Some time ago, a popular Sacred Name group published a list titled “10 Key Passover Facts,” found in their Jan-Feb 2018 magazine.
We will address Fact #5, which reads:
While leavening is not prohibited on Passover day, Abib 14, it is disallowed with the Passover memorial, Exodus 12:8. The Passover is a time of removing leavening in preparation for the Feast of Unleavened Bread that follows.
Modified Version For many, this would seem to be a reasonable statement because this reflects the present-day acceptance, by most, of a modified version of the Hasidic/Pharisaic practice of Passover and Unleavened Bread which encompasses the dates of Abib 14-21 with the result of an observance consisting of 8 days.Continue reading “The Math of Passover & Unleavened Bread”→
It is abundantly clear that an overwhelming amount of evidence supports the 7-day observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread being Abib 14-20. Also, it can be demonstrated that this was the practice of Yahushua the messiah, and the early assemblies who later were referred to as Quartodecimans. (System A)
Nevertheless, many would stubbornly disagree with this conclusion in the face of the facts and continue with a modified form of the Pharisaic/Hasidic practice (System B). This newer modified form would have an 8-day observance of eating unleavened bread from Abib 14-21 (System G).
Unknown to most followers of Yahweh, there is a remarkable witness that provides evidence for the practice of the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread occurring on Abib 14-20.
This witness comes from an extra-biblical work, the Book of Yashar, also known as Sefer Ha-Yashar.
The present copy of the Book of Yashar is by no means to be assigned the authority of Scriptures. However, what the text says regarding the Passover of the Exodus nevertheless proves quite informative and interesting.
Book of Yashar 81:5 And the children of IsraelTRAVELED FROM EGYPT AND FROM GOSHEN AND FROM RAMESES, AND ENCAMPED IN SUCCOTH ON THE FIFTEENTH DAYof the first month.
So far, this Passover Series has endeavored to lay the groundwork for a much-needed and long-overdue discussion regarding the correct method for observing the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
What has been lacking from any previous discussions, especially among the various Sacred Name groups of today, is the history of the earliest Christians and their Passover practice during the first few centuries C.E.
One of the reasons for this oversight is the fact that many are not even aware that such a history exists!
To counter the ignorance of historical evidence, this Series has brought the true Passover practice of the Quartodecimans to light, along with the importance of being included as a consideration in the ongoing quest for Yahweh’s truth of the matter.
What had begun in c.196 C.E. as a challenge to the Quartodeciman practice of Passover/Unleavened Bread (System A) by Victor, bishop of Rome, was finally granted full authority throughout the Roman empire at the behest of Emperor Constantine.
Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E.
Authority from Constantine One of the results of this conference was the declaration by Constantine that the Hasidic view for the seven days of Unleavened Bread, as instituted by Pope Victor, was the correct system under the Torah.
We will now focus on the evidence demonstrating the mechanics of the Christian Hasidic construct as represented by Roman assemblySystem Eand its evolution resulting in the present-day Modern HybridSystem Gas practiced by the many Sacred Name groups of today.
Just after the establishment of theSystem Econstruct, the Syrian hybridSystem Fwas developed which was an attempt to merge the QuartodecimanSystem Awith the RomanSystem E.
Eventually a more recent innovation of Passover and Unleavened Bread was created which is being followed by many present-day followers of Yahweh, the Modern HybridSystem G.
We shall begin our discussion by examining the evidence for the Roman assemblySystem Econstruct. The evidence will demonstrate the change by the western assemblies to the Hasidic method for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
Regarding the Roman construct (System E) of the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread, we will now address the protagonists of this Christian Hasidic practice who opposed the Quartodecimans (System A) and the Quasi-Quartodecimans (System D).
Irenaeus Irenaeus (c.140-202 C.E.), presbyter and bishop of the diocese of Lyons, Gaul (France),1 was a vital player in the formulation of this new Roman assembly view.
Though early in his life he lived in Asia among the Quartodecimans and personally knew Polycarp, in his adult life he helped direct the western assemblies toward their new path.2
The Quartodecimans argued that Christians should observe only the 14th as the Passover supper and Eucharist mystery (cup and bread) because the messiah and his disciples kept that same day.
Nevertheless, there was strong resistance by the Roman assembly.
The Quartodeciman (System A) and Quasi-Quartodeciman (System D) practice was made more difficult to overcome by the fact that they were both based upon the same apostolic authority (the apostle John).1
It soon became obvious that if the Roman assembly was to gain political dominance in the West, as well as over many of the eastern assemblies, a new strategy was required.
In response, during the last decade of the second century C.E., the western leaders and theologians developed a new approach: the Roman assembly Passover and, after the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E., canonized as the Roman Catholic Passover (System E).
Proof that the seven days of Unleavened Bread for the Quartodecimans extended from the 14th until the end of the 20th day of the first lunar month is established from records provided by their offshoots, the quasi-Quartodecimans ofSystem D.
The most important source for their view is found in the records of Anatolius of Alexandria.
To his words we can add the statements provided by the Audians and several bishops representing assemblies located in different parts of Europe.
Anatolius of Alexandria Like the Quartodecimans, those who keptSystem Dobserved the 14th until the end of the 20th for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
The most famous advocate of this system was Anatolius of Alexandria (c.230-283 C.E.).1
The seven days of Unleavened Bread remained an important period for all the early Christian assemblies. It was by means of these seven days that they determined when to observe Passover.
For the Quartodeciman practice (System A),being the original view of the early Christian assemblies, and its quasi-Quartodeciman offshoot System D (the early western view), these seven days began with the 14th and extended until the end of the 20th day of the first lunar month.
We begin to uncover this important detail by demonstrating three facts:
• The Quartodecimans observed the 14th of Abib as a high Sabbath (great festival day) and as the first of the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
• The quasi-Quartodecimans kept the same seven days of Unleavened Bread as observed by the early Quartodecimans.
• Both the early Quartodecimans ofSystem Aand the quasi-Quartodecimans ofSystem Ddeferred to the apostle John as their ultimate authority for establishing which days were to be observed for the seven days of Unleavened Bread.
An important fact regarding the Quartodecimans that has been missed by most followers of Yahweh is that the Quartodecimans claimed and demonstrated authority from Yahushua the messiah and Scriptures for their practice of Passover.
Though they considered themselves not to be under the written Torah of Moses, they followed the guides of the Torah of Moses with regard to “all the festivals.”
Chrysostom (347-407 C.E.) Chrysostom, a strong advocate of the Roman CatholicSystem E,for example, demonstrates this point in his work titled Adversus Judaeos, where he condemns the Quartodeciman Christians because of their practice of celebrating such scriptural High Sabbath days as the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Festival of Tabernacles.1
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.
In later centuries, its advocates and supporters were 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 kept 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
The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread along with the Festival of Shabuath (Pentecost) were not just Jewish concerns.
Today, few English-speaking Christians, largely due to their long practiceof 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.