Bible and calendars
Bible and calendars
PREFACE BIBLE AND CALENDAR
I. PRELIMINARY NOTIONS
1. METHODOLOGY BIBLE AND CALENDAR
2. A QUITE ANCIENT NEW CALENDAR
3. ABOUT CALENDARS
4. A LUSTRUM
5. SWIFT AS THE WIND
II. REDATING JESUS' DEATH
1. DID JESUS' CRUCIFIXION ACTUALLY HAPPEN ON APRIL, 7th, 30 ?
2. RECONSTRUCTING OLD LUNAR OBSERVATIONS
3. EASTER FELL ON A SATURDAY
4. NEW YEAR WAS A SATURDAY TOO
5. THE ONLY LUNAR EXPLANATION
6. THE LONG MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
7. A NEW READING OF DANIEL'S PROPHECY
8. "THEY HAD BEEN REBUILDING THE TEMPLE FOR 46 YEARS..."
9. THE ROMAN POINT OF VIEW
10. EXIT PILATE - ARMY MANOEUVRES IN THE EAST
11. PAUL'S TRAVELS
12. "AND JESUS HIMSELF BEGAN TO BE ABOUT 30 YEARS OF AGE"
13. CONCLUSION
III. THE SECOND TEMPLE CALENDAR
1. WHAT CALENDAR WAS IN USE AT THE TIME
2. ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF JUBILEE YEARS
3. RECONSTRUCTING THE ANTIQUE CALENDAR
4. THE CORRECT WAY TO USE FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS
5. THE CREATION OF THE WORLD ERA
IV. CONCLUSION
V. ANNEXE
FINAL REMARKS

III. THE SECOND TEMPLE CALENDAR



   

3. RECONSTRUCTING THE ANTIQUE CALENDAR




Let us first briefly recall the structure of the "antique" calendar as detailed in chapter I-3. A cycle of 371 lunations, i.e. 10 956 days, i.e. about 30 years (a year equals to 365,20 days). A submultiple of this is the "lustrum" of 62 lunations which, reproduced 6 times, equals to a cycle - provided that the 372th lunation is not taken into account.

To follow as closely as possible the average lunation of 29,53 days, one must divide the 62 lunations in 33 periods of 30 days and 29 periods of 29 days, which equals to 1831 days. The most even way of spreading the full months (30 days) and the hollow ones (29 days) is to group them into 4 series as follows : 15 + 15 + 15 + 17 = 62. For each series, a full month alternates with a hollow one, always beginning with a full one.

We know that 12 lunations only equal to 354 days, so to catch up with the seasons, after 30 lunations the following is included into the year known as "pregnant" with a 13th lunation, or embolismic with an additional month.

According to this rule, the 3rd (Ve-Adar month in the middle) and 5th (Ve-Elul at the end) years of a lustrum are embolismic. During a 30 years cycle, there are 11 embolismic years since the last lunation, which would have been intercalary, is deleted.
Finally the following chart can be drawn up :
Let us note that the "antique" cycle is composed of 3 types of year :

-  regular, with 354 days ;
-  full, with 355 days ;
-  embolismic, with 384 days ;
and that the embolismic years of any cycle are the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 28th.
Hence in Jesus time the embolismic years were : 27, 29, 32, 34 and 37, since the year 25 is the first of the cycle - as we have seen above (Julian years or AD).

We know that the Jewish year N begins on Tishri, 1st - around the autumn equinox of the year N-1. So, the years 35 and 36 not being embolismic, there must be 18 lunations between Tishri, 1st, 35 and Nisan, 1st, 36. This is indeed what is noted between October, 2nd, 34 and March, 17th, 36 on chart 1 of the study developed in chapter II.

We can then deduce that the hypotheses put forward are not in contradiction with the astronomical observations. Let us go on and reconstruct the "antique" calendar of that time.

In 24 AD, the new moon closer to the equinox - which defines the beginning of the Jewish year - fell on September, 21st at 3 pm U.T., i.e. 5 pm in Jerusalem (data provided by the I.M.C.C.E website).

According to the visibility criteria defined in chapter II, the crescent was visible on the following day at 3 pm - i.e. three hours before sunset - and Tishri, 1st, 25 is proclaimed on September, 22nd, 24 (J.D. 1.730.089)32.

From this date of origin of a new cycle in the "antique" calendar, we only have to use the chart which gives structure to a "lustrum" as defined before. We can then construct anew, month after month, the exact calendar of the years 25 to 37.

The reader shall find in Annexes, Chart 3, the result from which I extracted Chart 2 concerning the dates of Tishri, 1st and Nisan, 1st of the years 28 to 37. This result is similar to the observations in Chart 1, p 29.
The reader shall also find in Annexes the Antique Calendar of the second Temple, pages 76 and 77.

CHART 2
RECONSTITUTION OF THE "ANTIQUE" CALENDAR OF JERUSALEM SECOND TEMPLE


Julian year NISSAN, 1st TISHRI, 1st Year of the cycle
28 Monday, March, 15th Wednesday, September, 8th E = embolismic
29 Friday, March, 4th Tuesday, September, 27th 5th E Ve-Elul
30 Thursday, March, 23rd Saturday, September, 16th  
31 Tuesday, March, 13th Thursday, September, 6th  
32 Monday, March, 31st Wednesday, September, 24th 8th E Ve-Adar
33 Friday, March, 20th Sunday, September, 13th  
34 Tuesday, March, 9th Saturday, October, 2nd 10th E Ve-Elul
35 Monday, March, 28th Wednesday, September, 21st  
36 Saturday, March, 17th Monday, September, 10th  
37 Friday, March, 5th Sunday, September, 29th 13th E Ve-Adar

When comparing these two charts, we notice that the calendar we have suggested never strays from the observations of more than a day, and only in ╝ of occurences. It stresses a good adequation, despite the inevitable one day leaps.

Thus we observe that the problem of Jesus' death datation, as set up in chapter II, finds the same one solution with this calendar.

Both John and Luke the Evangelists have therefore given all the elements necessary to find precisely the exact date of this event, major to them (thay have also given acute details about the places, especially John) ; they were taken from the calendar then in use. The "antique" or Chaldean calendar seems quite a good candidate as far as the second Temple period is concerned, but we still have to confirm this thesis.

In the Bible, the book of the prophet Ezekiel begins in a very strange manner :
-  Ezekiel, 1, 1 : "[...] in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month..." -  Ezekiel, 1, 2 : "In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,..." (in Babylonia)

The antique custom was to locate a date in relation to a notorious fact : the beginning of a reign, a victory, a rebellion, etc (e.g on page 75). The second verse is constructed in this way.
The first one, which obviously concerns the same day and place (i.e. "... in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar" - Ezekiel, 1, 3), is quite alike the statement of a calendar date : year, month, day, with no explanation whatsoever, for it surely came from a calendar everybody knew in Babylonia.
Couldn't it be the very first mention of the Chaldean 30 years calendar cycle ? No cycle longer than that was known at the time (i.e. 6th century BC).

Let us note that in the Hebraic calendar, Tishri, 1st, 35 falls on thursday, September, 2nd, 34 - which does not agree with the gospel according to Luke (Luke, 4, 16-21), who says that this day is Sabbath.
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