On a number of occasions, the gospel states that Jesus celebrated a Jewish Passover (5:1; 6:4; 7:2). Given the spread of various Jewish movements in Ancient Roman Empire, no one in the original audience, even when first century Gentiles read this text, needed to be told that Passover was a Jewish holiday. Everyone with any interest towards Christian claims already knew that Passover had something to do with Ancient Israel, since the general Jewish presence was numerous and well spread throughout the Empire.
The designation “Jewish” for Passover that was celebrated by both groups (Samaritans, Jews among other Israelite groups) interestingly enough is stated each time this feast is mentioned (Jn. 2:13, 6:4; 7:2; 11:51, 55), but strikingly the winter Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) did not have the word “Jewish” attached to it at all (Jn.10:22). This was so because the Samaritans did not celebrate this holiday and hence it needed no such specification whose calendar it followed. Remember that the Samaritans rejected the legitimacy of the Jerusalem temple and would have had no reason to celebrate the cleansing and rededication of Jerusalem Temple.
Other than Samaritan and Jewish Passovers there were also others Passovers celebrated according to different Israeli calendars. So it was very important to specify which Passover did Jesus observed. Jesus was not a Samaritan. Nor was he a Qumranite. He was in fact a Galilean, Jerusalem-centered Israelite. In a word he was a Jew.
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