The Hebrew Calendar Testifies of the Creator

by John P. Pratt

Reprinted from Meridian Magazine (26 Oct 2007).
©2007 by John P. Pratt. All rights Reserved.

Index, Home

Contents
1. Calendars
1.1 Gregorian Calendar
1.2 Hebrew Calendar
1.3 Lunar Month
2. Day-Year Pattern
2.1 30-year Great Month
2.2 353-year Great Year
2.3 Great Metonic Cycle
2.4 PHC Year Wheel
2.5 Great Year Wheel
2.6 Birth of Jesus Christ
2.7 First Vision
3. Creator, Not Superhuman
4. Conclusion
Notes
The precise lengths of the solar year and lunar month were apparently designed to fit the day-year pattern of the Hebrew calendar.

The length of the year of four seasons of the sun and the time between new moons have appeared to astronomers to be random numbers, the results of a supposed "Big Bang" origin of the universe. But the Book of Genesis in the Bible claims that one reason that God created the greater and lesser lights in the heavens was for keeping time (Gen. 1:14). Later He tells us that He reckons one day to a year (Num. 14:34, Ezek. 4:6). This article summarizes the results of a new discovery, namely that the precise Hebrew calendar patterns for months and years are repeated in the ratio of one day to a year, exactly as the Bible claims. This relationship allows the Hebrew Calendar, which tracks both sun and moon, to measure years using the same pattern as for days. This evidence implies that the solar and lunar orbits were indeed designed for keeping time with the Hebrew Calendar, rather than vice versa. That is, until now it has appeared that the calendar was an afterthought, designed to fit random lunar and solar periods, but now the hand of the Creator is becoming too obvious to ignore.

Was our solar system created?

1. Calendars

A calendar is a pattern used to track some repetitive natural period of time, such as the day (high noon to high noon), the lunar month (new moon to new moon) or the solar year (spring to spring). Our modern Gregorian calendar attempts only to fix the number of days in the solar year. The Hebrew Calendar is much more ambitious. It tracks both sun and moon and also aligns them with the sacred week of seven days. The problem that any calendar must solve is that the various periods it is aligning do not come out even. That is, the lunar month does not have exactly 30 days and the year does not have exactly 12 lunar months. Calendars usually track the average lengths of those periods, so that the same pattern can be used repeatedly. The average length of the month is about 29.53 days, and the year is about 365.24 days.

Our Gregorian Calendar tracks the sun.

1.1 The Gregorian Calendar

How does a calendar solve this problem of uneven periods? A simple pattern is sought which approximates the correct answer closely enough for most practical purposes. For example, Julius Caesar decided that it was just too hard to keep track of the moon, and he had no religious ties to the week, so he proposed the Julian Calendar (named for him) which only reconciles days and years. In his system, the year is approximated to be 365.25 days. That works nicely with a cycle of four years, which comes out to be exactly 1461 days. We want a whole number of days in any one year, so we can use three years of 365 days and then a fourth of 366 days. That is why about every four years we have a leap year in which February has 29 days rather than its usual 28. Our modern Gregorian calendar introduced a small correction in century years to make the average be 365.2425 which is an excellent average value throughout history.

The point for this paper is there has not appeared to be anything special about the exact length of the year, or of the month. They appear to be just random numbers. A calendar could be devised to track a year of any length whatsoever. The precise lengths of those periods have not required any explanation at all from astronomers.

To better see this point, suppose the month had exactly 30 days and the year exactly 360 days. Then astronomers would feel compelled to explain such an amazing coincidence. The explanation would be either that 1) there is a natural law to explain it, 2) it is just a very unusual chance occurrence, or 3) it had been designed and created that way. Even religious scientists shun the last option unless it is really needed because science is about discovering what we can about why the world is the way it is, based on natural laws, without appealing to exceptions (miracles) which seem to break those laws. Thus, everything that cannot be explained by law is thought to be due to chance. In this case, the periods have appeared so random that I know of no other modern astronomer who has proposed that the lengths of the day, month and year are due to anything but chance.

The Hebrew Calendar.

1.2 The Hebrew Calendar

In order to understand the point of this article, is it needed to understand the basic idea of the Hebrew calendar. The Gregorian calendar needs two year lengths to correctly approximate the true solar year: 365 and 366 days. The Hebrew calendar needs to track both the lunar cycle with months of either 29 or 30 days, and also the year with either 12 or 13 months. That would require four year lengths, but then it also needs to align with the week of seven days. That is done by only allowing New Year's Day (1 Nisan in the spring) to fall on the odd numbered days of the week: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.[1] This requirement means that the Hebrew calendar needs six different year lengths: 353, 354, and 355 days for 12-month years, and three more with an extra month of 30 days added for 13-month years: 383, 384 and 385 days. That is a lot more complicated that our Gregorian calendar with only two year lengths. It is the religious requirements like this that make God's people somewhat peculiar. They feel it is worth going to a little more trouble to do things God's way.

The New Moon. The lunar month is measured from new moon to new moon. Can you see the thin crescent?

1.3 The Lunar Month

Three features of the Hebrew Calendar convince me that it is inspired, even before we get to the principal evidence of this article. First, the lunar month is much more constant over the long term than the solar year. Over the last 6,000 years, one fixed value can be used for the average length of the month, namely 29.5305956[2]. On the other hand, the length of the solar year has varied from 365.2428 to 365.2422 over that same time period. The Hebrew calendar is based primarily on the phases of the moon, which makes it inherently a much more stable long-term calendar.

Secondly, the Hebrews divide an hour into 1,080 parts rather than 3,600 seconds. It turns out that the lunar period comes out almost exactly even in this units, being 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 parts. In decimal notation, that is 29.5305941 days, which you can see is almost identical to our best modern estimate of the historical average of 29.5305956. Indeed, the Hebrew value is so accurate that it raises the possibility that the lunar month might have been designed to have that exact value.

Finally, the Hebrew value for the length of the lunar month is good enough to use all through 7,000 years of history with a total accumulated error of only about one seventh of a day.[3] The Hebrew value is so much more accurate than could have been known by primitive scientific measurements that it appears to me both that the number itself is designed in Hebrew units and also that the length must have been revealed. Thus, early in my research, these three "lucky coincidences" put me onto the trail that the Hebrew Calendar is one of God's calendars indeed.

The Hebrew Calendar tracks earth and moon orbits.

2. The Day-Year Pattern

The key to seeing the importance of the exact lengths of the lunar month and solar year is given in the scriptures where the Lord states that he counts one year to a day.[4]. In the law of Moses, He commanded that every seventh year be considered holy according to the same pattern that every seventh day is holy (Lev. 25:1-7). Those familiar with my work know that many of my articles discuss the importance of counting years as days.[5] But until now, it has appeared to me merely a counting scheme. There has been nothing intrinsic to the actual orbital periods needed. One could count a year in the same manner of counting days no matter what the year length might be. In my articles, years are given the same names as our days, but are capitalized to emphasize that a year is meant. Thus, the first year of a seven-year cycle is called SUNDAY and the final sacred sabbatical year is called SATURDAY.

Pursuing the day-year pattern further led me to discover just last month that the same pattern used to add leap days and months used in the Hebrew calendar can also be used for years as for days. This is no longer just a counting procedure. It refers to the actual mathematical method of having the calendar align when the years and months come out even. That in turn depends on the exact length of the orbital periods. Let's see how it works in order to understand this new witness for a Creator.

The lunar month tracks the moon.

2.1 Witness 1: 30-year Great Month

If one calculates the intervals in which the lunar and solar cycles best realign with each other, the answers in order of increasing accuracy are 3, 8, 11, 19, 353, 1078, and 1431 years.[6]. Notice the big gap between 19 and the next better cycle of 353 years. That interval of 19 years is called the Metonic Cycle, and is so good that the traditional Hebrew calendar uses it, with no further corrections made.[7] In the 19 years, there are 12 years with 12 months and 7 years with 13 months. Those sacred numbers of 12 and 7 have not gone unnoticed by the Hebrews.

For our purposes, notice that the two values of 11 and 19 years may be added together to get 30 years. That means that 30 years is also an interval which realigns the month with the year. There are many 30-year periods in which the Hebrew calendar realigns exactly with a solar calendar. For example, on the Hebrew calendar, the most likely date for the Savior's birth was Thu 15 Nisan (Passover), being 6 Apr 1 BC on the modern Gregorian calendar. The most likely date for the beginning of his ministry was Sat 15 Nisan (Passover), 6 Apr AD 30, exactly thirty solar years later. The date of Passover (15 Nisan) can fall anywhere in a range of at least thirty days on a solar calendar, so it is unusual for it to fall on the same day of the solar year (6 Apr).

The point for this article is to notice that the interval of 30 years can used to realign the Hebrew calendar in much the same way that and extra month of 30 days does. It is this similarity of a pattern found both in days and years which is called the "day-year" pattern in this article. In fact, let us call such a 30-year period a "Great Realignment Month," where "Great" signifies that the day-year ratio is involved, and "Realignment" means that the interval "realigns" the lunar month with the solar year. This is the first of several day-year mathematical relationships which testify that the earth-moon system was designed with this day-year pattern in mind.

The Passover Meal at the full moon of spring.

2.2 Witness 2: 353-year Great Year

The second mathematical day-year relationship is to look for an even more accurate period than the 19-year Metonic cycle in which realigns the lunar month and solar year. As mentioned above, it is 353 years. We have seen that number 353 before. It is one of the Hebrew year lengths in days. The 353-year period, equal to 18 sets of 19 years plus one of 11, is so perfect that it has a total error of only 0.022 days.[8] That is so accurate that it could be used throughout history without even accumulating an error of even one day. It can be called a "Great Realignment Year." Ask yourself, what are the chances of the Hebrew calendar realigning after an interval of 353 days, and then again after 353 years? It was this "coincidence" which led me to discover the Perpetual Hebrew calendar. It is a second witness that the precise periods of the lunar month and solar year were designed by a Creator to fit a day-year pattern.

2.3 Witness 3: Great Metonic Cycle

What about an even longer term realignment? You might ask what more is needed if the 353-year period is so accurate. If the Creator really designed a day-year relationship into the solar system, we would expect a Great Year to correspond to about 365 solar years. For example, we have already seen Great Years of 364-years on the Enoch Calendar, which has years of 364 days.[9] If we always used the 353-year value for a Great Year then it would get out of sync with Great Years on the other sacred calendars. So the question is to see if there is a natural way to keep the average length of a Great Year to be closer to 365 in a manner similar to the average length of a Hebrew year.

The first two mathematical witnesses just described led me to look for a longer period that would be composed of sets of 353 years interspersed with corrections of 383 years, using the extra 30 year Great Month to lengthen the average Great Year length. Note how similar that is to how the Hebrew Calendar employs years of 353 days and 383 days. In order not to lose accuracy, one must also include Great Years of 380 years. Ask yourself, what would it take to get you to believe the premise of my article, that these precise mathematical periods testify of a Creator. After all, these could just be chance coincidences. How can we know scientifically or mathematically that God's hand was really involved in determining the precise length of the lunar and solar cycles? To me, it is simply a matter of so many witnesses appearing that it is just too hard to believe it could have occurred by chance. With that in mind, let us turn to a third witness.

There exists one amazingly accurate sequence of 19 Great Years of 353, 380, or 383 years which precisely realigns the lunar and solar cycles with each other and with the week. The series corresponds exactly to the 19-year Metonic Cycle of the Hebrew calendar. The interval of 2,523,094 days is equal to 6,908 years of 365.2423 days, 85,440 lunar months of 29.5305946 days, and 360,442 weeks of seven days. Notice also that this realignment period is nearly equal to 7,000 years, the time needed for the descendants of Adam. It could be called a "Great Metonic Cycle."

The point for this article is that this new realignment interval is a series of Great Years in exactly the same format as the 19-year Hebrew Metonic cycle. That is, the Metonic Cycle contains 19 years consisting of 12 with 12 months and 7 with 13 months. Similarly, the Great Metonic Cycle of 19 Great Years consists of 12 with 12 Great Months and 7 with 13 Great Months.

The Lord has said that he will give us patterns that we may know the truth of all things (D&C 52:14). Does not the fact that the three patterns of the lunar month, solar year, and Metonic Cycle are all repeated precisely in the day-year ratio of the Great Month, Great Year, and Great Metonic Cycle witness that the earth's and moon's orbits were created to fit these patterns?

The Great Metonic Cycle was discovered several years ago on Sat 1 Jan 2000. Nevertheless, my precise model for the Perpetual Hebrew calendar, based on that Great Metonic Cycle, has never been published because a few loose ends were unclear. It was only recently (on Sat 22 Sep 2007, 10 Tishri) that it occurred to me that my pattern of the three Great Years of 353, 380 and 383 years ignores the sacred cycle of seven years. Remember that each year can be thought of as a day of the week, and that the Hebrews were commanded to consider every seventh year to be a sacred sabbath year.

When one includes the requirement that Great Realignment Years may only begin in the first, third, fifth or seventh year of the Hebrew sabbatical cycle (following the pattern of the usual Hebrew year), then six Great Year lengths are required: 350, 353, 356, 359, 380, and 383 years. The three-year intervals between these values come from the fact that three Hebrew years, which include one extra month, approximately equals three solar years (to within 4 days).[10] These Great Years are divided into Great Realignment Months of 28, 29, or 30 years. In a SUNDAY year one can begin a Great Metonic Cycle comprising Great Years of 356, 383, 350, 353, 380, 350, 359, 380, 353, 350, 383, 356, 383, 350, 353, 380, 350, 359, and 380 years.

The Perpetual Hebrew Calendar Year Wheel.

2.4 Witness 4: PHC Year Wheel

There is another pattern which is a repeated in both days and years. It is that the table of the order in which years occur comes out evenly at the end, so that it can be made into a repeating wheel, or "one eternal round." This is the reason for "perpetual" in the name "Perpetual Hebrew calendar" (PHC). The traditional Hebrew calendar appears not to repeat, but the beginning of every year is calculated individually. When I began my study of calendars, it became clear that the whole purpose of a calendar is to find a repeating pattern which replaces the need for such calculation. When a table was made of the ordered set of possible year lengths, on Sun 31 Jul 1994 I discovered that at the end of the table, there was virtually zero error, so that the first entry in the table could be placed next to the last in a circular fashion. This is shown in Figure 1. The table begins with years beginning on a Sunday. It progresses through years beginning on Tuesday, Thursday and then Saturday. When the Saturday cycle is completed, it "just happens" that there is only 0.048 days error in the average lunar position to again begin on Sunday. That means the table can be thought of as a wheel. All of my articles about the Perpetual Hebrew calendar have been based on that wheel.[11] The colors associated with each day refer to how far the thin crescent of the new moon is from the sun on New Year's Day. Purple means it is definitely visible, blue means probably visible, red is marginal, and yellow means invisible.

The PHC Year Wheel only tracks the moon precisely, and approximately tracks the sun by intercalating one 13-month year every three years. But that is not accurate enough for the long term. As mentioned above, after only three years the error in the solar year is about four days. A much better approximation is a 19-year Metonic cycle which contains seven long years. That is found on the wheel by beginning with the first year of any "triplet" (the three-year sequences). Count 11 years, ending in a 13-month year. Then look at the next year in line. For example, begin on a Red Sunday (the first year at the top of the circle) having 354 days. Then count around clockwise and find that the eleventh year begins on a Yellow Saturday and has 385 days. The next year in order would be a Blue Saturday having 353 days. Break the sequence here by jumping to the triplet beginning on a Blue Saturday 353. It is near the 9 o'clock position and is indicated by the word "Saturday" in the inner circle, and the word "Blue" in the next circle. Now count eight years from that point, to complete a 19-year cycle. Then break again, so that the next 19-year cycle begins on a Yellow Tuesday, and has 355 days. That is essentially how the tradition Hebrew calendar works, except that no table is used, but a similar calculation is done for each year.

After a few cycles of 19-years, corrections again need to be made by jumping to new places on the wheel. Over the past decade I have experimented with various correction schemes. Most were complicated, but I knew that the Lord's way would be simple and follow a pattern he has shown us. Hence, knowing it was incomplete, I have never submitted my model for publication.

The Great Year Wheel.

2.5 Witness 5: Great Year Wheel

Only last month did I discover what now appears to be the correct method of making long term corrections to this perpetual calendar. Before then, I had thought that the Great Metonic Cycle was all that was needed. After all, it takes nearly 7,000 years to complete and that seemed like enough. But when I saw the need to fit even that cycle to the sabbatical week of seven years, a new problem arose. The Great Metonic Cycle can only begin in a SUNDAY year, and the next cycle would begin in a SATURDAY year, not another SUNDAY year as required to repeat again. That is very similar to the normal Metonic cycle which also must be adjusted every time to fit the week. So what is to be done?

To my surprise, it turns out that there is a Great Year Wheel for ordering Great Years very similar to the Year Wheel for ordering regular years. If one makes a table of Great Years, after 9 triplets the table comes out even so that it again begins with virtually zero error. It is this second "coincidence" that there exist both a year wheel and also a Great Year wheel that constitutes the testimony of two witnesses that the entire system was designed to fit the day-year pattern.

This is a work in progress, and the exact use of the Great Year cycle is still being determined. But for starters we can note that one pattern on it is the following. Begin at the SUN 356 year near the bottom of the cycle. Count 8 Great Years, coming to a SAT 353. Then jump to the triplet beginning with SAT 353 near the "4 o'clock" position in the wheel. Then count another 11 great years. That is exactly the same pattern given above for counting the Great Metonic Cycle.

The fact that such a similar wheel can be used to count great years as for counting regular years is amazing. In both cases it requires that when the cycle comes back to the beginning day of the week that there be virtually no error.

The Birth of Christ in an EASTER year.

2.6 Witness 6: Birth of Jesus Christ

When one attempts to align the patterns described in this paper with the actual positions of the sun and moon in order to correlate the Perpetual Hebrew calendar to our Gregorian calendar, there is one starting point that mathematically fits the data particularly well. It is that the year 4015 BC be correlated with the THU 350 year which begins the second triplet in the Great Year Cycle (near the 2 o'clock position). That year was indeed a THURSDAY year according to the traditional 7-year sabbatical cycle, which appears to be correct.[12] If that choice is selected, then the "Beginning of Time," when Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden in the year 4001 BC,[13] would correspond to PASSOVER, being the fifteenth year of the first MONTH of that system. This cannot be counted as a witness because it is being chosen to fit the data.

If one then counts around the wheel, either jumping to a new triplet after 5, 8, or 11 years, one comes to a new Great Year beginning in the year THU 18 BC. This means that the year of the Savior's birth, SUN 1 BC,[14] corresponds to EASTER SUNDAY in this new system. That witness can indeed be counted because it is a direct consequence of counting on the Great Year cycle from the chosen beginning point. It is not the result of an arbitrary choice. We have already seen on other calendars that this year corresponded to a jubilee year,[15] to NEW YEAR'S on the Enoch Calendar,[16] and to the FEAST OF ESTHER (14 ADAR2) when using the other PHC Year Wheel to count years as days.[17]. Thus, there are multiple witnesses of the holiness of the year in which Jesus was born.

The Prophet Joseph Smith.

2.7 Witness 7: The First Vision

The First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820 fell in a year which is a SUNDAY year in the Hebrew sabbatical 7-year cycle. Continuing the count around the Great Year Cycle we find that 1820 also corresponds to an EASTER YEAR, just as was the birth year of the Savior.[18] In an earlier article it was seen that it was also a NEW YEAR'S year on the Enoch Calendar, which led to the proposal of an exact date for the First Vision, namely, Sun, 26 Mar 1820, being New Year's Day in that year on that calendar.[19] Thus, this new system provides yet another witness of the Holiness of the year of the First Vision.

In the grand scheme of things that should not be too surprising. After all, when else did God the Father actually appear in person on the earth? That was an extremely rare event, and one that deserves being marked in the annals of time as meriting an especially holy day and year for its occurrence. Jesus Christ first appeared at his birth in an EASTER year, and he first appeared again to Joseph Smith in an EASTER year.

3. Creator, Not Superhuman

Some atheists have read enough of scripture to realize that the great religious movements of the world must have been based on more than superstition and fantasy. How can non-believers continue to reject God and still somehow explain what appear to be true revelations? Some have suggested that the revelations to prophets were given by a superhuman extraterrestrial race who visited earth in flying saucers hidden in clouds, descended down columns of light, and appeared in brilliant glory to enlighten our race about their discoveries of nature. If so, they could have revealed great laws of how to live, performed seeming miracles using advanced science, and perhaps even correctly predict the future. Thus, they could appear to us to be "gods," and in particular, the God of the Bible. Is there evidence which disproves such a theory?

God is not an alien.
That could the be subject of another entire book,[20] but let us look at just one argument which refutes such a notion. Consider the Hebrew Calendar. Let us suppose for a moment that an advanced extraterrestrial appeared to Moses and revealed a calendar designed to fit the lunar month and solar year. Perhaps it could even include ritual celebrations foreshadowing events to come. Would that explain all the evidence?

In the light of this article, the answer is no. That explanation fails. The problem is that the theory proposes that the calendar revealed to Moses was designed to fit random orbital periods. But the evidence presented in this article strongly implies that the orbital values are not random at all. Instead, the evidence is that the earth's and moon's orbits were designed to fit the Hebrew Calendar, not that the calendar was designed to fit the orbits. In fact, in previous articles it has been shown that our entire solar system (including the other planets) was apparently created to fulfill a design which included its use to keep time according to the day-year patterns of several sacred calendars.[21] These facts cannot be explained by merely suggesting that some intelligent extraterrestrial figured out how it works long ago. What needs to be explained is the extreme order found in every facet of the universe, not simply how ancient prophets could have known so much about it.

4. Conclusion

This article presents many examples of the same patterns measured in days repeating when measured in years. All of these repeating day-year patterns can be traced to the precise lengths of the lunar month and solar year. These witnesses demand an explanation. They cannot be explained by any known natural law, so they must be due either to blind chance or to a Creator's design. The standard atheist philosophy currently in vogue, adopted by many scientists, requires that they bury their heads even deeper in the sand in order not to see any evidence of God. But a straightforward interpretation, in agreement with God's own witness that he reckons years as days, is that these many repeating day-year patterns testify that God designed the greater and lesser lights for keeping time with the Hebrew Calendar, exactly as he claimed. We are being left with fewer and fewer excuses not to recognize the hand of God in all things, and see that "all things are created and made to bear record of me; . . . things which are in the heavens above . . . : all things bear record of me" (Moses 6:63).

Notes

  1. The traditional modern Hebrew Calendar begins the days in the fall, on the first day of the seventh month (Tishri). That always falls exactly 177 days after 1 Nisan, and if you look up Hebrew calendar rules, you will find that 1 Tishri must fall on a Tue, Thu, Sat, or Mon. The New Testament usually refers to days of the week by number, such as Sunday being the first day of the week.
  2. The precise mean lunar month and solar year lengths can be calculated from equations given in the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac which are used to calculate means for the 7,000 years of the earth's temporal history in my paper "Mapping Time," American Mathematical Monthly, 107 (Jan 2000), 92-99, online at www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/mapping_time.html.
  3. The error in one month is 29.5305956-29.5305941 = 0.0000015 days. Multiplying that by 7,000 years x 12.358 lunar months/year gives .13 days, or about one seventh of a day.
  4. Note that in the great revelation on astronomy to Abraham, the Lord explained that the (solar) year on earth was designed to be such that 1,000 years equals one day on Kolob (Abr. 3:4). So the Designer has told us that these are not random periods, but are have been carefully chosen.
  5. Pratt, John P., "Celestial Witnesses of the Meridian of Time" Meridian Magazine (10 Jul 2002), Section 1; "Enoch Calendar: Another Witness of the Restoration" Meridian Magazine (5 Aug 2002), Section 1; "The Timing of David and Solomon's Reigns" Meridian Magazine (12 Nov 2003), Section 4.
  6. See my Calendar Math Utilities. Look at the best rational approximations for the ratio of the year to the month (ignoring any unit of time, such as the day, in which to measure them). That is, enter the ratio 12.368274 (which is 365.2425/29.5305956) and find that the best whole number approximations are that 3 years is about 37 months, 8 y = 99 m, 11 y = 136 m, 19 y = 235 m, 353 y = 4,366 m, 1078 y = 13,333 m and 1,431 y = 17699 m.
  7. It is named for the Greek astronomer Meton who discovered it about 432 BC. Using the 19-year Metonic cycle produces a long term error of about one day per 230 years, drifting toward summer. The error can be calculated by taking 235 x 29.5305956 - 19 x 365.2425 days = .08 days error every 19 years.
  8. 4,366 months of 29.5305956 days minus 353 years of 365.2425 days equals -0.022 days. That is only an error of 1 day in about 16,000 years (353/0.022). That is accurate enough that it would need no further correction at all in 7,000 years.
  9. Pratt, John P. "Enoch Calendar: Another Witness of the Restoration" Meridian Magazine (5 Aug 2002), Section 1.
  10. For example, the Savior's Baptism mostly likely occurred on Sat 10 Tishri (the Day of Atonement) on 6 Oct AD 29, with his public ministry beginning on Sat 15 Nisan (Passover) on 6 Apr AD 30. Three years later, the same Hebrew dates occurred four days earlier on our Gregorian solar calendar: The Transfiguration probably occurred on Sat 10 Tishri (the Day of Atonement), 2 Oct AD 33 and the Savior's preaching of liberty to the captives in Spirit Prison (between his death and resurrection) occurred on Sat 15 Nisan (Passover), 2 Apr AD 33. Again, the Lord's use of repeating patterns is apparent.
  11. Actually, my first version of the PHC Year Wheel was designed for the year to begin on 1 Tishri in the fall, following modern tradition. That works out to be essentially the same, except that 1 Tishri (Rosh Hashanah) can only fall on a Mon, Tue, Thu or Sat. That does not show the symbolism of 1 Nisan only beginning on the odd-numbered days of the week, so I now use the 1 Nisan wheel to emphasize that pattern. Moreover, I use it to emphasize that the year really begins on 1 Nisan, New Year's Day, rather than on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri. The Fall "New Years" is used mostly for counting sabbatical and jubilee years.
  12. It took me years to decide whether or not the Hebrew tradition is correct concerning which year is the sacred seventh (sabbath) year. It was on Sat 4 July 1998 that it became clear that the tradition has been right all along. My first published article on the subject was in "Celestial Witnesses of the Meridian of Time" Meridian Magazine (10 Jul 2002), Section 1. The current Hebrew year, beginning in the fall of 2007, is a sabbath year. In either reckoning, from fall or spring, next spring and summer are in the sabbath year. The next year will be the fiftieth year, or the jubilee year. In fact, it will complete 70 jubilees (of 49 years each) since the crossing of the Jordan River by Joshua in 1422 BC. See my "Joshua's Seventieth Jubilee" Meridian Magazine (18 May 2006).
  13. For a discussion of this date, see Pratt, John P., "Venus and the Beginning of Mortality," Meridian Magazine (9 Jul 2003).
  14. For a discussion of this date, see my "Passover: Was It Symbolic of His Coming?" Ensign (Jan 1994), pp. 38-45.
  15. Pratt, John P., "Jubilee Calendar Testifies of Christ" Meridian Magazine (17 Nov 2004).
  16. Pratt, John P., "Enoch Calendar: Another Witness of the Restoration" Meridian Magazine (5 Aug 2002).
  17. Pratt, John P., "Celestial Witnesses of the Meridian of Time" (10 July 2002). The "Grand Years" (not Great Years) I discussed in former articles were based on using the PHC Year Wheel to count years instead of days. It is in that system that the Savior's birth is in the year 14 ADAR 2. This articles speaks of Great Realignment Years, which occur when the lunar and solar positions actually realign in the sky, rather than just using a counting scheme. So far, the first of these two day-year patterns seems to be much more significant. I know this is getting confusing, so hopefully these notes will help keep it all straight.
  18. The exact scheme has not yet been determined. There are two possibilities, that the NEW YEAR'S year for our current Great Year was the year SUN 1799 or in SAT 1805. Because EASTER is the first SUNDAY year after the 15th year (SUN 1813 or SAT 1819), it turns out the in either case EASTER was the year SUN 1820. Before we get too excited about 1805, the birth year of Joseph Smith perhaps being NEW YEAR's year, I think that might well just be a chance coincidence. All my research suggests that the Prophet Joseph is one of the seven chief angels, along with Adam, Noah, Enoch, Moses, etc. His birth year being holy on this calendar would make more sense to me if the birth dates of the other angels were also. Thus it is the patterns which are important, to have two or three witnesses. None of my papers speak of any holy date that does not fit a pattern of at least three witnesses. On the other hand, his birth does make an excellent marker for the beginning of this age. According to this correlation, the last great year began in the year SUN 1449, which turns out the be the year the first printing press was produced. That is also an excellent marker. And the previous great year began in TUE 1066 when William the Conqueror began to rule England after the Battle of Hastings. And an earlier great year would have begun in THU 1460 BC, just two years after the Exodus. So these Great Years do seem to correlate to major milestones in history.
  19. Pratt, John P., "Enoch Calendar: Another Witness of the Restoration" Meridian Magazine (5 Aug 2002), Section 1.1.
  20. See for example, Some Trust in Chariots edited by Barry Thiering and Edgar Castle (New York: Popular Library, 1972) written in response to The Chariots of the Gods?, and Gods From Outer Space by Eric von Daniken, Gods and Spacemen in Ancient Israel by W. Raymond Drake, The Bible and Flying Saucers by Barry Downing, and The Spaceships of Ezekiel by Josef Blumrich.
  21. Pratt, John P., "The Planets Testify of the Creator" Meridian Magazine (14 Apr 2004). A new unit of time, the merc of 117 days, was introduced as a unit of time which, along with the Sacred Round of 260 days, appear to be the units in which all of the planets periods were designed to be measured.