DARK OF THE MOON NOT SCRIPTURAL
STUDY ARTICLE FOR DATE OF YAHSHUA'S DEATH
Yahshua the Anointed's Death - Rationale for CE 31,Wednesday, April 25
by Anthony V. Gaudiano
Historical records containing the date of Yahshua the Anointed's death were made many years after the event. Astronomers, mathematicians, scholars, religionists, etc., who pondered the accuracy of the records, advocate a date between CE 26 and 34 (Julian). The specific date advocated by ten authors was examined in a companion article titled: Comparison of Dates Advocated for the Death of Our Savior. The majority advocated CE 31, the minority CE 30, etc.
Interestingly, the date advocated by the minority generally would have been the same as the majority except they were influence by such things as: the unscriptural Good Friday Death - Easter Sunday Resurrection tradition, the baseless calculated conjunction of the invisible new moon 'on-or-after' the Spring Equinox, darkening afternoon attributed to an eclipse, maturity of wheat erroneously assumed to be barley, etc.
Few authors published rationale for the date they advocated, thus validation is hindered and must be deduced. This article contains the rationale for Yahshua the Anointed's death on CE 31, Passover, Wednesday, April 25. The rationale can be used to test other advocated dates.
The rationale herein consists of scripture verses which anyone can correlate with archeological and historical evidence, the Sabbatical/Jubilee year sequence, a visible new moon crescent 'first-after' the Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) at least 18 hours old and at an elevation greater than 9.4°, Hebrew sunset--to-sunset day reckoning, Passover according to Leviticus 23 occurring on Wednesday, Jerusalem local time, and astronomical tables from a publication of the United States Naval Observatory (USNO).
The USNO publication states that their tables are accurate to within one or two hours for years 4 BCE to 38 CE. The data in a different format is also available from the NASA. The USNO and NASA data is unquestionably the most authoritative and accurate available.
Examination of CE 31 according to the rationale given herein:
(a) At: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/SpringPhenom.html download and print the United States Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department publication titled: Spring Phenomena, 25 BCE, to 38 CE, which contains three pages of astronomical data.
(b) On page 1., under the table titled: VERNAL EQUINOX, go to the right half of the page to the column titled: Julian Calendar Date. Under the subheading titled. CE March, read down to 31, and notice the Spring Equinox at Greenwich, England, occurred on March 23, at 3 a.m., Friday, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
(c) Add two hours to GMT to obtain local time in Jerusalem, which is two time zones east of Greenwich. The Spring Equinox occurred in Jerusalem at 5 a.m (3 a.m. + 2 hrs.).
(d) Go to page 2., to the table on the left titled: FULL MOON on or next after date of equinox. Read down the column titled: Julian Cal. date, continuing on page 3, to CE 31. Read across to the right under the column titled: NEW MOON Following equinox, and see that it occurred on April 10, at Noon.
(e) Make a calendar using as a basis Wednesday, March 23, and continue to April 25, or go to the calendar at the end of this article titled: 'CE 31, MARCH (Sunset to sunset reckoning, Jerusalem time).' The shaded area denotes the days of the month in the Winter season. Locate Wednesday, March 23, 'Spring Equinox occurred at 5 a.m. within this day' The whole day is shaded because it began in the Winter season and there is no such thing as a partial 'day,' It ended at sunset, which began Saturday, March 24, the first day of Spring.
(f) Continue to April 10, where is the notation: 'Astronomical Conjunction of new moon; at 12 Noon.' Immediately before, during, and after an astronomical conjunction the moon is always invisible when viewed from Earth when it is in the shadow cast by the Sun.
According to German astronomer Karl Schoch, English astronomer J. K. Forthingham, etc., the first crescent of the new moon is not normally visible earlier than 18 hours after its astronomical conjunction, or at an angle less than 9.4° above the horizon. Accordingly, the new moon would not have been visible earlier than sunrise, 6 a.m. (12 noon + 18 hrs.), Wednesday, April 11.
Moreover, the faint crescent then would have been obscured by the increasing brightness of dawn just before sunrise. But after sunset, twelve hours later, the faint crescent would have been easily visible because the new moon was then 30+ hours old, and in a darkening sky. That sunset was the beginning of Thursday, April 12.
(g) Go to Thursday, April 12, and the notation: '1 Nisan Crescent of new moon visible after previous sunset.' This is first day, of the first month, of the Hebrew New Year, which began at the same sunset.
(h) Continue thirteen more days to: '14 Nisan, Passover (entombment just before sunset)' and see that Passover occurred on Wednesday, April 25.
Yahshua the Anointed, the Lamb of Yahweh, his blood shed, died about mid-afternoon on Wednesday the day which is in the middle of the week. His body was prepared and entombed before sunset.
In accordance with the scriptures, also on that same Passover day, the sacrifice of set apart-lambs occurred about mid-afternoon and was completed before sunset.
Scriptural support for the rationale herein:
There is the prophecy in Daniel 9:26 about an anointed one who would be "cut off' in the midst of his last week. Yahshua the Anointed loves mankind so much he became mortal, suffered terribly, and shed his blood in sacrificial atonement for mankind's sin, in the midst (middle) of the week.
There is the first-person prophecy by Yahshua the Anointed in Matthew 12:40, that he would be: "in the heart of the earth three days and three nights" (a specific period of 72 hours). The gospels show that it was the 'preparation day' as Passover was then called, and that Yahshua was entombed "as the Sabbath drew on." That sunset began 15 Nisan, the "High Day" Sabbath mentioned in John 19:31. It was the first of seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
In accordance with Yahshua’s own prophecy, he was resurrected just before sunset. That sunset began what is now called Sunday, but then was called the 'first of the Sabbath.' It is likely on the very morning that Yahshua ascended as a pure first-fruit offering to his Father, the high priest sacrificed a male lamb for the nation's sin, and raised the first-fruit of the barley harvest as an offering to Yahweh. Yahshua the Anointed was the first of the first-fruit to be resurrected, to be followed by the harvest of the chosen few at his second coming.
There are approximately 8900 continuous dates of sighting the faint crescent of the new moon recorded in Cuneiform on clay tablets which have been found in Babylon. They have been translated and are in the book: Babylonian Chronology 626 BC to AD 75 by Parker and Dubberstein. Page 37. shows the first day of the first month of the Babylonian New Year is 1 Nisanu. It directly corresponds to CE 31, April 12 (Hebrew 1 Nisan) as in (g). The name of the Babylonian months were adapted by the prophet Ezra for the Hebrew calendar (i.e., 1 Nisan = 1 Nisan). Extrapolating this Babylonian record of sighting the visible new moon verifies Yahshua the Anointed's death on 14 Nisan, Passover, CE 31, Wednesday, April 25.
There is Benedict Zuckerman's Sabbatical/Jubilee year sequence which shows that the l5Th year of Tiberius Caesar's reign mentioned in Luke 3:1, corresponds to the autumn of CE 27, the logical time of the baptism and beginning of Yahshua the Anointed's ministry. His ministry seems to have lasted three years, five months, and ten days (approximately three and one half years).
There are many scriptural verses which show that the Sadducee high priests routinely observed the first faint crescent of the new moon to declare the start of a year, month, and High Sabbath feasts as it says to do in Genesis. Psalms 81:3 says "blow the Shofar at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day." All refer only to a visible moon. This scripture shows the Hebrew priesthood observed the new moon long before the death of Yahshua the Anointed and likely continued to do so afterward, until the destruction of the Temple in CE 69 - 70.
No other date from CE 26 to 34 inclusively, fits all of the above rationale!
Examination of CE 30 according to the rationale given herein
Some theorize that the Hebrew New Year, months, feast days, and the death of Yahshua the Anointed should be based upon the astronomical conjunction of the invisible moon, on-or-after the day of the Spring Equinox. No firm scripture support is cited where this was done before CE 70. The validity of this theory will now be tested:
Repeat steps (a) and (b) above, except for CE 30. Notice that the Spring Equinox occurs on Wednesday, March 22, at 12 midnight, Jerusalem time and Hebrew day reckoning. Up to that instant the Earth was orbiting in the Winter season, but that 24 hour 'day,' would not be completed until sunset. Want Proof? Notice the USNO table does not contain a column titled 'on-or-after-equinox..' It is obviously illogical. Similarly, the Autumnal Equinox begins on a 'day' in the Summer season, and at sunset, Autumn begins.
Go to page 3., to the column titled: On or preceding date of equinox. It shows that the astronomical conjunction in CE 30 occurred within the same 'day,' Wednesday, March 22, at 8 p.m. Jerusalem time. That 'day' began at 6 p.m., two hours earlier, at the sunset previous. Notice that the astronomical conjunction of the invisible moon occurred four hours before the occurrence of the Spring Equinox, while the Earth was yet further away in orbit in the Winter season. Accordingly, that astronomical conjunction cannot be designated 1 Nisan, because the Sadducee high priest had ruled the start of the Hebrew New Year could only begin in the Spring season.
So, theoretically, that Hebrew New Year could not begin until the next astronomical conjunction of the invisible moon which would then be the spring season. The next astronomical conjunction of the moon after the Spring Equinox would have been on Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m_ If it were designated 1 Nisan, Passover on 14 Nisan would correspond to Tuesday (not Wednesday), May 4 This date is one day later than the latest date (i.e., CE 33, Sunday, May 3) determined for the range of years advocated.
The theory of a calculated conjunction of the invisible moon in CE 30 for Yahshua’s death does not produce a month, day of the week, or day number for which fits the rationale. If instead, the visible first faint crescent of the new moon were used to examine CE 30, the result would be Friday, April 7. This may be the source of the erroneous 'Good Friday death' tradition and wrong year.
There are validated historical documents written many years after the death of Yahshua the Anointed which mention CE 30, but curiously, without the month and the day of the week. An explanation as to why CE 30 instead of 31 is mentioned may be because the Julian calendar began in the Winter on January 1, but the Hebrew 'religious' year began in the Spring on 1 Nisan (April - May). During the same period there was also an 'agricultural year' which began after the harvests on 1 Tishri (September - October) as on Hebrew calendars today. It is seldom stated in historical records if a date is to the Hebrew religious or agriculture year.
After the destruction of the Temple the Sadducee priesthood died off and the Pharisees gained control of local synagogues. They became the Rabbis of today. Centuries earlier during the Babylonian captivity the priesthood had learned how to calculate a calendar using the astronomical conjunction. It became necessary to do so after the Temple was destroyed to designate holy days for those in the Diaspora.
As years passed there were Rabbinic interpretations about the calendar which now allowed the Hebrew year to start in the Winter season with the new moon on-or-preceding the Spring Equinox as long as Passover remained in the Spring. Four Rabbinic postponements were also added which periodically changed the commanded date when the feast days in Leviticus 23 were to be observed. This was done for convenience sake to ensure there was a preparation day before every convocation.
Were the Hebrews forbidden to observe the Sun, Moon, etc.?
In Genesis 1:14-18 Elohim gave the Sun "to rule the day" and the Moon "to rule the night"... "for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years"... "the stars also" "to divide the light from the darkness and Elohim saw that it was good." Yet, incredibly, some advocates of the calculated conjunction of the invisible moon claim the Hebrews were forbidden to observe these celestial bodies, and infer that believers who do so today, engage in heathen worship.
In Exodus 20:4-5 the Commandment reads: "You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness that is in heaven above... you shall not bow down to them, or serve them." Clearly, the Hebrews were specifically forbidden to make or worship an image of anything. Although the Hebrews were the chosen people and recipients of many miracles, the scriptures show they disobeyed and did as the heathen, which included worshiping a golden calf, the sun, moon, etc. The Hebrews also did not keep the seventh year Sabbath for the land, and committed other sins. Their punishment was captivity in Babylonian for seventy years.
Is it a shameful abuse of scripture by those who advocate the conjunction of the invisible moon for calendar purposes, to infer that believers who observe the first faint crescent of the new moon, as commanded in Genesis 1:14 -18, are engaging in heathen worship.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This technical study is very important in many respects. The date of Yahshua's death not only shows that we can not use the dark of the moon (Conjunction), but it also shows that we can not use the closest moon to the equinox. Yahshua, our Savior and law giver revealed by His own example that we must use the new visible crescent moon on or after the equinox. This timing always starts the calendar year correctly, and consequently, we will always have a wave sheaf in the days of Unleavened Bread!
For those who have not done the study completely, it is a well proven fact that to use the date of 31 A.D. for Yahshua's impalement, one has to use the new visible crescent after the equinox. To use the date of 30 A.D. for Yahshua's death, one has to use the invisible conjunction. It is also factual that knowledge of the conjunction was not known prior to 330-350 B.C. The conjunction lasts for at least two days, and to find the exact point of darkness, conjunction, one needs a table. When Moses was commanded to count from that day of Abib one (1) forward to the 14th for Passover in Ex 12:1-2, the date was approximately 1445-1440 B.C. ( Ryrie's Notes) Moses could not have used a conjunction to identify Abib one!
Farthingham, J. K., The Evidence of Astronomy and Technical Chronology for the Date of the Crucifixion, The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 35, 1934, pp, 146-162.
Parker, Richard A. and Dubberstein, Waldo H., Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.-A.D. 75, Brown University Press, Providence, Rhode Island, 1956, 47 p.
Schock, Karl, Christi Kreuzigung a.m. 14. Nisan, Biblica, Vol. 9, 1928, pp. 48-56.
United States Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department publication, Spring Phenomena, 25 BCE to 38 CE, 2003, p. 3.
Zuckermann, Benedict, "Ueber Sabbatjahrcyclus and Jobelperiode," Jahresbericht des juedisch-theologischen Seminars Fraenckelscher Stiftung (Breslau, 1857). See study at: www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/sabbatical-years . When Were the Sabbatical Years, by Bob Pickle
Biblical Calendar Research by Herb Solinsky