Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mankind's Manipulation of Time and the Calendar

The resurrection of Jesus Christ will be celebrated on April 21, 2019, a holiday commonly called Easter.

On that same day, April 21, in the year 753 BC, a man named Romulus founded the city of Rome.

Scholars believe that on the day Romulus founded Rome, he also created a system of timekeeping called the Roman Calendar.

The Greeks in Romulus' day already had a calendar based on the four years between the Olympic Games, a method instituted in 776 BC, the year of the First Olympiad.

The Babylonian people, contemporaries of Romulus, also had their own system of calendering using a 12-month lunar calendar that they'd devised based on their observations of the moon.

Methods for keeping track of time in ancient history varied among the nations.

But of all the calendars in the ancient world, the calendar of Israel beat every other nation's calendar for accuracy, simplicity, reliability, and regularity. 

Israel followed a lunar calendar of 12 thirty day lunar months, with an added 13th month (Second Adar) added periodically during a nineteen-year cycle. God told Moses how to establish this lunar calendar (Exodus 12:1-3).

The God of Israel established this calendar for the purpose of instituting Seven Annual Festivals on specific dates of the lunar year.

This Hebrew lunar calendar became Divine Law.

And Jesus came to FULFILL the Law (Matthew 5:17-20).

Jesus was born during the Festival of Tabernacles when God came to "tabernacle with men" (John 1:14).

Jesus died on the Festival of Passover, the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Jesus was in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, "sweeping away our sins" (Isaiah 43:25) just as all Jewish women swept away the leaven during that week. Jesus rose from the grave on the "the day after the Sabbath," the day called the Feast of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:15).

Jesus exited the tomb the very morning Jewish men were waving a fistful of firstfruits (grain) in the Temple courtyard; He (Jesus) had become "the firstfruits of resurrection," guaranteeing the full harvest of resurrection to come (I Cor. 15:23). Jesus sent His Spirit, the Comforter, to all His followers who had gathered in the Upper Room for the Festival of Pentecost.

Jesus commissioned His disciples to go into all the world proclaiming forgiveness of sins through the (Feast) of Atonement that is found in the sacrificial life and of Jesus Christ (no atonement is in the blood of any bull or goat), and to take the message of sinners being "at-one" with God through the "at-one-moment" of the cross where Jesus died for "every nation, every tribe, every kindred, and every family" (Revelation 7:9).

And Jesus returned in judgment to destroy the Temple of Jerusalem and all vestiges of the Old Covenant during the Festival of Trumpets in AD 70, officially inaugurating a New Covenant and an eternal Kingdom.

Indeed, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law.

The seasons, the festivals, the harvests, and the years for the nation of Israel flowed with continuity and regularity throughout their history (from. 1500 BC to AD 70).

The priests of Israel would "announce the new moon" by eyeballing the sky, ordering the blowing of trumpets, signaling a "new moon feast" (Colossians 2:16), for a new month in Israel had begun. The word calendar comes from the Latin word calare ("to announce") and lunar ("the moon").

Again, the nation of Israel had by far the most accurate and advanced calendar.

But for some reason, the western world became infatuated with Rome and King Romulus' very poor calendar that he established in 753 BC.  Historians politely call the Calendar of Romulus irregular.

But the way we Americans keep a calendar today is directly tied to Romulus, not Jerusalem. We've had to work for 2000 years to correct the Roman Calendar while mostly ignoring the beautiful, simple, and accurate Hebrew system timekeeping.

In the year Romulus founded Rome (753 BC), King Uzziah reigned in Jerusalem over the southern Kingdom of Judah (Second Chronicles 26), and King Jeroboam II (see Second Kings 13:13) reigned in the city of Samaria (modern-day Nablus, West Bank, Israel) over the northern Kingdom of Israel.

Romulus developed his calendar and founded Rome nearly 200 years after the Kingdom of Israel divided (931 BC) and over five hundred years after Israel left Egypt under the direction of Moses during the Exodus.

The oldest nation, Israel, had an accurate calendar.

Rome did not.

It's not always best to teach a dog new tricks.

Romulus and His Superstitious Calendar

When Romulus founded Rome, he instituted a calendar based on observations of the moon and a person's ability to keep track of months using fingers on both hands.

He called his calendar ab urbe condita (A.U.C.) - Latin for "from the founding of the city."

But unlike the Hebrew calendar, King Romulus devised an annual calendar of only 10 lunar months of thirty days and an additional four days interspersed throughout the year (304 annual days).  Some think Romulus wanted to pattern the year after the gestation of a human baby, but the Romulus' Calendar was two months short of an actual solar year, leading the Roman poet Ovid to proclaim:
"Romulus was better versed in swords than stars." 
Romulus was infatuated with the number X (ten). He repeatedly used that number in the establishment of Rome. He divided the Roman Senate, military, and polis (cities) into units of ten. Many believe Romulus divided things into ten because Roman numerals 1 through 10 are easily replicated on both hands using fingers and palms.



The Roman numeral V is represented by one palm held up with fingers outstretched, and the Roman numeral X represents both palms held up with fingers outstretched. 

The ancient Roman New Year began in the spring (March 1) when "new" things were formed. 

The first four months Romulus named after the Roman gods - Mars or Martius (March) for the Roman god of war; Aprilis (April), the ancient Italian form of Aphrodite, "goddess of the open womb or fertile fields." Maius (May), named after a local Italian goddess; and Juno (June) for the Latin "queen of gods." 

Romulus then curiously named the remaining six months of the Roman year after the Latin words for the numbers the months represented:

Quintilus (Latin for "five")
Sextilis (Latin for "six")
September (Latin for "seven")
October (Latin for "eight")
November (Latin for "nine") 
December (Latin for "ten")

Similar to the Hebrews, the pagan Romans used their priests to declare when a new month began.

But, unlike the Hebrews, the pagan Roman priests also announced three different important days of each month. First, the kalends day or the FIRST day of the month was announced when the priests observed a New Moon in the sky (Latin: kalend - "call attention to the moon").

Second, there was ides day. This was the middle portion of the month (March 15th - for example, the Ides of March). Ides represented the day that the month was half over (Latin: ide - "divide in half").

Finally, there was nones day. This was typically the seventh day of the month, the day when most ancient pagans consulted the great Oracles (see the Oracle of Delphi). 

All days of the Roman month were labeled in terms of their association with kalends (the 1st), nones (the 7th day), or ides (the 15th day) of the month. 

But because the actual solar year is 365 days and not 300 days (Romulus), by the time Romulus died, all the seasons were out of whack! 

So the next King of Rome (King Numa) added two additional months (Januarius and Februarius).

But even 12 months of 30 days fell short of a true solar year, so a future Roman King asked the priests of Zeus stationed Rome to insert an extra month periodically and inform the people of their decision.

Guess what?

The priests figured out the calendar could be a very powerful political tool that governed the people.

The priests kept the calendar a secret from the people, giving the priests a tremendous advantage of the "plebes" common people of Rome. For example, if the people they favored in politics served as consul, they added a month to extend the time (even though an additional month was not required). If they didn't like someone in an office, they would shorten the months through their proclamations to make sure their opponent served less time. 

By the time of the last consul of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar (b. 100 BC - d. 44 BC), time was so messed up by the Roman priests to the gods, that in the year 46 BC Julius Caesar, with the help of his lover Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and a famous Egyptian astronomer, "corrected” Rome's calendar to reflect the earth's orbit around the sun (solar calendar), not the moon's orbit around the earth (lunar calendar).

That year, 46 BC, is called "The Longest Year." It lasted 445 days, not 365. For some, that long year was a boon; for others, it was a bust. For all, it was a year of confusion (

Julian was so angry with the manipulation of Rome's calendar by the priests of the gods in Rome, that he endured the withering criticism of changing the calendar by such drastic measures.

Julius Caesar moved the first of the year to January 1, 46 BC from March 1.

That meant the 12 months of the Julian calendar (December) carried the Latin name for 10 (because it was formerly the 10th month). Likewise, November (Latin for 9), October (Latin for the number 8) and September (Latin for the number 7) are all in positions on the calendar that do not reflect their name. November is actually the 11th month of the year, October is the 10th month, and September is the 9th month). It was just two difficult to change the names of the months!

Except, after Julius Caesar's death, who famously died at the hands of conspirators on the Ides of Month (March 15, the middle of the month, 44 BC) the Roman Senate voted to change the name of the month Quintilus to JULY in honor of Julius.

After Julius adopted son Gaius Octavia Caesar became Rome's first emperor on January 16, 27 BC, who decreed that everyone in the Roman Empire should be taxed, an event that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to register for the Roman tax when Jesus was born (Luke 2:1).

After Caesar "Augustus" died in AD 14, the Roman Senate sought to honor him by renaming the month Sexitilus, the month which came now after the renamed month JULY, in honor of Caesar Augusts - thus the month "August."

However, the Julian Calendar had alternating months of 30 and 31 days. That meant Augustus' month was "shorter" than Julian's month, something supporters of Augustus could not bear. So the Roman Senate voted to take a day from February and add it to August. Both Julian's month and Augustus' month now have 31 days.

Why all the manipulation of time?


I find it ironic that the name of the High Priest to Zeus who kept the people in the dark about time in ancient Rome was called Pontifex Maximus. The college of priests who ministered in the Temple of Zeus assisted the Supreme Pontiff by "eyeballing the moon" and manipulating time to their political or religious advantage.

When Constantine declared the Roman Empire "Christian" in 314 AD, the Pontifex Maximus and the College of Priests to Zeus didn't just go away.

The Pontifex Maximus became the Pope, and the College of Priests became the College of Cardinals, and many of the pagan customs of ancient Rome were Christianized.

Constantine gathered the Pontifex Maximus, the College of Priests, and local "bishops" in a city called Nicea in the year AD 325 to debate certain Christian "doctrines."

One of the things debated by the new Roman Catholic Church at Nicea was whether or not to "fix" the "date" for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus rose from the grave on the "morrow after the Sabbath (Saturday) during the weeklong lunar festival called Passover (or also known as the week of Unleavened Bread).

That means every year, if Christians wished to be biblically precise, the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be celebrated the SAME WEEK that Jews celebrate Passover. On the Sunday of Passover, Christians would explain how Jesus fulfilled the Hebrew Law, rising from the dead on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits (always the first day of the week after the regular Sabbath during Passover). Jesus fulfilled the Law, guaranteeing the resurrection of His people (the "full harvest") to life eternal (see I Corinthians 15)

But guess what?

The Romans in AD 325 still held a grudge against the Jews.

So the Romans refused to let the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ "float" throughout the lunar year in accord with the Hebrew calendar and determined to "set a fixed date" on the resurrection in association with the solar equinox.

Thus, we have Easter.

By the way, Easter is a blend of the celebration of the Roman god Ishtar and the Christian God Jesus.

The Romans loved to mix their calendar, their politics, and their religion with their ancient pagan customs and rituals.

What I find ironic is that it just so happens this solar year (2019) that the lunar observance of the Hebrew Passover falls on Friday (April 19). That means the official "Roman" declaration of Easter just so happens to match the biblical account of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Every now and then a blind squirrel can find a nut.

On April 21, 2019, just remember to keep it simple.
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep" (I Corinthians 15:3-8). 
He is risen indeed!


Donald Johnson said...

A lunar month is either 29 or 30 days. In the Bible, it is determined from the new moon being sighted. Because 12 lunar months do not make up a year of 365.+ days, a leap lunar month is sometimes added to the year. So a year of lunar months is either 12 or 13 months, so the harvest festivals will always happen around harvest time.

everette said...

Interesting article, Wade. One minor quibble: the Kalends were always the first day of the month, but the Nones and Ides fluctuated. In March, May, July, and October, the Ides were on the 15th. In all other months, the Ides were on the 13th. The Nones were always 8 days before the Ides, so that they would either be on the 7th or 5th. (Nones means "ninth" in Latin, and the Nones were the 9th day before the Ides, counting inclusively, as the Romans did.)

Also, the Romans would calculate their days according to the following feast day, rather than the preceding one. Today, March 30, would be the "3rd day before the Kalend of April"; March 16th is the "17th day before the Kalend of April." It's rather confusing.

Wade Burleson said...


Point well taken. The IDES fluctuated because the Kalend was often ambigious (depending on the “calling attention to the moon” of the priests.”

I agree that the way the Romans identified different days of the month is confusing for us today, but I think it must have been second nature to them in their day.

By the way, grateful for a reader who understands Ides, Kalends, and Nones.


Anonymous said...

"Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."
(Colossians 2:16-17)

Rex Ray said...


I think you nailed it by quoting Colossians. 2:16-17.

“So don’t let anyone criticize you for what you eat or drink, [James’ food laws? “…We should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols,…from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” Acts 15:20] or for not celebrating Jewish holidays and feast of new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.” (Colossians 2:16 Living)

The most significant part of this post is Christ arose! I wonder about the importance of writing six pages about ‘shadows’ as Colossians 2:17 Living states: “For these are only temporary rules that ended when Christ came. They were only SHADOWS of the real thing; of CHRIST himself.”

Anonymous said...

"When Constantine declared the Roman Empire "Christian" in 314 AD . . . "

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. I John 4:1-3

If you are a born again believer in Christ and believe that the New Testament is part of the Bible, there is only one conclusion that you can come to, and that is that Judaism is the vehicle that Satan will use to bring the Man of Perdition to the world as its dictator."

John S. Torell


Wade Burleson said...


An unfortunate teaching for sure! That unintentional link was removed.

Anonymous said...

Christiane said...

I've been thinking about the 'Western' Church Calendar and how it is related to the natural world and the Holy Scripture, and I had a few thoughts about this.

First, many Christian people consider God to be the God of the natural world (all that is seen) as well as the supernatural world (all that is unseen), so of course the inclusion of the natural world with its seasons and rhythms and cycles is much included in how the Church Calendar (the Church's liturgy for the year) was formed, yes.

And there is also this:
that information given in sacred Scripture was also a part of the formation of the Church's liturgical calendar.
For example, there is a beautiful expression of faith from St. John the Baptist in John 3:30, this:


The Church, when it came time to decide when to celebrate the birth of Christ, chose the winter solstice, when the days of sunlight began to increase;
and when the Church chose a day to celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, it chose the summer solstice when the days of maximum sunlight began to decrease slowly as the seasons turned towards autumn and winter.

I do see a great deal of weaving of the natural world in with Christian references, but I do see this also as a positive, an honoring of Creation with its cycles and seasons which honors the Creator so I cannot devalue this as some kind of 'paganism' . . . and if the pagans DID notice Creation's rhythms, was that not a kind of preparation to receive the Good News? I think it was. :)

Rex Ray said...

John S. Torell,

Never have I read such a well-documented article in my life as your

Thank you so much.

I wonder if you’ve ever researched everything in the Bible and other historical writings such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs that’s connected to the first Church Council that decided how Gentiles could be saved in Acts 15?

In that capture, Peter stated, “So now why are you CHALLENGING God by BURDENING the Gentile believers…We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the underserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (verse 11 NLT)

“Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told of the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” (verse 12 NLT)

The debate was over! Gentiles were saved by Jesus without being circumcised or obeying the laws of Moses. End of story, case closed, meeting adjourned. Let’s go home!

BUT there is (verse 13): “When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers listen to me…”

(verse 19-20) “And so MY JUDGMENT IS [who made him the judge?]…we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood.” (verse 28) “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater BURDEN on you that these few requirements.”

WHAT?? Peter said they would be “challenging God” if they burdened the Gentiles, and now James said it was the decision of the Holy Spirit to burden the Gentiles. DUH

John, do you see what James did? He changed Peter’s “underserved grace” into deserved grace by adding ‘works’. That in my opinion was the foundation of Catholicism.

James gives his reason based on TRADITION: “For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” (verse 21)

John, you wrote, “Roman Catholicism…elevates church tradition…to the same or an even greater level of authority than the Word of God.”

Jesus said, “You are simply rejecting God’s laws and trampling them under your feet for the sake of tradition.” (Mark 7:9 Living)

P.S. I asked Jesus to save me when I was ten. I’ve been a Christian 77 years and never heard a sermon or SS lesson on Acts 15. Wonder why?

Christiane said...

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank,
(died February or March 1945, aged 15
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Eastern Hanover, Germany)

Christiane said...

Hello there REX RAY,

you mentioned Acts 15 and part of it I think (Amos 15:16-18) recalls the
Book of Amos Chapter 9, this:

* On that day I will raise up

the fallen hut of David;

I will wall up its breaches,

raise up its ruins,

and rebuild it as in the days of old,g

That they may possess the remnant of Edom,

and all nations claimed in my name—

oracle of the LORD, the one who does this.

Yes, days are coming—

oracle of the LORD—

When the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps

and the vintager, the sower of the seed;

The mountains shall drip with the juice of grapes,

and all the hills shall run with it.h

I will restore my people Israel,

they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities,

Plant vineyards and drink* the wine,

set out gardens and eat the fruits.i

I will plant them upon their own ground;

never again shall they be plucked

From the land I have given them—

the LORD, your God, has spoken."

REX, what troubles you about Acts 15?

Tom said...


You said: -

“Israel followed a lunar calendar of 12 thirty-day lunar months, with an added 13th month (Second Adar) every nineteen years.”

But your reference states the following: -

“The Hebrew lunar calendar contained 12 months of 30 days, which was also the customary period of mourning (Deuteronomy 21:13, Numbers 20:29). Yet the actual lunar cycle is only about 29 ½ days, which resulted in a year of only 354 ½ days. Keeping the lunar calendar coordinated with the seasons of the year required adding a 13th month to the lunar calendar seven out of every nineteen years. This additional month was added to the end of the year following the last month Adar, and was simply called Second Adar.”

Have you erred in what you have written?


Rex Ray said...


You sound a little like Tom Ross. :)

Keep in mind Amos was written 800 years before Christ which was under the Old Covenant which is explained by this link.

The thing that troubles me about Acts 15 is JAMES.

He grew up a scoffer of Jesus. “Jesus’ brothers urged him to go to Judea for the celebration “Go where more people can see your miracles! The scoffed. You can’t be famous when you hide like this! If you’re so great, prove it to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.” (John 7:3-5 Living)

Christiane, can you imagine the shock James must have felt when Jesus appeared to him after Calvary? “Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.” (1 Corinthians 15: 7 NLT)

The Book of James mentions God 77 times and Jesus 9.

My thinking about James is this: After Jesus was born of Mary, her husband, Joseph dedicated his first born, James, to God in being raised a Nazarite that’s described in Numbers chapter 6. The last verse, 27, states: “Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

According to history, James was allowed to enter the Temple’s Holy Place to pray on his knees for the sins of the people. He was known as “The Just”. He ether didn’t understand that Calvary did away with his job, or he enjoyed the ‘prestige’ too much to stop. Much is written about his being thrown from the Temple because he didn’t tell the people that Jesus was a fake, but said Jesus was with God and would come again.

I could write a lot why in my opinion that James caused the death of Paul. Paul’s last prayer sums it up: “The first time I was brought before the judge no one was here to help me….I hope that they will not be blamed for it.” (2 Timothy 4:16 Living) “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me. I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (KJ)

This was the same prayer that Paul heard Stephen pray. I believe the same crime had been done because James said: “Here’s what we want you to do…Go with them to the Temple…” (Acts 21:23-24 NLT)

Paul was NEVER free afterwards.

Christiane said...

Hello there REX RAY,

I know that there were more than one 'James's' in sacred Scripture, so it gets complicated to sort out which one is which. I'll give you a reference that might have some info in it that will have meaning for you, but truly, that 'James' was apparently a popular name belonging to a group of men presents a confusing problem for me also. So here's the reference and I hope it helps:

Wade Burleson said...

Tom, it was a nineteen-year cycle - with Second Adar added more than once during those nineteem years (mostly twice, periodically three times). So the first sentence is poorly written. Thanks.

Johnny D. said...

Very interesting post.

Rex Ray said...


I didn’t know there so many “James” in the Bible. I enjoyed your link very much and spent several hours checking it out.

The paper brings out that the brother of Jesus, James, was the Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem. It doesn’t say that gave James the authority to require Christian Gentiles to “…abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. (Acts 15:20). But the paper tells why James said it by referencing Acts 15:21 which says, “For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in ever city on every Sabbath for many generations.”


Verse 4 “…These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem.”

Verse 10-11, “…Agabus, who also had the gift of prophesy…took Paul’s belt, and bound his own hands and feet with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit declares, “So shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the Gentiles.”

Verse 18-20 “The next day Paul went with us to meet with James and the elders of the Jerusalem church…You know, dear brother, brother, how many thousands of Jews have also believed, and they all FOLLOW THE LAW OF MOSES very seriously.”

Verse 21 “The Jewish believers here in Jerusalem [including his church] have been told that you are teaching all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn their backs on the laws of Moses. They’ve heard that you teach them not to circumcise their children or follow other Jewish customs.”


Does this imply his life was in danger? “…a man gathering wood on the Sabbath…the Lord said to Moses, “The man must be put to death!” (Numbers 15: 32-35 NLT) Wouldn’t teaching AGAINST the laws of Moses be worse than breaking the Sabbath?
“What should WE DO?” I believe “WE” also had a problem because if Jerusalem Christians killed Paul, Christian Gentiles would revolt since Paul was their hero.
James solved the problem almost in the same breath because they had a whole day after Paul arrived to make plans to let the Jewish leaders take care of their problem.

Rex Ray said...

Verse 23 “Here’s what we want you to do. We have four men here…Go with them to the Temple and join them in the purification ceremony, paying for them to have their heads ritually shaved. Then everyone will know that the rumors are all false and that you yourself observe the Jewish laws.”
WHAT? GO TO THE TEMPLE? James probably knew: “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was
stoned…” (2 Corinthians 11:24-25 NLT)

Verse 26 “So, Paul agreed to their request and the next day went with them to the Temple…”

Verse 28 “…Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws.”

Verse 30-31 “The whole city was rocked by these accusations…Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the Temple…As they were trying to kill him…”

Verse 36 “And the crowd followed behind, shouting “Kill him, kill him!”

Acts 24 tells of the Jewish leaders bringing charges against Paul to governor Felix without James and the elders being there and speaking in his behalf.

Acts 25 two years later, Jewish leaders brought charges against Paul to governor Festus without James or elders being there. Paul said, “…no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!” (verse 11)

Acts 26 records Paul telling his story to King Agrippa. “Agrippa said to Festus, “He could have been set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.” (verse 32)

The NLT states, “Paul’s final words” for the title of Second Timothy 4:9-18. “The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them.” (verse16)

King James verse 16: “At my first answer no man stood for me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” This was the prayer Paul heard Stephen pray. I believe the same crime had been done.

“It is not recorded that the Jerusalem church or its leaders exerted themselves in Paul’s behalf when he was arrested. They probably thought that his removal from Jerusalem under armed guard was all to the good; there was usually trouble when Paul came to Jerusalem. In his absence they got along tolerably well with the authorities; James enjoyed such respect among the people because of his piety that the authorities dared not take action against him or his followers.”

Christiane said...

Hey there, REX RAY

It surprised me too when I read about all the 'James's although I had heard about two of them, one being called the 'Younger' and one, the 'Greater'. It's kind of like the 'Mary's' in the Bible, and that also gets complicated, as 'Miriam' was also a very popular name in those times.

I don't think that the Jerusalem Christian people were into 'murder', no. So I would check them off your list for people out to get St. Paul. As for 'murder', it kind of works the other way . . . you see, St. Paul, before his conversion from 'Saul' was a persecutor of the young Church and tradition tells us he was in on the stoning of St. Stephen, martyr. As 'Saul', he also was a Roman citizen, so he had a LOT of connections and a LOT of history, not at all friendly to the young Church. You know that Our Lord saw something in 'Saul' and knew that he would be a powerhouse for good IF he were to be converted and Our Lord took care of that personally in a very dramatic way, as is told in sacred Scripture, and so Saul became St. Paul and he never looked back, he only went forward to do the work of Our Lord. People still get converted powerfully these days, but St. Paul's conversion just about beats all. (You may know the story of C.B. Scott and how he was in a hotel room and opened a Gideon bible and 'wham' the Holy Spirit opened Christ to him, and C.B. changed his life in response, so you know it happens in our own time, and will continue to happen until the Lord returns to us.)

What I know about St. Paul's death from Christian tradition is this:
'it was told of that Paul was put to death by orders of the emperor Nero in Rome, in 67 AD. He had the rights of a Roman citizen, which meant that he could be put to death by having his head cut off with a sword, rather than by crucifixion'

It is said that his remains are buried under the altar in a Church in Rome, a Church built on top of the place where St. Paul's body was first buried.

It is difficult to say if those remains are his, but there was effort on the part of the early Church to mark places where the martyrs died, and where they were buried, and to keep track of these places and treat them as 'sacred' to God, so it might be true.

In any case, St. Paul had gone from a persecutor of early Christians to someone who could write the 'love' chapter of Corinthians . . . that is the power of Christianity on the soul, and spirit of a human person who encounters Christ and is forever changed towards good.

Rex Ray said...


I believe to understand why Paul was killed in prison, it helps to understand why God’s man, Samson, died.
“…He will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from the moment of his birth until the day of his death.” (Judges 13:7 NLT)

To ‘start the ball rolling’ Sampson wanted to marry the ‘wrong’ girl. “…one of the Philistine women caught his eye…Get her for me! She looks good to me.” His father and mother didn’t realize the LORD WAS AT WORK IN THIS, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines…” (Judges 14:1-4 NLT)

I think God wanted to show the world, even today, what one man could do against God’s enemies when God gave him ‘super strength’. The Bible records that whatever Sampson prayed for, God granted, even when Sampson prayed to die.

Likewise, “The Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my CHOSEN instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him HOW MUCH HE MUST SUFFER for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16 NLT) It has been said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” How much of the Bible would be missing if Paul hadn’t gone to prison?

The same with Joseph when he told his brothers, “…You intended to harm me, but God intended if all for good…” (Genesis 50:20 NLT)

Unknown said...

Thought this was interesting - the evidence of pagan origins re bunnies and eggs is lacking...