Sunday, October 27, 2013

Date of the Crucifixion

To determine the date of Christ's crucifixion, we need to find a Passover Day that fell on a Friday, and we'd like it to be in the year AD 31 because that is the year indicated by the seventy-week prophecy of Daniel 9. (For information on the seventy-week prophecy, see on the 2300 days.)

Passover was always on the 14th day of Nisan, also known as Abib, the first month of the Jewish religious calendar. The months always began with the first sighting of a crescent moon following the new moon. (I'm using the term "new moon" to refer to when the moon was first unable to be seen.) According to astronomical records, there was a new moon on March 12 (our calendar) in the year AD 31, and the full moon came on March 27. Depending on when the crescent was first observed, the 14th day of the Jewish month would have landed sometime around March 28. I don't think we could stretch it to Friday the 30th. So this month doesn't seem to fit what we're looking for. Furthermore, it is doubtful that Passover in those days was ever observed that early in the year. They needed ripe barley for the wave sheaf offering, and according to the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, barley is not usually ripe in Israel until later in April. So it looks like this month wouldn't qualify as the first month of the year anyway. They often had to add a thirteenth month to keep the calendar lined up correctly with the seasons.

The next new moon fell on April 10 of that year. If the new crescent was first observed in the evening of what we call April 13, the first day of Nisan would have been counted from sunset on April 13 until sunset on April 14 of our Gregorian calendar. The fourteenth day of that first month, Passover Day, would have been celebrated from sundown on Thursday, April 26, until sundown on Friday, April 27. That makes Friday, April 27, AD 31, the most likely date for Jesus' crucifixion. And Sunday, April 29, would have been the day of His resurrection.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tests of Fellowship

"The Lord does not require that any tests of human inventions shall be brought in to divert the minds of the people or create controversy in any line." GCB January 1, 1900 par. 11

"Very many will get up some test that is not given in the word of God. We have our test in the Bible, – the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 'Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.' This is the true test." GCB April 16, 1901 par. 8

"Do not present theories or tests that Christ has never mentioned and that have no foundation in the Bible. We have grand, solemn truths to present. 'It is written' is the test that must be brought home to every soul." CCh 327

"Satan will lead men to manufacture false tests, and thus seek to obscure the value of, and make of none effect, the message of truth. The commandment of God that has been almost universally made void, is the testing truth for this time.... But all man-made tests will divert the mind from the great and important doctrines that constitute present truth." Ev 212

"Some had been bringing in false tests, and had made their own ideas and notions a criterion, magnifying matters of little importance into tests of Christian fellowship, and binding heavy burdens upon others." Ev 215

"They quibbled about matters of no special importance, not given by the Lord as tests, till these matters became as mountains, separating them from Christ and from one another." 7BC 958

"In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach.” DA 826