[16] Control of the Temple, and thus the Calendar, in the Early First Century

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When studying the history of the calendar whose roots are embedded in the Tanak, one encounters writings from the New Testament, from Josephus and from Rabbinic literature. Then the reader is faced with the problem of determining whether all the statements one finds in these sources are historically true. There is a huge time gap from the fifth century BCE when Ezra and Nehemiah lived to the first century environment of the New Testament. Josephus was born in 37 CE, and while he wrote about events in the prior century, his sources from that time are not subject to independent checks for accuracy. Undoubtedly there were elderly folk who could give him personal recollections from the decades prior to his birth. Due to the difficulty in verifying information in Josephus from before the first century, our attention from his writings will be confined to the first century.