Dating the crucifixion of jesus
Among the Gospel writers, no one makes this point more strongly than Luke, the Gentile physician turned historian and inspired chronicler of early Christianity.
The Year John the Baptist’s Ministry Began Luke implies that John the Baptist began his public ministry shortly before Jesus did, and he gives us a historical reference point for when the Baptist’s ministry began: “In . “The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” sounds like a straightforward date, but there are some ambiguities, beginning with when one starts the calculation.
I may not be willing to stake my life on the accuracy of the data below, but I am confident enough of these calculations that the license plate of my van reads as follows: 5BC–AD33. Jesus’ year of Tiberius’s reign, counting from August 19, A.
Yamauchi; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989], 113–30). According to Luke , Jesus was “about 30 years old” when he began his ministry.
In John’s gospel, the “last supper” is described as a meal that takes place BEFORE the Passover (John 13:1).
As we celebrate Easter, and as we walk with Jesus every day of the year, we can therefore be confident that our faith is based not only on subjective personal assurance but on reliable historical data, which makes ours an eminently reasonable faith.
It so happens that because of astronomical calculations A. 30 and 33 are the only possible dates for Jesus’ crucifixion as far as the date of Passover in these two years is concerned (for the dating of the four Passovers in question see esp.
Waddington, “The Jewish Calendar, a Lunar Eclipse, and the Date of Christ’s Crucifixion,” 15.11.6 §421).
30, which falls well within the range of him being “about thirty years of age.” The Length of Jesus’s Ministry Now we need to know how long Jesus’s public ministry lasted, because if it went on for two or more years, this would seem to rule out spring of Jesus Was Crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover John also mentions that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John ), that is, the Friday before the Sabbath of Passover week (Mark ).
The night before, on Thursday evening, Jesus ate a Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark ), his “Last Supper.” In the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar commonly used in Jesus’s day, Passover always falls on the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6), which begins Thursday after sundown and ends Friday at sundown. For this reason, some have postulated a co-regency (joint rule) of Tiberius and Augustus during the last few years of Augustus’s reign.
In the synoptic gospels, Jesus; “last supper” is clearly a Passover meal (Matt.-20, Mark -17, Luke 22:7-16).