Jesus' Last Week In Jerusalem

Three old covenant holy feast days played an important role in the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.  The feasts of Passover, Firstfruits and Unleavened Bread fell within an eight day period: Passover (Ex 12:6; Lev 23:5; Num 9:1-2; 28:16), Unleavened Bread (Ex 23:14-14; 34:18-21; Deut 16:1-8; Lev 23:5-8; Num 28:17-25); and the Feast of Firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14).  In the 1st Century AD, this entire 8-day period was known as both the Passover Feast and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: The day of Unleavened Bread came round, on which the Passover had to be sacrificed.. (Luke 22:7)(1). In St. John's Gospel, however, he only refers to the entire 8 days of feasts as "the Passover."  The celebrations of these Old Covenant holy days were prescribed by the laws of the Sinai Covenant (Lev 23). According to the Law, the sacrifice of the animals in memorial of the first Passover in Egypt was to take place on the 14th of Nisan, and the eating of the sacrifice by the community in their homes, on the 15th of Nisan, the night of the full moon for that calendar month (all the dates of the feasts were calculated according to the lunar calendar).  For more information, please see the chart on "The Seven Sacred Annual Feasts Days of the Old Covenant" in the charts section of www.agapebiblestudy.com .

The Week Preceding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

The 10th of Nisan (also known as the month of Abib/Aviv) fell on a Sunday.  It is the day we commemorate as Palm or Passion Sunday.  John 12:1 established the countdown to the Passover sacrifice by identifying the day before Jesus rode into Jerusalem [Saturday] as 6 days before the Passover: Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was whom he had raised from the dead.  In the ancient world when one counted a sequence, one counted from the day that started the sequence as #1-the ancients had no concept of a 0-place value(2). This is why it is said Jesus was in the tomb 3 days from Friday to Sunday as the ancients counted, but this would be only two days as we count today.  Therefore, counting as the ancients counted, six days from Saturday, Nisan the 9th , would be Thursday, Nisan the 14th , which is the same day the Synoptic Gospels identify as the day of the Passover Sacrifice, and the day before Jesus was crucified.  The day after the dinner at Bethany was the day Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem; it was the 10th of Nisan.  The 10th of Nisan is the day the male lambs or kids were chosen for the Passover sacrifice (Ex 12:3-6).  This is the day Jesus of Nazareth, the Galilean rabbi and miracle worker, rode into the city of Jerusalem on the young colt of a donkey (see Matt 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:28-38; Jn 12:12-16; prophecy in Gen 49:11; Zech 9:9).

On the Sunday, which we celebrate as Palm or Passion Sunday, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of Genesis 49:10-12 and Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion!  Shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem!  Look, your king is approaching, he is vindicated and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zech 9:9).  Seeing this Galilean rabbi his followers claimed was the Davidic heir and the promised Messiah ride into the holy city on a donkey also recalled to the people the historical event when King David's son, Solomon, rode into Jerusalem on his coronation day (1 Kng 1:28-40).  The combination of the fulfillment of Zechariah's Messianic prophecy and the other prophecies of Isaiah linking the Messiah to King David's line, coupled with the visual image which recalled Solomon's triumphal ride, encouraged the people to shout out just as their ancestors had hailed Solomon, "Hosannah! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of David our father!  Hosannah in the highest heavens" (Mat 21:9)!, hailing Jesus as the promised Davidic Messiah.  Jesus immediately ...went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers (Mat 21:12).  This is the second time Jesus cleansed the Jerusalem Temple; the first time was at the beginning of His ministry (Jn 2:13-17).  His actions enraged the high priests.

According to the Law, the lambs and kids chosen for sacrifice by each family on the 10th of Nisan must be visible for 5 days (4 days as we count) before the Passover sacrifice in order for everyone to observe the selected animal's perfection.  For 5 days Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was present at the Temple in Jerusalem, where everyone could see Him.

Nisan 11th – 13th, Monday – Wednesday: Jesus taught at the Temple daily, withdrawing at night to the Mt. of Olives, or to the village of Bethany which was located on the eastern slope of the Mt of Olives.  Bethany was the home of Jesus' friends Lazarus, Lazarus' sisters Martha and Mary, and Simon the Leper (Mat 21:17; Mk 11:11; Lk 19:47). On that Sunday night after His triumphal entry into the holy city, Jesus stayed in Bethany: He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple; and when he had surveyed it all, as it was late by now, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve (Mk 11:11).  On Monday, The next day as they were leaving Bethany (Mk 11:12) Jesus performed a symbolic act in His role as prophet by cursing a fig tree, which in the Scriptures was a symbol of Israel.  He condemned the fig tree for its failure to bear fruit.  Then He went to the Temple and cleansed the Temple of the profane, purifying His Father's house a third time: So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out the men selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the seats of the dove sellers.  Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple.  And he taught them and said, "Does not Scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples?  But you have turned it into a bandits' den" (Mk 11:12-17).  This was the final straw for the high priests and the scribes who, after this last incident, conspired to find some way to kill Him (Mk 11:18-19). 

Wednesday, Nisan 13: Jesus' teaching is complete after his homily on the future destruction of Jerusalem and of His Second Coming at the end of the ages.  At the end of his last public teaching some Greek Gentiles ask to speak with Him.  Up to this time Jesus' three year ministry has been directed toward the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mat 10:5-6; 15:24), to fulfill God the Father's promises to them and to equip them to fulfill their role in salvation history by sending the faithful remnant of the new Israel forth to carry the Gospel of salvation to the Gentile nations (Mat 28:19-20).  With the coming of the Gentiles seeking out Jesus, He announces to His disciples: "Now the hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified" (Jn 12:23).

Later that day the high priests and scribes meet to formulate a plan to kill Jesus.  Mark 14:1-2 records: It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread and the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death (also see Mat 26:2-5).  It was two days before the Passover as the ancient's counted which makes the day Wednesday (Wednesday = day #1, Thursday = day #2).  When His teaching is completed, Jesus and the Apostles withdraw to the village of Bethany to eat dinner at the home of Simon the Leper (Mat 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9).  This is the second dinner Scripture records with dear friends in Bethany that last week in Jerusalem.  The first dinner was on Saturday at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha of Bethany, six days before the Passover (Jn 12:1-11)Jesus' feet were anointed at the dinner on Saturday and He instructed the disciples to let Mary of Bethany to keep some of the ointment for the day of His burial (Jn 12:7).  Now, Mary breaks open the jar to get the last of the ointment as she anoints His head (Mat 26:7; Mk 14:3).  Speaking of Mary's loving act, He says: "When she poured this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial" (Mat 26:12; Mk 14:8).  In fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy that "His hour has come," Judas betrays Jesus after the Wednesday dinner at Bethany (Mat 26:20-25; Mk 14:17-21).  See the chart on the two dinners at Bethany in the Appendix to this article. 

In conspiring to have Jesus killed, Caiaphas, the high priest literally selects Jesus, the Lamb of God, for sacrifice.  St. John understands the prophetic significance of the high priest's selection in John 11:49-52: One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, 'You do not seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish.'  He did not speak in his own person, but as high priest of that year he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for the nation and not for the nation only, but also to gather together unto one the scattered children of God; and in 18:13 after Jesus' arrest John records: They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.  It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews, 'It is better for one man to die for the people.'  Notice John repeats the words "high priest" three times in these 3 verses as well as the three times announcement of Jesus death, emphasizing that in the fateful year of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, it was Caiaphas who was the high priest who selected Jesus for death.  In the significance of numbers in Scripture, the number three represents fullness and completion, and the number three is a sign of some important part of God's plan for man's salvation (see the document: "The Significance of Numbers in Scripture").

14th of Nisan: Thursday: Thursday morning Jesus sent Peter and John into Jerusalem to see that the room He had selected for the sacred meal of the sacrificed Passover victim is prepared.  Everything is ready (Mat 26:17-19; Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:7-13).  This is the day the lambs and kids are sacrificed at the Temple (Ex 12:6; Mk 14:12). The ceremony at the Temple began at 12 noon when the second Tamid lamb of the daily sacrifice was brought out and tied to the altar for all to see its perfection; the Tamid is the only old covenant ritual sacrifice that required a male lamb(3).  The lambs were sacrificed at the hour of the second daily sacrifice (the Tamid Sacrifice) at 3 pm and continued until about 5 pm(4).  At the end of the ceremony, the lambs or kids which each family brought to be sacrificed are taken home and prepared for the feast that night.  The sacrificial animal was to be roasted whole, no bones broken. The next day for the Jewish people began at sundown.  At sundown it became the 15th of Nisan, the night of the sacred meal of the Passover sacrifice and the beginning of the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 23:14-14; 34:18-21; Deut 16:1-8; Lev 23:5-8; Num 28:17-25).

15th of Nisan: (Jewish) Friday.  At sundown, the beginning of the day (Friday Jewish time but Thursday night our time), Jesus and His disciples gathered at the Upper Room in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.  Everything that took place in the sacrificial meal of the Feast of Unleavened Bread prefigured the Passion of the Christ.  That night the faithful remnant of the people of God celebrated the last sacrificial meal of the old Passover and the first sacrificial meal of the new covenant Eucharist. Jesus began His walk to the altar of the Cross that night as He held Himself in His hands and offered Himself, Body and Blood, to His disciples.

After the meal, very late that night or very early that morning, Jesus and the Apostles left Jerusalem and crossed the Kidron Valley to the Mt. of Olives.  There in a garden, a second sinless and immortal man, had a terrible decision to make. But unlike the first Adam, Jesus the new Adam yields His entire life in obedience to the will of God.

Jesus is arrested by the high priest's guards and Roman soldiers while praying on the Mt. of Olives.  He is taken first to the former High Priest Annas and then to the palace of the current High Priest, Caiaphas.  In the courtyard of the palace, Peter, as prophesied by Jesus, denies his master three times before the cockcrow.  The cockcrow is the trumpet signal of the night watch that is sounded at 3AM by the Roman guards of the night-watch to announce the end of the third watch and the beginning of the fourth.  The trumpet is blown by the Romans at the Antonia fortress and it is also blown from the Temple by the Levites, two cockcrow trumpet signals(5).  St. Marks records Jesus' prophecy: And Jesus said to him, "In truth I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cockcrows twice, you will have disowned me three times"(Mk 14:30).  It is possible Jesus was not referring to a literal cock crowing but to the signal of the night-watch "cockcrow."  At dawn Jesus is condemned by the Jewish court and sent to the Roman governor, Pilate-Jesus is essentially "selected" for sacrifice by the High Priest Joseph Caiaphas just as Caiaphas selected the perfect male lambs for the Tamid (daily) sacrifice.  At dawn the first lamb of the daily sacrifice is tied to the altar.  This is the 6th day of the week: the day man was created (Gen 1:26-31).

When Jesus is sent to Pilate, the Gospel of St. John 18:28 (New American Bible translation) reads ...They did not enter the Praetorium themselves, for they had to avoid ritual impurity if they were to eat the Passover supper.  The modern translators have inserted the word "supper" into the text; it is not in the original Greek.  The Greek text literally reads: And they entered not into the Praetorium that they might not be defiled but that they might eat the Passover(6).  Flavius Josephus records that in the 1st century AD the entire 8-day festival was called "the Passover"(7).This passage cannot be referring to the ritual Passover meal eaten on the night that began the Feast of Unleavened Bread since ritual uncleanness would only last until the end of the day which was sundown, and the feast didn't begin until after sundown(8). Instead, the Jews were concerned about not being ritually clean which would prevent them from attending the prescribed Temple service that morning to make their "peace" offering as commanded for the sacred assembly on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:16-17 or 7:6-7 in some translations), which the offerer ate (Lev 7:11-15  or in some translations 7:1-5).  There was a sacred assembly at the Temple on the first and on the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with burnt offerings offered each of the seven days.

[Note: also see Lev 15:16; Deut 23:11 for ritually clean at sundown for coming into contact with the unclean.  The requirements were different for someone who physically handled a dead body (Num 9:9-11 and 19:11).  That person had to undergo the 7-day period of ritual purification, but to come in contact with an unclean Gentile only made one ritually unclean until sundown.

The Passover meal began immediately after sundown, which according to the Jewish calendar was the beginning of the next day and therefore could not have been a problem for the Jews coming into the Roman Praetorium. But there was a required feast offering for the assembly of the congregation on the 15th of Nisan (the morning after the Passover Supper) at the Temple in a service that began at 9AM and they would not have been able to attend this required Temple service having been made ritually unclean in the presence of Gentiles(9).  The important point here is that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke do agree with John's Gospel account.  There is a problem with the time recorded in St. John's Gospel that it was the 6th hour when Jesus was taken to Pilate.  This is 12 noon Hebrew time, which does not agree with the Synoptic Gospels.  However, the 6th hour Roman time is the first hour of the day beginning from dawn, circa 6AM to 7AM ; we keep Roman time; counting hours from midnight(10). Flavius Josephus records that in the 1st century AD the entire 8-day festival was called "the Passover"(11) and therefore the Jews could have been referring not to the Passover sacrifice but to the sacred assembly of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. If Jesus is before Pilate at the 6th hour Roman time, John's account is in agreement with the Synoptic Gospels and it is the peace offering that must be offered at the sacred assembly that the Jews would be unable to eat.  Writing his Gospel years after the events of the Crucifixion, in the third most important city in the Roman Empire and as bishop of a largely gentile Christian community, why would John use Hebrew time instead of Roman time?  Then too, the number six may be symbolic; representing the number symbolizing man's rebellion against God.

The Roman Prefect, Pontus Pilate, pronounces this man Jesus without fault: "I am innocent of this righteous man's blood..." (Matt 26:24b, RSV Catholic edition).  Isn't it ironic that it is a Gentile, pagan Roman who pronounces the sacrifice selected by the High Priest Caiaphas as a "righteous" sacrifice.

At 9AM (the 3rd hour) Jesus is crucified on the cross (Mk 15:25), just as the first lamb of the daily sacrifice is offered up on the sacrificial altar in the Temple, and the people attend the Feast of Unleavened Bread ceremonies at the Temple, bringing their Hagigah (peace) offerings.  At the hour when the second lamb of the daily  Tamid sacrifice is brought out to the altar, 12 noon, the sun goes dark (Matt 27:45; Mk 15:33; Lk 22:44).  At the 9th hour [3PM], the hour of the sacrifice of the second daily Tamid lamb, Jesus gives up His life on the cross (Mark 15:33-34). Flavius Josephus on the offering of the Tamid (Daily) sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple: ...but did still twice each day, in the morning and about the ninth hour [3 PM our time], offer their sacrifices on the altar (Antiquities of the Jews, 14.4.3 [65]).

16th of Nisan, Saturday: The Jewish Sabbath.  Jesus "rested" in the tomb as God "rested" on the 7th day of the first Creation.  Immediately upon Jesus' spirit departing His body, Jesus descended to the abode of the dead, just as all who died.  There He preached the Gospel of salvation to all who had waited to hear His message of salvation in the earlier generations (see 1 Pt 3:18-22; 4:6 and The Apostles' Creed).  In leading these souls to heaven, Jesus stormed the gates of heaven, which were now opened for the first time to welcome the souls of men and women since the fall of Adam and Eve (CCC# 536; 1026).

17th of Nisan, Sunday: The first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath of Passover week, is Resurrection Sunday (Matt 28:1; Mk 16:1-2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1).  According to the Law of the Sinai Covenant, this was the day the covenant people celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits-a feast celebrated the day after the Sabbath of Passover week (Lev 23:9-14).  The feast signaled the beginning of the harvest when the people in thanksgiving present the first fruits of the barley harvest to God at the Temple.  God prescribed that this feast would always fall on a Sunday(12).  The day we call Sunday was the first day of the week and the first day of Creation in Genesis (the Sabbath, Saturday, being the 7th day).  The day of Jesus' Resurrection was the day of the New Creation when all of creation was renewed in the Resurrection of the Son of God-the King of Kings, and the great harvest of souls into heaven begins with Christ the first fruits of the great harvest: But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (I Cor 15:20).

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2007 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.

Appendix:

IN DEFENSE OF TWO DINNERS AT BETHANY DURING
JESUS' LAST WEEK IN JERUSALEM

What are the similarities and differences between Matthew and Mark's accounts of the dinner at Bethany compared with the dinner at Bethany in John 12:1-15

John 12:1-15 Matthew 26:1-16 Mark 14:1-11
Six days before Passover and before Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
(12:1; 12)
Two days before Passover (26:2, 6) and after Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
(21:4-9)
Two days before Passover (14:1) after Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
(11:1-11)
  Jesus announces His future arrest and crucifixion to the disciples
(26:2)
The chief priests and scribes conspire to arrest Jesus and have Him put to death
(14:1-2)
Dinner with Lazarus' family; Martha served
(12:2)
Dinner at the home of Simon the leper
(26:6)
Dinner at the home of Simon the leper
(14:3)
Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Jesus, and the Apostles attend
(12:1-3, 4)
The disciples and Jesus are guests of Simon
(26:6, 8)
Those who attend are unnamed with the exception of  Simon and Jesus
(14:3)
Mary of Bethany has a jar of pure nard
(12:3)
Unnamed woman with an alabaster jar of ointment
(26:7)
Unnamed woman with an alabaster jar of pure nard (14:3)
Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus' feet and wipes His feet with her hair
(12:3)
A woman anoints Jesus' head
(26:7)
A woman anoints Jesus' head
(14:3)
Judas Iscariot protests the waste
(12:4)
Disciples indignant over the waste
(26:8)
Some who were there were indignant
(14:4)
Judas says the jar is worth 300 denarii and protests it should be given to the poor
(12:5)
Could have been sold at a high price and given to poor
(26:9)
Worth over 300 denarii; should be given to the poor
(14:5)
  Jesus says: "You will not always have me with you"
(26:9)
Jesus says: "You will not always have me with you"
(14:5)
Jesus defends Mary saying: "Let her keep it for the day of my burial"
(12:7)
Jesus defends the woman as doing a good work
(26:10)
Jesus defends the woman as doing a good work
(14:6)
"The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me"
(12:8)
"For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me"
(26:11)
"For you always have the poor with you ..; but you will not always have me"
(14:7)
  "In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial"
(26:12)
"She had done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burying"
(14:8)
  Wherever the Gospel is preached what she has done will be remembered
(26:13)
Wherever the Gospel is preached what she has done will be remembered
(14:9)
Jesus enters Jerusalem
(12:12-15)
Judas betrays Jesus
(26:14-16)
(Jesus' "hour" has come)
Judas betrays Jesus
(14:10-11)*
(Jesus' "hour" has come)

*Luke also records Judas' betrayal just prior to the Last Super in Luke 22:1-6.

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark appear to record the same event:

While the accounts in Matthew and Mark appear to agree, they do not agree with the account of the dinner at Bethany in the Gospel of John:

The differences in the accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark compared to the account in the Gospel of John suggest two different dinners which Jesus attended with His friends in Bethany and two separate anointings (there is a 3rd anointing earlier in Jesus' ministry recorded in Luke 7:36-38).  It is possible that Mary of Bethany was present at both dinners, and both anointings of the Messiah could have been given by her on two separate occasions 5 days apart (as the ancients counted).  It is significant that Jesus tells Mary to keep some of the nard at the first dinner, suggesting a further need for the ointment: "Jesus said, 'Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial' " (John 12:7).  However, in both Matthew 26:12 and Mark 14:8 Jesus announces that the anointing is in preparation for His burial: "She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burying" (Mark 14:8).  It is possible that Mary of Bethany used a bottle of expensive nard to anoint the feet of Christ on Saturday and then as directed by Jesus used the same bottle of nard two days before the Passover (as the ancients counted), on Wednesday at the dinner party in the home of Simon the Leper, breaking open the jar (Mark 14:3) to get the last of the ointment to anoint Jesus' head in preparation for His Passion. The accounts in the Gospels of Mark and John identify the bottle as costing 300 denarii (Mark 14:5; John 12:5).

The key point which supports two dinners is that Judas could not betray Jesus and set the events of Jesus' arrest and crucifixion in motion until Jesus' "hour had come."  There is no mention of Judas' betrayal in the events during or after the dinner recorded in John 12:1-11.  Jesus' "hour" in the Gospel of John does not come until John 12:23 on what would have been Wednesday, His last day teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem.  When the Gentiles ask to speak to Jesus His response is: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified."  The next mention of His "hour" in the Gospel of John is in 13:1: "Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end."  This passage sets up the events of the Last Supper described in John 13:2-18:1.

Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities after the Wednesday dinner at Bethany but before the Passover sacrifice.  The liturgical rites and the sacrifices of the Passover festival began in the Temple on Thursday, Nisan the 14th (the 6th day from the Sabbath dinner in Bethany), and the celebration of the sacrificial meal began that night in the Upper Room at sundown.  At sundown it became the 15th of Nisan and the beginning of the Jewish Friday, the "Preparation Day" for the "Great Sabbath" of Passover Week.

Footnotes:

1. Also see Mat 26:17; Mark 14:12 & John 18:28; Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.2.1; 17.9.3; The Wars of the Jews, 5.3.1.

2. Christianity and the Roman Empire, Ralph Novak, page 282.

3. Mishnah: Pesahim, 5:1, page 236; Ex 29:38; Num 28:4; see the chart on the Tamid daily Sacrifice in the Agape Bible Study charts section.

4. Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, 6.9.3 (423-424); Philo of Alexandria, De Victims, sec. 3.

5. Anchor Bible Commentary: The Gospel According to John, Fitzmyer, page 1426.  The Romans called the trumpet signal which announced the third watch the gallicinium (Latin) or the alektorophonia (in Greek), "the cockcrow."  The 4th century Christian pilgrim Egeria recorded in her diary that at the "cockcrow" the faithful would gather before dawn to attend a prayer and psalms singing service led by the Bishop of Jerusalem; see Ancient Christian Writers volume 38: Diary of a Pilgrim, pages 28, 30, 89, 91-92, 97-98, 103, 105, 107, 117-118, 121, 154, 215.

6. The Interlinear Bible: Greek-English, vol. IV, page 309.

7. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.2.1; 17.9.3; The Wars of the Jews, 5.3.1.

8. Leviticus 15:16; Deuteronomy 23:11.

9. Mishnah: Hagigah, 1:1, 1:3-1:6, page329.

10. Handbook of Biblical Chronology: Revised Edition, Jack Finegan, page 7; Natural History, Pliny the Elder, 2.79.188.

11. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.2.1; 17.9.3; The Wars of the Jews, 5.3.1.

12. Josephus, writing circa 80-90AD records in Antiquities of the Jews, 13.8.4 (252) that the Feast of Pentecost was changed and that it used to always fall on the first day of the week, a Sunday.  Since the Feast of Firstfruits regulated the date of the Feast of Pentecost, which had to come 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits, counting as the ancients counted, that feast must also have been changed to what is now the way to determine Pentecost (Booths) by counting from the day after Nisan the 15th –eliminating the connection to Christ's Resurrection and the birth of the New Covenant people of God on Sunday, on the day of the traditional celebration of Pentecost (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles).

Resources

1. The Mishnah: A New Translation, Jacob Neusner, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1988.

2. Christianity and the Roman Empire, Ralph Novak,

3. Handbook of Biblical Chronology: Revised Edition, Jack Finegan, Hendrickson Publishing, 1998.

4. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Second Division, Vol. I, Emil Schurer, Hendrickson Publishers, 5th edition 2008.

5. The Temple: Its Ministry and Services As They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ, Alfred Edersheim, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, 1997.

6. The Interlinear Bible, vol. IV, New Testament, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985, reprinted 2005.

7. The Works of Josephus, translated by William Whiston, Hendrickson Publishers, 1998 edition.

8. The Works of Philo of Alexandria, translated by C. D. Yonge, Hendrickson Publishers, 1997 edition.

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2000 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.