[Note: This book was received free of charge from Eerdman’s in exchange for an honest review.]
Purchase the book here: http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/4871/jesus-and-the-last-supper.aspx
Jesus and the Last Supper is an incredible work of scholarship on the historical Jesus. It is a large volume and contains 572 pages of well researched material that covers topics pertaining to who Jesus was. The sources are well cited which allows one to go to the sources for verification, or for more information. Though it is more of a textbook on comparative theology, Dr. Pitre is gifted in relating the material in a way any reader can understand.
Though every chapter is beneficial the one that stood out to me is the chapter about the dating of the last supper. This has been an area of the narrative that I had never thought about before, but is significant. It is commonplace to here that John writes that Jesus was crucified on 14 Nisan while the rest of the Passover lambs were slain. However, the synoptics present Jesus as eating the Passover meal. Dr. Pitre writes that there is no evidence to support the idea of Jesus being crucified while the lambs were being killed. He goes on to say that there were three meaning in four meanings to the word Passover in second temple Judaism, and three were from the Old Testament. The four meaning are the following:
1. The slaying of the Passover lambs.
2. The meal of the Passover.
3. The Passover peace offering.
4. The weeklong Feast of Unleavened Bread
The book is interesting and very well done. Thee will be some parts that will have to be read over because some of it is more academic than others. As is the case with all of Dr. Pitre’s work, it is filled with scripture and commentary from people of the day. It is a great study on the historical Jesus and the Last Supper.