The thesis researches the development of the Calendrical Aspects of the Passover within Christianity
of the first three centuries AD. It presents the different Calendrical systems, their reason why
different Calendrical systems developed and which of the systems had an effect on the development
of the Calendrical Aspect of the Passover.
The Passover consist out of different liturgical elements, which portrays into six different aspects.
The Calendrical Aspect is one of these aspects. Because it consists out of Liturgical Elements,
development could be analysed and researched as mimetically or etiologically based development.
In general there are two main foundations on which the development is based, namely the Law or
Old Testament and the New Testament, specifically the chronology of Jesus' crucifixion. The
development can generally be traced within the parameters of the different groups' view and
authority they granted to these two bases.
Christianity developed within a specific era, within a specific sociological environment. The most
important basis which is taken into consideration is its origin from Judaism and Jewish background.
Christianity mainly developed from the Enochite Judaism and was vehemently opposed by the
Hasmonite Judaism. These two opposing forces evolved into two perpetual conflicting parties,
namely the Rabbinic Judaism and the developing Christianity. The different groups' calculation of
the Passover Calendrical Aspects was multifariously linked to their relationship towards this
The Passover actually consist out of two discernable feasts, namely the Pascha and the Feast of the
Unleavened Bread. These two combined feasts originated as an eight day feast. The Feast of the
First Fruit is a separate feast, independent from the Passover, but connected through its Calendrical
Aspects. It serves as an important clue in the analysis of the development of the Passover's
Calendrical Aspects, but does not form part of the Passover.
Although traces of the Passover during the first two centuries could be detected, the controversy
regarding the calculation of the Passover generally developed during the second half of the second
century AD. It is called the Quartadecima Controversy. The controversy is portrayed as consisting
out of three stages, but its aftermath lasted throughout the third century AD. Within this controversy
two main groups aroused, namely the Quartadecimans and the Anti-Quartadecimans. The
Quartadecimans generally calculated the commencement of the Passover on 14 Abib. The Anti-
Quartadecimans used the 14th Abib as beacon from which to calculate the Passover, but celebrated it
on the weekend or second weekend after 14 Abib. Within these two groups, a variety of streams
developed with various ways of calculating the commencement and duration of Passover. Due to
the development of the two groups and various streams within them, one cannot claim an authentic
or normative calculation of the Passover date and duration thereof.