Questions From Readers
● How many days was Jesus in the tomb? Some say three full days. Is that correct?—Vermont subscriber.
No. But some argue so from Jesus’ words: “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.” (Matt. 12:40) This would seem to mean a full 72 hours, but we must not ignore other similar expressions that show the actual intent of the words. In the Bible “three days” does not necessarily mean three full days, but may mean parts of three different days. Hence when Rehoboam told the people to return in “three days” they came back “the third day, as the king had appointed”. (1 Ki. 12:5, 12) Jesus spoke of himself as being resurrected “the third day”. (Luke 24:46) Repeatedly the Scriptures speak of Jesus as being raised the third day; but if he had remained in the grave three full days, or 72 hours, it would have been the fourth day. Jesus was put to death on a Friday afternoon, remained in the grave Saturday, and was raised Sunday morning. For detailed consideration of this matter see the March 15, 1944, Watchtower.
● What is meant by the words at 1 John 3:18: “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”?—Reader in Florida.
It means that one cannot be pleasing to the Lord by just being sanctimonious and speaking softly and following forms and ceremonies, but doing no real service to God. In addressing Jewish religionists Jesus quoted Isaiah 29:13, saying: “You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep paying respect to me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” Again, “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Master, Master,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father.” (Matt. 15:7-9; 7:21, NW) Jehovah’s will for Christians is that they now preach the Word, preach the gospel of the Kingdom throughout the nations of earth. (Matt. 24:14; 2 Tim. 4:2) Those who love God will prove it by obedience to his will. “If you love me, you will observe my commandments.” “This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments.”—John 14:15; 1 John 5:3, NW.
● Must consecrated women who participate in congregational meetings have their heads covered?—Reader in California.
After stating that the head of the woman is man, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God, Paul writes: “Every woman that prays or prophesies with her head unveiled shames the one who is her head.” (1 Cor. 11:3-10, NW) Commenting on this, the book “This Means Everlasting Life” states: “In the apostle’s day, and especially there in the scandalously immoral city of ancient Corinth, it was the custom for respectable women to go veiled in public. For a woman to go otherwise to public assemblies was to brand her a woman of low moral standards and easy virtue. . . . In these modern times or in lands where custom does not require women of the community to go veiled as a sign of respectability, Christian decency does not require the woman to comply with that ancient custom for the sake of the faith and organization. . . . But regardless of popular custom, if a woman today should rise in a congregation and pray or prophesy to the believing men and women present, she should veil her head or have a ‘sign of authority upon her head because of the angels’.” (Pages 161, 162) Hence if a Theocratic assignment requires a woman to pray at or to conduct a Bible study meeting she should wear a sign of authority while so performing, to show recognition of the Theocratic headship of the man and “because of the angels”. However, no head covering is necessary when she participates by merely answering questions put to the audience or relating experiences or serving in demonstrations.