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Is this picture too much?-αmεσ (historian) 00:46, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

I LOL'd. Nice work. More grue needed, though. I will insert. humanUser talk:Human 01:00, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

The date of Easter[edit]

While I enjoy lulz and all, the following bit is snarkless and does not mesh well with the rest of the article. So, I'm putting it here to start with. It also may be a bit 'lets walk through a lecture' style rather than 'an encyclopedia' style.

The date of easter is one of the religious holidays that moves around on the calender. It is the basis for the rest of the wp:moveable feasts in the ecclesiastical calender.

In the Catholic tradition (of which the protestant churches are based), Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox.

Conservapedia makes the claim that "Eastern Orthodox Churches still use the Julian calendar when determining the date of Easter and thus have an inaccurate date for the resurrection."[1] and this oddly incorrect, especialy when one looks at the history of the date.

Easter corresponds to Passover in the Jewish faith. The Last Supper is the Passover meal. Passover itself happens on 14 Nissan in the Jewish calender. The year of the crucifixion was somewhere between 26 CE and 34 CE. Looking at a table of this information[2] we get the following data:[3]

Year Vernal Equinox Astronomical New Moon
First evening of visible crescent Date of the first of Nissan 14th day of Nisan (Passover)
(On date, or first after vernal Equinox) (Gregorian calendar. Midnight to midnight) (Beginning at sundown the evening before...) (Beginning at sundown the evening before...)
26 A.D. Fri. Mar. 22, 0 Sat. Apr. 6, 7 a.m. Sun. Apr. 7 Mon. Apr. 8 Sun. Apr. 21
27 A.D. Sun. Mar. 23, 6 a.m. Wed. Mar. 26, 7 p.m. Fri. Mar. 28 Sat. Mar. 29 Fri. Apr. 11
28 A.D. Mon. Mar. 22, noon Tues. Apr. 13, 2 p.m. Wed. Apr. 14 Thurs. Apr.15 Wed. Apr. 28
29 A.D. Tues. Mar. 22, 6 p.m. Sat. Apr. 2, 7 p.m. Mon. Apr. 4 Tues. Apr. 5 Mon. Apr. 18
30 A.D. Wed. Mar. 22, 0 Wed. Mar. 22, 8 p.m. Fri. Mar. 24 Sat. Mar. 25 Fri. Apr. 7
31 A.D. Fri. Mar. 23, 5 a.m. Tues. Apr. 10, 2 p.m. Wed. Apr. 11 Thurs. Apr.12 Wed. Apr. 25
32 A.D. Sat. Mar. 22, 11 a.m. Sat. Mar. 29, 10 p.m. Mon. Mar. 31 Tues. Apr. 1 Mon. Apr. 14
33 A.D. Sun. Mar. 22, 5 p.m. Fri. Apr. 17, 9 p.m. Sun. Apr. 19 Mon. Apr. 20 Sun. May 3
34 A.D. Mon. Mar. 22,11 p.m. Wed. Apr. 7, 2 p.m. Thurs. Apr. 8 Fri. Apr. 9 Thurs. Apr. 22

Some of these dates can be ruled out as candidates for Easter. In 26 and 30 AD, the vernal equinox happens at midnight of the day. In 27, 29, 32, and 33 AD the conjunction of the new moon happens too late for the young crescent moon to be seen the next evening. In 30 AD, the conjunction of the new moon precedes the equinox by four hours.

This boils down to that in 31 AD, Passover happens on Wednesday. This actually fits the information in the gospels a bit better and solves a potentially confusing set of references.

  • Matthew 12:40 says that Jesus was in the tomb for three days and three nights. From Wednesday(just before sundown) to Sunday is three days and nights.
  • The day following Passover is also a Sabbath day and a special Sabbath day. John 20:31 reads "Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath." This was the preparation for the feast of unleaven bread. See Leviticus 23:4-8 and Numbers 28:16-18 for more on this special sabbath day.

Taking this into light, this clears up Luke 23:55-56 which has the preparation of the body before the Sabbath and Mark 16:1 and [Matthew 20:1 which has them brining the spices after the Sabbath to find the tomb empty. The Sabbath referred to in Luke is the day following passover and in Mark, the more traditional weekly Sabbath.

Looking at the Greek, we can see a confusion in many tanslations.[4] Sabbata is singular while sabbaton is plural. Luke, Mark, and Matthew all use the plural form.

The Orthodox church has maintained that Easter must always happen after Passover, and does so. The early Catholic moved Easter away from Passover to try to separate Christianity from being a Jewish sect.

"Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way." - Eusebius The Life of Constantine[5] Chapter XVIII

In moving Easter to another date, it also helped bring in some other parts (similar to having Christmas coincide with pagan festivals). Moving Easter next to the equinox allowed the inclusion of Samartians (who celebarted Passover on another calander) and Pagans celebrating the equinox.

That said, and the uncommonly early Easter of 2008, the Orthodox church is much closer to celebrating the right time for the reseruction than Catholic or Protestant churches. Easter for western churches is March 23 2008, while for eastern churches is April 27 2008. The 14th day of Nissan is April 19, 2008. — Unsigned, by: Shagie / talk / contribs

That's an interesting analysis, but I'm a little unclear on why you think the Orthodox calculation method is closer to "the right time" than the Western one. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 16:04, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
It is always after Passover as celebrated in the Jewish calender. This was part of the intent on the Julian calender date calculation. By readjusting to the Gregorian calender which fixed (as in fixed position, not the broken implications) the equinoxes and keeping the same definition, it allowed the date of Easter to move around quite a bit more.
Year Roman Orthodox Passover
2008 23 March 27 April 20 April
2009 12 April 19 April 9 April
Feel free to play out . --Shagie 16:37, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, but why is it a problem in the first place that Easter moves around more? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 17:34, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
What I find is odd is that it can be before Passover, which makes no sense at all. The Hebrew calendar is accurate, correct? (Weird, but correct). So RezErection Sabbath should either be a solar calendar fixed date or week in celebration of the anniversary, or, follow the Hebrew calendar in order to fit into a sensible "schedule" of events each year. Either way, I'm a joining both churches so I can get more chocolate eggs! humanUser talk:Human 17:41, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
It's important to keep in mind that while Easter has its roots in Passover, it's not the same feast, and it's not an anniversary, either. The early Christian dating of Easter had to take at least three things into account: That Easter Sunday has to, in fact, fall on a Sunday, which rules out the fixed date; that the early Christians wanted to distance themselves from the perception of being "some Jewish sect"; and probably most importantly, that Eastre had to be calculatable in a way so that it was celebrated by all Christians at the same time, some of whom ued different and sometimes not very exact calendars - because so much of the rest of the liturgical year was built up around Easter, getting that wrong could easily throw everything else out of synch. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:00, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Yes, that all makes sense. But it's easy to keep it, say, on a Sunday the same way we make T-day always a Thursday. Aligning with the equinox makes sense - easy for all to be on the same page, and keeps it the correct (?) time of year. But why drag the moon into it? humanUser talk:Human 18:14, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

The fixed date proposal has been made. (1997)[6] Some suggest the second Sunday in April and then you're done with it. Kind of like Thanksgiving. The UK actualy said that this is the way it will be.[7] But they haven't enforced it at all. Oh, the other odd bit is that the church uses March 20th as the equinox and then the full moon after that, and then the Sunday after that. However, the equinox can be the 19th, 20th, or 21st of March. The moving Easter also messes up schools that try to sync "spring vacation" with Easter. This year with Easter so early, many schools didn't sync and those that did had some snow storms grounding planes in the Midwest (hows that for spring break?). --Shagie 19:00, 24 March 2008 (EDT)


Someone tell me why we are discussing the precise dating scheme for a guy who died 1,980 years ago? Shouldn't we be doing something productive, like, say, watching television or playing Scrabble? --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:30, 24 March 2008 (EDT)

Because we are fascinated with all and everything, that's why! Now go update the busy editors article so Mar. is totally up to date! Hehe... humanUser talk:Human 21:56, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Mock me, and it will be the second-to-last thing you do. The last thing you do will be an agonizing scream as you die a horrifying, torturously slow, painful death. ...I mean that in the best possible way. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:42, 24 March 2008 (EDT)
Ooh, threats!!! OMGZ I am shakin' in my boots! humanUser talk:Human 00:03, 25 March 2008 (EDT)
When a religious type claims to have the Truth™ and everyone else is wrong it gets on my nerves. On the flip side, when a skeptic starts pointing at various passages and saying "this and this this and this disagree therefore it must be wrong" without looking into why they disagree and if there is a better explanation, it also gets on my nerves. What is above goes into showing when the actual date was, that Good Friday is a couple days off, and that the passages in the Bible thought to be contradictory are not. To a person following the symbolism of Holy Week, it is a footnote - there is an understanding that there is a difference between the celebration and the actual date (like many other religious holidays). To the person trying to disprove the existence of Jesus as a made up story, it says "you need to find better references, this is not contradictory." To the person that is saying they have the One True Faith™ as it follows exactly from the Bible, it suggests they re-examine it. --Shagie 14:50, 25 March 2008 (EDT)

"The Two Babylons"[edit]

Wow, what a dumb story! Well, I vow to do what I can to debunk it when I see it and can say something about it.

Signed, A woman who actually worships Ishtar, and thus would love it if it were true, but knows it isn't, Sensual Endeavor, the sexy pony ;) (talk) 21:29, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

If you could do so, that would be great for our mission.--Renegade (talk) 22:43, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Another explanation[edit]

Easter was actually a local invented tradition related to the spring equinox and 'related fertility activities'/activities in the farming calendar - and 'the goddess Eostre' was created to give it justification. The locals then decided to get 'that nice old monk who writes histories' to include it in his writings and sanitised the whole so as not to upset him.

No worse than some of the other suggested 'solutions.' Anna Livia (talk) 13:44, 18 March 2019 (UTC)