Language and History English two-minute tales, music and mental agility puzzles
1
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
Bede and the Paschal Controversy (1) : The earliest Christians longed to celebrate the resurrection together at Passover, but that was not as easy as it sounds.
Bede and the Paschal Controversy
Part one

Based on ‘A History of the English Church and People’, by St Bede of Jarrow (early 8th century), and the documents of the First Council of Nicæa (AD 325).

To keep Easter together during the Biblical festival of Passover was the shared dream of all the earliest Christian churches. But everyone seemed to have questions about how and when to celebrate the most important feast of the year, and no one seemed to have answers.

IN 325, bishops from around the world gathered at Nicaea near Constantinople, and one of the topics discussed was Easter. Christ died and rose again at Passover, the week-long Jewish festival at the first full moon of Spring, and Christians had always wanted to celebrate Easter at that time each year.

But no astronomer could determine the northern vernal equinox or a full moon with precision, and Jewish calendars were an unsatisfactory clutter of leaps and intercalary months.

Most churches kept Easter on a Sunday, the historical day of resurrection – if that was the first day of Passover, out of respect for the crucifixion they waited another week – but not everyone thought this important.*

The Nicene Council confirmed the tradition of a Sunday in Passover, and forbade routinely pegging the date to whatever the synagogue did; but nothing more was said about determining Passover itself. With astronomy in its infancy, and competing mathematical solutions already circulating, there was still plenty of work ahead.

* Passover may begin on any day of the week. The fact that Jesus was crucified on a Friday meant that his resurrection ‘on the third day’ (counting the day of crucifixion as the first) came sometime in the very early hours of Sunday, known even now in Greek as “Kiriaki”, the Lord’s Day, or in Russian as “Voskresen’ye”, Day of Resurrection.

Based on ‘A History of the English Church and People’, by St Bede of Jarrow (early 8th century), and the documents of the First Council of Nicæa (AD 325).

More like this

Modern History (130) Lives of the Saints (94) The Calendar (1) Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (1) History (393)

Picture: © Darren Rosson, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
The moon over Maker Heights near Cremyll, Cornwall. To the right is the tower of the parish church of St Julian in the village of Maker, built in the 15th century.

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Railway enthusiast, music lover, and the man who gave us stereo sound.
Two frantic parents implore St Nicholas’s help in rescuing their baby boy.
The mild-mannered, artistic monk was nevertheless a founding father of the English nation.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
However obscure a man may apparently be, his example to others inevitably shapes the future of his country.
Lost for seventeen centuries, caught up in a war, and used as a pedestal for a plant pot, this is the world’s oldest surviving song.
Jesus’s apostles receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the startling effects quickly draw a crowd.