Ask most Christians how long Yeshua’s ministry was, and they’ll assure you it was 3 ½ years. But was it? In Exodus 12:1-5, Yahweh instructed Moses to have the congregation of Israel, on the 10th day of the 1st month, select (for each household) from among the flock animals, a sheep or goat. Each family was to keep this animal with them until the 14th day. Then, between the evenings of the 14th and 15th, they were to kill it. They were to place its blood on the top and sides of their doorposts, then roast and eat it.
This God ordained ritual, as we all know, commemorates the very first Passover. But in verse five, Yahweh gave Moses three specific requirements regarding the sacrificial animal Israel was to choose. Over the centuries, Christians have focused on two of these requirements, which were exemplified in Yeshua, the Lamb of God. Yeshua was male, and He was without spot or blemish. But what about that third requirement? What about Yahweh’s instruction that this Passover flock animal must be a yearling? (at least 12, but less than 24 months old).
And why did Yeshua, after being handed the scroll and reading aloud in the synagogue from Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has anointed Me to proclaim the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and vision to the blind, and to liberate those being crushed,” end this public reading from Isaiah with “and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”?
After that, Yeshua simply rolled up the scroll, handed it to the attendant, and sat down.
I don’t know about you, but I think everyone in the synagogue was gaping at Yeshua because He stopped right smack in the middle of the passage (Isaiah 61:2) which reads: “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord AND the Day of vengeance of our God.” But Yeshua did not read “the day of vengeance of our God.” He stopped after “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then, when He sat down and all eyes were on him, he declared, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”
Now most credible Bible teachers will point out that the Messiah stopped where he did because the “Day of Vengeance of our God” referred to His second coming, and they would be absolutely correct.
But what about this acceptable “YEAR” of the LORD? Why is it always overlooked, just like Yahweh’s requirement that the Passover flock animal must be a “yearling”?
ANSWER: Sometime during the 4th century, eight Greek words were added to the gospel of John, chapter 6, verse 4. In English these words are translated as “and the passover, a feast of the Jews, was neigh.” These Greek words, which were never included in earlier manuscripts, were added during the 4th century to give credence to Eusebius’ (new) Roman Catholic “Preterist” eschatology. Prior to this it had been commonly held by Christian theologians and historians, men like Clement of Alexandria, Lactantius, Origen, and Tertullian, Filastrius, Gaudentius, Evagrius, Ephraem and others, who had read the original texts, that Yeshua’s ministry lasted just over a year (15 ½ months).
By coupling these added eight words to Eusebius’ assertion that the “unnamed” feast mentioned in John 5:1-47 (actually a Shavuot) was yet another Passover, the Catholic Church could s-t-r-e-t-c-h out Yeshua’s yearling ministry of 15 ½ months to their needed 3 ½ year ministry of Christ.
“Why would need to do that?” you ask.
For power! What else?
In the infamous 4th century, when so much of Scripture got turned on its head, the Roman Catholic Church invented a 3 ½ year ministry for (their) Christ, to which they could add another 3 ½ years (which they claim is the time between Pentecost, in the 2nd chapter of Acts, and Peter’s vision).
The Catholic Church needed this new timeframe to prove their fallacious fulfillment of Daniel’s Messianic prophesy of “70 sevens” (70 weeks). This new time-line of Eusebius’ was used by Rome to establish the Catholic Church’s “Preterist” eschatology, in which they claim that all biblical prophecy (including Revelations) was fulfilled with the destruction of Israel’s second temple. And now, appropriating for himself the title of “Vicar of Christ”, the Pope was free to rule all of Christendom, in this the millennial kingdom, from his throne in Rome.
Ironically, the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that Eusebius was the “sole progenitor” of the Christ’s 3 ½ year ministry. The eight added words not only destroyed the chronology of the gospels, but they clouded the meaning of Daniel’s cryptic prophecy. The Roman Catholic Church’s expunging of those earlier, untampered with manuscripts, and the Church’s political power to sequester from the laity, for centuries, the Scriptures themselves, has given their eschatology and dogma all the time it needed to become truth for most of Christendom.
But remember what Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s arch propagandist once declared:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
But God Watches Over His Word!
Luke 8:17 says: “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known or brought out into the open. And Greek manuscript # 472, an 11th century manuscript, which was originally stored in Constantinople, and is quite possibly the last in line of those manuscripts which had been copied from the untampered-with, pre 4th century manuscripts, is now kept and guarded at the Lambeth Palace Library in London.
In English its text reads:
‘And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Phillip, ‘Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Those eight words, “and the passover, a feast of the Jews, was neigh,” are not there.
By adding those eight Greek words to John’s Gospel, the power hungry Roman Catholic Church was able to decree God’s everlasting covenant with Israel nullified. The Torah they could claim, and did, had been nailed to the cross, replaced with ever-changing edicts from Rome, pontificated often by nefarious Popes who proclaimed themselves to be (and sadly still do) “Almighty God upon earth.”