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Old vs. New Calendar?

Dominika

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Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Interesting article that says a main argument by Old Calendarists is based on a lie.

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/02/old-calendarist-lie-of-codex-772.html
Unfortunately this translation is in many parts nigh unreadable.
Indeed, I've also observed that translation is not of the best quality; that's quite surprising, as the author of the blog usually prepares very good articles, translated very well. Anyway, better that than nothing
 

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TheMathematician said:
Honest question : would to be easier to have all churches change to the new calendar , or force all back to the old?

In other words, which of the above would result in the least schism.
Why not simply allow the church in each place to pick a paschalion--Julian, Gregorian, or Milankovic--without breaking communion with the others?  You already do this in the case of Finland.  Eventually everyone would go on the Gregorian or Milankovic paschalion because the Julian paschalion is so obviously defective.  Roger Bacon's complaint in the 13th century that "any rustic can see the error in the sky" is even truer today than it was then.  Now, even city-slickers can see the error in the sky.
 

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Mockingbird said:
TheMathematician said:
Honest question : would to be easier to have all churches change to the new calendar , or force all back to the old?

In other words, which of the above would result in the least schism.
Why not simply allow the church in each place to pick a paschalion--Julian, Gregorian, or Milankovic--without breaking communion with the others?  You already do this in the case of Finland.  Eventually everyone would go on the Gregorian or Milankovic paschalion because the Julian paschalion is so obviously defective.  Roger Bacon's complaint in the 13th century that "any rustic can see the error in the sky" is even truer today than it was then.  Now, even city-slickers can see the error in the sky.
The problem is that the church also mandated celebrating Pascha on the same dates. In practice, as we saw with Finland, the other churches aren't willing to break communion even over this. It seems they only care about the issue when groups in their own jurisdictions disagree with the reforms and refuse to follow along.

Also, I doubt city-slickers would have a clue if they didn't read about it on the internet. Who actually has that kind of astronomical knowledge outside of a few hobbyists and professionals?
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Mockingbird said:
TheMathematician said:
Honest question : would to be easier to have all churches change to the new calendar , or force all back to the old?

In other words, which of the above would result in the least schism.
Why not simply allow the church in each place to pick a paschalion--Julian, Gregorian, or Milankovic--without breaking communion with the others?  You already do this in the case of Finland.  Eventually everyone would go on the Gregorian or Milankovic paschalion because the Julian paschalion is so obviously defective.  Roger Bacon's complaint in the 13th century that "any rustic can see the error in the sky" is even truer today than it was then.  Now, even city-slickers can see the error in the sky.
The problem is that the church also mandated celebrating Pascha on the same dates.
Which we will eventually get back to, if we allow ourselves a transition such as I proposed above.

Jonathan Gress said:
Also, I doubt city-slickers would have a clue if they didn't read about it on the internet. Who actually has that kind of astronomical knowledge outside of a few hobbyists and professionals?
The only astronomical knowledge that one needs in order to see that the Julian paschalion is wrong is the knowledge that a full moon does not look like this:

 

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That assumes you can see the moon through the smog. :D

But yeah, I agree if the whole switched at once to a more correct calendar, that would be better.
 

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Mockingbird said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Mockingbird said:
TheMathematician said:
Honest question : would to be easier to have all churches change to the new calendar , or force all back to the old?

In other words, which of the above would result in the least schism.
Why not simply allow the church in each place to pick a paschalion--Julian, Gregorian, or Milankovic--without breaking communion with the others?  You already do this in the case of Finland.  Eventually everyone would go on the Gregorian or Milankovic paschalion because the Julian paschalion is so obviously defective.  Roger Bacon's complaint in the 13th century that "any rustic can see the error in the sky" is even truer today than it was then.  Now, even city-slickers can see the error in the sky.
The problem is that the church also mandated celebrating Pascha on the same dates.
Which we will eventually get back to, if we allow ourselves a transition such as I proposed above.

Jonathan Gress said:
Also, I doubt city-slickers would have a clue if they didn't read about it on the internet. Who actually has that kind of astronomical knowledge outside of a few hobbyists and professionals?
The only astronomical knowledge that one needs in order to see that the Julian paschalion is wrong is the knowledge that a full moon does not look like this:

14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again. 
 

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Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again.
An average synodic lunar month is 29.530589 days.  Half of this is 14.7652945 days.  If the first day of the lunar month begins nominally 24 hours after mean conjunction, then mean opposition will occur on the 14th day of the lunar month, around noon.

Here are the oppositions for 2013-2017 (UT), together with my computation of the 14th day of the month in the Gregorian lunar calendar:

Code:
Opposition (UT)		14th of Gregorian lunar month	Day of Gregorian lunar month 
							on which opposition occurs
Jan 27 2013		Jan 27				14
Feb 25			Feb 25				14
Mar 27			Mar 27				14
Apr 25			Apr 25				14
May 25			May 25				14
Jun 23			Jun 23				14
Jul 22			Jul 23				13
Aug 21			Aug 21				14
Sep 19			Sep 20				13
Oct 18			Oct 19				13
Nov 17			Nov 18				13
Dec 17			Dec 17				14
Jan 16 2014		Jan 15				15
Feb 14			Feb 14				14
Mar 16			Mar 15				15
Apr 15			Apr 14				15
May 14			May 13				15
Jun 13			Jun 12				15
Jul 12			Jul 11				15
Aug 10			Aug 10				14
Sep  9			Sep  8				15
Oct  8			Oct  8				14
Nov  6			Nov  6				14
Dec  6			Dec  6				14
Jan  5 2015		Jan  4				15
Feb  3			Feb  3				14
Mar  5			Mar  4				15
Apr  4			Apr  3				15
Jun  2			Jun  1				15
Jul  2			Jun 30				16
Jul 31			Jul 30				15
Aug 29			Aug 28				15
Sep 28			Sep 28				14
Oct 27			Oct 26				15
Nov 25			Nov 25				14
Dec 25			Dec 25				14
Jan 24 2016		Jan 23				15
Feb 22 			Feb 21				15
Mar 23			Mar 23				14
Apr 22			Apr 21				15
May 21			May 21				14
Jun 20			Jun 19				15
Jul 19			Jul 19				14
Aug 18			Aug 17				15
Sep 16			Sep 16				14
Oct 16			Oct 15				15
Nov 14			Nov 14				14
Dec 14			Dec 13				14
Jan 12 2017		Jan 12				14
Feb 11			Feb 11				14
Mar 12			Mar 12				14
Apr 11			Apr 11				14
May 10			May 10				14
Jun  9			Jun  9				14
Jul  9			Jul  8				15
Aug  7			Aug  7				14
Sep  6			Sep  5				15
Oct  5			Oct  5				14
Nov  4			Nov  3				15
Dec  3			Dec  3				14
As you see, the true opposition wobbles about the 14th day of the Gregorian lunar month, falling sometimes as early as the 13th, sometimes as late as the 16th.  The occasions when it falls on the 13th or 14th number 36 of 60, or a majority. This is about as good a correlation between the full moon and the 14th day of the calendar lunar month as can be expected from a lunar calendar based on the mean lunation and constrained to be cyclic in the civil calendar.
 

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Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again.
In my last post I demonstrated how it was rational to associate the full moon with the 14th day of the lunar month in the Gregorian lunar calendar.  Here I show that this association of the full moon with the 14th day of the month is consistent with our knowledge of 1st-century A.D. Judean practice.

Philo of Alexandria writes (died c. A.D. 50) in his Life of Moses 2.222,224 that

[quote author=Philo of Alexandria]Moses dates the first month of the year's revolution at the beginning of the spring equinox…In this month, about the fourteenth day, when the disc of the moon is becoming full, is held the commemoration of the crossing, a public festival called in Hebrew Pascha, on which the victims are not brought to the altar by the laity and sacrificed by the priests, but, as commanded by the law, the whole nation acts a priest, each individual bringing what he offers on his own behalf and dealing with it with his own hands.[/quote]

The same author writes in Special Laws 2.155 that

[quote author=Philo of Alexandria]The feast [of Unleavened Bread] begins at the middle of the month, on the fifteenth day, when the moon is full, a day purposely chosen because then there is no darkness, but everything is continuously lighted up as the sun chines from morning to evening and the moon from evening to morning[/quote]

So if the moon is "becoming full" on the 14th day, and the 15th day begins with the rising of a full moon at sunset, then arguably the moment of opposition must have occurred sometime on the 14th day, nearer to the end of the day than to the beginning.
 

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Mockingbird said:
Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again.
An average synodic lunar month is 29.530589 days.  Half of this is 14.7652945 days.  If the first day of the lunar month begins nominally 24 hours after mean conjunction, then mean opposition will occur on the 14th day of the lunar month, around noon.

Here are the oppositions for 2013-2017 (UT), together with my computation of the 14th day of the month in the Gregorian lunar calendar:

Code:
Opposition (UT)		14th of Gregorian lunar month	Day of Gregorian lunar month 
							on which opposition occurs
Jan 27 2013		Jan 27				14
Feb 25			Feb 25				14
Mar 27			Mar 27				14
Apr 25			Apr 25				14
May 25			May 25				14
Jun 23			Jun 23				14
Jul 22			Jul 23				13
Aug 21			Aug 21				14
Sep 19			Sep 20				13
Oct 18			Oct 19				13
Nov 17			Nov 18				13
Dec 17			Dec 17				14
Jan 16 2014		Jan 15				15
Feb 14			Feb 14				14
Mar 16			Mar 15				15
Apr 15			Apr 14				15
May 14			May 13				15
Jun 13			Jun 12				15
Jul 12			Jul 11				15
Aug 10			Aug 10				14
Sep  9			Sep  8				15
Oct  8			Oct  8				14
Nov  6			Nov  6				14
Dec  6			Dec  6				14
Jan  5 2015		Jan  4				15
Feb  3			Feb  3				14
Mar  5			Mar  4				15
Apr  4			Apr  3				15
Jun  2			Jun  1				15
Jul  2			Jun 30				16
Jul 31			Jul 30				15
Aug 29			Aug 28				15
Sep 28			Sep 28				14
Oct 27			Oct 26				15
Nov 25			Nov 25				14
Dec 25			Dec 25				14
Jan 24 2016		Jan 23				15
Feb 22 			Feb 21				15
Mar 23			Mar 23				14
Apr 22			Apr 21				15
May 21			May 21				14
Jun 20			Jun 19				15
Jul 19			Jul 19				14
Aug 18			Aug 17				15
Sep 16			Sep 16				14
Oct 16			Oct 15				15
Nov 14			Nov 14				14
Dec 14			Dec 13				14
Jan 12 2017		Jan 12				14
Feb 11			Feb 11				14
Mar 12			Mar 12				14
Apr 11			Apr 11				14
May 10			May 10				14
Jun  9			Jun  9				14
Jul  9			Jul  8				15
Aug  7			Aug  7				14
Sep  6			Sep  5				15
Oct  5			Oct  5				14
Nov  4			Nov  3				15
Dec  3			Dec  3				14
As you see, the true opposition wobbles about the 14th day of the Gregorian lunar month, falling sometimes as early as the 13th, sometimes as late as the 16th.  The occasions when it falls on the 13th or 14th number 36 of 60, or a majority. This is about as good a correlation between the full moon and the 14th day of the calendar lunar month as can be expected from a lunar calendar based on the mean lunation and constrained to be cyclic in the civil calendar.
You missed the point.  The point is that today we consider the "dark moon" as the New Moon.  It was not so with the ancient Hebrews, for whom the New Moon was what we today call a "young crescent" (i.e. the New Moon was the day in which was moon began to appear again after having been completely darkened).  So showing the Gregorian lunar month means nothing since the first day is by definition at least one day earlier than it is in the Hebrew lunar month. 
 

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DeniseDenise said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Iconodule said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Iconodule said:
And how does that contribute to discussion of the subject of the calendar?
Does anyone give a damn that you don't give a damn?

Apparently you
And you apparently give a damn about me giving a damn that Iconodule gives enough of a damn to say he doesn't give a damn. ;) :laugh:
 

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Unverifiable, so irrelevant
untrue.


i just felt the need to stop the vicious cycle
 

PeterTheAleut

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DeniseDenise said:
untrue.


i just felt the need to stop the vicious cycle
Well, ma'am, you just walked right into it and became a part of it. ;)
 

PeterTheAleut

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genesisone said:
PeterTheAleut said:
DeniseDenise said:
untrue.


i just felt the need to stop the vicious cycle
Well, ma'am, you just walked right into it and became a part of it. ;)
And the wheels on the bus go round and round....
Now that we've all had our bit of fun, can we all give enough of a damn to get this thread back on topic? :police:
 

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genesisone said:
PeterTheAleut said:
DeniseDenise said:
untrue.


i just felt the need to stop the vicious cycle
Well, ma'am, you just walked right into it and became a part of it. ;)
And the wheels on the bus go round and round....
Oh, I did not look at video but you put that song into my head.  For shame, for shame...
 

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At least someone is admitting that the calendar is crucial




http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/duck-dynasty-star-si-robertson-atheists-dont-exist-because-they-use-calendars/
 

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DeniseDenise said:
At least someone is admitting that the calendar is crucial




http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/duck-dynasty-star-si-robertson-atheists-dont-exist-because-they-use-calendars/
So how does that address the debate within Orthodox circles over whether to use the Old Calendar or the New?
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
DeniseDenise said:
At least someone is admitting that the calendar is crucial




http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/duck-dynasty-star-si-robertson-atheists-dont-exist-because-they-use-calendars/
So how does that address the debate within Orthodox circles over whether to use the Old Calendar or the New?
Sarcasm is an honorable way to make a point.
 

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Father H said:
Mockingbird said:
Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again.
An average synodic lunar month is 29.530589 days.  Half of this is 14.7652945 days.  If the first day of the lunar month begins nominally 24 hours after mean conjunction, then mean opposition will occur on the 14th day of the lunar month, around noon.
You missed the point.  The point is that today we consider the "dark moon" as the New Moon.  It was not so with the ancient Hebrews, for whom the New Moon was what we today call a "young crescent" (i.e. the New Moon was the day in which was moon began to appear again after having been completely darkened).  So showing the Gregorian lunar month means nothing since the first day is by definition at least one day earlier than it is in the Hebrew lunar month.
No, it isn't.  A lunar calendar whose full moon comes on the 14th/15th day--such as the Gregorian lunar calendar--is one that begins near the appearance of the new waxing crescent.  A lunar month that begins with the conjunction--such as the Chinese lunar calendar--tends to have its full moon on the 15th/16th day.

But if you still don't believe me, it is well known that Clavius built into the Gregorian lunar tables an average delay of around a day between the mean conjunction (the "mean new moon of the astronomers" as he called it) and the beginning of the Gregorian lunar month.  If one compares the times of the true conjunctions to the times of the start of the Gregorian lunar month--nominally 6PM on the day before the lunar prime's tablular date--one finds that the lunar prime is almost always after the true conjunction, sometimes by 30 hours or even more.  In the next few years, the only year in which the Gregorian paschal lunar month will begin before the true conjunction is the year 2019.
 

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Mockingbird said:
Father H said:
Mockingbird said:
Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent."  The new moon (new month) was in ancient times defined by the first appearance of the moon AFTER it was dark, and began to appear once again.
An average synodic lunar month is 29.530589 days.  Half of this is 14.7652945 days.  If the first day of the lunar month begins nominally 24 hours after mean conjunction, then mean opposition will occur on the 14th day of the lunar month, around noon.
You missed the point.  The point is that today we consider the "dark moon" as the New Moon.  It was not so with the ancient Hebrews, for whom the New Moon was what we today call a "young crescent" (i.e. the New Moon was the day in which was moon began to appear again after having been completely darkened).  So showing the Gregorian lunar month means nothing since the first day is by definition at least one day earlier than it is in the Hebrew lunar month.
No, it isn't.  A lunar calendar whose full moon comes on the 14th/15th day--such as the Gregorian lunar calendar--is one that begins near the appearance of the new waxing crescent.  A lunar month that begins with the conjunction--such as the Chinese lunar calendar--tends to have its full moon on the 15th/16th day.

But if you still don't believe me, it is well known that Clavius built into the Gregorian lunar tables an average delay of around a day between the mean conjunction (the "mean new moon of the astronomers" as he called it) and the beginning of the Gregorian lunar month.  If one compares the times of the true conjunctions to the times of the start of the Gregorian lunar month--nominally 6PM on the day before the lunar prime's tablular date--one finds that the lunar prime is almost always after the true conjunction, sometimes by 30 hours or even more.  In the next few years, the only year in which the Gregorian paschal lunar month will begin before the true conjunction is the year 2019.
"But if you still don't believe me..."  lol.  Yes, this is all about YOU and YOUR input.  :'(    As you know, for the Hebrews, the rule was better late than early.  For Christians all the more since fasting is involved.  The ancient Hebrews would delay by one month where doubt was involved.  Orthodox NEVER have it early by Hebrew standards.  Your admission of 2019 just proves the point. 
 

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Father H said:
As you know, for the Hebrews, the rule was better late than early.  The ancient Hebrews would delay by one month where doubt was involved.
  Are you referring to the Mishnaic calendar?  The Tosefta says nothing about "doubt" that I can find though it says that the year may be intercalated for practical reasons.  Maybe this is what you mean by "doubt"? 

In any case, there is no evidence, other than the wishful thinking of the Mishnah itself, to suppose that the scheme of the Mishnah/Tosefta was used in Herodian times or earlier.  It is known with certainty that the Jews of Elephantine, in Egypt, were using a local adaptation of the Babylonian calendar in the Persian period.  A form of the Babylonian calendar seems to be presupposed by the First Book of Maccabees.  How do you know that the temple priests of all postexilic periods never once used the Babylonian calendar, which by Seleucid times was intercalated according to a fixed cycle, rather than on any empirical basis?  All "doubts" had been resolved by the fixed intercalation scheme, as they were in the much later mathematical Rabbinic calendar. 

Father H said:
Orthodox NEVER have it early by Hebrew standards.  Your admission of 2019 just proves the point.
You have not previously made any statements about the Julian paschalion.  If you want to discuss it, please clarify your position.  What is "it"?  What "point" does the Gregorian lunar calendar for 2019 prove?

Your previous statement was:

Father H said:
14 Aviv/Nisan was never a full moon by our modern definition.  This is because the new moon (1 Aviv/Nisan) was not, in ancient times, the dark moon, but rather what we call the "young crescent." 
Note the word "never".  This makes your statement an extreme statement.  Your are stating that no lunar calendar which had a month called "Nisan" ever had the true full moon on the 14th of Nisan, at any longitude from Susa in Persia to Cape Clear, Ireland, throughout the entire history of such calendars up to the end of "ancient" times.  You should present evidence, not just assertions, for this extreme claim.

Even if your words are not interpreted so strictly, they still don't hold up.  You state that the 14th of Nisan was "never" in ancient times a full moon, because in those days the lunar month began with the new crescent.  This statement is (as I have shown) internally inconsistent.  It is precisely when a lunar month begins near the new waxing crescent that the full moon comes near the 14th day.  It is when the day of the conjunction is counted as the first day of the lunar month that the full moon will tend to come later than the 14th day. 

Was this what you were actually trying to say, even though you ended up saying the opposite?  You seemed to base your assertions on the linguistic fact that the phrase "new moon" nowadays often means "conjunction".  This is true, but this fact has no implications for the mathematics of any lunar calendar, past or present.  Each calendar's arithmetic must be examined to determine how its "new moon" relates to the conjunction, regardless of what "new moon" may mean in other contexts.
 

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Mockingbird said:
frjohnmorris said:
According to Nicaea I, Pascha must follow the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the 14 of Nissan, which was the day of the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. Since the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, the Western Easter can fall on or before the Jewish Passover which is a violation of the decision of the First Ecumenical Council.
These two statements contradict each other.  If the "Jewish Passover" that Easter must "follow" is "the first full moon following the Spring Equinox", than the Gregorian calendar never sets Easter before the "Jewish Passover" defined in this way.  Gregorian Easter is, to a good approximation, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox.  (The only time in the near future when this will not be the case will be in 2019, when there is an astronomical full moon shortly after the equinox that the Gregorian approximation misses.)  But if the "Jewish Passover" is something that the Gregorian Easter can fall "before", then it must be something other than the Spring full moon, such as the 15th of Nisan in the Rabbinic calendar, which in about 3 years of every 19 comes at the time of the second full moon after the equinox.  So which is it?  Is it the first full moon of Spring, or the Rabbinic Matzoth, that is the "Passover" that Easter must be "after"?
PeterTheAleut said:
If the Jews were to schedule their Passover after the second full moon of spring, would we be required to follow them in their error?
These questions have still not been answered.
 

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theoforos said:
Keble said:
ialmisry said:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc3.iii.x.vi.html
The article in question's claim that Easter and Passover fell on the same date in 1825 appears to be incorrect. All the calculators I've checked say that Easter that year was on 3 April, which was 15 Nisan-- the day after Passover.
The first day of the Jewish Passover is 15 Nisan. Sometimes you hear people talk about 14 Nisan as the first day of Passover because the Passover seder falls on the eve of 15 Nisan, but you have to take into account that in the Jewish calendar the day begins at sunset, just like in the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar, which means that although you woke up on 14 Nisan, the Passover seder you eat in the evening of the same solar day really takes place on 15 Nisan and not 14 Nisan. This is just like the Sabbath, the Sabbath begins on Friday evening after sunset and ends on Saturday evening after sunset.
Actually Keble was right.  The Passover, strictly so-called, is the 14th of Nisan, when the passover was sacrificed.  The fifteenth of Nisan, when the passover was eaten, is the first day of Unleavened Bread:
[quote author=Leviticus 23.5]In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings is the Lord's passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the Lord.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.[/quote]

Of course, in loose, informal speaking and writing, the word "Passover" is used for the first day of Unleavened Bread, 15 Nisan, and also for the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15-21 inclusive.  To add to the confusion, Mark 14.12 calls 14 Nisan the first day of Unleavened Bread!  But these are all imprecise usages.  In the context of the paschalion, "passover" normally means 14 Nisan, or it means the Easter festival.  It does not normally refer to the Feast of Unleavened Bread unless the context demands it, for example in Bede's De Temporum Ratione chapter 59, where in one place he clearly uses "aliquis legalium paschae dierum", "one or another of the lawful days of Passover" to refer to the days of Unleavened Bread.  He is describing how Easter Sunday can fall on any day of the lunar month from the 15th to the 21st inclusive.  Note that he explicitly rejects the system that avoids the 15 Nisan and places Easter Sunday on one of the days luna 16-22.  If there were an explicit rule requiring that Easter Sunday never coincide with the first day of Unleavened Bread, this system that Bede deprecates would be the one we would be using.

The article that ialmisry linked to is mistaken.
 

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Hello. I am new to this thread. I have a couple of questions. (Forgive me if they have already been discussed, but TL;DR all the posts):

1. Did the Council of Nicea teach that it is essential to the faith for Easter to occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox? If so, did the Church believe that it had to be after the Astronomical Spring Equinox? If so, then that is a problem, because the current calendar (whether Old Julian or Revised Julian) does not occur on the first Sunday after the first Astronomical full moon after the first Astronomical Spring Equinox. Since it was God who designed the universe, including the orbit of the Moon and Earth, wouldn't it then be God's will for us to follow the more "accurate" Gregorian Calendar? (Note: I only want answers from Orthodox.)

2. The Julian calendar gains three days, every 400 years. If that rate continues, then by the year 12,000 A.D., Easter will start occurring after the Summer Solstice. Would that be a problem, according to Orthodoxy? If so, what will the Church do about it? (Again, I only want answers from Orthodox.)

Thanks.

bhg
 

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byhisgrace said:
Hello. I am new to this thread. I have a couple of questions. (Forgive me if they have already been discussed, but TL;DR all the posts):

1. Did the Council of Nicea teach that it is essential to the faith for Easter to occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox? If so, did the Church believe that it had to be after the Astronomical Spring Equinox? If so, then that is a problem, because the current calendar (whether Old Julian or Revised Julian) does not occur on the first Sunday after the first Astronomical full moon after the first Astronomical Spring Equinox. Since it was God who designed the universe, including the orbit of the Moon and Earth, wouldn't it then be God's will for us to follow the more "accurate" Gregorian Calendar? (Note: I only want answers from Orthodox.)

2. The Julian calendar gains three days, every 400 years. If that rate continues, then by the year 12,000 A.D., Easter will start occurring after the Summer Solstice. Would that be a problem, according to Orthodoxy? If so, what will the Church do about it? (Again, I only want answers from Orthodox.)
Since you only want folk of your camp answering the questions you asked, I will answer questions that you did not ask.

The Council of Nicea did not draw up any Easter tables.   

The Council of Nicea did not require that a 19-year cycle be used.

The Alexandrian paschalion was not designed to prevent setting Easter Sunday to the 15th of Nisan in the modern-day Rabbinic Jewish calendar.  It could not possibly have done so, since the modern-day Rabbinic Jewish calendar did not even exist then.

If the modern-day Rabbinic calendar had been in use at that time, its 15 Nisan would have fallen on Easter Sunday in the 4th century in a number of cases, for example 343, 347, 370, and 394.  So the Alexandrian paschalion was clearly not designed to avoid these dates.
 

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byhisgrace said:
Hello. I am new to this thread. I have a couple of questions. (Forgive me if they have already been discussed, but TL;DR all the posts):

1. Did the Council of Nicea teach that it is essential to the faith for Easter to occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox? If so, did the Church believe that it had to be after the Astronomical Spring Equinox? If so, then that is a problem, because the current calendar (whether Old Julian or Revised Julian) does not occur on the first Sunday after the first Astronomical full moon after the first Astronomical Spring Equinox. Since it was God who designed the universe, including the orbit of the Moon and Earth, wouldn't it then be God's will for us to follow the more "accurate" Gregorian Calendar? (Note: I only want answers from Orthodox.)

2. The Julian calendar gains three days, every 400 years. If that rate continues, then by the year 12,000 A.D., Easter will start occurring after the Summer Solstice. Would that be a problem, according to Orthodoxy? If so, what will the Church do about it? (Again, I only want answers from Orthodox.)

Thanks.

bhg
I think that the initial formula was "the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox" (bolded part is the difference from your formulation). This formula was slightly revised by declaring that the standard date for the Vernal Equinox was to be March 21st, which in those days was on or very close to the actual Vernal Equinox. Regarding the calculations for the full moon, I believe that this was deferred to the Church of Alexandria, which was then considered to be the authority on astronomical matters.

You asked if the First Ecumenical Council considered that the standardized date for Pascha was essential to the faith. I think the main impetus was to celebrate Pascha on the same date across the Empire. The formula that was chosen reflected the practice in most of the local churches of that time, which in turn reflected the historical record. To answer your question directly, I do not believe that this formulation is essential to the faith; it just does not rise to the level of dogma. Otherwise, I would think it would have been included in the Creed.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
I think that the initial formula was "the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox" (bolded part is the difference from your formulation). This formula was slightly revised by declaring that the standard date for the Vernal Equinox was to be March 21st, which in those days was on or very close to the actual Vernal Equinox.
I think that to distinguish the formal equinox from the astronomical equinox is anachronistic at this early period.  As you correctly note, in the 4th century the two were very close. (In the third century, when the Alexandrian computus was being developed, they were essentially the same.)    I don't know when folk begain noticing the difference.  Ceolfrid's letter to Nechtan (circa 710) suggests that the astronomical and formal equinoxes were still considered the same in the early 8th century:

Regarding the calculations for the full moon, I believe that this was deferred to the Church of Alexandria, which was then considered to be the authority on astronomical matters.
This too I think is anachronistic.  Neither Athanasius nor Theophilus pretends to any such authority.  Almost all writers of the period that I have been able to consult write as if the age of the moon is an objective fact on which all reasonable people will agree.  The only author of the period who notices any disagreement over the age of the moon is the homelist of 387, and even for him it is those who are "not skilled in calculation" and "don't study the matter carefully" who calulate the moon to be 15 days old when she is in fact 14 days old.  There is no hiding behind any supposed privileges of Alexandria's bishop here to decide the matter; the other guy's calculation is simply wrong.
 

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Mockingbird said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Regarding the calculations for the full moon, I believe that this was deferred to the Church of Alexandria, which was then considered to be the authority on astronomical matters.
This too I think is anachronistic.  Neither Athanasius nor Theophilus pretends to any such authority.  Almost all writers of the period that I have been able to consult write as if the age of the moon is an objective fact on which all reasonable people will agree.  The only author of the period who notices any disagreement over the age of the moon is the homelist of 387, and even for him it is those who are "not skilled in calculation" and "don't study the matter carefully" who calulate the moon to be 15 days old when she is in fact 14 days old.  There is no hiding behind any supposed privileges of Alexandria's bishop here to decide the matter; the other guy's calculation is simply wrong.
I had based my belief on the following:

"By the end of the 3rd century some Christians had become dissatisfied with what they perceived as the disorderly state of the Jewish calendar. The chief complaint was that the Jewish practice sometimes set the 14th of Nisan before the spring equinox. This is implied by Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria in the mid-3rd century, who stated that "at no time other than the spring equinox is it legitimate to celebrate Easter" (Eusebius, Church History 7.20); and by Anatolius of Alexandria (quoted in Eusebius, Church History 7.32) who declared it a "great mistake" to set the paschal lunar month when the sun is in the twelfth sign of the zodiac (i.e., before the equinox). And it was explicitly stated by Peter, bishop of Alexandria that "the men of the present day now celebrate [Passover] before the [spring] equinox...through negligence and error."[4] Another objection to using the Jewish computation may have been that the Jewish calendar was not unified. Jews in one city might have a method for reckoning the Week of Unleavened Bread different from that used by the Jews of another city.[5] Because of these perceived defects in the traditional practice, Christian computists began experimenting with systems for determining Easter that would be free of these defects. But these experiments themselves led to controversy, since some Christians held that the customary practice of holding Easter during the Jewish festival of Unleavened Bread should be continued, even if the Jewish computations were in error from the Christian point of view.[6]

At the First Council of Nicaea in 325, it was agreed that the Christians should observe a common date, independent from the Jewish method.[7] Because of the divergence of tables mentioned above it was usual to negotiate a common date when discrepancies arose. It took several centuries before a common method was accepted throughout Christendom. The process of working out the details generated still further controversies.

The method from Alexandria became authoritative..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computus
 
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