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Fixed a minor grammar mistake. If anyone knows, does this issue also not involve decoupling Easter from Passover and use of the Jewish calendar to calculate when they will be?


Instead of the Sabbath, there is Sunday. Instead of Passover/Quartodeciman there is Easter. Instead of the lunisolar calendar, which the Romans didn't understand, there is the Julian and later Gregorian solar calendars. And of course there is the invention of Christmas and Trinitarianism.

This statement is incorrect: "In 325CE, the First Council of Nicaea came to a decision that the Church as a whole should use a unified system, which was the Roman one."

The determination of Easter is still undefined to this day, Roman Catholic Easter and Greek Orthodox Easter are generally on different days. Of course the Quartodeciman is as it's always been (assuming one understands the beauty of the lunisolar calendar)

Historically speaking, after the Roman-Jewish Wars in 66-73, 115-117 and 132-135 anything Jewish was very unpopular in Rome. The Church of Rome took a lot of steps to distance itself from things Jewish. Marcion can be clearly understood in this context.


The claim that the controversy was over Passover and Easter is true. Easter is the Christian Passover. In the language in which the controversy was argued the two holidays cannot be distinguished. "Pascha" is the Greek word for both. It's only in the Germanic languages that Pascha may be translated as Easter when referring to the Christian holiday. In most other languages the word for it is still "Pascha" or some close cognate. To translate it as "Passover" suggests it is to be distinguished from the day now called "Easter" in English, but the vast majority of sources do not indicate that this distinction should be made. To call the day in question Passover is thus very misleading to an English language readership. I am therefore reverting.

I should point out that Easter is not the preferred term in my own religious tradition, but we need to be clear. TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:21, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Suggesting that this was primarily an Easter controversy is not a NPOV. Easter is a Roman holiday, and not the same as the old (and current) Christian Passover. All the historical Quartodeciman discussions were about Passover (please see Melito of Sardis or Apollinaris or Polycrates of Ephesus). While it is true that, eventually, the Roman Church made this completely a resurrection holiday, that is not what the old literature shows. What is at all inaccurate about saying that this controversy was about the date of Passover, while in () I mentioned that most consider this to be Easter?--which was edited out.
It is also untrue that most Christian groups that keep this have a Passover Sedar. I edited this out, explained that there are groups who trace their history through the Quartodecimans that are still Quartodeciman, but that was edited out too. Is Wikipedia determined to allow a majority view over the facts? Or to suppress minority opinions? Although I do not believe it thinks so, its "Christian editors" seem to not be willing to entertain that their understanding of history is affecting their ability to edit in a neutral. COGwriter, Ph.D.

I am familiar with Melito's Peri Pascha. It is almost universally taken as referring to that day that is now called "Pascha", which in a Christian context is always translated as "Easter" but in a Jewish context is translated "Passover". Obviously, deciding how to translate it is a decision that must be made depending on your particular POV. There are two possible approaches to covering this in an NPOV manner. You can report the overwhelming majority view, that the Peri Pascha and all references to "Pascha" in ancient and modern Christian literature refer to essentially the same holiday and translate it as "Easter" so as to be clear to the modern English speaker, or you can present the alternative view but make it clear that it is a dissent from the majority and is highly controversial. What you may not do and yet remain NPOV is to simply take the minority, controversial view and present it as unadorned fact.

Issues of translation for the sake of clarity are distinct from claims about the nature of the day itself. The claim that the Christian Pascha (literally "Passover", in context in English "Easter") is no longer the Christian Pascha (Passover) as first observed, and deliberately using "Passover" to distinguish it, is also controversial and may not be presented as simple fact in an NPOV way.

I'd be interested to know what groups claim direct descent from second-century Quartodecimans. Clearly not the modern "Church of God" or any other group with roots in the Reformation. (I am aware that some of them claim a more ancient lineage, but these claims are also highly controversial and cannot be presented as simple fact.) On reviewing Christian Passover I see that it is indeed simply a Eucharistic service such as other Christian churches celebrate more regularly, and I will make an appropriate edit. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:44, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, I checked the website of the "Living Church of God". The booklet "God's Church Through the Ages" doesn't appear to be available either online or to order. Their booklet Where Is God’s True Church Today? merely claims that groups with their beliefs and practices have always existed, and in various branches, but not identify any of them; nor does it discernably claim that this group has a historical continuity with the primitive Church. I have therefore not restored that paragraph since I cannot verify that the claim it reports is even made, let alone well-supported by any historical evidence. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:05, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Okay, let's see if I can explain this clearly enough:

1) All the surviving literature from those that claimed to be Quartodecimans in the 2nd Century shows that they supported the observance of the Christian Passover on the night that the Jews celebrated their Passover.

2) The fact that Rome chose Sunday and wanted to also make it a resurrection holiday, does not change what the Quartodecimans believed and argued for.

3) The minority view, which I apparently hold, is historically correct based on the literature that is available for that time period, thus simply being a minority does not make it wrong.

4) The Living Church of God Booklet God's Church Through the Ages is available on-line at no cost.

5) As a researcher, I have some issues with parts of it (which I have sent them). However, it is a fact that the Living Church of God is Quartodeciman, specifically claims that its history is traced through John, Polycarp, and Polycrates, and is the largest group I am aware of that makes those claims. One can disagree with the Living Church of God's position, but eliminating that position is certainly not neutral.

6) Modern groups that are Quartodeciman, by and large, do not consider that they re-introduced this practice, but claim that it always was done by a minority in the Christian community.

7) Most groups like this do not accept the Council of Nicea as valid, do not believe they came out of the Protestant reformation, and do not believe they are Protestant. Again, one can disagree with that, but to say otherwise is not NPOV.

8) I believe that it is appropriate to state that certain groups, like the Living Church of God, claim to be a continuation of the Quartodeciman, while also saying that a majority disagree with those claims.

9) If you want more historical proof on why these groups claim that they are the true descendants of the second Century Church in Asia Minor, I would be happy to provide it.

I still propose that the first paragraph mention that the controversy was over Passover, which those that opposed the Quartodeciman position eventually made Easter Sunday, as that is historically accurate.

I propose the following for the final paragraphs:

The vast majority of Christians abide by this decision and observe Easter on a Sunday, although the method for calculating which Sunday varies.

Currently some smaller groups (some Sabbatarian Church of God groups, for example) have a Quartodeciman observance, and celebrate a "Christian Passover" on that day --they typically use unleavened bread and wine, but do not have a Passover sedar like the Jews do. (This Passover is not to be confused with the current Greek "Pascha", which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.) The largest known Quartodeciman group, that specifically claims to trace its history through John, Polycarp, and Polycrates, is the Living Church of God (God's Church Through the Ages). Many critics, however, believe that the historical evidence cited is not firm enough to prove that claim of continuance. COGwriter

It would be much more convenient if you would indent your paragraphs -- prefix each one with a ":" -- so as to keep the different voices in the thread more distinct.
Thank you for the link to the booklet, as I was unable to locate it earlier. That is quite a tenuous chain of descent they claim, and I have to admit this is the first time I've ever heard the Waldensians connected with the Bogomils. Bogomils are normally regarded as a late irruption of Gnosticism, for their extreme dualism, including a doctrine of the essential evil of matter. This was the reason for their extreme asceticism, not respect for the Law. According to some sources, they rejected much of the Old Testament. All sources agree they ascribed the creation of the world to Satan, not God.
I'm afraid, however, that your blunt assertion of a Roman origin for Sunday observances is unsupportable. It was indeed the "day of the Sun" to the pagan Romans (although not on their standard calendar, which used an 8-day week) and English is one of the few languages that retains the reference. Most other languages call it something meaning "the Lord's day" and it derives not from the Sabbath -- indeed, it's not at all accurate to think of it as a Sabbath -- but from the Gospel account of the Resurrection which records it as having been discovered "very early on the first day of the week". In other words, it became a weekly "little Pascha", when the Resurrection was especially recalled. The controversy had to do with which position on the calendar, 14 Nisan or the "first day of the week", both of which having Scriptural support, was most appropriate for this remembrance. Ideas concerning pagan influence here is mere fantasy. Far from being Roman alone, Sunday observance was common throughout the Christian world -- most often alongside the Sabbath, not in place of it. It's one of the more unfortunate features of modern Eastern Christianity (IMO) that Sabbath observance has largely gone by the wayside, even as it retains a special significance. (Strict fasting is forbidden as being incompatable with the inherent festiveness of a Sabbath.) But this was a far more recent development than the old Quartodeciman controversy.
There is also more background to the sometimes extreme reaction against certain Judaising tendencies than simple anti-Semitism (although that was certainly present to a degree) but I'm not going to get into that now.
Your proposed final paragraph is quite acceptable, although I'd prefer it were clearer that Pascha is indeed regarded as a Passover celebration -- that is, the meaning of the word has not changed. I was trying, in my awkward way, to indicate that this "Christian Passover" and "Pascha" are distinct observances even though they denote exactly the same thing. TCC (talk) (contribs) 06:18, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to read and investigate what I said. I added the final paragraph as you concurred above. I am still fairly new to Wikipedia and am trying to get used to how it works (if you email me privately I wouldn't mind telling you why I feel that there is a double-standard violation of NPOV from many of its religion editors, but I do not want to discuss this here).
Perhaps, however, you misunderstood my comment about Sunday. I was NOT trying to say anything about the eighth day of the week or that Rome necessarily initiated weekly Sunday observance. What I was trying to say is that switching from a 14thof Nisan Passover to a Sunday observance of that did begin in Rome as far as the historical records show (essentially that is what Irenaeus and Eusebius both say).
Anyway, the first paragraph of this article is truly and historically inaccurate as the Quartodecimans were not in any way supporting what we now call a Easter observance.
I propose the following as the first paragraph:
Quartodecimanism ("fourteenism") was the practice of fixing the celebration of Passover for Christians on the 14th day of Nisan in the Bible's Hebrew Calendar which, according to the Gospels, was the date Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This was the original method of fixing the date of the Passover. A controversy concerning whether it should also be a resurrection holiday, and whether it should instead be celebrated on Sunday which is the holiday that most refer to as Easter).
Truly what I have written above is NPOV accurate :) COGwriter
I have to admit it's close. "Hebrew Calendar" by itself is sufficient; while the Bible indeed specifies some dates I don't think you'll find the calendar itself mandated anywhere in it. The Hebrews evidently got it from somewhere else. And "most" do not call this feast "Easter", that's just its English name. Most call it something like "Pascha", the Greek word for Passover. This is discussed ad nauesam in the Easter article, where you'll also find a list of names for the day in various languages. I also cannot agree that whether or not the Resurrection was to be observed then was a point of controversy. (Melito, for one, does not neglect it, nor do other early sources.) I am aware that this is the modern Quartodeciman/Sabbatarian view, but it's shared by no one else. There appears rather to have been a variety of observances in the early Church, as there was in many other ways, and some difficulty arriving at a uniform determination of the date.
As it has been correctly point out this was not actually always the case even after Nicaea. Not so much because of the modern differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, as some appear to think -- this difference is of late origin, from the 16th Century -- but becuase Nicaea didn't specify an exact method of calculation. It merely set forth some basic parameters, and left the calculation to others. But this is has no meaningful bearing on the main point. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:04, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, I had nothing to do with the calendar calculation part and do not care if that is eliminated.
Okay, let me try again. If I understood you correctly, the following should be acceptable, so I will post this.
Quartodecimanism ("fourteenism") was the practice of fixing the celebration of Passover for Christians on the 14th day of Nisan in the Bible's Hebrew Calendar which, according to the Gospels, was the date Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. This was the original method of fixing the date of the Passover. A controversy concerning whether it should also be a resurrection holiday, and whether it should instead be celebrated on Sunday, which is now the holiday that is called Easter.

Please note that the link titled "Sunday and the Quartodecimans" is broken. 15:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)Matthew Ferszt

14 Nisan vs Sunday Easter[edit]

They should have just split the difference. They should have commemorated the Last Supper and the crucifixion on 14 Nisan and celebrated the resurrection on the first Sunday after 14 Nisan. Barney Hill (talk) 22:38, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

The debate is between those who wanted fixed days of the week, namely Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, regardless of which calendar date that was; and those who wanted the calendar date (Nisan 14) fixed, regardless of which day of the week that fell on in each year. You can't have both, it's one or the other. It would be like if you tried to celebrate your birthday on the same day of the week each year, say Friday, you can do that but then the calendar date has to vary. (talk) 19:41, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Editor confusions[edit]

There still seems to be confusion on the part of some editors, perhaps meaning that this article still doesn't express the important parts: namely that the Quartodeciman is Nisan 14 while the Passover is Nisan 15. There seems to be a common misunderstanding that the Quartodeciman is equivalent to Jewish Passover when it is not. The reason for Nisan 14 is that according to the Gospel of John and those of the Johannine church, that was the day Jesus was crucified. (talk) 17:07, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your input! You can see that I kept most of it. Just keep in mind that, although what you say may be the modern Jewish view, one must also account for the fundamentalist who merely quotes and believes, "The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins" (Leviticus 23:5-6). Thanks! JJB 22:37, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Quartodeciman, which is Latin for 14 implying the 14th of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, and Passover, which is on the 14th of the first Hebrew month, is one and the same. According to Leviticus 23 the Passover, which was a day of preparation for the high sabbath, was on the 14th of Nisan and the 15th was the high sabbath: the First Day of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23 is more precise in distinguishing the difference between the two whereas the gospels tend to blend them both together (which from a practical standpoint are close enough to be the same.) The early Christians were closely attached to the Jewish culture. Later generations got away from the Jewish culture and instead adopted the larger Greco-Roman culture. That is the essential difference between Passover-Quartodecimanism (Hebrew: Pesach, Greek: Pascha, English: Passover) and Easter (not Jewish, Greek: Pascha, English: Easter). Passover on the 14th could fall on any day of the week, Easter was always fixed to a Sunday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The preparation of Passover was 14 Nisan; however the eating of Passover was after sundown, putting it on 15 Nisan. The lamb was chosen on the 10th (Exo 12:3) "and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at even." (Exo 12:6 ASV) The original Hebrew translated in this version "at even" is ben ha’arbayim (transliterated) which means "between the evenings". This is the same term used in Leviticus 23. It referred to afternoon or between the time the sun begins its descent until it sets. The Jewish day ended at sundown, and the Passover was to be eaten "in that night" (Exo 12:8), making it after the 15th of Nisan had begun.

A few Church denominations argue "between the evenings" (ben ha’arbayim) refers to the time between sundown and darkness, but this is incorrect. Numbers 33:3 identifies the morning after Passover as Nisan 15, which would be the same day on the Jewish calendar. The second sacrifice of the day in Exodus 29:39 was "between the evenings". If this sacrifice had been after sundown, it would have been the first of the day instead of the second, since the old Jewish day ended and the new day began at sundown.

The Old Testament is very clear the lamb was to be slaughtered on the 14th of Nisan, which is when Jesus' apostles were walking around, looking for a place to have Passover. "And on the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover, his disciples say unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover?" (Mark 14:12) But it was not until that evening that Jesus and the apostles actually ate the Passover, thus meaning Nisan 15 on the Jewish calendar had already started. (Mark 14:17) Jesus died the following afternoon (9th hour - about 3pm - Mark 15:34-37), which would still be on Nisan 15.

The modern Jewish Passover day of Nisan 15 is correct. They just aren't slaughtering the lamb themselves in Western societies, so they skip right to the Passover meal, which is eaten shortly after Nisan 15 starts. It has to be gone before midnight, because that was the time the angel of death came around to kill the firstborn in Egypt. (Exo 12:29) Pharaoh was awoken before morning and chased the Jews out. (Exo 12:30-33) Once again, Numbers 33:3 clearly identifies their journey beginning on the morning of Nisan 15: "on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out". The original Hebrew is very clear that this indicated the following morning and the beginning of their journey, whereas many English translations say "next day" or "following day", which might add confusion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WeaponGuy (talkcontribs) 02:03, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

A source[edit]

I found this source in Google Books. I don't have time to read it and incorporate its information into the article at the moment so I'm just going to park the link here on the Talk Page until I have time to get back to it. --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 17:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)