Pope Benedictus XVI
Astoundingly, Zenit.org (the Vatican’s main internet news site) reported the following:
Pope Says Dialogue Has a Purpose: Finding Truth
Greets Jews for Feast of Passover
WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 18, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that interreligious dialogue has a purpose beyond establishing a peaceful society: The point of this dialogue is to find the truth…
Benedict XVI then noted, “There is a further point I wish to touch upon here”…
He continued: “The broader purpose of dialogue is to discover the truth”…
“Christians and Jews,” the Pope said, “are in fact, as the prophets say, ‘prisoners of hope.’ This bond permits us Christians to celebrate alongside you, though in our own way, the Passover of Christ’s death and resurrection, which we see as inseparable from your own, for Jesus himself said: ‘Salvation is from the Jews.’
“Our Easter and your Pesah, while distinct and different, unite us in our common hope centered on God and his mercy. They urge us to cooperate with each other and with all men and women of goodwill to make this a better world for all as we await the fulfillment of God’s promises.”
Let’s look a little bit into historical writings to learn the truth about Passover and Easter.
Because the truth is that what the Pope called Easter was really a mangled up and changed version of Passover!
According to the 4th century Catholic historian Epiphanius, the Catholic Church used to keep Passover on the 14th of Nisan (which would have been last night):
Audians…they choose to celebrate the Passover with the Jews–that is they contentiously celebrate the Passover at the same time as the Jews are holding their Festival of Unleavened Bread. And indeed that this used to be the church’s custom (Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section VI, Verses 8,11; 9,2. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp. 410-411).
Furthermore, the writings of the Roman Church actually show that while it changed the calculation of it from what the Bible taught, that its “Easter” is based upon the date of the 14th of Nisan.
Strangely Epiphanius wrote this about the practices of the Greco-Roman church (which we now call Roman and Orthodox Catholics, but he calls “God’s holy church”):
But God’s holy church does not miss the truth in any way in her fixing the date of this mystery. She uses not only the fourteenth day. but also the seven days which recur order of the seven days of the week…And she uses not only the fourteenth day of the lunar month, but the course of the sun as well, to keep us from observing two Passovers in one year and not even one in another. We observe the fourteenth day, then, but we wait until after the equinox and bring the end of our full observance to the sacred Lord’s day (Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section IV, Verses 3,1; 3,2; 3,3-4. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp. 25).
Well, the Catholics most certainly do not observe Passover on the evening of the 14th unless that happens to fall when some observe an evening mass–the equinox argument is not scriptural. And since the “Lord’s Supper” is observed frequently, most practicing Catholics and Protestants do observe it more than once per year.
Notice that around the time of Epiphanius, a later Roman Emperor after he became a baptized Catholic “Christian” decreed the death penalty against those who kept Passover on the biblically proper date:
Edicts of Theodosius against the heretics, A.D. 380-394…Theodosius…decreed that…by the death of the offender; and the same capital punishment was inflicted on the Audians, or Quartodecimans, who should dare to perpetrate the atrocious crime of celebrating on an improper day the festival (Gibbon E. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume III, Chapter XXVII. ca. 1776-1788).
Is killing those that followed the example of Jesus and John to observe the Passover on the 14th instead of Sunday a sign of a true Christian leader or a sign of a supporter of antichrist?
The Catholic and Orthodox saint and “doctor of the church” John Chrysostom preached the following in 387 A.D.:
In speaking about this feast of the Passover, the Law says to them something such as this: “You will not be able to keep the Passover in any of the cities which the Lord your God gives to you.” The Law bids them keep the feast on the fourteenth day of the first month and in the city of Jerusalem. The Law also narrowed down the time and place for the observance of Pentecost, when it commanded them to celebrate the feast after seven weeks, and again, when it stated: “In the place which the Lord your God chooses.” So also the Law fixed the feast of Tabernacles. (4) Now let us see which of the two, time or place, is more necessary, even though neither the one nor the other has the power to save. Must we scorn the place but observe the time? Or should we scorn the time and keep the place? What I mean is something such as this. The Law commanded that the Passover be held in the first month and in Jerusalem, at a prescribed time and in a prescribed place…But the Passover comes to an end on the twenty-first of that month. If they began the feast on the fourteenth day of the first month and then continued it for seven days, they then come to the twenty-first …the Law said they must not observe those rituals outside Jerusalem (John Chrysostom. Homily IV Against the Jews IV:3-4,V:4,5. Catholic Christians of Antioch. Turning to Sabbath and The New Moon Day and Other Holy Days. 387 A.D.).
Although he is correct that the Bible specifies the dates of the Holy Days (thus his church should never have changed it, as they did in the second century because of cowardice and hatred), John Chrysostom is incorrect that Jerusalem is the only place.
That is never taught in the law.
To the contrary, the Jews were not even in Jerusalem when God listed the holy days in the books of Exodus and Leviticus (Jerusalem was not taken by the children of Israel until after the death of Joshua, see Judges 1:1-8).
It is also clear from the testimonies of Polycarp, Melito, Apollinaris, and Polycrates, that the New Testament second century Christians observed Passover outside of Jerusalem, as they ALL lived in Asia Minor and none lived in Jerusalem.
The fifth century historian Socrates Scholasticus noted:
In Asia Minor most people kept the fourteenth day of the moon…Moreover the Quartodecimans affirm that the observance of the fourteenth day was delivered to them by the apostle John (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter XXII. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).
Amazingly, the Roman and Orthodox Catholic saint John Chrysostom preached the following in 387 A.D.:
The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us … There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, our are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html 12/10/05).
Also notice that Pope Benedict yesterday claimed that the Jewish were of value. Furthermore, notice what the Pope stated about the “Jewish feasts” last Fall:
“These festivities,” the Holy Father wrote, “can be occasions for many blessings from the Eternal and a source of immense joy, so that the will to promote the peace that the world so greatly needs will grow within each one of us. May God in his goodness protect your community and grant that the friendship between us deepen, in this city of Rome and everywhere.” (see Pope Praises God’s Holy Days?)
Since the Pontiff seems to feel that the “Jewish feasts” are venerable, and one of a relatively few “doctors of the Roman Church” said that if they are venerable, then the Catholic holidays are lies, this thus suggests that the changes that the Catholics imposed upon them ARE LIES!
Of course, so does the Bible and the record of history.
The truth is that because of cowardice and tradition (please see Passover and the Early Church), the Roman Church adopted Easter instead of the Biblical Passover.
If the Pontiff was interested in the truth, he would advocate the observance of the seven days of unleavened bread which begin tonight at sunset.
Does anyone really think that the Pope is truly interested in dialoging on this subject so that he can tell the world the truth?
If so, I would be interested in publicly discussing this with him.
Those interested in learning more of the truth on these matters should consider studying their Bibles and reading the following:
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? This article supplies some biblical answers.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?