When was The Last Supper?

This morning the BBC reports new research by Professor Colin Humphreys which solves the discrepancies in the Gospel accounts about the Last Supper. Whilst Matthew, Mark & Luke state that it was a passover meal, John says that it was the night before passover.

Professor Humphreys (who is actually a professor of materials science) solves this neatly by pointing out that there were two calendars in use at this time. According to the official lunar calendar – used by John – it was indeed the night before Passover.

However, Jesus chose to celebrate Passover according to an older Jewish calendar, adapted from Egyptian usage at the time of Moses. This is the calendar quoted by Matthew, Mark and Luke.

This also explains the large number of events that took place between Jesus’s arrest and his execution: the interrogation and two trials do not have to take place over a single night only.

The last supper therefore took place on a Wednesday and the date he proposes is April 1, 33AD in our Julian calendar.

The research is presented in his new book, The Mystery Of The Last Supper.


~ by scalambra on April 19, 2011.

3 Responses to “When was The Last Supper?”

  1. Certainly makes sense to allow for the large number events between the Last Supper and Crucifixion in time-span to add a day.

  2. Neat and interesting explanation by Professor Humphries! It must be remembered that John is very different in manner and perhaps intention to the synoptic gospels. The night before Passover suits him so that Jesus might become more symbolically the actual Lamb when the sacrificial lambs are being slaughtered in the temple.
    Really like your blog. Have linked to you.

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