Leavened bread at the Last Supper?

Course 1 in the book proves that Jesus ate regular leavened bread at the Last Supper, it being the evening before the Passover sacrifice.

A reader wrote in asking: “Having Jewish friends, they go to great lengths to get anything with leaven out of their houses many days before Passover. Would this make sense for Jesus to eat leavened bread on the evening before Passover?”

First of all, thank you for this excellent question. Although it is true that many orthodox Jews today work to clean out leaven many days before the Passover, when interpreting these scriptures we have to ascertain what the customs and idioms at the time of Jesus were. In most aspects the first-century Jews were much more stringent to keep God’s laws than Jewish people today. Peter would refuse to associate with those of another nation, and the Jews were going to kill Paul when they thought he had brought an uncircumcised Gentile into the Temple precincts.

However, it is very clear from the history in the Jewish Talmud (written a few hundred years after Jesus) that eating regular leavened bread, even on the morning of the day of the sacrifice (the 14th day) was perfectly legal. According to God’s law through the scriptures, all leaven in the land had to be destroyed before noon. The Talmud states:

GEMARA: We see thus, that at the commencement of the sixth hour, all agree, Chometz* must be burned.

[*that which is leavened]

They then go on to say that this is understood from the fact that leaven was not to be present in Israel when the blood of the Passover was shed (Exodus 34:25). And since the legal allowable time for the Passover sacrifice was between noon and sunset on the 14th day, then the leaven had to be destroyed before noon (noon was called the sixth hour, and the “commencement of the sixth hour” was 11:00 AM).

So the Messiah and the disciples eating regular leavened bread at the Last Supper (the evening before the Passover lamb sacrifice) would have been perfectly appropriate, for as the Talmud states concerning the 14th day “so that in the morning leavened bread may be eaten while in the afternoon it must not.”

(See p. 455 in the book for these Talmud quotes.)

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  1. Bob Howerton says:

    Hello brother Al. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for your years of dedication to bring insight in these most glorious days

    Bob Howerton

  2. Justice says:

    Thank you! Much confusions will be avoided from now on .

    • ATennent says:

      I really appreciate your comment Justice. I tried very hard in the book to take some cloudy issues and make them clear, so thank you for commenting!

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