WHAT YEAR WAS JESUS
First of all I want to emphasize that the most important thing is that we, as true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, must believe that Jesus was indeed crucified for our sins and that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. In other words, it is not a matter of salvation to know the exact year that Jesus was crucified, but rather just to know and BELIEVE that Jesus was INDEED crucified for your sins and that he rose from the dead after three days. For a deeper understanding that Jesus did indeed die on the cross was buried and raised from the dead after three days please read the study called "HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF JESUS !".
But for now I believe that you will find, as I did in this study, to learn the YEAR that Jesus died, to be a very interesting study, which is to see if we can indeed know the exact year on which Jesus was crucified. So then, let us begin this study in God's word by taking a close look at that which we do KNOW for a certainty.
We know from reading the four gospels in the New Testament that Jesus was crucified under the reign of Pontius Pilate. Please read Matthew 27:1,2, which clearly shows us that Jesus was delivered into the hands of Pontius Pilate, who was the governor or ruler of that region at the time Jesus was crucified.
It is just a matter of examining the CLUES we find in God's word that will lead us to knowing the exact year that Jesus was crucified. Also these people being recorded in HISTORY as well as in the Bible brings some eternal evidence that supports that the Bible is true and not a book of so called "MYTHS" as some skeptics claim.
Clue #1: Jesus died during the reign of Pontius Pilate.
This clue is recorded in all four gospels leaving us no doubt to this fact that Jesus was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate. You can look up these references as well. Please read Matthew chapters 26 and 27; Mark chapter 15; Luke chapter 23; and John chapters 18 and 19, which all without a doubt proves to any one seeking the truth of the whole word of God that Jesus was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate.
So then, all we need to do now is to search the history books to find when Pontius Pilate REIGNED to know the approximate YEAR that Jesus was crucified. I say "approximate" year, because this is just ONE of the many clues we are given in the Bible. Also Pontius Pilate reigned for more that one year, so we cannot know which is the exact year that Jesus was crucified without more information where ALL the clues AGREE with each other. Upon searching the historical record we find that Pontius Pilatus was the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from 26 AD to 36 AD and was under the emperor Tiberius.
Therefore, the HISTORICAL record shows us that Jesus had to have been CRUCIFIED on one of these TEN years between 26 AD to 36 AD, but which one of these ten years was Jesus crucified is still the question. So far all we know with absolute certainty is that Jesus was crucified on ONE of these TEN possible years ranging from the year 26 AD to year 36 AD. So then, the question remains can we even know the EXACT year that Jesus was crucified? I personally believe that there is enough information given to us in the Bible to narrow down the possibilities down even a bit further and perhaps even to the exact year.
However, in order to answer the question as to the EXACT YEAR on which Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead we need to first settle the debate as to what DAY of the week the Bible teaches us that Jesus rose from the grave. What I mean by this was Jesus crucified on a Friday as some church traditions teach, or was Jesus crucified on a Wednesday to allow for a FULL three DAYS and a FULL three nights for Jesus to be in the belly of the earth and then to be raised on the First day of the week AFTER these full three days and full three nights in the grave?
Please read Mark 8:29-31.
"And he said unto them, But whom say you that I am? And Peter answered and said unto him, You are the Christ.30. And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
31. And he (Jesus himself) began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and AFTER three days rise again."
Then read Matthew 27:57-66.
"When the even was come,(speaking of the EVENING of Wednesday right before sunset, which was the BEGINNING of the NEXT day or the day after Wednesday. So on Wednesday EVENING right before sunset) there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
For the Biblical proof as to what DAY that the word of God itself clearly teaches us that Jesus AROSE from the grave please read the study called "WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED ON GOOD FRIDAY?". You see, it is important to know which DAY of the WEEK that Jesus was crucified, because the DAYS of the week change from year to year in respect to the day of the MONTH. In other words, for example January 1st is not always on the same DAY of the WEEK every year.
So then, after you are fully persuaded from God's word as to what DAY that Jesus arose from the grave, then we can determine upon which YEAR that Jesus was CRUCIFIED. So again please read the study "WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED ON GOOD FRIDAY?" for the SOUND Biblical proof as to what DAY that Jesus was CRUCIFIED.
But for now I will say that I myself have concluded that Jesus was crucified on a WEDNESDAY as opposed to the traditional Friday crucifixion. Now let us see what other clues that word of God itself gives us to find the exact year that Jesus was crucified from the TEN possible years that we know for certain to be the only possible years upon which Jesus could have been crucified. In searching the HISTORICAL record of when Pontius Pilate reigned we also learned that he reigned UNDER the Emperor Tiberius.
Clue # 2: Tiberius was Emperor over Pontius Pilate.
We also find this clue in God's word as well, where the word of God gives us even more detail. Please read Luke 3:1-3, which teaches us that John the baptist BEGAN his ministry in the FIFTEENTH YEAR of when Tiberius Caesar was reigning as Emperor over Pontius Pilate.
"Now in the FIFTEENTH year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
Upon searching the HISTORICAL record of the reign of Tiberius Caesar we find that Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus reigned as sole Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. I say that Tiberius began to be the SOLE Emperor in 14 AD, because the year 14 AD is when the previous Emperor Augustus Caesar died. The HISTORICAL record shows us that Imperator Caesar Divi F. Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire, DIED on August 18 in the year 14 AD. But history also shows us that Tiberius reigned JOINTLY for a short time during the last few years of the reign of Augustus. Some scholars say that Tiberius began his official JOINT reign in 12 AD. But for now we are going to use the exact date of August 19th in the year 14 AD as the BEGINNING of the reign of Tiberius.
So then, clue #2 teaches us that the FIFTEENTH year of the reigning of Tiberius with the STARTING date of August 19th of 14 AD would be from August 19th, 28 AD to August 19th, 29 AD.
But how does know this year from August 19th of 28 AD to August 19th of 29 AD help us to determine the year that Jesus was CRUCIFIED? We will find out in the next clue, but in all fairness using all the possible dates Jesus could have started his ministry as early as 27 AD using the JOINT reign of 12 AD to as late as 29 AD if you count the year from January to January as opposed to August 19th to August 19th.
Some Christians use the latest possible year of 29 AD as the beginning of the ministry of Jesus combined with a 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus to arrive at 33 AD where Nissan 14 falls on a Friday for the crucifixion of Jesus. This is why church tradition has taught us that Jesus was chrucified on a "Friday" as opposed to have been crucified on a "Wednesday", and thus ignoring the other sound Biblical evidence, which supports a Wednesday crucifixion of Jesus.
And then some Christians use the earliest possible year of 27 AD as the beginning of the ministry of Jesus combined with a 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus to arrive at 31 AD where Nissan 14 falls on a Wednesday for the crucifixion.
Now if we used ALL the possible years using ONLY these two clues from the Bible combine with a 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus, then we would have the years 31 AD, 32 AD, and 33 AD as being the possible years of the crucifixion of Jesus.
And if the ministry of Jesus was shorter than a full three and one half years, then we could have the years 28 AD, 29 AD, 30 AD, 31 AD, 32 AD, and 33 AD as being possible years of the crucifixion of Jesus.
But for now we will use the year 28 AD as the beginning of the ministry of Jesus simply because there is no "STRETCHING" the starting year of the reign of Tiberius nor extending his fifteenth year of reign past August 19th of 29 AD. Now you would not actually be extending his reign, but rather you would count the year from January to January so that September through October, the Fall of the year, would still be in 29 AD as the FIFTEENTH year. You see, if one counts August 19th 29 AD as the END of the FIFTEENTH year, then the FALL of the that year would be the beginning of the next NEXT year of the reign of Tiberius. So then, form August 19th of 29 AD to August 19th of 30 AD would be the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius.
On the other hand using January to January as the start and ending of the calendar year then the year 28 AD would be the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius. It makes no difference as to how one counts the beginning and ending of the fifteenth year reign of Tiberius, because the FALL of the year will be in the fifteenth year EITHER way. But it does effect the OTHER clues found in the Bible as to which way is the correct way to count the years. More on this as we consider all the clues found in the Bible itself.
Let us take a look at the THIRD clue found in the Bible using the year 28 AD first and then we can come back to plug in the other possible years at the end of this study to see which year fits ALL the evidence.
Clue # 3: How old was John the Baptist when he was called by God in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius to begin preach the baptism of repentance?
But how does knowing how old John the baptist was when he BEGAN his ministry help us to determine what year Jesus was crucified? For the Biblical proof that Jesus was six months younger than John the baptist please read the study "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25th?" for the SOUND Biblical evidence showing that Jesus was born in the FALL of the year. In the above study I myself have concluded that the best possible year for Jesus to have been born in the light of all the evidence in September 11, 3 BC. You see, knowing the age of John the baptist at this time between August 19th, 28 AD to August 19th, 29 AD will tell us the AGE of Jesus as well. The above study will as well prove to be very interesting if you like putting clues together.
So then, let us take a look at clue #3, which is found in Luke 3:23, which teaches us the approximate age of Jesus during the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius.
The phrase "And Jesus HIMSELF" teaches us that it was this SAME period of time that John the baptist BEGAN his ministry in the FIFTEENTH year of Tiberius that Jesus HIMSELF also began to be ABOUT the age of THIRTY. This phrase also tells us that John was already THIRTY years old when he began to preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. We also know from the context of verse 23 here in the gospel of Luke that Jesus was BAPTIZED by John when Jesus BEGAN to be about THIRTY years of age.
Please read Luke 3:21-23, which says,
The phrase in parenthesis "(as was supposed)" carries with it the meaning that Joseph was observing a custom of the Jews. In other words, Jesus was adopted by Joseph to be his son. If you continue to read the rest of Luke chapter 3 you will find the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph goes all the way back to Adam who is also called the son of God. The genealogy or actual bloodline of Mary is also traced back to David and the tribe of Judah. So then BOTH Mary and Joseph were from the tribe of Judah.
Anyway getting back on track we now know that Jesus BEGAN to be ABOUT the age of THIRTY when he was baptized by John the baptist and BEGAN his ministry as well in the FIFTEENTH year of Tiberius, which we know from historical records was from August 19th, 28 AD to August 19th, 29 AD.
So then, we know for certain that Jesus began his ministry at the age of THIRTY any where from August 19th, in the year 28 AD to August 19th, in the year 29 AD. Now all we need to do is find out how long Jesus ministered before he was CRUCIFIED.
Again the ACTUAL calendar year did NOT stop on August 19th, but rather the END of the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius stopped on August 19th. So in all fairness one could count the months of September through December of 29 AD as ALSO being the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius. This brings us to our next clue.
Clue #4: How long was the ministry of Jesus before he was crucified?
Now we can make an educated GUESS by reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but for me following this method would be at most just an approximation of how long Jesus ministered before he was crucified.
However the gospel of John makes it quite simple to see that Jesus minister no less than just a little over two years and no more than three and one half years. In other words, according to the gospel of John the Ministry of Jesus was either 2 1/2 years in length, or Jesus ministered for a full 3 1/2 years before he was crucified. The reason for the difference between these two choices is that some INTERPRET John 5:1 differently. Some teach that since John 5:1 showing us a FEAST day, then this feast day must be a PASSOVER. And others teach that it is NOT the Passover, but rather another yearly feast day. We will cover this debate further on in this study, but for now we will just be looking at the verses in the gospel of John that specifically say the PASSOVER.
You see, the gospel of John teaches us how many PASSOVERS that Jesus kept from the time after he was baptized when Jesus began to be about THIRTY years of age to the time that Jesus was CRUCIFIED on Nissan 14 the preparation day of PASSOVER on which the Passover LAMB was KILLED. Please keep in mind that this verse 23 in Luke chapter 3 teaches us that Jesus BEGAN to be ABOUT thirty years of age between August 19th of 28 AD to August 19th of 29 AD, which was the FIFTEENTH year of reigning of Tiberius.
23. And Jesus himself BEGAN to be about THIRTY years of age, being (as was supposed ) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"
Now I personally interpret this to mean that Jesus was just about to turn 30 years of age at the time that he was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit of Almighty God descended upon him. Some however dogmatically demand that Jesus had to have been no younger than THIRTY years of age before he began his ministry, because this was the minimum age of the priesthood.
But again please keep in mind that verse 23 says that Jesus himself BEGAN to be about THIRTY years of age and this was when Jesus was BAPTIZED by John the baptist and NOT the very day that Jesus actually BEGAN his MINISTRY. How do we know this? Number one we know that Jesus was immediately led into the wilderness where Jesus fasted for 40 days the moment that he came up from the water after being baptized. Please read Mark 1:9-12, which says,
So then, we can see that Jesus, who BEGAN to be ABOUT the age of THIRTY when John BEGAN to baptize, was also baptize by John and that the baptism of Jesus was in the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius, which we now know to be from August 19th, 28 AD to August 19th 29 AD. In other words Jesus could have turned 30 on any one of these days either before he was baptized by John or shortly after while he was in the wilderness being tempted of God. It may have been even the very day that Jesus was baptized. All we know for SURE at this point is that Jesus BEGAN to be ABOUT thirty years of age is from August 19th, 28 AD to August 19th 29 AD. Please read the study "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25th?" for a deeper understanding on when Jesus was BORN, which will help pinpoint the exact time of year that Jesus was born. And know the exact time of the year Jesus was born will tell us the exact time of the year that Jesus was baptized and began his ministry. But for now let us continue this part of the study to see how long Jesus ministered before he was CRUCIFIED.
We know that Jesus BEGAN his ministry shortly AFTER he was baptized by John, because we see in the gospel of John that Jesus went to a marriage feast in Cana where he told his mother that his HOUR has NOT YET COME. Please read John 2:1-3, which says,
In other words, Mary the mother of Jesus wanted her son to do a MIRACLE and turn the water into wine, but Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, what have I to do with you? My HOUR is NOT yet COME." Then Jesus went to Capernaum for several days. Again Jesus could have turned THIRTY years old any one of these days BEFORE he actually BEGAN his MINISTRY or preaching the kingdom of God and healing the sick. But I myself believe that the very HOUR that Jesus BEGAN his MINISTRY is when he went into the temple, open the scriptures to Isaiah as read Isaiah 61 verse 1 and PART of verse 2 and then said this scripture is FULFILLED in your ears and close the book and sat down. Please read Luke 4:14-21, which is right or very soon after Jesus returned from being tempted of the devil. So to me, there was obviously time to attend the wedding at Cana just BEFORE Jesus ACTUALLY BEGAN his ministry in Luke 4:14-21.
"And Jesus returned (this could mean Jesus returning from the wedding at Cana, this could mean Jesus returning from the desert after being tempted, or this could mean Jesus returning from his baptism where Jesus was ANOINTED with the Holy Spirit and with POWER. If so then it actually means all three of these things. Then main point is the Jesus returned) in the POWER of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up (Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem, but he was raised most of his childhood in Nazareth): and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias.(or Isaiah) And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has ANOINTED me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Isaiah verse 2 goes on to say more and I believe there is some significance of why Jesus stopped here and did not finish any more of Isaiah. And I believe that significance is because what Jesus did read was speaking of his FIRST coming and the rest refers to his SECOND coming yet to BE fulfilled.)
20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21. And he began to say unto them, THIS DAY is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
So then, to me Jesus needed to actually turn THIRTY years of age either ON or BEFORE this DAY that he proclaimed himself as the ANOINTED ONE spoken of in the scriptures that was to come. The HOUR of Jesus to BEGIN his ministry had come. This would make Jesus to be 30 years old when Jesus BEGAN his ministry and thus 33 1/2 years old at his crucifixion if one interprets the ministry of Jesus being a fully 3 1/2 years long.
This in turn demands that Jesus be born in the FALL of the year on year ZERO, which there is no such year zero, but if there were, to from the spring of year 0 to the spring of year 1 AD is 1 year, then from year the spring of 1 AD to the spring of year 2 AD is 2 years and so on.
Thus the FALL of the year 32 AD to the year FALL of the year 33 AD would be the 33rd year of Jesus. Add another 1/ 2 and this becomes 34 1/2 years, the SPRING of the year as to when Jesus was crucified. Now since there is NO year ZERO. So then, day of the birth of Jesus must begin on 1 AD, or 1 BC. Now 1 AD makes the crucifixion to then be in the SPRING of 34 AD. And using the birth of Jesus as 1 BC makes the death of Jesus to be 32 AD, but since there is NO year zero we must add 1 year and thus the crucifixion of Jesus is 33 AD in the SPRING of the year. In other words, from the FALL of 1 BC, the birth of Jesus, to the Fall of 1 AD, the first birthday of Jesus, is 1 year, and the fall of 1 AD to the fall of 2 AD is 2 years and so on, which would make the 33 and 1/2 years of the life of Jesus, the SPRING of the next year to be the crucifixion of Jesus, which would be the SPRING of 33 AD.
BUT what then happened to year ZERO? Logically we must ADD 1 year crossing over from 1 AD to 1 BC, which would then make the crucifixion be in the 34 AD. Thus many Bible scholars have concluded the birth of Jesus to be in the FALL of 2 BC, in order the MAKE of even FORCE the crucifixion of Jesus to be in the SPRING of 33 AD. More later on why I say make or even force the year 33 AD to be the year Jesus was crucified.
Again many Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born in the FALL of the year. Yes, traditionally, the Roman Catholic church places Jesus to be born on December 25th, but I personally find no Biblical support for Jesus being born in the WINTER. Again please see the study "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25th?" for a deeper understanding of when Jesus was born.
Other Bible scholars place the BIRTH of Jesus to be on September 29 of 2 BC, which I cover in the study above that I just mentioned. And yet others place the birth of Jesus on September 11 of 3 BC. My main point right now is to establish that Jesus was born in the FALL of the year.
So then, going with the FALL of the year as the BIRTH of Jesus would consequently mean that Jesus just BEGINNING to be about 30 years of age would place the time of his baptism in the late summer to the FALL of the year as well.
Therefore using clue #3, the FIFTEENTH year reign of Tiberius, the year that Jesus actually BEGAN his ministry was the FALL of 28 AD, which was in beginning of the FIFTEENTH YEAR of reigning of Tiberius, because August 19th of 29 AD would be BEFORE the FALL of the year of 29 AD, which is time that Jesus turned 30 years old. In other words, the FALL of 29 AD would be AFTER August 19th and would therefore be the 16th year of reigning for Tiberius.
The FALL of the year is AFTER the month of August no mater what year it is. Now I suppose one could fudge this date to be the FALL of 29 AD, but for ME, after closely examining ALL the evidence I personally choose the FALL of 28 AD as the BEGINNING of the ministry of Jesus Christ. This would make the crucifixion of Jesus to be the the SPRING of the year 32 AD.
But again in all fairness as I said earlier the STARTING year of the reign of Tiberius could have been as early as 12 AD and thus place the FIFTEENTH year of his reign to be 27 AD, which we will consider at the end of this study. But for now we are just looking at 28 AD as being the best possible year for the BEGINNING year of the ministry of Jesus.
Now since we now know the time or season of the year that Jesus BEGAN his MINISTRY, then all we need now is to determine HOW LONG did Jesus MINISTER before he was CRUCIFIED.
The debate of the LENGTH of the ministry of Jesus varies from as short as six months to as long as 3 and 1/2 years, where 3 and 1/2 years is the LONGEST POSSIBLE time of the ministry of Jesus according to the gospel of John. Therefore using the length of the ministry of Jesus being from six months to three and one half year places that crucifixion of Jesus anywhere from the spring of 29 AD to the spring of 32 AD. And if one fudges the FALL of the year 28 AD to the fall of 29 AD as being the fifteenth year reign of Tiberius, then Jesus could have been crucified as late as 33 AD using the last starting date of the ministry of Jesus.
So then, so far we have narrowed the TEN possible years for the crucifixion of Jesus down to FIVE possible years.
Lets us continue to take a closer look at the gospel of John to see how many PASSOVERS that Jesus observes AFTER his ministry actually began in the FALL of 28 AD.
Please read John 2:13-23 which is shortly after Jesus spends a few days in Capereum after the miracle of changing water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana when he told his mother that his HOUR is NOT YET come.
This Passover found in John 2:23 is the FIRST Passover that Jesus observed after he began his ministry at the age of THIRTY that is clearly and plainly recorded for us to read. So Jesus was in his SIXTH month of his ministry at the time of this FIRST Passover.
The next clear passage of scripture where we can plainly see the SECOND Passover that Jesus observed is found in John 6:4 which is at the time Jesus feed the great multitude of with five loaves of bread and two small fish. Please read John 6:1-15 to get the whole context.
4. And the PASSOVER, a feast of the Jews, was NIGH.(this would be the SECOND Passover feast that was very near that is CLEARLY and PLAINLY STATED as being a PASSOVER without ANY doubt as it being a PASSOVER. Again I am aware of John 5:1 and we will consider this verse as a POSSIBILITY of referring to a Passover at the end of this study.)
Now we know that the Passover feast is observed in the SPRING of the year from the Old Testament and the Jewish calendar beginning on Nissan 14 called the day of preparation where the Passover LAMB was KILLED.
Therefore from the time that Jesus BEGAN his ministry in the FALL of the year of 28 AD to this Passover record here in John 6:4 would be 1 and 1/2 years into the ministry of Jesus.
The next Passover that we see that is CLEARLY and PLAINLY recorded in the gospel of John begins in chapter 11 verse 55 and continues all the way through to John 19:14-19, where we read that the Jews cried out saying, away with him, away with him, CRUCIFY HIM. In other words, this next Passover is the YEAR that Jesus became the LAMB that was slain for the sins of the world and therefore would have been his LAST Passover before Jesus ascended into heaven where he is presently awaiting his SECOND coming.
"And it was the PREPARATION (the day before the FIRST day of the feast of the unleavened bread, which was a HIGH Sabbath day of rest) of the PASSOVER, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King!
So then, this record in the gospel of John from chapter 11 through chapter 19 is the THIRD PASSOVER, which was the YEAR that Jesus was CRUCIFIED. Therefore the clear plain and simple answer to the LENGTH of the ministry of Jesus would be 2 and 1/2 years since only THREE Passovers are CLEARLY and PLAINLY recorded from the beginning of the ministry of Jesus to his CRUCIFIXION of the THIRD Passover in the gospel of John.
In other words, from the FALL of 28 AD to the SPRING of the FIRST Passover would be around 6 months or 1/2 of a year, which would place the FIRST Passover that Jesus observed in the spring of the year 29 AD. So then, from the FIRST Passover in 29 AD to the SECOND Passover in 30 AD would be 1 and 1/2 years that Jesus had ministered. Then from the SECOND Passover in 30 AD to the THIRD Passover where Jesus was CRUCIFIED would be 2 and 1/2 years that Jesus ministered. So then, we can clearly and plainly see that that six month and the 1 1/2 year ministries can be eliminated as possibilities, because we know for SURE that the length of the ministry of Jesus can be no less that 2 1/2 years long.
Therefore the simple plain and clear answer is that Jesus was CRUCIFIED in the spring of the year 31 AD on the day of PREPARATION for the feast of PASSOVER. And according to the Old Testament the PASSOVER LAMB was killed on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish year. In other words, Jesus was crucified on Nissan 14 of the year 31 AD.
Now I say the SIMPLE, plain, and CLEAR answer is that the ministry of Jesus was 2 1/2 years in length, because there is a debate among Bible scholars that the ministry of Jesus was 3 1/2 years in length. In others words, some Bible scholars argue that the FEAST that is recorded in John 5:1 is also a PASSOVER feast even though the word "PASSOVER" does not occur any where in the context.
Now it may very well be that this UNNAMED FEAST is in fact a PASSOVER feast, but it is a very long and drawn out procedure to try and prove that this feast is yet another Passover feast in order to try and prove that the ministry of Jesus was indeed 3 1/2 years.
So then, IF this FEAST in John 5:1 is indeed proven to be without a doubt another PASSOVER feast then the ministry of Jesus would indeed be 3 1/2 years in length. This would then place the crucifixion of Jesus in the year 32 AD by using the clear plain and simple year of 28 AD as being the FIFTEENTH year of reigning of Tiberius. But as you will see further on in this study that 32 AD is NOT a possible year for Jesus to have been crucified, because Nissan 14 does NOT fall on either a WEDNESDAYS or on a FRIDAY to allow for THREE days and nights for Jesus to be in the grave.
Therefore IF a 3 and 1/2 year ministry is proven, then the BEGINNING year of the ministry of Jesus and his ANOINTING must be 27 AD, which is a POSSIBLE year. But remember ALL the evidence must fit. In other words, since Jesus BEGAN to turn THIRTY when he was ANOINTED and IF one chooses 27 AD as the year Jesus began his ministry, then that means Jesus had to be BORN in the FALL of 4 BC.
Now from the evidence that I have considered the best possible date of the BIRTH of Jesus is September 11 in 3 BC, which would make Jesus to BEGIN to be THIRTY years of age in 28 AD. So those who choose 27 AD are a year too early UNLESS it can be proven that Jesus was born in the Fall of 4 BC. Again we will look at this POSSIBILITY at the end of this study.
Yet again, some dogmatically ague and say the the ministry actually began in the year 29 AD and with a 3 1/2 year ministry would then place the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus in the 33 AD. And IF this date is correct, then Jesus would have needed to be BORN in the FALL of 1 BC.
So then, if all these possibilities are considered, then we have narrowed the TEN years of the reign of Pilate down to just THREE possible years for the crucifixion of Jesus would have taken place between the spring of 31 AD to the spring of 33 AD. And as you will see the year 32 AD is NOT truly a possible year, because Nissan 14 does NOT fall on either a Wednesday or a Friday to all for three days and three nights.
For me personally after looking closely at ALL the evidence of the BIRTH of Jesus along with ALL the evidence of his crucifixion and his BIRTH, then I myself have concluded that Jesus was CRUCIFIED on Nissan 14 in the year 31 AD.
Also from the study "WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED ON GOOD FRIDAY?" I concluded that Jesus was crucified on a WEDNESDAY as opposed to being crucified on the TRADITIONAL teaching that Jesus was crucified on Holy FRIDAY, which given even further evidence for the year 31 AD. Again please read this study for all the scriptural proof, but for now just know that there are NOT three FULL days and three FULL nights between Friday at sunset and Sunday morning just before sunrise. Therefore for ME, the PLAIN, CLEAR, and SIMPLE answer is that Jesus had to have been CRUCIFIED on a WEDNESDAY in order to be raised from the dead on the FIRST day of the week AFTER being in the heart of the earth for three full days and three full nights as the scripture clearly and plainly teaches us in Matthew 12:38-40.
So for ME, in order for this SIGN to be FULFILLED as Jesus proclaimed, then Jesus would have needed to be in the grave three FULL days AND three FULL nights. And the ONLY way for Jesus to have risen from the grave on Sunday just before SUNRISE was for him to have been CRUCIFIED on a WEDNESDAY and laid in the tomb just before the start of the HIGH Sabbath day the first day of unleavened bread. In other words, from sunset Wednesday evening to sunrise Thursday morning would be ONE NIGHT. Then from sunrise Thursday morning to sunset Thursday evening would be ONE DAY. Then from sunset Thursday evening to sunrise Friday morning would be TWO NIGHTS. Then from sunrise Friday morning to sunset Friday evening would be TWO DAYS. Then from sunset Friday evening to sunrise Saturday morning would be THREE NIGHTS. Then from sunrise Saturday morning to sunset Saturday evening would be THREE DAYS. The sometime AFTER these three full days and three full nights of being in the heart of the earth Jesus rose from the dead before sunrise on the FIRST day of the week.
So then, following this only logical interpretation of all the scriptures that Jesus was crucified on a WEDNESDAY on the 14th of Nissan, the day of preparation when the PASSOVER LAMB was KILLED, then all we need do is to roll back the Jewish calender to the years from 26 AD to 36 AD as see when the 14th of Nissan fell upon a WEDNESDAY, a THURSDAY of a FRIDAY. I include Thursday and Friday for now just to show ALL the possible years upon which Jesus may have been crucified.
Therefore when we take a look at what DAY the 14th of Nissan fell upon between the years 26 AD and 36 AD when Pontius Pilate reigned you will find that ALL the possible choices were either on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Please view the Hebrew calender found on the link below to verify these following dates:
In the year 26 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a FRIDAY.
In the year 27 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a WEDNESDAY.
In the year 28 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a MONDAY.
In the year 29 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a SATURDAY.
In the year 30 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a WEDNESDAY.
In the year 31 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a WEDNESDAY.
In the year 32 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a MONDAY.
In the year 33 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a FRIDAY.
In the year 34 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a WEDNESDAY.
In the year 35 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a MONDAY.
In the year 36 AD the 14th of Nissan was on a FRIDAY.
Now we can immediately eliminate all the years that Nissan the 14th fell upon a MONDAY or on a SATURDAY, because it would be impossible for Jesus to have risen on the FIRST day of the week seeing that he was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights and was resurrected soon after the weekly Sabbath had ended but just before sunrise on the FIRST day from the weekly Sabbath. The Jews count the days of the week FROM AFTER the weekly Sabbath day. For example ONE day of Sabbath means the FIRST day AFTER the weekly Sabbath day, which is SUNDAY on our present day calendar, the FIRST day of the week. Therefore a crucifixion on a Monday or a Tuesday would be far more than the three days and the three nights. And a crucifixion of a Saturday or a Sunday would not allow for three days and three nights. Therefore the ONLY possible days of the week that Jesus could have been crucified upon would be a Wednesday, a Thursday, or a Friday. First of all there are no Thursdays listed, but if there were to me the three days and three nights still does not work out smoothly. And as I have show in the referred studies that neither does a Friday crucifixion.
So again the only plain clear and simple answer for Jesus being in the heart of the earth for the three FULL days and the three FULL nights would be that Jesus was crucified on a WEDNESDAY. However, to allow for ALL the possible years that Jesus may have been crucified I have included Nissan 14 falling on a Thursday or Friday as well, because there is an old Jewish IDIOM that states that any PART of a day may be counted as a WHOLE day. Please read the study called "WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED ON GOOD FRIDAY?", which covers the arguments on Jesus being crucified on GOOD FRIDAY. However, for ME, I question that the JEWISH idiom is actually found in the Bible and it is the scriptures ALONE that I myself use to base my studies upon using HISTORICAL FACTS only to support what the Bible itself teaches.
So then, IF all the possible days of the week are to include WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, and FRIDAY, then that leaves us with 26AD, 27AD, 30AD, 31AD, 33AD, 34AD, and 36AD for the ONLY possible years that Jesus could have been CRUCIFIED under the reign of Pontius Pilate.
Now the four most debated years are 30 AD, 31 AD, 32 AD, and 33 AD as being the most likely. The reason being is that 26 AD and 27 AD are too early, and 34 AD, through 36 AD are too late to fit ALL the evidence. We have already shown from the Bible that these years are eliminated, but this will become even clearer to you as we continue this study.
Also using this particular Hebrew calendar to calculate Nissan 14 we would have to eliminate 32 AD as well, because according to this particular Hebrew calendar Nissan the 14th on the year 32 AD falls on MONDAY, which would be far from the resurrection on the first day of the week to fulfill the SIGN of three full days and three full nights. However, I have seen OTHER days of the week for Nissan 14 that DIFFERS from the one above, but I have not been able to locate it again. So the year 32 AD cannot be COMPLETELY eliminated seeing that an ERROR could have been made in the Hebrew calendar. But it is pretty safe to eliminate all the other years as being possible due to all the other evidence. I suppose one could fudge enough things to include 30 AD as well, but there better be a very good reason showing the need for Jesus to be crucified in 30 AD.
So then, if we for NOW eliminate 32 AD for the reason of Nissan 14 falling on a Monday, then that leaves us with just THREE possible YEARS for the crucifixion of Jesus, which are 30 AD, 31 AD, and 33 AD.
Now again we can eliminate the year 30 AD as NOT allowing for a MINIMUM of a 2 and 1/2 years for the ministry of Jesus, UNLESS it can be proven that Jesus was born in 4 BC to allow Jesus to turn THIRTY years of age in 27 AD and have a MINIMUM of a 2 and 1/2 year ministry. And IF a 3 1/2 year ministry is used, then this would mean Jesus would have to have been BORN in 5 BC.
And of course we could also eliminate the year 33 AD IF we go with the SIMPLE, PLAIN, and CLEARLY explained 2 and 1/2 year ministry over the UNPROVEN 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus. But if we chose to go with the COMPLICATED arguments, then I suppose we would have to also add back the years 29 AD, and 30 AD as well because some argue that Tiberius reigned JOINTLY along with Augustus Caesar for at least a couple of year which would place the beginning of the ministry back a couple of years as well, but the FURTHER we go back causes Jesus to be BORN even earlier and it gets very complicated in TRYING to proves these earlier dates and well as the later dates after 33 AD.
In other words, this study can become a very, very long and drawn out study to show you all the arguments and believe me some of these arguments get very complicated. So to save you from all these COMPLICATED arguments that I have personally sorted through for myself, I will just give you the CONCLUSION that I myself have drawn from all the evidence that I have searched.
Many Bible scholars have placed the date of the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ to be April 25, 31 AD, which was on a Wednesday. Again that particular Wednesday on April 25 in the year 31 AD was the 14th of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar, which would be the same as the 25th of April on our Gregorian calendar. Also it was a full moon on this day as well, for you see, the Hebrew calendar is based upon the cycle of the moon rather than the sun like the Gregorian calendar.
So then, Tuesday the 10th of April was a NEW moon, which cannot be seen, or reflects no sunlight. This would mean that from 1 to 3 days later the 1st sliver of the crescent moon would appear, which would indicate the beginning of the month of Nissan. Now if we count backwards from April 25 being Nissan 14, then we would arrive at Nissan 1 being on Thursday April 12, 31AD. Here is a link to the time and date website, which is a different website from the link that I gave earlier in this study for the Hebrew calendar.
April 31 AD
Nissan 31 AD in red
Here is yet another source that also shows 31 AD to be the year of our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. I went ahead and pasted some of the information from this website below. Please keep in mind that while the lunar calculation can be tracked with a great deal of accuracy there is still yet room for error when trying to discern the first little sliver of the crescent moon which begins the Jewish month. So for now we are only using these calendars to approximate the year of our Lord's crucifixion. Later they will confirm the year 31 AD to be the exact year that Jesus was crucified. At least for ME anyway.
Passover dates 26-34 A.D.
The following astronomical data in the first three columns below was obtained from the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department. The pertinent file may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/spring-phenom .
Note. The times of day given in the second and third columns have been adjusted +2 hours from U.S. Naval Observatory figures to account for the difference between Jerusalem Israel and Greenwich England (universal) time.
It should also be noted that the first evening of a visible crescent moon (column 4) always occurs only minutes after sundown, which is at the very beginning of a new day on the Hebrew calendar. This Hebrew day correlates to the following day on our Gregorian calendar as noted in the chart below (column 5). Column 6 is Passover dates for the given years.
The Hebrew year that corresponds to 31 AD is year 3791-3792, where Nissan 1 begins the Hebrew year 3792 according to several sources. So then, if these sources are correct, then we can calculate the YEAR that Jesus was BORN. As I said at the very beginning of this study, In order to know the exact year of our Lord's CRUCIFIXION we must also know the YEAR of our Lord's BIRTH. So again please read the study "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25th?" for all the scriptural proof.
But for now let us assume that Jesus began his ministry on in the FALL of the year 28 AD and the Jesus just turned THIRTY years of age that FALL of 28 AD.
So then, counting backward from the FALL of 28 AD thirty years we end up in the FALL of 3 BC as the year that Jesus was BORN. After closely examining all the evidence surrounding the BIRTH of Jesus and finding that the FALL of the year 3 BC meets all the scriptural and historical criteria, I have thus fully satisfied my OWN curiosity and therefore have conclude that the year 31 AD was the exact year that Jesus was CRUCIFIED.
Again please read the following studies to examine for yourself ALL the evidence for the DAY of the week that Jesus was raised from the dead. And all the evidence for the DAY that Jesus was CRUCIFIED. And for the YEAR the Jesus was BORN.
Also please read some further extra Biblical, historical, and even scientific evidence given below that also places the year for our Lord's crucifixion in the SPRING of 31 AD as being the BEST possible year using the CLEAR, PLAIN, and SIMPLE evidence.
However, as I have also shown the year 33 AD cannot be totally ruled out. NOR can the year 27 AD be ruled out for the BEGINNING of the ministry of Jesus when Jesus was ANOINTED.
Now in all honestly I truly thought that I was done with this study, but FURTHER evidence has come to my attention that I feel has credibility as being valid. This further evidence involves the SEVENTY WEEKS of Daniel, which is a very deep subject as well as being a very highly controversial study. So what I am going to do is to just STATE some things here at the end of this study and then give all the evidence for what I say in a NEW study called "THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL EXPLAINED !"
Some argue a very VALID point, which makes a lot of sound logical sense, but NOT ALL of what they argue do a myself AGREE. Here is what I do agree can be clearly shown in the word of God.
I believe that the year 27 AD can be shown as the year that Jesus was ANOINTED and began his ministry at the age of THIRTY, which would require Jesus to be BORN in 4 BC.
I believe that the ministry of Jesus could be shown but hard to be proven without a doubt that the ministry of Jesus was a full THREE and 1/2 years as opposed to the easy proving of a TWO and 1/2 year ministry.
Thus if Jesus was ANOINTED in 27 AD and his ministry was indeed THREE and 1/2 years, then Jesus would have still yet been crucified in 31 AD as I have already shown.
So WHY the NEED to show that Jesus ministered for THREE and 1/2 years?
Well Daniel 9:27 uses a phrase "in the MIDST of the week" and it has been shown by those that argue that Jesus HIMSELF has already FULFILLED the FIRST half of the SEVENTIETH week of Daniel, which leaves only a THREE and 1/2 year great tribulation as opposed to the widely accepted SEVEN full years of great tribulation. Now some argue that Jesus and the early church has ALREADY fulfilled ALL of the SEVENTIETH week of Daniel, which I myself do NOT AGREE.
So then I still maintain that the YEAR of 31 AD is and BEST year for Jesus being crucified, but I am still yet CONSIDERING the year of 27 AD and being the year that Jesus was ANOINTED. And I am CONSIDERING 27 AD as well as 28 AD, but the SIMPLE explanation for the MIDST of the WEEK would be to use a THREE and 1/2 ministry as opposed to a TWO and 1/2 year ministry. So please read the study "THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL EXPLAINED !" for a FRESH NEW look at Daniel 9:24-27 in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.
Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the truth of the whole word of God.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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Here is yet another link that gives extra Biblical evidence for the SPRING of the year 31 AD as being the time that Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead.
This website brings forth some evidence from the Jewish Talmud. According to the Talmud the high priest would draw out of a bag one of TWO stones, either a WHITE stone which would indicate a favorable year, or a BLACK stone, which would indicate an unfavorable year. The priest would then give a prophecy for the coming year.
Again according to the Talmud for 40 consecutive years the high priest drew out a BLACK stone. The LAST year for the 40th black stone to be drawn out was 69 AD the year before the destruction of the temple, which brought and end to the priesthood and the offering of sacrifices. If we count backwards from 69 AD 40 years, 1 year for each black stone we arrive at 30 AD when the first black stone was drawn.
The prophecy for that coming year was "one man must die for the nation". So then, according to this evidence from the Jewish Talmud the man that would die for the nation would be sometime between the FALL of 30 AD and the FALL of 31 AD. Well most of the evidence we have looked at thus far points to the SPRING of the year 31 AD and being the year that Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead, which AGREES with this evidence form the Jewish Talmud.
Also according to the Talmud a WHITE stone was drawn, which some believe would ELIMINATE 30 AD for being the year that Jesus was crucified seeing that a white stone would indicate a FAVORABLE prophecy for that coming year. Also 30 AD seems to be too early if one strictly adheres to the SIMPLE and PLAIN evidence of August 19th of 28 AD to August 19th of 29 AD as being the FIFTEENTH year of the reign of Tiberius.
Nearly all historians agree that Tiberius Caesar is said to have reigned from 14 AD to 37 AD. However, the year 14 AD is the starting year of his SOLE reign. After Tiberius was adopted by Augustus in 4 AD, Tiberius was then granted legislative power as well as military power from 4 AD on. Then in 13 AD his powers were made equal to that of Augustus, because of the sickness of Augustus. Some argue this year that Tiberius began to reign JOINTLY as being 12 AD. After Augustus died on August 19th of 14 AD, then Tiberius became the SOLE ruler or Emperor of the Roman Empire.
So then, according to
some the real issue is not when Tiberius became sole ruler, but
rather as to when Tiberius had already been given power by Augustus
to reign and more particularly when Tiberius began to reign JOINTLY with Augustus, thus making it possible for the ministry of Jesus to begin
as early as 26 AD where the year 27 AD seems to be the preferred year by those who use the JOINT reign of Tiberius. But as for ME, I have chosen the SOLE reign of Tiberius to begin the count of his 15th year of reigning.
Again the FIFTEENTH YEAR of the reign of Tiberius Caesar using his SOLE reign would make the baptism of Jesus in the FALL of 28 A.D. However some arrive at the year 29 AD, because they have neglected to use the inclusive year from August 19th to August 19th. For this reason I personally believe the year 29 AD to be in error, because this would then DEMAND a full 3 1/2 year ministry in order to be crucified in 33 AD, which again is complicated to be proved without a doubt. At least for me. Remember that the year 32 AD in not a possible year for the crucifixion of Jesus, because Nissan 14 fell on a Monday that year according to two different methods of calculation. This is yet another reason why I myself have chosen 28 AD to be the most likely year for Jesus to have begun his 2 1/2 year ministry.
But some conclude that this date in the FALL of 28 AD cannot be reconciled with the decree date to rebuild Jerusalem as prophesied by Daniel, unless you allow for the fact that Tiberius JOINTLY reigned with Augustus for one to two years prior to 14 AD due to the severe illness of Augustus in his last couple of years. This would then allow the year 26 AD or 27 AD to be the year that Jesus was baptized and began his ministry at the age of thirty.
Now again I have looked at all the evidence of this argument as well. It is presented mostly by the 7th Day Adventist who want to prove that the 70th week of Daniel has ALREADY been FULFILLED during the ministry of Jesus and the early church before God turned to the GENTILES. Again their argument is quite complicated and their end PREDICTION of the second coming of Jesus did not take place according to all their calculations.
While I find their argument interesting I myself do NOT agree with their findings even though they agree that the year Jesus was crucified was 31 AD as well. None the less I will give you this link that shows the chart of how Jesus was CUT OFF or CRUCIFIED in the MIDST of the week where a week represents 7 years. In other words, according to the findings of the 7th Day Adventist the ministry of Jesus needed to be exactly 3 1/2 years in order to be CUT OFF in the MIDST or the EXACT MIDDLE of the week or the 7 years prophecy found in Daniel 9:25-27.
Now the strongest and most argued point for this INTERPRETATION of Daniel 9:25-27 is that the EXACT year that the DECREE went out to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem was given in the year 457 BC. Again the strongest argument given by the 7th day Adventists and others is that there is NO WAY that this year of 457 BC could be WRONG.
However, I have found
other sources that dogmatically demand that the year was 458 BC was
the year that the command went forth to rebuild the temple in
Jerusalem by citing other ancient documents and they dogmatically demand that the year 485 BC could NOT be WRONG. Now BOTH these year cannot be RIGHT and it may be that NEITHER year is the EXACT correct year.
So for ME, since the ONLY evidence to use the 12 AD as the beginning year to count to the15th year of the reign of Tiberius arguing that he reigned JOINTLY with Augustus for a few years just so they can make Jesus be cut off EXACTLY in the middle of the week, then I myself am sticking with the SIMPLE, plain, and clear understanding that the 15th year of Tiberius is from August 19th, 28 AD to August 19, 29 AD. Also please keep in mind that the ministry of Jesus must be 3 1/3 years in length, which again is complicated to try and prove. But again even though I do NOT agree with the 7th Day Adventist on many things, I do agree with their findings that Jesus was crucified on Nissan 14 or the year 31 AD.
But there is MORE
evidence to support the year 31 AD as being the exact year that Jesus
was CRUCIFIED than what we have learned thus far.
Here is a link that places a widespread EARTHQUAKE around Jerusalem in the year 31 AD. The geological evidence CENTERS the year 31 AD and gives a lead way of 5 years either way of 31 AD as the actual year of this widespread earthquake in Jerusalem.
This article examines the account of the earthquake that occurred at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus as recorded for us in the 27th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The article states the following:
The early first-century seismic event has been tentatively assigned a date of 31 AD with an accuracy of ±5 years. Plausible candidates include the earthquake reported in the Gospel of Matthew, an earthquake that occurred sometime before or after the crucifixion and was in effect ‘borrowed’ by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, and a local earthquake between 26 and 36 AD that was sufficiently energetic to deform the sediments at Ein Gedi but not energetic enough to produce a still extant and extra-biblical historical record.
again for ME, the most compelling evidence for Jesus being crucified
in the exact year of 31 AD is found at the BIRTH of Jesus. So please
read the study called "WAS JESUS BORN ON DECEMBER 25th?",
where I give you some very interesting evidence other than SOUND BIBLICAL evidence that Jesus was born
in the FALL of 3 BC. And quite possibly that Jesus was born in SEPTEMBER on one of the Jewish FEAST days.
Thanks again for reading and if you have any further evidence for the year 31 AD being the year for the crucifixion of Jesus, then please let me know and I will look into it.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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