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Reading List


In depth

External resources on the haggadah of the first century courtesy of Eric Weiss

  • Barclay, William, THE LORD’S SUPPER, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1967. A short, readable book.
  • Bloch, Abraham P., THE BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE JEWISH HOLY DAYS, Ktav Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1978. This book gives the best analysis of the evolution of the seder.
  • Bokser, Baruch M., THE ORIGINS OF THE SEDER: THE PASSOVER RITE AND EARLY RABBINIC JUDAISM, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1984. The author explains how and why the Passover celebration changed after the destruction of the Temple. Extensively analyzes the text of MISHNAH PESAHIM 10, the earliest full description of the post-biblical Passover seder, and other ancient sources.
  • Dalman, Gustaf, JESUS-JESHUA: STUDIES IN THE GOSPELS, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1929. A helpful book, which also examines the Aramaic behind the gospel tradition.
  • Daube, David, THE NEW TESTAMENT AND RABBINIC JUDAISM, The Athlone Press, University of London, 1956. Many interesting insights into Jesus’s words and actions, obtained by relating them to rabbinical traditions and sayings.
  • Edersheim, Alfred, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH, Longmans, Green and Company, New York, 1904. A sometimes‑ponderous book, often more homiletical than exegetical or historical, but with lots of information nevertheless.
  • Edersheim, Alfred, THE TEMPLE, ITS MINISTRY AND SERVICES AS THEY WERE AT THE TIME OF JESUS CHRIST, Bradley & Woodruff, Boston, 1904. A good book, with valuable information on first‑century Jewish religious life. Includes some later elements in its description of the first‑century seder.
  • Feeley-Harnik, Gillian, THE LORD’S TABLE: EUCHARIST AND PASSOVER IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1981. Contains a good conjectural description of the first‑century seder.
  • Foston, Hubert M., THE EVENING OF THE LAST SUPPER: A NEW COMPARISON OF THE RECORDS, W. Heffer & Sons, Ltd., Cambridge, England, 1928. The “new comparison” is an examination of some of the particular words used by the gospel writers, with a view to suggesting a different answer to the question of whether the last supper was a Passover meal. Very difficult, not on account of the subject matter or the argument, but because of the author’s literary style.
  • Freedman, Jacob, POLYCHROME HISTORICAL HAGGADAH FOR PASSOVER, Jacob Freedman Liturgy Research Foundation, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1974. The author uses different colors to show vividly and clearly which portions of the modern seder date to which eras of rabbinical and Jewish history.
  • Gaster, Theodor Herzl, PASSOVER: ITS HISTORY AND TRADITIONS, Henry Schuman, Inc., New York, 1949. Liberal scholarship. Useful in that it contains a valuable description from a nineteenth‑century work of the Samaritan Passover.
  • Gavin, Frank, THE JEWISH ANTECEDENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN SACRAMENTS, Ktav Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1969. Some interesting insights.
  • Goodman, Philip, THE PASSOVER ANTHOLOGY, Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1961. A collection of Passover facts and stories from all ages of Jewish history.
  • Graves, Robert and Podro, Joshua, THE NAZARENE GOSPEL RESTORED, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1954. A controversial reconstruction of the “authentic” gospel by scholars who reject the Christian interpretation of Jesus. Some interesting and valuable notes.
  • GREEK-ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT, Edited by Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, Eighth Revised Edition (Greek text: Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition), Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, 1994.
  • Grelot, P. and Pierron, J., THE PASCHAL FEAST IN THE BIBLE, Helicon Press, Inc., Baltimore, 1966. One volume in a Catholic study series.
  • THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, International Bible Society, East Brunswick, New Jersey, 1973, 1978, 1984. A popular standard Evangelical translation.
  • Jeremias, Joachim, THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS OF JESUS, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1966. The author firmly believes and persuasively argues that the last supper was a Passover meal. A standard work on the subject by a well‑known scholar.
  • Kitov, Eliyahu, THE BOOK OF OUR HERITAGE: THE JEWISH YEAR AND ITS DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE, Feldheim Publishers, New York, 1978. Sets forth and explains clearly and simply the rabbinical teachings on the seder and its elements. Contains a fascinating eyewitness account by a Roman official of the Passover celebration in the days of the second Temple.
  • Levy, Isaac, A GUIDE TO PASSOVER, Jewish Chronicle Publications, London, 1958. Good, brief description of the evolution of the Passover celebration.
  • Lipson, Eric-Peter, PASSOVER HAGGADAH: A MESSIANIC CELEBRATION, JFJ Publishing, San Francisco, 1986. Based on the traditional Jewish seder, with New Testament passages and comments.
  • Maertens, Thierry, A FEAST IN HONOR OF YAHWEH, Fides Publishers, Inc., Notre Dame, Indiana, 1965. Proposes that Jesus, following a different calendar, celebrated his own Passover feast earlier than the Temple priests, in order to show that the feast had been fulfilled in his person.
  • Marshall, I. Howard, LAST SUPPER AND LORD’S SUPPER, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1980. Explores the relationship of the Lord’s supper to the last supper, describes the first‑century seder, and discusses whether the last supper was a Passover meal.
  • NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. A popular literal Evangelical translation.
  • THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1985. A new revision of THE JERUSALEM BIBLE. Excellent textual and study notes.
  • THE PASSOVER HAGGADAH, WITH HEBREW AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION ON FACING PAGES, Introduction and Commentary: Based on the Studies of E. D. Goldschmidt, Edited by Nahum N. Glatzer, Schocken Books Inc., New York, 1953, 1969, 1979, 1989. A standard work, with many helpful notes.
  • PESAHIM: HEBREW‑ENGLISH EDITION OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD, Translated into English with notes, glossary and indices by Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, B.A., Ph.D., under the editorship of Rabbi Dr. I. Epstein, B.A., Ph.D., D.Lit., The Soncino Press, London, 1967 (New Edition). The rabbinical sources on Passover. Very little relates to the first‑century seder.
  • Raphael, Chaim, A FEAST OF HISTORY: PASSOVER THROUGH THE AGES AS A KEY TO JEWISH EXPERIENCE, WITH A NEW TRANSLATION OF THE HAGGADAH FOR USE AT THE SEDER, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1972. A good historical look at the evolution of the feast, with photographs and illustrations.
  • Regelson, Abraham, THE HAGGADAH OF PASSOVER, Shulsinger Brothers, New York, 1949. “Introductory Notes and Supplement” by Rabbi Sidney B. Hoenig, 1961. A nicely‑illustrated edition of the traditional haggadah. The notes and supplement contain valuable excerpts from the biblical, rabbinical and historical writings on Passover.
  • Rosen, Ceil and Moishe, CHRIST IN THE PASSOVER, Moody Press, Chicago, 1978. Moishe Rosen is the founder of Jews for Jesus, and Ceil is his wife. This book compares the biblical, ancient and modern Passover seders, and relates them to Christ.
  • Schauss, Hayyim, GUIDE TO JEWISH HOLY DAYS: HISTORY AND OBSERVANCE, Schocken Books, New York, 1938. A very readable but cursory examination of the subject.
  • Segal, Judah Benzion, THE HEBREW PASSOVER FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO A.D. 70, Oxford University Press, London, 1963. Liberal scholarship. Difficult reading.
  • Silver, Arthur M., PASSOVER HAGGADAH: THE COMPLETE SEDER, Menorah Publishing Company, Inc., New York, 1980. Its subtitle is “Step-by-Step Directions, Halakhic References, Reasons, and Sources for the Customs of the Seder,” and that’s what it contains.
  • TANAKH, “A NEW TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ACCORDING TO THE TRADITIONAL HEBREW TEXT,” The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1985. “Tanakh” is an acronym for Torah, N’vi‑im and K’tuvim, the three traditional divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Theiss, Norman, “Passover and Eucharist: the Seder for Christian Use,” UNA SANCTA, Brooklyn, New York, 1965. A first‑century Passover haggadah. My research shows that some of the sections the author has included are from the post‑Temple era.
  • Theiss, Norman, “The Same Night in Which He Was Betrayed: a Study of Passover and Eucharist,” UNA SANCTA, Volume 23, Number 4. This is the article that accompanies “Passover and Eucharist: the Seder for Christian use,” and includes additional notes and references.
  • Zeitlin, Solomon, SOLOMON ZEITLIN’S STUDIES IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF JUDAISM, Volume I, Ktav Publishing House, Inc., New York, 1973. “The Liturgy of the First Night of Passover” (and the accompanying introduction) describes the development of the seder liturgy and the evolution of its elements. Focuses on the three (or four) sons and questions, and the dipping at the meal (the pesah into the haroset). Also discusses Jesus and the last supper.

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