REVIEW: Some thoughts about the Pope’s new book – part II

For Part I go HERE.

I have read an advance copy of the new, second volume of Benedict XVI’s book, Jesus of Nazareth. The new book will be released worldwide for Lent 2011, with a date of 10 March. Just buy it.  You can click the image to the right, now, or find an appropriate link at the end of this entry.

The first volume the Holy Father’s dealt with the problems of an unbalanced “historical-critical” approach to Scriptures.  He has a succinct explanation of how we are to understand “inspiration” and Scripture.  His reflections on the temptations of the Lord was rich.  That volume was well suited for spiritual reading during the first part of Lent.

This second volume looks at the period the Lord’s life from the entrance into Jerusalem to His resurrection. In other words – Holy Week.  Then he drills into the Resurrection.

There has been an embargo on using the text. However, the publishers said we could use content from three sections.

Chapter 3, Section 4: “The Mystery of the Betrayer”
Chapter 5, Section 1: “The Dating of the Last Supper”
Chapter 7, Section 3: “Jesus Before Pilate”

Today I have some comments about that second bit, “The Dating of the Last Supper”.

I want to preface this with a statement I will circle back to by the end: Benedict XVI is a coworker of the Truth.

Now let’s go on.

This second now unembargoed section explores different theories about the time line of the Lord’s last days in Jerusalem, through his Passion and death, to the Resurrection.

There are scholarly disputes about the timing of the Last Supper in those days leading to Passover.  In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) the Last Supper seems to fall on Thursday, the evening of the first day of Unleavened Bread, the night before the day on which the Lambs would be slaughtered for the Passover.  On the night leading into Friday, Jesus would be arrested in the Garden.  The Jews would not go into the building to see Pilate because they didn’t want to be ritually unclean for Passover.  The Lord was condemned and then crucified on Friday at the time the lambs were killed for that night’s Passover meal.  Because it was the day of Preparation for the Passover meal, they were going to break Jesus legs, but he was already dead.

The Pope shows from internal evidence of Mark and from recent scholarship that the timing presented in the Synoptic Gospels is problematic.  Among other things, “According to the Synoptic chronology, the execution of Jesus would indeed have taken place on the very day of the feast.”

The Holy Father favors the chronology in the Gospel of John.  I quote with my emphases:

John goes to great lengths to indicate that the Last Supper was not a Passover meal.  On the contrary: the Jewish authorities who led Jesus before Pilate’s court avoided entering the praetorium, “so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover” (18:28).  The Passover, therefore, began only in the evening, and at the time of the trial the Passover meal had not yet taken place; the trial and crucifixion took place on the day before the Passover, on the “day of preparation”, not on the feast day itself.  The Passover feast in the year in question accordingly ran from Friday evening until Saturday evening, not from Thursday evening until Friday evening.

Otherwise the sequence of events remains the same: Thursday evening-Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples, but not a Passover meal; Friday, the vigil of the feast, not the feast itself-trial and execution; Saturday-rest in the tomb; Sunday-Resurrection.  According to this chronology, Jesus dies at the moment when the Passover lambs are being slaughtered in the Temple.  Jesus dies as the real lamb, merely prefigured by those slain in the Temple.

The Holy Father delves into various explanations for the seeming discrepancies in the timing.

Feast of FaithReading this, I was reminded of something that I had read in one of Papa Ratzinger’s books many years ago, Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy.  (Das Fest des Glaubens, 1981; English trans. 1986.)

Feast of Faith signed by Joseph Card. Ratzinger

My signed copy!

In this book, Ratzinger draws on the writings of Hartmut Gese who explored the idea that the meal eaten by Jesus and Apostles as the Last Supper was a type of sacrificial thanksgiving meal used by the Jews called a “toda” or “todah” meal.

According to Gese via Ratzinger:

“The thanksgiving sacrifice presupposes a particular situation.  If a man is saved from death, from fatal illness or from those who seek his life, he celebrates this divine deliverance in a service of thanksgiving which marks an existential new beginning in his life.  In it he confesses God to be his deliverer by celebrating a thanksgiving (toda).  He invites his friends and associates, provides the sacrificial animal…and celebrates…together with his invited guests, the inauguration of his new existence…In order to recall God’s deliverance and giving thanks for it, it is necessary to reflect on one’s pilgrimage through suffering, to bring to mind the process of redemption…It is not a mere sacrifice rite; it is a sacrifice in which one professes one’s involvement…Here we have a unity which embraces a service of word and a ritual meal, praise and sacrifice. The sacrifice cannot be misunderstood as a ‘gift’ to God; rather it is a way of ‘honoring’ the Deliverer.  And the fact that the rescued man is able to celebrate ‘life restored’ in the sacred meal is itself the gift of God. …The Lord’s Supper is the toda of the Risen One.” (Feast, p. 55)


“The toda is not restricted to a bloody sacrifice of flesh but also embraces the unbloody sacrifice of bread: toda is the only form of sacrifice which is concerned with unleavend bread.  Thus, in the context of toda, bread and wine acquire a special significance; the one becomes part of the sacrifice itself, the other plays a constitutive role in proclamation.” (Feast, p. 56)

As I read the Pope’s new book this was all sounding familiar.  Papa Ratzinger is clearly a scribe bring out things both old and new.  He has been working on these ideas for a long time, long before his election to the See of Peter.

However, last night when I was visiting the Blessed Sacrament I reread this section on the Last Supper and there popped back into my mind another time I had heard Benedict go over some of this ground.  In 2007 on Holy Thursday I was sitting just a few yard away from him as he preached from his cathedra in the apse of the Lateran Basilica.  In that sermon he said:

There is an apparent discrepancy in the Evangelists’ accounts, between John’s Gospel on the one hand, and what on the other Mathew, Mark and Luke tell us.

According to John, Jesus died on the Cross at the very moment when the Passover lambs were being sacrificed in the temple. The death of Jesus and the sacrifice of the lambs coincided.

However, this means that he must have died the day before Easter and could not, therefore, have celebrated the Passover meal in person – this, at any rate, is how it appears.

According to the three Synoptic Gospels, the Last Supper of Jesus was instead a Passover meal into whose traditional form he integrated the innovation of the gift of his Body and Blood.

This contradiction seemed unsolvable until a few years ago. The majority of exegetes were of the opinion that John was reluctant to tell us the true historical date of Jesus’ death, but rather chose a symbolic date to highlight the deeper truth: Jesus is the new, true Lamb who poured out his Blood for us all.

In the meantime, the discovery of the [Dead Sea] Scrolls at Qumran has led us to a possible and convincing solution which, although it is not yet accepted by everyone, is a highly plausible hypothesis. We can now say that John’s account is historically precise.

Jesus truly shed his blood on the eve of Easter at the time of the immolation of the lambs.

In all likelihood, however, he celebrated the Passover with his disciples in accordance with the Qumran calendar, hence, at least one day earlier; he celebrated it without a lamb, like the Qumran community which did not recognize Herod’s temple and was waiting for the new temple.

In his new, second volume, the Holy Father goes over some of the evidence connected to the Qumran community presented especially by the French scholar Annie Jaubert.  He finally, however, makes the statement:

In reply it must be said that the traces of tradition to which she refers are too weak to be convincing. The other difficulty is that Jesus is unlikely to have used a calendar associated principally with Qumran. Jesus went to the Temple for the great feasts. Even if he prophesied its demise and confirmed this with a dramatic symbolic action, he still followed the Jewish festal calendar, as is evident from John’s Gospel in particular. True, one can agree with Jaubert that the Jubilees calendar was not strictly limited to Qumran and the Essenes. Yet this is not sufficient to justify applying it to Jesus’ Passover. Thus it is understandable that Annie Jaubert’s theory—so fascinating on first sight—is rejected by the majority of exegetes.

I have presented it in some detail because it offers an insight into the complexity of the Jewish world at the time of Jesus, a world that we can reconstruct only to a limited degree, despite all the knowledge of sources now available to us. So while I would not reject this theory outright, it cannot simply be accepted at face value, in view of the various problems that remain unresolved. (Jesus II, pp.111-12)

Finally, the Holy Father sides with John P. Meier, in A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical

Jesus and goes by the chronology of John, while sorting out the apparent differences with the Synoptics.

Just to give you a sense of where the Holy Father goes with this:

One thing emerges clearly from the entire tradition: essentially, this farewell meal was not the old Passover, but the new one, which Jesus accomplished in this context. Even though the meal that Jesus shared with the Twelve was not a Passover meal according to the ritual prescriptions of Judaism, nevertheless, in retrospect, the inner connection of the whole event with Jesus’ death and Resurrection stood out clearly. It was Jesus’ Passover. And in this sense he both did and did not celebrate the Passover: the old rituals could not be carried out—when their time came, Jesus had already died. But he had given himself, and thus he had truly celebrated the Passover with them. The old was not abolished; it was simply brought to its full meaning. (Jesus II, p. 114)

I’ll leave you to read through the whole thing to see how that works.  The essence of the argument, however is this…. and this is a theme which threads its way through the entire book: Jesus constantly takes old forms and prayers such as psalms and rites and, when He takes them up, He brings them to a new meaning, a fulfillment, without destroying them.  This is particularly important elsewhere in the book, which I can’t quote at the moment, when Papa Ratzinger discusses the destruction of the Temple and the Person of the Lord as THE Temple.

A final point.

As I read this second volume it occurred to me that one might use it as a companion to reading the Scriptural narrative accounts.  You could go back and forth between the books and get some real use from the Holy Father’s insights.  At the same time, this book is a demonstration that the Pope has been thinking through the questions he deals with for a very long time.  His second volume reveals, and I think I have shown that above, an evolution in his thought about certain things.

In my look at this book, I mentioned that Pope’s can’t simply say what they think, or what they are thinking through.  People like Joseph Ratzinger continue to think about things.  Their thought evolves.  The Holy Father is not afraid to show to the world how his thoughts have changed over the years, how he has learned, how his faith has sought understanding (cf. St. Anselm, Proslogion).  This continuous, relentless pursuit of deeper understanding, and the eager use of the relentless pursuit recounted by other scholars, even of an different faith, shows that in his life, whether as priest, or professor or Pope of Rome, he has tried to live authentically what he encapsulated as the motto of his episcopal coat-of arms: Cooperatores veritatis… co-workers of the Truth (cf. 3 John 8).

That motto has been in front of my eyes for a long time, since he wrote it on a photo I have framed and hung in a hallway I walk by through the time.  I used to meet the former Cardinal in another hallway, some years ago, not daily, but very often.  I had many conversations with the man and he was always not only happy to answer questions, but always to hear and seriously consider other opinions and points of view.  One of these exchanges lead to the topic of my thesis on St. Augustine.

Benedict XVI is a coworker of the Truth.


KindleYou can click HERE or the image above to go to amazon (USA) and buy the book at a significant discount before its official release. The USA KINDLE edition is available HERE for even less than the hardback. If you don’t have a Kindle – I am really starting to like using this great tool – you can get a USA version HERE. It will work anywhere, globally. If you are in the UK or Europe, use THIS LINK for the Pope’s hardback and THIS for a Kindle, which will work everywhere. I haven’t found a link for the UK Kindle version of the Pope’s new book. BTW… you can also read the stuff you get for Kindle on your iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc., and they all synchronize.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. flyfree432 says:

    Thank you for your continued insightful commentary. One thing about buying from amazon that readers should know – their current discount is now HIGHER than most bookstores can buy the book for. I have a Catholic bookstore and pay over $14 for each copy, so this is a killer deal. That just goes to show you the sheer quantity that amazon buys the book in. Ignatius Press also shipped the book to bookstores yesterday, so I look forward to getting our stock in and reading it myself.

  2. mndad says:

    “Benedict XVI is a coworker of the Truth.”
    Seems like a trivial enough statement however
    since you start and end your review with this it made me wonder a bit what you really mean here Father? What am I missing? [Reading what I wrote in that space between the two statements will help resolve that! o{]:¬) ]

  3. Excellent review! The idea that the Last Supper was not the passover meal is intriguing to me as elements of the passover seder are so clearly discernible not just in what Scripture tells us about it, but also in the Mass. This topic is very dear to me as my wife is Jewish. (Yes, validly so for inquiring minds!) One of the gifts God has brought out of this is a hunger for understanding the Jewish roots of our faith and how Jesus fulfills the Law.

    He said, “Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.'” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover. (Mt, 26:18-19)

    It is possible that “prepared the passover” refers to the ritual “bedikat chametz” in which the house is cleansed of foods forbidden during the passover, chametz being things that are leavened, like bread. This can take place over days, but as I understand it, the cleansing traditionally took place the day or night before the passover.

    At any rate, it seems right that an element of mystery should remain when we try to get our hands around all of this as Holy Mass and the Eucharist are themselves great mysteries of our faith. The Holy Father speaks to that when he writes of how Jesus perfects the old passover by celebrating the new one.

    On this note of mystery, it is noteworthy that even in Luke we see evidence that the Last Supper is not the passover:

    And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15)

    So what are we to say? Jesus did eat that which He “earnestly desired” to eat with His disciples, or no He did not? Did He do so in the kingdom, or in the upper room? The answer it seems is YES to all of in some mysterious way.

    The Last Supper connects the dots in a sense when Jesus says, “This is my Body… This is my Blood…” Clearly, in time the Sacrifice had yet to take place, yet He spoke of it as if it already had. This hints at the timelessness of the event of Calvary in an interesting way, I think.

    Jews even today recognize the seder not as a unique annual event but as a participation in the one passover from slavery in Egypt; a re-presentation similar to the way we view our participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass. But in keeping with the idea that the New exceeds the Old in richness and in glory, Jesus takes the Jewish idea of re-presentation a step further at the Last Supper by demonstrating the timelessness of the Eucharistic banquet even before the earthly event; something heretofore unimaginable.

    The Last Supper then is in some sense the passover meal that God prescribed should be celebrated (albeit the new one) even as it is celebrated the day prior. In this Jesus demonstrates just what one should expect; the new Passover in Christ is far greater than the one that prefigured it.

    What a delicious mystery!

  4. tobiasmurphy says:

    My scripture professor taught us about the theory that the Last Supper was on Tuesday, celebrated with the Essenes, which I understand to have been associated with Qumran. The pope, however, objects, mentioning that Jesus went to the Temple, apparently with religious intentions. Just throwing a thought out there: is it possible that Jesus, who associated with Pharisees like Nicodemus and tax-collectors like Matthew, and who made friends according to who was after God’s heart rather than party affiliations and human customs, might have celebrated the Passover with the Essenes according to the Qumran calendar, while nonetheless believing in the dignity and importance of the Herodian Temple?

    I personally prefer the dating according to the Qumran theory. It seems more plausible to me. I don’t see a reason that Jesus’ going to the Temple should mean that He wouldn’t have celebrated with the Essenes who didn’t go to the Temple.

    Anyway, the pope’s book sounds fascinating and I don’t mean to imply that my own thoughts on this are better than his. I still have to read his first book! I got about half-way through and got busy with ministry work.

  5. mndad — Remember, the Truth is Jesus. Truth shouldn’t be an idealized abstraction for Christian scholars; it’s a Him, a Person whom they serve and love. Scholarly honesty isn’t just a nice thing; it’s about playing fair with Somebody we will someday meet as our Judge. It requires an awful lot of intellectual humility and love. It’s not easy, and there are plenty of prominent scholars who are total jerks and liars in their work.

    To be a coworker of the Truth is to be doing exactly what a Christian scholar and theologian and priest and man (and pope!) should be doing — but it’s also pretty high praise to say that somebody is really managing to do it.

  6. twherge says:

    I shall be very interested to read through this, since it is very much in conflict with what I read in How Christ Said the First Mass, which, granted, had many dicey moments academically and logically, but presented what seemed to be a fairly reasonable explanation of the events. It also presents interesting contrast to those who often taut the “4th cup” story.

  7. Jordanes says:

    I’m of the opinion that, although it seems at first glance that the Synoptics place the death of Jesus on the first day of the Passover feast (Nisan 15), in fact they agree with St. John’s account in placing it the day before that (Nisan 14). Thus, the Last Supper would have been on the evening before the Jewish Passover Seder, and therefore was not the traditional Seder, but was “Seder-like.” I think Jesus exercised His divine right to modify these kinds of observances, instructing His disciples to prepare “the Passover” a day earlier than usual, since (as they were about to find out) the Lamb of God would be fulfilling the Jewish Passover and thus would be unavailable to partake of the Old Covenant type (which, after all, would not be necessary to do once Christ our Passover had been slain for us).

  8. Allan S. says:

    I did purchase and read the first book, but I confess I found it a very difficult read. I simply did not understamd much of it, and even after reading some passages a few times I was unable to follow his analysis. Having read the excerpts shared here, I fear we are very much in the same territory with this volume.

    Perhaps I am extraordinarily dense, or maybe this is a book written for theologans or those with specific training and academic backgrounds.

  9. sprachmeister says:

    mndad – Pope Benedict’s motto in his episcopal arms was “cooperatores veritatis” – “coworkers of the Truth”. In his interview book “Salt of the Earth”, he says
    “So I accepted [the appointment as archbishop of Munich and Freising], with the intention, as I expressed it in my episcopal motto, of being a “co-worker of the truth”. Co-worker was meant in the plural. In other words, in communion with other co-workers I would contribute my charism, if I may call it that, and contribute using the theological experience and competence that had been given to me, so that the Church might be rightly led in this hour and the heritage of the Council rightly appropriated.”
    Hopefully this will give insight into what the Pope means by “co-worker of the Truth”.

  10. JKnott says:

    ” The essence of the argument, however is this…. and this is a theme which threads its way through the entire book: Jesus constantly takes old forms and prayers such as psalms and rites and, when He takes them up, He brings them to a new meaning, a fulfillment, without destroying them.”
    Doesn’t this really highlight the Pope’s love for continuity and the Liturgy!!!!
    Father Z: Thank you for this wonderful commentary and helful guide and encouragement
    I have already ordeed it for my Kindle. It will be there on 3/15. And yes, the price is right!
    Love my Kindle. It took a litte getting used to but I have Catholic Classics, the Fathers,
    Scripture etc all categorized for easy access. Many of the classics are free or almost.
    I look forward to reading “Jesus II” and to further helpful commentaries here.

  11. bbmoe says:

    Brant Pitre’s hypothesis is that because the Passover is celebrated for more than one day, the Pharisees’ and priests’ concerns about maintaining ritual purity the day after “the” Passover is not contradictory to the timing of the Last Supper being a Passover meal. In the Gospels apart from John, the Last Supper is on the day that the lambs are sacrificed (Luke 22:7, Mark 14:12, Matt 26:18-19) and that’s the day that the Passover meal is eaten, not the day following. In any case, these verses are quite explicit: it is the Passover meal, not a “todah.” Between them they join the day of the sacrifice of the lambs with the meal, and call it the Passover meal.

    The Essene calendar theory has too many problems, in my opinion. For one thing, if Jesus is celebrating the last supper on a Tuesday and he dies on a Friday (“the day of preparation” is the day before the Sabbath) where is the elapsed time? And Jesus engaged the Pharisees as the guardians of the orthodox faith of Judaism, whose prophecies and laws he claimed to fulfill. If he were an Essene, his standing as one who could legitimately and authoritatively critique Pharisaical Judaism would be completely undermined.

    Pitre’s book: Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.

  12. Henry Edwards says:

    Love my Kindle. It took a little getting used

    Ditto. I received one for Christmas, and at first wasn’t sure how I could use it, since I love books–real books. But then I discovered the Kindle Catholic Bible (D-R) (best navigation with Direct Verse Jump) for $2.39! For instance, to go to John 3:16—the first verse in the Bible that every Protestant child memorized when I was one, I need only key in jn.3.16 and press the search key.

    Now it happens that I pray privately the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin, but like an English text alongside. However, the English translations (British and U.S.) of the LOH are inadequate for this usage, whereas the Douay-Rheims is largely an almost slavishly literal translation of the Vulgate, and hence is an even better sidearm English choice than the RSV CE (the only other adequate choice among Catholic bibles). And the handy Kindle can be held in my left hand while I turn the pages of the Liturgia Horarum with my right.

    So my Kindle is now my constant companion—well, at least four times during the day and once during the night (prime having been suppressed and the three hours of terce, sext, and none having been collapsed into one). Indeed, each evening I can set it up for the following day by stepping through its psalms and short readings and scriptural responses in reverse order. Then while actually praying the LOH, I need only push the “back” button repeatedly to step through the readings in proper order.

    New books are not discounted so much at the Kindle store, so I had to pay $9.99 for the RSV CE 2e, which I believe is the English translation generally used in Pope Benedict’s books. So I’ll probably have my Kindle in my left hand when I finally open Jesus of Nazareth II with my right hand.

  13. Dr. Eric says:

    Another perspective:

    [GRRR… please say what links go to. Don’t just litter. Spammers do this sort of thing.]

  14. Yes… I couldn’t help but think as I was reading this about what a certain Dr. Hahn would think of the Pope’s assertions… [“Pope’s assertions” … hmmm…. BTW… did you read this section from the Pope’s book? It is pretty much everywhere now.]

  15. haven’t gotten a chance yet, Fr.– perhaps “assertions” is a poor word choice: I meant only that the Holy Father’s writings, which you elucidate so well, pretty much eliminates Dr. Hahn’s premise.

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure I want to read it out of context– I’m looking forward to receiving my pre-order, and reading the whole thing! :)

  16. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Please clobber me, if this seems like waffle, but I was struck by “essentially, this farewell meal was not the old Passover, but the new one, which Jesus accomplished in this context.” Could this fulfilling celebration of the meal, precede its ‘traditional’ celebration, so that the fulfilling Passover itself- into and through death as through the depths of the parted waters, “trampling down death by death”, Harrowing Hades – could take place during the ‘traditional’ ‘recollective’ celebration (on the Sabbath) (which would then later be recalled by Sancta Sabbata Baptisms), with the new fulfilled everlasting “sign in your flesh” coming with the Resurrection on the ‘eighth-and-first day’?

  17. Venerator: Not sure what that meant. Perhaps a cogent paragraph would have helped.

    Did you read the excerpt from the Pope’s book on this?

  18. roaming: Knowing the Holy Father (and I do.. or did), I think he would welcome a challenge.

  19. Kent says:

    For what it’s worth, in the Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ taken from the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, when Christ was before Caiphas he was charged with celebrating the Passover meal a day early than was normal. He was defended in this by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who argued that Galileans had historically been allowed to celebrate the Pasch a day earlier because of the multitude of people in Jerusalem at this time and the difficulties of everyone congregating together on the same day to celebrate the Passover (read, by the way, on my Kindle).

  20. ray from mn says:

    I never could imagine either Pilate or Herod being dragged to a middle of the night hearing for a “petty Jewish blasphemer.”

  21. John V says:

    In that quote from the Holy Father’s sermon from 2007, there are a couple of references that I’m guessing are mistranslations. In the third paragraph, it reads: “. . . he must have died the day before Easter . . . .” and in the penultimate paragraph, “. . . shed his blood on the eve of Easter . . . .” Does the Italian language use the same word for Passover and Easter? Some variation of “Pascha” perhaps?

  22. mndad says:

    Thank you sprachmeister and suburbanbanshee – I guess part of the answer to my inquiry is visually on display if one scrolls to the top of the page.

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Dear Father Z.,

    Please excuse my delay in responding: I have been away such that I only read your comment a little while ago, and could not answer sooner! So far, I have only read what you quoted in this post. I will here attempt something cogent, to try to clarify what I wrote.

    I was thinking of the ‘passing over’ through the sea out of Egypt and its bondage, which followed the putting blood on uprights and lintel, the Passover meal and the “passing over” of the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt. If the ‘new Passover meal’ was celebrated by our Lord with His disciples on the day before the rest (or majority, anyway) of Israel celebrated the ‘old’, then, while they were celebrating that, He was fulfilling the type of the ‘passing over’ through the sea by His descending into death, the grave, and Hades (in the sense of, where the Fathers awaited) and passing over through them into the life of His Resurrection, ransoming the Fathers and all who will be redeemed. (I was remembering 1 Cor.10:2, Rom. 6:4, and Col. 2:12.) Thereafter, the baptisms ‘in Christo Jesu’ on Holy Saturday (Sancta Sabbata in the liturgical week) would correspond sequentially to the ‘baptism “in Moyse […] in mari” ’ and exactly chronologically with Christ’s having descended into death, grave, and Hades.

    I was also thinking of circumcision being performed on the eighth day and being “signum foederis […] in carne” (Gen. 17:11-13) and the Resurrection taking place on the first and (so one beyond the seventh and thus also) eighth day, and the Incarnation as a fulfillment of “signum in carne”, perfected in the Resurrection. Thus, because of the Resurrection the Holy Saturday baptism would precede the ‘ Eighth Day’ (with its circumcision association fulfilled in the Resurrection and Dominica), just as the first celebration of the ‘new Passover feast’ preceded the fulfillment of the ‘passing over’ out of bondage.

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