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How is the Easter date derrived from Jewish passover?


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#41 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 02:25 AM


Kosta, on 14 Apr 2015 - 12:21, said:
[Fr. Andrew] is also mistaken to say that in the 4th century Pascha coincided with Passover. 
 

How do you know this?

 

For the 5th and 6th centuries, I think it possible that some Jewish folk, in some places, set 15 Nisan (this is the "Passover" that Fr. Andrew is referring to, the feast of Unleavened Bread, not 14 Nisan) to Sunday, April 11th in A.D. 499.  That is, the seder would have been on the night of April 10th.

 

I think it possible that some Jewish folk, in some places, set their 15 Nisan to Sunday, March 31 in A.D. 519.

 

I think it possible that some Jewish folk, in some places, set their 15 Nisan to April 6th in A.D. 570.


Edited by Timothy Phillips, 15 April 2015 - 02:26 AM.


#42 Kosta

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:17 AM

We know because Nicea decreed that Pascha should fall on the first Sunday after the full moon and this is exactly what these later canonists meant which is the same way the Church Fathers meant it.
Furthermore the Quartodecimans fasted up to Nisan 14 (on the day of the Crucifixion) and celebrated the ressurection on the third day after, regardless of the day of the week (basing it on the jewish calculations).

It would not matter what some jewish folk did, they could set it in summer for all we care. Whether passover is a 7 day festival or 8 day festival is not our concern. What we know is the paschal lambs were slaughtered on the afternoon of Nisan 14 and the passover meal would begin late in the day of the 14th and span passed sundown into the start of the 15. Whether some jews decided to just have it the next day before sundown its not our concern. The historical records indicate that the quartodeciman observance (and their differing fast duration) made the rest of the church squeamish. That is their observance of the Passion of Christ on the Lords Day (in the years passover fell on Sunday) instead of the customary friday which precedes Easter.

St Ambrose of Milan explains what Nicea decreed:

"We must then keep this rule of Easter, not to keep the 14th moon on the day of Ressurection, but rather as the day of the Passion of Christ, or at least one of the next preceding days, because the feast of the Ressurection is kept on the Lord's Day; and on the Lord's Day we cannot fast, for we rightly condemn the manicheans for their fast upon this day...We have made it clear then that the day of the Ressurection ought to be observed after the day of Passion, and this day of the Ressurection ought not to be on the 14th moon, but later...and Further that the Lord's Passion cannot be celebrated on the Lord's Day, and that if the 14th moon should fall upon the Lords Day, then another week ought to be added....

St John Chrysostom in his homily against the judaisers says the same. St John Chrysostom would have loved for the full moon to always fall on a friday there would be no controversy, but since sometimes it fell on the Lords Day, accomodating the quartodeciman practise was impossible since simultaneously observing the Lord's Day with the Passion day was a serious concern in the early church (an issue modern scholarship overlooks though central as to why the Asian practise worried those churches that observed easter on Sunday only). St John Chrysostom homily 3 against the judaisers:

"..Even if this was the case, we could not, by following in their footsteps (using the rabbis calculation of passover as setting the day of the Passion) put our finger on the very day on which he was crucified and fullfilled the Pasch. Let me tell you how this is the case. When He was crucified, it was the first day of the feast of unleavened bread and the day of Preparation (friday). But it is not possible for both of these to fall always on the same day. This year the first day of the feast of unleavened bread falls on Sunday, and the fast must still last for a whole week....


Edited by Kosta, 15 April 2015 - 06:27 AM.


#43 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:15 PM

Kosta wrote:
It would not matter what some jewish folk did, they could set it in summer for all we care.

 

This was Fr. Andrew's point.



#44 Kosta

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 08:23 PM

Fair enough. I think the medievel canonists on the other hand are the ones being misunderstood by the modernists. From time immemorable the simple explanation has been that Easter falls on the first sunday following the vernal equinox which is not on or before the passover. A medeivel canonist is easier to pick on than St Ambrose and St John Chrysostom who say the same thing.

#45 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 09:19 PM

Fair enough. I think the medievel canonists on the other hand are the ones being misunderstood by the modernists. From time immemorable the simple explanation has been that Easter falls on the first sunday following the vernal equinox which is not on or before the passover. A medeivel canonist is easier to pick on than St Ambrose and St John Chrysostom who say the same thing.

That may be, and I recently modified the OrthodoxWiki article on "Paschalion" to account for this possibility.  But that doesn't let Zonaras completely off the hook.  Apostolic canon 7 refers to the rule of the equinox.  Zonaras clearly had no clue how to interpret the canon in its historical context, so he made something up:  He takes it to mean that "[the Jewish] feast, which is no feast, is done first, and thus we do our Pascha."  Was Zonaras simply repeating the rule of the full moon? Or was he inventing a new rule?  If he did the first, he got the canon wrong.  If he did the second, he got the Paschalion wrong.

 

Whatever Zonaras may have meant, there are folk now who believe that the paschalion requires its user to check his computation against the date of 15 Nisan on the Rabbinic Jewish calendar, and adjust the computation if necessary to avoid coincidence of Easter with the Jewish 15 Nisan.  You are well-informed enough to know that the paschalion is self-consistent and makes no external reference;  you understand that the "Jewish Passover" or νομικον φασκα in the paschalion is an imaginary feast for imaginary Jews, having no direct mathematical connection to anything our Jewish neighbors do.  Many others do not know this, and it leads some of them to make mistakes such as accusing the Gregorian paschalion of violating the rule about the full moon--a rule that the Gregorian paschalion follows as well as the Julian paschalion ever did.



#46 Loucas

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 09:01 PM

Something is correct about all this, however you want to view the way the date is arrived at, Every Year, and for Cenuries, even as the Orthodox Pascha and rest of the world Easter may fall on seperate dates...and Pascha is a moving date as we know, not the same date each year, The Uncreated Light appears late on Holy Saturday, Orthodox Pascha, each and every year. Just an observation, do you think God is telling the world something? Christ is Risen



#47 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 05:45 PM

Something is correct about all this, however you want to view the way the date is arrived at, Every Year, and for Cenuries, even as the Orthodox Pascha and rest of the world Easter may fall on seperate dates...and Pascha is a moving date as we know, not the same date each year, The Uncreated Light appears late on Holy Saturday, Orthodox Pascha, each and every year. Just an observation, do you think God is telling the world something? Christ is Risen

Since I do not believe that the fire is "uncreated", the question is meaningless.



#48 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 06:20 PM

Fair enough. I think the medievel canonists on the other hand are the ones being misunderstood by the modernists. From time immemorable the simple explanation has been that Easter falls on the first sunday following the vernal equinox which is not on or before the passover. A medeivel canonist is easier to pick on than St Ambrose and St John Chrysostom who say the same thing.

As I noted above, the question is whether the medieval canonist are indeed "saying the same thing" as the earlier fathers, or whether they are making up an additional rule.

 

As I read the history, the customary computation can be summarized in three rules.  Easter must be

 

(i) On Sunday,

(ii) after the νομικον φασκα, notionally the full moon,

(iii) that falls no earlier than the Spring equinox.

 

Since my last post I have examined Matthew Blastares's Syntagma, and as I read him, he is clearly claiming that there is a 4th rule in addition to the three above:

 

*(iv) and that also does not fall on the same day as the Passover computed on the Rabbinic Jewish calendar.

 

I have marked the 4th rule with an asterisk since I deem it spurious.

 

Blastares does not explicitly use the phrase "Rabbinic calendar", and does not state whether the "Jewish observance" with which Easter must not coincide is the 14th of Rabbinic Nisan or the 15th.  He says that Easter is always at least at least three days after "their festival".  This might be a clue. 

 

Now it is true, as you note, that some of the early fathers stated that Easter must not be "on the same day" as the Passover.  But this was a clarification of rule (ii) above, that Easter must be "after" the νομικον φασκα.  It was for them a restatement of an existing rule, not a statement of an additional rule.  For Blastares, on the other hand, it seems on my reading to have the status of an additional, independent rule.  So if my reading of Blastares is right, he was not "saying the same thing" as the earlier fathers.

 

Even if my reading of Blastares is wrong, I have, as I noted above, encountered people who interpret the paschalion in the way I have argued that Blastares did.  This is the inescapable conclusion when such folk use rule *(iv) above, or its equivalent, as an argument against adopting the Milakovic paschalion, which scrupulously follows rules (i), (ii), and (iii) but ignores *(iv).


Edited by Timothy Phillips, 04 July 2015 - 06:21 PM.


#49 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 09:38 PM

A new article on the matter:

 

https://publicorthod...f-paschaeaster/

 

 



#50 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 03:27 PM

A new article on the matter:

 

https://publicorthod...f-paschaeaster/

I think the article, whilst having some important points as to the calculation of Pascha, serves to highlight why many Orthodox are uneasy about any changes to the calendar: That is that whenever the issue is raised it seems as much for 'ecumenical' reasons of celebrating on the same day as the Westerners as it is about making sure our calendar is accurate. The author's assertion the the 'synoptic' Gospels and Saint John's Gospel display substantially different ideas as to the date of the old Pascha of the Jews, rather than a different emphasis, also betrays a modernist mindset. 



#51 Timothy Phillips

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 04:06 PM


The author's assertion the the 'synoptic' Gospels and Saint John's Gospel display substantially different ideas as to the date of the old Pascha of the Jews, rather than a different emphasis, also betrays a modernist mindset.

I would call it a respect for facts.






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