Passover and the Apostle John

by Avram Yehoshua


The Apostle John is usually credited with presenting a pre-Passover meal that Yeshua and the Apostles had, with Yeshua dying at the time the Passover lambs in the Temple were being sacrificed for the Passover meal. This, though, contradicts the three Synoptic Gospels, which have Yeshua eating the Passover meal.1 There are only a few verses in John that lead people to the former conclusion, such as John 13:1-2, 29 and 18:28:

John 13:1-2: ‘Now, before the Feast of Passover’ and supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him’(NKJV; but NIV during supper).

John 13:29: “For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor.”

John 18:28: ‘Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium and it was early morning, but they themselves did not go into the Praetorium lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.’

One thing we know for certain. If Yeshua died at the time when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed for the Passover meal, He surely wouldn’t have been able to eat the Passover meal because He would have been dead. I’ll present the verses in the order that they are listed except that John 13:2 will come last because John 13:29 and 18:28 will reveal what the supper of v. 2 is.

John 13:29—Buy Food for the Feast

John 13:29: “For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor.”

Proponents of a commemorative meal eaten one day (night) before the Passover ceremonial meal on 15 Aviv (today known as 15 Nisan, the night when the biblical Passover meal is eaten), say that it wouldn’t be possible for some of the disciples to have thought that Judas would be buying things for the feast (Jn. 13:29) because the time when the Passover meal is eaten is an annual Sabbath,2 when shops would be closed. Also, what beggars would be around on Passover night to give any money to? Wouldn’t they all be celebrating Passover along with the rest of Israel?

Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) was a Jewish man born in Vienna, Austria who was well versed in Torah and Talmud. He came to Christ in Pest, Hungary through John Duncan, a Church of Scotland chaplain assigned to minister to Scottish workers constructing a bridge over the Danube river. Edersheim studied theology at Edinburgh and Berlin, and became the leading authority of his time concerning Jewish practices and personages (e.g. the Pharisees) during the Second Temple period and their relationship to Yeshua and His teachings.

Edersheim writes that, despite the night of the Passover meal being an annual Sabbath (the first day of Unleavened Bread; Ex. 12:16; Lev. 23:6-8), shops were open in Jerusalem on 15 Aviv in the days of Messiah in order to buy food needed for the feast. He also says that it was also a time when beggars gathered around the Second Temple to receive alms, so, what the disciples thought when Judas left was very appropriate for Passover night, but interestingly enough, not for the night before!

“Sufficient here to state, that the provision and preparation of the needful food, and indeed of all that was needful for the Feast, was allowed on the 15th Nisan3...the mention of these two suggestions by the disciples seems almost necessarily to involve, that the writer of the Fourth Gospel had placed this meal in the Paschal Night. Had it been on the evening before, no one could have imagined that Judas had gone out during the night to buy provisions, when there was the whole next day for it, nor would it have been likely that a man should on any ordinary day go at such an hour to seek out the poor. But in the Paschal Night, when the great Temple-gates were open­ed at midnight to begin early preparations for the offering of the Chagigah, or festive sacrifice, which was not voluntary but of due, and the remainder of which was afterwards eaten at a festive meal, such preparations would be quite natural. And equally so, that the poor, who gathered around the Temple, might then seek to obtain the help of the charitable.”4

If John were speaking of a commemorative meal the night before the actual Passover meal, the disciples wouldn’t have thought that Judas was going to buy some things for the feast or give some funds to the poor. The very thing that seems to point to the supper of John 13:2 being eaten the night before specifically speaks of it being the biblical Passover on the night of 15 Aviv.5

Also, there’s nothing in the New Testament that speaks of Yeshua eating a special meal before Passover, or that we, in imitation of Him, should hold a special commemorative meal the night before the biblical Passover. If Yeshua had held such a meal it surely would have been written in the New Testament for us to follow. As there’s no mention of it, and John is not suggesting otherwise from 13:29, but on the contrary, points directly to it by his mentioning the thoughts of the disciples when Judas left, we know that Yeshua ate the Passover meal on the biblical date of 15 Aviv, hours after the Passover lambs were sacrificed in the Temple.

John 18:28—The Praetorium and Ritual Defilement

John 18:28: ‘Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium and it was early morning, but they themselves did not go into the Praetorium lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.’

John speaks of the chief priests and scribes bringing Yeshua to Pilate, but not wanting to enter the praetorium, Pilate’s residence6 in Jerusalem. Because Pilate was a Gentile, they would have become ceremonially defiled and not have been able to eat the Pass­over meal. David Stern notes that their understanding of becoming defiled by entering a Gentile’s home was a ‘rabbinic addition’7 and that it’s not specifically found in the Torah (Law of Moses), but it does seem to have been justified. Even Peter in Acts 10, about nine years after the resurrection, spoke to Cornelius about this:

Acts 10:28: “Then he said to them, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation, but God has (just!) shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.’”8

The Lord was about to break down the barrier between the Jewish man dealing or relating to the Gentile. As Ben Witherington states, it wasn’t primarily because the Gentiles ate unclean foods, although this figured into the equation, but that the Gentiles worshipped other gods. This is what truly made them unclean. Witherington writes,

“Jews believed that the chief source of Gentile impurity was their contact with ‘the defilement of idols,’ not their contact with non-kosher food.”9

The Jewish group that led Yeshua to Pilate believed that entering his abode would make them unfit for the Passover, which seems to be speaking of the Passover meal. The praetorium, the abode of Pilate in Jerusalem, originally meant, ‘the general’s tent.’10 F. F. Bruce tells us why:

“The term ‘praetorium’ denotes the headquarters of a Roman military governor (as the governor of Judea was). In a Roman camp, the praetorium was the commander’s headquarters in the center of the camp.11 The Roman governor of Judea normally resided at Caesarea, where the palace built by Herod the Great for himself was available as the praetorium (cf. Acts 23:25). When the requirements of public order brought him to Jerusalem (e.g. when the city was overflowing with visitors at the great pilgrimage festivals), the building where he took up temporary residence would be his praetorium.”12

‘It appears that entering a Gentile house at this time would have conveyed defilement, perhaps because of the presence of leaven, but remaining outside in the colonnade did not.’13

Alfred Edersheim shines more light upon the verse, saying that if it had been the day when the Passover lambs were slain (i.e. 14 Aviv), there would have been no concern on their part about defilement because their defilement would have ended at darkness (the beginning of another biblical day) and they would have been able to have eaten of the Passover meal that night, on 15 Aviv. Edersheim states that it isn’t the Passover meal on the night of 15 Aviv that John is speaking about, but rather a special sacrifice for the Feast of Unleavened Bread that would take place in the daytime of 15 Aviv, after the night of having eaten the Passover meal:

“The ‘Praetorium,’ to which the Jewish leaders, or at least those of them who represented the leaders—for neither Annas nor Caiaphas seems to have been personally present—brought the bound Christ, was (as always in the provinces) the quarters occupied by the Roman Governor. In Caesarea this was the Palace of Herod, and there St. Paul was afterwards a prisoner. But in Jerusalem there were two such quarters: the fortress Antonia, and the magnificent Palace of Herod at the north-western angle of the Upper City. Although it is impossible to speak with certainty, the balance of probability is entirely in favour of the view that, when Pilate was in Jerusalem with his wife, he occupied the truly royal abode of Herod, and not the fortified barracks of Antonia.14 From the slope at the eastern angle, opposite the Temple-Mount, where the Palace of Caiaphas stood, up the narrow streets of the Upper City, the melancholy procession wound to the portals of the grand Palace of Herod. It is recorded, that they who brought Him would not themselves enter the portals of the Palace, ‘that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.’”

“Few expressions have given rise to more earnest controversy than this. On two things at least we can speak with certainty. Entrance into a heathen house did Levitically render impure for that day—that is, till the evening. The fact of such defilement is clearly attested both in the New Testament (Acts 10:28) and in the Mishnah, though its reasons might be various (Ohol. 18:7; Tohar. 7.3). A person who had so become Levitically unclean was technically called Tebhul Yom (‘bathed of the day’).”

“The other point is, that, to have so become ‘impure’ for the day, would not have disqualified for eating the Paschal Lamb, since the meal was partaken of after the evening, and when a new day had begun. In fact, it is distinctly laid down (Pes. 92a) that the ‘bathed of the day,’ that is, he who had been impure for the day and had bathed in the evening, did partake of the Paschal Supper, and an instance is related,15 when some soldiers who had guarded the gates of Jerusalem ‘immersed,’ and ate the Paschal Lamb. It follows that those Sanhedrists could not have abstained from entering the Palace of Pilate because by so doing they would have been disqualified for the Paschal Supper.”

“The point is of importance, because many writers have interpreted the expression ‘the Passover’ as referring to the Paschal Supper, and have argued that, according to the Fourth Gospel, our Lord did not on the previous evening partake of the Paschal Lamb, or else that in this respect the account of the Fourth Gospel does not accord with that of the Synoptists. But as, for the reason just stated, it is impossible to refer the expression ‘Passover’ to the Paschal Supper, we have only to inquire whether the term is not also applied to other offerings. And here both the Old Testament (Deut. 16:1–3; 2 Chron. 35:1, 2, 6, 18) and Jewish writings16 show, that the term Pesach, or ‘Passover,’ was applied not only to the Paschal Lamb, but to all the Passover sacrifices, especially to what was called the Chagigah, or festive offering (from Chag, or Chagag, to bring the festive sacrifice usual at each of the three Great Feasts). According to the express rule (Chag. 1:3) the Chagigah was brought on the first festive Paschal Day.17 It was offered immediately after the morning-service, and eaten on that day—probably some time before the evening—We can therefore quite understand that, not on the eve of the Passover but on the first Paschal day, the Sanhedrists would avoid incurring a defilement which, lasting till the evening, would not only have involved them in the inconvenience of Levitical defilement on the first festive day, but have actually prevented their offering on that day, the Passover festive sacrifice, or Chagigah. For, we have these two express rules: that a person could not in Levitical defilement offer the Chagigah; and that the Chagigah could not be offered for a person by some one else who took his place (Jer. Chag. 76a, lines 16 to 14 from bottom). These considerations and canons seem decisive as regards the views above expressed. There would have been no reason to fear ‘defilement’ on the morning of the Paschal Sacrifice; but entrance into the Praetorium on the morning of the first Passover-day would have rendered it impossible for them to offer the Chagigah, which is also designated by the term Pesach.”18

Edersheim dismantles the false notion that John 18:28 speaks of the Passover lamb for the Passover meal on 15 Aviv. He reveals that the word ‘Passover’ also means any sacrifice during the Feast and that if it had been the day of 14 Aviv, the chief priests and scribes would have been able to have eaten of the Passover meal in the coming night of 15 Aviv. Their defilement would have only lasted until the end of 14 Aviv, and therefore, they could have taken of the Passover meal on 15 Aviv. With it being a Passover festive sacrifice, though, of the day (15 Aviv) their defilement would have kept them from offering the festive Passover sacrifice in the morning and eating it in the afternoon.

Stern affirms Edersheim. He says that the supper of John 13:2 was a Passover Seder19 meal and that the Passover of 18:28,

“refers to other food eaten during Pesach, specifically the chagigah (festive sacrifice), which was consumed with great joy and celebration on the afternoon following the Seder. This is the meal when the Judeans gathered outside Pilate’s palace would have been unable to eat had they entered, because their defilement would have lasted till sundown. If ‘the Pesach’ meant the Passover lamb, defilement in the morning might not have been a problem, since the Seder meal took place after sundown.”20

The ritual uncleanness that John 18:28 speaks of had to do with a special sacrifice the day after the Passover lamb was sacrificed on 14 Aviv for the Passover Seder. It doesn’t speak of Yeshua instituting a commemorative meal the night before the biblical Passover because if it had been the biblical Passover that the Jewish group was concerned about, defilement would have been removed by the end of dusk and the Passover ceremonial meal could have been eaten after having taken a ritual bath. As it was with the thoughts of the disciples when Judas left that night, the details of defilement point directly to Yeshua having eaten the Passover meal on the night of 15 Aviv at the God ordained time.21

John 13:2—‘Before Passover… and supper being ended’?

John 13:1: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

John 13:2: ‘And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him’.

It would seem that the supper took place before Passover, but Edersheim speaks of verse one as forming a ‘general introduction’ followed by,

“the account of what happened ‘during supper’ (verse 2)—the Supper itself being left undescribed—beginning, by way of explanation of what is to be told about Judas, with this: ‘The Devil having already cast into his (Judas’) heart, that Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, shall betray Him.’ General as this notice is, it contains much that requires special attention. Next, we mark the full description of the name and parentage of the traitor. It reads like the wording of a formal indictment. And, although it seems only an introductory explanation, it also points to the contrast with the love of Christ which persevered to the end (John 13:1), even when hell itself opened its mouth to swallow Him up; the contrast, also, between what Jesus and what Judas were about to do, and between the wild storm of evil that raged in the heart of the traitor and the calm majesty of love and peace which reigned in that of the Saviour.”22

The general introduction of verse one has been taken by some to mean that the ‘supper’ that John writes of in verse two happened before the Passover, but this is not the case, as has been indirectly shown already (with the comments on John 13:29 and 18:28) and will be further affirmed by verse two. Even though the KJV and NKJV (supper being ended) and the NIV (during supper) translate the phrase differently, due to a slightly different version of the same Greek word, it would seem that Yeshua washed the feet of His disciples during the supper (Passover ceremonial meal) with vv. 4-5f. coming after v. 2:

John 13:4–5: “rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (NKJV).

Here at v. 4, Yeshua is seen rising from supper, which would more accurately be presented as, ‘rising from the Passover ceremonial meal.’ Yet, even without that we can see that supper was still going on (KJV ‘He riseth from supper;’ NIV ‘he got up from the meal’). The correct translation for John 13:2 should be, ‘And supper taking place,’ or, ‘supper having arrived,’ not, ‘After supper being ended.’ This is supported by most scholars even though there are two equally valid manuscript traditions for both concepts, yet only the former two fulfill the context of John 13, while ‘supper being ended,’ v. 2 KJV/NKJV, doesn’t. In John 13:26 the Lord speaks of giving a piece of bread to the traitor, so, supper (the ceremonial meal) was still very much in progress:

John 13:26: “Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a pieced of bread23 when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

Edersheim writes that the piece of bread (morsel or sop in some translations) consisted of some lamb and bitter herbs on a piece of matza.24 The English text for the Greek word for bread fails to give the understanding that bread in Hebrew also has the meaning of matza and that on this piece of matza there was some food.25

Concerning the foot washing, context determines that the Passover ceremonial meal was just beginning when Yeshua got up from the table and washed the feet of His Apostles in verse 4f. Supporting this understanding is the literal translation of the Textus Receptus by George Ricker Berry, which has, ‘And supper taking place’26 as well as the translation of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament by Brown and Comfort which also has, ‘And supper taking place.’27

Marcus Dods translates it as ‘supper having arrived’ because “Foot washing, customarily done when guests arrived for a banquet, would have been ‘out of place’ during or after the meal.”28 This allows for Yeshua to do something like foot washing as part of the supper.

F. F. Bruce says that, “‘Supper was now in progress’ (deipnou ginomenou) is a preferable reading to the variant ‘Supper having ended’ (deipnou genomenou)” because John 13:26f. obviously speaks of the Passover ceremonial meal still being in progress.29

John 13:2 speaks of the Passover ceremony beginning. Foot washing for guests, by slaves, wouldn’t be done during or after the meal, but when they arrived. Yeshua was spring-boarding off of the Pharisaic ceremony of washing hands, which comes at the beginning of the traditional Jewish seder, to present his practical and moral teaching on humility and servitude toward one another.30

From ‘what the disciples thought’ and defilement at the Praetorium of Pilate, to the supper that John mentions, the Gospel of John consistently points to Yeshua eating the biblical Passover with His Apostles at the time when all Israel was doing the same. Gleason Archer speaks about those who hold to a commemorative meal a day earlier than the actual Passover meal:

‘The various ingenious explanations offered by others, that Christ held His personal Passover a night early, knowing that He would be crucified before the evening of the fourteenth; that Christ and His movement held to a different calendar, reckoning the fourteenth to be a day earlier than the calendar of the official Jerusalem priesthood; or that He was following a revised calendar observed by the Essenes at Qumran—all these theories are quite improbable and altogether unnecessary.’31

The Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John present a picture of Yeshua eating the Passover at the proper time:

“He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Rabbi says, ‘My time is near. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples’’” (Mt. 26:18).

“Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yeshua, saying to Him, ‘Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?’ And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and say to him ‘The Rabbis says, ‘My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples’’’” (Matthew 26:17-18).

Obviously, it was the biblical Passover as it says it was the first day of Unleavened Bread. The terms Passover and (Feast of) Unleavened Bread were (and still are today) used interchangeably.32 It could not have been the night before:

‘Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. Then came the (first) day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed” (Luke 22:1).

“Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, ‘Where do You want us to go and prepare that we may eat the Passover?’” (Mk. 14:12)

“Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover (lamb) must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover (lamb) for us that we may eat’” (Luke 22:7).

The most poignant and revealing verse, though, is found in Luke:

“When the hour had come, He sat down and the twelve apostles were with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’” (Lk. 22:14-15).

John 13:1 forms a general introduction to the chapter and does not place the (Passover) supper before the Passover of the Temple. Yeshua didn’t eat the Passover ceremonial meal a day earlier, as is evident from the Synoptic cites above and also John’s. There’s no place in the New Testament that speaks of another night for a Pass­over (or a so-called commemorative) meal that Yeshua had. Yeshua celebrated the Passover on the same night as the priests in the Temple were keeping it.33



1 Mt. 26:17, 18, 19; Mk. 14:12, 14, 16; Lk. 22:7, 11, 13, 15.

2  Exodus 12:16.

3  Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), p. 825, note 30: ‘The Mishnah expressly allows the procuring even on the Sabbath of that which is required for the Passover, and the Law of the Sabbath-rest was much more strict than that of feast days’ (i.e. the annual feast Sabbaths). ‘See this in Appendix 17.’ 15 Nisan is the same as 15 Aviv, Nisan becoming the name for the first biblical Hebrew month during and after Babylonian captivity beginning in 597 B.C., with the first Temple of King Solomon being destroyed in 587 B.C.

4Ibid., p. 825.

5 The Hebrew phrase ‘between the two evenings’ is correctly rendered in English as twilight or dusk The lamb would be slain in the late afternoon of 14 Aviv and at the end of dusk a new biblical day begins, 15 Aviv (Gen. 1:3-5). It’s the night of 15 Aviv when the Passover ceremonial meal would take place, with dawn still being 15 Aviv until darkness that evening.

6  R. V. G. Tasker, Author and General Editor, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: John (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 204.

7 David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1992), p. 206. The ‘addition’ came out of cites where God spoke of not mingling with the Gentiles (Ex. 23:32; 34:15; Lev. 20:22-26; Dt. 7:3-4; 23:6; Josh. 23:1-13; Ezra 9:1-10:44) because they worshipped other gods and would lead Israel astray.

8  See Law 102 at to understand why Peter’s vision didn’t do away with the biblical dietary laws, but was the symbolic picture of the Jew going to the Gentile with the Message of Life in Yeshua (Acts 11:18).

9  Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio–Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998), p. 462.

10  Marcus Dods, D.D., Author; W. Robertson Nicoll, Editor, M. A., LL. D.,The Expositor’s Greek Testament, vol. one: The Gospel of St. John(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), p. 850.

11  Yahveh, the King of Israel, dwelt in the midst of the camp of Israel in the Wilderness in the Tabernacle of Moses. See my 7 CD (and 8 original diagrams) presentation of The Tabernacle of Moses–A Reflection of Heaven, available at You can order The Lifting of the Veil at by clicking here.. Also, Scripture speaks of King Saul sleeping in the middle of the camp, the army encamped all around him, when he came to destroy David (1st Sam. 26:5).

12  F. F. Bruce, The Gospel and Epistles of John (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001), p. 348.

13  Ibid., p. 349

14  Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 865, note 4: As ‘the Palace of Herod undoubtedly became (as all royal residences) the property of the State, and as we have distinct evidence that Roman Procurators resided there, and took their seat in front of that Palace on a raised pavement to pronounce judgment (Jos. War 2.14.8; comp. Philo, ad Caj. ¤ 38), the inference is obvious, that Pilate, especially as he was accompanied by his wife, resided there also.’

15  Ibid., note 6: ‘Jer. Pes. 36b, lines 14 and 15 from bottom.’

16  Ibid., p. 866, note 7: ‘The subject has been so fully discussed in Wieseler, Beitr., and in Kirchner, JŸd. Passahfeier, not to speak of many others, that it seems needless to enter further on the question. No competent Jewish archaeologist would care to deny that ‘Pesach’ may refer to the ‘Chagigah,’ while the motive assigned to the Sanhedrists by St. John implies, that in this instance it must refer to this, and not to the Paschal Lamb.’

17  Ibid., note 8: ‘But concession was made to those who had neglected it on the first day to bring it during the festive week, which in the Feast of Tabernacles was extended to the Octave, and in that of Weeks (which lasted only one day) over a whole week (see Chag. 9a; Jer. Chag. 76c). The Chagigah could not, but the Paschal Lamb might be offered by a person on behalf of another.’

18  Ibid., pp. 864-866.

19  Seder is the Hebrew word for ‘order’ and speaks of the procedure for conducting a Passover ceremony, which involves rituals before and after the meal that speak of salvation from Egyptian slavery (Ex. 12:26-27; 13:3-10).

20  Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary pp. 206-207.

21  Exodus 12:6-8, 10-12, 21, 23-32, 39, 42.

22  Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 818.

23 Matza is the bread of Passover, unleavened. In Hebrew the word for ‘bread’ encompasses matza as is seen in the Passover blessing of the matza, which only speaks of bread (le’chem לֶחֶם).

24  Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 824. “This, we believe, was ‘the sop,’ which Jesus, having dipped it for him in the dish, handed first to Judas, as occupying the first and chief place at Table.” This understanding of the ‘sop’ or ‘morsel’ is seen in the Jer. Chall. 57b, which was written about the time of Hillel (who lived a generation before Yeshua). The NRSV, HCSB and the NIV call it a piece of bread, which, of course, for the Passover was matza bread. The Greek word (pso’mi’own) for sop (morsel) is the same in the Textus Receptus and the Majority Text.

25  “ψωμίον,”  L&N, n.p. (pso’mi’own) “ψωμίον, ου n: small piece or bit of bread—‘a piece of bread, a bit of bread.’ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ ‘I will dip a piece of bread and give it to him’ Jn 13:26. In Jn 13:26, 27, 30 it may be necessary to use a phrase such as ‘a broken-off piece of bread’; otherwise the inference might be that the ψωμίον was simply a scrap or crumb of bread.”

26  George Ricker Berry, Editor and Translator, Interlinear Greek–English New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2000), p. 286.

27  Robert K. Brown and Philip W. Comfort, Translators; J. D. Douglas, Editor, The New Greek–English Interlinear New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1990), p. 376. The basis for this interlinear is The United Bible Societies’ Third Corrected Edition of the Greek New Testament. This is the same text as the 26th edition of Novum Testamentum Graece, by Kurt Aland, M. Black, C. Martini, A. Wikgren and Bruce Metzger.

28  Dods, The Gospel of St. John, p. 815.

29  Bruce, The Gospel and Epistles of John, p. 279.

30  See my article, Passover at for when the traditional hand washing occurs during the Passover Seder .

31  Gleason L. Archer Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), n.p.

32   See Mt. 26:17-20; Mk. 14:12-18; Lk. 22:1, 7-14; Acts 12:3-4.

33   In some Bibles it would seem that John 19:14 places the crucifixion at the time when the lambs were being sacrificed in the Temple: ‘Now it was the day of preparation (paraskeue) for the Passover (tou pascha); it was about the sixth hour’ (NASB). The NIV correctly translates it as, ‘It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.’ Gleason Archer (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, n.p.) states, “the word paraskeue had already by the first century A.D. become a technical term for ‘Friday,’ since every Friday was the day of preparation for Saturday, that is, the Sabbath. In Modern Greek the word for ‘Friday’ is paraskeue.” Archer states, “the Greek term tou pascha (lit., ‘of the Passover’) is taken to be equivalent to the Passover Week” referring to the seven day Passover–Feast of Unleavened Bread. “It was unnecessary to insert a specific term for ‘week’…for it to be understood as such. Therefore, that which might be translated literally as ‘the preparation of the Passover’ must in this context be rendered ‘Friday of Passover Week.’” This means that John is saying it was Friday, not the day before the Passover meal was eaten.

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