3 Nephi Chapter 8 Critique
Setting: Tempests, earthquakes,
fires, whirlwinds, and physical upheavals attest the crucifixion of
Christ—Many people are destroyed—Darkness covers the land for three
days—Those who remain bemoan their fate. About A.D. 33–34.
Verses 1-4: And now it came to
pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true,
for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did
many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could
do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from
his iniquity— And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by
this man in the reckoning of our time, the thirty and third year had
passed away; And the people began to look with great earnestness for
the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea,
for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days
over the face of the land. And there began to be great doubtings and
disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been
Note: The death of Jesus Christ occurred about 30 AD.
The date of birth of Jesus of Nazareth is not stated in the gospels or
in any secular text, but most scholars assume a date of birth between 6
BC and 4 BC. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 5-9: And it came to pass
in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of
the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been
known in all the land. And there was also a great and terrible tempest;
and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole
earth as if it was about to divide asunder. And there were exceedingly
sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land. And the
city of Zarahemla did take fire. And the city of Moroni did sink into
the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
Note: The death of Jesus Christ caused people to come back to life.
Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to
bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves
were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were
raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went
into the holy city and appeared to many. Matthew 27:51-53.
Verses 10-14: And the earth was
carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city
there became a great mountain. And there was a great and terrible
destruction in the land southward. But behold, there was a more great
and terrible destruction in the land northward; for behold, the whole
face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the
whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly
great quaking of the whole earth; And the highways were broken up, and
the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough. And
many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many
were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the
inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate.
Note: The death of Jesus Christ did not destroy Jerusalem.
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while
He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to
us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and
found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,
saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they
told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was
known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:32-35.
Verses 15-19: And there were
some cities which remained; but the damage thereof was exceedingly
great, and there were many in them who were slain. And there were some
who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man
knoweth, save they know that they were carried away. And thus the face
of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the
thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth. And
behold, the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face
of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments,
and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land. And it came
to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm,
and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold,
they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by
some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and
terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then
behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.
Note: The earthquake was minor as only Matthew recorded it.
Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the
earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of
the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud
voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having
said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:44-46.
Verses 20-22: And it came to
pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land,
insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the
vapor of darkness; And there could be no light, because of the
darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire
kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could
not be any light at all; And there was not any light seen, neither
fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so
great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.
Note: People were able to travel and see where they were going.
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but
secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away
the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took
the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night,
also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred
pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of
linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the
place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a
new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus,
because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. John
Verses 23-25: And it came to
pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no
light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among
all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the
people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had
come upon them. And in one place they were heard to cry, saying: O that
we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our
brethren have been spared, and they would not have been burned in that
great city Zarahemla. And in another place they were heard to cry and
mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible
day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out;
then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have
been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah.
And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible.
Note: The darkness lasted only 3 hours or until Jesus Christ died.
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole
land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a
loud voice, saying, “Eloi , Eloi , lama sabachthani ?” which is
translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those
who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for
Elijah!” Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it
on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let
us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” And Jesus cried out with
a loud voice, and breathed His last. Mark 15:33-37.
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX