The Gospel of John and the Second Passover

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Abstract

The difference in the chronology of Passion Week between the Synoptics
and in the Gospel of John is often the focus of scholarly attention.
In the Synoptics Jesus dies on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the
first day following the Passover meal in the evening. In John, Jesus dies
on the “Day of Preparation” prior to the Passover sacrifice and meal.
By factoring in biblical festivals named in calendrical texts from
Qumran, and the law on the Second Passover (Num 9:6–14), which is
named “the Second Passover” פסח השני in the Qumran calendars of the
priestly courses (mišmarot), I argue that the Johannine writers describe
a different timeline of the Passion Week to that of the Synoptics.
This study examines the question of whether Jesus was corpse contaminated
at Passover (John 11:55), and his attitude to the law of Num
9:6–14 with respect to the narrative of Lazarus. It concludes that Jesus
died on the day of the Second Passover which began that evening (John
12–19).
The authors of the Fourth Gospel thereby preserve an interest in
Jewish festivals after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-112
Number of pages40
JournalThe Polish Journal of Biblical Research
Volume22
Issue number1-2 (43-44)
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Fourth Gospel; Gospel of John; Passion Week; Second Passover; Dead Sea Scrolls; Passover; New Testament

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