This page was last updated on 25 December, 2015.
Changes made to the original calendar.
Summary of this page:
Making Sunday the day of rest was a political move to united Christians and pagan sun worshippers.
That looks like a good move to most Christians but isn’t for 2 main reasons:
“These imported [from Babylon] superstitions eventually led Jewish rabbis to call Saturn Shabbti, ‘the star of the Sabbath,’ [and]...it was not until the first century of our era, when the planetary week had become an established institution, that the Jewish Sabbath seems always to have corresponded to Saturn’s Day [Satyrday].”
Hutton Webster in his book, Rest Days, p. 244.
Amos 5:26 But you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.
Acts 7:43 Yes, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which you made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
Chuiun = Rempham = Saturn = Satyr
We shall be taken for Persians [Mithraists], perhaps . . . The reason for this, I suppose, is that it is known that we pray towards the east . . . Likewise, if we devote the day of the Sun to festivity (from a far different reason from Sun worship), we are in a second place from those who devote the day of Saturn, themselves also deviating by way of a Jewish custom of which they are ignorant.
Tertullian, Ad Nationes, Book 1, Chapter 13
Historically, Israel fasted on new moon days. Says Hutton Webster, “the establishment of a periodic week ending in a Sabbath observed every seventh day was doubtless responsible for the gradual obsolescence of the new moon festival as a period of general abstinence, since with continuous weeks the new-
Rest Days., p. 255
2nd Century (Emperor Hadrian)
This change from the luni-
Iranaeus 2nd Century A.D.
2nd & 3rd Century (Clement of Alexandria)
In the years following Clement of Alexandria's time, an ominous change started to take place that was to radically change the Christian concept of the Sabbath.” Records the Encyclopedia Biblica: “This intimate connection between the week and the month was soon dissolved. It is certain that the week soon followed a development of its own, and it became the custom -
The MacMillan Company, 1899. P. 5290
4th Century (Emperor Constantine in 321-
The modern seven-
Roman Calendar Encyclopedia, Days of the Week
“…The [early] Hebrews employed lunar seven-
Hutton Webster, in his book, Rest Days, page 254
Under the reign of Constantius the persecutions of the Jews reached such a height that. . . the computation of the calendar [was] forbidden under pain of severe punishment.
The Jewish Encyclopedia, “Calendar.”
“The calendar was originally fixed by observation, and ultimately by calculation. Up to the fall of the Temple (A.D. 70), witnesses who saw the new moon came forward and were strictly examined and if their evidence was accepted the month was fixed by the priests. Eventually the authority passed to the Sanhedrin and ultimately to the Patriarchate. … Gradually observation gave place to calculation. The right to determine the calendar was reserved to the Patriarchate; the Jews of Mesopotamia [Ed.—Babylonian Jews] tried in vain to establish their own calendar but the prerogative of Palestine was zealously defended. So long as Palestine remained a religious centre, it was naturally to the homeland that the Diaspora looked for its calendar. Uniformity was essential, for if different parts had celebrated feasts on different days confusion would have ensued. It was not until the 4th century A.D. that Babylon fixed the calendar…”
Encyclopedia Britannica: Vol. 4, article “Calendar”.
"The Jewish and astrological weeks evolved quite independently of one another. However, given the coincidence of their identical length, it was only a matter of time before some permanent correspondence between particular Jewish days and particular planetary days would be made. A permanent correspondence between the Sabbath and “the day of Saturn” was thus established...[some time] later than the first century of the present era, Jews even came to name the planet Saturn Shabtai, after the original Hebrew name of the Sabbath, Shabbath"
The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week. New York: The Free Press, 1985: p.17
“… the custom of celebrating the Sabbath every 7th day, irrespective of the relationship of the day to the moon’s phases, led to a complete separation from the ancient view of the Sabbath...”
Encyclopedia Biblica, (1899 edit.), p. 4179.
In the article Shawui Calendar: Ancient Shawui Observance, we find confirmation of a radical change in YHVH’s calendar. “The [lunar]...calendar was used by all the original disciples of Yeshua... This original Nazarene lunar-
Sabbath and New Moon (Rosh Hodesh), both periodically recur in the course of the year. The New Moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle . . . Originally the New Moon was celebrated in the same way as the Sabbath; gradually it became less important while the Sabbath became more and more a day of religion and humanity, of religious meditation and instruction, of peace and delight of the soul.
Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 410
With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and the emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection. Universal Jewish Encyclopedia: Page 482, week.
“These imported [from Babylon] superstitions eventually led Jewish rabbis to call Saturn Shabbti, ‘the star of the Sabbath,’ [and]...it was not until the first century of our era, when the planetary week had become an established institution, that the Jewish Sabbath seems always to have corresponded to Saturn’s Day [Satyrday].” Hutton Webster in his book, Rest Days, p. 244.
Louis Finkelstein of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in a letter to Dr. L. E. Froom, dated Feb. 20, 1939 readily admitted, “The present Jewish calendar was fixed in the fourth century.” Maimonides* and most other Jewish chronologers agree that the modern Jewish calendar is based upon the “mean motions of the sun and moon, the true [calendar] having been set aside.
*=Maimonides, Kiddusch Ha-
“The Sabbath depending, in Israel's nomadic period, upon the observation of the phases of the moon, it could not, according to this view, be a fixed day. When the Israelites settled in the land and became farmers, their new life would have made it desirable that the Sabbath should come at regular intervals, and the desired change would have been made all the more easily as they had abandoned the lunar religion.”
The decrees of Nicæa, “destroyed the Temple of the Law in Judea,” as it were, and the ancient regulation of Moses for harmonizing the course of the moon with that of the sun was ultimately replaced by calculations involving the vernal equinox, after which the nearest full moon was chosen to be the paschal moon. From this equinoctial point, the [Catholic] church built up her ecclesiastical calendar and its Easter feast. It is easy to gloss over the real significance of the Council of Nicæa and its bearing upon the Jewish system of time, for though the church desired to depart from Jewish calculation, and to adopt a movable feast, yet in the end, it turned out that both the Jewish and Roman Catholic festivals came to be computed from the same point of time – . . . the vernal equinox.
Sidersky, op.cit., p. 624. & Christopher Clavius, Roman Calendar, p. 54.
“Changes in the appearance of the moon provided the seven-
Completion of four lunar phases comprises the month.”
Ages of Adam, published in 1995, by Clark K. Nelson.
The above quotes clearly show the Sabbath was tied to the lunar cycle. So just to be honest and view arguments from both sides I’ll also list a few quotes that (seem to) claim the opposite of the above quotes.
Exod 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
"When Agatharchides had premised this story, and had jested upon Stratonice for her superstition, he gives a like example of what was reported concerning us, and writes thus:209 `There are a people called Jews, and dwell in a city the strongest of all other cities, which the inhabitants call Jerusalem, and are accustomed to rest on every seventh day; on which times they make no use of their arms, nor meddle with husbandry, nor take care of any affairs of life, but spread out their hands in their holy places, and pray till the evening."
Against Apion 1:208
“and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand with a trumpet, at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to stop work, and when they were to go to work again”
There are more similar quotes but I think the above is a fair selection of linking the 7th day with Sabbath day. My answer to is simple “Define the seventh day.” That may sound very obvious but keep in mind that the only way to count seven days is when knowing which days are allowed to be counted.
On the Gregorian calendar the months vary in length, let’s take the 30 day month as the standard duration. Do we complain about a 31 day month adding a day? Or do we complain February removes 1 or 2 days? No it are just the rules of the Gregorian way of counting.
Same can be said about the current day Jewish calendar. For starters its rules are very different from the Gregorian calendar. This calendar also has months of varying length nobody complains about. It even has a system of leap months. Yet nobody complains that a leap month is illegally added to the year once in a while. It’s just accepted as the rules of that calendar system.
So, if a standard Jewish year is 12 months and a leap month is added then we still call it a year. Not a year + 1 month. You may find it difficult and/or weird, but still it are the rules of that calendar.
The rules of the calendar shown on this site state that the 1st and 30th day aren’t counted for week days. Call it negative leap days if you wish. Just as the Jewish calendar adds whole months and still calls a year a year the luni-
So…. before the above quotations can be used to support anything we need to fully understand the definition of the words used no matter how weird. None of the quotes between here and the top of the page contradict each other.
Below some quotes linking Sabbath day to Saturn day.
DATED 84 AD
"The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business."
Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17. (Lived 40CE-
EVENT DATED 63 BC
"Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty. For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it. As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall. The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously. Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered. The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away."
Cassius Dio Roman History 37.16.14 (Lived 155CE-
EVENT DATED 36 BC
"The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves. The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called the day of Saturn. And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people.
Cassius Dio Roman History 49.22.46 (Lived 155CE-
EVENT DATED 70 CE
Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most. From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline.
Cassius Dio Roman History 65.7.2 (Lived 155CE-
Again a fair selection that pleases those who oppose the luni-
The answer to those quotes requires to review some calendar history.
The Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC (708 AUC), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect in 45 BC (709 AUC), shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and superseded by the Gregorian calendar. The difference in the average length of the year between Julian (365.25 days) and Gregorian (365.2425 days) is 0.002%.
There is debate about the exact position of the bissextile day in the early Julian calendar. The earliest direct evidence is a statement of the 2nd century jurist Celsus, who states that there were two halves of a 48-
The effect of the bissextile day on the nundinal cycle is not discussed in the sources. According to Dio Cassius, a leap day was inserted in 41 BC to ensure that the first market day of 40 BC did not fall on 1 January, which implies that the old 8-
Weekdays were represented as letter. A…H → 8 letters.
80 AD calendar found in the Baths of Titus (Rome)
The circle in the center is the zodiac. The figure at the top are Roman god from which we have our week day names. The days are not in the order as we have them.
The god representing the 1st day of the week is Saturn. Saturday.
The god representing the 2nd day of the week is Solis (sun). Sunday.
The god representing the 3rd day of the week is Luna (moon). Mo(o)nday.
The god representing the 4th day of the week is Mars (war). Tuesday.
The god representing the 5th day of the week is Mercury (many). Wednesday.
The god representing the 6th day of the week is Jupiter (supreme). Thursday.
The god representing the 7th day of the week is Venus (love). Friday.
The quotes from the historians span all changes to the Roman calendar listed in the summary. Totally impossible.
My guess of what’s going on:
Saturn day could once in a while fall on Sabbath day but not as a rule as the historians make it sound. Note that Cassius Dio lived in the time that the Roman calendar had a 7 day week that looks like ours. He was never present at any battle he described because he wasn’t born yet. So my guess is that he compiled his writings from documents written long before he was born, that indeed mentioned the Romans attacked the Jews on Sabbath day but Cassius Dio just assumed that was Saturn day because in his time Saturn day and Sabbath day were on the same day.