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Passover / mistranslated texts

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  • prolifedem1963
    The account of the Last Supper given in the Fourth Gospel clearly indicates it was not a Passover meal, but a meal shared on the day of Preparation: Before
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2013
      The account of the Last Supper given in the Fourth Gospel clearly indicates it was not a Passover meal, but a meal shared on the day of Preparation:

      "Before the Passover feast Jesus, aware that his hour had come that he should depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And supper being ended..." (John 13:1-2)

      This text explicitly states that Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples took place before the feast known as Passover.

      John 18:28 states that the Jewish religious authorities would not enter the Roman Praetorium where Jesus was being tried, "so that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover." Pontius Pilate told the Jews, "This is your king," as he ordered Jesus crucified. This occurred on the twelfth hour of the day of Preparation. (John 19:14) After crucifixion, the Jews asked Pontius Pilate that Jesus' body be taken from the cross and given a decent burial before the Sabbath which was Passover. (John 19:31)

      Friday was the day of Preparation for the Sabbath, which began at sundown. According to the Jewish calendar, a new day begins at six p.m., while the week concludes with the Sabbath, or Saturday. The first three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) state that Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples and suffered arrest, trial and crucifixion on Friday evening, the 15th of Nisan. Only the Fourth Gospel explicitly places the Last Supper on Thursday evening, the 14th of Nisan. Jesus' final meal with his disciples, his arrest, trial and crucifixion all take place on Nisan 14 in this gospel.

      To some extent, the accounts given by Matthew, Mark and Luke conform to the Fourth Gospel. In Matthew 26:5, the authorities decided not to apprehend Jesus during the Passover feast, "lest there be an uproar amongst the people." All four gospel writers record Jesus' burial on the day of Preparation. (Matthew 27:57-62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 20:42)

      Passover was a holy day, regarded as a Sabbath by the Jews. Its holiness was protected by traditional Sabbath restrictions. The gospels describe incidents connected with Jesus' crucifixion which would not have occurred on a holy day.

      To begin with, it is unlikely crowds would carry weapons once Passover had begun. (Matthew 26:47,55; Mark 14:43,48-49; Luke 22:52; John 18:3) There would have been no Jewish involvement in the Roman legal proceedings against Jesus. (Matthew 27:12; Mark 15:3; Luke 23:5) Nor would the trial and crucifixion of Jesus have occurred. (Matthew 27:27-50; Mark 15:16-37; Luke 23:26-46; John 19:17-30)

      Simon the Cyrenian would not have journeyed from the country (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26) Nor would Joseph of Arimathea have been able to purchase a linen shroud and see to the burial of Jesus' body. The fact that Jesus was quickly taken down from the cross and buried in his tomb is consistent with the Jews' desire that he not be left on the cross once the feast had begun. (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-47; Luke 23:50-57; John 19:38-57)

      Paul, who called himself an apostle to the gentiles, provides the earliest written account of the Last Supper in I Corinthians 11:20-32. He writes of the "Lord's Supper," but does not refer to a Passover meal. However, in I Corinthians 5:7, he proclaims: "Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed for us." Early Christians observed the day of Jesus' crucifixion on Nisan 14th. Claudius Appollinaris, Clement of Alexandria and Hippolytus attest to this. Jesus Christ, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," (John 1:29) died at the same time as countless other innocent lambs of God.

      A tradition soon arose, however, that Jesus was crucified on Friday. The church father Irenaeus (120-200 AD) wrote that Jesus died in obedience to God's will on the same day (Friday) Adam ate the forbidden fruit. For centuries, one of the most bitter disputes in the Christian Church was over the date of the crucifixion. Next to the Trinitarian dispute, this was the most serious issue facing the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325.

      Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified on Thursday, Nisan 14. He died at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain in the Temple at Jerusalem. Jesus promised his disciples he would be resurrected on the third day (Sunday) from his execution. (Matthew 16:21; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:33) A trial and execution on Thursday, the day of Preparation for Passover, is therefore, more consistent with Scripture.

      The Reverend Charles Gore, Bishop of Oxford, writes in A New Commentary on Holy Scripture: "We will assume John is right when he corrects Mark as to the nature of the Last Supper. It was not the Paschal meal proper, but a supper observed as a farewell supper with his disciples. Nor do the accounts of the supper suggest the ceremonial of the Passover meal."

      In his commentary on Luke in the Cambridge Bible for Schools, Dean Farrar suggests the Last Supper "was not the actual Jewish Paschal meal, but one which was intended to supersede it by a Passover of far more divine significance."

      Finally, many of the verses in the New Testament which refer to "meat" were mistranslated from the original Greek. The Reverend V.A. Holmes-Gore published his research on this subject in the Autumn 1947 issue of World Forum in an article entitled "Was the Master a Vegetarian?" The following texts are examples of incorrect translations:

      Matthew 3:4
      "And the same John (the Baptist) had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and his meat was locusts and wild honey."
      The original Greek word used for "meat" here is "broma," which means "food." Also, the word "locusts" refers to locust beans, or carob, also known as St. John's bread.

      Luke 8:55

      "And her spirit came again (referring to a woman Jesus raised from the dead), and she arose straightaway: and he (Jesus) commanded to give her meat."

      The word used here for "meat" is "phago," meaning "to eat." Jesus commanded that she be given something to eat.

      Luke 11:37

      "And as he (Jesus) spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat."

      The word used here for "meat" is "anepesen," or "reclined." This verse says Jesus went in and sat down.

      Luke 24:41-43

      "And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he (Jesus) said unto them, 'Have ye here any meat?'  And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."

      The word used here is "brosimos," or "eatable." Note the use of the word "it," which is in the last sentence and is in the singular. Jesus was offered a fish and a honeycomb, but chose only one of them.

      John 4:8

      "For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat."

      The word used here is "trophe," or "nourishment."

      Acts 9:19

      "And when he had received meat, he was strengthened."

      The word used here is "trophe," or "nourishment."

      Acts 16:34

      "...he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."

      The word used here is "trapeza," or "table."

      Acts 27:33-36

      "And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, 'This is the fourteenth day ye have tarried and continued fasting, taking nothing.  Wherefore, I pray you to take some meat; for this is your health; for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.'

      "And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat."

      All three words used here are "trophe," or "nourishment." Note that even though they have been mistranslated to read "meat," the text shows clearly that what Paul was referring to was bread.

      Romans 14:15

      "But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.  Destroy him not with thy meat, for whom Christ died."

      Both words used here are "broma," or "food."

      Romans 14:17

      "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." 

      The word used here is "brosis," or the act of eating.

      Romans 14:20-21

      "For meat destroy not the work of God.  All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine..."

      The word for "meat" used here is "broma," which means "food." On the other hand, the word "flesh" used in this text comes from the Greek "kreas," which translates literally as "flesh," or "meat."

      I Corinthians 6:13

      "Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but the Lord shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."

      The words used here are "broma," or "food." Also, the word "porneia," or fornication, is used, rather than "moicheia," adultery.

      I Corinthians 8:8

      "But meat commendeth us not to God, for neither, if we eat, are we the better, neither, if we eat not, are we the worse."

      The word used here is "broma," or "food." This verse teaches eating itself has nothing to do with our relationship with God.

      I Corinthians 8:13

      "Wherefore, if meat makes my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

      The word for "meat" used here is "broma," or "food," while the 
      word for "flesh" used here is "kreas," which means "flesh."

      I Corinthians 10:3

      "And (they) did all eat the same spiritual meat." 

      The word used here is "broma," or "food."

      I Timothy 4:1-3

      "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

      The word used for "meat" here is "broma," or "food." Which food has God "created to be received with thanksgiving" ? The verse that follows:

      "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected when it is gratefully received, for it is consecrated through the word of God and prayer."
      ...refers to Genesis 1:29-31: "...And God saw all that He had made and saw that it was very good." 

      Bible scholar Kenneth Rose says, "To use this passage to discredit Christian vegetarianism...is really a misapplication of these verses, since the issue here is not food but Christian freedom."

      The phrase "forbidding to marry" is especially significant. Paul was warning against forced asceticism; not vegetarianism based upon compassion for animals.

      Paul's statement in I Corinthians 9:9-10, "Doth God take care for oxen, or saith He it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt..." is often misunderstood to mean God is indifferent towards the animal creation. Paul was referring to Deuteronomy 25:4, a verse, like many others from the Bible, which calls for humane treatment of animals.

      Frances Arnetta, founder of Christians Helping Animals and People, explains:

      "...because of the way the King James version has been translated, there is some misunderstanding as to the meaning of Paul's words. Referring to the verse in Deuteronomy, Paul asks in I Corinthians 9, verse 9, 'Doth God take care for oxen?' But in the original Greek, the word 'only' is implied, so that verse 9 means: 'Doth God take care only for oxen?' Verse 10: 'Or saith He it altogether for our sakes?' That actually means: 'Or does He say it for the sake of us and the oxen all together?' Then Paul answers: 'For our sakes (the oxen and us), no doubt this is written...'

      "Of course God cares for oxen," insists Arnetta, "or He wouldn't have given the command to Moses in the first place." Arnetta cites Jonah 4:11, Psalm 50:10, Job 38 and 39, as well as Matthew 6:26 and Luke 12:6 as proof that God cares not only for oxen, but for His entire creation. This is consistent with I Timothy 5:17-18, where Paul again quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 in a favorable context.


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