Saturday, April 11, 2009

Correction To Use Of Jewish Calendar In “Easter” Blog.

I am fast learning that all that one finds on the net is not always 100% Correct. I am also learning that fortunately, there is also always someone out there, even if unknown to me, willing to correct my mistakes. So here is a correction to my recent Blog on “Easter” from another Blogger called, “Mocking bird.”
Mockingbird wrote: “You wrote in your post: "Because first century Jews used a lunar calendar, every month was twenty-eight days long, beginning with the new moon and having the full moon on the 14th of the month."
Not quite. A month of the moon's phases is twenty-nine and a half days long, so a lunar calendar--such as the Hebrew Calendar--that tracks the moon's phases will have 30-day and 29-day months, not 28-day months. If the first day is defined by the visibility of the new waxing crescent, as the ancient Babylonian (and probably the 1st century Jewish) calendar defined it, then the full moon will, as you say, occur around the 14th day. The Gregorian lunar calendar, used to determine Easter, attempts to approximate this scheme at the present day, though it is based on averages, not on the actual visibility of the new crescent.
In a calendar that begins its lunar months on the day of the lunar conjunction, however, as the present-day Chinese lunar calendar does, and, with some qualifications, the present-day Hebrew calendar does, the full moon will tend to be closer to the 15th of the month. So, for example, today, Thursday, April 9th, 2009, was the 13th day of the moon by the Gregorian lunar calendar, but the 15th day of Nisan (the 1st day of Unleavened Bread, popularly called "Passover") by the modern Hebrew calendar. This situation often occurs, when the Gregorian lunar calendar is a day or two behind the Hebrew calendar. So just because a calendar is a calendar of lunations doesn't mean that the full moon is associated with the 14th day. But it does mean that most of its months will need to have more than twenty-eight days.”
The above would also help explain why Passover and Easter do not always appear on the same dates too. Well hope this correction helps further enlighten you. And thanks Mockingbird for the correct information.

1 comment:

Mockingbird said...

I've put up a blog post about this matter over at my blog. My comment on your blog turns out to need some qualifications of its own.