Monday, April 09, 2007
JESUS USED ESSENE CALENDAR
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- It is likely that Jesus followed the calendar of the Essenes of Qumran, possibly explaining some contradictions within the Gospel accounts of the Passover, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope made this observation Holy Thursday in his homily during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
In his address, the theologian commented on the historical investigations on the manuscripts of Qumran, found in the Dead Sea in 1947.
"In the narrations of the Evangelists, there is an apparent contradiction between the Gospel of John, on one hand, and what, on the other hand, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us," said Benedict XVI.
The Pope continued: "According to John, Jesus died on the cross precisely at the moment in which, in the temple, the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. His death and the sacrifice of the lambs coincided.
"This means that he died on the eve of Passover, and that, therefore, he could not have personally celebrated the paschal supper, at least this is what it would seem."
The Holy Father said that according to an interpretation of the texts, "still not accepted by all," Jesus "celebrated Passover with his disciples probably according to the calendar of Qumran, that is to say, at least one day earlier -- he celebrated without a lamb, like the Qumran community who did not recognize the Temple of Herod and was waiting for a new temple."
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Would a member of the Essene community have offered his body and blood to eat? The Essenes were vegetarians.