God's Calendar and the Sign of Jonah



Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."

But He, answering, said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great whale for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."

Matthew 12:38 to 40




Table of Contents

Does the Bible Establish its Own Calendar System?

The Biblical Basis of the Calendar
The New Moon
'New Year's Day' -- When is 1 Abib?
Timing of the Annual Holy Days
Passover
Unleavened Bread
Wave Offering
The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
Feast of Trumpets
Day of Atonement
Feast of Tabernacles
The Last Great Day
Determining Calendar Dates for Other Years
Calculation of the New Moon
Calculation of 1 Abib
Development of the Rabbinical Calendar
Accuracy of the Rabbinical Calendar
Table 1: Comparison of Dates for 1 Abib
Table 2: Comparison of Dates for 1 Ethanim
Origin of the Rabbinical Calendar
THE SIGN OF JONAH
Two Sabbaths?
Table 3: Dates of the Passover
Tiberius Caesar's Fifteenth Year
"Difficult Scriptures"
The Road to Emmaus
Three Days and Three Nights
Table 4: Sign of Jonah versus Friday Crucifixion
Jonah
Esther's Fast
Heart of the Earth
Table 5: Christian Meaning of the Biblical Holy Days
Table 6: God's Holy Days, 2000 to 2008

DOES THE BIBLE ESTABLISH ITS OWN CALENDAR SYSTEM?


God gave his people a series of unique Holy days, which include the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11) and the annual Great Sabbaths such as Passover, Unleavened Bread, Feast of the First-Fruit (Pentecost), Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Great Last Day. (Leviticus 23). The dates of the annual Sabbaths are determined by God's unique lunar-solar Calendar. The calendar is simple and distinct, requiring only direct observation of the crescent of the visible new moon after sunset and of the ripening of the spring barley crop near Jerusalem to set all dates. We shall show that the Bible sets out the basic rules of this calendar, and thus it is God whom determines the dates of the monthly and annual Holy Days. Our free Christian Holy Days booklet reveals that these Holy Days outline God's entire plan of Salvation and have deep significance for Christians.


Questions about the exact timing of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection led to our initial interest in God's calendar. Our particular concern was whether Jesus kept the 'Sign of Jonah' as He said He would in Matthew 12:40. One of the critical times involved in His crucifixion was the date of Passover, the day on which He was crucified.(1) Research confirmed that the 'Good Friday' dates for those years would be totally useless for determining the actual time of the crucifixion. The Roman Catholic method of calculating Easter was not invented until the third century CE, and was intended to never coincide with the real date of the Passover, which can fall on different days of the week. This is not surprising when we consider the prophecy given to Daniel concerning the papacy in Daniel 7:25; "He shall speak words against the Most High, shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High, and intend to change the appointed times and law."

The research also found that the predecessor to the calculated calendar currently used by Judaism was only used in Jesus' time to supplement new moon observations. That is, it was used to estimate new moon visibility on evenings when cloud cover or haze prevented direct observation and to assist observers in locating the new moon on more favourable evenings. We were convinced that if God's calendar system could be determined from Biblical sources, we could be certain that Christ, as God's Son, would have used precisely that calendar to determine the date for Passover. Applying the Biblical calendar to these events would then resolve any disputes about their timing.


The Biblical Basis of God's Calendar


Some of the scriptures that determine the Biblical basis of the calendar are:


Genesis 1:14-16 And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and the night; and let them be for signs, and for appointed times, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

And God made two great lights; the greater light for ruling the day, and the lesser light for ruling the night: he also made the stars.

God tells us that He has made the lights in the heavens. The King James translation says they are to determine the "signs and seasons". However, the sun and the moon do not determine our seasons. Our seasons are caused by the inclination of earth's axis relative to its' orbit. The Hebrew for ‘seasons' -moade- literally means "appointed times", as in the above translation. But what are these Appointed Times?

Leviticus 23:4 'These are the feasts of Jehovah, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.
The same Hebrew word -moade- is used here, among many other places, to refer to the timing of God's Annual Sabbaths. This entire chapter details when these appointed times occur.
Psalm 104:19 He appointed the moon for appointed times; The sun knows its going down.
This passage confirms that the moon is used to determine God's "Appointed Times".
Exodus 12:2 "This new moon is your beginning of new moons; it is the first new moon of the year to you."
God says the month (literally new moon as translated above) of the Passover is the first month of the year. The "shall be" added in some translations does not exist in the Hebrew text.


Exodus 13:4 calls this month 'Abib', a Hebrew word which means "ripening ears", referring to the ripening grain heads of the winter barley crop. The barley ripens in late March to early May in Israel.

Leviticus 23:10-14 shows that the month of Abib always coincides with the beginning of the year's harvest in Israel. Indeed, verse 14 says they are not allowed to begin eating the new season's harvest until the wave sheaf has been offered on the Sunday during the Week of Unleavened Bread. (ie - the Wave Offering)It takes the earth one year to revolve around the sun. As the inclination of the axis makes the sun at noon appear to rise and fall in the sky each year, this is called a solar cycle.


We see that God's calendar is based on the interaction of the annual solar cycle, which is determined by the ripening of the winter barley crops and the monthly lunar cycle determined by observation of the visible new moon. The importance of the ‘greater light' and the ‘lesser light' in determining God's Appointed Times has now been established.


The Day

The Biblical day is a solar day which runs from dusk to dusk. (Leviticus 23:32) For an agrarian society it is natural to end the day at dusk, coinciding with the end of the daylight hours. Dusk is a logical and easily determined endpoint. This method of defining a day goes right back to the first day of Creation. God began creating in darkness, and made light later in the day. (Genesis 1:1-5)


The New Moon

Determining the timing of each of God's months requires the observation of a simple astronomical event which clearly marks the beginning of the month. (Please note that none of the astronomical events mentioned in this article have anything to do with astrology or worship of the heavens as these are both things that God specifically forbids. -See Deut. 4:19, Isa. 47:13 These occurrences are merely markers that God has given us so we can use His calendar.)

The event that marks the start of each month is the observation of the crescent of the new moon when it first becomes visible to the unaided eye. The term "new moon" used in scripture does not refer to the sun-moon conjunction which astronomers call the new moon today. The conjunction can only be seen when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, resulting in an eclipse. Such an event is so rare and localised that it is totally unsuitable for determining a monthly calendar. The Bible actually refers to the visible crescent, which cannot be seen until one to three days after the conjunction. As the role of the visible New Moon is critical to God's calendar, we have added this quote from Brian Hoeck:

"God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the heavens, to separate the day from the night, that they may be for signs--for set times, for days and years, and let them be for lights upon the earth! It was so." (Genesis 1:14-15)

The above Scripture plainly declares that "light" in the dome of the heavens would be a sign to demark God's Appointed Times. One of these Appointed Times occurs upon the 1st day of the 7th month (Leviticus 23:23-25), which is a New Moon day.

Since Torah tells us that it is "Lights" in the heavens that mark the Appointed Times, we can conclude that the conjunction (i.e. dark moon) is NOT the Scriptural New Moon. According to Torah then, there must be the sign of the two lights (the sun beginning to shine upon and reflect off the moon, as Philo recorded) to be a New Moon. This testifies to the first visible crescent.

Likewise, the Israelites (who spoke, read, and fluently understood Hebrew) would know what a new moon is (as can we through lexicons and other linguistic helps) just from the Hebrew word "HoDeSH" which is used in Torah and the rest of TeNaK to designate the New Moon. Let us look at this word:

"2320 chodesh {kho'-desh} from 2318; the new moon; by implication a month. Chodesh means 'new moon; month.' (1) The word refers to the day on which the crescent reappears." (The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Words in the Hebrew Bible, p.81)

"2320 the new moon, the day of the new moon, the calends of a lunar month which was a festival of the ancient Hebrews." (Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, p.263)

Here is its root (HaDeSH):"2318 TO BE NEW. to be new, recent...to produce something new...also to polish a sword. Etymologists have well observed that its primary sense is that of cutting or polishing...and the signification of newness appears to proceed from that of a sharp polished splendid sword." (Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, p.263) The very word itself points to the scimitar-like appearance of the crescent sliver of the moon (i.e., sharp polished splendid sword). A dark conjunction is not "sharp," nor "polished," nor like a "splendid sword," but these very well define the crescent moon.

The new crescent is only seen for a short time after sunset, as the sky darkens into night. Seeing the new moon marks that day as the first day of the new month. (2) This phenomena reinforces the Biblical method of counting days from dusk to dusk (Leviticus 23:32). Starting the day at any other time would result in confusion about whether a particular day was the last day of the old month or the first day of the new month.

As the average lunar cycle is about four weeks and one and a half days long, the Annual Holy Days, such as Passover, fall on different days of the week from year to year as will be explained later.

Because sighting the new moon was vital to the entire calendar, God commanded that the first day of each month was to be marked by special offerings and the blowing of ceremonial trumpets. (See Numbers 10:10 and I Chronicles 23:31) Moses Maimonides, in his classic work Sanctification of the New Moon explains that sighting the new moon was an important ceremony in Jewish religious life. The first chapter of his work, written about 1175 CE, clearly acknowledges that observation of the crescent new moon was initially the decisive element in determining the start of the month. As time passed, calculations helped determine which evenings the new moon should be visible to assist observation. As the power of the Jewish religious court grew, calculations were used to support or dispute the observations. Eventually the court grew so self-indulgent that it actually ignored the observations totally and used its own calculated calendar to determine the timing of God's Calendar, and thus set their own Holy Days. As will be noted below, this final stage probably occurred several centuries after Christ was crucified.

New moons are such an important part of God's calendar that the Hebrew word for the visible new moon, chodesh, is used 224 times in the Bible. In the King James Version it has been translated as month(s) 204 times. A literal translation of the Hebrew results in phrases such as "the seventh new moon" and "the seventeenth day of the new moon" which occur frequently in the Old Testament. The phrases show that chodesh can refer to the interval between two new moons as well as to the observance of the new moon crescent itself.

Ezekiel 45:17 and Ezekiel 46:1 to 3 show that the new moon shall continue to be important even during Jesus' Thousand Years Reign.


'New Years Day' -- When is 1 Abib?


The annual part of the calendar, ie- determining which day marks the beginning of the New Year, is quite different to the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian New Year day is determined almost solely by the solar cycle. The number of days in the months have been chosen to make the length of a year almost exactly one solar year.

The Biblical calendar only uses complete lunar months that begin and end when the new moon is seen. As the average length of a lunar cycle is about 29.53 days and a solar (tropical) year is 365.24 days, we find that a solar year actually consists of 12.37 lunar months. The yearly difference between these two cycles is reconciled by a method similar to that used in the current Gregorian calendar which requires an extra day to be added to February (almost) every fourth year to prevent the gradual drift of the months into other seasons. This solved the drift problem which plagued the earlier Julian calendar. Similarly, the Biblical lunisolar calendar adds an extra month about every third year to keep its calendar synchronised with the seasons.(3)

However, the problem of deciding which year to add the extra month still remains. Using the ripeness of the winter barley crops as the indicator of which new moon will also be New Year's Day -ie the first day of the first month (Abib) locks the calendar into the solar cycle. This annual cycle is reflected in the seasons which control the ripening of the crops.


The barley harvest takes over a month to complete in Israel, with barley ripening from the end of March near Jericho and finishing in late May in the mountainous areas near Jerusalem. Seasonal variations can hasten or delay the harvest by two weeks or more. For a new moon to be declared Abib requires evidence that some of the grain will be ripe in time for use in the Wave Offering, which occurs on the Sunday during the Week of Unleavened Bread. The heads must filled with firm kernels that can be roasted (parched) and eaten on the day of the Wave Offering. Soft kernels filled with milky material can not be harvested nor roasted properly. As barley heads hold well to the stems, if the crop is too immature one new moon, it will still be available for harvest on the Wave Offering after the next new moon. Deuteronomy 16:9 combined with Leviticus 23:15 show that the spring grain harvest begins on the same day as the Wave Offering. This indicates that in Biblical times the barley used in the Wave Offering must be cut at most an easy day's travelling distance from where the Wave Offering ceremony was held. Scripture specifies that the Wave Offering must be offered by a priest in "the land which I (God) have given you". (Leviticus 23:10) As God says the rest of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread were to be held where "God placed His Name" , that is - at the Jerusalem temple, it seems reasonable that the Wave Offering was held there too. (Deuteronomy 16:2) These considerations indicate that the New Year would usually be declared in late March or April. The new moon observations and annual searches for "Abib" barley that are conducted by Karaite Jews near Jerusalem confirm the dates given by our calculations. The Karaites (Heb. Bnei Mikra meaning "Followers of the Scriptures") are a Jewish sect which reject the Rabbinical traditions of Judaism. The results of their searches can be obtained from the Internet by subscribing to their newsletter. To do this, send an Email to karaite@id-base.com with the message "subscribe" As with the original calendar, their direct observations are more valid than our calculations if they differ. Please note that these Karaites are, like us, very keen to follow the Biblical calendar, but they are not Christians at this time.


Timing of the Annual Holy Days


The way that God's Holy Days mesh with His astronomical calendar are summarised in Leviticus chapter 23. They are briefly examined here:


Passover

The first annual observance mentioned in Leviticus is Jehovah's Passover, which is the fourteenth day of the first month. (Lev 23:5) It is not a great Sabbath as most of the other annual Holy Days are. The Jews call this the Day of Preparation, as recorded in John 19:14, Matthew 27:62 and Mark 15:42. God commanded the Jews to kill their sacrificial lambs on this day (Exodus 12) and this was the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. (Luke 23:54) However, this day was important to the Israelites for at least 430 years before the Exodus Passover. This was the day on which God and two angels dined with Abraham and God promised to establish His covenant with Isaac, who was born to Sarah on this date exactly one year later. (Gen 17:21, Exodus 12:40-41) The meaning of Passover and the other Holy Days is discussed in more depth in the Christian Holy Days booklet, which also shows from Scripture that God's Holy Days were actually instituted before the Earth was created and are still in force today.


Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a week-long feast which follows on directly after the Passover. (Lev 23:6 to 8, Exodus 12:14 to 20) Occasionally the entire feast, including the preparation day, is also referred to as the Passover. The night beginning the first day of Unleavened Bread is to be a night of solemn observation (Exodus 12:42). The first and last day of this feast are holy convocations on which no work aside from some food preparation is to be done. Thus the great days are the fifteenth and twenty-first days of the first month of God's calendar. Some extra significance is added to this feast by considering the fact that the new season's crop could not be harvested or eaten until after the Wave Offering during the Feast, thus reflecting on a physical level how we as Christians should also walk in newness of life on a spiritual level.


Wave Offering

The Wave Offering falls on the day after the weekly Sabbath (ie Sunday) during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:9 to 14). During the year that Joshua led the invasion of the Promised Land, the Wave Offering fell on the day after the Passover, thus allowing them to begin eating the new season's crops the day after Passover (Joshua 5:10 to 12). As the Wave Offering falls on the Sunday during Unleavened Bread, it falls on one day from the 15th to the 21st of the first month.

The Wave Offering is not a sabbath day in itself so normal work, such as harvesting the barley and cooking, can proceed after the Wave Sheaf has been offered. If the Wave Offering coincides with one of the annual great days of Unleavened Bread only sufficient work is allowed to provide food (eg new season's barley) for the day.


The Feast of Weeks

Leviticus 23:15 to 22 outlines this feast, also known as the Feast of Harvest or First-fruits (Exodus 23:16). It occurs on the 50th day from the day of the Wave Offering. This is the Sunday seven weeks and a day after the Sabbath at the start of Passover/Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:21 confirms that the Feast of Weeks is to be kept on the "selfsame" day, which is Sunday the 50th day.

It is thus linked to the first month of the year by this counting method and is therefore part of the beginning of God's Plan of Salvation as noted in the Christian Holy Days booklet.

This holy day was also kept by the early Christian church and is called Pentecost from the Greek for "count fifty". (Acts chapter 2)


Feast of Trumpets

This great day is the first day of the seventh month (Ethanim, also called Tishri) according to God's calendar. (Leviticus 23:23 to 25) It marks the beginning of the next phase of God's Plan of Salvation. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)


Day of Atonement

This holy day (annual Sabbath) is kept on the 10th day of the seventh month. (Leviticus 23:26 to 32) It marks the last time people can seek God's mercy before He establishes His Kingdom on earth.


Feast of Tabernacles

This feast runs from the 15th to the 21st day of the seventh month. (Leviticus 23:33 to 44) This feast is a celebration of God's kingdom ruling on earth under Jesus Christ's leadership for one thousand years. (Revelation 20:1 to 6) The first day (the 15th) is a great day.


The Last Great Day

The "eighth day" of the Feast of Tabernacles is the final annual Holy Day, falling on the 22nd day of the seventh month. It marks the final judgement by God in which all of the unrepentant sinners are destroyed and Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire. (Leviticus 23:36, Revelation 20:7 to 10, 1 Corinthians 15:22 to 24) Then begins the fullness of God's eternal Kingdom for humanity. (Revelation 20:11 to 22:21)


These are the rules for God's Biblical calendar. Simple, direct observations can confirm all dates for those living in Israel. Jerusalem has been chosen as the focal point at which observations of the new moon should be made as it is where God chose to have His Tabernacle built and shall become the spiritual capital of the entire world. (1 Kings 8:1 to 12; Zechariah 14:16 and Revelation 21:1 to 11)


Determining Calendar Dates for Other Years


However, how can one determine the dates of God's calendar when your location or the year you wish to inquire about makes direct observation impossible? This is a serious problem when trying to apply this calendar system to events that happened almost two thousand years ago. Is it possible to calculate the visibility of the new moon and the maturity of the barley crops in ancient Israel?


Calculation of the New Moon

When we first attempted to discover the actual time of Christ's crucifixion, we began by using the average length of the lunar cycle to determine the time of the sun-moon conjunction. We then estimated the probability of seeing the new moon by considering the time of day the conjunction occurred. We later discovered that this is basically the method used to determine the traditional Jewish calendar.

However, we soon discovered that the actual time of the Sun-moon conjunction could vary enormously from our calculated average time.

We also discovered that the visibility of the new moon was mainly determined by the difference between the sun and moon's setting times, the distance apart they were in the sky, the height of the moon above the horizon at dusk and by the size of the illuminated fraction of the moon. To find these things required accurate calculations of the position of both the sun and the moon.

Calculating the position of the sun and thus its setting time is fairly simple, as it is a massive body with a very predictable motion. However, accurately calculating the position of the Moon is not an easy matter. Such a calculation was only crudely possible at the time the Rabbinical Jews developed the final version of their calculated calendar. Many factors affecting the position of the moon have only been understood for about a hundred years. To determine even the most important orbital and gravitational influences on the moon's position requires calculations hundreds of lines long. One mistake could make the entire calculation meaningless.

Thankfully modern computers can be programmed to make the necessary calculations in seconds. We developed a program which makes these calculations for us. The main calculations are based on Astronomical Formulae for Calculators written by the Belgian astronomer, Jean Meeus. Once the position and setting time of the sun is known for a particular evening and location, the position of the moon and its illuminated fraction is calculated for that time and the moon's setting time is also calculated. The position of the sun at moonset is also calculated as the lower it is below the horizon, the darker the sky will be. These calculations are then used to decide if the moon will be seen that evening. If the new moon will not be seen that night, everything is recalculated again for the next evening(s). Thus the visibility of the new moon is determined. This leaves only the determination of 1 Abib to set the sequence of months for the year.


Calculation of 1 Abib

Is there a mathematical alternative to the 'ripening barley' method available to determine the beginning of the new year?

Like the problem of calculating the start of each month, this question also has a solution based on astronomical observations. This time the sun is used, one of the two heavenly bodies that God gave us to determine His appointed times. The vernal (Northern Hemisphere Spring) equinox is used. An equinox occurs when the ecliptic (the Sun's apparent annual path) crosses the celestial equator (the extension of the Earth's equator out into space). Thus twice a year the Sun is exactly over the equator, and day and night are of equal length. The vernal equinox (usually around 21 March) is simple to calculate and gives results that usually correspond well with the ripening barley method. A simple technique for finding the equinox was known to the ancients.

Their method of determining the vernal equinox needed a gnomon. Constructing a gnomon requires only a flat surface, a straight stick, a piece of string, a plumb bob and a square. All these devices have been known for millennia. The plumb bob is used to set up the stick in a perfectly upright position. The square and string, stretched straight, are used to make the surface surrounding the stick perfectly horizontal. That is a gnomon.

Marking the shadows cast by the stick at sunrise and sunset on the day of an equinox reveals a unique property - on that day alone the two shadows cast by the stick join to make a straight line.

The day of the equinox can then be used to determine which month will start the new year. If the new moon is seen before the equinox, that month is counted as the extra (intercalary) month. This simple formula means that the Wave Offering will usually occur after 4 April and before 12 May. The result coordinates well with the harvesting of the winter barley crops in a normal season. Years where an unusually early harvest is possible are marked as having another possible Abib date. (4) ********

The date of the equinox can also be easily calculated from data about the sun. It provides us with a simple, accurate method of selecting which New Moon will be 1 Abib for any year required. Thus the entire Biblical lunisolar calendar can be determined by astronomical calculations for any year. As all the Biblical Annual Holy Days are dated from the new moons of the first and seventh months (Abib and Ethanim), this calendar yields the dates of all the Holy Days.

This program has enabled us to accurately calculate the positions (and thus the setting times, visibility, etc) of the sun and moon on the evenings that would have determined the start of 1 Abib in the year of the crucifixion. We thank God for providing a unique calendar system that can be used to precisely determine the time of the crucifixion, and many other Biblical events, thousands of years later.

Though the calculations of astronomical positions, etc is based on conventional astronomical formulae, we had to devise our own formula to predict if the New moon crescent would actually be visible. Over time, more sensitive formula have been developed to make our calculations as consistent with actual observations as possible. We have been testing the predictions of these programs against actual observations of the new moon for many years now and have found them to be reliable.(5) Though the program cannot predict transient weather conditions such as atmospheric moisture content, dust and cloud cover, the effect of the moisture and dust levels have been averaged to minimise their effect. Predicted observations near the seen/not seen boundary also have probably seen/probably not seen categories to acknowledge the variability caused by these effects. The formula used calculates the Visibility Number (VN) as the sum of the time lag between sunset and moonset plus the illuminated fraction of the moon (x 2700) plus the altitude of the moon at sunset (x 5.5) minus the altitude of the sun at moonset(x 5). This formula balances the four main factors influencing the visibility of the new moon. A free copy of the program is available from us. The calibration section will allow you to set up the calculations for your own location so you can check the accuracy of the calendar's predictions. The software can also be downloaded from our Web site at http://www.chcpublications.net


Development of the Rabbinical Calendar


As we discussed earlier, calculations are only necessary for people living away from Jerusalem or for learning the time of past or future new moons. For those living in Jerusalem, the date of 1 Abib, the first day of the New Year, can be determined by simply looking at the maturity of local crops. Comparing their maturity with the date of the vernal (Spring) equinox and looking for the new moon after sunset for two or occasionally three days after the next sun-moon conjunction will give them 1 Abib. They do not need either a computer or a priesthood to tell them when 1 Abib occurs. A predetermined calendar only became necessary after the Jews were removed from Jerusalem and dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. Other reasons for the Jewish leaders to push for a calculated calendar were power and convenience. Establishing themselves as the keepers of the calendar gave them power over the people, and God, as they now became the arbiters of the timing of the Holy Days. Convenience in that using a pre-determined calculated calendar would allow forward planning as to which day of the week various new moon and Holy Day festivities would occur.

Most authorities believe the present version of the conventional Jewish calculated calendar (the Rabbinical or Judaic calendar) came into being sometime between 359 CE (AD) and 800 CE. Even Maimonides, a twelfth century Jew who compiled the Code of the (Judaic) Law, in his section on the Sanctification of the New Moon,(6) admitted that originally all the calendar dates were determined by observation. (Despite this, he devotes the rest of his treatise to proclaiming the superiority of their inaccurate calculations over direct observation as commanded by God.)

Please remember that there is not a single word in the entire Bible about how to set up or use a calculated calendar. Adherents of the Rabbinical calendar sometimes claim that Romans 3:2 gives this calendar its authenticity as the verse says that the oracles of God were entrusted to the Jews. The word oracles is translated from the Greek word logion. It literally means utterance in English, and is derived from logos, which means Word. It is obvious that the utterances of God are contained in the Bible. It is also obvious that as the Bible speaks only of an observational calendar, the oracles, or utterances, of God only authorise the use of a observational calendar. To claim that any calculated calendar, including the Rabbinical calendar, has been authorised by God is blasphemy.

Some Jewish sects reject the 'traditional' Rabbinical calendar even today. They hold to observation as the only scripturally correct method of determining the new moons and Holy Days. They feel that the Rabbinical calendar is an insult to God. They have some reason for this concern. This quotation from the Shabbat 10b (part of the Mishna, written during the first two centuries CE) shows the arrogance that some Rabbis assumed in setting their calendar:


"Rabbi Pinhas and Rabbi Hilkiah said in the name of Rabbi Simon: Each year, all of the ministering angels appear before the Holy One, praised be He, and ask, "Lord of the Universe! When does Rosh Hashanah occur this year?" And He answers them, "Why do you ask me? Let us inquire of the earthly court."...

"Rabbi Hoshayah taught: When the earthly court decrees "Today is Rosh Hashanah," the Holy One, praised be He, tells the ministering angels, "Set up the court room, and let the attorneys for defense and prosecution take their places, for My children have stated 'Today is Rosh Hashanah.'" But if the earthly court should reconsider and decide that the following day should be declared the first of the year, the Holy One, praised be He, tells the ministering angels "Set up the court room and let the attorneys for prosecution and defense take their places on the morrow, for My children have reconsidered and decided that tomorrow is to be declared the first of the year."

Note that when this passage was written, well after Christ was crucified, the Jews were still not committed to a fixed calculated calendar as there would have been no possibility of 'reconsidering' when Rosh Hashanah fell. Rosh Hashanah is the Feast of Trumpets which occurs on the 1st of Ethanim, the first day of the seventh month. Rosh Hashanah means 'head of the year', signifying that by this time the idea of a 'civil year' beginning on the 1st of Ethanim was well established.


Accuracy of the Rabbinical Calendar


Tables 1 and 2 compare the Rabbinical dates with accurate astronomical calculations based on Biblical principles.


The results show that for five of the twenty years (25% wrong) examined the Rabbinical calculation starts the year one month too early, before any barley is likely to be ready to harvest anywhere in Israel.

When comparing this table with astronomical new moon calculations, please remember that it is not the new moon conjunction that is being calculated, but which evening the new moon will first be visible to an observer with good eyesight in Jerusalem. Thus, if the new moon is visible on the evening of 8 April, 1997, the first day of the first month (1 Abib) is given as 9 April, 1997 because the day extends from dusk on the eighth to dusk on the ninth, thus including all the daylight hours of 9 April.


1 Abib
Year CE Biblical Calculations Rabbinical Calculations Difference (Days)
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
7/4
27/3
15/4
3/4
23/3
5/4
25/3
15/3
3/4
23/3
+2
+2
+31
0
0
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
11/4
31/3
18/4
8/4
28/3
10/4
31/3
19/3
6/4
27/3
+1
0
+32
+2
+1
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
16/4
5/4
25/3
13/4
2/4
16/3
4/4
23/3
13/3
1/4
+31
+1
+2
+31
+1
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
21/3
9/4
30/3
18/4
6/4 (7/4)
21/3
8/4
28/3
18/3
6/4
0
+1
+2
+31
0 (+1)

Table 1 Comparison of Dates for 1 Abib given by the Biblical and traditional 'Rabbinical' calculations. Dates in brackets are less probable dates for days when the visibility of the new moon is borderline.


The Biblical Calculation dates are the earliest days on which the new moon is likely to be visible at Jerusalem on the previous evening.


1 Ethanim
Year CE Biblical Calculations Rabbinical Calculations Difference (Days)
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
30/9
19/9
8/10
27/9
17/9 (16/9)
29/9
18/9
8/9
27/9
16/9
+1
+1
+30
0
+1 (0)
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
6/10
25/9 (26/9)
13/10 (14/10)
3/10
22/9 (21/9)
4/10
24/9
12/9
30/9
20/9
+2
+1 (+2)
+31 (+32)
+3
+2 (+1)
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
10/10)
29/9
18/9
7/10
27/9
9/9
28/9
16/9
6/9
25/9
+31
+1
+2
+31
+2
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
15/9
4/10
23/9
11/10
30/9 (29/9)
14/9
2/10
21/9
11/9
30/9
+1
+2
+2
+30
0 (-1)

Table 2 Comparison of Dates for 1 Ethanim given by the Biblical and traditional 'Rabbinical' calculations. Dates in brackets are less probable dates for days when the visibility of the new moon is borderline.


The 1989 dates are a clear example of the inaccuracy of the Rabbinical calculations. Tables 1 & 2 show us that the Rabbinical calculations predict that the new moon will be seen on the evenings of the 5th of April and the 29th of September. However, accurate astronomical calculations reveal that the moon will set 37 minutes before the sun on the 5th of April and 26 minutes before the sun on the 29th of September. The new moon cannot be seen until it is lagging well behind the sun in setting time, making observation of the new moon on these dates totally impossible.

Comparing the results show that the traditional Rabbinical calendar correctly calculates only five of the twenty 1 Abib dates (75% wrong) and two of the twenty 1 Ethanim (Feast of Trumpets) dates (90% wrong). The inaccuracies of the Rabbinical calendar are partly due to the rudimentary knowledge of the moon's motion when their calendar was being developed. Sadly, now that much better calculations are available, accuracy has been rejected in favour of tradition.

Apart from the crudity of the Rabbinical calculations, another error in their calendar arises from the fact that they only calculate the conjunction time for the seventh month. The date for 1 Abib is determined by merely subtracting a set number of days from 1 Ethanim.

The Jews themselves also recognize the deficiencies of the Rabbinical calendar as shown in this quote from Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1972; p.47):

"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 and intercalations were proclaimed on the basis of both observation and calculation."


Origin of the Rabbinical Calendar


Curiously, some Christian organisations accept the Rabbinical calendar as being authoritative. One example is United Church of God, which claims that calendar calculation was the main method of determining the date of the Annual Holy Days during Christ's ministry. There is evidence that calculations were occasionally used then, but were only resorted to in months when overcast weather prevented direct observation.

The existence and official use of the current Rabbinical calculated calendar at the time of Christ is denied by every authority on the calendar that we have read. The most optimistic historians place the beginning of the current Jewish calculated Calendar at 359 CE. They claim that Hillel II introduced the calendar then.

However, about this claim Samuel Poznanski says:

"the tradition, 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."

"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..."

"In the 7th and 8th centuries, again, Judaism in the East was disturbed by the rise of various sects, many of which refused to recognize the existing calendar. One of its outstanding assailants was Anam b. David, the founder of Karaism (2nd half of 8th cent.), who abandoned the method of computation, as being repugnant to Scripture, and reinstated that of lunar observation..."

"The importance attached to the recognition or repudiation of the then existing calendar may be gauged by the fact that the official circles of Judaism were free to intermarry with the Isawites, who actually recognized Jesus and Muhammad as prophets, but not with the Karaites, the ground of distinction being simply that the former received the calendar while the latter did not."

"..the Karaites..reverted in all respects to the ancient practice of determining the time of new moon by observation, and intercalating a 13th month when required by the state of the crops, ie, the ripening ears (Abib)."

"..Nor do the modern Karaites recognize the so-called dehiyoth, 'displacements'."

Some 'displacements' involve changing the date of the first of Ethanim if it is going to fall on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday. The 'displacements' are designed to keep the Annual Holy Days from occurring on Sunday or Friday. It seems likely that the displacements, or postponements, were the last changes to the Rabbinical calendar, and were the final goad which led the Karaites to reject this unbiblical calendar.

Maimonides claims that these displacements are designed to average out the inbuilt errors in the Rabbinical calculated calendar. The truth is that the real reason for this practice is that the Jews decided it was 'too difficult to have two Sabbaths in a row'. As the Karaites point out, there is no Biblical support for these 'displacements'. The Karaite practice of observing the Feast of Weeks on a Sunday is accepted by the United Church of God. This practice results in having two Sabbaths in a row and is contradictory to the Rabbinical calendar. Obviously it is possible to have two Sabbaths in a row. It also opens up this question fro them: If the Karaites are right about this aspect of the Holy Days, is it possible that they could also be right in insisting on direct observation of the new moon as the only scripturally acceptable method of determining the timing of God's Holy Days?

However, when direct observation is not possible, surely the most accurate calculations available should be used. Our calculated calendar simulates actual observation of the new moon in Jerusalem as exactly as possible. When any observational data comes into conflict with the formula used to predict visibility, the process is re-examined to increase its accuracy. As only God has the authority to set the dates for His Holy Days, and He reveals these appointed times using His greater and lesser lights, any calendar system which does not match with the observations of the new moon is useless. On this requirement the Rabbinical Calendar fails miserably.


The calculations shown in Table 3 reveal the date of the Passover in the year of Christ's crucifixion. However, the usefulness of the Biblical calendar is not limited to only this issue. It is a powerful key that can unlock the exact time of many biblical events. It can also help us determine the true time of God's Holy Days today, so we can keep His Holy Days, not man's.


THE SIGN OF JONAH


Our original interest in the timing of God's Holy Days arose from an attempt to find out if Jesus actually spent three days and three nights in the grave as He said He would:

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."

But He, answering, said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great whale for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."

Matthew 12:38 to 40


As the Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition only allows a maximum of two nights and one day in the grave, it actually denies that Jesus kept the "Sign of Jonah", and thus casts doubt on His truthfulness. Did He keep this "Sign", or is Jesus Christ a fraud as the opponents of Biblical Christianity subtly suggest? And if He did keep this Sign, is this yet another of the times that the 'Little Horn' spoken of in Daniel 7:8 has tried to change?


Two Sabbaths?


After unsuccessfully trying to reconcile the Crucifixion/Resurrection accounts in the Bible with the three days and three nights, we finally came across a booklet, now out of print, which claimed that Christ's crucifixion was really on a Wednesday, with two Sabbaths occurring during the time He was dead. Their argument was built on Matthew 28:1, which literally reads: Now after the Sabbaths, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.; and also on their knowledge of God's Holy Days and how they apply to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. (Details about God's Holy Days are set out in a separate article titled Christian Holy Days.) They claimed that in the year of the crucifixion, the Preparation Day on which Jesus died occurred on Wednesday. The next day was the first day of the Week of Unleavened Bread, which was (and still is) a special annual Great Sabbath Day. The Bible clearly shows that the Preparation Day was indeed the day before the First day of Unleavened bread in John 19:14. (Also referred to in John 19:31 and Leviticus 23:4 to 8. God's annual Holy Days are Great Sabbaths, regardless of which day of the week they occur on, as shown in Leviticus 23:24, 32 & 39 and John 7:37. The first day of Unleavened Bread is also confirmed as a Great Sabbath by combining John 19:14, Mark 15:42 and Matthew 28:1.) It was the coming of this Great Day or solemn Annual Sabbath that drove the Jewish leaders to request the breaking of the 'convicts' legs so they would die before the Week of Unleavened Bread formally began.

The Biblical account clearly shows that Jesus died mid-afternoon on the Preparation Day. Jesus' body was finally placed in a tomb carved into the rock (the heart of the earth) just as the Great Day began at dusk. The urgency involved was such that His body was interred without being properly embalmed. So it was that the three days and nights in the heart of the earth began at dusk at the end of the day of Preparation. That night and the next day (ie Thursday - the first Great Day of the Week of Unleavened Bread) were the first night and day of Christ's interment.

The next night and day were the second day of the Week of Unleavened Bread. Normal work was permitted on that day. The booklet suggested, quite reasonably, that this was the day on which Christ's followers went out and bought the herbs, spices and linen required to embalm Jesus properly. They then had to prepare and blend the herbs and spices before they could embalm Him. It is likely that by the time they had finished, the day was nearly over, so the actual embalming had to be postponed again. It is also likely that they knew of the guards protecting the tomb who would prevent them from unsealing the tomb and embalming Jesus until they left. As Matthew 27:62 to 66 reveals, the guards were commanded to stay at the tomb until the three days had passed. The second night and second day (Friday) had now passed.

But the new 'day' beginning at dusk was the normal weekly Sabbath. Christ's followers once again had to delay while this Sabbath passed. This was now the third night and the third day (Saturday). Interestingly, the Sabbath is the day of rest, and Jesus rested on this Sabbath in the sleep of death.

This sequence is confirmed by Mark 16:1, which tells us that the women bought their spices after the Sabbath was over, and by Luke 23:56 which tells us that they kept the Sabbath after they had prepared the spices. Obviously two Sabbaths must have passed while Jesus was in the grave.

The three days and three nights were fulfilled at dusk at the end of this Sabbath. Did Jesus rise then, or did He wait and rise at dawn the next morning as is commonly taught? Indeed, John tells us that:

Early on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came, while the tomb was still in darkness, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They took the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they put Him."
John 20:1 and 2


Jesus was already out of the tomb when the women arrived before dawn to embalm Him the next day. They were hoping that with the three days now fulfilled the guards would allow them into the tomb. But Jesus had risen from the dead at dusk on the previous evening and left the tomb, exactly fulfilling the Sign of Jonah. This is confirmed by Matthew 16:21 and Mark 10:34 which say Jesus will rise on the third day and Mark 8:31 which says Jesus will rise after three days. Jesus fulfilled all of these scriptures by rising exactly at the moment of transition between the end of the Sabbath and the start of the first day of the week. He probably spent the night in prayer somewhere like the garden of Gethsemane. The next morning Jesus spoke to Mary and then went to present Himself before God the Father in Heaven in fulfilment of the Feast of the Firstfruit (also known as the Wave Offering). It was only after this had been done that His disciples were allowed to touch Him. (See Lev 23:9-12, John 20:17, Matt 28:9)

However, when we first heard this proposal, we were not sure if the Day of Preparation really did fall on a Wednesday that year, or even if the author was using the right year.

The Biblical calendar system we outlined above was used to determine the date of Passover (also called the Day of Preparation) for a series of years during which the Crucifixion of Christ might have taken place. The dates according to the 'modern' Rabbinical calculation system are also included for comparison.(7) Table 3 contains this summary. Note that the Rabbinical calculation is only correct for the 31 and 32 CE Passovers.


Year

(Common Era)

Biblical Calculation

Rabbinical Calculation

28 Wednesday, 28 April Monday, 26 April
29 Monday, 18 April
(Poss. Sunday)
Sabbath (Sat), 16 April
30 Friday, 7 April
(Poss. Thursday)
Wednesday, 5 April
31 Wednesday, 25 April Wednesday, 25 April
32 Monday, 14 April
(Poss. Sunday)
Monday, 14 April
33 Sabbath (Sat), 1 May Friday, 3 April
34 Thursday, 22 April Wednesday, 21 April

Table 3 Dates of the Passover near the time of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion


Tiberius Caesar's Fifteenth Year


All that remained was to determine the actual year of the Crucifixion. Once again the Bible contains the information required to determine the year. It can be dated by a reference to John the Baptist in Luke 3:1 to 3, which tells us that in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, God called John out of the wilderness and instructed him to 'preach a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins'.

The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar is the key to establishing this date. Tiberius became Emperor on 17 August, 14 CE, on the death of Augustus Caesar. The Jews at that time used a system of counting regnal years that began and ended on Feast of Trumpets. This was their 'civil' calendar; its origins are probably linked to the fact that the Year of Jubilee began during the seventh month (Lev. 25:8-17). However, 1 Abib was still recognised as the beginning of their religious calendar. Using this reckoning, the first "year" of Tiberius' reign ran from 17 August, 14 CE until 13 October, 14 CE, the date of the Feast of Trumpets that year. The second year of his reign ran from 13 October, 14 CE until 3 October, 15 CE, which was the Feast of Trumpets that year.

This series continued until we reach the fifteenth year of his reign which by Jewish reckoning ran from 19 September, 27 CE until 7 October, 28 CE. Note that John began preaching during Tiberius' fifteenth year, not after his fifteenth year.

John probably began preaching on or just after the Feast of Trumpets, an ideal time for his message as the days between the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement are a traditional time of reflection and repentance among the Jews. If Jesus was baptised by John within 52 days after the Feast of Trumpets, Jesus still had enough time to fulfill His three and a half year ministry before He was crucified, as the three and a half years are sometimes represented as 1260 days in prophecy. This time period fulfills the time that Daniel says must pass (the middle of the week) before the Messiah was cut off. (Daniel 9:26 & 27)

This places the time of Christ's anointing in the late autumn of 27 CE and His crucifixion at the Passover of 31 CE. As this Passover occurred on a Wednesday, it confirms that Jesus did keep the Sign of Jonah exactly as He said He would.

Those who have been taught that Jesus was crucified on a Friday should note from the above calculation of the fifteenth year of Tiberius that 31 CE is the earliest possible year for the crucifixion. This means that the information given in the Bible actually denies the possibility of a Friday crucifixion in the year 30 CE. Nor is the 33 CE Friday date given by the Rabbinical calculation a realistic possibility as the Rabbinical calendar system was still being developed six hundred years later. The Friday crucifixion doctrine is a fraud instituted and maintained by a corrupt, paganised church, and actually denies that Jesus fulfilled the Sign of Jonah. As this document demonstrates, Jesus Christ did in fact fulfill this proof of His identity as the Son of God and our Saviour. The key to this knowledge has been the Biblical Calendar.

"Difficult Scriptures"

The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 to 35)

Some people suggest that the disciples' comment on the road to Emmaus that "today is the third day since all these things happened" (Luke 24:21) does not fit with a Wednesday crucifixion as late Sunday afternoon would be the fourth day since the crucifixion. This is true. However, the disciples did not say that "today is the third day since the crucifixion", but rather "since all these things". The last things to happen concerning the crucifixion actually occurred on the following day when the chief priests went to Pilate and asked for the tomb to be sealed and guards to be placed outside the tomb. Pilate complied with their requests. These things occurred on the Thursday: - three days later was Sunday, fitting in nicely with the disciples' statement.

And how does their comment fit with a Friday crucifixion? Sunday is only two days since the crucifixion - there is no fit possible. This 'difficult passage' actually supports a Wednesday crucifixion and denies a Friday crucifixion.

Three Days and Three Nights - can this mean parts of three days?

Again, we have heard people claim that scripture shows that part of a day can be counted as a full day. Thus parts of three days could be counted as if they were three full days. They reason that as Jesus died on Friday afternoon, Friday is the first day, Saturday is the second day and Saturday night is the third day. (Using Biblical days which go from dusk to dusk.)

If Jesus had only said that He would rise the third day and there was clear Bible evidence that such a part-day=full-day counting method was valid then perhaps this scheme might work. However, Jesus also said that He would be "in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights." If we apply the part-day=full-day counting method to this statement and also start counting from the time of death rather than the time of internment to help this system work, we find:

Day1 Night 1 Day 2 Night 2 Day 3 Night 3
Friday afternoon Friday night Saturday daytime Most of Saturday night No third day: Already risen
John 20:1-2
No third night

Table 4: Sign of Jonah versus Friday Crucifixion

As can be seen in Table 4, this system cannot be made to work.

Nonetheless, for completeness we will also look at scriptures which Friday crucifixionists claim prove their part-day/full-day counting method:

Jonah

The claim is made that the account of Jonah does not require three full days and three full nights. Is this so? The scriptures say:

Now Jehovah had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 1:17

This is just what Jesus said. Although the account does not say that Jonah spent precisely 72 hours in the belly of the fish, there is nothing anywhere in the book of Jonah to suggest that the period of time Jonah spent in the belly of the fish was not about 72 hours, just as Jesus was the same time in the heart of the earth. As shown in the table above, even using part-days/part-nights (which is not even suggested by the above quote) would require two full days and two full nights as well a part day and a part night. The Friday crucifixion only has one full day (Saturday) and one full night (Friday night). Saturday night is not complete as Jesus rose before dawn. Jonah does not support a Friday crucifixion.

Esther's Fast (Esther 4:15 to 5:1)

It is claimed that Esther's Fast proves that part days are counted as full days. Indeed, three days of fasting, night and day, were called for. And Esther did go before the king on the third day. But does this prove part days are counted as full days? Let us look closely at the account.

Esther calls the fast and then says that "My maids and I will fast likewise, and so I will go to the king,". She does not say that I will go to the king after the fast, but rather "so I will go to the king". She is saying she will go to the king while she is fasting. Verse 5:1 tells us that she went to the king on the last day of their fast. Though this verse does not specify the exact time she went to the king, I suspect that it would have been just before the fast was to end. In this way she would be approaching the king at the time her people's prayers were reaching a crescendo before God. Certainly if it was me in her place, that is the time I would choose.

This idea is supported by the fact that the fast was specified as lasting for three days, night and day. This suggests that the fast began at dusk that day, allowing time for Mordecai to inform all the Jews in Sushan of the fast and setting definite beginning and end points. The fast then went for the next three nights and their following days. Her approach to the king near the end of the third day would then occur as the fast approached 72 hours.

So we see that the time of Esther's approach to the king does not prove that their fast was not a full three days and three nights long.

Heart of the Earth

Another attempt to justify the Friday crucifixion is to claim that the heart of the earth actually refers to Jesus being under Satan's power. (Luke 4:5 to 6 show that Satan is presently ruler of this earth.) This time period is seen as beginning when Satan has Jesus arrested in Gethsemane. Even if we were to accept that Jesus was still under Satan's power while He was dead (which we do not accept - see Ecclesiastes 9:5 & 12:7) this idea only converts Friday into a full day from a part day and adds Thursday as a new part night. It still only amounts to three nights and two daylight periods. It does not fulfill Jesus' three days and three nights.

Only the Wednesday Crucifixion is consistent with all of these Scriptures.


________________________


Another booklet, 'Christian Holy Days', unlocks the Christian meaning of the Biblical Holy Days, which reveal God's plan of Salvation. Table 5 summarises their meaning.


Table 6 lists the dates of God's Annual Holy Days from 2000 to 2008.


Scripture quotations are taken from the Central Highlands Christian Publications or New King James translations.


Copyright © 1993, 2003

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS
289 Stag Rd, Kingston, Vic. 3364 Australia
Phone (03) 5345 7367 or (03) 5345 3109
Email info@chcpublications.net
Home Page http://www.chcpublications.net


Biblical Holy Day Christian Meaning
Passover Death of Christ for our sins John 1:29
Week of Unleavened Bread New life, free from sin, granted through Christ's sacrifice Romans 6:1 to 23
Wave Offering or First-Fruit (during Week of Unleavened Bread) Christ's resurrection, symbol of our future resurrection to eternal life
1 Corinthians 15:20 to 23
First-Fruits (Pentecost) Christ's followers receive Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1 to 39
Feast of Trumpets Jesus Christ's Return
Revelation 11:15 to 18; 1 Thes 4:15 to 17
Day of Atonement Satan is imprisoned for his part in humanity's sin, living humankind stands before Christ for judgement Revelation 19:1 to 20:3;
Matthew 25:31 to 46
Feast of Tabernacles Jesus establishes His Kingdom on Earth, rebuilds earth with the help of His followers
Revelation 20:4 to 6; Ezekiel 47:1 to 12
Last Great Day Satan released, humanity tempted for last time, unfaithful destroyed, eternal kingdom of peace established and New Jerusalem given to the saints. Revelation 20:5 to 22:20

Table 5: Christian Meaning of the Biblical Holy Days

Endnotes:

1. See Luke 22:1 to 13, which shows Jesus instituting the Last Supper on the evening beginning the Passover. John 18:39 confirms that Jesus was crucified on the Passover. John 19:31 tells us how the legs of the criminals were broken to hasten their death, so they would not be still suffering on their crosses on the Great (Solemn) Sabbath, which was the next day.
RETURN

2. On rare occasions the new moon can be seen just before sunset. As God says that the sun rules over the day, this new moon does not come into force until the sun has set.
RETURN

3. The Islamic calendar is a strictly lunar calendar with each year only 12 lunar months long. As a result, their calendar year moves backwards by about 11 days a year.
RETURN

4. Another interesting point is that keeping records of the number of days between the equinoxes for a few years would give a very accurate idea of the length of the solar year, thus allowing prediction of the next equinox.
RETURN

5. A quite similar calendar is also used by the Colorado Springs Church of God (USA), which we later discovered had independently developed their Bible-based calculated calendar before us.
RETURN

6. Pg 3-4, of the Yale Judaica Series, 1956
RETURN

7. This table shows Julian dates for both calculations. Normally our calculations use the Gregorian calendar for all dates, whereas the Jewish calculation uses Julian dates before 1582 CE, which were 2 days earlier than the Gregorian dates during the first century CE. The Gregorian calendar is used as it matches the solar year more exactly, making our calculations of the equinox simpler. The Gregorian calendar was designed to match the two calendars during the third century CE, which marked the official beginning of the Roman Catholic method of determining Easter.
RETURN


God's Holy Days

The Holy Days begin at dusk on the previous evening and finish at dusk on the given date in the tables below for countries west of Israel and east of the International Date Line. Due to man's incorrect placement of the Date Line, the Holy Days begin at dusk on the given date and finish at dusk on the following day in countries east of Israel and west of the International Date Line. (That is, the Holy Day begins in Israel and spreads throughout the world from there.) Please read The International Date Line and the Mark of the Beast and God's Date Line and Israel for more information on this. The articles are available on our website. The date line problem means that the Annual Holy Days are observed a day later for countries east of Israel and west of the International Date Line when using a conventional calendar.

Table 6: God's Annual Holy Days
Spring Holy Days

Year Abib 1 Passover Unleavened
Bread
Wave
Offering
Pentecost
2003
2004
2005
4 Apr
23 Mar
11 (10) Apr
17 Apr
5 Apr
24 (23) Apr
18 to 24 Apr
6 to 12 Apr
25 Apr to 1 May
(24 to 30 Apr)
20 Apr
11 Apr
1 May
(24 Apr)
8 June
30 May
19 Jun
(12 June)
2006
2007(E)
2007(L)
2008
31 Mar
21 Mar
19 Apr
8 Apr
13 Apr
3 Apr
2 May
21Apr
14 to 20 Apr
4 to 10 Apr
3 to 9 May
22 to 28 Apr
16 Apr
8 Apr
6 May
27 Apr
4 Jun
27 May
24 June
15 Jun
2009
2010(E)
2010(L)
2011
28 Mar
18 Mar
16 Apr
5 Apr
10 Apr
31 Mar
29 Apr
18 Apr
11 to 17 Apr
1 to 7 Apr
30 Apr to 6 May
19 to 25 Apr
12 Apr
4 Apr
2 May
24 Apr
31 May
23 May
20 June
12 June

Abib 1 is not a designated Holy Day, but is included as it is "New Year's Day" in God's Calendar and determines the dates of the Spring Holy Days. Abib 1 should be confirmed by observation of the crescent New Moon and the maturity of the barley the previous evening in Jerusalem. Dates in brackets are alternative dates if the New Moon is not seen on the expected date. Alternative months apply where the barley harvest is early (E) or late (L). The first day and last day of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost are Annual Sabbaths. People living east of Israel and west of the International Date Line should add another day to all of the above dates.

Autumn Holy Days

Year Trumpets
(Ethanim 1)
Atonement Tabernacles Last Great Day
2003
2004

2005
28 Sep
17 (16) Sep

6 Oct
7 Oct
26 (25) Sep

15 Oct
12 to 18 Oct
1 to 7 Oct
(30 Sep to 6 Oct)
20 to 26 Oct
19 Oct
8 (7) Oct

27 Oct
2006
2007(E)
2007(L)
2008
25 Sep
14 Sep
14 Oct
2 Oct
4 Oct
23 Sep
23 Oct
11 Oct
9 to 15 Oct
28 Sep to 4 Oct
28 Oct to 3 Nov
16 to 22 Oct
16 Oct
5 Oct
4 Nov
23 Oct
2009
2010(E)
2010(L)
2011
21 Sep
11 Sep
10 Oct
30 Sep
30 Sep
20 Sep
19 Oct
9 Oct
5 to 11 Oct
25 Sep to 1 Oct
24 to 30 Oct
14 to 20 Oct
12 Oct
2 Oct
31 Oct
21 Oct

Trumpets, Atonement, the first day of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day are all Annual Sabbaths. Dates in brackets are alternative dates if the New Moon is not seen on the expected date.
The dates were calculated using the God's Calendar software (Ver 10.0) developed by CHCP. The software can be downloaded from our Internet WEB page or requested from us directly. It is distributed without cost to you.

Tables prepared 2003 by

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS
289 Stag Rd, Kingston, Vic. 3364 Australia
Phone (03) 5345 7367 or (03) 5345 3109
Email info@chcpublications.net
Home Page http://www.chcpublications.net




Some of our Other Resources Available:

Publications:

Eternal Life is God's Gift
-Does the Bible teach that you have eternal life? How can you
receive God's gift of immortality?

The Beasts of Daniel and Revelation
-Shows links between Bible prophecy and today's events.
Radiocarbon Dating
-Shows how changes in radioactive carbon levels can drastically
alter radioactive dates. Not heavily technical.

Christian Holy Days
-Brings out the Christian significance of God's Annual Holy
Days, which illustrate God's plan of Salvation.

The Sabbath in Scripture
-Has the Seventh-day Sabbath been 'done away with'?
-Does God still want us to keep it?

The Ten Commandments
-Explains how the Ten Commandments lay the basis for our relationship
with God and how obedience would result in true civilization.

Sex, God and Families
-Pamphlet exposing flaws of sexual promiscuity and
outlining benefits of following God's sexual principles.

Eastern Meditation and Jesus Christ
-Recounts experiences of a member of CHCP who became a
Christian while practising Eastern Meditation.


Software:
Calculated Biblical Calendar

-Calculates dates of Annual Holy Days, Crucifixion, Flood,
Creation, etc, and allows you to test the calendar locally.

Radiocarbon Dating
-Shows effects of changes in geomagnetic field and radiocarbon/carbon ratios on radioactive dating.

Online Bible for Windows
-Includes KJV and Darby versions, Strong's numbers and Lexicon.

Free Library:
Large range of Christian and Creationist literature, cassettes and videos are available for borrowing within Australia. Please contact us for our list.