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Discrepancy between Leviticus 23:6 and Matthew 26:17?

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  • Discrepancy between Leviticus 23:6 and Matthew 26:17?



    Leviticus 23:6 says : “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread...”

    However, Matthew 26:17 says: “Now on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?”

    Any thoughts on the seeming discrepancy?

  • #2
    You didn't get a satisfactory answer on the other message boards where you posted this same thing?
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      The discrepancy even is bigger than it seems.

      Go back a few verses to Leviticus 23:4. The Passover begins at twilight, or before sunset, on the 14th day. The 14th day is the day of preparation, when all hametz was supposed to be removed from the home and the kotban pesach is to be sacrificed (Exodus 12::6,21). The Jewish day began at sunset, hence verse 6, the fifteenth day, when the seder itself began. Matthew 24:17 (& Luke 22:7-13) took place on what they considered the 14th day, the day of preparation, being the first day of Passover, when they had to prepare a place to meet for the feast which would take place after sunset.

      Where you will have a problem is in John 19:14,31, which places the trial of Jesus before Pilate on the day of preparation before the Passover. That is in blatant contradiction to what we see in Luke and Matthew. Plus, John never refers to the Last Supper as a Passover seder. To Make things even worse the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, which details the tradition (mishnah) held by the Jewish leaders, requires that trials for capital cases, of which this is one, must take two days, so that the declaration of guilt not take place under the heat of passion on the same day as the trial. Also, the trial, because it takes two days, must not begin on the day before a feast such as Passover. So that would push the Last Supper and the arrest of Jesus several days before the day of the Passover Feast as held by the Jews. Figure that one out.

      Consider Discalia Apostolorum, ch. XXI:
      Then our Lord said unto us, "Verily I say unto you, yet a little while, and ye shall leave Me, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of His flock shall be scattered." And Judas came with the scribes and with the priests of the people, and delivered up our Lord Jesus. But this was on Wednesday, for when we had eaten the Passover on Tuesday in the evening, we went out to the Mount of Olives, and in the night they took our Lord Jesus; and on the next day, which was Wednesday, He remained in prison in the house of Cepha the High Priest. In that day the chiefs of the people were assembled, and they took counsel together against Him. Again, the next day, which was Thursday, they brought Him to Pilate the governor, and again He remained in prison with Pilate, in the night after Thursday. And when it dawned on Friday, they accused Him much before Pilate, yet they could show nothing true, but they brought false witness against Him. And they asked Him from Pilate, to put Him to death, and they crucified Him on Friday.
      Or Epiphanius:
      But Jesus was arrested late on that same third day, which was the nighttime of the eleventh of the month, the sixteenth before the Kalends of April. The dawning of the fourth day of the week was the nighttime of the [Jewish] twelfth day of the month, the fifteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the thirteenth day of the month was the fifth day of the week, but the [ensuing] nighttime was the fourteenth of the month, the fourteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the fourteenth of the month was the eve of the Sabbath, the thirteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the fifteenth of the month was the Sabbath, the twelfth before the Kalends of April.
      William Barclay, Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasglow, Scotland and author of The Daily Study Bible Series, agrees with David Strauss and Paul Keim that the discrepancy cannot be resolved:
      There is here a contradiction for which there is no compromise solution. Either the Synoptic gospels are correct or John is. Scholars are much divided. But it seems most likely that the Synoptics are correct. . . There is no full explanation of this obvious discrepancy; but this seems to us the best. (William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, Revised Edition. The Gospel of John, Volume 2. (Westminster: John Knox Press, 1975) 293)
      Henry Alford, author of a commentary on the Greek New Testament, was familiar with the various attempts to explain the discrepancy, and wasn’t satisfied with any of them:
      [I]t must not be forgotten that over all three narratives extends the great difficulty of explaining “the first day of the feast of unleavened bread” (Matt., Mark) or “the day of unleavened bread” (Luke), and of reconciling the impression undeniably conveyed by them, that the Lord and his disciples ate the usual Passover, with the narrative of St. John, which not only does not sanction, but I believe absolutely excludes such a supposition. I shall give in as short a compass as I can, the various solutions which have been attempted, and the objections to them; fairly confessing that none of them satisfy me, and that at present I have none of my own. (Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, Vol. 1, The Four Gospels. (London: Rivingtons, Waterloo Place; & J. Deighton, Cambridge; 1849) 262.)
      Last edited by Faber; 02-13-2021, 02:14 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        You didn't get a satisfactory answer on the other message boards where you posted this same thing?
        I haven't understood one yet. Can you reconcile it?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Faber View Post
          The discrepancy even is bigger than it seems.

          Go back a few verses to Leviticus 23:4. The Passover begins at twilight, or before sunset, on the 14th day. The 14th day is the day of preparation, when all hametz was supposed to be removed from the home and the kotban pesach is to be sacrificed (Exodus 12::6,21). The Jewish day began at sunset, hence verse 6, the fifteenth day, when the seder itself began. Matthew 24:17 (& Luke 22:7-13) took place on what they considered the 14th day, the day of preparation, being the first day of Passover, when they had to prepare a place to meet for the feast which would take place after sunset.

          Where you will have a problem is in John 19:14,31, which places the trial of Jesus before Pilate on the day of preparation before the Passover. That is in blatant contradiction to what we see in Luke and Matthew. Plus, John never refers to the Last Supper as a Passover seder. To Make things even worse the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, which details the tradition (mishnah) held by the Jewish leaders, requires that trials for capital cases, of which this is one, must take two days, so that the declaration of guilt not take place under the heat of passion on the same day as the trial. Also, the trial, because it takes two days, must not begin on the day before a feast such as Passover. So that would push the Last Supper and the arrest of Jesus several days before the day of the Passover Feast as held by the Jews. Figure that one out.

          Consider Discalia Apostolorum, ch. XXI:

          Or Epiphanius:

          William Barclay, Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasglow, Scotland and author of The Daily Study Bible Series, agrees with David Strauss and Paul Keim that the discrepancy cannot be resolved:

          Henry Alford, author of a commentary on the Greek New Testament, was familiar with the various attempts to explain the discrepancy, and wasn’t satisfied with any of them:
          All of which demonstrates that these four gospel narratives are not from eye-witnesses to the events they purport to recount.
          "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
            All of which demonstrates that these four gospel narratives are not from eye-witnesses to the events they purport to recount.
            No, it doesn't "demonstrate" that at all - that's apparently your takeaway.

            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              It doesn't. I gave only part of the story, enough to get Randy all excited. I even used Hebrew terminology to impress him. He's been bouncing around Christian websites and Jehova Witness websites for eighteen years now with the same issue concerning the chronology of Passion Week. After he got shut down on TWeb, he just reworded his same argument.

              Bottom line is, they clearly didn't observe the feat on the same day as the religious leaders. Nor did the majority of the millions who were in Jerusalem that week. The priests took issue with the numbers of people who were claiming to offer peace offerings when in reality they were using them for the Passover seder. And there were definitely two separate calendars floating around, the other being the Jubilee calendar, in which Passover always fell on a Wednesday every year. If by chance that was the night that Jesus and the disciples observed the Passover, no doubt John, writing to the same churches that Paul wrote to, might have wanted to avoid the comparison between the day they observed Passover and the day the Essenes and the heretics in and around Colossae observed it. Just speculating.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                All of which demonstrates that these four gospel narratives are not from eye-witnesses to the events they purport to recount.
                The contortionist feats that Christian scholars / apologists try to pull off to reconcile them are worthy of an Olympic gymnast. It's amusing to read. They seem to take themselves really seriously too, as if they seriously believe they're not just making it all up as they go.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                  The contortionist feats that Christian scholars / apologists try to pull off to reconcile them are worthy of an Olympic gymnast. It's amusing to read. They seem to take themselves really seriously too, as if they seriously believe they're not just making it all up as they go.
                  The renowned [and greatly missed] Jewish scholar Geza Vermes deals with these discrepancies in detail in his book The Passion. [Penguin, 2005]

                  Whilst in the Gospel of John Jesus is examined by Annas, in the Synoptic accounts the Jewish police take him directly to the house of the high priest, nameless in Mark and Luke, but identified as Caiaphas in Matthew, as in John too. Vermes notes that “From the start, the story teems with difficulties” pointing out that although the arrest of Jesus was sudden and unprepared yet somehow the entire body of the Sanhedrin [all seventy one members according to the Mishnah] was already assembled in the home of the high priest on, of all nights, the night of Passover and not only were the councillors present, but there were also a collection of witnesses ready to testify against Jesus. One might observe at this juncture “Go tell it to the Marines”!

                  We then see the narrative harmony collapsing. Luke makes no mention of a nocturnal meeting of the Sanhedrin. Matthew and Mark, despite telling us that the authorities had decided in advance to eliminate Jesus, nonetheless maintain the outward appearance of a due legal process. No one can be condemned without witnesses and we are therefore provided with witnesses for the prosecution ready and waiting. These individuals make their depositions but, despite the judges seemingly only to be interested in a conviction, with Matthew at 26.59 even claiming that the court was looking for pseudomartyria [false testimony] it transpires that all the accusations are rejected because as Mark informs us “they did not agree”.

                  Even when two witnesses eventually proffer an identical charge, namely, that Jesus had issued threats against the Temple, the tribunal, abiding by the law governing testimony in capital cases, is still unsatisfied [Mk 14:55–9;Mt 26:59–61]. Perhaps this quibbling explains why the writer of Luke kept stumm on the topic of witnesses.

                  After this punctilious adherence to the rules we would expect a dismissal but the evangelists change direction. Mark and Matthew assert that Caiaphas directly challenges Jesus “Are you the Christ the Son of the Blessed?” – or to paraphrase “Are you the Messiah the promised royal deliverer of Israel?”

                  Jesus’ answer to the high priest’s question varies in the Gospels. In Mark we are faced with a straight "I am", but with a less direct "You say that I am" in several important Mark manuscripts.

                  Luke employs the same formula and Matthew has ‘"You have said so."

                  Once again, Vermes notes that within rabbinic literature "
                  the expression has a definite negative connotation “You have said it” is tacitly paraphrased as “You not I” meaning “I would disagree, or at least I would not put it that way”.


                  All that notwithstanding all three Synoptics have Jesus’ answer taken by the high priest and judges as an admission. At which point Caiaphas returns to ceremonial orthodoxy and rends his garments as required by rabbinic law. A unanimous verdict of guilty is then pronounced, yet strangely there is no mention concerning an execution, which, under Biblical law, would be a stoning. The New Testament and Josephus tell us that this was practised during the early first century CE.

                  Instead, and without any explanation, the case is transferred to a different jurisdiction namely the Roman Praefectus of Judea.

                  To end with a direct quote from Vermes:

                  In sum, the reliability of the account of Jesus’ appearance before the Sanhedrin and his condemnation to death is seriously undermined by the repeated contradictions and historical and legal improbabilities of Mark’s account, which has been copied in substance by Matthew. Luke and John further muddy the waters. John ignores any trial of Jesus by a Jewish court and Luke omits the night session of the Sanhedrin.


                  "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rstrats View Post

                    Leviticus 23:6 says : “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread...”

                    However, Matthew 26:17 says: “Now on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?”

                    Any thoughts on the seeming discrepancy?
                    Adam Clarke Commentary


                    Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread - As the feast of unleavened bread did not begin till the day after the passover, the fifteenth day of the month, Leviticus 23:5, Leviticus 23:6; Numbers 28:16, Numbers 28:17, this could not have been, properly, the first day of that feast; but as the Jews began to eat unleavened bread on the fourteenth, Exodus 12:18, this day was often termed the first of unleavened bread. The evangelists use it in this sense, and call even the paschal day by this name. See Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rstrats View Post

                      Leviticus 23:6 says : “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread...”

                      However, Matthew 26:17 says: “Now on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?”

                      Any thoughts on the seeming discrepancy?
                      Just reading, it appears to be saying the 15th of the month is the first day of the feast of unleavened bread.

                      What's the contradiction?


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sparko,
                        re: "Just reading, it appears to be saying the 15th of the month is the first day of the feast of unleavened bread. What's the contradiction?"

                        The seeming contradiction is that the Matthew account appears to indicate that the 1st day of the feast occurs no later than the 14th day of the month.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                          No, it doesn't "demonstrate" that at all - that's apparently your takeaway.
                          At the time the Jews reckoned the day to begin at dusk when the first stars were visible. All four gospels recount a final dinner being shared but it should be noted the Synoptics writers’ depiction of this meal is vastly different from that provided by the writer of John. In John's narrative we have Jesus making long speeches and inserting a “new” commandment to love one another [which as Geza Vermes notes was not actually new at all]. However, the writer gives no precise date for this meal beyond it taking place before the feast of Passover. It has been noted that the subsequent narrative of John’s gospel suggests that this event occurred at the start of 14 Nisan the day before the Jews celebrated the Passover, thereby implying that this last meal was not a Passover meal. By contrast, the occasion, as presented by the Synoptic writers, is quite definitely a Passover dinner. See Mark 14.12-14; Matt 26.17-19, Luke 22.15. Hence, after sunset, at the start of 15 Nisan the Synoptics have Jesus and his disciples celebrating what is now known as the Seder meal.

                          "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No. The Passover beings on the 14th day of Nisan and last at least 7-8 days. The reference to the first day is just in reference to its beginning using a general term. For example if I say its the first day of Christmas given that it tends to run from December 25-January 6 I am just referring to its starting point in this case December 25 ie the First day. Thus im speaking in that sense.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ReformedApologist View Post
                              No. The Passover beings on the 14th day of Nisan and last at least 7-8 days. The reference to the first day is just in reference to its beginning using a general term. For example if I say its the first day of Christmas given that it tends to run from December 25-January 6 I am just referring to its starting point in this case December 25 ie the First day. Thus im speaking in that sense.
                              For information and with my emphasis

                              From www.aish.com

                              (a) “Pesach” – the slaughtering and eating of the paschal lamb (or goat) which begins the afternoon of the 14th with its slaughtering and continues that night with its consumption.

                              (b) “The Holiday of Matzot” – the seven day feast we refer to as Passover, which begins the night of the 15th.

                              Today, without our holy Temple, we do not bring the Passover offering. Thus, the only holiday relevant to us is Passover itself which begins on the 15th. Even so, the 14th is still considered a minor holiday – mainly in commemoration of the ancient holiday, where many have the custom not to work (beyond Passover preparations) and there is likewise a custom to study the laws of the Passover offering (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 46:8:1-3, Mishna Berurah 1).

                              Another relevant point is that although in most areas of Jewish law, a “day” begins the evening before, for Temple service the night follows the day. This is as the Temple offerings of the day would often be burned or consumed the night after (and many would become invalid the next day). Thus, the holiday of "Pesach" actually began the day of the 14th, ending the night of the 15th.


                              From www.chabad.org.

                              Torah refers to Passover on the 14th. But it also refers to the “Festival of Matzot” on the 15th. Why the discrepancy? Let’s examine these verses from Leviticus 23:
                              • “In the first month, on the 14th of the month, in the afternoon, the Passover to the L‑rd.”1
                              • “And on the 15th day of that month is the Festival of Matzahs to the L‑rd; you shall eat matzahs for a seven-day period.”2

                              So what is this “Passover” on the 14th? It is not the Festival of Matzahs, since that only begins that evening (since the Jewish days begin at nightfall). Rather, it is the Passover offering, which was slaughtered on the 14th and eaten that night—the 15th—together with matzah at the onset of the Festival of Matzahs.

                              If Christians observed that their day began and ended at sunset then the festival of Christmas would begin after sunset on 24 December because that would be the beginning of the day of the 25th.

                              "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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