Sydney: A new book by a Cambridge University physicist claims that Jesus Christ’s Last Supper - the final meal that he shared with his 12 Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion - is commemorated a day late.
Prof Colin Humphreys, who was knighted last year for his contribution to science, argues that the Last Supper Jesus Christ shared occurred on Wednesday, April 1, AD 33, rather than on a Thursday as traditionally celebrated in most Christian churches, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The theory could explain the apparent inconsistencies between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke - which say the Last Supper was a Passover meal - and that of John, which says Jesus was tried and executed before the Jewish festival.
It would also explain another puzzle: why the Bible has not allowed enough time for all events recorded between the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.
Colin`s book, ‘The Mystery of the Last Supper’, out this week, uses astronomy to re-create calendars, plus detail drawn from texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls to propose a timeline for Jesus` final days.
“The claim I make is that we`re misinterpreting some parts of the Gospels because we don`t understand sufficiently life in the first century AD,” he said.
Colin argues that Jesus celebrated Passover early using the pre-exilic calendar, which the Jews used before their exile in Babylon.
It would have been understood by early Christians as operating alongside the official Jewish calendar, he said.
The theory could be controversial as it questioned traditional beliefs but Colin said the key revelation was of tolerance.
“I think Jesus is really reaching out to all sorts of people when he chooses not to use this official Jewish calendar,” he added.