A 1500-year-old Egyptian papyrus could be the oldest extant document that references the final Passover meal Jesus Christ ate with His disciples before the Crucifixion (commonly known as “The Last Supper”). Dubbed ‘The Last Supper Papyrus’, the relic may be one of the greatest finds of antiquity and provides powerful evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, the reliability of the Bible and the spread of the Christian faith in the ancient world.
Dr. Roberta Mazza, a Research Fellow of the John Rylands Research Institute, discovered what she calls “the amulet” while searching through thousands of unpublished ancient and historical documents in the library’s vaults. The Last Supper Papyrus had been untouched since 1901. Through carbon dating, Dr. Mazza concluded that the relic was an item that worn on a necklace by a devout believer in 6th century Egypt.
Dr. Mazza said: “This is an important and unexpected discovery as it’s one of the first recorded documents to use magic in the Christian context and the first charm ever found to refer to the Eucharist – the last supper – as the manna of the Old Testament. The text of the amulet is a combination of biblical passages including Psalm 78:23-24 and Matthew 26:28-30 among others.” (source).
What Dr. Mazza calls “magic” is what Christians refer to as faith – the belief in the God of the Bible, who, though unseen, certainly does protect the souls and lives of those who believe in Jesus Christ. Today, many people were necklaces, bracelets or shirts that have Bible verses inscribed on them – for inspiration, reminders to live Holy or just to proclaim their Christian faith to the world. In the case of the Last Supper Papyrus, it appears that the creator of the Biblical charm, adapted the Egyptian practice of wearing amulets, but used paraphrased Bible Scriptures instead to give a powerful Gospel message to the world.
Through spectral imaging, Dr. Mazza was able to read the reverse side of the papyrus and identify it as a receipt for payment of a tax on grain from village of Tertembuthis, outside the ancient city of Hermopolis, in modern el-Ashmunein.
Dr Mazza explained: ‘The amulet maker would have cut a piece of the receipt, written the charm on the other side and then he would have folded the papyrus to be kept in a locket or pendant. It is for this reason the tax receipt on the exterior was damaged and faded away.”
The Text of The Last Supper Papyrus
Fear you all who rule over the earth.
‘Know you nations and peoples that Christ is our God.
‘For he spoke and they came to being, he commanded and they were created; he put everything under our feet and delivered us from the wish of our enemies.
‘Our God prepared a sacred table in the desert for the people and gave manna of the new covenant to eat, the Lord’s immortal body and the blood of Christ poured for us in remission of sins.’
[The full text of The Last Supper Papyrus] (source).
Examining each line of the papyrus reveals a deep understanding of Christian theology.
“Fear you all who rule over the earth.”
The first line is in keeping with many passages in Scripture that address the rulers of the world. The point being made is that the most powerful people on Earth should listen to God’s Word because The Lord truly reigns over them. It is a stern reminder of God’s position as Creator and Sovereign over the universe. An example found in Psalm 2 in which the Scripture addresses the many kings and rulers who conspire against God:
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. – Psalm 2:10-11.
Psalm 148 reads:
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. – Psalm 148:11-13.
Psalm 89 provides a Messianic prophecy of Jesus and confirms his preeminence over any Earthly ruler:
He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. – Psalm 89-26-27.
‘Know you nations and peoples that Christ is our God.’
The second line addresses all the people of the world and makes the bold proclamation that The Lord Jesus Christ is God. This provides amazing proof of the belief in ancient times that Jesus Christ was not a “teacher” or “philosopher”, but God in the flesh. A principle supported throughout Scripture. After the resurrection of Christ, the Disciple Thomas comes to the realization:
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. – John 20:26-29.
Thomas spoke to the resurrected Jesus Christ in person and believed that He was indeed God. Note that Jesus responds by giving honor to those who “…have not seen, and yet have believed.” – a reference to the “magic” Dr. Mazza referred to, those who believe in Jesus by faith through the words of the Bible.
‘For he spoke and they came to being, he commanded and they were created; he put everything under our feet and delivered us from the wish of our enemies.’
The first part of this line paraphrases from Psalm 33:
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. – Psalm 33:6-9.
This shows belief that God created the universe, something Scripture states repeatedly to confirm that authority of The Lord. [B&E: Also notice how the words from this 6th century document so closely match the King James translation that exists today. This is remarkable proof of the preservation of the Bible through 1500 years]. The second portion of the line references another important Christian belief: that all true Christians will receive the Earth as their inheritance at the Second Coming of Christ.
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. – Psalm 47:1-4.
The phrase “under feet” is an ancient slang term for rulership. Putting one’s foot on a fallen foe was a sign of conquest. And this is what awaits Christians at the return of Jesus Christ when He defeats the Antichrist, False Prophet and their armies and imprisons Satan for the duration of the Millennial kingdom. Romans 16 states: “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
In Hebrews Chapter 2, a passage about Jesus lowering Himself to become human, only to return to His fully position as God incarnate, ruling over all, also uses the phrase:
Thou madest [Jesus] a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. – Hebrews 2:7-9.
The book of Ephesians connects the rulership of Christ to the church, who is “in Christ” and thus, receives the inheritance of the Earth through Him:
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. – Ephesians 1:19-23.
This is further confirmed in Revelation chapter 1: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6).
‘Our God prepared a sacred table in the desert for the people and gave manna of the new covenant to eat, the Lord’s immortal body and the blood of Christ poured for us in remission of sins.’
Here Psalm 78 is referenced by the papyrus author. The passage is a reminder of the Israelites wandering the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt and their rebellious attitude as they doubted that God could provide for them it the midst of a barren desert:
And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. – Psalm 78:18-24.
This line demonstrates an understanding of the Gospel: that God saves fallen, sinful humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The Israelites rebelled in the wilderness because they did not believe God, that He would deliver them to the Promised Land (called such because God had already “promised” the land to Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, several generations earlier). Their lack of faith and trust in God’s salvation in the desert was a type of the general lack of faith all people are born with. Due to our sin nature, we doubt God’s Word in sinful rebellion. But through the Gospel, the message of salvation in Jesus Christ, a person’s heart can be stirred to belief and eternal life.
The manna in heaven was food that God literally rained down from Heaven in the wilderness for the ancient Israelites. It was a symbol of God’s supernatural provision and a foreshadow of salvation. The Israelites did not have to work or earn the manna. They did not plant a seed to make it grow. God created it and delivered it personally. So it is with eternal life. There is no earning salvation. It is “..the gift of God and not of works, lest any man should boast.” And Jesus Christ confirmed the type and shadow of the manna when He said:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. – John 6:47-51.
The writer of the Last Supper papyrus understood the profound foreshadowing all throughout the Bible that points the reader to Jesus Christ and salvation through Him alone. The final portion of the papyrus reads: ” and gave manna of the new covenant to eat, the Lord’s immortal body and the blood of Christ poured for us in remission of sins.” This is a direct reference to Matthew 26:
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matthew 26:26-28.
Faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the new testament or new covenant between God and humanity. Once again the Last Supper Papyrus shows a deep understanding of the Christian faith and Scripture. It also shows how popular Bibles were at that time since so much Scripture is referenced in such a small document.
Magic Charm Or Bold Witness of Faith?
Also of note is that the amulet is not focused on the wearer. It is not a plea for “protection” or a request for earthly blessing. There is no reference to the person wearing the necklace at all. It’s not a “magic rock” or jewel. It is instead a written statement focused on Jesus Christ. It is a bold proclamation that Jesus is God, Creator of all things and that through His shed blood on the cross sins are forgiven. And that through Christ a believer receives eternal blessings. The papyrus is not expressing fear or a concern for temporal well-being. It is an affirmation that believers will receive Heaven and Earth through Jesus.
The Last Supper Papyrus is truly a remarkable and rare treasure from ancient history. It shows the power of the Christian faith and the preservation of God’s Word through two millennia. Unlike the hoax documents like the dubious and debunked “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”, this fragment praises Jesus Christ and promotes the Christian faith. Will it get the same amount of media coverage as the allegedly “ancient” documents that attack Christianity? Will this document see documentaries, magazine covers and televised news segments on its incredible rarity?
As Beginning and End has detailed in the past, there is more ancient manuscript evidence to support the existence and account of Jesus Christ than any figure in ancient history. This papyrus is yet another piece of evidence of the impact the Son of God had on the ancient world. If you are Christian let this document inspire you to study the Scripture and know it to the point the author of the Last Supper Papyrus did. If you are not a Christian, take time to look at the evidence of Christ with an open heart and know that no magic charm can protect us from the sickness, violence and death of this world. But our souls can be saved eternally through Jesus Christ. And that is what the ancient world proclaims to us today.
This is truly a ” faith-building” message and has inspired me even more to continue to fight the good fight!!
You Need Schooling says
Power and glory be unto the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; the God and Father of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, the one true God, the creator of Heaven and earth.
This is exciting news! I always enjoy reading reports like these. As was pointed out in the article, it is a very significant thing that the language of the text of the papyrus does match the language of the King James version of the Holy Bible.
Every time I read the word of God, I am always drawn to the scripture in 2Peter, Chapter 1, where Peter writes: (16) “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but (we) were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
I always find comfort, peace, assurance and confirmation in this particular scripture.
I LOVE this article!!
Here you go B&E. Not sure what Scientist will do with it but it might be something to look into or maybe another fluke. I know John wrote about not being able to write down all the miracles of Christ. and well here is supposedly more evidence Christ existed. I am very content with what I have now, but this just adds more to my faith.
Unfortunately the article you linked to is a spoof article, from a spoof news source. Neither the papyrus or people involved in the research exist.
So has any other person tested this evidence? Has the artifact been peer-reviewed or whatever the terminology is. I’m just curious because one must be careful of bias and not only that but doing another test just to make the data this doctor collected was correct.
I’m pretty sure that is exactly what will be happening. The good news is that the source of this new find is very legit. Manchester University’s John Rylands library houses some of the most important papyrus’ in the world, including the oldest known piece of the new testament known in the world; a piece of the book of John dating back to 111AD. Rylands is a treasure trove of ancient documents that are still to be discovered, such is the extent of its collection.
The only thing is that Jesus never declared himself God. He said that “I and my Father are one”, which is a bit nebulous, but Jesus was humble enough to say that the Father is greater than himself. So while Jesus is the first-born son of God (and NOT the son of man as the revisionists said later), he knows full well that the Father is HIGHER than the son. Jesus is NOT God, he is God’s deputy.
He also said “before Abraham was I am”. Who is “I am” in the bible?
He also forgave sin. Who can forgive sin but God?
acts 4:12 says
here is the greatest scripture to counter
any doubt when people love to ask
” Does Jesus ever say he’s God ???’
please respond back to on how this is not proof of of my Lord Jesus’ deity
Acts 9:1-5King James Version (KJV)
9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Actually, when HE said that HE and the FATHER were one, HE was declaring HIMSELF to be GOD. If you recall the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-7, it basically states that there is only one GOD, no co-GOD, no co-redeemer (or co-redemptrix for that matter).
Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our GOD is one LORD:
Deut 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might
Deut 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deut 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talke of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
In Exodus we see GOD declare HIMSELF as I AM:
Exodus 3:14 And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT IAM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The Jews were ready to kill JESUS for blasphemy because HE made HIMSELF equal with GOD:
John 8:58 JESUS said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but JESUS hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD.
But he said unto them, Except I shall see in HIS hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into HIS side, I will not believe.
John 20:26 And after eight days again HIS disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came JESUS, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
John 20:27 Then saith HE to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold MY hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto HIM, My LORD and my GOD.
Another clear teaching by the Apostle Paul, who believed that JESUS was GOD:
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in CHRIST JESUS:
Philippians 2:6 WHO, being in the form OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be equal with GOD:
Philippians 2:7 But made HIMSELF of no repution, and took upon HIM the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, HE humbled HIMSELF, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore GOD also hath highly exalted HIM, and given HIM a name which is above every name:
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the glory of GOD the FATHER.
Please compare Philippians 2:10-11 with Isaiah 43:23.
So it is evident that to those who heard HIM as well as to JESUS what HE meant when he said that before Abraham was, I AM. HE would have also been in error to allow HIS disciples to continue believing that HE was indeed GOD by not correcting them and saying, “No, but I am only the Son of GOD, not GOD HIMSELF.” But here we see several passages the Old Testament specifically detailing the Oneness of GOD and were widely accepted and understood to mean that there was only one GOD (New Testatment stating that JESUS indeed is the SON OF GOD, the 2nd Person in the GODHOOD). GOD is 3 persons (not personalities, doesn’t suffer from MPD) but one essence. As noted in Deuteronomy 6:4, there is only one GOD.
Ephesians 4:5 One LORD, one faith, one baptism,
John 10:30 I and MY FATHER are one.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone HIM.
John 10:32 JESUS answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my FATHER; for which of those works do ye stone me?
John 10:33 The Jews answered HIM, saying for a good work we stone THEE not; but for blasphemy; and because that THOU, being a man, makest THYSELF GOD.
So there is little room to question whether JESUS or those around HIM at the time that HE taught/preached wondered whether HE believed that HE was GOD. And if HE were mistaken, then HE would be considered either a lunatic or a poor teacher (delusional if HE thought HE was GOD and HE wasn’t, or deceptive if HE knew HE wasn’t GOD but didn’t clearly tell those closest to HIM or openly refute this assertion). And I must end with John’s most important teaching:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with GOD.
John 1:3 All things were made by HIM; and without HIM was not anything made that was made.
John 1:14And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld HIS glory, the glory oas of the only begotten of the FATHER,) full of grace and truth.
And mustn’t forget John 14:5-10:
John 14:5 Thomas saith unto HIM, LORD, we know not wither THOU goest; and how can we know the way?
John 14:6 JESUS saith I am The Way, The Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the FATHER , but by ME.
John 14:7 If ye had known ME, ye should have known my FATHER also: and from henceforth ye know HIM, and have seen HIM.
John 14:8 Philip saith unto HIM, LORD, shew us the FATHER, and it sufficeth us.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto HIM, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known ME, Philip? He that hath seen ME hath seen the FATHER; and how sayest thou the, Shew us the FATHER?
John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the FATHER, and the FATHER in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of MYSELF: bu the FATHER that dwelleth in ME, HE doeth the works.
JESUS is GOD. GOD won’t share HIS glory with another (Son or otherwise – Isaiah 42:8). Amen! [So Let it Be!] I pray that this helps, but if not, check out this website:
Be blessed, Tim, I pray for you as you pray for me that GOD would keep you strong in the faith of HIS SON (JESUS, who is also GOD) and that the HOLY SPIRIT would guide you into all truth as noted in John 16:13-15 (WHO is also GOD and will only speak of the things that HE has HEARD of GOD the FATHER), be encouraged, fight the good fight of faith (2 Timothy 4:7) and bye 4 now.