The scriptures assert that important historical events are synchronized with “holy days” on the Hebrew calendar. Ancient Americans used a calendar based on the planet Venus that they claimed was created before the foundation of the world to chronicle key earthly events. Dr. John P. Pratt’s latest article, “Twelve Steps from Christ to Adam,” briefly shows how these two calendars working together can be used to discover important historical dates and to testify of the truth of the Biblical chronology and the life and Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.1

Picture #1 - Hebrew Calendar

This wheel illustrates key features of the very complicated lunisolar Hebrew calendar that is described in the Bible.2

 

I first became acquainted with John Pratt’s research from his two Ensign articles in 1985 entitled “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836.” Starting from the April 3, 33 AD date of the Resurrection, these articles show the relationship of that day to the day the Savior and other messengers appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836.3

Picture #2 - Soros cycle table

Caption: This table from NASA is an illustration of the lunar saros cycle algorithm that describes the orbit of the moon related to lunar and solar eclipses. April 3, 33 AD is separated from April 3, 1836 by exactly 100 saros cycles.4

 

John Pratt and I worked together in software development over many years beginning in 1993. I became an eye witness of the intricate astronomical, scriptural and historical research that has resulted in his approach to formalize ancient calendars. This research and its use to discover more than 200 dates in sacred history is a powerful testimony of God’s hand in all things and the truth of the information contained in the Holy Scriptures.5

In just twelve steps, Doctor Pratt illustrates calculating key dates for Father Adam, starting from the crucifixion, resurrection and birth of Christ.6 Using just two of the sacred calendars and only a handful of sacred holy days, the fall of Adam and Eve and the beginning of the earth’s seven thousand year clock end up aligned with amazing precision with the life of Christ.

During the process of calculating Adam’s dates, an incredible array of historical details are derived including the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, the Exodus across the Red Sea out of Egypt, the entry of the children of Israel into Canaan, and key dates in the lives of the patriarchs Jacob, Noah and Jared, including the Great Flood during the days of Noah.

Having been eye witness to the mathematical, historical and scriptural research that has resulted in this intricate tapestry of sacred dates, I commend you to try out this great adventure in a simplified readable format that investigates the mystery of whether the dates of the Bible really can be matched with calendars derived from astronomical facts. To me, it is a real life adventure that testifies of the hand of the Lord in real events relating to Heavenly Father’s plan for our world.

 

Notes

[1] John P. Pratt, “Twelve Steps from Christ to Adam,” JohnPratt.com, December 23, 2014.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2014/twelve_steps.html]

“A precise chronology from Christ back to Adam is created in twelve steps, requiring only minimal knowledge of Biblical history and the Venus Calendar.

“Over the past three decades, fourteen sacred calendars have been discovered which have been used to create a chronology from Adam through the present day. Many of the key religious events of history occurred on dates which are holy days on many of those calendars simultaneously. Each calendar provides one thread of testimony, but together the threads are woven into a strong rope which provides compelling evidence of the overall accuracy of the chronology.”

[2] John P. Pratt, “The Hebrew Calendar Testifies of the Creator,” Meridian Magazine, October 26 2007.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2007/hebrew.html]

“The precise lengths of the solar year and lunar month were apparently designed to fit the day-year pattern of the Hebrew calendar.”

[3] John P. Pratt, “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 1:Dating the First Easter,” The Ensign, June 1985, pp. 59-68.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/easter/dating.html]

John P. Pratt, “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 2: Symbolism of Passover and of Elijah’s Return,” The Ensign, July 1985, pp. 55-64.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/easter/elijah.html]

[4] “Eclipses and the Saros,” NASA Eclipse Web Site, Retrieved 01/12/2015.

[http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEsaros/SEsaros.html]

“Periodicity and Variation of Solar (and Lunar) Eclipses: SAROS-INEX Panorama.”

[5] John P. Pratt, “Religious Chronology Summary,” December 8, 2014.

[http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/dates.html]

RPMNote: In a world that cannot even agree about the dates in the life of Christ, this table of specific dates in the sacred history of the world derived by John Pratt over more than a thirty year period seems beyond belief. I am eye witness to the detailed research and computations of many of these dates by Dr. Pratt. Using this approach, the orbits and planetary rotations of the solar system and associated calendars can be linked with historical dates noted or implied in the scriptures. This is to me a powerful spiritual and scientific testimony of God and His work.

[6] To me, John Pratt’s research providing evidence, scriptural, secular and astronomical, of the key dates in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ is some of his most compelling research. Few modern scholars support the April 1, 33 AD crucifixion date and the April 6, 1 BC birth date.

This secular witness by a Greek historian of the year 33 AD for the signs of the death of the Savior were especially impressive to me as I read John Pratt’s 1994 Ensign article.

John P. Pratt, “Passover: Was it Symbolic of His coming?” The Ensign, Jan 1994, pp. 38-45.

[http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/passover/passover.html]

“Another witness comes from Phlegon, a Greek secular historian from Caria (in Asia Minor), writing soon after A.D. 137, who “reported that in the fourth year of the 202d Olympiad there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that the stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’

“The year mentioned began on 1 July A.D. 32 and ended 30 June A.D. 33, a period which includes the time identified as that of the Savior’s crucifixion. The fact that Phlegon records both darkening of the sun at noon and earthquakes, just as Matthew describes (see Matt. 27:45, 51), in the that same year, makes it apparent that he is describing the same events that were also witnessed in distant cities in modern-day Turkey. This also confirms traditions that “the terror of the earthquake continued from the sixth hour of the preparation until the ninth hour” (from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Friday; compare 3 Ne. 8:17-19), and that “when he was crucified darkness came over all the world,” “the sun was altogether hidden,” “the stars were seen,” and “in all the world they lighted their lamps from the sixth hour until evening.””

John P. Pratt, “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 1:Dating the First Easter,” The Ensign, June 1985, pp. 59-68.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/easter/dating.html

On the determination of the birth date of Christ by revelation from the scriptures and the words of modern prophets and apostles, James E. Talmage’s statement is a good example that is discussed in the “Dating the First Easter” article by John Pratt. In his bold declaration in Jesus the Christ, published one hundred years ago in 1915, Elder Talmage declared: “We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, B.C. 1.”

See also: Ronald P. Millett, “Why So Bold a Statement? Elder James E. Talmage and April 6,” Meridian Magazine, November 12, 2012.

[https://ldsmag.com/article-1-11759/]

“Apostle, scientist and scholar James E. Talmage added a belief statement to the Church’s doctrinal list in his landmark book Jesus the Christ when he declared: “We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, B.C. 1.”

“Instead of a modest statement supporting the Dionysian designation of 1 BC as the year zero of the Christian era via the April 6 BC 1 date; instead of a note in the preface or a footnote in his chapter 8 discussion of the birth of the Savior; instead of saying “it seemed to me that” or “I believe after study and contemplation that,” instead of any of those options, Elder Talmage boldly declared that “we believe” in April 6, BC 1 as the birth date of the Redeemer of the world.”

“The CES Church History manual for religious instruction courses 341 through 343 describes the extent of the involvement of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in the review and publication of the book.

“‘During eighteen separate sessions over a two-month period, Elder Talmage read the chapters to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for their input and approval. This book is still widely read and is a monument to Elder Talmage’s scholarship and inspiration.’”

“If the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve had strongly objected to Elder Talmage’s assertion in Chapter 8 about the birth day of Christ, or felt that he had gone too far with his emphatic statement, he surely would have backed off. There were many ways he could have backed off while still claiming the inspiration he had felt on the matter. The First Presidency gave an unqualified endorsement of the book. It was not unanimous on the birthday of Christ assertion, as Elder Hyrum M. Smith’s published reservations show.[5] But, Elder Talmage’s powerful assertion regarding Christ’s birth date was not revised during the review process.”

[1] John P. Pratt, “Twelve Steps from Christ to Adam,” JohnPratt.com, December 23, 2014.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2014/twelve_steps.html]

[1] “Temple Square North Visitors’ Center,” lds.org, picture #3 at this page. Retrieved 1/12/2015.

[https://www.lds.org/locations/temple-square-north-visitors-center#d]