Created  Dec. 25, 2010

Sir Isaac Newton on Jesus Chronology


Sub-headings:
Why Newton Is Important
Chapter 10 on Daniel 9:24-27
Newton's 70 Weeks
Newton's Medo-Persian Chronology
Chapter 11 - The Birth and Death of Christ
Before Newton
A Fresh Look at the Facts
My 3.5 Years Theory
Eusebius Testifies to 3.5 Years
Josephus Testifies
Newton Examines Last Passovers
Newton's Notes to Chap. 11
Newton's Best Yet to Come

Related Articles
The Project Gutenberg EBook of
"Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel,
and the Apocalypse of St. John,"
by Isaac Newton
Release Date: October 15, 2005 [EBook #16878]
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Produced by Greg Alethoup, Robert Shimmin, Keith Edkins and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

I the author of this article, give due proper credit and gratitude to the above as well as the original owner who had bought the manuscripts of Sir Isaac Newton and made them available to us all freely. We owe a real and genuine gratitude for such generosity and benevolence on their part, of which I also try to practice with my works.


Why Newton Is Important
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I have covered the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 on my "The Timelines of Jesus" article. But upon reading Newton's work on the same, I thought his work would be worthy of reading and commenting on. Isaac Newton was well qualified for his work since he was rational, mathematical in the extreme and very scientific and most rational as well. Though Newton is best known for his scientific work, he actually did far more in the religious and related historical fields than he did in science. He was very dedicated to God. As well, Newton was well aware of the pagan apostasy of Christianity back to its earliest times. He has done the only truly honest candid work on the real and dirty laundry of Christianity. There is no other work that comes close to it, in my experience to date.

Previous Christian writers were not that accurate when it came to history. They had their times with Bible Chronology as well. Newton on the other hand, was well qualified as both historian and astronomical scientist to get dates with, if it were at all possible and it was. So I wanted to share his work in the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. Not because it is the right interpretation, for I believe it is not. But his ability at dates is excellent and while wrong, it is not due to bad motive, but simply because the time was not yet right for an accurate and public understanding of these Bible matters.

We can learn and see from Newton's innocent errors and I believe this will be profitable to us all. I will soon publish another article, primarily just featuring Newton's work on early church history. It is the finest and stands alone in it quality and honesty. The world has been waiting for this and apparently now the time has arrived for Newton to be finally heard on matters of church history.

It should be known that Newton would have been considered a heretic in his own time. He did not believe in the trinity. What a guy, huh? He had read the early writers and they did not believe in it as described by the creeds in existence such as the Athanasian Creed or Apostles (so called) Creed. They used the word trinity, as it had taken on that name by that time, but not because they believed it but that this was the name for the subject at hand. But their idea of the trinity was much different than the "official" creeds of mainstream Emperor controlled and Bishop supported Christianity. Newton agreed with the earliest writers he read and took exception to the declarations of the creeds.

As well, Newton had written a scathing history of the rank corruption of the "Church" by the infiltration of paganism, Greek philosophy, political meddling by the Emperors, unauthorized arrangements of power among church leaders, Judaizing, and the like. What a contrast this is and was, compared to Eusebius and his Church history. Eusebius attempted to put a nice rosy outlook on the church and praised Emperor Constantine and suggested everything was fine and dandy. This could not be further from the truth. Newton shreds Eusebius in this respect.

Yet let it be known, Eusebius' Church History is still an excellent work, despite the lack of candor and dirty laundry that would have shown just how far Christianity had sunk and decayed. He still gives a fascinating account of many positive things. And writings basically honor the good early writers rather than the more questionable later writers. In fact, I would go so far to day that Eusebius put a good spin on things to avoid trouble with the Emperor. Eusebius may have not agreed with everything entirely but he chose to be careful and yet still convey much important information to us.

He lived in difficult times and I don't want to be harsh on him. He did what he had to, to get the info to us without getting it banned and destroyed. His work was the inspiration that led me to search out the original works of the early writers that he spoke of. Maybe that was a goal he had as well. If so, it worked brilliantly. By all means, be sure to read Eusebius if you have not. But absolutely take the time to read Isaac Newton's history for its complete and very honest review.

Newton did not make his work public and left it in his will to others upon his death. He sensed the time was not right. He had a fine instinct and good intellect. I dare say that it was providential that his work should be hidden and allowed to surface near the end of time when it would be able to survive its public exposure and be properly used. I feel this was the same with the Dead Sea Scrolls coming to us when they did. As well, the early Christians writers, usually called by most, Ante-Nicene "Fathers," meaning before the Council of Nicene in 325 AD, having been ignored and pretty much forgotten, were translated in in the 1600s to 1800s for the most part, but only began to get publicity and some acceptance when made available on the internet.

In fact, I will go this far, despite the appearance of me blowing my horn ahead of me. But like Paul, I must indulge a little madness. There was almost nothing written about anything of the Ante-Nicene gang on the internet prior to my reading and discovering all this early stuff in early 2002. I immediately began publishing some of it to let the world know what early Christianity was really like then, and how different it was from now. There was so much to learn and know. But it was slow to get attention. My works of 2002 focused mainly on the error of Judaizing and how we forgot why we met on Sunday, the first day of the week, and not Saturday, the last day of the week. This had been a great problem in early Christianity that would never cease to plague it, either. Jews were a continual problem in their tormenting and persecuting Christians, as well as trying to drag Christians back to the law. And they have been very successful at doing it, too.

But the biggest discoveries were published by me in April 2004 and on, dealing with the prophecies of the end times, largely based on revelations from the early Christians writers in the subject long since forgotten. I believe it disturbed some powerful people who saw to it that many other websites and authors begin to write and publish about early writers and try to discredit most of my work, though never specifically ever referring to me, for there is nothing on earth they fear more than you getting to this site and reading anything. Because here is where you will get the hard straight unadulterated truth. Here where Truth is no.# 1. No other place like it! There, that felt good ;-) Yeah, it a big brag, but as Mohammad Ali once said, 'it ain't braggin if you can do it." While not entirely true, I will say this.

Show me one other site that says what I say !!! Not one! They wouldn't dare! And as I have said in other articles, what a shame they are going to let me be the only one to say what I do, which will one day leave me the only one to get the credit for being right all along because everyone else rejected it. I have tried hard to get others on board but they want me to have it all to myself. Fine! If they insist, I accept. But the offer to share remains, anytime you want it. Why should I get all the credit?

So enjoy Sir Isaac and his fine work. He certainly rendered us and God a fine service. We can thank God for yet another blessing from His servants in His service. My comments will be set apart from Newton's work by >> these brackets in color<<.


Sir Isaac Newton
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"Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John,"
Chapter 10

Of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks.

>> I do update some spellings to modern English. I also inserted regular numbers for Roman numbers most of the time and I put in verse numbers for Daniel. I also bold face and underline some statements of Newton to stand out. <<

The Vision of the Image composed of four Metals was given first to Nebuchadnezzar, and then to Daniel in a dream: and Daniel began then to be celebrated for revealing of secrets, Ezek. 28: 3. The Vision of the four Beasts, and of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, was also given to Daniel in a dream. That of the Ram and the He-Goat appeared to him in the day time, when he was by the bank of the river Ulay; and was explained to him by the prophetic Angel Gabriel. It concerns the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes: and now in the first year of Darius the Mede over Babylon, the same prophetic Angel appears to Daniel again, and explains to him what is meant by the Son of man, by the Prince of the host, and the Prince of Princes. The Prophecy of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven relates to the second coming of Christ; that of the Prince of the host relates to his first coming: and this Prophecy of the Messiah, in explaining them, relates to both comings, and assigns the times thereof.

>> Newton does recognize that both comings of Jesus are addressed in this prophecy. He does not miss the last days arrival. But he may still be missing some facts. <<

This Prophecy, like all the rest of Daniel's, consists of two parts, an introductory Prophecy and an explanation thereof; the whole I thus translate and interpret.

Daniel 9:
24 [1] 'Seventy weeks are [2] cut out upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and [3] to make an end of sins, to expiate iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, to consummate the Vision and [4] the Prophet, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 'Know also and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto [5] the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks.

26 'Yet threescore and two weeks shall [6] it return, and the street be built and the wall; but in troublesome times: and after the threescore and two weeks, the Anointed shall be cut off, and [6] it shall not be his; but the people of a Prince to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined.

27 'Yet shall he confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in half a week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease: and upon a wing of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that which is determined be poured upon the desolate.'

Seventy weeks are cut out upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, &c. Here, by putting a week for seven years, are reckoned 490 years from the time that the dispersed Jews should be re-incorporated into [7] a people and a holy city, until the death and resurrection of Christ; whereby transgression should be finished, and sins ended, iniquity be expiated, and everlasting righteousness brought in, and this Vision be accomplished, and the Prophet consummated, that Prophet whom the Jews expected; and whereby the most Holy should be anointed, he who is therefore in the next words called the Anointed, that is, the Messiah, or the Christ. For by joining the accomplishment of the vision with the expiation of sins, the 490 years are ended with the death of Christ.

>> Newton recognizes that there was a limited fulfillment at the death of Christ. But he fails to consider verse 27 properly, along with this verse 24, to see that this covers a far greater period of time, right till the very end. And while he sees the Jews brought back to Jerusalem and eventually established before the 1st coming of the Messiah, he does not see the ultimate fulfillment at the end of 70 weeks and the complete fulfillment of all the prophets and their prophecies, especially those of the Antichrist. More to come. <<

Now the dispersed Jews became a people and city when they first returned into a polity or body politic; and this was in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, when Ezra returned with a body of Jews from captivity, and revived the Jewish worship; and by the King's commission created Magistrates in all the land, to judge and govern the people according to the laws of God and the King, Ezra 7:25. There were but two returns from captivity, Zerubbabel's and Ezra's; in Zerubbabel's they had only commission to build the Temple, in Ezra's they first became a polity or city by a government of their own.

Now the years of this Artaxerxes began about two or three months after the summer solstice, and his seventh year fell in with the third year of the eightieth Olympiad; and the latter part thereof, wherein Ezra went up to Jerusalem, was in the year of the Julian Period 4257. Count the time from thence to the death of Christ, and you will find it just 490 years. If you count in Judaic years commencing in autumn, and date the reckoning from the first autumn after Ezra's coming to Jerusalem, when he put the King's decree in execution; the death of Christ will fall on the year of the Julian Period 4747, Anno Domini 34; and the weeks will be Judaic weeks, ending with sabbatical years; and this I take to be the truth: but if you had rather place the death of Christ in the year before, as is commonly done, you may take the year of Ezra's journey into the reckoning.

>> Look at the precision of Newton's figures. He uses Julian years, as is common among astronomers today, even. What a pleasure. But Newton chose the year 34 AD for the death of Jesus. He does this because he counts 4 passovers in the Gospels. But Jesus preached for 3.5 years not 4.5. There is lots of prophetic reasoning for that. 3.5 and 7 are found throughout prophecy. Both the Antichrist and Jesus die after 3.5 years from given points. I cover this in my article on the Timelines of Jesus I will link to at the end of this article.

But Newton does allow for others to choose 33 Ad if they think that more correct as I do. He says it would still be possible to fulfill prophecy since it could allow Ezra and his people take a year to get back to Jerusalem.<<

9:25 Know also and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks.
The former part of the Prophecy related to the first coming of Christ, being dated to his coming as a Prophet; this being dated to his coming to be Prince or King, seems to relate to his second coming. There, the Prophet was consummate, and the most holy anointed: here, he that was anointed comes to be Prince and to reign. For Daniel's Prophecies reach to the end of the world; and there is scarce a Prophecy in the Old Testament concerning Christ, which doth not in something or other relate to his second coming. If divers of the ancients, as [8] Irenæus, [9] Julius Africanus, Hippolytus the martyr, and Apollinaris Bishop of Laodicea, applied the half week to the times of Antichrist; why may not we, by the same liberty of interpretation, apply the seven weeks to the time when Antichrist shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming?

>> Did you catch the error? The original Hebrew clearly says 7 weeks AND 62 weeks. All Bibles read this way. But Newton isolates the first 7 weeks (7 x 7), 49 years interpreted. The 7 weeks (49 years) are not the time of the Antichrist or Jesus. Antichrist only exists for 7 years, the last final 7, excepting perhaps just a few months after the 7 years. To the best of my knowledge, Apollinaris' account of the 2nd coming is no longer in existence but it was in Newton's day, evidently.<<

The Israelites in the days of the ancient Prophets, when the ten Tribes were led into captivity, expected a double return; and that at the first the Jews should build a new Temple inferior to Solomon's, until the time of that age should be fulfilled; and afterwards they should return from all places of their captivity, and build Jerusalem and the Temple gloriously, Tobit xiv. 4, 5, 6: and to express the glory and excellence of this city, it is figuratively said to be built of precious stones, Tobit xiii. 16, 17, 18. Isa. liv. 11, 12. Rev. xi. and called the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Holy City, the Lamb's Wife, the City of the Great King, the City into which the Kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour.

Now while such a return from captivity was the expectation of Israel, even before the times of Daniel, I know not why Daniel should omit it in his Prophecy. This part of the Prophecy being therefore not yet fulfilled, I shall not attempt a particular interpretation of it, but content myself with observing, that as the seventy and the sixty two weeks were Jewish weeks, ending with sabbatical years; so the seven weeks are the compass of a Jubilee, and begin and end with actions proper for a Jubilee, and of the highest nature for which a Jubilee can be kept: and that since the commandment to return and to build Jerusalem, precedes the Messiah the Prince 49 years; it may perhaps come forth not from the Jews themselves, but from some other kingdom friendly to them, and precede their return from captivity, and give occasion to it; and lastly, that this rebuilding of Jerusalem and the waste places of Judah is predicted in Micah 7:11. Amos 9:11, 14. Ezek. 36:33, 35, 36, 38. Isa. 54:3, 11, 12. 55:12. 61:4. 65:18, 21, 22. and Tobit 14:5. and that the return from captivity and coming of the Messiah and his kingdom are described in Daniel 7. Rev. 19. Acts 1. Mat. 24. Joel 3. Ezek. 36:36. Isa. 60. 62. 63. 65. and 66. and many other places of scripture. The manner I know not. Let time be the Interpreter.

>> I have trouble here discerning whether Newton expects the heavenly Jerusalem above, a symbolic temple and city, or whether he expects a literal physical temple and city in the last days rebuilt. If he expects the temple rebuilt and the Jews re-gathered as the fulfillment of prophecy instead of seeing the re-gathering as applying to Christians, the new Jews, the spiritual and symbolic Jews. It makes a big difference. The literal rebuilding is an act of apostasy leading to the Antichirst and abominations and desolations. It would appear his last statement would suggest that he is not sure himself of which it will be so he says, let time decide what it will be. Fair enough.

But though he seems to take a hands off approach here, he does not continue to do so. He gives most of his attention to the 1st early fulfillments and mentions little to nothing of the 2nd latter and greater fulfillments. He could have just been keeping it back but I think he is just stuck on the early stuff. But that he did not make known this work and left it in secret to posterity, he knew is was not safe to say much at that time. He knew it would be up to God to reveal it at a later time, if it was God's will to do so. Newton let God handle it so we can't se anything for sure. But Newton does not really get much right in this article, his chapter 10 of his greater work on Daniel. <<

9:26 Yet threescore and two weeks shall it return, and the street be built and the wall, but in troublesome times: and after the threescore and two weeks the Messiah shall be cut off, and it shall not be his; but the people of a Prince to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, &c.
Having foretold both comings of Christ, and dated the last from their returning and building Jerusalem; to prevent the applying that to the building Jerusalem by Nehemiah, he distinguishes this from that, by saying that from this period to the Anointed shall be, not seven weeks, but threescore and two weeks, and this not in prosperous but in troublesome times; and at the end of these Weeks the Messiah shall not be the Prince of the Jews, but be cut off; and Jerusalem not be his, but the city and sanctuary be destroyed.

Now Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in the 20th year of this same Artaxerxes, while Ezra still continued there, Nehem. 12:36, and found the city lying waste, and the houses and wall unbuilt, Nehem. 2:17, 7:4, and finished the wall the 25th day of the month Elul, Nehem. 6:15, in the 28th year of the King, that is, in September in the year of the Julian Period 4278. Count now from this year threescore and two weeks of years, that is 434 years, and the reckoning will end in September in the year of the Julian Period 4712 which is the year in which Christ was born, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenæus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, Orosius, Cassiodorus, and other ancients; and this was the general opinion, till Dionysius Exiguus invented the vulgar account, in which Christ's birth is placed two years later. If with some you reckon that Christ was born three or four years before the vulgar account, yet his birth will fall in the latter part of the last week, which is enough. How after these weeks Christ was cut off and the city and sanctuary destroyed by the Romans, is well known.

>> I calculate a -2 BC date for the birth that the numbers figured seem to give. Newton only uses Julian years, even though he was well aware of the BC/AD dates. But Dionysus places the birth 2 years later, at 1 AD. It should be known that Pope John I in 525 AD commissioned Dionysius the Little, a Roman abbot, to prepare a standard calendar for the Western Church. This is how we came to receive the 1 AD mark of the post Messianic Birth. Newton says it is 2 years too late. Interesting. Dionysius also notes Jesus as born Dec. 25th, which is clearly a lie. He is a very questionable character as is the Pope. 1 AD conforms to 754 AUC, which basically stands for "from the foundation of Rome. AUC is from the Latin anno urbis conditae. Rome was said to be 754 years old at 1 AD.<<

27 Yet shall he confirm the covenant with many for one week.
He kept it, notwithstanding his death, till the rejection of the Jews, and calling of Cornelius and the Gentiles in the seventh year after his passion.

>> I see this as a mistake in interpretation. This covenant, this deal, lasts just 7 years. Jesus made no such deal, ever. Yes, it was 7 years after his death that Gentiles were welcomed, but he had been welcoming Judah/Israel for 10.5  years till then. Too long!  This must apply to the Antichrist, who makes the very same deal in Revelation 12 as well. Antichrist has 7 years to do his thing. This reinforced in verse 27 and other places in Daniel and Revelation.

I should point out that Newton is well aware of a 2nd more prominent meaning in the last days. But he admits he can not foretell these accurately and only sets out to show us the 1st lesser original meaning and pattern which symbolizes the greater 2nd fulfillment to come at the last days. But in some of these verses of Daniel, I do not believe there is a 1st previous meaning. Only one fulfillment exists.

It is confusing for many that God does not keep a consistent pattern and technique from one prophecy or symbol to the next. But this was important so as to throw off most. Only those who work very hard and with the right "spirit" will be allowed to see the correct interpretation. They will have to take each symbol or prophecy on its own terms and take great care not to assume too much, like assuming that there is always a previous fulfillment and a secondary greater fulfillment. God sometimes likes to jump around and change the pattern. Let me put it this way! If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Only those with absolute faith in the words of God will tire their minds to exhaustion with trying to decipher these cryptic riddles of prophecy. You up to it?<<

27 And in half a week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease;
that is, by the war of the Romans upon the Jews: which war, after some commotions, began in the 13th year of Nero, A.D. 67, in the spring, when Vespasian with an army invaded them; and ended in the second year of Vespasian, A.D. 70, in autumn, Sept. 7, when Titus took the city, having burnt the Temple 27 days before: so that it lasted three years and an half.

>> The real Jesus did die at a half week into his ministry, 3.5 years. But the profane sacrifices did not cease and what is more, the sacrifices, oblations, and offerings of his followers did not cease after his death as evidenced by the spirit poured out at Pentecost. This half week prophecy is the Antichrist causing Christian offerings and sacrifices to cease at the mid point of his 7 year term. Its the only fit there is. Newton does not account for the previous 3.5 years or even see it as relevant. What I say is that it was just too early in time for Newton to be able to discern. The other problem was the Newton was stuck in trying to apply everything to the past, when some things did not have a first or previous fulfillment, such as this very scripture.

And it should be no surprise to any serious Bible student that prophecies and accounts often jump back and forth, and take great leaps in time. It is obviously done in Genesis 1 & 2, throughout Revelation, and sometimes even in the Gospels. And Daniel does it as well. But because Newton could not grasp enough of the future last days fulfillment, he sometimes tries to apply it to the past as well, when it had not past fulfillment. We who live in the last times are very privileged to be able to see more clearly than a sharp intellect like Newton's could see. Many prophets, including Daniel, wanted to see but were not allowed to "see" or understand.

Many Christians today want or even insist on miracles to prove or testify to God and His power. but men of faith do not ask for signs for already, many signs have been given us. Most outstanding of these is the fulfillment of and understanding of, prophecies uttered long ago. It is not only a privilege to receive these, but really, a fulfilled prophecy is, indeed, a very miraculous thing. That someone or anyone could foresee the future in such amazing detail at least 1900 years ago, is no small accomplishment. As Nebuchanezzar said to Daniel (in Dan.2), when Daniel said that God could show him (Daniel) the dream of Nebuchadezzar and interpret it, too, with one hand tied behind his back, no less. Nebuchanezzar warned Daniel, saying, in essence, Why Daniel, one would have to be in touch with the gods to be able to do something like this! EXACTLY!!! Daniel basically said, don't worry about it. Just let me try and you will see!

To receive communication and understanding from God Almighty above, is extraordinary and mind blowing. But too many Christians slight this and think nothing of it and demand healings or speaking in tongues, as if those were much great gifts than revealed prophecy. Shame on them! By their fruits you will know them.<<

27 And upon a wing of abominations he shall cause desolation, even until the consummation, and that which is determined be poured upon the desolate.

The Prophets, in representing kingdoms by Beasts and Birds, put their wings stretched out over any country for their armies sent out to invade and rule over that country. Hence a wing of abominations is an army of false Gods: for an abomination is often put in scripture for a false God; as where Chemosh is called [10] the abomination of Moab, and Molech the abomination of Ammon. The meaning therefore is, that the people of a Prince to come shall destroy the sanctuary, and abolish the daily worship of the true God, and overspread the land with an army of false gods; and by setting up their dominion and worship, cause desolation to the Jews, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. For Christ tells us, that the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel was to be set up in the times of the Roman Empire, Matth. 24:15.

>> There was a desolation of the primary but minor type in Rome destroying the temple and Jerusalem from which Christians would flee after its first appearing in 66 AD and then leaving in 68 AD to allow escape. But the major secondary fulfillment that Newton has admitted to, elsewhere, as we have seen, is not grasped here. Further he sees this prince as being a desolator. The 2nd desolation is the real concern at the end of times, the last 7 years (1 week). Recall the message of the gospel writer mentioning this time when Jesus spoke. It went like this: "Let the reader use discernment." It is almost another way of saying, look very carefully at this prophecy. It might not be what you think.<<

Thus have we in this short Prophecy, a prediction of all the main periods relating to the coming of the Messiah; the time of his birth, that of his death, that of the rejection of the Jews, the duration of the Jewish war whereby he caused the city and sanctuary to be destroyed, and the time of his second coming: and so the interpretation here given is more full and complete and adequate to the design, than if we should restrain it to his first coming only, as Interpreters usually do.
We avoid also the doing violence to the language of Daniel, by taking the seven weeks and sixty two weeks for one number. Had that been Daniel's meaning, he would have said sixty and nine weeks, and not seven weeks and sixty two weeks, a way of numbering used by no nation.

>> It is clear from the above, that Newton, while showing what happened in the first instance of fulfillment, did not see this as the ultimate fulfillment. He well recognized that a more full and complete fulfillment would be accomplished in the 2nd coming of Christ in in many end time events. But he also knew that it was beyond him to know what was involved in that 2nd fulfillment. Yes, I am repeating myself but I feel it is important to do so.

Now in Newton not liking the word order for one number, let me quote another scripture from Daniel.<<

Daniel 10:4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
>> As you can see there, it was not just in Daniel 9 that Daniel did this, quoting the smaller or latter digit or number first. It was and is, a literary style. Get used to it. Ever heard that nursery rhyme, "four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie"? And when the pie was opened, the birds began to sing? Well, yet another instance of the literary style of expressing numbers backwards. Newton missed this one, I guess. We'll forgive him ;-) <<

In our way the years are Jewish Luni-solar years, [11] as they ought to be; and the seventy weeks of years are Jewish weeks ending with sabbatical years, which is very remarkable. For they end either with the year of the birth of Christ, two years before the vulgar account, or with the year of his death, or with the seventh year after it: all which are sabbatical years. Others either count by Lunar years, or by weeks not Judaic: and, which is worst, they ground their interpretations on erroneous Chronology, excepting the opinion of Funccius about the seventy weeks, which is the same with ours. For they place Ezra and Nehemiah in the reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon, and the building of the Temple in the reign of Darius Nothus, and date the weeks of Daniel from those two reigns.

>> Again, the biggest problem is that Newton is 300 years away from fulfillment and has not recognized the 2nd coming and fulfillment as the real intention of this prophetic message and not that of Jesus, even though we do obtain a match for that as well. Newton does not realize the 1st fulfillment is a diversion to lead people off the track of truth. These are God's enemies and are not granted the right to know. Because they discern nothing, they do not take alarm at the Bible and burn or ban it. They ignore it and pay no attention to it. This is the wisdom of God at work.<<


Newton's Medo-Persian Chronology
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The grounds of the Chronology here followed, I will now set down as briefly as I can.

>> What follows is Newton reconstructing a very detailed chronology of the reigns of the Persians' and Medes' kings. Doing this, he can show accurate dates. But he concentrates on showing us the first previous fulfillment. He leaves it to the future and time to reveal to us the 2nd greater meaning to come in our day.<<

The Peloponnesian war began in spring An. 1 Olymp. 87, as Diodorus, Eusebius, and all other authors agree. It began two months before Pythodorus ceased to be Archon, Thucyd. l. 2. that is, in April, two months before the end of the Olympic year. Now the years of this war are most certainly determined by the 50 years distance of its first year from the transit of Xerxes inclusively, Thucyd. l. 2. or 48 years exclusively, Eratosth. apud Clem. Alex. by the 69 years distance of its end, or 27th year, from the beginning of Alexander's reign in Greece; by the acting of the Olympic games in its 4th and 12th years, Thucyd. l. 5; and by three eclipses of the sun, and one of the moon, mentioned by Thucydides and Xenophon. Now Thucydides, an unquestionable witness, tells us, that the news of the death of Artaxerxes Longimanus was brought to Ephesus, and from thence by some Athenians to Athens, in the 7th year of this Peloponnesian war, when the winter half year was running; and therefore he died An. 4 Olymp. 88, in the end of An. J.P. 4289, suppose a month or two before midwinter; for so long the news would be in coming. Now Artaxerxes Longimanus reigned 40 years, by the consent of Diodorus, Eusebius, Jerome, Sulpitius; or 41, according to Ptol. in can. Clem. Alexand. l. 1. Strom. Chron. Alexandr. Abulpharagius, Nicephorus, including therein the reign of his successors Xerxes and Sogdian, as Abulpharagius informs us. After Artaxerxes reigned his son Xerxes two months, and Sogdian seven months; but their reign is not reckoned apart in summing up the years of the Kings, but is included in the 40 or 41 years reign of Artaxerxes: omit these nine months, and the precise reign of Artaxerxes will be thirty nine years and three months. And therefore since his reign ended in the beginning of winter An. J.P. 4289, it began between midsummer and autumn, An. J.P. 4250.

The same thing I gather also thus. Cambyses began his reign in spring An. J.P. 4185, and reigned eight years, including the five months of Smerdes; and then Darius Hystaspis began in spring An. J.P. 4193, and reigned thirty six years, by the unanimous consent of all Chronologers. The reigns of these two Kings are determined by three eclipses of the moon observed at Babylon, and recorded by Ptolemy; so that it cannot be disputed. One was in the seventh year of Cambyses, An. J.P. 4191, Jul. 16, at 11 at night; another in the 20th year of Darius, An. J.P. 4212, Nov. 19, at 11h. 45' at night; a third in the 31st year of Darius, An. J.P. 4223, Apr. 25, at 11h. 30 at night. By these eclipses, and the Prophecies of Haggai and Zechary compared together, it is manifest that his years began after the 24th day of the 11th Jewish month, and before the 25th day of April, and by consequence about MarchXerxes therefore began in spring An. J.P. 4229: for Darius died in the fifth year after the battle at Marathon, as Herodotus, lib. 7, and Plutarch mention; and that battle was in October An. J.P. 4224, ten years before the battle at Salamis. Xerxes therefore began within less than a year after October An. J.P. 4228, suppose in the spring following: for he spent his first five years, and something more, in preparations for his expedition against the Greeks; and this expedition was in the time of the Olympic games, An. 1 Olymp. 75, Calliade Athenis Archonte, 28 years after the Regifuge, and Consulship of the first Consul Junius Brutus, Anno Urbis conditæ 273, Fabio & Furio Coss. The passage of Xerxes's army over the Hellespont began in the end of the fourth year of the 74th Olympiad, that is, in June An. J.P. 4234, and took up one month: and in autumn, three months after, on the full moon, the 16th day of the month Munychion, was the battle at Salamis, and a little after that an eclipse of the sun, which by the calculation fell on Octob. 2. His sixth year therefore began a little before June, suppose in spring An. J.P. 4234, and his first year consequently in spring An. J.P. 4229, as above. Now he reigned almost twenty one years, by the consent of all writers. Add the 7 months of Artabanus, and the sum will be 21 years and about four or five months, which end between midsummer and autumn An. J.P. 4250. At this time therefore began the reign of his successor Artaxerxes, as was to be proved.

The same thing is also confirmed by Julius Africanus, who informs us out of former writers, that the 20th year of this Artaxerxes was the 115th year from the beginning of the reign of Cyrus in Persia, and fell in with An. 4 Olymp. 83. It began therefore with the Olympic year, soon after the summer Solstice, An. J.P. 4269. Subduct nineteen years, and his first year will begin at the same time of the year An. J.P. 4250, as above.

His 7th year therefore began after midsummer An. J.P. 4256; and the Journey of Ezra to Jerusalem in the spring following fell on the beginning of An. J.P. 4257, as above.

>> I want to say this about dates and events. Newton offers us dates of events that often have more than one source of accounting, sometimes even by different measures or additional events attached, such as the particular Olympiad, an astronomical event observed at the same time, or by another king of another place and his year, or similar such things. These extra attached sources add a lot of strength and credibility to a date and Babylonian and Medo-Persian dates have this benefit. They are compared with Greek Olympiads, due to Greeks also giving times on some events. Astronomical observations are not uncommon. In the case of Babylon, there was the discovery of several thousand recorded banking transactions kept on clay tablets that covered every day of the entire 70 years of Babylon's pre-eminence so that one can pick the very day a king died and another took his place and also show that Babylon's entire lifespan as an empire undefeated was only 70 years, thereby only allowing 50 years of desolation in Jerusalem.

The period that Newton and we are dealing with here was when recorded history became quite available and relatively plentiful, due to several national empires having reached power, literacy and where enough parties kept their own records so that is one might try to destroy records of some things, the other empires might preserve it. These dates we have are not to be taken lightly.

That said, there are a few possible or potential problems.
1st, is that many historians wanting a date or answer might resort to one source, upon which after, all who cover the same event use the same date, not aware if it is accurate or not. We do not seem to have that here but it does happen.
2nd, and this is well known among the Assyrians and Egyptians; they attached an astronomical observation, often a very important prominent event, to the date of a king. As in the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius in the case of Egypt, based on a lunar calendar if my memory serves me correctly, the rising of Sirius changes either getting later or earlier each year. I forget which direction it was. But eventually, Sirius will go through a cycle of 1260 years. Egyptians normally let Sirius go through its 1260 cycle, with a new cycle noted every 1260 years.

But sometimes some wise guy would reset the cycle of Sirius. But then this shows an inconsistent pattern and then one does not know how many times this might be done. There are too many Sirus risings in Egyptian history to allow a full 1260 or even the few recorded resets. So this makes any observations based on Sirius to be very doubtful.

Assyrians would sometimes claim events based on astronomical observations made up, or predicted in advance or attached after the fact. This only hurts their credibility when it comes to reliability. to me the biggest danger is when one source quoting from another source simply accepts a date without knowing anything about that date and how it was arrived at.

We have no evidence for any errors in the dates Newton gives us above, and no reasonable grounds for doubting them. But it remains there could be innocent or deliberate errors. But without good reason, we can not assume this. But if dates do not exactly match according to God's days and calendars, then we must leave it as unknown and assume that God is right and we do not have completely accurate information. But this is a matter of faith and trust. Perhaps an error in secualr dates does exist but for the time, we have no idea where.

And then there is that added danger we could fall into. In putting my dates and chronologies together over the years, I have made many errors myself. I continually search alternate sources to see if I have missed something in my work and if my figures can stand up to varying comparisons. Just going through Newton's stuff was quite the challenge. The details can be very trying and you can get easily confused.

So if there is a 1 or 2 year variance in dates, and we have done our work right, it may be there was an error of a couple years, for whatever the cause. A common error is whether a certain reign began in the year of the change, or in the first full ascension year that follows after. You only need 2 of these, and you might have a 2 year disagreement.

If one has 2 separate astronomical events of some separated time, such as maybe a thousand years, astronomy can allow us more precision than men recording dates can achieve, who vary on when someone is assigned a year or length of time. The Bible sometimes gives us a total long range figures such as 480 years from the Exodus to the 4th year of Solomon. These are very handy and appreciated. But we do not always get them. With Israel (northern tribes), we have 390 years. 435 with Abraham leaving Canaan to Israel leaving Egypt.

But with this 70 weeks of years, we are left with so many variables, and not large block of time that can certify the length of a period. I am not sure if there are astronomical events that can link 2 distantly separated times from each other with a precise figure, like the Bible sometimes does or astronomy has the potential to do. But these are what we would really need to eliminate much dispute and we do not have them. So it does remain that dates might not be precise for circumstances that we can no longer verify for sure.  have we misunderstood the Bible or have historians varied on whether it was 20 and some months or 21. Was this an ascension year or the previous year at the actual change. We do not know. 2 years is a very good range for anything.

In my own chronology, I always allow a 2 year variance and possibility of error. The same would have be to allowed for secular works as well. so if we are within 2 years, I don't think critics have that much to gripe about. Honesty, fairness, and candor will have to admit possibilities on both sides for minor errors. For those who trust in God and His word, we can live with these, trusting our heavenly source of wisdom and guidance as well as holiness and purity in Him. For with evil things God can not be tried, right?<<

Notes to Chap. X.

[1] Chap. ix. 24, 25, 26, 27.

[2] Cut upon. A phrase in Hebrew, taken from the practise of numbering by cutting notches.    

[3] Heb. to seal, i.e. to finish or consummate: a metaphor taken from sealing what is finished. So the Jews compute, ad obsignatum Misna, ad obsignatum Talmud, that is, ad absolutum.

[4] Heb. the Prophet, not the Prophecy.

[5] Heb. the Messiah, that is, in Greek, the Christ; in English, the Anointed. I use the English word, that the relation of this clause to the former may appear.

[6] Jerusalem.

[7] See Isa. xxiii. 13.

[8] Iren. l. 5. Hær. c. 25.

[9] Apud Hieron. in h. l.

[10] 1 Kings xi. 7.

[11] The ancient solar years of the eastern nations consisted of 12 months, and every month of 30 days: and hence came the division of a circle into 360 degrees. This year seems to be used by Moses in his history of the Flood, and by John in the Apocalypse, where a time, times and half a time, 42 months and 1260 days, are put equipollent. But in reckoning by many of these years together, an account is to be kept of the odd days which were added to the end of these years. For the Egyptians added five days to the end of this year; and so did the Chaldeans long before the times of Daniel, as appears by the Æra, of Nabonassar: and the Persian Magi used the same year of 365 days, till the Empire of the Arabians. The ancient Greeks also used the same solar year of 12 equal months, or 360 days; but every other year added an intercalary month, consisting of 10 and 11 days alternately.

The year of the Jews, even from their coming out of Egypt, was Luni-solar. It was solar, for the harvest always followed the Passover, and the fruits of the land were always gathered before the feast of Tabernacles, Levit. 23. But the months were lunar, for the people were commanded by Moses in the beginning of every month to blow with trumpets, and offer burnt offerings with their drink offerings, Num. 10:10. 28:11, 14. and this solemnity was kept on the new moons, Psal. 81:3,4,5. 1 Chron. 23: 31. These months were called by Moses the first, second, third, fourth month, &c. and the first month was also called Abib, the second Zif, the seventh Ethanim, the eighth Bull, Exod. 13: 4. 1 Kings 6: 37, 38. 8: 2. But in the Babylonian captivity the Jews used the names of the Chaldean months, and by those names understood the months of their own year; so that the Jewish months then lost their old names, and are now called by those of the Chaldeans.

The Jews began their civil year from the autumnal Equinox, and their sacred year from the vernal: and the first day of the first month was on the visible new moon, which was nearest the Equinox.

Whether Daniel used the Chaldean or Jewish year, is not very material; the difference being but six hours in a year, and 4 months in 480 years. But I take his months to be Jewish: first, because Daniel was a Jew, and the Jews even by the names of the Chaldean months understood the months of their own year: secondly, because this Prophecy is grounded on Jeremiah's concerning the 70 years captivity, and therefore must be understood of the same sort of years with the seventy; and those are Jewish, since that Prophecy was given in Judea before the captivity: and lastly, because Daniel reckons by weeks of years, which is a way of reckoning peculiar to the Jewish years. For as their days ran by sevens, and the last day of every seven was a sabbath; so their years ran by sevens, and the last year of every seven was a sabbatical year, and seven such weeks of years made a Jubilee.

>> Take notice that while Daniel was Jewish, not only did Jews adopt the Babylonian language of Aramaic, but they adopted the letter style of the Aramaic alphabet, even when writing in Hebrew. They adopted Aramaic names of the months, and Daniel wrote his book in the Aramaic language and not Hebrew, by Divine Providence, no doubt. Jeremiah began dating things by the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, not Jewish kings.

This again was the providence of God, since it must be assumed that Jeremiah and Daniel were both being faithful to God. That being the case, it may have been God's way of signifying that a Judean king no longer ruled in behalf of God and that they had been given over to the nations as punishment. So now the nations would be the numbers by which time was accounted, even as Luke continued to do in using Roman years of reigns and accounting. So when Newton argues for all things Jewish, I do not think he has a strong case.


Chapter 11
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Newton: Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ

The times of the Birth and Passion of Christ, with such like niceties, being not material to religion, were little regarded by the Christians of the first age. They who began first to celebrate them, placed them in the cardinal periods of the year;
as the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, on the 25th of March, which when Julius Cæsar corrected the Calendar was the vernal Equinox;
the feast of John Baptist on the 24th of June, which was the summer Solstice;
the feast of St. Michael on Sept. 29, which was the autumnal Equinox;
and the birth of Christ on the winter Solstice, Decemb. 25, with the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Innocents, as near it as they could place them.

And because the Solstice in time removed from the 25th of December to the 24th, the 23d, the 22d, and so on backwards, hence some in the following centuries placed the birth of Christ on Decemb. 23, and at length on Decemb. 20: and for the same reason they seem to have set the feast of St. Thomas on Decemb. 21, and that of St. Matthew on Sept. 21.

>> As you can see, it did not take long for pagan practices to set in. All events were changed to adapt to the Zodiac. We can thank Sir Isaac for letting us know about this. You did not want to continue in paganism, did you? It was also interesting to me to learn how the solstice used to fall on Dec. 25 and then migrated earlier over many years, since each year contains about a quarter of a day, which adds up over time to a day and many days over long periods of time. We are at Dec. 21 right now.<<

So also at the entrance of the Sun into all the signs in the Julian Calendar, they placed the days of other Saints; as the conversion of Paul on Jan. 25, when the Sun entered; Description: Aquarius
St. Matthias on Feb. 25, when he entered; Description: Pisces
St. Mark on Apr. 25, when he entered; Description: Taurus
Corpus Christi on May 26, when he entered Description: Gemini;
St. James on July 25, when he entered; Description: Cancer
St. Bartholomew on Aug. 24, when he entered; Description: Virgo
Simon and Jude on Octob. 28, when he entered: Description: Scorpio

And if there were any other remarkable days in the Julian Calendar, they placed the Saints upon them, as St. Barnabas on June 11, where Ovid seems to place the feast of Vesta and Fortuna, and the goddess Matuta; and St. Philip and James on the first of May, a day dedicated both to the Bona Dea, or Magna Mater, and to the goddess Flora, and still celebrated with her rites. All which shows that these days were fixed in the first Christian Calendars by Mathematicians at pleasure, without any ground in tradition; and that the Christians afterwards took up with what they found in the Calendars.

Neither was there any certain tradition about the years of Christ. For the Christians who first began to enquire into these things, as Clemens Alexandrinus [Clement of Alexandria], Origen, Tertullian, Julius Africanus, Lactantius, Jerome, St. Austin, Sulpicius Severus, Prosper, and as many as place the death of Christ in the 15th or 16th year of Tiberius, make Christ to have preached but one year, or at most but two.

At length Eusebius discovered four successive Passovers in the Gospel of John, and thereupon set on foot an opinion that he preached three years and an half; and so died in the 19th year of Tiberius.

>> This will be covered in this article. The evidence Eusebius quotes is not quite the time in question, as best as I can tell, but its close and useful, even if not for what we want. Eusebius quotes the work of Josephus so I put that in here as well, later on.<<

Others afterwards, finding the opinion that he died in the Equinox Mar. 25, more consonant to the times of the Jewish Passover, in the 17th and 20th years, have placed his death in one of those two years.

Neither is there any greater certainty in the opinions about the time of his birth. The first Christians placed his baptism near the beginning of the 15th year of Tiberius; and thence reckoning thirty years backwards, placed his birth in the 43d Julian year, the 42nd of Augustus and 28th of the Actiac victory.

>> If we say Jesus was 30 in the fall of the 15th year of Tiberius, which was 29 AD, then Tiberius started reigning 14.75 years before, in Jan. 1, 15 AD. That means that Augustus reigned for the previous 14 years that began at 1 AD. But if Jesus was 30 in 29 AD, then he had to be born 1 year before 1 AD, which would be 1 BC. Given that Jesus was born in the fall, it would actually be 3 months prior to 1 BC. Technically, this is in the 2nd year, BC or 2 BC. So early Christians seem to be right.<<

This was the opinion which obtained in the first ages, till Dionysius Exiguus, placing the baptism of Christ in the 16th year of Tiberius, and misinterpreting the text of Luke 3:23 as if Jesus was only beginning to be 30 years old when he was baptized, invented the vulgar account, in which his birth is placed two years later than before.
As therefore relating to these things there is no tradition worth considering; let us lay aside all and examine what prejudices can be gathered from records of good account.

>> Dionysius uses the 16th year when Luke says 15th year. I take it he also assumes Jesus is starting his 30th year, rather than having completed it. I think Luke indicates that he had reached 30, the beginning of having just turned 30. This would be right since a Levite could not serve as a priest till he was 30 and Jesus was under the law, as was John the Baptist. This also means that John could not begin baptizing till the spring of that year when he turned 30. This is why he was called by God at this time. Jesus then comes along about 6 month later to be installed by baptism as well.

Uut is Dionysius believed Jesus was 29 in the 16th year, which was late in the year 30 AD, then Jesus would be born late in 1 AD. This is why we have a 2 year difference between 2 BC and 1 AD. But if Newton favors a 2 BC date of birth, then he is in agreement with the early Christians as well. But he seems to act like maybe he is not convinced of their method of accounting.

When Newton says "of good account" above, he seems to try to stick to the Bible alone, but in doing so, seems to me to grasp for straws and use assumptions on data that is far too non-descript to rely on it for anything. You'll see.<<


A Fresh Look at the Facts
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The fifteenth year of Tiberius began Aug. 28, An. J.P. 4727. So soon as the winter was over, and the weather became warm enough, we may reckon that John began to baptize; and that before next winter his fame went abroad, and all the people came to his baptism, and Jesus among the rest.
Whence the first Passover after his baptism mentioned John 2:13 was in the 16th year of Tiberius.

>> Newton assumes that Luke's accounting of Tiberius starts in August when Augustus died, 15 years previous. But Roman custom at that time gives the full year to Augustus and the first year of Tiberius would start on Jan 1, the start of the new Roman year, 5 months after Augustus died. So Newton seems to me to be in error here. Tiberius beings his 15th year on Jan. 1, An. J.P. 4728. I do not know what years of AD or BC Newton assigns to An. J.P. dates. But he seems to favor 29 Ad for the 15th of Tiberius. But he is reckoning Roman years of reign by dates of death and starting at that point. But Roman reigns begin at the start of the new year, Jan. 1 and are completed on Dec. 31 of that same year. Newton does not seem to account this way. So his 2 BC date, if corrected by a year from J.P. 4727 to 4728 would place Jesus at 1 BC, I would think. But he does not begin on January, but about 5 months earlier. I am a bit perplexed.

I concur with him on this, what we will call fact 1. Baptism and preaching began in the 15th of Tiberius, even as Luke 4 says. Jesus was born in the fall and had just turned  age 30 at the time, about 6 months after the passover of that year. So the 1st passover after Jesus began his ministry was in the 16th of Tiberius, even as Newton suggests, though I am not sure how he gets there.<<

After this feast Jesus came into the land of Judea, and stayed there baptizing, whilst John was baptizing in Ænon, John 3: 22, 23.
But when he heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee, Mat. 3:12, being afraid, because the Pharisees had heard that he baptized more disciples than John, John 4:1.

>> I can not discern John being arrested according to the quotes given above. The gospels jump all around in time, leaving out enough that it takes many disjointed accounts to determine things like this. I have not put those together to see if this is right or not.<<

And in his journey he passed thro' Samaria four months before the harvest, John 4:35, that is, about the time of the winter Solstice. For their harvest was between Easter and Whitsunday, and began about a month after the vernal Equinox.

>> Jesus was baptized in the fall, near the time of his birth, at age 30 now. But I am not sure about the harvest Jesus refers to. In Matthew, we learn that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, not far beyond where he was baptized, really. That was 40 days. And he gathered his disciples after. So it may have been winter with the harvest 4 months away. But harvesting was something that took place starting at about passover but continuing for a while. Passover is the beginning of the first fruits of harvest with more to follow in the year. Judah does not normally get snow except on uncommon occasions. I am not so sure of what is referenced here by 4 months till the harvest. I think it could be the fall of the 16th but don't quote me on that.<<

Say not you, says he, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest; meaning, that the people in the fields were ready for the Gospel, as his next words show[1]. John therefore was imprisoned about November, in the 17th year of Tiberius.

>> I say this was still the 16th of Tiberius.<<

And Christ thereupon went from Judea to Cana of Galilee in December, and was received there of the Galileans, who had seen all he did at Jerusalem at the Passover: and when a Nobleman of Capernaum heard he was returned into Galilee, and went to him and desired him to come and cure his son, he went not thither yet, but only said, Go thy way, thy son lives; and the Nobleman returned and found it so, and believed, he and his house, John 4:49 on.

>> This Nobleman of Capernaum is one and the same as referred to in Luke 7:1 as a Centurion.
There is a passover due in John 6:4. During this time, John 6:10 recalls the 5,000 fed. This was also in Matt. 14:21 and Luke 6:20, too.
Luke places the Centurion at 7:1 while the 5,000 fed with the sermon on the mount at 6:20. But John places the Centurion/Nobleman at 4:49 and then the 5,000 fed at 6:10. I do not know who is out of order or who is not trying to keep order but jumps back and forth.

Newton does seem to favor John but John wrote much later than the other 3 and they all seem to place the Centurion as the latter event. Many chapters in John are speeches Jesus made. I think it was John that went back and forth, even as is the case with his Revelation given by Jesus from heaven. It was Jesus who mixed the order but John who carried both books to print, so to  speak.
So Newton basing all things chronological on John seems suspect to me.<<


This is the beginning of his miracles in Galilee; and thus far John is full and distinct in relating the actions of his first year, omitted by the other Evangelists. The rest of his history is from this time related more fully by the other Evangelists than by John; for what they relate he omits.

>> In John 7:37, it is the last day of the fall feast of Tiberius' 17th. Jesus is now 32. The entire chapter 8 of John is still near this time. In fact, chapters 9 and 10 seem to be a continuance of Jesus speaking at this time or at some time not specified. In John 7, we have some events. John 8, 9, & 10 are speeches and then in 11 we are a week from the death of Jesus. To me, John is the least chronologically accurate. John seems to write to fill out more detail that others left out, as regards teaching. Chronology was never his priority. It was the teachings of Jesus that were his priority. He probably figured (or the spirit did) that you could use the other gospels if you wanted chronology.<<

From this time therefore Jesus taught in the Synagogues of Galilee on the sabbath-days, being glorified of all: and coming to his own city Nazareth, and preaching in their Synagogue, they were offended, and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which the city was built to cast him headlong; but he passing thro' the midst of them, went his way, and came and dwelt at Capernaum, Luke 4(:31). And by this time we may reckon the second Passover was either past or at hand.

>> Jesus had just been tempted after his baptism in Luke 4, so I am not convinced this is a 2nd passover as Newton suggests. The 5,000 fed seems more likely the 2nd passover, mentioned perhaps at John 6:4.

In Luke 7, disciples of John the Baptist asks if there is to be another. So it is still early. I also do not believe that the 2 disciples of John who were sent by John were asking for John about whether Jesus was the Christ or is another to come. John clearly identified Jesus and spoke much about Jesus. It think the 2 simply said John sent them to ask when they were really inquiring for their own sake. Jesus answered them, knowing likely that John knew better but they did not. Jesus pointed out what he was doing as sufficient to answer their question. Matthew's account reveals that John was in prison at the time he sent disciples to Jesus. Matthew 14 is where we hear John had already been beheaded.<<

All this time Matthew passes over in few words, and here begins to relate the preaching and miracles of Christ. When Jesus, says he, had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt at Capernaum, and from that time began to preach and say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matt. 4:12.

>> Jesus had been tempted right after baptism and he just gets through with the temptation in Matthew 4:10 when he hears John is arrested and he then gathers disciples. This is even before his 1st passover in Tiberius' 16th. In fact, it is still Tiberius' 15th as best as I can tell, near to the turning of the year, since Jesus was temped for 40 days and nights.

But Newton earlier said that John was imprisoned in November of Tiberius' 17th year. I think Newton fails to discern John's writing purpose, where strict order of events is not maintained. Jesus goes back and forth in Galilee so many times, no one could keep track, anyway. But Jesus had to make a passover appearance in Tiberius' 16th in order to perform miracles which Galileans would talk about and cause them to get excited when he returns a 2nd time back there after the 1st passover.<<

Afterwards he called his disciples Peter, Andrew, James and John; and then went about all Galilee, teaching in the Synagogues,—and healing all manner of sickness:—and his fame went thro'out all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people,—and there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan, Matt. 4:18, 25.

All this was done before the sermon in the mount: and therefore we may certainly reckon that the second Passover was past before the preaching of that sermon. The multitudes that followed him from Jerusalem and Judea, show that he had lately been there at the feast. The sermon in the mount was made when great multitudes came to him from all places, and followed him in the open fields; which is an argument of the summer-season: and in this sermon he pointed at the lilies of the field then in the flower before the eyes of his auditors.

>> It was after the passover, if you call that summer or not, but it was after the 2nd passover since the baptism of Jesus.<<

 Consider, says he, the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, &c. Matt. 6:28. So therefore the grass of the field was now in the flower, and by consequence the month of March with the Passover was past.

>> One did not have to see lilies at the time Jesus spoke for they had all seen those many times in their lifetimes. They knew what Jesus referred to and it does not necessarily mean lilies were in the fields at that time. Further, there was grass but remember that this is Judah, not Northern USA. The first budding of grains started the passover and if you have grains, you have grass and that was spring. Whether the passover was just passed or long passed, we do not know. It was past, though, in all likelihood.<<

Let us see therefore how the rest of the feasts follow in order in Matthew's Gospel: for he was an eye-witness of what he relates, and so tells all things in due order of time, which Mark and Luke do not.

>> Note that Newton does recognize that Luke does not stay in linear time but goes back and forth sometimes. I gather he discerns Mark does this, too. But John certainly does it as well and Matthew often concurs with Luke and Mark so I am not sure why Newton is so unsure of Luke and Mark or seems to prefer John in the early part of Jesus' ministry.<<

Some time after the sermon in the mount, when the time came that he should be received, that is, when the time of a feast came that he should be received by the Jews, he set his face to go to Jerusalem: and as he went with his disciples in the way, when the Samaritans in his passage thro' Samaria had denied him lodgings, and a certain Scribe said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou go, Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head, Matt. 8:19. Luke 9: 51, 57. The Scribe told Christ he would bear him company in his journey, and Christ replied that he wanted a lodging.

Now this feast I take to be the feast of Tabernacles, because soon after I find Christ and his Apostles on the sea of Tiberias in a storm so great, that the ship was covered with water and in danger of sinking, till Christ rebuked the winds and the sea, Matt. 8:23. For this storm shows that winter was now come on.

>> The feast of tabernacles was in the fall. It is possible that winter was coming on to cause the storm but is not guaranteed as being such. Freak storms happen everywhere and at odd times of the year and in many different time periods. Weather is never predictable.<<

After this Christ did many miracles, and went about all the cities and villages of Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness, and every disease among the people, Matt. 9, he then sent forth the twelve to do the like, Matt. 10, and at length when he had received a message from John, and answered it, he said to the multitudes: From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence; and upbraided the cities, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not, Matt. 11.

>> Luke 10 has Jesus sending out 70 more men after the Apostles. These probably preach about a year. We are probably getting past the half way point of Jesus ministry so that his followers have learned enough to be effective, and of course, the spirit went with them, too. If there is a missing passover, it might well be in this time.<<

Which several passages show, that from the imprisonment of John till now there had been a considerable length of time: the winter was now past, and the next Passover was at hand; for immediately after this, Matthew, in chap. 12, subjoins, that Jesus went on the sabbath-day thro' the corn, and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat,—rubbing them, says Luke, in their hands: the corn therefore was not only in the ear, but ripe; and consequently the Passover, in which the first-fruits were always offered before the harvest, was now come or past. Luke calls this sabbath δευτεροπρωτον, the second prime sabbath, that is, the second of the two great feasts of the Passover. As we call Easter day high Easter, and its octave low Easter or Lowsunday: so Luke calls the feast on the seventh day of the unleavened bread, the second of the two prime sabbaths.

In one of the sabbaths following he went into a Synagogue, and healed a man with a withered hand, Matt. 12:9. Luke 6:6. And when the Pharisees took counsel to destroy him, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, and charged them that they should not make him known, Matt. 12:14. Afterwards being in a ship, and the multitude standing on the shore, he spoke to them three parables together, taken from the seeds-men sowing the fields, Matt. 13, by which we may know that it was now seed-time, and by consequence that the feast of Tabernacles was past.

>> Newton says Luke calls the sabbath the 2nd prime sabbath but give no reference for that. But here is what I found at Luke 6:1.

KJV)      "1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first,"
DRm      "1 and it came to pass on the second-first sabbath, "
Geneva) "1 And it came to pass on a second solemn Sabbath, "
NKJV)   "1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first"
Weym)   "1  now on the second-first sabbath "
YLT)      "1 And it came to pass, on the second-first sabbath,"
Darby)   "1 and it came to pass on the second-first sabbath,"

7 of the 14 translations I look at are above. The other 7 did not say anything but sabbath. I note the Greek shows an unusual word.

1207 δευτεροπρωτος deuteroprotos dyoo-ter-op’-ro-tos 
from 1208 and 4413; ; adj 
AV-second after the first 1; 1 
1) second-first 
2) the second of the first Sabbaths after the feast of the Passover
σαββατον sabbaton sab’-bat-on; of Hebrew origin [07676]; the Sabbath (i.e. Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension, a se’nnight, i.e. the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: —  sabbath (day), week.

This only appears once in the whole Bible and this is that instance. A number of Bible Commentaries remain unsure about it but suggest it is connected with either the passover sabbaths or the festival of tabernacles sabbaths. Some have a preference for it being with the fall tabernacles. Newton seems sure about it being with the passover. He does not say why or what his source is. Many of these commentaries were written perhaps only a century or 2 later. None of them seems sure. Without sources or reason explained, I can not accept Newton's judgment as definitive or certain. Certainly we have arrived at the passover if not tabernacles (booths or tents).

I do not think that because Jesus mentions seed sowing in his illustrations, indicates the fall harvest of the feast of Tabernacles. Does Jesus speak only of sowing seeds when near to the harvest. Was Jesus not sowing seeds every day of his ministry? Was not seed sowing something to speak of all the time? I think Newton has over-reached here. If there is no mention of a feast or festival, then one should not be assumed without far more or direct evidence. On the other hand, there is no doubt that time is passing and it could be the feast of tabernacles but we are left with uncertainty.

Are we still in the 17th year of Tiberius? I wish I could say with confidence but I can't. This is Luke 6 and Jesus sends out the 70 in Luke 10 and they preach.<<

After this he went into his own country, and taught them in their Synagogue, but did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Then the twelve having been abroad a year, returned, and told Jesus all that they had done: and at the same time Herod beheaded John in prison, and his disciples came and told Jesus; and when Jesus heard it, he took the twelve and departed thence privately by ship into a desert place belonging to Bethsaida: and the people when they knew it, followed him on foot out of the cities, the winter being now past; and he healed their sick, and in the desert fed them to the number of five thousand men, besides women and children, with only five loaves and two fishes, Matt. 14. Luke 9. At the doing of which miracle the Passover of the Jews was nigh, John 6: 4. But Jesus went not up to this feast; but after these things walked in Galilee, because the Jews at the Passover before had taken counsel to destroy him, and still sought to kill him, John 7:1. Henceforward therefore he is found first in the coast of Tyre and Sidon, then by the sea of Galilee, afterwards in the coast of Cæsarea Philippi; and lastly at Capernaum, Matt. 15:21, 29 - 16:13 - 17:34.

Afterwards when the feast of Tabernacles was at hand, his brethren upbraided him for walking secretly, and urged him to go up to the feast. But he went not till they were gone, and then went up privately, John 7:2. And when the Jews sought to stone him, he escaped, John 8:59. After this he was at the feast of the Dedication in winter, John 10:22. And when they sought again to take him, he fled beyond Jordan, John 10:39-40, Matt. 19:1, where he stayed till the death of Lazarus, and then came to Bethany near Jerusalem, and raised him, John 11:7, 18. Whereupon the Jews took counsel from that time to kill him. And therefore he walked no more openly among the Jews, but went thence into a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim. And there continued with his disciples till the last Passover, in which the Jews put him to death, John 11:53, 54.

Thus have we, in the Gospels of Matthew and John compared together, the history of Christ's actions in continual order during five Passovers.
John is more distinct in the beginning and end; Matthew in the middle: what either omits, the other supplies.
The first Passover was between the baptism of Christ and the imprisonment of John, John 2:13.
The second within four months after the imprisonment of John, and Christ's beginning to preach in Galilee, John 4:35.
And therefore it was either that feast to which Jesus went up, when the Scribe desired to follow him, Matt. 8:19. Luke 9:51, 57, or the feast before it.

>> I am not satisfied that John 4:35 represents a 2nd passover. The amount of time and number of events passed since the first in John 2:13 does not seem to be substantial and that 4 months to a harvest could be the 1st harvest of the passover first fruits or it could be on of the later fruits of harvest later in the year. Newton could be right but I do not see enough to render this as the 2nd sabbath. The next one clearly mentioned at John 6:4 would follow and qualify for sure as the 2nd Passover. Given that John is so good about mentioned passovers, I would find it unusual to think he would neglect to mention one where Newton suggests.

Lets try this.
Augustus reigned in the 1st 14 years AD. Dies in August, 28 AD. The remainder of the year is given to his account.
Jan. 1, 15 AD is the beginning of the 1st of Tiberius. The start of 29 AD begins the 15th year of Tiberius. Tiberius dies March 16, 37 AD, A 22 year reign.
The remainder of that year would be given to him.
The fall of 29, Jesus is baptized at age 30. 2 passovers of Jesus bring us to the 17th year of Tiberius. Jesus will die in the 19th year of Tiberius, 33 AD to me.


The third was the next feast after it, when the corn was eared and ripe, Matt. 12:1. Luke 6:1.
>> This seems most likely to be the 2nd passover or after it, given the opinions of the commentaries as to indications of either the passover or tabernacles.<<
The fourth was that which was nigh at hand when Christ wrought the miracle of the five loaves, Matt. 14:15. John 6:4, 5.
>> I can only say for sure it is the 3rd passover. This is the 2nd passover indicated by John and is  the feeding of the 5,000, also mentioned in the other gospels.<<
And the fifth was that in which Christ suffered, Matt. 20:17. John 12:1.
>> This would be the 4th and last passover on which Jesus died.<<

Between the first and second Passover John and Christ baptized together, till the imprisonment of John, which was four months before the second.
Then Christ began to preach, and call his disciples; and after he had instructed them a year, lent them to preach in the cities of the Jews: at the same time John hearing of the fame of Christ, sent to him to know who he was.
>> I disagree with the 2nd passover Newton suggests.<<
At the third, the chief Priests began to consult about the death of Christ. >> I say 2nd<<
A little before the fourth, the twelve after they had preached a year in all the cities, returned to Christ; and at the same time Herod beheaded John in prison, after he had been in prison two years and a quarter. And thereupon Christ fled into the desert for fear of Herod.
The fourth Christ went not up to Jerusalem for fear of the Jews, who at the Passover before had consulted his death, and because his time was not yet come.
>> I say its the 3rd.<<
Thenceforward therefore till the feast of Tabernacles he walked in Galilee, and that secretly for fear of Herod: and after the feast of Tabernacles he returned no more into Galilee, but sometimes was at Jerusalem, and sometimes retired beyond Jordan, or to the city Ephraim by the wilderness, till the Passover in which he was betrayed, apprehended, and crucified.

John therefore baptized two summers, and Christ preached three. The first summer John preached to make himself known, in order to give testimony to Christ. Then, after Christ came to his baptism and was made known to him, he baptized another summer, to make Christ known by his testimony; and Christ also baptized the same summer, to make himself the more known: and by reason of John's testimony there came more to Christ's baptism than to John's.

>> I tend to think the early part of the ministry is so back and forth and jumbled between the 4 gospels that one can get confused. The fact the Nobleman of John, also the Centurion of the other 3, is placed both before and after the 5,000 fed in the gospels shows that this is treacherous waters for chronologists. there needs to be a distinction of some sort and there is not. I think John would have mentioned a passover had there been another as Newton suggests.<<

The winter following John was imprisoned; and now his course being at an end, Christ entered upon his proper office of preaching in the cities. In the beginning of his preaching he completed the number of the twelve Apostles, and instructed them all the first year in order to send them abroad. Before the end of this year, his fame by his preaching and miracles was so far spread abroad, that the Jews at the Passover following consulted how to kill him.

In the second year of his preaching, it being no longer safe for him to converse openly in Judea, he sent the twelve to preach in all their cities: and in the end of the year they returned to him, and told him all they had done.

All the last year the twelve continued with him to be instructed more perfectly, in order to their preaching to all nations after his death. And upon the news of John's death, being afraid of Herod as well as of the Jews, he walked this year more secretly than before; frequenting deserts, and spending the last half of the year in Judea, without the dominions of Herod.

Thus have we in the Gospels of Matthew and John all things told in due order, from the beginning of John's preaching to the death of Christ, and the years distinguished from one another by such essential characters that they cannot be mistaken.

The second Passover is distinguished from the first, by the interposition of John's imprisonment.
The third is distinguished from the second, by a double character.
First, by the interposition of the feast to which Christ went up, Matt. 8:19. Luke 9:57.
And secondly, by the distance of time from the beginning of Christ's preaching.
For the second was in the beginning of his preaching.
>> the 2nd I dispute.<<
And the third so long after, that before it came Christ said, from the days of John the Baptist until now, &c. and upbraided the cities of Galilee for their not repenting at his preaching, and mighty works done in all that time.
The fourth is distinguished from the third, by the mission of the twelve from Christ to preach in the cities of Judea in all the interval.

        >> Luke 9:1 has the Apostles going out to preach and they do so for a year. In Luke 10:1, Jesus sends out another 70 to preach. This was no  doubt very effective to spread the word far, wide, and fast. Now it appears that the Apostles continued during the 70, perhaps into the time of the 70, as part of their year or adding to it. But regardless, a year necessitates another passover. I had missed this till I studied this article of Newton's.<<

The fifth is distinguished from all the former by the twelve's being returned from preaching, and continuing with Christ during all the interval, between the fourth and fifth, and by the passion and other infallible characters.

Now since the first summer of John's baptizing fell in the fifteenth year of the Emperor Tiberius, and by consequence the first of these five Passovers in his sixteenth year; the last of them, in which Jesus suffered, will fall on the twentieth year of the same Emperor; and by consequence in the Consulship of Fabius and Vitellius, in the 79th Julian year, and year of Christ 34, which was the sabbatical year of the Jews. And that it did so, I further confirm by these arguments.


My 3.5 Years Theory
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I also cover this subject, a bit more condensed and simplified, in my own article on The Timelines of Jesus. But I think this article here will help sharpen your discernment and intellectual power. Give it try but don't miss my article, either!

>> 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.<<

Passover

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.

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 2nd certain passover.<<

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 3rd passover.<<

John 11:54
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.<<

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. 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 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 literal style of expression. Add the prophetic common 3.5 in there and 33 AD becomes hard to beat.

But I want to show Eusebius and Josephus so that your understanding can be clear as to why we are left in uncertainty no mater which direction we turn.


Eusebius Testifies to 3.5 Years
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Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book I

Chapter 10: The High Priests of the Jews under whom Christ taught

It was in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, according to the evangelist, and in the fourth year of the governorship of Pontius Pilate, while Herod and Lysanias and Philip were ruling the rest of Judea, that our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ of God, being about thirty years of age, came to John for baptism and began the promulgation of the Gospel.

The Divine Scripture says, moreover, that he passed the entire time of his ministry under the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, showing that in the time which belonged to the priesthood of those two men the whole period of his teaching was completed. Since he began his work during the high priesthood of Annas and taught until Caiaphas held the office, the entire time does not comprise quite four years.

For the rites of the law having been already abolished since that time, the customary usages in connection with the worship of God, according to which the high priest acquired his office by hereditary descent and held it for life, were also annulled and there were appointed to the high priesthood by the Roman governors now one and now another person who continued in office not more than one year.

Josephus relates that there were four high priests in succession from Annas to Caiaphas. Thus in the same book of the Antiquities he writes as follows: 
                "Valerius Graters having put an end to the priesthood of Ananus appoints Ishmael, the son of Fabi, high priest. And having removed him after a little he appoints Eleazer, the son of Ananus the high priest, to the same office. And having removed him also at the end of a year he gives the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus. But he likewise held the honor no more than a year, when Josephus, called also Caiaphas, succeeded him."

Accordingly the whole time of our Saviour's ministry is shown to have been not quite four full years, four high priests, from Annas to the accession of Caiaphas, having held office a year each. The Gospel therefore has rightly indicated Caiaphas as the high priest under whom the Saviour suffered. From which also we can see that the time of our Saviour's ministry does not disagree with the foregoing investigation.

Our Saviour and Lord, not long after the beginning of his ministry, called the twelve apostles, and these alone of all his disciples he named apostles, as an especial honor. And again he appointed seventy others whom he sent out two by two before his face into every place and city whither he himself was about to come.

>> Notice that Pilot is not in charge at this time. But he is when Caiaphas was high priest at the death of Jesus. This was just before next round, with Caiaphas serving (I assume) just before another term with Annas. Caiaphas would end up as the 4th from this, too, with John and Alexander, sons of Annas, serving the 2 years in between, possibly. But these five from Josephus, there are four years of terms. Ishmael barely served anytime before being replaced.<<

Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book I
Chapter 11: Testimonies in Regard to John the Baptist and Christ


Not long after this John the Baptist was beheaded by the younger Herod, as is stated in the Gospels. Josephus also records the same fact, making mention of Herodias by name, and stating that, although she was the wife of his brother, Herod made her his own wife after divorcing his former lawful wife, who was the daughter of Aretas, king of Petra, and separating Herodias from her husband while he was still alive.

It was on her account also that he slew John, and waged war with Aretas, because of the disgrace inflicted on the daughter of the latter. Josephus relates that in this war, when they came to battle, Herod's entire army was destroyed, and that he suffered this calamity on account of his crime against John.

The same Josephus confesses in this account that John the Baptist was an exceedingly righteous man, and thus agrees with the things written of him in the Gospels. He records also that Herod lost his kingdom on account of the same Herodias, and that he was driven into banishment with her, and condemned to live at Vienne in Gaul.

>> Since I am an archaeology and history student, I note Vienne, France (formerly Gaul) is very near to Lyons and Lugdunum France, home of Irenaeus in later times. And there is a Vienna Austria as well. And at one time, that area was considered territory of the Gauls, too. I am of the opinion that Germanic peoples and Celtic/Gaulic/Gallic/Gaelic peoples were often confused with each other and were closely related, both being sons of Gomer, the son of Japhet, son of Noah.<<

He relates these things in the eighteenth book of the Antiquities, where he writes of John in the following words: "It seemed to some of the Jews that the army of Herod was destroyed by God, who most justly avenged John called the Baptist.

For Herod slew him, a good man and one who exhorted the Jews to come and receive baptism, practicing virtue and exercising righteousness toward each other and toward God; for baptism would appear acceptable unto Him when they employed it, not for the remission of certain sins, but for the purification of the body, as the soul had been already purified in righteousness.

>> That last statement is fascinating to me. John was believed by nearly all Judah, the leaders excluded, to be a prophet. So much so that the Pharisees and other leaders did not dare say John was not from God in public. But as well, Josephus recognizes the symbolic meaning of baptism, explaining it to the reader and in what way it related (or not) to the more common ritual bathing of Jews.<<

And when others gathered about him (for they found much pleasure in listening to his words), Herod feared that his great influence might lead to some sedition, for they appeared ready to do whatever he might advise. He therefore considered it much better, before any new thing should be done under John's influence, to anticipate it by slaying him, than to repent after revolution had come, and when he found himself in the midst of difficulties. On account of Herod's suspicion John was sent in bonds to the above-mentioned citadel of Mach'ra, and there slain."

>> Josephus gives us an additional insight into the imprisonment and execution of John. He seems to suggest Herod's reason for imprisonment. And in fact, some seem of the opinion that Herod wanted John dead. But the Bible says he was grieved at having to execute John. Prison was enough in Herod's eyes, I assume.<<

After relating these things concerning John, he makes mention of our Saviour in the same work, in the following words: "And there lived at that time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it be proper to call him a man. For he was a doer of wonderful works, and a teacher of such men as receive the truth in gladness. And he attached to himself many of the Jews, and many also of the Greeks. He was the Christ.

>> Some consider this passage above to be suspicious, especially "He was the Christ." But I don't think Josephus was saying that he accepted Jesus as the Christ but that Jesus was the one who was called and accepted by many as "the Christ."<<

When Pilate, on the accusation of our principal men, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him in the beginning did not cease loving him. For he appeared unto them again alive on the third day, the divine prophets having told these and countless other wonderful things concerning him. Moreover, the race of Christians, named after him, continues down to the present day."

>> Eusebius' Quote of Josephus has Josephus admitting it was the principle men of the Jews who accused Jesus and wanted him dead, to which Pilate relented. But even more interesting is that Josephus reports that Jesus did rise on the 3rd day, not the 4th. Josephus does seem to admit to a resurrection being prophesied, but I suppose it could be that he is simply relating what the followers of Jesus believe. But given all that Jesus did and the immense fame that followed, Josephus would have had to see something amazing in all this. However far he accepted much of this, he was never known, to the best of my knowledge, to have claimed to be a Christian. But who knows what might not have been common public knowledge or not.<< 

Since an historian, who is one of the Hebrews themselves, has recorded in his work these things concerning John the Baptist and our Saviour, what excuse is there left for not convicting them of being destitute of all shame, who have forged the acts against them? But let this suffice here.

End of Eusebius Accounts

>> Indeed, Eusebius, despite his lack of full condor about the involvement of Emperors with Christians and the corruptions that had overcome Christianity by the time of his writing, has done us a great service in his work. Much of the information is very valuable and certainly in the service of God and truth in most areas where facts are related. I highly recommend reading his work. I will eventually get it up on my site as well.<<


Josephus Testifies
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I thought the direct account of Josephus might further solidify the circumstances of the times and add a bit more understanding as well.

From Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18

Chap 2:1
1. WHEN Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus's money, and when the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the thirty-seventh year of Caesar's victory over Antony at Actium, he deprived Joazar of the high priesthood, which dignity had been conferred on him by the multitude, and he appointed Ananus, the son of Seth, to be high priest; while Herod and Philip had each of them received their own tetrarchy, and settled the affairs thereof . . . 

2. . . . After him came Annius Rufus, under whom died Caesar, the second emperor {Augustus} of the Romans, the duration of whose reign was fifty-seven years, besides six months and two days [AD 14] (of which time Antonius ruled together with him fourteen years; but the duration of his life was seventy-seven years); upon whose death Tiberius Nero, his wife Julia's son, succeeded [AD 15]. He was now the third emperor; and he sent Valerius Gratus to be procurator of Judea, and to succeed Annius Rufus.
This man deprived Ananus of the high priesthood, and appointed Ismael, the son of Phabi, to be high priest.
He also deprived him in a little time, and ordained Eleazar, the son of Ananus, who had been high priest before, to be high priest; which office, when he had held for a year,
Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus;
and when he had possessed that dignity no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor.
When Gratus had done those things, he went back to Rome, after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as his successor.

>> Take special notice that Ismael, who came after Ananus (Annas), was removed after just a little time. Not allowed to serve out his term, I take it. Gratus must have found fault with him, for whatever the reason. He was replaced by Eleazar, a son of Ananus, to finish out the year. Then Simon got a year and then Caiaphas. So in this chain of sucession, we have 4 full years between Annas at the start and Caiaphas in the last of the 4. Caiaphus was the high priest when Jesus was killed. So Annas had to be the one who was high priest at the passover in spring before Jesus was baptized in the fall of 29 AD, the 15th year of Tiberius. Caiaphus' term began at passover in the 18th year of Tiberius, 33 AD. This period is before Jesus was 30. Annas and Caiaphas enjoy frequent rotations by this time.

Immediately after Jesus had died, 33 AD, Luke in Acts 4 lists 4 high priests. Annas, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander. If they all served as a high priest for at least 1 term, then possibly if not likely, they might have served between Annas and Caiaphas during the ministry of Jesus. If not then, it would have had to happen 8 years earlier. It looks to me like Annas maneuvered his sons into the positions of high priests, to the satisfaction of those ruling and appointing them.

I threw in some more on Pilot just to round out what was going on at that time. Below, Pilot is not procurator and we are in or near the time of Jesus coming at 30. But of this time, we do not know who the high priests were for each year. We know earlier and later but not the key middle times.<<

Chap 3:1

1. BUT now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed the army from Cesarea to Jerusalem, to take their winter quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar's effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city; whereas our law forbids us the very making of images; on which account the former procurators were wont to make their entry into the city with such ensigns as had not those ornaments. Pilate was the first who brought those images to Jerusalem, and set them up there; which was done without the knowledge of the people, because it was done in the night time; but as soon as they knew it, they came in multitudes to Cesarea, and interceded with Pilate many days that he would remove the images; and when he would not grant their requests, because it would tend to the injury of Caesar, while yet they persevered in their request, on the sixth day he ordered his soldiers to have their weapons privately, while he came and sat upon his judgment-seat, which seat was so prepared in the open place of the city, that it concealed the army that lay ready to oppress them; and when the Jews petitioned him again, he gave a signal to the soldiers to encompass them routed, and threatened that their punishment should be no less than immediate death, unless they would leave off disturbing him, and go their ways home. But they threw themselves upon the ground, and laid their necks bare, and said they would take their death very willingly, rather than the wisdom of their laws should be transgressed; upon which Pilate was deeply affected with their firm resolution to keep their laws inviolable, and presently commanded the images to be carried back from Jerusalem to Cesarea.

2. But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred furlongs. However, the Jews (8) were not pleased with what had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of the people got together, and made a clamor against him, and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as crowds of such people usually do. So he habited a great number of his soldiers in their habit, who carried daggers under their garments, and sent them to a place where they might surround them. So he bid the Jews himself go away; but they boldly casting reproaches upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and those that were not; nor did they spare them in the least: and since the people were unarmed, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this sedition.

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Chap 4:3
Vitellius put those garments into our own power, as in the days of our forefathers, and ordered the captain of the guard not to trouble himself to inquire where they were laid, or when they were to be used; and this he did as an act of kindness, to oblige the nation to him. Besides which, he also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiaphas, of the high priesthood >>33 AD<<, and appointed Jonathan the son of Ananus, the former high priest, to succeed him >>34 AD<<. After which, he took his journey back to Antioch.

>> After the death of Jesus in spring, 33 AD, near the beginning of Caiaphas' term, has his term end in spring 34 AD and Jonathan, a son of Annas, is appointed high priest. So this succession of high priests clearly aligns with Luke's account in chapter 4.
Jonathan's term is spring 34-35. 35-36 not mentioned, and below, 36-37 is again, Jonathan. 37-38 is Theophilus.<<

Chap 5:2
2. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words. Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure to him.

3. So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas, having with him two legions of armed men; he also took with him all those of light armature, and of the horsemen which belonged to them, and were drawn out of those kingdoms which were under the Romans, and made haste for Petra, and came to Ptolemais. But as he was marching very busily, and leading his army through Judea, the principal men met him, and desired that he would not thus march through their land; for that the laws of their country would not permit them to overlook those images which were brought into it, of which there were a great many in their ensigns; so he was persuaded by what they said, and changed that resolution of his which he had before taken in this matter. Whereupon he ordered the army to march along the great plain, while he himself, with Herod the tetrarch and his friends, went up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, an ancient festival of the Jews being then just approaching; and when he had been there, and been honorably entertained by the multitude of the Jews, he made a stay there for three days, within which time he deprived Jonathan of the high priesthood >>begun in 36 AD<<, and gave it to his brother Theophilus. >>This would be passover, 37 AD<< But when on the fourth day letters came to him, which informed him of the death of Tiberius (in 37 AD), he obliged the multitude to take an oath of fidelity to Caius; he also recalled his army, and made them every one go home, and take their winter quarters there, since, upon the devolution of the empire upon Caius, he had not the like authority of making this war which he had before

(8) These Jews, as they are here called, whose blood Pilate shed on this occasion, may very well be those very Galilean Jews, "whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices," Luke 13:1, 2; these tumults being usually excited at some of the Jews' great festivals, when they slew abundance of sacrifices, and the Galileans being commonly much more busy in such tumults than those of Judea and Jerusalem, as we learn from the history of Archelaus, Antiq. B. XVII. ch. 9. sect. 3 and ch. 10. sect. 2, 9; though, indeed, Josephus's present copies say not one word of "those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them," which the 4th verse of the same 13th chapter of St. Luke informs us of. But since our gospel teaches us, Luke 23:6, 7, that "when Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether Jesus were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod ;" and ver. 12, "The same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together for before they had been at enmity between themselves;" take the very probable key of this matter in the words of the learned Noldius, de Herod. No. 219: "The cause of the enmity between Herod and Pilate (says he) seems to have been this, that Pilate had intermeddled with the tetrarch's jurisdiction, and had slain some of his Galilean subjects, Luke 13:1; and, as he was willing to correct that error, he sent Christ to Herod at this time."

(9) A.D. 33, April 3.
(10) April 5.

End of Josephus Account

>> I had some thoughts on Josephus. He speaks very well of John and Jesus. Especially so for one who is not known or professed as a Christian and served the Jews. Some suggest these lines were added but we have no proof of that and this book was published in Rome to be established. But Josephus does not profess any faith, but does see their conduct as outstanding, even as he did of the Essenes and others have, too.

But I wonder if he may not have been a secret sympathizer of Christians who did not want to go public or bring wrath upon his work from the Jews in Rome and all over. It is certainly just speculation but Josephus saw John, Jesus and Christians in a good light. for sure.<<


Newton Examines Last Passovers
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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.<<

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 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, 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 15th year of Tiberius or the full lunar eclipse just before the death of Herod in 1 BC.<<

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.<<

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 (35-36AD).
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<<

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, 4.5 or 5.5 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 I cover in my Times of Jesus.

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 Isaac.<<


Notes to 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 writings go to black now.


Newton's Best Yet to Come
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I did want to show how well Newton had accounted for the dates and times through this period in history which also had astronomical anchors which Newton was certainly capable of calculating with accuracy. He had reviewed a good deal of history and historical accounts. These were his specialty. But interpreting prophecy was not his strong point and since he say so many parallels in the 1st fulfillments of prophecy in the times of  Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Romans, that I think it blinded him to many future fulfillments of much great significance. He does not seem to recognize the key wording in some passages. So God may have allowed a blindness to attend to Newton in order to keep the prophecy sealed until the time of the end, even as it was seal and concealed from Daniel.

Further, had Newton gotten the understanding and had alerted people to the coming events of the last days, his manuscripts might never had seen the light of day for even in his days, there were those at work to gain great control and power which would one day lead to the state of Israel being reestablished, the temple being rebuilt, and the Antichrist appearing. So the prophecies had to remain confidential and secret. 

But to show anyone who might want to disagree with me or take me on, he better have his head on real good. I have given the great mind of Newton's, his best shot at showing me wrong and he has not been able to do it. Were he alive now, he might very well agree with me. He is dead for now so we will not know. I also wanted to show how solid Newton's historical research, which has much solid science in it to help dating, will be important in his covering of church history.

For I well know that most are going to bitterly object to Newton's trashing of Christianity's decomposing and corruption. He could have been burned at the stake, even in his day for what he wrote. It will be no less painful to all the denominations who refer back to this corrupt period of Christianity for their authority and doctrines of devils. Indeed, the 1st century was the last hour and things quickly were going from bad to worse. The 200s AD, the 3rd century, were a very bad time. By 325 AD, it had pretty much gone all the way to hell, so to speak. Newton's testimony and credibility for history and science, as well as his devotion to God, must be recognized and respected, if one is to be objective.


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