit.

Dear reader, beloved by God, I plead with you to read our articles on this topic. We have a Categories page with articles on every topic you need. If you only read one thing on this topic, at least read our Easter FAQ. It could have saved you, and Scott Ashley and Mario Seiglie - and me - quite a bit of headache.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have one more article on the topic to write. Better get to it.


It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; )

Acts 17:11