The Life of Jesus Site index

Work in progress. Still adding, reorganizing and correcting.

1. Main page

2. Jesus’ timeline

3. Herod 1BC

Tiberius + Philip

Herod’s death  

War of Vares  

Quirinus           

Misc             

4. Conception

5. Birth year

Foreword

6. Birth date

John born

Bible and stuff

Alternatives?

7. Circumcision

8. Baptism        







This page was last updated on 29 December 2016.


Introduction

There seems to be a contradiction when Jesus had His Last Supper. On this page I’ll show it’s no contradiction but using two different calendars.



Start of the day and month

Ancient nations used two methods relevant for this discussion to start a month and day.

 

Both methods require to watch the sky at exactly the right short period of time. Of course experience and calculations can predict but God commanded the moon to be observed.

 

 

Time between conjunction and first crescent is 17-42 hours. That’s rounded to 1 or 2 'conjunction days'.

1 day, 1-24 hours happens 70% of all months.

2 days, 24-42 hours happens 30% of all months.




Divine-Calendar is the calendar Moses used when leaving Egypt; and with Moses whole Israel. Gradually parts of the Israelites changed to the Pagan-Calendar. There is no absolute proof but scholars strongly believe Judea brought that calendar with them from the Babylonian exile. In the book of Ezekiel we read the Southern kingdom (Judea) was taken into exile because they learned the customs of the pagans. It’s not specified which customs. Perhaps that included the calendar or perhaps they adopted the Babylonian calendar while they were there. The names of the months, the time a day and month started surely proves a lot of Babylonian influence. The exact way it started isn’t relevant to this discussion. What’s relevant is that the Pagan-Calendar was widely spread during Jesus’ time.


During Jesus’ time the Pagan-Calendar was used by many Israelites. While a certain calendar was used more in certain regions it can be said both calendars were used in most regions. For this discussion it’s important to know that Jesus and the Essene used Divine-Calendar and the Pharisees and Sadducee used the  Pagan-Calendar.


What happened is this: Jesus kept a full blown real Passover meal on the Divine-Calendar in the Essene quarter of Jerusalem because the Essene also kept the Divine-Calendar. The evening after His crucifixion the people living according the Pagan-Calendar, the majority in that area, ate the Passover meal; which was one or two days later depending on the number of moonless nights at the start of the month.


First calendar variation:

While the Pagan day started 12 hours after the God’ day the effect is a 24-hour difference between the meals. That may sound odd but actually is very logical. On both calendars the lamb is killed on the fourteenth during daytime and eaten the following evening. That means on the Divine-Calendar they start preparing the meal from the start of the  day because their day starts with daylight. The people living according to the Pagan-Calendar start with a 12 hour night of doing nothing because their preparations also start during daytime. Basically that means they just wait an extra 12 hours on top of the 12 hour delay in starting their calendar. A total of 24 hours.


Second calendar variation:

The basis for this calendar is the first calendar variation. Due to the different reckoning of the start of the month there is an extra 24 hour difference between the calendars in case of one moonless night. Adding up to 48 hours.


Third calendar variation:

The basis for this calendar is the first calendar variation. Due to the different reckoning of the start of the month there is an extra 48 hour difference between the calendars in case of two moonless nights. Adding up to 72 hours.


Fourth calendar variation:

There is no diagram for that one because there is nothing to explain calendar wise. There was just one calendar. Contrary what Scripture states Jesus didn’t have Passover. John contradicts the others. That’s the classic Last Supper theory.



Problem solved, problem introduced

The first calendar diagram likely is the one that’s easiest accepted by people with a traditional view. No flaws in Scripture but still the classic story of Jesus last hours from the meal to the cross stays unaltered. Unfortunately it’s never that easy…


History shows that all nations keeping a sunset calendar started their month at the first visible crescent. There is logic in that because that way the first day of the month starts when the month starts.


Likewise the nations keeping a sunrise calendar started their month at a point related to sunrise. They all used the morning after the last visible morning crescent. Astronomers call that conjunction. Maybe the very ancient nations didn’t know the concept of conjunction, they surely were smart enough to notice the moonless days and nights. So while unaware of the exact science they still used the conjunction. Conjunction always without exception is at least one day before the first crescent is sighted. You can easily verify that by looking at the sky. The moonless night(s) always precede the first crescent.




Explained differently

Let’s make a few assumptions to explain the above in a different way. The people following the Divine-Calendar didn’t see a moon in the early morning sky so they started their new month at sunrise that morning. Let’s also assume  the conjunction was as short as possible an the people following the Pagan-Calendar sighted the first crescent in the evening sky just half a day after the other group started their month. The start of the month on both calendars would have just half a day difference.
That half day difference would be there the whole month. Meaning they started the fourteenth day of the month with half a day difference. It was on this fourteenth day that the preparations (killing the lamb, etc) for the Passover meal were made.

Preparations were made during daylight hours on both calendars. That means those following the Divine-Calendar could start their preparations the very moment their month started. Those living on the Pagan-Calendar had to wait until sunrise to start their preparations. While they waited those living on the Divine calendar had their Passover meal (Last Supper).

Jesus was arrested during that waiting period, was crucified during the preparation time on the Pagan-Calendar, was put in the tomb when those on the Pagan Calendar ate the lamb.


In the months there were more moonless days between conjunction and first crescent the time between the two Passovers just got longer.





That means there were at least 24 extra hours between His arrest and crucifixion. Hours totally unaccounted for. Or not….




Many calendars

The Egyptian calendar

Egypt started using a religious lunar calendar before 3000 BC.

Egypt started using a civil solar calendar about 2900 BC.

Both calendars were in use until at least 180 AD; so also during the time of Moses and Jesus.

‘He (Khons, the God of the Moon) is conceived on the Feast of psdntyw; he is born on the Feast of the Month; he comes to maturity on the Feast of the Half-Month.’

Egyptologists Brugsch, Ray an Parker interpreted that ancient inscription as:

Conception = Conjunction: Psdntyw means ‘day of the new moon’.

Birth = first crescent: Feast of the new moon.

Maturity = full moon: Feast of the half month.


The Egyptians also called the first day of the month the ‘Day of crescent invisibility’.

The Egyptians had a sunrise-sunrise day.

The start of the day is closely related to which crescent is sighted.

The first crescent is visible in the western sky shortly after sunset

The last crescent is visible in the eastern sky shortly before sunrise.


Starting a day at sunrise is a natural thing to do. If the choice of a sunrise day is made then starting a month after the last crescent (or conjunction) just before sunrise is logical next step.


Hieroglyphs show a list of things needed for each feast.

The first day of the month (conjunction) had long list.

The second day of the month (first crescent had a much shorter list.

The third day of the month was called ‘arrival day’.

The length of the list shows the importance of the day.


It’s speculated what the third day is about. About 70% of the months the first crescent shows on the second day of the month. The remaining 30% on the third day of the month. So ‘arrival day’ was some sort of backup feast.



The Qumran/Essene  lunar calendar

The month of the Qumran community started:

- At the day of conjunction

- A DSS scroll states the month begins and end when the moon is dark.

S. Talmon and I. Knohl, ‘A Calendrical Scroll from a Qumran Cave: Mismarot Ba, 4Q321’, in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical, Jewish and Near Eastern Ritual, Law and Literature in Honour of Jacob Milgrom, ed. D. P. Wright, D. N. Freedman and A. Hurvitz (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1995), pp. 297–8.

- Conjunction because they couldn’t see the first crescent due to the mountains in the west.


The Qumran/Enoch solar calendar

- Seems to use the continuous weekly cycle which has no Biblical support.



The Samaritan conjunction based calendar

The present day Samaritans claim God explained the calendar to Adam. That knowledge was passed down to Moses. Then God changed the start of the year. And that calendar the Samaritans are using today. With one exception they calculate it since the ninth century AD. Before that they used observation. Their month started and still starts with conjunction. How did they sight something that was invisible? There are several possibilities.


They used the Egyptian way which simply was watching the last crescent in the morning sky. If the crescent was no longer visible it was was conjunction day, start of the month.


The quote below gives a small glimpse of the fact that the Samaritans had a different calendars than the Judeans. The ‘deceit’ of the Samaritans is that they lit the fire 1-2 days before the Judeans.


MISHNA: Formerly bonfires were lighted (to announce the appearance of the new moon); but when the Cutheans (=Samaritans) practised their deceit, it was ordained that messengers should be sent out.

Tractate Rosh Hashana -click-



The Zealots

Not much known about their calendar but according to Josephus War 18.23; Antiquities 14.4–10 they had their unleavened bread at the fourteenth which means they likely used the same calendar as Moses did.



The Galileans

This is the area where Jesus lived. All or at least most switched to the Pagan-Calendar used in the Southern Kingdom, Judah, Jerusalem. It’s assumed this was a gradual process that perhaps never was fully completed.

It’s not entirely ruled out they used that calendar for everyday use but kept feast according to the calendar of Moses.








The first month of the year

Exod 12:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,

Exod 12:2 This month shall be to you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Why is it again mentioned they were in Egypt. Even a quick read of the previous chapters makes it very clear they were in Egypt. Maybe we should read that statement in conjunction with the second verse?


Acts 7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

Egypt was a very religious society and their religion was very much based on calendars and astronomy. Moses knew a lot about the Egyptian calendar. Why was the only calendar change God commanded was making ‘this month’ the beginning of the months? Why didn’t God explain Moses anything about the duration of a month, the start of a day, etc?

Did God explain, but was it just not recorded? Or was it God’s way of saying “Change that month but for the rest of it stick to what you learned about calendars in Egypt.”? (Excluding the pagan gods of course)


There is abundant proof in the Bible and extra-Biblical writings that sunrise-sunrise days were used in the early Jewish days. That at least hints toward the conclusion Moses applied what he had learned in Egypt, calendar wise.



The two kingdoms

In 2 Samuel we read king David established a kingdom (~1000BC) that ruled Judea, Galilee and Samaria from Jerusalem.

Judah which includes Jerusalem is the most southern part. Galilee where Jesus was born the most northern part. Samaria was a region roughly in the middle.


After David’s son Solomon died  the kingdom split up in a northern (Galilee and Samaria) and southern (Judah) part. That was about  930 BC

In 597 BC and 586 BC Babylon attacked  the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and captured many Jews.

In 537 BC the Jews were released and returned home.


14 & 15 vs 15 & 15

Exod 12:6 And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Exod 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Exod 12:18 In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

→ No mentioning of the fifteenth



Lev 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover.

Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

Lev 23:7 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.



Num 28:16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.

Num 28:17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

Num 28:18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; you shall do no manner of servile work therein:



Ezek 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

→ No mentioning of the fifteenth



Please read the above verses carefully; Passover is always linked to the fourteenth while the fifteenth is always linked to the Feast of unleavened bread. Below a list of dates. Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread


Exodus:                              14 Nisan/14 Nisan.

Leviticus:                           14 Nisan/15 Nisan

Numbers:                             14 Nisan/15 Nisan

Ezekiel written during exile:        14 Nisan/14 Nisan.

Essene calendar:                     14 Nisan/14 Nisan

Judean calendar during Jesus time:   15 Nisan/15 Nisan - Click


A theory…

At some point in time, part of the Jews switched to the sunset-sunset calendar. The current Hebrew names for their months are variations on Babylonian names. Babylon also used a sunset-sunset day and a first crescent start of the month; as did the Pharisees and their descendants, the present day orthodox Jews. So when the new start of the day fell between the preparation of the meal and the meal itself, the date of the meal itself was wrong.


Ezek 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Ezek 11:12 And you shall know that I am the LORD: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.

The reason the Southern Kingdom was in Babylon was because God was punishing them for adopting customs of the surrounding pagan nations. Possibly calendar changes were part of the problem.


When a text was copied the Scribes often made minor changes, mostly spelling, update the text to modern use of words or change outdates city names to the modern names. Most often with all good intentions.

The killing of the lamb, preparing it and eating it used to fall the same calendar date. But when the Southern Kingdom moved the start of the calendar day from the God given sunrise to the Babylonian sunset they got in a awkward situation. Killing and preparing during daytime of the fourteenth during daytime and eating it on the fourteenth in the evening means the meal was eaten before it was prepared because the Babylonian evening and night precede the daylight portion of the day.


So some fourteenth’s are changed in fifteenth in the books of Leviticus and Numbers because the text allowed for simple minor changes. Exodus is to complex for minor changes/updates. It would require rewriting which was beyond the scope of updating text.

The book of Ezekiel switches back to 14/14 for a good reason; according to Ezekiel 11:12 Israel was in exile because they adopted the  standards of the surrounding pagan nations. Unfortunately he doesn’t tell us if those practices include calendar changes. Ezekiel mentioning 14/14 may be seen as a small hint but nothing more than that because repeating something doesn’t always mean something was wrong.

But considering the month names are Babylonian, the day and month start in a Babylonian way surely makes it look like they adopted Babylonian ways, before, during or after their exile.





The Essene man with the pitcher

In the time and culture of Jesus it was custom that men carried (heavy) leather bottles and women carried (smaller) pitchers.

Mark 14:13 And he sends forth two of his disciples, and said to them, Go you into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.

There was one sect of Jews that were mostly celibate and for that reason they also had to women’s tasks. The Essenes. While the Essenes are mostly known for living in Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, they had communities in many cities, including Jerusalem. Josephus wrote:

‘occupy no one city, but settle in large numbers in every town’ (War 2.124).

According to Josephus they favored by Herod the Great because their prophet prophesied Herod would be King. They even had their own gate in Jerusalem.

‘the Gate of the Essenes’ (Josephus, War 5.145)

The exact location of the Essence quarter and their gate isn’t know with any accuracy but it’s fairly well established it was in the south-west area of Jerusalem. Traditionally it’s assumed the Last Supper was in south-west Jerusalem on mt. Zion. So the man with the pitcher was an Essene and the Last Supper was in an Essene house in the Essence part of Jerusalem. Besides of that no orthodox Jew would have allowed the ‘blasphemy’ of someone celebrating Passover in his house on the ‘wrong’ day. But the Essence kept Passover on the correct day.

John 13:10 Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all.

The Essence had very strict washing/purity regulations and they demanded everyone to be ritually clean before having a Passover meal. Jesus and His a apostles honored that wish and arrived bathed. However they walked to the house so their feet got unclean again. Jesus washed the feet. While many see deeper meaning in the foot washing, it’s also a hint toward that they stayed with Essene. And to close the circle an Essene with never have allowed the blasphemous act of someone having a Passover Supper in their house on the wrong date.

So Mark 14:13 packs a big revelation about the Last Supper….


Conclusion: During the last few days of Jesus’ life there were 2 Passover meals. The first one was on the Dive-Calendar. It was was this meal Jesus ate.

The second meal was on the Pagan-Calendar. Jesus was in the grave at this time.