Tag Archives: passion

The Adamic Calendar and the Life of Christ

A brief portrayal of the Adamic calendar especially as it relates to the birth and resurrection of Christ.

The Adamic calendar system was created from data found in the Old and New Testaments. These contain detailed genealogies that include lifespans. From these lifespans, religious institutions have calculated not only the origin of human history, but theoretically can pinpoint the creation of the earth.

Sometimes this system is known by its Latin name, Anno Mundi or AM in shortened form.

The most well known genealogical lists are found in the Books of Genesis, Matthew, and Luke. This is where the majority of calculations are made from.

A number of articles on this website have been dedicated to tracing the development of the western calendar system. The Adamic is one of the many ancient calendars used, but it wasn’t one of the best systems that existed. Neither can it be accurately relied upon, but since it was historically used, it must be investigated further.

This calendar method has enjoyed cyclical popularity. It never became a universal standard. It has been found in fourth, seventh, twelfth, and 16th century pieces of literature, especially among religious institutions or writers. The 16th century introduced a renaissance of the concept. This can be traced to James Ussher and his book, Annalium pars postierior.

The modern religious Jewish community still uses a form of the Adamic calendar albeit without the Christian symbols.

Roger Pearse has covered the Adamic calendar with his article: Does Eusebius Give a Date for the Creation in his Chronicle. Here he accurately reveals misinformation on the subject, including the coverage found at Wikipedia, and proceeds to correct the ancient Church record. Eusebius, and many early Church authorities, as Pearse substantiates, saw the genealogies as the beginnings of human history, not the history of the earth itself.

Pearse goes into great detail to win his case, but here are some additional thoughts. These ideas are from a slightly different angle. The Adamic calendar does not count so much to me in when the earth was created, but in aiding to identify when Christ was born or crucified.

The third century Christian chronographer, Julius Africanus, understood almost all the calendars in use during his time and explained how to convert them into Attican expressions. He believed the Attican Greek Olympiad calendar to be the most universal of all of them. But he, along with others also used the Adamic calendar too. He wrote:

“The period, then, to the advent of the Lord from Adam and the creation is 5531 years.”1

Now this date has no meaning unless it is relevant to some specific period of measurable time. Africanus gave the Battle of Actium as his reference point:

“The date of which event is the 11th year of the monarchy and empire of the Romans, and the 4th year of the 187th Olympiad. Altogether, from Adam 5472 years are reckoned.”2

Now to reconcile the Olympiad with the Adamic calendar takes some basic math. The Battle of Actium occurred on the 4th year of the 187th Olympiad according to Africanus. This falls on 29 BC. This is two years off the normal 31 BC date given for what was considered the actual date of battle but still we can use this for measurement. Now if basic math is applied, the outcome is 30 AD that Christ was crucified on.3 . The term used here advent is confusing, and I am assuming from his dating that it does not refer to His birth, but resurrection. This calculation becomes more important in understanding a Christian Arabic parchment below.

The Christian Arabic community in the 12th century carried on a similar tradition to that of Africanus. One manuscript reads:

“And from Alexander, son of Philip the Greek until the incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ–let there be adoration of the recollection of Him–three hundred and fifty years. And from our Lord the Christ–Let there be adoration at the recollection of Him–to this year, which is the intended era, a thousand one hundred and fifty-five years. And what is past of the years of the world to the end of this year are six thousand six hundred and eighty-three years. And from Adam until our Lord the Christ five thousand five hundred years.”4

The dates were set at the death of Alexander the Great and the passion of Christ, not at the beginning of the reign as the Romans did. The era of Alexander began at 323 BC. Add 350 to this and this results in 27 AD. This was the Arabic Christian’s supposed death and resurrection of Christ. But the Adamic calculation was perplexing “And from Adam until our Lord the Christ five thousand five hundred years”. It doesn’t use the terms ‘advent’ or ‘incarnation’ here, and it is 31 years shorter than Africanus’ account. The neglect of these terms and the significance of 31, which likely reflects the age of Christ, suggests a number of outcomes.

  • The author utilized the same Adamic calendar as Africanus, then the birth date of Christ would be 2 BC.

  • Or, the author intended to subtract 31 from the 27 AD calculation from the era of Alexander, then it would be 4 BC.

  • It also could be argued that the author had drawn from different traditions

The Adamic system had its detractors such as the Venerable Bede. He had a new computational system for the age of the earth and was accused of heresy.5 When he first wrote De Temporibus Liber, in AD 703 he was well aware of the sensitivities and sneaks in his position, “. . .Christ was born, having completed from Adam 3,952 years. Now there is another date of 5199”6; the 3,952 being his position and 5199 the traditional one.

It also should be noted that the 8th century accepted date of Christ’s birth being 5199 years after the creation of the earth, is not consistent with Africanus’ 5531 reckoning. The 5199 was based on Eusebius’ calculations which became the entrenched position of the Church. Bede was well aware of this fact.

Bede’s AM 3,952 calculation was 1247 years different that Eusebius’. He followed the Hebrew Masoretic rather than the Greek Septuagint Bible on the ages of the Patriarchs for his hypothesis.7 The difference between the Hebrew and the Greek adds up to 1376 years according to William Whitaker,8 which makes this a reasonable, but not exact certainty.

22 years later, Bede was more liberal in the use of his own dating. He still recognized the historic value in the Adamic system, but its importance is devalued going forward after the time of Christ.

In reference to time before Christ, the Adamic is still recognized. This can be found in De Temporum Ratione where he paralleled both systems in this writing. In it he wrote headers such as “A.M. Hebr. 3352. Sept. 4700”9, to describe a date in antiquity. The first date referring to the Hebrew tradition and the second one, abbreviated “Sept.” for the Greek Septuagint dates.

His calendar utilized the birth-year of Christ as being the dividing point. Any time recorded after the birth of Christ he still used the Hebrew system but abandoned the Septuagint dating one altogether. In the place of the Septuagint he used Chr. instead. For example, the year of Christ’s birth is marked as, “A.M. 3952. Chr. 1.””10

It is interesting that Bede begins the birth of Christ with the Chr. symbol. He does not use the AD one. It demonstrates that Dionysius Exiguus reckoning of Easter system, which eventually evolved into the AD calendar, had not not evolved or taken hold internationally yet. Chr. as Bede called it, may have been one of the precursors of the AD system becoming entrenched some 100 years later.

Also important to many calendar specialists, is the fact that he did not start with a zero date, but with the number one.

This is a general introduction to the Adamic Calendar system. There is much more to this topic than documented here. The research so far gives some clues to the precise birth year of Christ, but nothing substantial.

Aquinas on Tongues: I Cor. 14:1-4

Aquinas’ Lecture on I Corinthians 14:1 – 4 translated into English.

Translated from the Latin text: Reportationes 088 R1C cp 14 Pg. 387 lc1

I Corinthians 14: 1 – 4

IC1. The excellency of charity of which has been posited against another gift. This apostle consequently compares a different gift to another one, showing the excellency of prophecy to the gift of tongues. In regards to this he does two things. First he relates the excellence of prophecy to the gift of tongues. Secondly, as to how one should go about to use the gift of tongues and of prophecy.

As it says, “What is it then, brothers” etc. With respect to the first he does two things, first he shows that the gift of prophecy is more distinguished than the gift of tongues, with the reasoning supposed in the direction of the unbeliever, the second in direction of the believer. Thereupon “My brothers etc.” The first portion is being divided into two, he first demonstrates that the gift of prophecy is more distinguished from the gift of tongues, in reference to their use in the exhortation and proclamation, with the second in reference to the use of tongues which ought to be utilized in prayer, for there is two uses of the tongue.

As it says, “Therefore he prays etc.” With respect to the first, he does two things, namely he sets out the first, through which he connects it to the following, and this is what he says, it was written that charity excels over all the gifts, if it is so, “follow after” as one may call it with strength, “charity”, that the bond is pleasant and sweet.1 “Before all things charity etc.,” (I Peter 4:8) (“Above all these things have charity,” Colossians 3:14).2

Secondly he outlines the above idea through which he himself continues to follow and this is what he says “Be passionate, etc.”,3 although charity is to be the greatest among all the gifts still the others are not supposed to be held in contempt but “Be passionate” that is you should fervently love the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.“Who is it that would hurt you etc.,” (I Peter 3:13), clearly then passionateness could be taken up sometimes to fervent goodwill, sometimes to hatred, nevertheless it is not equivocation. Indeed it proceeds one from the other. For he describes the fervent love of some thing that is to be zealous and passionate. As well it happens that this love thing is so to be fervently singled out by someone that he does not share [it] but he wants it alone and singularly for himself. And this zeal which according to some is intense love is not an allowing fellowship in love. Yet this happens in the spiritual4 , [zeal and passion] most perfectly can be shared by many people, however only in those which cannot be shared by the many, hence this kind of zeal that does not allow participation in love is not with charity, but only in the physical things. It generates in some people that if someone else possesses that which he himself has zeal for, he would be sad. Hurtful desire is aroused from this, which is envy, just as if I love worth or riches, I am sad that another possesses these things, whence again I envy him. And so it is well-known that envy grows from zeal. Therefore, when it is being said, “be passionate for the spiritual [gifts]” is not to be understood as envy, because the spiritual [gifts] are able to be had by the many, but it says,“be passionate,” that it should lead in towards God who ought to be fervently loved.

And because among the spiritual [gifts] is a kind of rank, for this reason prophecy exceeds the gift of tongues. For that reason he says, “but rather you should prophecy.” As if he was to say, “among the spiritual [gifts] be passionate for the gift of prophecy.” “Do not quench the spirit, refuse to scorn prophecy,” (I Thess. 5:19). Three things must be noted of the entire chapter for the purpose of explanation, namely what is the nature of prophecy, in how many ways is prophecy being mentioned in the holy Scripture and what is it to speak in tongues. In regard to the first it ought to be understood what prophecy is said to be, as if seeing from a distance and according to some it is said to be a for faris5 , but it is better to be defined from pharos6 which is to see. Hence it is being read in I Samuel 9:9 that “what is now being called a prophet was formerly called a seer”. Hence the sight of those things which are far off whether they would be future events or beyond our reason, it is called prophecy.

Prophecy is therefore a vision or manifestation of future events or of exceeding the human intellect. Moreover for this kind of vision, four [things] are to be required. For while our knowledge is through the physical body and perceptions of things outside the physical from what is learned from the senses, first it is to be examined that it is to be forming the physical representations of things that are being shown by a mental picture. For Dionysius7 says that it is impossible in any other way for the divine ray to shine in us, unless having been enveloped by the variety of sacred coverings.8

The second thing to be examined is an intellectual light, they are being shown and are about to become aware of with those things that [are] above our natural knowledge. Him to whom these such kinds of likenesses are being shown is not being called a prophet but rather a dreamer, such as Pharaoh, who although he saw ears of grain9 and cows which were indicative about certain things of the future which nevertheless he did not understand, in fact [it was] Joseph who interpreted. It is also similar with Nebuchadnezzar who saw an image, and he did not understand, subsequently he is not called a prophet, but Daniel, for this reason it is said, “for there is need in understanding a vision,” (Daniel 10:1).

The third thing that is being examined is the courage for the purpose of making known that which is being revealed. For God reveals to him in order that it be announced to others. “Behold I have put my words in the mouth,” (Jer 1:9).

The fourth is the work of miracles which is for the verification of the prophet. For unless they do something that exceeds the work of nature, then he would not be credible in those very things which transcends natural knowledge. Following these ways of prophecy, some are being named in the different nuances of a prophet. Sometimes in fact some are being called a prophet who has all four referred to, namely when he sees a pictorial [vision] and has understanding concerning these things and boldly proclaims to others and miracles are being displayed, and concerning this it is being said, “if there be among you a prophet, etc.,” (Numbers 12:6). For sometimes a prophet is being defined [as] he who only has pictorial visions, is still sometimes called a prophet, but nevertheless improper and very remote, he who has the discerning light for the purpose of explaining even pictorial visions whether to himself or what has happened to another or for explaining the sayings of prophets or the writings of the apostles.

And thus a prophet is called anyone who discerns the writings of the doctors, because they had been interpreted in the same spirit which they had been edited. And so they can say David and Salomon to be called prophets, inasmuch they possess the understanding light for clarity and exactly have the ability to figure it all out. For David’s vision was only understanding. Someone is even called a prophet only from that which he proclaims the words of the prophets, whether explaining, or singing in the Church, and this [was] the way (I Sam 19:24) that Saul was among the prophets, that is, among the ones singing the words of the prophets. Some likewise are to be called a prophet because of the working of miracles. The following text (Ecclesiasticus 48:14) that “after having died, Elijah’s body prophesied,” that is, did a miracle. What this Apostle then says throughout the whole chapter, it must be understood from the second way. Namely that one is being said to prophecy, who through the light of divine understanding explains his own visions and others who made them. According to this it will be made plain, what is being said here about prophecy. In regard to the second it has been known that because there were few in the primitive Church to whom was intent to preach the faith of Christ throughout the world, for that reason the Lord, in order that they were to be able to most suitably and better than ever announce the word of God, He gave them the gift of tongues, by whom they were to proclaim to everyone, not these persons speaking in one language while they were being understood by everyone, as some are saying, but according to the Epistle that, on the contrary they were speaking all in the diverse languages of the nations. From which place the Apostle says, “I give thanks to God that I speak more than you all,” and it is being said, “they were speaking in various languages, etc.” (Acts 2:4) and many more had obtained this gift from God in the early Church, but in Corinth because they were curious, they were more cheerfully wanting this gift than the gift of prophecy. Because it is now being said here to speak in a tongue, the Apostle means10 in an unknown language, and not having these things explained11 , as if he was to speak in the German tongue to some Gallic [person] and the result that it is not explained, this is speaking in a tongue. From whence all speech having not been understood nor explained, no matter what it is, is specifically speaking in a tongue.

Concerning this which has been viewed, let us draw near then to the exposition of the Epistle, which is clear. He then does two things about this. First he demonstrates that the gift of prophecy is more excellent than the gift of tongues. Secondly he excludes a certain objection, where it says, “and I wish you [all to speak in tongues] etc.” moreover he proves with two reckonings that the gift of prophecy exceeds the gift of tongues, the first of which let us begin by the relationship of God to the Church, and secondly by the relationship by man to the Church. The first reason is of such: that through which man does things, which they are not only to honour God but also for the betterment to the neighbours’ welfare than that which is only done to honour God. But prophecy is not only to honour God but but yet also for the betterment of the neighbours. However, that which is done by the gift of tongues is only to the honour of God. But he sets the middle of this reckoning, in reference to the first he says that whoever speaks in a tongue, subsequently only honours God. This is what he says about this, “whoever speaks in a tongue,” meaning unknown, “is not speaking to man,” that is to human understanding, “but to God,” that is only to the honour of God or “to God,” because God Himself alone understands. “the ear of a jealous God hears all things, etc.”12 (Wisdom 1:10) and that He does not speak to man, he adds, “for no one hears,” that is, he understands. As it is often being heard, that to not hear [is] the same as not understanding. “he that has ears with the ability to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9). Why would he be speaking then to God only? He adds that God Himself is speaking. From which place he says, “for the spirit of God speaks mysteries,”13 that is things which have been hidden. “For it is not you who speaks, etc., (Matthew 10:20) “No one knows that they are of the Spirit of God, etc.,”14

Secondly, he proves what he says that prophecy is for the honour of God and the benefit of neighbours. Whereby he says, “he who prophecies, etc.” that is he explains visions or Scriptures. “he is speaking to men,” that is, for the understanding of men, also this [reason] “for the building up of beginners,” and “the encouragement of those who are more mature”. “comfort the timid.”15 (I Thessalonians 5:14) “to speak and to exhort,” (Titus 2:15) and also for the consolation of the forsaken. Actually the building up relates to a spiritual inclination, because one originally begins the spiritual building there. “in whom you are also being built, etc.,” (Ephesians 2:22), Moreover the act of encouragement [is] to lead to good acts because if the inclination is good, then the act is good. “speak and exhort these things,” (Titus 2:15).

Certainly consolation leads to tolerance of evil. (Romans 15:4) Whatsoever things have been written, have been written for our learning. For the ones who are preaching introduce the Scripture to these three things. Secondly the reason is such: that what is useful only to the doer is less than that which is indeed beneficial to another. To take this further, the one who is speaking in tongues is useful only to him who is speaking. However, the one who prophesies benefits another, [igitur, etc..]16 He sets the commonality of this reason and firstly in reference to the first part of the middle, and this is what he says, “he who speaks in a tongue, himself [edifies], etc.”“My heart grew hot within me, etc.” (Psalms 38:4). Secondly in reference to the second part, and this is what he says, “for he who prophesies, the Church…” that is the faithful, “…are edified.” that is to be built up. “having been built upon the foundation of the Apostles and the prophets,” (Ephesians 2:20).■

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