Christian Churches of God
The Moon and the New Year
(Edition 2.0 19970830 - 19990724)
God told us to determine the New Year from Abib (or Nisan), which shall be the beginning of months. Judaism holds the New Year in Tishri. Both Judaism and the Bible cannot be correct. What is the New Year? Is it a solemn feast of the Lord?
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1997, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary by Tom Hoffahrt, Ed. Wade Cox)
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The Moon and the New Year
Judaism has decided that the New Year begins with 1 Tishri, which is the seventh month of the year. That was traditionally the beginning of the civil year and Judaism picked that view up from the Babylonians. They determine the entire calendar from what they call the Molad of Tishri, which is established by calculation and is not based on the true New Moon, either by conjunction or observation. It is a man-made system derived from the rabbinical determinations introduced from Babylon in 344 CE and sanctioned by Rabbi Hillel II in 358 CE. The final system was not fixed until the eleventh century. It has no biblical basis (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156)).
God gave clear instructions to Moses, that Abib or Nisan was to be the beginning of months for Israel (Ex. 12:1-2).
The Bible gives us clear instruction that Israel kept the Feast of Nisan as a solemn feast day (Psa. 81:1-5).
The major point of the Psalm, is that it ties this festival to the time that God redeemed Israel from Egypt and proved them at the waters of Meribah as we see from verse 7.
There is no doubt whatsoever that at the time of the translation of the LXX that this text was understood to refer only to the New Moon of the first month of Abib or Nisan in the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. It cannot be construed as referring to the seventh month, Tishri. It was undeniably the New Moon of Nisan, but the emphasis had to be twisted.
The LXX contradicts some premises of later rabbinical Judaism and hence was denied or repudiated from Jamnia in the second century, along with Nisan, by rabbinical Judaism to justify their traditions.
Only in rabbinical Judaism of the post Temple period, do we find Tishri coming in as the New Year. The calendar is then predicated upon Tishri from a postponed molad, instead of being on the true molad on the conjunction in Nisan, as the correct solemn feast of the New Year, as we see from Psalm 81.
Is there any evidence for the contention that Judah and Judaism altered the intent and method of determining the calendar and the New Year? The answer is that the evidence is clear and undeniable. It is in fact overwhelming. There is no biblical basis for the actions of rabbinical Judaism.
The first day of the sacred year is a solemn feast. It was so understood from the time of the kings and for centuries up until the destruction of the Temple. 1 Nisan is God’s true New Year and is a solemn feast as the first day of the first month.
The determination of the New Year on 1 Nisan is interlinked with the Passover. The ancient rule is found in Schurer (The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Vol. I, Calendar Appendix, pp. 590, 593). He says simply that the feast of the Passover, which began on 14 Nisan must always fall after the vernal equinox when the sun stood in the sign of Aries (ibid. p. 593).
It is impossible, therefore, for Passover to be earlier than the vernal equinox or later than 20/21 April.
The New Moon was the most important aspect of determining the months, and the New Moon of Nisan determined the year, not Tishri as observed by Judaism from the third century of the current era. Rosh HaShanah, under its present system of determination, cannot be regarded as a correct biblical or Temple period observance, or as being a correct Judeo-Christian observance.
The Samaritans still determine according to the conjunction to this day (cf. the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156), 1999 edition).
The fact is that Christ and the Apostles and the early Church had no issue with the Calendar of the Temple period. They followed its dates throughout the period of the early Church prior to and after the destruction of Jerusalem. That is by far the strongest argument that it was considered to be correct.
The rabbinical farce of the Hillel calendar has intruded into Eastern Orthodox Churches. Hence, the New Year is incorrectly determined by more than 1000 million Christians, even those trying to adopt and accept the Bible calendar mistakenly thinking that the Jews keep it.
The New Year of the First day of the First month (1 Nisan) is a commandment by God and is to be observed as an ordinance forever.