OF THE HEBREW CALENDAR
“and he said unto them,
full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition
The next study
of importance would be the 1997 study paper on the calendar by the United Church
of God. It is a new approach with a
dismal ending. They came to the
conclusion to keep using the Jewish Calendar, but did not have scholars with any
degree of honesty. When I started
writing about this paper, the one thing that kept coming to mind, was the
scripture cited above (Mark 7:9). It
is a known fact that the UCG does not have people who really understand the
Jewish Calendar. I reference their
Pentecost Study paper. It should
have come as no surprise to me that I would find an arrogant attitude dismissing
50 study papers outright and not even commenting upon major points brought up in
one of them. In their Pentecost
Study Paper, UCG takes the position that its errors can be adequately explained
as a matter of semantics. This
means that words really have no meaning any more.
The next study of importance would be the 1997 study paper on the calendar by the United Church of God. It is a new approach with a dismal ending. They came to the conclusion to keep using the Jewish Calendar, but did not have scholars with any degree of honesty. When I started writing about this paper, the one thing that kept coming to mind, was the scripture cited above (Mark 7:9). It is a known fact that the UCG does not have people who really understand the Jewish Calendar. I reference their Pentecost Study paper. It should have come as no surprise to me that I would find an arrogant attitude dismissing 50 study papers outright and not even commenting upon major points brought up in one of them. In their Pentecost Study Paper, UCG takes the position that its errors can be adequately explained as a matter of semantics. This means that words really have no meaning any more.
The UCG study group clearly realized that the present Jewish calendar does NOT meet the biblical requirements for a right calendar, listed by people like Mr. Armstrong, Kenneth Herrmann, Dr. Hoeh, Raymond McNair, etc. This study was flooded with papers from all over. Among these papers was a series by Frank Nelte. Mr. Nelte is acknowledged as an expert on the Jewish Calendar and its flaws. There was so much obvious information refuting the traditional beliefs concerning this calendar model that the study paper took a new route. It totally ignored all biblical requirements for scheduling holy days and the preposterous arguments concerning the “Oracles of God.”
So!! This study paper dismissed the evidence. Note: The UCG paper asserts:
are no new questions which have arisen about the calendar. Mr. Armstrong
addressed the same issues in 1940."
are no new questions which have arisen about the calendar. Mr. Armstrong
addressed the same issues in 1940."
This statement is pathetic! If you read Mr. Armstrong’s 1940 letter in question, the only specific question he was really dealing with was when to insert the intercalary month. At that time, he had no knowledge about how the Jewish Calendar violated biblical principles But, I would expect this from a group of scholars who do not believe words have any relevant meaning. This explains their flimsy stance on many doctrinal issues. The issue in 1940 was when to insert the intercalary month. It still is one of the main issues and the church as reversed its arguments to embrace the very things Brother Dodd was trying to do in 1940.
The next point the UCG tries to make fit their bias is a quote from Palestinian historian Epiphanius (315-403 C.E.). This quote involved the quartodeciman controversy. The UCG interpretation here sets the stage for their misapplication of scripture and historical documents within this doctrinal paper. This is just so sad. The topic of this controversy involved Plycarp and when to schedule Passover. Polycarp held to the Nisan 14 date (real apostolic practice) established by Christ, not the Jewish version. But, simple historical facts are stretched until the UCG tries to make the citation mean that Polycarp scheduled things according to the Jewish Calendar. They must have had divine visions to come up with this one. There is not one shred of evidence I see in the specific citation or the entire quartodeciman controversy that even mentions the Jewish method of calculation. Their argument is based upon trying to misapply basic arithmetic rules and say: because Polycarp held to the apostolic custom of Nisan 14 for Passover, that this equals keeping the Jewish Calendar model. If UCG is going to use the Greek Orthodox branch of the churches as an authority to establish the Jewish Calendar, they had better look over their doctrinal stance concerning Monday as a Feast of Weeks Day. It s pretty well know that the Greeks preserved the New Testament.
Point has biblical support, and then they might refer to the Church's traditions and the
Examples of various leaders as support. But, the biblical proof and support must always come first. It must be the foundation on which anyone builds his case. Does the Spiritual Termite show up here? The Bible has long since ceased to become the final authority to these scholars in UCG.
paper took the route of mathematics and trying to justify postponement rules.
The paper used John chapters 7-9 to give a justification for the Jewish
postponement rules. Naturally,
their biblical arguments failed the test. Their
arguments using the aforementioned chapters of the Book of John hinged entirely
upon proving a 31 A.D. crucifixion date.
Instead, this paper took the route of mathematics and trying to justify postponement rules. The paper used John chapters 7-9 to give a justification for the Jewish postponement rules. Naturally, their biblical arguments failed the test. Their arguments using the aforementioned chapters of the Book of John hinged entirely upon proving a 31 A.D. crucifixion date.
The assumption for the proof rested upon a 31 A.D. crucifixion date that would necessitate a Wednesday Passover based upon postponement rules. Their paper did not consider that a Wednesday Passover in 31 A.D. is THE ONLY POSSIBILITY in a calendar based on visual observation of the first new crescent or the invisible conjunction. This study paper totally ignored the reality of God’s creation. You know, trying to prove something that happened 2000 years ago is really a fool’s game. Most people simply cannot comprehend that amount of time. The same flawed thinking goes into trying to base times for scheduling holy days upon Jerusalem time. This approach removes people from reality. God’s calendar has not changed. Anyone who attempts to prove anything 2000 years ago better leave this work to real mathematicians.
HAVE SAVED THE BEST (ACTUALLY WORST) FOR LAST!!
In a desperate
effort to find some support for a 31 A.D. crucifixion date, the UCG paper
appeals to an article written by Colin J. Humphreys and W. G. Waddington in the
December, 1983 edition of "Nature," and titled Dating
The UCG paper states:
"In their research the authors state that there was most likely an eclipse of the moon the evening after Christ was crucified. Various sources are quoted for proof of this event."
The UCG scholars quote from page 745 of the "Nature" journal as follows:
"Since the darkened sun occurred at the Crucifixion it is reasonable to suppose that "the moon turned to blood" occurred the same evening, "before that great and glorious day," Resurrection. This interpretation (!) of Acts 2:20 (emphasis mine) is supported by F.F. Bruce [TheActs of the Apostles, Inter-Varsity, 1952]. Other documentary evidence suggests that on the day of the Crucifixion, the Moon appeared like blood."
Next the UCG scholars refer to an apocryphal fragment of a spurious and forged document titled Report of Pilate, The UCG scholars used this document to lend support to the document by Humphreys and Waddington, cited above. There is nothing quite like being able to support your arguments with spurious documents lacking credibility. Throughout the decades of apostasy, and the mass of study papers showing the flaws of the Jewish Calendar model, one thing becomes evident. Whatever we might accuse these leaders and scholars of who have led the church into apostasy, competency is not one of them.
Do you have any doubts concerning the spiritual condition of the church and how it got to the point it is now? What possible credit and praise could you extend to any organization that would resort to deceit like this? This one rates an “F.” This obvious manipulation of scripture surpasses all of the ignorance the UCG demonstrated in their Pentecost Study Paper. Even Raymond McNair and his obvious flawed and private interpretation of scripture for The Global Church of God to make Tekufah and the scriptures fit the Jewish Calendar mode, never approaches anything like this. Can there be any doubt as to why the church has been spewed out of God’s mouth?
Come on folks! Dust off your Bibles! The UCG is quoting authors that totally misapply Scripture. The scripture these authors quote is Acts 2:20. This about the grossest misapplication of scripture I can remember and by referencing it to support their conclusions, the UCG must agree with this doctrinal stance. What possible lows will they stoop to in a vain attempt to preserve their traditions? They know most people will just suck in their information and never check the actual scripture cited.
May God have mercy upon the scholars of the UCG? Is this the best you have guys? Anyone worth his salt knows that Acts 2:20 is a verbatim quote from the Prophet Joel concerning the Day of the Lord. It has nothing to do with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The scripture, Acts 2:20, is about the Second Coming of Christ. But, I suppose this is just another of UCG’s examples of universal semantics.
Since UCG quotes the authority of Mr. Armstrong’s 1940 GOOD NEW letter, it would seem appropriate to quote a section from that letter pertaining to what they have done with this misapplication of scripture.
“Surely we can see that
profane history only contradicts itself, is inaccurate, cannot be depended upon,
and HAS NO AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER. There is no Bible authority for any of it.”
The UCG has obviously relied upon profane history to help substantiate their proof. Actually, they have gone far beyond relying upon profane history, to a point that approaches profaning God’s Name. When one misapplies God’s name to an argument like they have, it is actually using his name in vain, or profaning his holy name.
You should notice that by now the "biblical calendar requirements" first listed by Mr. Armstrong to schedule holy days have been eliminated completely from the whole discussion about the calendar. The Bible has not been the authority for a long time. Misapplication of scripture is the norm. The tares will stop at nothing to preserve their version of heresy on this topic concerning the Jewish Calendar.
In conclusion: Within the context of the Lone Ranger and Tonto series of parables and Bible studies, the UCG wins the Silver Bullet Award for the most obviously unbiblical and arrogant approach toward an important doctrinal topic. Their misapplication of scripture is without equal. TM