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Regarding “Good Thursday?” (Aug. 18), kudos to Dan Keeney for reading his Bible from a literal standpoint. His closing sentence is 100 percent correct: “… it is important to know that Jesus’ prophecy of his time in the grave was precisely what he said it to be.” Having stated that, it can be scripturally demonstrated Jesus was crucified on Friday.

Thus, if Christ was crucified on Friday, how does one reconcile Jesus’ prophecy that he would be in the grave for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:38-40)? The answer is found when this prophecy is read in its historical context.

In approximately A.D. 100, Rabbi Eleazr Ben Azariah wrote: “A day and a night are an Onah (period of time) and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it.” Thus, according to Jewish thought from the time of Christ, any part of a day constituted a whole day.

Jesus did not have to be in the grave for three days and three nights, but for any part of three complete days. Jesus’ prophecy concerning the number of days that he would be in the tomb is as he said.

Keeney is right: “… it is important to know that Jesus’ prophecy of his time in the grave was precisely what he said it to be.”

Stephen Mathieson



Joyless singing

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Two things contribute to the loss of joyful singing in churches.

• The high volume of the song leader overwhelms any singing of the congregation. Instead of a song leader, the person becomes a solo performer. If sound is a vibration touching the ear, then lip reading is the only way to hear the congregation sing. The shared experience of singing and worship are lost.

• Repetition empties the mind. Reminds me of “Rabbit Ain’t Got no Tail at All” for endless verses saying the same thing. “Tell me the story of Jesus” and “He bled and died for me” will touch and stay in hearts long after repetitive new songs are forgotten. 

I agree with Hulitt Gloer: Music is the main way the gospel gets into people’s hearts. Hymns not only teach theology, but also develop character. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children in the world; red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight” shaped my views on race relations at an early age. Congregational singing penetrates the hearts of worshippers in ways sermons cannot.

In missing the old songs, I feel like the captured Jews being told to sing, but they could not. How sweet it is if the song leader steps back and there are voices. The Jews are no longer captives; they’re singing.

Why have we settled for second best?

Rex Ray



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