The calendric system utilized by the Hillelic Pharisees between 41 and 365 C.E. becomes an essential issue for our study. Various present-day researchers, both from rabbinic Judaism and neo-Christianity, have, without adequate foundation, concluded that the Hillelic system was the original method required by Scriptures.
Both rabbinic Judaism and neo-Christian groups, as a result, have assumed that the Israelites always had waited to declare a New Moon Day until the night that its first crescent was witnessed. For some Christian messianic groups, it is presumed that authority to continue this practice in Christianity is brought forth from Romans 3:1-2 and Matthew 23:3. The question is, Do these passages actually support such a conclusion?
The willingness to accept the pro-Pharisaic interpretation of the two above passages comes as the result of two circumstances:
• The assumption that the Jews from this period must have known and practiced the true system.
• The victory of the Hillelic Pharisees in their political struggle against their religious rivals, leaving predominantly Pharisaic records as our primary source for Jewish practices of the first and subsequent centuries C.E., somehow proves their authority. Continue reading “Pharisee Influence”
There is yet another important question that must be addressed pertaining to Yahweh’s instructions from Scriptures regarding when to begin the sacred months and years. How much authority do we allow the Sadducees, Pharisees, or any of the other ancient Jewish groups regarding the sacred calendar?
In reality, there is no justification at all for accepting as authoritative the teachings of any of the Hasidic groups, especially the Pharisees, or even that of the Aristocratic sects of the Sadducees, Boethusian Sadducees, or Samaritans. All systems must be weighed against what Scriptures actually state, not vice versa.
If after examining Scriptures we find that one or another of these groups held true to some of the practices and doctrines that were originally commanded, the most we can say is that they were observing that point correctly. Yet any conclusion must be tempered by the scriptural warnings about the various teachings of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and scribes (lawyers). Continue reading “Jewish Authority”
As early as about 600 B.C.E., the prophet Jeremiah wrote concerning scribal tampering of Scriptures:
How do you (scribes) say, We are wise, and the laws of Yahweh are with us? Certainly, behold, the pen has practiced deceit, a lie of the scribes. The wise are put to shame; they are terrified and are captured. Behold, the word of Yahweh they have rejected and their wisdom is their own. (Jer. 8:8-9)
There are 134 times when Jewish copyists (Sopherim) of the Masoretic text, believing that certain passages were too often quoted that used the sacred name Yahweh, changed the primitive Hebrew text to read adonai or eloahim instead of Yahweh. Continue reading “The Lying Pen of the Scribes”
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.
Continue reading “11. Passover – Sadducees & Pharisees Part 2”