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Which New Year do You Keep?

January begins a new year on the Gregorian calendar. But is it really the beginning of a new year in God's eyes? Do you realize that there is still three months left in God's year?
Let's refresh our memory on the topic "calendar."
New Standard Encyclopedia by Funk and Wagnalls 1948 Edition, Vo. V, page 60:
Calendar: (from calends), the mode of adjusting the narural divisions of time with respect to each other forthe purpose of civil life, or an almanac or table of the month, days and seasons, or of special facts. The earliest standard interval was the day, marked out by the alternation of light and darkness and determined by the rotation of the earth on its axis. For longer periods, the lunar month, from new moon to new moon, an interval of about 29.5 days, was the standard next fixed upon and finallly the recurrence of the seasons suggested the year. the duration of the year was deremined in various ways by the nations of antiquity, by observing the regular return positions in constellations; by checking the positions of the sun in relation to the earth and the planets and so on. A great difficulty arose when the lunar month became a subdivision of the solar year. Twelve lunar months, giving a year of 354 days, were taken as a near approach to a course of the seasons. In the process of time, however, it was discovered that this rough approximation to the true value of a year the seasons did not correspond to the same months and it was necessart in order to prevent them gradually making the round of the whole year, to make some adjustments. For this purpose the Jews and the Greeks employed much the same expedients, they intercalated a month from time to time, the former seven times in a cycle of nineteen years, the latter three times in a cycle of eight."
Let's look at the different times the new year has been kept.
New Standard Encyclopedia, 1948 Edition, Vol. V., page 61:
The earliest Roman Calendar, possibly Etruscan, but attributed to Romulus, is supposed to have been based upon a year of ten months of 304 days. Like all lunar calendars, this had to be adjusted by inercalation to correct the difference between lunar and solar years. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar, with the help of Alexandrian astronomer Sesogines, undertook a thorough reform of the calendar, which, with its improvements by Augustus in 4 A.D. was adopted by most civilized nations till the accumulation of error necessistated the establishment of the Gregorian calendar.
Encyclopedia Americana, 1949 Edition, page 187, under the title "New Year's Day":
First day of the year. The ancient Attic year began with the new moon on March 1. The beginning of the Roman year was changed by Julius Caesar to January 1. In England, the Anglo-Saxon year began with December 25; this was altered at the conquest to January 1. In the Middle Ages the Christian year began generally on March 25 until the adoption by Catholic nations of the Gregorian calendar of 1582, by England, not till 1752, when January became New Year's Day. New Year's Day is not a festival of the Christian Church, but as the feast of the Circumcision of Christ it is of high rank in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.
New Standard Encyclopedia, 1948 Edition, Vol. V. page 63. The Chinese calendar has a year composed of twelve months, each having 29-30 days, an intercalary month being added every third year. New Year falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 19, or on the first moon after the sun enters Aquarius.
Page 64 -- The Mohammedan calendar is the calendar generally used in almost all Mohammedan countries, for the purpose of calculation time which is done by reckoning it as starting from July 16, A.D. 622, the day following <OHAMMED'S BLOCKQUOTE
According to the Encyclopedia Americana page 193 -- "the Mohammedan calendar months and the seasons do not correspond and the first of the year may fall at any time during the solar year."
Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 5 C-DH:
The Hebrew Calendar: Fixing Rosh Ha-Shanah (New Year's Day). The year begins on Tishri 1, which is rarely the first day of the molad, as there are four obstacles or considerations, called dehiyyots, fixing the first day of the month (rosh hodesh). Each dehiyyah defers Rosh Hoa-Shanah by a day and combined dehiyyot may cause a postponement of two days.
According to Encyclopedia Judaica,
The Hebrew calendar is lunisolar, the month reckoned according to the moon and the years according to the sun. The cycle of 12 lunar months must therefore be adjusted to the solar yaer, because although the Jewish festivals are fixed according to dates in the month, they must also be specific (agricultural) seasons of the year, which depend on the tropical solar year. In Temple time intercalation of months was decided upon in the individual years according to agricultural conditions.
When does God say the new year begins? "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Exo. 12:2). "This day came ye out in the month Abib" (Exo. 13:10). "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinanc (Unleavened Bread) in his season from year to year" (Exo. 13:10). When following God's Word, we know that we are to keep His time, not the time that has been set by man.
The Church of God, In Truth keeps the new year according to Biblical principals!! We use the sun and the moon according to their movements to find the first day of the first month. The Holy Days of God are set by God according to the seasons (set times). Abib (the first month) means green ears! God shows us that by using the new moon nearest the spring equinox (if Passover, the 14th is on or after the equinox) we will keep all the Holy Days of the year in their proper set time.
Remember, God's year 1997 is not over on January 1, 1998!! There are still three months left before God's New Year begins--March 28, 1998!
James Russell

© Church of God, In Truth
Used with permission.

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