"two Passovers" in Jesus' Passion Week
An Inconvenient Truth?
The "Last Supper" of Jesus was an
authentic Passover Meal
before the Passover celebrated by the
The purpose of this document is to remind the faithful of the biblical
passages that clearly show that: (a) Jesus, at his farewell, celebrated
an authentic Passover Meal,
not simply "the Last Supper"; and that, therefore, (b) two different
calendars, two different dates for Passover, that is, "two different
Passovers" were involved in Jesus' Passion Week: the one celebrated by
Jesus and the one celebrated by most Jews of His time.
The reader may find this document a useful complement to our more
extensive document "The Real Timing
of Jesus' Last Passover". (1)
Matthew, Mark and Luke state that Jesus was crucified AFTER having
celebrated the Passover Meal. John affirms that Jesus was crucified
BEFORE the day appointed for the Passover.
If Jesus came to fulfill the
Law and the Prophets, it cannot be
that He celebrated the Passover Meal on a day other than that appointed
by the Law. But the triple account of Matthew, Mark and Luke is
indisputable: there was a Passover Meal before His Passion, that
is, before the "parasceve
(preparation) of the Passover" mentioned by John. How is
The only possible logical explanation –leaving
intact the credibility of the
Gospel books and Jesus' promise to fulfill the Law– is that
there were two "appropriate" dates for the Passover Meal:
(a) the date that Jesus considered
(b) the date that the Temple rulers considered lawful.
1. Jesus' Passover Meal
Jesus celebrated a Passover Meal before being crucified. It is a
TRIPLICATE attested fact: by Matthew, Mark and Luke. They do not use
allegories or indirect references. They state it explicitly and clearly
calling the Passover by name ("Pasch" in the Douay-Rheims Bible) (2).
|17 And on the first day of the Azymes, the
disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for
thee to eat the pasch? 18 But
Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: the
master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with my disciples. 19 And
the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the
pasch. 20 But when it was evening, he
sat down with his twelve disciples. 21 And whilst they were eating, he said: ...
|12 Now on the first day of the unleavened bread,
when they sacrificed the pasch, the disciples say to him:
Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eat the pasch? 13 And he sendeth two of
his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city; and there shall
meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him; 14 And
whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, The
master saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? 15 And
he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye
for us. 16 And his disciples went their way, and came into the city;
and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch. 17 And
when evening was come, he
cometh with the twelve. 18 And
when they were at table and eating,
|7 And the day of the unleavened bread
came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. 8 And
he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat. 9 But
they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? 10 And he said to them:
Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a
pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in. 11
And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to
thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? 12 And
he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. 13
And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. 14 And when the hour was
come, he sat down, and the twelve
apostles with him.
2. The Passover of the Temple Masters
John speaks of "the parasceve
(preparation) of the Passover" during
Pilate's sentence and, again, of "parasceve" at the descent from the
cross and at the sepulchre. Logically, he is referring to the Passover
that the Temple Masters and
the multitude of Jews who followed them were preparing to celebrate –
not to the Passover meal that Jesus had
already celebrated with his disciples.
At the judgment
At the cross
At the sepulchre
|12 ... If thou release
this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a
king, speaketh against Caesar. 13 Now when Pilate had heard these
words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in
the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. 14 And it was the parasceve of the pasch,
about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. 15
But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate
saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered:
We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then
therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified.
|31 Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,)
that the bodies might not remain on
the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath
day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, [...] 34 But one
of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, [...] 38 And after these
things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but
secretly for fear of the Jews)
besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate
gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
|39 And Nicodemus also came, (he
who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh
and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 They took therefore the
body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
41 Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in
the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. 42 There,
therefore, because of the parasceve
of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at
The Parasceve = The day of Preparation
Parasceve is: (a) the day of preparation for a regular Sabbath, that
is, Friday; OR (b) the eve of certain festival days of a sabbatic
As it is stated in John 19:14, "it
was the parasceve of the pasch" – meaning "the day of
preparation of the Passover". So, in that day, at the hour when Jesus
was being sentenced by Pilate, the Passover (the one that was to be celebrated at a
time in accordance with the Temple Masters) had not been celebrated.
Who are "the Jews" in John Chapter 19?
Verse 31, "the Jews... besought
Pilate that their legs might be broken"
Obviously, these were not all Jews, but
those without scruples who were more concerned with fulfilling the
letter of the Law than about having compassion for those being tortured.
Verse 38, "fear of the Jews"?
Let us not forget that Jesus, his
mother, his disciples, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were Jews.
When John speaks of "fear of the
Jews" he is obviously referring to the
fanatical Jews (4),
not to all Jews. This shows
–again– that the book of John can use the general term "the Jews"
referring to "absolutely all Jews".
Verse 40, "as the manner of the Jews
is to bury"
Here he is referring to the Jewish
Verse 42, "the parasceve of the Jews"
As we have already seen, the meaning of
"the Jews" is relative. Therefore, it cannot be deduced from this
"Preparation of the Jews" that Jesus and his disciples would still be
preparing the Passover if Jesus had not been crucified.
"The Passover", "the Passover Meal"
and "the Azymes"
The Passover, in the
narrower sense used in the Gospel books, is the Passover lamb and the
meal associated with it. In a broader sense –also used in the Gospel
books– it is the feast that lasted several days and began on the day
(or, more precisely, the evening) of the Passover Meal. Under
this second sense (the broader sense), it is roughly equivalent to "the Azymes", which is the
period of days in which it was established to eat unleavened bread
(called azymes). Some further
clarifications could be made in this regard (5), but they do would not
alter the conclusions of this document.
(1) The Real Timing of Jesus' Last Passover
(2) In all tables: Quotations
taken from Douay-Rheims Bible
crucified Jesus, not all Jews!
(5) For example: How long is
Feast of Unleavened Bread, seven or eight days? When does the
Feast of Unleavened Bread really begin?
En Español: Las Dos Pascuas en la Semana de Pasión de
Jesús - ¿Una verdad incómoda?
Published on April 17th, 2022 -
Easter Sunday according to the traditional Roman-Catholic calendar
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