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Possible Error in Peshitta 1Co. 5:8? - Leavened Bread
Dear Ronen,

In all humility, I really believe that many Christians have confused this issue due to a failure to study Scripture thoroughly in its original Hebraic, or "Jewish" context. I'll give only a brief demonstration that convinces me, that without one shadow of doubt, Yeshua and his disciples ate the Passover--which would be with unleavened bread--and not some other Christian "Last Supper." I mean no offense to anyone who disagrees, but let's look at the evidence:

Point #1) Three out of four Gospels clearly state that it was the "Passover" (Mat 26:19-21, Mar 14:16-18, Luk 22:7-8). On this basis alone, even if there was a contradiction in John's Gospel (which there isn't), it would only make logical sense to take the testimony of 3/4 witnesses that Yeshua ate the Passover meal.

Point #2) Regarding your question about "first day of unleavened bread" (Mat 26:17) I understand the confusion, but think it can be easily resolved. The key is understanding what Scripture means by "the first day." And the fact is that different passages use this phrase in different ways. Some use it for the 14th of Abib while others use it for the 15th of Abib.

"'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel" (Exo 12:15 - NASB)

As you know, Ronen, the leaven is supposed to be removed before Passover begins, not after the Passover on the 15th day of Abib. By then, you are already into the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so this citation from Exodus 12:15 proves that "first day" can actually refer to the 14th of Abib instead of the 15th. And that is how the Gospels use it in Mat 26:17, Mar 14:12).

Admittedly though, other passages use "first day" to refer to the 15th of Abib, and one of those passages is the very next verse after the one above:

"In the first day there shall be to you a set-apart gathering, and in the seventh day a set-apart gathering" (Exo 12:16 - NASB)

Now Ronen, we know that this is referring to the 15th of Abib, but as I pointed out above, the previous verse (15) stated that the leaven should be removed on the "first day." I believe the apparent contradiction in the Tanakh timing is mitigated by recognizing that Moses seems to give details from different angles or approaches (cf. Exo 12:17-20, Lev 23:4-6, Num 28:16-17, Deu 16:8).

Think of a family trip that you have taken. Some may argue over which was the "first day" of the trip. Was it when you left the house, supposing you left your house late in the evening? Or was it the first complete day that you were gone from the house, which on a calendar, would be the next day of the week. Which do you call the "first day" of the trip?

At any rate, the point is that when the Synoptic Gospels say "first day of Unleavened Bread" it simply means the daylight portion of the 14th, which will then "touch" the 15th at evening when Unleavened Bread technically begins. There are simply two meanings, or rather, ways of applying the phrase "first day" in Scripture.

Point #3) John's Gospel: This is where Hebraic context is crucial for the proper understanding. Again, I already made the point that three out of four Gospels clearly state that the "Last Supper" was the Passover seder. But John's requires some deeper understanding of Jewish culture to rectify.

The short answer that may resolve the apparent contradiction is that what the Pharisees were calling the "Passover" in John 18:28 was actually the "chagigah" offering, which could be done on either the 14th or the 15th. In their case, they apparently still needed to perform this ritual before the end of the 15th, and they didn't want to become defiled in the Praetorium. Matthew Henry's commentary (a Christian) nails this on the head for John ch. 18:

"The chief priests and elders, though they came along with the prisoner, that the thing might be done effectually, went not into the judgment-hall, because it was the house of an uncircumcised Gentile, lest they should be defiled, but kept out of doors, that they might eat the passover, not the paschal lamb (that was eaten the night before) but the passover-feast, upon the sacrifices which were offered on the fifteenth day, the Chagigah, as they called it, the passover-bullocks spoken of Deut. xvi. 2; 2 Chron. xxx. 24; xxxv. 8, 9. These they were to eat of, and therefore would not go into the court, for fear of touching a Gentile, and thereby contracting, not a legal, but only a traditional pollution."

John Gill's commentary--a must have for Christians who want to learn the Hebraic context of Scripture--concurs with Matthew Henry above. I won't copy his whole commentary for John 18:28, but I highly recommend it for those who are confused about the Passover / Last Supper debate. Gill agrees with Henry, as follows:

"that they might eat the passover; pure and undefiled; not the passover lamb, for that they had eaten the night before; but the "Chagigah", or feast on the fifteenth day of the month."

In conclusion then, I believe it is a bullet-proof case, when these factors are all taken into account, that 4 out of 4 Gospels say that Yeshua ate the Passover--the Hebraic, Torah-based Passover, which by law would have been with UNLEAVENED BREAD (Exo 12:8).

I'm still not sure if this is relevant to our discussion on 1Co. 5:7-8; but again, I say that Yeshua and his disciples lived and taught the Torah--not Christian theology, which didn't evolve until ca. 120CE onwards, and especially shaped up with Constantine three hundred years later.

Again, I didn't intend to open this subject, but please at least study church history and understand that Christian theology is diametrically opposed to what Yeshua and his disciples taught in some areas. I promise that I'm not trying to step on toes, but unless you want your Scripture to be broken (Joh 10:35), then I suggest taking a step back from church doctrines and studying Scripture in its original context, and with well-known principles of exegesis used by the people who wrote the Scriptures.


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RE: Possible Error in Peshitta 1Co. 5:8? - Leavened Bread - by Thomas - 11-07-2015, 12:39 AM

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