Hebrew Voices #111 – PART 2/4 Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament - PART 2 of 4, we examine the controversy about the Gospel of John which has raged for nearly 2,000 years, as we continue our 4-part series to solve a textual conundrum using technology John could not have imagined and drawing on resources unavailable even a few years ago. Be sure to first watch Part 1!

I look forward to reading your comments!


Podcast Version:

Download Podcast

Transcript

Hebrew Voices #111 - PART 2/4 Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Nehemia: Here, Michael, I want you to have this in your library, because what you’ve been attacked for, what you’ve been teaching, I don’t know if it’s right or not, but it’s not some crazy, hairbrained idea you plucked out of the air - this is something Christian scholars have been saying for at least 400 years.

Nehemia: Here’s a quote from a man named Zachary Pearce in 1777. Zachary Pearce was not a Torah teacher. Zachary Pearce was a Protestant in, I believe, England, and he says, “Some are of the opinion that the word ‘Paschah or Passover’ in John 6:4 is an interpolation.” Interpolation is a fancy word meaning it was added. “And I think that the whole verse is so.” So he’s telling us exactly what Michael said in the chronological of Gospels. Michael didn’t make this up. Scholars have been saying this for at least 400 years. Zachary Pearce, who like I said, is just a regular, run-of-the-mill Protestant, is telling you John 6:4 is added.

Why does he think it’s added? A number of reasons, but the main one here, “It does not appear from the Evangelists’ account that Jesus was present at a feast of the Passover here mentioned. And yet it seems probable that he who fulfilled all righteousness,” according to Matthew 3:15, “would not have been absent from a feast of the Passover, which as is here said, was then nigh at hand.”

Michael said something that Zachary Pearce said in 1777. Did you know Zachary Pearce said that?

Michael: It would have saved me 20 years of grieving over this, if I had just learned to read English.

[laughter]

Nehemia: To be fair, the way we were able to find this was using very advanced databases where people have done the work for us. We just have to dig through these databases. I don’t know that there’s any way you could have found Zachary Pearce very easily. We were able to find it and use these databases to find this information that if we were doing this five years ago, I would never have gotten to Zachary Pearce. It would have taken a lifetime to get that. We were able to search through these databases using very sophisticated searches. John had access to databases that it was no trivial matter to get access to. We’re talking about the average person can’t just Google this, you have to get access to these very expensive databases, and sometimes even if you pay money, it’s not enough, you have to get what’s called scholars’ access, that we got, to certain databases and we were able to dig these up.

The earliest Christian that we found who talks about John 6:4 having this addition is a guy who’s called Gerrit Johann Vossius, or Gerhard Vossius. He was a Protestant in Amsterdam who wrote a book in 1643. We actually have the book here with us. Guys, let me show you this book. He’s the first one who mentions this. This is a beautiful book. This is the original 1643 edition, and we actually got this, Michael, to give to you as a gift.

[applause]

Michael: Oh, my goodness.

Nehemia: Before I give him the gift, I want to read Vossius and tell you how difficult it was to get this book. First of all, it’s written in Latin, and we had to have this section translated, and we only found out about this because we were looking in these databases that said, “The first one we know of that mentions this is Gerhard Vossius.”

In 1643 he writes, “There is no need for us to say…” what Michael said, “that John 6:4 was first written, but the holy day of the Jews was approaching.” In other words, there was a common opinion in Vossius’ day that the words “the Passover” were added to John 6:4; that there was some feast, probably Sukkot in the next chapter, which they believed, or the coming chapters in John 7, that they believed that the words “Passover” had to be added because this broke the chronology and didn’t make sense.

Vossius is saying, “What everybody around me is saying, that John 6:4 has two added words, ‘the Passover’, I can explain that away. The text had to do with the holy day of Tabernacles, but the copyist, since he had not been paying attention to it, wrote ‘Paschah’”. This was the common opinion in 1643, in the time of Vossius. He says, “‘The ancients’…” and this is really important, pay attention here, guys. “‘The ancients’ refers to the early Christian authors who are commonly today called ‘the Church Fathers’.” We’ll explain in a few minutes what that is. “The ancients seem not to have read the word ‘Passover’ at John 6.” We’ll show you that it’s not just seem, it’s a pretty strong case, since they say that Christ predicted one year or even a few months besides.

So Michael, he’s talking here about one year and change, that’s what you’ve been teaching. They were talking about that in 1643! To get this book, I found a bookseller online in Italy. I wrote to him and I said, “I need this by March.” He said, “I can’t get it.” This was in November. He said, “I can’t get it to you by March, because I have to get a special permit from Florence. I have to travel for hours to Florence, Italy to get a special permit to export this book out of the European Union, because it’s from 1643.” I said, “Okay. You can’t help me.” I found a seller in Belgium. He said, “No problem. DHL will have it to you in three or four days.” [laughter] That was end of November. I got it in February because it was held up in customs. They said, “It’s a book from 1643. We can’t just let this out of the European Union.” It had to go through a whole customs… He told me two months, maximum. It was over two months until I finally got the book.

Here, Michael, I want you to have this in your library, because what you’ve been attacked for, what you’ve been teaching - I don’t know if it’s right or not - but it’s not some crazy, hairbrained idea you plucked out of the air. This is something Christian scholars have been saying for at least 400 years, Michael.

[applause]

Michael: Nehemia, thank you. Thank you. If I’d only learned to read Latin and went to Amsterdam…

Nehemia: There you go. [laughing]

Michael: That’s all I had to do.

Nehemia: Exactly.

Michael: Thank you.

Nehemia: All right. Now, we want to bring the next source here, and we’re going to get to the real meat of the matter, which is the Church Fathers, and you’re going to hear about how important that is. We already saw that Vossius says, “I don’t believe these words were added, but they weren’t in the text known to the Church Fathers. The ancients didn’t read the word ‘the Passover’.”

Henry Brown is a scholar in 1944, he’s a Christian, and he’s struggling to work out the chronology of the life of Yeshua. He writes, “The reading of the text in John 6:4, though it is found, I believe, in all the manuscripts…” I want to come back to those words in a minute, “all the manuscripts and versions, could not have been found in the texts of the first two centuries.” Meaning, the first two centuries of the Christian era, when people are going, like we talked about before, they’re going to Thessalonica and they’re copying the letter to the Thessalonians, they’re bringing it to their other place and they’re doing this with John, as well.

He's saying, “In the first two centuries, the words ‘the Passover’ in John 6:4 could not have been in the text.” What he really means is, when we look at the Church Fathers, we do not find these words… that they knew about these words. We’re going to see why he said that. Before we get to that, I want to dwell for a second on this phrase, “I believe in all the manuscripts that John 6:4 is there.” That’s what he says here, Henry Brown in 1844. We in our research, spending hundreds and hundreds of hours – like I say, we had four different people, John and I, and this man in Greece, and T-Bone.

Michael: T-Bone.

Nehemia: All of us have been looking at these different sources, spending hundreds and hundreds of hours. We kept finding this statement in all the manuscripts. John 6:4 is there, it’s in all the manuscripts. The Church Fathers didn’t know it, but it’s in the writings of… every manuscript that survived has John 6:4. What we found is, that’s not true.

Now, Michael already alluded to this in his Chronological Gospels, he mentions two manuscripts. We’ll get to that later, in a later section. But right now, I want to talk about the Church Fathers, and I have to wonder if these scholars had had access to the manuscripts that we have access to today, how would they have understood this? Even not having the manuscripts, they were convinced these words were added in John 6:4.

Let’s talk about the Church Fathers. John, you spent hundreds of hours. You basically did a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent thereof by studying this topic of Church Fathers. You told me something, that your life was changed doing this research. Tell us about that.

John: Well, Michael, when you originally published the manuscript version of the Chronological Gospels, I bought several copies. When the version came out, the standard version, I bought cases of it and was handing them out. I thought it was one of the most interesting chronologies I’d ever seen, and I spent a lot of time discussing this with many people. The Church Fathers is not an easy subject to approach. First, we have to understand what a Church Father is. Many of the early Christian writers whose literature has survived, many of them were considered Fathers of the Church, of the Catholic Church. They were not all Catholics, and many of the sources we’re going to quote today are regarded by the Catholic Church as heretical sources. Some of them are Church Fathers officially, some of them are not.

But Church Fathers are an insight that we get to the text of the Gospels in the early years. Our texts that we have, that we showed on the screen earlier, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, these are 3rd century and later texts. These are copies of copies of copies of copies of the text that John actually wrote, that Luke wrote. We don’t have the original text. Well, one way that we can get closer to the original text that we don’t have, we do have text from prominent Christian writers in the 1st and 2nd century, and they quote the text. They write about the text. So we can get an insight into what the text behind our oldest copies is by reading the works of these Church Fathers.

Nehemia: Let me emphasize a point here. When you hear this term “Church Fathers”, this does not refer to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Those are the authors of the New Testament, and the people who knew those authors are sometimes called “Apostolic Fathers”. And then the people who knew the people who knew the authors of the New Testament, those are what are referred to as “Church Fathers”. Sometimes, they’re disciples of those disciples. When we say “Church Fathers” we are not looking at this as saying, “Oh, these are the Fathers of the Church and we must obey them.” Nobody at this table considers these to be inspired authors. The importance of the Church Fathers is they are witnesses to an early text of the New Testament. They read the New Testament, and the question I’m always asking is not, how did this Church Father understand the New Testament? His interpretation is interesting, but what I’m really interested in is what text of the Gospel was in front of him? I don’t have that text anymore, but I can reproduce and recreate what that text was, in some instances, by reading what the Church Fathers wrote.

John, you have this wonderful quote from Metzger and Ehrman, who wrote the text of the New Testament, this definitive book that they study in universities. Read us what they wrote about the writings of the Church Fathers. There are these things called “citations”. A citation is when the Church Father quotes verbatim from the New Testament. What do they say about the citation?

John: “They quote the New Testament over a million times. So extensive are these citations, that if all other sources of knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament.”

Nehemia: That’s significant. If we didn’t have a single manuscript of the New Testament and we only had the Church Fathers, we could recreate what the New Testament said, because they quote it so many times verbatim. By the way, in Jewish studies we do the same thing with what’s called Chazal, or the so-called Sages, and these are both technical terms. Church Father is the technical term that refers to Christian authors from the 2nd through roughly the 7th or 8th century, and Chazal or Sages is a Jewish technical term that refers to the writings of the Mishna, the Talmud, the Tosefta, the Midrash… It’s a certain period of authorship. We don’t have manuscripts of the Tanakh, of the Old Testament from the 2nd or 3rd century - we have some Dead Sea Scrolls, right? But primarily, when we want to know what the texts looked like in those days, we go and we see when the rabbis quoted it, what were they quoting?

Now, there’s always a bit of a danger in doing this. Let’s take the example of the Mishna, where the Mishna - that’s the writings of the early rabbis, where they quote the Torah - we don’t have the copy of the Mishna from the year 200 AD. We have copies from centuries later, 1,000 years later. And sometimes when these things were copied, they were updated. Somebody copying it said, “Wait a minute. That’s not what it says in Leviticus. I’ve got to change what it says here to match what I know from the weekly Torah reading.” And this happened with the writing of the Church Fathers as well. It even happened with John 6:4. We won’t have time to get into it. But there are places where scholars… [music plays]

Michael: Excuse me.

[laughter]

Nehemia: That was the voice of the Lord. There are places where scholars agree that John 6:4 was inserted into a text based on what they believed it was supposed to be – meaning text of the Church Fathers – based on what the copyists believed were supposed to be there. I don’t think we’ll have time to get into that, but we’re going to look at some of the clear definitive information, and I want to start with a Church Father named Clement of Alexandria. John, tell us a little about Clement.

John: Clement lived between around 150 to 215. He was an author and he taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria, which was a prominent place for Bible study. This was the location of the largest library in the ancient world. He dies in Jerusalem. He’s got many disciples. One of his disciples is Origen, who becomes a prominent figure. One of the works that he authored was a work called Stromata which basically means miscellaneous. It’s a set of miscellaneous teachings, and in that teaching he speaks about the duration of Yeshua’s ministry.

Nehemia: Can we see what he said? All right. And again, we’re asking the question not as what was Clement’s opinion, but what version of the Gospel of John appeared in front of him. Did he have John 6:4 in his Gospel? We already saw that there were scholars like Zachary Pearce and Henry Brown who believed he didn’t have it. “And Jesus was coming to His baptism being about 30 years old.” He’s commenting on that verse, and so on. “And that it was necessary for Him to preach only a year. This also is written, ‘He has sent Me to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,’” which is the subtitle of Michael’s Chronological Gospels, that’s the verse that is quoted from Isaiah, and we’ll talk about that in a minute. “This both the Prophets spoke and the Gospel.”

In other words, he’s reading the Gospels and he’s saying it’s plain in the Gospel. It’s quite clear. The ministry of Yeshua was one year. It says, “The acceptable year of the Lord.” That’s referring to the ministry of Yeshua. Just to understand the context here, this is from Luke 4:16 to 19, where he’s quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2. “Yeshua came to Nazareth where He had been brought up. As His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. He was handed the book of the Prophet Isaiah. When He opened the book, He found the place where it was written. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to His captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those are oppressed, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” According to Clement of Alexandria, what that means is the ministry of Yeshua was one year.

Now remember, even Eusebius agreed that Matthew, Mark, Luke were one year, because they really sound like that. Eusebius, who champions the three-and-a-half-year ministry agrees that there’s one year here. But Clement is saying, “Yeah, the ministry of Yeshua was one year.”

John: What this means is, the view put forth in the Chronological Gospels is not a new view. It’s a view that was taught at the end of the 1st century, beginning of the 2nd century into the 3rd century. This is the oldest documented view. There’s nothing new about the view that was put forward in the Chronological Gospels. This was one of the most prominent schools in the ancient world, and this was one of its most prominent teachers. This is the view being put forward at that school.

Nehemia: So what Michael is teaching has been taught now for like 1,800, 1,900 years. Michael, are you ready to convert to Catholicism and accept the Pope, please? [laughter] No. Clement didn’t accept the Pope either, I don’t know that there was even a Pope in this period.

Henry Brown, who is a scholar we already quoted, in 1844 he writes, “The reading of the text in John 6:4, though it is found, I believe, in all the manuscripts and versions, could not have been found in the text of the first two centuries.” I’ve brought this quote before. Now you know what he means. He’s looking at Clement just like we are, and he tells us that. I’m not that smart. I just copied what Henry Brown said. I’m looking up the sources. I’m not just taking Henry Brown’s word for it, though. I want to see Clement’s words for myself. I’m sending these off to Greece to make sure that this is a correct translation. I’m verifying these things.

And what Henry Brown said is now verified. In Clement’s writing in the year 200 AD approximately, we do not have John 6:4, otherwise how could he possibly say there’s a one-year ministry? He couldn’t. He’d say it’s at least two years.

Michael: We’ve got John 2 and 3, the first Passover.

Nehemia: That’s right.

Michael: John 12, the final Passover. If their Gospel had John 6:4 in it, none of these people would have been so stupid as not to know it would take well over two years to cover three Passovers. I said that in the introduction, and now you’re proving this out.

Nehemia: We’re just bringing the actual quotes where you can see it for yourselves. You can decide for yourself. You don’t have to rely on what Michael says. You can agree with Clement and Michael and Zachary Pearce and Henry Brown, and other people who have said this. There’s another opinion out there.

Michael: And now Vossius.

Nehemia: Well, Vossius actually believed it was more than a year, and he just ignored that verse, basically.

Michael: Oh, okay.

Nehemia: He kind of ignored it away. But he mentions that it was the common view in his period. That’s why he’s important. Anything to add here, John?

John: No, just that, in this case – Clement… you don’t have to agree, and this is important to remember. As I’m out discussing this with individuals, now you believe everything the Church Fathers wrote?

Nehemia: Not at all.

John: Are you returning to Catholicism? I was born as a Catholic. I was baptized as a child. No, I’m not returning to Catholicism. We don’t have to agree, even with the opinions of Clement. In this particular citation of Clement here, he’s expressing his opinion. This is the conclusion that he’s drawn from the Gospel. Now, it’s kind of far-fetched to assume that one of the most prominent teachers at one of the most prominent schools would be ignorant of plain, simple language in the Gospel. However, we know lots of prominent teachers who are ignorant of plain and simple language in the Bible.

[laughter]

So we need more than just Clement’s opinion, and when we look in the Church Fathers, we see Irenaeus, we get a little different perspective, and I think we can draw some even more serious conclusions from him.

Nehemia: Tell us about Irenaeus of Lyon. He’s a guy who wrote… Tell us about him. Tell who was Irenaeus.

John: He lived 130 to 202. He was a disciple of Polycarp. Polycarp is said to have been the disciple of John. So Irenaeus was one person removed from John himself.

Nehemia: From the author.

John: From the author. Irenaeus was a 2nd century heretic hunter. He wrote works enumerating heresies and then attacking them.

Nehemia: He wrote a book called Against All Heresies. What was the original title of the book? [laughing]

John: On the Detection and Overthrow of So-Called Gnosis.

Nehemia: A-ha. So this is Gnostics that we’re dealing with.

John: He particularly wrote against Gnostics, and he had his own view of the duration of Yeshua’s ministry, based on an interpretation he had of John 8:57. This is the passage about Abraham, and they tell Yeshua, “You are not yet 50 years old, yet you’ve seen Abraham?” When Irenaeus reads that passage, he says, “You wouldn’t say that to a 30-year-old, so he must be at least 40, maybe approaching 50 at this point.” So Irenaeus believes that there’s a 20-year ministry.

Michael: 20-year ministry.

Nehemia: 20-year ministry, okay.

John: And we’re not interested in Irenaeus’ opinion. We are interested, but because he believed this long opinion existed, and because there was this popular teaching of a one-year ministry, he took issue with one of the teachers of the one-year ministry, and he says, “I’m going to show how little knowledge the Gnostics have.” He says, “Let’s go to the Gospel record and count the number of Passovers. We can prove that it wasn’t a one-year ministry.”

Nehemia: Just to be clear, Irenaeus is against the one-year ministry, and what he wants to show is the ministry was more than one year, and he wants to count every Passover he knows about to show that this group called the Valentinians are wrong and the ministry is more than a year.

Michael: Challenge accepted.

Nehemia: Okay. He says, “It’s very surprising how the Valentinians…” and Michael Rood [laughter], “claim to have found the depths of God and have not searched the Gospels to see how often after His baptism the Lord went up to Jerusalem and there celebrate the feast of Passover.” So now he’s going to tell you every Passover he knows about. And what we’re interested in is not his opinion, but what version of John appeared in front of him.

“The first time He went up to feast of the Passover was after he’d made wine out of water in Cana of Galilee” in John 2. “After that, He went up to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover the second time. At that time, He healed the paralytic who had been lying beside the pool for 38 years.” That’s John 5, we’ll talk about that later, but that’s the second Passover, John 2. John 5, “Again He departed to the other side of Lake Tiberias.” Now he’s talking about John 6, and he’s not talking about a Passover - he wants to show you Yeshua went up to Jerusalem, left Jerusalem, went up to Jerusalem, left Jerusalem, and each time He goes up that’s another year.

John 6 is cited as an example of Him leaving Jerusalem. Nothing is said here about a Passover. “Again, He departed to the other side of Lake Tiberias, where a large crowd had followed Him. He satisfied the entire multitude with five loaves of bread.” Then it is written that “six days before the day of the Passover, He came to Bethany,” in John 12. “From Bethany He went up to Jerusalem and ate the Passover,” in John 13, “and suffered on the following day,” John 19.

Now, everyone will admit that three times of the Passover do not make one year. What are Irenaeus’ three Passovers? John 2, the unnamed feast in John 5, and John 13 in the end, the final Passover. Why doesn’t he mention John 6:4?

Michael: John 2 and 3 is Passover. He goes up into the Galilee. He stops at the Samaritan village. Then up to Cana where He had turned the water into wine. Then He comes back to Passover again, John 5. That’s the next things that happens. John 2 and 3 is Passover. John 5 is Passover? You’re an idiot! [laughter] No, that’s Shavuot. That’s the next feast!

Nehemia: It’s not that he’s an idiot. Well, he might be an idiot, fair enough, I don’t know. [laughter] The important thing here for me, whether he’s an idiot or not, is that he does not have John 6:4, because if he does, he would have mentioned it.

Michael: Absolutely.

John: If John 6:4 was in his text, he would have to have been an idiot. [laughter]

Nehemia: That’s true, okay. We’re no longer establishing whether John 6:4 is original, we’re trying to determine was Irenaeus an idiot.

John: If you’re saying that he had John 6:4 in his text, that’s the argument for three-and-a-half-year ministry. Irenaeus was an idiot.

Nehemia: Okay. They have said that, not me. Henry Brown, 1844, a Protestant teacher who’s working on the chronology. Because this isn’t just, “I figured this out.” I didn’t figure this out. I’m looking at these sources using these resources I have. If I had to do this the old-fashioned way, this would be a 30, 40-year project and I wouldn’t even get to everything, but I had access to these databases.

Henry Brown writes, “I think incontestably that Saint Irenaeus…” that’s what he calls him, “did not read the words ‘the Passover’ in Saint John 6:4. If he was so anxious to find a Passover where none was…” in 5:1, “he was not likely to overlook a Passover when one was mentioned, especially as he notices the contents of that very passage.” Meaning he mentions John 6 as an example of Yeshua leaving Jerusalem, not coming up to a Passover in Jerusalem. And you can really come to know their conclusion that Irenaeus, just like Clement of Alexandria, around the year 200 AD, read the Gospel of John and did not have 6:4 there in his Gospel.

Now, the next Church Father we’re going to get to – and this is, I call these the “big three”, there are a lot more than three, but our time is limited here. The next one is called Origen. Origen is spelled “en” at the end. It doesn’t mean the origin of something. That’s oreginesa in Greek. Tell us a little bit about Origen. He’s really interesting. He’s a very important character.

John: He was a disciple of Clement. Clement appointed him the head of the Catechetical School in Alexandria, and he was interested in the word of God from his youth. His father, Leonidas, was martyred. He wanted to join his father in martyrdom, and his mother hid his clothes so that he couldn’t go outside and turn himself in to the heathen police. When his father was in prison, he would visit his father in prison and say, “No matter what, don’t deny what you believe.” This was a man who, from a very early age, wanted to serve. For most of his life he slept on the floor. He fasted. He did not eat meat. He didn’t want to do anything that would distract him from his work in the Gospels. You can agree with his opinion, you can disagree with his opinion, but he was a serious student of the word of God from an early, early age. He ultimately did get his wish of being martyred. He was tortured during the Decian persecution and unfortunately, he died due to injuries that he sustained during his torture.

One of the things that makes Origen interesting and relevant to this conversation is that he was schooled at Alexandria. This is the largest library in the ancient world. You mentioned earlier, this issue of multiple text. This is not a Christian issue. It’s not a New Testament, Christian issue, we have multiple text. In Alexandria they had an entire school of people working to determine what’s the original text of Homer? Because we only have copies of the copies of the copies. There are some places where they disagree. Origen was schooled in the secular field of textual criticism to recover the original language of ancient text, and as a Christian, he’s dealing with copies of copies of the originals. And he applies this knowledge in his life to the Christian text, and not only the Christian text but the Hebrew text, as well. He’s one of the most prolific Christian authors of all time. Even by today’s standards he’s one of the most prolific authors. One of the books that he authored is the Hexapla.

Nehemia: Right. The Hexapla is this incredible work. It’s really important in the history of studying the Hebrew Bible. Origen was reading the Bible, the Tanakh, the Old Testament in Greek, in what’s called the Septuagint. What he realized is, there are different manuscripts to the Septuagint that don’t all agree. In addition, when you compare the Septuagint to the Hebrew text, which he had access to, there are verses in the Septuagint that don’t appear in the Hebrew, and vice-versa.

So he created this book called the Hexapla, which was six columns. The first column had the Hebrew written in Hebrew characters. The second column had the Hebrew written in Greek characters - they transcribed it into Greek. The third column was the Septuagint, and four, five and six were other Greek translations. He used this to compare each of these different versions, and when they differed, he made notations. We’ll get back to those notations later, they’re very important for this entire discussion.

But here’s why Origen is so important. He lived around the year 184 to 253, and the reason he’s so important to our discussion is this was not a man who just blindly accepted every text that just happened to be in his hand.

You were talking before about your friend, and at the end of the discussion he said, “I’ll accept the King James because that’s the one in my hand.” Origen was not like that.

John: The exact opposite.

Nehemia: Origen was the exact opposite. He went out hunting manuscripts and looking for different documents and comparing them systematically. Going back to the Greeks, when they looked at Homer, to them that was a sacred text, and so they developed this whole science of systematically comparing the Greek tragedies, the writings of Homer and all these different documents to compare them and make sure they had the most accurate version, and Origen said, “Shouldn’t we do that with our Bible?” And he did that with the Tanakh. He also did it with the New Testament.

And so he's in a sense the father of New Testament textual criticism. Textual criticism is this whole science of comparing manuscripts.

John: He’s also considered the father in the Christian Church of allegorical interpretation. This is important…

Nehemia: That will be important, yes.

John: …and relevant because Origen, he felt very strongly, “If we’re going to take the literal text and we’re going to come up with an allegory that’s hidden in the text, then it’s extremely important that we have the accurate, original wording of the text, or our allegory is going to lead us in the wrong direction.” So Origen collected manuscripts from all over and diligently studied varieties of manuscripts to make sure he had an accurate text.

Nehemia: Guys, that is so important. If you want to interpret something in the Bible symbolically, allegorically, as a shadow picture of good things to come, first you need to understand the literal meaning of it. I see this all the time. I call it the tail wagging the dog. People come up with the symbolic meaning of how something applies to Yeshua, and then they go back and force the text to say that in a literal sense. They’re missing the boat, because if you can’t understand the literal, you cannot figure out what the symbolism is.

Origen says in his book First Principles, “Yeshua taught only during a year and some months.” Basically, Origen read the Chronological Gospels by Michael Rood. [laughter] No. This was the opinion. This was the common opinion of the Church Fathers.

John: Dominant opinion.

Nehemia: Yeah, it was the dominant opinion at least in these early centuries. Just as his teacher Clement had said; he’s teaching the same thing. This isn’t the only quote that we have. In Luke 4:19, remember Luke 4:19 is where Yeshua reads from the Book of Isaiah in the synagogue of Nazareth.

Origen writes, “Following the simple sense of the text…” and that is so important, because Origen was an allegorist, and allegorically, you can take anything to mean anything you want. But he's saying, “The simple sense of the text.” Forget allegory. We’ll get to allegory. He brings allegory later in this homily. “Following the simple sense of the text, some say that the Savior preached the Gospel in Judea for only one year. This is what the passage, ‘To preach an acceptable year of the Lord,’ means.”

Remember, if John 6:4 is in the Gospel of John, and there’s a third Passover, this is an impossible statement - you cannot have a one-year ministry of Yeshua preaching. It can’t be. It’s impossible. You have at least two years.

Origen on John 5. Now, why are we bringing Origen on John 5? What we really want to do is bring Origen’s commentary on John 6. Where’s that slide?

John: Origen wrote a verse-by-verse commentary on the entire Gospel of John. He wrote a verse-by-verse commentary…

Nehemia: All you have to do is open up 6:4 and get the answer.

John: …on John 6:4. However, the work is damaged, that portion of the manuscript is missing. We don’t have access. We go back, and the closest we can get is his commentary on the unnamed feast in John 5.

Nehemia: Okay, but we can deduce from that what his view was about John 6. He says on John 5, “But we must reply…” and he’s replying to those who interpreted the unnamed feast in John 5 to be a Passover. We already saw that opinion - Irenaeus of Lyon had that opinion. He’s replying to those who have this similar opinion. “We must reply to those who say that the unnamed feast in John 5 is Passover, that when He came into Galilee in John 2…” which is just before Passover, “where earlier he had made the water wine, and after these things there was a feast of the Jews,” in John 5, “and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, at which time He healed the paralytic. But in this feast in John 5 were that of Passover, for its name is not added, the sequence of the account is cramped.” There are too many things happening, event after event, too many events for John 5 to be a Passover.

This is especially the case, since a little later in John 7 it is added that ‘the Jews’ feast of the Tabernacle was at hand.’ In other words, we can’t get a Passover into John 5 between John 2 and John 7, because John 2 is a Passover, John 7 is Tabernacles. How can you squeeze a Passover into John 5? So, if you can’t squeeze a Passover into John 5, you certainly can’t squeeze a Passover into John 6.

Let’s go back and understand this. “The sequence of the account is cramped. John 2 is a Passover. John 7 is a Tabernacle. There’s no way the unnamed feast could be a Passover because the sequence of the account is cramped,” according to Origen on John 5, and if the sequence is too cramped for John 5 to be a Passover, there’s no way there’s any feast in John 6, certainly not John 6:4, because then it’s super cramped.

So even though we don’t have Origen’s commentary on John 6:4 we can infer from what he says about John 2, 5, and 7 that there’s no Passover in John 6. Again, I don’t care what Origen’s opinion is. What I’m trying to figure out is, what text of John did he have in front of him? And when we read in Henry Brown and Zachary Pearce that John 6:4 was added because the ancients, the Church Fathers, didn’t have these verses, they’re referring to Clement of Alexandria, they’re referring to Irenaeus and they’re referring to Origen and others, which we can’t bring everything, we’re bringing a lot of stuff here. We’re running out of time for this section and there’s so much more to bring. This isn’t even the exciting part, guys. We’re going to get to the exciting part.

[laughter]

I want to bring one more Church Father who has a one-year ministry. There’s a lot of them. There are many. We can’t bring them all. This guy is incredible, John. He’s so humble. He sends me an email, and he says, “If you have time, read this book,” and he sends me a 250-page dissertation, a PhD dissertation that he read the day before. He’s like, “Oh, yeah. I spent all morning and the other day.” Are you kidding me? Just on Origen, right? This wasn’t even on our topic. It was like a side subject to look at. He pored through hundreds of hours looking through numerous Church Fathers. When we went through this we said, “There’s no way we can do this in three-and-a-half hours,” which is what’s been allotted. That includes another topic we have to talk about. I said, “There’s no way we could do this. There’s a lot of stuff we can’t bring.”

Guys, this is an invitation to you. The invitation is for you to go out and continue to study this on your own. Don’t just read the people who say it’s one year. Read the people who say it’s three-and-a-half years. Listen to their arguments. Hear both sides of the story and decide the evidence for yourself. There’s a book that we consulted by Ogg. What’s the title of the book?

John: The Duration of the Ministry of Jesus.

Nehemia: So here’s a scholar who wrote an entire book arguing it’s a three-and-a-half-year ministry, and we studied that book in detail. We’re going to bring one last Church Father before we take a break, and that’s Tichonius. The reason I bring Tichonius, he’s pretty late. He’s 380 AD approximately, he wrote this book. Tichonius lived after Eusebius. Eusebius is the champion of the three-and-a-half-year ministry, and Tichonius is writing 50, 60 years after Eusebius. The reason this is important is, there’s no question that Eusebius had John 6:4 in his Bible. That’s not disputed. We’re going to see that in our next segment.

Tichonius writes, “Did He give these precepts…” and I love it, because Tichonius is writing about Matthew 23 verses 2 to 3, where Yeshua says, “The Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses.” He’s asking the question, “Why is Yeshua wasting his time talking about the Pharisees sitting in the seat of Moses? He’s going to be dead in two days, and everything He says is going to be irrelevant.” Tichonius’ assumption is, everything Yeshua taught during His ministry was only relevant until His crucifixion, and then it was washed away from the world. His conclusion is, “It has symbolic meaning for later in the life of the Church, but the literal meaning is put to rest with the death of Yeshua.”

Tichonius says, “Did He give these precepts,” concerning the Pharisees, “only for the next two days? Because after that he was not alive any longer. But if he had also conveyed these things from the beginning of his preaching, it would have been a year, because the whole preaching of Yeshua is one year,” according to Tichonius. So even if on the very first day of His ministry He talked about the Pharisees and not following what they do, because they sit in the seat of Moses following what they teach, that would have only been relevant for one year. In that year, what need was there to teach what would have been enforced only until the Passion? Right? Why is He wasting His time talking about this?

Tichonius’ conclusion is that they later have allegorical meaning and significance. But the point here of why this is important is that even after Eusebius, Tichonius is reading the Gospel of John in his manuscript and John 6:4 is not there, because he has a one-year ministry. We’re going to see sources that talk about a longer ministry. We’re going to talk about Eusebius and other sources that have the three-and-a-half-year ministry, and at least in Eusebius’ text there’s no question, he’s got John 6:4, but what we’re already seeing in the first two Christian centuries, even into the 4th century, in the 4th century there are two versions. There’s a version of the Gospel of John which has John 6:4 and there’s a version of the Gospel of John which does not have John 6:4.

And it's not that Michael is taking a verse out of the Bible and saying, “Hey, we don’t like this verse. Get rid of it.” These two versions exist by the 4th century, and apparently we can show the other version existed in the 2nd century, based on Clement, based on Irenaeus, based on Origen. In their version, there was no John 6:4. So this is just like Acts 21:25. It’s not that we’re getting rid of a verse from the Bible. What we’re talking about is both versions exist. You may not have known that both versions exist, because nobody told you, and so you just thought, “This is what it says. This is the one I have in my hand. The one I have in the hand is the one I have to stick with.” Well, now you know more. And now you’ve got to decide which one it is that you want to follow and believe. Wait till you hear all the evidence and hear the other side. Go read Ogg’s book. Hear the other side as well and decide for yourself.

Michael: Thank you, Nehemia. Thank you, John.

You have been listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

We hope the above transcript has proven to be a helpful resource in your study. While much effort has been taken to provide you with this transcript, it should be noted that the text has not been reviewed by the speakers and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to support our efforts to transcribe the teachings on NehemiasWall.com, please visit our support page. All donations are tax-deductible (501c3) and help us empower people around the world with the Hebrew sources of their faith!

SUPPORT NEHEMIA'S RESEARCH AND TEACHINGS!
Makor Hebrew Foundation is a 501c3 tax-deductible not for profit organization.

Subscribe to "Nehemia's Wall" on your favorite podcasts app!
iTunes | Android | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn

Share this Teaching on Social Media

Related Posts:
Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament - PART 3 of 4
Hebrew Gospels from the Vatican Junk Box
Hebrew Manuscript of the Book of Revelation
My Search for Hebrew New Testament Manuscripts
Hebrew Voices Episodes
Support Team Studies
Nehemia Gordon's Teachings on the Name of God

  • Freda Woroniuk says:

    This section of acts always bothered me. It didn’t make sense. Now I know why. Thank you.

  • Nunya Biz says:

    Soooooo close, can’t u taste it? If y’all cud just see the last supper was the night of the 10th, beginning of 11th The Aviv, from the “simple reading of the text”. (Bibliography: Matt.26:2,17,20, Mark14:1, 12, 17, Luke22:1, 7, 14, John 12:1,12, n John13:1,2)

  • KT says:

    Sorry … one other comment/question:

    Much of the discussion seems [to my busted ears] to interpret the writings of the John and the other Gospels ina chronological order.

    Granted, much of it certainly is, as we can read in the authors’ references within the texts themselves.

    But when it gets down to counting Passovers and the spacing and order in which they were written — does the overall text support this?

    Nehemiah would know about this far better and more accurately than I, but doesn’t even the Old Testement writing style jump around [chronologically] a bit? Even the story of creation and Adam snd Eve?

    I may likely be completely mistaken or erring in context. Does some of the ancient Hebrew writing style follow this kind of return to references divorced from chronological storytelling? Maybe not — I believe the ancient “church fathers” the discussion referenced assumed a complete chronological order, with no jumping-back in the narrative. But do we know the entries in question are chronological in context? If not, would that imoact the study of John 6:4, or the concern regarding “bunching” passovers too close together (which seems to rely on a steady chronology throughout each chapter of the Gospels).

    Also, just because only 2 or possibly 3 Pasdovers were written about, does that absolutely mean there couldn’t have been some John and the others didn’t include? Just because something wasn’t written about doesn’t unnecessarily prove it didn’t happen — unless of course the context of everything else makes it impossible to allow for such.

    Thank you for tollerating these long-winded comments. I won’t make a habit of it; it’s just been excellent and thought-provoking series.

  • KT says:

    I am enjoying this series. Thank you!

    I became a bit discombobulated regarding the discussion of the counting of Passovers by Polycarp’s disciple [my lack of hearing made me uncertain if the name gives was that of Irenaeus or someone else]. Anyway, it “sounded” to me that the discussion leaned toward interpreting his ommission of John 6:4 to mean that verse didn’t exist in that disciples available versions.

    Elsewhere in the discussion I think I heard a reference to one text referencing Tabernacles or another Feast and that the reference to Passover might be a later modification.

    If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sence for Polycarp’s disciple to not include John 6:4 if it did in fact exist in his versions — because his versions might have referenced Tabernacles. So, unless my bad ears derailed my understanding of the discussion completely, the chat about this fellow might not absolutely support the asdumption John 6:4 was completely missing in the ancient versions available to him.

    I have an additional humble suggestion, because I love how this group works into the details and textual history. It would be great if they discuss the unnamed Feast of John 5 in even greater detail. It sounded as though most scholars are all but certain it was Passover. What would be the impact of it being another feast, say First Fruits, Tabernacles, etc? If that’s a possibility, would that impact the 1-year versus >2-year or 3.5-year ministry of Jesus? If so, I think a future discussion of this in greater detail woud be a very informative.

  • Phillip G. Bradshaw says:

    This underscores why we need to expedite the publishing of the restored text of the Unabridged Holy Bible [no, the title does not exist, I hereby take credit for coining the term and grant use of the title in exchange for production of a Holy Bible that is free of scribal errors and alterations] Miles Jones is working on the Hebrew B’rit Chadashah, but we need the whole Tanakh restored as well. Like the 780 years edited from B’resheet 11: 12 – 24, all is important to understand the origins of humanity and intent of Yehovah.

  • UKJ says:

    Jn 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

    In my view, it is unusual that this is just called the ‘feast of the Jews’

    Could this possibly have been the feast of dedication or Hanukkah?

    In John 10:22-23 we can read that Yeshua had been in Jerusalem for the feast of dedication! This means he may also have been the year before?

    And it was winter!! After winter follows spring and the Passover, as one can read in John 6:4…

  • UKJ says:

    Shalom.

    I think that the answer of whether Yeshua’s ministry lasted one or three and a half year cannot be known conclusively!

    It all depends what one would class as ministry! In my view one year would not have been enough to bring about his fame amongst the population in such a large area! One has to consider they didn’t have an internet at the time!

    Also, not everything he had spoken and done, had been written down! There must therefore be many gaps of which we have no knowledge of!

    Jn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    • daniel says:

      No one from my generation has any delusions about the lack of internet and other electronic communications two thousand years ago. If you want to argue with the Apostolic Fathers and other church fathers regarding duration, go right ahead. But, if you think it makes NO difference (1 year vs 3+ years), all the other Messianic prophecies are of little or no importance also. One of the reasons European Jewry rejected Christ in Martin Luther’s day is because they were presented with a Greek reinvented Jesus, born on 25 Dec, 3 yr. ministry, abolished Mosaic Law, and couldn’t possibly be the one prophesied in Tanakh! If it took Christ 3 and a half years to do what is recorded he must’ve been one lazy dude, and prophets would be liars.

      • UKJ says:

        Dear Daniel,

        In no way do I uphold a reinvented Jesus, but rather put in question , how anyone can be so sure of the length of Yeshua’s ministry!

        Again, I am quoting John 21:25
        Jn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

        This is an indication that, if even the world could not contain the books that should be written, then there may be many gaps, we may be unaware of!

        I would love to read your explanation of how all other prophecies require or are demanding a one year ministry of Yeshua! Thank you!

        • daniel says:

          Not ‘all other prophesies require or are demanding a one year ministry’ and I never said they all do. How can anyone be so sure of the length of His ministry? Ask the church fathers … or read Michael’s book.

          • UKJ says:

            In connection to the passage in John 6:4 and the passover which had been not yet, but, was nigh or near, the following

            Jn 6:54 Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
            Jn 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
            Jn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
            Jn 6:71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.(yet future, when this was spoken)

            Thus ends this chapter!! What does all this mean?

            In no way can one CONCLUDE from this CHAPTER in John 6:4, that Yeshua “DID NOT” participate in the Passover, which was” nigh or near!!! …..”

  • daniel says:

    I think it may have been Eusebius himself and his minions who went on a campaign of writing copies of John with the addition of ch.6, v.4, just to support his ‘opinion’ of 3.5 yr. ministry – and probably destroying copies they found with no 6:4 – just to inflate the ego and importance of Constantine.

    • Steven Avery says:

      While Eusebius could influence the Greek copies to an extent, other languages like Latin, Syriac and Coptic would have been untouched by the Eusebius action.

  • Lia says:

    My question is about this fact—the boy had barley loaves that he gave to Yeshua to share with the 5000.

    If the unnamed feast in John chapter 5 is Shavuot then why barley loaves, as Shavuot celebrates first fruits of the wheat harvest?

    Or was this to show that he was a poor boy as his family couldn’t afford wheat when it first ripened?

    Thanks for your consideration.

    • Gregg says:

      Barley loaves were readily available. The loaves couldn’t have been made of wheat because the harvest was not yet. It would have to have been harvested, winnowed and ground to flour to make the loaves. That takes time but everyone had barley available by this time. YHVH bless.

  • J.W. says:

    Nehemia, Michael, and John,

    THANK YOU for this series. Can’t wait for the next podcast to be released on this topic.

    Having been raised in Christianity, I too had been taught a 3 1/2 year ministry. But my studies over the years couldn’t support that. Based upon the number of Passover’s in the Book of John, I could only arrive at 2 years PLUS change. But then too, I was including JN 6:4.

    This is NOW making terrific sense, and I do not doubt in the least that Micheal, you, and John, are 100% accurate in your podcast. Yehovah God knows that I cherish every tidbit, every morsel of TRUTH that Yehovah shows me, often through you, and that I immediately cast aside any false beliefs I may have held when a truth is revealed. I do not wish to be stubborn or rebellious in His eyes.

    Anyway. THANK YOU for this in-depth informational series, and will be excitedly awaiting your next presentation of this subject.

    J.W.

  • Anon says:

    Ye’shua read about “the acceptable year of Yehovah” from Isaiah 61:2 in the Sabbatical year of 28 C.E. when he began his ministry, so he showed the acceptable year to be a Sabbatical year. He died in 31 C.E.

    • UKJ says:

      (Ye’shua read about “the acceptable year of Yehovah” from Isaiah 61:2 in the Sabbatical year of 28 C.E. when he began his ministry, so he showed the acceptable year to be a Sabbatical year. He died in 31 C.E.))

      This is an interesting comment!

      I also think that the answer of whether Yeshua’s ministry lasted one or three and a half year cannot be known conclusively!

      It all depends what one would class as ministry! In my view one year would not have been enough to bring about his fame amongst the population in such a large area! One has to consider they didn’t have an internet at the time!

      Also not everything he had spoken and done had been written down! There must therefore be many gaps of which we have no knowledge of!

      My conclusion is: At present we simply don’t know!

    • daniel says:

      Where’s the evidence of yr. 31 crucifixion? Rood’s ‘The Chronological Gospels’ provides strong evidence for a 72 week ministry culminating with a 28 c.e. crucifixion from Historians of the day, the Talmud, and astronomical star programs from NASA. What’s not known is the sabbatical and Jubilee cycle of years,

      • Anon says:

        We do know the Sabbatical years. There are pictures of Sabbatical year coinage found of Herod the Great for years -36, -29, -22, -15 and -8 B.C. So the “acceptable year” is a Sabbatical year of 28 C.E., which is when Yeshua’s ministry began (Luk 4:16-20). The years 28 and 31 are the only two that work with a Wednesday crucifixion and the sighted moon 14 days earlier. So, since he cannot begin and end his ministry at the same time, his death must be in -31.

        We also know the Jubilee years from 2 Kings 19:29, which shows a Sabbatical year next to a Jubilee year. “And this is the sign for you: This year (Sabbatical -701 B.C.) you eat what grows of itself, and in the second year (Jubilee -700 B.C.) and in the third year (-699 B.C.) sow and reap and plant vineyards and eat their fruit. So from -700, one can count forwards and backwards to date every other Jubilee in history.

        • UKJ says:

          Interestingly,

          Jn 4:35 Say not all of you, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

          Did Yeshua make His statement in the midst of a Sabbatical Year ?

          If the fields are white and ready to harvest, and there are four month to the harvest, then this could possibly mean that no-one was allowed to harvest until the end of the Sabbatical Year ?

          • Anon says:

            Yeshua made this statement late May/ early June, in the middle of the wheat harvest during the sabbatical year of 28 C.E. Shavuot is four months before Yom Teruah, so he wanted them to stop looking to Sukkot for the ingathering, but pay attention to the Shavuot harvest! In the future, Shavuot is when the saints from Yeshua’s death up until his return will be raised in the resurrection, just like the saints from Adam until Yeshua were raised on the First-fruits of the barley harvest (Mat 27:52-53).

            FF barley harvest = saints from creation > 31 C.E.
            FF wheat harvest = saints from 31 C.E. > Yeshua’s second coming

  • WILLIAM E Black says:

    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR DILIGENCE MAY YEHOVAH BE PRAISED FOR YOU! TRUTH TRUTH SO WE CAN WORSHIP YEAHOAVH IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH (TORAH)

  • Eva Palmerin says:

    Yehovah be with you Nehemiyah! Thanks for everything you share us. With all the evidence you have collected. Do you believe in Yeshua as the messiah now?

  • Deborah Shively says:

    Hi Nehemiah,
    I find your studies very interesting. Regarding the insertion of John 6:4, I believe that the scribe that was copying this added it, or it was accidental copied in from his notes which can happen, to tell everyone that it was spring. Obviously they were not sitting in the snow when Jesus was multiplying the loaves and fishes. He would have kept that upcoming Passover. The next feast that was mentioned is Tabernacles in chapter seven, so we have been shown that the events described happened between spring and fall.
    I also wanted to ask you if you had ever tackled the question regarding John’s account of the last supper? Do you know if his statement “before the feast of Passover” is an addition, or is he referring to the festival that happens after the actual Passover Seder the evening before? Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Anon says:

      Before the Festival of the Passover (John 13:1) would be the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th at night. The Passover lambs are killed on the 14th and eaten at night on the beginning of the 15th, which is the first day of Unleavened Bread.
      end of 13th/ beginning of 14th > last supper, wash feet
      end of 14th/ beginning of 15th > Passover/ UB1

      • Deborah Shively says:

        Thank you very much. This is a big help. Many blessings to you.

      • Deborah Shively says:

        Another quick question. Does this mean that Jesus ate with His disciples on the preparation day and did not eat on the Passover? (Forgive my aging brain, sometimes I have trouble coordinating things.) When I first read the account that’s what I thought. Jesus was eating on the evening after the preparation and was not able to keep the Passover, that was the day He was crucified and Barabbas was released? Please correct me if I am wrong. I am trying to answer this question for someone. Thanks.

        • Anon says:

          Jesus was eating on the evening *of* the Preparation. On Preparation Day of the Passover (Joh 19:14), he was impaled at 9 a.m. (Mar 15:25) and there was darkness from noon to 3 p.m. when he died (Luk 23:44-46). Then they had to remove his body and place it in a tomb before sunset as the High Holy Day of the first day of Unleavened Bread began at evening starting the 15th day of the month (Luk 23:53-56, Joh 19:42, Lev 23:5-7). This night everyone ate the Passover as UB day 1 began. Since Jesus was literally the lamb (as all the other lambs were being prepared), he did not eat of it because he was in the grave.

          • Deborah Shively says:

            Thank you so much for clearing this up for me. It has so much meaning. I really appreciate your help. Many blessings to you.

      • J.W. says:

        Anon,

        Seems s though you and I get the same the same conclusions from what is written about Passover/UB .

        Few seem to be taking into account that the preparation time for cooking an entire lamb, whole, is apt to take upwards of 6-10 hours, maybe even more. (I’ve never done it, so guessing. I know turkeys take several hours and they are small compared to a whole lamb.)

        From what I read, it appears Yeshua was sacrificed on a Wednesday, put in the tomb at the going down of the sun as Thursday was beginning, His body spent 3 nights and 3 days in the heart of the earth Mt 12:38-40, while His Spirit preached to spirits imprisoned from Noah’s day 1 Pet 3:18-19.

        Thursday was a high day or annual Holy Day, UB1, Jn 19:31, so the women rested per the Commands of Holy Day observance Lev 23.

        Friday, the shops would have been open so they could buy and prepare the spices. Friday eve, the weekly Shabbat occurred, so they observed that Holy Day as well. During a 15 day period, there are 3 weekly Shabbats and 2 annual Shabbats, 2 UB’s

        Yeshua arose as the weekly Sabbath was ending 3 nights and 3 days. Of course He was gone at daybreak Sunday morning; He arose the evening before. So the Catholic Church with Emperor Constantine’s help, mistakenly made the first day of the week, Sunday, as their day of worship, then persecuted & killed the Jews and others, who observed the 7th day. The Catholic Encyclopedias relay this. What man has the authority to CHANGE the day Yehovah rested from creating? Not possible! But the Mother of Harlots, Rev 17:5, the Catholic Church, managed to do such and have deceived all her harlot daughters, the churches of Sunday Christianity.

        The Catholic Church fathers DID NOT understand the feast days as being Holy Days like Sabbaths, so they took the women resting on the Sabbath as resting on the weekly Sabbath, not UB1.

        For this lack of understanding they created the Good Friday/Easter Sunday tradition, which lacks even a minute of a 3rd night! Thus they have taught “Christianity” to believe Yeshua,(Jesus) their Savior/Messiah was a liar, because they IGNORE His Words at Mt 12:38-40.

        • Deborah Shively says:

          I have a quote from Barnabas from his epistle. The church came together on Sunday morning, because that’s when they discovered that the tomb was empty, If Jesus rose in the night, then that still would have been the same day according to Hebrew time keeping. So He rose at night on Sunday and would have been in the tomb three nights from Wednsday. So, it was not Constantine that initiated Sunday worship. The Apostles saw Sunday as the eighth day in Leviticus, and the fulfillment of the seventh. We have to remember that Jesus was instigating the New Covenant on the evening of the prepartion day and that is why He called it “Passover.” (Luke 22:1). This is the quote from Barnabas, – “Lastly, He saith unto them: your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot bear them” (Barnabus is quoting from Isaiah 58) – Consider what He means by it; the Sabbaths, says He, which ye now keep are not acceptable to Me, but those which I have made; when resting from all things I shall begin the eighth day, that is: the beginning of the other world for which cause we observe the eighth day with gladness, in which Jesus rose from the dead; and having manifested Himself to His disciples, ascended into heaven (The Epistle of Barnabus, Chapter 12: 9,10).
          The eighth day is mentioned in Leviticus as a foreshadow of the rest to come in Jesus. The eighth day was also a Sabbath. There were actually two Sabbaths observed during certain occasions- Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. Le 23:39.
          Thanks again for your help. I was trying to put together an article about Jesus instigating the New Passover and was trying to coordinate the timing.

          • CarolAnn says:

            The Eternal One, who changes not, created the heavens & the earth in 6 days. He rested on the 7th day, that was, is and forever shall be The Shabbat. Period. Yah has spoken. Why would Messiah change anything He spoke, being the Living Word, from Sinai??