When we researched the apocalyptic chronology, we took generally accepted dates as a basis for synchronization with the official chronology (see our works here, and here): Crucifixion approximately 30 AD, and the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. However, for the full discovery of the problem, it is necessary to consider a more accurate dating of these events in the light of the Bible.
The dating of the Gospel events, namely the dates of the Nativity and the Crucifixion / Resurrection of Christ, which are the most interesting for us, is a complex problem. Anyone who wants to learn more about this will immediately drown in the slump of historical evidences, calculations, and various hypotheses. In fact, a lot of materials have been published about this, but there is little sense from them, and it is not possible to clarify the situation.
Here we represent our alternative hypotheses and amazing coincidences in the field of dating of the Christ events, based on the Bible.
One of the most important mysteries in the history of Christianity is the lack of direct dating of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Of course, there are many historians and priests who will say that dating the passions is not important. Since ancient times, Christianity has cultivated the idea that an accurate dating of the Gospel events is redundant. But the entire biblical tradition is based on accurate dates. We know when any wicked Israeli king was born or died, but for some reason we don’t know the date (even the year) when the King of kings saved mankind.
Of course, in order to believe in Jesus and to be saved, a Christian does not need to know the exact dates. But for a deep interpretation of the Apocalypse, where the events of the Last times are precisely dated and based on the dates of the Gospel events, it is difficult without exact dates.
Everything we know about the dates of Christ is not the result of direct dating, but rather complex and ambiguous calculations. However in the Gospels there are actually a lot of dates, but it is difficult to understand them.
Despite the great work done by historians, there is no reliable dating of any Gospel event (except the beginning of John Baptizer’s sermon). Historical periods are usually offered in which events were most likely: they claim that Jesus was born in the period from 7 BC to 4 BC and died between 30 AD and 33 AD. But these dates are based on the data of Josephus Flavius and astronomical calculations of the date of the celebration of Easter by the Jews (which, as we will show further, are erroneous or unreliable). If we study a large number of hypotheses, then the spread of dates expands even more. Such large spread of dating is very discouraging.
What the Gospels Say
Actually, the Gospels tell us that accurate dates are important, especially the most historical of them, the Gospel of Luke. If something is written in the Scripture, then it is necessary. Any historian, trying to date something in antiquity, faced with dating similar to dates of Luke, would jump for joy. Indeed, in the documents of ancient history, it is difficult to find something better, more valid and precise than the Gospels give us. Here is how Luke dates the events of the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth” (Luke 1: 5). “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren” (Luke 1:36). “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria” (Luke 2: 1,2).
Luke clearly dates the time of John’s conception to the reign of Herod the Great. The evangelist Matthew clarifies this moment – fearing from Herod’s persecutions, the family of Joseph and Mary with little Jesus flees to Egypt, but soon Herod dies and they return. That is, we are talking about the last years of Herod’s reign. Further, it is about the fact that the Kohen Zechariah had a vision during the divine service in the Temple. Any Kohen served in the Temple in order of his “course” (or class), and Zechariah served in order of his course called Abia. Knowing when what course was, you can determine the exact date of the event. Josephus Flavius gives us some information on when what course was, and there are researchers who are even trying to restore this dating. Unfortunately, we do not know exactly the order of the courses.
Knowing the date of John’s conception, one can determine the date of his birth. Also, since Mary conceived Jesus six months after John’s conception, it is also easy to determine the date of Christ’s Nativity.
Luke gives us the second exact dating for the Nativity of Christ, linking it to the time of the first census “when Cyrenius was governor of Syria“. With this it is already more difficult, because the dating of Josephus gives serious confusion: “according to Joseph, Quirinius became the governor of Syria only in 6 AD, when he conducted the census. His predecessors were Sentius Saturninus (9–7/6 BC) and Quintilius Var (7/6–4 BC), but it remains unclear who was the legate of Syria from 4 BC to 6 AD. It cannot be ruled out that it could have been the same Quirinius, especially because Luke talks about the first census in his reign. An inscription discovered in Tivoli near Rome in 1764 mentions a certain proconsul of Syria and Phenicia (name lost), who twice held this office under Augustus; it is possible that this was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius. In addition, it was proposed to identify the census mentioned in the Gospel of Luke with the general oath of the Jews to Augustus and Herod, which took place around 5 BC.
Further, Luke gives us, perhaps, the most detailed dating in ancient history: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3: 1,2). Luke dates the beginning of the prophetic preaching of John the Baptist. Moreover, he dates this event with six dating systems. The most accurate and understandable for us is the dating according to the year of the reign of the emperor – the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius. Tiberius ruled from 19th of August 14 AD, which means John began preaching 29 AD, or the end of 28 AD. But Luke does not stop there and makes a link, although not so precise, but also very informative dating, to the reign of four local rulers and one high priest in the Jerusalem Temple. That is, nothing can be confused here. 28/29 AD is the beginning of the preaching of John the Baptist, this is the most reliable date in the Gospel and, moreover, without the monopoly of Josephus Flavius.
From historical sources (taken from Josephus Flavius), Pontius Pilate was the procurator of Judea in 26–36 AD; Herod Antipas was a tetrarch from 4 BC to 39 AD, and Lysanias – from 4 BC to 34 AD; Caiaphas, high priest of Judea from 18 AD to 37 AD.
Luke describes the ministry of John the Baptist, which culminates in the Baptism of Jesus, and then Jesus Christ himself takes over the ministry from John. And here Luke gives us the last direct chronological reference: “Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23).
And that’s all. The intelligible chronology ends. Further, according to the official history of Christianity, for more than 150 years we do not know anything new about the dating of the Gospel events.
The first clear dating is given by Tertullian (about 200 AD), who considered the year of Jesus’ birth to be the 41st year of Augustus, 3/2 BC, and the date of the Passion of Christ, Friday, March 25, 15th year of Tiberius (29 AD), when the Savior was “about 30 years old.” Therefore, the beginning of His preaching was AD 28, when Christ entered His 30th year.
What does this mean? Tertullian use a popular idea of early Christianity (until the end of the 5th century AD) that Jesus’ preaching lasted only one year. Tertullian believed that John began preaching in the year 28 AD (that is, in the 15th year of Tiberius, as it is written in Luke), then almost immediately he baptizes Jesus. In the same 28 AD, Jesus immediately begins to preach and the next year 29 Jesus is crucified on the 25th of March. Since the preaching of Jesus began when He was about 30 years old, then according to Tertullian Nativity dated as 2/3 BC. Here is elementary mathematics: since Tertullian dates the Crucifixion on March 25, and this, according to the Gospels, happened on Friday, then the nearest Friday March 25 according to the Julian calendar can be in 29 AD, the next one is in 35 AD. And since Christ preached for one year, then He could start preaching only in 28 AD, at the same time as John, and He was then 30 years old. So the Nativity can be at 3 BC.
Such an algorithm of calculations after Tertullian was used by all researchers of the Gospel up to nowadays. What does it mean? Only that already after 150 years after the writing of the Gospel of Luke, and about 100 years after the writing of the Gospel of John, Christians knew nothing about the dating of events except as written in Luke. The only exception is March 25. For early authors, March 25 is the date of the Crucifixion; later March 25 was taken as the date of the Resurrection. The date of March 25 became the basis for dating other key events. So the Annunciation was dated as March 25, then, after 9 months December 25 – Christmas and also March 25, either the Crucifixion or the Resurrection of Christ. Where this date March 25 came from is a mystery. It is only known that the tradition of this date goes back to ancient times. It is likely what March 25 came from the apostles’ tradition as the date of either the Passion, or the Resurrection of Christ.
Later, (by Eusebius of Caesarea) it was finally substantiated that Christ preached for at least three years, and most likely 3.5 years. The same period of 42 months, John in the Apocalypse gives for the two prophets for the final sermon, and many associate this period of time as equal to the preaching of Christ. In general, it is strange that Christians needed as much as two hundred years to understand this.
When the three-year period of Christ’s preaching became generally accepted, the calculations of new dates for the Resurrection and Nativity began. Eusebius suggested the date of the Resurrection, either 31 or 32 AD.
At that time the idea that Christ was Risen on March 25, and crucified, respectively, on March 23, became more and more popular. Why this happened we do not know. Either to adjust to a new date (if you follow the path of Tertullian, but take the time of the Jesus’ sermon as three years, then 31 AD is a year, when March 25 is Sunday and could be the day of Resurrection), or there was some ancient tradition more authoritative than the tradition to set the Crucifixion on March 25. Thus the date of the Resurrection of Christ on March 25, 31 AD became the most popular in Christianity for long years.
There were other dating options. Dionysius Exiguus proposed the date of Nativity 1 AD od 1 BC, and the Resurrection 34 AD. Some Christian scholars attributed the Passion and the Resurrection to early April or March 20-24. Most of the dates are very contradictory.
When astronomers learned to calculate the dates of full moons with great accuracy, it was tempting to determine the likely date of the Resurrection of Christ astronomically. So, according to the Torah, the celebration of Easter should take place on the night from 14 (full moon) to 15 Nisan – the first spring month. The two most suitable dates were calculated: April 9, 30 AD or April 5, 33 AD. However, despite the fact that these dates are very common in the literature as supposedly the most reliable, unfortunately, this is a mistake.
Methods for calculating the date of Death and Resurrection of Jesus based on the time of the full moon were criticized by scientists as inconsistent with the actual calendar of that time, which was based on observations of the phases of the moon and was highly dependent on subjective factors (the collective decision of the Sanhedrin about the beginning of the month and the addition of an additional month).
Modern Hebrew calendar (which is very accurate) came later. Before that, the timing of the Easter festivities was determined rather arbitrarily. It was a common tendency: the calendar of the Qumran community determined the date of Easter differently than in the Jerusalem temple, and according to this calendar, Easter always fell on Wednesday ignoring the astronomical accuracy.
Although it can be assumed that the celebration of Easter took place in time not far from the full moons, since Easter on the new moon or the first quarter is too bright violations of the Torah. Most likely, they celebrated plus / minus two or three days around the astronomical full moon.
Biblical dating mysteries and our main foothold
Let us return from the chronological and dating jungle to the Gospel. Unfortunately the ancient Christian chronologists for some reason avoided putting a number of questions.
Why is John’s ministry so precisely dated, while everything else is not? Luke clearly writes that at the time of the beginning of Christ sermon, He was about 30 years old. That is, Luke himself does not know the exact age of Christ? But at the same time Luke gives an exact dating by the census and the service of Abia course. Luke didn’t know the date of census and sequence of courses? Or Luke didn’t know when Christ began to preach, but at the same time knows the exact year of the beginning of John’s preaching? According to the Gospels, the preaching of Christ began after the Baptism of John. Luke didn’t know when Christ was baptized?
The Gospels mentions that the Mother of God remembered everything connected with the miraculous events around the birth and childhood of Jesus. But in the Gospels there are not the direct dates of Nativity or Annunciation.
The apostle Peter was consulted by Luke. So, Peter did not know the exact age of Christ and the date of the beginning of His preaching, despite the fact that he himself was one of the first His disciples? The apostles did not discuss the dates of the evangelical events among themselves? But what about the dates in the Apocalypse, which are tied to the Gospel dates? Following the dating tradition of the Old Testament, Luke dates the preaching of the prophet-forerunner, but is silent about the main date of world history!
Nothing has come to us from the tradition except the incomprehensible date March 25.
Maybe the date of the Resurrection was commonly known?
“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” (Luke 1: 1-4).
Luke writes that something is already known, but everything needs to be described in more detail from the very beginning. Perhaps the end, namely the Resurrection, was already known, but one needed to describe everything from the beginning for reliability. Maybe that’s why Luke accurately dates the beginning of John’s sermon, but is silent about the exact date of the Passion. Maybe this is so well known that it does not require clarification? On the other hand, why is there such attention to the date of the beginning of John’s preaching?
We proceed from the assumption that Holy Scripture is written in such a way as to constantly push the reader to interpret it, relying on the help of the Holy Spirit. And the dates of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, although not directly indicated in the Scriptures, can be calculated based on the interpreting of Scripture.
Luke gives us the only exact mention of the date in the Gospels, which is presented not just as the period of reign of a ruler, but the exact dating in the form of the year of reign. Moreover, here we are talking about the dating of the ruler, which can be verified from non-Jewish sources, bypassing the Talmud and Joseph Flavius. This dating is generally understandable for the entire Roman Empire. And the most important thing is that we have the direct dating of the evangelist, not from some third-party sources. This dating, as the most accurate, understandable and universal, we will use as a base point and a link to the generally accepted chronology. Based on the official chronology, Tiberius began to rule on the 19th August, 14 AD.
The date of the beginning of John’s preaching is the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (from the 19th August, 28 AD till the 18th August, 29 AD), then using this Evangelic date, as well as other data from the Scriptures, we may try to reconstruct the year of the Crucifixion.
Daniel dates the murder of Messiah
It is important to note that the Bible actually contains the exact date of Christ’s death. This is the Daniel’s famous prophecy about the weeks: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall 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. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Dan.9: 24-27). This dating, however, has two difficulties: you need to explain the number of years presented as the “weeks” and find out the exact date of the decree of the Persian king to restore Jerusalem. There are several adequate hypotheses about the interpretation of “weeks” in years and the method of this interpretation is clear. Unfortunately, today it is not possible to accurately date of the decree of the Persian king.
However, one verse from this prophecy will be interesting to us later: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”.
Discrepancies between the dating of Josephus and the Gospels
If we talk about dating events in Palestine in the period from 50 BC to 70 AD, there is approximately the following proportion of data: Christian sources (Bible and tradition) 5%, Jewish sources (Talmud) 5%, Roman 5%, Josephus Flavius 85%.
Unfortunately, we know almost all the numerical dates of the reigns and significant events of these all rulers exclusively from the books of Josephus. But Joseph often writes indistinct and contradictory, confusing historians, and it is unreliable to base the Gospel dating exclusively on Joseph.
In studies on the dating of evangelical events, both secular and “Christian”, the idea dominates of the infallible authority of Josephus. Unfortunately, most of the information about the history of the end of the Second Temple, historians draw from Flavius. The Flavius’s monopoly should alarm researchers, but unfortunately, if there is a choice between the information from Flavius and from the Gospel, researchers give priority to the infallibility of Flavius.
Since, we take the Gospel data as the basis and priority, the Gospel data will help us remove the errors and correct the dating of Flavius.
The Gospel tells us: “Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?” (John 2:20). According to the Gospel, this conversation took place during the first Easter of the preaching of Christ, when he was about 31(+ -1) years old. According to Flavius, Herod began rebuilding the Temple in the 15th or 18th year of his reign. The discrepancy between the start date of construction in 3 years is explained by the fact that Joseph used different systems of counting the years of Herod’s reign: from the proclamation as the king in Rome (40 BC) and from the capture of Jerusalem (37/36 BC). According to Flavius, the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple is in 22 BC. The main building work was carried out in 8 years, however, for financial reasons, the construction did not stop for a long time and was completed several years before the destruction of the Temple in 62-64 AD, that is, just 6 years before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.
It turns out that based on the Gospel the rebuilding of the Temple began 46-31=15 (+ -1) years before the birth of Christ. This means that if we use the dating of Flavius, then Christ was born in 22-15 = 7 (+ – 1) BC. Herod died in 4 BC, three years after Christmas, and this fits well into the Gospel story about the escape to Egypt. But Luke gives us a concrete date for the beginning of John’s sermon at 28-29 AD. At that time John and Christ should have been about 34-35 years old, but Luke says that Christ began to preach at the age of about 30. It turns out that dating according to the Gospel shows that the beginning of the construction of the Temple took place at least 4-5 years later, than Flavius writes (if we accept that John and Jesus began to preach at the same time in 29 AD). But most likely the preaching of Jesus began much later than the beginning of the preaching of John, and thus it turns out that Flavius shifts into the past for more than 5 years the dating of the construction of the Temple and the death of Herod.
And what to do? – Most scientists will side with Flavius. But we will rely on the Gospel and accept its data as a priority. We will use extra-biblical evidence and dating only as an auxiliary material, and if it contradicts Scripture, we will not accept it as an argument.
Length of John’s Sermon
After the Luke’s dating, the second factor in determining the year of the Crucifixion will be for us a study of the duration of John’s preaching until the moment of the Baptism of Christ, based on the text and context of Scripture. An analysis of the Gospel texts unambiguously shows that Christ preached for at least three years, and was crucified in the fourth year of his preaching. But how long did it take from the start of the John’s preaching to the Baptism of Jesus?
It is very strange that the ancient tradition considered the preaching of John until the moment of the Baptism of Christ as very short, literally a few days. We know from the Gospels that the baptism of Christ was the culmination of John’s activity: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
The bewilderment of Christian scholars is understandable: in the spirit of the Old Testament, they see the date of John’s preaching indicated by Luke, and believe that since there are no other dates, it means that everything happened in the 15th year of Tiberius. That is, John began to preach, and Christ was baptized, and died, and Resurrected during one year from the 19th August 28 AD. In the year 29 AD March 25 falls on Friday and this was accepted as the date of the Crucifixion. Early scientists acted in the simplest and most logical way: without going into deep textual analysis they accepted this numerical date of Luke, as the most understandable and direct information.
But even a little careful reading of the text of Scripture says that Christ preached for more than three years (three Easter celebrations were during the Christ sermon). So the date of the Resurrection shifted to 31 AD, when March 25 falls on Sunday. Here is the second popular date of Salvation, obtained as a result of calculations.
But even this approach turns out to be insufficient. John could not do everything during some weeks. The question arises, how long could John’s preaching last before the Baptism of Christ? The Gospel descriptions of John’s preaching contain some nuances that indicate how this preaching developed.
Luke writes about the beginning of John’s preaching. He accurately dates it, and then describes the first stages of John’s mission:
“The word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:2). John lived in the Desert (there is an assumption that he belonged to one of the Essenes sects). Here we are talking about the Judean Desert on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. And at one moment God orders John to go to preach the imminent coming of the Messiah.
“And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3: 3). That is a process of starting his sermon; he went through the villages of the lower stream of the Jordan River. This is a narrow strip along the Jordan and the beginning of the Dead Sea, about 50 km long, where there are several cities and many small villages. What does it mean “went through”? He, like many other preachers of that time, walked from city to city, from village to village, on foot, stopping there for quite a long time, living there and preaching. Even technically, this takes about a year, no less.
Matthew writes. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him” (Matthew 3: 1-13).
This is about a later period of John’s preaching, because John “preaching in the wilderness of Judaea”. John no longer walked around the Jordanian country as a simple itinerant teacher, but a prophet famous throughout Judea and Galilee. He no longer walks, but pilgrims come to him, both ordinary people and the religious elite: the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is known that John did not perform a single miracle, but his preaching was such that people begin to honor him as a prophet. Now let us ask, how long does it take for John to become known throughout the country without Media communication and his authority raised above all other religious preachers?
I think you understand that in the ancient world where were a lot of other religious preachers, in order to:
to manifesto oneself to the world,
to become the most authoritative prophet (not in the capital, but in the province),
to receive pilgrims from the highest circles,
to have disciples,
it takes some years.
Even Christ became widely known only near the end of His sermon. Until the last weeks of Jesus life, John was better known than Christ.
When did John baptize Christ, maybe at the beginning of his sermon? No, on the contrary, being at the peak of popularity, when he already had disciples and was well known throughout the country.
Exactly how long did John preach before Baptism of Jesus? John preached repentance and wore a hair shirt. A sackcloth and other coarse clothing is a sign in the Bible that indicates repentance. In the Bible there are two indication of the exact date of the sermon of repentance:
Firstly, John “is Elias, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:14). In the Gospel there is also an indication that “in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months” (Luke 4:25). Thus, it is logical to assume that the “new Elias” – John could preach for 3.5 years.
Secondly, “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” (Rev.11: 2,3). These verses are from the Apocalypse about the future last big sermon of repentance (clothed in sackcloth) before the Last Times, which will last 1260 days, which is equal to 42 months or 3.5 years. Here again you can see a parallel with John’s preaching of repentance and the duration of 3.5 years (42 months).
It is also important to remember that John is the Forerunner, and his sermon foreshadows the coming of Messiah. We know that Christ preached the same 3.5 years (during His preaching three Easter passed). Maybe John’s preaching duration was similar to Christ’s one?
Thus, we hypothesize that John’s sermon was 3.5 years old, and Christ was baptized somewhere at the end of this sermon. Christ Himself also preached for 3.5 years. Together they, as the largest in the Old Testament (John) and the largest in the New Testament (Christ), preached for seven years. Seven is the number of completeness according to the Bible. They together accomplish the fullness of Divine purpose, and this completeness is emphasized by the seven-year period of their preaching.
At this point, one should recall the prophecy of Daniel: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ” (Dan.9: 27). It is the week, 7 years when the New Covenant was confirmed. The preaching of John, and then Christ, together, according to our calculations, make up this “week”. Then perhaps that is why Luke limited himself by mentioning the only exact date of the beginning of John’s preaching: the actual date of the Passion, Christians who know the prophecies about the “weeks” could calculate by themselves. It is also interesting to try to interpret the “the midst of the week“. It is more complicated, but we will suggest the assumption that “the midst of the week” is half of not 7 but 70 years. The exact half of 70 is 35 years old. Maybe 35 years after Christ should destroy the Temple? Or can half a week be interpreted as about 40 years?
So, if the start of the John’s preaching is the autumn of 28 AD, then 28 + 7 = 35 AD, and if from 29 AD (which is more likely, because the 15th year of Tiberius is from August 19, 28 AD to August 18, 29 AD), then 29 + 7 =36 AD is the year of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. Dates of Passions 35-36 AD are also remarkable because in 35 AD March 25 is Friday, which means it can be the date of Good Friday, and in the year 36 AD March 25 is Sunday, which also coincides with another more authoritative date of the Resurrection of Christ on March 25.
These dates also do not go beyond the time frame of the reign of Herod Antipas, Pilate and Caiaphas, especially considering that Josephus sometimes puts his dates several years earlier than they were according to the Gospel. In addition, they fit into the age limit. From Luke’s testimony, it can be assumed that Christ was baptized and began to preach at the age of 30 or 31. Usually the rabbis taught from the age of 30 and Christ, being around 30, could become a religious teacher and have his own theological school, but John the Prophet does not need such a qualification, because according to the Bible you can prophesy from any age (even as a teenager, like Samuel the prophet). So the dates of Passion and Resurrection 35-36 AD may be considered as possible.
If we accept our hypothesis that Christ was crucified in the 34th or 35th year of his life in 36 AD, then He was born at the end of 1 or 2 AD, which is close to the dating the dating of Dionysius Exiguus.
Researching the dating of the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple as 46 years at the time of the first Easter of Christ’s preaching at the age of Christ about 31 (+-1) years, we tentatively determined above that if we use Flavius’s dating of the beginning of rebuilding as 22 BC, then according to this dating Christ should have been born in 7 (+-1) BC. But based on the Gospel data, we determined that Christ was born at the end of 1-2 year AD. Thus, the dating of Flavius of the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple lags behind by more than 7-9 years from the evangelical testimonies.
They built the temple for 46 years during the first Easter preaching of Christ. If we took the most probable date for the third Easter as 36 AD, then the first Easter was in 34 AD. It turns out that construction began in 13 BC and Flavius shifts the date back 9 years. If we accept the Passover of the crucifixion for 35 AD, then the shift of Flavius is 8 years.
But if this shift of 8-9 years is transferred to some others dating of Flavius, then they perfectly fit into the biblical data and our interpretation. The year of Herod’s death, the first census with the oath of Quirinius and the destruction of the Temple coincide. If we accept the traditional date of the Crucifixion in 29-31 AD and take the data of Flavius and modern historians that the Temple was destroyed in 69-70 AD, we will have about 40 years after the Crucifixion. Then having moved the dating of Flavius by 8-9 years, it turns out that the destruction of the Temple falls on 77-79 AD, that is also about 40 years after the Crucifixion, if we accept the dating of the Crucifixion 35-36 AD. That is, if we correct the dating of Flavius for 8-9 years forward: the beginning of the reconstruction and destruction of the Second Temple, as well as the year of Herod’s death and the general census-oath of the Jews to Augustus and Herod (which took place in about 5 BC according to Flavius), then the real beginning of the restructuring of the Temple is about 15 BC, the census with the oath of the Jews to Augustus and Herod is about of 1-2 AD, the death of Herod is about 4-6 AD, the destruction of the Second Temple is about 77-79 AD.
This completely coincides with our calculations of the date of the Resurrection if we assume that John and Christ preached approximately for 3.5 years or together 7 years, and according to Luke, John began to preach in 28 AD or more likely in 29 AD. If we accept that Flavius was mistaken only in the dating of the beginning of the restructuring of the Temple, and the destruction was dated correctly to 70 AD, then it quite well coincides with the interpretation of “half of the week of Daniel” as 35 years after the Resurrection of Christ.
As you can see, if we take the dating in Gospels as a priority and a basis, and if extra-biblical sources are corrected with their help, then these dates correlate very well and allow us to determine the true dating of the Resurrection, the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ.
And if we take the other our hypothesis of a gap in the traditional Scaligerian chronology in 801 years, it turns out that the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ took place in 836-837 AD, and the destruction of the Second Temple in 878-879 AD or in 871-872 AD (if accept the gap between Christ and the destruction of the Second Temple at 35 years).
About coincidences – Calendars
One of the most reliable methods of critical revising traditional chronology is to examine calendars and compare them with astronomical data.
The fact is that any calendar is just a mathematical model that allows you to count the time in a convenient way. As a rule, even at the time of the development of the calendar, its creators understand that the calendar gives a certain error, but this is deliberately neglected, because the calendar should not only be accurate, but also convenient. So our Gregorian calendar gives an error of one day in 3333 years. Julian calendar gives an error one day in 128 years. Knowing the exact astronomical data, for example, the exact dates of the phases of the moon for the lunar and lunisolar calendars or the exact dates of the equinox for the solar and lunisolar, it is possible to determine not only how much time the calendar lags behind or ahead of the movement of the heavenly bodies, but also approximately the time when this calendar was created.
Lunisolar calendars allow us to date the time of their creation. Determining the exact date of the equinox is difficult, but observation of the phases of the moon is very simple. Orthodox Passover and the Jewish calendar are especially interesting for us.
In the early 90s of the twentieth century, Russian alternative Chronologist Nosovsky, analyzing the differences between the Christian Alexandrian Computus (Paschalia) (special calendar for calculation the date of Easter celebrations) and astronomical data, presented a theory according to which the Modern Christian Computus was created not earlier than in the 9th century. Moreover, the first year of Computus, from which all other dates of Easter celebrations begin, was probably calculated as the beginning of the Great Indiction in 877 AD. (Most likely, the Computus itself was approved much later, but its beginning was taken precisely as 877 AD). And accordingly, the Resurrection of Christ should have happened not far from this date.
See more G.V.Nosovsky, A.T.Fomenko EASTER. CALENDAR-ASTRONOMIC RESEARCH OF CHRONOLOGY, M. 2007 (Пасха. Календарно-астрономическое расследование хронологии. Гильдебранд и Кресцентий. Готская война / Г. В. Носовский, А. Т. Фоменко.: ACT, Астрель; Москва; 2007)
Indiction dating of the Resurrection of Christ
Having thus established the date for the beginning of the Computus, it is logical to try to restore the date of the actual Resurrection of Christ. And Nosovsky with his coauthor Fomenko did this. However, for some reason, having discarded their own reconstruction of the date of the Computus in 877 AD, they date the Resurrection of Christ to the 12th century, linking it to a supernova explosion and the emergence of the Crab Nebula. Dating of the Christian Computus 300 years before Christ is absolutely idiocy. But unfortunately, it is known that Fomenko and Co. often do not hesitate to use outright cheating in order to adapt the facts under their ideological model.
However, another alternative historian, Alexander Kass, in 2013 decided, using Nosovsky theory, to take the next step along this path and determine the likely date of the Resurrection of Christ. Here is what he writes with some our corrections (link to his full text here or here):
Date 877 AD is ideal for the approval of the Computus (Indiction 10, Circle Moon – 1, Circle Son -1). But there is one small caveat: why is the Indiction 10 but not 15?
Indiction is a 15-year cycle, which was conditionally put into the Computus. There is still no precise definition and meaning of this parameter. But according to the Indiction, it is obviously possible to determine the beginning of the approval of a certain countdown for the Computus. When the Indiction is equal to one, then a year has passed after some important date, which was later tied to the astronomical cycles of the Computus.
Apparently, the Indiction was approved before the approval of the Computus, as a counter by years from some important Event associated with Christianity. What event could remain in the memory of Christians that they counted the years from it? Obviously, this is the Resurrection of the Lord.
Only the Resurrection of Christ could remain in memory and become a universal impetus for Christianity. The Resurrection became the starting point for the counting of years to the Second Coming of the Savior. People were waiting for the Savior, and began to count the years, even before the approval of the Computus. That is why the Indiction was approved earlier than the Computus, and it is obvious that when the Indiction is 1, then exactly one year has passed since the Resurrection of the Lord.
So, the Resurrection could be in the period not earlier than 700 AD (when the Computus and astronomical conditions correspond) and not later than 867 AD, when the Indiction was equal to 15 – that is, the last year of the cycle, after which the Indiction equals 1 and a new Indiction countdown begins (Indiction cycle = 15).
867: Indiction 15
852: Indiction 15
837: Indiction 15
822: Indiction 15
807: Indiction 15
792: Indiction 15
777: Indiction 15
762: Indiction 15
747: Indiction 15
732: Indiction 15
717: Indiction 15
702: Indiction 15
So, we got 12 dates when the Resurrection of the Lord could take place.
How can we choose the correct date for the Resurrection? We need to find additional conditions according to which we will be able to choose the correct one from 12 Indiction dates (when Indiction is 15). And there are such conditions. It is known that Christ was crucified on March Sunday at about the full moon.
Theologian Dionysius Exiguus and most ancient Christians argued that Christ was resurrected on Sunday March 25 and was crucified on March 23. The next possible date is the Crucifixion on March 25 and the Resurrection on March 27.
From 12 Indiction dates Sunday March 25 can be in 837 and 792; Sunday March 27 can be in 852. However, the full moon close to these days is only on Sunday March 25 837.
Only ONE of the Indiction dates coincides with these conditions is year 837: indict 15. Full moon – March 25, Sunday. So, the possible date of Resurrection of the Lord is March 25, 837 AD.
It is interesting that the date of the beginning of the Computus in 877 is 40 years after the Resurrection and falls close the period of the First Jewish War, the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple.
As you know, while the Temple was functioning, Christians in Israel lived in Jewish traditions, celebrated Jewish holidays and visited the Temple. But after the destruction of the Temple and the seizure of power in Judaism by the Pharisees, the paths of Christians and Jews parted. Christians themselves began to determine the date of the celebration of Passover and the Jews themselves. And the date of the beginning of the Great Indiction of the Computus in 877 perfectly fits the beginning of the Christian, not Judeo-Christian Computus. It is interesting that both tradition and astronomical studies say that the Christian Passover and the Jewish religious calendar arose at the same time, and are based on the same Metonic cycle.
Thus, according to Alexander Kass, the most likely date for the resurrection is 837. Kass published his work in 2013, and we got to know it only in 2017, after we had proposed our hypothesis about a lengthen of the chronology by 801 years.
And now we look at 837-801=36 AD. Surprisingly, that at 36 AD and at 837 AD, March 25 falls on Sunday. This matches perfectly with our calculations and hypotheses. Thus, the date of the Resurrection in 837 receives another, calendar validation.
Obviously, the event of the Resurrection of the Lord was accompanied by a Sign, which created such an unforgettable entourage. What is this Sign? According to the theological tradition, on the Day of the Crucifixion, there really was some kind of Sign, supposedly an Eclipse. But if you carefully study the texts, then we are clearly not talking about a solar eclipse. Mattew’s initial brief message simply said, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour” (Mattew 27:45) And Luke inserts here: “And the sun was darkened” (Luke 23:45). However, the solar Eclipse lasts for several minutes (maximum) and the Gospel texts are talking about something else. We find a detailed discussion of this subject in Origen (3rd century AD), who said that this fact “is not reported anywhere in history” and that the darkness could not be the result of a solar eclipse, because Easter was celebrated on the full moon in March. He thinks that as other signs during the suffering and death of Christ were given only in Jerusalem, so the darkness until the ninth hour spread only throughout Judea, for example it could be the darkest clouds, which spread more and more over the Jewish land and Jerusalem and blocked the sun’s rays.
In any case, the Sign we are looking for must be different. A certain long-term and visible to all people natural phenomenon… This Sign could be a large comet.
Today, theologians do not mentioned the comet during the Passion of the Lord … But it was not always so. It was a comet that was displayed on the most ancient Christian icons of Crucifixion!
Here is an amazing and the rarest icon with a comet (the collection of the Sinai Monastery)
This is the oldest icon of the Crucifixion, dating to the 6th-7th centuries, a plot that, apparently, dominated in early icon painting. It is amazing that there are the only four icons of the Crucifixion, dating back to the 10th century, which have been preserved. This can be explained by the exceptional symbolic significance of the image, which embodied the most important idea of the Sacrifice. It is significant that in the 7th century St. Anastasius the Sinaite wrote a polemical theological treatise “Odigos”, which argued that the icon of the Crucifixion is capable of expressing the true faith more fully and better than the words of Scripture or the Church Fathers. According to the Sinai theologian, numerous details of the image of the Crucifixion form an indisputable and incorruptible proof of the nature of Christ’s sacrifice, capable of refuting all heretics.
In general, the most ancient Christian icons bring us the most historically realistic images. Later icon painting underwent many reforms, in which realism disappeared.
Here you need to understand that iconography, either Catholic or Orthodox, has undergone several reforms and standardizations during its history, which strictly define the canon images and it was strictly forbidden to depict something superfluous on icons. Therefore, the ancient tradition of depicting comets on icons of Crucifixion has been interrupted, but echoes of that ancient tradition of depicting icons of Crucifixion with comets have come down to us. Here are Orthodox icons of the Crucifixion of the 12-18 centuries with images of comets:
It is interesting that in the Ethiopian church, which long ago parted with the Byzantine and Vatican, many archaic features remained. So only in the Ethiopian canon of the Bible the Book of Enoch was preserved, but also in Ethiopian iconography until this day there are icons with the Crucifixion and comets.
Let’s check if any comet flew by during the alleged Passion of the Lord in March 837? Yes, such a comet took place in March 837 (Halley’s comet with a perihelion end of February 837).
Halley’s comet is one of the most spectacular objects in the sky. Her striking appearances, which occur regularly every 74-77 years, have long attracted attention. Alexander Kass drew attention to the interesting features of some of the icons. Namely, sometimes comets are depicted on the icons of the crucifixion, both ancient and not very much. It is normal to depict comets in the icons of the Nativity or in the illustrations of the Apocalypse, for it is easily explained by the text of Scripture. But what about the Crucifixion? It is not clear whether the cometary iconographic tradition has a historical basis and whether argument of Cass is valid. But you must admit – too often coincidences appear here.
It is important to note that in 837, the comet came closest to the Sun at the end of February, just before hypothetical passions on the 25th of March, in that year it approached the earth at a record close distance, as a result, it was very large and bright – probably the brightest comet observed in the history.
In addition, Halley’s comet will be visible according to calculations in 2061 and 2209. Isaac Newton sets an early date for the second coming of Jesus on 2060 (we think it could not be Jesus but Antichrist). And at the beginning of the 23rd century, 2206-2213, according to our estimates, an event should occur that dates by Daniel at “1335 days”, which may be the date of the beginning of the Millennium.
Let us briefly state our hypothesis once again.
The preaching of Christ took place during three Easters, on the third Easter He was crucified and resurrected. Christ began preaching at the age of 30-31 with the baptism of John and preached for about 3.5 years. He was baptized by John a few months before the first Passover. Christ was crucified in the fourth year of His preaching at 34-35 years of life. John preached repentance for the same biblical 3.5 years or 42 months and only then baptized Jesus. 7 years passed from the beginning of John’s preaching to the Resurrection, two * 42 months, 3.5 years.
John’s preaching according to Luke began in 29 AD at the age of 27-28. Christ was baptized sometime around 32 C.E. at 30-31 year of age. Christ was born somewhere in 1-2 AD. And He was crucified at the end of March 36 A.D. (a variant is also possible in 35 AD).If we take into account the chronological gap of 801 years, then John was born in 802-803 AD, Christ in 802-803; John began preaching in 830 AD, Christ was baptized in 833 AD, and was crucified and resurrected in 837 AD. The Temple was destroyed in about 871-878 AD. The Church was founded in 837 at Pentecost, and the beginning of the End Times, when the dragon will defeat the faithful Christians, will come according to Apocalypse 837 + 1260 in 2097; the end of the power of the Beast or the end of the last 7 plagues will come according to Daniel in 871-878 + 1290 = in 2161- 2168, in 70 years (the best date is 2167); and something very important, perhaps the beginning of the Millennial kingdom will be in 871-878 + 1335= in 2206-2213 (the best date is 2212). But when the Millennial Kingdom ends and the Last Judgment will be, – this is a secret known only to the Father.