Calendrical Variations in Second Temple Judaism

New Perspectives on the ‘Date of the Last Supper’ Debate


Starting from the seminal work of the French scholar Annie Jaubert on the date of the Last Supper, the present work revisits known - and identifies new - calendrical issues in the literature of Second Temple Judaism. The research supports the conclusion that all known calendrical traditions functioned on the tenet that orthopraxis in ancient Judaism meant close interconnection between cultic and agricultural cycles. From this perspective the book removes the calendrical objection leveled at the Jaubertian theory. Further, the research brings new light on current debates about Qumran calendrical documents and proposes the identification of a previously unknown calendrical polemic in the Astronomical Book of Enoch concerning the synchronization of the 364DY tradition with the lunar cycle.

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Stéphane F. Saulnier, Ph.D. (2007) in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Kent (UK), is Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at Newman Theological College, Edmonton, Alta.
Part I: The Jaubertian Theory
Chapter 1: The Date of the Last Supper: Annie Jaubert’s Theory revisited.

Part II: Festivals and the Seasons in the Sources.
Chapter 2: The Cycle of festivals and the seasons in the Hebrew Bible.
Chapter 3: The Cycle of Festivals and the Seasons in the Book of Jubilees.
Chapter 4: The Cycle of Festivals at Qumran.
Chapter 5: The Cycle of Festivals in other Second Temple Judaism Sources.

Part III: Some Specific Calendrical Issues in Second Temple Judaism.
Chapter 6: Calendrical Issues in the Book of Luminaries (1 Enoch 72-82).
Chapter 7: The Calendrical Documents from Qumran.

Appendix: The 364 Day Year, the lunar cycle, and the triennial cycle.
This book will appeal to those interested in the history of Second Temple Judaism, its litterature, and their possible interface with early Christian history and literature.
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