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
In our last post titled17. Passover – Pentecost Clarity Iwe addressed the four approaches for keeping Pentecost. Of these four systems the oldest is the Aristocratic, which counted the 50 days from the day after the weekly Sabbath following Passover, Sunday to Sunday.
Its antiquity is demonstrated by the fact that both the ancient conservative Samaritan and Sadducean (Boethusian) priesthoods practiced the identical Pentecost system—this despite their loathing for each other.
This common approach among competing branches of the Zadokite priests reflects a common history, indicating that this system was used by the Zadokite priests prior to the fourth century B.C.E. (the time when the Samaritan schism took place).1
Aristocratic System These Aristocratic priests were “heirs to the old Zadokite tradition in Jerusalem.”2This Aristocratic system was later followed by the early Christian assemblies,3demonstrating their belief in its antiquity as well.
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.