Not Good Friday but Good Thursday?

The death of Jesus from "The Passion of the Christ"Jeremy Myers puts forward The Case for a Thursday Crucifixion. If he is right, today shouldn’t be Good Friday at all, but we should have marked the death of Jesus yesterday, or on an earlier Thursday in April.

Jeremy’s theory makes some sense, especially of the statements that Jesus’ body was in the tomb “three days and three nights”, which even with ancient ways of counting doesn’t work for the traditional 36 hours from the burial to the Resurrection. This requires that the day after the crucifixion was not a regular sabbath but a special day of rest for the Passover, as clearly stated in John 19:31, which in this case was on a Friday.

Jeremy’s scheme requires that the Last Supper was on the Wednesday. Oddly enough Jeremy wrote this on the very day of publication of Colin Humphreys’ book The Mystery of the Last Supper, in which Humphreys also puts forward the claim that the Last Supper was on a Wednesday. I now don’t really think that this book is an April Fool. But Humphreys does not agree with Jeremy on the day of the crucifixion; one of his arguments is that the trial of Jesus needed more than one night. Also Jeremy makes no reference to Humphreys’ work. So I think it is coincidental that both are suggesting a Wednesday Last Supper on the same day – ironically, the traditional Thursday of the Last Supper.

If the Last Supper was on Wednesday 1st April 33, Humphreys’ proposal, the Passover date on the official Jewish calendar would have been on the Saturday. This doesn’t fit with Jeremy’s theory that the “special sabbath” of John 19:31 was a Friday. So Jeremy and Humphreys may agree on the day of the week for the Last Supper, but probably not on the year. Indeed, according to the calendar given in an earlier work by Humphreys and a collaborator, there is no plausible year in which the Passover (Nisan 15) fell on a Friday. This may prove a fatal flaw in Jeremy’s idea.

These calendar issues are interesting, but I will leave it to others to look into further details.

3 thoughts on “Not Good Friday but Good Thursday?

  1. I heard a Jewish scholar once state that as the sabbath that year fell on another holy day that as always at such times another day is then added to the week, which was why jesus really did take 3 days for Jesus to rise not the 2 and a bit that it seems from our understanding of scripture. This scholar was surprised at the ignorance of Christoians about such things.

    It may also explain why the Jewish calander only appears to us to have 360 days in it instead of 365, (maybe someone could check mout if 5 more holy days are added each yr as a result of this?

  2. P.S it will have been a clash between a holi day to do with the passover in the above case being on the same day as a sabbath day so an extra day would have been inserted in that week according to jewish tradition. hence 3 days before Jesus rose from the dead.

  3. S, thank your for commenting. I have never heard that any Jewish calendar added complete extra days to the week, thus breaking the regular seven day cycle. Are you sure that is what your source meant? Or did he mean that extra holidays were added on otherwise working days, rather like our British bank holidays?

    The Jewish year and calendar of feasts is a lunar one, tied to the phases of the moon even today. So discrepancies cannot be explained in the way you suggest.

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