Last time, we started to discuss the Last Supper. We reviewed the traditional approach: Jesus was crucified on Friday, and the Last Supper was indeed the Passover meal (Seder) that took place on Thursday night; we asked some questions bound up with this traditional approach – and today, we will try to answer these questions. Then, we will discuss the alternative scenarios.
Here is what David Baron writes: “The expression ‘three days and three nights’ is an Old Testament idiom carried over into the New Testament, and means not necessarily three whole days and three whole nights, but in round numbers a period of about three days.” In the case of Jonah, Baron continues, we have no means of knowing exactly how long he was in the belly of the fish. However, it can be proved from some other scriptures: for instance, in the book of Esther we read that Esther says to Mordecai:“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise” – but already “on the third day” she appeared before Ahaseurus. To this argument, he adds: “I might point out also the fact that the Jews who heard the Lord use the expression did not understand it to signify literally ‘three days and three nights’ for after the Crucifixion they came to Pilate saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day.” So we see that, throughout the Old and New Testament, part of a day is counted as a whole day. Therefore, Baron concludes: Jesus indeed “may be said to have been in the grave ‘three days and three nights’: Friday, to which legally belonged the night of what we shall call Thursday; Saturday, consisting of the night of Friday and the day of Saturday; and Sunday to which belonged the night of Saturday and the very early morn of Sunday.”
I have to admit that Baron’s arguments sound pretty convincing to me. However, if you are still not convinced, I am going to present here an alternative scenario. I personally believe that it does correspond to the real events – but once again, I want to emphasize that I don’t claim to have the final answers, nobody can be one hundred percent certain exactly how and when these events took place. Moreover, even though I will share with you some Hebrew insights here, I still want us to remember that there is always the possibility that we are missing something. “The secret things belong to the Lord”…It’s important for me to emphasize that we don’t have to stumble over this story: there are several plausible scenarios presenting the final days of Jesus
Personally, I don’t think it was the traditional Passover meal. Why? We read in the Mishnah:
A paschal lamb is invalid if it was slaughtered for those who will not eat it… 
The paschal lamb had to be eaten during the Passover meal! The eating of the paschal sacrifice was the principal part of Seder, and therefore the meal that happened BEFORE the sacrifice, by definition, could have not been Seder.
However, if it was not Seder, what was it? What was the nature of this meal? Before we actually start our discourse, let me share with you some additional quotations from Mishna, from the same tractate Pesachim:
… The sages say that in Judah they would work on the day before Pesacĥ until noon, whereas in the Galilee they did not work at all. As far as the
night is concerned: Bet Shammai prohibit whereas Bet Hillel permit until sunrise.
Where it is customary to work until noon on the day before Passover, people may work; where it is not customary to do so, people may not …
We see that there were different festival traditions in different places. As we all know, Jesus and his disciples were Galileans, therefore they would have observed the Galilean traditions. There were several differences between Judean and Galilean Passover observance, but the most important one was a special fast – the Fast of the Firstborn, in remembrance of the firstborn Israelites who were saved from death (that is why we read in Mishna that “in the Galilee, they didn’t work at all” on Passover day). The fast took place on Nisan 14, on the day of Passover.
In Hebrew, the last meal before fast is called seudah maphsehket (if you have ever been in Israel for Yom Kippur, you know that seudah maphsehket, the last meal before Yom Kippur fast, isa very special event indeed). Thus, in the Galilean tradition, there had to be this special meal at the beginning of Passover (Nisan 14th) called seudah maphsehket. After this meal, there would be a whole day fast – and the next meal would be Seder. In this sense, this seudah maphsehket was indeed the Last Supper.
Let us now try to figure out the days of the week when all of this was happening. We will definitely need the sign of Jonah here: Sunday is a given, so to make it simple, we will just count three nights back and arrive at Thursday, and then everything else falls into place. It was on Wednesday Nisan 13 that the disciples prepared this special meal that we call the Last Supper and that was, in fact, seudah maphsehket – the last meal before the Fast of the Firstborns. Jesus and the disciples ate this meal on Wednesday night, as the day changed to Nisan 14. Then Jesus was arrested at night, tried and convicted early on the Thursday morning, and then crucified during the day – and all this happened on Nisan 14, Thursday, the day of “Pesach”, the day of the slaughtering of the paschal lamb. Thus, on Thursday, Nisan 14, Jesus died on the cross; and on Sunday, Nisan 17 – the Feast of Firstfruits – Jesus was resurrected.
I would like to finish this article with the words of L. Piperov: “Crucifixion on 14th Nisan, Thursday, followed by the Day of Resurrection, by Sunday dawn, on 17th Nisan, would be an amazing confirmation of the Lord Jesus’ own prophetic words based on the prophet Jonah (Jonah 1:17):
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40)
Note that the Lord Jesus said days and nights, not nights and days! Indeed, arrest on late Wednesday night, followed by the terrible ordeal, including trial/humiliation/crucifixion and death and burial before sunset on the next day, Thursday (Day One in the heart of the earth), and Resurrection shortly before dawn on Sunday, correspond … accurately to these words”
 David Baron, Types, Psalms and Prophecies, Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 2000 p.361
 Esther 4:16-5:1
 David Baron, Types, Psalms and Prophecies, p.363
 Deut. 29:29
 Mishna, Tractate Pesachim, Chapter 5 Mishna 3
 Mishna, Tractate Pesachim, Chapter 4 Mishna 5
 Mishna, Pesachim, Chapter 4, Mishna 1
 You can read more about it in: David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, Jewish New Testament Publications, 1995, p. 77
 For this idea, I am indebted to Tom Bradford from TorahClass.com
 Lyuben Piperov, A Tale of Two Gospels, p.22; This study on Bible codes also confirms Thursday, 14th Nisan as the true day of the Crucifixion
Excerpts from my new book “Unlocking the Scriptures” are included in this article (and many other posts here), and I wanted to let you know that the book is published already and is available on Amazon:
You might enjoy also my other books, you can get them from my page: https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/julia-blum/
If these articles whet your appetite for discovering the hidden treasures of the Hebrew Bible, studying in depth Parashat Shavua, along with New Testament insights, or learning more about the Jewish background of Jesus’ teaching, I would be happy to provide more information (and also a teacher’s discount for new students) regarding our amazing courses (email@example.com).
Join the conversation (22 comments)
Shalom Julia, muy interesante los puntos de vista que nos compartes, quizás aquí: https://youtu.be/jo_-d5D55cE encuentras una de la piezas que le falta al rompecabezas.
I really appreciate Julia’s insight. As a gentile Christian Pastor, I began to question the timing of the “Last Supper,” If Jesus died at the same hour as the Korban Paschal were sacrificed in the Temple. How could it be that He & the disciples had already eaten the Seder? So I started looking into it. Julia’s information here adds weight to what I have learned.
But there is more. I asked myself, “What elements related to the specific feasts are actually God’s command according to Torah, & what are human (Jewish) traditions?” & “Are there There traditions of the elders that are getting in the way of our rich understanding & appreciation of what Christ did?” It is usually said that Jesus “fulfilled” the Old Testament, so many Christians believe the OT is no longer potent, or necessary even. But Jesus brought “fulness” to the many elements of Tanakh. The OT reached its fulness in the Person of Moshiach Yeshua. Jesus brought fullness to those elements of the feasts that were commanded, but we (Gentiles) often want to place more significance on the (Jewish) traditions, taking our attention fully away from what Jesus actually accomplished, the fulness He brought. Here is what I have discovered…
Much of the Seder is Jewish tradition, not mitzvah. As Gentiles, we tend to want to put on a yarmulke once a year & pretend we know what the heck we are talking about, because a Messianic friend or Messianic organization has put in a Seder for us. But, more times that not, the well meaning Messianic friend/organization is following a Seder liturgy that tries to cram in a richness of fulfillment of elements that are traditional, & not mitzvah. And this takes our eyes off Jesus, & places our attention squarely on the “traditions of the elders.”
As a glaring example, the matzah used at Pesach & Matsah (Passover & Unleavened Bread) is “stripped & pierced,” that is, the bread has been pricked by the cook, with stripes placed on its surface so that the matzah won’t curl or bubble in any way. The stripping & piercing is not a command, but is a way to ensure the matzah meets kosher requirements. But we see Jesus was striped & pierced, & we get all Goose-bumped. But the stripping & piercing was coincidental. The afikomen, that middle piece of matzah that is broken & hidden & later returned (usually by the children) … “Oooo! Jesus was broken & hidden in the tomb & returned to us in resurrection!” BUT, the afikomen is a complete Jewish tradition, not mitzvah. It takes our attention on the work of Christ Jesus. “HOW did Jesus bring fulness to these feasts, then?” you ask.
(1) Jesus died as the Korban Paschal were sacrificed in the Temple, on the 14th of Nisan. Jesus brought fulness to Pesach by serving as the ultimate & final Korban Paschal, the perfect sacrificial Lamb without blemish, suitable to not just cover the sins of the world, but to be the placating force that removes the sin & appeases the righteous justice of God.
(2) Jesus rested in the tomb on the 15th of Nisan, “declared afflicted” with our sin, even though He has no sin present in His person. God told the Israelites that they were to eat matzah, without chametz, beginning on the 14th, & were to begin the 7-day feast of Matzah on the 15th. God called the matzah the “bread of affliction.” Why does He call it that? He says, “for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste— that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt” (Deut 16:3). Matzah launches their liberation from Egypt. He does not say they are to eat the matzah to remember their bondage, but to remember their liberation. It should have been the “bread of liberation.” But we know Jesus brought fulness to Matzah by being declared by God to be afflicted with the sin of mankind, even though He has no sin, like the matzah is declared by God to be afflicted with chametz (always a symbol of sin, ref Amos 4:4), even though there is no chametz present.
(3) Jesus rose in the 3rd day as the priests began waiving the Bikkurim … Firstfruits offering before the Lord on the 16th of Nisan. God commanded the Israelites to bring the firstfruits of their crops to the be offered to Him, & if they did this He would find their offering acceptable. Jesus delivered Himself to the Father as the Bikkurim, The Firstfruits among many brothers, & God found His offering acceptable, bringing fulness to yom ha Bikkurim.
(4) Jesus gave His Spirit on the day of Shavu’ot, as the Jews were gathered to commemorate & celebrate the giving of Torah. God commanded the Israelites to begin counting 7 weeks (49 days) from Bikkurim, which occurs on the 1st day of the week during Matzah every year. Then they were to bring a new Firstfruits offering, this time the product of the grain (Lev 23:15-17). Now, in the 3rd month after Israel was liberated from Egypt, they came to Sinai & received the Torah. The Jews assembled every year at Shavu’ot in Jerusalem to celebrate the giving of the Law. So when Jesus rose on Bikkurim, the priests began counting 50 days. We call that day by its Greek name, Pentecost. So 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection (on Bikkurim), while the Jews were assembled to celebrate the giving of the Law, Moshiach Yeshua gave the Holy Spirit. When Moses received Torah, about 3000 people died in judgment (Exo 32). When Jesus gave His Spirit as the Jews gathered to commemorate the giving of Torah, about 3000 people came to life in Christ (Acts 2). Jesus brings fulness to Shavu’ot by giving His Spirit, demonstrating the Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life.
So let’s cut to the quick. Let’s shed the traditions of the elders, & focus only on Jesus, & what He did to bring fulness to Torah & all of Tenakh.
Thank you Karl for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate your profound thoughts. Yes, the New Testament shows very clearly how Jesus brings fullness to the Torah – however, there are many elements in the tradition as well that also point to their New Testament fulfillment. Even afikonman that you mention (and that of course is “a complete Jewish tradition, not mitzvah”) becomes the truly meaningful and profound symbol only when seen in the light of the NT – while it has no real explanation in the Jewish tradition. I believe that a tradition sometimes (definitely not always) presents the human reflections of the Divine plan and dealings. Besides, the traditions undoubtedly influence our perception of the words and symbols; even in my next series, about the lamb, I will discuss the difference between the perception of this image by the Jewish followers of Jesus and the Gentile Christians. Stay Tuned! 🙂
The problem with trying to place the Crucifixion on or before Nissan 14 (the day the Passover Lambs are killed) brings one into conflict with all the other chronological evidence in the Gospels. Taking account of the chronology of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke the following order of events are revealed:-
Nissan 9, six days before the Passover Jesus travelled from Jericho to Bethany, John 12:1.
On Nissan 10 Jesus made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Matt 21:1 – 17, Mark 11:1 – 11, Luke 19:28 – 46. On this same day Jesus may have cleansed the Temple (Matt and Luke) but Mark has it
on the next day.
The 11th Jesus curses the Fig Tree Matt 21:18 – 19, Mark 11:12 – 14
The 12th day. In the morning Peter commented that the Fig Tree had withered away. Mark 11:20 – 24… This is the same comment stated in Matt 21:20 – 22 but does not clarify it was in the morning after the curse… Jesus leaves the Temple and predicts the destruction of Jerusalem Matt 24:1 – 2 just after His comment on the widow’s two mites Mark 13:1 – 2 Luke 21:5 – 6. This would possibly be the end of the day and the Mount of Olives discourse on the signs of the times and the end of the age came that night or the next day. Matt 24:3 to 25:46 Mark 13:3 – 37 Luke 21:7 – 36
The 13th day the plot to kill Jesus. “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified” Matt 26:2. Day 1 the 13th and day 2 the 14th. And the chief priests and elders plotted to take Jesus and kill Him but they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people” Matt 26:3 – 5 Mark 14:1 – 2 Luke 22:1 – 2. The Anointing at Bethany Matt 26:6 – 13 Mark 14:3 – 9
The 14th day, The Passover and the start of the meal at sunset that night. Matt 26:17 – 30 Mark 14:12 – 26 Luke 22:7 – 38
It is now the 15th day and the 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Jesus is still alive and at liberty so there is no time to place the events of the arrest trials and Crucifixion before the Feast.
Palm Sunday Nissan 10
Jesus was a Jew and would not have travelled from Jericho to Bethany on the Sabbath day.
Passover the day the Lambs were killed would have been a Thursday not Friday
Passover on Thursday
If Passover Nissan 14 was a Thursday then the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was Friday, High Sabbath on Saturday Nissan 16. As Jesus told His disciples where to prepare the meal on the day the lambs were killed then when was the Day of Preparation when Jesus was placed in the tomb?
Crucifixion on Passover Nissan 14
As above if Passover was on a Friday this is the day Jesus told his disciples where to prepare the meal, that night they ate the meal after sunset then went to the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed for about 3 hours and then told His disciples to sleep. It is now Nissan 15 and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The sign of Jonah
Three days and three night in the tomb requires a Wednesday Crucifixion to maintain a Resurrection on the first day of the week.
On the day of Resurrection Jesus was seen walking with 2 disciples on their way to Emmaus. This has to be after the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread because they are all Jews and would have to remain in Jerusalem for the full 7 days of the feast.
The Easter tradition cannot be harmonized with what is clearly stated in the Bible and the simple answer is, in the fourth century the early church fathers probably falsified the historical facts to fit into pagan traditions to encourage more pagans to be Christian. The day of Preparation of the Passover is the key to unlocking the truth about the timing of the crucifixion because it only occurs on the day before a Sabbath, weekly or ceremonial but never on a Sabbath day.
If the Passover was on a Friday then Jesus entered Jerusalem on Monday Nisan 10, ate the Last Supper on the evening of the Passover, now Nisan 15, crucified the following Wednesday and placed in the tomb on the next day, Thursday the sixth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the day of the preparation of the barley sheaf for the Wave Offering after the High Sabbath. Friday the seventh day of the of the Feast followed by the High Day on the first weekly Sabbath after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread forms two back to back Sabbaths with the Resurrection after sunset on the first day of the week.
The only year that fits with all the historical data is 27AD, the year after Pilate became governor of Judea, 46 years after Herod the Great decree to rebuild the Temple and the only convenient year that the Passover fell on a Friday.
Thank you Chris, it is very interesting. I have to admit that this whole theory of Jesus being crucified and buried on the 5th and 6th days of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread is kind of a new (and very interesting ) concept to me. Thank you for bringing my attention to it, however I have to check it more thoroughly before I can comment on it.
Hi Julia. It has now been nearly 7 weeks since I posted and I am still waiting for your considered reply.
Hi Chris, please accept my sincere apologies, I haven’t been aware of the fact that you’ve been waiting for my response. I did reply to you comment then, 7 weeks ago, didn’t I? I know I promised to have a more in-depth look at your theory , and I will do it – unfortunately, I’was twice in a hospital during these 7 weeks, I just went through a surgery, and I don’t know when exactly I will be able to do it. So I suppose we both need to be patient, I will definitely do it at some point.
I am sorry to hear you have been in hospital and I hope you will have a speedy recovery. In the mean time you could consider just reading through the points I have made and use your recovery time to ponder their implications. I am so looking forward to reading your views on this position. However if you would prefer to discuss this offline please feel free to email me privately.
This is great information. I have few comments/questions.
1) There are many scholars that describe the different cups that were passed around at the last supper as being the cups represented in the normal Passover (only two cups in Luke 22:14-16). Does the seudah maphsehket have a similar procedure of the various cups?
2) In Luke 22:15, Jesus says He desires to eat this “Passover” with them? Was the meal prior to the all day fast synonymous with “Passover” meal?
3) It would seem to me that Jesus prepared for his last meal during Tuesday day (Nisan 13) and had his last meal on Tuesday evening (now the 14th) and was arrested. He was crucified Wednesday (the 14th at 3pm) and was buried before the evening came (6pm) and afterwards we come to the evening “High Sabbath” (non-weekly sabbath, Nisan 15 and 1st day of Unleavened bread which is a holy special sabbath -John 19:31). Let’s say He was buried by 6pm on Wednesday. Three full days later brings us to the weekly Sabbath around 6pm. “After three days” (Matt 27:63) He rises from the dead around 7pm which is Shabbat evening, but as the 1st day of the week “dawns”. We know that the first day of the week arrives Saturday evening (let’s say after 7pm or whenever dark occurs). Therefore Jesus arose on the 1st day of the week (after three full days), but it was not Sunday morning, but Saturday evening.
Hi Mondo, I’ll try to answer your questions: 1) There are 4 cups in a normal Passover meal (Seder) – and no, seudah maphseket doesn’t have the same formal procedure. However, the cup of blessing (Kidush) would be raised in every Jewish meal, so I don’t think it should be seen as an argument against this theory.
2) When Jesus says he desires to eat this “Passover” with them, he doesn’t necessary mean Seder, or Passover meal, he might refer to anything that has to do with the beginning of the Passover; in this sense, Seudah Maphseket would also qualify as “Passover” since it would open the Passover week for Galileans.
3) Personally, I don’t think that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, but it’s a completely legitimate and a very interesting concept.
Thanks Julia for presenting these possible scenarios. As you said however, no one really knows. There is compelling evidence that God exists, but we can’t prove it, so maybe the literal details are not as important as the deeper meaning of the stories as we choose to believe and live accordingly.
Thank you Nick, I agree completely, “the hidden things belong to the Lord”.
“There is compelling evidence that God exists, but we can’t prove it”
With all due honour, to claim there is no proof God exists when you are the very undeniable truth He exists, is what i would expect from who the Lord Father God in Psalm 14, 23, Romans 1:18-32 refers to as the fool. Again with all due honour, God calls the “atheist” a liar;
Psa 14:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. *They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.*
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. .
.. and thus God/Jesus calls such a liar for he/she claims to be an “atheist” when God/Jesus “from the factory” already “installed” knowledge of His existence within your very being so that it’s inescapable. It may be you had a father that wasn’t there because of extenuating circumstances.. or a evil father.. and thus instead of blaming him, you blame God (Jesus) wrongfully.. as a way to get back at that father that wasn’t there or was an evil father. It’s what the spiritually immature and self-centred do until they actually spiritually mature by a serious humbling by God/Jesus Himself giving that so called “Atheist” a Damascus Road epiphany that finally humbles them greatly thus causing them finally to see how grievously and dishonestly they were lying to themselves that God didn’t exist or that His existence can not be proven when incontrovertible evidence of His existence is all around us that He doesn’t owe us any more proof and thus that man is without excuse (Romans 1:18-32), and that they should have been 100% honest with themselves that to claim His existence can’t be proven, is why the Lord calls them a fool.
Lastly, for the perpetual equivocating and unscrupulous man or woman who would with such foolishness claim the existence of the Lord God can not be proven, it’s not about the observational ‘science’ (true etymology of ‘science’ which comes out of the Latin “Scientia/Scienza” in sum is “practical knowledge”) to the perfidious unbeliever, it’s about the will and spirit of man. It’s because of men’s refusal of having a God in their life because of their deep wounds of a father that wasn’t there or a evil father that was or something of the sort. The lure of ‘evolution’ voraciously feeds that carnal sin hence why it has such appeal for the natural man. The reasons for it is not because they are not intelligent enough to comprehend it, but it is in their will to reject having a God be the best Father to them they could ever have since they are wilfully spiritually blinded by their internal spiritual pain and unjust anger. They do not want at all to hold God in their knowledge, to retain Him in what they know of this world. It is not because of the alleged evidence and ‘consensus approved’ claims the mainstream ‘science’ makes that are supposedly overwhelming that they are compelled to accept it; instead, it is because the depravity of man without a true God in his/her life will relentlessly seek to find some explanation for mankind’s origins that will eliminate God completely and what He came on earth to do for mankind (which man will never succeed in. They know inescapably, if there is a ‘God’ then they are morally responsible to Him and truly then, there is no escaping the final judgment. Therefore they will lie to themselves even unto death, just so they can live a life of serving ‘self’ (pure essence of what the Lord God’s arch enemy teaches mankind) and not God (selfless).
Jesus was making clear all along… that as men grew more conceited over their self-styled carnal temporal knowledge, they plunged deeper into wilful ignorance and morosis nonsense. These two things always characterize those who reject the knowledge of God—they become insufferably spiritually puerile-vain and abysmally wilfully ignorant at the same time because of their self-willed rejection of what they know to be inescapably true in the core of their being, but prefer to live for “self” living as the Lord God makes clear, a great malevolent and malignant lie, than living for God/Jesus in unvarnished unrestrained truth, where the former is true rebellion against the Lord of which that fallen cherub is the father of, the latter is incomparable salvation.
Lazzaro, I hope that with the passing of nearly two years time, your views regarding this post and it’s accusations, have been tempered by mercy and grace (which The Almighty has bestowed on YOU, no doubt). I just happened upon it today after reading the beautiful treatise by Ms. Blum.
It is disturbing that you have chosen to not amend your words. They were hurtful, unprofitable and offensive, pure gossip (Almighty God YHVH Father detests gossip!)
paraphrase: “with all due honor” (you’re a fool), “again with all due honor” (you’re a liar), your father is evil. With all due honor? A thin veil for the scornful thoughts. Enough
Redeem that which is lost. Recant this bloviatory diatribe (your last ‘sentence’ was 97 words). Apologize to Mr. Edwards. You have demonstrated some knowledge but where is the Holy Spirit of Truth? The narrow gate is not opened with the key of knowledge.
I am not buying it, you are trying to make the event fit into Christianities perimeters. Sorry, no Deal !
I’m fine with it Mark, i am not trying to convince anyone, just wanted to present different possible scenarios.
Interesting perspective put forward. But how confident can we be that Mishnah Pesachim regulations reflect accurately the regional practices in place at the time of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples when the Mishnah itself was committed to writing at least some 170 years later? Might not the Essene connection, with their 364-day calendar and its Tuesday evening Pesach celebration, be perhaps more promising, even if solely on the basis that these were contemporaries of Jesus? After all, we do have a good deal of clues suggesting a well-established Essene presence (whether marrying type [Damascus Rule] or the Celibate ones [Community Rule]) in Judea at the time of Jesus (Dead Sea Scrolls; Josephus; Philo; indirect clues in the Gospels and Acts; archeology; etc.). For one, it would make good sense of the man with the water jar leading the disciples to a house – presumably the house of a Celibate Essene community – where Jesus is to celebrate the Passover (cf. Mk 14:13) . The ‘only’ unknown – and it is a significant one – is whether the Essene Passover did fall that year just a few days before the ‘official’ Passover.
Thank you for your comment Franco. Of course, you are right, Mishnah was redacted and written down much later, – yet, many traditions that we find there belong to the period of the Second Temple. As for “the Essene connection ” – i also think that the Last supper was in one of the Essene rooms: in fact, the Gospels are very clear about it when they tell us about the man with the water jar.
Julia, you are the only person I have ever responded to. I have great respect for your work and am blessed by your blog. I read a biblical historian (can’t remember the name or source) who stated that when looking at the Jewish calendar regarding the possible year of the crucifixion, there were back-to-back Sabboaths that year (two days in a row). A Sabboath on Friday and one on Saturday. Have you heard of this? Is it true there has been a practice of back-to-back Sabboaths? Have you ever looked into this?
Thank you Donna, I am honored by your kind words and by you sending me your first comment. I don’t know of course, what text exactly you read, but I can offer an explanation regarding these two Shabbaths: when the Passover (or any other Biblical Feast) happens to be on Friday (it means, it starts Thursday night), you have back-to back two Shabbath days: one is the Passover Day, it is considered Shabbath as well, and one is a regular weekly Shabbath. We’ve actually had this situation in Israel this Passover, just a week ago.
As always very good. I have read the Esences celebrated the passover the day before (they did not accept the authorities calendar) There is record of lambs being slain on the two days., so some were done the earlier day. The day before was a recognized Passover day even if it was the alternative one. Jesus Last Supper could have been in a room prepared for the Escene celebration that was going to be unused. Did the rabbi of the group from Alexander fall off his camel and delay them? A messanger could have brought the news while the man went for water. see http://thesignofconcord.com/uploads/Bk_3_Ch_4_Last_Supper.pdf I would love to hear back comments on that.
Thank you for your kind words Stephen. I do agree that Jesus Last Supper was in a room prepared for the Essene celebration that for some reason was not used ( we don’t have enough evidence to accept the theory of rabbi or priest falling off his camel, although it might have been the case). And thank you for the link, I enjoyed your work.