Archive for category Easter
Of all the professed followers of Yahweh, few are aware that during the first four centuries C.E. support was very strong among the early disciples and assemblies following Yahushua the messiah for the Aristocratic system of keeping Passover and Unleavened Bread which was a 7-day Festival observed during Abib 14-20 (System A).
It may also come as a surprise to learn that this view was in fact the original practice of all the earliest orthodox Christians.
Its advocates and supporters were in later centuries referred to as the Quartodecimans (14th keepers).
In our posts dealing with the Quartodecimans we shall investigate the antiquity of the Quartodeciman practice, demonstrate that they observed the 14th day of the first moon for the Passover supper, and present their claim that they observed Passover according to both Scriptures and the examples set forth by the messiah and his apostles.
An important fact to realize is that there were eight basic premises concerning Passover, the seven days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost which were almost universal and formed the foundation upon which the overwhelming majority of the early Christian assemblies, whatever system they followed, stood:
1. The Passover celebration was required for all Christians.1
2. The Christian Passover was an innovation in that it did not require any ritualistic animal sacrifice.2
3. The Passover lamb of the Torah and its sacrifice was a typology of the death of the messiah, the true Passover lamb of Yahweh.3
Today, few English-speaking Christians, largely due to their long practice of glossing the Hebrew word Phasekh (Passover) with the name Easter and their abandonment of the Festival of Pentecost, realize that Passover and Pentecost were the chief religious observances of the early Christian assemblies.
In one form or another, all early Christian groups not only observed the Passover and Pentecost but calculated the Passover observance in connection with the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
With the proper historical and cultural context in hand per our previous posts dealing with “The Dark Period,” we shall now turn our attention toward the two leading Jewish religious parties: the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
These two religious groups held opposing interpretations for בין הערבים (byn ha-arabim; between the evenings), for the day on which the Passover was eaten, and for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
During this period a great dispute was already under way among the Jews, not just over exactly how the nation of Judaea should observe these festivals but over the approach to religion itself.
This debate was fought between the two leading factions of Judaism: the Hasidic and the Aristocratic schools.
An important part of the celebration of Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread was the day on which the high priest waved the עמר (omer) of freshly cut grain in front of the altar of Yahweh as an offering.
This event occurred on the first day of the 50-day count to the חג שבעות (Khag Shabuath; Festival of Weeks).
As a result, for the Jews and later the Christians, the events associated with the 50 days of the Festival of Weeks (also called Pentecost) were regarded as an important facet of the Passover celebration.
Our next effort in defining the Passover supper and the seven days of eating unleavened bread is to give an overall summary of the Exodus experience. This event was the first time in which a Passover animal was commanded to be sacrificed and eaten by the Israelites.
On its primary level, the yearly observance of the Passover and seven days of eating unleavened bread is meant to recall the Israelite Exodus out of Egypt.1
The history is as follows:
The term חג (khag) is also used when the entire seven days of eating unleavened bread is called the Passover.2
The first and seventh day of this khag are described as sacred מקראי (miqrai; gatherings for reading),3 i.e., a sacred convocation on a Sabbath or high Sabbath day during which Scriptures are to be studied.4
To understand the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread, we must first define the meanings of these two terms and explain what prompts them to be festival observances.
The first two tasks that shall be employed toward solving the Passover controversy will be to examine and define the different Jewish and Christian schools with regard to their observance of Passover, its seven days of Unleavened Bread, and Shabuath (Pentecost).
Different Jewish Schools
Our initial inquiry shall delve into the practices of the Jewish schools. In this effort, we will explore the history, culture, and origin of three major Jewish schools of thought regarding the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread and the Festival of Pentecost.
The three basic Jewish systems for observing the Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread were as follows:
At first thought, it would seem that the dates for the Passover supper, the seven days of eating unleavened bread, and the Khag of Shabuath (Pentecost) should hardly be controversial issues. Following are the instructions:
After giving the account of the women coming to the tomb of Yahushua on the first day of the week, just before daybreak, and finding the tomb empty (vs. 1-8), it continues by saying that the women immediately went to the apostles and other disciples to report their findings (vs. 9-10).
These people disbelieved the women, but Keph (Peter) rose up and went to the tomb to see for himself. Finding their testimony true, he returned home wondering about what had happened (vs. 11-12).
Road to Emmanus
We next read:
The general position of the many present-day followers of Yahweh is that Yahushua the messiah was resurrected on the seventh-day Sabbath.
For them, it seems that the idea of the messiah being resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday), which would also coincide with the Christian holiday of Easter, is just too repugnant to consider.
Besides, even the term Christian is offensive to many of these individuals. Throw in the Roman Catholic Church for most of the blame and, now you’re really working up a nasty brew!
Is there any way to actually determine the exact day of the week on which Yahushua the messiah was resurrected?
When the evidence is properly evaluated, this study will provide proof which will demonstrate that the actual day of Yahushua’s resurrection is fully attainable.
First, Yahushua tells the scribes and Pharisees that the only sign of his messiahship that would be given to an evil and adulterous generation is “the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
For even as the prophet Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so will the son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:38-40; see Luke 11:29-30)
If your answer is the Festival of Passover it is obvious that you are quite astute.
It seems that almost everyone who attempts to correctly observe the Festival of Passover is at variance with some other person or group. Logic dictates that not everyone is right and at the same time there is the possibility that everyone is wrong.
What’s the problem and how does it get fixed?