The NASB renders this passage:
Matthew 26:17-20 (NASB)
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" 18 And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."'" 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
The Hebrew version of Matthew 26:17-20 renders this passage:
As the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread approached, the disciples came to Jesus and asked where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover. He said to them: Go into the city to a certain man who will be a volunteer for the task and say to him: Thus says the teacher, my time is near; with you (I will observe) the Passover with my disciples. It came to pass at the time of evening; he was sitting at table with his twelve disciples.
Taken along with the indication, in verse 17, that Y'shua's conversation with the disciples happened "as the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread approached", the absence of verse 19 in the Hebrew text would be consistent with the Last Supper having occurred during the evening of the day preceding the day of Preparation for the Passover. It would not necessarily indicate that the conversation between Y'shua and the disciples occurred on the day of Preparation for the Passover as verse 19 does. It certainly would not support the doctrine that the Last Supper was the Passover Seder as verse 19 does. The Last Supper could just as well have been eaten the day before Preparation Day, and the disciples may have only secured a place to prepare for the Passover on the following day.
It would appear that verse 19 was not in the original manuscript of Matthew and should therefore be considered commentary added by a scribe or translator who subscribed to the error that this meal was the Passover.
In my next post I will explore a third reason that the Last Supper could not have been Passover.