How Observance of the New Moon is Not Accurate

Fred R. Coulter—March 18, 2015

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I'm going to read certain excerpts from a paper done by Herb Solinsky. I met him and went to his house and spent two days in his home going over in great, great detail his method of calculating the calendar.

As I begin reading, you're going to see certain things immediately that cannot possible be. You're also going to see that even though he advocates the visual sighting of the new moon as the beginning of the first day of the first month, it is impossible to use.

The long and the short was this when I was talking with him, just before I left. I asked him, 'What are you going to do when you can't see it, when it's cloudy?'

He says, 'Oh, I have a program in my computer, I'll just let you know from my computer.' I said, 'Herb Solinsky, do you mean that you're telling me that I should forsake the calculated calendar that God gave to the Hebrews—which is called the Jewish Calculated Calendar—and not use those calculations?' Yes! 'And that we should observe the new moon?' That's right!

Yet, you turn right around and tell me that you have the information in your computer. What does your computer? What does computer stand for? It stands for computing, which is just another name for calculating!Is it not? If you have the program in there to calculate it, are you not calculating?'

There are many distinct problems that you have with visualization with the moon. We're going to cover some of them here, and we're going to see why. All of Solinsky's tables and charts to show a discrepancy between the Hebrew Calendar and his calendar is based upon the actual conjunction.

But the actual conjunction is not the new moon for the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. It comes a day later, or in some cases two days after the actual conjunction of the moon. Let's understand that and let's show right here how he starts out:

Article #1from paper by Herb Solinsky

The most accurate method one can use today for the theoretical determination of the required time for the visibility of the new crescent is to use a computer to determine the altitude and the azimuth distance.

This is precisely why when we get into the book of Maimonides about the sanctification of the new moon, that they always used calculations, even though they use visualization as a secondary verification.

Never, never, never was the calendar determined solely on visualization. We will see that, and we'll see why.

Then use a computer to compare these with the table in Appendix Two. Even when limiting one's attention to Jerusalem, a simple rule involving the required time from the new moon to sunset is not possible.

That's when the moon would appear in the short time, from that time to sunset!

If one's attention is restricted to the month of March in Jerusalem, this require time can vary depending upon the predictable astronomical factors from about 16 hours to 24 hours.

What do we have? From nearly three-quarters of a day to a whole day delay! From the time of the conjunction to the time of the appearing.

Do you suppose that that's one of the reasons that they have postponements? Yes! It's not to delay, it's to make it and justify it so that it will be right. It's just like you if you have a checking account.

  • What is the actual true balance of your checking account?
  • What you have in your check ledger? You don't know because you may have a mistakes in your check ledger!
  • Is it the balance that you may call the bank for your balance today? They tell you $542.37, but you failed to realize that you have another $100.28 in a check outstanding, so your true balance is 400 and some odd dollars!
  • What is your true balance?

This is why every month you have to take your bank statement and take all the checks that have come in, check all of those off, find out what the balance of your bank statement is, then take all the checks that you have outstanding that have not cleared the bank, and you deduct that from the total that you have on the bank statement. Then you take the bank charges and you deduct from that and then you have the actual true balance. That actual true balance must be calculated. You can't just visualize it. You have to calculate it.

It's the same what with trying to come to the true position where the new moon would be seen, where you are actually in a true calculated relationship to the new moon with the day, month and year.

In September the range is from about 18 hours to 48 hours.

That's when the calendar is calculated in the time near the month of September, always. The reason that it is calculated at that time point, because that is the point that has the greatest range of difference. That is the point when it is most easily determined so that you can have the Feast days in the fall, fall on the proper days of the week.

Remember that it's not a matter of visualization, it's a matter of when it does actually, by calculation, occur.

Other months have ranges between these extremes. This estimate does not vary with the procession of the equinoxes, but depends on the angle between the ecliptic and the western horizon.

These ranges are estimated from page 6 of Visan and the computer program mentioned in Appendix 4.

Are these instructions in principle any different than what we're going to find in the instructions for calculating later on? No they're not!

According to pg. 97 of the (?), which was written by (?) at a latitude of 32.5 degrees north…
Of Babylon
…the required time from sunset varies from 16.5 hours to 42 hours for the whole year. At the latitude of 51 degrees north…
The farther north you go the more trouble you are in!
…the time varies from 20 hours to 63 hours.

Sixty-three hours is 2-1/2 days and 1 hour! So, you can see what you're getting into here.

Then it talks about what they do to try—for the Muslims—to get a theoretically correct visual calendar for them, because they have strictly a lunar calendar.

Article #2—from Crescent Moon Sightings put out by The Calendar by Hemingway who write for a church:

This diagram what adopted from Joseph Ashbrooks, The Astronomical Scrapbook has long been used to predict the visibility of the crescent of the moon.

Solid dots recognize naked-eye sightings while open dots indicate failed attempts. The line forms an approximate boundary, while the 'X' marks a questionable sighting made in England in 1916.

We're going to see about the one in 1916, that it's going to be a very early sighting, one of the earliest on record.

The main criteria for determining the crest's visibility is the angular distance or azimuth from the sun, which depends on more than just the time after the astronomical new moon, which is called the lunar conjunction.

The crescent can never be seen when the moon is seven degrees or less from the sun. No sighting has ever broken this barrier.

If at the observation sight the astronomical moon occurs about noon or a few hours before, the crescent at sunset that day will be impossible to see six to eight hours old.

That's why you have the rule to postpone one day, because you can't see it! There are reasons for these adjustments and postponements. They are valid, God given to keep us in synchronization and proper time with the calendar:

  • the day with the month
  • the month with the year
  • the year within the 19-year time cycle

All have to match within the one hour and a few odd parts, 483 parts less, and the justification of the 19-year time-cycle. That has to be!

It's just like when you justify your account, you can't overcharge it one month and then think because you undercharge it the next month that you're going to make up for it. No! You're going to have bounced checks!

It's the same way with figuring things with the moon, with the day, month, year, and the 19-year time cycle. It all must be in balance and in perspective.

If you have seen some of these displays of dominos where they setup a whole pattern. You touch one domino and everything else starts falling down. Sometimes they can make these to go around the room and run up and come around over the top and clear down and huge, great dash a the end where literally thousands of dominos fall over nearly simultaneously. If there is one domino out of place, the whole thing is messed up!

Likewise, if you don't take into consideration everything that there is having to do with the calculation of the new moon and the months, and so forth, in perspective of the whole, you're going to have the same thing. You may have it work up to a point, but then it's no good after that. That's what he's basically saying here:

The crescent after noon or later is impossible to see being six to eight hours old, where as the next evening it will be a commonplace 30-32 hours.

So, there's an automatic postponement! You couldn't see it, though it by chance possibly have been visible. So, you have to go to the next day.

A record sighting can occur if the astronomical new moon occurs between midnight and sunrise.

In the northern temperate latitude the spring equinox is a favorable time for young crescent sightings. Since then the elliptical path…
of the sun
…crosses the horizon most deeply. It is also favorable to have the moon at perigee, which is the point nearest the earth; apogee is the point furthest away.

For a given day at a given location, the calculated altitude of the moon at sunset will either fall under the curve—probably not visible—or over the curve crescent—probably visible.

You have to have probably, because you don't know whether you can see it or not, whether it's going to be cloudy or clear, whether it's going to be foggy, smoky or whatever the circumstances may be. How young can a moon be and you still see it?

Article #3from the old Farmer's Almanac, 1985, in an article written by Chet Raymo:

The record of the youngest moon seen with naked eye belongs to Lizzy King and Nellie Calason, two house maidens of Scarborough, England, who saw a moon 14-1/2 hours old on May 2, 1916. Their claim was checked by amateur astronomer Charles Whitwell, who had a passionate interest in such matters and it appears to be a genuine sighting.

The best observations of the recent year are most likely far behind. A one-day old moon will be closer to the just set sun then spread your fingers to an arms-length and if you see a moon you can rightly take pride in the achievement that you have seen the new moon. Any moon younger than 18-19 hours is worth reporting.

Let's understand that we're going to see how difficult it is, and how that within the near same approximation that two teams of observing the new moons that one saw it and one didn't, and they were only eight miles apart. To one it was the new moon day, to the other the next day was the new moon day. So, you can see the problems in it.

Who is going to be right, yet, they both have the same sunset for the day. Remember, you must deal in whole days. You can't deal in parts of days. You can't deal in hours as a day or partial days as a month. You must have whole days and whole months.

Article #4:

The sighting of a crescent moon less than 15 hours old is so unusual an event that the details should be reported. Realizing that the evening of March 15, 1972, offered an opportunity to make such observation. Six members of the China Lake Astronomical Society, including the writer, were stationed on a 3,000 foot elevation six miles southeast of this community.

I have prepared a detailed diagram showing the locations of the moon relative to Mercury and to the sunset point.

  • you have to know what you're looking for. It can't be just anything
  • you have to understand the mathematics involved on the chart to see how close you are

This is why when we get into see about the 'Calendar Court,' they always question the person:

  • Did you see it?
  • How did you see it?
  • How high was it?
  • How long was it?
  • What was the angle of it?
  • Where was it in the angle of the sky in relationship to north and south?

All of that is very important!

We were prepared with binoculars, wwv receivers and tape recorders. The horizon of the sky was definitely hazy, however, and none of us managed to site the crescent, although we watched until 43 minutes after sunset.

Nevertheless, a seventh member of our society did succeed at another location. Determined to make a special effort, Robert Moran drove his jeep to the highest peak at the Radnorshire Hills, eight miles due south of China Lake.
So, here they were with an eight-mile difference!
The first one was at 3,000 feet. This one was at 3,698 feet above sea level. At his sight—latitude 35 degrees, 32 minutes north, longitude 117 degrees, 38.6 minutes west—the upper limb of the sun set behind the mountain horizon at 5:52.30 p.m. pacific standard time.

Like us, Mr. Moran was plagued by small clouds and some low haze. Nevertheless, using a 10x50 binoculars and a copy of the same diagram, he caught sight of the crescent at 6:28 p.m. when the moon's age was 14 hours and 53 minutes.

With difficulty, but positively, he continued to view the crescent for three minutes. Because the moon was hard to see, he made no attempt at a naked eye sighting.

There you have two teams eight miles apart, one saw the new moon, one did not. That's why it is so difficult, so hard to do.

You have the same thing here. There are five major phenomenom and minor effects on all planets that have never been considered. These all have an aspect of it.

It talks about the elliptical orbit at each location. It talks about the perigee and the apogee, and it talks about synodic month. Listen to this:

A synodic month, which is an actual calculated month, which is from one station of the moon to a complete rotation of the moon around the earth to the exact same position varies from 29.26 days…

That's 29 days and about 6 hours and something, a little over a quarter of a day!

…to 29 days and .80.

So, you have got pretty close to 45 minutes difference from going around to where it came right back to the same position. The Earth is rotating, and it has a wobble, and the moon is rotating and it has a wobble. The Earth is closer to the sun of farther from the sun at different times of the year, and the moon is closer to the Earth and farther from the Earth at different times of the year.

  • What happens when you're both close to the Earth, or you're both far away?
  • Or one is close and the other is far away?
  • Or one is far away and the other is close?
  • What are you going to do?
  • How are you going to account for all of these things?

You cannot do it!
The necessary time for a full moon to appear varies from 13.73 days to 15.80 days, a difference of 2.07 days. More than 48 hours.

Now do you understand why there has to be postponements? We're dealing with a moon that is not accurate as it goes to the minute and second. It can vary. That's the way the universe has been since the days of Hezekiah.

  • I can't change it; you can't change it
  • you can't make it precise; I can't make it precise

We have to wait for Christ to come with 'the restitution of all things,' and then I fully believe that we will have a 360 day year, 12 months in the year, 30 days in the month, because that will be the restitution of everything.

Article #5from Sky and Telescope, Aug. 1971:

On a very think lunar crescent, it intrigued me since I had been attempting to break my own record for observing a very young moon.

This 1st of July, 1973, when the air was very clear and steady, I sighted the moon with 7x50 binoculars at 5:42 universal time—32 minutes after sunset—at a latitude of only 3 degrees. In binoculars, the crescent was 100 degrees long and part of the arch just south of it was much brighter than the rest.

As seen from my observing sight on Mt. John, the moon set behind the mountain only four minutes later.

There you have it! The new moon to visualize it, has to be at a very precise moment, and instant, and you can miss it if you're not trained to do it.

I could not see the crescent with the unaided eye. At the time of the first sighting, the moon's age was 18 hours and 3 minutes.

Here's another one that shows a sighting at 14 hours and 53 minutes. Another one using binoculars sighted it at 18 hours and 28 minutes. Another sighted it started at 20 hours… Another at 17 hours and 18 minutes. Visualization of the moon is only a verification; it is not an absolute. That's why it had to be calculated.

Computer calculations…

  • What are we dealing with?
  • Visualization?


  • Calculation?

We're dealing with calculation! Visualization is secondary! If it's cloudy and you can't see it, you have to go on the computer calculation.

Computer calculations based on a program, mentioned in appendix four indicates that if the moon set occurs after 45 minutes beyond sunset, the new crescent is almost certain to be visible.

If any sunset occurs 35 minutes beyond sunset, the new crescent is almost certain to not be discernable.

What do you do? You postpone to the next day! That's what it's all about. The key is calculation all the way through.

The word calendar usually implies a mechanical method for labeling days far into the future.

The calendar that God gave to Moses…

What did we learn about the calendar that God gave to Moses? That it's impossible in this day an age to return to the calendar that God gave to Moses.  The astronomical facts of the universe, the way they are now, the way the sun is and the planets, stars are different than when Moses existed.

You know immediately that if anyone says to return to the calendar that God gave, just look them in the face and say:

You really don't know hat you're talking about, because we can't return to the calendar that God gave. Furthermore, if we can return to it, then I would like you to produce for me the calendar book of Moses so we know that you're talking about the calendar of Moses and not something construed in your own mind or worked out on your own computer, which that actually is.

That's the long and short of it with Herb Solinsky. I told him:

You mean we have to give up the Calculated Hebrew Calendar that God has used for centuries and centuries and trust in your computer. No thank you! I prefer the authority that God has given, not the authority of your computer. Who knows:

  • What if there's virus in your program?
  • What if it really doesn't work?
  • What if it's really off?
  • What are we going to do?
  • Did you improve anything?


  • Did you get us deeper in trouble?

He got us deeper in trouble!

Continuing in article:

Are the dates of the current Jewish calendar in Harmony with the Mosaic calendar?

You can't go back to it! It's a question what cannot be answered. It's something that you cannot figure or calculate.

Did the Hebrew Bible appoint a body of people with continuous authority to alter any of the laws of God, in particularly the calendrical laws?

  • Where in the Bible are the calendrical laws?
  • Did not God give a body responsible, authoritatively to do so? Yes, He did!

He gave that to the priesthood! He gave that to the whole community of Israel, which was determined by the great synagogue under Ezra to perpetuate this and the proper Hebrew calendar down to our day.

It's an entirely irresponsible question. But someone will read that and say, 'Well, I don't know, maybe God didn't give anybody authority.' Never thinking to ask the question: Herb Solinsky:

  • Who gave you authority?
  • Did God speak to you?
  • Are you better than Moses?
  • Are you better than Ezra?
  • Are you better than Nehemiah?
  • Are you better than Haggai?
  • Are you better than Zechariah?
  • Why?
  • Are you better than the account in the book of Esther?
  • What do you mean?
  • Are the principles of the Jewish calendar in harmony with the Mosaic calendar? Again, a question that cannot be answered!

They're probably more in harmony than what you have in your computer, because it's always on time with keeping the Feasts. All of these things that you have here supposedly showing many errors are not valid, because you're dealing with two different things.

You are comparing the true conjunction with the possible visible conjunction compared with your computer program. Who is to say that your computer program is right? So, your whole chart here is very misleading. But when people look at it they say, 'Oh my, those postponements take away from the Holiness of God.'

No they don't, because a day for the Holy Days is not Holy until the day is declared!

  • you're not changing a Holy Day
  • you're not changing a calendar day

You are keeping it in conjunction as God has said that the lights to rule the day and rule the night are for times and seasons and years. That's what it's being in conjunction with. Then Solinsky says this:

Thus the current Jewish calendar is in disharmony with the Biblical principle that the Mosaic calendar be a solar/lunar calendar in nature.

Wrong! That is a false, lying statement!

The current Calculated Hebrew Calendar takes into account solar and lunar! But people read that and they don't know.

No authoritative writing on the Jewish calendar exists that reveals a provision in its rule to allow a change in the intercalary year sequence.

The fact that it has to be in season means that if those who were in authority in 142A.D.—which they were—saw that if they did not change the cycle of the intercalary years they still retain seven, and that's what it supposed to be. But they move them up one year so that down through the cycle of time it would not get out of season.

So, it doesn't rely upon a written authority of the Jewish calendar. It is the written Authority in heaven by the creation of God!

I've spent years accumulating all this material, and since I first went through this in 1980 with Herb Solinsky. I've watched with great interest and have read everything that everyone has sent me. I have seen nothing that is satisfactory to replace the Calculated Hebrew Calendar whatsoever—period!

There just is not any, and that's just the way it is! People can argue all day long; they can be blue in the face; they can be adamant and hardheaded and nothing ever move you for anything. But that doesn't change the fact of what God has done with this.

I'm going to read to you The Code of Maimonides, Book 3, Treatise Eight—Sanctification of the New Moon; translated from the Hebrew by Solomon Gandz

You can buy this book from any Hebrew store. Let me also say that Maimonides did not have some of the things available to him that I just read you earlier concerning the calendar in 10 B.C.  He did not have the historical information concerning the calendar in 458 B.C. at Elephantine, Egypt. But nevertheless, he makes reference to the fact that calculation was always used.

This is a very detailed, technical book. And unless you are technically minded, I suggest that you might find it very difficult to read. But I suggest that anyone who wants to read it, read it. But you better set your mind to understand some very difficult things. You may have to read it two or three times in order to understand what it's really telling you.

But suffice to say, there are enough calculations in here to show that:

  • they knew when the actual true conjunction of the moon would always be at all times.
  • they knew the anomalies of the moon, that is the wobbling of it with its orbit
  • they knew the apogee and the perigee of the Earth
  • they knew all of these things when Maimonides wrote this in 1283A.D.

So, we're not dealing with a bunch numbskull pretend preachers trying to exercise their will upon the people of God.

We're going to go through the historical facts that are here, and Maimonides makes it very clear as to why. When the whole church, and as the Jews were, spread around the world, you have the problem of:

  • when the month begins?
  • when the year begins?
  • when do the Holy Days begin?
  • are we in season?
  • are we out of season?
  • how do we keep everything continuously in the proper perspective in the 19-year time cycle and going on down through time?

That's what it's all about!

The Code of Maimonides, Book Three, Treatise Eight, "Sanctification of the New Moon" translated by Solomon Gandz

Introduction: In the main Maimonides is here concerned with the laws bearing on bygone times…

Times in the past; it doesn't mean the laws are now forsaken.

…when the regulation of the calendar had been the prerogative of the court…
the calendar court
…called the Synedrion in Jerusalem, and executed month by month and year by year. It is noteworthy, however, that even in this section he takes occasion to indicate that the laws foreshadow the subsequent development of the calendar characterized by the mathematical method aiming at a universal and permanent regulation.
That's why we have the Calculated Hebrew Calendar!
He lays great stress on the theses that the Mosaic Sinaitic tradition that had prescribed sanctification by the court on the basis of visual observation had also prescribed regulation of the calendar by calculation…

Why? Because it's hard to see the new moon! So, you've got to know whether it is theoretically possible to see it or not. If it's not theoretically possible to see it, why watch for it? If it is, then you should?

Because people would come in and lie about whether they saw it or not, they had to question them and they had to have the calculations to make sure that what the witnesses were telling you was actually true and substantiated by calculations.

We're going to see through this whole thing that all the way back in time calculations were the bottom line for everything that was done. So, people today who say we should not have the Calculated Hebrew Calendar do not have a clue as to what they are saying. They are just mouthing something that they have read that someone has written, or mouthing what they're told, and they haven't researched it to know.

…for the time when the Synedrion should have ceased to function. The ancient court had been obligated to engage in astronomical computation.

  • What did we just read about Herb Solinsky? Astronomical computation!
  • What are we reading about here? Astronomical computation!
  • Is that not what we're talking about in all of these things?

I have yet to see any calendar proposal that does not have some king of computation to it. I have yet to see one that does not have some kind of postponement to it, though at the beginning of their papers they deny that postponements are valid. They are certainly most valid!

The ancient court had the obligation to engage in astronomical computation, and thus determined before hand whether the new crescent might or might not be visible in its proper time, and could bring certain astronomical data to bear on their examination of the witnesses to the visibility.

It's only reasonable. You go into a bank and you want to justify your account, you have to have your figures and they have their figures, and if someone is wrong then you have to justify it.

It's exactly the same way in trying to figure out when the visibility of the new moon would be.

Since the crucial center of observation had been Palestine, the seat of the Synedrion…
The part of the Sanhedrin that was the calendar court!
…he proposes to make all his calculations on the basis of the geographical area of Jerusalem and it's environs….
That is absolutely, positively true, because out of Zion will go the Law!
…which area he says extends in the northern latitude from 30-35 degrees, and in the western longitude from 21-17 degrees.
Which is a very narrow band indeed! So, that's the basis from which all the calculations of the Hebrew calendar are based upon.

But since these matters are based upon demonstrable, irrefutable proofs…

In other words, mathematics are not tradition, calculations are not tradition! They are either true and accurate, or they are not true and accurate. So, they are irrefutably correct or irrefutably wrong. We're not dealing with throwing away with the traditions of Judaism. We're dealing with what is actually true.

…we need not be concerned with the identity of the authorities in whose names these proofs and demonstration have been transmitted be they Hebrew prophets or Gentile sages.

By astronomical calculation, one may determine as a possibility or an impossibility, but not as a matter of complete certainty, that a new crescent would be seen on the eve of the 30th day of any given month.

The court was empowered on the authority of the Mosaic tradition to guide itself by astronomical calculations and to have one full month followed by a defective month. The full month is 30 days…

Remember that we talked about that: 30 days and 29 days. The 29-day month is a defective month.

…or exceptionally to declare two successive months both full or both defective, but never to let a year include less than four or more than eight full months. Why? To keep the year in balance with the year behind, with the year ahead with the whole 19-year time cycle.

In effect, it concerns the question whether the new crescent may be a assumed to be seen in countries to the east and west of Palestine if it had been seen in Palestine, and what inferences may be made for Palestine if the new crescent has or has not been seen in the countries east and west.

So, they're considering everything! It's not this some sort of antiquated throw it away because 'we are greater with evolved knowledge.' We don't have that! The mathematics here are tremendous! Yet, they are simple enough so that you can sit down and do it. Therefore, Maimonides says that he has:

…deemed it appropriate to indicate here how astronomical data computed by the court in advance, specifically data bearing on the relative position of the eclipse and the equinox could serve as criterion of the trustworthiness of the witnesses.

There we go, even when you have the witnessing of it by actual observation, it had to be proved and verified by calculation. Later we are going to see that if the visualization was wrong, the calculations stood.

The secrets of the calendar, which was well known to the great sages, but which they divulged to only a select few. But the few knew and they passed it down.

Sine the works of the men of Issachar have not been preserved…

We read that a little early concerning what they understood!

…they got their mathematics from the different ones in Babylon, Persia, Greece, and in all cases all of this information came down from the Jews who were in Babylon.

The Patriarch Gamaliel II in A.D. 110 concerning the duration of the synoptical month and thesis set forth by (?) in current era 257 on the length of the solar year and the equinoxes, the lesser importance of the observation concerning the solar cycle of 28 years.

There is a cycle of the sun, which is 28 days for one rotation. Then it has a cycle of 28 years. That's what it's talking about. That also affects what the Earth is doing, what the moon is doing and what the other planets are doing and so forth.

The plain fact is that as seen by recent scholars, the system of the fixed calendar was not developed until fully three to four centuries after the close of the Talmudic Period, about 485.

That we have learned is an incorrect statement! It was fully developed in and fully used in the 5th century B.C., fully used by Ezra, Nehemiah and in the book of Esther to determine the time. All of those are the months of the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

Maybe as they went down in time they had a few adjustments to do, and maybe that's what they're talking about here, but the last known adjustment to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar was 142A.D.

In fact, the equinox, the second day of Passover should never be allowed to fall in advance of the spring equinox.

That was the earliest that the Wave Sheaf Offering Day could be, was the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In some cases it may be the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which they call the second day of Passover.

They are keeping all of this in perspective. This year we are having a late spring. As a matter of fact, here we are right at the close of May and it's 50 degrees out, and it's snowing up in the Rocky Mountains. These things all have to be taken into account. Sometimes you have a late spring and an early winter. Sometimes you have a late winter and an early spring. All of these things are accounted for within the Calculated Hebrew Calendar

In describing the examination of the witnesses, he points out that certain of the court's queries had aimed at testing not whether the witnesses agreed with one another, but whether their testimony agreed with the astronomical data the court had established by computation.

Visual observation alone could never had regulated the calendar satisfactorily, if only because of visibility of the new crescent in the proper time might be forestalled by many months, by adverse weather conditions. Such as, once (?) went so far as to suggest that visual observation never did regulate the calendar, and that the fixed calendar, which does not depend upon observation and visibility goes back to Moses if not even to Adam.

We can't substantiate that statement, but it's highly likely that it did go back to Moses so the calendar court would come down. We saw that having to do with David and the setting up of the courses of the priests and the courses of the soldiers.

In the eyes of Maimonides, however, such a view amounted to a flagrant rejection of the oral law as we have seen.

I think that those who believe in the oral law gave too much credence to it. Those who didn't believe in it, scoffed at it and tried to throw it away as much as they could. But what we have to do is deal with the realities of what the calendar actually is. That's what we need to deal with. We need to deal with actual days, with actual months, with actual seasons, with actual years.

Throughout the months of the year (Num. 28:14) implies that we should count the year by months not by days….

That's important! You have to have days, but you have to have the whole months. Either 29 days or 30 days. Then you figure that as we saw, the lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours, 793 parts, which is 44 and some odd minutes. Take every month and add up that 44-48 minutes and where are you going to make the adjustment for it? Sooner or later that is adjusted into an hour! Then the hours are adjusted into a day. But you must account for the 793 parts, which is the 44 and some odd minutes in all of your calculations. If you do not, you're going to be off sooner or later.

…Each month the moon disappears and become invisible for about two days or somewhat more or less for about a day at the end of the old month before it reaches its conjunction with the sun, and for about a day after its conjunction with the sun.

Then it reappears in the evening in the west and this night in which it becomes visible in the west after its disappearance is the beginning of the month.

There are people that say that you should calculate from the actual conjunction of the moon when it's in its dark phase. There's another group that says that you should watch the setting of the moon and begin there, because the setting of the moon ends the month just like the sunset ends the day.

Wrong! The way the moon works has nothing to do with how the sun works. The keeping of the Sabbath has nothing to do with how to come to the understanding of the months.

No matter whether the moon did or did not appear in the night of the 31st day, no attention was paid to it for the lunar month never lasts longer than 30 days.

The authority over the observation of the new crescent and the subsequent proclamation of the new moon day…

Let's understand something very important concerning these days are to be proclaimed! They are not just days that happen, they must be proclaimed!

As we see in the Schocken Bible, these are proclamations of Holiness. These are to be preached. A Holy Day and the calendar for determining the Holy Days is not there by just the fact that the Earth goes around the sun and the moon around the Earth. It has to be proclaimed so that it is correct for everything.

Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons."

This clearly means that the calendar court had to declare the day before it was a month. They had to declare the determination of when the crest would appear in order to determine the beginning of the month, in particularly the 7th month and the 1st day of the 7th month, which is called 'the molad of Tishrei.' The 7th month begin called Tishrei.

The authority over the observation of the new crescent and the subsequent proclamation of the new moon day was not given to everyone.

Brethren, all of those who go out on a stump and sit there and watch for the moon, it was never given for you to do that! And for you to determine and make proclamations, and to change the Holy Days of God based upon that is sin against God!

As in the case with the Sabbath Day, with respect to which everyone counts six days and rests on the seventh. But not so with the months or the years.

The day sanctified and proclaimed by the court is the beginning of the month was a new moon day, for it is said, "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months." That is to say accepting of it or rejecting of it concerning this matter is put into your hands. And that's rightly and properly a right conclusion to make concerning these things.


If, however, the members of the court found by calculation that the new moon could not possibly be seen, they were not obligated to be in attendance on the 30th day or wait for the arrival of witnesses.

It shows you again and again, over and over, calculation, calculation, calculation, even though observation was used as a secondary validation of the new moon.

Scripture made it incumbent upon the court to discover by calculation whether or not the new moon might be visible.

Why? Because they were to proclaim, and in order to proclaim they had to do it right.

Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons." And later it says that you shall keep this ordinance in its season!

Only in Palestine was it permitted to compute and proclaim new moon days, embolistic years…
That is intercalated 13-month years!
…"for out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
The witnesses had to be
…worthy men, duly tested and examined.

The court used to employ methods of calculation of the kind employed by astronomers in order to ascertain whether the new moon of the coming month would be seen to the north or the south of the sun.

If the testimony of the witnesses was found to confirm the results of the astronomical calculations, it was accepted. But if it was found not to conform, it was rejected.
Again, calculations reign supreme!
If the witness said, "In the morning of the 30th day we saw the old moon in the east before sunrise and in the evening on the night of the 30th day we saw the new moon in the west," they were considered trustworthy and the court could sanctify the new moon on the basis of this observation, since they did see the phase in its proper time.

Neither the calculation nor the sanctification of the new moon could be carried out with any less but the court of three. Nor was the formal sanctification of the new moon pronounced accept when the new moon had been observed in its proper time, nor the pronouncement made at any other time during the day.

If it was made at night time, the sanctification was not valid.

Because it was already after sunset and it was already dark, and you cannot validate something that has already passed!

Even if the court itself and the whole community of Israel had observed the new moon, as long as the court had not pronounced the (?)…
the new moon
…formula before the arrival of darkness on the night of the 31st day, if only because of the examination of the witnesses had dragged on for so long that the court had no occasion to pronounce the ---- before the arrival of darkness of the 31st day.

This new moon could no longer be sanctified and the old month was declared intercalated, or embolistic. In that case the new moon was declared to fall on the 31st day. Notwithstanding, the crest had been observed on the night of the 30th day.

You see, you had all the offerings to offer on the new moon day, so they had to have some way of regulating and cutting it off.  They had to have some sense to do it.

It was not the observation of the new moon, but the official pronouncement of the new moon formula by the court, which legally initiated the new moon.

Witnesses who observed the new moon were obligated to go to the court and testify even on the Sabbath. For it is said that, "You shall proclaim it in their appointed seasons."
They were very particular in what they were doing!
Accordingly, they were allowed to violate the Sabbath not only on account of the months of Nisan and Tishrei for the observation of the festivals in proper season depends only upon these two months.

New moon day to a place held ready for that purpose there was a meal prepared.

What they did was to celebrate this with a meal. It was not a full church service as we would call it today. It was not a synagogue service, but a meal service and thanksgiving to God for what He was doing (1-Sam. 20 in relationship to David and Saul, etc.}

They were not there in the evening, but in the early morning before sunrise. Nor did they go to this meal if there were less than ten persons. Nor did they take along anything, save bread made of grain or polce, which was all that they ate at this meal.

This is meant wherever references made to the religious meal for the intercalation of a month.
Now concerning Nisan and Tishrei:
The time of the sacrifices and other festival  had already passed and everything had been accomplished.

That's the reason that they had some of the things that they did. Now we are going to see that there are certain things that they could do to even postpone when the physical circumstances required it. Here are some of the things that they could do:

Intercalation of the year depended…
That is putting the 13th month
…on three criteria: the equinox, the barley harvesting, the blooming of fruit trees. Namely if the court had ascertained by calculation that the equinox of Nisan would fall on the 16th day of Nisan or later, it intercalated that year and declared Nisan of this year to be Second Adar so that the Passover might fall in the season of the barley harvest.
Because you had to have the Wave Sheaf Offering to offer.
Similarly, if the court found that the barley harvest was not yet ripe, being retarded, and that such fruit trees usually sprout during Passover season and had not yet produced buds, it took these two conditions as criteria and proceeded to intercalate the year, making it the 13th month.

Even if the equinox was to take place prior to the 16th day of Nisan.

We're going to have a day like that next year. It's the 19th year in the 19-year time cycle. The Passover is going to be a little later. Some people are all upset, saying that it's way past. No, it's not! We're going to see that it's right on time, and there's a reason for it. Everybody just hold on and calm down!

  • you don't know more than God
  • you don't know more than those who calculated the calendar
  • you don't know the reasons and factors behind it

I have one nasty letter sitting in my Calculated Hebrew Calendar book which lists all of the days through the 20th and 21st century. He sent me a nasty letter saying: See, the Hebrew calendar is wrong!

You don't know! You don't have clue! They could postpone it because of the barley harvest, or because as we will see here, that there were three places that they looked at:

  • if the roads were washed out
  • if the bridges were destroyed
  • if the clay ovens for the Paschal lambs were all soft because of rain

They could postpone for another month!

So, let's not get all excited and get so punctilious that we are more righteous than God, which is really a stupid statement, because no one is more righteous than God!

If you do that contrary to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, then you're setting up your own righteousness. Then you're setting up something that God did not declare. God is going to bring His judgment upon you.

If the Jews in the Diaspora had not set onto their pilgrimage because they could not reach Jerusalem in time, owing it to the conditions of travel, it was necessary to intercalate the year in order to enable them to arrive in season.
All of those are basic functional things that are true!
Rather, the people were allowed to perform sacrifices…

And it talks about those who were unclean, they could do it based upon the situation with Hezekiah.

Those additional reasons for intercalating are as follows: if the kids of the lambs had not yet been born…
Because it's a late season
…or if still too young, or if the pigeons squabs were still unfledged. This year requires intercalation on account of the lateness of the equinox, and because of the lateness of the barley harvest or the unripe condition of the fruit trees. Moreover, the kids are too young and the pigeons squabs are too tender.

Only those who were appointed to sit on the Council of Intercalation might decide whether a year was to be intercalated.

Then the chief of the council would proclaim it, and it took three ordained judges chosen from among the members of the great Sunedrion.

We have a great thing concerning ordination. We have a lot of would be self-appointed teachers; many of them are calendar buffs. They are causing great havoc among the Churches of God.

Granted, there have been ministers who have been derelict, but that doesn't mean that this invalidates everything that's in the Scriptures concerning ordination. Just like some people think they have a lot of information and now they can go out and watch for the new moon. You don't have a clue as to what you're doing. I'm sure that nobody has as much knowledge as Maimonides did. You get his book and read it.

Again, a year could be pronounced as intercalated in the daytime only. If it happened that the pronouncement was made at night, the intercalation was not valid. The court had authority to ascertain by calculation to determine which year was to be intercalated.

It could do so whenever it pleased even many years in advance.

That's what we have with the Calculated Hebrew Calendar!

However, if the month of Nisan had begun and the year had not yet been declared intercalated, it could not be intercalated.

However, if the court did intercalate a year on the 30th day of Adar the intercalation was valid.

So, they had certain limits to their authority!

The court might not intercalate a year in a year of famine, for everyone would race to the granary to get the food for the preservation of his life, and it was improper to prolong the time in which the new crops in the field was prohibited for consumption.

Nor was it proper to intercalate in a sabbatical year, for then everyone had to depend upon the after gross, and thus there would not have been enough for the offering of the sheaf and the two wave loaves.

It was customary, however, to intercalate if need be, the year succeeding a sabbatical year.

All of these things are in compliance with the Scriptures! Every single one of them!

The authority of this evidence is vested in you and your duly qualified successors.

Of the Synedrion Court!

In times, however, when no Synedrion existed in Palestine, fixation and new moon days, and the intercalation of the years was affected only by methods of calculation as we are using today.

When in time no Synedrion existed, the declaration was based upon calculations such as we are using today, and no attention was paid to the observation of the new crescent.

Since when did all Israel begin to employ these methods?

Then he tells when it began! That goes clear down to the Diaspora and so forth. This is a very long and complicated and detailed book. I've read it all the way through and I understand exactly what it's saying.

The fact that at present each community calates its own local, declaring such and such a day a new moon day and such and such a day to be a Holy Day, does not mean that we rely upon our own calculations and determinations, for no one is permitted to intercalate the year or to determine the new moon day outside of Palestine so that we may rely only upon the calculations and the fixation of the people of Palestine.

Our own calculations are solely for the purpose of making the matter available to public knowledge. Since we know that the Palestinians use the same method of calculation, we perform the same operation in order to find out and to ascertain what day it is that is determined by the people of Palestine.

The fixation of the Palestinians, and not our own calculation, is that which legally establishes that day as the new moon day, or a Holy Day.

Even at a time when the observation was based for determination upon the reoccurrence of the new moon day, the court used to ascertain by calculation with great precision according to the method of the astronomers the exact time of the true conjunction of the moon.

So, they knew that! Look on your calendar today, which says 'new moon' on a Roman calendar, and that is the actual conjunction. They call that the new moon day, but that's not the new moon day. That's when the moon actually has its conjunction. The new moon day is the day after that, or two days after that depending on how long it takes to get there.

The exact time of the true conjunction of the moon with the sun in order to find out when the moon would be visible on the 30th day or not. The first step in the calculation is the operation by which one ascertains only a approximately without precision on the basis on the mean motion of the sun and the moon. Their mean conjunction is called the molad.

That means that the molad is an average which takes into account the increased speed, or the slower speed, and the wobble and anomalies of the moon and the earth all together. Those are called mean motions.

The day and night consists of 24 hours, 12 hours for the day and 12 hours for the night in any season. The hour is divided into 1,080 parts….
We saw that!
The reason for dividing the hour into this number of parts is that this number may be divided without any remainder by 2, 4, 8, 3, 6, 9, 5 and 10.

That's very important when you're doing division that you don't have any hanging remainders left over.

With these denominations, the fractions again may be divided into other parts. By figures, the interval between the two conjunctions of the moon and the sun, according to their mean motion…
That is the average motion!
…is 29 days, 12 hours of the 30th day beginning with the night of this day and 793 parts of the 13th hour.

With respect to the lunar year, its duration is as follows. If 12 months the length is defined. It amounts to 1254 days, 8 hours and 876 parts. That must be accumulated and carried over to where it will be 17 hours, 600 and some odd parts the next year.

It the year is intercalated, it has 13 months and amounts to 383 days, 21 hours and 589 parts.

All of those things have to be accounted for! That's why there are adjustments that are called 'postponements.'

The duration of a solar year is 365 days, 6 hours. Since the excess of a solar year over an ordinary lunar year amounts to 10 days, 21 hours and 204 parts.

Then we have at the end of two years it is 21 days, 18 hours and 408 parts. Then that is carried over, and that's why nearly every third year is a 13-month year.

For we calculate, not in order to find out the number of days, but in order find out which day of the week and which hour and which part of any hour the conjunction will occur.
That way they adjust it!
According to this method of calculation, the new moon day of Tishrei—the seventh month—is never allowed to fall on a Sunday or a Wednesday or Friday.

People say that you 'can't do that; you're changing something that is Holy.' Please understand that it is not Holy until it is proclaimed Holy! It is not Holy until you determine the exact configuration of the day!

We're going to look at some of these postponements here in just a minute.

If the conjunction or Tishrei falls on one of these three days, the following days declared to be the new moon day.

Why? Remember the time difference between the actual conjunction and the visibility of the new moon! It can vary from 16 –42 hours. Therefore, you must postpone from the molad—or the conjunction—until the probable visualization of the new moon. That's what the calculated calendar is all about.

If the conjunction falls on a Sunday, the new moon day is postponed to Monday. If the conjunction falls on a Wednesday, it is postponed to Thursday. If the conjunction falls on a Friday, it is postponed to Saturday.

Why does this method of calendrical calculation eliminate day 1, 4 and 6—Sunday, Wednesday and Friday—from being declared new moon days of Tishrei? Because this method reckons with the conjunction if the moon and the sun based upon not only their true position, but only upon their mean position.

In other words, this is done to account for the slot for all of those parts we discussed earlier!

As regard to the month of Tishrei, days of normal declaration are made to alternate with days of postponement in order to hit upon the day of true conjunction.

Thus, if the conjunction falls on Tuesday, Tuesday is declared as a new moon day. If on a Wednesday, postponement is made. If on a Thursday, Thursday is declared. If on a Friday, postponement is made. If on Saturday, Saturday is declared. If on Sunday, a postponement is made, if on a Monday, Monday is declared.

We're going to look at these four postponements and see why. We are going to see that they allow for preparation for the Sabbath, and that in the fall, because of the great number of sacrifices and people it would be impossible to have a Holy Day precede a Sabbath, and a Sabbath to precede a Holy Day. We will see the reason for it as we look at these charts.

{this chart is unavailable}

First of all, we're going to see Tishrei, the seventh month, if Trumpets is on a Sunday, postpone to a Monday. Notice that you have butting up on this a Sabbath before the Sunday. Trumpets is a great day, which needs great preparation! Therefore, it's postponed to a Monday.

But also see what else happens: if it's left this way, here's the Sabbath, then Atonement and then you have the Feast of Tabernacles following a Sabbath.

Look in the book of Numbers and you will see how many sacrifices are made on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and then take a look and see why there is a day of postponement so that it is going to move this up to a Monday instead of on a Sunday.

Then we have the seventh day of Tabernacles and then the Last Great Day. When we get done here, I will show you the Scriptural basis for these postponements.

Tishrei, the 7th month, the 1st day of the month, if Trumpets falls on a Wednesday, then it's postponed to a Thursday. Look at what happens, because you have Atonement fall on a Friday. It's very important! God lays stress upon the preparation day for the Sabbath! We're going to see that the Day of Atonement is a day of absolute non-working. Therefore, this rule is to keep the Day of Atonement you're not working on the Day of Atonement to prepare for the Sabbath. So, you have this butting up against the Sabbath.

The month of Tishrei, if Trumpets falls on a Friday you postpone to the Sabbath. If not, see what you have: 1, 2, 3 double Sabbath's in a row. When there is great preparation for these days, and also, you lose all sequence of the meaning of the separateness of these days. Trumpets is a separate, special and particular day.

You also have another problem, Atonement follows a Sabbath, so not only do you have three Sabbaths that are double Sabbaths this way, but you also have the fourth double Sabbath, which is the regular Sabbath and Atonement on Sunday.

You cannot prepare for the Day of Atonement on a day of rest being the Sabbath. Therefore, this is a proper and a right postponement to keep everything in sequence.

Notice also that after the Last Great Day you should never have a Sabbath, because the Feast ends with the Last Great Day. It continues here if there's a regular Sabbath that follows.

This is the worst of all worlds when you consider these postponements. I had one man almost assault me when I was in Houston concerning this postponement. He was so righteous that he accepted some of the postponements, but not this one. He never had a chance to look at the calendar to see what would happen if it were that way.

All of these postponements are right, proper, correct, and astronomically based, and also for the proper observance of these days.

Some of those who disagree with this say that the Jews made it for the convenience of the people. It was never for the convenience of the people, that is a willy-nilly way of saying it. These were always made for the proper observation of these days.

Now let's look at the Scriptural reason for these postponements. I had someone say to me that if Atonement is on a Friday then prepare for the Sabbath on Thursday.

Well, in the climate where it's very warm you can't do that, because you would have spoilage of food. You can't prepare for two days. In the spring you could, where you have the Day of Pentecost you can do that, and there are not the offerings that are offered on Pentecost as there on these other days. But here is the reason:

Exo. 16—you know the whole story about the man, and if they kept it over on the day they shouldn't keep it over it bred worms and stank.

Exodus 16:23: "And he said to them, 'This is that which the LORD has said… [This is something God has said!] … "Tomorrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil. And that which remains over, lay up for yourselves to be kept until the next morning."'"

They did that and it didn't breed worms and stink! Any other day they could not prepare for the Sabbath on Thursday. They cannot prepare for the Sabbath on Wednesday. They had to do it on the sixth day!

This is a primary command that takes precedence over having the Day of Atonement on Friday or on Sunday. Notice that when you have it on Sunday, then you have four double Sabbaths in a row. What you're going to do is end up with derelict observance on all of those Sabbath Days sooner or later. God made it so that there would be a day of preparation in between.

Let's see something very important concerning the Day of Atonement. It is a day of particular importance, a day in which no work should be done, and you cannot come into a fast day on the heels of a Feast day. So, you cannot have atonement right after the Sabbath Day.

If you think you can, then you're not keeping the Sabbath Day properly, and you are not preparing for the Sabbath Day.

Remember, when they prepared back there, they had a lot of work to do. They had no electricity, no gas, no refrigerators, no supermarkets, none of this. If they wanted bread they had to grind the flour, kneed the dough, work the flour, bake the bread and have it ready. If they wanted a chicken, they had to catch it, decapitate it, feather it, clean it, cool it, cook it, and have it ready.

Today we live in a dream world as far as preparation goes. We don't prepare like they did. So, what you need to do is go out and if you don't believe what I'm saying is true, take a Friday and you start everything from scratch. Do not use you supermarket, your stove or refrigerator. Start your fire from scratch.

Use grain and make your bread and take a live chicken and prepare it and you see how long that takes you and how much work is involved. Furthermore, fix it for a family of six and see what you're up against. That's why its there.

Now, in Lev. 23 it says this concerning the Day of Atonement:

Leviticus 23:28: "And you shall do no work in that same day…"

Verse 29[transcriber's correction]: "For whoever is not afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whoever does any work…" (vs 29-30). So, you have a double negation:

  • no work
  • whosoever does any work

"…in that same day, the same one will I destroy from among his people" (v 30).

That's why, brethren, that these postponements are there. They are based and rooted in Scripture. They are based and rooted in astronomical reasons so that the 15th day of the 1st month and the 15th day of the 7th month will be full moon days! That's what God has determined that they are to be. And the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is the only thing that consistently does that absolutely year after year. There is not one 'centilience' of variance in that that I've seen in many, many years.

Now here are some other things concerning the calendar. We could go on and on with the sanctification of the new moon, but I think I've covered enough of it. We have all of the complicated tables that are in here:

  • it tells you the degrees
  • it tells you the azimuth
  • it tells you every thing about it
  • it tells you exactly what should be done

This is how we got the basis of the fixed calendar today, so that we don't have fiddle around trying to figure out all of these things and do it on our own and have error.

The very fact that there five days of Passover this year shows the total error that so many people were involved in.

These calculations are not delays at all. He gives a great thing here concerning what happened in A.D. 776 where they were off by 3 hours and 363 parts, which then if it were truly off, then it would be made up when you came to postponing for whole day. That is not a serious error, that is not even worth mentioning. It shows how far he's going to try and create his own calendar.

Now then, here is the whole Hebrew calendar. If you can get a book on it, by all means try and do so. This is one is put out by John Cossy at Ambassador College, and we took the course there when I went to Ambassador College years ago. It covers everything that we just covered here concerning all the postponements.

Remember that the postponements are based in Scripture and based upon astronomical things and reasons. I won't get into all of this because we've covered it in main with the other things that we have.

Here's one from a Church of God library in Cisco, Texas:

Article #6Determining New Moons

It has a little bit to say about it concerning calculations.

Article #7—concerning the Karaites.

They were a sect of the Jews from the 900s to the 1200s and here it is the Karaites in Byzantium. It showed that the long and the short of the whole thing concerning the calendar wars was that they could never determine the correct day of the new moon, though they tried to observed, they could never figure the correct day for Abib or the day of green ears, even thought they went to great pains going down to Palestine from Constantinople to find out about it.

After 500 years the Karaites gave up and said that the calculated calendar that rabbis had was correct, and the rabbis having it and having it correct was not because of their tradition, but because they got it from the calendar court.

Article #8by a man called James Russell

I want to read a couple of things to show you the subtly of how these things are accomplished. Russell quotes something from Herbert W. Armstrong from the article: Did Christ Re-Organize the Church?

"Careless assumption has led us into serious error. It has left us open to be deceived."

Oh, that's a true statement, Herbert Armstrong said it. Oh my!

"The Bible cautions us to prove all things!"

From James Russell:

As God's people we need to be on guard against manmade traditions."

When they take away from God! But you show me one thing that I covered in all these four sessions that is a manmade tradition. He claims they are, but I have proved that they are not.

Then he talks about Pentecost being kept on Monday for 40 years. Well, the truth of the matter is that in 1952 Herbert Armstrong could have solved the problem of Pentecost if he didn't have his vanity all involved. I know that for an absolute fact!

Change should never be a stumbling block for God's people.

Now he's preparing mentally the way so you change to his way of reckoning the calendar.

God's people should never change or stumble over Scriptural truths.

A clever use of misapplied truth! WCG has said the same thing about the trinity.

When reading God's Word, not the Talmud, Jesus Christ was in constant clash with the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes over their self-righteous laws.

True, but I tell you: go point out one Scripture in the New Testament where it had to do with the calendar. Not one! Not one! Not one! So, his statement is completely invalid. Here's a clever way of taking a true statement and wrongly applying it to something that is a misapplication and coming up with error.

The Hebrew calendar was put together by the rules of the Talmud called the Mishna.

Wrong! Not true! But people read that and say, 'Oh my, we shouldn't have that.'

By following their rules in 1994 the first day of the year is going to fall on March 13th. That is one day after the new moon. Why is this one day late?

No, it's not! It's not one day late, it's right on time! Rule one of the Hebrew calendar is to count backward 177 days from Tishrei 1. That's the correct way to do it because of the difference in the Roman calendar, and to keep everything in proper sequence because you calculate from Tishrei, which is the seventh month.

Nowhere in God's Word does God tell us to count backward to find out when His Holy Day will be.

  • show me one place where it forbids it
  • show me one place where it forbids postponements
  • show me one place where you are right

Then Russell quotes Exo. 2; this month shall be to you the beginning of months.' The month of Nisan is still the beginning of months, though we calculate from the seventh month, because of the greatest postponement time of the phases of the moon from anywhere from 16 to 42 hours. That time must be accounted for. Those days must be counted, and they cannot be counted as Holy Days. You must go on beyond that and postpone. So, he uses the probable actual conjunction rather than the probable visible conjunction.

Then he gives some other arguments concerning that Mr. Armstrong never kept the Passover on the 15th. That's because the Bible always said that the Passover was on the 14th. So, your argument is moot. We could go through many of these. Russell says:

Mr. Armstrong said at the beginning of this letter: "Careless assumption has led most into error and has left us opened to be deceived. It is our responsibility to prove all things.

We just have! Just exactly as the hypocrites, my note is that 'you are done.' This is supposedly from The Church of God's Truth, but it should be entitled 'The Church of No Postponements,'

Postponements are right and proper, and should be, and I showed you why. Not satisfied with that, he had to continue in his doctrine. We have this one:

Article #9Postponements, Another Mystery of the Ages

When he gets all done lambasting the postponements, he shows how we are to do it according to his method:

But God never said that the visible crest of the young new moon was the method we are to use to establish the new moon.

Yes, He did!

Genesis 1:16[transcriber's correction]: "…two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light…" Not the greater darkness and the lesser darkness!

We cannot rely on calendars devised by men.
True! So, he gives out here a calendar devised by himself!
The Hebrew calendar used by the Jewish culture today is not correct when using postponements in miscalculating the new moon.

It does not miscalculate it, it does it absolutely correct! James Russell is the one who miscalculates it.

Then he says that if you don't do it the way that he says to do it, you're going to take the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast has nothing to do with calendar calculation! The mark of the beast has to do with receiving the mark in your right hand or your forehead; that you cannot buy or sell without it, to control you and take away your free moral agency and your love of God.

The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles will be on the full moon most of the time.
It will be ALL the time!
In 1972 the Feast did not start on a full moon, it was two days late. In 1992 was a postponement year.
Wrong! Incorrect!
In 1992 four of us stood and watched the full moon rise on the evening the Feast of Tabernacles began in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a full moon coming up as the sun was going down.
You are wrong James Russell over and over again!
Here's what we are to do: we are to take the days and the times from the astronomical tables of the sun, moon and planets by author Jean Menaz, adjusted for sunset, 6 p.m. Jerusalem time.

Russell has postponed! This man is completely nuts, and yet, there are people who will follow him. I get really angry and upset when I find out that he leads brethren astray.

  • Is that astronomical table what God shows that we should use? No!
  • Do they go by the probable appearance of the visible new moon? No!

They go by the dark of the moon by the actual conjunction of the moon, which is a day before the Calculated Hebrew Calendar new moon! Sometimes two days before. So, we're dealing with important things!

Article #10—from Church of God in Truth

Man has made the preparation day more important than God's Holy Days.

No, man hasn't! God gave us the command to prepare! Judah was given the oracles of God to keep, not to change! He didn't change them.

Article #11—all he can ever write and talk about is the calendar:

The Catholic Church in the 4th century A.D. changed keeping the 7th day Sabbath to keeping Sunday, the first day of the week, thus postponing the Sabbath.

The same kind of scenario is found to be in evidence when following the rules of the Hebrew calendar. Therefore, if you accept postponements you are doing the same as the Catholics.

No, you're not, because the postponements are based on valid astronomical and Holy Day considerations, and are necessary!

Article #12talks about Hillel; we disproved that!

Article #13—bookletTotal Truth—which is an absolute bunch of trash. He says that we can get back to the calendar that God created and he tries to show that the 5th day of the week was the 1st day of the month when God created it.

Article #14concerning the moons; much the same thing concerning how it should be.

We have from Assembly of Yahweh Seventh Day much the same thing that we have, that the calendar was introduced in 358-359 by Hillel. This is interesting, now they have the rotating dateline.

Wherever the new moon falls on whatever place on the earth, that's where you begin hour one.

That's not what the Scriptures say! You must have whole days and whole months. You cannot have a part of the day. You must postpone to the next sunset regardless; sometimes to the day after, depending on how late it is.

Suppose that the new crescent is first seen in Hawaii, the Biblical month will begin at that meridian on that day at sunset.
No it doesn't! It begins at Jerusalem.
As the rotation of the Earth progresses, bringing sunset to all parts of the Earth, sunset and the new moon brings each community the first day of the month. When sunset returns to Hawaii the second day begins.

Since when is Hawaii the center of the Holiness of God? Never is! All of these stupid reasonings. You can't find this in the Bible anywhere.

It's impossible for all of us to observe the festival day at the same time. We must observe it as the day comes to us.

That is a correct statement, but it must be calculated to come to it!

Article #15Is There a Biblical Calendar? by Matt Henson

We have proven beyond any shadow of doubt that there is a Biblical calendar. Here is a man who presumes and presumptuously takes upon himself to say:

We should begin counting the new moon after it sets in the 'East,' after its last phase. Then the new month begins just as the setting of the sun.

  • How can you do that when the moon sets in the East and then the sun rises?
  • How can that be the same as the setting of the sun when the sun rises?

This becomes absolute crazy nonsense in all of this!

The Hebrew calendar is not compatible with the commanded new moon observances.

Yes, it absolutely is, and was designed to do so! This paper is filled with so many errors. Let's me read his conclusion:

This paper was written for the sole purpose of helping fellow brothers and sisters to better understand the Bible. To better serve the one true God. I do not ask for money; I'm not ordained and have no affiliation with the corporate non-profit church.
So, that makes you more righteous?
I have asked you to do one thing. Fast and pray diligently, seek God, study your Bible, prove the calendar from Scriptures.

We just did, Matt! But you didn't! You tried to prove your own scenario.

In addition this article does not address some of the technical astronomical issues such as the movement of the International Dateline, or detailed explanations of why sunspots don't affect the Biblical calendar.

If you need greater detail, please contact me. For the record, I'm not ordained, but I do have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within me. No man has a monopoly on the Word of God. There is no presumption in sending out this article.
Yes, there is!
The only authority this article has is that the Scriptures upon which it rests, and the astronomical laws created by God.
It's the lights, Matt, not the darkness!
If you have any questions you can contact me, your brother in Christ, Matt Henson.

Article #16

This is a very interesting paper drafted by Allen and Rebecca Preston. I've met them and know them. They were very perturbed with me at Feast of Tabernacles for mentioning 'the calendar freaks.'

I say that with no apologies. They have the same thing in trying to determine it. Let me show you right here in what they have. They begin this by saying:

You should not have any postponements.

Then they tell you how to figure the calendar according their way of doing it, which is:

…the rotating International Dateline! If one moth it's in Africa, then it starts there. If the next month it's in South America, it starts there. If the next month it's in Hawaii, it starts there. If the next month it's in Japan, it starts there.

You have parts of days, but you can never have parts of days, because God only deals with whole days. Notice what they say; you have to get calculated charts to go by:

How to calculate new moons and the calendar.

You can't get this in Scriptures anywhere, yet they claim it's Scriptural!

To calculate the new months and Holy Days for one year, you need two yearly charts or calendars: a chart showing the astronomical new moon, the March equinox, the local sundown table. We have provided these charts except for the local sundown table in appendix B.

  • find the date and time of the March equinox and mark it on the yearly calendar with an 'X'
  • find the first new moon after the equinox and mark the date and the time the site of your yearly calendar

I'm reading this in '1-Preston 3:2,' which you will find right after the book of Jeremiah, between Ezra, Hezekiah and Nehemiah. I say that in great jest and with great cynicism because this is cynical the way that is done, and it is absolutely incorrect and leading brethren astray! So, if they get mad at me, then fine. I'd rather have them mad a me and have them repent than have to face God as to why they created such nonsense as this paper.

Convert the day and the time to your time zone.
Listen to this very carefully!
If the new moon is before sunset, circle the next day as being the new month.
I want you to think on this as I read it!
If the new moon occurs at 11:30 A.M. on the 3rd, circle the 4th. If the new moon occurs between sunset and midnight, circle the following date.

Example: if the new moon occurs at 10:30 P.M. on the 3rd, then you circle the 5th.

  • What have they just done? At the beginning of the paper they said that they were against postponement and shouldn't have them!
  • What have they just done in their self-righteousness in setting up a calendar that is contrary to Scripture? They have postponed!
  • By a total of how many hours? Approximately 40!

Is that not what the Calculated Hebrew Calendar does?

  • it does it based upon the visibility of the moon, not the dark of the moon
  • it does it based upon the average mean time in Jerusalem, not anywhere in the world

Brethren, this sort of nonsense divides the congregation! Unfortunately, our brethren in Phoenix have had to go through this, of self-righteous determined people trying to palm their way off with unscriptural things and say that they are Scriptural. It has happened not only the congregation there, brethren, but over and over and over again!

Every one of these people who purport to have a Scriptural calendar, do not! They have an unscriptural calendar based on calculations that are not authorized by God.

The Calculated Hebrew Calendar, as we have seen and proved in the first session, is in the Bible wholly, fully and totally, and that's the one that we should use.

So, now you have some information to arm yourself. It will take further study, but as you can see by the things that I have covered in these four sessions, that it is in great detail to let you understand and know why the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is the calendar that God has purposed, has given, delivered and made possible so we can perpetually keep the Holy Days in unity with God until Jesus Christ returns!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:4
  • Exodus 16:23
  • Leviticus 23:28-30
  • Genesis 1:16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1-Samuel 30
  • Exodus 2

Also referenced: Book:
The Code of Maimonides, Book Three, Treatise Eight, "Sanctification of the New Moon" translated by Solomon Gandz

Transcribed: 6/7/21