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Another Sabbath Day in Acts 20:7

275         Traditionally Acts 20:7 is translated, "And upon the first day of the week ...", and it is used to bolster the Sunday worship argument.  However, like all the other "first day" texts, this one also has been mistranslated:
276         Acts 20:7 correctly reads:

        And on the first of the Sabbaths, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and he continued his speech until midnight.
277         In the Greek the underlined words are .  The Greek word   means "one" in Greek.  Sometimes it means "first," but usually it means "one," or simply "one" in the sense of our indefinite article "a."  Where the context makes it clear that the "first Sabbath" after Passover is meant, then the translation of "first" would be proper.  Otherwise "one," or "a" Sabbath day would be the proper translation.
278         The the translation "first" is the more probable one in Acts 20:7, where the Greek is .  It means, "And on the one of the Sabbaths."  The presence of the definite article shows that "the first" is the proper rendering, or if it is generic, then it would be any sabbath in general.  But the immediate context of Passover and Lev. 23:15 make this very unlikely.
279         That meeting was on the Sabbath Day. There is futher proof of this.  The ‘first of the Sabbaths,’ is the first Sabbath after the Passover, that is the first weekly Sabbath after the Pesach. Furthermore, the likely year for this journey of Paul to Jerusalem was 57 c.e. (see 290), for which we can compute the week day of Passover.
280         In that year the 15th of Aviv [Nisan] fell on the Sabbath (see figure), and the 16th of Aviv fell on the first day of the week (following the Sabbath).  So the first of the Sabbaths after Passover fell on the 22nd day of Aviv, and it marked the 7th day in the 50 day count to Shavuot (Pentecost). Acts 20:6 spells it out,
‘We sailed away in the midst of  the days of unleavend bread.’

280         The ‘days of unleavend bread’ were the 15th to the 21st,, being the seven days of the Passover feast  that year, since there was an Adar II, the pre-ceeding month having 30 days, the first seder would be on the 14th, not the 16th.  Hence they sailed on the 16th of Aviv, but Luke implies that the trip took 5 days in vs. 6, viz. 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th days of Aviv, or by the common day, the 16th before sunrise =1 day, 16th=2, 17th=2, 18th =4, 19th=5.   On the 21st of Aviv was the last day of Pesach, when they would have rested and had an holy convocation, or if in doubt also on the 20th.  And on the 22nd day of Aviv was the ‘first of the Sabbaths,’ when they met in Acts 20:7.
281         There is a confusing matter at the end of vs. 6 in the English text, ‘where we stayed seven days,’ but which should be rendered with the Majority text, reversing the accents on ‘ou’ as ‘we did not rub through seven days,’ meaning that they did not use up all the seven days of unleavened bread before thay arrived at Troas.
282         If this explanation is not correct, as I believe it is, then we will be forced to render the passage, ‘On one of the Sabbaths,’ leaving out the def. article ‘the’ as being generic in Greek.  In that case it could be even the second or third Sabbath after Passover.
283         Finally, Shavout that year did land on Sunday, and the Sadducees and Pharisees counting of the Sabbaths and days to Shavuot coincided, but let us not think that the Sadducees were correct in always placing Pentecost on Sunday.  For Shavuot was 50 days after the Exodus, and marks the anniversary of the giving of the Law (which was on Sivan 6, the Sabbath day), and the Sadducees would have that period as variable.  The count to Shavuot properly begins on the day after the Passover rest day, the Sabbath of Lev. 23:11.
284         John Calvin, the reformer, agrees with us that Acts 20:7 speaks of the Sabbath day;  first he translates it "on one day of the Sabbaths," and then he comments,

        [This] means either the first day of the week, the day after the sabbath, or one particular sabbath [emphasis mine], and the latter would seem to me more likely for this reason, that according to custom that day was most suitable for holding a meeting (Calvin's Commentaries, Acts 20:7).
285         Calvin continues,
        For to what end is there mentioned of the Sabbath, save only that he may note the opportunity and choice of the time?  Also, it is a likely matter that Paul waited for the Sabbath, that the day before his departure he might the more easily gather all the disciples into one place (ibid).
286         In his commentary on John 20:1, he comments,
        On the first day of the week; or literally, on the first day of the Sabbaths.  The Evangelists do not relate when or how Christ rose; for it was enough for them to explain at what time, and to what persons, His Resurrection was made known. John therefore says, that Mary came on the first day of the Sabbaths.  Literally the words may be rendered, on one (mia) day of the Sabbaths; but it is customary with the Hebrews to use the word () one, instead of first because in reckoning we begin with one.
287         Isn't that incredible!  The patron saint of half the Protestant world let the cat out of the bag 500 years ago.
288         So, the much celebrated meeting on Sunday in Acts 20:7, is but an elaborate deception, which does not match the facts of Greek or Astronomy!  Not only that, but it is clear that the meeting was begun on the Sabbath day, probably at the regular time, and ran over into the first day of the week only because Paul had so much to say.
289         The days of unleavened bread mentioned in the text are the seven days in Luke's comment, "we did not consume seven days" (), vs. 6, which is mistranslated, "where we stayed seven days," and is a bit too liesurely to accomdate vs. 16, "for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost."
End Notes

290         Christ rose in 34 c.e., to this add 3 years until the conversion of Saul (37 c.e.), and then 3 more in Arabia (to 40 c.e.), plus 14 years to the Jerusalem council.  This brings us to 54 c.e.  His third journey was after the council (54 c.e. - 57 c.e.).  He spent three years in Ephesus (54, 55, 56) and then he went to Macedonia, Achaia, and Corinth, where he stayed three months.  Early in 57 (see Fig. 25) he returned through Troas to Jerusalem.
290.1        Relevant Astronomical Data:

            The Year is  4197 A.M. (Anno Mundi: Year 1 = 4140 B.C.E.).

       Passover           4/ 9/  57 SAB         Julday: 1741976
       Last High Sabbath  4/15/  57 FRI         Julday: 1741982
       Pentecost          5/29/  57 SUN         Julday: 1742026
       Trumpets           9/20/  57 TUE         Julday: 1742140
       Day of Atonement   9/29/  57 THR         Julday: 1742149
       Tabernacles       10/ 4/  57 TUE         Julday: 1742154
       Last High Sabbath 10/11/  57 TUE         Julday: 1742161

   * Feast Days begin on preceeding day at sunset.  For example if the
     feast is listed as 4/1, then the feast high sabbath begins on 3/31
     at sunset and ends on 4/1 at sunset.

     Spring Equinox: 3/22/  57  11h:50m

     Fall Equinox: 9/24/  57  22h:0m

                         All the New Moons of the Year

1. AVIV (Nisan)          FRI  3/25/  57          29 days Jul: 1741961.16
2. ZIV (Iyyar)           SAB  4/23/  57          30 days Jul: 1741990.17
3. Sivan                 MON  5/23/  57          30 days Jul: 1742020.19
4. Shoshana              WED  6/22/  57          30 days Jul: 1742050.20
5. Av                    FRI  7/22/  57          29 days Jul: 1742080.20
6. Elul                  SAB  8/20/  57          30 days Jul: 1742109.18
7. ETHANIM (Tishri)      MON  9/19/  57          29 days Jul: 1742139.15
8. BUL (Marchesvan)      TUE 10/18/  57          29 days Jul: 1742168.13
9. Kislev                WED 11/16/  57          30 days Jul: 1742197.11
10. Tebeth               FRI 12/16/  57          29 days Jul: 1742227.11
11. Shebat               SAB  1/14/  58          29 days Jul: 1742256.12
12. Adar                 SUN  2/12/  58          30 days Jul: 1742285.14

     * Months begin at sunset on the day listed (not the day before)
     * Months in capital letters are Pre-exilic biblical names
     * All other month names are post exilic Hebrew-Babylonian
     * I have taken the liberty to replace 'Tammuz' with 'Shoshana'
     * since 'Tammuz,' (the the son of Semiramis, who styled herself
     * the 'Queen of Heaven,') should not by honoured by a month name.

                 Astronomical Circumstances of Each New Moon

1. AVIV (Nisan)     AL: 19.6 AV: 19.5 AN:  6.1 D: 13.4 PR: -2.0
2. ZIV (Iyyar)      AL: 12.2 AV: 12.2 AN:  8.6 D:  3.6 PR: <7
3. Sivan            AL: 15.9 AV: 14.6 AN:  7.3 D:  7.3 PR: <7
4. Shoshana         AL: 21.0 AV: 14.8 AN:  6.7 D:  8.1 PR: -4.0
5. Av               AL: 27.3 AV: 14.0 AN:  2.5 D: 11.5 PR: -0.9 AMBpr
6. Elul             AL: 22.0 AV:  7.9 AN:  6.0 D:  1.9 PR: -9.5 AMB
7. ETHANIM (Tishri) AL: 29.3 AV: 12.1 AN:  1.1 D: 11.0 PR: -2.8
8. BUL (Marchesvan) AL: 23.4 AV: 11.2 AN:  5.1 D:  6.1 PR: -7.9
9. Kislev           AL: 16.9 AV: 10.8 AN:  7.0 D:  3.8 PR: <7
10. Tebeth          AL: 24.7 AV: 21.0 AN:  4.2 D: 16.8 PR: -1.0
11. Shebat          AL: 18.2 AV: 17.9 AN:  6.6 D: 11.3 PR: <7
12. Adar            AL: 12.3 AV: 12.1 AN:  8.6 D:  3.5 PR: S>M

      * AL = Arc of Light = Angular distance between sun and moon
      * AV = Arc of Vision  = Difference between sun and moon altitude
      * AN = Arc Needed for Visibility (altitude difference)
      * D = AV-AN (AV over or under that needed).
      * AMB = Ambiguous (New Moon uncertain when D<2.0 degrees.
      * PR = notes on circumstances of previous day

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