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March 1996 - Volume 1, Number 2

1996, United Church of God, an International Association

Are the Biblical Holy Days for New Testament Christians?

by Larry Neff

Although I do not remember the exact event, I know that the first time I heard about God's Holy Days was in August of 1951. I was seven years old, and my parents were attending a religious service in Portland, Oregon.

Our family had observed Christmas, Easter and Halloween throughout my short life. I remember observing those holidays and that I did not want to give them up.

I also remember that as I began to experience God's true Holy Days, they were much more meaningful and enjoyable - even to a young boy. Eventually, I came to understand why this was so. I also came to understand that the days our family had observed earlier are not commanded in the Bible, and that the Holy Days described in Leviticus 23 are commanded in both Old and New Testaments.

The days labeled by many as "Old Testament Jewish days" are very much a part of the legacy left to us by Jesus Christ and the apostles. It has always puzzled me that people observe "religious" holidays not commanded or observed by God's servants in either the Old or the New Testament, while at the same time ignoring those days that are commanded in the Bible.

Common sense

Even while I was still in high school, I discovered that in the King James Version the word translated "Easter" in Acts 12:4 was an erroneous translation of the Greek word pascha, a word clearly meaning the Passover (described in Leviticus 23:5). Later, I learned that it was not until the second century, long after the New Testament was written, that people began to replace the Passover observance with Easter.

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