The lunar calendar itself, was a part of the old sanctuary system by which to schedule the observances of the various festivals in the old covenant. They were all calculated from the phases of the moon.
There were certain days named as "Sabbaths" in this calendar. But they were not on the same date of the month each month. All of these "Sabbaths" were calculated from the new moon of ONLY the FIRST month in the spring and of the SEVENTH month in the autumn.
Exodus 12:1, 2 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you."
Leviticus 23:5, 6 "In the fourteenth [day] of the first month at even [is] the LORD's passover.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month [is] the feast of unleavened bread..."
Leviticus 23:24 "In the seventh month, in the first [day] of the month, shall ye have a sabbath,..."
These "Sabbaths" were in a perfect seven-day sequence, just as the 7th-day Sabbath of the week, ONLY rarely did they coincide with the 7th-day Sabbath in certain years. (See Leviticus 23:15, 16)
The lunar Sabbatarian theory differs from the Bible teaching in that it places the lunar Sabbaths on the same date of the month each and every month, and places the "lunar" Sabbaths in place of the 7th-day Sabbath. In this way the entire prophetic purpose of the "lunar" Sabbaths is totally lost, and destroys the 7th-day Sabbath in the process.
Leviticus 23:38, 39 "Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings,....on the first day [shall be] a sabbath, and on the eighth day [shall be] a sabbath."
Therefore, on the subject of the "lunar" Sabbaths, there is genuine truth from the Bible and there is a distortion of the truth.
I'm sorry, Sarrie, but I was only making a general comment, not particularly addressed to your comment.
But on the topic you are interested in--the history of our calendar--
The Gregorian or Western calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII by a decree in 1582. So the current calendar doesn't go back very far, only just after the time that Martin Luther, the Reformer, died.
Other time-keeping calendars were in place before that, of course. And during the time that Jesus lived on this earth, the Jews had two calendars--the one for the temple services based on the moon, and the civil calendar which began the year in the seventh month. But from one calendar change to another the seven-day sequence of the week has remained unaltered.
Then did Jesus die by the calendar of the Temple services based on the moon or the civil calendar ? AD 31 full moon was the 14th of Abib . My research indicates that full moon of Abib was Jew-lean wed or thursday. Hope you can give me some light on this.
Bill Dixon, sorry for the delay in answering. Time is so limited. Thanks for your patience. I'll always try to answer, even if it takes some time.
Jesus died by the calendar of the old covenant, referred to as the Hillel I calendar ( the ancient Hebrew calendar), based on the moon. However, that said, one needs to understand the principles used in the Hillel I calendar, which many people today, who seem to assert an authority on this issue, do not really understand.
One of these principles of the original Hebrew calendar (Hillel I ), is also found in the calendar used by the majority of Jews today, known as the Hillel II calendar, and that is, that sometimes the Hebrew month begins at the point of the conjunction of the moon (dark moon), and sometimes it begins with a fairly large visible sliver of the moon.
This principle is maintained so that whenever possible, the new moon could occur on the original Holy 7th-day Sabbath. I'm sure you are aware of this, that whenever the new moon occurs on the Holy 7th-day Sabbath, then all of the lunar "shadow" Sabbaths scheduled from that new moon, also, fall on Holy 7th-day Sabbaths. This includes the Day of Atonement, in reference to the requirements of the Sabbatical and the Jubilee years.
The perturbations of the moon must also be taken into account. These are the gravitational forces exerting pressures on the moon to cause a difference in its rotational path.
In the year 31 C.E., the first sliver of the new moon was visible Friday evening on the 13th of April (Gregorian calendar) at the beginning of the Holy 7th-day Sabbath. This would have been the first day of the first month of the year, making April 14 (Gregorian calendar) a Holy 7th-day Sabbath.
The Passover Feast occurred on the 14th day of this first month which was on Friday, the 27th of April. Because the Hebrews counted the day beginning in the evening of the night before, the day actually began in the evening of Thursday, the 26th of April (Gregorian calendar) in 31 C.E. The lunar "shadow" Sabbath began on the preparation day in the evening of the 27th of April (Gregorian calendar) making the 28th of April, the lunar "shadow" Sabbath. That particular year , the 28th of April was also, a Holy 7th-day Sabbath.
In the year, 27 C.E., the conjunction of the moon (black moon) was taken as the beginning of the month, September 18 (Gregorian calendar) making the Day of Atonement, the 10th day of the 7th month, fall on the Holy 7th-day Sabbath, Saturday, September 27 (Gregorian calendar), when Jesus declared in the synagogue, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled..."
(See the moon phase calendar produced by MooreCalendar, v1.8-www.paulcarlisle.net)
The same principle can be seen in the Hillel II calendar used from the middle of the 4th century until today. Check the year 1987 (Hebcal). The Day of Atonement occurred on October 3, 1987, a Holy 7th-day Sabbath, when the conjunction of the moon was used as the first day of the 7th month. Then, check the year 2028. The first day of the 7th month will occur on Thursday, September 21st, (making the Day of Atonement fall on a Holy 7th-day Sabbath) when according to the moon phase calendar, the moon will be visible with the same size sliver as was seen on the first day of the first month in 31 C.E., when the Feast of Passover, the 14th day of the first month, occurred on Friday, April 27, when Jesus was crucified on that Friday.
To conclude, let me say again, that the entire old covenant was a "shadow", including the lunar "shadow" Sabbaths. They were prophecies of where the Holy 7th-day Sabbath would be in relation to the feast day when these feast days were fulfilled.
The old covenant was a prophecy of the new covenant in the events and the exact timing of the events that must occur in the time pointed out in the symbolic service. (See Great Controversy, p. 399, 400)
From what I read on the internet, Saturday was created by leaders in Rome around 45 BC when they created the Julian calendar and most ancient people other than the Egyptians used a lunar calendar. I want to read this information for myself and see what happened and don't want to take someone else's word for it.
I am a little confused, when the Israelites left Egypt, didn't God tell Moses that it was the first month and the 15 th day? Why is there a new year in the 7th month? You said there was a civil calendar, when did they start using this?
In my post, August 6, above, I gave the text when God gave Moses the time to begin the year--Exodus 12:1,2.
Jewish authorities had actually determined 4 different New Years. Some of these were for tithing purposes of different products and to determine the reign of kings, etc. Then after the Babylonian captivity, they focused mainly on the New Moon of the first month for the beginning of the year of the temple services, and on the 7th month for the Civil New year. They actually believed that this was the time of creation when God started time for this world. So that this new year was taken for the time that the earth began.