Posts Tagged Pharisees
There is a popular Sacred Name group that offers an article titled “Why Passover is Not a High Day.” Contained within this article is the subtitle “12 Reasons Why the Passover Is Not the First High Day.”
We shall present a few excerpts from the article to illustrate the distortions and reinterpretations of Scriptures utilized by them to justify their predetermined conclusions regarding Passover.
The following are “Reasons” 10 and 11. After each “– STATEMENT –” we will provide a “• RESPONSE •”.
10. Does Passover Memorial Make Eight Days of the Feast?
– STATEMENT –
From the time we take the emblems of unleavened bread and the cup, we are to purge (Strong’s No. 1571 ekkathairo), meaning to cleanse thoroughly, to eliminate, to purify, to get rid of the old leaven. Does this mean that we are now keeping eight days of unleavened bread rather than seven, as some allege?
It is implied that after eating the Passover meal at the beginning of Abib 14, one is to begin to purge or get rid of the old leaven that still remains in the home. Read the rest of this entry »
As found with the celebration of Passover, there existed a great debate among the various Jewish factions, beginning in about the second century B.C.E., with regard to just how and when one was to count to the Khag of Shabuath (Weeks), also called Pentecost.
This debate was sparked by the fact that there is no direct statement found in Scriptures telling us exactly on which date one is to keep the Festival of Weeks.
The Book of Jubilees
The Book of Jubilees, originally composed in Hebrew by the Hasidim in the late second century B.C.E.,1 gives us the earliest representation of the Hasidic argument. To date, the most complete version of this text is found in the Ethiopian edition. It reports:
Since the first century C.E., the most prevalent and popular view for the observance of Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread has been Hasidic System B—an interpretation first expressed by the ancient Hasidim.
This practice has the Passover sacrifice offered during during the afternoon of Abib 14 with the Passover meal eaten at the beginning of Abib 15. All leavening is removed from one’s home by noon on Abib 14. Abib 15 begins the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread and continues through Abib 21. There is a total of 8 days of Unleavened Bread counted from Abib 14-21.
The questions that must be asked are:
• What is the ancient evidence of this interpretation? Also, just how and on what days did they keep the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread?
• When did this Hasidic view of Passover and the seven days of Unleavened Bread first appear?
• What issues created their interpretation and how did they derive their understanding of בערב (be-arab; in the mixing of light and dark [twilight]) and its cognate term בין הערבים (byn ha-arabim; between/among the mixings of light and dark [twilight])?
In our first installment titled 10. Passover – Sadducees & Pharisees I, we discussed the religious philosophy of the Sadducees. With our second installment we will proceed to address the viewpoint of the Pharisees and their power struggle with the Sadducees.
It is within the framework of the evolving political and religious conflict between the Sadducees and Pharisees that we can understand just how and why the Pharisees ultimately became victorious in the officially recognized practice of Passover and Unleavened Bread which we have labeled “Hasidic System B.”
The “Hasidic System B” Passover and Unleavened Bread method originated among the early Hasidim but became dominant as a religious practice because of the political power of their spiritual descendants, the Pharisees.1
From Pharisaism derived what is now called Orthodox Judaism.2 Their conflict with the Sadducees was in force from the time of the Hasmonaean revolt.
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.
One of the most important historical and cultural developments in Judaism during the Hellenic period was the formation of the movement, during the late third century B.C.E., that later became the Hasidim.
From them are derived the Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots, and others, including the later Rabbinists and Talmudists, who are their spiritual descendants.1
The name Hasidim means “pious, devout” ones.2 These early Hasidim must not be confused with the German mystics of the 12th–13th centuries C.E. or with the modern Hasidic movement, founded in 18th century Poland by Israel ben Eliezer.3
To fully understand this dispute we must begin with an examination of the historical and cultural context wherein the division of views took root in Judaism.
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.