I wrote the following as an insert for our church bulletin and thought I’d share it here. Thoughts and comments welcomed. Have a blessed day!
What Year is it Anyway?
August 2 2015?
Today’s topic really doesn’t have much to do with prophecy, per se, but I find it very fascinating and hope you will too.
We, as well as most of the world, use the Gregorian Calendar to measure time. It is based upon the sun.
The Hebrew calendar, however, is based upon the moon. Their days are 24 hours, too, but begin in the evening rather than the morning. But that really isn’t important. I’ll try to simplify this as best as my feeble mind can muster.
There are two sects of Jews we need to be familiar with: Nazarene and Orthodox. The Orthodox are what we commonly think of when we think of practicing Jews. They worship Jehovah, follow the Law of Moses, etc. The Nazarenes are the sect of Jews who were the original followers of Yeshua, or Jesus of Nazareth. The Nazarenes and the Orthodox Jews claim two different years as being the present year.
Both sects measure the year from the Creation. However, they end up with a 240 year discrepency, give or take a year or two. The Orthodox say we are in the year 5775. The Nazarene’s calculate the year 6015. How can this be? It’s both complicated and simple. Simple once you understand it, complicated to explain.
Okay, both sects agree that the 7 day creation week represents a 7000 year period. Not that it took 7000 years, just that each day could symbolize 1000 years thus a 7000 year plan for the earth. (Remember, even Peter said in 2 Peter 3:8 that a day is like a thousand years…)They also agree the Messiah represents the sun, as the source of Light. Since the sun was created on DAY FOUR, the Messiah should’ve arrived at around the year 4000. The Nazarene’s, as followers of Jesus, say that He did. If the age of the world is calculated as being approximately 6015 years, and Jesus walked the earth some 2015 years ago: 6015 minus 4000 is 2015 (our date); or 6015 minus 2015 is 4000.
HOWEVER, the Orthodox do not adhere to this obviously. They say the earth is 5775 years old (it will be year 5776 in September, their new year). If both sects calculate the age of the earth starting with creation and onward, how did they reach a difference of 240 years? The answer lies with Jesus, of course. Just like in Jesus’ day, the Orthodox do not want to acknowledge Him as Messiah. Upon hearing of Jesus’ resurrection, they quickly conspired to spread the lie that his body was stolen. The denial continues. Sometime in the middle ages, the Jewish powers-that-be that “keeps track” of the calendar conspired to leave out 240 years in history. How?
The Old Testament gives us a great yearly timeline from Creation up until the building of the second temple. The New Testament does not provide a timeline, so from the building of the second temple until today we must rely upon secular dates. The second temple was built some time around 515 BC, according to secular historians. There is quite a bit of math involved that I will not include here so let me just get to the point: The Orthodox decrease the number of years they claim both the Persians and Medes ruled to total 242 years give or take. Thus, the birth of Jesus would fall 240 years SHY of the year 4000.They just stashed away 240+- years. I have also read articles trying to explain this away, saying the calendar dating was because of blending lunar and solar years. I do not know.
I do not know if the Nazarene’s have a more accurate date or if the Orthodox do. Jews will tell you that come Rosh Hashanah in September, they will be in the year 5776 and this is the year accepted as the Hebrew year throughout the world. The Nazarenes say we are in the year 6015. The point is not to narrow down the age of the earth within a year, rather to show the continuing denial on behalf of the Orthodox Jews to deny their Messiah. Personally, I side with the Nazarene’s since I regard Scripture as the Authority on all matters and it is obvious the Orthodox “stole” time away from it. The 1000 year is like a day in regards to the Creation week is also fascinating. We know after 6 days, God rested. When Jesus returns, there will 1000 years of peace on earth. Fascinating, isn’t it? For further info, refer to http://pauldnewman.blogspot.com/2007/04/about-240-missing-years.html