Does John say Jesus was crucified on 14 Nisan?

“Yes, after all…
  • No trials on 14 Nisan

      Sir William Smith, John Mee Fuller: [t]he Mishna forbids that a capital offender should be examined in the night, or on the day, before the Sabbath or a feast-day (Sanhedrim, iv. 1). This law is modified by the glosses of Gemara. But if it had been recognised in its obvious meaning by the Jewish rulers, they would have outraged it in as great a degree on the preceeding day (i.e. the 14th) as on the day of holy convocation before the Sabbath. It was also forbidden to administer justice on a high-feast day, or to carry arms (Yom Tob, v. 20). But these prohibitions are expressely distinguished from unconditional precepts, and our reckoned amongst those which may be set aside by circumstances. The members of the Sanhedrin were forbidden to eat any food on the same day after condemning a criminal. Yet we find them intending to "eat the Passover" (John xviii. 28) after pronouncing the sentence (Matt. xxvi. 65, 66).[A Dictionary of the Bible, Vol 2 (William Clows and Sons, 1893) 722.]

  • Jesus intended to eat Passover w/ disciples

      Mt 26:18, Mk 14:14, Lk 22:11

  • John's gospel indicates 15 Nisan
  • “No, after all…
  • Motive

      But, Don Carson (C. NT Scholar & Prof.; Ph.d in Phil.): But not only does this theory leave the historical contradiction with the Synoptics unaddressed, it appears flimsy even at the theological level. John does not in these chapters draw attention to the slaughter of the lambs, nor does he here refer to Jesus as the true Lamb of God. [...] One would have thought, however, that if this were John’s intent he would have achieved much more dramatic power by inserting this time notice just after v. 16a. [The Gospel According to John (W.B. Eerdmans, 1991) 456.]

      Counter-motive: a. John would have stronger motivation not to lie (e.g. like the other gospel authors who also saw Jesus as the true Passover lamb, but nevertheless place his death on the 15th [Mk 14, Mt 26, Lk 22]) a. John be motived not to have Jesus die on the 14th, insofar as that would preclude Jesus' celebrating the Last Supper as a Paschal meal.

  • Jn 19:14

      [?] Friday: "Day of preparation" is a technical term for Friday. [?] "Day of preparation" refers to Friday twice in the same chapter (John 19:31, 42) [?] "eve of the Passover" is how Jews refer to the day before Passover (not "day of preparation for", which is what Jn keeps using. v19, v31, v42).

      1. ...
      2. Technical term: a. It was called the day of preparation in ancient times:
        i. Didache 8:1 -- Do not let your fasting be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second day and the fifth day of the week [Monday and Thursday], but you shall fast on the fourth day and the day of preparation [Wednesday and Friday]. [Trans. with comments by Swett]
        i. Martyrdom of Polycarp 7:1 -- Having, therefore, with them the lad, on the day of the preparation, at the hour of dinner, there came out pursuers and horsemen, with their accustomed arms, as though going out against a thief. [Trans. by Hoole]
        i. Antiquities of the Jews 16.163 (Josephus): [a]ccording to the sentence and oath of the people of Rome, that the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, [...] that they be not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, [Trans. by Whiston]
        a. It's called the day of preparation even today:
        a. Craig Blomberg: the Greek word paraskeue, trans­lated 'day of Preparation', was (and still is) the standard name for Friday in Greek. [Historical Reliability of the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 2007) 224.] a. Gleason Archer: [t]he word paraskeue had already by the first century A.D. become a technical term for "Friday," since every Friday was the day of preparation for Saturday, that is, the Sabbath. In Modern Greek the word for "Friday" is paraskeue. [New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982) 375-377.]
      3. Context: Barry Smith (Prof. of Phil. & Rel. Studies): In John παρασκευή occurs, apart from 19:14, in 19:31, 42. In both instances it means the day before the Sabbath, i.e., Friday. In John 19:31, because it was παρασκευή and the next day was a high Sabbath (a Sabbath during a festival period) the Jews could not leave Jesus’ body on the cross. Similarly, in 19:42, since it was the παρασκευην τῶνἸουδαίων, Jesus’ body was buried in a nearby tomb. Clearly both uses of παρασκευή mean the day before the Sabbath.(Cf. Pesch, Markusevangelium 2.325.) [“The Chronology of the Last Supper,” Westminster Theological Journal 53:1 (1991): 42.]
      4. "Eve' of passover": Barry Smith: Nisan 14 in the Mishna and Tosepta is referred to as "the eve of Passover"
  • Jn 18:28 -- "so they... might eat the Passover"

      Jn 18:28; "so that they... might eat the Passover" refers to the Passover meal (at the beginning of 15 Nisan). this is relevant because they would remain defiled... Jn 18:28 refers to events that occurred on the day Jesus was crucified.

      But, so what? Chagigah: "eat the passover" (Jn 18:28) can include eating the Hagigah (and Jn 13 already narrated the eating of the Paschal meal)

      1. Jn 18:28 -- [On the day Jesus was crucified, they] "did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover."
      2. "eat the Passover" means the single Passover meal in Mt, Mk, Lk. But so what? "eat the Passover" did commonly refer to solely the Paschal meal, but it doesn't follow that therefore the phrase can't refer to anything else (like the Passover week celebration[?]); such reasoning would cause exegetical mayhem if applied elsewhere (e.g. it causes mayhem even if applied to the single word "Passover" of the phrase in question[?]). [Note: "eat the Passover" in Jn is not used in the same context as in the synoptics (where the disciples are preparing for the meal with Jesus)]
      3. David Smith: To our minds the phrase "eat the Passover" naturally suggests the Paschal supper, but on Jewish lips it had also a larger significance. Alike in the Scriptures and in the Talmud it is used of the celebration of the entire feast, including the Chagigah.(Dt 16:2 Chron. 30:1, 23, 24; 35 1:8-19; Ezek xlv. 21-4. Menach. 3.1: "Vitulus et juveneus quem mactant nomine Paschatis." Nota illud, says Lightfoot, vitulus est Pascha uti et agnus.) Nor should it be loverlooked that elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel to pasxa is invariably employed in its larger sense, denoting not the Paschal supper [...] but the whole feast, tAv hEortAn pasan.(cf. John ii, 13, 23; vi. 4; xi. 55; xii. I; xiii. I) [The Days of His Flesh 2nd ed. (A.C. Armstrong & Son, 1905), 538.]
        i. Barry Smith (Ass. Prof. of Phil. & Rel. Studies): The phrase φάγωσιν τὸ πάσχα in John 18:28 may mean to eat the festival offering required to be sacrificed by the Passover pilgrims on Nisan 15, the first day of the feast (cf. m. Ḥag. 1:3). When Jesus’ accusers expressed hesitation about entering the praetorium for fear of not being able to eat the Passover, they could have been referring to this offering.(Cf. C. C. Torrey, “The Date of the Crucifixion according to the Fourth Gospel,” JBL 50 (1931) 227-441; id., “In the Fourth Gospel the Last Supper Was the Passover Meal,” JQR 42 (1951–52) 237–50; cf. also T. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament (3 vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1909) 3.296–98.) We have already seen that there is precedent in the sources for referring to all the offerings sacrificed during the entire feast as Passover offerings.(It has also been argued that φάγωσιν τὸ πάσχα could be a synonym for “to celebrate the festival.” Support for this view is found in the fact that one finds a similar phrase in 2 Chr 30:22. In this passage it is said that the people “ate the feast” for seven days (ויאבלו את־המועך שבעת הימים). If one assumes that Passover is a general term for the entire festival period, the clause φάγωσιν τὸ πάσχα in John 18:28 could be seen as the functional equivalent of the clause in 2 Chronicles. Both, in other words, are idiomatic for “to celebrate the festival.”) If this is the meaning of John 18:28, then Jesus was taken to the praetorium on the evening of Nisan 15, after the Passover meal was completed but before the sacrificing of the festival offerings later in that day. [“The Chronology of the Last Supper,” Westminster Theological Journal 53:1 (1991): 41.]

      i. Alfred Edersheim (Jewish-Christan scholar; Lecturer at Oxford): The Chagigah, which was strictly a peace-offering, might be twofold. This first Chagigah was offered on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Paschal sacrifice, and formed afterwards part of the Paschal Supper. The second Chagigah was offered on the 15th of Nisan, or the first day of the feast of unleavened bread. It is this second Chagigah which the Jews were afraid they might be unable to eat, if they contracted defilement in the judgment-hall of Pilate (John 18:28). [The Temple and Its Ministry and Services at the Time of Jesus Christ (London, 1874)] i. David Smith: It was not the Paschal supper that they would have been debarred from eating had they entered Pilate's praetorium, but the Chagigah or thankoffering, which consisted usually of a bullock. And not only was the 15th Nisan the day on which the Chagigah should be offered,(cf. Lightfoot on Jn 18:28) but every worshipped had to present it in the Temple in propria persona.(Id. on Mk 15:25) [The Days of His Flesh 2nd (A.C. Armstrong & Son, 1905), 538.] i. Roger Beckwith (C. NT Prof. at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford): The Pharisees would have been very scrupulous about the hagiga duty, and as it involved a peace offering, which necessarily included a sacred meal, they would certainly have wanted to remain ceremonially clean so as to be able to eat it. Even more would this have concerned the chief priests, since a share of every peace offering might be an ox from the herd, rather than a lamb or goat from the flock. [Calendar and Chronology, Jewish and Christian: Biblical, Intertestamental and Patristic Studies (1996, Brill) 295.] i. Andreas Köstenberger (Director of PhD Studies, C. Prof. of NT): The present reference may not merely be to Passover itself but to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasted seven days (note Luke 22:1: “the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover”; see further commentary at 19:14, 31), and in particular to the feast-offering (hagigah), which was brought on the morning of the first day of the festival (cf. Num. 28:18–19). “Eat the Passover” probably simply means “celebrate the feast” (cf. 2 Chron. 30:21).[Baker Exegetical Commentary: John (Baker Academic, 2004). 542.] i. Donald Carson (C. NT Scholar & Prof.): It is tempting here to understand to eat the Passover to refer, not to the Passover meal itself, but to the continuing Feast of Unleavened Bread, which continued for seven days. In particular, attention may be focused on the ḥagigah, the feast—offering offered on the morning of the first full paschal day (cf. Nu. 28:18–19).

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