Chapter 18

Life and Death of Jesus

The third trimester starts with the birth of Christ. Let us examine the beginning of the most important event in this trimester of time: the life of Christ. Every biblical scholar from the beginning of the first century until the present day has analyzed this subject, from every possible viewpoint and yet we know from our look at history in the ďAge of the JewsĒ that things are not always so clear. Scholars cannot agree on when Jesus was born, when he died, how long he lived, or how long he preached. Is it no wonder that Christ said we would not know the day or hour of His second coming when we donít even know the day or hour of His first coming and that has already passed!

 

††Some give very persuasive arguments for their position on these subjects, but there always seem to be arguments against them by other scholars, on why they are incorrect. Scripture gives us clues to the basic problems I have outlined, but no definitive answers. It would have been nice if Luke wrote that Christ was crucified on the 14th day of Nisan in the 19th year of Tiberius Caesar at the age of 33 years old, but he didnít. And even if he did, there would still be someone disputing the exact day it was on the Gregorian calendar. I am afraid such is the case with what I too will write.

 

††† As I research these matters I see that wise men are getting closer and closer to the truth. God is unsealing the truth of these matters as the veil opens on the last act of man. The truth being that whatever oneís position is, it must fit all the criteria of the Bible for it to be the absolute truth. Many are using the science of today to look at eclipse data, using computers to correct for calendar changes, archeology, and other techniques to find the truth. Truly wonderful work by some. But every piece of the puzzle they have so far put forth has something faulty with it. It will interlock on one, two or three sides, but never four! No one has found the piece(s) that will connect on all sides, and if they have, they have not found the other pieces that fit the ones they have uncovered.

 

††† Now we may never know these facts with certainty until Christ returns and then they will probably not matter. But if this is the case, then they are not important matters for our salvation and are not part of Godís blueprint. Quite frankly, I find most Christians would agree with this position. Finding these truths are only exercises of manís intellect. But if Godís will is for these matters to be known with certainty, then they will be known soon. More than once in Daniel, God says to seal up a prophecy until the end time. Conversely, the prophecies will be unsealed at the end time so that they will be understood in their entirety. Not just the prophecies in Daniel, but all the prophecies in the Bible that have not yet been fulfilled, because when we enter the Millennial Kingdom there will be no need of visions and prophesying.

An Exercise In Logical Thinking

One of the problems I see as I study Godís plan is that everyone is in the ďforestĒ trying to quantify his or her surroundings (their piece of the puzzle they are working on for God). They are looking at the biblical problem they are working on from manís perspective. What if it were possible to sit on Godís throne and look down on the ďforestĒ. What would we see? We would see how vast the forest is, what kind of trees were in it, the paths leading out if itÖ everything. By knowing this information, we could then piece together all the work we were doing at ground level in the forest and come up with the correct solutions to the problems we were investigating. But how can this be done?

 

††† By doing just that. By imagining what Godís overall plan looks like and working backwards to see if the data we have on earth fits. We have already glimpsed Godís plan repeatedly in previous chapters. Now letís make an assumption about Jesusí life on earth as it pertains to Godís plan and then compare it to what the Bible says about Christís life. We know that the allotted time for the third trimester is two S-months or 60 days in Godís season (S-days)Ö or 2,029.1666 yrs. Letís assume Godís plan calls for Christ to spend one S-day on earth. Why make this assumption? Because weíll see that itís a good approximation when we are all through. But for those skeptics I will humor you.

 

††† It is believed by most scholars, through secular history and Bible passages, that Christ lived about 33.5 years and his ministry was around 3.5 years long. These numbers are eerily close to one S-day (33.333 G-yrs.). Secondly, 33.333 is the intermediate number of God (.33333) multiplied by ten twice (two denoting the Son of God). Thirdly, there are 12,175 years in one complete Season of Godís calendar and not by coincidence, 12,175 days in one S-day. One might reason that Jesus spent one day on earth for every man-year in Godís plan so that by doing so he would cover the total sins of the whole world. No one knows this to be true, but it is an interesting concept. Lastly we have seen the symmetry of Godís work and the simplicity of His plan. Extrapolating these ideas leads us to the revelation that Jesus spent one S-day on earth. So we have 33.333 G-yrs. (earth years from Godís perspective) or 33.81944 years from manís perspective with 33.5 years falling in between. All Bible scholars will agree that Jesus lived somewhere between 30 and 36 years of age. This range is one hundred percent inclusive of all serious biblical scholars.

 

††† Now if Jesus was thirty years old when he died (almost no one supports this position), then Jesus was on the earth just under one S-day. And if he was 36 years old, the converse is true, that he was on earth just over one S-day. Now we know from other calculations that Godís plan is simplistic and His use of numbers is precise and repetitive. If you were to guess on how many Seasonal days Jesus was on the earth, what number would you choose: 0.887, 1, 1.065, or some other number between the range listed? These numbers correspond to the ages of 30, 33.819444 and 36 respectively.

 

††† I guess you are like me. One S-day is probably the choice all of us would make given the facts offered. Maybe you would assume Christ is older than exactly 36 years of age as these calculations are based. If he were 37 years old exactly, the number of S-days would be 1.0940452. Now some might argue that the number 1.03 is a good number or the number 1.07 is an equally good number knowing Godís use of these numbers and I couldnít dispute it, but the number one is still the most logical choice. Look at it this way. If one Seasonal day has 24 hours in it just as our day has, then .03 & .07 of a S-day would match up to 0.72 S-hours and 1.68 S-hours of Godís ďseasonal dayĒ accordingly; or 43.2 S-minutes and 100.8 S-minutes. Now do you have a reason why God would decide to wait this many minutes into His next day before Jesus was crucified or would it be just simpler to make it one S-day exactly? Although waiting 40 S-minutes or 66.6 S-minutes longer does have some merit considering how God works.

††† Regardless of what your position is, we need to start somewhere and we will start with the premise that Christ lived on earth precisely one S-day and use the data from the Bible to prove that this premise is correct (or incorrect) by using all the information in the Bible on this subject as well as scientific information available that is not contrary to the Bible. In other words, scientific information may be used to fill in missing information or support biblical information, but never to dispute the written word.

 

†† Now an exercise in logical thinking. If you were God and are going to send Jesus to save the world, what would be the age you would have him start His ministry? Your choices are 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36. Based on interpretation of scriptures, all scholars who have explored this subject have come up with a number within this list. And I do mean all!

 

†† If you also knew that you told the Jews that Levites should start their personal service to Him at the age of 30 (3x10; the number of the trinity times the number of completion) and finish their service 20 (3 x 6.66) years later, which is manís number, at the age of 50 (a jubilee of years). The same time symbolically, we will see later, when God closes the final Age of manís self rule at Christís return on the 50th Jubilee from Artaxerxes Decree! Knowing Godís tendencies toward certain numbers, one might choose 28, 30, 33 or 34 because they reduce down further (using the same numerology technique in earlier chapters), to 10, 3, 6, & 7. And at what age would you place Christís death using the same range of ages that all scholars have put forth? Again, you would probably come up with the same four choices as before for the exact same reasons, 28, 30, 33, & 34 years!

 

††† So we have Jesus starting his ministry when he is 28, 30, 33 or 34 (with 30 being the most logicalÖ Luke 3:23) and dying when he is 28, 30, 33 or 34 years. Table 18-1 shows all the possible combinations so that further logical deductions can be drawn.

 

Table 18-1

Start of Ministry

Age at Death

Difference (time of Ministry)

Comments

28 yrs.

28 yrs.

0 yrs.

Less than 1 yr. of teaching possible

28 yrs.

30 yrs.

2 yrs.

1 to 3 years possible

28 yrs.

33 yrs.

5 yrs.

Too Long

28 yrs.

34 yrs.

6 yrs.

Too Long

30 yrs.

28 yrs.

-2 yrs.

Not Possible

30 yrs.

30 yrs.

0 yrs.

Less than 1 yr. of teaching possible

30 yrs.

33 yrs.

3 yrs.

2 to 4 years possible

30 yrs.

34 yrs.

4 yrs.

3 to 5 years possible

33 yrs.

28 yrs.

-5 yrs.

Not Possible

33 yrs.

30 yrs.

-3 yrs.

Not Possible

33 yrs.

33 yrs.

0 yrs.

Less than 1 yr. of teaching possible

33 yrs.

34 yrs.

1 yrs.

0 to 2 years possible

34 yrs.

28 yrs.

-6 yrs.

Not Possible

34 yrs.

30 yrs.

-4 yrs.

Not Possible

34 yrs.

33 yrs.

-1 yrs.

Not Possible

34 yrs.

34 yrs.

0 yrs.

Less than 1 yr. of teaching possible

 

††† Wow, what an eye opener. Of the 16 possible combinations looked at, only three are theoretically possible (28 to 30 yrs., 30 to 33 yrs. and 30 to 34 yrs.) applying Godís use of numbers and all researchers conclusions, that Jesusí ministry was somewhere between two to five years long.

 

††† Of these three choices only one pair of numbers has some symmetry to it: 30 to 33 years old and that is because the number 33 is only in this pair. Also the number 33 reduces to the number six (the # of man) and Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. The other pairs, although having symbolic meaning behind them, do not as strongly match this symbolism. The other pairs have special numbers 10 & 3 (completeness and the trinity) and 3 & 7 (the trinity and perfection), while the middle pair has 3 & 6 (the triune God and ManÖ in other words Jesus!).

 

††† The 33 is also a double three, just as Godís plan is a ďdoubleĒ and Jesusí coming will be a ďdoubleĒ. All these analogies are interesting with the middle pair of numbers, while the other pairs do not produce the same visual picture. Knowing this, what choice of the three options would you make if you were God? Also, one Seasonal day is really 33.333 G-years and 33.333 divided by manís number in its basic form (.6666) equals 50 exactlyÖ so we have a jubilee of G-years with respect to man. Remember these comments about the year of Jubilee when we get to that chapter.

Mathematics & Scripture

Now letís put this exercise aside and look at a more mathematical & scriptural exercise to see what we can learn. It has been shown that one Seasonal day is 33.819444 man-years. This translates into 33 yrs., nine months, and 25 days, but is only 12,175 (33.819444 x 360) days from Godís perspective. If this were to be the exact time Christ was on earth wouldnít it be ironic that he was on the earth one day for every year on Godís calendar? Coincidental? Remember, in Godís plan there is nothing taken for chance. Everything is simple and precise. There is no randomness and everything has a purpose.

 

††† We know from our earlier work that these numbers are approximations (although extremely accurate ones) since they use 365.25 days in a year in their perspective conversions as opposed to the more accurate 365.2421199 days. Later the more accurate conversion factor will be used for this calculation to show something even more amazing. Moving on, letís explore details from the Bible that all can agree on and look at the day Jesus was crucified. Christ died on the day before PassoverÖ the 14th of Nisan; ďPreparation dayĒ for the Passover feast. The day the lambs are slaughtered and prepared for dinner. Notice any symbolic significance to this choice of days. God is truly astounding. Also, the Bible says the Passover feast was on the Sabbath day that year. This would be Saturday on the Jewish calendar and the last day of the week. The Passover celebration is always on the 15th of Nisan and therefore moves around to different weekdays from year to year just as Christmas does. With that background we further note Jesus died on a Friday around the ninth hour of the day, which the Bible mentions.

 

††† We should now have enough data to pick a few possible years, but we run into a couple of other problems. The calendar used today is not the calendar of yesterday. Just as all the scholars cannot agree on anything about the dates of Jesusí life, the dates on the calendars that are projected backwards in time do not all agree as well. You would think it would be easy enough to just count backwards in time using computers to get to an appropriate date, but this is not so. Our current calendar system, the Gregorian calendar, was not put into place until the sixteenth century in some countries and the eighteenth century in the English speaking countries. When it was put into place, days were subtracted from the previous Julian calendar system in use to get it realigned to the seasons of the year. Other methods of accounting time were used before that. The Jews used a lunar calendar of 354 days, the Romans another system of 355 days prior to the Julian calendar, which was implemented throughout the Roman Empire in 45 B.C. It is impossible today to know with precision when the Jews celebrated the Passover in ancient times because of the subjectivity of its implementation the farther back in time we go.

 

††† When investigating this subject on the Internet using computer generated dates, the dates for the Passover from one website to another did not agree with each other. Manual calculations by Jewish Rabbis donít agree with the computer models and donít agree with each other as well. There are so many problems that the task seems impossible. So we will not limit any possible dates just yet.

 

††† Using the reference in the Bible to Tiberius Caesarís fifteenth year (Aug. 28 A.D. to Aug. 29 A.D.) as a starting point and including all dates that theologians have proposed in the past, we get a range of dates from 26 A.D. to 36 A.D. as possible years for Christís death. We will now calculate potential dates of birth in Table 18-2 using one S-day as a basis for Christís lifespan and March 31st as an arbitrary starting date.

Table 18-2

Date of Death

Lifespan

Date of Birth

March 31, 26 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 9 BC

March 31, 27 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 8 BC

March 31, 28 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 7 BC

March 31, 29 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 6 BC

March 31, 30 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 5 BC

March 31, 31 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 4 BC

March 31, 32 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 3 BC

March 31, 33 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 2 BC

March 31, 34 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 1 BC

March 31, 35 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 1 AD

March 31, 36 AD

12,175 days

Nov 30, 2 AD

 

††† What else do we know? Well you should be familiar with the fact that the Passover holiday can never be earlier than March 22nd (the first full moon after the spring equinox) and never later than April 25th. Taking this rule into account does not change the years of birth calculations, but it does give a range of nine days earlier and twenty-five days later from the March 31st day we started with. This translates into a possible birth date between November 21st and December 25th depending on when the Passover was in the year Jesus died. What an interesting mathematical exercise so far.

 

††† Letís eliminate some of the years so we have more manageable numbers to work with. No one believes Christ was born in 1 A.D. or later for various reasons just as no one believes that Christ was born before 6 B.C. for various other reasons. All scholars who have studied this subject agree that the range of Jesusí birth was somewhere between 6 B.C. and 1 B.C. This reduces the list of possibilities by five, leaving only six. Using the numerology reduction method on this list would have eliminated four of the five that were just removed. That technique would have still left the year 28 A.D. as a viable date of death. Letís look at the remaining list and see if anyone or any computer program concludes the Passover was on a Saturday for the years 29 A.D. to 34 A.D.

Table 18-3

Year

Timeanddate.com

NIVSB

Hebcal.com

Isaac Newton

29 AD

No

Unknown

Possibly

Unknown

30 AD

No

Yes

No

Unknown

31 AD

No

Unknown

No

No

32 AD

No

Unknown

No

No

33 AD

Yes

Unknown

Yes

Yes

34 AD

No

Unknown

No

Yes

* Unknown answers are assumed to be a ďNoĒ for analysis purposes since the non-Internet sources indirectly concluded they were not the year of Christís death from their own analysis.

††† From this analysis we see that the website software (timeanddate.com and hebcal.com) or scholars (NIVSB experts and Isaac Newton) ruled out the years 31 and 32 A.D. as possible years that the Passover fell on Saturday which the numerology technique would also have eliminated since they reduce down to the numbers four and five. This leaves us 29, 30, 33, & 34 A.D. as possible years. If we use the Tiberius reference in Luke 3 as another method to reduce the dates further, we can eliminate two more years. All agree that the 15th year of Tiberiusí reign began somewhere between August 14 and August 28 in 28 A.D. and ended at the latest August 28, 29 A.D. Using this range we can eliminate the years 29 & 30 A.D. as being too short a time for Jesus to fulfill his ministry because there can only be one Passover from this time period to the year 29 A.D. and two Passovers to the year 30 A.D.The Bible supports three to four depending on oneís interpretation of the gospel accounts. This leaves us with the years 33 A.D., which many support, and 34 A.D. with few supporters. Besides, it appears that the Passover of 29 & 30 A.D., according to most sources, did not fall on a Saturday.

 

††† We find that everyone agrees the Passover of 33 A.D. fell on a Sabbath and the day was April 4th. Since Jesus died the day before on a Friday his date of death would have been April 3rd, 33 A.D.Making a 3-day adjustment to the day of Christís death originally used in Table 18-2, we find that the birth of Christ was on December 3, 2 B.C. using this method.

 

††† Now the computer indicates the day of Passover in 34 A.D. was not on a Friday. But Isaac Newton says otherwise since the day of the Passover fell exactly on the spring Equinox that year so the Passover celebration had to be moved into April. Without going into all the details of his calculations, Newton says the Passover celebration in 34 A.D. was on Saturday April 24th and Christís death would have been on Friday April 23rd of that year which was the year he says Christ died. Making a 23-day adjustment to the original calculations we find a possible date of birth as December 23, 1 B.C., which is December 25th on the Julian calendar. However, this would mean that Christís ministry covered five Passovers or that Tiberiusí fifteenth year was one year later which few support. But for now we will continue examining both years as possible death dates since Newton did not dispute the date of Tiberiusí reign, but writes there were five Passovers during Christís ministry.

 

†† So weíve used two methods so far that show Jesusí death as either 33 or 34 A.D.: a logical thinking exercise looking from Godís viewpoint and a mathematical/scriptural exercise. Letís see what the experts have to say on this subject as well as prophecy.

Bible Experts & Prophecy

The death of Christ is the most significant historical event in manís history to date. And when he returns it will become the second most important event in past timesÖ although history will be of little importance in those days. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Looking behind in time, it is easiest to see prophecies that have come true after they have happened than before they happen or even when they are happening. Ever wonder why we couldnít see the truth of something while it was happening, when in hindsight, the signs were so clear at the time? It happened to the Jews when Jesus first came and it is happening now. Hereís what Jesus says,

 

ďThe Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, ďWhen evening comes, you say, ĎIt will be fair weather, for the sky is red,í and in the morning, ĎToday it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.í You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.ĒĒ

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Matthew 16:1-4

 

††† Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees for not being able to interpret the signs of the times. Basically indicating there are enough earthly signs if you are willing to really look. He says no heavenly signs will be given except His resurrection. I see this same ignorance to the early signs going on now, even by people who know scripture very well and should know better.

 

††† Scholars cannot agree on the date of Jesusí death even though there is enough evidence to figure it out. It is probably Satanís work; maybe it is Godís choosing or manís ineptness. In any case, knowing this date accurately as well as others in history would have allowed us to see Godís plan more easily and much sooner in history, but God says this would not be the case until the end times, or more accurately stated, the ďendĒ of the end times.That information would be sealed up until the appropriate time.

 

††† What do scholars say is the date Jesus died? Well, all agree that it was at the Jewish holiday of the Passover. The Bible is clear on this point, although it would not surprise me if there were some intellectual out there trying to prove otherwise. The NIVSB places His death in the year 30 A.D. with a disclaimer that ďexact dates, even year dates, are generally unknownĒ. After a careful look at their timeline analysis it is clear this is not the case! These scholars use the writings of Flavius Josephus as being more accurate than scripture and stretch or distort the truth of the Bible to fit secular historian's accounts. This Bibleís theologians put Jesusí birth at 5/6 B.C. and hence His age at death around 34/35 years old using the 30 A.D. death date.

 

††† The Bible is clear that Jesus started his ministry around the age of thirty.

 

ďNow Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.Ē

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Luke 3:23

 

††† The NIVSB commentators must have used the term ďabout thirtyĒ to refer to 31 to 32 years of age. That would had to have been His age if he was born and died when they depict he did. How interesting it is that they assume a secular writerís account, regardless of how skilled they were at recording history, should supercede Godís word. We have seen so far that God is precise with His use of numbers and words and is one hundred percent accurate. These biblical scholars should be using the Bible to correct Josephusí work instead of the other way around. If God wanted Jesus to be 31 or 32 when he started his ministry, then He would have inspired the scripture writers to record ďabout 31 or about 32Ē!

 

††† Knowing that the tribe of Levi (third son of Jacob) was chosen as Godís priests to be set apart to serve him, they began their service, at the age of thirty when their course (turn) was scheduled to work in the Temple. You can be sure that Jesus would fulfill this requirement precisely and not wait one or two years! In fact He hints at this during the wedding feast he attended just before He officially began His ministry,

 

ďDear woman, why do you involve me?Ē Jesus replied. ďMy hour has not yet come.Ē (TNIV)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† John 2:4

 

††† This was Jesusí reply to Mary when his mother asked him to resolve a problemÖ making this His first recorded miracle. Although by Mary asking Jesus to take care of the wine shortage predicament, she may have been hinting she had seen similar things as He grew up. Or she knew His time was near since He was almost thirty and thought it was close enough. Or maybe, yet, she knew her son was very competent in solving problems and could take care of this one as well. We will never know why she told Jesus to take care of this mess, but we do know He was close to thirty - ďhis hourĒ and definitely not 31 or 32! (Just a thought, we all know older mothers ask and rely on their grown-up children to take care of problems for them, especially when their husbands are deceasedÖ as Joseph was at this time. And Jesus honored his motherís request as a good son would, even though it was before His appointed time. His reply clearly indicates there is a plan and He was working that plan!)

 

††† As a side bar, the analogy of Jesus making six large jars of water into wine also strikes me in how God uses numbers: His first miracle symbolizing the baptism of water into the baptism of the blood of Christ. Additionally, the number six (manís number) is used as the number of jars filled. Why not some other number? Jesus is showing us his ability to make as much wine (his blood; atoning for our sins) as necessary for all of mankind. For all who choose to come to His wedding feast and become His bride, there will always be enough ďwineĒ.

 

††† Also, these six stone jars were 20 to 30 gallons (two to three metretes) each and were filled to the brim. A most interesting choice of numbers since 20 to 30 gallons is 166 to 250 lbs. (approx. 8.3 lbs. per gallon of water)Ö about the average weight of a man, and man being made up mostly of water (approx. 2/3 or .666% for a healthy young male). The symbolism of the stone (dirt from which we were madeÖ beginning) jar being filled up with water (that substance which we are mostly made of nowÖ middle) and being changed to wine (the blood of the spirit of God when we accept JesusÖ completion) is awesome especially when you include the number and size of the containers.

 

††† Lastly, the ratio of Ď20 to 30í gallons and man being made up of 2/3 water is equivalent to manís number .666 (20/30). Twenty is manís number in a slightly different form. Man (20) divided by the trinity (3) is 6.66 and the trinity (3) times completion (10) is 30. So what we have in Jesusí first miracle, man (20) being filled with the spirit (water to wine) moving to his final completion with God (30).

 

††† Godís use of numbers in the Bible is always astonishing to those with the wisdom to look. Look at these verses in Luke about parables, which also are good advice about the miracles he performed. Jesus did not do miracles to impress those so they may marvel at his abilities (though seeing they may not see), but as signs, beacons, to show whom he was to those with open hearts (future Christians).

 

ďÖ When he said this, he called out, ďHe who has ears to hear, let him hear.Ē His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, ďThe knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you [Christian], but to others I speak in parables, so that,

 

ď Ďthough seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.íĒ

Luke 8:8-10

 

††† Jesus is quoting the prophet Isaiah (v.6:9) and is simply saying those who donít believe in the truth of God will never be able to understand its meaning. It will be forever hidden from them. To those who believe in Christ and have faith, the words are as clear as a bright morning day. Itís plain that the scholars who believe in the position that Christ died in the year 30 A.D. may not be true Christians at all or have not studied the scripture relating to these matters in detail! Further proof is given below,

 

ďIn the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesarówhen Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias, tetrarch of Abileneó during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.Ē

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Luke 3:1-3

 

††† We know from earlier the fifteenth year of Tiberius was between 28 and 29 A.D. This was also a year of Jubilee. This reference was about the beginning of John the Baptistís ministry. Since John was a Levite he would have started his service at thirty years of age too. He was Jesusí cousin and six months older than him. He would have begun his ministry about six months earlier than Christ did. More proof that Jesus was around 30 years old and not 31 or 32 years old. Some scholars of today handle this problem by moving the date of Tiberius reign backwards in time by one to two years. This date is known more accurately than most in history because of Tiberiusí status and unmistakably is not off by a couple of years. Now I am not without using this technique as you may have noticed, but I use scripture to adjust manís record of history or explain differences, not manís record of history to rewrite scripture! Even though I have shown many reasons why Christ could not have died in the year 30 A.D. (the same points other scholarís have made to disprove this heresy), only those people who donít believe Godís word is one hundred percent reliable can support this date.

 

††† We have seen that figuring out the date of Christís death is essentially a mathematical and historical problemÖ not a theological problem. It requires logical thinking and a knowledge of history. If you were to solve this problem, what experts would you want on your team? The theologians who write books today and profess to be knowledgeable on the subject? Although they are scholarly men and most filled with the Holy Spirit, their expertise may not be in this area. I would want someone who possessed those qualities I have listed above. Well there was someone like that, who is well known to all. He lived 300 to 400 hundred years closer to Jesusí death than we do. Most do not think of him as such, because of his other accomplishments for which he is known, but truly he is the man you want to solve this problemÖ Isaac Newton whom I have referenced before. He was one of the top mathematicians in all of history, as you know. If I wanted someone to solve a math problem he would be one of the few I would choose. We know from our earlier examinations that he laboriously calculated the death of Christ as April 23, 34 A.D.! Due to his status, he had unlimited access to books that have long since been lost to history or reference materials that are now locked up from most scholars today due to their rarity.

 

††† Remember what I said earlier about recording history, those living closer to a historical event will record the truth of that event more accurately than those living farther from the event. Furthermore, those living in the present will always believe they know more about the historical event in question than those living closer to the event. And lastly, as time goes on, that which is written down as history will become the absolute truth (except for scripture) even though we know from our experiences that all historical records have errors. Knowing these thoughts on history one shouldnít rule out Newtonís skill at arriving at this date of death without careful study.

 

††† The rest of the religious experts who have looked at this topic agree that Christ died in the year 33 A.D. They are the ones who use scripture as the basis of their work and when secular sources are contradictory, rule in favor of the biblical account. So a general review of the work by experts in this religious area provides three dates, 30, 33 & 34 A.D. as the years of Christís death. These are in agreement with our earlier analysis with the addition of 30 A.D.

 

††† In addition, Isaac Newton in his book on Daniel and Revelation relates the birth of Jesus, and I quote,

 

ďNow Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in the twentieth year of the same Artaxerxes, while Ezra still continued there, Nehemiah 12:36, and found the city lying waste, and the houses and wall un-built, Nehemiah 2:17, 7:4, and finished the wall the twenty-fifth day of the King, that is, in September in the year of the Julian Period 4278. Count now from this year threescore and two weeks [(60+2) x 7] of years, that is 434, years, and the reckoning will end in September in the year of Julian Period 4712 which is the year in which Christ was born, according to Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenaeua, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, Orosius, Cassiodorus, and other ancients; and this was the general opinion, till Dionysius Exiguus invented the vulgar account, in which Christís birth is placed two years later.Ē

 

††† Three things are worth noting from this account pertaining to the birth of Jesus. First Newton is trying to figure out how the prophecies of Daniel apply. He is searching for the truth and looking for signs. Some say he was really not a Christian, but I say no one looks this hard for the truth of God except a Christian. Jesus says to keep watch and clearly he is doing that. Second Newton resists rewriting history and scripture when he defers to the ancient historians, unlike many scholars today who think they know more than those closer to the actual event, and chastises Dionysius for doing just that. He says Christís birth was in the year of Julian Period 4712 (2 B.C.) and not the end of 1 B.C. as Dionysius contended. Thirdly Newton uses one of Danielís prophecies incorrectly to substantiate the time of Christís birth.

 

††† I find this last point most curious because this interpretation looks like it works, just as I find scenarios for Danielís prophecies that appear to work mathematically, but do not match the words of scripture (as most would determine their meaning). A case in point was the interpretation of the 1,290 and 1,335 days I presented earlier. Newtonís interpretation quoted has similar problems even though the math fits. The sixty-two Ďsevení (weeks as Newton writes) refers in the Bible of the Anointed One being cut-off after the completion of these 434 prophetic years and the Bible states the starting point was from the decree to rebuild the city. Newtonís starting point is 4278 J.P. or 436 B.C., which was the 28th year of Artaxerxesí rule and when Jerusalemís wall was actually finished... not when the decree was written 21 years earlier by his own account. This places the decree to Nehemiah in 444 B.C. and Ezraís decree in 457 B.C. and allows Newton to use the decree to Ezra, as I do, to calculate Christís death to be in the year 34 A.D.

 

††† Iíd give him an ďAĒ for effort if I were a teacher, but a ďCĒ for application. The math works, but he is not using the words of scripture properly. He calculated Christís birth after the sixty-two weeks when in fact the passages say it should be His death (an error of about 33.5 years) and he calculates Jesusí death using the whole prophecy of seventy Ďsevensí when the passages clearly imply His second coming or the remaking of heaven and earth, and thereby ignores the last seven years by later saying the seven Ďsevensí (49 years) are going to take place just before Christís second coming. Clearly these interpretations are wrongÖ although I am intrigued with his work because it shows Christís birth in September of 2 B.C. However, this may be just a case of the duality of Godís prophecies working on more than one level, which I myself can attest to. I donít think Newton realized how precise Godís words are and that actual days and even dates can be calculated from them with some confidence.

 

††† Iíve read on the Internet convincing arguments and analysisí (that I can find no theological faults with), that Christís birthday is September 29th. In 2028 A.D. the Day of Atonement is September 30th, which I will show later, has some merits of being the day Christ returns (and wouldnít it be interesting if Jesus returned on or near his birthday). However, September 29th wasnít the 10th of Tishrei (Day of Atonement) in 2 B.C. or even close. This date in 2 B.C. had a dark moon, which would have made it harder for the shepherds to travel that nightÖ unless they had flashlights which I didnít know about. This lack of light at night would have made it harder to travel unless the Star of Bethlehem was extremely bright to offset this omen of a dark moon and if that were the case, Herod and his advisors would not have been caught off guard as they clearly were, when the Magi came. So these practical ideas do not easily support the ď29thĒ date as Christís day of birth in 2 B.C.

 

††† According to the translation of Josephusí The Antiquities of the Jews by William Whiston in 1737 A.D.,

 

ďÖthe thirteenth mid fourteenth years of Herod are the twenty-third and twenty-fourth years before the Christian era.Ē

 

††† Simply restated; at the end of 23 B.C., Herod the Great had completed approximately 13Ĺ years of his reign in Judea. Josephus further records that Herod reigned 34 or 37 years before his death depending on the starting point. Combining these two accounts makes Herodís death in mid 1 B.C. using the 37 years account and mid 4 B.C. using the 34 years account.

 

††† However, Whiston concludes in his footnotes that Herod died in 4 B.C. after the lunar eclipse of March 13, 4 B.C. and his reasoning was based, I believe, on incomplete manual astronomical calculations from the 17th/18th century as the only eclipse that Josephus could have been talking about. This particular eclipse was a partial eclipse and his deduction was clearly wrong and has been used as a basis by many to rewrite the history of Christ and place His birth as early as 6/5 B.C. Computer programs today are more reliable, thorough, and definitely more accurate when calculating these astronomical events. They show not only the lunar eclipse mentioned by Josephus and speculated by Whiston, but another more likely date that doesnít contradict scriptureÖ January 10, 1 B.C. which was a total eclipse.

 

††† This account does exclude the birth date calculated for Jesus in December 1 B.C. because Herod would have died early in the year 1 B.C. before the Passover and could not have reached the end of the year without starting his 38th year which undoubtedly didnít occur. Matthew states Magi came from the East after observing astrological signs. Many interpret Matthewís complete account of the Magiís visit to deduce Jesus was a toddler around two years of age because of Herodís orders to kill all male children under that age. They further use this reasoning to dispute the 2 B.C. birth because this would put the death of Herod in 1 A.D., clearly using more faulty deductive reasoning to support their position.

 

††† But this was not the case. The more logical explanation is this: Christ was born in the autumn of 2 B.C. Plainly God would send signs in the heavens prior to the Anointed Oneís birth to announce His sonís arrival. He would not wait until the event happened. He always foretells His intentions ahead of time just as I am telling you now of Christís approaching return. Modern day astronomers have shown there were wondrous signs in the planets movements beginning in 3 B.C. and continuing on over the next two years. Since the Magi studied the stars, and the Jews did not, these signs would have caught their attention. After months of observations and study needed to determine the signs relevance, they were probably drawn to Danielís prophecy of the ďSeventy SevensĒ that predicted the Messiah would be born around that time in the Kingdom of the Jews.

 

††† By the time they had seen enough signs in the heavens, consulted distant colleagues, packed and traveled to Jerusalem (which was a four month journey from Babylon which is a strong possibility of their starting point due to Babylonís history of this kind of work and Danielís notoriety), 1Ĺ to two years could have easily elapsed! If the Magi were from Persia or Arabia the travel time might have been even longer. When discussing this matter with Herod, it would not be unreasonable to assume they thought the Messiah would be born of current royal blood. Finding Herod ignorant of the specifics and in need of more information themselves, the Magi would have reported when they first noticed the signs in the sky. Herod after realizing the Magi did not return and wanting to be ďsafe,Ē would have used this information (even adding a few months plus the time he waited to the Magiís accounting), to come up with his two-year-old estimate he used for ordering the killings in Bethlehem.

 

††† The Bible further states Jesus and his family was living in a house when the Magi arrived and the baby was no longer in a manger. There is strong evidence Jesus was born around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and this would have been a good time to conduct a Roman census. Autumn of 2 B.C. was also the beginning of a Sabbath year, which would be another reason for the Romans to conduct a census since the Jews would have more free time in the upcoming year because the harvest work would essentially be finished for the past season, a census would be less of a hardship on people at that time, and many would be gathered near Jerusalem already. No wonder the inn was full in the small town of Bethlehem. But after a couple of weeks, the town would have emptied out from the travelers and distant relatives, and there would have been space available.

 

††† Mary and Joseph would have stayed in the area because they would need to present Jesus at the temple on the eight day for circumcision and provide an offering at the Temple on the 40th day from His birth as required by Jewish law. It would have been stupid to leave town to go back home just to return again. Besides, the travel would have been too difficult after the delivery for Mary. They would have stayed for a short time, but clearly not for 1Ĺ to two years, as some would lead you to believe. Joseph had a house, a job, and life waiting for him in Nazareth! He would have stayed just long enough for Mary to get strong enough to travel, meet Godís requirements for childbirth and for the weather to be nice enough to travel with a little oneÖ not one day longer.

 

††† Furthermore, the signs were still in place to aid the Magi in finding Christ. Did God delay the signs until after Christís birth or keep them in place for almost two years after His birth so the Magi could find Jesus? I donít think so. If they were in Bethlehem 1Ĺ to 2 years, do you not think word would have spread that the Messiah had been presented to the temple priests? What about the shepherds spreading the word of the birth that very night? How long could this have been kept quiet before Herodís spies would have heard and reported to him? Clearly the Magi were the first to tell him. No, the evidence supports that Jesus was still a young infant, but enough time had passed for his family to move in with relatives or friends until all the necessities were taken care of that allowed them to go back home. Jesus would not have been in the manger more than a day or two until the other relatives found out and made living adjustments to accommodate them. They would only have changed their plans when the Magi showed up and Joseph was instructed in a dream to go to Egypt immediately. This explanation is much more plausible and consistent given all the facts of the Bible than those previously put forth by other scholars.

 

††† Lastly, prophecy also gives us a date for Christís death as Newton has shown, just not the way I would have applied it. When properly applied in Chapter 15, the portion of Danielís prophecy of the Seventy ĎSevensí that applies to Christís death resulted in the year 33 A.D. or 34 A.D. only and clearly not 30 A.D! So we have analyzed the timing of Christís death four ways, using prophecy, scholars who have looked into this matter, logical thinking from Godís point of view, and mathematics & scripture to determine that Christ died in 33 A.D. or 34 A.D. with 33 A.D. really being the only choice that all methods agree on. We have also shown that there is a good probability that Jesusí lifespan was one S-day (33.333 G-years) exactly and will use this premise until we can refine it further. This places Christís birth in late 1 or 2 B.C. with 2 B.C. really the only choice after studying all the data.

 

††† These events are clearly the most important events in Godís plan so it is important to understand the timing as thoroughly as possible. As we look at other events that fall on Godís calendar in the third trimester, this timing will be shown to be correct because there are other analysisí that will reinforce these datesÖ things that have been hidden until now! Those things will be revealed at the appropriate time just as God reveals things at the appropriate timeÖ Letís move on to Christís resurrection to see what we can learn about this piece of Godís plan since it falls in the ďTimes of the GentilesĒ as well.