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Switch to Forum Live View The date of Easter this year
3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 9:41PM #31
Ed.W
Posts: 9,426

This calendar (click submit request) says the 14 of Nisan coincides with the 18 of April.


What I don't know is, at midnight when 18 April begins, has it already been 14 Nisan for 6 hours, or will 14 nisan start at 6 pm Monday?


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:05PM #32
Brainscramble
Posts: 8,982

Apr 3, 2011 -- 5:49PM, howiedds wrote:


Brain:


The date of "Easter" was not important to the early Christians.  That would be the date of Jesus' resurrection.  What Jesus told them to celebrate was his DEATH. (Luke 22:19)  This would coincide with PASSOVER.


There was a dispute among the myriad Christian groups in East and West over whether or not the "pascha" was to be celebrated on the day he died or the day he rose. Some thought that the day he rose was already celebrated every Sunday by calling it the Lord's Day, and that the day of his death should be Easter. By 325 at the Council of Nicaea Easter was set to be the day of the resurrection not the crucifixion. Even then, a dispute continued as to which day he was killed with some taking the synoptic view of the 15th and other taking the johanine view of the 14th. 


*****Interesting.


 


 


The Jews reckoned the day as starting after sundown on Nisan 14 and ending the next day at sundown. (It would be in the evening after Nisan 13 concluded that the Passover would be observed.)


Two halves that you put together incorrectly. Jews reckoned the Passover as starting after sundown on Nisan 14 and ending the next day at sundown.(That is correct except we combined the Passover with the holiday of unleavened bread so that it is now 7 days long, but that was not your mistake.)


*****Yes, I thought the Festival of Unfermented Cakes started after Passover and not in cohesion with Passover.


 


(It would be in the evening after Nisan 13 concluded that the Passover would be observed.)


That is the part that you have confused or I have misunderstood.


*****I might very well be confused.  I really don't pretend to be able to follow all the rules about where a day ends and where another begins. 


 


 The day of Nissan the 13th nothing happened and was not the holiday. Sundown the 13th was the beginning of the 14th of Nisan and still nothing happened. In the afternoon of the 14th, the lamb was slaughtered (John has Jesus dying then). Then that night, after sundown, which is the beginning of the 15th of Nisan, there is the Passover meal/seder, which the synoptics call the Last Supper, and that is the beginning of the holiday. (The synoptics have Jesus killed on the 1st full day of Passover, the 15th,  after he ate the Last Supper, which they say coincides with the Passover meal.


*****So, once again, in very simple terms....why go with the Synoptics and not John?


 

This year the "Lord's Supper" is to celebrated on April 17th, which harmonizes with Nisan 14.


Just to be clear, the daytime of April 17th is the day Nisan 13. That night at sundown, sundown of April 17, when you have your meal, the "Lord's Supper,"   begins the !4th of Nisan. According to John, Jesus was killed on the 14th of Nisan in the afternoon, (the passover lamb was killed by the Jews in that afternoon of the 14th) after eating the meal, the Lord's Supper/Last Supper the night before that you would call the night of the 13th of Nisan but we would call the beginning of 14 Nisan.


You are presenting in the above the johanine version of the Last Supper which would have been the night before the Passover Seder. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, describe the Last Supper as taking place the night of the 14th, after the Lamb was killed in the afternoon, that night that we call the beginning of the 15th of Nisan.


*****So why was John off by one day?


 


To be factual, the world's "Easter" celebration would fall on Nisan 17th, or, April 20th.


"Factual" is interesting. If Jesus was killed during the day of the 14 Nisan, this year's April 18 as John says, then his resurrection/Easter would be 3 days later on Nisan 17 Nisan/April 21.


*****OK, but wouldn't Jesus' being killed during Nisan 14 constitute Passover as being Nisan 14?  He is considered the Passover lamb.


 


There are a couple of "facts" that are being overlooked. First, the Church has been practicing a Sunday Easter since ca 325. There were groups before 325 that counted 3 days from Passover to celebrate Easter even if they fell during the week, as you are doing. Even they, however, might dispute your 14 Nisan to 17 Nisan if they followed the synoptics. Then those midweek Easter celebrants would have counted 15 Nisan to 18 Nisan.


Your church obviously disagrees with most who celebrate Holy Thursday as the Last Supper, Good Friday as the crucifixion, and Sunday as the resurrection. Your church does have support from groups before 325 but are obviously going against the grain of most other churches.


*****I am indeed most interested in what the earliest Christian Church was doing, long BEFORE 325 A.D.  After 325 everything was screwed up.  Constantine sure wasn't interested in spiritual things.  He was a polititian, and it's unfortunate the the Church cared more about schmoozing with the political authorities than what was actually a spiritual truth.


I am happy to know that JWs do "have support from groups before 325."


 


 


It looks like both the Jews and Christendom have got the dates wrong this year. 


Other churches are only "wrong" in the sense that they chose not to follow the Jewish calendar in setting Easter since 325.


*****That makes them "wrong," period.





 


The Council decided to set it according to the formula I described earlier because it was unseemly, they thought, to be asking Jews when their passover was in order to celebrate the resurrection.


*****Unseemly.  How crass.  Just like the Church calling Jews dogs and murderers and persecuting them mercilessly for centuries.





As for why you think Jews got the date wrong is puzzling. Our calendar is Lunar, and we count the fourteen days from the New Moon of the first spring month and have our Passover begin sundown that night. The astronomical New Moon, the scientifically correct New Moon,  cannot be seen. So in ancient times it could hardly be used to begin the month. Folks would look up and see nothing; that is the astronomical New Moon. The Moon used for our calendar is actually a day or two later when the earliest, smallest crescent sliver of the New Moon can be seen a day or two after the astronomical, scientific New Moon.


*****As I said, I can't compute all the rules for computing the dates.  I'm trying to understand, though.  One thing I'm sure of.....most of Christendom has it screwed up.





 


April 3 at 2:32 pm  is the astronomical New Moon. Add a day or so for the crescent to appear and you have April 4. Add 14 days for the full moon and you have April 18. The night of April 18, is the beginning of 15 Nisan (the night that ends the day of the 14 of Nisan); we will have our Seder as Jesus had his Last Supper according to Matt., Mk., and Luke. Now if we have made


*****You know more about that than I do! :)  Well, OK.  Can we agree that Jehovah's Witnesses are celebrating Jesus' Passover on a more correct date---closer to the correct date---than the churches of Christendom, three days later (?), are celebrating their pagan Easter?  That seems to be the case.





 








I am interested in your thoughts.


Pam

Christian Witness of Jehovah, the God and Father of Christ and of us all.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:08PM #33
Brainscramble
Posts: 8,982

Apr 3, 2011 -- 7:41PM, writingal1 wrote:


It's always interesting to think about how many organized religions base their holidays/holydays on pre-existibg so-called "pagan" celebrations....


Like Xmas for example.


And Easter.


And Pesach and Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur...


Etc etc etc.




I wouldn't say that Passover, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur are pagan in origin, would you, Howiedds?


Xmas and Easter and Halloween are definitely so.

I am interested in your thoughts.


Pam

Christian Witness of Jehovah, the God and Father of Christ and of us all.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:17PM #34
Ed.W
Posts: 9,426

Apr 3, 2011 -- 10:08PM, Brainscramble wrote:


Apr 3, 2011 -- 7:41PM, writingal1 wrote:


It's always interesting to think about how many organized religions base their holidays/holydays on pre-existibg so-called "pagan" celebrations....


Like Xmas for example.


And Easter.


And Pesach and Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur...


Etc etc etc.




I wouldn't say that Passover, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur are pagan in origin, would you, Howiedds?


Xmas and Easter and Halloween are definitely so.




Pagan origin??  Christmas and Easter may or may not align with Pagan holidays, but they are of Christian origin.  Without the birth and death of Christ neither holiday would exist.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:36PM #35
Brainscramble
Posts: 8,982

They are NOT of Christian origin.  Church authorities melded together Christian names with pagan names and dates of already existing pagan holidays.


The celebration of Saturnalia was already celebrated on Dec. 25th, or, the worship of the "Invincible Sun."  They just attached the name of Jesus Christ to it and voila! an already existing holiday that the pagan Romans could now adopt, and they could call it Christian!


And Easter has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity!  It wasn't celebrated by the early Church in the first century, and was drummed up by Church authorities in the waning days of the late first century to, obviously, appeal to pagans, naming the holiday after a pagan goddess (of all things!!) and incorporating pagan symbols and traditions.  What on earth do bunnies and chickies and eggs have to do with Jesus' resurrection?  LOL!  They are overtly pagan symbols of reproduction, reflecting the  focus on things sexual and carnal rather than things spiritual.  Such melding of pagan celebrations with Christian names would certainly have appealed to the pagans, and political stability was what Constantine and the Church Fathers of his day were interested in.


 


Do your homework.  Any encyclopedia will explain what origins these holidays have.

I am interested in your thoughts.


Pam

Christian Witness of Jehovah, the God and Father of Christ and of us all.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:37PM #36
howiedds
Posts: 2,687

Brain:


*****I understand  that Passover was always followed by 7 days of the Festival of  Unfermented Cakes---Nisan 15-21.  This Festival followed Passover.  So wouldn't Passover be on Nisan 14?


Unfermented Cakes? That's the first time I heard it that way.


Passover is a 7 day holiday. It begins with a festival meal (in ancient times it was the lamb), and it continues for 7 days of eating unleavened bread in commemoration of the haste with which we left Egypt. There may have been two aspects of the holiday, the lamb and the unleavened bread, but it is one holiday. They are not distinct. The lamb was slaughtered the day before the holiday began the afternoon of 14 Nisan. When that day ended at sundown, the lamb and other ceremonial foods were eaten including unleavened bread. That night, after the day of 14 Nisan, was the 15 Nisan. 15 Nisan is the first full day of Passover.


The confusion arises from our way of designating when the day ends and the next day begins. 15 Nisan is the first day of the holiday, but 15 Nisan begins the night before at sundown. The Seder is after sundown so technically it is on the 15 Nisan which is when the holiday begins.


Maybe it will help to use the secular calendar for this Passover. Passover will begin on Monday night after sundown, 17 April. On our calendar after sundown is already the next day.  The first full day of the holiday is Tues., 18 April. It might look to you as if we began on 17 April at dinner time, 14 Nisan, but that's because your 18th doesn't begin till midnight and our 18 April, 15 Nisan, began before we sat down to dinner after sunset.


*****So the variances  are due to the SECULAR calendar.  If we are to be accurate, we would go  with the Jewish calendar, am I right?


Ahh, if life was always that simple. The reason the 15 Nisan varies on the secular calendar between March and April is because we use a Lunar calendar which does not match the number of days in a solar/secular calendar. You know that our solar months are 30 or 31 days times 12 that add up to a 365 day year. The actual time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun, however, is 365.25 days, so we make up the .25 every four years with a leap year.


The Lunar month is 29.5 days. The calendar is made of of 12 such months, but you can see the problem right off. The actual year it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun is 365.25 days which I have accounted for. The Lunar year of 29.5 day months is 254 days. The Jewish lunar calendar is off by 11 days a year. That means each year our spring month of Nisan would fall further and further behind. After 5 years or so, we would have our "spring" month in November. Since the Bible says we must have passover in the first spring month of the year and not November, we have to add an extra month from time to time (actually 7 times in 19 years) to catch up with the true year, the actual 365.25 day journey our Earth moves around the Sun. The reason our Passover doesn't fall on let's say April 1st every year is because of that discrepancy between the solar and lunar years.


Since your Easter is also a lunar holiday, it too does not fall on the same day of the month each year the way Christmas does, which is a solar holiday.


The Muslims also have a Lunar calendar and 354 day year as the Jews do. They don't have a leap month so their holidays move through the entire year. Ramadan is 11 days earlier every year. That's why you hear that they are fasting in the spring or summer or winter or fall depending on the year. Jews would be in the same bind if not for the commandment that Passover must be in the spring. Because of that commandment, we had devise a catch up leap month to keep it in the spring.


If we are to be accurate, we would go with the Jewish calendar, am I right?


And why not be accurate?  Why should we go with the unprecise calculations of some monk from the 4th century?


What would be accurate if you were a traditionalist would be to base Easter on the Jewish Passover as your church seems to do by not celebrating Easter but the Lord's Supper and tying it to Passover or the 14/15 Nisan. As I said earlier, that was somewhat galling to the Church by  325, i.e. asking the Jews when you should have Easter, so they came up with their own formula.


Howie:


Since Passover varies, Easter also varied. There were groups in the  first 400 years of the Church who celebrated Easter on Tues. or Thurs.  or whenever it was 3 days after Passover and Passover varied on the  Roman calendar from year to year. 


 


*****That makes more sense than what the churches do today.


It sounds like what you do with the Lord's Supper, having it fall on whatever day is 3 days after Passover regardless of which day of the week it is. Many Christians, especially in the East, did that for hundreds of years, but, again, they were uncomfortable with associating their Easter with the Jews and their holiday.


*****There you have  the problem.  Why is it OK to accept the loathing of the Council of  Nicaea of being associated with Judaism and thus shun the date of  Passover and the resulting date for their "Easter"?  Easter is named  after a pagan goddess AND, to boot, it is not even associated with the  actual date of the death of Christ!


As someone else mentioned, both our faiths have co-opted pagan holidays that were already in existence and gave them a religious-national meaning. For example. we say that the slaughtering of the lamb was to commemorate that first lamb slaughtering at the first Passover when we left Egypt. Perhaps it was a pagan sacrifice of the first lambs born in the spring to insure a good yield for the herd. We say that our unleavened bread is the bread of haste. We had to leave Egypt quickly before Pharaoh changed his mind and couldn't wait for the bread to rise. Maybe it was a pagan burning of the first wheat harvested as an offering to their gods in the spring to insure a good crop.


For the  record....Jehovah's Witnesses do ask the Jews when Passover is to  occur.  I just personally wonder why they, the Jews, don't stick with  Nisan 14, which is the original Passover date.


Now you don't even have to ask us in person. You can google "passover" and the year to get the date. If I had your address, I could send you a Jewish calendar. Or, email me each year, and I'll let you know (after I google it). :-)





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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:49PM #37
Ed.W
Posts: 9,426

Howie, you are no help, since you don't even know what day of the week coincides with April 17, please fix your post.


 


"Maybe it will help to use the secular calendar for this Passover. Passover will begin on Monday night after sundown, 17 April."


April 17 is Sunday.


 


So 15 Nisan begins at 6pm on Monday the 18th, and that equates to the sealing of the tomb, and that is the time to eat the Passover.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:54PM #38
Pam34
Posts: 2,650

Howie - MONDAY is APRIL 18 (not the 17th).


Passover begins on Nisan 15, and Nisan 15 begins at sundown on April 18th (Monday) this year. The first seder of Passover is Monday night, April 18th - this year.


 


Our 'day' begins at sundown and ends the following sundown ('It was evening and it was morning, a first (second, third, etc) day')


 


The lamb was, of course, slaughtered on the afternoon of Nisan 14th (near the end of the 'day') and roasted and eaten after sundown, when Nisan 15th began. The feast of unleavened bread commences - essentially - simultaneously, and lasts seven days (in Israel - in the Diaspora, the holiday is sometimes observed for 8 days). The Counting of the Omer period begins on the second day of Passover and lasts 7 weeks (49 days) with the next day (the 50th day) being observed as Shavuot- the Feast of Weeks: anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Sinai.


 


The 15th of every month is the full moon, since every month begins on the crescent new moon. Most of our holidays fall on either a new moon (Rosh Hashana) or full moon (Passover, Sukkot, Purim).


 


I have the joy of explaining this annually, it seems. Lunar years are 11 days shorter than the solar year and the solar year determines the SEASONS - since our holidays mostly have a strong SEASONAL component, it is important to make calendrical adjustments to keep them in their proper season - otherwise they'd all be like Ramadan, and cycle back 11 days per year through the seasons - winter to fall to summer to spring and back again. So we have leap years. Instead of adding one day every four years, we add one month seven times in each 19 year cycle. This year (5771) is a leap year, so we just added the month (second Adar) immediately prior to Passover. So THIS year we will all be saying 'the holidays are late', when actually they are all occuring on their correct dates on the Jewish calendar - they are only 'late' compared to the general solar calendar in common use.


et voila.

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 10:57PM #39
howiedds
Posts: 2,687

Ed:


This calendar (click submit request) says the 14 of Nisan coincides with the 18 of April.


I can sympathize; it's confusing. 14 Nisan begins after sundown on Sunday night, 17 April, it is still 17 April for you and me until 12 midnight. The next day, Monday, smack dab in the middle of the day it is Monday, April 18, and still 14 Nisan. Then around 7:30 on Monday night, while it remains April 18 for most of you till midnight, it becomes 15 Nisan and in a sense, Tues for Jews.


So when we say our Passover begins on 15 Nisan, we really mean sundown the night before is when we begin because that is the beginning of the next day. You look at us celebrating and say, "Oh, they began on 14 Nisan." You didn't realize we were saying it was already the next day because it was sundown.


What  I don't know is, at midnight when 18 April begins, has it already been  14 Nisan for 6 hours, or will 14 nisan start at 6 pm Monday?


At midnight on Sunday, when Monday, 18 April begins for you, it has already been 14 Nisan for us for 6 hours or, in a sense, it has been Monday 18 April for us for 6 hours.


I say in a sense because we still call it Sunday until midnight as you do. When my kids ask, "When are we coming over for the Seder, Dad?" I say, "Monday night, April 18." But for the purpose of the holiday, it is already Tues, 19 April, 15 Nisan.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 11:01PM #40
Ed.W
Posts: 9,426

And because months do not have 30 days every month, the Jewish calendar has the regular special months inserted to get it back on track,


which is why, if you saw it, I said "on any given day the Jewish calendar is wrong".


 


Meaning that reckoning by the moon/equinox assures that it is occuring about the same time each year.  With the caveat that Easter must be on a Sunday.

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