A Critique of Frank Nelte’s Pentecost 

A Critique of Frank Nelte’s Pentecost 

Frank W. Nelte, Ex-WCG Minister

— attended the Bricket Wood campus of the memorable Ambassador College in the 1960s and upon graduation in 1971 was hired by the Worldwide Church of God to pastor several congregations in South Africa until early 1994 when he was sacked.

When Should We Keep Pentecost? — (January 1998)

How to Count Pentecost

Wave Sheaf, Wave Sheaf Offering, Pentecost, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Firstfruits, Heptad, Feast of Heptads, Wave Sheaf, Omer

This is a Critique of Frank Nelte’s Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Firstfruits. The Counting to Pentecost is an extremely important subject and we’ll follow it in every point discussed. Besides the main issue of when to start counting is how restrictive is the term “Sabbath.” Is it restricted only to a weekly Sabbath or was it meant to be an annual Sabbath, the first day of Unleavened Bread, the 16th of Nisan.

Quoted are Frank Nelte Bible Study article “When Should We Keep Pentecost?” posted on his website, dated January 1998. They are in pink, indented and in block form so as to differentiate his from other comments. The Scriptures, in red, must be our primary focus and guide, and sometimes the Scriptures, which include the Septuagint and the Targum, say things very different from what he assumes! 

And so with that in mind, we’ll begin:

We need to recognize that the Jews have developed MANY customs which have no biblical basis at all.

Most people do not understand that Hebrew as a spoken language had basically DIED OUT long before the year 1800 A.D.! Two thousand years ago the Jews had already abandoned speaking Hebrew in favour of speaking Aramaic. Even Jesus Christ conducted His whole ministry in the Aramaic language. Christ’s final words, as He was dying on the stake, were in Aramaic. They were “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” (Matthew 27:46), or as recorded by Mark “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34). (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Obviously the above are false on many fronts. The writer shows his hatred for the Jews more than a cool headed willingness to find the truth. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew by George Howard testifies that the original was written in Hebrew.

Another book “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, has been devoted to understanding the structure of poetry, and literal translations of Hebrew idioms which involve the case for claiming that Jesus spoke and taught in Hebrew instead of Greek or Aramaic and that the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) were originally written in Hebrew, and when translated caused formidable problems for translators, resulting in the text that makes little sense to English (or even Greek) readers. 

Second, many of Christ’s sayings that have in the past been difficult to understand were presented and analyzed in the light of their Hebrew origins. The authors explain that lack of knowledge of Hebrew literary forms, especially the structure of poetry, and literal translations of Hebrew idioms caused formidable problems for translators, resulting in text that makes little sense to English (or even in Greek) readers. So, according to the authors, Hebrew, is the language that needs to be understood to correctly interpret the teachings of Christ in the synoptic gospels. This approach would yield a clearer understanding of the sayings of Christ that are puzzling or confusing, thus making the gospels much more readable. 

Third, had Hebrew been forgotten and DIED OUT two thousand years ago, how could the Aleppo Codex being developed, which were formulated around the ninth or tenth century? If they have forgotten how to read Hebrew, how could they remember suddenly to incorporate the vowels and turn it into the Masoretic Text? So much lying, deceits and bullshit! 

Now if we want to be clear about the meanings GOD attached to specific Hebrew words, then the best way to establish this is to look at ALL the places where God has inspired those specific words to be used. When any word is used a large number of times, then in most occurrences the intended meaning will be quite plain and easy to discern from the context.

When a Hebrew Dictionary CLAIMS that a certain word had a secondary meaning in biblical times, which meaning is NOT supported by actual usage ANYWHERE in the whole Old Testament, then this claim must be questioned. Is the claim perhaps based on a preconceived false interpretation of some biblical teaching? Is the claim perhaps made in order to support a non-biblical “tradition of the elders”? WHY is this claim made when there is no biblical usage anywhere in the entire Old Testament to support this claim?

THE HEBREW WORD “SHABUWA”:

Of the 20 times this word is used in the Old Testament, in the KJV it is 19 times translated as “week/s” and one time as “SEVEN”. That one place is Ezekiel 45:21.

In the first [month], in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of SEVEN DAYS; unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezekiel 45:21)

An examination of the 9 occurrences in the above-quoted 8 verses should make it quite clear that THIS is indeed the Hebrew word for “week” and “weeks”. This word really has no other meanings! It is NEVER used in any way to IMPLY any other meaning! Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, was obviously familiar with this word. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

This is very true, and you don’t wait for a few days till the weekly Sabbath to start along with Shabuwa (H7620). The important point is that it starts IMMEDIATELY.

The critical verse is in Deuteronomy 16:9 “Seven weeks H7620 shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks H7620 from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 

Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks [H7620 shabua] — Strong translates shabua as seven, period of seven (days or years), heptad, week:

A. period of seven days, a week — Feast of Weeks or Heptads
B. heptad, seven (of years)

In the Scriptures there are a total of nine times (out of 20) where Shabua H7620 is used to designate Pentecost. Here they are:

(1) Exodus 34:22 And thou shalt observe the Feast of Weeks, H7620 of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven)

(2) Numbers 28:26 “‘Also on the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks H7620 be out, ye shall have a holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work. after seven blocks of sevens

(3,4,5) Deuteronomy 16:9-10 “Seven weeks H7620 shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks H7620 from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. 10 And thou shalt keep the Feast of Weeks H7620 unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. seven blocks; Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven)

(6) Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, H7620 and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the Lord empty.Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(7) II Chronicles 8:13 according to a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses on the Sabbaths and on the new moons and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year: on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and on the Feast of Weeks H7620 and on the Feast of Tabernacles. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(8) Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserved unto us the appointed weeks H7620 of the harvest. Feast of Weeks (each a block of seven) 

(9) Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. the days of unleavened bread didn’t wait until the following weekly sabbath to start counting the seven days

All the above show that the Feast of Weeks could also be called the Feast of Heptads. However, the important point is that it starts IMMEDIATELY, not waiting even a day. This is shown best below:

Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a Feast (a block of seven) H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. — seven days, the most obvious example where it occurs IMMEDIATELY and is not connected to the weekly sabbath.

And here we have a non-Feast of Weeks example:

Leviticus 12:5 But if she bears a daughter, then she shall be unclean two weeks H7620  as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. — two weeks, this occurs IMMEDIATELY after birth and not waiting until the weekly sabbath to start counting the two weeks of uncleanliness.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread follows Passover immediately without waiting for even a day. 

THE HEBREW WORD “SHABBATH”

This word “shabbath” is used 108 times in the Old Testament. It is thus quite common. Another word, which has been formed from this word “shabbath”, is the word “shabbathown”, which is used 11 times in 10 different verses, all 11 occurrences being in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. This word “shabbathown” is translated (in the KJV) 8 times as “REST” and 3 times as “SABBATH”. It is an intensive form of the word for “rest” and that is precisely what it means … EMPHATIC REST!

And ye shall count unto you from the morrow AFTER THE SABBATH, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; SEVEN SABBATHS shall be complete: (Leviticus 23:15)

Even unto the morrow AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:16) (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Strong designates the 108 times using sabbath H7676 to include (a) sabbath, (b) day of atonement, (c) sabbath year, (d) week, (e) produce (in sabbath year). Note that the use of “week” is being included as one of Biblical usage.

The ambiguity of the phrase “from the morrow after the Sabbath” has offered much confusion over the millennium. Unfortunately, the Masoretic Text doesn’t provide an answer. But fortunately the Septuagint, one that the NT writers used most often, helps in presenting the truth. It translates “on the morrow after the Sabbath” as “on the morrow of the first day.” 

Leviticus 23:9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, When ye shall enter into the land which I give you, and reap the harvest of it, then shall ye bring a sheaf, the first-fruits of your harvest, to the priest; 11 and he shall lift up the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you. On the morrow of the first day the priest shall lift it up. (Septuagint)

The first day is, of course, the first day of the Days of Unleavened Bread. And the morrow after the fifteenth is, of course, the sixteenth! Thus count from the sixteenth!

And secondly, this is backed up by the Targum which states it even clearer. To ignore any of these Scriptures as testimonies to the truth is to ignore to our demise!

Leviticus 23:11-12 And he shall uplift the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for you. After the first festal day of Pascha (or, the day after the feast‑day of Pascha) on the day on which you elevate the sheaf . . . 15 And number to you after the first feast day of Pascha, from the day when you brought the sheaf for the elevation, seven weeks; complete they shall be. (Targum, translated by J. W. Etheridge)

Same thing, the day “after the feast-day of Pascha” is, again, the sixteenth! The evidence from both the Septuagint and Targum are overwhelming. At times they are superior to the Masoretic Text. Here is an example:

How do you solve the problem of Genesis 15 where it says 400 years and in Exodus 12 says 430 years? Is there an error? Also, how does this tie into the age of Isaac when he was offered as the burnt offering? So where do we begin?

Genesis 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years (Masoretic KJV)

Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.(Masoretic KJV)

The Masoretic Text above says “in Egypt” but the Septuagint read “Egypt and Chanaan.” Chanaan is Canaan

From the Septuagint:

Genesis 15:12 And about sunset a trance fell upon Abram, and lo! a great gloomy terror falls upon him. 13 And it was said to Abram, Thou shalt surely know that thy seed shall be a sojourner in a land not their own, and they shall enslave them, and afflict them, and humble them four hundred years. (Septuagint)

Exodus 12:40 And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, [was] four hundred and thirty years. (Septuagint)

From the Targum:

Genesis 15:12-13 And when the sun was nearing to set, a deep sleep was thrown upon Abram: and, behold, four kingdoms arose to enslave his children: Terror, which is Bavel; Darkness, which is Madai; Greatness, which is Javan; Decline, which is Pheras, which is to fall, and to have no uplifting, and from whence it is to be that the children of Israel will come up. And he said to Abram, Knowing, thou must know, that thy sons shall dwell in a land not their own, because thou hast not believed, and they will subjugate and afflict them four hundred years; and also that the people whom they shall serve I will judge with two hundred and fifty plagues, and afterwards they shall go forth into liberty with great riches. (Targum)

Exodus 12:40 And the days of the dwelling of the sons of Israel in Mizraim were thirty weeks of years, (thirty times seven years,) which is the sum of two hundred and ten years. But the number of four hundred and thirty years (had passed away since) the Lord spake to Abraham, in the hour that He spake with him on the fifteenth of Nisan, between the divided parts, until the day that they went out of Mizraim. And it was at the end of thirty years from the making of this covenant, that Izhak was born; and thence until they went out of Mizraim four hundred (years), on the selfsame day it was that all the hosts of the Lord went forth made free from the land of Mizraim. (Targum)

Abraham (75 years old when he left Ur for Caanan: Gen 12:4; was 100 when Isaac was born: Gen 21:5) If the Covenant was made 30 years before Isaac was born, then Abraham would be 70 years old, i.e. when he was still in Ur?

Isaac (60 years old when he had Jacob: Gen 25:26)

See the source image

Jacob (130 years old when he entered Egypt: Gen 47:9. When Jacob descended to Egypt at the age of 130, 190 years of the 400 years had already passed, thus leaving 210 years. This is the number of years that the Israelites lived in Egypt.

Levi (137 years old: Ex 6:16)
Kehath (133 years old: Ex 6:18)
Amram(137 years old: Ex 6:20)
Moses (80 years old when God called him: Ex 7:7; a fourth generation: Gen 15:16)

To elaborate the problem with the Masoretic text, presuming that Kehath was even only one day old when entering Egypt, he is recorded as living 133 years (Ex. 6:18). Kehath’s son is Amram who lives 137 years (Ex. 6:20) of which some presumably overlap with those of his father Kehath. Amram’s son is Moses who is 80 when standing before Pharaoh (Ex. 7:7) – presumably some of those years overlap with his father Amram’s years. Even without the issue of overlapping years, the total maximum number of years would only be 133 + 137 + 80 = 350 years. This would mean that even if Kehath entered Egypt on the first day of his life, had Amram on the last day of his life, and who, in turn, had Moses on the last day of his life, the longest period of time that the nation could have been in Egypt is 350 years.

Genesis 15:13 And he (God) said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

The count of the 400 years as recorded in Genesis 15:13 should start with the birth of Isaac. Isaac was 60 years old when he had Jacob (Gen. 25:26) and Jacob was 130 when standing before Pharaoh (Gen. 47:9). Therefore, when Jacob descended to Egypt at the age of 130, 190 years of the 400 years had already passed, thus leaving 210 years. This is the number of years that the Israelites lived in Egypt.

Therefore the Masoretic KJV of 430 years of “dwelling in Egypt” is a BLATANT ERROR. The Septuagint and the Targum gives an accurate account, but the Targum translates and elucidates with great insights. 

The Targum is like a mirror. When placed against the end-time CoG Communities, it reflects their nakedness. When the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon in the 6th century BC, most of them couldn’t speak Hebrew; they spoke Aramaic, but they still retained the Torah, which were read to them in Hebrew. Something had to be done so that the people would understand God and His Word. 

Starting with Ezra, the new communities found an answer. After hearing Ezra read a few verses of the Torah scroll in Hebrew, either he or other Levites translated it to Aramaic, hence it set the stage for the Aramaic version of the Bible, called a Targum, which simply means translation. Hence the Targum is an entrenched translation of the Hebrew Bible that was written or compiled in Judea from the Second Temple period until the early Middle Ages (late first millennium).

“The Levites … instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” (Nehemiah 8:7–8)

Nehemiah 8:7 NKJV and the Levites helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

So they read in the book of the lawand gave the sense — i.e., they read and translated the meaning of the Hebrew words, and expounded them in the common language. And caused them to understand the reading — So they gave them both a translation of the Hebrew words, into the Chaldee or Syriac, and an exposition of the things contained in them, and of the duty incumbent upon the people by virtue thereof; to declare and teach these things were a great part of the duties of both priests and Levites.

Adam Clark comments on Nehemiah 8:8: I beg leave to make a few observations: – So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading . . . but it appears that they had in general lost the knowledge of the ancient Hebrew to such a degree, that when the book of the law was read, they did not understand it: but certain Levites stood by, and gave the sense, i. e., translated into the Chaldee dialect. This was not only the origin of the Chaldee Targums, or translation of the law and prophets into that tongue but was also, in all probability, the origin of preaching from a text; for it appears that the people were not only ignorant of their ancient language, but also of the rites and ceremonies of their religion, having been so long in Babylon, where they were not permitted to observe them. This being the case, not only the language must be interpreted, but the meaning of the rites and ceremonies must also be explained . . . 

John Gill comments on the above “they first read it in Hebrew, and . . . not hereby how to read it, but chiefly to understand what was read, that they might clearly know their duty to God and men.”

Ezra and those with him expounded obscurer passages, and in doing so naturally translated into the vernacular Aramaic dialect. This simply explains the former: they expounded as they read. They gave the meaning though the scriptures on how Ezra and those with him would understand the meaning from the Torah. 

THEREFORE IF GOD INTENDED FOR US TO “COUNT” FROM THE DAY AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD:
THEN SOMETIMES we would have to count “1 week” as being:

– from a Monday to the following Sunday; or
– from a Wednesday to the following Tuesday; or
– from a Friday to the following Thursday; or
– from a Sunday to the following Saturday. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

This is correct. Pentecost is never called the Feast of Sabbaths, it’s the Feast of Weeks, or Feast of Heptads (blocks of seven days). The Feast of Weeks could start at any day of the week. The best illustration is Ezekiel 45:21 where the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread could start at any time of the week — it DOESN’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE WEEKLY SABBATH TO START!. 

How could God possibly tell us: “counting FROM A WEDNESDAY TO THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY, COUNT SEVEN FULL WEEKS, COMING TO THE SEVENTH TUESDAY, AND THEN GO TO THE MORROW AFTER THAT TUESDAY TO ARRIVE AT A WEDNESDAY PENTECOST”?? How could God possibly refer to a period of time from a Wednesday to the following Tuesday as “A SHABBATH”?? (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Look at Ezekiel 45:21 again: In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a Feast of Weeks (Haptads) H7620 days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. — the seven days of UB starts any day IMMEDIATELY after Passover, so it could be a Monday, a Wednesday, a Friday or a Sunday. By your double question marks above, it demonstrated the opposite of what you intended, that the “Sabbath” could be translated as “weeks” as Strong shows below:

A. period of seven days, a week — Feast of Weeks or Heptads; B. heptad, seven (of years)

Leviticus 23:15-16 seven sabbaths [h7676 shabbat] according to Strong, this shabbat could be translated as:

(a) sabbath
(b) day of atonement
(c) sabbath year
(d) WEEK
(e) produce (in sabbath year)

James Strong (1822 – 1894)

According to Strong, both shabua (H7620) and sabbath (H7676) could be translated as weeks. Has Frank Nelte had a higher level of Hebrew degree at the angelic but uncredited Ambassador College than Strong’s? Who were his Hebrew lecturers at the now fallen Ambassador College can we ask him? James Strong was both acting President and Professor of Biblical Literature at Troy University; Professor of Exegetical Theology at Drew Theological Seminary, and was honored with a degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) by Wesleyan University in 1881. 

And Strong’s definition allows the JPS 1917 and many other translators to transcribe the seven Sabbaths as seven WEEKS:

Leviticus 23:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest (footnote: Sabbath), from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD. (JPS 1917)

Other versions that translated “seven weeks” in Leviticus 23:15 are:

The Companion Bible (Bullinger)
Common English Bible (CEB)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Darby Translation (DARBY)
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
English Standard Version (ESV)
Expanded Bible (EXB)
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Good News Translation (GNT)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
International Children’s Bible (ICB)
International Standard Version (ISV)
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
The Message (MSG)
Modern English Version (MEV)
Names of God Bible (NOG)
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
New Century Version (NCV)
New English Translation (NET Bible)
New International Version (NIV)
New Life Version (NLV)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
The Voice (VOICE)
Wycliffe Bible (WYC)
The Septuagint (LXX
The Targum

Adam Clarke comments on “Ye shall count unto you – seven Sabbaths” – “That is, from the sixteenth of the first month to the sixth of the third month. These seven weeks, called here Sabbaths, were to be complete, i. e., the forty-nine days must be finished, and the next day, the fiftieth, is what, from the Septuagint, we call pentecost.”

DO JEWISH CUSTOMS AND AUTHORITIES STICK TO THE BIBLE?

If you are on the lookout for it, it is quite easy to find evidence that the Jews actually do not stick to what is revealed in the Bible at all. It is fairly easy to discover that for the Jews TRADITION is of far higher importance than what God actually instructed in the Old Testament. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Some of their traditions are bad, but some are great. Only the wise know how to separate the good from the bad. The stupid renders all traditions as bad. Here is what Paul says:

“I profited in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers” Galatians 1:14.

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle” II Thessalonians 2:15.

Paul being a Pharisee, and son of a Pharisee’ and in all thirteen epistles are littered with Pharisaic precepts. He grew up and was “zealous for the traditions of my fathers” – namely, those of the Pharisees, bred up at the feet of Gamaliel. “Tradition (paradosis) embraces everything which is handed down orally or in writing from generation to generation,” says the Schaff’s Commentary. The Whedon’s commentary on Zealous — “The inspiring motive; zeal for the ancestral traditions; not merely the sacred books, but hereditary customs and rabbinical maxims, as afterwards embodied in the Talmud.”

Second, if traditions are always untrustworthy, then the Masoretic vowel points should also be considered untrustworthy. They are based on traditions and should be rejected, because how to read any single Hebrew word comes from oral tradition. Plain and Simple!

In the March 1992 edition of “Prophecy Flash” Mr Dankenbring has an article entitled “A Letter to the Chief Rabbi, London – on Passover and Pentecost”, and another article entitled “Reply from the Office of the Chief Rabbi”. This second article is interesting in that it clearly reveals the Jewish thinking. The last two paragraphs of that article are most revealing.

Firstly, the “Chief Rabbi” points out that

“… according to the Sadducees, PENTECOST WOULD ALWAYS FALL ON A SUNDAY”. (my emphasis)

THIS IS A STAGGERING ADMISSION!

During the time of Jesus Christ the Pharisees controlled the local synagogues, but THE SADDUCEES CONTROLLED THE TEMPLE AND THE TEMPLE WORSHIP! The priests, with very few exceptions, were Sadducees!

Therefore during the time of Christ Pentecost at the Temple in Jerusalem was always observed on a Sunday … and this information is given to us by the “Chief Rabbi” (Christ said to call no man ‘Rabbi’!) of London, England. Thus, when Christ observed the Day of Pentecost and when the disciples observed it at the Temple in Acts chapter 2, IT WAS ON A SUNDAY!

Church of God Photo Library - Letter 'N'

But continue reading this “reply from the office of ‘the chief rabbi'”. Notice the last paragraph of that article – it’s only six-and-a-half lines long. How did the Pharisees try to argue with the Sadducees? Notice! [The parenthetical statements are my comments.]

“The Pharisees … tried to do this from text [i.e. they tried by using THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES!] WITHOUT relying on the oral traditions, [what “oral traditions”? – the ones Christ addressed in Matt 15:1-3 and Mark 7:8-9?] since their adversaries were not ready to accept all of the oral tradition [i.e. the Sadducees said: unless it’s in the Bible, we don’t believe it].”

But now notice this candid admission concerning pharisaical teachings:

“But the real reason they [i.e. the Pharisees] insisted on this interpretation [Pentecost on the 6th of Sivan] is based on two factors …”

WHAT ARE THOSE TWO FACTORS THAT DETERMINE PHARISAICAL BELIEFS?? God’s Word? the Bible? NO!! Continue with the quote:

“…1) The oral tradition which [they falsely claimed!] had come down from Moses’ time which they maintained and passed on; 2) Logic which dictated that …” (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Who was that “Chief Rabbi” of London who wrote “… according to the Sadducees, PENTECOST WOULD ALWAYS FALL ON A SUNDAY”.  Actually there is nothing wrong with what he wrote. The truth is that no sensible Orthodox Rabbi is that stupid to say that such is the truth. Keep your head cool: he only wrote that “according to the Sadducees, Pentecost would always fall on a Sunday.” The Rabbi didn’t say that’s what he believes nor that that is the truth. If the “Chief Rabbi” believes such is the truth, the only possibilities are that he is either a rabbi from (a) a Karaite Organisation, or (b) a Reform Movement. 

Both the Karaites and Reform Jews have Sadducaic leaning. And they, of course, claim that during the first century, the Sadducees had control over the Temple functions. But Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, wrote in his Antiquities of the Jews, informing us that the Pharisees were the dominant religious party in Judaea during the time of Christ, and that they controlled the worship services:

The common people followed the Pharisees. And although the Sadducees were occupying the upper stratum of the Jewish aristocracy, they were few and unable and unwilling to carry out their own beliefs in the Temple service, but to carry “the notions of the Pharisees”:

But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this: That souls die with the bodies; nor do they regard the observation of any thing besides what the law enjoins them; for they think it an instance of virtue to dispute with those teachers of philosophy whom they frequent: but this doctrine is received but by a few, yet by those still of the greatest dignity. But they are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addicted themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them. (Ant 18,4)

Sadducees | Life-Giving Water
Sadducees – “Disappeared” during the AD 70 Inferno!

Also, the Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells us further political-religious amalgamation called the Sadducees:

“Their political supremacy was, however, of no long duration. Greatly as the spiritual power of the Pharisees had increased, the Sadducean aristocracy was able to keep at the helm in politics. The price at which the Sadducees had to secure themselves power at this later period was indeed a high one, for they were IN THEIR OFFICIAL ACTIONS TO ACCOMMODATE THEMSELVES TO PHARISAIC VIEWS. With the fall of the Jewish state the Sadducees altogether disappear from history. Their strong point was politics. When deprived of this their last hour had struck. While the Pharisaic party only gained more strength, only obtained more absolute rule over the Jewish people in consequence of the collapse of political affairs, the very ground on which they stood was cut away from the Sadducees” (“Sadducees,” pg 954).

And keeping your head cool again, using Oral Traditions could be true and valid. The Talmud tells the story of a Gentile who went to Hillel the Elder and said to him, “I want to convert, but I want to accept only the Written Torah, and not the Oral Torah. I don’t wish to accept the words of the Rabbis. So teach me only the Written Torah.”

But Hillel knew that the man wanted to do the right thing, but he didn’t understand the purpose of the Oral Torah. So Hillel began to teach him the Aleph Bet (Hebrew alphabet). The first day, Hillel taught him the first two letters, aleph and bet.

The next day, Hillel taught him the same two letters in reverse. He showed him the letter aleph, but called it “bet.” 

The man objected, “but yesterday you taught it the other way!”

A Critique of Frank Nelte's Passover (I) | The mystery of life blog

“Well, then, you need me, a Rabbi, to teach you the Aleph Bet? So you have to trust my knowledge of the tradition of the letters. What I tell you is the Oral Tradition. You can’t read the alphabet if no one tells you how they are pronounced. And you think you don’t need the Rabbis’ knowledge of Jewish Tradition in order to understand the words of the Torah? Those are much more difficult! Without an Oral Tradition you will never be able to learn the Torah.”

So it is clear that an Oral Tradition is needed, and that one exists. If you don’t agree, try to define: (a) what circumcision is, and (b) when is Sabbath — from the Bible alone and without tradition! and (c) how do you pronounce the 22 Hebrew alphabets when you don’t have the Oral Traditions? And how to identify and pronounce each of the vowels with the 22 alphabets?

But did you notice one other point in this statement by the “Chief Rabbi”? When the Pharisees tried to argue with the Sadducees based purely on the written Word of God, they couldn’t succeed. Did you notice this? What does this tell you?

It tells you that about 2000 years ago already the Sadducees, the keepers of the Temple Scriptures, the ones who were of the priestly line and who were responsible for all of the Temple services, DID NOT ACCEPT THAT “SHABBATH” MEANS “WEEKS”! And those learned Sadducees knew more about the Hebrew language than all of the “noted Biblical scholars and Bible dictionaries” of today put together! It makes clear that the Pharisees tried to attach the meaning of “weeks” to the word “shabbath” and that the Sadducees did not accept this as valid. (When Should We Keep Pentecost?)

Yes, the above were very true, but not all, especially this line: “When the Pharisees tried to argue with the Sadducees based purely on the written Word of God, they couldn’t succeed.” On almost every issue they debated frequently. And it was left for Christ to judge. John the Baptist prophesied about judgement time and the Messiah:

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the straps of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with FIRE unquenchable.”

Let’s get back to a basic parable where the tares and wheat were growing together:

Matthew 13:1 The same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a boat and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore . . .
24 Another parable put He forth before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blades had sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath come the tares?’ 28 He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then have us go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

As the Pharisees and Sadducees thrived together for a designated time only, and forty years later, it was decision time, judgement time — to put the tares into the fire. And who were those that met their fate during the fire and brimstones of the 70 AD inferno? The Sadducees and their allies — the Herodians and Boethusians. The Essenes (who practiced an anti-Sanhedrin calendar), all ended in the inferno. Every Blind Guide ignores the significance of the destruction of Judea in the 70 AD conflagration BECAUSE THEY ARE BLIND!

How did the Sadducees and Essenes just “DISAPPEARED” from this 70 AD INFERNO?

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

~~~~~

~ by Joel Huan on April 7, 2021.

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