Why is the memorial Sometimes not on the Night of the passover?

by NikL 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • NikL

    Do the JayDubs follow a different calendar?

    Sometimes it is not in line with the Jewish celebration and it should be no?

  • David_Jay

    The Governing Body decided that it was only correct to consider the beginning of the lunar month of Nisan based upon when the new moon should be visible from the city of Jerusalem. Their reasoning is that this is the way Jews did it in the first century so it must stay this way.

    Modern Jews have decided to begin their lunar months based on what science has contributed to humanity. So now official Jewish law states that months begin with the astronomical new moon (as weather conditions can make it difficult to decipher a visible new moon). This allows Jews anywhere on earth to know exactly when a month begins and remain united in counting time.

    This can cause a difference of up to 30 hours between the Jehovah's Witnesses calculations and that of the Jews. Also the Governing Body is confused by the fact that a second Seder occurs on the 15th day of Nisan to mark the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thinking this to be a practice of "some Jews" observing Passover on the day after the 14th, the Governing Body feels justified in this decision. They seem also to be confused in this due to the way some Jews in the Diaspora still "double" up on some holy day observances.

    But the actual Jewish calendar can only be the one recognized by the Jews at large in order for it to be legal according to Jewish law. Thus the JW date can often be invalid when it differs like this.

  • Irishdub


    Chronology was never the Watchtower's forte


  • wifibandit

    Any new-comer to this site would be well advised to read Leolaia's posts and make good use of the search function. It has made all the difference in my personal journey.


  • OnTheWayOut

    I love the detailed explanation from David _Jay above. I don't even care who's more "right" in this- the JW's or the Jews. But I do know that JW's like to feel that they are so RIGHT. They put quite a bit into calculating this date and explaining the calculation so that the JW's can smugly feel vindicated on whatever date they choose.

  • blondie

    Yes, as wifibandit says using the search is very helpful. There is almost nothing new under the sun on JWN that hasn't been discussed.


  • TD

    Do the JayDubs follow a different calendar?

    In addition to what David_Jay has said above, I would add that it's important to remember that Jehovah's Witnesses cram everything -- The Passover, Gethsemane, Jesus' arrest, his appearance before Pilate, his appearance before Herod Antipas, his reappearance before Pilate and finally his execution into a single 24 hour period.

    (This is important for JW's and kindred groups, because they feel that Jesus' death must correspond exactly in every way with that of the Passover lamb.)

    This is how it works:

    On Nisan 13th, (By their reckoning) JW's hurry home from their jobs, get dressed and go to the Memorial. Although this event sometimes starts slightly before sundown, things are carefully timed so the sun will have set before the emblems are actually passed. JW's are therefore passing the bread and wine as early as they possibly can, sometimes just minutes after Nisan 14th has technically started. (Again, by their reckoning...)

    The problem here is that once the observance is finished, JW's go, home, go to bed and when they wake up it is still Nisan 14th and will be until the sun sets again. However Numbers 33:3 clearly states that the next daylight period after Passover was the 15th.

    In actual practice though, the dates do sometimes coincide because JW's have their own take on the Jewish calendar as well.

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