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Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης

Is it a lie when the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus and the disciples ate the unleavened bread when in fact that bread was leavened?

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I do not know about the big debate, but it would seem to hinge on whether the Memorial meal Jesus instituted took place immediately after he ate the Passover Meal on Nisan 14. at which clearly ONLY unleavened bread would have been available in keeping with the instruction in Ex. 13 6-10.

So establishing that Jesus' instituting of the Lord's evening meal took place after the Passover meal and within the period of time covered by the instruction on leaven at Ex 13.13:6-10 will settle the debate for me.

There is clearly a substantial difference this year (2016) between the modern timing of the Jewish Passover and the Memorial of Jesus death.

However, it seems the practice (since the 4th Century) of adding an extra month, Adar 1, every so often to realign the Jewish lunar calendar with the solar calendar puts the modern Jewish calendar out of sync with our Memorial date, particularly in 2016.

This well explained here: http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm#Links

There are other factors effecting the date. The timing of Nisan 1 by the sight of the new moon in Jerusalem rather than the astronomical calculation can mean a difference of 18-30 hours, placing our reckoning of Nisan 14 up to 2 days later. Also, the timing of the Passover Sacrifice as taking place between sunset and darkness of Nisan 14 (as substantiated by Ex 12:6 and De.16:6) differs from those Jewish authorities who place the Passover meal later, as occuring on Nisan 15.

Our calculations are based on the best evidence for the system used when the memorial was instituted by Jesus in the 1st Century, rather than the more recent Jewish methods.

Other references include:

WT 1 Feb 1976 p73

The modern Jewish calendar determines the beginning of their month of Nisan by the astronomical new moon. However, usually it is eighteen hours or more later when the first sliver of the crescent of the new moon becomes visible in Jerusalem. Each year, in recent times, the governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses has determined the actual new moon that becomes visible in Jerusalem, which is the way the first of Nisan was determined in Biblical times. For this reason often there has been a difference of a day or two between the Memorial date of Jehovah’s witnesses and the Nisan 14 date according to the modern Jewish calendar.

*** w73 3/15 p. 175 Is the Date for Celebrating Passover Important to Christians? ***

Is the Date for Celebrating Passover Important to Christians?

JESUS CHRIST, the founder of Christianity, instituted the memorial of his death (the Lord’s Evening Meal) on a day marked by an annual observance, the Jewish Passover. This being the case, reasonably the Lord’s Evening Meal would also be an annual celebration. Hence the date on which the Passover was held would determine when the memorial of Jesus’ death should be commemorated. Christians therefore find it of more than passing interest to ascertain when Passover was observed. It is important, for they are under command to keep the memorial of Jesus’ death.—Luke 22:19.

According to the Jewish calendar, the anniversary date for the celebration of Passover falls in the month of Nisan. Regarding the lamb or goat that was to be eaten during the course of the Passover meal, Jehovah God commanded: “It must continue under safeguard by you until the fourteenth day of this month, and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel must slaughter it between the two evenings.”—Ex. 12:6.

What does the expression “two evenings” mean? Does it have any bearing on the date for celebrating Passover?

Jewish tradition generally presents the “two evenings” as the time from noon (when the sun begins to decline) on until sundown. As the Israelites measured their day from sundown to sundown, this would mean that the Passover victim was slaughtered prior to the sundown with which Nisan 14 ended and Nisan 15 began. If this were correct, the Passover meal itself would have been eaten in Egypt on Nisan 15 and the Israelites would not have left Egypt until that date.

But the traditional Jewish view regarding the “two evenings” does not harmonize with the Bible account at Exodus 12:17, 18. There we read: “You must keep the festival of unfermented cakes, because on this very day I must bring your armies out from the land of Egypt. And you must keep this day throughout your generations as a statute to time indefinite. In the first month [Nisan or Abib], on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening you are to eat unfermented cakes.”

Had the Passover victim been slaughtered as Jewish tradition holds, namely, in the last quarter of the fourteenth day, which ended at sundown, then the Israelites could not have left Egypt that “very day.” The event that enabled them to depart was the death of the Egyptian firstborn. But, as this took place at midnight, it would not have come until about six hours after Nisan 14 ended.—Ex. 12:29.

So we must look to a source other than Jewish tradition to find out when the Passover victim was sacrificed and then eaten. We need to examine the Bible itself to determine the significance of the expression “two evenings.” Directing our attention to Deuteronomy 16:6, we note that in the case of the first evening a time beginning considerably later than noon is involved. The instructions to Israel here read: “You should sacrifice the passover in the evening as soon as the sun sets.” So the first of the “two evenings” manifestly designates the time when the sun sets, whereas the second evening would correspond to the time when the sun’s reflected light or afterglow ends and darkness falls.

This explanation of the two evenings was also offered by the Spanish rabbi Aben-Ezra (1092-1167 C.E.), as well as by the Samaritans and the Karaite Jews. It is the view presented by such scholars as Michaelis, Rosenmueller, Gesenius, Maurer, Kalisch, Knobel and Keil.

Viewing the Biblical evidence as a whole, we can see that the Passover victim was slaughtered at sunset, at the start of Nisan 14, and the meal itself was eaten later that evening. Whereas the Jews of today, in keeping with tradition, eat the Passover meal on Nisan 15, their practice is not supported by the Holy Scriptures. The correct anniversary date is Nisan 14.

Thus Jesus Christ must have eaten the Passover with his disciples on Nisan 14 “after evening had fallen” and thereafter instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal. (Mark 14:17; Matt. 26:20-28) Jehovah’s Christian witnesses therefore observe the memorial of Christ’s death on its anniversary date after sundown on Nisan 14.

So with regard to the question, I am satisfied that Jesus used unleavened bread as an emblem in the Lord's evening meal and that his followers to day are correct in following his example and instruction on this matter.

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@Eoin Joyce good answer.  Although please remove the formatting in your response as much is off the page. 

@the poster.  Please ask Questions in the section for questions. You are just trying to make statements. I changed your title to a question. 

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Very interesting EOIN , Instead of answering with a yes or no (like a Christian), you chose to answer like a Greek philosopher?
According to John, Jesus died before the festival began at sundown...the “day of Preparation for the Passover” (John 19:14).
So my question still stands. Maybe Jesus made the memorial with unleavened bread...

Please take in consideration that when Jesus gave Judas to eat.. gave him bread  after he had dipped it (John 13:26). For those who know about  matzot, they know also that there is no reason to dip a bread like this, because they cannot absorb moisture by dipping. they need many time in order to absorb liquids.

Also,while the narrative in the synoptics situates the Last Supper during Passover, the fact 
remains that the only foods we are told the disciples ate are bread and wine the basic elements of any formal Jewish meal. If this was a Passover meal, where is the Passover lamb? Where are the bitter herbs? Where are the four cups of wine?

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1 hour ago, Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης said:

Very interesting EOIN , Instead of answering with a yes or no (like a Christian), you chose to answer like a Greek philosopher?

No. Just following the master: Luke 20:3.

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1 hour ago, Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης said:

(John 13:26). For those who know about  matzot, they know also that there is no reason to dip a bread like this, because they cannot absorb moisture by dipping. they need many time in order to absorb liquids.

Jesus explains his reason for dipping the bread: (John 13:25, 26) "So the latter (John) leaned back on the chest of Jesus and said to him: “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus answered: “It is the one to whom I will give the piece of bread that I dip.” So after dipping the bread, he took it and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Is·carʹi·ot."


1 hour ago, Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης said:

If this was a Passover meal, where is the Passover lamb? Where are the bitter herbs? Where are the four cups of wine?

Eaten and drunk for the most part I expect.


1 hour ago, Γιαννης Διαμαντιδης said:

the “day of Preparation for the Passover” (John 19:14).

Regarding the morning of Jesus’ trial and appearance before Pilate, which was in the morning period of Nisan 14 (the Passover day having begun the evening before), John 19:14 says: “Now it was preparation of the passover.” (NW, KJ, Da) Some commentators have understood this to mean “preparation for the passover,” and certain translations so render the verse. (AT, We, CC) This, though, suggests that the Passover had not yet been celebrated, whereas the Gospel accounts explicitly show that Jesus and the apostles had celebrated it the night before. (Lu 22:15; Mt 26:18-20; Mr 14:14-17) Christ perfectly carried out the regulations of the Law, including the requirement to celebrate the Passover on Nisan 14. (Ex 12:6; Le 23:5.) The day of Jesus’ trial and death could be viewed as the “preparation of the passover” in the sense that it was the preparation for the seven-day Festival of Unfermented Cakes that began the next day. Because of their closeness on the calendar, the entire festival itself was often included in the term “Passover.” And the day after Nisan 14 was always a Sabbath; additionally, in 33 C.E., Nisan 15 fell on the regular Sabbath, making the day a “great” or double Sabbath.
Insight on the Scriptures Vol 2 p.676

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