The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus

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Overview

Apparent inconsistencies in the gospel accounts of Jesus's final week have puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. Colin Humphreys explains these inconsistencies, whilst proposing a compelling new theory - that the last supper took place on a Wednesday, rather than Thursday as traditionally believed. The contrasting interpretations of the last supper arise from Matthew, Mark and Luke's assertion that it was a Passover meal, whilst John states that it occurred beforehand. To confuse the issue, there does not seem to be enough time for all the events recorded between the last supper and the crucifixion to take place, whilst Wednesday appears to be a 'missing day' on which Jesus did nothing. Humphreys draws on evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Egyptian texts and uses astronomy to reconstruct ancient calendars. In doing so he shows how the last supper took place on a Wednesday and successfully unifies the supposedly contradictory gospel stories.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance Endorsement: “There have always been great difficulties in knowing quite how to fit together the precise details of the Last Supper and Jesus’s arrest and trial. With the clearest possible presentation of fresh evidence and good historical imagination, Colin Humphreys here tackles this problem in a completely fresh manner. His suggestions are likely to have a significant impact both on scholarly appraisal and on the regular Christian appreciation of these climactic events of the faith.” - Hugh G. M. Williamson, University of Oxford

"Colin Humphreys' Mystery poses an intriguing detective story. … The argument is presented so logically that non-specialists should be able to follow it easily." Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard University and author of God's Universe "By linking scientific knowledge with biblical study, Colin Humphreys gives a welcome demonstration of a way apparent contradictions in the Gospel texts may be reconciled.' Alan Millard, University of Liverpool 'I would like to commend Colin Humphreys … on this remarkable book reconstructing the final days of Jesus." John Sentamu, Archbishop of York "A gripping read that is hard to put down …" Sir John Houghton, Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Committee of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521517553
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Colin Humphreys is Director of Research at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Miracles of Exodus (2003).
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Four mysteries of the last week of Jesus; 2. Dating the crucifixion - the first clues; 3. The problem of the last supper; 4. Can we reconstruct the Jewish calendar at the time of Christ?; 5. The date of the crucifixion; 6. The moon will be turned to blood; 7. Did Jesus use the solar calendar of Qumran for his last supper Passover?; 8. Does ancient Egypt hold a key to unlocking the problem of the last supper?; 9. Discovering the lost calendar of ancient Israel; 10. Was the lost ancient Jewish calendar used in Israel at the time of Jesus?; 11. The date of the last supper: the hidden clues in the gospels; 12. From the last supper to the crucifixion: a new analysis of the gospel accounts; 13. A new reconstruction of the final days of Jesus; Bibliography; Index of modern authors; Index of Biblical and other ancient sources; General index.
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