Pro and Con 1203

Posted 5-6-05

I got word the other day that my niece accepted Christ. About 3 AM today, I got word that my brother had accepted Christ. Thank you Lord, in Jesus' wonderful name, Amen

Incoming e-mail, Re: Calendars

I ran across your site a few weeks ago. I noticed that you are using the calendar converter @ fourmilab. Something that has come to light in our congregation recently with respect to Festival dates is the dichotomy of views pertaining to when the new year and Rosh Chodesh are declared. Many following rabbinic rulings observe the standard Jewish 19 year cycle. Others, particularly the Karaites, believe the declarations should be based solely on observation for the aviv barley and the new moon from Jerusalem. The calendar converter obviously is locked into the standard 19 year cycle. However, there is a scarcity of information as to just what method was being used in Y'shua's time. Do you have any definitive sources of information that would shed some light on this issue? It seems to me that direct observation was most probably used, which means we can never know the exact date of Messiah's crucifixion, resurrection, or any other significant events; e.g., this year the Karaites are a month ahead of Rabbinic Judaism and declarations of Rosh Chodesh as observed from Jerusalem can vary as much as 3 days from the Rabbinic calendar. You may already be familiar with the Karaite site, but here it is anyway for your perusal:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/karaite_korner_news/
Shalom aleichem

My reply

> > Do you have any definitive sources of information that would shed some light on this issue?

Yes. I'm so glad a friend sent me Arthur Spier's "Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar."

Spier said, "A special committee of the Sanhedrin, with its president as chairman, had the mandate to regulate and balance the solar with the lunar years. This so-called Calendar Council (Sod Haibbur) calculated the beginnings of the seasons (Tekufoth) on the basis of ASTRONOMICAL FIGURES WHICH HAD BEEN HANDED DOWN AS A TRADITION OF OLD. Whenever, after two or three years, the annual excess of 11 days had accumulated to approximately 30 days, a thirteenth month Adar II was inserted before Nisan in order to assure that Nisan and Passover would occur in Spring and not retrogress toward winter. However, the astronomical calculation was not the only basis for intercalation of a thirteenth month. The delay of the actual arrival of spring was another decisive factor. The Talmudic sources report that the Council intercalated a year when the barley in the fields had not yet ripened, when the fruit on the trees had not grown properly, when the winter rains had not stopped, when the roads for Passover pilgrims had not dried up, and when the young pigeons had not become fledged. The Coucil on intercalation CONSIDERED THE ASTRONOMICAL FACTS together with the religious requirements of Passover and the natural conditions of the country. THIS METHOD OF OBSERVATION AND INTERCALATION 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 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."

I also have George Zinberg's "Jewish Calendar Mystery Dispelled."

I know I disagree with the Karaites on how to count down to Pentecost. I posted quite a bit on that on a Pro and Con some time ago, probably within the last two years.

The whole calendar for one year is NOW set from the FNM of Tishri of the FOLLOWING YEAR. The FNM of Tishri has to be figured mathematically a year BEFORE that Crescent Moon of Tishri could be seen. The Jewish New Year is Tishri 1. That is when the year number changes, not in Nisan.

As I understand it, the Sacred Year and the Regnal Year both start Nisan 1. The month of Nisan is then called the first month of the Sacred Year, etc. That doesn't change the fact that Nisan is the 7th month of 5765. Similarly, our fiscal year could start with July as the first month of the Fiscal Year. That doesn't change the fact that July is still the 7th month of 2005.

To build the calendar for the coming year, the NYD of the year following that one is figured mathematically. Then one of their 6 kinds of years is fit in between the past and future NYDs.

The 19-year cycle seems to have been used from the beginning of the Hebrew Calendar. We can divide any Hebrew Year by 19. The quotient shows the number of cycles that have elapsed since the beginning of the calendar. If there is a remainder, it shows where that year belongs in the current cycle. The Babylonians also used the 19-year cycle, and timekeeping began in their neck of the woods before it did in Israel.

The first New Moon of Tishri is counted as occurring on the General Sunday at 11 minutes and 6 parts after 11 PM. Days = 0, Hours = 23, Minutes = 11, Parts = 06, indicating that 0 days, 23 hours, 11 minutes, and 6 parts have elapsed since Sunday began.

Charts have been prepared to make figuring the NYD easy. They must have been used long ago. The Days, Hours, Minutes and Parts on the chart are given for 1 Lunar month, 1 ordinary year, 1 leap year, 1 cycle, 10 cycles, 100 cycles and 300 cycles. These figures are to be added to those of the FNM to come to the NYD you are looking for.

18 parts, or multiples, are carried to minutes
60 minutes, or multiples, are carried to hours
24 hours, or multiples, are carried to days
7 days, or multiples, are discarded
Zero days = Sunday, 1 day = Monday, etc.

General days are used in the New-Moon computations. The NYD of any year is figured from the FNM, or any known NYD since. If the NYD of this year is known, adding one more year is easy. Of course, there are a few rules for delays, but they might have been added at any time along the way. We know they have been used since the time of Hillel II.

For calendar purposes, only Tishri 1 is called the Jewish NYD, not Nisan 1. From Nisan 1 to Tishri 1 is always the same number of days. The NYD of any year, Tishri 1, minus a constant 163 days always equals Nisan 15 of the previous year. Thus the block of days containing the 7 feasts is locked into the same number of days in any year.

I think the Civil Calendar was kept by Adam from the beginning. He was probably a prophet. For sure, he was taught much in his 930-year lifetime. According to Josephus, Adam and Seth drew up the original Zodiac (Ant. I. II. 3). It was a picture book to tell Christ's story before we had the Bible. They had to do it under the inspiration of God. It portrayed the future. We know from Jude 1:14,15 that Enoch was a prophet. It says, "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, PROPHESIED of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Boy! was he ever ahead of his days in learning.

As early as the days of Noah, the Civil Calendar was already set. He entered the Ark on the second month, the 17th day (Gen. 7:11) of what was actually the 1656th year since Adam was created. Noah already knew which were "clean beasts" (Gen. 7:8). To me, it is amazing how much they knew in those early days. Noah could build the Ark. What an undertaking that was. It was the size of an ocean liner of today. If they could do all these things, keeping track of the days, months and years doesn't sound like too much for them to handle. Gen 7:11 says, "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." This was in 1656 AH, less than two lifetimes the length of Adam's.

I think much more was known in those days than people give them credit for. Cain's son Enoch built a city (Gen. 4:17). In Gen. 4:20, they dwelt in tents and kept cattle. In verse 21, Jubal "was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. In verse 22, Tubalcain was "an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron." How could they do these things so soon unless they were taught by God? We have certain tribes on Earth now that are more backward than these men.

Ex. 12:2 says, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." I take this as meaning Nisan, the first month of the Sacred Year, not of the Civil Year. We can understand this from Lev 23:5, It says, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover." We know that was Nisan 14.

I ran across this site on the Internet last night. McConkie sets the dates for the Crucifixion as I do in this quote from "THE LAST WEEK: ATONEMENT AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST," by Richard D. Kirkham
http://www.ida.net/users/rdk/ces/Last_week_calendar.html
"HOW DO WE SET THE DATE? -- Many biblical scholars disagree on the dating of Christ's birth, life, and death. Elder Bruce R. McConkie in his 4 volume work, The Mortal Messiah places the death of Christ in the year 30 A.D. of the Julian * Calendar or the year 3790 of the Hebrew calendar. That year the Passover began on Thursday evening. Under the Law of Moses, Passover always falls on the 14th of Nisan (or Abib as it was called in Moses time)."

Just to make it a little clearer, the Passover began at 6 PM on Thursday, so Friday was Nisan 14, the Passover, until 6 PM.

Today, I went to http://www.friesian.com/calendar.htm. It has lots of interesting information on calendars too.

> > It seems to me that direct observation was most probably used, which means we can never know the exact date of Messiah's crucifixion, resurrection, or any other significant events

Not much is in my "never know" catagory. I believe Mark 13:23. Jesus said, "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things."

We have already been given enough clues to figure the Crucificion out on the Hebrew Calendar. We can tell that the Crucifixion had to be on Thursday, the Preparation of the Passover (John 19:14). That had to be Nisan 13, for the Passover was Friday, Nisan 14 (Lev. 23:5). Then Saturday had to be Nisan 15, the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6), and Sunday had to be Nisan 16, the Feast of Firstfruits, "on the morrow after the sabbath" (Lev. 23:11). The whole block of days is locked in place by the Saturday Sabbath. It can't be moved. The year was 3790.

Since the days from Nisan 15 to Tishri 15 are locked in a block, suddenly we know half of the Hebrew Calendar of 3790, and it is the important half that contains the beginning dates of all 7 feasts.

The Julian and Gregorian Calendars only differ in Leap Years, so we can get close in the Julian. Knowing the day of the week helps us zero in on the correct date. We have charts prepared by astronomers with the dates of the Dark Moon too. It is pretty safe to add 2 days for the appearance of the visible crescent Moon.

After a lot of work on it, I think the Crucifixion was on Thursday, Nisan 13, 3790 (April 6, 30 AD Julian). As you know, the Gregorian was not in use then.
---
Introduction to Calendars
Astronomical Applications Department, U.S. Naval Observatory
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/calendars.html

Intercalation

Historical records from around the world show continued efforts to build reliable lunisolar calendars. One of the methods used most often was to insert (intercalate) an extra month every few years. It might be done randomly, but usually it is not. In the fifth century (BCE) a Greek astronomer Meton set down specific rules for inserting these extra months. If one picks a year that starts with a New Moon and lets the months run in sequence, how many lunar months pass before another year comes that starts on a New Moon? The answer is 235 lunar months - or 19 years. In other words the Full Moon appears on the same day in that year as it did 19 years earlier. This 19 year period defines the Metonic Cycle. This cycle is useful for calendar makers. The same pattern of lunar phase and date in the year repeats every 19 years. A calendar maker needs to follow only one pattern - change the number of months for a prechosen pattern of years and repeat that pattern every 19 years. This number was so important to ancient calendar makers that the Greeks inscribed this number in golden letters on a temple in Athens - hence the term The Golden Number, G. Today's almanacs, including The Astronomical Almanac, provide The Golden Number. As it turns out, however, the Metonic Cycle is not quite exactly 19 years. It is off by about 2 hours per cycle.
---
The reason I didn't go along with the Karaites is that the Hebrew Calendar is so accurate in the long run, I couldn't see throwing it off by a whole month now.

The Calendar Converter at http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/ explains this very well. It says, "The average length of a month is 29.530594 days, extremely close to the mean synodic month (time from new Moon to next new Moon) of 29.530588 days. Such is the accuracy that more than 13,800 years elapse before a single day discrepancy between the calendar's average reckoning of the start of months and the mean time of the new Moon. Alignment with the solar year is better than the Julian calendar, but inferior to the Gregorian. The average length of a year is 365.2468 days compared to the actual solar tropical year (time from equinox to equinox) of 365.24219 days, so the calendar accumulates one day of error with respect to the solar year every 216 years."

Having a June Ascension Day is not unheard of, either. It happened Monday, June 5, 1967 (Iyar 26), the first day of the Six-Day War. If we add the 38 years the man by the pool had an infirmity before Jesus told him to "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk, John 5:8), we come to June 4, 2005 (Iyar 26, 5765). I hope that will be the day we "Rise."
---
Phases of the Moon: 1 to 100
Fred Espenak
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/phase/phases.001-100.html

30
Jan 08 11:55.....Jan 15 11:04
Jan 22 11:36.....Jan 30 10:13.....Feb 07 01:02.....Feb 13 18:32
Feb 21 02:17.....Mar 01 05:55.....Mar 08 11:20.....Mar 15 02:26
Mar 22 17:42.....Mar 30 22:14.....Apr 06 19:38.....Apr 13 11:30
Apr 21 09:32.....Apr 29 10:35.....May 06 02:55.....May 12 22:21
May 21 01:07.....May 28 19:28.....Jun 04 10:04.....Jun 11 11:30
Jun 19 15:40.....Jun 27 01:56.....Jul 03 17:54.....Jul 11 03:14
Jul 19 04:42......Jul 26 07:17......Aug 02 03:20......Aug 09 21:17
Aug 17 16:20.....Aug 24 12:52.....Aug 31 15:16.....Sep 08 16:35
Sep 16 03:07.....Sep 22 19:54.....Sep 30 06:24.....Oct 08 11:35
Oct 15 13:46.....Oct 22 05:26.....Oct 30 00:35.....Nov 07 04:48
Nov 14 00:37.....Nov 20 18:12.....Nov 28 20:30.....Dec 06 19:19
Dec 13 11:41.....Dec 20 10:27.....Dec 28 16:01
---
That column with April 6 in it is the dates for the Full Moons in 30 AD. Passover is at the time of the Full Moon. That's just the icing on the cake. An April 6 Crucifixion fits.
Shalom and agape

Incoming e-mail

Pope Benedict Reaches Out to Jews, Christians and Muslims: Is He Preparing the Way for the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ? https://secure.watch.org/showart.php3?idx=67401&rtn=/index.html&showsubj=1&mcat=1 Washington (KIN) One of Pope Benedict XVI’s first acts was a personal greeting to the head of Rome's Jewish community. In his inaugural homily, he specifically mentioned Jews, calling them his "brothers and sisters" who were joined with Catholics in a "shared spiritual heritage." He also called several times for full communion of Christians. A day after reaching out to Christians and to Jews in his installation Mass, the pope met Monday with members of the Muslim community, assuring them the church wanted to continue building "bridges of friendship" that he said could foster peace in the world.

Temple Mount relics saved from garbage

Etgar Lefkovits
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1113445110394&p=1078027574097

...Starting in November, the archaeologist and a small team, led by his 32-year-old former student Zachi Zweig, transferred 68 truckloads of rubble saturated with archaeological finds from the garbage dump to the Emek Zurim National Park, on the western slopes of Mount Scopus. Using a mechanical sifter, the rubble was then separated into heaps based on size, before being hand-checked for antiquities.

Over the last five months, Zweig a small team of six workers -- and an equal number of daily volunteers -- who have sifted through 15 percent of the rubble to date have uncovered scores of history-rich artifacts, from the First Temple Period until today amidst the rubble, including a large amount of pottery dating from the Bronze Ages through modern times, a large segment of a marble pillar's shaft, and OVER 100 ANCIENT COINS, AMONG THEM SEVERAL FROM THE HASMONEAN DYNASTY.

The one meter tall marble column, streaked with purple veins and white spots, is thought to date back to Late Roman or the Byzantine period, Barkay said, and is similar to column shafts near the southern wall of the Temple Mount.

The first coin recovered from the rubble was from the period of the First Revolt against the Romans that preceded the destruction of the Second Temple, he added.

The coin bore the phrase "For the Freedom of Zion," and was particularly meaningful as the Temple Mount was one of the epicenters of the fight against the Romans....

The first coin recovered from the rubble was from the period of the First Revolt against the Romans that preceded the destruction of the Second Temple, he added.

The coin bore the phrase "For the Freedom of Zion," and was particularly meaningful as the Temple Mount was one of the epicenters of the fight against the Romans.

Other finds include a spout of a Hasmonean lamp, an assortment of arrowheads, an ivory comb, a ceramic flask, various first temple figurines, and numerous pottery oil lamps....

From 5 Doves site, Re: "No Need To Acknowledge Christ to be Saved - New Pope"

Tim McHyde (29 Apr 2005)
http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/apr2005/timm429-2.htm

Ecumenicalism anyone?

ARE BELIEVERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS SAVED? by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger Responds VATICAN CITY, SEP 5 (ZENIT.org).- "How is it possible to explain the unique character of Christ and of the Catholic Church to a Jew or a Lutheran, a reporter asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, during a press conference to present the "Dominus Iesus" declaration, which is concerned, precisely, with the unique and universal salvation of Christ and the Church.

Referring to a believing Jew, Cardinal Ratzinger clarified that "we are in agreement that a Jew, and this is true for believers of other religions, does not need to know or acknowledge Christ as the Son of God in order to be saved, if there are insurmountable impediments, of which he is not blameworthy, to preclude it. However, the fact that the Son of God entered history, made himself part of history, and is present as a reality in history, affects everyone."

Incoming e-mail, Re: COULD I BOTHER YOU TO ASK YOU A QUESTION?

WHEN IS ASCENSION DAY?
MAY 5? JUNE 4?
IF YOU FEEL THAT THE RAPTURE WILL OCCUR AT MIDNIGHT IS THAT JERUSALEM TIME?
IF THAT'S JERUSALEM TIME THAT WOULD BE 5:00 EST RIGHT?. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.

My reply

> > WHEN IS ASCENSION DAY?

I think it is Iyar 26, 5765 (June 4, 2005). I'm going by the Official Hebrew Calendar. It is very accurate in the long run. I can't see throwing it off by a whole month now. The Calendar Converter at http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/ explains this very well. It says, "The average length of a month is 29.530594 days, extremely close to the mean synodic month (time from new Moon to next new Moon) of 29.530588 days. Such is the accuracy that more than 13,800 years elapse before a single day discrepancy between the calendar's average reckoning of the start of months and the mean time of the new Moon. Alignment with the solar year is better than the Julian calendar, but inferior to the Gregorian. The average length of a year is 365.2468 days compared to the actual solar tropical year (time from equinox to equinox) of 365.24219 days, so the calendar accumulates one day of error with respect to the solar year every 216 years."

Having a June Ascension Day is not unheard of, either. It happened Monday, June 5, 1967, the first day of the Six-Day War.

Changing Ascension Day by a whole month would destroy the neat correlation between Iyar 26, 5727 (June 5, 1967) and Iyar 26, 5765 (June 4, 2005). Jesus healed the man by the pool on the Sabbath (John 5:9). June 4, 2005, is Saturday. The man had an infirmity 38 years, then Jesus said, "RISE, TAKE UP THY BED, AND WALK." Iyar 26, 5727 + 38 = Iyar 26, 5765 (June 4, 2005). Healing the man on the Sabbath looks like a type of the Rapture to me. Psa 149:5 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory (Heaven): let them sing aloud upon their BEDS."

> > THE RAPTURE WILL OCCUR AT MIDNIGHT IS THAT JERUSALEM TIME?

I assume that it would be at midnight Jerusalem time.

> > THAT WOULD BE 5:00 EST RIGHT?

New York is 7 hours behind Jerusalem; 5 PM Eastern Daylight Saving Time + 7 hours = Midnight Daylight Saving Time in Jerusalem. Agape

I found this while doing a Google search

The Christmas Star, By Dr. Hugh Ross
http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/christmasstar.shtml

"Consider this: there is ONE PASSAGE, AND ONLY ONE, IN THE WHOLE OF THE BIBLE that foretells the time of the Messiah’s coming (his first coming, that is). The passage is Daniel 9:24-26." (emphasis is mine)

My thoughts

That's a bit of an oversimplification. As usual, so the unbeliever won't understand, other passages must be considered with Dan. 9:24-26 to get the full picture.

Daniel 9:24-26 points us to 30 AD, the year of the Crucifixion., but it takes Luke 3:1,2 ('the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar'), Luke 3:23 ('Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age') and John 2:20 ('forty and six years was this temple in building') to help us understand that Jesus came in BC 5.

Hosea 6:3 says, "the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." In De. 11:14, the Lord said, "I will give you the rain of your land (Israel) in his (Jesus') due season, the first rain (First Advent) and the latter rain" (Second Advent). The former rain starts Tishri 1, the date Jesus was born. The latter rain starts Nisan 1, the date Jesus will return at the Second Advent.

To reinforce the day of Jesus' birth,, Eze. 29:17,21 tells us the exact month and day. It says, "in the first month, in the first day of the month (Tishri 1), the word of the LORD came unto me...In that day will I cause the horn (king, i.e., Jesus) of the house of Israel to bud forth (First Coming), and I will give thee the opening of the mouth ('the Word,' John 1:1-3) in the midst of them ('And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,' John 1:14); and they shall know that I am the LORD."

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