Created Tues. Jan. 20, 2009,             updated Feb 1, 2015

The Timelines of     Jesus

John the Baptist is Conceived
Jesus the Christ is Conceived
A Genealogical Discrepancy
Jesus Is Born
Determining Herod's Death & Jesus' Birth  Feb 1 015
Jesus Begins His Ministry
Counting the Passovers to 3.5 Years
Passovers Condensed & Reviewed
The Passover Significance
The Passover Details
Geological Scientists say - 4/3/33 AD      Added May 25, 2012
Dead 3 Days & 3 Nights
He Rose on the 3rd Day
In Their Midst Preaching
Rising on 3rd Day a Major Prophetic Symbol  June 10, 2010
Other Factors Considered
The Ultimate Sacrifice
Astronomical Dates Considered
Daniel 9 - 70 Weeks
Final Thoughts

Related Articles

I am going to focus a lot on the precise details of Jesus' birth and early days, His death by execution, as well as prophecies dealing with when he was to be born or start his ministry, or be executed. There are a lot of various ideas and there is nothing wrong with that. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom and salvation. Besides, who is afraid of a little competition when it comes to knowledge and truth? Certainly not me. Bring it on!!! But I am going to add my thoughts to this matter to see if there might not be a reasonable solution that people can be comfortable with, that addresses most of the ideas out there. I believe I do have some new things to consider on the matter.

I also want to make clear what are my ground rules for establishing dates and what we can expect for accuracy. First, the Bible is the inspired word of God and is infallible. But in saying that, the will of God may give us a criteria and events to establish a date which will not be enough for some people. Too bad! But what God gives will have to do. We could want more but not get it. I'll explain when the time comes in this article. We do need to be careful of our interpretation of God's word, though! But if God says Jesus began to preach in the 15th year of Tiberius, that will have to do. If it does not harmonize with other observations such as Josephus, it may be that Josephus or whoever is not accurate in themselves. Those who trust in and have faith in God, will accept His word in the matter. To come within a year of certainty is enough. If someone wants a sign and greater proof, they are entitled to be dissatisfied if they want to be. No one is forced to put faith in God.

But I think the real problem here is that many chronologists have made the calculation of the birth, death, and start of the ministry of Jesus too complicated when it was quite simple. They allowed Josephus to come in and complicated and distort what should have been a straight forward calculation. Wait till you see how it turns out. If we stick to precise facts, we will seldom get into trouble. The biggest challenge in doctrinal matters, as well as those of history, science, and justice, are keeping things simple and refined and not getting off track with needless irrelevant diversions, which adversaries to those fields love to create. Einstein said, "There is truth in simplicity." And Occam's Razor says that "The simplest solution is usually the correct one." Engineers live by this one, too. When people try to complicate things, well, I call that the Tom Sawyer effect. Mark Twain's fictional (or maybe not) character of some of his literature was great for making things very complicated because of his silly attempts to create excitement and adventure where there were none. So a judge, whether of doctrine or law, must seek out refinement and simplicity wherever possible.

But in the end, a definitive answer could be lacking. And exact precision is not necessary or required. So for those who demand such, I only ask, why? I will discuss each piece of evidence or factor and why I support or reject it. But we need to establish what the Bible actually says for facts. So we will get to work beginning with the birth of John the Baptist, who was conceived and born 6 months before Jesus was. It was the job of John to announce the Christ and identify/verify the Christ (the Greek word for anointed) - Messiah (the Hebrew word for anointed). John himself was a fulfillment of prophecy, foretold in Isaiah and Malachi as you will read. My comments in between scriptures will be bracketed and colored.

John the Baptist is Conceived
Back to Top

All scriptures in this article are quoted from Green's Literal Translation unless otherwise noted.

Luke 1:
5  In the days of Herod the king of Judea , there was a certain priest named Zacharias, of the daily course of Abijah. And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth .
6  And they were both righteous before God, walking blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
7  And no child was born to them, because Elizabeth was barren. And both were advanced in their days.
8  And it happened in his serving as priest in the order of his course before God,
9  according to the custom of the priests, entering into the Holy Place of the Lord, it was Zacharias’ lot to burn incense.
10  And all the multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
11  And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.
12  And seeing this, Zacharias was troubled, and fear fell on him.
13  But the angel said to him, Do not fear, Zacharias, because your prayer was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son to you, and you shall call his name John.
14  And he will be joy and exultation to you, and many will rejoice over his birth.
15  For he shall be great in the eyes of the Lord, and he shall not drink wine or strong drink. And he will be filled of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
16  And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.
17  And he will go out before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah "to turn the hearts of fathers to their children," and disobedient ones to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people having been prepared for the Lord. Mal. 4:5, 6
18  And Zacharias said to the angel, By what shall I know this? For I am old and my wife is advanced in her days.
19  And answering, the angel said to him, I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you the good news of these things.
20  And behold, you shall be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21  And the people were expecting Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the Holy Place .
22  But coming out, he was not able to speak to them, and they recognized that he had seen a vision in the Holy Place . And he was making signs to them and continued dumb.
23  And it happened when the days of his service were fulfilled, he went away to his house.
24  And after these days his wife Elizabeth conceived. And she hid herself five months, saying,
25  So has the Lord done to me in the days in which He looked on me to take away my reproach among men.

[{ There is so much to note in just these 25 verses. I put the most noteworthy things in Bold type.

1. Herod was king at this time.

2. It was in the course of Abijah. Kind David had appointed 12 courses to serve at the temple  for a week until all 12 groups had served a week and then the cycle would start again, except for the festivals, in which all priests were required to work in the temple. There would be about 4 rotations of the courses in a year which would cause the time each course started, to change from year to year. This continued down to the days of this time of John. But this is not really useful for calculating the time of the conception of John. The main purpose was to show why Zacharias was where he was at the time, in the Holy Room. It explains the events so that we can see these events did get plenty of notice, attention, and talk as they should have and were intended to.

3. Zacharias had a wife who was of the daughters of Aaron as required by the Mosaic Law. This is important for Mary is a relative of Elizabeth in some way as we shall see. IT is often claimed that the genealogy and family line given in Luke, which differs from that of Matthew's account, is that of Mary. But if Mary is a relative of Elizabeth by direct blood connection, then she can not be of the line of Judah but instead, is, of the line of Aaron/Levi. Eusebius says it was a brother-in-law marriage about 3 or 5 generations before Joseph that accounts for the difference in lines in Matthew and Luke. In view of the facts here, this interpretation seems reasonable and correct. Only those uninformed assume the lineage applies to Mary.

4. Both Zacharias and Elizabeth were quite old and beyond child bearing age. This is one of many aspects of the miracles involved with the advent of Jesus, to prove his authority as being from God. First, it is a typical prophetic symbol employed by the Father, Jehovah, the long time God of Israel and Abraham. Abraham and Sarah were old and unable to bear children. Isaac's birth was a miracle supplied by God as a token of His promise to Abraham and also a sign of what God was accomplishing through Abraham's seed/lineage. So it is with Zacharias and Elizabeth, signifying the special purpose of their son and what he would be involved in with Jesus. A birth at such an age could only be from God!!!

5. It was the course of Abijah serving, of which Zacharias belonged to, and which lot fell to him to offer incense. This also enables us to estimate the time at which this happened for there are only 2 times when this could have happened for the course of Abijah or any other Levite course of the 12.

6. This is how Zacharias ends up in the Holy Room where an angel appears, out of the sight of the people. The angel appears by the altar of incense. The angel Gabriel tells Zacharias what is going on and that -

7. John will be born and will live, dedicated to God, basically as a Nazarite (like Samson), which is why no wine or strong drink is permitted.

8. John is a fulfillment of prophecy according to Gabriel with lots to accomplish in behalf of God's will and the arrival of God's son.

9. Now Zacharias was mildly chastised for not immediately putting absolute faith in Gabriel's words. Zacharias was troubled and fearful at the appearance of the angel. He probably saw Gabriel as an angel. Further, since this happened in the days of Abraham, it was not something new. But really, this was not so much a punishment by God as it was yet another sign that this was divine intervention responsible for this event. It was a miracle and no one would be able to doubt it! But the choice of miracle was sort of ironic, no? That had God written all over it.

10. The people were wondering what was taking Zacharias so damn long. They suspected something very unusual was up.

11. When Zacharias could not speak, the people saw that as a sign that he had seen a vision in the Holy Place. They recognized a miracle had taken place.

12. Elizabeth conceived after this and hid 5 months. Timing is critical at this point.

The importance of this series of events was that this was no small event and it was clear that God was at work here and that John was to be important. Recall that when Jesus came along and asked the Pharisees whether the baptism of John was from men or God, the Pharisees would not answer for they knew all the people believed that John was indeed, a prophet of God. Part of why they believed this was due to the nature of John's conception and birth. And further, the witness of John was that Jesus was the lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. So when Jesus came along and began his ministry, there was no excuse for not believing and listening to him and certainly not doubt the miracles coming from him. }]

Jesus the Christ is Conceived
Back to Top

Luke 1:
26  And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth ,
27  to a virgin who had been betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mariam.
28  And entering, the angel said to her, Hail, one having received grace! The Lord is with you. You are blessed among women!
29  And seeing this, she was disturbed at his word, and considered what kind of greeting this might be.
30  And the angel said to her, Do not fear, Mariam, for you have found favor from God.
31  And behold! You will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you will call His name Jesus.
32  This One will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.
34  But Mariam said to the angel, How will this be since I do not know a man?
35  And answering, the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for this reason that Holy One being born of you will be called Son of God.
36  And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth! She also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her who was called barren;
37  for nothing shall be impossible with God.
38  And Mariam said, Behold, the slave of the Lord! May it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.

1. Elizabeth is 6 months into her conception and term when Gabriel is sent to Nazareth to announce to Mariam (better known to the English as Mary, no doubt). Mariam/Miriam was a name belonging originally to the sister of Moses, yet another indication of Mary's blood line. Miri-am or Mari-am is the more correct translation of "Mari"- "Mary." They left the -am off the name to get the abbreviated Miri-Mari-Mary. Mary is a more Anglicized version of Miriam, originally a Hebrew name. The angel tells Mary to name her child Jesus, which Joseph does not dispute later. Can you blame him?

2. (verse 32) Gabriel makes it clear what the role of Jesus is and who he is. The son of God who will rule forever . . . in time, of course. First there is the matter of that sacrifice and temporary death, but I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? Gabriel informs Mary that she is or will shortly be pregnant because of the power/miracle of the God of Israel.

3. (verse 36) Gabriel identifies Elizabeth as a relative (kinswoman) of Mary/Miriam. Further evidence that Mary was not of the tribe of Judah, in all likelihood, but of Levi. So then, the differences in lineage between Matthew and Luke must be the brother in law marriage suggested by Eusebius. Further, consider that Jesus was of the tribe of Judah by way of Joseph as well as the Holy Spirit, making him duly authorized to inherit the throne of David in a symbolic way. And then being of decent of Levi through Mary also qualifies him as a priest of Levi, symbolically, as if the son of God needed the lineage for any other reason than symbolic prophetic fulfillment. So he is both king and priest by fleshly means and spiritual means, too. All Fullness indeed, dwells in him by fleshly and spiritual paths. I place Eusebius' explanation at the end of this section.

Interruption in this section.
This subject of Mary's lineage bears a little more discussion. I had learned in Dec. of 2010 that the Eastern Orthodox churches had a story going around, which may or may not be true. I found it at From The Gospel of the Birth of Mary.

Anna: Wife of Joachim, mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus
Anna’s family came from Bethlehem.
Birth of Mary 1:2 Her father's name was Joachim, and her mother's name was Anna. The family of her father was of Galilee and the city of Nazareth. The family of her mother was of Bethlehem. Birth of Mary 2:9 But if reason will not convince you of the truth of my words that there are frequent conceptions in advanced years, and that those who were barren have brought forth to their great surprise, therefore Anna your wife shall bring you a daughter, and you shall call her name Mary; Birth of Mary 3:1 Afterwards the angel appeared to Anna his wife saying: Fear not, neither think that which you see is a spirit. 11 So Anna conceived and brought forth a daughter, and, according to the angel's command, the parents called her name Mary.

Mary: Daughter of Joachim and Anna, wife of Joseph the carpenter and mother of Jesus, the Christ
Birth of Mary 3:11
So Anna conceived and brought forth a daughter, and, according to the angel's command, the parents called her name Mary. (For more on all the miraculous things concerning Mary, read the entire Gospel of the Birth of Mary)

St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and a descendant of King David. St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High Priest. Matthan had three daughters: Mary, Zoia, and Anna. Mary was married in Bethlehem and bore Salome; Zoia was also married in Bethlehem and bore Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Forerunner; and Anna was married in Nazareth to Joachim, and in old age gave birth to the Theotokos.

End of wiki account

Now according to Wikipedia:
The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a fifth-century papyrus codex. The codex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 was purchased in Cairo by German scholar Karl Reinhardt. >> End Wikipedia quote<<

Now there is no way of knowing how historical, or not, this is. It does account for how Elizabeth was related to Mary as well. But given what is in the Bible for certain, this not only seems possible to me, but even likely. I do not know about the miraculous birth in old age that gave birth to Mary or Mary being given to the temple at 3, like Samuel was in 1 Samuel. I personally doubt it but neither can it be ruled out, either. But since Mary is related to Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah, then this is as good as any other explanation as to exactly how it was the Mary was related. But this also shows that the Eastern Orthodox churches were not unaware of Mary's lineage being of at least partially from the tribe of Levi.

We do not know how this information came to the 5th century. But in my opinion, it bears the same sort of detail as the info about the 2 different lineages of Jesus, told to us be Eusebius, who was quoting from Africanus. This info of Mary seems much like that of Jesus, possibly this too was from Africanus. But it has been modified if it was from him. If the old age birth and Mary given to the temple were embellishments, I seriously doubt they came from Africanus. He was not like that. Nor did he call anyone saint. That has the mark of Eastern Orthodox on it.

We must also keep in mind that Mary worship came into being only in the latter 2nd or in the 3rd century AD. Mary hardly got that much attention in the true 4 gospels. But that all said, I dare say the family relations given to us are likely legitimate.

I return you to the section we interrupted.

4. At this time when Gabriel appears to Mary to let her know she is now to conceive by means of God's spirit, is preceded by Elizabeth's conception of now 6 months. So Jesus and John are conceived 6 months apart and will be born 6 months apart. This will also be important to verify the times of Jesus. Mary also accepts the announcement of Gabriel well. }]

Luke 1:
39  And rising up in these days, Mariam went into the hill country with haste to a city of Judah .
40  And she entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth .
41  And it happened, as Elizabeth heard Mariam’s greeting, the babe in her womb leaped, and Elizabeth was filled of the Holy Spirit.
42  And she cried out with a loud voice and said, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43  And why is this to me that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
44  For behold, as the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped in exultation.
45  And blessed is she believing, because there will be a completion to the things spoken to her from the Lord.

[{ WE continue to see the Spirit hard at work in the circumstances of these two conceptions by means of these two women. And the 6 months of separation is no accident either. The Spirit of God absolutely knows what it is doing and does nothing by accident. }]

Luke 1:
56  And Mariam remained with her [ Elizabeth ] about three months, and returned to her house.
57  And the time was fulfilled to Elizabeth for her to bear, and she bore a son.
58  And the neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord magnified His mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her.
59  And it happened on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and were calling it by his father’s name, Zacharias.
60  And his mother answered, saying, Not so, but he shall be called John.
61  And they said to her, No one is among your kindred who is called by this name.
62  And they signaled to his father, what he might desire him to be called.
63  And asking for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, John is his name. And all marveled.
64  And instantly his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65  And fear came on all those living around them. And in all the hill country of Judea all these things were talked about.
66  And all who heard laid them up in their hearts, saying, What then will this child be? And the hand of the Lord was with him.

[{ Mary stayed nearly 3 months with Elizabeth and then left for home. Elizabeth gives birth shortly after. This is 9 months after Zacharias served in his course at the temple when it was announced his wife would become pregnant. And when Zacharias could speak again, he was also filled with the Holy Spirit, proof that his "chastisement" was really more of a sign to signify a miraculous conception and birth. This is seen in the next verse below. Never let it be said that God does not have a good sense of irony and humor in the way He chooses His signs.

Also note that what happened got spread all around the hill country of Judea. Many of these would recall all this about 30 years later, though it is not specifically pointed out at that later time. There were lots of witnesses if anyone cared to inquire.

Also keep in mind that while most translations do use the name Zecharias, I found 5 that used Zechariah. Not an error but a choice of translation. Many Bible names vary according to translation and from whether the source was Hebrew, Greek, or Latin or even other languages. }]

Luke 1:67  And his father Zacharias was filled of the Holy Spirit and prophesied . . .

A Genealogical Discrepancy
Back to Top

Matthew 1 and Luke 3 list different lineages for Jesus. Some explain that the lineage of Luke is Mary's lineage. This is wrong as you will see.
Luke's lineage list has many more generations that as does Matthew's list. I supply a table of each list for reference and comparison.
The lists branch off after King David and meet up again at Joseph. Eusebius gives us an explanation from Julius Africanus.

Matthew Luke
King David King David Mattatha
Solomon Nathan Menan Er Semei
Rehoboam Josiah Melea Elmodam Mattathias
Abijah Jehoiachin Eliakim Cosam Maath
Asa Shealtiel Jonan Addi Naggai
Jehoshaphat Zerubbabel Joseph Melchi Esli
Jehoram Abiud Judah Neri Nahum
Uzziah Eliakim Simeon Shealtiel Amos
Jotham Azor Levi Zerubbabel Mattathias
Ahaz Sadoc Matthan Matthat Rhesa Joseph Matthat
Hezekiah Achim Jacob Jorim Joannas Janna Heli  (Eli)
Manasseh Eliud Joseph Eliezer Judah Melchi Joseph
Amon Eleazar Jesus Joses Joseph Levi Jesus

Eusebius will be in black text and my comments in red/brown

Eusebius of Caesarea , Church History: Book I
Chapter 7: The Alleged Discrepancy in the Gospels in regard to the Genealogy of Christ

Matthew and Luke in their gospels have given us the genealogy of Christ differently, and many suppose that they are at variance with one another. Since as a consequence every believer, in ignorance of the truth, has been zealous to invent some explanation which shall harmonize the two passages, permit us to subjoin the account of the matter which has come down to us, and which is given by Africanus, who was mentioned by us just above, in his epistle to Aristides, where he discusses the harmony of the gospel genealogies. After refuting the opinions of others as forced and deceptive, he gives the account which he had received from tradition in these words:

For whereas the names of the generations were reckoned in Israel either according to nature or according to law -- according to nature by the succession of legitimate offspring, and according to law whenever another raised up a child to the name of a brother dying childless; for because a clear hope of resurrection was not yet given they had a representation of the future promise by a kind of mortal resurrection, in order that the name of the one deceased might be perpetuated -- whereas then some of those who are inserted in this genealogical table succeeded by natural descent, the son to the father, while others, though born of one father, were ascribed by name to another, mention was made of both of those who were progenitors in fact and of those who were so only in name.

Thus neither of the gospels is in error, for one reckons by nature, the other by law. For the line of descent from Solomon and that from Nathan were so involved, the one with the other, by the raising up of children to the childless and by second marriages, that the same persons are justly considered to belong at one time to one, at another time to another; that is, at one time to the reputed fathers, at another to the actual fathers. So that both these accounts are strictly true and come down to Joseph with considerable intricacy indeed, yet quite accurately.

But in order that what I have said may be made clear I shall explain the interchange of the generations.
If we reckon the generations from David through Solomon, the third from the end is found to be Matthan, who begat Jacob the father of Joseph.
But if, with Luke, we reckon them from Nathan the son of David, in like manner the third from the end is Melchi, whose son Eli [ also Heli ] was the father of Joseph. For Joseph was the son of Eli, the son of Melchi.

Joseph therefore being the object proposed to us, it must be shown how it is that each is recorded to be his father, both Jacob, who derived his descent from Solomon,
and Eli, who derived his from Nathan;
First how it is that these two, Jacob and Eli, were brothers, and then how it is that their fathers, Matthan and Melchi, although of different families, are declared to be grandfathers of Joseph.
Matthan and Melchi having married in succession the same woman, begat children who were uterine brothers, for the law did not prohibit a widow, whether such by divorce or by the death of her husband, from marrying another.

By Estha then (for this was the woman's name according to tradition) Matthan, a descendant of Solomon, first begat Jacob.
And when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who traced his descent back to Nathan, being of the same tribe but of another family, married her as before said, and begat a son Eli.

>>> Note that the lists show 2 extra generations in Nathan>Melchi's line, compared with Solomon>Matthan's. But Eusebius says that Eli was the son of Melchi. So why do we see Levi and Matthat between Melchi and Eli? It was Matthan of Solomon line, and Melchi of Nathan line, who had married the same woman, each fathering separate lineages in that same woman. Age differences in marriages were often considerable in those times and culture as well as in many such times and cultures. In fact, that ages, almost without exception, are very close to each other in industrialized countries today are actually the exception to all past times. But age differences and the times when the 2nd marriage took place could easily absorb the 2 extra generations of the Nathan to Melchi line to Joseph vs. the Solomon to Matthan line to Joseph.

To make it more confusing, Solomon/Jacob takes deceased Eli's wife to produce offspring for Eli's line (brother-in-law marriage), from which Joseph then is born. So these 2 lineages were very intermixed by a brother-in-law marriage and a widow marriage 1 generation removed from each other.<<<

Thus we shall find the two, Jacob and Eli, although belonging to different families, yet brethren by the same mother. Of these the one, Jacob, when his brother Eli had died childless, took the latter's wife and begat by her a son to Joseph, his own son by nature and in accordance with reason. Wherefore also it is written: 'Jacob begat Joseph.' But according to law he was the son of Eli, for Jacob, being the brother of the latter, raised up seed to him.

>> My guess is that Eli dies quite young, while Jacob (from Solomon was much older. Eli was a great grandson of Melchi (of Nathan line) whereas Jacob was likely a son of Matthan when Matthan was quite old and Jacob might also have been older so as to allow 2 generation more between Melchi and Eli. As well, the 2 generations between Melchi and Eli might have both married young and had sons early in their lives. This would account for the 2 extra generations in the Melchi line.<<

Hence the genealogy traced through him will not be rendered void, which the evangelist Matthew in his enumeration gives thus: 'Jacob begat Joseph.' But Luke, on the other hand, says: 'Who was the son, as was supposed' (for this he also adds), 'of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Melchi'; for he could not more clearly express the generation according to law. And the expression 'he begat' he has omitted in his genealogical table up to the end, tracing the genealogy back to Adam the son of God. This interpretation is neither incapable of proof nor is it an idle conjecture.

David > Solomon to Matthan and Estha > Jacob (takes Eli’s widow) > Joseph born

David > Nathan to Melchi and Estha to > Eli (dies)
Joseph, by brother-in-law marriage, and therefore, by the Mosaic law, was son of the dead Eli.
But his genetic father was Jacob.
Mary’s lineage had nothing to do with either line.
She was the daughter of at least partial Levite lineage, according to Gabriel in Luke 1:36. <<<

For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account: Some Idumean robbers, having attacked Ascalon, a city of Palestine, carried away from a temple of Apollo which stood near the walls, in addition to other booty, Antipater, son of a certain temple slave named Herod. And since the priest was not able to pay the ransom for his son, Antipater was brought up in the customs of the Idumeans, and afterward was befriended by Hyrcanus, the high priest of the Jews.

And having, been sent by Hyrcanus on an embassy to Pompey, and having restored to him the kingdom which had been invaded by his brother Aristobulus, he had the good fortune to be named procurator of Palestine . But Antipater having been slain by those who were envious of his great good fortune was succeeded by his son Herod, who was afterward, by a decree of the senate, made King of the Jews under Antony and Augustus. His sons were Herod and the other tetrarchs. These accounts agree also with those of the Greeks.

But as there had been kept in the archives up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of those who traced their lineage back to proselytes, such as Achior the Ammonite and Ruth the Moabitess, and to those who were mingled with the Israelites and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae.

A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea , into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible.

Whether then the case stand thus or not, no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth."

And at the end of the same epistle he adds these words: "Matthan, who was descended from Solomon, begat Jacob. And when Matthan was dead, Melchi, who was descended from Nathan begat Eli by the same woman. Eli and Jacob were thus uterine brothers. Eli having died childless, Jacob raised up seed to him, begetting Joseph, his own son by nature, but by law the son of Eli. Thus Joseph was the son of both."

Thus far Africanus. And the lineage of Joseph being thus traced, Mary also is virtually shown to be of the same tribe with him, since, according to the law of Moses, intermarriages between different tribes were not permitted. For the command is to marry one of the same family and lineage, so that the inheritance may not pass from tribe to tribe. This may suffice here.

End of Eusebius account

>>? We know for sure that the angel Gabriel says Elizabeth, a known Levite wife of Zechariah the Priest, who can only marry another Levite, is a kinswoman to Mary, a relative. So we can not assign Nathan >Heli's lineage to Mary. So the brother-in-law marriage is a very reasonable explanation. But it would seem to me that it was Jacob taking Heli's widow that was the connection point and not Matthan/Melchi that joined the 2 lines. Matthan and Melchi might have been joined by a common mother but that those 2 married a common woman and joined the family lines is what enabled the relationship that led Jacob to take Heli's widow in brother-in-law marriage. Eusebius does not account for the 2 extra generations (Matthat and Levi) but they do need to be accounted as even Eusebius agrees that the Bible must be accepted as truth. Perhaps my possible explanation fits the situation. It, by far, does seem to best explain the situation, given that Mary is ruled out.<<

Jesus Is Born
Back to Top

Luke 2:
And it happened in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus for all the habitable world to be registered.
2  This registration first occurred under the governing of Syria by Cyrenius.
3  And all went to be registered, each to his own city.
4  And Joseph also went from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem , because of his being of the house and family of David,
5  to be registered with Mariam, she having been betrothed to him as wife, she being pregnant.
6  And it happened as they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to bear.
7  And she bore her son, the First-born. And she wrapped Him and laid Him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

[{ As one reads verses 1 and 2, it is not clear if there was more than one registration or how long it took. It started with Cyrenius under Augustus. The main point here is how it came to be that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem rather than Nazareth in Galilee. Events would take place from here shortly. }]

Luke 2:
8  And shepherds were in the same country living in the fields and keeping guard over their flock by night.
9  And, behold, an angel of the Lord came on them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they feared with a great fear.
10  And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For, behold, I announce good news to you, a great joy, which will be to all people,
11  because today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born to you in the city of David .
12  And this is a sign to you: You will find a babe having been wrapped, lying in the manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will among men.
15  And it happened as the angels departed from them into the heaven, even the men, the shepherds, said to one another, Indeed, let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this thing which has occurred, which the Lord made known to us.
16  And hurrying, they came and sought out both Mariam and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.
17  And seeing, they publicly told about the word spoken to them about this Child.
18  And all those hearing marveled about the things spoken to them by the shepherds.
19  And Mariam kept all these words, meditating in her heart.
20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things which they heard and saw, even as was spoken to them.

[{   1. At the time of the birth of Jesus, the shepherds in the area were living outside with the flocks. This is important for it indicates what sort of season it was or at least, what season it was not. While Judah and Israel do not get snow ordinarily in the winter season which begins about Dec. 21, it is still cold and rainy and shepherds are not outside with their flocks in this season.

But exactly at the time of birth, an angel of God announces the birth of the Messiah and the circumstances and place where he is to be found. The shepherds are convinced that this is definitely the hand of  God as they tremble in the sight of the angel and are put at ease and then motivated to go and see this birth announced by heaven. They find the child as described and tell everyone around them about what happened. All who heard marveled at these announcements.

Keep in mind that it is quite possible that the word had already spread a year and 3 months earlier about the events of the conception of John through Zacharias and now with this event, people began to talk, no doubt. How much we do not know for sure. But the shepherds were witnesses for God and His works taking place among them. After word spread of these various events viewed by the people as miraculous, it would be remembered and 30 years later, it could come back to them that such things had gone on 30 years before. Despite this, many would refuse to believe, even though they likely knew of these events and what had been witnesses about them. }]

Luke 2:
21  And when eight days were fulfilled to circumcise the child His name was called Jesus, the name called by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22  And when the days of her cleansing according to the Law of Moses were fulfilled, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord,
23  as it has been written in the Law of the Lord: Every male opening a womb shall be called holy to the Lord; Ex. 13:2
24  and to offer a sacrifice according to that said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two nestlings of doves. Lev. 12:8

[{ The Messiah was named Jesus as the angel had ordained. The Law was carefully observed, as Jesus was to be established under the Law so that he could fulfill the law and justify a ransom with his "sacrifice." }]

Luke 2:
25  And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was righteous and devout, eagerly expecting the Consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26  And it happened to him, having been divinely instructed by the Holy Spirit, he was not to see death before he would see the Christ of the Lord.
27  And by the Spirit he came into the temple. And as the parents were bringing in the child Jesus for them to do according to the custom of the Law concerning Him,
28  even Simeon received Him into his arms. And he blessed God and said,
29  Now, Master, You will let Your slave go in peace according to Your word;
30  because my eyes saw Your Salvation,
31  which You prepared before the face of all the peoples;
32  a Light for revelation to the nations, and the Glory of Your people Israel .
33  And Joseph was marveling, also His mother, at the things being said concerning Him.
34  And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mariam, Behold, this One is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel , and for a sign spoken against;
35  yea, a sword also will pierce your own soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

[{ A righteous man Simeon was set up by God to witness to the child on his 40th day of life, as the parents brought the child to the temple to make an offering for the child as required by the law. Simeon was to serve as reassurance to the parents who were then blessed by Simeon per the Holy Spirit. I suspect there were witnesses to this as well.

I have heard it suggested that the parents ran to Egypt right after the 8 day circumcision and that Herod died during during the remaining of the 40 day period leading to offering for the child after which the parents returned from Egypt. I say this is impossible for many reasons. First, it is far too much to happen in 32 days to allow wise men to come to worship and give gifts to Jesus and Herod to wipe out boys 2 and under so as to kill Jesus and also allow the long trek to Egypt and the long trek back in time to be at the temple at day 40. Further, how is it that God did not see that Herod would be dead in less than 32 days so that they would not have to flee very far for very long?

I say that Herod lived long enough that Jesus and his parents had to flee far and for a long time in order to get out of the reach of Herod and that would be far more than 32 days. This is one reason why I do not put faith in the observations made by Josephus regarding the time of the death of Herod which I will deal with more soon. }]

Luke 2:
36  And there was Anna, a prophetess, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, having lived seven years with a husband from her virginity;
37  and she was a widow of eighty four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.
38  And coming on at the very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke concerning Him to all those in Jerusalem eagerly expecting redemption.
39  And as they finished all things according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to Nazareth their city.
40  And the Child grew, and became strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom. And the grace of God was upon Him.

[{ Anna came with good qualifications and was known to be a prophetess of some reputation. And she witnesses to all, as a prophetess would, about the Christ who was there that day and general time. As soon as the offering of the turtle doves had been made to complete the observations/rituals of the law, they then made their way, eventually, back to Nazareth. Now it says after all things had been finished according to the law which includes prophecies about God calling His son out of Egypt. So while not specifically stated, this included the sojourn in Egypt which took place after they made offerings for the child on day 40. Matthew makes these events more clear as we shall see. Luke does not deal with them at all and abbreviates this period so adequately covered by Matthew. }]

Matthew 2:
1  And when Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men arrived from the east to Jerusalem ,
2  saying, Where is He born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.
3  But Herod the king having heard this, he was troubled and all Jerusalem with him.
4  And having gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked of them where the Christ was to be born.
5  And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,
6  "And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, in no way are you least among the governors of Judah, for out of you shall come a Governor who shall shepherd My people Israel." Mic. 5:2

[{ From Luke, we know how and why Jesus ended up in Bethlehem to be born. Matthew tells us that wise men, called "magi" in some translations of the Bible, showed up asking for the whereabouts of the King of the Jews since they had seen his star in the East and made their way to Judah as a result. This is not a 1 or 2 day journey. It is a significant trip. Evidently, by the providence of God, these men who we know nothing about, were and had to be, worshippers ( foreign proselytes perhaps or Jewish emigrants of the diaspora ) of God in order to be allowed to know about this event.

All Jerusalem was troubled over this "sign" that had come to them and none more than Herod. Herod asks the chief priests and scribes who would know the most about what the word of God had said about this stuff. They tell him the prophets indicate Bethlehem. No doubt whatsoever that a lot of talk was generated over this event as was intended by God, added to the rest of the talk going around. It was getting plenty of publicity that would (or should) reverberate for years to come, at least 30 years to be precise. }]

Matthew 2:
7  Then secretly calling the wise men, Herod asked of them exactly the time of the star appearing.
8  And sending them to Bethlehem , he said, Having gone, search carefully for the child. And when you find him, bring me word again so that coming I may also worship him.
9  And having heard the king, they departed. And, behold! The star which they saw in the east went before them until it had come and stood over where the child was.
10  And seeing the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with a great joy.
11  And having come into the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary. And falling down, they worshiped Him. And opening their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12  And having been warned by a dream not to return to Herod, they went back into their own country by another way.

[{ Herod did not want anyone to know about his "interest" in this king of the Jews. Some might have been suspicious of Herod's interest. So he inquires of the wise men in secret. They tell Herod the time of the star's appearing since it was a journey of some days after that, that they arrived in Judah and from this, Herod makes sinister calculations. They go their way, being rather innocent and naive to Herod's deceit and intentions. On their way to Bethlehem, the star, so called, appears and leads them to where they need to go. They are delighted. They know for sure they are on the right track. They worshipped, gave extraordinary gifts that were bound to get attention and create lots of talk and publicity. I suspect the parents had already been to the temple for the 40 day offering for the child Jesus and had now found permanent living quarters in the place where Joseph has once lived and had relatives. But the star and the motivation behind this star alerted the wise men that Herod was really plotting to kill the child and to go back home another way, which they definitely did.

You should know that one religion, namely Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), so called, say that the devil was behind the star that led the magi (which JWs call astrologers) to Jesus. But it is so obvious that they revere and worship Jehovah and His son and were brought there for that, as yet another sign of the special purpose of this child and further that the wise men were warned of the intentions of Herod that they were not following the devil or led by him to worship Jesus. Further, JWs are unaware of the prophecies that foretold this sign as related by early pre-nicene Christian writer Justin, among others. }]

Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not near. A star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel and shall dash the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of tumult.

And this from Justin, 2nd century, "Against Trypho," Chap. 106:

>And that He should arise like a star from the seed of Abraham, Moses showed before hand when he thus said, 'A star shall arise from Jacob, and a leader from Israel;' and another Scripture says, 'Behold a man; the East is His name.' Accordingly, when a star rose in heaven at the time of His birth, as is recorded in the memoirs of His apostles, the Magi from Arabia, recognizing the sign by this, came and worshipped Him.<

Matthew 2:
13  And they having departed, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph by a dream, saying, Rise up! Take the child and His mother with you, and flee into Egypt . And be there until I shall tell you. For Herod is about to look for the child in order to destroy Him.
14  And rising up, he took along the child and His mother by night and withdrew into Egypt.
15  And he was there until the end of Herod, that might be fulfilled that spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I have called My Son." Hosea. 11:1

[{ Joseph was alerted by a angel in a dream and departed in a hurry, knowing Herod was soon to act when he realized he had been foiled by the wise men. Note the prophecy of Hosea predicting this circumstance. }]

Matthew 2:
16  Then seeing that he was mocked by the wise men, Herod was greatly enraged, and having sent, he killed all the boys in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he exactly asked from the wise men.
17  Then was fulfilled that spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18  "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and bitter weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they were not." Jer. 31:15
19 ¶  But Herod having expired, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph by a dream in Egypt ,
20  saying, Rising up, take along the child and His mother and pass over into the land of Israel ; for those seeking the soul of the child have expired.
21  And rising up, he took along the child and His mother and came into the land of Israel .
22  But hearing that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he feared to go there. And being warned by a dream, he departed into the parts of Galilee .
23  And coming, he lived in a city called Nazareth , so as to fulfill that spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

[{ I doubt that Herod believed Jesus was 2 when he sought to kill the child. But he, being paranoid and like all paranoid power mongers, wanted to be safe and be sure to get Jesus so he sought the death of all boys 2 and under to be sure and get perhaps a boy of 1 year or less. My guess is that it was not long after Joseph and Mary made an offering for Jesus on day 40 and perhaps lingered a little while longer. After all, Joseph had been born in this area and knew everyone around well and no doubt had family there so that finding a place to live had not been a problem. So while it is very unlikely that Jesus was anywhere near 2, he could have been close to one year or even half a year. }]

Determining Herod's Death & Jesus' Birth    Feb 1 015
Back to Top

Determining Herod's Death is just not essential. Many see Herod's death as the best event for determining the birth of Jesus. But we don't need the birth of Jesus from Herod, if at all. If we can determine the 15th year of Tiberius, at which time Jesus begins his ministry at age 30, then we can go back 30 years from there. This is the date the Bible gives to determine chronology. And when you think about it, what better, more prominent date can you use than that of the Emperor of Rome. I'm with God on this one. Now if this leaves us with a year of uncertainty as to the birth of Jesus or whatever else, well, a year of uncertainty with us is not an uncertainty with God. God knows why it seems uncertain but we do not. And we have to leave it at that.

But there are problems with using Herod's death as his death is not by any means certain. Josephus is the only source who has any info to offer on Herod's death. But let's keep in mind that Josephus was born about 38 AD, nearly 40 years after Herod's death. Herod was so hated that after he died, many of his buildings and monuments eventually became lost and forgotten to the world and only recently possibly rediscovered. Herod is a very vague reign in which to date anything. On the other hand, the dating of the Roman Emperors is far better known, recorded, and reliable.

Now Josephus relates that Herod died just before a Passover. Passover was in the spring. So Herod died in the spring or just prior to it. Josephus declares that Herod died just after a lunar eclipse. There was a partial lunar eclipse about March 12, 4 BC. So we could place his death between March 12 and maybe April 7, 4 BC, if, indeed, a partial eclipse satisfied what Josephus reports. There was a total lunar eclipse on Jan. 9, 1 BC. If we allow Jesus to be born in the Fall of 2 BC (Fall being about Sep. 21), with 40 days at the temple (about Nov. 2) and then fleeing to Egypt (anytime after Nov. 2), and grant that Jan. 9 is close to a late March or early April Passover (questionable), then we have a match here with a 29 AD start of Jesus' ministry. It works, but a 1 BC death is not necessary, though very convenient.

1 B.C. January 10. Total eclipse. Central at 1:00 am (elapsed time between eclipse and Passover: twelve and a half weeks ). 

Many, if not most, of those estimating a Chronology of Jesus insist in using Herod's death as a marking point. I believe this is a serious error. We use Tiberius, who many witness to, for his reign, as opposed to Herod, who only Josephus seems to know when he died, as no one contemporary of Herod ever recorded it. And Josephus was born maybe 38 years after Herod and yet he knows, without explaining what his source was or how he knew. As I said, Tiberius is a better choice from a scientific standpoint as well as a Biblical one. With Tiberius as the marking point, a 4 BC eclipse will not work and a 1 BC eclipse does seem to work but is not required. God felt Tiberius was sufficient, along with the other political offices mentioned in Luke. I explain more about the error of calculating the reign of Tiberius in the next section shortly. 

So I will accept the 15th year of Tiberius and go back 30 years if I want the birth of Christ. Harmonizing with Josephus is not required. Harmonizing with God's word is essential for professed Christians. Further, the birth of Jesus is not of concern in Bible prophecy. Circumstances around Jesus birth are important to show that he did fulfill scriptures that predicted the circumstances, not the time. And we can see that there were plenty of witnesses and talk about what was going on at the time of the conceptions and births of both John and Jesus so that 30 years later, people would be able to recall that there was lots of talk about of the births of these 2 nearly 30 years prior. At the mouth of just 2 or 3 witnesses a matter is firmly established in the eyes of God and anyone who follows God. IF you happen to have a whole village or temple courtyard of people, then all the better!

So we need to consider the start of the ministry of John and Jesus when he was 30 and later we can consider the 69 weeks of years in Daniel 9 to see if the beginning of Jesus' ministry does occur at the time forecast by Daniel 9.

Dr. Jones seems to rely heavily on Josephus for his birth of Christ. This is one time when we disagree on criteria and results. Just making it clear. Disagreements are no big deal among those who recognize the devotion of each other to God and His work. We are flawed imperfect men. but note what Dr. Jones says on page 250 of his book on Bible chronology:

"Moreover after considerable investigation into this matter, this author acknowledges that although the data seems to best testify as to a 4 BC birth year for the Lord Jesus, almost as strong a case could be made for the 1 BC date. Moreover, much can be said in its favor such that if somehow we were to come to "know" that the latter were indeed the actual birth year, there are enough conflicting and/or contradicting statements recorded in Josephus and other secular sources that the correcting adjustments could readily be made and accepted. It is precisely this circumstance that served as one of the major factors in leading me to conclude that an "absolute" chronology and/or harmony of the Gospels was unobtainable. Nevertheless, a very reliable "standard" of either is achievable."

I  must point out that Roman Calendars, of the time of Augustus and Tiberius were on the Julian calendar, so called. That means that a new year began January 1. The Jewish new year always began in spring, in March or April, beginning differently each year due to the Lunar method of counting time. So if Herod died in Jan. 10, 1 BC, and Jesus was born in the fall, before the death of Herod, then Jesus would be pushed back into 2BC, in the fall.

Recall that since the fall of Judah to Babylon, God started keeping time thru His prophets by the dates of the nations, rather than Judah, no longer having its own king or nation but being subject to various nations. All our dates today are based on Julian calendars revised into Gregorian calendars, both of which begin January 1.

Many consider it a sin to disagree with the "party line" of their comrades in the faith. They are required to adhere to whatever the "party" leadership tells them is the truth. Now this is true heresy! No man should dictate to the mind and conscience of another as to what is right or wrong; correct or not. Each should make the decision and live by it as he sees fit. Any variance from this is from the devil! Now you know. Those who boss, dominate, control and suppress, are from the devil. By their fruits you will know them.

This Just In !!!  Feb 1 015

This info was just taken from the BAR website as follows:

I am going to summarize it here for you, but you can still review the original material. If you are fairly new or unacquainted with Bible Archaeology or research, this is a handy site to visit once in a while or subscribe to the magazine. I have subscribed for many years.

 A John A. Cramer states the following:
"Trying to date the death of Herod the Great is attended by considerable uncertainty, and I do not mean to claim I know the right answer. Mr. Tempelman does a good job of pointing out arguments in favor of a 4 B.C. date following the arguments advanced long ago by Emil Schürer. The difficulty is that we have a fair amount of information, but it is equivocal."
"Too many possibilities and too little hard information probably leave the precise date forever open."

Truth1 >> I think Cramer is quite right. I'll say more in this after a professor (below) has a crack at it. But when I came upon those who suggested 4 BC since a son or two listed their reigns as beginning in 4 BC. I immediately wondered about co-regencies. But since I was satisfied with the Tiberius link, I did not pursue these. Watch what develops next.

In the letter to the editor in BAR, September/October 2014, Jeffrey Chadwick gives the argument for the death of Herod in 4 B.C. [used for determining the date of Jesus’ birth]. For over a century, this has been part of the standard reasoning for the 4 B.C. of Jesus’ birth. However, it does not come to grips with all of the data from Josephus. Elsewhere I have written about this. [An excerpt by Professor Steinmann can be read below.—Ed.]

One cannot simply and positively assert that a few short statements by Josephus about the lengths of reigns of his sons can be used to prove that Herod died in 4 B.C. Instead, one needs critically to sift through all of the evidence embedded in Josephus’s discussion as well as evidence external to Josephus to make a case for the year of Herod’s death.

Andrew Steinmann
Distinguished Professor of Theology and Hebrew
University Marshal
Concordia University Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Read an excerpt from Andrew E. Steinmann’s book From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology (St. Louis: Concordia, 2011), pp. 235–238 [footnotes removed]; see also his article “When Did Herod the Great Reign?” Novum Testamentum 51 (2009), pp. 1–29.

Originally Herod had named his son Antipater to be his heir and had groomed Antipater to take over upon his death. However, a little over two years before Herod’s death Antipater had his uncle, Herod’s younger brother Pheroras murdered. Pheroras had been tetrarch of Galilee under Herod. Antipater’s plot was discovered, and Archelaus was named Herod’s successor in place of Antipater.

Seven months passed before Antipater, who was in Rome, was informed that he had been charged with murder. Late in the next year he would be placed on trial before Varus, governor of Syria. Eventually Herod received permission from Rome to execute Antipater.

During his last year Herod wrote a will disinheriting Archelaus and granting the kingdom to Antipas. In a later will, however, he once again left the kingdom to Archelaus. Following his death his kingdom would eventually be split into three parts among Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip.

Josephus is careful to note that during his last year Herod was forbidden by Augustus from naming his sons as his successors. However, in several passages Josephus also notes that Herod bestowed royalty and its honors on his sons. At Antipater’s trial Josephus quotes Herod as testifying that he had yielded up royal authority to Antipater. He also quotes Antipater claiming that he was already a king because Herod had made him a king.

>>Remember that co-regency suggestion. Why look above. Indeed, we have room for that possibility and more to follow.<<

When Archelaus replaced Antipater as Herod’s heir apparent some two years before Herod’s death, Antipater may have been given the same prerogatives as Archelaus had previously enjoyed.

After Herod’s death Archelaus went to Rome to have his authority confirmed by Augustus. His enemies charged him with seemingly contradictory indictments: that Archelaus had already exercised royal authority for some time and that Herod did not appoint Archelaus as his heir until he was demented and dying. These are not as contradictory as they seem, however. Herod initially named Archelaus his heir, and at this point Archelaus may have assumed royal authority under his father.

Then Herod revoked his will, naming Antipas his heir. Ultimately, when he was ill and dying, Herod once again named Archelaus his heir. Thus, Archelaus may not have legally been king until after Herod’s death in early 1 B.C., but may have chosen to reckon his reign from a little over two years earlier in late 4 B.C. when he first replaced Antipater as Herod’s heir.

Since Antipas would eventually rule Galilee, it is entirely possible that under Herod he already had been given jurisdiction over Galilee in the wake of Pheroras’ death. This may explain why Herod briefly named Antipas as his heir in the year before his death. Since Antipas may have assumed the jurisdiction over Galilee upon Pheroras’ death sometime in 4 B.C., like Archelaus, he also may have reckoned his reign from that time, even though he was not officially named tetrarch of Galilee by the Romans until after Herod’s death.

Philip also appears to have exercised a measure of royal authority before Herod’s death in 1 B.C. Philip refounded the cities of Julias and Caesarea Philippi (Paneas). Julias was apparently named after Augustus’ daughter, who was arrested for adultery and treason in 2 B.C. Apparently Julias was refounded before that date. As for Caesarea Philippi, the date of its refounding was used to date an era, and the first year of the era was 3 B.C. Apparently Philip chose to antedate his reign to 4 B.C., which apparently was the time when Herod first entrusted him with supervision of Gaulanitis.

Additional support for Philip having been officially appointed tetrarch after the death of his father in 1 B.C. may be found in numismatics. A number of coins issued by Philip during his reign are known. The earliest bear the date “year 5,” which would correspond to A.D. 1. This fits well with Philip serving as administrator under his father from 4–1 B.C. He counted those as the first four years of his reign, but since he was not officially recognized by Rome as an independent client ruler, he had no authority to issue coins during those years. However, he was in position to issue coinage soon after being named tetrarch sometime in 1 B.C., and the first coins appear the next year, A.D. 1, antedating his reign to 4 B.C. While the numismatic evidence is not conclusive proof of Herod’s death in 1 B.C., it is highly suggestive.

>>And the fact that Steinmann also says 1 BC says something, too. <<

Given the explicit statements of Josephus about the authority and honor Herod had granted his sons during the last years of his life, we can understand why all three of his successors decided to antedate their reigns to the time when they were granted a measure of royal authority while their father was still alive. Although they were not officially recognized by Rome as ethnarch or tetrarchs until after Herod’s death, they nevertheless appear to have reckoned their reigns from about 4 B.C.

Truth1 from here on in >> Steinmann suggested that all the evidence, including that external to Josephus, had to or should have been included, were there any of that type. There was as he has shown. Why did others not avail themselves of this? Indeed, Steinmann's title, "Distinguished Professor" is an appropriate one. The evidence easily allows for the sons blaming a 4 BC start, without the father Herod being dead yet. So the so called researchers ignored all the other Herod and sons evidence and just picked 4 BC as applying to Herod's death. That's just plain lousy scholarship.

Steinmann's info on coins dating to 1 AD is also interesting. Of coursel, rulers want credit for everything they did and more. So it is not surprising that they included their deeds while "dear old dad" was still alive but likely not too involved in running things at that point.

Lets get serious here for a minute. God was not a fool. He knew that Herod’s reign and dates of his reign, and the hatred of him would all cause problems as to firm dating. So God did not choose Herod as an anchor for such an important event as the baptism of Jesus at a specified age of 30 at that time as well. Knowing the date and Jesus’ age, we can determine the birth year.

Instead, God choose the 15th year of the Roman emperor in power at that time, knowing that this was be a firm solid date. So any attempts to fit Jesus into any time frame would require this link/anchor. Upon this link, Jesus stands or falls, including his year of birth.

The eclipse or death of Herod was never required by God. Steinmann shows us this indirectly by showing why a 4 BC eclipse is not likely and even why though a 1 BC eclipse is only tentative, it is still suggestive in likelihood. Put in other words, probable, if not likely. Give the extra data of Tiberius’ 15th year, puts tentative as most likely from an academic perspective and a dead ringer from a Christian’s perspective.

So we can see the wisdom of God in His choices and why Herod was not one of those choices. But the superb work of Steinmann shows us, as far as I am concerned, by a 2nd route, that Herod can still be useful, once the dilemmas have been cleared up.

I note that many researchers, so called, (and I certainly exclude Steinmann from these) act a lot like shills and trolls we find on Youtube and forums were many people post and comment. Paid shills/trolls love to leave out relevant evidence and make incomplete claims that end up being false because of that deliberate incompleteness. They also love launching ad-hominem attacks or simply apply dogmatic assertions with no supporting evidence at all.

Once the dust clears, the cream usually rises to the top and we get the right answers.

Jesus Begins His Ministry
Back to Top

Luke 3:
1  And in the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate governing Judea, and Herod ruling as tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruling as tetrarch of Iturea and the Trachonitis country, and Lysanias ruling as tetrarch of Abilene,
2  upon the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came on John the son of Zacharias in the desert.
3  And he came into the neighborhood of the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for remission of sins,
4  as it has been written in the roll of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.
5  every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made into straight, and the rough into smooth ways;"
6  "and all flesh shall see the salvation of God." Isa. 40:35

[{  The Bible shows how John began in the 15th year of Tiberius. He might have began in the spring when he became 30, since a priest had to be 30 in order to serve. And then Jesus comes along when he hits 30 in the fall or near it, as a rightful king and a priest, too, and gets baptized by John. Notice how God has His own choice for priest to officiate and install His son, rather than the corrupt priesthood running the temple at the time.

Advocational Bible Chronologist Mike Satterlee points out: > “Thanks to the writing of Tacitus, Suetonius, and others, the reign of Tiberius Caesar was one of most heavily documented in ancient history. Because of this fact any history book can now tell you with absolute certainty that Augustus died in August of AD 14. And that Tiberius then succeeded him as Emperor of Rome. Historians also tell us that Rome (at that time) then used the "accession year" system of reckoning when they enumerated the years of the reigns of their Emperors. In this system of reckoning the first full calendar year of an Emperor's rule was counted as his "first year" of rule. (The partial calendar year in which he first began his rule was counted as part of his predecessor's last year of rule.) With these things in mind, the "1st year of Tiberius Caesar " began on January 1, AD 15. And "the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar" (Luke 3:1) began on January 1, AD 29.” <
And by the way, I am nothing more than an advocational chronologist myself. And Mike is very good at what he does.

What Mike shows, reveals why many make mistakes in figuring the reign of Tiberias, and therefore, the beginning of the baptism and ministry of Jesus. Most figure the 1st year of Tiberius as beginning as soon as Augustus died, August 19, AD 14. But as is the case with many nations around Rome and in the Bible, the first (full) year of Tiberius was reckoned as starting Jan. 1, AD 15 and being completed Dec. 31, AD 15. So we have 14 full years (in the AD era) prior to Tiberius and another 14 of Tiberius and then the baptism of Jesus near the fall of the 15th year of Tiberius, AD 29. No less than Sir Isaac Newton, himself, had come up with the same date. Pretty good company, really.

Mike's statement is confirmed by the following below:  "The Roman custom was to count the first full calendar year of an emperor's reign as year one."

Did Herod the "Great" Really Die In 4 B.C.?        Juan Antonio Revilla and John D. Keyser

Writes Paul R. Finch -- 
          "This brings us to [Publius Sulpicius] Quirinius who conducted the 'enrollment.'  Luke says that he was governor.  Yet, Quirinius was not officially a governor until A.D. 6. But it does seem probable that Quirinius may have been a provisional governor in 3/2 B.C. while the actual legate was away at Rome. Indeed, Justin Martyr called Quirinius the "procurator of Syria" (Apology I.34).
          The Cambridge Ancient History tells us that 'Each province had its equestrian procurator who in the eyes of the provincials was almost as important as the governor himself' (vol. X, 216).  Quirinius in the records seems to have been a 'man-Friday' by all accounts. Tacitus said that his command in the war of the Homonadenses was a 'special command.' An inscription mentions him 'as holding an honorary municipal office at Antioch-by-Pisidia' (Sherwin-White, 165). He also became guardian of Gaius Caesar, the heir to the Empire when Gaius acquired residential authority at Antioch over the eastern provinces in A.D. 1 (Tacitus, Annals III.48).
          Tacitus also said that Quirinius was one who had 'considerable talents for business' (ibid.).  In A.D. 2 he married Aemelia Lepida, a descendant of Sulla and Pompey. This no doubt gave him much more political standing and in A.D. 6 he became legate of Syria upon the death of Archelaus, at which time Judaea was annexed.
          This change in government gave reason for Quirinius's second census of Judaea mentioned in Acts 5:37. This is why Luke distinguished the registration at the time of Jesus' birth as being the 'first' one, while he was [provisional] governor of Syria which Justin Martyr said was actually while he was procurator."

Writes Paul R. Finch -- 
"But who was the actual governor at this time? The early Christian apologist Tertullian living in the late second century, who was by profession a lawyer and well acquainted with Roman governmental affairs, said that the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was conducted when Sentius Saturninus was governor of Syria (Answer to the Jews, ch. 8).  What's more, he said it occurred in the 41st year of Augustus answering to 3/2 B.C."

"Indeed, the early Christian sources were nearly united in stating that Jesus was born in 3/2 B.C. The list includes:

Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Africanus, Hippolytus of Rome, Hippolytus of Thebes, and Cassiodorus Senator (Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology, p. 229)."

"This is strong testimony indeed because these sources were able to consult the vast libraries at their disposals which modern historians no longer have access. But the next best thing to having access to these vital records is to accept the testimony of those who did! Modern scholarship has disgraced itself in an utter unprofessional way by ignoring this testimony in favor of our present fragmentary knowledge for this period."

I would point out that the date 3/2 BC is counting the partial year of a new emperor as the 1st, rather than the first full year after the partial. So 3/2 BC becomes 2/1 BC. That is what I have been saying. Jesus was born only about 3 months before the 1 BC date.

I do not know how or why Jones comes up with 26 AD other than he subscribes to Josephus and accepts Herod's supposed 4 BC partial lunar eclipse as the sign of the birth of Jesus. But God tells us when Jesus was 30, not when he was born. God knows what He was doing. We need to listen always to Him.

What this means, if we back up 30 years from fall, AD 29, is that Jesus was born in the fall of 2 BC. Does it harmonize with Josephus? The full lunar eclipse of 1 BC does work. Josephus becomes a credible 2nd witness, one outside of the Bible but within the reach of astronomy. The Bible, inspired by the spirit of God, saw the reign of Tiberius as being an excellent anchor and the only one needed to settle the matter. Let God be found true. Now wait till you see this. If we take 30 years away from Daniel's 483 years in chapter 9, we have 453 years left to be accounted from the Decree of the Medo-Persian ruler to 2 BC. If we counted 2 BC, we would have a full 455 years BC. But we need 445 BC to nail the 20th year of Artaxerxes, according to the date set by secular authorities. And you shall have it in the section Daniel 9 - 70 Weeks near the end of this article. But I won't cover it here. We'll accept 483 years and 455 BC for now. }]

Luke 3:
21  And it happened, in the baptizing of all the people, Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened;
22  and the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily form as a dove upon Him. And there was a voice out of Heaven, saying, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You. Psa. 2:7; Gen 22:2; Isa. 42:1
23  And Jesus Himself was beginning to be about thirty years old, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,

[{ Talk about miracles! It is hard to miss this if you were in a crowd there. In other accounts, some tried to say it was thunder. But when Jesus began to heal people and raise the dead, that should have sealed it. Those who ignored the great and powerful signs, wonders, and portents of God, being witnesses to God's deeds and spirit, committed the unforgivable sin by rejecting the obvious visible demonstrated manifestation of the spirit of God, even as pharaoh had in chasing after Moses and Israel roughly 1500 years earlier. }]

Luke 13:
1  And some were present at the same time reporting to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices.
2  And answering, Jesus said to them, Do you think that these Galileans were sinners beyond all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3  No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way.
4  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that these were sinners beyond all men who lived in Jerusalem ?
5  No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way.
6  And He spoke this parable: A certain one had planted a fig tree in his vineyard. And he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7  And he said to the vinedresser, Behold, three years I come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down, and why does it waste the ground?
8  And the vinedresser said to him, Sir, leave it also this year until I shall dig around it and throw manure;
9  and see if it indeed makes fruit. But if not, in the future you may cut it down.

[{ Jesus was warning Israel as he preached to them that they were all on trial and could end up like those already executed, if they did not change & repent. It was the parable that follows that people sometimes miss. For 3 years a farmer had come to see if his fig tree had produced any fruit for him and it had not. He was ready to cut it down for under Roman rulers, every tree was taxed after 3 years, whether it produced fruit or not. So if a tree did not produce after 3 years and did not look like it ever would, the plantation/villa owner could have it cut down. This farmer is urged to give his employee working the farm just one more year to add some fertilizer and see if it will produce and if not, then they could cut it down. He wanted to go most of an extra year and be sure. It would only take half a year to see if it would bud and start to grow fruit. If it got close to being a full 4th year and no fruit, then it could be cut down before the 4th year is completed, thereby escaping the tax.

In Luke 4:24-27, Jesus speaks of the account of Elijah (in 1 Kings chapters 17-21) where during 3.5 years of no rain in Israel, Elijah was not sent to Israel to heal but to Naaman the Syrian, who was healed, believing Elijah to be a prophet, even while Israel had ignored him for 3.5 years. I believe this was intended to be prophetic prototype which Jesus would use to show how he, too, would be rejected by Israel and Judah in his 3.5 years. Jesus points out the similarities of Elijah early in his ministry, early in the book of Luke.

So it was with the ministry of Jesus. Rather than preach just 3 years, he gives them 3.5 years to see if maybe they will produce some fruit. He went out of his way to give them a chance but for most, it was for nothing. This illustration is one of the indications that Jesus did preach for 3.5 years, not 3. While there were a few souls who accepted Jesus, the nation of Israel as a whole rejected him and crucified him, the son of God sent to them by the Father. For this, God rejected Israel, too. More later. }]

Counting the Passovers to 3.5 Years
Back to Top

Whether Jesus preached for 3 or 3.5 years when he died, many Bible Chronologists do not consider it important. Oh, but let me make it clear, it certainly does matter and how!!! Unrecognized by many is the fact that 3.5 and 7 are very important prophetic periods determined to fulfill the word of God and work out His purpose. These periods have been determined and affect God's people in the last days and allow them to know what to expect and for how long. And just as Jesus preached for 3.5 years and then was killed, ultimately, by the devil, who used mankind to carry out his will. Likewise, the false prophet, false messiah, man of sin, antichrist, will reign for 3.5 years while Christians are imprisoned and kept in the wilderness so to speak. After 3.5 years, the antichrist dies in a very mysterious way and the nations following him are spooked. It is the hand of God, almost like the handwriting on the wall in Daniel or when the statue of Dagon is continually knocked down while the Philistines are plagued. And just as the devil bruised Christ in the heal, Christ will deal the devil's appointed one a death blow and eventually, Satan, too, in the head, thereby truly fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis made nearly 6000 years previous in the Garden of Eden. 3.5 and 7 are very prominent in the dealings of the antichrist. Though never specifically said, Jesus preached for 3.5 years and it is very important. That said, I will show that there were 4 Passovers during the ministry of Jesus.

Jesus was born 6 months after John, and turned 30, 6 months after John, and was crucified at the last Passover, becoming himself the Passover sacrificial lamb of God for mankind in the spring at 33.5 years of age. This too, places his birth in the fall, likely in late September, perhaps after the fall equinox around Sep. 21. So we will cover the Book of John to begin the Passover count. But I warn you, there is a Passover missing which I will discuss after.

John 1:
19  And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites that they might ask him, Who are you?
20  And he acknowledged and did not deny; yea, he acknowledged, I am not the Christ.
21  And they asked him, What, then? Are you Elijah? And he said, I am not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered, No.
22  Then they said to him, Who are you, that we may give an answer to those sending us? What do you say about yourself?
23  He said, "I am a voice crying in the wilderness:" "Make straight" "the way of the Lord," as Isaiah the prophet said. Isa. 40:3
24  And those who had been sent were of the Pharisees.
25  And they asked him and said to him, Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
26  John answered them, saying, I baptize in water, but One stands in your midst whom you do not know;
27  This One it is who has come after me, who has been before me, of whom I am not worthy that I should loose the thong of His sandal.
28  These things took place in Bethabara beyond the Jordan , where John was baptizing.
29  On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!
30  This is He about whom I said, After me comes a Man who has been before me, for He was preceding me.
31  And I did not know Him; but that He be revealed to Israel , for this reason I came baptizing in water.
32  And John witnessed, saying, I have seen the Spirit coming down as a dove out of Heaven, and He abode on Him.
33  And I did not know Him, but the One sending me to baptize in water, that One said to me, On whomever you see the Spirit coming down and abiding on Him, this is the One baptizing in the Holy Spirit.
34  And I have seen and have witnessed that this One is the Son of God.
35  Again on the morrow, John and two from his disciples stood.
36  And looking at Jesus walking, he said, Behold, the Lamb of God!
37  And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus.

1. John made it clear, when asked, that he had been prophesied and that
2. he was to witness and identify the Messiah, the one who had existed before John (in heaven) and who John was not worthy of receiving or of even taking off the sandal of.
3. John identifies Jesus as the lamb of God.
4. John witnesses the spirit coming down on Jesus like a dove. Jesus receives appointment and power. John points out that he did not know who it was but the "One" who sent him told him what to watch for to identify the son of God.
5. John sees and testifies to this. This was his job, his purpose, now finished and completed.
6. John's followers now began to follow Jesus.<<

John 2:
1  And on the third day a marriage took place in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
2  And Jesus and His disciples also were invited to the marriage.
3  And being short of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no wine.
4  Jesus said to her, What is that to Me and to you, woman? My hour has not yet come.
5  His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do.
6  And there were six stone waterpots standing, according to the purification of the Jews, each containing two or three measures.
7  Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them to the top.
8  And He said to them, Now draw out and carry to the master of the feast. And they carried it.
9  But when the master of the feast tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know from where it was (but the servants drawing the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom,
10  and he said to him, Every man first sets on the good wine, and when they have drunk freely, then the worse. You have kept the good wine until now.
11  This beginning of the miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. And it revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

[{ Jesus performs his first miracle. He would be 30 at this time. }]

John 2:
12  After this He went down to Capernaum , He and His mother and His brothers and His disciples. And He remained there not many days.
13  And the Passover of the Jews was near. And Jesus went up to Jerusalem .
14  And He found those selling oxen and sheep and doves in the temple, and the money changers sitting.
15  And making a whip out of ropes, He threw all out of the temple, both the sheep, and the oxen, and the money changers, pouring out the money and overturning the tables.
16  And to the ones selling the doves, He said, Take these things from here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise.

[{ This is said to be the 1st Passover during the ministry of Jesus. This likely coincides with Matthew 4:25. Matthew focuses on teachings, rather than events so that we are not told of all the Passovers as the Apostle John does. While in Jerusalem, though not said, he likely gathers a number of followers who then come to hear him in John 6 as well on the sermon on the mount.}]

John 2:
23  And as He was in Jerusalem , at the Passover, at the Feast, many believed into His name, seeing the miracles which He did.
24  But Jesus Himself did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all,
25  and because He had no need that anyone should witness concerning man, for He knew what was in man.

[{ In Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus does not let himself be taken prisoner or caught. It was not his time. }]

John 6:
1  After these things, Jesus went away over the Sea of Galilee, the Tiberian Sea .
2  And a great crowd followed Him, for they saw His miracles which He did on the sick ones.
3  And Jesus went up into the mountain and sat there with His disciples.
4  And the Passover was near, the feast of the Jews.
5  Then Jesus lifting up His eyes and seeing that a great crowd is coming to Him, He said to Philip, From where may we buy loaves that these may eat?
6  But He said this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do.
7  Philip answered Him, Loaves for two hundred denarii are not enough for them, that each of them may receive a little.
8  One of His disciples said to Him, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter,
9  A little boy is here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many?
10  And Jesus said, Make the men to recline. And much grass was in the place. Then the men reclined, the number was about five thousand.
11  And Jesus took the loaves, and giving thanks distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those reclining. And in the same way the fish, as much as they desired.
12  And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, Gather up the fragments left over, that not anything be lost.
13  Then they gathered and filled twelve hand baskets with fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over to those who had eaten.
14  Then seeing what miracle Jesus did, the men said, This is truly the Prophet, the one coming into the world.

[{ This event takes place quite early in Matthew chaps. 5-7, and Mark 6:33. While the Passover was near, these events were in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus avoided this Passover in Jerusalem as the next scripture shows. This was the 2nd Passover, at least. It could be the 3rd for all we know. But I suspect the 2nd, as I will explain, shortly.

John says in 7 that Jesus offended many with his saying they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. It is later said in writers who followed after the Apostles that Luke was one of those that stopped following Jesus and that Luke had been one of the 70 sent out by Jesus. If this account is true and I think it possible and reasonable, then this must be after the 70 were sent out and that means John has skipped a huge amount of time and events covered by the others.

It seems to me that John is impossible to use to account for all passovers or any sort of accurate accounting of time. It is teachings that he focuses on.}]

John 7:
1  And after these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for He did not desire to walk in Judea , because the Jews were lusting to kill Him.
2  And the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles was near.

>> The Passover had gone by and the festival of tabernacles - booths - tents was coming up. Jesus then secretly went up to Jerusalem and even openly preached. It was not his time to be sacrificed. Unless the will of God allows it, nothing can happen. John has, as I see it, skipped right to the 3rd passover and feast of tabernacles that would follow, in John 6. The other 3 gospels mention the sending out of the apostles and then the 60 in Luke 12. This would likely be where the 2nd passover, not mentioned, took place.

Below is the final and 4th passover on which Jesus dies. <<

John 11:
54  Then Jesus no longer walked publicly among the Jews, but went away from there into the country near a deserted place, to a city being called Ephraim, and stayed there with His disciples.
55  And the Passover of the Jews was near. And many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover, that they might purify themselves.

John 12:
1  Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany , where Lazarus was, who had died, whom He raised from the dead.

John 12:
23  But Jesus answered them, saying, The hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified.

John 13:
1  And before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should move from this world to the Father, loving His own in the world, He loved them to the end.

>> This is the final Passover on which Jesus is executed, serving as the true sacrifice that buys the sin of mankind. But you will notice that this is only the 3rd Passover specifically mentioned. How can that be 3.5 years. Indeed, if Jesus was born in the fall, then this could only be 2.5 years. We know Jesus had to preach for at least 3 years. The illustrations/parables require that. In the middle of each of his years would have fallen the Passover in the spring. Jesus was born in the fall.

At 6 months into his ministry would have fallen the 1st Passover. At 1.5 years, the 2nd Passover. At 2.5 years, the 3rd Passover. So if he preached 3 years, he could not have avoided 3 Passovers. And to have died at the next Passover, he must have preached 3.5 years. So while we do not know which Passover was not specifically referred to, I would say it was likely after the 1st 2 Passovers which came relatively early in Jesus' ministry. So we can be assured that Jesus did preach through 3 Passovers and die on the 4th Passover after 3.5 year at age 33.5, if we believe the illustrations and prophetic types of the past; that is, the Word of God.<<

Passovers Condensed and Reviewed
Back to Top

>> I have gathered all scriptures from all the gospels that mention a passover, a feast or festival, and then all scriptures that mention either Annas or Caiaphas or high priest, since it is the office of high priest that will also enable a calculation of how many years passed. Luke mentions both Annas and Caiaphas together. Lets look at passovers and festivals first. I quote all gospels that mention these to see if they match with other gospels.<<


John 2:13 and Matt. 4:25
13  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem

John 4:45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
>> as best as I can tell, this refers to the previous passover of John 2:13.<<

John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
likely, this was the feast of tabernacles in the fall.

Luke 9:
1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done.
Luke 10:
1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

>> A lot had to happen in this time period. Newton says a year without explanation.  But it does not seem unreasonable. So if this time period covered most of a year, which seems very likely, then there had to be a passover, but there is no mention of it. This would constitute a 2nd passover.<<

John 6:
3  And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
4  And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

>> This would seem to be the 3rd certain passover by harmonizing with testimony about Luke in later times.. It seems to come not long after the first one in John 2. But John's gospel is extremely condensed and filled with just a few big speeches that are not found elsewhere. And as mentioned previously, if the things related about Luke in accounts outside of the Bible, then the offending of people with the eating flesh and drinking blood illustration would absolutely have to take place after the 70 were sent out in Luke 12. So this would have to be the 3rd passover and last one before the final 4th passover.

Luke was later reconciled and brought back into the fold, to write the book of Acts and Gospel of Luke. So Luke, in reality, is much more chronological, and information and event filled than John. And Luke is the only one to mention the 70 sent out in substantial detail, which given it was claimed that he was among the 70 would seem to be born out by him being the only one to bring it up, since he was a part of it.<<

John 11:
54  Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and there he stayed with the disciples.
55  now the passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
[Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record this one, too]
56  they were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "what do you think? that he will not come to the feast?"
57  now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if any one knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

>> This is the last (4th) passover, the one Jesus will die at. Only 3 passovers are mentioned and one implied by circumstance. This would only allow a 3.5 year ministry. But the tradition of Jesus preaching for 3.5 years is quite strong. Now we will look at all other feasts/festivals to see if we can extract anything from these.

Below are all mentions of Feast or Festival to see if we might determine a time flow and length. But they do not help.<<

Feast or Festival
(some say festival (HCSB) instead of KJV’s feast

John 7:2 Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.
John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

>>  Yeah, there is only 2. Not much, huh? The Tabernacles was in the fall. The Dedication was Hanukkah in the winter.
John 7:2 fall observance is likely right after the 6:4 Passover. And John 10:22 may be the winter festival right after the 7:2 fall tabernacles.
So these are the only specific feasts or festivals mentioned anywhere in the gospels.

What is very clear here is that we must speculate, whether we favor 3.5 or Newton's 4.5 years of the ministry of Jesus. We can easily guarantee 2.5 years with what we got. We speculate if we argue for more. Newton counts 5 passovers, 2 of those being speculation. 5 passovers would mean 4.5 years of preaching since Jesus was born in the fall and baptized then as well. So spring passovers would always mark a half year point in his life. But I have trouble following Newton and agreeing with him.

So now I will supply the mentions of the high priests since Josephus mentions the rotation of priests in his writing and Eusebius quotes him on this matter to prove 3.5, which follows this section of mine.

Annas or Caiaphas

Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

>> This scripture is why we concern ourselves with these 2. They are well documented in the history of Josephus as well as the Bible. At the time of John receiving the word of God while residing in the wilderness, maybe even in the wilderness settlement of Qumran for all we knew. I think it possible. But Annas was the high  priest beginning at passover of  the 15th year of Tiberius, I assume. It could have been earlier but since John was born 6 months before Jesus, John's 30th birthday would be that spring passover of the 15th of Tiberius. Priests had to be 30 in the law. And John was to act as a priest to anoint Jesus and serve as a prophet as well.

The priesthood was a one year term position determined by Herod. Passover was the time of the new term. I assume that means the beginning of the passover festival rather than the start of the new year and new moon 10 days earlier.  It may also be that the word came to John, who might have been born just a little before passover so that at this general time.

But Annas was the senior of the two and father in law to Caiaphas. These two would be frequently appointed in the yearly terms of the priesthood. These two worked together to get Jesus killed. So Luke mentions them together, I assume.<<

Matthew 26:
3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

John 11:
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, You know nothing at all,
50  Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51  And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52  And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

John 18:
13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
15  Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. as this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus,
16  while Peter stood outside at the door. so the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in.
17  the maid who kept the door said to Peter, "are not you also one of this man’s disciples?" he said, "I am not."

24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

High Priest

Mark 14:
47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. [Matthew 26:51 – Luke 22:50 – John 18:10]
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. [Matthew 26:3]
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. [John 18:15]
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answer you nothing? What is it which these witness against you?
61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and said, What need we any further witnesses?
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

John 18:
26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, said, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

Acts 4:
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

>>> The 4 priests above seem to have solidified control and became the regular group that was rotated among the yearly high priest positions. I am returning to black text.
Annas was clearly favored by the ruler and his son in law Caiaphas certainly seemed to fit in. We don't know who ruled between Annas in the 15th of Tiberius and Caiaphas when Jesus was killed. We don't even know how many ruled between the 2.

But since Josephus lists some years of office of the high priests, before Annas, some of whom were not satisfactory, it seems likely that whoever it was in between, they were more satisfactory to the liking of the rulers and Annas so it is probably very likely that John and Alexander might have been between the 2 mentioned by Luke 3. They are certainly established just after the death of Jesus when the Apostles were preaching. That there are the four mentioned could indicate that these four were particularly involved throughout the ministry of Jesus and continued to be involved after.

Part of any grab for power is getting those close to you who you trust, into the positions around you. Annas had his whole family involved. It fits the pattern well enough. Birds of a feather flock together, no? For me, Acts 4:6 speaks volumes.

Note the powerful and large family controlling the priesthood and authority of the Jews in general. It was the rulers that were making trouble for Jesus and then Christians. From these, we can see that Annas and Caiaphas were the kingpin leaders among the chief priests and all the rest of the power network such as the scribes, elders and the like. In fact, They first brought Jesus to Annas, even though Caiaphas was the high priest by that time. Annas was clearly the older and more dominant, a sort of Godfather of the whole bunch. These were the leaders of the Jews. They did what they wanted. Even Pilate did not want to upset them.

To clarify, this was not a plot of the common people and crowd. This was the exclusive power elite of the Jews that wanted Jesus dead. Keep in mind that they had a relationship with Herod and served Herod, not God. They lived well and prosperous. The chief priest got to serve in a palace in his term. It could not have been without good pay and privilege. These elite did not want anything upsetting their good living and lifestyle, not to mention, status and position.

Years before, a group of priests had removed themselves from Jerusalem and went out to live in the wilderness at Qumran, believing the priesthood was totally corrupt. They have been called Essenes. But because they left the city to a remote place in isolation, they were not perceived as a threat. But had they stayed in Jerusalem and spoken badly of the priests and other elite, you can bet they would not have lived long. But they waited on God's salvation in the wilderness. Then come John and Jesus. They did criticize the elite religious leaders. And things did not go well for them as a result, even though they were right.

But our interest in the high priests is that Josephus lists their reigns at the time when Jesus came. We would like to know how long Jesus preached by comparing the reigns of the high priests and while the ones we would look for are found, the times are not quite right. What this means, however frustrating it is, is that we have nothing to verify how long Jesus preached. There is not enough internal Biblical info to say with clarity and certainty. Josephus doesn't have quite enough to solve it, either.

For me, the prophetic and often recurring time of 3.5 years is the best chance of saying whether Jesus preached for 3.5 years or more or less. Jesus gave the illustration of a tree that was not producing after 3 years. So the gardener suggests that a little more fertilizer and a few months more should be given, since the tree was not taxed until the 4th year, that they give extra time, short of 4 years, to see if they can get some results and if none are obtained, then they can cut it down before the completion of the 4th year. It would seem that Jesus was applying this to Judah and Jerusalem. They would get 3.5 years and then get chopped down. John the Baptist also mentioned the axe at the root of the tree, just waiting to cut it down.

It is my opinion that 3.5 years seems to best address the numerous ambiguities that accompany this mystery. Newton, for all his work, does not arrive at any solution that has any more certainty than anything else. But as for the year of the death of Jesus, if indeed, Friday was the day of death for Jesus on Nisan 14, then 33 AD fits best. 34 only works if they shifted the day to avoid 2 consecutive sabbaths. I agree with Newton that only these 2 years would make it. If you subscribe to Jesus having to be dead for a full 3 days and 3 nights, 72 hours, then there is another option.

But of all the things unsettled, I think the pattern of rising on the third day in the case of Jesus and many other times and events, is well attested to. I think the 72 hour theory is just a misunderstanding of poetic literary style of expression. Add the prophetic common 3.5 in there and 33 AD becomes hard to beat.

For more on this subject, I give full treatment to Sir Isaac Newton's writings on the length of the ministry of Jesus and his birth as well. It covers much detail that I sometimes dispute with reasons supplied. Newton is very sensible and logical as a whole and worth considering. He is not infallible and he was far from the time of final fulfillment and did not always have the full amount of information that we might have know. He also had some we don't have now. So it bears reconsideration and is well worth it.

The Passover Significance
Back to Top

[{ When God first set up the Exodus and Passover through Moses, God had the intention of using the Passover to show the significance of the future, and more important, offering of His son as a sacrifice for mankind. And while God can be very subtle, when it comes to prophecy, He is usually about as subtle as a sledgehammer or a freight train. He likes to rub it in your face and make a big point out of it that you can't miss. He uses and/or creates events that foreshadow future events. And there is none anywhere that was ever more important than God's son being offered as the sin atoning sacrifice in our behalf. This death would be the event that would not only allow, but force God to intervene and undo the damage caused by Adam to his offspring.

So God set up the Passover which would be followed to the day, by His son and the guidance of the Holy spirit of God. All the symbols of this Exodus were carefully laid out for the benefit of the future Passover sacrifice.}]

Exodus 12:
3  Speak to all the congregation of Israel , saying, On the tenth of this month, they shall each take for themselves an animal of the flock for a father’s house, a flock animal for a house.
4  And if the house is too small for a flock animal, he and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of souls, each one according to the mouth of his eating, you shall count concerning the flock animal.
5  A flock animal, a perfect one, a male, a yearling, shall be to you. You shall take from the sheep or from the goats.
6  And it shall be for you to keep until the fourteenth day of this month. And all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.
7  And they shall take from the blood, and put it on the two side doorposts and on the upper doorpost, on the houses in which they eat it.
8  And they shall eat the flesh in this night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
9  Do not eat it raw, or at all boiled in water, but roasted with fire; its head with its legs and with its inward parts.
10  And you shall not leave any of it until morning. And you shall burn with fire that left from it until morning.
11  And you shall eat it this way: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Passover to Jehovah.
12  And I will pass through in the land of Egypt in this night. And I will strike every first born in the land of Egypt , from man even to livestock. And I will execute judgments on all the gods of Egypt . I am Jehovah!

Exodus 12: 18  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month, at evening.

[{ On the 10th of their first month, Nisan/Abib, Israel would take a male of their sheep or goats, a yearling, a young unblemished one as Jesus would be as a perfect man, even though 30 (he does not age), and hold it till the 14th. On the day following the evening that the 14th started on, they would kill the Passover and eat. In the first one led by Moses, they would use the blood to paint the door posts with so that the angel would Passover their house. These were symbolically marked even as Christians will be, before the great tribulation.

They eat the sacrificed animal in the evening beginning the 15th, the Passover. The angel passes over and Israel eats all prepared as if to leave and go somewhere, certainly not relaxed. They are leaving Egypt for pharaoh will have them leave in a hurry once all of Egypt has dead to bury. In addition, the feast, the meal of unleavened bread, begins at evening starting the 14th and ends on the eve of the 21st. For 7 days they eat bread without leaven due to cleaning out all the leaven before the angel comes so that they be found clean, ritually/spiritually speaking, by having no leaven, symbolic of uncleanness and sin. Jesus spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees, figuring the disciples would understand what he was saying but they missed it till he spelled it out.

Indeed, there was much about the period of the Exodus that was to symbolize what would happen in the last days just prior to or during the great tribulation. But if Jesus were to be the Passover sacrifice, he would need to be killed on Nisan 14, not 15. and here is where confusion begins for the Gospels "seem" to differ. We will explore why that might be. }]

The Passover Details
Back to Top

I noticed a number of web sites the pointed out that there is only one year within a 7 year period that could allow for the unique circumstances of timing described in the Gospels. That year is 33 AD. What is amazing is that some pointed this out, despite claiming Jesus began his ministry in 28 AD, not 29 AD. 28 + 3.5 = 31.5, right? But 29 + 3.5 = 32.5, that is to say, we are now in the spring of 33 AD, where we should be. So some of those who say 28 AD are neglecting some of their own evidence and ignoring God, too. But let's look at the details to understand what I and others are talking about. I put each of the 4 gospels in different colors so that one will not easily get confused when changes are made from one to the other.

Here is a dilemma for which there is no easy solution. When referring to the Passover, one could be referring to the actual Passover night of the festival, remembering the time when the angel of God passed over Israel. But one could refer to the entire Passover season, Nisan 10 to Nisan 14 to Nisan 21 as the Passover. And while Nisan 15, starting in the evening is the Passover, indeed, some might consider Nisan 14, when the unleavened bread began, as the beginning of the Passover, which it was. The Feast could be referring to the official feast of Passover, or the unleavened bread of Nisan 14, or even a private feast a day earlier in preparation for the "real" Passover sacrifice of the Lamb of God. These are some of the problems of understanding that could come about quite innocently. I shall show how the 4 gospels remember different aspects of the resurrection to demonstrate this.

I need to point out that there are different Sabbaths and types of Sabbaths as well. There is the weekly Sabbath, the Sabbath Years with their Jubilees, festival Sabbaths, etc. This has led to much confusion in being sure of what kind of Sabbath the scriptures refer to at times in the gospels.

John 12: 1  Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany

John 12: 12  On the morrow, coming to the Feast, hearing that Jesus is coming to Jerusalem, a great crowd  13  took palm branches and went out to a meeting with Him, and they were crying out, Hosanna! "Blessed is He coming in the name of the Lord," the King of Israel! [Psa. 118:26]  14  And finding an ass colt, Jesus sat on it, even as it had been written

Also Mark 11:1 and Luke 19:29

Matthew 21: 1  And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, toward the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2  saying to them, Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her. Loosen them and lead them to Me.

[{ The resurrection of Lazarus takes place in Bethany at John 12:1. The day before the Feast, Nisan 13, Jesus is welcomed by the crowd. All gospels cover it. It would be easy to confuse which feast Matthew referring to. The feast of the Passover lamb on Nisan 15 or the commencement of  the 7 day feast of unleavened bread on Nisan 14. It later proves to be the 14th.}]

Matthew 21:
10  And as He entered into Jerusalem , all the city was shaken, saying, Who is this?
11  And the crowds said, This is Jesus, the Prophet, the one from Nazareth of Galilee.
12  And Jesus entered into the temple of God and threw out all those selling and buying in the temple. And He overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling the doves.

[{ This was not the first or only time that Jesus had done this above. He had done it at least one other Passover, the first one after Jesus was baptized. As the son of God, directed by the spirit and authorized by God and the spirit, would have had a right to do as he pleased in the temple, his temple, and he being appointed by God and given all God's spirit, authority, and power. }]

Matthew 26: 1  And it happened, when Jesus finished all these sayings, He said to His disciples, 2  You know that the Passover is coming after two days, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
Mark 14: 1  And it was the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread after two days. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might get hold of Him by guile, to kill Him.

[{ Now let me ask! When Jesus mentions Passover, is he referring to himself, or to the Nisan 15 Passover, or even Nisan 14 when the animal is sacrificed for the meal in the evening of the 15th? Can you be sure? It would not be the first time when Jesus talked of leaven in a different sense, or referred to a "temple" to be destroyed and raised in 3 days! Am I right?? There is the literal reference and the symbolic one and it would be very easy to get them confused. Those relating these things might have understood clearly but later readers might be missing which it is.

Note too, the wording "the Passover is coming after two days" and "it was the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread after two days. Without knowing those 2 verses were referring to the exact same thing, wouldn't you conclude they were contradicting each other? Maybe the translator screwed up the text of Mark. Maybe it should have read "it would be the Passover . . . after 2 days!" It also seems to suggest that the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread begin at the same time but we know the unleavened bread starts one day earlier and that the Passover lamb is killed during the day of the 14th. It would seem the writer is referring to these loosely, in general.

The solution could be that both were coming and that it was the actual Passover meal of the lamb on the 15th that was to follow in 2 days. Keep in mind that Matt. 21 was only 1 day before, so we are likely still in that time and, therefore, it is the Passover of the 15th that is 2 days away. If I am wrong, I don't think it is the end of the world. }]

Mark 14: 12  And on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said to Him, Where do You desire that going we may prepare that You may eat the Passover?
Luke 22: 1  And the Feast of Unleavened Bread, being called Passover, drew near.
Luke 22: 7  And the day of the Unleavened Bread came, on which the
Passover must be killed. 8  And He sent Peter and John, saying, Going, prepare for us the Passover, that we may eat.
Matthew 26: 17  And on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, Where do you desire we should prepare for You to eat the Passover?
18  And He said, Go into the city to a certain one and say to him, The Teacher says, My time is near; to you I will prepare the Passover with My disciples.
19  And the disciples did as Jesus ordered them, and prepared the Passover.

[{ Look carefully at Luke 22:1. It calls the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a 7 day period which began on Nisan 14, the day the Passover (lamb) was killed! Get the picture? Am I coming through loud and clear? Now when it says in Matthew 26:17 "on the first day of ;" is it the first day (Nisan 13) which will kick off the Unleavened Bread that evening, beginning with clearing out any leaven around?

Or is it Nisan 14 already? Can you be sure? 26:19 says "prepared the Passover," Which Passover was being referred to?  Given Jesus was to be betrayed that very evening and arrested and killed, we could wonder. But reading the entire account from all 4 gospels, we can see it is the day whose end ushers in Nisan 14. It was said to be the day of the Feast because they would be awake when it arrived that evening, having risen on the day of the 13th prior to welcome the arrival of the 14th in the evening.

Important to keep in mind when dissecting the scriptures is that God is not a lawyer. Lawyers twist and distort things said, spoken, or written. They will argue the ridiculous and unreasonable. People generally speak in loose terms assuming their "audience" understands but lawyers like to unreasonably dispute and create doubt where none existed previously or none was intended. But those who seek truth, only want to know what was meant or intended by the persons who wrote or spoke. When we seek to understand God, we need to consider what He intended, not what we want to twist it into. It was the 13th but it would be easy to get confused. So we should not be harsh if someone got confused. I know I have at times. }]

John 13: 1  And before the Feast of the
Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should move from this world to the Father, loving His own in the world, He loved them to the end. 2  And supper having occurred, the Devil having put already into the heart of Simon’s son Judas Iscariot that he should betray Him

Matthew 26: 20  And evening coming, He reclined with the Twelve.
21  And as they were eating, He said, Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.

[{ Matthew does not note a particular event or time, just "evening." But John? John says and I quote: "And before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come" John does make it clear that it was before the Feast, which is loosely called Passover before, and his hour had come means we are at the evening of what has come to be known as the last supper (Nisan 14) and John seems to indicate it is the beginning of the evening starting Nisan 14, which is the start of the Unleavened Bread, which would last 7 days.

So when the Bible said in Mark and Luke "on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover," what was meant was on the first day just before the evening that began the Passover feast of 7 days, Nisan 14. So the day was actually still Nisan 13 in Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:7.

When Jesus and his disciples meet to eat, it is evening, beginning Nisan 14, and Jesus tells them he will not eat the Passover meal. After all, he is going to be the Passover lamb later that day of the 14th. The Evening beginning the 15th would be the Passover of the angel and the eating of the Passover sacrifice killed in the day of the 14th, preceding the eve of the 15th. Oh yeah, we can be sure after very very carefully picking apart the scriptures to make them harmonize but a casual reader could easily get confused without such very picky care and attention to detail. But God is looking to see who will put for the the effort to get it right, with careful attention to detail. }]

Geological Scientists say  .  .  . 4/3/33 AD                    Added May 25, 2012
Back to Top

The following article/report from geologists say that Jesus dies on Friday, Apr. 3, 33 AD. How's that for nailing it? The following also has copyrights attached to it which I quote under the fair usage clause under copyright law.


Quake Reveals Day of Jesus' Crucifixion
It's been debated for years, but researchers say they now have a definitive date of the crucifixion.

By Jennifer Viegas
Thu May 24, 2012 12:54 PM ET


Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday April 3, 33 A.D.

The latest investigation, reported in the journal International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.”

To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.

Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and an early first century seismic event that happened sometime between 26 A.D. and 36 A.D.

The latter period occurred during “the years when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea and when the earthquake of the Gospel of Matthew is historically constrained,” Williams said.

"The day and date of the crucifixion (Good Friday) are known with a fair degree of precision," he said. But the year has been in question.

In terms of textual clues to the date of the crucifixion, Williams quoted a Nature paper authored by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. Williams summarized their work as follows:

When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations are factored in, a handful of possible dates result, with Friday April 3, 33 A.D. being the best match, according to the researchers.

In terms of the earthquake data alone, Williams and his team acknowledge that the seismic activity associated with the crucifixion could refer to “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 A.D. that was sufficiently energetic to deform the sediments of Ein Gedi but not energetic enough to produce a still extant and extra-biblical historical record.”


End Article quote

John's gospel does not indicate death on the 15th of Nisan but the rest of the evidence is solid. They also used Jewish calendars and calculations and their conclusions, based on bible texts, say April 3, 33 AD. It gets mighty cramped for those who want to pick another year in time. Choosing a full 72 hours 3 days and 3 nights does not allow AD 33. The nice thing about the scientists is that they have no doctrinal concerns in their work. They simply follow the text and geological evidence for a best match scenario.


The Following from Biblical Archaeological Review reports:|utmccn=%28referral%29|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/mc/welcome&__utmv=-&__utmk=152452409


* Williams, Jefferson B., Markus J Schwab and A. Brauer. “An early first-century earthquake in the Dead Sea” International Geology Review, Volume 54, Issue 10, 2012.

** “Day of Jesus’ Crucifixion Believed Determined.” Discovery News

*** Update: Geologist Jefferson Williams responded to Bible History Daily about the online attention given to the geological study. Bible History Daily has updated the article to reflect his commentary, and has copied a portion of his comment here that clarifies the initial report (read the full comment in the comments section below):
“I am the primary author of the research article and the original Discovery Article grossly misrepresented our work… Our article had very little to do with the date of the crucifixion. The article discussed Earthquake Geology and primarily how we arrived at a date for this earthquake (31 AD +/- 5 years). Because of uncertainties associated with the text of Matthew 27, we departed from previous Dead Sea Paleoseismology and dated the earthquake based purely on what we saw in the sediments. We then used an article by Humphreys and Waddington to compare our earthquake date with the date range of the crucifixion and the two years most commonly cited; 30 AD and 33 AD. If I had a do-over, I never would have mentioned those years since the only relevant textual information for our 3 conclusions was the date range of 26-36 AD. We are not New Testament Scholars and did not try to add textual information to come up with an exact date. Unfortunately, that was the impression of the Discovery article and this spread all over the internet.”

Nothing stated above changes the first article. 26-36 AD gives a good time frame that does not rule out the time of the execution of Jesus. Discovery added the most logical selection, based on tradition and Bible text, which was 33 AD. That Discovery also added the month and day was a nice touch. Precision is always appreciated.

Dead 3 Days & 3 Nights
Back to Top

There is a lot of confusion and dispute over how long Jesus was dead. Loosely speaking,
there is the "3 days and 3 nights, a full 72 hours" theory and
there is the "he rose on the 3rd day" theory.

The 72 hour theory is based on the comment about Jonah being in the heart of the earth for 3 days AND 3 nights. We will explore its best possibilities. The "risen on the 3rd day" theory is based on another comment by Jesus where he says he will rise on the 3rd day, not after the 3rd day. That will be fully explored as well. Then you can decide for yourself. Both offer reasonable possibilities. But I think the "rose on the 3rd day" answers most things the best.

While there were Sabbaths on the last day of every week, those festivals which were commanded by God such as the Passover, Pentecost, the Festival of Booths/tents/tabernacles, were also called Sabbaths - High Sabbaths in the time of Jesus. You can look up "High Sabbaths" on and get more info for an overview and read the law of Moses in the Bible, which you definitely should do. These festivals were also days on which no work was done, well, that is, unless you were a priest. They always work on the Sabbaths. As such, the special festival days were also called Sabbaths by Israel and Judah. In time, such as the time of Jesus, these were called High Sabbaths, as they were more out of the ordinary and seen perhaps as more important. The regular weekly Sabbaths were the Low Sabbaths.

Now Jesus was to die amidst the Passover season so that we have 2 types of Sabbaths very near each other. Here is where it is easy to miss these little details and get confused. I did. The evening beginning the Passover, the 15th, is a High Sabbath. Following soon after would be a weekly Low Sabbath on the last day of the week. Some years, about 1 out of 7, the High Sabbath and the Low weekly Sabbath would fall on the same day, making it a really big Sabbath, certainly a High Sabbath if ever there was one.

Now here is also where some more confusion frequently comes up. There are those who keep the yearly Nisan 14 evening meal instituted by Jesus on the eve prior to his death later that day. This is correct. But many of these also say this is the only time one observes the emblems of Christ. On the other hand, there are those who from earliest memory, have observed and partook of the emblems on every first day of the week, even as it appears to be the custom referred to in the Bible which I cover here Part 3: Early Church Conduct and Organization,  if you like. I'll put it in Related Articles at the end of this Article as well. They usually do not observe the emblems commonly known as "The Last Supper" of Nisan 14.

But the truth is that both are to be observed as best as I can tell. The Last Supper being a sort of "High Sabbath" of the New covenant and the weekly observance of the first day of the week, representing the resurrection of Jesus, a sort of "low Sabbath," although it is not a Sabbath in the sense that the old Mosaic Sabbath was. It is a new day and new observance with new symbols, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and proclaiming it to all and symbolizing our belonging to this new covenant by being partakers of the blood and body of Christ offered in our behalf. Both the High and Low ceremonies of Christ are to be kept. That is how it was done in the early years of Christianity!

Now back to the High/Low Sabbaths. It has been pointed out by many sites, not one of which I could find when I first began this article, using search terms I thought would bring it out; that Jesus was dead for a full 3 days and 3 nights if that expression is literal and precise, which it certainly could be. Why some, like myself, did not immediately get this, was because we did not recognize the 2 types of Sabbaths being involved. Being unaware of this distinction, I thought maybe the 3 days and nights was a literary expression. It may be!  I provide links to 3 good sources who explain this at the end of this article. So I "guts" me 3 good witnesses for this interpretation.

So we know Jesus died during the day of the 14th. The great Sabbath takes place on the 15th so that no work is done by anyone, including those who might want to prepare Jesus' body. They gather or buy the materials for Jesus' preparation the next day, the 16th. This is Friday, otherwise known to be Good Friday, preceding the Low Weekly Sabbath on Saturday, the 17th. Again, no work on the Sabbath so the women have to wait till Sunday, the first day of the week. It is this Good Friday that has confused many of us, thinking that Jesus died just before the eve following Friday, which began the Low Sabbath. We missed the earlier High one, not knowing it was called a Sabbath. We knew it as Passover.

Backing the days up, to Thursday, the 15th! Jesus died on late Wednesday afternoon, the 14th. This was the first day. Thursday, the 2nd day, the Passover. And Friday being the 3rd day. He also fulfilled 3 nights, the night beginning the 15th (Thur), the night beginning the 16th (Fri), the night beginning the 17th (Saturday, the Sabbath). Jesus rises after the 3rd day when Sunday, the 18th begins and commences. So in this scenario, Jesus was dead all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He rises first thing after sundown of the Sat. Sabbath or not long after.

To make things harder, the Scribes and Pharisees have guards and a seal placed at the tomb of Jesus, for fear the disciples of Jesus will steal his body and claim he has risen on the 3rd day as he has said he would. They likely had the tomb guarded the entire time so the women would not be able to attend to the body of Jesus till after the 3rd day, whereas they could have done something on Friday had it not been guarded. So the women would have to wait till day break after the 3rd day at least, before the guards would leave, the prophecy having failed so the evil ones hoped. But the prophecy did not fail but the guards nearly did. They were bribed and protected by the Scribes and Pharisees from any harm and it would be doubtful that spineless cowardly Pilate would do anything at that point to punish the guards.

So the women start out before daybreak and arrive just after day break. Jesus was gone. So Jesus was resurrected sometime not long after the evening commencement of the first day.

Also keep in mind that the Hebrew New Year always begins with the new moon after the first ripe grains appear, after the spring equinox. This coincides, for the most part, with the spring equinox. So the moon is always in harmony with the days of Nisan/Abib, the first month of the year for Jews. But as months progress, the approximate 29 day cycle of the moon and the 30 day months cause the days of the month to shift with the days of the week so that while the new moon might have started on say a Sunday, as the months dragged on, the moon would gain a day early so that at least 12 days would be moved back compared to the months. So New Year starts on a different day of the week every year. So a year in which Jesus would die on a Wednesday afternoon could not be just any year. It we can calculate the right astronomical figures, we should be able to determine the year Jesus could have died and the years he could not have died, if we can be sure about how the new moon was observed. This is coming up shortly.

Now this seems like a very reasonable and accurate scenario. The 1st, if only, Sabbath was said to be, so (John 19: 30)  that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for great was the day of that sabbath, that this might indicate a High Sabbath. However, it could also indicate the High Sabbath occurring on a Saturday, the same as the Low weekly Sabbath. But there are a number of circumstances that do leave reasonable doubt, until someone can legitimately resolve them for me.

He Rose on the 3rd Day
Back to Top

Lastly, I will point out that 3 days and 3 nights could be a literary expression, even as 40 days and 40 nights might be. There are a variety of such literary expressions in the Bible such as in Amos and other places. Jesus said he would rebuild his "temple" in 3 days. Did he mean that on 3 days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he would be dead? Or did he mean he would rise on the 3rd day as it seems to say. And this is one of those many points where I do not believe legalism and lawyer techniques are appropriate or useful. Those sorts of techniques are for those who like to twist, distort, and abuse law rather than verify and determine law. Notice the wording of Jesus, when he is not quoting the OT or referring exactly to Jonah.

(GLT) John 2:
18  Then the Jews answered and said to Him, What sign do you show to us, since you do these things?
19  Jesus said to them, Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.
20  Then the Jews said, This sanctuary was forty six years being built, and do you raise it up in three days?
21  But He spoke about the sanctuary of His body.

I just want to point out that the Jews pretended here to make it look like Jesus was referring to the physical temple of God and the priesthood. But when you read about after Jesus died, the Jews came in to Pilate and warned that Jesus had said he was going to rise on the 3rd day. So they wanted to post a guard at his tomb. So they knew perfectly well what Jesus was referring to, from the first moment he had said it. They were just trying to lie and make him look bad. Some things never change. They will do it today, if they have not already!

Now when Jesus says "in 3 days," does he mean "within" 3 days, or "on" the third day? Or after the 3rd day? It is not clear. Taken at its word, it seems to say on the 3rd day.
Of course, some say that his other reference of 3 day and 3 nights makes it clear. But that is only assuming that they are not a literary expression and are to be taken very exactly and precisely, which could be the case, though in my mind, questionable. Does Jesus contradict the sign of Jonah and himself, the author of the sign of Jonah, or are we to understand he was using a literary technique which he, himself, created. Let me ask this! Should we literally eat his flesh and blood, or only symbolically so? Why did the disciples look for literal leaven when Jesus clearly was referring to symbolic leaven? Are you getting the picture, you who are Pharisees and Fundamentalists? While taking things literally or fundamentally, a favorite method of some; in reality, Jesus usually spoke in symbols and parables, and not literally. Pharisees and Fundamentalists have made a fundamental error of substantial proportions.

But most people who subscribe to 3 days and 3 nights do overlook this passage in
(GLT) 1 Corinthians 15 from the Apostle Paul:
3  For I delivered to you in the first place what I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures,
5  and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

(RSV) emphatically states: 4  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures

There you have it. Paul and the Scriptures, inspired by God and His spirit, says Jesus was raised ON the 3rd day. Not after the 3rd day or after 3 days and 3 nights. But ON the 3rd day. That is how Paul was told to understand it by God's spirit. Now lets consider the idea of a literary expression.

Observe the literary expression in Amos 1 and which also has many more expressions of the same:
(GLT) Amos 1:
3  So says Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus , and for four, I will not turn back from it, for they have threshed Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.
6  So says Jehovah: For three transgressions of Gaza , and for four
9  So says Jehovah: For three transgressions of Tyre , and for four

So, is it for three, or for four, or is it seven? I say it is a literary expression, sort of for emphasis, perhaps and as a form of poetry and prose, maybe even set to music. Need I really have to point out (again) that in general, Jesus always spoke in parables and illustrations? Should it be so far fetched to think he is doing the same with Jonah?

Consider too, that while 3 days and 3 nights could be literal, it is by no means so obviously clear cut and certain. Fundamentalists and strict Literalists, who fail to appreciate that the Bible is full of symbolism and literary (not to be confused with literal, as in legalism) expressions, and not to be taken strictly.

Now when the Bible mentions a beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, should I take that literally? Or Cherubim with 4 faces and 3 sets of wings! Is that literal? Or when Jesus says if you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you could tell that mountain to pitch itself into the sea, does that mean we should spend our time trying to do that? If you give it a little bit of thought instead of thinking like the Pharisees and modern day lawyers, you could find many such examples and maybe better ones to illustrate what I say.

The beginning of the of the Mosaic/Godly year, based on the moon, started at different times and days of the week, every year. A new moon has been suggested by historians to take place when the first slight sliver of light appears on the moon, rather than what is sometimes called an "astronomer's new moon," when it is invisible, but exactly at the point where day and night are exactly the same length of time. It is said to be a day or even 2 after the invisible moon that the 1st sliver of light appears. Can we be sure that Judah, with its corrupt priesthood, which observed and conflicted with Essenes and others on how to count and observe various festivals, one arguing for a solar accounting and the other a lunar one, that we can be sure about how they reckoned a new moon? Or could it be that the disciples of Jesus and the Father reckoned the new moon differently? The most likely choice might be the 1st or 2nd day after the invisible moon. 1st? or 2nd? It leaves us in a difficult position, if we are hoping for absolute certainty, for I do not think we can be that precise. What I can say is that we are within boundaries that allow scriptural fulfillment but do not guarantee it.

Another Look at the Sign of Jonah

I want to thank Brian Allen for his help in this one. He subscribes to the rose on the 3rd day theory. He comes from a 7th Day Adventist background and quotes some ideas of Ellen White, the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists. While I do not accept Ellen White as a prophetess, as it appears to me she does present her self as, as do many who follow her. I do recognize her as an intelligent person who is well read and studied and has some good ideas as well as some I reject. But on this matter we are exploring, I believe her and Brian have a valid point. I have always been willing to listen to anyone who can offer a proper reasonable defense for what they believe and will give anyone a change to present their ideas. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom and protection, say the Proverbs!

Now Brian pointed out to me what he believed in this matter and I think it is pretty solid. So lets look at it here.

Matthew 12: 38-41
38  Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, Teacher, we desire to see a sign from you.
39  But answering, He said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
40  And even as "Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights," so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. [Jon. 1:17]
41  Men, Ninevites, will stand up in the Judgment with this generation and will condemn it.
      For they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and, behold, a Greater-than-Jonah is here.

Luke 11: 29-32
29  But the crowds pressing on Him, He began to say, This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and a sign will not be given to it, except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
30  For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of man will be to this generation.
31  The queen of the south will be raised in the Judgment with the men of this generation and will condemn them
      because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And, behold, a Greater-than-Solomon is here.
32  Men, Ninevites will rise up in the Judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah.
      And, behold, a Greater-than-Jonah is here.

Matthew's account is a shortened version compared to Luke's. Matthew leaves out key information that Luke covers in detail. But both mention the "sign of Jonah the prophet." Matthew alone mentions "the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." Did this apply to the sign of Jonah? It must. But how?

What I believe happened here is that Matthew, who is great for collecting together many teachings on the same subject together in one place, even though not all of them necessarily happened at the same time and place. Luke's accounts, such as those of the end time signs, record them in different places whereas Matthew groups them all together. Matthew draws in the 3 days and nights with both the 3 days and nights referring to Jesus being dead and rising on the 3rd day, the 3 days and nights being literary expressions even as they are in Genesis. Then he mentions, without much explanation and not explaining much about the sign to Nineveh while Luke gives this one a great deal of attention and detail.

Now Luke does not even mention the 3 days, 3 nights thing, in connection with Jonah and Jesus rising but he does note that Jonah preached to Nineveh and the Ninevites and Jesus preached to the sons of Israel/Judah. And he relates that Nineveh repented at Jonah's urging, and Jonah was not that great a prophet and did nothing great, and yet Jesus urged the sons of Israel to repent and they refused, even though Jesus healed the crippled, infirm, and deformed, and raised people from the dead and spoke with amazing wisdom from God. As a consequence, the people of Nineveh were far more righteous than the sons of Israel, and the example of the Ninevites would condemn the sons of Israel in the resurrection and judgment. The sign, the signal, was not the resurrection of Jesus, but the preaching of Jesus compared with that of Jonah and the example of the Ninevites compared against the example of Israel and Judah.

We could easily get confused with Matthew's account but with Luke's so clear and very detailed, it clears up the relationship with Jonah much better. But Jesus himself and the Apostles said that he would rise on the 3rd day and even the enemies of Jesus understood this in the same way.

Luke also throws in Jesus mentioning the queen of the south being so impressed with Solomon and yet Israel was completely unimpressed with Jesus, the son of God with all God's wisdom in his (Jesus') possession. The point again emphasizes the reaction of people of the past compared to the sons of Israel and Judah in Jesus' time. This actually refers to Jesus' preaching for 3 figurative (is there any other kind from Jesus?) days and nights, 3 years to be exact! Jesus would preach for 3 years, even as Jonah sort of did. Let me show you.

I would say that Jesus meant that sign to symbolize 2 things. It would not be the first time a prophecy or symbol has had 2 meanings. Jesus would preach a full 3 years before he would be killed, as a sign/witness to Judah, and God's people within. It would also be a sign that he would rise in 3 days, his own words on the matter. Some take literary expression of Jonah a little too literally, much as a lawyer might do. Jesus often gives symbols in the form of a riddle, really. We than have to solve the meaning. Lawyer tricks don't work at this point. We could twist things any way we want but success only comes when we discern what Jesus intended as a meaning.

I want to point out what is written in Strong's dictionary for the Greek word "hemera" which is translated in John 19:31 as "day."

2250 ημερα hemera hay-mer’-ah
from (with 5610 implied) of a derivative of hemai (to sit, akin to the base of 1476) meaning tame, i.e. gentle; TDNT-2:943,309; n f

Translated in KJV as: day 355, daily + 2596 15, time 3, not tr 2, misc 14; 389

1) the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night
        1a) in the daytime
        1b) metaph., "the day" is regarded as the time for abstaining from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness

2) of the civil day, or the space of twenty four hours (thus including the night)
        2a) Eastern usage of this term differs from our western usage. Any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression "three days and three nights" does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.

3) of the last day of this present age, the day Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom
4) used of time in general, i.e. the days of his life.


It was well understood by scholars, once upon a time, that Easterners used their word for day in a much more flexible way than we do, who live in an age of lawyers and technocrats. A day could mean a thousand years in Hebrew. We are talking about Greek, but still as it is used by Hebrew in Judea in the time of Christ.

Jonah 1:17  And Jehovah had appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

When we read the 2nd chapter of Jonah, it clearly sounds like a parallel between Jesus forsaken in death as Jonah was in the "fish." But it may have also been a sign relating to preaching as Matthew and Luke's accounts seem to indicate. And right after the 10 verses of chapter 2, Jonah 3 begins as follows.

Jonah 3:
1  And the word of Jehovah was to Jonah the second time, saying,
2  Rise up, go to Nineveh , the great city, and cry out to it the proclamation that I am declaring to you.
3  And Jonah rose up and went to Nineveh according to the word of Jehovah. And Nineveh was a great city to God,
of three days’ journey.
4  And Jonah began to enter a day’s journey into the city. And he cried out and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!
5  And the men of Nineveh believed in God, and they called a fast and put on sackclothes, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Brian pointed out to me the similarity of the words "heart" and "midst" in the Bible. So when it says Jesus being in the "heart of the earth," we could just as easily say "midst of the earth." Nineveh was a large city that took 3 days to journey through. Jonah had walked about a day's journey into Nineveh and began to preach. Verse 5 shows the impressive results of repentance. But could 3 symbolic days really symbolize Jesus' preaching to Israel? Well, that was the amount of time he preached, roughly. 

Luke 13:
6  And He spoke this parable: A certain one had planted a fig tree in his vineyard. And he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7  And he said to the vinedresser, Behold, three years I come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down, and why does it waste the ground?
8  And the vinedresser said to him, Sir, leave it also this year until I shall dig around it and throw manure;
9  and see if it indeed makes fruit. But if not, in the future you may cut it down.

3 years was sufficient to preach but Jesus goes a half year more, just to make sure.

Psalm 74: 12
12  For God is my King of old, who works salvation in the midst of the land.

But we need to take a more detailed and careful look at "heart" and "midst" and the other issues in this suggestion.

In Their Midst Preaching - for 3 years plus
Back to Top

I am first going to use Bible dictionary info from the Online Bible linked to Strong's Concordance numbers. My concern is with "midst" and "heart" for the moment.

English - Heart
Strong’s 03820 bl leb labe
a form of
03824; n m; {See TWOT on 1071 @@ "1071a"}
AV-heart 508, mind 12, midst 11, understanding 10, hearted 7, wisdom 6, comfortably 4, well 4, considered 2, friendly 2, kindly 2, stouthearted +
047 2, care + 07760 2, misc 21; ; 593

1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
--1a) inner part, midst
----1a1) midst (of things)
----1a2) heart (of man)
----1a3) soul, heart (of man)
----1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
----1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
----1a6) conscience
----1a7) heart (of moral character)
----1a8) as seat of appetites
----1a9) as seat of emotions and passions
----1a10) as seat of courage
English – Among & Midst
Strong’s 07130
brq qereb keh'- reb
07126; n m; {See TWOT on 2066 @@ "2066a"}
AV-among 76, midst 73, within 24, inwards 22, in 6, misc 26; 227

1) midst, among, inner part, middle
--1a) inward part
-----1a1) physical sense
-----1a2) as seat of thought and emotion
-----1a3) as faculty of thought and emotion
--1b) in the midst, among, from among (of a number of persons)
--1c) entrails (of sacrificial animals)



English - Midst
Strong’s 08432
Kwt tavek taw'- vek
from an unused root meaning to sever; n m; {
See TWOT on 2498}
AV-midst 209, among 140, within 20, middle 7, in 6, between 3, therein 3, through 2, into 2, misc 23; 415

1) midst, middle
--1a) midst, middle
--1b) into, through (after verbs of motion)
--1c) among (of a number of persons)
--1d) between (of things arranged by twos)
--1e) from among (as to take or separate etc)


As you can see, 3820 is translated as heart nearly every time, 508 times out of 593. It is noteworthy that in 85 instances, the translator believed another word was more called for to convey the meaning. Heart is very appropriate where human faculties of some sort are involved, including the mind, thinking, and the like.

Whether its 7130 or 8432, "among" and "midst" are the most common translations. Now for some scriptures that show how these are used similarly. Now for some scriptures.

(GLT) Deuteronomy 4:
10  The day that you stood before Jehovah your God in Horeb, when Jehovah said to me, Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live on the earth; and that they may teach their sons.
11  And you drew near and stood below the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the heart (3820 - midst in KJV) of the heavens, darkness, cloud and thick gloom.
12  And Jehovah spoke to you out of the midst (08432) of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you did not see a form, only a voice.

(KJV) Deuteronomy 4:
11  And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.
12  And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

In the account above, the King James Version translates both 3820 and 8432 as midst, while 3820 is usually rendered as heart. But both pretty much mean the same thing. Heart here does not seem to indicate anything living but more to the "core" of the heavens or "seat" or "midst" of the heavens. But Green's is the most correct and I would use heart even though it does seem to deviate a little here. I assume God had His reason for this choice. It is the same with the next scripture as well. GLT uses heart for 3820 in reference to the seas, whereas the KJV uses midst. the KJV translator assumes a use more appropriate to English understanding. But maybe Jehovah our God intended to show divine will in what the seas were doing. This might be the purpose behind Deuteronomy as well, showing the origins of the fire as being from the "heart of heaven," that is, from God's heart and will. 

(GLT) Ezekiel 27:26  Your rowers made you come into great waters, the east wind has broken you in the heart of the seas.
Your wealth and your wares and your goods, your seamen and your sailors reinforcing your seams, and the traders of your goods, and all your men of war who are in you, and all your assembly in your midst, shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of your ruin.

(KJV) Ezekiel 27:26  Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst (3820) of the seas.
27  Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst (8432) of thee, shall fall into the midst (3820) of the seas in the day of thy ruin.

I am not sure if Brian was suggesting that the 3 days' journey was suggestive of a symbolic 3 day journey for Jesus preaching. Brian sent me an older version of his writing on this and said his ideas had updated a little since then. But I think the accounts of Matthew and Luke make clear the sign of Jonah has to do with Jesus preaching and being ignored, even 3 years plus.

(GLT) Jonah 3: 3  And Jonah rose up and went to Nineveh according to the word of Jehovah. And Nineveh was a great city to God, of three days’ journey.
4  And Jonah began to enter a day’s journey into the city. And he cried out and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!
5  And the men of Nineveh believed in God, and they called a fast and put on sackclothes, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

(GLT) Gen 48: 16  The Angel that redeemed me from every evil, may He bless the youths; and may my name be called on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they like the fishes increase into a multitude in the midst-(7130) of the earth.

(GLT) Deut 19: 2  you shall separate three cities for you in the midst of your land, which Jehovah your God is giving you to possess it.

(KJV) Deut 19: 2  Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst (08432) of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.

Again in this last one, 8432 is usually heart. But midst seems to convey a reasonable meaning (we hope) for the verse at hand. I would still use heart.

I note the following New Testament scriptures:

(KJV) Mt 18:2  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst 3319 of them,
(KJV) Mt 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst 3319 of them.
(GLT) Luke 17:21  nor will they say, “Lo, here! Or, Lo, there! For behold the kingdom of God is in your midst 3319.”
(KJV) Lu 4:30  But he passing through the midst 3319 of them went his way,
(KJV) Lu 24:36  And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst 3319 of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

(GLT) Matthew 12:40  And even as "Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights," so shall the Son of man be in the heart-2588 of the earth three days and three nights.

Jesus did not quote Jonah in placing himself in the heart of the earth. Jesus himself made that statement. He clearly intended heart and I think when you examine chapter 2 of Jonah, it seems likely that death and resurrection is sort of being alluded to. But is not Jerusalem in the heart of the nation of Judah and Judah in the heart of the earth? But what is quite noteworthy to me is how the Greek terms are defined, for Jesus chose a very different word for heart than the typical midst. Heart is 2588 whereas Midst is 3319. Jesus intended heart and I think this was the case in the Old Testament Hebrew as well. I would say that being in the heart of the earth likely has some reference to being dead and in a cave, the earth, so to speak.

Strong’s 2588
kardia kardia kar-dee'-ah
prolonged from a primary kar (Latin, cor, "heart"); TDNT-3:605,415; n f
AV-heart 159, broken hearted +
4937 1; 160

1) the heart
--1a) that organ in the animal body which is the centre of the circulation of the blood,
-----and hence was regarded as the seat of physical life
--1b) denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life
--2a) the vigour and sense of physical life
--2b) the centre and seat of spiritual life
-----2b1) the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, -----desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours
-----2b2) of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence
-----2b3) of the will and character
-----2b4) of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the -----soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites,
--1c) of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate
Strong’s 3319
mesov mesos mes'-os
3326; ; adj
AV-midst 41, among 6, from among +
1537 5,
midnight +
3571 2, misc 5; 61

1) middle
2) the midst
3) in the midst of, amongst





Definition 1c) seems to allow something similar to midst; however, not once is it ever rendered as anything but heart. I think this rendering of Jonah by Jesus does refer to his being dead, but I also believe it is clear that the sign of Jonah also clearly refers to Jonah's preaching vs. Jesus' preaching and Jonah's acceptance by Nineveh is contrasted with Israel's rejection of Jesus' ministry to them.

Most have failed to recognize this point. In addition, my suggestion that 3 days and 3 nights is a literary expression is not rendered wrong. Jesus himself, seemingly so picky about which words he chooses, says he will rise on the 3rd day or rise in 3 days, not 4. It would likely be less than 72 hours. We also know that Jesus did preach for a little over 3 years, 3.5 to be exact! But with the "tree" of Israel producing no fruit, even beyond 3 years, it was time to chop the old tree down. And when Jesus would come back to life, he would not appear to Israel as a whole. They had their chance while he was on earth with them. Now their house had been abandoned to them. The crime had been done. They missed Jonah preaching to them. They did not hear the words of Solomon. They did not see the Son rising. And to this day, a veil remains over their hearts and minds toward God. There is yet just a little more to consider in this area.

Rising on 3rd Day a Major Prophetic Symbol    June 10, 2010
Back to Top

I just discovered this while considering another website referring to the 3rd day as a major prophetic symbol and connecting the symbols of God appearing to Moses and Israel at Sinai as similar to prophetic visions in Revelation. But I had not realized the full significance of the 3rd day prior to this point being made. So let me show you how it relates to Jesus rising on the 3rd day, not after the 3rd day and night. The prophetic symbol is strong and meant to be so with Jesus also fulfilling that symbol by rising on the 3rd day.

The 3rd day seems to be a common feature, perhaps a tradition among many peoples and nations back in time. Below are such examples of the 3rd day commonly appearing in actions.
From RSV)
Genesis 22:4 On the
third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.
Genesis 31:22 When it was told Laban on the
third day that Jacob had fled,
Genesis 34:25 On the
third day
, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came upon the city unawares, and killed all the males.

17 more appearances in the following:
Numbers: (7:24) (19:12) (29:20) (31:19);  Joshua (9:17);  Judges 20:30
1 Samuel (20:5, 12, 19) (30:1);  2 Samuel (1:2)
1 Kings (3:18) (12:12);  2 Kings (20:5, 8);  2 Chronicles (7:10) (10:12);  Ezra (6:15)

But these are not the strongest evidence at all. What follows is far more stronger. The first account is of Joseph in prison unjustly in Egypt. God arranges for some dreams to take place and Joseph being there to interpret them. All revolve around 3 days.

Genesis 40:
8 They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, I pray you."
9 So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream there was a vine before me,
10 and on the vine there were three branches; as soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes.
11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand."
12 Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days;
13 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his butler.

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,
17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head."
18 And Joseph answered, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;
19 within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you! —and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat the flesh from you."
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief butler and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
21 He restored the chief butler to his butlership, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand;
22 but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

The period of 3 days was consistent and common in the Bible. Imagine that! This continues to be prominent with Joseph. But next is God appearing to Moses and Israel, choosing preparation in 2 days and God's appearance on the 3rd day.

GLT) Genesis 42:
17 And he gathered them into custody three days.
18 And on the third day Joseph said to them, Do this and live. I fear God.
19 If you are honest, let one of your brothers be bound in your prison house, and you go bring grain for the famine of your houses.
20 And you bring your youngest brother to me, and let your words be true, and you shall not die. And so they did.

GLT) Exodus 19:
9 And Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, I come to you in a darkness of clouds, so that the people may hear My speaking with you, and in you they may believe forever.
   And Moses told the words of the people to Jehovah.
10 And Jehovah said to Moses, Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow. And let them wash their clothes.
11 And be ready for the third day. For on the third day Jehovah will go down before the eyes of all the people on the mountain of Sinai .
12 And you shall set limits to the people all around, saying, Be careful for yourselves, not going up into the mountain and touching its border;
     everyone touching the mountain shall surely be killed.
13 Not a hand shall touch him, but surely he shall be stoned, or surely he shall be shot through. He shall not live, whether animal or man.
     At the sounding of the ram’s horn, they shall go up into the mountain.
14 And Moses went from the mountain to the people. And he sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said to the people, Be ready for the third day. Do not approach a woman.
16 And
on the third day, it being morning, it happened: There were thunders and lightnings, and a heavy cloud on the mountain,
     and the sound of a ram’s horn, very strong! And all the people in the camp trembled.

This pattern continue in the sacrifices in the law as well:

16 And if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow, or freewill offering, in the day he brings his sacrifice near, it shall be eaten.
     And on the morrow the rest of it shall also be eaten.
17 And the rest of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.
18 And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings is at all eaten on the third day, it is not pleasing.
     It shall not be reckoned for him who has brought it. It shall be a hateful thing, and the person who eats of it shall bear his iniquity.

RSV) Leviticus 19:
5 "When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.
6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, or on the morrow; and anything left over until the third day shall be burned with fire.
7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be accepted,
8 and every one who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned a holy thing of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Again, for 2 days, the day of sacrifice and 1 day after, the sacrifice may be eaten. But on the 3rd day, the meat and sacrifice could be unclean (spoiled) and not worthy of being a sacrifice any longer. This would be a very important figure symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus on the 14th of Nisan, and the Passover meal of the 15th, and Jesus rising on the 16th, Sunday, the 3rd day. This is much further emphasized on Hosea.

The sacrifices of this passover were symbolic of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice offered in our behalf. The start of the 3rd day was the symbolic type to represent Jesus rising. There is just no getting around it!

GLT) Hosea 6:
1 Come and let us return to Jehovah. For He has torn, and He will heal us. He has stricken, and He will bind us up.
After two days He will bring us to life. In the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him.
3 Then we shall know, we who follow on to know Jehovah. His going forth is established as the dawn.

Sound familiar? Dead for 2 days and then brought to life on the 3rd, the beginning of the 3rd, no less. The pattern is quite emphatic and clear. This is the pattern Jesus would fulfill. The 3 days and 3 nights seems pretty certain now to be a literary expression and not a precise exact literal time period in referring to Jonah being in the belly of the "fish," likely a whale, I would say. The pattern of rising on the 3rd day is very strong and after the 3rd day is almost certainly unacceptable now.

Now how many times does the Bible mention the 4th day? Only 3!  <>  Judges 19:15  <>  2 Chronicles 20:26  <>  Ezra 8:33  <>.  And not one of those has anything to do with prophetic symbols or sacrifice, death, resurrection, or anything even close.

So the pattern is well defined that Jesus would fulfill so that no one would be surprised that it was the 3rd and was foretold in prophecy. All said or understood the rising to be on the 3rd day and not the 4th. If Jesus died just before sunset, then the very earliest he could rise late into the night, scaring the Roman soldiers, would be the 4th day. He could not rise before sunset when he had died. So it would go into a 4th day after sunset. This actually contradicts and violates the prophetic pattern so well established.

I have met some very hard heads on this issue and this section ought to blow them out of the water and shame them. Blind guides are what they are. Now if they want to go with 3 day and 3 nights and not allow it to be a literary expression, which it no doubt is, fine. But they ought to be much more mild and cautious in choosing this option, recognizing the far greater wealth of evidence favoring rising on the 3rd, not 4th, day.

What you further ahead in this article will find in examining the year of Jesus beginning his ministry, and his being born, and how astronomy helps in verifying these things, harmonizing with the Bible rather than guiding Bible interpretation, is that it could only allow for a rising on the 3rd day, as this day in Sunday can only happen in 33 AD, also the only year in which Jesus could be crucified and fulfill prophecy. I have been accused of using extra-Biblical sources to determine this issue. That is a lie. I used the Bible, which forces us all to accept secular dating, the only dating used in the Bible to determine this year. Since it is the spirit of God that elected to use Roman dates, we must use these, too, or reject God otherwise.

Astronomy is yet another witness to verify Roman Secular Dating, and it also harmonizes with the observance of Josephus regarding the lunar eclipse. For so many witnesses to be in agreement leaves the strict literal interpreters with only 1 remote witness to validate their interpretation, which is not enough to satisfy the requirement of 2 or 3 witnesses or facts in this case.

Other Factors Considered
Back to Top

Though not a requirement, astronomy does raise interesting questions not easily determined either way. Can we be totally sure of the dating of Tiberius? Does it matter if the date might be a year off? I say no. God knows what is right, and whether man gets it right is of no concern to God. If we are within a reasonable time frame, that the possibility, though not the certainty, exists for fulfillment. Faith accepts the rest, knowing that many circumstances could make a certain date impossible to obtain. Trying to find the right year when a Nisan 14 would fall on a Wednesday, the preferred year being 33 AD, which it does allow, if we do not allow a visible crescent to be present, and use an astronomer's new moon as the start. But if we require the visible crescent a day or so later, well, that is the problem. And any other matching year would throw off the year for the 15th year of Tiberius being 29 AD.

Astronomical calculations definitely seem to favor the: "he rose on the 3rd day" scenario. The Passover of the 15th and the weekly Sabbath do fall on the same day in 33 AD, 3.5 years after 29 AD. Further, this necessitates Jesus being born in the fall of 2 BC, which is just before the January 1 BC lunar eclipse said to occur near the death of Herod according to Josephus. That so many pieces of evidence should fit together so perfectly is very hard to ignore or disregard in view of the questionable 72 hour scenario.

Another problem I see is that tradition seems to favor a Friday. And we know the Eastern church was the first one under Constantine and the Church who helped establish early Christian tradition. We do not know how many of the sacred sights actually represent what is claimed for them, nor of the times, if they are accurate or not. It is possible that most of their traditions are correct, but we have no way of knowing for sure. Further, those sites are not important and have been made idolatrous, which is a sin. Additionally, we know many of the beliefs as they come down to us today are not in harmony with the Bible, which does not lend credibility to their other claims, or inspire confidence in those other claims. But not all things they did were error and nor all things right, either.

What remains unanswered is why Good Friday came to be. It could be that they made the same innocent mistake many like myself made, if indeed, it is a mistake, (I assume it may be likely), that Jesus died before the weekly Sabbath, never considering that the Passover was also a Sabbath. Or it may be that some remembered how it was definitely on the day before the weekly Sabbath that Nisan 14 arrived and Jesus died. Do we know for sure why they believed as they did? Did John say something to someone who then passed it on, he being the last surviving apostle who dwelt in the East in Ephesus? Certainly we can see how The Eastern church more correctly observed the evening meal of Jesus as the evening beginning Nisan 14, not 15. I would be very hesitant to judge, though I think the evidence would favor that they made a mistake in understanding the Passover timing. We just don't have anyway to be sure unless we are very sure of our interpretation.

We are in the right ballpark and can see conditions that could or do fulfill scripture and that is enough, especially if we throw on prophecies for our time which describe so many many factors that describe our age and time with such amazing detail and accuracy nearly 2000 years in advance, and often much more than that. I will deal with some astronomical considerations in another section to follow, where our choice of 3 days/nights vs. on the 3rd day he rises, will conflict with other dates and astronomical positions. No matter which one we choose, it creates as many problems as it solves.

I think the thing most distressing is the unwillingness of some to more carefully consider all possibilities and not have to be so dogmatic, and be so determined to always have an absolute and certain answer that can not be argued with or disputed. What is wrong with saying "I can not be 100% sure. There is a least some slight room for a little doubt." Humility is important, though quite rare. Some believe in quick simple easy answers. Mr. Meyers, are you listening? And we would all like everything to have simple easy answers. But the Bible is seldom so easy. It requires good thought and effort. It is not for the lazy who want easy cut and dried, black and white answers. We are often left with shades of gray, which some do not like. Not every man is well suited for the kingdom of God, but if he is, he will be humble, reasonable, and give careful attention to matters, quick to hear but slow to speak.

What we want to learn from this is that no matter how much we might disagree with many doctrines of other people, they are likely to have some points they are right in. And no matter how good we are, we can be wrong on a few matters from time to time and have to be always ready to readjust as we have new things pointed out to us that initially escaped our attention. The Proverbs say that if you reprove a wise man, he will thank you. Only a foolish or wicked man would despise someone trying to legitimately correct them. The proverbs also say that in a multitude of counselors there is wisdom and salvation. I seek out other opinions as I feel that is where my best interests and protection lies, if I am to arrive at the truth. So do not block yourself off from those who think contrary to you in some things. I know some who did and do that. They have not faired well and are far from the truth, despite having over 100 years to get at least close to it.

I am going to end this section with a brief consideration of some of the Proverbs I refer to with an interesting extra point to note. Green's Literal Translation comes out a bit different from most of the others. Having carefully looked it over, I think J. Green may have something in his careful literal approach to translation. I do not dispute Proverbs 15:22. It is the other 2 that need some fixing.

Proverbs 15:22
KJV 22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
GLT 22 Without counsel purposes are broken, but by many counselors they rise.
RSV 22 Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 11:14
KJV 14 Where no counsel-(8458) is, the people fall: but in the multitude-(7230) of counselors-(3289) there is safety.
GLT 14 Without guidance the people fall, but safety is in a great counselor.
RSV 14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 24:6
KJV 6 For by wise counsel-(8458) thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude-(7230) of counselors-(3289) there is safety.
GLT 6 For you shall make war for yourself by wise advice, and safety is in the great Counselor.
RSV 6 For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

08458 hlbxt tachbulah takh-boo-law'
hlwbxt tachbuwlah takh-boo-law'
02254 as denominative from 02256; n f;
See TWOT on 596 @@ "596a"}
AV-counsel 5, good advice 1; 6

1) direction, counsel, guidance, good advice,
-----(wise) counsel
--1a) direction, guidance
--1b) counsel
-----1b1) good or wise counsel
-----1b2) of the wicked


07230 br rob robe
07231; n m; {See TWOT on 2099 @@ "2099c"}
AV-multitude 70, abundance 35, great 9, greatness 8,
much 8, abundantly 4, plenty 3, many 3, long 2,
excellent 1, misc 12; 155

1) multitude, abundance, greatness
--1a) multitude
-----1a1) abundance, abundantly
-----1a2) numerous
--1b) greatness


Uey ya`ats yaw-ats'
a primitive root; v; {
See TWOT on 887}
AV-counsel 25, counsellor 22, consult 9, give 7,
purposed 5, advice 2, determined 2, advise 2,
deviseth 2, taken 2, misc 2; 80

1) to advise, consult, give counsel, counsel,
-----purpose, devise, plan
--1a) (Qal)
-----1a1) to advise, counsel, give counsel, consult
-----1a2) counsellor (participle)
--1b) (Niphal) to consult together, exchange counsel,
-----deliberate, counsel together
--1c) (Hithpael) to conspire

In Proverbs 11:14 & 24:6, there is an interesting contrast between KJV/RSV and that of GLT. GLT renders counselors as great Counselor. I believe the definitions require multitude or abundance for 7230 which KJV/RSV do. All seem to agree with wise advice, counsel or guidance, all of which are reasonable for 8458. But 3289 is where it gets interesting. To me, it refers to counsel, advise, consultation or the giving or receiving of those. While it does not prevent those giving it from being called Counselors, the focus is on what is given, not who.

So as I see it, 7230 and 3289 which appear right near the end, go together to refer to abundant (amount or quantity) or excellent (quality) of advice, direction, guidance, counsel, plans, strategy or the like. Counsel covers it all well. So it should be that it should end with something like abundant counsel or advise. GLT focuses on the singularity of the word and the other 2 focus on where it comes from rather than what it is.

I would also point out that Solomon, in writing these Proverbs, may have been referring to God in mentioning  the Great Counselor. Green might have really nailed this one by not assuming he understood the intention of the writer and tried to be as literal in his translation as possible.

So were I to translate this, and I will, it would read:
Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counsel there is safety.
24: 6 For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counsel there is victory.

What I really want to emphasize is that many religious denominations maybe have a point or 2 to offer. We need not fear them and we need to be willing to constantly examine our own beliefs to see if they are solid and can stand up to inspection or critique. I have had to revise this 3 times to date. Admitting wrong or admitting need for improvement or refinement is never a bad thing. Our only concern should be for the truth.

Some only care about looking good and pretending to know it all without any mistakes as if God Himself was directing their every step. They are liars for none is perfect in the sight of God and God looks for humility. Do not be afraid to talk to people with different views from yours. You can always reject their ideas if they are wrong. But I would not be where I am today had I not been happy and eager to talk with those with different views. I have received understandings from a number of sources and valued them all. I have seen some of them not profit at all, though they had lots to learn. They could never admit an error or face facts. Their ears were plugged and their hearts veiled to God.

Always seek other opinions and advise, if for no other reason, than to test what you have, for if what you have is good, it will be able to stand up to attacks without any problem. Truth can never be harmed by lies. Truth is invincible. If what you have is not invincible, then it is not the truth. Now we can move away from how long Jesus was dead and consider the timing leading up to his death.

The Ultimate Sacrifice
Back to Top

John 18:
12  Then the cohort, even the commander and the under-officers of the Jews together, seized Jesus and bound Him.
13  And they led Him away
first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest of that year.

John 19:
28  Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the praetorium, and it was early. And they did not enter into the praetorium that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the
29  Then Pilate went out to them and said, What accusation do you bring against this man?

[{ Please note ever so carefully in John 19:28 that the "mob" did not want to enter the Roman praetorium and defile themselves so that they could not rightfully eat the Passover to follow the next evening. So it is clearly Nisan 14 at this point. The next verse below also points out that it was the "And it was the Preparation of the Passover" and therefore again, clearly Nisan 14, when the animal was killed and prepared for the evening to follow, when the angel Passed over Israel while the firstborn of all Egypt would be slain and Pharaoh would finally let Israel go, after having eaten in a hurry the preceding evening of the Angel.}]

John 19: 
13  Then hearing this word, Pilate led Jesus out. And he sat down on the judgment seat, at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14  And it was the Preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, Behold, your king!
15  But they cried out, Away, Away! Crucify him! Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered, We have no king except Caesar.

16  Therefore, then, he delivered Him up to them, that He might be crucified. And they took Jesus and led Him away.
17  And He went out bearing His cross, to the place called Of a Skull (which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha),
18  where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on this side and on that side, and Jesus in the middle.
19  And Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross. And having been written, it was: JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

John 19:
30  Then when Jesus took the vinegar, He said, It has been finished. And bowing His head, He delivered up the spirit.
31  Then, since it was Preparation, that the bodies not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for great was the day of that sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they be taken away.
32  Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other crucified with Him.
33  But on coming to Jesus, when they saw He was dead already, they did not break His legs.

Mark 15:
23  And they gave him wine spiced with myrrh to drink. But He did not take it.
24  And crucifying Him, they divided His garments, casting a lot on them, who and what each should take. Psa. 22:18
25  And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.
26  And the inscription of His charge was written over Him, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Mark 15:
33  And it being the sixth hour, darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour.

Also Luke 23: 44

Matthew 27: 45  And from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
46  And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani; that is, "My God, My God, why did You forsake Me?" Psa. 22:1

[{ So much to cover here. First, no work was done on these special observances, what we typically call holidays, other than the required preparation. The Passover of Nisan 15 was no small event - celebration - observance - Sabbath. The Jews did not want this carrying on into the Passover anymore than anyone else. Further evidence that this is still Nisan 14. You can kill the son of God but heaven forbid that you violate a Sabbath observance of the Passover.

We also note that while Luke and Matthew refer to darkness from 6 to 9 hours, after sunrise, I assume. But Mark also notes the time of the crucifixion, 3 hours after sunrise. Some would try to argue that since the other 2 accounts did not mention it, someone is lying or confused. Not hardly!!! That 2 did not mention it does not mean it did not happen but only that it was not important to them. Wait till we get to the resurrection! Also, given this was spring, there was roughly 12 hours of daylight so that with Jesus dead at the 9th hour, there were about 3 hours of daylight left and a Sabbath Passover observance to carry out. }]

John 19:
41  And there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and a new tomb in the garden, in which no one yet ever had been placed.
42  There, then, because of the Preparation of the Jews, because the tomb was near, they put Jesus.

Mark 15:
43  Joseph of Arimathea came, an honorable councilor, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God . And taking courage, he went in to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus.
44  And Pilate marveled if He had already died. And calling the centurion near, he asked him if He died already.
45  And knowing from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

Luke 23: 53 And taking it down, he wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a quarried tomb, where no one was ever yet laid. 54  And it was Preparation Day, and a sabbath was coming on.

Matthew 27:
57  And evening having come, a rich man from Arimathea (Joseph by name) who also himself was discipled to Jesus,
58  coming up to Pilate, this one asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given.
59  And taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen,
60  and laid it in his new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock. And rolling a great stone to the door of the tomb, he departed.
61  And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting across from the grave.

[{ Mark is more detailed in that he relates that when Joseph asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead in less than a day. Most take 2 or 3 days at least. But Jesus also had the living daylights beat out of him prior, which means he was half dead by the time he was crucified. Keep in mind that the devil was out to either tempt Jesus into sin, or torture and kill him into breaking down and giving in. Jesus had to go all the way to death to prove to the devil and to all, for all time, that Jesus would not compromise under any test, even to the point of death. So you can be assured the devil was not nice or easy or fair with Jesus. It was brutal! It also says something about the human hatred toward Jesus and the Father, Jehovah, the God of Israel, Isaac, and Abraham.

So Pilate has the centurion verify Jesus is dead and he is, so Pilate gives Joseph the body. Now in case you thought Luke meant Nisan 15 and its Passover earlier, think again. Even Luke now makes it clear that "it was Preparation Day, and a sabbath was coming on." So Luke knew it was still Nisan 14 as well. A large substantial stone is rolled up to cover the tomb after, by soldiers and chief priests and Pharisees, or those representing them. }]

Matthew 27:
62  And on the morrow, which is after the Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees were assembled to Pilate,
63  saying, Sir, we have recalled that that deceiver while living said, After three days I will rise.
64  Therefore, command that the grave be secured until the third day, that his disciples may not come by night and steal him away, and may say to the people, He is raised from the dead. And the last deception will be worse than the first.
65  And Pilate said to them, You have a guard, go away, make it as secure as you know how.
66  And going along with the guard, they made the grave secure, sealing the stone.

[{  I really like this one. Those who killed Jesus, not to mention, were responsible for his torture as well, recalled his threatening to rise again. In fact, they understood it as AFTER 3 days, he rises. This would favor a full 3 days and nights before the resurrection. But then again, they previously understood or pretended to believe that this saying referred to the Levitical temple. They might still have misunderstood it, even at that point. They went out of their way to prevent a stealing of the body. They secured guards as much as they liked, to make sure the disciples could not steal the body away. Now given that Jesus often raised people from the dead, surely it should have occurred to them that maybe God might bring him back, too, since it had to be God who enabled Jesus to resurrect others to begin with. But maybe not or maybe they were determined to thwart God, as if they could. It is interesting to ponder.  Now comes the resurrection! }]

John 20: 1  But on the first of the week, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, darkness yet being on it. And she saw the stone had been removed from the tomb.

Mark 16:
1  And the sabbath passing, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices, so that coming they might anoint Him.
2  And very early on the first of the week, the sun having risen, they came upon the tomb.
3  And they said to themselves, Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?
4  And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; for it was very large.
5  And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right, having been clothed in a white robe. And they were much amazed.

Luke 24:
1  But on the first of the sabbaths, while still very early, they came on the tomb, carrying spices which they prepared; and some were with them.
2  And they found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb.
3  And going in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4  And it happened, as they were perplexed about this, even behold,
two men in shining clothing stood by them.

Matthew 28:
1  But after the sabbaths, at the dawning of the first of the sabbaths, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the grave.
2  And, behold! A great earthquake occurred! For descending from Heaven and coming near, an angel of the Lord rolled away the stone from the door and was sitting on it.
3  And his face was as lightning and his clothing white as snow.
4  And those keeping guard were shaken from the fear of him, and they became as dead.
5  But answering, the angel said to the women, You must not fear, for I know that you seek Jesus who has been crucified.
6  He is not here, for He was raised, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying.

[{ Jesus is raised on the 1st day of the week. Look on any calendar and you will see that it is Sunday. The Sabbath had passed and given that it was the 1st day of the week, this must have been a/the weekly Sabbath, not any other type. Notice, too, how each account draws on different details. At first, they saw a young man in a white robe. They did not mention it, and that he shined. Another notes how 2 men came and stood by them. Whether 2 in addition to the one previous or that 1 joined the 1 previous.

Then we have the account of Matthew, which also related how the tomb came to be opened to begin with. Big brave Roman soldiers soiled their uniforms and possibly passed out from fear or at least frozen with fear. The soldiers readily admitted to what happened but the priests and Pharisees convinced them to lie and promised no harm would come to them for supposedly being asleep on the watch, which was punished severely by officers or rulers of Rome. You can bet the priest, scribes, and Pharisees, for fear the guards could change their story if threatened, made damn sure no harm came to the soldiers whatsoever. And Pilate? He just wanted to avoid any trouble so he would go along with anything, too. But no one was going to be able to stop the spirit of God, which they would soon encounter yet again, even as they had while Jesus was alive in the flesh. }]

I am switching to regular black text now. As we can see by now, it was clearly Nisan 14, when the Passover lamb or goat would be killed so that the people might be spared and passed over by the angel of God, symbolically speaking. This was the time for Jesus to die and he did. We have cleared up the language that could and would easily confuse people who did not take care to discern the details and truth of the matter.

In fact, in the 2nd century, a large controversy arose over just this matter. A visitor from the western empire was visiting and found the churches of the east to be observing the "Last Supper" on Nisan 14, not 15!!! Why the nerve of them! But as we can see, the 14th is correct. But we can also see how if one casually notes the scriptures which do indicate the Last Supper and death on the "Passover," then you can see how it might happen. But, it is also obvious that the "Preparation" is also mentioned quite a bit and not just by John, either. So a Christian who really cares about truth and accuracy would take care to determine which it is.

It just so happens that John, who is the one who makes it most clear how those final days unfolded, was imprisoned on the isle of Patmos where he was given the Revelation by Jesus to write. After his release with the death of the Emperor Domitian, John settles in Ephesus, in the heart of the area of the Eastern churches in Asia Minor. So they, the East, long after the rest of the empire lost all the Apostles and those close to them, the East had the very old long-lived John with them to set them straight, which indeed, he did.

The dispute was eventually settled with each side agreeing to disagree and do what their consciences dictated and their intellects could comprehend and discern. This was a fairly rational and pleasant surprise but it would be the 1st and last time they would be so sensible. Later they would resort to involving political leaders, the military, and the sword in settling doctrinal disputes, rather than the way prescribed by the Bible, which was to shun heretics and shun only. No violence or worse.

I do want to point this out, however. When the facts are ever so carefully considered as we have done here, with a number of counselors, though some were not aware that they served as counsel, one can not help but see that Nisan 14 was the proper observance of the last supper, not the 15th. It might seem like a small thing but consider that by not exercising the absolute maximum effort possible, one risks getting something wrong and it getting worse over time. But doing all that we can possibly do in study, rather than as little as possible, we have the best chance of avoiding error and obtaining truth. God wants those in His kingdom who want to be the best they can be and do the most they can, rather than try to get away with as little as possible. Those who resist the will of God and perfection really have no place with God or His kingdom. God is looking for those who are whole hearted and whole-souled. Its all or nothing. No straddling the fence.

Astronomical Dates Considered
Back to Top

The following was taken from "Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John,"
Chapter 11,
"Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ" by Isaac Newton, published in 1733 AD.

Newton also places the baptism of Christ at 29 AD, the 15th year of Tiberius. Newton then looked for years when Nisan 14 could have fallen on a Friday, which means he believed Jesus rose on the 3rd day rather than requiring Jesus to be dead a full 72 hours. Newton calculated Nisan 14 for the years AD 31-36. He threw out the years 31, 32, 35 as not falling on a Friday and most scholars confirm that. 35 and 36 were deemed to not fit history. So he was left with 33 and 34 AD. He preferred 34, assuming the grains were not ripe till the next new moon, I gather. Remember that the new year began with a new moon on which the grains were first ripe. In other words, the moon and the weather, the grain, had to be in agreement in order to declare spring and a new year.

Most academics today prefer 33, as I do as well. Newton had also figured 5 Passovers in Jesus' ministry, whereas 4 would be how nearly all figure it now, agreeing with a 3.5 year ministry. More on Newton's figure shortly. Many seemed to have preferred 30 AD, likely due to figuring Herod's death near an eclipse for an anchor date in 4 BC. Pratt says most are coming back to 33 AD now. Newton did know about Herod's 4 BC date but paid it no respect and accepted the 15th of Tiberius as the anchor.

Newton Begins >>

I take it for granted that
the passion was on friday the 14th day of the month Nisan,
the great feast of the Passover on saturday the 15th day of Nisan,

and the resurrection on the day following.

Now the 14th day of Nisan always fell on the full moon next after the vernal Equinox;
and the month began at the new moon before, not at the true conjunction, but at the first appearance of the new moon.

>>  As Newton points out, technically, the new moon mid point is invisible. But in the Bible, it is the very first slight appearance of the moon lit up that begins the new moon and the new year. It is a visible sign, not one guessed at or calculated, and the first appearance of the moon reflects the start of the day by the first glimpse of the sun rising to start the new day. God made it easy for anyone to be able to see and comprehend the signs and seasons and do so easily. The 14th day after the new moon, the moon would be visibly full.<<

For the Jews referred all the time of the silent moon, as they phrased it, that is, of the moon's disappearing, to the old moon; and because the first appearance might usually be about 18 hours after the true conjunction, they therefore began their month from the sixth hour at evening, that is, at sun set, next after the eighteenth hour from the conjunction. And this rule they called יה Jah, designing by the letters י and ה the number 18.

I know that Epiphanius tells us, if some interpret his words rightly, that the Jews used a vicious cycle, and thereby anticipated the legal new moons by two days. But this surely he spoke not as a witness, for he neither understood Astronomy nor Rabbinical learning, but as arguing from his erroneous hypothesis about the time of the passion.

For the Jews did not anticipate, but postpone their months: they thought it lawful to begin their months a day later than the first appearance of the new moon, because the new moon continued for more days than one; but not a day sooner, lest they should celebrate the new moon before there was any.

>> So as to clarify, Newton is calling the new moon to be new when it disappears and becomes in visible. It does this for 2 days. When the first very slight sliver of light shines forth, that is the Biblical new moon. It is the visible sign to start the new year or new moon each month. Both invisible days belong to the previous month.<<

And the Jews still keep a tradition in their books, that the Sanhedrim used diligently to define the new moons by sight: sending witnesses into mountainous places, and examining them about the moon's appearing, and translating the new moon from the day they had agreed on to the day before, as often as witnesses came from distant regions, who had seen it a day sooner than it was seen at Jerusalem.

>> I gather that they would delay declaring the first visible light till they knew it was visible in all Judah and not just Jerusalem to the south. But since Jerusalem was the appointed place for the worship of God, by God (Jehovah) Himself, I believe the priests would have been justified in making a declaration by the visible light in Jerusalem as determining the start of the year, a function of the priesthood, and no other.

But nevertheless, we see how careful they made sure the light was visible by all everywhere. And care is what Jehovah looks for in His worshippers. If they try their best to observe His instructions as He intended, God will approve, I would think.<<

Accordingly Josephus, one of the Jewish Priests who ministered in the temple, tells us [2] that the Passover was kept on the 14th day of Nisan, κατα σεληνην according to the moon, when the sun was in [the constellation of] Aries. This is confirmed also by two instances, recorded by him, which totally overthrow the hypothesis of the Jews using a vicious cycle. For that year in which Jerusalem was taken and destroyed, he says, the Passover was on the 14th day of the month Xanticus, which according to Josephus is our April; and that five years before, it fell on the 8th day of the same month. Which two instances agree with the course of the moon.

>> Newton's calculations and reasoning seem solid, and therefore, the resulting calculations below also seem valid, too.<<

Computing therefore the new moons of the first month according to the course of the moon and the rule Jah, and thence counting 14 days, I find that the 14th day of this month:

in the year of Christ 31, fell on tuesday March 27;
in the year 32, on sunday Apr. 13;
in the year 33, on friday Apr. 3;
in the year 34, on wednesday March 24,
or rather, for avoiding the Equinox which fell on the same day, and for having a fitter time for harvest, on thursday Apr. 22.
also in the year 35, on tuesday Apr. 12;
and in the year 36, on saturday March 31.

>> By this strict method of accounting, only 33 AD would be allowable, if a Friday the 14th crucifixion is deemed essential. None of the other years near this allow this. This also seems to verify 29 AD as being the 15th year of Tiberius and by backward counting, place the birth of Jesus in the Fall of 2 BC. And Newton does seem to accept the 2 BC and 29 AD for those years of birth and death. Allowing a full "3 days and 3 nights, 72 hours dead" theory, only 34 AD would be possible for the years in question.<<

But because the 15th and 21st days of Nisan, and a day or two of Pentecost, and the 10th, 15th, and 22d of Tisri, were always sabbatical days or days of rest, and it was inconvenient on two sabbaths together to be prohibited burying their dead and making ready fresh meat, for in that hot region their meat would be apt in two days to corrupt.

To avoid these and such like inconveniences, the Jews postponed their months a day, as often as the first day of the month Tisri, or, which is all one, the third of the month Nisan, was sunday, wednesday or friday: and this rule they called אדו Adu, by the letters ו , ד , א signifying the numbers 1, 4, 6; that is, the 1st, 4th, and 6th days of the week; which days we call sunday, wednesday and friday.

Postponing therefore by this rule the months found above;
the 14th day of the month Nisan will fall:

in the year of Christ 31, on wednesday March 28;
in the year 32, on monday Apr. 14;
in the year 33, on friday Apr. 3;
in the year 34, on friday Apr. 23;
in the year 35, on wednesday Apr. 13;
and in the year 36, on saturday March 31.

>> Accounting this way, a more tolerant method, and one that seems rather likely, there are 2 options for both a Friday and Wednesday crucifixion. But whereas Newton demands a Friday scenario, only 33 or 34 can be considered. Limiting the ministry of Jesus to 3.5 years, only 33 AD will satisfy the most circumstances such as the start of the 15th year of Tiberius beginning on Jan. 1, 29 AD and the full lunar eclipse just before the death of Herod in 1 BC. But to choose 34 AD means Jesus had to have a 4.5 year ministry. That ignores a lot of precedence for the 3.5 prophetic symbol so common in the scriptures. That is a lot to ignore.<<

By this computation therefore the year 32 is absolutely excluded, because the Passion cannot fall on friday without making it five days after the full moon, or two days before it; whereas it ought to be upon the day of the full moon, or the next day.
For the same reason the years 31 and 35 are excluded, because in them the Passion cannot fall on friday, without making it three days after the full moon, or four days before it: errors so enormous, that they would be very conspicuous in the heavens to every vulgar eye.
The year 36 is contended for by few or none, and both this and the year 35 may be thus excluded.

Tiberius in the beginning of his reign made Valerius Gratus President of Judea;
and after 11 years, substituted Pontius Pilate, who governed 10 years.
Then Vitellius, newly made President of Syria, deprived him of his honour, substituting Marcellus, and at length sent him to Rome.
But, by reason of delays, Tiberius died before Pilate got thither. [37 AD]
In the mean time Vitellius, after he had deposed Pilate, came to Jerusalem in the time of the Passover, to visit that Province as well as others in the beginning of his office; and in the place of Caiaphas, then High Priest, created Jonathas the son of Ananus, or Annas as he is called in scripture.
Afterwards, when Vitellius was returned to Antioch, he received letters from Tiberius, to make peace with Artabanus king of the Parthians.

At the same time the Alans, by the solicitation of Tiberius, invaded the kingdom of Artabanus; and his subjects also, by the procurement of Vitellius, soon after rebelled. For Tiberius thought that Artabanus, thus pressed with difficulties, would more readily accept the conditions of peace. Artabanus therefore straightway gathering a greater army, oppressed the rebels; and then meeting Vitellius at Euphrates, made a league with the Romans.

After this Tiberius commanded Vitellius to make war upon Aretas King of Arabia. He therefore leading his army against Aretas, went together with Herod to Jerusalem, to sacrifice at the public feast which was then to be celebrated. Where being received honourably, he stayed three days, and in the mean while translated the high Priesthood from Jonathas to his brother Theophilus.
And the fourth day, receiving letters of the death of Tiberius, made the people swear allegiance to Caius the new Emperor; and recalling his army, sent them into quarters. All this is related by Josephus Antiq. lib. 18. c. 6, 7.

Now Tiberius reigned 22 years and 7 months, and died March 16, in the beginning of the year of Christ 37; and the feast of the Passover fell on April 20 following, that is, 35 days after the death of Tiberius: so that there were about 36 or 38 days, for the news of his death to come from Rome to Vitellius at Jerusalem; which being a convenient time for that message, confirms that the feast which Vitellius and Herod now went up to was the Passover. For had it been the Pentecost, as is usually supposed, Vitellius would have continued three months ignorant of the Emperor's death: which is not to be supposed.

However, the things done between this feast and the Passover which Vitellius was at before, namely, the stirring up a sedition in Parthia, the quieting that sedition, the making a league after that with the Parthians, the sending news of that league to Rome, the receiving new orders from thence to go against the Arabians, and the putting those orders in execution; required much more time than the fifty days between the Passover and Pentecost of the same year.

And therefore the Passover which Vitellius first went up to, was in the year before. Therefore Pilate was deposed before the Passover A.C. 36, and by consequence the passion of Christ was before that Passover: for he suffered not under Vitellius, nor under Vitellius and Pilate together, but under Pilate alone.

Now it is observable that the high Priesthood was at this time become an annual office, and the Passover was the time of making a new high Priest. For Gratus the predecessor of Pilate, says Josephus, made Ismael high Priest after Ananus; and a while after, suppose a year, deposed him, and substituted Eleazar, and a year after Simon, and after another year Caiaphas; and then gave way to Pilate.

>>Luke refers to Annas and Caiaphas together. They both serve as high priest more than once. Luke does not assign them particular years in Luke 3:2. The two of them were the principle ring leaders of this priestly class, which included scribes and other such administration.<<

So Vitellius at one Passover made Jonathas successor to Caiaphas, and at the next Theophilus to Jonathas. Hence Luke tells us, that in the 15th year of Tiberius, Annas and Caiaphas were high Priests, that is, Annas till the Passover (28-29 AD), and Caiaphas afterwards (29-30 AD). Accordingly John speaks of the high Priesthood as an annual office: for he tells us again and again, in the last year of Christ's preaching, that Caiaphas was high Priest for that year (33-34 AD), John 11:49, 51. 18:13.
And the next year Luke tells you, that Annas was high Priest (34-35 AD), Acts 4:6.
Theophilus was therefore made high Priest (37-38) in the first year of Caius,
Jonathas in the 22d year of Tiberius (36-37 AD),
and Caiaphas in the 21st year of the same Emperor (35-36 AD).
And therefore, allotting a year to each, the Passion, when Annas succeeded Caiaphas, could not be later than the 20th year of Tiberius, A.C. 34.

>> Newton says this based on his assessment of 4.5 years to Jesus, rather than 3.5. but I must point out that if Jesus died in the spring 33 AD Passover, that was when Caiaphus took office at the start of that passover. Remember that Caiaphus prophesied just before the passover of the 14th of Nisan, since he had taken office by the 10th, if not on the 1st, the beginning of the month. Jesus was just outside of Jerusalem 6 days before the passover.

Were it 34 AD as suggested by Newton, then Annas would have been the high priest when the passover of 34 AD began. That would not fit with the Bible, who says it was Caiaphus. I believe this is my best support for my (and many others') 33 AD crucifixion.<<

Thus there remain only the years 33 and 34 to be considered; and the year 33 I exclude by this argument [as follows].
In the Passover two years before the Passion, when Christ went thro' the corn, and his disciples plucked the ears, and rubbed them with their hands to eat; this ripeness of the corn shows that the Passover then fell late: and so did the Passover A.C. 32, April 14, but the Passover A.C. 31, March 28th, fell very early. It was not therefore two years after the year 31, but two years after 32 that Christ suffered.
Thus all the characters of the Passion agree to the year 34; and that is the only year to which they all agree.

>>Newton is, of course, assuming the plucked grain heads signaled a passover prior and I do not agree with that. In fact, they cold have plucked grains anytime in 8 months or so. Further, if Jesus only preached 3.5 years, then 33 must be accepted rather than 34. It all boils down to whether Jesus preached for 3.5 or 4.5  years. Even with Luke and Josephus combined, both 3.5 and 4.5 could exist. 2 of the 3 priest scenarios support 33 AD. Only 1 allows 34 and slights the prophetic symbolism of 3.5 years and Caiaphus being high priest.

The Antichrist concludes a 7 year covenant and then at mid point, 3.5 years, causes Christianity to cease for 3.5 years. After that 3.5 years, the Antichrist dies by the hand of God. Christians preach in sackcloth, so to speak, in the first 3.5 of the Antichrist. Jesus preached for 3.5 years and he was killed. Christians preach for 3.5 years and they are symbolically killed, some even literally killed/martyred. Newton did not appreciate this prophetic understanding in his day. it was too early for God to reveal to Sir Isaac.

These 29 AD and 33 AD dates are critical to making all other prophecies harmonize as you will see.<<

Notes to Newton's Chap. XI.

[1] I observe, that Christ and his forerunner John in their parabolical discourses were wont to allude to things present. The old Prophets, when they would describe things emphatically, did not only draw parables from things which offered themselves, as from the rent of a garment, 1 Sam.15,
from the sabbatic year, Isa.37,
from the vessels of a Potter, Jer.18, &c.

But also when such fit objects were wanting, they supplied them by their own actions, as:
by rending a garment, 1 Kings 11.
by shooting, 2 Kings 13.
by making bare their body, Isa.20.
by imposing significant names to their sons, Isa. 8. Hos. 1.
by hiding a girdle in the bank of Euphrates, Jer. 13.
by breaking a potter's vessel, Jer. 19.
by putting on fetters and yokes, Jer. 27.
by binding a book to a stone, and casting them both into Euphrates, Jer. 51.
by besieging a painted city, Ezek. 4.
by dividing hair into three parts, Ezek. 5.
by making a chain, Ezek. 7.
by carrying out household stuff like a captive and trembling, Ezek. 12, &c.

By such kind of types the Prophets loved to speak. And Christ being endued with a nobler prophetic spirit than the rest, excelled also in this kind of speaking, yet so as not to speak by his own actions, that was less grave and decent, but to turn into parables such things as offered themselves.

On occasion of the harvest approaching, he admonishes his disciples once and again of the spiritual harvest, John 4:35. Matt. 9:37.
Seeing the lilies of the field, he admonishes his disciples about gay clothing, Matt. 6:28.
In allusion to the present season of fruits, he admonishes his disciples about knowing men by their fruits, Matt. 7:16.

In the time of the Passover, when trees put forth leaves, he bids his disciples learn a parable from the fig tree: when its branch is yet tender and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh, &c. Matt.24. 32. Luke 21. 29.
The same day, alluding both to the season of the year and to his passion, which was to be two days after, he formed a parable of the time of fruits approaching, and the murdering of the heir, Matt. 21:33.

Alluding at the same time, both to the money-changers whom he had newly driven out of the Temple, and to his passion at hand; he made a parable of a Noble-man going into a far country to receive a kingdom and return, and delivering his goods to his servants, and at his return condemning the slothful servant because he put not his money to the exchangers, Matt. 25:14. Luke 19:12.

Being near the Temple where sheep were kept in folds to be sold for the sacrifices, he spoke many things parabolically of sheep, of the shepherd, and of the door of the sheepfold; and discovers that he alluded to the sheepfolds which were to be hired in the market-place, by speaking of such folds as a thief could not enter by the door, nor the shepherd himself open, but a porter opened to the shepherd, John 10:1, 3.
Being in the mount of Olives, Matt. 36:30, John 14:31, a place so fertile that it could not want vines, he spoke many things mystically of the Husbandman, and of the vine and its branches, John 15.
Meeting a blind man, he admonished of spiritual blindness, John 9:39.

At the sight of little children, he described once and again the innocence of the elect, Matt. 18:2, 19:13.
Knowing that Lazarus was dead and should be raised again, he discoursed of the resurrection and life eternal, John 11:25, 26.
Hearing of the slaughter of some whom Pilate had slain, he admonished of eternal death, Luke 13. 1.
To his fishermen he spoke of fishers of men, Matt.4:10, and composed another parable about fishes, Matt. 13:47.
Being by the Temple, he spoke of the Temple of his body, John 2:19.

At supper he spoke a parable about the mystical supper to come in the kingdom of heaven, Luke 14.
On occasion of temporal food, he admonished his disciples of spiritual food, and of eating his flesh and drinking his blood mystically, John 6:27, 53.
When his disciples wanted bread, he bad them beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, Matt. 16:6. Being desired to eat, he answered that he had other meat, John 4:31.

In the great day of the feast of Tabernacles, when the Jews, as their custom was, brought a great quantity of waters from the river Shiloah into the Temple, Christ stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, John 7:37.

The next day, in allusion to the servants who by reason of the sabbatical year were newly set free, he said, If ye continue in my word, the truth shall make you free. Which the Jews understanding literally with respect to the present manumission of servants, answered, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how says you, you shall be made free? John 8.
They assert their freedom by a double argument: first, because they were the seed of Abraham, and therefore newly made free, had they been ever in bondage; and then, because they never were in bondage.

In the last Passover, when Herod led his army thro' Judea against Aretas King of Arabia, because Aretas was aggressor and the stronger in military forces, as appeared by the event; Christ alluding to that state of things, composed the parable of a weaker King leading his army against a stronger who made war upon him, Luke 14:31. And I doubt not but divers other parables were formed upon other occasions, the history of which we have not.

[2] Joseph. Antiq. lib. 3. c. 10.

End of Isaac Newton Accounts

My words in black now >>

There is also the matter of humility. Sir Isaac Newton was not stupid. He was not irrational. He was, in fact, brilliant, by nearly any account, secular, religious, or otherwise. He favors the 3rd day rise. Many others of good training and thinking also have favored this as the best explanation for what we have in the Bible. The 72 hour explanation, by itself, is a very good one, a reasonable one, but not one that eliminates the 3rd day rise, by any means, and the 72 hour theory does not harmonize with other features and times.

My conclusion, till better evidence comes in, (and I am always willing to hear new evidence, and change if the evidence merits a change) is in favor of a likely 2 BC birth, 29 AD start of Jesus' ministry, and a 33 AD crucifixion, at 33.5 years of age, with Jesus raised on the 3rd day. Too many things seem to link to this. All those links are lost if we embrace the 72 hour scenario. Now if one can show that other years allow a Nisan 14 on a Wednesday, or that the 15th of Tiberius should be re-dated, or some other consideration, then I will be happy to hear it out and consider it. No one has bothered, to the present. If they can not provide an alternative, and address all the circumstances I have, then their criticism is meaningless.

Daniel 9 - 70 Weeks
Back to Top

This is a well known account among those who study prophecy for it is clear in the wording that this is one of those few times when Ezekiel 4's day for a year principle applies, unlike the 7 times of Daniel 4 or other such places. It is easy to understand the basics. But there are a few snares to avoid. We'll cover the basics and then get into where we start, since there are 4 places where we could start.

Daniel 9: 24  Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people, and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

This is a tricky statement all by itself. But the 70 weeks covers everything from restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem all the way to the end, to bring in everlasting righteousness and all that jazz. But if one does the day for a year math, you quickly recognize that there is no where near enough days/years to do that. There is a trick to it. The vision is split into 2 pieces to make it a little easier for us.

Daniel 9:
25  Know, then, and understand that from the going out of a word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem , to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in times of affliction.
26  And after sixty two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of a coming prince shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end shall be with the flood, and ruins are determined, and war shall be until the end.

These verses of 25-26 apply to the Messiah's appearance after the decree to rebuild. A total of 7 and 62 weeks, 69 total, to the Messiah (meaning the anointed). Jesus is not anointed till baptized by John. This period is calculated to be 69 weeks multiplied by 7 to get the number of days, 483. Days representing years, we expect 483 years from the decree to rebuild the city and Temple, to Jesus being anointed at age 30, fall on what we have calculated to be 29 AD. If we take Jesus' 30 years away from Fall 29 AD and 483, we have a Fall 2 BC date (483-30=453), for there is no zero year, just a zero point, his birth; and 453. Add 2 BC and 453 and we are at 455 complete years BC.  Does 455 BC fit anything? It does but we'll discuss that shortly.

Verse 26 has the Messiah cut off, killed, and a people and prince destroying the city, Jerusalem, and its temple/sanctuary and war shall continue to the end. This is our clue to jump to the end.

Daniel 9: 27  And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease. And on a wing of the altar will be abominations that desolate, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator.

And if we are in doubt, the description to follow comes from an earlier vision of Daniel (7:25) regarding a fearsome beast out of which comes 10 horns, 3 horns, and a grandiose horn with a big mouth. Several descriptions all point to this horn - king - prince - desolator -identified as the false prophet, false messiah/christ, man of sin, antichrist in various New Testament prophetic visions. He will form a covenant at the end, for one week - 7 days- meaning 7 years. In the middle of that week, 3.5 years, he stops the "sacrifice and offerings" to God. Those come from God's people who are elsewhere in Daniel and Revelation, also shown as being stopped, hidden in the desert wilderness, almost as if they were killed, but then come back to life after 3.5 years.

At the end of this 3.5 years, which is also the end of the 7 year term of this prince - desolator, that which was decreed shall come on the desolator. Daniel 8:25 says: “he shall be broken without a hand.” That is the expression/way it was in Daniel 2:45 “you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold in pieces.” It is the Bible's literary way of expressing that God did it or would do it. The antichrist will die mysteriously by the hand of God. At this point, the people of God come out of the wilderness, come back to life so to speak, are no longer banned or illegal and God finally wipes out the nations and brings in everlasting righteousness!

There are many reinforcing prophecies which indicate how things will come out with a description of many circumstances that God wants us to know about before it all happens to us. But what we are here to discuss is how this relates to time and chronology of Jesus and other Bible events. What about 455 BC??? What can be said about that? Well here we go!

Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones, in his “The Chronology of the Old Testament” 2004, pg. 206, offers the 4 decrees recorded in the Bible.
On all the figures below, the 483 and 476 each have 1 year taken out to give 482 and 475
since there is not zero year to give a full number in subtraction.

1.  The decree issued to rebuild the temple in the first year of Cyrus, 536 BC (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-6; Ezra 5:13-17)

                             -536 - -483 solar years = 54 BC. 476 solar years is even worse.

2.  The decree issued to complete the temple in the second year of Darius (I) Hystaspis, 519 BC (Ezra 4:24; 6:1-12)

                             -519 - -483 solar years = -37 BC, and 476 solar years would be -43 BC. Fails.

3.  The decree issued to beautify the temple in the seventh year of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7-28)

                             -458 - -483 solar = 24 AD. 476 solar = 17 AD. Fails!  

4.  The decree issued to build the city of Jerusalem and its wall in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Neh. 2:1-8, 13, 17)

                              -445 - -483 solar = 37 AD. 476 solar = 30 AD.


Only number 4 comes anywhere near where we need to be. In fact, it seems just 1 year off and there is a reason for that. 30 AD taken from 475 gives us 445 BC. just what we want, right? Well, no! It works perfect but conflicts with Luke's 29 AD date. 29 AD taken from 475 = 446 BC. A year too long it would seem. Ah, but not to worry. Jesus was born late in 2 BC. Late enough that depending on the 445/444 date and what month was the start, Jesus could be said to be born principally in 1 BC with 3 months being negligible. And with 445 being the date, we have a possible fit. Now if we go along with some who say the 15th year of Tiberius was in August when Augustus died, then 28 AD would be the 15th year and that would place us back to 446/447 instead of the 29 AD date giving us 446-445 BC as possibilities. 445 is only exceeded by 3 months by taking a 2 BC date for the birth of Jesus. This is no serious discrepancy at all.


So really, 445 BC to 2 BC to 29 AD to 33 AD fits perfectly in the grand scheme of all things. It harmonizes just about every sign you can think of, including Herod's full eclipse of Josephus as well as the traditional rise on the 3rd day, 3.5 year ministry, Friday death and Sunday resurrection. Any other dates sacrifices a number of these factors. The combined force of all these things fulfilled in the numbers I promote, should pretty well eliminate any dispute but I would be silly to think that could happen.


Artaxerxes' 20th is very close, stuck between 29 AD birth and 33 AD death. Jesus was baptized at 30 in 29 AD and died 3.5 years later in 33 AD and we assume the number of days in 483 prophetic lunar years of 360 days is converted to solar years using the same number of days, which comes to 476 years.


Incidentally, It was Sir Robert Anderson and Dr. Hoehner who discerned the possible need to convert prophetic lunar years into equivalent solar years. Floyd Nolen Jones mentions them on Jones' page 249, right column

Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones also relates how previous researchers had found, as has Mr. Jonsson below, my expert witness called to the stand, that 483 years (69 weeks of years, 7 x 69 = 483) should be lunar years of 360 days, as it is in Revelation and elsewhere. 483 x 360 = 173880 days, which you then divide by 365.2422, the number of days in a Solar year, gives you 476 solar years. Solar years are how time is normally tracked by time keepers and chroniclers and the only measurement that would enable us to determine if the prophecy is right or not. But Jonsson has linked astronomical dates to add another level of certainty to the matters involved in this juncture.

From - THE 20TH YEAR OF ARTAXERXES AND THE "SEVENTY WEEKS" OF DANIEL - by © Carl Olof Jonsson, Göteborg, Sweden, 1989. Revised 1999, 2003. I provide a link to this article at the end under Related Articles. Carl is well known among chronologists and The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS), having been published by them several times. He is the author of several books on chronology. He is one of the foremost authorities on the reigns/chronologies of the Babylonian and Persian periods, being familiar with evidence few have ever really sought and considered. He is also well known to have plunged a dagger (metaphorically speaking) into the heart of Jehovah's Witnesses' (so-called) chronological doctrines. Here are the principle quotes from his work related to Daniel 9.

""Artaxerxes’ reign astronomically fixed

The decisive evidence for the length of Artaxerxes’ rule is the astronomical information found on a number of tablets dated to his reign. One such text is the astronomical "diary" "VAT 5047", clearly dated to the 11th year of Artaxerxes. Although the text is damaged, it preserves information about two lunar positions relative to planets and the positions of Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. This information suffices to identify the date of the text as 454 B.C. As this was the 11th year of Artaxerxes, the preceding year, 455 BC, cannot have been his 20th year as the Watch Tower Society claims, but his 10th year. His 20th year, then, must have been 445/44 BC. (See Sachs/Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, Vol. 1, Wien 1988, pp. 56-59.)

There are also some tablets dated to the 21st and last year of Xerxes. One of them, BM 32234, which is dated to day 14 or 18 of the 5th month of Xerxes’ 21st year, belongs to the group of astronomical texts called "18-year texts" or "Saros texts". The astronomical information preserved on this tablet fixes it to the year 465 BC. The text includes the following interesting information: "Month V 14 (+x) Xerxes was murdered by his son." This text alone not only shows that Xerxes ruled for 21 years, but also that his last year was 465 BC, not 475 as the Society holds!

There are several "Saros texts" of this type covering the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes. The many detailed and dated descriptions of lunar eclipses from different years of their reigns establish the chronology of this period as an absolute chronology.

Two other astronomical tablets from the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes, BM 45674 and BM 32299, contain dated observations of the planet Venus. Again, these observations establish the chronology of this period as an absolute chronology.

Thus we have numerous astronomical observations dated to different parts of the reigns of Xerxes and Axtaxerxes preserved on cuneiform tablets. In many cases, only one or two of these observations would suffice to establish the beginning and end of their reigns. The total number of astronomical observations dated to their reigns, however, are about 40 or more. It is impossible, therefore, to change their reigns even one year! The Society’s dating of Artaxerxes’ 20th year to 455 BC is demonstrably wrong. This, of course, also proves that their interpretation of the 70 weeks of Daniel is wrong.""
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

A number of applications of the 70 weeks of Daniel have appeared throughout the centuries. Some of them, including that of the Watch Tower Society, have to be discarded at once, as they can be shown to be in direct conflict with historically established dates. They have nothing to do with reality.

If Artaxerxes’ 20th year was 445/44 instead of 455, it is still possible to start from that year, provided that we use a "prophetical year" of 360 days instead of the solar year of 365,2422 days. This was demonstrated by Sir Robert Anderson in his book The Coming Prince (first published in 1895). His application has recently been improved upon by H. W. Hoehner in his book Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (1977), pages 135ff. These authors show that the 476 years from Artaxerxes’ 20th year, 445/44 BC, to the death of Christ ( if set at 33 A.D.) correspond to 483 years of 360 days. (476x365.2422 is 173.855 days, and if this number is divided by 360 we get 483 years.) This is just one example of an application that at least has the advantage of a historically established date at its start.""

Now let us just think about this for a minute. We have often used lunar months in the Bible. But in figuring king's reigns in Kings and Chronicles, we do assume an exact solar year for day in determining the prophetic days of Ezekiel 4. Should we assume lunar 360 day years for this Daniel 9? Well, it is not really clear. God left it open and perhaps with good reason. Keep in mind that He mixes up the way prophecies are interpreted in order keep the enemy confused and disbelieving. But God believes that we should be able to grasp and 2nd guess at what He is doing.

Given that 69 weeks of lunar years, which comes to 476 solar years/days (assumed to be years) (483 x 360 = 173880 days, which is then divided by 365.25 to see how many solar years it really is), and not 483 solar years, and pushed back from 29 AD, works out to 446 BC, 1 year further back than it should. But since Jesus was born in the last 3 months of 2 BC, meaning in 3 months, it would be a new year, 1 BC. This could be written off depending upon when (what month) the years began for Persian Kings. Roman years begin in January. I believe most nations in the Mideast began either in spring or fall as did the Jewish years of the Bible. If the year started in the fall, that would be the time Jesus was born 476 years later. This might absorb that 3 months.

But the reign of Tiberius is the proper point to link to the baptism and anointing of Jesus, assuming that Luke understood how Rome accounted the official reigns of Roman Emperors, which is very likely the case.

Those 360 Day Years

I should point out here a few particulars when it comes to "prophetic years" and interpretation. Ezekiel 4 uses a symbolism whereby Ezekiel lays on one side for 390 days to symbolize the 390 years of sin of Israel. Since God already gives us the time length of the sin, we really don't have to interpret anything. Ezekiel can't lay on his side for 390 years so days is a little better, making it just over a year to accomplish it.

Now many suggest that 360 days for a year was the actual literal precise length of a day before the flood of Noah. They say that the flood factors somehow altered the spin of the earth and this is entirely possible and reasonable. My own research suggests that comet/asteroid impacts may very well have initiated cracks in the crust and massive volcanic eruptions that began the flood sequence and manifestations. However, as possible as it is, there is no way to confirm or prove it.

But it is quite clear that the Babylonians did use a 360 year or at least a 360 division of measurement and their measure of time involves 60 as in 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 6 x 60  changed to 12 x 30 days for a year. But while this seems to be a prophetic concept as well, it has a practical side to it, that is used by navigators. A solar year is about 365.25 days. Navigation has to measure and account for all 4 directions of the globe, from pole to pole, north/south, and around the equator, either left or right, east or west. 4 directions in all. If one works with flat plane geometry, one still has to account for up/down and left/right, positive/negative. Dividing quadrants of a geometric surface of the globe of the world requires these directions. But how do we divide up 365 into 4 neat equal quadrants? And do so nearly on a day per unit of measurement? To do it exactly, we can't. But if we just take away those pesky 5.25 days, we have 360, which divides perfectly into 4 sections of an even 90 days, also divisible by 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10. These are all commonly used dividers.

So whether traveling north or south, east or west, we can measure distance as a day's travel (almost), and divide a day by 24 (2 x 12) units of 60 minutes each. A circle can be divided into 360 pieces/slices, with an even 90 for each quadrant. So it would appear the ancients, perhaps led by none other than the Father, Jehovah, Sovereign of the universe, maybe through Noah or, not out of reach, but less likely, Adam, may have handed down this system of math accounting. It would appear that navigation of the globe/earth was understood and time and location were measured in divisions as close to 365 as they could be, while still remaining practical for navigation, etc. This is likely so, whether the days were 360 per year at one time or not, before the flood.

But it is also a fact that 360 and 30 were yearly and monthly divisions used in the Bible (particularly in Revelation) and God no doubt had reasons for that as He always does. A difficulty in calculating a day for a year is that we end up with leap years and extra leap years as well when figuring periods of 40 years or more as we are with 69 weeks of years. I suspect that God saw too much complication to leave this to chance. While He likes to challenge us and test how much we really want something, He is also fair and reasonable with expectations so that He avoids making it nearly unattainable.

A good solution for 69 weeks of years is that weeks are consistently 7 days, and years always 360 days, so we can be sure about 483 years actually being 476 solar years. But what about those years? Well, God did the same for the years, by constantly referring to 30 months, and 360 day years. We can't miss it then and it is still sufficiently veiled as to elude the right people. So 483 x 360 gives us a nice number of days, which when re-divided by about 365.2422 still comes out to 476 actual years, which we desperately need if we are to be able to confirm this length of time in terms of kingships and rule. And it gives us an answer that works. That in itself is rather remarkable. By the way, whether you use 365.25 or 365.2422, it still comes out as 476 when rounded. You can't fail!

Back to Artaxerxes Possibilities

While it may not please a few skeptics (and isn't that the whole idea?), it should certainly be a reasonable explanation for those who trust God. Now this does not mean that God won't have another interpretation for us when we get to the other side of Judgment Day, but what we have gives us good reason to believe we are in the right "ballpark." We are not far off and what I have offered gives us a good solid possibility, added to so many other prophecies and events, that it is hardly any reason to run out and burn our Bibles and renounce God.

And if this whole scenario from 445 BC to 29 AD is certain, it pretty well verifies the secular days and dates in between as well. This does not hurt secular history for that period and compliments it. Agreement is always nice.

But let us think about this for a moment. If God went to much trouble to give us a sign about timing predicting the Messiah and his arrival, then He must have also intended that someone eventually would solve it. Otherwise, why bother, right? So it must be solvable and destined to be solved. But as well, God showed incredible wisdom in picking a time period in which to anchor this, the period so well attested by astronomical observations so as to make disputes nearly impossible. As well, he selected another period where dating of Emperors was also carved in stone. God picks His dates and anchor dates very carefully. His selections make it impossible to choose any other scenario of birth dates, and death dates for Jesus.

Why is this important? Well, for 2 very good reasons, if not 3. First, it should inspire confidence in God's prophecies that He could be so precise. 2nd, to clearly show who is right and who is not, since no other date scheme can work. 3rd, in retrospect, it shows both Christians and Jews that Jesus really and truly was the Messiah who arrived just when God said he would arrive so that Christians can have faith in the Bible, prophecy, and the resurrection, even if it means death and waiting for a resurrection. And as well, a very visible and unshakable sign for the Jews remaining in the last days that Jesus was the one God sent, who arrived when God said he would and that honest sincere Jews should finally recognize and accept Jesus on the terms that god dictates in order to receive salvation as has always been the desire of the Father.

Revelation predicts one third of the great city will repent and give glory to God when the "great earthquake" splits the great city in Revelation 11. Here is how verse 13 reads:
13 and at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 the second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come.

The 2 witnesses come back to life so to speak and a great quake kills a tenth of the city. The rest were terrified, maybe for the 1st time. They finally see that those prophecies and the Messiah were real after all. This "rest," the remaining or a part of them now finally give glory to God. This may be Jews who had been holding out, thinking their brethren were going to be their salvation but now see differently. This section of scripture is very symbolic and hard to be sure about. but when it happens, none of us will miss it, including those who finally come over to God, after holding out.

But God gives us a wonderful sign in His time prophecies which can fit no where else in no other way. You just can't miss it.

If you want to know more about the prophetic aspects of Daniel and Revelation, I will link the God's Plan page where all the prophecies are covered in a lot of detail at the end of this article. And if you follow Carl's link, I recommend taking a look around at his entire site. It has a lot that is of interest.

Final Thoughts
Back to Top

As for Bible Chronology, I will point out that we are anchored by the 587 BC fall of Jerusalem. We are dependant upon secular chronology from 587 BC onward to the present, for the Bible uses secular dates from that point onward. Who are we to question God? While we can determine with reasonable accuracy when Jesus was born and died, we can not say as surely when or if the 69 weeks is accurate. It is possible. God knows the truth and can show us, once everything else is settled and God's Kingdom has taken over and the earth is filled with the knowledge of God.

I also want to make this point! 3.5 years is a very important, prominent prophetic period of time, just maybe the most important in all the Bible. No place more so than in Revelation. It is critical that you understand why this is so. And I cover Jesus' ministry here in detail because his ministry being 3.5 years is part of that very important length of time. 3.5 and 7 are everywhere and more are recognizing this all the time. Take some time to look into Daniel's and Revelation's prophecies. They are there for a very important reason.

As regards the variety of ideas out there, they are nearly limitless and I have no desire to cover them in any detail. I have tried to show the most common mistakes that throw most off. Using Herod's death rather than Tiberius' reign is a mistake! And even when starting with Tiberius, we need to be careful. But the real point of the gospels is to highlight the technique that Jesus used so often, as do all the prophets and the rest of the Bible; to speak in figures, parables, illustrations, riddles, mysteries and the like, so that we can interpret the symbolic messages delivered to us by the prophets and God's son, so that we can be alerted to what it is we need to know, be aware of, and prepare for, so that we do not get caught off guard, and fail the most important test of our lives that will determine our salvation.

Jesus showed those of his time amazing signs, wonders, and portents from God, to prove that his, Jesus', words, as well as those of his Apostles, are from God as well. For the rest of us, he left a record of these deeds and gave us prophecies so that we might recognize the spirit of God behind those prophecies made long ago for our day. So Chronology does play a part in determining prophetic things, and can be useful to a degree for testing history and even science. But in the end, it is still prophecy that is most important for God had things He wanted us to know about before they happened. It would be a shame to ignore them when God and His servants went to such trouble to have them delivered to us. It would also be a shame to ignore them due to being scared of what they might indicate.

Fear and cowardice are condemned in the Bible. We must be willing to die if need be. Some will have to. But we have the guarantee of a resurrection so there is nothing to lose that we will not get back. So I urge you to check out my interpretations of prophecies. They are there for a reason and while I do notice a few coming around to my thinking to some degree, too many are filling people with crap that does not get you ready or prepared for the serious challenge that awaits us all. Take the opportunity while you have it because it won't be available much longer.

Related Articles

Carl Oloff Jonsson's link/article:

God's Plan and Purpose from beginning to end
Part 3: Early Church Conduct and Organization  --  WHAT DAY WAS CHRIST CRUCIFIED?  --  Three Days and Three Nights  -- 
#6 - What Are The Hebrew's  HIGH  HOLY  DAYS ?

Murrell G. Selden's astronomical links:

How to Interpret the Bible
The 7 days of Creation
- Are they literal or symbolic? - The best arguments yet, are here!

An Overview of Biblical Chronology - Tells how the Timeline is figured for Bible Chronology in a concise overview - From Adam to Jerusalem's fall in 70 AD.
The Chronology of the Judges Period - This period is confusing but it is very understandable once you know the secrets. I got'em!
Biblical Chronology of the Kings - of both the Judean and Israelite kings together, resolving all problems and gaps!
Timelines of Jesus   -  The 483 years - 69/70 weeks of Daniel 9 to the birth, baptism, crucifixion, and resurrection with scriptures supplied.
A Detailed Chronology of the Bible - This covers every little detail along the way, so one can get a perspective of time as well as flow of events. Its a great way to become acquainted with the scriptures very quickly and gain a great oversight of the purpose of God, which is why its linked on this page.

Back to Home page            Truth 1 - The best site on the internet!

Back to Top