A deeper understanding of the Gospels

Answering your Gospel questions is a tall order. So we will begin with a list of questions and then follow that with the background you need to understand what things mean in the Gospels. Like what time did the work day end if the steward paid the workers who started at the eleventh hour and only worked one hour? (Mt 20:9). Or where it says Jesus disciples were going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:2). What time of year was that and what did it celebrate? Then we will discuss the common teaching techniques that were in use during Jesus' time so that you can recognize them and know what if anything more you need to do to gain the full meaning that the evanglist and Jesus intended to convey. We will also walk you through establishing the actual dates of Jesus' birth and death. Lastly and most importantly we will show you how knowing these thing impact your understanding of the life and death of Jesus.

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Let's start with a quiz. Give your self 2 points for each correct answer. You need 70 points to pass. If you don't pass, that is why this site exists. These questions are some of the ones I wrote down when I began to really try to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. I have never met anyone who could pass the quiz so if you can, leave me a comment I would be delighted. If you don't pass don't be discouraged. I couldn't answer any of them when I started at age 40.
  1. Which of Mary’s parents was related to Elizabeth?
  2. Why was Mary betrothed (engaged) to Joseph, if she took a vow of celibacy?
  3. When did the Incarnation happen? (hint it wasn’t March 25th).
  4. How did Mary, a 14-year-old girl, get to Elizabeth’s house 90 miles away?
  5. Where did Elizabeth live?
  6. What was the sign given by the angel, so that Mary would know that what the Angel told Mary was true?
  7. When did Joseph find out that Mary was pregnant?
  8. When was John the Baptist born?
  9. Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, (other than to fulfill prophecy of Micah 5:1)?
  10. What does “Bethlehem” mean in Aramaic? in Arabic? (each is worth 1 point)
  11. When was Jesus born? (Hint: it wasn’t December 25th)
  12. Why was there no room in the inn?
  13. Why was Jesus born in a stable, in a culture known for hospitality to strangers, in his own home town no less?
  14. Why did the angels appear to the shepherds?
  15. When was Jesus redeemed as Mary’s first born? (Hint: it was not when He was presented)
  16. Why did Jesus have to stay in the Temple when He was 12 years old and hurting one’s parents is a sin yet Jesus didn’t sin?
  17. What was Mary’s role at the Wedding in Cana? She was there and the others were invited?
  18. Whose wedding was it? (There are two possible answers either one of them is acceptable)
  19. What did Jesus communicate to Mary, when He said: “Woman what is this between you and me, my hour has not yet come”? (again 2 parts each is worth a point)
  20. How were James, Joset, Jude, and Simon, named as Jesus' brothers (Mk 6:3), related to Jesus? Give yourself 0ne point if you know the name of the relationship and one more if you know either of their parents.
  21. Which of the apostles were known to Jesus before He began his ministry?
  22. What is the symbol of the Jewish political establishment?
  23. Where was Caiaphas when Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?
  24. What were the Essene children doing while Jesus cleaned the temple?
  25. What day of the week was the Last Supper? (Hint: it wasn’t Thursday.)
  26. Why did the people in the front of the crowd fall over each other when Jesus approached in the Garden?
  27. How many trials (opportunities to be freed) did Jesus have?
  28. What is a Mesith?
  29. How many blows was Jesus given during the scourging (that were hard enough to leave a mark)?
  30. What was the “given” name of the woman who wiped the face of Jesus? (Hint: it isn't Veronica.)
  31. What was the “given” name of the man who was released by Pilate instead of Jesus? (Hint: it isn't Barabbas.)
  32. What does “barabbas” mean?
  33. How many times did Jesus fall under the weight of the cross? (Hint: it isn't three.)
  34. What were the names of the men crucified with Jesus?
  35. Which Psalm did Jesus name while on the cross?
  36. Why did Jesus name the psalm?
  37. Which of the apostles’ mothers were at the crucifixion, while they hid?
  38. What were those mother's names?
  39. “Jesus knowing that everything had now been completed, in order to completely fulfill the scriptures said: ‘I thirst’.” (Jn 19:28) What scripture was He fulfilling?
  40. What did Jesus say after He finished the Last Supper?
  41. Which of Jesus' wounds did Padre Pio say hurt the most?
  42. What was the name of the centurion who pierced Jesus' side with a lance?
  43. What does INRI stand for?
  44. What is the Hebrew equivalent and what does it spell?
  45. What caused the darkness while Jesus hung on the cross?
  46. What does the letter based pictograms (picture words) for YHVH "יהוה"say ?
  47. With what was the shroud bound to Jesus' body?
  48. How many fish did Jesus provide the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias after the resurrection?
  49. What is the significance of the number of fish?
  50. Every Sunday in the Nicene Creed you say: “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.” Where does it say in scripture that the Messiah must die and rise on the third day?
  51. How do we know that Mary ascended into heaven before she died?


As Mary said in one of her appearances at Medjugore about her birthday, it is not as important on what day it is celebrated as it is that it is celebrated. Mary told the children in July of 1984 that on August 5th she would celebrate her 2000th birthday. The children objected that her birthday was Sept 8th. Mary simply replied I have two birthdays. The problem is that when it can be shown that something stated is not factually correct, it casts doubt on everything else that has been said. That is exactly what the Devil wants to do: to cast doubt on everything else that is said in the Bible.

We have celebrated the Last Supper on Holy Thursday so long we have forgotten that Jesus actually celebrated it Tuesday evening with the Essenes. Factually the only way that the Last Supper could have been on Thursday is if the Shroud of Turin is a fake, or John was mistaken in his Gospel when he said Jesus was buried according to Jewish burial custom, or Jesus attended the Last Supper after having been scourged by Pilate’s soldiers. Oh, and Jesus was just kidding when He said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. I personally conclude that the Last Supper didn’t happen on Thursday and that Jesus never said it did to anybody, ever!

The Church originally celebrated the Last Supper on Tuesday and the beginning of the Jesus’ Passion on Wednesday. See Pope Benedict XVI homily for April 5, 2007, Mass of the Lord’s Supper. 1 It was at least a century after Jesus died when the Church instituted the Tridium for the convenience of both the clergy and the laity.

I am not attacking the Church or its teachings. I believe that Sacred Scripture is inerrant except where human beings have made alterations to further their own agendas. (As was done with the Masoretic Text). I believe that if you dig you will find that Jesus was really born in 2BC despite what all our bible scholars try to tell us. The devil doesn’t want us to know when Jesus was born because then he has to admit that Jesus is real!

There are just a few discoveries that really opened up my understanding and are behind the answers to most of my questions:
  • Jesus said I have come to fulfill the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Law: it is easy to understand how Jesus fulfilled the Prophets and the Psalms but how do you fulfill the Law? Just what is the "Law". Many will say that the Torah itself is the Law of Moses. John implies that in the opening to his Gospel. "In the beginnng was the word." (Jn 1:1) The Torah is the Word of God. At the end of John's Gospel Jesus provided 153 fish plus the one already on the charcoal fire. By providing the 154th fish himself Jesus is saying the number of fish points to himself. There are 154 verses (sedarum) in the Torah. Jesus is saying He is the Torah. So, if the Law is the Torah and Jesus is the Torah just what does it mean "to fulfill the Law"? How do you fulfill the Law? The answer to that may just lay in the fact that the Law specifies feasts that need to be celebrated every year so that they are always remembered! If God wanted them to always be remembered why don’t we celebrate all of them? Does God not want Christians to remember 3 of them? One of those three Jesus already fulfilled on the day of the feast! We actually celebrate that one but not on the day of the Feast and with no reference to it. Yet it celebrates one of our most essential beliefs: "The Divinity of Jesus." Each of those Feasts are also Messianic Prophecies. So far each that has been fulfilled was fulfilled by Jesus on the Day of the Feast! Remember what John said after leaving the tomb Sunday morning after Jesus rose from the dead: We didn’t yet understand the Scripture. They didn’t understand because it never occurred to anyone that the Feasts they were celebrating every year were all Messianic prophecies. Five down. Two to go. Jesus said to the apostles: “And from the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender and the leaves come forth [blooms], you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors. Amen I say to you that this generation shall not pass till all these things have taken place.” (Mt 24:32-34) The fig tree is the symbol of the Jewish State (Nation). The truth that this parable relates is that within 80 years after the Jewish Nation comes into existence (blooms) all Messianic Prophecies will have been fulfilled. (Two to go!) Scripture also says that a generation is 70 years, 80 for the strong. (Ps 90:10) that does not mean that I am saying the world will end; it means that all the Messianic prophecies will have been fulfilled by Jesus, on the day of the feast, if God is consistent which I believe He is.

  • The Last Supper didn’t happen on Thursday. The Synoptic Gospels say the time from the meal at which Jesus was anointed for his burial to the Passover was two-days while John says it was six-days. It turns out they are both right! There were two Passovers celebrated in Jerusalem that week! And there needed to be to enable Jesus to fulfill the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the day of the Feast! The Seder Meal is the meal on which the sacrificed lamb was consumed. But more importantly it was a thanksgiving sacrifice of unleavened bread and wine in thanksgiving for the deliverance about to be provided by the blood of the sacrificial lamb. Jesus couldn’t celebrate the Last Supper while He was in the grave and He couldn’t fulfill it by celebrating it on his own with just his apostles. God arranged for there to be two calendars in use in Jerusalem. The Essene Calendar used by 20% of the population and the Temple Calendar used by 80% of the people. 2 Since during Passover, the population of Jerusalem swelled to 2.5 million people that means 500,000 Jews celebrated the Seder on the same evening that Jesus instituted the Eucharist.

  • Jesus was a rabbi. He had to be! Only an authorized rabbi could make a new interpretation of Scripture. Jesus had to be a rabbi for anyone in that culture to listen to him. Don’t think that Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees would not have shut him down in a heart-beat if He were not.

To avoid peeking, the answers have been separated from the questions. Here are the answers to the quiz. That you had an answer does not mean it is the right answer so check carefully and adjust you score appropriately.

  1. Which of Mary’s parents was related to Elizabeth? Elizabeth and Zechariah were of the house of Levi. Mary’s father was a Judahite and Mary’s mother was a Levite. So, Ann was a sister or cousin to Elizabeth.
  2. Why was Mary betrothed (engaged) to Joseph, if she took a vow of celibacy? A father or a husband could nullify a woman’s vow. Weddings were arranged by parent or guardian whether or not the bride consented. If Mary’s elderly parents were to die, she would be placed with a guardian who would have married her off to be freed from the obligation to support her. And her husband would have nullified her vow as soon as he heard of it (Num 30:7-9). Being betrothed Mary was already married but she would remain with her parents until they passed and then would typically support herself; in Mary’s case she was trained as a handmaid. But she would be under the protection and if necessary, the support of her Betrothed. Since her Betrothed knew that the vow of celibacy existed and went ahead with the betrothal the vow remains in force.
  3. When did the Incarnation happen? Tevet 2, December 9, 3 BC on the Little celebration of Light, the last day of Chanukah. Jesus is the Light of the World. (see the Dates of the Birth and Death of Jesus in this blog. - walking the priestly rotation back in time from the 9th of Av in 70AD when the temple was destroyed to when Zachariah was serving in 3 BC then forward to the start of Elizabeth’s 6th month)
  4. How did Mary, a 14-year-old girl, get to Elizabeth’s house 90 miles away? What a coincidence! Since it was the end of the feast of Chanukah there was a caravan leaving the following morning, with the people who had come to Nazareth from Jerusalem for the feast of Chanukah; which had lasted 8 days and has just ended. I suspect that there were several families who were delighted to share the expenses of a fourteen year old to have a babysitter to help watch their little ones on a 7 day trip.
  5. Where did Elizabeth live? Ein Kerem. The route taken was likely Nazareth on the Via Maris road west to just east of Caesarea then south on the the same road to the first turn toward Jerusalem just south of Lydda. That route was paved most of the way and over flatter terrain as well as slightly shorter than going up toward the Sea of Galilee and then south along the Jordan river road or easier than going overland straight to the Jordan river and then south.
  6. What was the sign given by the angel, so that Mary would know that what the Angel told Mary was true? Elizabeth was 5 months pregnant, in her 6th month, (I didn’t realize that the Angel had given Mary a sign.)
  7. When did Joseph find out that Mary was pregnant? When he met her, Elizabeth and Zachariah in Jerusalem for the celebration of the Feast of Passover. As Mary’s betrothed, he would have been expected to join Mary’s extended family for the celebration.
  8. When was John the Baptist born? On the feast of Passover in 2 BC during the celebration of the Seder Meal, per the expectation of the Jews that Elijah would return on Passover - announcing the arrival of the Messiah, and at the same time to prevent Joseph from confronting Mary about her pregnancy. Mary had been busy with meal preparations and then busy helping Elizabeth with the birth and the immediate care of the infant. Thus, Joseph had time to consider the implications for both himself and Mary. Then after he had decided to sacrifice his own life to prevent Mary from being stoned; the Angel appeared to him. That way it was Joseph’s free choice to Love! That also answers the question as to why the angel said "Do not be afraid." Joseph having decided to divorce Mary privately was looking at being shunned.
  9. Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem, (other than to fulfill prophecy.)? All the temple flocks used for Paschal lambs were raised in the vicinity of Bethlehem. To be qualified to be a Paschal Lamb the lamb had to be born either in the Sadducees pasturage or in a stable owned by them.
  10. What does “Bethlehem” mean in Aramaic? in Arabic? The Aramaic meaning is “House of Bread”. Jesus is the Bread of Life. The Arabic meaning is “House of Meat”. Jesus is the Lamb of God! In the Eucharist the Bread of Life becomes the Flesh of the Lamb of God. What a coincidence, the name of Jesus birthplace points both to Jesus death, the “Lamb of God” and the Eucharist, “Bread of Life”.
  11. When was Jesus born? On the Feast of Tabernacles, the “Feast of God with Us”. Tabernacles celebrates the physical presence of God with the Israelites during the Exodus and simultaneously celebrates God as the “Light of the World”: Tishrei 15 or September 13 of 2 BC. (See the Dates of the Birth and Death of Jesus in this blog.)
  12. Why was there no room in the inn? No one could stay in the inn! It was empty! The courtyard where the poor people, like Mary and Joseph, would normally have stayed was filled with rich men’s tents: During the 8 days of Tabernacles everyone had to live in a tent-like dwelling with at least 3 sides and a leaky thatched roof. There was physically no room in the courtyard (the inn from a poor man’s perspective.)
  13. Why was Jesus born in a stable? The stable had 4 walls and a leaky thatched roof so it qualified as a sukkah. It was currently empty as it was only used by the Levitical Shepherds to protect newborn lambs during the extreme cold of winter. Lambs are only vulnerable to the weather for the first two weeks of life. The flocks were kept away from Bethlehem during the fall so that they would not consume the forage prior to the cold of winter. Jesus was a newborn unblemished lamb born in a stable used to protect paschal lambs from the weather, inspected by Levitical shepherds, found without blemish thus qualified for sacrifice on Passover! The Lamb of God! Quite a new twist on the nativity story!
  14. Why did the angels appear to the shepherds? Jesus is the Lamb of God, a newborn male lamb needed to be inspected by Levitical Shepherds to be qualified to be a paschal lamb.
  15. When was Jesus redeemed as Mary’s first born? (Hint: it was not when He was presented.) Jesus was redeemed according to the Law at his Pidyon Haben on Cheshvan 14 or October 12, 2 BC.
  16. Why did Jesus have to stay in the Temple when He was 12 years old? Simeon witnessed Mary and Joseph holding Jesus up and saying: “Yahweh your Son,” coincidently both the formula for dedicating an infant to temple service and a formal introduction of a child to his father. Thinking that Mary and Joseph simply forgot to record Jesus’ presentation, Simeon recorded Jesus’ dedication on their behalf. That is why Mary did not know that Jesus needed to stay. She had no intention of presenting Jesus for dedication to temple service. She was introducing him to his Father. Thus, Mary didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. But a male child dedicated to Temple service had to be in residence before he turned 13. They were not returning to Jerusalem before his birthday, so He had to stay. Mary subsequently refers to Jesus presentation acknowledging that even though that was not her intent it is what happened. Mary and Joseph would have then redeemed Jesus in order to bring him home. See (Lev 27:1-5)
  17. What was Mary’s role at the Wedding in Cana? Mary was at the wedding and not invited like Jesus and the other disciples. That is because she was a host; the wedding was for a relative.
  18. Whose wedding was it? (There are two possible answers either one is acceptable) Either the Apostle Simon the Canaanite or his brother the Apostle Thaddeus who was also known as Jude; both of whom were nephews of Joseph. Since both Joseph and his brother Clophas had already passed away, Mary was the closest living relative on the father’s side of the Grooms family: thus a host). Weddings were held in the grooms parents home town. Simon is a Canaanite meaning he is from Cana.
  19. What did Jesus communicate to Mary, when He said: “Woman what is this between you and me, my hour has not yet come”? “What is this between you and me” is a Hebrew idiom that means: You know whatever you ask of me I will do. Bishop Sheen and Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo point out that this was most likely not the first time Mary wanted something out of charity for another and likely she always got what ever she needed. So Jesus was at the same time saying you can do this yourself, you don't need me. “My hour has not yet come” is to remind Mary of the connection to Jesus Passion, “My Hour,” where He will turn wine into his Blood. Thus, completing the parallel to Moses turning water into blood. But her response: telling the men to do what ever He says was, at the same time, her telling Jesus that now was the time for Him to show himself for who He was. Jesus turns water into wine (also called the blood of the grape) and then in his hour turns wine into blood. Jesus turned far more water into wine, at least 120 gallons, than they would need to finish the wedding feast. Makes one wonder if the left-over “best” wine was actually the wine used during the Last Supper. They were already using Oak Barrels to store and transport wine in Jesus’ time. (Alexander the Great used clay “amphora” while the Romans switched to Oak barrels prior to their conquest of the Greeks.) Jesus as a carpenter may have even made oak barrels.
  20. How were James, Joset, Jude, and Simon, named as Jesus' brothers (Mk 6:3) related to Jesus? Give yourself 0ne point if you know the name or the relationship and one more if you know either of their parents. Simon and Jude were first cousins. Their father Clophus was Joseph's younger brother.
  21. James and Joset were the sons of Alpheus and his 2nd wife Mary. Mary as the widow of Alpheus married Clophus. When Clophus died Joseph took in his family.
  22. Which of the apostles were known to Jesus before he began his ministry? Simon the Canaanite and Jude (Thaddeus), James the younger, and Matthew. Simon and Jude are sons of Clophas, Joseph’s brother, James the less was a stepson of Clophas and Matthew was a half-brother to James the less. Joseph took in his brother’s family when Clophas died.
  23. What is the symbol of the Jewish political establishment? The fig tree. Note that on Monday of Holy week Jesus cursed a fig tree for bearing no fruit.
  24. Where was Caiaphas when Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? Caiaphas was choosing the best of the lambs to be offered for the people on Passover. (And Jesus, the Lamb of God, was selected by the people as the lamb for the sacrifice by waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna.) - Jesus was fulfilling a part of the Passover celebration.
  25. What were the Essene children doing while Jesus cleaned the temple? Removing the leaven, sin, from their father's homes. - Jesus was fulfilling a part of the Passover celebration.
  26. What day of the week was the Last Supper? (Hint: it wasn’t Thursday.) Tuesday evening or technically Wednesday on Nissan 15 on the Essene Calendar since Wednesday began at sunset. Jesus fulfills the Feast of Unleavened Bread which falls on the 15th of Nisan. However, since the Paschal lamb is consumed at the Seder meal and Jesus can’t be both the lamb consumed and establish the Eucharist at the same time. God used his other calendar established by Enoch, which was in use during Jesus time by 20% of the population of Jerusalem on which an “un-bloody” celebration of the Seder meal was held.
  27. Why did the people in the front of the crowd fall over each other when Jesus approached in the Garden? They knew Jesus was a great prophet and they also knew the story in 2nd Kings Chapter 1 (2Kings 1:9) of King Ahaziah's attempt to arrest Elijah: 100 soldiers and 2 captains were killed by fire from heaven.
  28. How many trials (opportunities to be freed) did Jesus have? Six: (at Annas' house, at Caiaphas' Palace, before the Sanhedrin, before Pilate, before Herod, before Pilate again - after which He was scourged, before Pilate again - at which He was condemned)
  29. What is a Mesith? A Mesith is a someone who subverts the nation by causing the people to worship some other god. Such an individual is tried without any of the benefits of, or protection normally provided the accused, under the law. It is likely they began Jesus’ trial as a trial for a Mesith since He was denied all protections under the law, but they were unable to convict him. So, they switched the charge to Blasphemy using a double meaning to immediately find him guilty. A charge of Blasphemy required a second trial in the morning. The synoptic gospels all reference the first trial and Luke’s Gospel records the sceond trial at which they violated all the laws necessary to convict Jesus but still condemned him.
  30. How many blows was Jesus given during the scourging? 124 (counted by a Shroud team member). It was initially reported as 135 so that is an acceptable answer.
  31. What was the "given" name of the woman who wiped the face of Jesus? (Hint: it isn't Veronica.) Bernice (see the annals of Pilate or the gospel of Barnabus)
  32. What was the “given” name of the man who was released by Pilate instead of Jesus? (Hint: it isn't Barabbas.) Jesus! (Mt 27:17) or its footnote some versions only put the name in the footnote)
  33. What does “barabbas” mean? “Son of the father”, a name used for a man who does not know the name of his father, the son of a prostitute or a man conceived by rape.
  34. How many times did Jesus fall while carrying the cross? (Hint: it isn't three.) Once, if Jesus died before crucifixion the centurion would have to take his place. Thus, Simon the Cyrene was forced to help him. He may have stumbled after Simon began helping but he was immediately removed (untied) from the patibulum so it wouldn’t fall on him again.
  35. What were the names of the men crucified with Jesus? Dismas and Gestus (see the annals of Pilate or the gospel of Barnabus)
  36. Which Psalm did Jesus name while on the cross? Psalm 22: Eli, Eli Lema Sabachthani.
  37. Why did Jesus name the psalm? To point all present back to the Todah offering at the Last Supper which He was about to finish, and for which He was about to provide the deliverance that would be proclaimed to all future generations thus fulfilling Psalm 22.
  38. Which of the apostles' mothers were at the crucifixion, while they hid? James the son of Zebedee and James the younger.
  39. What were those mother's names? Mary the sister (in law) of Mary the mother of Jesus, and Salome the Mother of the sons of Zebedee (James and John)
  40. “Jesus knowing that everything had now been completed, in order to completely fulfill scripture said 'I thirst' " (Jn 19:28) What scripture was He fulfilling? Jesus wanted to fulfill the Feast of Unleavened bread: the Seder Super (Lev 23:6-7). To do that He needed to take the 4th cup and invoke the Nirtzah saying: “It is finished”.
  41. What did Jesus say after He finished the Last Supper? "Father into your hands I commend my spirit." - the Last supper was finished on the cross with the Nirtzah: "It is finished."
  42. Which of Jesus' wounds did Padre Pio say hurt the most? The wound in the shoulder from carrying the cross.
  43. What was the name of the centurion who pierced Jesus' side with a lance? Longinus (see the annals of Pilate or the gospel of Barnabus)
  44. What does INRI stand for? Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.
  45. What is the Hebrew equivalent and what does it spell? YHVH, the name of God: Yahweh. (Now you know why the Jews wanted Pilate to change what he wrote. Hanging over Jesus’ head was the name of God! It proclaimed that they were crucifying God!)
  46. What caused the darkness while Jesus hung on the cross? By the time Jesus died, it had been unnaturally dark for 3 hours (Mk 15:33). It is interesting that during an Exorcism performed by Fr. Gabriel Amorth. Fr Gabriel had a demon say to him if we demons showed ourselves it would eclipse the sun. It is my opinion that from the sixth to the ninth hour, until Jesus died, all the demons had gathered to witness Satan’s victory over the Son of Man and in fact it did eclipse the sun. That is until Jesus died and Satan realized that the Son of Man, the Son of God, God the Son had just performed the greatest act of sacrificial Love ever performed. God had just given up his own life to teach men to Love. The Son of God had in fact just caused Satan’s ultimate defeat. (because this is my opinion give yourself 2 points for your opinion.)
  47. What does the letter based pictograms (picture words) for YHVH "יהוה" say? “Behold the hand. Behold the nail.”: The very name of God, YHVH, points to Jesus’crucifixion!
  48. With what was the shroud bound to Jesus' body? A strip cut from the edge of the shroud (which has subsequently been sewn back onto the shroud.)
  49. How many fish did Jesus provide the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias after the resurrection? 153 + the 1 that was already on the fire = 154
  50. What is the significance of the number of fish? It is the number of Sedarim (the Hebrew verses) in the Torah. John finishes his Gospel as he began it: proclaiming Jesus as the Word, the Torah. By providing the 154th fish Himself, Jesus is saying the number of fish point to Himself. He is the Torah!
  51. Every Sunday in the Nicene Creed you say: “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures.” Where does it say in scripture that the Messiah must die and rise on the third day? Lev 23:5-14 which defines the Feasts of the Lord: Passover and First Fruits. Jesus fulfills Passover with his sacrifice of himself as the “Paschal” Lamb, the Lamb of God who is God’s first-born son to save all men thus pointing to his suffering and death. He also fulfills First Fruits which is always on the 3rd day with his Resurrection, (1Cor 15:20).
  52. How do we know that Mary actually ascended into heaven before she died. Tradition tells us that she was placed in a tomb witnessed by all the Apostles except Thomas but when Thomas arrived, and they opened the tomb her body was gone? "The Blessed Virgin Mary did not die; She ascended to Heaven with Her body and soul" -Message from Our Lady to five year old Gilles Bouhours which was given to Pope Pius XII during a special private audience May 15th, 1950 exactly three months prior to Pius XII issuing the dogma of the Assumption. http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2017/08/little-gilles-bouhours-6-year-old-who.html and In Medjugorje, on Monday, October 12th 1981, Mary responded to a question; "Did you go to Heaven before or after death?" By saying "I went to heaven before death." Further at the beginning of August of 1984, Mary told Jelena: "Prepare [for] the second millennium of my birth which will take place August 5th, 1984. If Mary had died it would not have been her 2000th birthday as birthdays stop being counted at death.
This is a retelling of the birth and death of Jesus as a consequence of the physical evidence of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection provided by the scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin, and Mt 5:17 which states: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them.” And Lk 24:44, which states “Then he said to them, ‘these are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.’” This combines what we have learned from studying the Shroud and what we have learned from the study of 1st century Judaism, with the realization that the Old Testament feasts are all fulfilled or will be fulfilled by Jesus. We will show both that Jesus has fulfilled five of the seven Feasts on the day of the feast before He died, and that He will fulfill the other two before He is finished. We will then walk you through the events of Jesus’, birth and death that can be derived or are impacted by that. You will then know why there was no room in the inn, why no one took Mary in when they arrived in Joseph’s hometown, and why Jesus was born in a stable. Sorry! He was not born in a cave. I have checked with several rabbis and even though some Israelites may have stayed in a cave at sometime during the Exodus, a cave does not qualify as a sukkah and Mary would no more stay in a cave than she would in a house. Miracles are a function of the faith of the receipent not the veracity of the incidents surrounding the event or location. Miracles at the cave in Bethlehem are a function of the faith of the believer that Jesus will answer their prayer.





Time:

Any part of a unit of time was considered that time; a minute into an hour was one hour, an hour into a day was one day. Jesus was in the tomb 33 elapsed hours, but he was in the tomb 3 days: He was buried right before sunset Friday, the first day; He was in the tomb from sunset Friday through sunset Saturday, the second day; and He rose at 3 am on Sunday, the third day. By the same token, a year on the temple calendar has 51 weeks even though it has 50 weeks and 4 days. The hours of the day varied in length based on the time between sunrise and sunset. Time zones didn’t exist. Jerusalem today is UTC+2, but the time in Jerusalem is 21 minutes east of UTC+2, when you are looking at a sun dial. So, for example, on the day Jesus died, April 3rd 33 AD, the sun rose at 5:25 am 5 and set at 5:59 pm so there was 12 hours and 34 minutes of sunlight. The day was divided in 12 hours, so each hour was 62 minutes and 50 seconds long. Solar Noon is the time when the shadow cast by the sun points due north (North of the Equator). It can be off by as much as 2.39 minutes
NOAA Solar Calculator for Lat 31.78, Lon 35.23
Hours of the Day in Jerusalem: Apr 3, 33AD

Event Hour UTC+2 Jerusalem
Sunrise1st Hr 05:46:00 AM 05:25:00 AM
2nd Hr 06:48:50 AM 06:27:50 AM
3rd Hr 07:51:40 AM 07:30:40 AM
4th Hr 08:54:30 AM 08:33:30 AM
5th Hr 09:57:20 AM 09:36:20 AM
6th Hr 11:00:10 AM 10:39:10 AM
Solar Noon 12:02:37 PM 11:41:37 AM
7th Hr 12:03:00 PM 11:42:00 AM
8th Hr 01:05:50 PM 12:44:50 PM
9th Hr 02:08:40 PM 01:47:40 PM
10th Hr 03:11:30 PM 02:50:30 PM
11th Hr 04:14:20 PM 03:53:20 PM
12th Hr 05:17:10 PM 04:56:10 PM
Sunset 06:22:00 PM 05:59:00 PM


Thus John says Jesus was crucified at the 6th hour – that was 5 hours 14 minutes and 10 seconds after sunrise: so somewhere between 10:39:10 am and 11:42:00 am, and He died at the 9th hour or sometime after 1:47:40 pm. But wait! Jesus died at 3pm! I am truely sorry, but John said He died at the 9th hour. 3pm is during the 10th hour. Oh, it bothered me too until I realized that they started sacrificing the Paschal Lambs at 2pm when Preparation Day fell on a Friday and it was a Friday. Jesus was the Lamb selelcted for sacrifice for all the people. He was to be the first Lamb sacrificed! For Jesus to fulfill Passover, He had to be the first Lamb to die!

Calendars:
The calendar was very important, as the Feasts of the Lord, established by Moses in Leviticus (part of the Torah) were considered Divine Appointments. They were the specific times when God wanted to meet with the people. Those reoccurring appointments must be kept on the correct day.

What do calendars and measures of time have to do with our faith? Nothing, unless you would like to understand when something happened and what impact that had on Salvation History. You will see in the story of the birth of Jesus that when you know when in time Jesus is born on the Temple calendar it totally changes our understanding of the events narrated in scripture.

Suddenly it makes sense that there was no room in the inn, that Jesus was born in a stable, and that the angels appeared to the shepherds. It had to be that way! Suddenly you will see that even from his birth Jesus is the Light of the World, the Source of Living Water, and the Lamb of God. You will also understand why the Essene Calendar could not be supressed until after the death of Jesus.

The Essene Calendar is based on the book of Enoch (Jubilees 6:30) and Noah’s solar year in the ark. It is the older of the two Jewish Calendars. During the time of the Maccabees the priests adopted the Temple Calendar and attempted to supress the Essene Calendar but a portion of the people objected to the reforms and stuck with the solar calendar. By the time of Jesus that group represented 20% of the population. It is a solar calendar in which there are always 12 months in a year. There are 4 quarters of 30, 30, and 31-day months. The Essene calendar maintains the focus on the week as primary to the month.

The Essenes added an additional week to the 12th month every 7th year. They also added an additional week (making two extra weeks in the 12th month) every 49th year and every 70th year:
MonthDays
Nisan30
Iyyar30
Sivan31
Tammuz30
Av30
Elul31
Tishre30
Cheshvan30
Kislev31
Tevet30
Shevat30
Adar31

The focus on the week of the Essene calendar meant that a date, say the 15th of Nisan, would always fall on the same day of the week: Wednesday. So, if your birthday was on Tuesday it was always on Tuesday.

In the year 2015 the Gregorian, Israelite, and Essene calendars were all back to the same position as they were in the year 33, the year Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

The Temple Calendar 6 is a solar/lunar calendar which considers the rotation of the earth a day. Yahweh ordered the days into weeks, with a week consisting of 7 days. The rotation of the moon defines a month, and the rotation of the earth around the sun a year. On average, the moon revolves around the Earth in about 29½ days. The Earth revolves around the sun in about 365¼ days, that is, about 12.4 lunar months. Thus, a month has either 29 or 30 days and there are either 12 or 13 months in the Temple calendar. Each month begins on the day of the new moon. Each year began on the first day of the month following the barley crop reaching a point when it was “Abib” (became yellow and brittle):

For the temple, each month began with the sighting of the new moon. The priests used the fact that barley only had one crop per year; so, if the crop was not ready (Abib) for harvesting at the end of the 11th month then an additional month was added to the year. Barley was used based on the requirement to both support the feast of First Fruits with a barley wave offering and the fact that Exodus (Passover) occurred during the month of the Abib.

Prior to Ezra months were not named they were simply numbered.


Month
Hebrew
Transliteration
Days
1.
נִיסָן
Nisan
30
2.
אִיָּר / אייר
Iyar
29
3.
סִיוָן / סיוון
Sivan
30
4.
תַּמּוּז
Tammuz
29
5.
אָב
Av
30
6.
אֱלוּל
Elul
29
7.
תִּשׁרִי
Tishrei
30
8.
מַרְחֶשְׁוָן / מרחשוון
Cheshvan
29 or 30
9.
כִּסְלֵו / כסליו
Kislev
30 or 29
10.
טֵבֵת 
Tevet
29
11.
שְׁבָט
Shevat
30
12L.
אֲדָר א׳
Adar I
30
12.
אֲדָר / אֲדָר ב׳*
Adar / Adar II
29

There was both a religious calendar and a secular calendar. The religious calendar begins on the 1st of Nisan. The Feasts of the Lord are based on the religious calendar. The secular calendar begins on the 1st of Tishrei. The year on the Jewish calendar is the count of the years since the creation of Adam based on the text in the bible and the secular calendar. However, there is some argument among Jewish scholars as to exactly what the current year should be. The year values shown in this document is from the Calendar used for all the dates shown here. 7 The Israelites held that every 7th year was a Sabbatical year or Shemitah year. During that year, there was to be no farming done, debts were to be forgiven and slaves released. In addition, on the Shemitah year the Torah was to be read aloud on the feast of Tabernacles and all women and children were to accompany the men to the designated place of worship for the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Days of the week are:

Hebrew ...
Transliteration
English
יום ראשון
Yom Rishon
First Day
Sunday
יום שני
Yom Sheini
Second Day
Monday
יום שלישי
Yom Shlishi
Third Day
Tuesday
 יום רביעי
Yom R’vi’i
Fourth Day
Wednesday
יום חמישי
Yom Chamishi
Fifth Day
Thursday
יום ששי
Yom Shishi
Sixth Day
Friday
יום שבת
Yom Shabbat
Sabbath
Saturday

On the 29th of Adar a priest examined the barley in the fields outside Jerusalem. If it was Abib, the next day was Nisan 1. If it was not Abib, the next day was the 30th of Adar I, the leap month. If a particularly dry year caused the barley to be late and a leap year was declared there could be 3 years before the next leap year. The barley served to keep the calendar correct. There is a 19-year cycle for leap years: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 where each bolded year is a leap year. A cycle began in the year 3 AD so 2 AD (year 19), 1 BC (year 17), and 4 BC (year 14) are leap years. Shortly after the destruction of the temple it was decided to simply follow the observed cycle and not pay attention to the barley since the Jews had spread all over the known world and communicating with the diaspora that it was to be a leap year was problematic.

There are occasionally minor adjustments made to keep Yom Kippur (Tishrei 10) from falling on a Friday or Hoshanah Rabad (Tishrei 21) from falling on a Saturday. When that could potentially occur, an extra day is added to Cheshvan or subtracted from Kislev the previous year and then reversed the following year. What this is doing is preventing the occurrence of back to back Sabbaths.  Since cooking is forbidden on the Sabbath this prevents people from having to make and store food for 2 days, something problematic before refrigeration.  One of the side effects is that Nisan 14 will never fall on a Thursday, which would cause Friday, Nisan 15, to be a Sabbath and Saturday is always a Sabbath.  That means that First Fruits can never fall on a Saturday so it is always the 3rd day!

Names:

Jewish people did not have surnames until the time of Napoleon. If there was more than one person with the same name, they used a variety of surnames to differentiate based on the current knowledge of the people communicating.
  • The father’s name: Simon bar Jonah (Simon son of Jonah), Nathanial is also called Bartholomew (which means son of Talmai).
  • The name of the city of origin: Jesus the Nazarene or Judas Iscariot (Kerioth in Palestine). Judas was always referred to in the New Testament by his place of origin or his father’s name, bar Simon, to differentiate him from Judas son of Cleophas. Cleophas was the brother of Joseph, the spouse of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Simon the Canaanite was also used to differentiate Simon son of Cleophas from Simon Peter.
  • A descriptive adjective: St. Jude (Judas son of Cleophas) was sometimes called Thaddeus which means “good heart” again to differentiate him from Judas Iscariot. (That tells you more about Judas than it does about Jude!) Simon the zealot, aka Simon the Canaanite, also differentiated Simon son of Cleophas from Simon Peter “Rock.”
The son of a prostitute would be known as "son of the father" (bar abba). Thus, the man released by Pilate instead of Jesus the Nazarene, who was also named Jesus, was called Barabbas.

A significant event in one’s life that marked a change in a person warranted a name change: Saul became Paul (Acts 13:9), Simon became Peter (Jn 1:42), Jacob became Israel (Gen 35:10), Abraham’s wife Sarai became Sarah (Gen 17:15), and Bernice became Veronica.

Jesus’ name is a transliteration of the Greek: “ ιησουν ” “Iesous” which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew: “ ׳שרצ ” “Yeshua”. It means Yahweh saves and is the same name as Joshua who was Moses’ aid. (Remember it was Joshua who led the Israelites into the promise land and Jesus who leads us into the Kingdom of God.)

Burial Customs:

Jewish burial customs required that a body be washed prior to burial. However, life blood could not be washed off. Life blood was defined as any fluid that came from the body as a result of trauma to the body that occurred on the day of death. If life blood was on a person’s clothing, the clothing could not be removed. If life blood got on a piece of cloth (possibly used as a compress to stop the bleeding) it must be buried with the individual. Thus, the Sudarium that Joseph of Arimathea placed on Jesus’ head when He died was found rolled up in the corner of the tomb. If however, the individual lived until the next day (after sunset), then any fluid shed the previous day was not life blood and must be washed off. The Shroud shows us that the blood from the scourging was washed off Jesus’ back while the blood and pleural fluid from the crown of thorns and the crucifixion and the lance wound in Jesus’ side were not washed off. The blood from the crown of thorns, the crucifixion, and the lance wound was life blood shed on Friday; while the blood from the scourging was shed on Thursday.

Jesus’ Family:

We all know that the Holy Family consisted of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Mary’s parents, were Sts. Joachim and Anne. There is little known about Joseph’s family; however the second-century historian Julius Africanus, a native of Israel, records information given by Christ’s remaining family in his day. According to their family genealogy, Joseph’s grandfather Matthan (mentioned in Matthew) married a woman named Estha, who bore him a son named Jacob. After Matthan died, Estha married his relative Melchi (mentioned in Luke) and bore him a son named Heli 8 (marrying relatives was common among Jews at this time). Jacob and Heli were thus half-brothers. Heli died childless, so Jacob married Heli's widow and fathered Joseph, who was biologically the son of Jacob but legally the son of Heli, Jacob subsequently had another son, Cleophas. 9 Cleophas was married twice. With his first wife, he had two boys: Simon and Jude, and some daughters. After his first wife died, he married Mary the widow of Alpheus. When Alpheus died, he left Mary with a stepson, Matthew, and two sons of her own: James and Joset (Joseph) as well as some daughters. Cleophas now had a large family. Matthew the son of Alpheus who was older left home and eventually became a tax collector, until he was asked by Jesus to follow him. Cleophas and Mary lived together with four boys, Simon and Jude, James and Joset and a number of girls. When Cleophas died, Joseph took in Cleophas’ family as was custom among the Jews. With the joined families, the confusion over Jesus’ family is understandable: thus, Jesus’ brethren (cousins): Simon son of Cleophas (aka Simon the Canaanite, Simon the Zealot, and the 2nd bishop of Jerusalem), Jude (aka Thaddeus), James (aka James the younger, 1st bishop of Jerusalem) and Joset (aka Joseph), and their sisters (Mk 6:3). Mary the mother of Jesus now lived with her sister [in law] Mary (Jn 19:25). Family was everyone living together. (If you look at the names of the apostles in Matthew and Luke you will realize that the order is significant. Peter is first, followed by the non-related apostles followed by the related apostles, followed by Judas Iscariot. You will notice that Luke didn’t know the connection between Matthew and Jesus when he wrote his gospel but corrected his error in Acts by providing a second list in the correct order with Matthew together with the other related apostles.)

Missing Years:

Missing Years (something known by every Jewish child who has completed mitzvah). Because Jesus was a Rabbi the missing years were spent in Rabbi School. It turns out that the best school at that time was the one in Nazareth.

Education:

The level of learning and education in Galilee exceeded that of Judea in Jesus’ day. Galilee surpassed Judea even in its schools of learning, and most of the famous rabbis of Jesus’ day were from Galilee (Johnanan ben Zakkai, Hanina ben Doda, Abba Yose Holikufri, Zadok, Halaphta, Hananian ben Teradyon.) 10

Although Holy Scripture does not mention any events in Jesus’ life after his birth other than the episode at age twelve in the temple, we can deduce what was happening in his life based on the fact that he lived in Nazareth and began his ministry as a rabbi at age 30.

Education for a child in the first century began at age three or four at Beit Sefer, the “House of the Book,” (elementary school) with the child learning to read. and write the Torah. They began memorizing the Torah with lots of practice at home (one didn’t have a take-home scroll of the Torah). The children each had a slate, so writing space was very limited. They were educated at the local synagogue by a scribe or rabbi. (“rabbi means teacher” (Jn 1:38)). Preferably the teachers were rabbis. If a rabbi was not available a scribe could substitute.

At age ten, they began Beit Talmud, the “House of Learning” (middle school), still at the local synagogue instructed by a rabbi. From age 10 to 13 they studied the Oral interpretations of the Torah. During that time, they memorized parts of the Tanakh (Joshua and Malachi). They also learned rhetorical debating as a technique to force the student to demonstrate a knowledge of more than just the facts but also an understanding and application of the acquired knowledge. At age 14 they were focused on fulfilling the commandments (all 613 of them). Jesus was found in the temple among the teachers listening to them and asking questions (rhetorical debating) and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Lk 2:47)

The students who excelled to this point were placed in Beit Midrash, the “House of Study” (secondary school). At Beit Midrash, they studied the Rabbinic interpretations of the Torah (that would become the Talmud). Beit Midrash lasted until, at age 18, the student began to learn a trade and most married.

Rabbis needed to be self-sufficient as most synagogues were too poor to pay them enough to support themselves, let alone a family. Rabbis tended to travel from place to place, since small villages could not support a tradesman: tent maker, carpenter, potter, tailor, and so forth, for more than a few jobs.

The best of the best students at age 20 apprenticed themselves, became Talmid, to a Master Rabbi. They followed, studied, and imitated the Master Rabbi. At age 30, those who remained could be granted authority by the Master Rabbi. With authority, the new rabbi could introduce new interpretations of scripture. When Jesus was asked, “By whose authority do you do these things?” (Mt 21:23, Lk 20:2), they were asking Him to whom He had been Talmid. Jesus said if you tell me if John’s baptism was from heaven or from men, I will tell you; but they responded that they did not know. So now we can only speculate on who could have been His teacher.

Jesus demonstrated through his teaching that he was well educated. 11 That He could read was demonstrated when He read from the scroll of Isaiah at the synagogue in Nazareth. And that He could write when He wrote in the dirt when they brought the woman caught in adultery for him to judge (Jn 8:3-11).

Celebration of Passover:

To understand what happened during Holy Week, we need to pick up background on the feast of Passover and relate it directly to what was happening in the year 33. It is important to know that Jesus fulfilled Passover in all aspects. The Evangelists didn’t need to go into these details because everybody knew them. Two thousand years later, we are missing a lot.

The celebration events began with Lamb-Selection day, then Lamb-Acquisition day, Cleaning day, Preparation day, Passover, and on through the seven days of unleavened bread.

During Passover, all Israelites were supposed to go to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was normally a city of 200,000. During Passover, the city grew to about two and a half million people of which Josephus says 20%, about 500K, were Essenes. The law of hospitality requires that everyone has a place to stay. There were no hotels or motels. There were caravansaries, but they couldn’t handle anywhere near the volume. The visitors joined other families living in Jerusalem. Thus, every home had four or five additional families joining them for Passover. Most families did not need to join with their neighbors to share a lamb as was specified by Moses. The host family got the lamb on the 10th of Nissan for themselves and their guests who would be arriving over the next few days.

Jewish historians record that the lambs were brought from the fields of Bethlehem, in the south, up to Jerusalem and through the Northeast gate of the city by the pool of Bethesda, called the “Sheep’s Gate.” Because the flocks of Bethlehem were owned by the Sadducees, only these sheep and goats were allowed to be sacrificed on Passover – for the purpose of filling their coffers. There were so many lambs/goats sacrificed that the flocks were moved back out of the city walls to the fields to the north of the city.

Lamb Selection Day
Because there were so many people selecting lambs to comply with the instructions from Exodus 12 , the lamb that would be offered by the high priest on behalf of the people was chosen the afternoon of the 9th of Nissan. 12 The High Priest was to select the best of the lambs for the sacrifice for the people so he would be the first to select his lamb: on the day before the rest of the people selected their lambs.

The high priest would go out the Damascus Gate into the fields to the north of Jerusalem to select his lamb (the best of all the lambs) for the sacrifice. His lamb was sacrificed for the whole people. The people would wait in the city until he returned with the selected lamb. Then they would wave palm branches and sing out “Hosanna” (God Save us!) as he came into the city. This signified the people’s acceptance of the lamb chosen to be sacrificed for the people.

That day, the 9th, came to be called, "Lamb Selection Day." On that day in Jerusalem, several hundreds of thousands of people would be entering the city so that they would be there to choose their lamb on the following day, the lamb that their family would sacrifice.

20% of the population were Essenes. The Essenes followed a solar calendar developed by Enoch while the rest of the population followed a solar/lunar calendar. While most of the Essenes recognized the legitimacy of the temple and paid the Temple tax, they were excluded from animal sacrifices. 13 Thus the Essene celebration of the Seder meal did not include a sacrificed animal and the corresponding requirement to consume the entire animal. For the Essenes the celebration began with Cleaning Day

The other 80% of the population arrived in sufficient time to acquire their lamb, for the required four days prior to the sacrifice of the lamb.

Lamb Acquisition Day
On the tenth day of the first month of the year (five days before Passover), every family was required to choose a lamb for Passover, according to the instructions given by God to Moses: “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old (more than eight days old but less than one year old) males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.” (Ex 12:3-5)

A "year-old" male runs from 12 to 100 lbs. (5 to 45 kg.). A 100 lb. (45 kg.) lamb will produce 39 lbs. (18 kg.) of meat. 14 Josephus tells us the normal group for Passover consisted of 20 people. He was of course only counting the men (males over 13 years old). So, with 20 males probably 15 are married and each has an average of 4 children (grandparents’ kids are grown so actually the families are larger). You would have 30 parents and 10 teenagers and 46 children for a group of 86 people. They would be eating between 27 and 39 lbs. (12 to 18 kg.) of meat. Figure a ¼ lb. (.11 kg.) for the children (11.5 lbs. or 5.2 kg.) and a ½ lb. (.22 kg.) for the teenagers and adults (20 lbs. or 9 kg.) It works out. A small group could consist of 10 (men) but anything smaller had to be combined with another group. All the leftovers had to be burnt. Passover was always a Sabbath so one could not start a fire or cook anything. Thus, the fire used to roast the Passover Lamb (or Goat) had to have enough coals so that any leftover lamb could be burned several hours later when the celebration ended.

Take care of them (the lambs) until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Care must be taken not to break any of the bones. (Ex 12:46) All the left overs must be burnt. So, the objective is not the largest but one that can feed the assembled family with very little left over. The lambs will be grossly over priced as they are owned by the Sadducees and are "one-year-old" (meaning less than one-year-old. A lamb is one-year-old from the time it is 8 days old until its first birthday) certified unblemished males. These lambs are taken into the temple where they are paid for, and documents are provided that will allow them to be taken into the temple on preparation day for sacrifice.

Then Nissan 13 is Cleaning Day. The law specifies that all leaven must be removed from the house and sold or destroyed (burnt) and no leaven may be in the house during the seven days of unleavened bread. (beginning on the 15th of Nissan). All the food to be consumed was cooked on preparation day and so you cleaned the preceding day. The 14th of Nissan will be spent cooking, so the housecleaning must be done the day before. Cleaning Day became incorporated into the religious practices. Mom would hide breadcrumbs throughout the house and the children would help mom to clean by gathering all crumbs into baskets. There were neighborhood bonfires created to burn any of the leaven found to be in the houses during the cleaning. The children assisted their mothers, gathering the leaven found into baskets to take to the bonfire after all the leaven had been found. Removing of leaven from the homes symbolized the removal of sin from their father’s house.

Nissan 14 is Preparation Day. The head of the household took the lamb to the temple for slaughter while the women prepared the meals for two days to feed the assembled group. No cooking could be done after sunset and the assembled family groups consisted of 60 to 100 people that needed to be fed both that evening, at the Seder Meal, and all day the 15th. The slaughter of the lambs began at 9th hour when Preparation Day fell on a Friday and in the 10th hour when it fell on Sunday thru Wednesday. Preparation Day never falls on a Thursday or a Saturday. Saturday is a Sabbath and cooking cannot be done on a Sabbath and Thursday would cause back to back Sabbaths which were never allowed. The slaughter of the lambs had to be done by 21 minutes after sunset: 15

The lambs needed to be skinned and roasted before the start of the Seder Meal, at approximately 8 pm in Jerusalem that day! Josephus tells us that the lambs were slaughtered in two waves and that a river of blood flowed from the temple, about 50,000 gallons (200,000 liters). Once killed, the lambs are to be roasted. That is, trussed up in the form of a cross. One spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the forelegs of the lamb.

Nissan 15 is technically "Passover" as the Angel of Death passed over at midnight. Since the day changes at sunset, the Seder meal is celebrated on the 15th of Nissan since it is celebrated after sunset. The Seder meals follows a prescribed formula.

The Seder
ritual was codified by Gamaliel in the Haggadah. That was included in the Mishnah Pesahim 7.1-2 16 The Haggadah has four parts:
  1. It begins with an initial blessing, the kiddush, spoken over the first of four cups of wine. Then the eating of the bitter herbs which symbolizes the bondage in Egypt.
  2. They then recite Exodus 12 , the story of the Exodus, and then sing (Psalm 113) , the little Hallel. After which they drink the second cup of wine.
  3. The main course is eaten. The lamb and bread. are consumed. The third cup is consumed.
  4. The great Hallel is sung, the fourth cup is consumed, and the Nirtzah, a simple statement that the Seder has ended, ends the Seder.

There are two ritual washings: between parts #1 and #2 without a blessing, and between #2 and #3 with a blessing. Jesus proclaimed a blessing when He finished washing the feet of the apostles, so it would make sense if before starting #3 was the point at which He washed the feet of the apostles. John also tells us that Jesus returned to the table after washing the apostles’ feet (Jn 13:12) .

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