The Festivals - a broad overview
Leviticus chapter 23
Christ in the OT
1. The two groupings of festivals
2. The festivals are Jewish
3. The three compulsory festivals
It may seem strange to devote a series of studies (and fairly lengthy ones at that!) to what could be considered to be an obscure passage in an equally obscure and neglected book of the OT. Indeed, in the RSV’s popular edition (I’m thinking of the Bible Society’s red hardcover version which comes with drawings to illustrate the text), the entire book of Leviticus is relegated to small type to convey to the reader that, if they want to follow the plot, the text can be safely ignored.
But Leviticus chapter 23 has a great deal to say to us about the times and seasons that God has decided upon and, through their fulfilment, to complete His work of restoration for His Creation through Jesus Christ.
In recent (and not so recent) years, there have been editions published (both small such as Slemming’s CLC edition and Conner’s large scale treatment published by Bible Temple Publishing) that have tried to convey the foreshadowing of this purpose through the Festivals (I shall try and use this last word with a capital when referring to the Festivals as whole and in small type when referring to either one or a handful of them). But each one has, I feel, either gone too far into the Jewish traditional celebration of the Festivals and tried to show the reader how Christ has fulfilled man’s addition to the legislation (a method that brings with it its own errors) or not gone far enough into the Jewish additions to help the reader understand some notable passages in the Old and New Testaments that can’t be interpreted accurately without such a discussion.
There’s certainly a balance here which needs to be achieved. Many years ago, I listened to a series of teaching tapes by Arnold Fructenbaum, a Messianic Jew, on the subject of the Festivals and saw how such a treatment could be overkilled. While the speaker brought home many points which would have otherwise been missed by the Gentile believer, the depth of detail tended to cloud the issue rather than illuminate it.
These studies are therefore aimed at providing the reader with a middle ground where Jewish tradition and interpretation is only mentioned as it helps us to understand passages which we would otherwise misunderstand or when I feel that they’re interesting enough to deserve mention - a consideration which is purely subjective, admittedly.
Passover is a festival, especially, where I have tried to get away from the large scale additions that have become a part of a lot of christian interpretation and I’ve used the Mishnah’s account of the order of the Passover meal to parallel the Last Supper of Christ and to show how this earliest of all the records ties in very precisely with that celebrated by Him. I seem to be the only believer who does this, however, but why that should be I can’t imagine. It seems to me to be the more logical to get back to the earliest record and to glean from this how much Jesus used, giving it new meaning but also taking the ceremonies to illuminate what was happening around Him on that final evening before the crucifixion (these notes are repeated in my Gospel of Matthew Commentary where I’ve also dealt with some other OT echoes and parallels in Jesus’ words and actions).
The following introductory points are not starting premises from which I’ve tried to interpret the Festivals, but was written after my first compilation of the notes and before the two major revisions which have left the texts as they stand today.
I noticed that there were certain conclusions that needed to be drawn but which I felt were out of place in the Afterword, so I decided to place them here from the outset so that, should the reader need a reason as to why I’m taking a particular line on one festival or another, they should already realise the general conclusions that were reached when I took a broad overview of the Festivals as a unit.
The Festivals - a broad overview
Before we begin by looking at the Festivals in detail, we need to stand back from their intricacies and take a broad and general overlook at what the festivals are called, their dates and relationship to one another. Leviticus chapter 23 - the starting point for any study - lays down the following list of annual and weekly festivals as being required of the people of Israel to celebrate:
A day of rest for the Israelites every seventh day, corresponding to our present Saturday - not Sunday - even though some have tried to move the sabbath command to the Sunday for their own agenda at ‘converting’ Judaism to Christianity and of asserting that all shops must be closed on such a day.
This is the only ‘weekly’ festival that was commanded here and, when we come to consider the Festivals from the viewpoint of giving us an overall picture of how God intends to bring all things created back under His control, this will not fit into the framework - only the annual Festivals do that.
Celebrated annually on the 14th day of the first month, roughly corresponding to our March/April.
3. Unleavened bread
Celebrated annually between the 15th and 21st of the first month but tied in to the celebration of the Passover so as to become virtually one and the same festival in later thought. As will be seen in the articles on the last two mentioned Festivals, there was some difference of opinion in first century Israel as to what dates were meant in the writings of Moses.
4. First fruits (of the barley harvest)
Celebrated annually on the day after the sabbath (of the Passover festival). Again, there was a general disagreement amongst the Sadducees and the Pharisees as to what this meant but I shall deal with this in a later article.
5. First fruits (of the wheat harvest) or Pentecost
Celebrated annually on the fiftieth day after the sabbath (of the Passover festival).
These last four annual festivals are joined to one another. Passover has a specific date as does Unleavened Bread (and these two festivals occur consecutively), while the other two are linked together from the sabbath of the Passover. It is, therefore, quite natural for us to conclude that these first four are to be understood as one unit and, as we will see later on, they have to do with the first coming of Jesus Christ.
There then follows a long gap until the final three are celebrated and which are each specifically defined from each other by reference to the month and not fixed by their relation to the previous festivals. They all occur in the seventh month (Tishri - our September/October), the significance of which being that the number seven symbolises wholeness, completion and perfection.
It is, therefore, in this month that the perfection and completion of God’s purposes are to be realised and, again as we will see in the subsequent discussions, have to do with Jesus Christ’s second coming. That may seem very odd considering that Yom Kippur is spoken of as being fulfilled by the writer to the Hebrews in the NT (and as discussed in the notes on Yom Kippur) but just bear with me for a while and ‘all will be revealed’! I certainly affirm strongly that Jesus has fulfilled the sacrificial aspects of the festival but, when viewed in the context of the Festivals generally, it still points forward to an aspect which is often overlooked by commentators, so taken up do we get with the wonders of Jesus’ work on the cross.
I have included what I’ve labelled ‘The Intermediate Festival’ even though the legislation occurs after Leviticus chapter 23 was given to the Israelites. It’s by ignoring this festival, also, that many commentators have misinterpreted Trumpets as referring to the age in which we now live as it is this Intermediate Festival that speaks of the current situation that the Church finds itself in. Even though Conner has devoted much time and space to the dealing with each of the festivals in his work, it’s surprising that this festival should have been disregarded by Him.
These ‘secondary’ (with regard to time) festivals, then, are as follows:
6. The intermediate festival
The details aren’t contained in Leviticus chapter 23, but are found in Deut 26:1-11. It took place between the festivals of Pentecost and Tabernacles on each day that the Israelites brought their first fruits of the final harvest to the Temple.
It can’t be tied down to a specific date because the Lord recognised that, in different regions of Canaan, the harvest would be at different times - in the lowlands, it would take place early, in the highlands running down the central section of the land, harvests would be delayed because the colder temperatures of winter would abate further on into the agricultural year.
This is, perhaps, why the legislation for the festival wasn’t included in Leviticus chapter 23.
Celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (roughly corresponding to our September). Today this is taken as the Jewish new year (Rosh-ha-shanah) but it was not so from the beginning. It’s also attributed with a great many different interpretations as to its meaning seeing as the original intention is somewhat concealed, at first glance, in the Scriptures.
8. Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement
Lev 23:26-32, 16:1-34
Celebrated on the tenth day of the seventh month. This festival can hardly be described accurately by the term ‘feast’ when the general understanding of the text makes this a recognised fast in the Jewish calendar - this is one of the reasons I opted for the term ‘Festivals’ when describing the sum total of those times of the year that YHWH commanded the Israelites for it didn’t immediately point to the existence of a slap-up meal.
Celebrated between the 15th and 22nd day of the seventh month, it came to be regarded as the most important of all the Jewish festivals, seeing as it concludes their cycle. It can be taken, as we’ll see, as the culmination of all the hopes of Israel which are foreshadowed in the previous festivals. In the Church today, we tend to actively declare Passover, mention Pentecost if we believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit but rarely make very much of the Feast of Tabernacles because we fail to perceive that it points forward to the conclusion of God’s purposes in time and space to bring back everything under His sovereign control.
As you will, no doubt, be aware if you have a general background knowledge of Judaism, I have ignored both Purim (which is related in the Book of Esther) and Hannukah (mentioned in the Gospel of John but instituted between the writing of the two Testaments). This is because the Bible as we have it doesn’t specify that they were commanded by God to be observed.
Even though believers may see much truth in them, a consideration detracts from the wholeness of the Festivals as God commanded and they destroy the perfection intended in which we can see the totality of the plan of God to bring all things back under His sovereignty through Christ. Besides, there’s a certain wholeness in the ‘seven’ festivals which are fixed within the annual calendar (the Sabbath is fixed weekly and the Intermediate festival takes place at various times) and we shouldn’t pull away from what appears to be a clear intention of YHWH to show that they represented one complete redemptive plan.
As previously noted, it’s very easy for us to get bogged down with a study of the traditions that were added to these festivals over the years and to look for spiritual instruction from them. Even though interpretations may well be accurate and faithful to other parts of Scripture, I’ve tried to stick solely to the Scriptural commandment.
I’ve tried to call the seven annual events ‘Festivals’ as opposed to the usual title of ‘Feasts’ (though I may have slipped up somewhere in the notes). This is because, as I’ve previously noted, it would be misleading if we were to label Yom Kippur as a ‘feast’ as the Scriptural command makes it plain that the Israelites were to afflict themselves and this is normally interpreted as meaning that they were to fast.
Christ in the OT
This section has previously been included in my notes on ‘Jubilee’ but I’ve here revised it to apply it as needed to the Festivals.
Before we go on to see how Jesus has brought in and fulfilled these seven festivals, we need to pause and make certain in our own minds that ‘spiritualising’ (for want of a better word) OT passages and legislation to see Christ in them is a correct method to employ.
The premise is that the OT Law is a shadow (that is, a ‘type’ or an ‘illustration’) of who the Christ was to be and what His death, burial, resurrection and ascension were to achieve for all mankind (though, for the Jew first!). It’s not that the Law was a dreamed up series of statutes that were cunningly put together to project an image that the Israelites wanted to see, but that the Law was given, as the Scriptures say, to a real people to be observed but, also, that they were given by God Himself to shadow the life and work of the One who was to come.
They not only reformed Israelite society, then, but they looked forward to the time when God’s anointed King would fulfil what they alluded to. We find support for this in Mtw 5:17-18 where Jesus instructs His followers to
‘Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished’
and the writer to the Hebrews (Heb 10:1) states that
‘...the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities...’
where the writer is concerned to show the Law as only having a glimpse of the realities that have now become available to believers ‘in Christ’ rather than it having the ability to bring those realities through its observance (see also Gal 3:24 where the RSV’s translation ‘custodian’ is the Greek word used to denote a slave who transported His master’s sons both to and from their teacher to give them safety and to keep them out of mischief).
This ‘Law’ shouldn’t be considered to be just the statutes, ordinances and judicial decisions given by YHWH through Moses to His people Israel, but should be interpreted as the first five books of the Bible (Genesis to Deuteronomy) - known as the ‘Law’ books or as the Jewish ‘Torah’.
These five books (or ‘scrolls’ as they were originally) are considered to be one complete unit for, by tradition, Moses was the author of all five, thus declaring their unity.
So, though the Scriptures are true records of real events that took place within the framework of time, we can also see in them examples of the person and work of the Christ. To give some specific examples, we can consider:
1. The sin offering
Cp Leviticus chapter 4 with Mtw 26:28
As is previously noted under the subject ‘Yom Kippur’, it was only the sin offering’s blood that was ‘poured out’ to effect atonement. Thus Jesus relates His death as the ultimate sin offering for mankind by speaking of His blood as being ‘poured out’ for the forgiveness of sins.
2. The ten commandments
Cp Ex 20:1-7 with Jer 31:31-34
Under the New Covenant, what the Law requires is written upon a believer’s heart - an internal, not an external, law - and the Holy Spirit is given to believers in order that power is made available to them to live out God’s requirements in them.
Therefore, the OT commandments can be seen to be promises of what is now available in Christ. That is to say, instead of just seeing in ‘you shall not steal’, the command to prevent one’s self from transgressing in this manner, it can be realised that, in the New Covenant, the command becomes a promise that believers will not steal because of the provision that has now been made available to them.
That believers still steal (and I type this to the Church’s shame) is not because God has neglected to provide for the solution, but that individuals set their wills to do what God doesn’t want them to do.
3. The strikings of the rock for water in the wilderness.
Ex 17:1-7, Num 20:1-13
It’s often been said that God’s judgment of Moses for striking the rock on the second occasion when water was needed miraculously in the wilderness was too harsh a punishment.
But his disobedience is a betrayal of the teaching that YHWH is trying to convey about Christ, the Rock (I Cor 10:1-5 esp v.4), that He’s smitten once to release blessing for mankind (that is, the cross), but petitioned thereafter that the spiritual water should flow to believers.
4. The manna
Cp Exodus chapter 16 with I Cor 10:1-5 and John 6:41-59
The NT sees Jesus Christ as the supernatural food that comes from Heaven and that to feed upon Christ is what’s necessary for a believer’s soul whereas earthly, natural produce is not sufficient for the task.
The necessity for natural food is not being denied here, only that to think that natural food is necessary for a believer’s spiritual growth is incorrect - that needs a different type of food to build them up into maturity and that food is Christ Himself.
5. The serpent on the pole
Cp Num 21:4-9 with John 3:14-15, 12:32-33
Jesus is spoken of as being a fulfilment of the snake on the pole that was used in the wilderness to heal the Israelites after they’d been bitten. When men and women look upon Him (or ‘look to Him’) on the cross by faith (see the subject ‘Faith’) they receive (I Peter 2:24)
‘...healing from the effects of sin’
Many have struggled to accept that Jesus could be referred to as the ‘serpent’ on the pole seeing as that animal is normally a symbol of satan (for instance, Gen 3:1) but, in the Israelites’ experience, the serpents were a symbol of their own sin that had brought upon them the judgment of God and, by looking at the serpent, they were told to look to the place where sin’s hold over them is broken.
The same is true with regard to the cross.
And there are numerous other sections that foreshadow the person and work of the Christ - not only within the Law but within the entire OT. Therefore Jesus says to the Jews (John 5:39 - my italics) that
‘You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to Me’
and Peter says to the crowds after the resurrection and ascension (Acts 3:24 - my italics) that
‘...all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days’
In the OT, then, we get a prophetic glimpse of what God was planning in Christ but which was not wholly made available until He came (Heb 11:39-40). Whatever part of the Law (the Torah or Genesis-Deuteronomy) we look at, we should be able to see a picture of Christ, what He has accomplished and what has now become available to believers under the New Covenant.
Jesus is the Key, therefore, who unlocks our understanding of the Mosaic law. And this is equally true with regard to the legislation in Leviticus chapter 23 which we will go on to discuss.
The Festivals are occasions that occur within the framework of time. Their fulfilment, almost entirely, occur within our concept of time and, therefore, we conceive of them as limited by it. But this is not so for, although the fulfilment of these festivals needed to be within time so that we could comprehend them, yet, for the sake of God who inhabits eternity and who is not bound by time, they needed to be fulfilled outside time.
In Gen 1:5, we see that God created time on the first day of Creation - it doesn’t say that there was any time before day one, and it wasn’t until the fourth day that He created the sun and moon to rule over the day/night cycle (Gen 1:16).
As time was created by God, He is, therefore, not limited by it.
Time is within Him, under His control - not outside Him, restricting Him. God knows the end from the beginning because He’s created both - the fulness of God dwells both at the beginning and the end simultaneously. God stands both at the beginning looking forward to what will happen and at the end looking back upon all that has taken place.
Yet, since we’re controlled by time, it’s hard for us to conceive of One who’s outside our restrictions and unbound by it. The ancients varied in the ways in which they measured time but the Jews measured it by the orbit or cycle of the moon, a time period which roughly corresponded to 28 days. Each cycle was called a month with twelve months in a year yet, 7 times in 19 years, an extra month of 28 days was added to balance it all up. This was known as lunar time.
Today, most of us measure time by the sun. One complete revolution of the earth around the sun being one year; one revolution of the earth on its axis being one day. This, quite logically, is known as solar time. Recently, the second has been defined, according to Zondervan, as
‘...the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the Caesium-133 atom’
This definition of a second and, subsequently, what constitutes both a minute and an hour is called atomic time and is dependent upon the atom - in distinction to solar time which depends on the sun and lunar time which depends on the moon.
Whichever way we look at it, time is measured by a comparison with created substances or forms. As long as the form of this world remains, we’ll be able to measure time by using ‘constants’ that we find around us. But what happens (Rev 21:1) when
‘...the first heaven and the first earth...’
have passed away? When (Rev 21:23) there is
‘...no need of sun or moon....’
and God rules once more visibly over the Created order? Will there be Time when those things we measure time by will have passed away? We’ll only know the answer when it happens, for our finite minds find it impossible to understand infinite matters (Eccles 3:11).
But one thing we must bear in mind as we study these Festivals - the fulfilment, though performed within time for our benefit, goes beyond time and spans eternity (that is, Jesus dying on a cross c.30AD covers all sin throughout eternity whether committed in the past, present or future).
Conner makes much of the ‘appointed place’ at which the festivals were to be celebrated (page 12) but goes one step too far in his notes by insisting that all the festivals had to be celebrated in the one location. I’ll deal very briefly with the command of celebrating the three compulsory festivals of Passover (Unleavened Bread), Pentecost and Tabernacles in the Afterword (Deut 16:16-17, Ex 23:14-17, II Chron 8:13) but it’s plain from the Scriptures that, because the other three (First Fruits, Trumpets and Yom Kippur) didn’t demand a compulsory attendance for all males to attend the central sanctuary, that we shouldn’t consider it as being obligatory.
While there could only be one place at which the sacrifices of each of the seven festivals could be slain and offered (firstly, the moveable Tabernacle and, later, the Jerusalem Temple), this isn’t the case when it comes to the participation in the four remaining festivals.
I was of the opinion initially that, because the festival of Unleavened Bread occurred immediately after the day of Passover and that the festival of First Fruits took place within the seven day period of this latter festival, the pilgrim would probably have stayed around the sanctuary for approximately a week, returning under two months later to celebrate Pentecost.
Having said that, both Ex 23:15-17 and Deut 16:16 specify that it was Unleavened Bread and not Passover which was one of the three compulsory festivals. At the very least it indicates that the Passover meal was understood to also be called the ‘Festival of Unleavened Bread’ but it’s also decsribed as lasting seven days (see my notes on Unleavened Bread for a fuller discussion).
What appears to be the case, then, is that Passover and Unleavened Bread were one (even though they were also distinguishable as individual festivals in their own right) and that it was the remaining three festivals which weren’t considered as requiring compulsory attendance.
Conner (page 16) speaks of Passover as having three specific aspects to it, by which he means to lump together the separate Biblical festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits - but this is purely fanciful for the NT witnesses that the first two labels could be used interchangeably (not just that Passover was the label for Unleavened Bread but viceversa - for example, see Luke 22:1) and the third is nowhere even indirectly inferrable as part of the one festival. That the latter occurred within the former is certain but we must be careful not to go beyond the bounds of the Scriptural command for it would cause us to draw conclusions about the festival which would be incorrect.
Also against Conner’s insistence that all the festivals were to celebrated in the place where God had put His name comes at the beginning of the seventh month which opened with the festival of Trumpets and which would have still seen many of the farmers of Israel busying themselves with the harvest. It’s more likely that the sound of the shofar (the ram’s horn trumpet) would have been sounded throughout the length and breadth of the land of Israel and that people where they lived would have remembered YHWH.
Nine days later, the Day of Atonement took place and only five days after this the Festival of Tabernacles. Perhaps one might be forced into thinking that pilgrims would come to the place where God dwelt early that they might participate in the former festival, but that the festival wasn’t made compulsory should alert us to the fact that non-attendance wasn’t considered to be a transgression of the Law, though the refusal to cease work and to afflict oneself was (Lev 23:29-31).
It’s incorrect, therefore, to interpret the OT commands as stating that the ‘other four’ (or, better, ‘other three’) festivals had to be celebrated by the nation with their personal attendance in ‘the place which the Lord would choose’, for it’s only Unleavened Bread (and Passover), Pentecost and Tabernacles which were obligatory in this way. As we’ll see in the Afterword when we’ve dealt with the meaning of the festivals, this command has something uniquely relevant to say to anyone who would seek to do the will of God.
1. The two groupings of festivals
As has been previously noted, the first four festivals and the last three are taken to be two distinct groupings as they’re both connected by time (the first four are all dated by reference to the Passover festival while the last three all occur within the seventh month).
As will be seen in the following notes, this wasn’t brought about by chance but by a definite divine arrangement for the first four all find their fulfilment in the first coming of Jesus the Messiah and the last three project us forward to see the complete fulfilment in His second appearing.
We now stand in the midst of the seven, celebrating the Intermediate Festival, seeing the fulfilment of the first four but straining forward with expectation to see the fulfilment of the final three.
2. The festivals are Jewish
The festivals were given to the Jews not the Gentiles (that is, non-Jews). The Gentiles that have now been ‘born again’ into the Church are not under any obligation to observe their celebration as it’s the reality of Christ in the festivals that’s needful (Col 2:16-17, Acts chapter 15).
The fulfilment, therefore, must also be Jewish. We mustn’t look to see a ‘Gentile’ fulfilment in, for instance, the festival of Trumpets, thinking that, because the Church is God’s instrument in the earth to bring His Kingdom in through situations and events, we should expect the Festival to be fulfilled in the Church (as many commentators have done). The Festivals pointed toward what Israel would receive when the Messiah was revealed to them, even though the blessings of that work were made known to all the world after the Jew had had them revealed to him first.
Always, therefore, we must look to the fulfilment amongst the Jews first to see the plan which will come to its perfect fulfilment. This is something which Conner pulls away from by seeing the total fulfilment of all seven festivals as already lying in the past in the cross (see the next section below for more details). This has the effect of forcing, for instance, the interpretation of the Festival of Trumpets to be confined within a preconceived expectancy and will make it correspond to truth being proclaimed (that is, ‘trumpeted’) to the Church (page 51).
But, even here, Conner still looks forward to a future fulfilment in the trumpets of the Book of Revelation which, to me, seems to undermine his initially stated position of the fulfilment of the Festivals being totally completed in the cross of Christ.
A Jewish fulfilment is always important, therefore, and Trumpets is only correctly understood in this context. Yom Kippur, being the day of the judgment upon the nation’s sin, must also point forward to the outworking of the call of the trumpet to the nation (and, consequently, the judgment of all men - both Jews and Gentiles - must also be included) while the festival of Tabernacles is specifically, as we’ll see, indicative of an age after the return of Jesus Christ in which both believing Jews and Gentiles will live.
3. The three compulsory festivals
Deut 16:16-17, Ex 23:14-17 and II Chr 8:13 all tell us that, three times in the year, all the Israelite men had to appear before the Lord. These compulsory attendances correspond to the festivals of Unleavened Bread (and Passover), Pentecost and Tabernacles.
The significance of this will be discussed after the study of the festivals on the web page entitled ‘Afterword’, but it’s interesting to note here that Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) wasn’t obligatory upon all Israel. This will be discussed under the relevant subject but it’s a prime indication that not all will come to receive the positive aspects of the festival into their lives and that there remains a future fulfilment that must occur towards the end of the present age culminating in the return of Jesus Christ.
Conner, however, sees the complete fulfilment of all the festivals in the cross of Jesus (bottom of page 7), the experience of which is to necessarily bleed over into the life of the Church in the NT (I can’t quote his exact words as the declaration of the publishers on the inside front cover of the work forbids me from doing so - see my references section for further information) but, as we’ll see as we turn to the Scriptures, to say that the resurrection of the dead has been fulfilled and completed in the cross (as the Festival of Tabernacles points towards) is erroneous because it denies a yet future fulfilment of the festival upon Jesus’ return and at which time it will be completed.
It may be right to say that Jesus, in the cross, has laid the foundation for the final outworking of God’s work in time and space, but that’s a totally different concept than saying that it’s all fulfilled and now only needs to be experienced by the Body of Christ on earth in their daily walk with God. As I’ve noticed in the previous article, Conner doesn’t hold fully to his own pre-stated interpretative structure and even sees a future fulfilment in the festival of Trumpets in the mention of trumpets in the Book of Revelation (page 51).
I have not necessarily used these sources in my notes but, to keep this section looking systematic, I’ve used one format throughout. There are some references which have seemed unnecessary to list here as I use them only once and give both the name and author in the text.
Actsbruce - ‘Acts’ in the New International Commentary on the New Testament by F F Bruce, Eerdmans/Paternoster Press
Buksbazen - ‘The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel’ by Victor Buksbazen, published by the Friends of Israel
Conner - ‘The Feasts of Israel’ by Kevin J Conner, published by Bible Temple Publishing. The reader may wonder why I’ve not quoted anything from this work throughout my notes seeing as it’s one of the only currently available volumes on the subject. Unfortunately, the publishers have deemed it necessary to exclude the general quotation of the book by their statement within (my italics) that
‘It is illegal and a violation of Christian ethics to reproduce any part or parts or diagrams in this book without written permission of the author or publishers’
Perhaps even my reproduction of their statement is an infringement as well?! While I would have liked to have contacted the publishers to seek permission to use some of the text, the fact that they don’t appear to have an email address means that it would have taken me a minimum of three weeks to have written and received a reply - a time in which I would have had to have removed all my quotes if they refused and giving me the need to have to re-revise my notes!
My notes here contained, however, are offered for the free use of the Church of Christ throughout the world with the one proviso that no profit be made from them. Please copy them, reproduce them, quote them, distribute them, use them to get to know Jesus better, read them out to congregations and include them in your own personal study notes.
Quite obviously, the definiton of Christian ethics by the publishers and the author are far more important not to be observed than the command to disciples to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom as recorded in Mtw 28:16-20.
Eusebius - ‘The History of the Church’ by Eusebius, translated by G A Williamson, published as a Penguin Classic by Penguin Books
France - ‘The Evidence for Jesus’ by RT France, part of ‘The Jesus Library’, Hodder and Stoughton
Glaser - ‘The Fall Feasts of Israel’ by Mitch and Zhava Glaser, published by the Moody Press
Jeremias - ‘Jerusalem in the time of Jesus’ by Joachin Jeremias, Fortress Press
JFB - Commentary on the whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, The Zondervan Corporation
Johnmor - ‘John’ in the New International Commentary on the New Testament by Leon Morris, Eerdmans/Paternoster Press
Josephus - All quotations are from ‘The Jewish War’ translated by G A Williamson (Revised edition), The Dorset Press. Page numbers refer to this print. Also available as a Penguin classic. Any quotes from other works are specifically named and come from an on line translation which was discovered.
Keter - ‘Passover’ and ‘Sukkot’ published by the Keter Publishing House
Mishnah - ‘The Mishnah’, Translated by H Danby, Oxford University Press
Morris AT - ‘The Atonement’ by Leon Morris, Inter-varsity Press
Slemming - ‘Thus shalt thou serve’ by C W Slemming, published by the Christian Literature Crusade
Strongs Heb/Gk number xxxx (or Strongs) - ‘Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible’, James Strong
Ungers - ‘Ungers Bible Dictionary’, Merrill F Unger, The Moody Press
Vines - ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’, W E Vine, Marshall, Morgan & Scott.
Zondervan - ‘The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopaedia of the Bible’, The Zondervan Corporation, First Edition.