TheShiningLight

Worldwatch News and Prophecy

A First Response to the COGWA Calendar Paper: Part 1

A Background History of Daniel 11 and its Effects on Judaism and Christianity

Hellenistic civilization (Greek civilization beyond classical Greece) represents Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BC.

The nominal start of the Hellenistic period is usually taken as the 323 BC death of Alexander the Great in Babylon. During the previous decade of campaigning ( from 334 BC ), Alexander had conquered the whole Persian Empire, overthrowing the Persian King Darius III. The conquered lands included Asia Minor, Assyria, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Media, Persia, and parts of modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and the steppes of central Asia.

Alexander had made no special preparations for his succession in his newly founded empire, dying as he did at a young age, and thus on his death-bed (apocryphally), he willed it to “the strongest”.[ The result was a state of internecine warfare between his generals (the Diadochi, or ‘Successors’), which lasted for forty years before a more-or-less stable arrangement was established, consisting of four major domains:

1) The Antigonid dynasty in Macedon and central Greece;

2) The Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt based at Alexandria; which is called the King of the South in Dan 11.

3) The Seleucid dynasty in Syria and Mesopotamia based at Antioch; including Babylon. This dynasty is called the king of the North in Dan 11.

4) The Attalid dynasty in Anatolia [modern Turkey] based at Pergamum. The religious seat of Satan was transferred from Babylon to Pergamun during the years of fighting over the empire.

The Hellenistic period is often considered to be 146 BC, when the Roman Republic conquered most of mainland Greece, and absorbed all of ancient Macedon. By this time the rise of Rome to absolute political prominence in the Mediterranean was complete, and this might therefore mark the start of the ‘Roman period’. An alternative date is 30 BC, when the final Hellenistic kingdom of Ptolemaic Egypt was conquered by Rome (the last remnants of the Seleucid empire having been taken over thirty years earlier). This more obviously represents the absolute end of the power of the Hellenistic civilizations.

 

Ptolemaic-Empire_200bc

Please note the actual area of the king of the South in purple!  The king of the South is Egypt and Judea; which in those days had colonies in Cyprus and Asia Minor!  The king of the South is NOT Islam, nor is it Iran!  It has always been Egypt and is Egypt today! 

Right now Egypt is rooting out its Islamic radicals!  Remember that this is still at this time an unfinished process, but Islamic Extremism is facing defeat in the region!

EGYPT: In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King of Egypt. As Ptolemy I Soter (“Saviour”), he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that was to rule Egypt.The Ptolemaic empire included Egypt, Judea and Israel up to southern Syria and bordered the King of the North which included modern Syria and Iraq.

After the division of the empire of Alexander the scripture concerns itself with the struggles of The King of the South, Egypt; and the King of the North, Babylon.

BABYLON [Syria]: Seleucus was an officer of Alexander the Great, commander of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the “Shield-bearers” (Hypaspistai), later known as the “Silvershields”.

After the death of Alexander, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon in 320 BCE. Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, he was able to return in 312 BCE.

Dan 11 is a history the rivalries between the kingdom of Babylon [called in history Seleucid Syria; and in scripture the King of the North], which had its original capitol at Babylon; and Egypt called in scripture the King of the South.

Wherever the conquering Greeks went, they brought with them Greek culture which rapidly caught on and heavily influence the world of that day. Greek became the lingua franca of the Mediterranean region and Greek logic, reasoning style and culture permeated the western world.

During the days of Ezra the repentant Jews returned to Judea where they experienced a religious revival and eventually developed into the Mosaic Pharisees who lived at the advent of Christ. Meanwhile the Jews who chose to remain in the dispersion became centered in Alexandria Egypt, Babylon and Rome; adopting and increasingly applying Hellenic reasoning to the scriptures.

This split Judaism into a group in but mainly outside of Judea with used more or less pagan Greek reasoning concerning the scriptures; and those sitting in Moses seat at Jerusalem.

The pushing back and forth between the Babylonian Empire and the Egyptian eventually resulted in Babylon taking control of Palestine for a brief period and the key incident of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes ( /ænˈtaɪ.əkəs ɛˈpɪfəniːz/; Ancient Greek: Ἀντίοχος Ἐπιφανής, ‘God Manifest’;c. 215 BC – 164 BC) ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithridates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.

Antiochus, with the help of King Eumenes II of Pergamum, in 175 BC, seized the throne of Babylon Syria for himself, proclaiming himself co-regent for another son of Seleucus, an infant named Antiochus (whom he then murdered a few years later).

When the guardians of King Ptolemy VI of Egypt demanded the return of Coele-Syria in 170 BC, Antiochus launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, conquering all but Alexandria and capturing King Ptolemy and taking Judea from Egypt.

To control Judea Antiochus deposed the high Priest, Jason; who was of the loyal Mosaic faction and replaced him with a Hellenic High Priest, Menelaus.

To avoid alarming Rome, Antiochus allowed Ptolemy VI to continue ruling as a puppet king. Upon Antiochus’ withdrawal, the city of Alexandria chose a new king, one of Ptolemy’s brothers, also named Ptolemy (VIII Euergetes). Instead of fighting a civil war, the Ptolemy brothers agreed to rule Egypt jointly.

In 168 BC Antiochus led a second attack on Egypt and also sent a fleet to capture Cyprus. Before reaching Alexandria, his path was blocked by a single, old Roman ambassador named Gaius Popillius Laenas, who delivered a message from the Roman Senate directing Antiochus to withdraw his armies from Egypt and Cyprus, or consider themselves in a state of war with the Roman Republic. Antiochus said he would discuss it with his council, whereupon the Roman envoy drew a line in the sand around him and said, “Before you cross this circle I want you to give me a reply for the Roman Senate” – implying that Rome would declare war if the King stepped out of the circle without committing to leave Egypt immediately. Weighing his options, Antiochus decided to withdraw. Only then did Popillius agree to shake hands with him.

While Antiochus was busy in Egypt, a rumor spread that he had been killed.

The deposed High Priest of the Mosaic faction in Jerusalem, Jason; gathered a force of 1,000 soldiers and made a surprise attack on the city of Jerusalem.

The High Priest appointed by Antiochus, Menelaus; was forced to flee Jerusalem during a riot. On the return of Antiochus from Egypt in 167 BC enraged by his defeat, he attacked Jerusalem and restored the Hellenist Menelaus, and executed many Mosaic Jews.

When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.

 

— 2 Maccabees 5:11–14

 

To consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region, Antiochus decided to  outlaw Mosaic Holy Days, Sabbaths, circumcision and traditions of the Jews and by ordering the worship of Zeus as the supreme god (2 Maccabees 6:1–12). This was anathema to all Jews and when they refused, Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree. Because of the resistance, the city was destroyed, many were slaughtered, and a military Greek citadel called the Acra was established.

Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested…They also brought into the temple things that were forbidden, so that the altar was covered with abominable offerings prohibited by the laws. A man could not keep the sabbath or celebrate the traditional feasts, nor even admit that he was a Jew. At the suggestion of the citizens of Ptolemais, a decree was issued ordering the neighboring Greek cities to act in the same way against the Jews: oblige them to partake of the sacrifices, and put to death those who would not consent to adopt the customs of the Greeks. It was obvious, therefore, that disaster impended. Thus, two women who were arrested for having circumcised their children were publicly paraded about the city with their babies hanging at their breasts and then thrown down from the top of the city wall. Others, who had assembled in nearby caves to observe the sabbath in secret, were betrayed to Philip and all burned to death.
  — 2 Maccabees 6:1–11

 

Since the entry of Alexander into Jerusalem, Greek Hellenic influence had taken deep hold on the population of Jerusalem and Judea which resulted in the Maccabean war.

Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism. The major literary product of the contact of Judaism and Hellenistic culture is the Septuagint translation from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic to Koine Greek, which began in the 3rd century BCE in Alexandria.

There was a general deterioration in relations between Hellenized Jews and other Jews, leading the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes to ban certain Jewish religious rites and traditions. Consequently, all Jews revolted against the Greek ruler leading to the formation of an independent Hellenic Jewish kingdom, known as the Hasmonaean Dynasty, which lasted from 165 BCE to 63 BCE.

The Hasmonean Dynasty eventually disintegrated in a civil war. The people, who did not want to continue to be governed by a Hellenized dynasty, appealed to Rome for intervention, leading to a total Roman conquest and annexation of Palestine,

Taking advantage of Antiochus’ western problems, King Mithridates I of Parthia attacked from the east and seized the city of Herat in 167 BC, disrupting the direct trade route to India and effectively splitting the Greek world in two.

Recognizing the potential danger in the east, but unwilling to give up control of Judea, Antiochus sent a commander named Lysias to deal with the Maccabees, while the King himself led the main Seleucid army against the Parthians. After initial success in his eastern campaign, including the reoccupation of Armenia, Antiochus died suddenly of disease in 164 BC.

The Mosaic Pharisees who had descended from the teaching of Ezra, contested with the Hellenizers over who would be the High Priest and over the interpretation of the scriptures by the Hellenizers; who used Greek logic to destroy the teachings of Moses and make the practical application of God’s commandments void.

By the time of Christ, Judea was the center of the Mosaic Pharisees who taught the scriptures as re-established by Ezra; even though they had become self righteous and lacked understanding themselves. It was these Mosaic Pharisees who Christ said sat in Moses seat, until after his resurrection, when Christ was raised to sit in that seat of authority and replaced them as our High Priest and Authority.

Meanwhile the Hellenizers controlled most of the Jewish world outside Judea in the dispersion; and were well represented in Judea as indicated by the arguments between the “Greeks” in Judea, [meaning Hellenizing Jews]; and Paul and the apostles.

When the Jews rebelled against Rome, Jerusalem and Judea along with the Mosaic Pharisees were destroyed; leaving the Hellenized Pharisees to control Judaism, and develop into Modern Rabbinic Judaism.

Modern Rabbinic Judaism is NOT the religion of Moses: It is an apostasy from Moses through Hellenic logic and the reasoning’s of men about the scripture: In exactly the same way that modern “Christianity” is a perversion of the teachings of Christ.

This history sets the conditions for the advent of Christ and his followers as the only remaining true religion, which adheres to the same religion that God gave to Moses and its Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Modern Rabbinic Judaism claims to cloak itself in Moses while claiming that their traditions are as holy if not holier than Moses [Talmud being greater than Tanakh].

The apostate Rabbinic Calendar,  with the wrong day of Passover and the wrong day for the Feast of Weeks and multiple other errors from Moses,   sets modern Rabbins, descended religiously from the Hellenized unrepentant apostates of old, apart from Moses. 

Today there is a groundswell of brethren repenting of this error and turning back to the teachings of Moses and Christ concerning the Sabbath, Calendar and other matter.

May the Mighty Master Builder bring a revival of true religion and pour out his spirit on his people like a refreshing rain!

COGWA and The New Moons

The efforts of this blog has resulted in the truth about the real meanings of the Feasts, and the sanctity of the Sabbath, spreading widely across the COG Groups.

This blog along with others, is also resulting in the truth about the Biblical Calendar  sweeping through the Church of God organizations. 

UCG has decided to deal with  the truth by declaring that doctrine is not important and that people should shut up to get along; while clinging officially to their traditional errors.

COGWA has instead chosen to publish a new “Hebrew Calendar” paper. As far as I know this COGWA paper has not been published; perhaps to keep me from critiquing it.  However the paper has been distributed to the elders to help them fight the word of God when they are questioned by their brethren.

I do have a copy and I will be publishing the new paper along with an extensive critique of its many errors, misrepresentations and false statements and conclusions.

In leading up to the coming posts on the new COGWA paper, I have first introduced the subject yesterday with a history of Judaism in the second temple period, and today ”Part 2″ is  on the COGWA New Moon Q&A and tomorrow on the history of the Biblical Calendar.

“Part 3″ will be a history of  the creation and development of the Rabbinic Calendar; “Parts 4-5″ will be the new the COGWA “Hebrew Calendar” paper itself, and I expect to conclude with a “Part 6″  conclusion and follow up to the series.

FRANK NELTE NEWS:  I understand that someone [apparently based on Frank Nelte’s article] is circulating a picture creating an impression that  it is a photo  of the conjunction of the moon.  It is NOT!  At the conjunction it is impossible to see or photograph any light from the moon, because there is NO light from the moon at the precise conjunction!

In tracking this down I have discovered the article from which the picture came, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any conjunction at all!   It is a picture of the first light several hours after the conjunction, taken by telescope.  And the article admits to that.   

Making the attempt to create an impression that the photo was of a conjunction is either a misunderstanding or it is outright deceit, by the person circulating the message.

Quote from the article:   From the shooting site (Elancourt,  France), the angular separation between the Moon and the Sun was only 4.6° (nine solar diameters). [Admin: This means that the first light was somewhat less than 1% visible and that this was NOT the conjunction].  At  this very small separation, the crescent is extremely thin (a few arc seconds at  maximum) and, above all, it is drowned in the solar glare, the blue sky being  about 400 times brighter than the crescent itself in infrared (and probably more  than 1000 times in visible light). In order to reduce the glare, the images have been taken in close infrared and a pierced screen, placed just in front of the telescope, prevents the sunlight from entering directly in the telescope. End Quote.

A 4.6° separation between the sun and moon IS NOT a conjunction but a short time after the conjunction.  Further this picture is taken using very special telescopes, equipment and techniques which are NOT biblical and which did not exist during the time of or before the time of Christ.  This so called sighting would have been absolutely impossible to have been seen by the naked unaided human eye.

This message [apparently based on Frank Nelte’s article] also linked to Frank Nelte’s article on setting the months by conjunctions.  Frank proves that the month must begin with the first light of the new moon and then mistakenly argues that the conjunction IS the first light of the moon, even though it is not visible to the human eye. 

That is an entirely false premise, since the photo was NOT taken at the conjunction, but a few hour after the conjunction, and further the people in the period from creation to after the destruction of the temple,  did not have infrared telescopes!

God commanded Adam to use the LIGHT of the moon as he could see it, to determine the months, Gen 1:14; and that command was obeyed until the modern Rabbinic Calendar was created in the fourth century AD.

Sorry Frank:  You are grasping at rotten straws to justify your own opinions;  Ask ANY astronomer:  There is NO light from the moon at the time of conjunction that would in any way be visible to the human eye!  The visible new moon and the conjunction are not the same thing. 

Astronomers do call the conjunction the new moon, and by that they mean that absolutely NO light can be seen because the moon, sun and earth are in full alignment.  The astronomical term “new moon”, and the visible new moon are two entirely different things.

Historical FACT:  The new month in Israel  [and used without criticism by Jesus Christ, who taught Paul who also kept the Biblical Calendar]  was always set according to the observance of the first light of the new moon as seen by the naked human eye and confirmed by at least two witnesses according to the law; that is until the fourth century, and  after the destruction of the Temple by  Rome and the takeover of the religion by the Hellenizing apostate Rabbins.

All matters of fact are to be established by at least two witnesses.

Deu 19:15   One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

2 Cor 13:1   This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Mat 18:16   But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

The COGWA paper will be in blue text and my comments in black text.

COGWA  New Moons: Should Christians Observe Them?

Some claim that the apostle Paul’s reference to new moons in Colossians 2:16 is evidence that the Church of God should “observe” new moons, but is this really true?

We must be careful not to read too much into this verse. This reference offers no details about what the believers in Colossae did in regard to new moons. Therefore, it is inaccurate to point to this verse as proof that Christians must keep new moons today.

This verse also gives no details about what believers did on the Sabbath or High Days either.  Does that mean that Sabbaths and High Days are not to be observed?  Or does it simply mean that we must look elsewhere for more detail as Isaiah said; here a little and there a little?

This is a deceitful attempt at  distraction from the clear truth that Col 2:16 definitely reveals that the New Moons WERE observed by the New Testament church, along with the Sabbath and the Festivals!!!

It seems that these folks are so eager to cling to their traditions that the concept of honesty in study has been abandoned.

Are new moons holy time?

This is another disingenuous question.  NO one [at least not me!] is claiming that the New Moons are Holy Days! 

The New Moons are commanded Appointed Times to be observed; like the Passover and the Wave Offering Sunday [which are not  Holy Day’s either]!

The issue is not that the New Moons are Holy Time; they are NOT;  but that they are commanded to be observed by God!  And that Paul  [who was taught by Christ] taught that the new moons were and should be observed!  The following paragraph is simply distraction from the real issue!

However, we can know whether Israel or the believers in Colossae kept new moons in the way that God instructs His people to keep the Sabbath and the annual festivals—that is, as holy time. There is no scriptural evidence that this is the case. There is a reference in Amos 8:5 about not selling grain on the new moon, but there is no reference to this being a holy day on which worship took place.

“Speaks of” is anther attempt to degrade from the fact that the law COMMANDS special offerings and actions on the New Moons.

From here on they admit certain scriptures and facts that I have previously published on the subject and then they conclude by claiming that observing the New Moons is NOT important, because they are not High Days.  That of course means that keeping Passover is also not important because it is NOT a High Day, but that flaw in their reasoning seems to escape them.

The Old Testament speaks of a burnt offering that Israel was to make on the new moon (Numbers 29:6; 1 Chronicles 23:31, etc.). It also mentions King Saul having a meal on the new moon (1 Samuel 20:18, 24). And 2 Kings 4:23 mentions the Shunammite woman visiting the prophet Elisha even though it was not a new moon or Sabbath. The Feast of Trumpets is observed on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:23-25), which is designated by the Hebrew Calendar as the day of the new moon.

There is even a prophecy about people assembling before God on the new moon in the Millennium (Isaiah 66:23). But in none of these instances is there any indication of “observing” the new moon as if it were holy time, such as the weekly or an annual Sabbath.

Of course NOT, because the new moon is NOT a High Day; but it is still a commanded observance like Passover!  We are told that all flesh shall observe the New Moons in the millennial kingdom of God!

And what are we to do on the New Moons?  Sound trumpets [the Shofar] and to worship God!

Almighty God certainly regards the New Moons right up there with the Sabbath as a time of worship, even though NO WORK OF ANY KIND may be done on Sabbath and work may be done on the new moon!  God also regards taking the Passover as being extremely important even though it is NOT a Sabbath of Holy Day!

Isa 66:22-23 For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make stand before Me, declares Jehovah, so your seed and your name shall stand. 23 And it will be, from new moon to its new moon, and from Sabbath to its Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says Jehovah.

New moons essential elements of the Hebrew calendar

Being aware of the new moons has to do with the Hebrew calendar.

Actually it has to do with learning and keeping the word of God first!  Which then teaches us God’s calendar!

The calendar used to calculate the festivals is different from the modern calendar [Admin: The Egyptian/Roman calendar in use by the nations.] in use in the world today, which is based upon the movement of the earth around the sun. It is a solar calendar. In contrast, the Hebrew calendar is a lunar-solar calendar, which includes the cycle of the moon as it revolves around the earth as well as the movement of the sun in its calculations. For that reason, knowing when the new moon occurs is important.

(Some might argue that observing the new moon has something to do with observing the Sabbath, but the cycles of the sun and the moon have nothing to do with the seven-day cycle of a week. Therefore, when the Sabbath occurs is not determined by when the new moon occurs.)  This is quite correct.

A careful study of the Bible shows that God never commanded Israel to “celebrate” the arrival of the new moon as a holy day.  [Oh the deceit here!  Of course the new moons were not commanded Holy Days; yet they are commanded to be observed and “celebrated”!  God has commanded that we sanctify the first light of the new moon as the beginning of the month by coming before him in worship!] 

This use of part truth for the purpose of deception is lying to God.

Only God can make time holy, and there is no scriptural evidence that God designated new moons as holy or sacred time, other than that one festival. Therefore, we have no biblical basis to observe new moons in the same manner as the annual festivals.

They admit that only God can make time HOLY, and yet in their Calendar paper ]Part 2 of this series] they reject the dates God has made holy, in favor of the days that man chooses to observe! 

They admit that the New Moon is essential to determine the calendar and High Day’s:  And then they reject doing so!

Instead of setting the High Days by the first light of the new moon as God has commanded in Gen 1:14; they use the apostate Rabbinic Calendar of Christ cursing Rabbins, which is a fourth to twelfth century creation; and relies on the average time between the conjunctions of DARKNESS, instead of the light that God sanctified for this purpose.

They say it is all important to know when the new moon falls; yet they then ignore the new moons,  and instead rely totally on the pagan molad calendar commanded to be adopted by Hillel II and the Sanhedrin in 358 AD by the Roman sun worshiper Constantine; who also forbade the keeping of the Sabbath in his empire!

It is still important to be aware of when the new moon falls, [Here they say the New Moon is important, and in direct contradiction to their statement they do NOT set their months by the new moon!]  but only for the reason that Israel and the first-century Church needed to be aware of it. [They admit here that observing the new moon was good enough for Jesus Christ and the first century Ekklesia, but they reject doing so in their own festival calendar!] That is, to understand when the festivals occur. [It is because the COG Groups DO NOT observe the visible light of the new moon and rely on molads of the apostate Rabbinic Jews that they do not know when to observe the Festivals and very often do soon on the WRONG dates!] Christians today do not need to “observe” the new moon as holy time.

Of course we need not observe the New Moon as HOLY TIME;  It is not Holy Time; but it is still a commanded occasion, appointed to be observed.

Here are some facts about the new Moons

The New Moons

As the Sabbaths left a weekly reminder to come before God and learn of him, the monthly New Moons were a monthly reminder of the Creator God, through observing the light that he made to determine the months and seasons and acknowledging the Might of the Creator to learn of him.

Recurring at the beginning of every month, and marking it, the solemn proclamation of the day,  by the proclamation “It is sanctified,” was intended to give a hallowed character to each month, while the blowing of the priests’ trumpets would summon, as it were, the Lord’s host to assemble before him n humility to learn of him [worship] and the special sacrifices brought, were to acknowledge the exalted King, and thus bring themselves into ‘remembrance’ before Him.

It was also a  feasting time, when  families, might celebrate their special sacrifice (1 Sam 20:6,29); when the king gave a state-banquet (1 Sam 20:5,24); and those who sought for instruction and edification resorted to religious meetings, [to worship God and learn of him as is commanded]  such as Elisha  held (2 Kings 4:23).

The New Moon observance was commanded by God to Moses and we are commanded to: Deu 5:31  But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. 32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

From month to month the day was kept as an outward ordinance, even in the decay of religious life (Isa 1:13; Hosea 2:11), apparently all the more rigidly, [with abstinence from work, not enjoined in the law,] that its spirit was no longer understood (Amos 8:5);

And learning from the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel that it also had a higher meaning, and was destined to find a better fulfilment in another dispensation, when the New Moon trumpet should summon ‘all flesh to worship before Christ the KING’ (Isa 66:23), and the closed eastern gate to the inner court of the new Temple be opened once more to believing Israel (Eze 46:1).

And in New Testament times we still find the ‘New Moon’ kept as an outward observance by Jews and  Christians, yet expressly characterized as ‘a shadow of things to come;  (Col 2:16,17).

The Determination of the New Moon

The new moon was essential in fixing the various festivals of the year, and  care and anxiety was taken concerning its appearance which  was ascertained from witnesses who had actually seen it; also how the tidings were afterwards communicated to those at a distance. For the new moon was reckoned by actual personal observation, not by astronomical calculation, with which, however, as we know, many of the Rabbis must have been familiar, since we read of astronomical pictures, by which they were wont to test the veracity of witnesses.

Biblical Calendar rules:

1  The moon’s cycle is 29 1/2 days; therefore no month can be longer than 30 days.

2  About 25-26 days are counted from the previous visible light of the moon and the new observation begins.

3  After observing the darkening to the conjunction when no light can be seen; the first new light is then seen and reported.

4  When at least two witnesses report the sighting and are thoroughly questioned as to their certainty; the new month is proclaimed as sanctified.

5  In the extremely rare event of heavy cloud cover, the following calculations came into play:

A  If the previous month began at 29 days after its predecessor, then the existing month could last for 30 days to its end, and the new month would begin after the 30th day.

B  If the previous month began at 30 days after its predecessor, then the existing month could last for only 29 days to its end, and the new month would begin at the end of the 29th day.

Those who claim that Hillel II only published the existing calendar rules, do not know what they are talking about.  The Hillel calendar ignores the new moons and uses the average time between conjunctions called molads when there is NO light at all from the moon!  These are two entirely different calendar systems with two entirely separate and different sets of rules.

The molad calculations of the apostate Rabbins used by COGWA and the other main COG Groups have  become inaccurate today; while God’s biblical New Moon visible light calendar is as absolutely accurate as when the scriptures were written!

The mind boggles that COGWA can say that the new moons are biblical and are important, and then utterly reject them in its Festival calendar, as their new “Hebrew Calendar” paper reveals.  It is this double think in an attempt to justify their present false habits, that causes most of the confusion in the minds of the brethren.

The Sounding of Trumpets

The sounding of trumpets is to summon the people to come before God is sincere repentance that He might remember and save them!

Isaiah 58:1    Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

In the law of God only these three things are enjoined in the observance of the ‘New Moon’— To gather to Worship God (Is 66) the ‘blowing of trumpets’ (Num 10:10) and special festive sacrifices (Num 28:11-15).

Of old the ‘blowing of trumpets’ had been the signal for Israel’s host on their march through the wilderness, as it afterwards summoned them to warfare, and proclaimed or marked days of public rejoicing, and feasts, as well as the ‘beginning of their months’ (Num 10:1-10).

The object of sounding the trumpets  is expressly stated to have been ‘for a memorial,’ that they might ‘be remembered before YHVH,’ it being specially added: ‘I am Jehovah your God.’ It was, so to speak, the host of God assembled, waiting for their Leader; the people of God united to worship their King.

At the blast of the priests’ trumpets they ranged themselves, as it were, under His banner and before His throne, and is symbolic of repentance, confession, loyalty to God their sovereign and proclamation of Him as ‘YHVH the Mighty Deliverer their God,’ bringing them before Him to be ‘remembered’ and ‘saved.’

Isaiah 58:1    Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

And so every season of ‘blowing the trumpets,’ whether at New Moons, at the Feast of Trumpets or New Year’s Day in the spring, at other festivals, in the Sabbatical and Year of Jubilee, or in the time of war, was a public acknowledgment of YHVH  Jesus Christ as King.

Accordingly we find the same symbols adopted in the figurative language of the New Testament. As of old the sound of the trumpet summoned the congregation before the Lord at the door of the Tabernacle, so ‘His elect’ shall be summoned by the sound of the trumpet in the day of Christ’s coming (Matt 24:31), and not only the living, but those also who had ‘slept’ (1 Cor 15:52)—’the dead in Christ’ (1 Thess 4:16).

 

The Sacrifices of the New Moon

Besides the ‘blowing of trumpets,’ certain festive sacrifices were ordered to be offered on the New Moon (Num 28:11-15).

These most appropriately mark ‘the beginnings of months’ (Num 28:11). For it is a universal principle in the Old Testament, that ‘the first’ always stands for the whole— firstfruits for the whole harvest, the firstborn and the firstlings for all the rest; and that ‘if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy.’ And so the burnt-offerings and the sin-offerings at ‘the beginning’ of each month consecrated the whole.

These sacrifices sanctified [dedicated] the whole month to God, and were a picture of a renewal of personal and national commitment to Christ; and the dedication of Christ in service to the Father and his people.

These festive sacrifices consisted of two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year for a burnt-offering, with their appropriate meat- and drink-offerings, and also of ‘one kid of the goats for a sin-offering unto YHVH.’

For much more please see:  God’s Commanded New Moons and the Beginning of Biblical Months

Would it be such a terrible thing to obey God and schedule a Bible Study each month on the New Moon?  Would it be such a terrible thing to move the High Days a day or two to their biblically commanded dates?

There is no impediment to obeying the whole word of God!  The issue is that we are too proud to admit that we have been mistaken!  There is a terrible reward for that kind of pride which separates us from God!  Which causes us to stand on false traditions and the idolizing of men; rejecting the word of God!

We count ourselves spiritually wise and we have no idea how spiritually blind and wretched and naked we are before God!

The History of the Rabbinic Calendar

While Brian and Ken Hoeck have fallen into various heresies including the Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection fallacy, this older paper by them is impeccable in its research on the history of the modern Rabbinic Calendar which was first set forth by Hillel II in 358 AD.

The calendar issue is not specific to COGWA and affects all the major and most other COG Groups.

I will present my comments indented and bolded under “ADMIN”.  Bolding in the text is mine to emphasize a point.

 Admissions on the Calculated Rabbinical Calendar

The following excerpts, from various Jewish and CRC-observant “Church of God” sources, document the truth concerning the gradual development of the calculated calendar, the tenth century A.D. origin of the current CRC, the errors of the CRC, and the historical reckoning of the new moon and new year.

“The history of the Jewish calendar may be divided into three periods–the Scriptural, the Talmudic, and the post-Talmudic. The first [Scriptural] rested purely on the observation of the sun and the moon, the second [Talmudic] on observation and reckoning, and the third [post-Talmudic–still used today] entirely on reckoning.[1](The Jewish Encyclopedia article: “Calendar, History of” pp.498)

“The beginning of the months were determined by direct observation of the new moon. Then those beginning of months (Rosh Hodesh) were sanctified and announced by the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, after witnesses testified that they had seen the new crescent and after their testimony had been thoroughly examined, confirmed by calculation and duly accepted.” (Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.1, section: HISTORICAL REMARKS ON THE JEWISH CALENDAR)

“For over a thousand years, the Hebrew calendar has been fixed by calculation.[2] Today, the Hebrew calendar does not match that fixed by observing the Moon.[3] Even though the gap between the two calendars continues to increase, we do not have the authority to alter the calendar until a new Sanhedrin (religious high court) is reestablished.[4] While sanctification of the month according to observation is not practiced today it is important to carry out calculations and practice observing the New Moon in order to be ready for when the Sanhedrin is reestablished. Likewise, there is increasing involvement in the Temple, red heifer, etc. Of course, we are not intending to change the current calendar (without the permission of an authorized Sanhedrin) but just to increase involvement in and embellish the Torah.

In recent years, a number of individuals and groups have begun to observe the Moon each month to practice for the commandment of observing the Moon and for determining criteria for the limits of visibility.” (Above quote taken from the website of the Israeli New Moon Society [http://www.geocities.com/royh_il/], which was founded by Rabbi Dr. Nachum Rabinovitch, head of Yeshivat Birkat Moshe, Maale Adumim. The society works with the Institude for Kiddush Hachodesh Studies and includes scientists and rabbis from Universities, Yeshivot and elsewhere. They are adherents of Rabbinical Orthodox Judaism and its calculated rabbinical calendar).

“The Jewish calendar as now observed is the product of a long historical development.” (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p.631)

“There is…unimpeachable evidence from the works of writers with expert knowledge of the calendar that the present ordo intercalationis [sequence of intercalations–the 19 year cycle] and epochal molad were not intrinsic parts of the calendar of Hillel II, these being seen still side by side with other styles of the ordo intercalationis and the molad as late as the 11th century. Also the four dehiyyot [postponement rules] developed gradually. …By the tenth century the Jewish calendar was exactly the same as today.” (Cecil Roth, editor, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 5, p.50, article: Calendar)

“The Talmudic Rabbis [ca. first half of the third century C.E. (i.e., prior to 250 C.E.) to the end of the fifth century C.E.] recognised the variation in length of the synodic month…and hence they determined the beginning of every month separately by observation of the new moon as well as by calculation.” (W.M. Feldman, Rabbinical Mathematics and Astronomy, Hermon Press, 1965, p.123)

“Further, Gans points out, that it is hardly likely that R. Gamaliel would speak of a mean [i.e. average] synodic month, as in his time the ‘fixed’ calendar was not yet in use.” (W.M. Feldman, Ibid, p.124)

“For as the beginning of a month was fixed on the accredited evidence of witnesses who reported having seen the new moon soon after sunset on a certain day, it was the duty of the Calendar Council not only to test their evidence by stringent cross-examination…but also to ascertain, by mathematical calculation, whether the moon could, in fact, be seen at that particular moment at the particular place from which the witnesses came.” (W. M. Feldman, Ibid., p.160)

“In mishnaic times [the Mishnah was completed ca. 200 C.E.], though the authorities were familiar with astronomical calculations, the new moon was fixed on the basis of observation, which meant that, as a rule, the bet din formally proclaimed the New Month only after it had heard evidence of witnesses who had actually seen the new moon.(Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 14, article: Rosh Ha-Shanah, p.311)

“The Mishnaic tractate Rosh Hashanah describes the way in which the calendar was determined in the days before there was a set, calculated calendar which we have today. Witnesses would appear before the Sanhedrin each month to testify that they had seen the ‘new moon.’ They were carefully cross-examined and, if the judges were satisfied, the Sanhedrin proclaimed the beginning of a new month.” (Behold, A Moon is Born! How the Jewish Calendar Works, Arnold A. Lasker and Daniel J. Lasker, Conservative Judaism, 41:4, Summer, 1989, p.8)

“But unless all indications are deceitful, they did not in the time of Jesus Christ possess as yet any fixed calendar, but on the basis of a purely empirical observation, on each occasion they began a new month with the appearing of the new moon…” [5] (Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, p.366)

“Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down….The third [festival] is that which comes after the conjunction, which [festival] happens on the day of the new moon in each month. …(140) Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. (141) Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders.” [6][first century Jew, Philo Judaeus, The Special Laws, II, XI. (41), XXVI. (140) & (141), as translated by C.D. Yonge in The Works of Philo: New Updated Edition, Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, Hendickson Publishers, 1993, pp.572, 581]

Admin:  The lesson of the new moon is that the Sun of Righteousness begins to illuminate the darkness.

“Jews calculated the month according to the phase of the moon, each month consisting of either twenty nine or thirty days, and beginning with the appearance of the new moon. But this opened a fresh field of uncertainty. It is quite true that every one might observe for himself the appearance of a new moon. But this would again partly depend on the state of the weather. Besides, it left an authoritative declaration of the commencement of a month unsupplied. And yet not only was the first of every month to be observed as ‘New Moon’s Day,’ but the feasts took place on the 10th, 15th, or other day of the month, which could not be accurately determined without a certain knowledge of its beginning. To supply this want the Sanhedrin sat in the ‘Hall of Polished Stones’ to receive the testimony of credible witnesses that they had seen the new moon. To encourage as many as possible to come forward on so important a testimony, these witnesses were handsomely entertained at the public expense.

If the new moon had appeared at the commencement of the 30th day — which would correspond to our evening of the 29th, as the Jews reckoned the day from evening to evening — the Sanhedrin declared the previous month to have been one of twenty-nine days, or ‘imperfect.’ Immediately thereon men were sent to a signal-station on the Mount of Olives, where beacon-fires were lit and torches waved, till a kindling flame on a hill in the distance indicated that the signal had been perceived. Thus the tidings, that this was the new moon, would be carried from hill to hill, far beyond the boundaries of Palestine, to those of the dispersion, ‘beyond the river.’ Again, if credible witnesses had not appeared to testify to the appearance of the new moon on the evening of the 29th, the next evening, or that of the 30th, according to our reckoning, was taken as the commencement of the new month, in which case the previous month was declared to have been one of thirty days, or ‘full.’ It was ruled [much later in history, and by the so-called “rabbis,” not God] that a year should neither have less than four nor more than eight such full months of thirty days” (Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, pp.156-157)

Admin:  Biblical Calendar rules are totally different from the Hillel II to Maimonides rules; because the Biblical calendar is based on the observed first visible light of the moon, and the Rabbinic Calendar is based on an imaginary average time between conjunctions which is completely calculated and is impossible to set by seeing any light from the moon.   They are two different systems with two completely different sets of rules.  Anyone who says the Hillel II only published the long standing Biblical rules does not know what he is talking about.

Biblical calendar rules:

1  The moon’s cycle is 29 1/2 days; therefore no month can be longer than 30 days.

2  About 25-26 days are counted from the previous visible light of the moon and the new observation begins.

3  After observing the darkening to the conjunction when no light can be seen; the first new light is then seen and reported.

4  When at least two witnesses report the sighting and are thoroughly questioned as to their certainty; the new month is proclaimed as sanctified.

5  In the extremely rare event of heavy cloud cover, the following calculations came into play:

A  If the previous month began at 29 days after its predecessor, then the existing month could last for 30 days to its end, and the new month would begin after the 30th day.

B  If the previous month began at 30 days after its predecessor, then the existing month could last for only 29 days to its end, and the new month would begin at the end of the 29th day.

“It is generally accepted that the Jewish festivals were, in Biblical times, fixed by observation of both the sun and the moon. Gradually, certain astronomical rules were also brought into requisition, primarily as a test, corroborating or refuting the testimony of observation….It has been authoritatively proved that in spite of a more advanced knowledge of astronomy the practice of fixing the new moon and the festivals by observation was in force as late as the latter part of the fifth century [C.E.]….It was only after the close of the Babylonian Talmud, in the sixth or perhaps later, in the seventh century, that the observation of the moon was entirely given up, and a complete and final system of calendation introduced [in the tenth century].” (Henry Malter, Saadia Gaon: His Life and Works, Chapter IV, Saadia’s Controversy with Ben Meir, pp.70-88, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1921)

“…Rejecting the fixed calendar as a heretic innovation, the Karaites held that by law of Scripture the beginning of the months must be determined by the appearance of the new crescent and no other means, and that this had been the practice of ancient Israel at all times. Rabbanite refutation of this extreme assertion found its most outspoken exponent in Saadia Gaon, who went to the opposite extreme in ‘demonstrating’ that the fixed calendar, computation of molad and tekufah, has the force of a Mosaic-Sinaitic law that had been followed at all ages of the past [like some in the CoGs proclaim], while observation of the new crescent was merely a passing episode in the history of the Jews, introduced at the time of the Sadducees to show that it confirmed the correctness of the prescribed calendaric regulation by calculation. Although this contention could easily be refuted by the Karaites as fanciful to the point of ridicule, Saadia’s prestige was so great that his theory was accepted even by leading scholars…..Maimonides [12th century A.D] is one of the few medieval Rabbanite authorities known to have taken issue with Saadia’s and his followers’ contention, and his refutation amounts to unmitigated reproach, indeed to expression of intellectual as well as religious indignation. [Maimonides commented:] ‘I am truly astonished over a personage who rejects clear evidence, asserting that the religion of Israel was based, not on observation of the new moon, but on calculation alone–and yet he [Saadia] affirms the authority of all these (just mentioned) Talmudic passages! I think indeed that he did not believe his own assertions, but he merely wished to repel his [Karaite] adversary by any notion that just occurred to him, be it true or false, when he had found himself unable to escape the force of (his adversary’s) argument.’” (The Code of Maimonides, book II, treatise 8, translated by Solomon Gandz, Yale Judaica Series, Volume XI, pp.lii-liii)

“…the Gregorian calendar is solar, the Jewish one is lunar. The latter evolved over a period of many centuries, going through a number of formulations, much experimentation, and a great deal of controversy….Despite the fact that the Jewish calendar finally became fixed in 358 C.E. [i.e., it may have been around this time that the formulation of the set calendar was initialized], there was no end to the criticisms and disputes leveled at its inaccuracies for centuries thereafter.” (Nathan Ausubel, The Book of Jewish Knowledge, An Encyclopedia of Judiasm and the Jewish People, pp.70-71, 1964.)

“In the time of the Sanhedrin there were no published calendars as there are today. The Sanhedrin declared the beginning of each month when the moon was actually sighted. On the thirtieth of each month they would accept testimony of anyone who had seen the new moon the night before. Anyone who had seen the new moon after sunset on the night after the twenty-ninth day of the month would go to the Sanhedrin the next day. If the Sanhedrin determined that the reports were reliable and that the moon had actually been seen, they would declare that day to be the first day of the new month. If, on the other hand, the moon was not seen the night before, that day would be the thirtieth of the old month. The next day would be the first day of the new month. No month was ever longer than thirty days because even if the moon was not sighted at all, the thirty-first day would automatically be declared the first day of the new month. On the other hand, no month was ever less than twenty-nine days because the first possible day to declare the new month was the day after the twenty-ninth.

The Sanhedrin used a similar method to determine whether the year should be a regular year or a leap year…Each year, in the month of Adar, they would determine how much longer the winter would last. Their determination was based upon weather and agricultural conditions, and upon calculations of the date of the spring equinox. If they came to the conclusion that the next month would be spring already, they would declare it a regular year and the next month would be Nisan. If, however, they decided that it would not be Spring for another month, they would declare the next month Adar Sheni, and it would be a leap year….it was impossible to know in advance whether a particular year would be a regular year or a leap year or whether a particular month would have twenty-nine or thirty days, since the final decision of both these things was made by the Sanhedrin year by year and month by month. The length of the month was never determined until the thirtieth day actually arrived and the length of the year was generally not determined until the month of Adar. So you can see that it was impossible to ever publish a calendar.” (Understanding the Jewish Calendar, Rabbi Nathan Bushwick, Moznaim Publishing Corp., New York/Jerusalem, 1989, p.51)

ADMIN:  The Greek Meton calendar was married to the  Hillel II Calendar by the sixth century!  The final version approved by Rabbi Moses Maimonides in 1178 ad was basically Greek!  Even the Jews admit that the Rabbinic Calendar is NOT scriptural and has nothing to do with scripture. 

Therefore the deceivers in the COG Groups have to proclaim that it is Jewish [NOT BIBLICAL, AND DENEGRATE THE BIBLE TO FOLLOW THE APOSTATE RABBINS] and that we must bow to the  apostate Hellenized Rabbins on the calendar issue!

As for me:  I will follow the Mighty One of Jacob and do my utmost to study to learn and keep the whole word of God!  This all comes down to one question:  Will we follow men contrary to the word of God?  or will we be zealous for our Great Deliverer to learn and to do his word?

In 432 B.C.E. the Athenian astronomer Meton had reformed the Athenian calendar on the basis of a cycle of nineteen years, consisting of 235 lunar months adding one month seven times in the cycle to take care of the excess (235 is 7 more than 19 times 12). This calendar was widely adopted, and was eventually [in post-Talmudic times] followed by the Jewish teachers…” [7] (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p.632)

“The intervals of intercalation were at first irregular [i.e., they were not set in a fixed calculated pattern such as the current CRC’s 19 year cycle of intercalating the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, & 19th years of its cycle], intercalation being in part due to the prevailing state of the various agricultural products….R. Akiva (died 135 [A.D.]) once intercalated three successive years…” (Cecil Roth, editor, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 5, p.50, article: Calendar)

“…intercalation [i.e., including a 13 month in a year] was carried out as the need arose, on the basis of an empirical observation made on each occasion without any advance calculation. The following two passages demonstrate that this was still the case in the time of the Mishnah: (1) mMeg. 1:4…(2) mEduy. 7:7…The two passages are so clear that they require no further commentary…there was absolutely no calculation [of intercalary months] in advance.” (Emil Schurer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, p.593)

“This method of observation [i.e., new crescent] and intercalation [i.e., adding a thirteenth month based on the season and status of the barley crop] was in use throughout the period of the second temple (516 B.C.E. – 70 C.E.), and about three centuries after its destruction, as long as there was an independent Sanhedrin. In the fourth century, however, when oppression and persecution

[ADMIN:  The Roman sun worshipper Constantine forced the Sanhedrin (Hillel II was Sanhedrin president)  to adopt a fixed calendar system which over the next centuries developed and adopted the Greek calendar system of Meton ]   The Hillel II calendar continued to develop over the centuries to be finalized by Moses Maimonides in 1178 AD.  the modern rabbinic calendar is NOT the calendar in use at the time of Christ, and no one has the authority to change times and laws as the Rabbins have done.  There authority is to preserve the word of God; not to depart from it.

threatened the continued existence of the Sanhedrin, the patriarch Hillel II took an extraordinary step to preserve the unity of Israel. In order to prevent the Jews scattered all over the surface of the earth from celebrating their New Moons, festivals and holidays at different times, he made public the system of calendar calculation which up to then had been a closely guarded secret. It had been used in the past only to check the observations and testimonies of witnesses, and to determine the beginnings of the spring season.” (Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.2)

“The day begins and ends at sunset, or more precisely, after dusk when the first three stars of medium size appear.[8] This rule applies to the theoretical beginning and ending of Sabbaths, festivals, fast days and the hours for the daily prayers. However for calendar calculations, especially for the computation of the Moladoth (the times of the new moon) and the Tekufoth (beginnings of the seasons), the day begins and ends at 6 o-clock in the evening, Jerusalem time. — The beginning and duration of the months depend on the Moladoth and the time which elapses from one Molad to the next one (lunation). The average figure given by tradition for this interval is 29 days and 12 hrs and 793 parts” (Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.13)

“Nowadays the day, hour and parts of each Molad are announced before the Proclamation of the New Moon in the Sabbath morning service preceding the week of the New Moon. This custom keeps alive the memory of the time when the Sanhedrin sanctified the months on the basis of observation [of the new crescent]. It calls our attention to the fact that today we determine our new moons and holidays according to the decision of Hillel’s Beth Din. [9](Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.13)

“It is uncertain what the calendar of Hillel originally contained, and when it was generally adopted. In the Talmud there is no trace of it.” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, “Calendar, History of”, pp. 502-503, Funk and Wagnalls, 1903)

“The name Rosh Ha-Shanah as it is used in the Bible (Ezek. 40:1) simply means the beginning of the year, and does not designate the festival. The months of the year were counted from the spring month (Ex. 12:2), later called by the Babylonian name Nisan. The month known by the Babylonian name Tishri is, therefore, called the “seventh month” in the Pentateuch. When the festival on the first of this month is recorded, it is referred to as the festival of the seventh month and a day of “memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns,” or “a day of blowing the horn” (Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6). In the Bible, the festival lasts one day only; the two-day festival arose out of the difficulty of determining when the new moon actually appeared.” (Encyclopedia Judaica, volume 14, article: Rosh Ha-Shanah, pp.305,306)

Môlêd is a Hebrew word meaning renewal, rejuvenescence. It would be properly applied to the phase of the moon at the instant of time when her Conjunction with the Sun takes place. It is, however, commonly used not for the actual time of New Moon, but for the computed time, which governs the commencement of each year and of each Cycle…The length of a Lunation, as adopted by the founders of the present permanent calendar, is a constant quantity, whereas the Lunations of the true Moon are variable in their duration. The Moon of the Jewish Calendar is a mean or average Moon moving uniformly, in the same way as the artificial Moon of Hilarius [i.e., the “moon” (molad) of the CRC is likewise artificial], which is used in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars.” (S.B. Burnaby, “Elements of the Jewish and Muhammadan Calendars“, London: George Bell & Sons, 1901, p.40)

“The moment that the moon passes between the Earth and the sun is called the Molad – the birth of the moon. It is the theoretical beginning of the new month” [10] (Understanding the Jewish Calendar, Rabbi Nathan Bushwick, pp.39-40 –emphasis mine)

ADMIN:  For those who would stand on HWA; the WCG taught the first light of the new moon begins the month and HWA was deceived into adopting the Rabbinic calendar because he was told the Rabbinic calendar went by the first light when it does not!  His acceptance of the Rabbinic Calendar was based on inaccurate information.

“Every month of God’s Calendar begins about the time of the new moon when the moon’s first faint crescent is visible at sunset in Jerusalem. According to the Roman calendar a new moon may occur at any time during the month. Most people today probably don’t even know when a new moon appears.” (Herman Hoeh, The Crucifixion Was Not On Friday, p.34)

“…the present Jewish calendar originated in Babylon during the period of the Gaons—the religious leaders who dominated academia as heads of various Babylonian academies (Ency. of Religion and Ethics, s.v. “Calendar”). One of the Gaons asserted that the existing calendar system was of great antiquity and the new moons and festivals had always been established by calculation. His view was that the observation of the moon had not been put to use until the third century BC, its purpose to demonstrate the accuracy of calculation, this, in order to refute dissenters. His view was that calculation and observation had always agreed. His arguments were soundly repudiated by both Karaites and Talmudists on the basis of Talmudic records (ibid).” (The Hebrew Calendar: Is It Reliable?, Bethel Church of GOD 1999; slightly reworded from: Church of God, The Eternal’s article of the same title from 1994)

“God’s months begin with the new moon….The observation of the new moon is to be made from Jerusalem, not from the North American continent. The seven to ten hours difference in time between Jerusalem and the part of the country (i.e. United States) you live in will make actual observation of the new moon from America misleading…The appearance of the new moon in the western sky just after sunset is used to determine the beginning of a new month.” (Kenneth Herrmann, The Good News magazine, March 1953, article: “God’s Sacred Calendar,” p.8, col.1&2)

“The first day of the new year always begins with the day nearest the Spring equinox [11] when the new moon is first visible to the naked eye AT JERUSALEM (not in the United States).” (Herbert W. Armstrong, “WHEN, and How OFTEN, (Should We Observe THE LORD’S SUPPER?,” second to last paragraph–emphasis HWA’s)

“God established four units of time for mankind. These are: the day, the week, the month, and the year. The heavenly bodies were set in their place for the purpose of marking time (Gen. 1:14-18)….By the time the Babylonians had developed a sound thinking astronomy it was easy to tell from previous observations of the moon exactly when each new moon would appear. However, it was still customary to continue watching the sky for the first appearance of the crescent (Asimov, pp. 65-66)…

The Babylonians used the first appearance of the crescent to mark the beginning of the month.

ADMIN:  Using the conjunction to begin the month is from pagan Egypt.

The Egyptians, however, used the time when the old crescent was invisible in the morning as the beginning of their month. The Jews followed the Babylonian method (Segal, p. 254). The Egyptian custom of using the old crescent is akin to our modern use of the conjunction as the marker…The lunar month was used uniformly throughout the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean area and began with the sighting of the first lunar crescent.” (The Hebrew Calendar: Is It Reliable?, Church of God, The Eternal 1994)

Admin: The modern Rabbinic calendar used by the COG Groups is NOT biblical and it is NOT holy to God; it is apostate from the word of God.]

“In the churches of God it has been generally assumed–though not a Jewish belief–that the [Admin:  Rabbinic calendar] calendar itself is ‘holy,’ that it was directly inspired by God and handed down to Moses, that the Jewish authorities are charged with its maintainance…There is no evidence that THE RABBIBIC CALENDAR was especially ‘divinely revealed’ for Israel. It is a humanly devised secular calendar…It was not a divinely revealed calendar. That is, not ‘holy,’ not ‘the sacred calendar,’ not ‘God’s calendar, but humanly devised, however skillfully…There is no need to postulate ‘divine guidance’ for the construction of the [Admin: modern Rabbinic] calendar. And there is no evidence that God did so.” (James McBride, article: The Origins of Our Calendar)

“This law further decreed that at the sighting of the new crescent, the first day of the seventh month would be sanctified as a solemn assembly by the blowing of trumpets” (Dwight Blevins and Carl D. Franklin, The Feast of Trumpets 2000 A.D., p.25)

“New moon in Scripture, the visible crescent as seen from Jerusalem. Not the same as the astronomical new moon, which is not visible.” (Dwight Blevins and Carl D. Franklin, The Feast of Trumpets 2000 A.D., p.38, section: Glossary of Terms)

“First, the precise time the new moon appears must be determined. Anciently, this was done by sight.” (Stephen Flurry and Mark Nash, The Philadelphia Trumpet, April 1996, p.23, article: God’s Sacred Calendar)

“One thing is for certain, the fixation of the month in Temple times was determined on the basis of both calculation and observation, a fact you can be sure Jesus was aware of.” (The Hebrew Calendar: Is It Reliable?, Church of God, The Eternal 1994)

UCG CALENDAR PAPER BY JIM FRANKS:

“It is not the Molad which is all important, but rather it is the appearance of the crescent of the moon that really counts…We don’t know when the Jews began using a calculated calendar instead of simply relying on visual observation. Some speculate that the calendar was in existence long before Christ. They base their idea on the fact that the months are called by Chaldean names. The Jews were in captivity in Babylon in the 6th century B.C. Was there a calendar already in existence at that time and did it contain the rules of postponement? …In Christ’s time the new moon ostensibly was established by observation. There are those today who claim that the only way of calculating the new moon is by exact mathematical calculation. Visual observation is too erratic and could be one to two days off. What we know from first-century records is that the calendar was operated by observation and controlled by the Sanhedrin. If Christ and the Church followed this habit, then Christ accepted something that some are claiming is unacceptable.” (United Church of God Committee Members: Jim Franks, Burk McNair, Peter Nathan, Leon Walker, & Don Ward, Doctrinal Statement Adopted by the Council of Elders on the “Hebrew Calendar” 1997)

See the UCG Paper:   Part 1   http://theshininglight.info/?p=5359   Part 2   http://theshininglight.info/?p=5373

FOOTNOTES:

1. Citing the Jewish Encyclopedia as a source, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia likewise states: “The Hebrew or Jewish calendar had three stages of development: the preexilic, or Biblical; the postexilic or Talmudic; and the post Talmudic. The first rested on observation merely, the second on observation coupled with calculation, and the third on calculation only.” (James Orr, editor, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol.1, article: Calendar, H. Porter, pp.541).

2. This admission that the current Calculated Rabbinical Calendar (CRC) has only been in use for just over a thousand years is met with agreement from other Jewish sources (such as the previous quote from The Jewish Encyclopedia and footnote #1, and the quote following this of the Israeli New Moon Society–that from Encyclopedia Judaica, which states that the CRC was finalized in the tenth century).

Other religious sources also concur: “Such a continuous calendar, according to tradition that goes back to Hai Gaon (1038), was constructed by Patriarch Hillel II in A.D. 359 (or, according to another version, 500, though by this time the day of Patriarchs was past). But the tradition [that the CRC was fully constructed by Hillel II], which stands quite alone, is confronted with grave objections. Of these the following two are of special weight: (1) The supposed calendar is never referred to in the Talmud, which received its final redaction at the end of the fifth century. Nothing whatever is said there about the length of the month, or the nineteen-year cycle, or anything else of the kind. (2)…Moreover, from the earliest post-Talmudic age we have dates which cannot be reconciled with the regular calendar in use today. [article footnote: “One such date is the year 506, and another the year 776”]

“In point of fact, everything goes to indicate that the calendar, like all other productions of the kind, passed through a developing series of forms, and that it assumed its final shape in the schools of the official representatives of Judaism (called Geonim) in Babylonia. To the period of the Geonim, say the 7th and 8th cents., likewise belong two tractates relevant to the subject. One of these is entitled “Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer”, and contains almost all the elements of the modern calendar (caps. 6-8), but it shows so many instances of self-contradiction that we must assume the presence of various interpolations…” [Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, Vol.3, article: CALENDAR (Jewish), p.118]

“After centuries of controversies between conservatives relying on observation (of moon and seasons) and innovators recommending calculation, and between religious authorities in Palestine and Babylonia, the system was settled in the 10th century A.D. (in favor of calculation and Babylon).” [Guy Ottewell, The Astronomical Companion, 1994 ed., p.30, under “Calendars (Jewish)”]

3. “Owing to inequalities in the rate of both the solar and the lunar motion in longitude, the mean conjunction [i.e., molad] may precede or be preceded by the true conjunction.” (Cecil Roth, editor, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 5, p.46, article: Calendar). The molad does not consistently match any phase of the moon. One month, the molad may occur on the conjunction, while another month, the molad may be on the day of the crescent, while yet another month, it may be a day or two either side of new crescent.

4. The Jews readily admit that the current calculated calendar in use is indeed in error and needs reform. Note the following from Encyclopedia Judaica: “the present [calendar] system was expected to be replaced again by a system based on true values more akin to the earlier Jewish calendar in which New Moon (days of the phasis) and intercalations were proclaimed on the basis of both observation and calculation.” (Cecil Roth, editor, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 5, p.47, article: Calendar). “The rebirth of the state of Israel rekindles in us the hope that a new Sanhedrin, recognized by the whole people of Israel, will be established again in our time. It will be the task of the Sanhedrin to make a decision as to when and how the sanctified calendar of Hillel II is to be modified in accordance with the requirements of astronomy and the Torah.” (Arthur Spier, The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar, p.227). While God’s Word does state that we are to walk within the bounds of the laws of the land (i.e., Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; I Pet 2:11-20), this by no means suggests that we need wait for a new “Sanhedrin” to be formed to follow God’s commands for His appointed times. When the established laws of men are at odds with the Laws of God, we are by no means bound to such–God’s Law always reigns above (see Acts 5:29 where Peter and the others plainly rejected a ruling of the Sanhedrin in order to obey God instead). BACK

5. The Mishnah, spanning the time period of 200 B.C. – 200 A.D., contains evidence that the CRC was not in use in the first century, nor even at that time of the Mishnah’s collection into bookform (ca. 200 A.D.). It shows that, unlike the CRC with its postponements, Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) could be observed on a Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday; the Day of Atonement could be observed on Fridays and Sundays; the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles could be observed on a Sabbath; etc.

6. Philo was a Jew who lived from about 20 B.C. to about 50 A.D., and was thus a contemporary of Jesus and His disciples. Philo here testifies of the reckoning of the new moon in their day stating that it occurs “after the conjunction….at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light…because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses.” (italicized emphasis mine). Plainly, Philo testifies that the new moon is the fresh visible crescent.

7. “The Assuan Papyri yield ample proof of the fact that at the time after the Exile no such fixed cycle was in use among the Jews, and this would appear to be true also of the Talmudic period….Explicit mention of the nineteen-year cycle is first made in post-Talmudic writings. [article footnote: “It is related in the Talmud (Sanhedrin, 12a) that Akiba (first half of 2nd cent. A.D.) reckoned three successive years as intercalary–a fact which proves the non-existence of any intercalary cycle at that time.”].[Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, Vol.3, article: CALENDAR (Jewish), p.117]

“As already indicated, the Jewish year is a composite arrangement. Its months are lunar, but from time to time an extra month is intercalated in order to effect an adjustment with the solar year. This was done even before the establishment of a continuous calendar. It was regarded as a matter of special importance that the month of Nisan should not begin before its tequfa (beginning of spring), and a second Adar was intercalated as required; but at that time nothing was as yet known of a regular and periodic intercalation, recurring according to definite rules. Such an arrangement was in all probability first introduced along with the continuous calendar itself, when the Metonic cycle was adopted.” [Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, Vol.3, article: CALENDAR (Jewish), p.122]

“The earliest known reference to the ‘tequfa of R. Adda’ under that designation is made by Isaac b. Baruch Albalia of Cordova (A.D. 1035-1094); cf. Abraham b. Hiya’s Sefer ha-’Ibbur, iii. 4), but the period it indicates is already referred to by al-Biruni (Arab. text, p. 183 = Eng. tr. p. 163)…this tequfa…agrees with a date (776) mentioned in the Baraitha of Samuel…Moreover, the intercalary system in common use among the Jews, of which we shall treat presently, could never have been framed except on the basis of R. Adda’s–not Samuel’s–tequfa. In all probability, therefore, its duration was calculated about the 8th cent. A.D., i.e. at the period in which the Jews in the East began to study astronomy, and became acquainted with the Almagest.” [Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, Vol.3, article: CALENDAR (Jewish), p.122–boldface emphasis mine]

8. As Spier relates in the next sentence, the usage of the three stars of the second magnitude is a “theoretical beginning and ending”–not an actual one. This is of Jewish tradition. The former demarcation (i.e., sunset) is the precise end of a day according to Holy Scripture: “…from sunset to sunset…” (Lev 23:32, Schocken Bible Vol. 1, Five Books of Moses, translated by Everett Fox). The CRC however, is not calculated according to the Scriptural “sunset to sunset” reckoning, or even the traditional “three stars” method, but rather is calculated using 6pm as the beginning/ending of a day. Hence, the CRC not only utilizes an erroneous reckoning of the month (i.e., molad), but likewise, an erroneous reckoning of the day.

9.Spier claims this goes back to Hillel, but historic documents show otherwise:

“Here, therefore, we find a corroboration of our theory that the constant calendar of modern Judaism is of relatively late date. The calculation of conjunctions, for instance, cannot have been finally established even as late as A.D. 776, for, according to the Baraitha of Samuel, the conjunction of Tishri in that year took place as 4 d. 0 h. 363 p.; while, according to the modern reckoning, it did not occur till 4 d. 3 h. 363 p. This fact is of great importance in the history of the Jewish calendar.” [Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, Vol.3, article: CALENDAR (Jewish), p.122, col.1, footnote 3]

10. As stated in footnote 3 above, the molad does not consistently match the actual conjunction, or any phase of the moon. The actual conjunction of the sun, earth, and moon occurs in the midst of what is generally three days of the moon being concealed. Given that molad means “birth,” would this concealed moon constitute a birth (i.e., molad)? Is a baby “birthed” at 4 and 1/2 months from conception, in the midst of the nine month gestation period, or rather is it birthed at the conclusion of its concealment in the womb? It is born when we see it (i.e., just as the crescent moon), and not before.

11. Sacred Scripture does not mention the equinox. According to its pages, the first new moon crescent to appear after the barley crop in Israel is found in the stage of growth known as abib is what demarks the first day of the new year. The notion put forth by Herbert Armstrong (as well as many others) that the first crescent sighting nearest the equinox is the head of the year is dispelled by the abib and new moon reports from Israel in 1999. In that year, a fresh crescent moon was sighted the evening of March 18 (a couple days prior to the equinox), however barley was not found to be abib until April 11, and thus the next new moon, sighted on April 17, was the new moon of the abib. Herein in a clear refutation of the myth of “The first day of the new year always begins with the day nearest the Spring equinox.”

Author: Brian Hoeck

©2001 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck and/or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in their entirety (including this statement), attributed to Truth on The Web, and proper author credit given.

In a follow up to the calendar posts I would like to present the calculated first light of the new moons up to 2021.  These calculations take into account when the first light may be seen including sunset moonset times and percentage of illumination.  Please bookmark this schedule for your convenience.

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