REVIEW: God’s Festivals in Scripture and History
by Samuele Bacchiocchi
Biblical Perspectives, Berrien Springs, Michigan, 1995 (Part I, The Spring Festivals), 1996 (Part II, The Fall Festivals).
I rejoice that a Seventh-day Adventist scholar, Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi, has come to understand that the Biblical Holy Days have meaning and purpose for Christians today. His new position is diametrically opposite to his former understanding in, The Sabbath in the New Testament (1985 edition), where he stated that the annual Feast Days had been "terminated," that they were established by Moses (and not God), and they typified "the divine deliverance which culminated with the coming of Christ. The types of Messianic redemption ceased to have significance with the coming of the Messiah Himself," page 197. Through further study, Bacchiocchi has reversed himself. I applaud his open admission that he was wrong.
Have you ever had a young son or daughter bring you his or her rudimentary art work for your approval? The work is crude and sometimes laughable, but the child is learning, and you do your best to encourage the learning process, by saying something positive. That describes how I feel about Bacchiocchi’s books on the Holy Days.
There are many positive aspects of his book, God’s Festivals in Scripture and History.
If you had never done research on the Holy Days, you might not have known that the Biblical Festivals picture past, present, and future acts of God’s redemptive plan. That is a value of Dr. B’s books. Bacchiocchi understands now that the Feasts commemorate the past mighty works of God, they anticipate the future divine deliverance, and they motivate people in the present to live obediently before a holy God (Part I, page 19). These past, present, and future, fulfillments of the Holy Days are still relevant for Christians today. Bacchiocchi develops a major theme of James L. Porter’s book, The Sabbaths of God (1966). Although he does not mention Porter, it is unlikely that Bacchiocchi has not read Porter’s important book (Giving & Sharing expects to republish Porter’s book in the future).
He gives a good discussion of Paul and the Law (Part I, p. 88). Dr. Bacchiocchi gives an excellent summary of the critical texts of Colossians 2:14-17; Romans 14:5; and, Galatians 4:10 (Part I, pp. 89-95). This gives additional merit to the book.
Bacchiocchi understands well the meaning of Passover and its commemoration of the sacrifice of the Messiah, of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a time to become spiritually unleavened by putting sin out of our lives. He understands that Pentecost is the anniversary of the giving of the Law at Sinai, the descent of the Spirit on the disciples, and that we are now the firstfruits of the Almighty. By gleaning documents from early Church "fathers," Bacchiocchi presents many interesting interpretations and practices relating to the Festivals.
The key to Bacchiocchi’s current position is expressed in the following statement (Part I, p. 48): " . . . the temporary or permanent nature of Old Testament feasts is determined not by the dates of their origins, pre- or post-Moses, nor by the degree of their association with the sacrificial system, but rather by the extent to which their typology carries over with new meaning beyond the Cross. Ultimately, the criterion to determine the termination or continuity of the Old Testament feasts is the witness of the New Testament itself, validated by the testimony of the primitive church."
On the surface, this is a good argument, for if the Holy Days have lost their meaning, then keeping them would serve no purpose. However, looking deeper, there are disturbing aspects of Bacchiocchi’s rationale. For the Bible believer, the continuity or discontinuity of the Holy Days is determined by the evidence of the Bible alone. Typology is only an accessory; for Bacchiocchi, it is essential. The ultimate criterion to determine if we are to follow any rule or practice is the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Those who will not follow any "Old" Testament practice because it is not repeated or confirmed in the "New," do not have a Bible. The Bible is one book, not artificially divided into an old part and a new part. The Law, Prophets, Writings, are described by Paul as "holy scriptures," II Timothy 3:15. The truth is, that we are to follow every precept in the Bible, unless the Bible specifically informs us that a precept is modified, altered, or abolished.
And, this is a most important concept, "the testimony of the primitive church," must be the testimony of the faithful church, not the apostate church. One cannot use a "good" quotation from a particular "church father" to support a preconceived belief, while ignoring many other heretical statements by the same "father."
I have a second impression of Bacchiocchi’s book, one of grave reservations. Have you ever spoken or written on a subject that you know little or nothing about? Perhaps you were asked an essay question in college about a topic that you did not study thoroughly. You did your best to "wing it," and get the best grade possible, under the circumstances. Dr. Bacchiocchi’s book on the Festivals is like this. He has not studied the issues in depth, and as a result, came to some erroneous conclusions and hypotheses. It is preposterous for a scholar to do quick, incomplete, research, and then be held as an "authority" on a subject he knows little about.
His books, From Sabbath to Sunday and Divine Rest for Human Restlessness are classics. However, in most of his other books, Bacchiocchi has departed from the scriptural standard.
Bacchiocchi’s Festivals book does not have a bibliography, nor an index. Perhaps this will be in a future edition. His research was not very deep, which is shown in the fact that he does not cite standard current works on the Holy Days, such as books by Porter, Booker, Buksbazen, Fuchs, Gaster, Glasner, Litvin, Ritchie, Shepherd, and Thompson, to say nothing of the series of books on the Holy Days by the Jewish Publication Society.
Bacchiocchi does refer to Martha Zimmerman’s Celebrate the Feasts in Your Home, but this work is extra-Biblical. She presents "creative suggestions on how to celebrate the seven Feasts of Israel with a Christian perspective in a home or church" (Part I, p. 12). Zimmerman’s creativity is not based on the Bible, but her own reasoning. Bacchiocchi incorporates Zimmerman’s method in his suggestions for celebrating the festivals today.
Many typographical errors show his hurried, "publish or perish" attitude. Sloppy writing gives his scholarly reputation a bad name.
He continues to sell The Sabbath in the New Testament, which says the annual Festivals were part of the ceremonial services of the Temple that came to an end with the sacrifice of Christ at the cross. If he truly has accepted the Holy Days, then he would at the least insert a correction in his older book.
A Host of Difficulties
There are numerous difficulties and contradictions in Bacchiocchi’s book, which, like his typographical errors, show the ill effects of hurried, sloppy research, of ideas not carefully thought out. His work is very similar to some accounting work I have had to review lately. Work prepared by a "Certified Public Accountant," does not necessarily mean that the work is good, and leaves a clear audit trail. Likewise, all material produced by "Biblical scholars" is not necessarily accurate, logical, and correct, or according to the Bible. Although "scholarship" is highly touted in the Church today, one should keep in mind the Biblical viewpoint of scholars. It is found in scriptures such as Job 37:24; Psalm 8:2; Malachi 2:11-12; Matthew 11:25-27, 16:17; I Corinthians 1:19-20, 2:4-16, 3:19. Don’t misunderstand. It is good to exercise right scholarship. We may be called as ignorant people, but the Almighty does not want us to remain so. However, it is shocking how the so-called "wise" of this world, scholars who are held in highest esteem, often misuse the very facts they quote.
I will review some of the difficulties in Bacchiocchi’s books on the Holy Days.
He doesn’t ask the question, "Does the Bible command keeping the annual Holy Days, like it does the Sabbath?" but instead, he proposes different ways to integrate the Biblical Festivals into the church calendar, without disrupting church life (Part I, p. 17). He is inquiring into the relevance of the Biblical festivals today, not whether or not we should keep them (Part I, p. 15), since he does not want "to resurrect a legalistic observance of the annual Feasts according to outdated Jewish rituals" (Part I, p. 16). Yet, he creates extra-Biblical rituals when he says churches could be decorated with produce of the season at Pentecost and Tabernacles.
Strangely enough he says (Part I, p. 17), "many Christian churches today still suffer from the radical anti-feast attitude of the Puritans." Which churches are these? The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in no Sabbath, and eschew Christmas and Easter, but are a distinct minority. Almost all others keep Christmas and Easter. And, the trend today is for more secular holidays, such as Super Bowl Sunday in the USA, and World Cup day in other countries.
Calvin rejected observance of Holy Days, yet said there is much spiritual significance to them. This, Dr. B. says, is a contradiction: "How can Christians gain spiritual enrichment from holy days which they are not supposed to observe? How can Passover be celebrated spiritually as a memorial of our deliverance from the bondage of sin through Christ, our Paschal Lamb, while its literal observance is rejected?" (Part I, p. 112). The same could be said of Bacchiocchi, who ignores eating unleavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, keeping Pentecost as a holy convocation with no servile work, and doing no work at all on the Day of Atonement.
He shows (Part I, p. 26) that Easter became associated with numerous pagan practices and superstitions which are foreign to the meaning and experience of the Biblical Passover. Does Dr. B. remonstrate against his own Seventh-day Adventist Church members, many of whom observe Christmas and Easter? It appears that he acts like Calvin, who at one point did not observe these days rooted in paganism, but later tolerated their observance (Part I, pp. 110, 111).
In attempting to show us how to observe Pentecost (Part I, p. 28), he says we may well follow the custom of early Christians by standing rather than kneeling for prayer to honor the risen, exalted Savior, sing songs of thanksgiving, and decorate our homes and churches with flowers. Yet, he totally ignores the Bible instructions which command us to proclaim an holy convocation, and do no servile work therein, Leviticus 23:21.
He has both an annual Passover and a periodic Lord’s Supper (Part I, p. 148). "As Christians, we are not bound to observe the ritual of the Jewish ceremonial removal of the leaven, but we can learn some valuable spiritual lessons." The Bible says nothing about a Jewish ritual, nor a "Lord’s Supper" separate from Passover. That came from extra-Biblical tradition. The Bible does say to remove the leaven. However, Bacchiocchi does not consider following the Bible commands. Like Gregory of Nyassa (Part I, p. 107), he says that the spiritual significance of removing leaven (sin, etc.) is more important than the literal observance. Spring cleaning of our homes is good, he believes, but we don’t have to remove the leaven, but just concentrate on becoming spiritually unleavened.
"It is very difficult to describe how the Christian Passover should be observed today. In fact, the New Testament gives us no specific information on how Passover was celebrated during apostolic times," (Part I, p. 138). Cults use the Bible and something else. If we have to look to ourselves or profane history to determine how to keep the Passover, then we might as well forget it. There is no justification to keep Passover if there is no Bible command to tell us how to do so. We would be no better than those who have selected Sunday and Easter to observe. On the other hand, if Passover is to be observed, the Bible will tell us how to keep it. I Corinthians 5, 11 and John 13 are specific.
"We are called to celebrate Passover, not merely by eating unleavened bread for seven days (symbol of completeness), but primarily by being ourselves the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (I Cor. 5:8)" (Part I, p. 39). Does Dr. B. eat unleavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread? This is another instance of his ambiguity. He later states (Part I, p. 62) that confessing and repenting of all sin, typified by foot-washing, is the Christian counterpart to the removal of all leaven from the Jewish home before Passover.
"The religious calendar of ancient Israel came into existence with the birth of their nation . . . . It is inconceivable that the patriarchs would celebrate Passover before the occurrence of the Exodus event that gave birth to the feast" (Part I, p. 47). Where is his proof? Does Dr. Bacchiocchi mean that the statement in Genesis 1:14 about the sun and moon determining the seasons (moed, Hebrew word for divine appointments, see also Leviticus 23:2 where the same word moed is used for the festivals) was not in force until the exodus?
Passover — Fourteenth or Fifteenth?
He believes the Messiah’s Last Supper was a "special paschal meal eaten the evening before the official Passover meal" (Part I, p. 56). He believes, "It was more important that Christ’s death should synchronize with the death of the Passover lambs than that His eating of the Passover meal synchronize with the official time of the Passover meal." He cites Ellen G. White as proof. Although he refers to the passages in Mark 14:15; Matthew 26:18; Luke 22:11, where Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples, Bacchiocchi does not believe these scriptures. He insists that the Last Supper was a special meal a day before the official Passover. In other words, we cannot follow the plain text of the New Testament!
He goes through a fanciful explanation (Part I, pp. 64-66) of how lambs had to be slaughtered in the Temple (no proof given), and how that when Passover fell on Friday (which he incorrectly believes happened in the year of Christ’s death), it was permissible to begin slaughtering the lambs on Thursday, so that Christ’s "early" Passover could have had a lamb. Or, he postulates, it more likely did not have a lamb, again expressing ambiguity. When I asked him in San Antonio about Mark 14:12, where the lambs were being slaughtered at the time the disciples asked Jesus where they would eat the Passover, Bacchiocchi said that we should not take the Bible so literally. He would have us believe that the Last Supper Passover could have been lamb-less, and that the disciples would not have questioned it! Such an attitude is akin to spiritual chutzpa! He would have us believe that Jesus intentionally eliminated the lamb, because He was instituting new symbols, bread and wine.
He said no reputable scholar believes in observing the Passover at the beginning of Nisan 14. Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t care what scholars say. I care what the Bible says. Scholars quote other scholars. Theological scholars throw in occasional Bible citations, like pepper and salt, but the basis for their arguments are what other scholars say. Biblical scholars often act as if they are above the Bible, while true disciples of the Master are always in the Bible. There is a vast difference in attitude between the two.
The Passover dating question, whether it is to be observed on the beginning of the 14th or the end of the 14th, and discussion of the meaning of the Hebrew, "ben ha-erebim," has been definitively covered in Fred Coulter’s book, The Christian Passover. Although no book will resolve this millenniums-old question, Bacchiocchi dismisses it without reading it, because he says that no reputable scholar supports a beginning of 14th Passover. This is gross prejudice.
Either to cover both sides of the question, or as a result of his misuse of facts, Bacchiocchi cites Joachim Jeremias (Part I, p. 61), who says, "the Passover had to be eaten at night ever since its institution." This is a true statement, but destroys Bacchiocchi’s theory that the Passover is to be observed on Nisan 15. A multitude of Bible passages show that the Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month, not the fifteenth. Although he admits that some early believers were called Quartodecimans (fourteeners) for keeping an annual Passover, he believes that they really kept the Passover on the fifteenth. By his form of mathematics, they should have been called "fifteeners" or "Quintodecimans," rather than "Quartodecimans."
He says that Quartodecimans celebrated Passover "from the evening of Nisan 14 to the dawn of Nisan 15" (Part I, p. 129). "Christians celebrated Passover at the same time as Jewish Passover, beginning at sundown of Nisan 14 and continuing their vigil until the next morning" (Part I, p. 95). Passover is an evening meal, at night, after dark. Since the Christians were not sacrificing lambs anymore, what did they do, according to Bacchiocchi, on the 14th? Nothing. Yet, paradoxically, they were called "fourteeners." Yet, he says that the Biblical date of Passover is Nisan 14 (Part I, p. 83).
He introduces the term Lord’s Supper, without defining it, saying it is distinct from the Christian Passover, yet part of it (Part I, p. 74). He assumes that the Passover and Lord’s Supper are separate, and that the Lord’s Supper is observed several times during the course of the year, while at the Christian Passover, the Lord’s Supper, followed by an agape fellowship meal is celebrated at dawn as the climax of an all-night vigil of fasting (Part I, pp. 74, 76). Where is his proof?
"As often as" suggests to Dr. B., that the Apostolic Church sensed the need to celebrate their new Passover more frequently than once a year. Why does he believe this? Because Ellen G. White said, "The salvation of men depends upon a continual application to their hearts of the cleansing blood of Christ. Therefore, the Lord’s supper was to be observed more frequently than the annual Passover," (Part I, p. 75). Catholics have mass said every day. Because it was so important, it had to be celebrated more than once a year. By not following the Biblical annual Christian Passover, multiple "Last Supper" observances cheapen the meaning of God’s festival. One would think that Dr. B. examined what Ellen G. White said, and then tried to find historical and logical support for her positions.
He asks (Part I, p. 76) why Paul was vague and indefinite about references to the time of the Lord’s Supper. He says, "The New Testament does not offer us a clear picture of how Passover was observed by the apostolic church. The picture becomes clearer when we come to the second century" (Part I, p. 95).
"To avoid a search by Roman police, Christians apparently often changed the place and time of their evening Lord’s Supper meals." This is revealing. What else did they change? From Bacchiocchi’s own research, they changed Sabbath to Sunday. So, why should we follow apostates in changing God’s laws? If keeping the Sabbath today became illegal, should we change our day of worship to some other day, or should we follow the Eternal? Bacchiocchi’s quotations do not support his position; they defeat it.
Epistle of the Apostles — An Authoritative Source?
While it is interesting to know what early professing Christians of the second century believed and practiced (Part I, p. 96), they are not definitive sources for our observances today. Would you use the Ethiopic version of the apocryphal Epistle of the Apostles, probably written in Asia Minor about A.D. 150 or later, to determine your religious practices? Bacchiocchi does. This non-biblical source is proof for him that we should keep the Passover (on the beginning of the 15th), and then fast until early morning, then have a Lord’s supper (remembrance) and agape meal, whatever these are. There is no definition given in the source he quotes what the "remembrance and my agape" are. Dr. Bacchiocchi assumes that the Christians observed a fast until the morning after the Passover bread and wine. There is nothing Biblical to support this assertion. Time and again, he refers to the practice of the early Christian Church of keeping a fast vigil until early morning (cockcrow), when the fast was broken with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, followed by a fellowship (agape) meal, (Part I, p. 139, etc.). Yet he provides no Biblical references, and only this one extra-Biblical reference.
Do you know what else the Epistle of the Apostles (Epistula Apostolorum) teaches? Peter and Cephas were separate apostles (Chapter 2). In the form of the angel Gabriel, the Lord went into Mary and became flesh (Chapter 14). Jesus said, "I am carried on the wings of the clouds in splendor with my cross going on before me" (Chapter 16). When the eleven disciples asked Jesus, "How many years yet," He answered, "When the hundred and fiftieth year is completed, between Pentecost and Passover will the coming of my Father take place" (Chapter 17). Jesus spoke to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the prophets, with the news "that they may come from the rest which is below into heaven" (Chapter 27). Those who walk in the true faith will be in heaven with God always (Chapter 38). It is proper for believers to be called spiritual "fathers" (Chapter 42). Hennecke and Schneemelcher (page 190 of their book, New Testament Apocrypha), translators and commentators of New Testament Apocrypha such as the Epistle of the Apostles, state that this work "was too heavily loaded with strange views," to be included in the canon of inspired scripture. Yet Bacchiocchi refers to it as a "Christian" source (Part I, p. 114).
Yet this spurious work is one of the main, and only, "proofs" offered by Bacchiocchi for his recommended manner of practicing the Christian Passover.
The approximate date of Epistle of the Apostles, A.D. 150, is after the Gentile bishop of Jerusalem had introduced Easter (Part I, p. 101). Rome adopted this new practice; Polycarp met with Anicetus in Rome in A.D. 154 to discuss the issue. Easter was adopted by the Church of Rome to avoid any semblance of Judaism (Part I, p. 103). Dr. Bacchiocchi fails to realize the consequences of his citations.
He says (Part I, p. 96), "Christians chose to postpone their rejoicing until after the termination of the Passover feasting of the Jews, which ended at about midnight [of Passover] . . . While the Jews expected the coming of the Messiah on Passover night, the Christians awaited the Return of Christ before dawn." These professing Christians again distanced themselves from Jews, thereby making themselves apostates in the Biblical sense, but models for us according to Bacchiocchi.
He notes, "To observe Passover at Easter-Sunday would be like observing the Sabbath on Sunday. In both instances, what Christians observe on Sunday and Easter-Sunday is not the Biblical Sabbath or Passover, but an ecclesiastical institution which lacks Biblical authority, meaning, and experience," (Part I, p. 134). What about the all-night vigil, and dawn Lord’s Supper, agape meal? This has not Biblical authority, but is an ecclesiastical institution.
He relates (Part I, p. 104) that to ensure that Easter never be celebrated at the same time as the Jewish Passover, the Nicean Council decreed that if Nisan 14 fell on a Sunday, then Easter was to be celebrated on the following Sunday. Something is wrong with this statement. Do you know what it is? Nisan 14 never falls on Sunday, but Nisan 15 does (about once in every ten years). Bacchiocchi says Nisan 14 and is thinking Nisan 15.
Pre-Passover Fasting Based on Tradition
The fast of some early professing Christians (Part I, pp. 108, 109) was extended by later ex-pagans into Lent, which was borrowed from pagan practices of Babylon. Was the "Christian" fast also borrowed from pagans, since it is not based on the Bible? According to Thomas J. Talley (see p. 27 of his book, The Origins of the Liturgical Year), the practice of Christian fasting prior to the Passover stems from the mishna, but was extended so as to distance them from Jews.
Dr. B. says that Jesus offered Himself on the Cross as the true Paschal Lamb at the very time when the Passover lambs were slaughtered (Part I, p. 121). He provides no proof of this.
Bacchiocchi exhibits a poor understanding of the Hebrew lunar/solar calendar. He says, "The twelve months of the Jewish year made up 354 days, eleven-and-a-quarter days short of a solar year. Had this discrepancy not been rectified in some way, the feasts and seasons constantly would be sliding in reference to the solar year. If in one year Nisan 14 coincided with March 1 [of the solar calendar], the following year coincided with March 12, and so on," (Part I, pp. 129-130). The fact is, a 354-day calendar with no intercalary thirteenth month would make Nisan 14 earlier, and not later, on the solar calendar each year. Obviously, Bacchiocchi didn’t major in math!
An imprecise approach to numerical details leaves Dr. Bacchiocchi in an embarrassing position again (Part I, p. 133) where he stated that in 1996 Passover fell on Wednesday, April 3. "This means that Christians wanting to observe Passover in 1996 have to ask permission of their employers to have Wednesday off." The Holy Day, Nisan 15, however, was on Thursday, April 4, 1996. If Bacchiocchi were actually observing the Biblical Holy Days, he probably would not have taken such a cavalier approach to dates and times.
Bacchiocchi takes the official Seventh-day Adventist position, which supports a Good Friday crucifixion, Easter Sunday resurrection (Part I, p. 134). He is oblivious to the fact that this position lends credence to Sunday-keeping, and presents monumental difficulties with Jesus’ statement that He would be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:39-40.
As with others, Dr. B. reads Leviticus 23:15-16, and concludes that we are to count seven weeks, rather than fifty days as it says. However, seven weeks and fifty days in his mathematical system are the same (Part I, pp. 167-169)!
Fast, Vigil, Lord’s Supper, Agape
If the early Christians believed in keeping a Passover night vigil in expectation that Christ would return that night, then what did they understand the Day of Trumpets to be? These Christians fasted while the Jews feasted (Part I, p. 140). That shows these "Christians" were anti-Jewish, and not authentic Christians.
Because of the excesses of eating a meal with the Christian Passover, the Lord’s Supper was detached from the evening supper meal, and moved to the morning church services (Part I, p. 142). Presumably, this occurred before the end of the first century because Pliny, Governor of Bithynia, states in a letter he wrote to the Emperor Trajan in A.D. 112, that Christians had given up their evening religious meal after the publication of the imperial edict which prohibited evening fraternal meals. Once again, Dr. B. justifies apostasy on grounds of political expediency.
In A.D. 150, Justin Martyr wrote that the Lord’s Supper was celebrated at the conclusion of the morning church service. Admitting (Part I, p. 143) that early Christian traditions are not always a safe guide for determining religious practices, because the mystery of iniquity did already work, II Thessalonians 2:7, Bacchiocchi rejoins, "Unfortunately, there is a tendency to ignore the past witness of faithful [sic] Christians when defining Christian beliefs and practices." The Epistle of the Apostles and Justin Martyr are held to be faithful Christians, when the fact is, they changed the Biblical Christian Passover from a night ceremony to a morning supper.
Justin Martyr was no friend of the Sabbath. In his book, From Sabbath to Sunday, pages 223-226, Bacchiocchi cites Justin, who believed that the Sabbath and the festivals were imposed upon the Jews because of their sins, until the coming of Christ. In his famous Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, Justin says that the Law is "obsolete," "abrogated," and "voided." Should we reject Justin Martyr’s errors on the Sabbath and festivals, but accept his moving the Lord’s Supper to the morning church service? Bacchiocchi agrees with Justin, and apparently also The Epistle of Barnabas, a second century letter which holds that the Jews were wrong to take the Old Testament literally, and sought to spiritualize away "Mosaic" Law.
Dr. B. admits that "some of the early Christians followed the Jewish tradition by eating their Passover at the same time and in same manner as the Jews. The majority of Christians, however, abandoned the evening paschal meal, because they felt that in good conscience they could not commemorate Christ’s death while sharing in the festivities of the Jews who caused Christ’s death. Thus, they transferred the Lord’s Supper and the fellowship meal to the early hours of the morning, since by then the Jews had finished their feasting" (Part I, p. 150). This is a shocking assertion that the majority, the anti-Jewish professing Christians, were correct in abandoning their Jewish roots. The truth is, the majority were wrong. The majority apostatized.
Pentecost Errors and Contradictions
After agreeing with apostate Christians who moved the time of the Christian Passover from the night to the early hours of the morning, in order to have nothing in common with the detestable Jews, Bacchiocchi analyzes Pentecost.
His main point, given without Biblical proof, is that Pentecost is not just a day, but an entire period of seven weeks. Actually, he believes that the exact day of Pentecost (Sivan 6 or Sunday) isn’t that important, since the entire period of the count (from whatever starting point) is more important. If Bacchiocchi had studied the Jewish understanding of Passover and Pentecost, he would have discovered that Jews believe that the Passover season extends from Passover to Pentecost, and that some Jews refer to Pentecost as the atzeret, or closing day, of the Passover, not the Pentecost, season. And, as with Passover, Bacchiocchi is quick to accept and adopt extra-Biblical Pentecost traditions, based upon quotations from the Catholic fathers, rather than following clear statements in the Bible.
In fact, there is no mention in Bacchiocchi’s book on the spring festivals pointing to the fact that the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost (Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest) are holy convocations, upon which no servile work is to be done, Leviticus 23:7, 8, 21. He laments at the lack of Biblical information on how to keep these Holy Days (Part I, p. 138), proceeds to find guidelines from the early church "fathers," while totally ignoring what the Bible actually says we should do and not do on the Holy Days.
On page 168 of Spring Festivals, Bacchiocchi states, "Since the term ‘Sabbath’ is used to refer both to the seventh day of the week and to the annual Feasts mentioned in the same chapter (Lev. 23:8, 21, 23, 32, 34), the question is, What is the meaning of ‘Sabbath’ here [Lev. 23:15-16, in reference to the starting day of the Pentecost count], seventh day of the week or festival day?" These verses show that the Holy Days are holy convocations upon which we are to engage in no servile work, and specifically that Trumpets is a "sabbath," shabbathon. He fails to cite verse 39, which states that the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, are also shabbathon.
But then, across the page, on page 169, Bacchiocchi says: " . . . the fact that the word ‘Sabbath’ by itself is never used in the Bible to refer to an annual feast." What does he mean, "by itself"? He explains on page 233, where he refers to the term shabbath shabbathon, used in Leviticus 23:32 to refer to the Day of Atonement as a "sabbath of solemn rest." Shabbath is never used alone, by itself, to refer to a Holy Day. However, in Leviticus 23:24 and 39, shabbathon is used by itself. According to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament, page 804, shabbathon means "a great sabbath, a solemn sabbath." Naturally, Trumpets and the Holy Days of the Feast of Tabernacles are great sabbaths, more than normal weekly sabbaths. Bacchiocchi would have us believe that shabbathon is a lesser word than shabbath, when the reverse is true. In Leviticus 25:4-5, shabbath shabbathon is used to refer to the Sabbatical Year. Shabbathon refers to how one must conduct himself on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:23) and the Holy Days (Lev. 23:3, 24, 32, 39). Both the Sabbath and the Holy Days are solemn rests — shabbathons.
On page 169, Bacchiocchi agrees with Alfred Edersheim, Josephus, and Philo, on the Sivan 6 date for Pentecost. Yet later on, on page 233, he agrees with a Sunday Pentecost. He was either in a hurry to publish his book, or he purposely straddled the fence.
Regarding Pentecost in the early church, Bacchiocchi leans heavily upon Eusebius (apologist of Constantine), Tertullian, Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Jerome. He quotes Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, who says, "Pentecost, in which we do not bend our knees because it has the same value as the Lord’s day [Sunday worship]. This custom started in apostolic times" (Part I, p. 213). This custom is also mentioned in the apocryphal Testament of the Lord, "At Pentecost let no one fast or kneel. For these are days of rest and joy." Finally, Bacchiocchi supports Augustine who wrote, "The period of fifty days we celebrate after the Lord’s resurrection, represents not toil, but rest and gladness. For this reason we do not fast in them; and in praying we stand upright, which is an emblem of resurrection" (Part I, p. 214). Time and again, Bacchiocchi lauds the "witness of early Christians [sic]," as models for our Christian practice today.
The Bible believer, however, treats such customs and traditions on the same level as those who keep Sunday as the Lord’s day. All or most of the "fathers" cited by Bacchiocchi were Sunday-keepers. Should we follow their advice as to extra-Biblical traditions and customs, or should we instead follow the Bible only?
Christian Edwardson, in his book, Facts of Faith (page 296), quotes the Catholic Rheims New Testament note on Revelation 1:10, "And if the Church had authority and inspiration from God, to make Sunday, being a work-day before, an everlasting holyday: and the Saturday, that before was holyday, now a common work-day: why may not the same Church prescribe and appoint the other feasts of Easter, Whitsuntide [Sunday Pentecost], Christmas, and the rest?" If we do not follow the Catholic Church in her Sunday, why should we follow her in corrupt Passover and Pentecost customs?
Pentecost, for Catholic fathers and those who follow such traditions, is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ (Part I, p. 235). The Bible nowhere says for us to celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, but instead to commemorate His death for our sins. The resurrection was not on Sunday, but on the end of the Sabbath. Bacchiocchi’s leaning upon the validity of church tradition, and giving great credence to apostate Catholic fathers and apocryphal writings, reminds me of a follower of Rome, rather than a follower of the New Testament.
Observe Christ’s Birth at Tabernacles?
It is an established fact that the Messiah’s human birth did not occur on December 25. Evidence points to the September/October period, which would coincide with Trumpets/ Tabernacles. However, the Bible purposely conceals the exact date of the Savior’s birth. Bacchiocchi, in his second volume on the Holy Days, maintains that the Feast of Tabernacles "provides Christians with a much more accurate biblical timing and topology for celebrating Christ’s birth than does the pagan dating of December 25."
This is another example of Catholic, rather than Biblical, thinking. No Bible believer would ever conclude or speculate that we should observe the birthday of Jesus. It is an oxymoron to refer to "Christ’s birth," for He has existed from all ages, Micah 5:2; Hebrews 7:1-3. The Bible notes the birthdays of Pharaoh and Herod, but it is foreign to the Hebrew Biblical record for God’s people to take great note of the anniversary of the day of one’s birth.
Today, paganized Christianity allures us with Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, and other holidays. Many in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Seventh Day Baptist, Church of God (Seventh Day), and now the Worldwide Church of God, have departed from their historical anti-Christmas position and are now keeping Christmas and related holidays.
Because of human nature, people want a substitute. They want to be like the pagans, but still think they are following God. Jews have made the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which Jesus observed, John 10:22-23, into a Christmas-like holiday. And now, Bacchiocchi’s idea, to celebrate Christ’s birth at the Feast of Tabernacles, could well lead to the same thing. Carried to its natural extension, such Feast of Tabernacles customs could result in it being "our Christmas."
On the positive side, it would be well for Feast sermons to be given on how the Savior tabernacled with us in the flesh, John 1:14, and how He will again tabernacle with us in the Millennium. But, we do not observe the Messiah’s birth, because such observances are not Biblical. We are not to observe the practices of apostates, and adapt or modify them into our worship.
Now, why do Catholics place such an emphasis on the birth of the Messiah? Because it is an integral part of their faith. "Catholics teach that only the humanity of Christ died on the cross, not His divine nature. Therefore, in their eyes, His death was not, in a primary sense, a vicarious atonement to satisfy the wrath of God against sin and pay the claims of a broken law. Because of this, His death is to them only a momentary event; while His coming in the flesh, or the doctrine of the Incarnation, is supreme. Its effects are continual and daily, a source of saving grace, as they believe. The turning of the bread into the body of Christ, by the priest in the ceremony of the Mass, represents His birth in the flesh, or the Incarnation, repeated in every Mass," (B.G. Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, pages 217-218). Hundreds of texts in the New Testament have been revised in Catholic translations to support this concept of the Mass being the rebirth of Christ.
A Jesuit in Disguise?
More than one intelligent, well-educated Sabbath-keeper has mentioned to me that they think Samuele Bacchiocchi is a Jesuit. They have presented no proof for this assertion, and as a result, I place such accusations in the category of malicious gossip. Bacchiocchi has probably done more to spread the belief in the seventh day Sabbath than any other person at this time. The doctrine of the seventh day Sabbath is anathema to the Church of Rome. The fact that Bacchiocchi was educated at the Pontifical Gregorian University in the Vatican, does not mean that he espouses Jesuit doctrines. His doctoral thesis, the basis for his book, From Sabbath to Sunday, bears the approval of the Catholic Church, and it proves that the Church of Rome changed the Sabbath, not on Biblical authority, but as a result of political, social, religious, and other factors. I believe Bacchiocchi when he says the Vatican is now sorry that they allowed him access to the Vatican archives. Dr. Bacchiocchi’s Jesuit professor was apparently reprimanded for the incident.
Nevertheless, there are a number of disturbing tendencies that have come to light with the publication of Bacchiocchi’s books on the Holy Days.
(1) He is more of a salesman than a scholar. The shoddy work on his first book on the Holy Days is ample proof that he rushed to make a commercial deadline, rather than carefully doing his research.
(2) Time and again, he says that the Bible alone doesn’t tell us much of how to keep the Holy Days, and thus he turns to church tradition. Although he stops short of saying that church tradition is above the Bible, by citing and supporting extra-Biblical customs, he elevates these traditions above the Bible.
(3) He lauds and honors Catholic "fathers," even well-known enemies of the true faith, such Origen, Jerome, and Augustine. He acts as if Patrick of Ireland, Columba, Vigilantius Leo, and heroes of the Sabbath-keeping Church of the East did not exist. I care little what Catholic fathers said, but I would be interested in learning more of what Sabbath-keeping church leaders said about the Holy Days.
(4) He liberally quotes from apocryphal sources, as authoritative guides, that prescribe our Christian practices of today, such as his support for a Passover vigil, so-called Lord’s Supper, and agape feast.
(5) At times he seems to be purposely ambiguous, even contradictory. He sometimes takes stands on several sides of the same issue, and rarely speaks plainly.
(6) He ignores plain Bible commands, or minimizes them, and instead concentrates on what men say about the Bible.
What is the common denominator of these tendencies of Bacchiocchi? They are traits of the Jesuits! Jesuits believe and practice that the end justifies the means. The Jesuit-led Council of Trent, the touchstone for Catholic success over Protestantism, upheld the Catholic dogma that tradition is above Scripture. Jesuit techniques include the eradication of all history about "heretics," the ascendancy of the Apocrypha and translations such as the Vulgate Bible, based on the corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus texts, supported by Origen and Jerome. The Catholic Church in general, and Jesuits in particular, ignore plain Bible commands so as to uphold their anti-Biblical traditions.
Rene Fulop-Miller says of the Jesuits, "In actual fact, the Jesuit casuists [reasoners about what is right or wrong] deal with two forms of permissible deception: that of ‘amphibology’ and that of reservatio mentalis. ‘Amphibology’ is nothing else than the employment of ambiguous terms calculated to mislead the questioner; ‘mental reservation’ consists in answering a question, not with a direct lie, but in such a way that the truth is partly suppressed, certain words being formulated mentally but not expressed orally," (cited in Facts of Faith, page 281). Dr. Bacchiocchi is so steeped in the study of the Catholic Church early fathers that he cannot help himself from thinking like them. Truly, you become what you read!
The statements made in this review are not intended to cast aspersions on Dr. Bacchiocchi. I love and respect him highly. For many years, I have promoted his books supporting the Sabbath, and I expect to continue to do so. I am not accusing him of being a Jesuit. But, I am warning others to reject Bacchiocchi’s Jesuit tendencies. After thoughtful consideration, we will not continue to recommend his books on the Holy Days. We do, indeed, recommend books even if we do not agree with the author on every point. But the tone of Bacchiocchi’s books on the Holy Days, is, in my opinion, Catholic rather than Biblical, and that is something that I will not support.
Bacchiocchi’s second volume on the Holy Days, Part II The Fall Festivals, was published in late 1996. It is a much better book than Part I The Spring Festivals. Gone are the constant references to Catholic Fathers. Instead, he liberally quotes Jewish understanding of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. There is evidence of better research. While his careless proofreading gets an "F" for failing in Part I, he earned a "C" for average in Part II. There are still too many typographical errors. There are a few lapses into fanciful reasoning. But there are also portions which are well thought out and quite perceptive.
Most surprisingly, Part II transfers Justin Martyr from a faithful Christian witness that we should emulate with a morning Lord’s Supper (Part I, pp. 142-143) to a "Christian" in quotes who initiated the repudiation of the Sabbath and annual Holy Days and taught that God gave these ordinances to the Jews because they were more wicked than any other people (Part II, p. 276). I believe this demonstrates Dr. B.’s growth, and is not a flagrant contradiction. However, even though he attacks Justin in Part II, Bacchiocchi does not back down from his unwarranted following of Justin in the manner of observing the annual memorial of the Savior’s sacrifice. Actually, this dichotomy further indicates Bacchiocchi’s unsettled theological ground on the Holy Days.
Bacchiocchi studiously avoids attacking Seventh-day Adventist notions of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary on the (supposed) day of Atonement, October 22, 1844. Yet, his defense of the Investigative Judgment concept supports the SDA view. Although he claims to have "new information" on the typology of the annual feasts, I found little new material, and some very questionable speculation.
Ellen G. White Not a Feast Supporter
Ellen G. White and SDA’s in general have been keenly interested in the typology of the Day of the Atonement, to establish the date of October 22, 1844, as the cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary. Bacchiocchi says that they could not have fully grasped Biblical typology in general, and Festival typology, in particular, because only in recent times (with Danielou’s and Bacchiocchi’s) typological research have these areas become the subject of scholarly inquiry (Part II, p. 26). Many scholars today are delving into the typology of the Feasts. Yet, these "scholars" are generally not keeping the Holy Days. Why is this so? Because, as Dr. B. fails to understand, Truth is not obtained through scholarship. Understanding Biblical typology is good for nothing unless one submits to the will and Law of the Almighty.
James and Ellen G. White early examined the question of the Biblical Holy Days, and rejected the annual sabbaths, not because of lack of understanding Biblical typology, but because they did not accept their continuance in the Christian dispensation. In the first issue of the Present Truth in 1849, James White upheld the Sabbath, but rejected the Feast Days. In the second issue, James White cited Colossians 2:14-17, stating, "it is very clear that the sacrifices and oblations, new-moons, feast days, and Sabbaths of the Jewish law cease," at Christ’s death, when they were "nailed to the Cross."
Bacchiocchi makes much about Ellen G. White’s statement, "Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles — a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them. As the children of Israel celebrated the deliverance that God had wrought for their fathers, and His miraculous preservation of them during their journeying from Egypt, so should we gratefully call to mind the various ways He has devised for bringing us out from the world, and from the darkness of error, into the precious light of His grace and truth," (cited from Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 540-541). Bacchiocchi would have us believe that Ellen G. White would approve of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles.
This does not ring true. Ellen G. White’s statement is misapplied. I may well say, "It would be good for us in the present time to jog five miles a day. We would be in better health." Yes, it would, but, however, I do not personally jog five miles a day. I do not have the character and will to do so. (I have however, instituted an exercise program, and kept it up longer than I have ever done so previously.) That is the vein in which Mrs. White made her "pro Feast of Tabernacles" statement. There is no record that she ever kept the Feast of Tabernacles. And, there is record that she opposed those who kept the annual Christian Passover. In August, 1848, in Volney, western New York, at a general meeting of Advent believers, David Arnold held that the Passover should be observed once a year. Mrs. White had a grand vision, in which she held an open Bible without looking, and turned the pages and pointed to texts, read by another, which refuted what she termed "false theories." She led the "Lord’s Supper" at that meeting.
Ellen G. White’s positive statement on the Feast of Tabernacles did not mean that she approved of keeping the Festival. It was spiritual salt and pepper. Extolling the typology and meaning of the annual Holy Days, and keeping them, are not the same thing. Abraham H. Lewis, the most prominent Sabbath-keeper of the Nineteenth Century, a Seventh Day Baptist, believed in a Wednesday-Sabbath crucifixion-resurrection, and that the earliest Christians observed the annual Passover on Nisan 14 as a memorial of the death of the Messiah. Yet it is doubtful if Lewis ever kept the Passover himself.
The conclusion is undeniable: Ellen G. White was not a Feast Day supporter. She applauded the meaning of God’s annual Holy Days, but did not support the actual observance of these days. This brings into question the depth of conviction of Bacchiocchi’s own support of the Holy Days.
In his summation at the end of Part II, Bacchiocchi asks, is the Feast of Tabernacles relevant today, and, if Christians can benefit from observing a feast given to ancient Israel. There is not a hint that we should observe the festivals because of a divine command, but only a suggestion that we can benefit from observing the festivals since they are filled with meaning for us today. Yes, the festivals are very relevant and overflowing with meaning for us today, and yes, we benefit immensely from observing them. However, any observance of the Holy Days because of the benefits to be derived from so doing, turns them into a spiritual commodity that we can choose to buy or not to buy. When one begins from humble, childlike, obedience to the word of the Almighty, only then can he truly understand the meaning of, and experience the great joy, of the annual festivals.
Bible Translation Makes a Difference
There are some who say that it doesn’t matter which translation of the Bible you use. Dr. Bacchiocchi’s use of the Revised Standard Version illustrates the fallacy of such thinking. He accepts two RSV departures from the Received Text which produce aberrant concepts.
First, he used the RSV rendition of Ephesians 4:8 to purport that after His resurrection, Christ ascended to Heaven, taking a host of resurrected saints with Him. The RSV translates this passage, "When He ascended on high He led a host of captives," while the New International Version says, "When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train." The King James, and the Received Text, state, "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive."
Matthew says that these resurrected saints went into the holy city (Jerusalem, Nehemiah 11:1) and appeared unto many. It says nothing of their being resurrected to immortal life. If they had been, this would have contradicted Paul’s statement in I Corinthians 15:22-23, where we are told that the resurrection to eternal life will occur at Christ’s coming. Jesus ascends to Heaven alone in Acts 1. Bacchiocchi uses a faulty translation to support his going-to-Heaven doctrine.
Second, Bacchiocchi uses a faulty translation of Hebrews 9:28 to support the SDA view of an Investigative Judgment (belief that judgment is completed at the return of Jesus Christ, and at His second coming, He merely executes His judicial decisions to save or condemn). The RSV says, "so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him." If this translation is correct, then Dr. B. is correct, that this is the only day of salvation, and the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment do not provide a first chance for those who have not been called, to understand and accept the Gospel. However, in this case, both the KJV and NIV are correct: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation," (KJV) and "so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him," (NIV). Use of corrupt translations can produce corrupt doctrines.
The "Second Chance" Lie
Bacchiocchi ridicules the Church of God teaching that during the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment, all mankind will be given the opportunity for salvation. He sarcastically refers to this as a "second chance." He says, "The attempt to build a remedial plan of salvation to go into effect during the millennium for those who did not accept Christ before His Return cannot be supported by the typology of the Day of Atonement, nor by the general teachings of the Bible" (Part II, pp. 195-196). If Bacchiocchi is correct, that now is the only day of salvation for all mankind, then it is assured that the vast majority of mankind is doomed to the lake of fire and eternal condemnation. Such a theological view turns God into a harsh monster, because the vast majority of mankind (past and present) has had no concept of God and the Savior, and has never been able to come to the point to either accept or reject the plan of salvation offered through the Messiah. What a hypocritical lie to say that the teaching of salvation offered in the Millennium is a "second chance," when the vast majority living today has never had a "first chance" to understand the gospel!
I venture to say that even Samuele Bacchiocchi does not believe that now is the only day of salvation for all mankind. If he really believed that it was, then he would not be selling his books to Sabbath-keepers. He would be in a place like Ethiopia, desperately trying to bring Christ to those who have never heard of Him.
In Part II of God’s Festivals, Bacchiocchi refutes himself and the pre-Advent Investigative Judgment theory that he supposedly upholds. Several times, he correctly shows that judgment begins at the return of Christ on Trumpets (Part II, pp. 59, 64). He cites Psalm 47, which shows that the trumpet announces the establishment of the Eternal as King over all the earth. Yet, he turns this around to say that prior to the return of Christ, there is a heavenly investigative judgment. Psalm 47 refutes his concept. Bacchiocchi provides no proof for a pre-Advent judgment period. Revelation 11 shows that at the time of the return of the Messiah, verse 15, is the time of the judgment of the dead, verse 18. The judgment of the dead, according to Revelation, did not begin in 1844 as SDA’s teach!
Millennium: In Heaven or on Earth?
So slavish is Bacchiocchi to support the traditional SDA view of the millennium in heaven, that he takes unwarranted liberties with scripture. Dr. B. purports that at Christ’s appearing, He will cleanse the world with fire, II Peter 3:10, but he ignores the time element of this event, which occurs after the Millennium, Revelation 21.
Bacchiocchi cites Zechariah 14:16-17. "Zechariah envisions that Jerusalem would become the worship center of the world and all the surviving nations would go up annually to the city to observe the Feast of Booths," (Part II, p. 220). But, Bacchiocchi notes, "Unfortunately, this prophetic vision of the restoration of Jerusalem and His people was never realized because of the people’s constant rebellion and apostasy. But the prophets could see that God’s promised restoration would ultimately be fulfilled at the eschatological coming of the Lord." Did you catch it? He is saying that Zechariah 14 will never be literally fulfilled. It is just a Jewish hope, that will be fulfilled in a spiritual sense when Christ returns and takes the saints to Heaven. We believe that Zechariah 14 will have a literal fulfillment, that even Egypt will keep the Feast of Tabernacles, or they will have no rain. Bacchiocchi labels such views, "bizarre conclusions" (Part II, p. 222).
The Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, has also been called the "Feast of Nations," because all nations will keep it. In order to keep it, they will have to been taught. They had not been taught to keep the Feast prior to the return of the Messiah. Therefore, after the return of the Messiah, He will teach all nations to keep it. But, Bacchiocchi cannot allow this, because for him, this is a "second chance." In order to escape the logic of scripture, the only avenue for Bacchiocchi is to spiritualize away the multitude of Old Testament prophecies pointing to a literal kingdom of God on this earth during the millennium. These scriptures are merely a "hoped-for political restoration of Jerusalem and its religious services," (Part II, p. 222) a type of the real end time restoration of the earth after the Millennium.
If you follow Bacchiocchi’s reasoning, you can forget about nations beating their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:2-4), and being taught not to go to war. Such millennial prophecies are merely spiritual metaphors and types, not intended to have a literal fulfillment. Of course, then, Ellen G. White’s favorable statement about keeping the Feast of Tabernacles must be a metaphor as well, because she never intended us to literally observe the Feast. And, words do not have meaning.
Grasping at the Trinity Doctrine
Some will stoop to almost any analogy or metaphor to support their pre-conceived ideas. Discussing the Book of Revelation, Bacchiocchi describes two groups of people, "those who worship the true Trinity (introduced in Rev. 1:4-5) and those who worship the counterfeit trinity (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (Rev. 16:13)" (Part II, p. 44, restated on p. 188). Of course, there are no scriptures in Revelation, or any place in the Bible, which support the trinity. But then, if you take a Catholic-inspired version of the Bible (e.g., insertion of trinity text proof in I John 5), and a non-literal, every-man-for-himself approach to interpretation of Scripture, leaning heavily on typology (comparable to allegorical method used by many early Catholic fathers), then I suppose that you could find support for the trinity doctrine.
There are many areas of Bacchiocchi’s books on the Festivals that are profound, interesting, and well done. It is obvious that Dr. Bacchiocchi is growing in his understanding. Those who already observe the Holy Days will find some real gems, albeit surrounded by poor scholarship and downright contradictory and erroneous portions. Dr. Bacchiocchi’s reputation has been tarnished by his sloppy, premature research. There is no shortcut to Bible Truth. It comes through the call of the Almighty, humble obedience, and a lifetime of learning.
An understanding of the Holy Days comes by keeping them. A good understanding have all they who do His commandments. I look forward to watching Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi’s learning progression, and his re-writing and correcting his two books on the Holy Days.
— written by Richard C. Nickels
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Written by: Richard C. Nickels
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