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I was approached by two Jehovah's Witnesses who invited me to a memorial service for Jesus to be held on Tuesday, March 26th. The flier they gave me said that this is the anniversary of Jesus' death. Most Christians view Christ's death as taking place on Good Friday. Why are Jehovah's Witnesses saying it happened on a Tuesday?

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4 Answers

Apparently, per Wikipedia, this date corresponds to Nisan 14, converting the date from the Hebrew Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.

I don't believe they're saying it happened on a Tuesday. In 2012, it was a Thursday.

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As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I always suggest that if someone would like to know the origin of our celebrations, please ask one of us! We are happy to talk to you about it. Here is a link to our official website, with the invitation to Christ's memorial. You'll find better information there than I can give. jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/memorial –  Nicholas Mar 6 '13 at 15:07
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@Nicholas We'd love to have you participate especially from a Witness perspective. That's a definite gap in the knowledge base here, and having JW bring JW answers would be appreciated. –  Affable Geek Mar 7 '13 at 20:39
    
@Nicholas: Please consider this question as directed at you! It's tagged JW and calls for an answer from the JW perspective. We really want to see answers from JW's that can explain the teaching on issues like this. You can even link and quote JW resources when doing so. The only thing we ask (and insist on) is that the answer include at least a summary of the main points in your own words. Quotes and references are great, but answers should be self contained and not plagerized. Please consider contributing answers to questions calling for the perspective of jehovahs-witnesses! –  Caleb Mar 25 '13 at 15:04
    
Passover is Nisan 15 (in 2013, sundown Monday March 25 through dark Tuesday March 26). –  Monica Cellio Mar 28 '13 at 1:22
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How Should We Remember Jesus’ Death?”, The Watchtower, March 1, 2012, his this to say:

When should we commemorate Jesus’ death?

Jesus’ death occurred on Passover, Nisan 14. A Jewish day begins at sundown. The evening before he died, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his apostles and then instituted a new memorial meal to commemorate his death.—Read Luke 22:14,15.

Today, God’s people commemorate what God provided through Jesus to set the whole world free from sin and death. (Exodus 12:5-7, 13, 17) Just as the Passover was observed once a year, so the Memorial of Jesus’ death is held once a year after sundown on Nisan 14 according to the Bible’s lunar calendar.—Read John 1:29.

You are invited to attend the Memorial.

Please view further information and collection of Witness publications on the Lord’s Evening Meal.

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This isn't really an answer to the question asked. –  TRiG Mar 25 '13 at 11:02
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That link may be relevant, but on StackExchange sites, we really want to see the content of an answer actually contain the answer to the question. We're not a link directory or forum, we're a QnA site and expect our answers to actually answer the question. I would encourage you to edit this with (at the very least) a summary in your own words of what the answer is, optionally a quote (attributed) of any relevant material and the link as reference for further reading. The answer should still convey something meaningful if the link ever dies, and having something in your own words is required. –  Caleb Mar 25 '13 at 12:01
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That new bit you've stuck at the top is clearly (from the wording and formatting and the weird way Biblical references in the middle are in brackets but references at the ends of paragraphs use dashes) an unattributed quote from a Watchtower publication. We don't like unattributed quotes here: we call it plagiarism. –  TRiG Mar 25 '13 at 14:23
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Kurt we really do want to see quality content here explaining the JW perspective on issues like this, but we do need them to live up to our basic guidelines such as having at least a summary of the answer in your own words and attributing quotes where appropriate. Was I not clear in my previous comment (before you added the copy/paste?)? Do you intend to add at least a summary in your own words or are we going to have to delete this (as some of your other previous answers have been)? –  Caleb Mar 25 '13 at 15:00
    
+1 for being a newb and trying to improve your question and for having -3 which i think is inappropriate –  caseyr547 Jun 29 '13 at 2:36
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In harmony with Jesus command to "Keep doing this in remembrance of me", we observe the memorial of Jesus death every year on Nisan 14 after sundown. (Luke 22:19) This does not always fall on the same day of the week for us. Jesus death occurred on Nisan 14 of the Jewish calendar that was common during the first century. Since the Jewish day begins and ends at sundown, he died on the same day that he instituted the Lord's evening meal, which corresponded with the date of the Jewish Passover. Accurately calculating Nisan 14 the same way the Jews used to do it is fairly in depth. "The beginning of the month of Nisan was the sunset after the new moon nearest the spring equinox became visible in Jerusalem." Nisan 14 would be 14 days later.

You may notice this does not always coincide with the date that modern Jews observe the Passover. This is because they use the astronomical new moon to determine the start of their months instead of the visible new moon over Jerusalem which may come 18 to 30 hours later. In addition, most Jews today observe the Passover on Nisan 15, not the 14th as Jesus did in harmony with the Mosaic Law.

The information and quote here are taken from the Memorial section in the book Reasoning From the Scriptures (Published by Jehovah's Witnesses). Additional information can also be found there.

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In 2012, the worldwide Memorial attendance was 19,013,343 (according to the 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses). –  plv Jun 28 '13 at 10:14
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In Exodus 12, the Hebrews celebrated the Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the year, it is called Abib in Hebrew (like January in our calendar today). After coming back from the Babylonian exile, they call Abib by a Babylonian name which is Nisan. So Abib 14 or Nisan 14 every year is the day of the Passover.

Fast forward to the time of Jesus, he celebrated Passover which is Abib 14 and he died on that very same day. Remember that in the Bible, a day starts from sunset and ends on a sunset.

Abib 14 can be any day of the week every year. Like July 4th, the day varies from year to year but it is always July 4th.

Jesus did not die on a Good Friday, there is no biblical basis for such doctrine, although it would look like that if you are not really familiar with the Jewish customs and traditions.

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