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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: nanago] #315632 07/31/08 02:18 AM
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Greeting all...

This writer is hoping for, trying for, a 'come back' after a long absense to complete presentation of the subject, "Leornardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw?"

Now busy researching the complex timetables, accounts and related descriptions involving Jesus' celebration with his twelve disciples/apostles of Passover. It is a more involved task than originally thought.

The final post or posts will, this writer believes, finally answer the question originally posed in the title of this of this topic. Is Leornardo's depiction of "The Last Supper" 'fatally flawed' in representing the event ??

Composition will follow research...and that will be on-going for just a bit longer before work on the post(s) will begin.

Looking forward to it...and Grrr82CU !!


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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #320015 08/16/08 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: Grrr82CU, Post #212537 , 09/04/07
…Jesus and his disciples were there to observe [Passover] (a matter of no small significance which both Leonardo and Mr. Brown seem to have overlooked)…


Originally Posted By: PDM, Post #212671, 09/05/07
I don't understand. Why do you say that 'Leonardo and Mr. Brown' overlooked the fact that this meal was part of Passover?


First, about Dan Brown “[overlooking] the fact that this meal was part of Passover”, no reference linking Leonardo’s painting of the “Last Supper” to Passover as the reason Jesus and his disciples/apostles were assembled together is to be found in The da Vinci Code. Perhaps a better word choice by this writer therefore would have been “ignored” instead of “overlooked” in describing the total absence of any reference by Dan Brown to Passover in the context of Leonardo’s painting of The Last Supper.

Next as to the premise contained in the title of this board that Leonardo himself ‘overlooked’ that Passover was the occasion Jesus and his disciple/apostles were gathered together to observe, what he painted answers any challenge to that statement. On the table, Leonardo paints fish instead of roasted lamb, leavened bread instead of the “Bread of Haste” [unleavened bread] which would have been eaten by Jesus and his disciples/apostles reflecting and commorating the Hebrews departure from Egypt. Finally, without even going into the controversy surrounding the number of drinking containers Leonardo painted, or the matter that it [a single cup] or they [the twelve cups Leonardo painted] were more likely to have been of wood or clay instead of glass (as Leonardo painted them), sufficient to demonstrate Leonardo painted erroneously was his choice to paint them as clear. How to make glass clear had not yet been discovered in Jesus’ time.

“Artistic license” some might argue. “Didn’t have a Bible handy” might be the excuse others would offer in Leonardo’s behalf. None of these attempts to explain away why Leonardo painted what he did, however, measures up to the greatness we have come to expect of Leonardo. Such argumentation presumes to excuse that Leonardo was ‘cavalier’ in painting something as sacred to the Hebrews (and therefore to Jesus and his disciples/apostles) as Passover. Who would argue that as an artist who extended himself in every direction to study the anatomy of man, color, light, muscle, dress, expressions, age, youth, movement and all that surrounded him Leonardo was not aware of what the community of Jews did once a year…that he was oblivious to or had no knowledge of such an annual event by a segment of his community??? Unthinkable...and most uncharacteristic of Leonardo!!

The fact remains, Leonardo does not reflect the food of Passover in his painting.

So, what of the argument posed by some that Jesus and his disciples/apostles were not gathered together for the Passover meal but had instead convened the day/evening before Passover ?? If it were to be that the depiction of the “Last Supper” was in fact not the Passover meal, then the fish and leavened bread Leonardo painted might well have been served (and thus not violated the food requirements of Passover). Given that scenario, Leonardo could be absolved of the charge of painting a ‘flawed’ picture of Passover because it was not Passover that he painted of Jesus and his followers sharing in a “Last Supper” but a different occasion.

What we have to determine then is “on what night” and “for what reason” and “for what meal”, did Jesus and his disciples/apostles gather together to share?? Regarding our inquiry, what information can the historical evidence we have, such as it is, reveal as to whether it was Passover or the night before that Jesus and his followers met together - and will the answer determine whether what Leonardo painted as the “Last Supper” render a verdict of 'accurate'…or ‘flawed’??

More when time permits...and that, unfortunately, is very limited.

…and…Grrr82CU !!

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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #322229 08/24/08 11:45 PM
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Part 1

What do we really know about the event Leonardo chose as his subject for “The Last Supper” ??

In the founding post of this series, “Leonardo’s Painting – A Fatal Flaw??” three interrelated questions were posed regarding the gathering of Jesus and his apostles:

Originally Posted By: Grrr82CU, #212537 - 09/04/07
Why were they there?? What was so special that Jesus had planned for a long time to gather with his disciples on that night for that meal?? Does any of that matter in relation to the issue of Leonardo's painting and the intense debate over The Da Vinci Code??

As has been noted in the preceding post (#320015 - 08/15/08), Dan Brown makes no mention of why Jesus and his apostles were gathered together in his novel "The Da Vinci Code". Instead, we are introduced to Leonardo’s painting only as “The Last Supper” when Leigh Teabing opens a book and inquires of Sophie Nuveu if she recognizes the painting portrayed across two pages that he holds before her.

If for the sake of discussion we grant Leonardo’s painting of the The Last Supper depicts the very moment when Jesus announces one from among their midst is going to betray him the singular question to be resolved becomes
  • Was that night and that meal in observation of Passover”??
If “yes”, the food on the table would have to be represented as conforming to such Passover restriction as unleavened bread and roasted lamb. The lamb had to have been chosen and inspected for blemish on the tenth day of the first month (Nisan) of the Hebrew Calendar and thereafter finding nothing to disqualify its selection, it would be maintained as prescribed by Hebrew Law until being ceremonially slain at the Temple on the fourteenth day of Nisan (also known as the “Day of Preparation”).

If “no” then the food on the table could be anything that still conformed to Hebrew dietary law governing what could and could not be eaten. Animals that both ruminate their food and also have cloven hooves are allowed for consumption (cattle, deer, sheep, goat) but animals that only do/have one or the other are not such as camel, hare, and swine. Of the things that are in the waters, anything that has fins and scales may be eaten but creatures that do not are excluded (such as shellfish, lobster, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs). Of fowl, only birds-of-prey and scavengers are specifically forbidden.

As may be noted in Leonardo’s painting, the food on the table is represented as leavened bread and fish and thus with colors and brushes in hand, Leonardo does not portray Jesus and his apostles as having gathered together to observe and share a Passover meal.

So we return to our question, “was that night and that meal in observation of Passover”?? If it can be determined that it was, then Leonardo’s portrayal of The Last Supper is flawed for not having correctly portrayed the table as it would have been set for the Passover Meal Jesus and his apostles had gathered together to share.

Persuant to all of this, our first task is to determine the year Jesus would have gathered his apostles together for this meal.

Why?

Because once the year has been identified, the lunar dates Passover occurred in relation to the last days of Jesus’ ministry can be ascertained from astronomical records.

Thereafter once the year coinciding with the last Passover Jesus would be alive on earth to observe has been established, our second task will be to determine on the ”time-frame” during which the meal Leonardo intended to paint was held (as will be determined by consideration of several factors to be outlined later on in this post) .

At this point it will be well to keep in mind that as we move forward with one choice and discard another in choosing the best “fit” of the date and hour Jesus and his apostles met for The Last Supper the more difficult the task becomes….and the more subject to challenge. Such is the nature of conclusions drawn from historical records that describe, allude to, and otherwise give indications as to "when" something happened...but do not provide the specific time and date in absolute terms. In such instances, there will always be "variables" that can argued in behalf of reaching another conclusion different from the one settled upon such as by this writer for this occasion. But then, that is why discussion boards exist, n'est-ce pas??

Since the intent is to focus on when did Jesus and his apostles meet for The Last Supper, detailing other aspects relating to Jesus’ life and ministry are not attempted herein. Given the restriction of information to be examined, therefore, we begin with the leaders that are prominently mentioned in the New Testament as being involved in some capacity during the trial of Jesus. This will begin the process of eliminating years in which The Last Supper did not occur. Those leaders are:

  • The Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas
  • The Prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate
  • Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, Herod Antipatros
Holding Office: Caiaphas from 18 CE to 37 CE; Pontius Pilate from 26 CE to 36 CE; and Herod Antipatros (Herod Antipas) from 4 CE to 39 CE.

The next outline (without detail for the moment) provides a glimpse of all the other factors which will have to considered, each in turn, all occurring within the time Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, and Herod Antipas held their respective offices before any determination of the day, date, and time-frame that Jesus and his apostles met for the subject of Leonardo’s painting, The Last Supper, can be proposed:

  • The Hebrew Month of Nisan in relation to the observation of Passover
  • How/why the “length” of a Hebrew day can vary
  • Understanding “Between The Evenings” in relation to Passover
  • The “Synoptic Gospels” (Mt, Mk, Lk) description of when the The Last Supper occurred
  • When The Last Supper occurred according to the Fourth Gospel (Jn)
  • How the use of two different “day-start” views of the Hebrew Calendar may explain the difference between the Synoptic Gospels’ and the Fourth Gospel’s reckoning of day of The Last Supper?
  • Passover dates occurring within the administrations of Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, and Herod Antipas that coincide with the time-frame of Jesus’ ministry which in turn limits the choices for when the The Last Supper could have occurred...and how that begins to close in on determining whether or not Leonardo painted accurately in relation to the The Last Supper as it really happened.

    "Part 2" will take a while to prepare. There is much to sift through, to weigh and ponder, so more when time permits – and Grrr82CU smile

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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #344164 12/29/08 02:40 AM
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For anyone still interested, the remaining material to be posted in follow-up to Part 1 (above) is in the final stage of research, composition and UBB formatting.

At the very least, Part 2 should be ready by the first week in January of the New Year.

Not sure yet, but there may be a need for another entry beyond Part 2 just to break up the length. If it appears that to bring forth all of the information intended will require yet another month or so to complete, Part 2 will just be entered and a "Part 3" or "Part J'ai fini !!" will follow in the effort to reach a conclusion of whether or not Leonardo's painting of "The Last Supper" is 'fatally flawed' in relation to the accuracy of its content as this writer has proposed since the initial post.

...and Grrr82CU

Best Wishes to all for the coming year.

Have a Grrr8 New Year's Eve party as you dance the old year out and the new one in!

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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #344166 12/29/08 03:31 AM
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Hi

Yes, people seem to have lost some of their interest in Leonardo, don't they.

but it is still interesting, so I'll be happy to read your findings ~ thank you.

And a happy new year to you, too! smile


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: PDM] #344943 01/02/09 02:40 AM
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Part 2

To begin where Part 1 ended, a brief list of several topics was provided that this writer suggested would be investigated for possible contribution towards resolving the question “…on what night and for what purpose" did Jesus and his twelve disciples/apostles meet for the last time? Was the event to observe Passover or on another evening such as perhaps the night before?

From that simple list and the range of historical information contained therein, to most it would probably seem a relatively simple matter to extract the time of Jesus’ “Last Supper”, betrayal, trial, and execution within a very narrowly defined time span. As the assembled data applied to all of the possible outcomes from which to choose is considered however, it will quickly become apparent that the task of settling upon one date and one time to the degree of certainty one would like to be the result of the researched information, is anything but simple. That having been noted, this writer hopes the conclusion reached will satisfy critical analysis and thereafter viewed as having accomplished the task as nearly as possible given the data available.

As we all know, Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of “The Last Supper” on a wall of the Dominican Convent Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan portrays the shock and reaction of those assembled just after had Jesus announced that one from among their midst was going to betray him. Controversy abounds, however, as to when this "Last Supper" took place (not to mention Dan Brown's contention that the painting also portrayed something else which has already been addressed elsewhere within this forum). Some argue "The Last Supper" occurred as early as Passover 29 CE, others contend that the meeting was not a Passover meal at all but a day or two before the actual Passover festival. Which is correct?

This writer has no illusions that what is presented herein will settle the matter. Part 1 and these entries which follow result from months of researching and reading as many argumentations both pro and con plus sifting through and adding in technical time-measuring algorithms, historical lunar phases, dates, etc., relative to gaining a better understanding of how the Hebrews and the occupiers of their land viewed and measured “time” before and during the time of Jesus. Ultimately this writer hopes that after each reader has deliberated and verified what is presented to their individual satisfaction as being a correct representation of fact (or a reasonable presumption of “fact” based upon collateral but not direct historical evidence) the majority will feel conclusions reached are sufficiently supported and of defensible merit to answer the question of “…on what night and for what purpose" did Jesus and his twelve disciples/apostles meet - and did Leonardo paint that event accurately.

So – to the points of interest proposed at the conclusion of Part 1 and provide a preliminary comment regarding each one:

  1. The Hebrew Month of Nisan in relation to the observation of Passover
    .
    The month of Nisan was originally called “Abib” at Ex 13:4 (interchangeable with the spelling “Aviv” in many commentaries), identifies the month the Hebrew exodus from Egypt occurred. It is one of only four months referred to by name in the Hebrew Text prior to the Babylonian exile which began in 586 BCE. During their exile in Babylon, the Hebrews apparently began to adopt the names of the months from the Babylonian calendar (no doubt to simply facilitate communicate with the Babylonians during their captivity). “Abib”, now “Nisan”, corresponds to the Babylonian Calendar first month “Nissanu”. “Nisan” is now the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year.
    .
  2. How/why the “length” of a Hebrew day can vary

    A Hebrew “day” is adjusted in length according to its occurrence in its season. In example, at Latitude 30N, daylight lasts 10.10 hours on Jan 1. By April 16, the “day” has lengthened to 12.73 hours. The Hebrew “day” has 24 hours but there is where the similarity to non-lunar based timekeeping ends.

    Compared with the modern day division of hours into precise divisions (seconds, minutes, each of equal length) culminating with the definition of a “day” as from midnight to midnight, the LuniSolar days and hours are not of equal length. The hours are divided into two groups, the day-hours and the night-hours. The days always have 12 hours as do the nights but the hours are not of equal duration. On a long summer day for example, a Jewish hour may be 72 minutes long whereas on a winter day it may only be 48 minutes. Later on in this post, the exact time of sunrise, solar-noon, and sunset will be provided to further identify the “time” most likely being described in NT accounts of “The Last Supper” and following events
    .
  3. Understanding “Between The Evenings” in relation to Passover
    .
    1. “Between the evenings” – reflects the Hebrew phrase “beyn ha'arbayim” or “bin e-orbim”
    2. Demonstrating the difficulty in assigning an exact “time-period” to this phrase is evidenced by how various translators attempt to render it. Examples are found concerning Numbers 19:14 whereupon the Jewish Publication TANAKH as “dusk”, KJV has “even”, the NAS, “twilight”, both Darby’s Translation and Young’s Literal Translation, “between the evening” and the 1995 God’s Word Bible, “dusk”. Application and expansion of this important point will follow later in the process of narrowing the choices of when Jesus and his disciples/apostles gathered for “The Last Supper”
      .
  4. The “Synoptic Gospels” (Mt, Mk, Lk) description of when “The Last Supper” occurred
    .
    The Synoptic Gospels (traditionally referred to as the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke even though anonymous) all have Jesus’ death occurring at some interval after the ninth hour (counting from sunrise) on Nisan 14 (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Lk 23:44)
    .
  5. When “The Last Supper” occurred according to the Fourth Gospel (Jn)

    The Fourth Gospel (traditionally referred to as the Book of John) does not describe the death of Jesus in the same time-related terms as the three other gospels except to note that his time before Pilate occurred at the “sixth hour” (Jn 19:14). The other gospel writers also note “the sixth hour” but mark it as the start of a period of unusual darkness which lasted until the 9th hour after which Jesus died (at an unspecified interval) afterwards.
    .
  6. How the use of two different “day-start” views of the Hebrew Calendar may explain the difference between the Synoptic Gospels’ and the Fourth Gospel’s reckoning of day of “The Last Supper”?
    .
    1. The two main Jewish religious bodies in Jesus’ day, The Sadducees and The Pharisees, marked “day-start” and “day-end” differently
    2. The Pharisees adhered to the Talmud whereas the Sadducees adhered to the Torah. The Talmud reflects the teachings over the centuries by Jewish religious teachers each in their time, the Torah the first five written “books” of the Hebrew Text attributed to Moses (Ex chapters 17, 24, 34; Lev Chapters1,6:8; Josh 8, Mk 12; Ro 10)
    3. Add to this the Roman system of calculating hours which the Jews were using in daily life (because they had to for commerce, taxes, etc.) – and you have several possible explanations as to what seems (but may in fact actually not be] difference in the accounts between the first three gospel accounts of of Jesus’ last the day and hours compared with the fourth gospel
      .
  7. .Finally - Passover dates occurring within the administrations of Caiaphas (18 CE to 37 CE), Pontius Pilate (26 CE to 36 CE), and Herod Antipas (4 BCE to 37 CE ) that coincide with the time-frame of Jesus’ ministry
The possible dates are:

  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3789/29 CE; April 14, Julian calendar, day 173174
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3790/30 CE; April 5, Julian calendar, day 173120
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3791/31 CE; March 26 Julian calendar day 1732465
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3792/32 CE; April 14, Julian calendar day 17322850
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3793/33 CE; April 3, Julian calendar day 1733204
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3794/34 CE; March 22, Julian calendar day 173357
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3795/35 CE; April 11, Julian calendar day 1733942
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3796/36 CE; March 30, Julian calendar day 1734296
  • Nisan 14, Hebrew Year 3797, 37 CE; March 20, Julian calendar day 1734651

Part 3 follows...and Grrr82CU smile

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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #344944 01/02/09 02:45 AM
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Part 3
.
As you grind through all of the preceding and following information, it is imperative that you keep in mind five points that are critical to the outcome of any decision(s) reached as to the exact date and time of Jesus and his disciples/apostles “Last Supper”:
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Keep in mind” point 1 – The Hebrew concept of “time” with regards to the start of each day, the middle of each day and the end of each day along with the “hour-number” assigned to represent that “time”

For example, in the rendering of the Fourth Gospel (traditionally referred to as the Gospel of John although anonymous) in the 1995 "God's Word" Bible (and similarly but worded a little different - Weymouth’s New Testament) render the Greek phrase, "hora eimi hos hectos" at Jn 19:14 as:

Originally Posted By: Jn 19:14
"…six o'clock in the morning…"
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This is an incorrect translation which creates entirely the wrong impression in the mind of a reader as to when the event being described actually occurred. What "hora eimi hos hectos" says is that "...it was the sixth hour", meaning of the Jewish day and close to Solar Noon, not "six o'clock in the morning" as rendered in the "God's Word" Bible.
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Keep in mind” point 2 – While reading down through all of the material dealing with dates, times, and references to a “day of the week” (exempli gratia: Friday), such references do not reflect the usage of Jesus’ culture nor that of Rome in his time. Since the Roman calendar was originally lunar-based before being changed to solar-based, the phases of the moon were the foundation of a system of marking the progression of days through any given month. The first of the month (first quarter/crescent of the moon) was called “Kalens”, the half-disc “Nonae” and the full moon “Ides”. Remember the warning to Julius Caesar to “beware the Ides of March”? Caesar was assassinated March 15, 44 CE. The first lunar quarter occurred on March 14, the full moon on the 21st. Caesar's death occurred within the lunar phase to which the sage's warning had referred.

Additional comment as it may be applicable later: The recession of light from the moon’s surface was not marked. Although the months were "named" in the Roman calendar, the days of the month were not named as in today's calendar. The Romans referred to the day of the month as counted before the month to follow. For example – what we would call Monday the 15th of December the Romans would simply have called the eighteenth day before January. As mentioned earlier, this has led some translators to use a “day-name” (Friday or some other day-name) for a time not so named in scripture to try and help readers understand when a biblical writer was referring to a time or day being described in their language in their time.

Returning again to John 19:14 in the 1995 “God’s Word” Bible, we have an example of translators substituting the word “Friday” instead rendering from Greek into English what is actually written the Greek Text. Gr: ”de paraskeue ho pascha” has been rendered as "Friday" instead of “preparation of the Sabbath”. One presumes the decision to substitute “Friday” for “the preparation day” was meant to help a non-Jewish reader who might not be familiar with what the phrase “day of preparation” was describing. By substituting the day of the week "Friday", the translators place in the mind of the reader that it was the day before Saturday which is the Jewish Sabbath.

The point being made is not that on occasion such liberty in translation is unacceptable for clarity between ancient and modern usage. The problem is that when researching times, dates, etc., such as we are attempting to do here, any translator liberties taken can lead to errors in understanding such as previously demonstrated in the rendering of the sixth hour" at Jn 19:14 by at least two bible translating committees into "six o'clock in the morning".

Such mistranslation will result in a researcher reaching the wrong conclusion if he or she does not have at least some knowledge of the language in which the foundation material was written . For our purposes in this endeavor, every effort has been made to secure translation accuracy rather than simply accepting translations wherein interpretational substitution may have altered historic markers or timetables to which an ancient writer meant to refer but that were “lost in translation”.
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”Keep in mind” point 3 – Determining the “end of day” has a critical role to play in determining “when” “The Last Supper” occurred.

The Pharisees judged “day's-end” as occurring between mid-afternoon (any time after solar noon) whereas for the Sadducees “day’s-end) occurred at “beyn ha'arbayim” (between-the-evenings) most frequently translated as twilight, dusk, or sunset. The Jewish Publication Society’s ”Tanakh” renders the phrase “twilight” at Ex 12:6 as does the New RSV, NAB, New Jerusalem Bible, New KJV, and the New International Version.
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”Keep in mind” point 4 – and this cannot be overemphasized - is to remember that the start of all Jewish holidays (including modern day Passover) actually begins the evening before it appears on the Hebrew calendar

In other words (using Passover as an example), the "first" day of Passover is not shown on a Jewish calendar as beginning on Nisan 14 but on Nisan 15. Yet Nisan 14 is when the Hebrews, the Jews of Jesus' time and the Jews of today, gather to commemorate that first Passover “meal” the Hebrews prepared and consumed in haste on the eve of their exodus from Egypt.

So when the Hebrews huddled in their huts the night the Angel of YHWH passed through the land of Egypt striking all firstborn whose doorway was not marked with the blood of a lamb, the Passover was in progress not the Passover completed. This is an important point to remember as we draw down to a decision between Nisan 14 and Nisan 15 as the date of Passover. Expansion of this point follows in “Keep in mind” point 5 yet to come.

Take a “mind-break” for a moment…

Continue to keep in focus that the purpose of all this information and detail regarding the various systems of time measurement existent in Jesus’ day is because all of them were in daily use. The Jews (and therefore Jesus and his disciples) had to contend not only with their own calendar system (Lunar) of which there were two opposing positions regarding day-start, day-end (Sadducees and Pharisees), the Jews also had to deal with the Roman civil calendar (used for business, payment of taxes, etc.) as well as the Roman State calendar (in place for everything else, imperial matters, religious observances, listing of months, weeks, days, etc). The latter two calendars were required for the daily interaction of the Jewish citizens with the occupiers of their land. More discussion on this later and how it ultimately may explain the difference between the first three gospel accounts of the time of Jesus last hours and fourth gospel. More discussion of that possibility continues later.

There is yet another matter just to be aware of when reading references to the first month of the Hebrew calendar.

Before the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE, the beginning of each month in the Hebrew calendar was “observational” even with the exilic-period incorporation of the Babylonian LuniSolar calendar format by Sanhedrin president Hillel II.

The beginning of each month based upon the observation of the first visible illumination of the moon’s surface. Gradually, as they had during the Babylonian captivity, the Jews increasingly incorporated the Roman civil calendar and State calendars (Julian) into their daily lives again no doubt to help in keeping track of doing business with the Romans, taxes, etc.
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”Keep in mind" point 5 – and this one will be a stunning thought to many. The annual observance of “Passover” is to occur only on Nisan 14 according to the Hebrew Text. Nisan 15 begins the Festival of Unleavened Bread lasting seven days thereafter but that festival, although it immediately follows the Passover is not a continuation of “Passover”. The observation of Passover is for one “day”, beginning at dusk and ending the following dusk, one day and one day only, Nisan 14!

The question some readers are probably asking at this moment is “Wait a minute, don’t the Jews celebrate Passover from the 15th to the 21st of the month of Nisan?”.

Yes, they do – but calling the entire festival “Passover” is something that has apparently occurred over the centuries with the gradual blending of the “Passover” with the Feast of Unleavened Bread because the one follows the other. Referring to the fifth day after Nisan 14 as “Passover”, for example, would have been unknown to the Hebrews of Moses’ day because that “fifth day” would be in the middle of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, not Passover. The practice of showing "Passover" on the Jewish calendar beginning on Nisan 15 through Nisan 21 may have become "tradition", but with that it seems the Jews have forgotten the very clear demarcation between the two observances as noted in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Exodus as follow.

In support of this point, consider exactly what Numbers 9:3,5 states (with emphasis added by this writer):

Originally Posted By: Tanakh, Numbers 9:3,5
”In the fourteenth day of this month, at dusk, ye shall keep it in its appointed season; according to all the statutes of it, and according to all the ordinances thereof, shall ye keep it.' – and verse 5 – “And they kept the passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at dusk, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that HaShem commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.”

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Note the combination of the words “all” in conjunction with how long Passover was to be observed – not one day before Nisan 14, not one day afterwards because “afterward” begins a different albeit contiguous festival was begun.

Now add to your review of Numbers 9:3,5 exactly what Leviticus 23: 5,6 says in support of the position taken in “critical point” #5:
Originally Posted By: Tanakh, Lev 23:5,6
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is HaShem'S Passoverand verse 5 – “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto HaShem; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread”
.

To review then – Passover begins “at dusk” on Nisan 14 and continues until the following dusk. Going back to the “critical point” #4, however, you will find that on today’s Jewish calendars “Passover” is shown as beginning on Nisan 15 instead of on Nisan 14 only. If there is confusion on the part of readers at this point in the post, this is why.

The “exodus” of the Hebrews from Egypt did not begin until daylight of Nisan 15 which by then Passover was over! What has apparently happened (about which the Jews themselves seem not to be thinking about), is what might be described as the culturally-based phenomenon of “combining” one or more events into one usage (a sort of “cultural-shorthand” if you will).

“Blending together” the preparations by the Hebrews for the Angel of YHWH’s “Passover” on Nisan 14 with the Festival of Unleavened Bread beginning the day after on Nisan 15 and calling it “Passover”, is what is causing any confusion being felt by readers of this point. While this practice may have become “Tradition” (now of long standing), it never-the-less does not adhere to instructions found in the Torah clearly setting up the two events as distinct, one from the other. In saying that, this writer implies no criticism of the Jews on this matter because it surely was neither with conscious nor deliberate intent to call the Festival of Unleavened Bread “Passover”. This writer presumes the practice occurred over a long period of time.

The Jews still very much recognize the night of Nisan 14 regarding its historic content but as demonstrated by their own calendars, they no longer correctly differentiate between “Passover” the night the Angel of YHWH passed through the land and the next day’s journey out Egypt. Now think about the Festival of Unleavened Bread which begins on Nisan 15. Doesn't it fall into place to have the flight from Egypt be remembered framed around unleavened bread? During those days in the deserts and mountains on the move every day, camping at night with only the simplest cooking arrangements (no brick ovens), when would the Hebrews had time to add leaven to their bread and allow it to rise and bake off?? The “Bread of Haste” eaten on Nisan 14 became in a sense “Bread of The Trek” (no sarcasm intended) beginning Nisan 15 and beyond as they walked into the desert. This “Feast of Unleavened Bread” then, provides the basis for remembering the hardships endured by the Hebrews after the Passover freed them from Egyptian bondage on Nisan 14 but they had not yet arrived in the “land of milk and honey”.

Tying it all together to come when time permits...and...Grrr82CU smile

Last edited by Lisa Shea; 12/30/12 07:31 AM.

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Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: Grrr82CU] #344976 01/02/09 04:10 AM
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Oh my goodness! smile
That's a lot to get through ~ but I'll try! smile

I wonder if it would be better, now, in the ''Religious Research section?? What do you think, Grrr82CU?


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: PDM] #346384 01/11/09 11:58 AM
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What are your responses to Grrr82CU's thoughts on these questions about 'The Last Supper'?

Quote:
Why were they there??
What was so special that Jesus had planned for a long time to gather with his disciples on that night for that meal??
Does any of that matter in relation to the issue of Leonardo's painting and the intense debate over The Da Vinci Code??


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Leonardo's Painting - A Fatal Flaw ?? [Re: PDM] #360609 04/10/09 02:45 AM
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Greetings all...

On this annual observance of the departure of the Hebrews from captivity in Egypt following a night of terror for the Egyptians and a night of hurried preparation for their flight by the Hebrews, we remember that Jesus and his disciple/apostles were also mindful of their preparation to observe this yearly event known simply as “Passover” (Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12). What is not so simple as any who have grappled with or researched “when” the NT account of their last meal together actually occurred can attest, although we know the day of the week since the gospel accounts are in agreement that it was a Friday (Mk 15:42; Lk 23:54; Jn 19:14), we simply have no written nor oral record passed down to us that provides the year of “The Last Supper”.

Everywhere on the internet and in books are presentations advancing this year and that year for Jesus’ last meal, albeit all within a very narrow range of dates selected. Some advocate 29 C.E., some 30 C.E., others the year 33 and a few as late as to 36 C.E. All are based upon decisions reached after collecting together the complex evidences that do exist and like the individual pieces of a quilt, must be sewn together to reach a final form.

Once assembled, these factors are sifted, juxtaposed, extrapolated, compared with other alternative possible evidences and otherwise evaluated from every perspective. The hope is to discover if the combined material indicates a definable “X Marks The Spot” conclusion or decision point. The ideal result would be the identification of a single year that could be viewed as the best fit given every scenario, one that would accommodate a progression of “rule-in, rule-out” choices made during the examination/evaluation process. At worst, it is hoped that such research results in a minimum of choices between two or three probable years rather a less defined range of mulitple possibilities which would leave the researcher more or less back where he or she began.

In this pursuit of the year of Jesus’ “Last Supper”, a number of “time-markers” must be considered in attempting to arrive at the year it occurred. As presented in this writer’s Post #322229, 08/24/08, Part 1, one such group of “markers” are the administrations of the Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, The Prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, Herod Antipatros, all of which are named in the NT in relation to Jesus’ last days.

The start and end of each man’s tenure was listed in the previously noted entry (Post #322229, 08/24/08, Part 1) and upon examination found to coincide with the NT account that they were all involved in some way in the arrest, trial, and execution of Jesus. This fact in turn narrows the range-of-years within which “The Last Supper” could have occurred.

With all of this emphasis upon determining the “year” of Jesus’ death, it should be said that what is even more challenging is to determine whether the “The Last Supper” was actually held on Passover (Nisan 14). Attempting to select the “right answer” from the possible choices of Nisan 13, Nisan 14, or Nisan 15, cannot begin without first knowing the year – which is why focusing on identifying the year of Jesus’ death is very important to the outcome of identifying the day of the week he died which we concluded (from paragraph one) was on a Friday.

What follows then is to determine the range of dates Nisan 14 falls on a Friday. As with almost every calendar system the "date" of each period remains constant but the day of the week it falls upon each year varies. This is one of the reasons why you will find arguments for different years ranging between 29 C.E. and 36 C. E. all over the internet and in print because Nisan 14 falls on a Friday in more than one year.

To break away for just a moment from discussion about the collection, collation, review, and selection process of materials seeking to identify the year of “The Last Supper”, remember the originating post of this series posited the question as to whether or not Leonard da Vinci painted his version of that event correctly. It has already been documented in this forum that the food Leonardo painted was not that required for a Passover meal (also discussed in Post #322229, 08/24/08, Part 1).

What we are now pursuing is trying to determine first the year of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples/apostles and if that is successfully accomplished, the next step (and a much more difficult one) is to try and determine whether or not it was held on Nisan 14 (the annual date of the first and all subsequent Passover observances) versus a different day of say Nisan 13 or 15. Associated with that search are the questions:

  1. Did Jesus knowing of his imminent capture, trial, and death hold a Passover-Like observance on a day other than Nisan 14 or was it on the Passover” (Nisan 14)?
  2. If “The Last Supper” was held on a day different than Nisan 14, could (not would) the food Jesus and his disciple/apostles used still have conformed to the dietary regimen of Passover if it was the roasted lamb and unleavened bread required even though the meal was not held on the “real” Passover (Nisan 14)?
  3. Or – did those gathered eat something else such as painted by Leonardo in the form of fish and leavened bread and just let it be a substitute for Passover given the probability that Jesus would be dead before the “real” Passover occurred?
What is ultimately determined as the answer to these questions (and more) will provide either a “yes” or “no” response to the topic’s title, “Leonardo’s Painting – Fatally Flawed?”

First to address the question, "If the food required to be served in a Passover Meal was observed but on another night, would it satisfy the requirements of being a "Passover" even though not held on Nisan 14?"

Simply stated – No

It would have no standing as being an acceptable application as a Passover Meal because (1) the ceremonial slaughter of the lamb at the Temple would not have been carried out by the Temple priests on any day other than the “Day of Preparation” (2) the arrangement under the Law for holding a Passover on a day other than Nisan 14 due to someone being ceremonially unclean and/or because of traveling would not apply since neither of those criteria would be in effect regarding Jesus or his disciple/apostles (see Numbers 9:10-11).

As to the next hypothesis that Jesus and his followers met on a day that was not Nisan 14 and viewed it as a substitute, “Passover-Like” replacement would be to ignore both the question Jesus was asked by his disciples regarding Passover preparation (Mt 26:17) and again his own statement regarding his desire to share what he knew was going to be his final Passover with his disciple/apostles (Lk 22:15). Finally, Jesus stated that he had no intention of not following the Law (Mt 5:17) which leads us to the most certain reason he and his followers did not elect to observe Passover on a day other than Nisan 14.

Anyone arbitrarily deciding to observe Passover on a day other than Nisan 14 (the "appointed day") would be ostracized and cast out based upon Numbers 9:13. There is simply no way that Jesus, given all that he said regarding his anticipation of sharing Passover with his disiples/apostles as well as not coming to tear down the Law, would have elected not to observe Passover on Nisan 14, regardless of his advance knowledge of what was about to happen to him. Neither would he have endangered his followers by having them participate in something that would have them condemned according to the conditions set forth in Number 9:13.

So we must look elsewhere for the correct answer to the question of when did Jesus and his followers meet for “The Last Supper” rather than to be enticed into believing the arguments advanced by some that they met on a day other than the actual "appointed day" of Nisan 14. As evidenced by the preceding considerations, there is simply no reason to believe that Jesus would even have considered observing Passover on any day other than Nisan 14 as required by The Law.

Before we can begin to examine the evidences of what calendar “date” (not day-of-the-week) the Last Supper occurred, we must first identify the year. Without knowing what year this event occurred, the chances of identifying the calendar date are greatly diminished.

Why?

Because the “calendar date” of Nisan 14 is dictated by the lunar calendar of the Jews so although it will fall on a different “day-of-the-week” each year, the "date" (Nisan 14) remains "date-certain' because it is based upon the phases of moon. Nisan 14, therefore, is always accompanied by a "full moon". Again as previously noted in paragraph one, the gospel accounts all agree that the day-of-the-week this Nisan 14 fell on was a Friday. More on the years Nisan 14 fell on a Friday to come.

To begin the process of identifying the year of Jesus death – a review of events that narrows the timeframe of his last days down to a range of “probable” years in which his death occurred.

First, the NT account of his early years state that Jesus was taken away from the harm planned by Herod the Great pursuant to a warning given to his family by an angel (Matthew 2:15). After fleeing Judea, Jesus and his family remained in Egypt until Herod’s death in 4 B.C.E. after ruling for 34 years beginning in 37 B.C.E. Examination of one specific accomplishment by Herod the Great will help us in our quest to eventually develop a range of dates for the year Jesus died as the consideration of all pertinent material progresses.

The Jewish historian, Josephus, relates that Herod’s great project of rebuilding the Temple began in the 18th year of his reign (Josephus, Annals, 15.380). The 18th year of Herod’s administration equates to the year 20/19 B.C.E.**

**Remember there is no “0” year when calculating between a date beginning before the Christian Era (in B.C.E.) that continues into the Christian Era (C.E.) so utilizing either 20 B.C.E. or 19 B.C.E. does not drastically affect the accuracy of the calculation of any resulting later date. Historically speaking, although there is no “0” year between 1 B.C.E. and 1 C.E. the practical fact remains that the passage of twelve months are still in play. To begin a calculation of the “date” of an event that occurred in December of 1 B.C.E. as to the interval between that and April 2 C.E. is not one year but four months. The passage of time, however, “looks” like one year because such calculations do not account for “when” in the midst of a year-of-months an event occurred. Some attempt to counter such difficulty by inserting a “0” year into the calculation but this yields an inaccurate measure of time elapsed. There is no “0” year, for example, between 1 B.C.E. and 1 C.E.

To return to examining the work started on restoring the Temple by Herod the Great, taking the end view first, all work was not completed in the forty-six years the Scribes used in the argument with Jesus as recounted in the Fourth Gospel, Chapter 2, verses 18-20 (attributed to John). However the Temple was completed to the stage of being fully functional and in daily use so the “time marker” of the end of a forty-six year period that began in Herod the Great’s 18th year serves our purpose in seeking to identify the year the discussion between the Scribes and Jesus took place.

Calculating forty-six years of temple construction from the 18th year (19 B.C.E.) of Herod the Great’s administration we arrive at between late 28 C.E. to early/middle of 29 C.E. Correspondingly, this would be the year Jesus began his public ministry at “about thirty years of age” according to the account in the Third Gospel Chapter 3 verse 23 (attributed to the Luke).

Is there another but separate basis for calculating the time Jesus began his ministry?

Yes - but presentation of that information and "the rest of the story" will have to wait because this writer is out of time.

And...Grrr82CU smile

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