Was the Last Supper on Wednesday Not Thursday Night?

Was the Last Supper on Wednesday Not Thursday Night? April 18, 2019

Anyone who reads the gospels closely will have discovered some seeming discrepancies in the timing of the event of Jesus’ Last Supper, arrest, trial and execution.

The most glaring problem is that John’s gospel has Jesus being executed on Friday afternoon, the day the Passover Lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple. However, the Last Supper on Thursday night is clearly portrayed as a Passover Meal. How could Jesus and the disciples have eaten a Passover Meal if the lambs had not yet been slaughtered?

Furthermore, if the Last Supper took place on Thursday night and Jesus was crucified at 9 am on Friday and died around 3 in the afternoon how did they fit in all those events? There was the Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ arrest, his first inquisition at the High Priest’s house, his trial before the Sanhedrin, the confirmation of his death sentence, his handing over to Pilate, the transfer to Herod then the return to Pilate, then the scourging and crucifixion. All of that within six hours or at most nine hours from midnight to nine the next morning?

Furthermore, recent explorations into the Jewish law reveal that according to the Jewish law, a trial could not be held at night and a capital offense needed a second hearing at least one day later to have a cooling off period before the death sentence could be confirmed.  Nor could a trial or execution be held during a feast or the eve of a feast.

The traditional time schedule with the Last Supper on Thursday and the trial during the night and on Friday (the eve of the Feast of Passover) violates all these laws. The Jews trying Jesus were sticklers for their law. It is inconceivable that they would break all these laws publicly.

I believe my friend, Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, in his brilliant book The Mystery of the Last Supper, solves the problem brilliantly. My post over at my main blog discusses the details further.

Very simply, the solution is that the Jews of Jesus’ time were using two different liturgical calendars. The old calendar which we believe was used by Jesus and his disciples called for the Passover to be celebrated that year on the Wednesday. The establishment Jews in Jerusalem used the new calendar which had the Passover lambs slaughtered on Friday and Passover was the next day. If the Last Supper was on Wednesday night, not Thursday, then there is enough time for all the events to have taken place AND for the Jewish laws about trials and executions to be observed.

Someone might still pick up a detail and say, “Hang on. Jesus was crucified on the Friday. That would have been the eve of a Jewish feast. You said a trial and execution could not take place on a feast or the eve of a feast.”

You forgot they were sticklers for the law and if there is one thing legalistic types are good at it is finding loopholes.

They would simply have shrugged and said, “We didn’t execute him. The Romans did.”

Go here to read more on my main blog.

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