The Church of God has always taught that we are to use the Biblical First Light Observation Calendar, as the first visible light of the new moon is observed from Jerusalem, now we have gone astray.
Their definition of the Biblical Calendar and New Moon can be found and verified in this Good News letter.
This is confirmed by various other literature.
Good News Letter, 1940, Article titled, “How to Figure Passover” by Herbert W. Armstrong (Radio Church of God)
The Good News Magazine March, 1953, Vol. III, No. 3, Article titled, “God’s Sacred Calendar” by Kenneth Herrmann (Radio Church of God), beginning with page 8.
The Good News Magazine February, 1957, Vol. VI, No. 2, Article titled, “Which is the Calendar Christ Used?” by Kenneth Herrmann (Radio Church of God), beginning with page 5.
The question is: How did they change from the early teachings to the present Rabbinic Calendar which goes by the darkness of conjunctions [molads] in place of God’s Biblical First Light Observation Calendar?
The answer is simple: They knew the Biblical First Visible Light as seen from Jerusalem Calendar was biblical and correct, which is so abundantly obvious from the scriptures, and they just ASSUMED that today’s Jewish Calendar is still the same as the Biblical Calendar and goes by the first light of the new moon!
Then it just became an ingrained habit to follow today’s Jewish Rabbinic Calendar!
Today the brethren have forgotten the true Biblical First Light Calendar, which they had taught, and were deceived away from, and now they insist that they must follow the Rabbinic Calendar.
They now go so far as to openly reject God’s commanded First Visible Light Scriptural Calendar; and openly [falsely] claim that the darkness of conjunctions are new moons! The conjunctions are the astronomical new moon, but they are NOT the religious scriptural new moon!
As support for their false assertion that the modern Rabbinic Calendar was in use during the time of Christ, they claim that only today’s Jewish Calendar rules result in a Wednesday Passover in 31 A.D. Which claim is ABSOLUTELY FALSE, as the Biblical first Light Calendar does bring a Wednesday Passover in 31 A.D.!
Today there are multiple sites making that claim, because they got the idea from the WCG: But is the claim that today’s Jewish Calendar with today’s Rabbinic rules results in a Wednesday 31 A.D. Passover really true?
The following section was sent privately to Jorge DeCampos after Sabbath last Saturday; there has been no reply.
It is time to prove whether that assumption is true or not, by going directly to the “Best Source” today’s Jewish Calendar with today’s Rabbinic rules itself; and converting 14 Nisan 3791 [Jewish Calendar year] to the Common Calendar and see what date comes up.
Results of converting the present day Jewish Calendar using all of the present Rabbinic rules from Nisan 14, 3791; into the Common Calendar.
|Gregorian:||March 24, 31 (ante ¹)|
|Julian:||March 26, 31|
|Jewish:||Nisan 14, 3791 י״ד בניסן ג׳תשצ״א|
31 A.D. was NOT an intercalary year by today’s Jewish Calendar rules!
31 A.D. WAS an intercalary year by the Biblical First Visible Light New Moon Calendar.
The assumption that going by the present day Rabbinic Calendar rules, Passover fell on a Wednesday in 31 A.D is now proved to be absolutely false!
By today’s Jewish Calendar rules; the Gregorian date of Passover was March 24, 31 AD (March 26, Julian)—a Monday! Obviously, a Monday does not fit a 3-day and 3-night scenario. So, the “Hebrew Calendar” (with its current rules and postponements) could NOT have existed during Christ’s time, as many have wrongly claimed.
The truth about the Wednesday 31 A.D. Passover
Herbert Armstrong used the Biblical First Light Observation [from Jerusalem] Calendar with its intercalary year to calculate Passover for 31 A.D. Then he and others just assumed that today’s Jewish Calendar still used the First Light method [which it does not]; and people just assumed that the Wednesday Passover in 31 AD was derived from the present day Jewish Calendar calculations; when it is not: Since today’s Jewish Calendar does not have an intercalary year in 31 A.D.
We know from history and the scriptures that Christ died on the afternoon of Passover 31 A.D.: not 30 or 33 A.D. as some claim. Daniel 9: The 70 Weeks: Dating the Birth, Ministry and Death of Christ
Brethren, the Wednesday 31 A.D. Passover was established by the Biblical First Light Calendar as observed from Jerusalem, and was NOT established by today’s Jewish Calendar with today’s Rabbinic rules.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to have a Passover on Wednesday in 31 A.D. by using today’s Jewish Calendar Rabbinic rules. The ONLY way that one can have a Wednesday Passover in 31 A.D. is to use the Biblical First Light Calendar!
The idea that today’s Jewish Calendar was in use in the first century is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE!
Jorge explained in his calendar presentation “… the key element is to determine, if today’s calendar rules are the same as the ones used in Jesus Christ’s day.”
It now stands irrefutably PROVED that Jorge and UCG [and most other COG Groups today] are WRONG and that today’s Jewish Rabbinic Calendar rules did not exist at the time of Christ.
Ask any Jewish Rabbi or Jewish Calendar scholar, and they will tell you quite plainly that the current “Hebrew Calendar” was NOT in use by the Jews in 31 A.D. and the present rules were NOT finalized until 1178 A.D.. Many of their religious documents and “sacred” writings prove this fact.
The True History of the Jewish Rabbinic Calendar
Definition: “c” meaning circa or approximately.
After Babylon was captured by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in c 539 B.C., priestly officials took over the calendar from the Babylonian astronomers, so this new calendar created a few years later was established by the Babylonian Mystery religion priesthood.
The Babylonian Mysteries priestly officials standardized a procedure for the addition or intercalation of months. The procedure was made official in 503 B.C. by Darius I the Great (if not earlier) and contained 7 leap years in a 19-year calendrical cycle. An extra month called “Addaru II” was added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of a 19-year calendrical cycle. This accounted for 7 leap years.
To be absolutely accurate; technically the 17th year of the Babylonian 19-year cycle does not have an “Addaru II” month added. Adar 2 is added in only 6 of the 19 years. In the 17th year of the 19-year cycle they added an extra “Ululu” month called “Ululu II” instead of an extra Adar month, which in terms of the number of months adds up to the same thing, accounting for the seventh leap year.
By doing this, the cycle came out even with the solar calendar year, and the first day of the month of Nisanu – New Year’s Day in the calendar – was never far off from the Vernal Equinox (the first day of Spring), resulting in the civil calendar and the seasons never being out of step.
The Greek astronomer Meton of Athens (fifth century B.C.) discovered the nineteen year Metonic Cycle named after him about 436 B.C., but his discovery was theoretical and nothing was done about implementing it in a calendar.
When Alexander became king of Macedon in 336 B.C. he proceeded to conquer Egypt, Palestine and Babylon; bringing with him Greek culture, while retaining the Babylonian / Medo-Persian priesthood and approved continuation of the Babylonian Mysteries Calendar System of regularized intercalary years in Babylon.
In c 70 A.D. the Roman prince Titus put down a Jewish rebellion, destroying the Temple and the city of Jerusalem; and then in c 359 A.D. the Roman emperor Constantius 2 forbade the Sanhedrin calendar committee to meet regarding calendar matters and ordered the Jews to adopt a fixed calendar.
Although it is easy to calculate a calendar based on the first visible light of the moon, Hillel 2 a Hellenic Rabin who had become president of the Seventy [Sanhedrin], presented the Babylonian calendar based on the darkness of the conjunction in response to the emperor.
At that time most Jews rejected this proposed Babylonian Mysteries Calendar because it was obviously contrary to scripture. From Hillel 2 the Hellenized Babylonian Calendar largely disappeared until the ninth century A.D.
From at least Moses, through the temple period and well beyond, the calendar used was scriptural, beginning months with the first visible light of the new moon, with an additional month normally added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year. When to add a thirteenth month was based on observations of natural agriculture-related events [the spring harvest] .
Today’s Rabbinic Calendar went largely unnoticed until it began to gradually develop in theory during the Geonic period [657 to 1034 A.D. see below].
The postponements were added and the principles and rules of today’s modern Rabbinic Calendar were fully codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century [1178 A.D.]. Maimonides’ work also replaced counting “years since the destruction of the Temple” with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi.
Today’s modern Rabbinic Calendar did not exist at the time of Christ and gradually developed from about 750 A.D. through 1178 A.D. The postponements did not exist as at present, until the postponements rules were added in 1178 A.D.
The history of the Scribes, from the Ezra restoration is divided into five periods; indicated by the names given to Scribes during successive times:
The Sopherim: lasting from the return from Babylon and ending with the death of Simon the Just, from about 458 to 300 B.C.
The Tanaim (recorders, repeaters, or teachers of the law): in New Testament times.
The Amoraim (Heb. the expounders) “wise men” and “doctors” of the law, who alone constituted the authorized recorders and expositors of the Halachah (220A.D. to the completion of the Babylonian Talmud, About 500 A.D.)
Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
The Saboraim (from Heb. to think or to discern): teachers of the law after the conclusion of the Rabbinic Babylonian Talmud, 500 to 657 A.D., who determined the law from a careful examination of all the considerations urged by the Amoraim in their controversies on divine, legal, and ritual questions contained in the Talmud.
The Gaonim, the last scribes doctors of the law, from 657 A.D. to 1034 A.D.; before the Rabbins gained full control of Judaism, and Moses Maimonides was able to fix and cement the unscriptural Rabbinic Calendar as the official calendar of Rabbinic Judaism in 1078 A.D.
The postponements come from Hellenic reasoning and the logic of Aristotle to make the scriptures of no effect by teaching that men can reason around what God has commanded.
Hai Gaon (969-1038), the head of the Pumbeditia, Babylonia Jewish academy of learning in the 11th century was the first person to mention that Hillel had formed the modern Hebrew calendar., and this seems to have been a spurious claim to support his own calendar version by saying it had a long history from Hillel II; which Hillel II calendar itself, was only the Babylonian Calendar with an identical cycle of intercalary years to the Babylonian calendar.
Instead, based on the evidence, it is now widely known that the arithmetic rules for calculating dates in the modern Jewish calendar were not developed until at least the 7th to 8th centuries in Babylonia. While postponement rules did not exist until finalized by Moses Maimonides in 1178 A.D.
In addition, it is impossible to apply modern Jewish calendrical rules to Talmudic dates earlier than at least 500 A.D.).
Although Hillel II is reputed by tradition to have developed the Modern Hebrew Calendar, no mention of this exists in the Talmud, which itself was completed around 500 A.D.
Hillel 2 proposed Babylonian calendar system which was rejected by most Jews for hundreds of years, during which time it further developed was finally codified in 1178 A.D. by Moses Maimonides, and from that time this apostate from scripture calendar gradually gained acceptance.
Today many Rabbins themselves acknowledge that the present Jewish Calendar of Hillel 2 is NOT correct; but they prefer to wait until a new Sanhedrin is set up to make the necessary changes, rather than standing on the word of God as presented by Moses. Nevertheless: the Israel New Moon Society is practicing for the day when a new Sanhedrin will make the official changes.
Admissions of all Jewish scholars.
Israel had always used a lunisolar calendar as recorded in scripture since the days of Moses until relatively modern times.
The first commandment Israel received as a nation was the commandment to determine the New Moon. The beginning of Exodus Chapter 12 says “This month (Nissan) is for you the first of months.” The months were originally referred to in the Bible by number rather than name.
Until modern times, the beginning of each lunar month was decided by a minimum of two eyewitnesses testifying to having seen the first light of the new crescent moon. They would calculate when they should begin looking, but it was the actual sighting that was the important thing.
Knowing that the moon’s cycle was 29 and 1/2 days, meaning that no month could be fewer than 29 or greater than 30 days.
Each month they counted 26 or so days after the previous new moon sighting, and then began to look for the new moon each evening at sunset.
That is the extent of the calculations before the fifth century A.D. If the light of the moon was not seen at the end of the 29th day then the end of day 30 automatically began the new month since no month can exceed 30 days.
No, calculations were never used to confirm the sightings, since things like weather conditions could refute the calculations. Calculations only indicated when to begin looking!
Nevertheless during the dispersion, calculations of the potential first visible light of the new moon could be and were used by many, as the best available means in the circumstances, until the Rabbinic Calendar based on the darkness of conjunctions finally supplanted the scriptures in 1178 A.D. when Maimonides finalized in full, all of the rules for the modern Jewish calendar.
It is absolutely certain and beyond question that the Rabbinic Calendar in use today, IS NOT the calendar used during the life of Jesus Christ, nor was it finally codified until over a thousand years later; and second, the Rabbinic Calendar has nothing to do with the Calendar that the Creator gave His people in the Holy Scriptures.
The Bible tells us to begin and to end a day at sunset; and to count six days and to keep the seventh day as a Sabbath of rest. These are the only calendar instructions that the modern Hellenic Rabbins keep.
The Rabbinic Calendar rejects the Biblical beginning of months with the first LIGHT of the moon as God has instructed, Gen 1:14; in favor of starting a month based on the average time between conjunctions; which is that period of darkness before the light of the sun begins to brighten the moon; and they reject adding intercalary years by the ripening of the harvest, for their artificial insertion of regular intercalary months.
Then they start their year in the fall, when God commands us to start our year in the spring, and they postpone the days God declares holy, to other days for their own convenience.
Anyone who departs from the words of Moses; does not represent Moses, or sit in Moses seat!
An early concept of the present day Rabbinic Calendar may have been proposed by Hillel 2 in c 359 AD but it was largely disregarded until after 700 A.D. Then beginning in the early Eighth Century the Rabbinic Calendar began to gradually develop until the postponements were added and today’s version was finalized in 1178 A.D.
The present Rabbinic calendar was not is use and was not even finalized before 1178 A.D., therefore it was not used during the Temple period nor during the time of Christ.
God Chooses Jerusalem
God gave Moses instructions that once they had entered the land they were to be careful not to sacrifice just anywhere they wanted but were to come before God at the place of his tabernacle or later the temple to sacrifice and worship.
But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come.
Later God chose Jerusalem and the Temple where the people were to seek him.
2 Ch 7:12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
7:15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
7:16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
God chose Jerusalem for the place to build his Holy Temple where he would dwell among his people. In the very near future, Messiah the Christ is coming and a new millennial Temple will be built and he will rule the world from the new millennial Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.