The development of our modern Gregorian calendar verses God’s Calendar as described in the Bible and why the Sabbath is not Saturday or Sunday.
Jesus kept the Sabbath holy just as he kept all of the 10 commandments. Although Christians are under grace rather than the law it is still our guide as to how to live and as such we are expected to try our best to keep the commandments as Paul also states:
1 Corinthians 9:21
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.
God listed the 10 commandments in order of importance and therefore remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy is actually more important than murder in God’s judgement, just as respecting our parents is. However, as I will show to you most people do not even know when the Sabbath is. I hope you will consider what I have written below but to be clear Paul tells us how to consider any of these special days:
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
I hope you will be convinced of the truth presented here.
Our modern Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory the 13th (b.1502 d.1585), came about because in 1582 this Pope over saw the amendment of the Julian calendar to bring it into very close alignment with the astronomical solar year. The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar (b.100 BC – d.45 BC), came about because in 45 BC he over saw the amendment of an older Roman Republican calendar, to bring it into relative alignment with the astronomical solar year.
The older Roman Republican calendar was called the ‘Fasti Antiates maiores‘ or ‘Permitted days of Greater Antiates‘ which had been used in Rome since at least 173 BC. Shown in the picture below are fragments of this calendar which were discovered in 1915 in the ruins of Nero’s villa at Antium, (Anzio) near Rome, now housed in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome. Some 200 other fragments of this Roman calendar have been found so far and they are collectively known as Fasti.
Below is a recreation of what the Roman Republican calendar looked like. It has abbreviated names of the months arranged across the top, preceded by the letter K for ‘Kalends‘ which means ‘the first day of the month‘ and from where the word calendar comes from.
Unlike our modern calendar it does not number the days of the month, instead it has 8-day “weeks” called nundina as labelled from A to H. With a further letter denoting what was permitted on those days for the ruling classes.
- C(omitialis) : “Business in Assembly”
- F(astus) : “Business in Court”
- N(efastus) : “No Business”
- N(efas) P(iaculum?) : “No Business; Public Holiday”
- En(dotercisus): “Mid-split Day”: fastus in the middle hours and nefastus in the early morning and the evening
The origins of the names of these month are all Roman as seen in the table below:
|Month||From the Latin|
|January||Januarius, in honour of the Roman two faced god Janus.|
|February||Februarius, in honour of the Roman festival of general recompense and purification.|
|March||Martius, in honour of the Roman god of war Mars.|
|April||Aprilis, which was derived from aperio, a Latin verb meaning to open. The month is so called because it is the month when the earth opens to produce new fruits.|
|May||Maius, in honour of the Greek goddess Maia.|
|June||Junius, in honour of the Roman goddess Juno.|
|July||Julius, in honour of Roman emperor Julius Caesar.|
|August||Augustus, in honour of Roman emperor Augustus Caesar.|
|The rest of the months—September, October, November, December—are derived from the Latin words for the numerals 7, 8, 9, and 10. They were the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th months of the old Roman calendar before July and August were inserted ahead of them.|
However, these were by no means the only calendars used in history, in fact hundreds of calendars have been discovered from all over the world, each competing for supremacy, with the most accurate, easy to use and popular calendars becoming more widely used, or calendars which were used by the majority winning out over other calendars used by the minority.
In the 1st century AD another calendar made its way to Italy, this was the7-day week planetary calendar. Each of the 7-days were named after 7 planetary gods and goddesses. Below is a picture of a statue of the Gallo-Roman goddess of protection Tutela (150-220 AD) on display at the British Museum. She is seen as supporting the 7-days of the planetary week; Saturn, the eldest of the gods, Sol (sun), Luna (moon), Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. (Along with with heads of Diana and Apollo on her right and Castor and Pollux on her wings).
Below is a picture of a stone carving displaying these 7 gods which was found at the Baths of Titus in Rome, constructed between 79-81 AD. There are holes in this stone calendar for placing sticks so that the day of the week, the date and the month can be shown.
The switch to the Planetary 7-day week calendar from the 8-day week Julian Calendar was gradual. The planetary calendar was infrequently seen as early as 27 BC but pagan religious sun zealots in the 1st century AD were promoting their 7-day planetary week and their influence gained momentum with both the 8 and 7-day Roman weeks existing side by side. However, by around 150 AD the 7-day calendar began dominating in popularity.
Above is a drawing of the carving, notice Sunday is the second day of the week as depicted by the rays of light coming from Sol‘s crown but most importantly of all Saturday was the first day of the week rather than the seventh! The reason Sunday began to be recognised as the first day of the week on the planetary calendar rather than Saturday was because of the expansion of the Mithra Sun Cult in Rome after 100 AD and it was Mithra’s popularity that Sunday became the most important day among the planetary cult worshippers.
The planetary 7-day week became so popular in Rome that even Christian’s adopted it and the first specific notation of Christians gathering on Sunday is by that of Justin Martyr (A gentile of Roman decent) in 150 AD, who stated; “But Sunday is the day on which we hold our common assembly, because it is the first day of the week and Jesus our saviour on the same day rose from the dead.” (First apology of Justin, Ch 68).
Justin Martyr’s comment that Sunday was the first day of the week is clearly an error and must just be an assumption on his part based on the fact that by then Sunday was becoming the Roman‘s venerated day of rest as recorded by Tertullian a Latin church father in the 2nd century who admitted that early ‘Christians‘ of his persuasion prayed eastward to the sunrise just as pagans did and that pagans held Sunday as their rest-day just as he did. (Tertullian: To the Pagans. 197 AD). Further more there is no evidence that Jesus or the Jews of His time ever used the planetary 7-day week calendar or the Julian calendar.
Eventually this 7-day week became ubiquitous throughout the Roman Empire and then on the 7th March 321 AD Rome’s first Christian Emperor Constantine I, who was a Mithras sun cult worshipper decreed that Sunday would be observed as the Roman official day of rest and he forced Christians to worship only on this day, declaring: “On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed in the country.” However, despite the official adoption of Sunday as a day of rest by Constantine the 7-day week and the nundial 8-day week continued to be used side-by-side until at least 354 AD and perhaps as late as the early 5th century.
Historian Dio Cassius who wrote in the 3rd century AD speaks of the hebdomadal, or 7 divisions of time, being universal in his day in the Roman Empire. He presents it as being borrowed from the Egyptians and was based on astrology. (Westminster Bible Dictionary, 1944 ed. Pg 632). And according to the Oxford Companion to the Year, an exploration of calendar customs and time-reckoning, by Bonnie Blackburn & Leofranc Holford-Strevens [Oxford University Press, 1999, 2003 pg.566-568]. “The formulation of the planetary week goes back to Ptolemaic Egypt.” Its first historical description is by the Roman historian Cassius Dio* (Consul in 229 AD).
The Egyptians had two calendars, a later civil solar calendar with a 365-day year which consisted of three seasons of 120 days each, plus an intercalary ‘month‘ of 5 epagomenal days treated as outside of the year proper. Each season was divided into four months of 30 days. These twelve months were initially numbered within each season but came to also be known by the names of their principal festivals. Each month was divided into three 10-day periods, or ‘weeks‘, known as decans or decades.
This civil calendar ran concurrently with an older Egyptian lunar calendar which was used for some religious rituals and festivals. This older luni-solar calendar had an intercalary 13th month added every two or three years to maintain its consistency with the astronomical solar year. Each month began on the morning when the waning crescent moon could no longer be seen. Until the closing of Egypt’s pagan temples under the Byzantines, the lunar calendar continued to be used as the liturgy of various cults and the month may have then been divided into four “weeks” of 7 or 8-days reflecting each quarter of the lunar phases.
The days of the planetary 7-day week were originally named after the classical planets. The Greco-Roman gods associated with the classical planets were later rendered into their Germanic interpretations based on indigenous deities from which we then get the Anglicised names Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
|Planet||Greco-Roman Deity||Latin:||Germanic Name||Old English|
So from all this evidence this we can see there is no indication the calendar that Jesus and the Israelites would have been using for over 1500 years prior to the Julian calendar and over a 1000 miles from Rome – is even mentioned. Yet in the Bible we often read about a calendar that the Hebrews had been using from when Moses left Egypt and even going back further to the flood over two thousands years before Rome even existed, for example we read in Exodus:
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
And in Genesis:
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
This calendar given by God is completely different to the Julian and Gregorian calendars and its pagan planetary week. Firstly none of the days have names but were simply numbered by God, even the months were originally only numbered by God, although later they were given some Hebrew and Babylonian names by the Israelite‘s themselves.
Month Hebrew name Babylonian name
1 Aviv Nisan
2 Ziv Lyyar
3 – Sivan
4 – Tammuz
5 – Av
6 – Elul
7 Ethanim Tishri
8 Bul Heshwan
9 – Kislev
10 – Tevet
11 – Shevat
12 – Adar
From scripture we can find out how this calendar was organised. The months on God’s calendar actually begin with the sighting of the new crescent moon which was a rest day when there was a new moon feast as shown in 1 Samuel:
1 Samuel 20:18 + 24-27
18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.
24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean, surely he is unclean.” 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, [Day 2] David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”
After New Moon Day there were 6 days of work followed by the first Sabbath.
There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of SABBATH rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a SABBATH to the LORD.
As a lunar month is on average 29.53059 days long the sliver of the new moon is seen again on either days 30 or 31, at which point the monthly cycle begins again and that day then becomes day 1 – New Moon Day. Months therefore alternate between 29 and 30 days in length and Sabbaths therefore fall on day’s 8, 15, 22 and 29 each lunar month. Throughout the Bible the are many places where Sabbaths are shown to fall on one of these 4 days and never on any other day of the month (with the exception of the Day of Trumpets which is the seventh new moon of the year and the Day of Atonement). Then the process begins over again with the sighting of the next new moon which is either one or two days later after day 29. Therefore Sabbaths are not on a continuous ‘rolling’ seven day cycle like it is on the Julian/Gregorian calendar. Below are some examples from scripture when Sabbaths fall on one of the 4 days of the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th
Jesus died on the 14th Aviv (Preparation day) Just before the 15th.
54 It was Preparation Day, and the SABBATH was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the SABBATH in obedience to the commandment.
Jesus rose on the 16th Aviv (the Day of First Fruits) the day after the 15th which was a Sabbath.
After the SABBATH, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
God instructed Moses that the 15th and 22nd of the 7th month would be Sabbaths:
“‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of SABBATH rest [Day 15], and the eighth day [Day 22] also is a day of SABBATH rest.
God told Moses the 15th of the 1st month after leaving Egypt would be a Sabbath followed by the Day of First Fruits:
4 “ ‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day [Day 15] hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day [Day 21] hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’ ”9 The Lord said to Moses, 10“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the SABBATH.12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect, 13 together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil—a food offering presented to the Lord, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. 14 You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 15 “ ‘From the day after the SABBATH,
Also, in Exodus chapter 16 it can be determined that a Sabbath in the second month after leaving Egypt fell on day 22 of that month and therefore shows that God’s Calendar and his Sabbaths are most certainly linked to the phases of the moon on days 8, 15, 22 & 29:
1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim, and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim, and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’S hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from Heaven for you. The people are to go out each day, and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day [Day 21] they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening [Day 16] you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning [Also day 16] you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening, and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.” 9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” 10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud. 11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘In the evening [Beginning of day 16] you will eat meat, and in the morning [Also day 16] you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ” 13 That evening [Day 16] quail came, and covered the camp, and in the morning [Also day 16] there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” 17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. 19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” 20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. 21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day [Day 21], they gathered twice as much, two omers for each person, and the leaders of the community came, and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of SABBATH rest, [Day 22] a holy SABBATH to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left, and keep it until morning.’ ” 24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a SABBATH to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the SABBATH, there will not be any.”
So as you can see God’s calendar was similar to the ancient Egyptian luni-solar calendar and in fact was also very similar to the ancient Babylonian luni-solar calendar. This was because originally all calendars were copies of God’s Calendar and as time went, by in a world ruled by Satan, these calendars became evermore corrupted from God’s original calendar in order to try and hide the importance of God’s Calendar and its prophetic feast days which Jesus was and is to fulfil. There are a number of other verses that confirm God’s luni-solar calendar which you can study here:
Robert-Aaron Richmond explains from scripture how God’s Calendar works:
International Date Line Change: The Sabbath Unchanged by Worlds Last Chance Ministries? :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sUyZpM5xls
John D Keyser – founder of Hope of Israel ministries:
“Saturday is the Sabbath” is FAKE NEWS!:
The Creator’s Calendar:
Furthermore, God’s Calendar is not the same calendar the Jews of today use; The Jews currently use a revised version of God’s Calendar which uses the 7-day planetary ‘rolling’ week system instead of God’s lunar Sabbath weeks. This was due partly to the the destruction of Jerusalem along with its temple, priests, people and way of life in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus and also later under the Roman Emperor Hadrian, after he had put down the Jewish Simon Bar-Kokhba revolt in 135 AD and expelled the Jews from living in or near Jerusalem under pain of death. This prevented the Jews from making visually sighted new moon observances from Jerusalem which are needed for knowing when God’s lunar months begin.
Finally in 363 AD Roman Catholic Canon number 29 was issued at the Council of Laodicea prohibiting observance of the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday in the Roman empire altogether, while encouraging Christians to work on Saturday and rest on the ‘Lord’s Day’ (Sunday). The fact that the Canon had to be issued at all is an indication that adoption of Constantine’s decree of 321 AD was still not universal, not even among Christians but importantly indicates that Jews in the Roman empire were observing the Sabbath on the Saturday, even though this was the first day of the pagan deity planetary week rather than the seventh day on God’s luni-solar calendar and that they had practically forgotten God’s ‘lunar’ Sabbath.
In response to all these anti-Jewish laws and persecution a new Jewish calendar was created in 359 AD by Sanhedrin Rabbi Hillel II which employs a repeating 19 year lunar mathematical calculation that approximates the timing of each new moon sighting from Jerusalem. This allows Jews to celebrate their feasts on the same day no matter where they are living around the world but it is only accurate about half of the time compared to the visually sighted new moon months. This Jewish calendar is still used to this day.
I hope this helps you to see that the Sabbath is not on Sunday or Saturday but can actually be on any day of the 7-day planetary rolling week system of the pagan Julian/Gregorian calendar.
A more detailed explanations of God’s Calendar and His Feasts is explained in chapter 1 and 2 of my book which can be read here: https://guidetothebible.wordpress.com/start-reading-the-book/
You can also view a comparison calendar to know when the next Sabbaths on God’s visually sighted lunar calendar will be: