Author and Researcher Ralph E. Jarrells Honors the Genius of Leonardo da Vinci While Revealing how the Renaissance Master Got His Magnum Opus, The Last Supper, All Wrong

Author and researcher Ralph E. Jarrells is pleased to announce his latest book, The Essential Last Supper which released to retail on Thursday, September 7, 2023, in hardback, trade paperback, and all major ebook formats from WordCrafts Press. The title is available from major online retailers including,,, and in fine bookstores both nationally and internationally.

Jarrells’ latest book immediately struck a chord with readers as The Essential Last Supper impacted multiple category charts, including #3 in Hot New Releases in Christian Sacraments (ebook), #6 Hot New Releases in Religious Art & Photography (ebook), #10 Hot New Releases in Worship Sacraments (hardcover), #11 Hot New Releases in Worship Sacraments (paperback), #12 Christian Bible History & Culture (ebook), #13 Hot New Releases in Worship Sacraments (ebook), and 50 Bestsellers in Religious Art (ebook).

Created toward the end of the 15th century, da Vince painted in the mode of the day, so while the beloved masterpiece is most certainly great art, Jarrells believes it is not particularly good history. In fact, he insists, Leonardo got it all wrong. The question must be asked, was it intentional or did he have an ulterior motive?

The Last Supper—oft referred to as The Lord’s Supper, Communion, or the Eucharist—is one of the sacraments celebrated in Christian churches as a means of communing with Jesus and as a commemoration of His death. But whether or not one is an adherent of the Christian faith, when The Last Supper is mentioned, inevitably the iconic painting by Leonardo da Vinci springs to mind. It has become a part of our collective consciousness.

The Essential Last Supper was the result of the research I did for my third novel, Jesus-Judas: Best Friends Forever, Jarrells says of his impetus for his latest work. “We think of da Vinci’s painting as an accurate depiction of what the actual Last Supper must have looked like. But I kept seeing contradictions between the painting and historical accounts. I finally concluded that Leonardo got it all wrong. Hundreds of theologians have tried to validate the painting; tried to figure out which disciple was sitting where. But once you realize that Jesus was a practicing Jew and that Israel was under Roman control, one must accept that Leonardo’s concept for his painting had little to do with historical accuracy. The Essential Last Supper is my humble attempt at harmonizing of the facts surrounding the actual Last Supper.”

“At WordCrafts Press, our motto is We Tell Stories,” said publisher Mike Parker, “Ralph E. Jarrells is a master storyteller. Whether you agree or disagree with him, The Essential Last Supper is sure to make you take a step back and ponder this central event in the greatest story ever told.”

In addition to Jarrells’ compelling narrative surrounding da Vinci’s revered painting, The Essential Last Supper includes scholarly explorations of the apparent contradictions in the gospel accounts of the days and dates of the Last Supper, along with discussions regarding the proper way to celebrate a traditional Passover Seder meal, provided by D.T. Lancaster, pastor and elder of Beth Immanuel Messianic Synagogue in Hudson, Wisconsin.

From the Book

Since it was painted 1495–1498, Leonardo was obviously not painting from personal knowledge, so it is no surprise that he got it all wrong. Or did he have an ulterior motive?

Conspiracy buffs can point to numerous examples of so-called evidence of esoteric connections hidden in the picture. Magdalene cults found Mary as one of the disciples. Musical scholars found numerous examples of Pythagorean musical ratios—12:6:4:3. Numerologists say the picture is a playground of numerical references—four groups of three disciples; two groups of four tapestries on the walls separated by three alcoves; three windows in the back wall, and many numerical ties between heaven and earth, the Gospels, and the Trinity. British Broadcasting Company investigative reporters Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln discovered a number of connections between da Vinci and secret cults in their book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, a forerunner of Dan Brown’s wildly popular international bestselling novel, The DaVinci Code. Literally thousands of theologians have attempted to explain the Christian symbolism and truth in the picture and to name the disciples as they sit in the picture.

Regardless of how beloved or revered the painting was and is, apart from its symbolic representation, it was not a true representation of the real Last Supper.

About the Author

Ralph E. Jarrells entered the field of writing novels late in his life after retiring from a career in corporate America that included senior management positions in marketing, advertising and publishing.

Although writing the “Great American Novel” was never in his plans, with the encouragement of his wife, he completed his first novel, Ill Gotten Gain, after entering his 70s.

“This is a good example that you are never to old to start a new chapter in your life,” Jarrells said. “At an age when I should perhaps think about fishing or rocking in a chair overlooking the ocean, finishing my first novel was an accomplishment. Now, having my fifth book selected for publication was an honor.”

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