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Others thought Easter should always fall on a Sunday, since that was the original Resurrection Day.

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Evidently, the Passover month of Nisan was the beginning of the religious year, for Eusebius tells us that the Jews celebrated Passover twice in some years, an indication (to Eusebius) that they didn't know what they were doing:"They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year.

We could not imitate those who are openly in error."- Eusebius The Life of Constantine* Passover occurred on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish religious calendar and in the Spring). (Aug., 1984), John Heeren writes that Jewish leaders supported "the idea that Passover (Nisan 14) should occur after the vernal equinox" and that the Samaritans celebrated Passover after the vernal equinox.

In "Another View of Easter and Passover," American Sociological Review, Vol. The dating of Easter could have been intended to include pagans rather than exclude Jews.

Considering 12 months the norm for each year, this results in an extra month more than once every three years.

Thus, there are 13 months in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of each Metonic cycle. It is difficult enough to calculate the proper date for Easter or Maundy Thursday, with so many variables, but the early Christians didn't even have the variables.

The years with extra months can be referred to as leap years. A leap year might have 383, 384, or 385 days while a regular year might have 353, 354, 355 days. Instead, they had to rely on the word of the Jewish assembly (Sanhedrin) and its successors (following the destruction of the temple) in Jerusalem, which kept its method of calculating the calendar a secret."At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present, that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day."-Eusebius The Life of Constantine III xviii Passover, which fell on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, always fell on a full moon.

Likewise, the number of days in three of the months varies with the year. (Remember that Jewish months like early Roman ones, began at the time of the new moon, so the full moon was two weeks later.) Some Christians, principally those in the East, known as the Quartodecimians, thought Easter, too, should always fall on the 14th day of the lunar month.

The Last Supper, three days before Easter Sunday, is generally assumed to have coincided with the Seder meal at the Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach)*. Why then, don't Christians regularly hold Maundy Thursday commemorations of the Last Supper when Jews celebrate Passover? The answer is complicated, rooted in two millennia of history, and based partly on the difficulties of calculating dates according to the Jewish calendar, and partly on the desire to forge a new and separate Christian identity.

According to the Jewish calendar (like the ancient Roman Kalends), the beginning of each month corresponds with the new moon. Solar and lunar months don't match, and, over time, the religious festivals would fall in the wrong season were it not for the adoption of extra (or intercalary) months.

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