New theory on date of Last Supper

Finally an Easter publicity stunt I actually find interesting. In a new book, The Mystery of the Last Supper, physicist Sir Colin Humphrey argues that the last supper occurred on Wednesday, April 1, AD33, rather than on a Thursday.

He’s suggesting that Jesus celebrated the Passover early using a pre-exilic calendar, dating from before the Jewish exile to Babylon, but still used by some Jewish groups, which would explain the apparent inconsistencies between the synoptic gospels and that of John over the timing of the meal.

2 Comments

  1. Rabbi Lawrence H. Schiffman, one of the scholars that was on The Dead Sea Scrolls translating team, said on a “Mysteries of the Bible” episode that there is no way that what happened to Jesus would have taken place during Passover week. Because he is a practicing Jew and a Phd expert, I tend to take what he says seriously. So I have wondered if this was written in more of a symbolic manner rather than historical? Really, how can we ever know exactly what happened on what day?

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  2. Hi Matt,
    This is not all that new. I remember reading about this or a very similar theory when I first did my research into Passover celebrations.
    While I remember reading it I don’t fully remember the details. The gist of it was that some Pharisee used an older and more pious calendar while the Sadducees, who ran the temple and called the national religious shots opted for another calendar and the long weekend.
    I think there was some material about confusion as to when the full moon was in the sky; it could have been that the exact full moon was on neither the Wednesday nor the Thursday of that year leaving the opportunity for the sticklers to go one way and the pragmatics to go the other.
    I agree with Paula in that we may never know but it is a theory worth keeping in the back of the mind sometimes.
    Cheers mate.

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