逾越节：消失的真理4月 5, 2017
“We,” said he, “therfore, observe the genuine day ; neither adding thereto nor taking therefrom.
Figure 1. The Eastern Churches followed strictly the teaching of Jesus Christ, as shown in the “Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History”2)
…But a difference had arisen between East and West. In Asia the all-important date was the 14th Nisan, … and then celebrate the Eucharist. In the West, however, the fast was maintained until the Sunday following the 14th Nisan and then only was the paschal Eucharist celebrated.
Figure 2. The differing practices of the Eastern and Western Churches, as recorded in the book “A History of the Early Church to A.D. 500″3)
In 155 Polycarp argued the question with Pope Anicetus, but as neither could persuade the other they agreed to differ.
Figure 3. The evidence of the first controversy between the Eastern and Western Churches, recorded in the book “A History of the Early Church to A.D. 500″4)
All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. Moreover, I, Polycrates, who am the least of all of you, according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have followed. For there ware seven, my relatives bishops, and I am the eighth; and my relatives always observed the day when the people (i. e. the Jews) threw away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, am now sixty-five years in the Lord, who having conferred with the brethren throughout the world, and having studied the whole of the sacred Scriptures, am not at all alarmed at those things with which I am threatened, to intimidate me. For they who are greater I, have said, ‘we ought to obey God rather than men’”
Figure 4. Bishop Polycrates’ letter to Bishop Victor regarding the keeping of the Passover at the correct time, as shown in the “Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History”5)
Upon this, Victor, the bishop of the church of Rome, forthwith endeavoured to cut off the churches of all Asia, together with the neighbouring churches, as heterodox, from the common unity. And he publishes abroad by letters, and proclaims, that all the brethren there are wholly excommunicated. But this was not the opinion of all the bishops.
Figure 5. Bishop Victor’s attempt to excommunicate churches which kept the Passover, in “Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History”6)
A more important stage of the controversy took place in 197 at Rome. There thr Pope Victor, a men of much more dominating temper than Anicetus, determined to put a stop to all confusion and to compel the whole Church to accept the Dominical rule, i.e. observe the feast on the Sunday. Conferences were held at various places in East and West, with the result that the Dominical rule was accepted every where except in Asia. Vitor thereupon pursued his advantage and excommunicated the recalcitrant churches. This, however, raised a storm of protest.
Figure 6. Recordings of the Dominical Rule and further controversy on keeping the Passover in the book “A History of the Early Church to A.D. 500″7)
The Eastern and Western segments of the Church could not arrive at any agreement until the Council of Nicaea in 325, when the viewpoint of the Western Church was adopted.
Figure 7. The Council of Nicaea decided in favour of the Western Church, recorded in “Christianity Through the Centuries”8)
At the Council of Nicea, in 325, Church authorities agreed to abolish the Divine appointed festival of Passover and replace in with what Constantine called “the more legitimate feastival of Easter”.
Figure 8. Passover was officially abolished at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325, recorded in “Faith of the Ages: The Hebraic Roots of the Christian Faith”9)