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Full Version: Was April 3, 33 AD the Original Good Friday?
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Check this out:  http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusive...il-3-ad-33

An excerpt:

In our new book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, we assume but do not argue for a precise date of Jesus’s crucifixion. Virtually all scholars believe, for various reasons, that Jesus was crucified in the spring of either a.d. 30 or a.d. 33, with the majority opting for the former. (The evidence from astronomy narrows the possibilities to a.d. 27, 30, 33, or 34). However, we want to set forth our case for the date of Friday, April 3, a.d. 33 as the exact day that Christ died for our sins.

To be clear, the Bible does not explicitly specify the precise date of Jesus’s crucifixion and it is not an essential salvation truth. But that does not make it unknowable or unimportant. Because Christianity is a historical religion and the events of Christ’s life did take place in human history alongside other known events, it is helpful to locate Jesus’s death—as precisely as the available evidence allows—within the larger context of human history.

Among the Gospel writers, no one makes this point more strongly than Luke, the Gentile physician turned historian and inspired chronicler of early Christianity.


The Year John the Baptist’s Ministry Began

Luke implies that John the Baptist began his public ministry shortly before Jesus did, and he gives us a historical reference point for when the Baptist’s ministry began: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar . . .” (Luke 3:1).

We know from Roman historians that Tiberius succeeded Augustus as emperor and was confirmed by the Roman Senate on August 19, a.d. 14. He ruled until a.d. 37. “The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” sounds like a straightforward date, but there are some ambiguities, beginning with when one starts the calculation. Most likely, Tiberius’s reign was counted either from the day he took office in a.d. 14 or from January 1 of the following year, a.d. 15. The earliest possible date at which Tiberius’s “fifteenth year” began is August 19, a.d. 28, and the latest possible date at which his “fifteenth year” ended is December 31, a.d. 29. So John the Baptist’s ministry began anywhere from mid-a.d. 28 until sometime in a.d. 29.


The Year Jesus’s Ministry Began

If Jesus, as the Gospels seem to indicate, began his ministry not long after John, then based on the calculations above, the earliest date for Jesus’s baptism would be in late a.d. 28 at the very earliest. However, it is more probable to place it sometime in the first half of the year a.d. 29, because a few months probably elapsed between the beginning of John’s ministry and that of Jesus (and the year a.d. 30 is the latest possible date). So Jesus’s ministry must have begun between the end of a.d. 28 at the earliest and a.d. 30 at the latest.

This coheres with Luke’s mention that “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23). If he was born in 6 or 5 b.c., as is most likely, Jesus would have been approximately thirty-two to thirty-four years old in late a.d. 28 until a.d. 30, which falls well within the range of him being “about thirty years of age.”


The Length of Jesus’s Ministry

Now we need to know how long Jesus’s public ministry lasted, because if it went on for two or more years, this would seem to rule out spring of a.d. 30 as a possible date for the crucifixion.

John’s Gospel mentions that Jesus attended at least three Passovers (possibly four), which took place once a year in the spring:

    There was a Passover in Jerusalem at the start of his public ministry (John 2:13, 23).
    There was a Passover in Galilee midway through his public ministry (John 6:4).
    There was a final Passover in Jerusalem at the end of his public ministry, that is, the time of his crucifixion (John 11:55; 12:1).
    And Jesus may have attended one more Passover not recorded in John but perhaps in one or several of the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

Even if there were only three Passovers, this would still make a date of a.d. 30 all but impossible for the date of the crucifixion. As noted above, the earliest likely date for the beginning of Jesus’s ministry from Luke 3:1 is late a.d. 28. So the first of these Passovers (at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; John 2:13) would fall on Nisan 14 in a.d. 29 (because Nisan is in March/April, near the beginning of a year). The second would fall in a.d. 30 at the earliest, and the third would fall in 31 at the earliest. This means that if Jesus’s ministry coincided with at least three Passovers, and if the first Passover was in a.d. 29, he could not have been crucified in a.d. 30.

The Roman Martyrology puts the death of St. Dismas, the Good Thief, on March 25.  I've always assumed that made March 25 the date of the crucifixion of Our Lord.

It also fits in with the "integral life" theory, which says something like "prophets have a life that is an integer number of years long", and measures either from their birth or their conception.  Now, if March 25 is the date of the crucifixion, and March 25 is also the date of Our Lord's Incarnation, then He would have lived an integer number of years long.  Not sure I buy it for other prophets, but we're talking about the Prophet of Prophets here, and apparently this has a long tradition, so right now I think I give it more weight than these calculations.

I'm interested in what makes him so sure it has to be 27, 30, 33, or 34.  I'm not sure I would trust what he calls "the evidence from astronomy."  If he's thinking of the eclipse of the sun at the time of the crucifixion, for example, I'm not sure I trust that that would have been otherwise recorded, or recorded correctly.  I wouldn't expect it to necessarily be a normal astronomical event, but very likely a true miracle.
(04-04-2014, 12:21 AM)JuniorCouncilor Wrote: [ -> ]The Roman Martyrology puts the death of St. Dismas, the Good Thief, on March 25.  I've always assumed that made March 25 the date of the crucifixion of Our Lord.

It also fits in with the "integral life" theory, which says something like "prophets have a life that is an integer number of years long", and measures either from their birth or their conception.  Now, if March 25 is the date of the crucifixion, and March 25 is also the date of Our Lord's Incarnation, then He would have lived an integer number of years long.  Not sure I buy it for other prophets, but we're talking about the Prophet of Prophets here, and apparently this has a long tradition, so right now I think I give it more weight than these calculations.

I'm interested in what makes him so sure it has to be 27, 30, 33, or 34.  I'm not sure I would trust what he calls "the evidence from astronomy."  If he's thinking of the eclipse of the sun at the time of the crucifixion, for example, I'm not sure I trust that that would have been otherwise recorded, or recorded correctly.  I wouldn't expect it to necessarily be a normal astronomical event, but very likely a true miracle.

You reflect my own thoughts. The pure poetic symmetry of the liturgical year has more power over my imagination than what the above article reflects. But, like you, too, I do wonder about that "astronomical event". What he's referring to is at this link:  http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1985/JASA3-...hreys.html  But I'd guess that it would've been more a cross between the sort of things the Magi knew with re. to astrology and a miracle happening at the same time. I mean, there were earthquakes, etc., so it wasn't a typical day by any means, at least not geologically, if not astronomically.


I don't think so.

One has to take into consideration other historical facts, e.g. Herod the Great, Latin Herodes Magnus (born 73 BC—died March/April, 4 BC, Jericho, Judaea), Roman-appointed king of Judaea (37–4 BC).

Therefore Jesus was born around 7 - 6 BC, to take into consideration the episode of the Massacre of the Innocents, etc.
Strangely enough, some people think our Lord was crucified and died on a Thursday.

If a Jewish day is one evening and one day, the Friday-Sunday date is challenged. Our Lord Himself said in John 11:9 "Are there not twelve hours in a day?" So, by His own reckoning (very important!), we have:

Friday 3 - 6 PM (first day)
Friday 6 PM - 12 AM (first night)
Saturday 12 AM - 6 PM (second day)
Saturday 6 PM - 12 AM (second night)
Sunday 12 AM - 5 AM? (third day)
... (no third night?)

This only accounts for 3 "days" and 2 "nights".

If a Jewish day is one evening and one day by Hebrew reckoning, then Christ's "three days and three nights in the belly of the Earth" must be:

Thursday night and Friday morning (one night and one day)
Friday night and Saturday morning (one night and one day)
Saturday night and early Sunday morning (one night and one day)

This accounts for all 3 days and all 3 nights.

Find a year with two passover Sabbaths (Matthew 28:1), say the "Thursday Crucifixion Supporters", and you've found the year of the Passion.
Our modern Gregorian calendar did not exist in the Lord's time. What was April 3 the ancient world is not April 3 in today's world. Jesus' death occurred on or near the Passover, Nisan (or Abib) 14, on the Jewish calendar. I like to believe that somehow it equals to a "First Friday" for us.

Happy First Friday, by the way!
Tradition has March 25th as the date of Good Friday.
(04-04-2014, 09:07 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: [ -> ]Our modern Gregorian calendar did not exist in the Lord's time. What was April 3 the ancient world is not April 3 in today's world. Jesus' death occurred on or near the Passover, Nisan (or Abib) 14, on the Jewish calendar. I like to believe that somehow it equals to a "First Friday" for us.

Happy First Friday, by the way!

and in the Roman calendar there were only 10 months.
(04-04-2014, 02:55 PM)triumphguy Wrote: [ -> ]and in the Roman calendar there were only 10 months.

The Roman calendar changed several times between the founding of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire. The Julian calendar, in use during the Lord’s life, had already added January and February. Finding the exact Julian equivalent of a pre-Julian date, OR the exact Gregorian equivalent of a Julian date, is not going to be easy at all.

Gidge Wrote:Tradition has March 25th as the date of Good Friday.

I know what you mean, but March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war, and Friday is dedicated to Venus. I don’t personally have a problem with pagan names, of course, but Jews had their own calendar, which also evolved over time. Jesus would have used such a calendar. That was [i]His tradition.
I have 12-15 books on "The Life of Christ." I have all of the ones recommended by then Cardinal Ratzinger and a few others. The best explanation I have read on this topic is by Giuseppe Ricciotti. I will try and post if anyone is interested.

Pax,
Tarpeian
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