Is it possible the entire world is just plain wrong when it comes to the current method of counting of days, weeks and months?
At least two Christian women on the Pacific Coast think so, as they claim God’s original calendar set into motion at Creation is not based on a continuous seven-day week.
Their belief is that the “true” system of counting time is tied to what is called a “lunisolar” calendar, based upon both the sun and phases of the moon. They contend every new moon restarts the seven-day cycle, rather than having a continuous seven-day cycle which currently runs the world.
Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones
“I could have gone my whole life and such a concept would have never occurred to me,” says Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones, a 39-year-old full-time mother in Spokane, Wash., who has adjusted her traditional Seventh-Day Adventist outlook of Saturday observance to this alternate method since learning of it in late 2006. “It was Earth-shattering to say the least.”
Vornholt-Jones has posted this theory on her 4AngelsPublications website, where she offers her book on the issue, “The Great Calendar Controversy,” for sale and for free viewing online.
She told WND she still observes a Sabbath – that is to say, a biblical day of rest – every seven days; but she says the precise day of the week for that Sabbath actually floats from month to month when compared to the Gregorian calendar commonly used today.
The theory suggests whatever day of the week the new moon occurs on, that particular day becomes “Day One” of the month.
Then, count seven days from Day One until you reach the initial Sabbath of the month, which would always be on the eighth calendar day of the month. The next day of rest would be on the 15th, then the 22nd and 29th.
Vornholt-Jones and her friend, photographer Kerrie French of Garden Valley, Calif., sought to bring the issue to light after reading a 2001 WND story in which Jan Marcussen, a fellow Seventh-Day Adventist from Thompsonville, Ill., was so sure there was no Bible verse declaring the first day of the week to be the Sabbath, he offered up to $1 million for clear, Scriptural proof.
French says she became aware of this concept in July of last year.
“I studied it in depth for three months before making a complete ‘paradigm shift’ from a Saturday Sabbath to what I call the lunisolar Creation Sabbath,” French said. “It was at a Hebrew-style wedding. The bride-to-be mentioned that Saturday was no longer her Sabbath, but that her Sabbath for that month of July 2007 was actually on Tuesday. I was shocked!“
The women claim according to this method of reasoning, every Sabbath in August 2008 actually falls on Sunday, the first day of the week.
“It’s total bunk. These woman don’t know anything from whence they speak,” says one WND reader. “The Bible says on the seventh day God rested and hallowed it. That was from the creation of the world, I don’t know how much clearer you can get. The weekly Sabbath has nothing to do with the lunar or solar year. It never has, not even until this day. Jesus followed the same seventh day that Jews and Saturday-observant Christians follow today.”
Vornholt-Jones claims that persecution of both Jews and Christians became so intense in the 4th century, that knowledge of the “true” system was actually lost.
As WND has reported, the whole subject of Sabbath observance is a hotly contested one in Christian circles, with believers split among Saturday, Sunday, any day of the week or even no special day of rest of any kind.
When it comes to the origin of calendars, historians don’t always provide concrete, universal answers.
For instance, the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, “The origin of the Jewish calendar can no longer be accurately traced.”
It goes on to reveal disputes among scholars between the observance of a solar year in ancient Israel or a lunisolar calendar “similar to that of ancient Babylonia.”
The online Jewish Encyclopedia clearly defines the Sabbath as “The seventh day of the week; the day of rest.”
But the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia asserts, “The new moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle … . “
Pastor Robert B. Scott of Edmonton, Alberta, told WND: “Regardless of what Jews have done or
not done in history, nowhere in God’s Word does proof exist that the
new moons are to be regarded as holy Sabbath convocations for corporate
worship. Whatever Jews may have done in history is irrelevant in
determining whether the new moons are Sabbaths. We must obey the Word –
Statue of Julius Caesar
Most nations of the world today abide by the Gregorian calendar, a solar-based system with 365 and 1/4 days, with individual weeks cycling every seven days from Sunday through Saturday.
It was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a reform of the Julian calendar, which was instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., though not operating smoothly until A.D. 8.
Vornholt-Jones maintains she’s still a Seventh-Day Adventist, but says this concept is not exclusive to members of her church.
“I have heard of Catholics, I’ve talked to people with the Worldwide Church of God, Messianic Jews … people in Africa, Australia – so it’s not just a localized thing,” she said.
Regarding the ladies’ attempt to cash in on the million-dollar challenge from 2001, WND contacted Marcussen who said:
“The offer was to anyone who could give one Bible verse showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week [Sunday] instead of the seventh day [Saturday]. …
“So I read the letter that you received, looking for the required Bible verse. I couldn’t find it. Why not? Because it’s not there. …
“Both ministers and people have responded, seeking to show the desired change of God’s holy Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. They say many nice things, but Scripture proof is always lacking.”
Regarding the assertion the true calendar does not have a continuous weekly cycle, Marcussen said, “Any society that tried to carry on their schools, church or business without ‘a continuous weekly cycle’ would be in utter chaos. The poor people would get so confused that they wouldn’t know what to do.”
He cited 1 Corinthians 14:33 which states, “God is not the author of confusion.”
He pointed out that the seventh-day Sabbath being Saturday has so permeated the cultures of the world for so long that many languages have the exact same word for both. In Greek, it is sabbaton; Italian, sabato; Spanish, sábado; Russian, subbota; Polish, sobota; and Hungarian, szómbat. Even the French “samedi” is from the Latin “Sambata dies,” for “day of the Sabbath.”
Marcussen added: “The ‘challenge’ will continue, but society is now in such a state that I will ask for people to use either the ‘Authorized’ King James Version of the Bible, or the New King James Version, lest someone try to get the money by writing a book with the desired statement in it, and call their book, ‘The Bible.'”
When asked how many people share the lunar Sabbath belief, Vornholt-Jones said there’s no way to be certain.
“No one has ever even tried to find out how many there are as the focus has always been on the truth itself, rather than how many adhere to that truth,” she said.
But floating the Sabbath day from month to month does have ramifications.
“For me, it has not been difficult in the least, because I am self-employed, and do not have children in school,” said French. “My husband, however, is not with me in this; but I see the spirit of [God] working with him as he is studying his Bible as never before.”
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