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



   

4. THE CORRECT WAY TO USE FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS




According to the calendar we suggest was in use at the second Temple period (-515 to +70), the year 37 AD is embolismic since it is the 13th of the 30 years cycle. The additional lunation is located in the midst of the year, inserted between the 6th and the 7th month - which is therefore postponed to the next lunation. But it so happens that this 7th month is that of Nisan when Pessah occurs, on the full moon the 15th day of the month.

It is time for us to call in Flavius Josephus, who in J.A. (XVIII, 120-125) says that :
 "Vitellius [...] came up to Jerusalem with Herod the tetrarch [...] to make sacrifices to God during the Judeans' feast [...] He stayed there for three days [...] On the fourth day he received a letter announcing him that Tiberius was dead [...]"

Tiberius died on March, 16th, 37 - so the year of Vitellius and Herod coming up to Jerusalem is quite clear. The Judeans' feast is not specified but at this time of year it could but have been Pessah.

According to the suggested calendar, Pessah 37 fell on April, 19th. Vitellius then received the letter on the 22nd, that is little more than a month after Tiberius' death. This corresponds with the order of length of a journey at sea from Rome to Jerusalem, as concluded in chapter I-5.

Moreover, if the year 37 had not been embolismic, the letter would have reached Jerusalem 30 days earlier, i.e. a week only after the event in Rome, which is absolutely impossible. This fact totally rules out the hebraic calendar concerning this date.

We have here a sound evidence in favour of the use of the "antique" calendar in Jerusalem at the time.

Flavius Josephus provides us with two other ones.

Indeed, he writes in J.W. VI, 5, 3, 289-290 :
 "[...] a star with the shape of a sabre held over the city [Jerusalem] while a comet kept up shining for a full year [...] the people were gathered for the Feast of the firstborn on Xanthicus, 8th [...]"
It does not look so but Flavius Josephus is being quite precise here, for the comet in question is Halley's comet which was seen in 65 before reaching the perihelion on January, 26th, 66. The fast of the firstborn always falling on the day before Pessah, with have thus a sound landmark : Pessah fell on April, 9th, 65.

Flavius Josephus gives us one more clue in J.W., III, 3, 1, 99 :
 "When [...] Xanthicus, 14th came [...] it was the anniversary day of the Jewish getting out of Egypt [...] Eleazar's men opened the Temple doors and let in the citizens who wanted to perform their devotions inside."

A slaughter ensues inside the Temple, it is Pessah and April, 14th, 70.

To get back on known territory, let us state that :
-  Nisan, 1st, 65 fell on March, 26th
-  Nisan, 1st, 70 fell on March 31st

Let us now notice that the 5 days gap between the two dates corresponds to a "lustrum" of 62 lunations. Flavius Josephus is being very minute in his chronology.

Is the "antique" calendar the one the Jewish historian used ? To know that for sure, we shall use a chronological scale known as "Julian Day" (J.D.) which counts the days between two dates from an arbitrary and far in the past point of origin. Astronomers use it and it is indicated on the website of the I.M.C.C.E.

In Chart 2, concerning the "antique" calendar :

Chart p82


The "antique" calendar agrees with the data provided by the Jewish historian of the 1st century.

To conclude : the "antique" calendar has been proved sound by five literary landmarks10.

-  Saturday, Octobre, 2nd, 34 - Tishri, 1st (Luke, 4, 16-21)
-  Friday, March, 30th, 36 - Nisan, 14th (John, 19, 31)
-  April, 8th, 65 - Nisan, 14th (J.W.)
-  April, 14th, 70 - Nisan, 15th (J.W.)
-  The year 37 is embolismic (J.A.)

So there is a solid assumption that the "antique" calendar was officially in use during the second Temple period.

N.B. : In Annexes, on page 78 there is a 7th landmark : Octobre, 9th, -521 is the prophecy date in Haggai, 1, 15 and 2, 1.

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