Colin Humphreys

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Colin Humphreys
File:Colin Humphreys 2015 cropped.JPG
Colin Humphreys in Cambridge, 2015
Born Colin John Humphreys
(1941-05-24) May 24, 1941 (age 80)
Education Ph.D. (Cambridge), M.A. (Oxford)[1]
Alma mater Imperial College
(B.Sc., Physics)[1]
Occupation Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science
Employer Cambridge University

Sir Colin John Humphreys, CBE FREng[2] (born 24 May 1941) is a British physicist. He is the former Goldsmiths’ Professor of Materials Science and a current Director of Research at Cambridge University, Professor of Experimental Physics at the Royal Institution in London and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was President of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 2002 and 2003. His research interests include "all aspects of electron microscopy and analysis, semiconductors (particularly gallium nitride), ultra-high temperature aerospace materials and superconductors."[1]

Humphreys also "studies the Bible when not pursuing his day-job as a materials scientist."[3]


Humphreys was awarded the A. A. Griffith Medal and Prize in 2001 and a CBE in 2003 for services to science as a researcher and communicator.[4] He was knighted in the 2010 Birthday Honours[5] and in 2011 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society [6] He is also mentioned in Debrett's People of Today.[7] He was elected in 1996 as a Fellow[8] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[9]

Biblical study and publications

In 2011 Humphreys claimed in his book The Mystery of the Last Supper that the Last Supper took place on Wednesday (Holy Wednesday), not as traditionally thought Thursday (Maundy Thursday), and the apparent timing discrepancies (Nisan 15 or 14) between the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke versus John are rooted in the use of different calendars by the writers, the former group using an older Jewish calendar and the latter a lunar calendar.[10] The Last Supper being on Wednesday would allow more time for interrogation and presentation to Pilate prior to the cruxification than given in the traditional view. Humphreys proposed the actual date for the Last Supper to be 1 April 33.[11]

Other activities

Humphreys is a member of the John Templeton Foundation.[1] and a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.[12]


  • The Miracles of Exodus: a Scientist Reveals the Extraordinary Natural Causes Underlying the Biblical Miracles (Harper Collins, 2003).
  • "The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus." (Cambridge University Press, 2011) ISBN 0-521-73200-X


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 University of Cambridge, Colin Humphreys
  2. "List of Fellows".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Penultimate Supper?". Cambridge University. April 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-23. The new study is based on earlier research which Professor Humphreys carried out with the Oxford astrophysicist, Graeme Waddington, in 1983. This identified the date of Jesus’ crucifixion as the morning of Friday, April 3rd, AD 33 – which has since been widely accepted by other scholars as well. For Professor Humphreys, who only studies the Bible when not pursuing his day-job as a materials scientist, this presented an opportunity to deal with the equally difficult issue of when (and how) Jesus’ Last Supper really took place.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "New year honours". Times Higher Education. January 3, 2003. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59446. p. 1. 12 June 2010.
  6. "Sir Colin John Humphreys CBE FREng FRS". Royal Society. Retrieved 2010-03-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sir Colin Humphreys on Debrett's People of Today
  8. "List of Fellows".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "List of Fellows".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Staff Reporter (18 April 2011). "Last Supper was on Wednesday, not Thursday, challenges Cambridge professor Colin Humphreys". International Business Times. Retrieved 18 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Humphreys, Colin J. The Mystery of the Last Supper : Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011, P.164.
  12. "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>