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The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus [Paperback]

Colin J. Humphreys
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 April 2011
For hundreds of years, we thought we knew what happened during Jesus' last days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are not only observed by Christians around the world, but are also recognized in calendars and by non-practitioners as commemorating the true timeline of events in the life of Christ. But apparent inconsistencies in the gospel accounts of Jesus' final week have puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. In The Mystery of the Last Supper, Colin Humphreys uses science to reveal the truth about Jesus' final days. Reconciling conflicting Gospel accounts and scientific evidence, Humphreys reveals the exact date of the Last Supper in a definitive new timeline of Holy Week.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052173200X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521732000
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Colin Humphreys' Mystery poses an intriguing detective story. … The argument is presented so logically that non-specialists should be able to follow it easily.' Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard University and author of God's Universe

'By linking scientific knowledge with biblical study, Colin Humphreys gives a welcome demonstration of a way apparent contradictions in the Gospel texts may be reconciled.' Alan Millard, University of Liverpool

'With clear accessible writing, [Humphreys] carries readers to surprising conclusions that make this a must-read book for anyone concerned about genuinely testing evidence for the truth about Jesus Christ. A benchmark for future scholarship, it reinforces the veracity of the New Testament record.' Michael Quicke, Northern Seminary

'Professor Colin Humphreys of Cambridge poses a new theory as to the date of the last supper and the crucifixion of Jesus in a way that reconciles the Johannine and Synoptic accounts instead of pitting them against each other. … all serious researchers will appreciate this sustained marshalling of evidence beyond the biblical text in service to its elucidation.' Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon

'I would like to commend Colin Humphreys … on this remarkable book reconstructing the final days of Jesus.' John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

'… there have always been great difficulties in knowing quite how to fit together the precise details of the Last Supper and Jesus's arrest and trial. With the clearest possible presentation of fresh evidence and good historical imagination, Colin Humphreys here tackles this problem in a completely fresh manner. His suggestions are likely to have a significant impact both on scholarly appraisal and on the regular Christian appreciation of these climactic events of the faith.' Hugh G. M. Williamson, University of Oxford

'The last hours before the Crucifixion are challenging (in more than one sense), and many technical issues - legal, calendrical and other - are involved. In bringing his great technical expertise to bear on these questions, Colin Humphreys contrives to present a reconstruction and a narrative of the last hours that is also a very readable retelling of events.' Robert P. Gordon, University of Cambridge

'A gripping read that is hard to put down …' Sir John Houghton, Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Committee of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change

'It is wonderful to see someone apply a robust, multidisciplinary strategy to an age-old riddle … Humphreys has taken several risks in this book … I don't mind if he's wrong. I admire his pluck and I relish his calm, respectful and thoughtful attitude. If professors of Materials Science can manage it, why can't evolutionary biologists?' The Herald (Glasgow)

'It reads like a detective story, and [Humphreys] tells the story superbly … If you want to explore some intriguing historical puzzles at the heart of our faith, you will find this a fascinating read.' Methodist Recorder

'Sophisticated … the thoroughness with which the author has explored all available literary, historical, and astronomical evidence, and the clarity with which he leads the reader through a complex argument make him a powerful advocate for this new chronology.' Church Times

'Warmly commended … The book reads easily: the inevitable technical terms are clearly explained, there are many tables and illustrations, the chapters are brief and end with summaries.' Baptist Times

' … a most interesting detective story … We heartily recommend this book to those with a scholarly turn of mind.' British Church Newspaper

'Colin Humphreys' notion is a surprising idea, but an attractive one, in that it reconciles all the narratives, underlining their basic authenticity.' The Irish Catholic

Book Description

Apparent inconsistencies in the gospel accounts of Jesus' final week have puzzled Bible scholars for centuries. This book uses science to reveal the truth about Jesus' final days. Reconciling conflicting Gospel accounts and scientific evidence, Humphreys reveals the exact date of the Last Supper in a definitive new timeline of Holy Week.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beacon of light! 11 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. Communicated with clear easy-going prose, whilst still intellectually challenging and delivering a very powerful argument for Jesus final Passover meal being held on Wednesday 1 April, AD 33. "Maunday Thursday" is now in peril and should perhaps be celebrated on Wednesday.

The importance of this cannot be understated, not just because it effectively harmonises the apparently conflicting gospel accounts relating to the 'last supper', but raises a whole new perspective of the potential relationship between Jesus, the disciples and the Essenes. In Humphrey's account Jesus uses a "pre-exilic" lunar calendar to fix the date of His Passover with the anniversary date of the real Passover inaugarated by Moses. That calendar, perhaps held somewhat closely by the Samaritans/Essenes of the day was slightly different from the lunar calendar practiced at Passover by the Jews at that same time!

This is really facinating - and the astronomical support for the chronology is overwhelming in my view.

My review title is a subtle play on words associated with the fact that because lunar calendars relied upon observational astronomical support, the Jews and Samaritans (and subsequently the Essenes) lit beacons of fire at conflicting times to 'announce' the new month (which is relevant for determining 14th Nisan). Humphrey's work has lit a new beacon of light which has brought clarity to a thorny problem that has been around since the start of the Christian era. Not just for promoting the new arguments for the Wednesday date, but for the full chronology of the last few hours of the life of Christ, which subtly 'smooths out' the wrinkles in the gospel narratives - making them fit together perfectly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating solution to an age-old problem 26 Jun 2011
By Trazom
Format:Paperback
This is a convincing solution the dating of the crucifixion of Jesus. The author has provided a reconciliation of the different timings of the Last Supper in the Gospels and has brought in a range of other factors enabling him to give an exact date and timing of this central event in Christian belief. Altogether a masterly achievement.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essene Passover 29 April 2011
By T. Ward
Format:Paperback
A fascinating book which, if it stands the test of scholarly criticism, will open up new areas of research. Prof Colin Humphreys has Jesus eating an Essene-type Passover on the Wednesday of Holy Week using an alternative lunar calendar which he dates back to Moses' time in Egypt. In this pre-exilic calendar Nissan 14 would fall 36 hours earlier than the official calendar starting at sunrise on Wednesday.
By doing so he solves a host of chronolgical problems in the Passion narratives. He also fixes the date for the Last Supper as the night of 1 April AD33. But if this is correct we must wonder why the Essenes find no place in the Gospels. There are strong parallels as well as disjunctions beweeen the Gospels and the Qumran litterature. Their investigation will become even more important.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived in excellent condition, the content is well presented and I am enjoying the reading. The price was good, too; so thanks to everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written 8 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An fascinating and compelling read, all scientifically and historically researched. If you liked this then do also read the same author's The Miracles of Exodus. Speedy delivery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 8 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written volume by a highly informed academic and a very good read. An excellent "behind the scenes" investigation.
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