Chronology of Jesus

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Medieval Russian icon depicting the Life of Christ

A chronology of Jesus aims to establish a timeline for historical events in the life of Jesus. The Christian gospels are primarily theological documents rather than historical chronicles. However, it is possible to correlate Jewish and Greco-Roman documents with the New Testament accounts to estimate date ranges for the major events in Jesus' life.[1][2][3][4]

Two methods have been used to estimate the year of birth of Jesus, one based on the accounts of his birth in the gospels, the other by working backwards from his stated age when he began preaching: most scholars, on this basis, assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC.[5] Three details have been used to estimate the year when Jesus began preaching: a mention of his age during a specific year in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, another relating to the date of the building of the Jerusalem Temple, and the death of John the Baptist.[6][7][8][9][10][11] Scholars generally estimate that Jesus began preaching, and gathering followers, around 27-29 AD and continued for at least one year, and perhaps as many as three.[6][8][12][13]

Two main approaches have been used to estimate the date of the crucifixion of Jesus. One uses non-Christian sources such as Josephus and Tacitus.[14][15] Another works backwards from the historically well established trial of Apostle Paul in Achaea to estimate the date of Paul's conversion as an upper bound to the crucifixion.[16][16][17][18] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was crucified between 30-36 AD,[8][16][19][20] with astronomical point estimates focussing on Friday 3 April AD 33 and, less frequently, Friday 7 April AD 30.[21] Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

Context and overview

Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus, a source for the chronology of Jesus.[22]

The Christian gospels do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.[3][23][24] They were written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus or in synchronizing the episodes of his life with the secular history of the age.[1][2] One manifestation of the gospels being theological documents rather than historical chronicles is that they devote about one third of their text to just seven days, namely the last week of the life of Jesus in Jerusalem, also known as the Passion of Christ.[25]

Although they provide few details regarding events which can be clearly dated, it is possible to establish some date ranges regarding the major events in his life via correlations with other sources.[1][2][26] A number of historical non-Christian documents, such as Jewish and Greco-Roman sources, have been used in historical analyses of the chronology of Jesus.[27] Virtually all modern historians agree that Jesus existed, and regard his baptism and his crucifixion as historical events, and assume that approximate ranges for these events can be estimated.[28][29][30]

Using these methods, most scholars assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC,[5] that the preaching of Jesus began around 27-29 AD and lasted one to three years.[6][8][12][13] They calculate the death of Jesus as having taken place between 30 and 36 AD.[8][16][19][20]

Date of birth

The two major approaches to estimating the year of the birth of Jesus involve comparing the canonical gospel accounts with historical sources to arrive at a date range. There are a wide range of more speculative theories which have also been used.

Nativity accounts: Luke and Matthew

A view of Bethlehem today, from the hills above it

One approach to estimating the year of birth of Jesus relies on the analysis of the nativity accounts in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew along with corresponding historical sources.[8][31]

Mainstream scholars do not see the Luke and Matthew nativity stories as historically factual.[32] For this reason they do not consider them a reliable method for determining the date of birth.[33] Karl Rahner states that the authors of the gospels generally focus on theological elements rather than historical chronologies.[34] However, both Luke and Matthew associate Jesus' birth with the time of Herod the Great.[34] Matthew 2:1 states that "Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king" and implies that Jesus could have been as much as two years old at the time of the visit of the Magi, before Herod's death.[35] Luke 1:5 mentions the reign of Herod shortly before the birth of Jesus,[31] but places the birth during the Census of Quirinius, ten years later. Most scholars believe Luke made an error in referring to the census.[36][37][38] As a result, they generally accept a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC, the year Herod died.[5][31][34]

Neither gospel account mentions the time of year during which the events they describe takes place. However, the Gospel of Luke reference to shepherds grazing their sheep in the fields has been taken to imply a birth during the springtime, summer or early fall.[39][40][41]

The celebration of Christmas as the birth day of Jesus is based on a date of a pagan feast rather than historical analysis.[42] In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Lord's Day (Sunday) was the earliest Christian celebration and included a number of theological themes. In the 2nd century, the Resurrection of Jesus became a separate feast as Easter and in the same century Epiphany began to be celebrated in the Churches of the East on 6 January.[43] The festival of the Nativity which later turned into Christmas was a 4th-century feast in the Western Church notably in Rome and North Africa, although it is uncertain exactly where and when it was first celebrated.[44]

The earliest source stating 25 December as the date of birth of Jesus is likely by Hippolytus of Rome, written very early in the 3rd century, based on the assumption that the conception of Jesus took place at the Spring equinox which he placed on March 25, and then added nine months - festivals on that date were then celebrated.[45] John Chrysostom also argued for a 25 December date in the late 4th century, basing his argument on the assumption that the offering of incense in Luke 1:8-11 was the offering of incense by a high priest on Yom Kippur (early October), and, as above, counting fifteen months forward. However, this was very likely a retrospective justification of a choice already made rather than a genuine attempt to derive the correct birth date.[46]

Working backwards from when Jesus began preaching

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees, by James Tissot, c. 1890

Another approach to estimating the year of birth works backwards from when Jesus began preaching, based on the statement in Luke 3:23 that he was "about 30 years of age" at that time.[8][19]

The generally assumed date range for when John the Baptist was active, based on the reference to the reign of Tiberius in Luke 3:1-2, is from about 28-29 AD, with Jesus beginning to preach shortly thereafter.[6][7][19][47][48] As discussed in the section below, based on the reference in John 2:13 to the Temple being in its 46th year of construction, scholarly estimates for Jesus' Temple visit in John 2:20 are around 27-29 AD, when Jesus was "about thirty years of age".[6][49]

By working backwards from this, it would appear that Jesus was born around 1 BC. However, some scholars have calculated that if the phrase "about 30" is interpreted to mean 32 years old, this could fit a date of birth just within the reign of Herod, who died in 4 BC.[8][19][47]

Years of preaching

Reign of Tiberius and the Gospel of Luke

Part of the Madaba Map showing Bethabara (Βέθαβαρά), calling it the place where John baptised

One method for the estimation of the date of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus is based on the Gospel of Luke's specific statement in Luke 3:1-2 about the ministry of John the Baptist which preceded that of Jesus:[6][7]

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 the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the highpriesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

The reign of Tiberius Caesar began on the death of his predecessor Augustus Caesar in September AD 14, implying that the ministry of John the Baptist began in late AD 28 or early AD 29.[50][51]

The New Testament presents John the Baptist as the precursor to Jesus and the Baptism of Jesus as marking the beginning of Jesus' ministry.[52][53][54] In his sermon in Acts 10:37-38, delivered in the house of Cornelius the centurion, Apostle Peter refers to what had happened "throughout all Judaea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached" and that Jesus had then gone about "doing good".[55]

Jerusalem Temple and the Gospel of John

Herod's Temple, referred to in John 2:13, as imagined in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. It is currently situated adjacent to the Shrine of the Book exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Another method for estimating the start of the ministry of Jesus without reliance on the Synoptic gospels is to relate the account in the Gospel of John about the visit of Jesus to Herod's Temple in Jerusalem with historical data about the construction of the Temple.[6][8][13]

John 2:13 says that Jesus went to the Temple in Jerusalem around the start of his ministry and in John 2:20 Jesus is told: "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?".[6][8]

Herod's Temple in Jerusalem was an extensive and long term construction on the Temple Mount, which was never fully completed even by the time it was destroyed by the Romans in 70AD.[56][57][58] Having built entire cities such as Caesarea Maritima, Herod saw the construction of the Temple as a key, colossal monument.[57] The dedication of the initial temple (sometimes called the inner Temple) followed a 17 or 18 month construction period, just after the visit of Augustus to Syria.[52][56]

Josephus (Ant 15.11.1) states that the temple's reconstruction was started by Herod in the 18th year of his reign.[6][19][59] But there is some uncertainty about how Josephus referred to and computed dates, which event marked the start of Herod's reign, and whether the initial date should refer to the inner Temple, or the subsequent construction.[8][13][52] Hence various scholars arrive at slightly different dates for the exact date of the start of the Temple construction, varying by a few years in their final estimation of the date of the Temple visit.[13][52] Given that it took 46 years of construction, the best scholarly estimate for when Jesus preached is around the year 29AD.[6][8][12][13][60][61][62]

Josephus' reference to the Baptist

In the Antiquities of the Jews, first century historian Flavius Josephus refers to the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist by Herod Antipas and that Herodias left her husband to marry Herod Antipas, in defiance of Jewish law.[9][10][11][63]

The Baptist scolds Herod. Fresco by Masolino, 1435

Scholars view Josephus' accounts of John the Baptist as authentic.[9][64] His reference to the marriage of Herod and Herodias, which is also mentioned in the gospels, establishes a key connection with the episodes that appear there.[9]

However, although both the gospels and Josephus refer to Herod Antipas killing John the Baptist, they differ on the details and motives, e.g. whether this act was a consequence of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias (as indicated in Matthew 14:4, Mark 6:18), or a pre-emptive measure by Herod which possibly took place before the marriage to quell a possible uprising based on the remarks of John, as Josephus suggests in Ant 18.5.2.[22][65][66][67]

The exact year of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias is subject to debate among scholars.[10] While some scholars place the year of the marriage in the range 27-31AD, others have approximated a date as late as AD 35, although such a late date has much less support.[10] In his analysis of Herod's life, Harold Hoehner estimates that John the Baptist's imprisonment probably occurred around AD 30-31.[68] The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia estimates the death of the Baptist to have occurred about AD 31-32.[11]

Josephus stated (Ant 18.5.2) that the AD 36 defeat of Herod Antipas in the conflicts with Aretas IV of Nabatea was widely considered by the Jews of the time as misfortune brought about by Herod's unjust execution of John the Baptist.[67][69][70] Given that John the Baptist was executed before the defeat of Herod by Aretas, and based on the scholarly estimates for the approximate date of the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias, the last part of the ministry of John the Baptist and hence parts of the ministry of Jesus fall within the historical time span of AD 28-35, with the later year 35 having the least support among scholars.[10][70][71]

Date of death

Prefecture of Pontius Pilate

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Roman historian Tacitus

All four Canonical gospels state that Jesus was crucified during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea.[72][73]

In the Antiquities of the Jews (written about 93 AD), Josephus states (Ant 18.3) that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pilate.[74] Most scholars agree that while this reference includes some later Christian interpolations, it originally included a reference to the execution of Jesus under Pilate.[75][76][77][78][79]

In the second century the Roman historian Tacitus[80][81] in The Annals (c. 116 AD), described the persecution of Christians by Nero and stated (Annals 15.44) that Jesus had been executed on the orders of Pilate[74][82][82] during the reign of Tiberius (Emperor from 18 September 14 AD - 16 March 37 AD).

According to Flavius Josephus,[83] Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea from AD 26 until he was replaced by Marcellus, either in AD 36 or AD 37, establishing the date of the death of Jesus between AD 26 and AD 37.[84][85][86]

Reign of Herod Antipas

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In the Gospel of Luke, while Jesus is in Pilate's court, Pilate realizes that Jesus is a Galilean and thus is under the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas.[87][88] Given that Herod was in Jerusalem at that time, Pilate decided to send Jesus to Herod to be tried.[87][88]

This episode is described only in the Gospel of Luke (23:7-15).[89][90][91][92] While some scholars have questioned the authenticity of this episode, given that it is unique to the Gospel of Luke, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states that it fits well with the theme of the gospel.[11]

Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great, was born before 20 BC and was exiled in the summer of 39 AD following a lengthy intrigue involving Caligula and Agrippa I, the grandson of his father.[93][94] This episode indicates that Jesus' death took place before 39 AD.[95][96]

Conversion of Paul

The Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece, where the Delphi Inscription was discovered early in the 20th century.[97][98]

Another approach to estimating an upper bound for the year of death of Jesus is the estimation of the date of Conversion of Paul the Apostle which the New Testament accounts place some time after the death of Jesus.[16][17][18] Paul's conversion is discussed in both the Letters of Paul and in the Acts of the Apostles.[16][99]

In the First Epistle to the Corinthians (15:3-8), Paul refers to his conversion. The Acts of the Apostles includes three separate references to his conversion experience, in Acts 9, Acts 22 and Acts 26.[100][101]

Estimating the year of Paul's conversion relies on working backwards from his trial before Junius Gallio in Achaea Greece (Acts 18:12-17) around 51-52 AD, a date which gained historical credibility early in the 20th century following the discovery of four stone fragments as part of the Delphi Inscriptions, at Delphi across the Gulf from Corinth.[98][102]

Most historians estimate that Gallio (brother of Seneca the Younger) became proconsul between the spring of 51 AD and the summer of 52 AD, and that his position ended no later than 53 AD.[97][98][102][103][104] The trial of Paul is generally assumed to be in the earlier part of Gallio's tenure, based on the reference (Acts 18:2) to his meeting in Corinth with Priscilla and Aquila, who had been recently expelled from Rome based on Emperor Claudius' expulsion of Jews from Rome, which is dated to 49-50 AD.[102][105]

According to the New Testament, Paul spent eighteen months in Corinth, approximately seventeen years after his conversion.[98][106] Galatians 2:1-10 states that Paul went back to Jerusalem fourteen years after his conversion, and various missions (at times with Barnabas) such as those in Acts 11:25-26 and 2 Corinthians 11:23-33 appear in the Book of Acts.[16][17] The generally accepted scholarly estimate for the date of conversion of Paul is 33-36 AD, placing the death of Jesus before this date range.[16][17][18]

Astronomical analysis

Newton's method

All four Gospels agree to within about a day that the crucifixion was at the time of Passover, and all four Gospels agree that Jesus died a few hours before the commencement of the Jewish Sabbath, i.e. he died before nightfall on a Friday (Matt 27:62, 28:1, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31,42). The consensus of modern scholarship agrees that the New Testament accounts represent a crucifixion occurring on a Friday, but a Wednesday crucifixion has also been proposed.[107][108] In the official festival calendar of Judaea, as used by the priests of the temple, Passover time was specified precisely. The slaughtering of the lambs for Passover occurred between 3pm and 5pm on the 14th day of the Jewish month Nisan (corresponding to March/April in our calendar). The Passover meal commenced at moonrise that evening, i.e., at the start of 15 Nisan (the Jewish day running from evening to evening) (Leviticus 23 v. 5; Numbers 28 v. 16). There is an apparent discrepancy of one day in the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion which has been the subject of considerable debate. In John's Gospel, it is stated that the day of Jesus' trial and execution was the day before Passover (John 18 v. 28 and 19 v. 14), Hence John places the crucifixion on 14 Nisan. The correct interpretation of the Synoptics is less clear. Thus some scholars believe that all 4 Gospels place the crucifixion on Friday, 14 Nisan, others believe that according to the Synoptics it occurred on Friday, 15 Nisan. The problem that then has to be solved is that of determining in which of the years of the reign of Pontius Pilate (AD 26-36) the 14th and 15th Nisan fell on a Friday.[109]

In 1733, Isaac Newton considered only the range AD 31-36 and calculated that the Friday requirement is met only on Friday 3 April AD 33, and 23 April AD 34. The latter date can only have fallen on a Friday if an exceptional leap month had been introduced that year, but was favoured by Newton.[110][111][112][113] In the twentieth century, the standard view became that of J. K. Fotheringham, who in 1910 suggested 3 April, AD 33 on the basis of its coincidence with a lunar eclipse.[112][114] In the 1990s Bradley E. Schaefer and J. P. Pratt, following a similar method, arrived at the same date.[111][115] Also according to Humphreys and Waddington, the lunar Jewish calendar leaves only two plausible dates within the reign of Pontius Pilate for Jesus' death, and both of these would have been a 14 Nisan as specified in the Gospel of John: Friday 7 April AD 30, and Friday 3 April AD 33.

The difficulty here is that the Jewish calendar was not based on astronomical calculation but on observation. It is possible to establish whether the moon was visible on a particular day but not whether it was actually sighted.[116] As E. P. Sanders has pointed out, we cannot recreate local atmospheric conditions of two thousand years ago.[117]

Eclipse method

A solar eclipse, August 2008.

Another approach involves the reference in the Synoptic Gospels to a three-hour period of darkness over the whole land on the day of the crucifixion, which the Luke account (Luke 23:45 τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλιπόντος - the sun was darkened) describes as an eclipse.[clarification needed][118] Although modern scholars view this as a literary device common among ancient writers rather than a description of an actual event,[119][120] some writers have attempted to identify a datable astronomical phenomenon which this could have referred to. It could not have been a solar eclipse, since this could not take place during the crucifixion at Passover.[121][122][123] In 1983, astronomers Humphreys and Waddington noted that the reference to a solar eclipse is missing in some versions of Luke and argued that the solar eclipse was a later faulty scribal amendment of what was actually a lunar eclipse.[21] This is a claim which historian David Henige describes as 'undefended' and 'indefensible'.[124] Astronomer Bradley Schaefer points out that the eclipsed moon would not have been visible by the time the moon had risen.[125][126][127]

A lunar eclipse is potentially alluded to in Acts of the Apostles 2:14-21. Astronomer Colin Humphreys has attempted to narrow down the crucifixion date using this event, arguing for 3 April AD 33 for the death of Jesus[128] and that the Last Supper took place on 1 April AD 33.[129][130]

Time of death

A Papyrus 90 fragment of John 19

The estimation of the hour of death of Jesus based on the New Testament accounts has been the subject of debate among scholars, since there is a clear difference between the accounts in the Synoptic Gospels and that in the Gospel of John.[131] In the Synoptic account, the Last Supper takes place on the first night of Passover, defined in the Torah as occurring after daylight on 14 of Nisan, and the crucifixion is on 15 Nisan.[132] However, in the Gospel of John the trial of Jesus takes place before the Passover meal[133] and the sentencing takes place on the day of Preparation, before Passover. John's account places the crucifixion on 14 Nisan, since the law mandated the lamb had to be sacrificed between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm and eaten before midnight on that day.[134][135][136] This understanding fits well with Old Testament typology, in which Jesus entered Jerusalem to identify himself as the Paschal lamb on Nisan 10 was crucified and died at 3:00 in the afternoon of Nisan 14, at the same time the High Priest would have sacrificed the Paschal lamb, and rose before dawn the morning of Nisan 16, as a type of offering of the First Fruits.

It is problematic to reconcile the chronology presented by John with the Synoptic tradition that the Last Supper was a Passover meal.[137] Some scholars have presented arguments to reconcile the accounts,[138] although Raymond E. Brown, reviewing these, concluded that they can not be easily reconciled.[131] One involves the suggestion that [139] for Jesus and his disciples, the Passover could have begun at dawn Thursday, while for traditional Jews it would not have begun until dusk that same day.[140][141] Another is that John followed the Roman practice of calculating the new day beginning at midnight, rather than the Jewish reckoning.[142] However, this Roman practice was used only for dating contracts and leases.[143][144] D. A. Carson argues that 'preparation of the Passover' could mean any day of the Passover week.[145] Some have argued that the modern precision of marking the time of day should not be read back into the gospel accounts, written at a time when no standardization of timepieces, or exact recording of hours and minutes was available.[138][146] Andreas Köstenberger argues that in the first century time was often estimated to the closest three-hour mark, and that the intention of the author of the Mark Gospel was to provide the setting for the three hours of darkness while the Gospel of John seeks to stress the length of the proceedings, starting in the 'early morning'"[147]

William Barclay has argued that the portrayal of the death of Jesus in the John Gospel is a literary construct, presenting the crucifixion as taking place at the time on the day of Passover when the sacrificial lamb would be killed, and thus portraying Jesus as the Lamb of God.[148]

Other approaches

Other approaches to the chronology of Jesus have been suggested over the centuries, e.g. Maximus the Confessor, Eusebius, and Cassiodorus asserted that the death of Jesus occurred in 31 AD.[citation needed] The 3rd/4th century Roman historian Lactantius states that Jesus was crucified on a particular day in 29 AD, but that did not correspond to a full moon.[149]

Some commentators have attempted to establish the date of birth by identifying the Star of Bethlehem with some known astronomical or astrological phenomenon.[150] There are many possible phenomena and none seems to match the Gospel account exactly,[151] although new authors continue to offer potential candidates.[152]

See also

Historicity and chronology


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  46. Roger T. Beckwith (2001). Calendar and chronology, Jewish and Christian: biblical, intertestamental and patristic studies, p. 72
  47. 47.0 47.1 Christianity and the Roman Empire: background texts by Ralph Martin Novak 2001 ISBN 1-56338-347-0 pages 302-303
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  49. Jack V. Scarola, "A Chronology of the nativity Era" in Chronos, kairos, Christos 2 by Ray Summers, Jerry Vardaman 1998 ISBN 0-86554-582-0 pages 61-81
  50. Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, Charles L Quarles, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (B&H Publishing, 2009), page 139-140.
  51. Luke 1-5: New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur 2009 ISBN 0-8024-0871-0 page 201
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 140-141
  53. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 page 224-229
  54. Christianity: an introduction by Alister E. McGrath 2006 ISBN 978-1-4051-0901-7 pages 16-22
  55. Who is Jesus?: an introduction to Christology by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 page
  56. 56.0 56.1 The building program of Herod the Great by Duane W. Roller 1998 University of California Press ISBN 0-520-20934-6 pages 67-71 [6]
  57. 57.0 57.1 The Temple of Jerusalem: past, present, and future by John M. Lundquist 2007 ISBN 0-275-98339-0 pages101-103 [7]
  58. The biblical engineer: how the temple in Jerusalem was built by Max Schwartz 2002 ISBN 0-88125-710-9 pages xixx-xx
  59. Encyclopedia of the historical Jesus by Craig A. Evans 2008 ISBN 0-415-97569-7 page 115
  60. J. Dwight Pentecost, The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ (Zondervan, 1981) pages 577-578.
  61. Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Academic, 2004), page 110.
  62. Jesus in Johannine tradition by Robert Tomson Fortna, Tom Thatcher 2001 ISBN 978-0-664-22219-2 page 77
  63. Ant 18.5.2-4
  64. The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0-8254-2924-2 pages 662-663
  65. Women in scripture by Carol Meyers, Toni Craven and Ross Shepard Kraemer 2001 ISBN 0-8028-4962-8 pages 92-93 [8]
  66. Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources by Morten H. Jensen 2010 ISBN 978-3-16-150362-7 pages 42-43 [9]
  67. 67.0 67.1 The Emergence of Christianity: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective by Cynthia White 2010 ISBN 0-8006-9747-2 page 48
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  69. The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth by Daniel S. Dapaah 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3109-6 page 48 [10]
  70. 70.0 70.1 Herod Antipas by Harold W. Hoehner 1983 ISBN 0-310-42251-5 pages 125-127
  71. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1995 ISBN 0-8028-3781-6 pages 686-687
  72. Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. vol. K-P. p. 929.
  73. Matthew 27:27-61, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 23:25-54 and John 19:1-38
  74. 74.0 74.1 Theissen 1998, pp. 81-83
  75. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 104-108
  76. Evans, Craig A. (2001). Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 316
  77. Wansbrough, Henry (2004). Jesus and the oral Gospel tradition ISBN 0-567-04090-9 page 185
  78. James Dunn states that there is "broad consensus" among scholars regarding the nature of an authentic reference to the crucifixion of Jesus in the Testimonium.Dunn, James (2003). Jesus remembered ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 141
  79. Skeptic Wells also states that after Shlomo Pines' discovery of new documents in the 1970s scholarly agreement on the authenticity of the nucleus of the Tetimonium was achieved, The Jesus Legend by G. A. Wells 1996 ISBN 0812693345 page 48: "... that Josephus made some reference to Jesus, which has been retouched by a Christian hand. This is the view argued by Meier as by most scholars today particularly since S. Pines..." Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman views the reference in the Testimonium as the first reference to Jesus and the reference to Jesus in the death of James passage in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities as "the aforementioned Christ", thus relating the two passages.Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1 page 55
  80. Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 39-42
  81. Backgrounds of early Christianity by Everett Ferguson 2003 ISBN 0-8028-2221-5 page 116
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  83. Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.89.
  84. Pontius Pilate: portraits of a Roman governor by Warren Carter 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5113-5 pages 44-45
  85. The history of the Jews in the Greco-Roman world by Peter Schäfer 2003 ISBN 0-415-30585-3 page 108
  86. Backgrounds of early Christianity by Everett Ferguson 2003 ISBN 0-8028-2221-5 page 416
  87. 87.0 87.1 New Testament History by Richard L. Niswonger 1992 ISBN 0-310-31201-9 page 172
  88. 88.0 88.1 Pontius Pilate: portraits of a Roman governor by Warren Carter 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5113-1 pages 120-121
  89. The Synoptics: Matthew, Mark, Luke by Ján Majerník, Joseph Ponessa 2005 ISBN 1-931018-31-6 page 181
  90. The Gospel according to Luke by Michael Patella 2005 ISBN 0-8146-2862-1 page 16
  91. Luke: The Gospel of Amazement by Michael Card 2011 ISBN 978-0-8308-3835-6 page 251
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  93. Herod Antipas by Harold W. Hoehner 1983 ISBN 0-310-42251-5 page 262
  94. All the people in the Bible by Richard R. Losch 2008 ISBN 0-8028-2454-4 page 159
  95. The Content and the Setting of the Gospel Tradition by Mark Harding, Alanna Nobbs 2010 ISBN 0-8028-3318-7 pages 88-89
  96. The Emergence of Christianity by Cynthia White 2010 ISBN 0-8006-9747-2 page 11
  97. 97.0 97.1 The Cambridge Companion to St Paul by James D. G. Dunn (Nov 10, 2003) Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 0521786940 page 20
  98. 98.0 98.1 98.2 98.3 Paul: his letters and his theology by Stanley B. Marrow 1986 ISBN 0-8091-2744-X pages 45-49
  99. Bromiley, Geoffrey William (1979). International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. pp. 689. ISBN 0-8028-3781-6.
  100. Paul and His Letters by John B. Polhill 1999 ISBN 0-8054-1097-X pages 49-50
  101. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology by William Lane Craig, James Porter Moreland 2009 ISBN 1-4051-7657-1 page 616
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 Christianity and the Roman Empire: background texts by Ralph Martin Novak 2001 ISBN 1-56338-347-0 pages 18-22
  103. The Greco-Roman world of the New Testament era by James S. Jeffers 1999 ISBN 0-8308-1589-9 pages 164-165
  104. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts-Philemon by Craig A. Evans 2004 ISBN 0-7814-4006-8 page 248
  105. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament edition by John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck 1983 ISBN 0-88207-812-7 page 405
  106. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible Amsterdam University Press, 2000 ISBN 90-5356-503-5 page 1019
  107. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 142–143
  108. New Testament History by Richard L. Niswonger 1992 ISBN 0-310-31201-9 pages 167–168
  109. "The Date of the Crucifixion", Colin Humphreys and W. Graeme Waddington, March 1985. American Scientific Affiliation website. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  110. [11]
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  112. 112.0 112.1 Colin Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-521-73200-0, pages 45-48
  113. Newton, Isaac (1733). "Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ", in Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John
  114. Fotheringham, J.K., 1910. "On the smallest visible phase of the moon," Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 70, 527-531; "Astronomical Evidence for the Date of the Crucifixion," Journal of Theological Studies (1910) 12, 120-127'; "The Evidence of Astronomy and Technical Chronology for the Date of the Crucifixion," Journal of Theological Studies (1934) 35, 146-162.
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  116. C. Philipp E. Nothaft, Dating the Passion: The Life of Jesus and the Emergence of Scientific Chronology (200–1600) page 25.
  117. E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (Penguin, 1993) 285-286.
  118. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament by John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck 1983 ISBN 978-0-88207-812-0 page 88
  119. David E. Garland, Reading Matthew: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the First Gospel (Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1999) page 264.
  120. Geza Vermes, The Passion (Penguin, 2005) page 108-9.
  121. Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy by David H. Kelley, Eugene F. Milone 2011 ISBN 1-4419-7623-X pages 250-251
  122. Astronomy: The Solar System and Beyond by Michael A. Seeds, Dana Backman, 2009 ISBN 0-495-56203-3 page 34
  123. Meeus, J. (2003, December). The maximum possible duration of a total solar eclipse. Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 113(6), 343-348.
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  125. Schaefer, B. E. (1990, March). Lunar visibility and the crucifixion. Royal Astronomical Society Quarterly Journal, 31(1), 53-67
  126. Schaefer, B. E. (1991, July). Glare and celestial visibility. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 103, 645-660.
  127. Marking time: the epic quest to invent the perfect calendar by Duncan Steel 1999 ISBN 0-471-29827-1 page 341
  128. "The Date of the Crucifixion", Colin Humphreys and W. Graeme Waddington, March 1985. American Scientific Affiliation website. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  129. Colin Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-521-73200-0, page 37
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  131. 131.0 131.1 Death of the Messiah, Volume 2 by Raymond E. Brown 1999 ISBN 0-385-49449-1 pages 959-960
  132. Lev 23:5–6
  133. Paul Barnett, Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times, page 21 (InterVarsity Press, 1999). ISBN 978-0-8308-2699-5
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  135. Josephus. The War of the Jews 6.9.3
  136. Mishnah, Pesahim 5.1.
  137. Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-8
  138. 138.0 138.1 Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 pages 323-323
  139. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
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  141. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  142. Brooke Foss Westcott, The Gospel according to St. John : the authorised version with introduction and notes (1881, page 282).
  143. Hunt, Michal - The Passover Feast and Christ's Passion - Copyright © 1991, revised 2007 - Agape Bible Study. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  144. Leon Morris - The New International Commentary on the New Testament - The Gospel According to John (Revised) - William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K. - 1995, pages 138 and 708.
  145. D.A. Carson, 'The Gospel According to John', Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1991, p604
  146. New Testament History by Richard L. Niswonger 1992 ISBN 0-310-31201-9 pages 173-174
  147. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 538
  148. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  149. Lactantius, Of the Manner In Which the Persecutors Died 2: "In the latter days of the Emperor Tiberius, in the consulship of Ruberius (sic) Geminus and Fufius Geminus, and on the tenth of the kalends of April, as I find it written".
  150. For example, astronomer Michael Molnar identified April 17, 6 BC as the likely date of the Nativity, since that date corresponded to the heliacal rising and lunar occultation of Jupiter, while it was momentarily stationary in the sign of Aries; according to Molnar, to knowledgeable astrologers of this time, this highly unusual combination of events would have indicated that a regal personage would be (or had been) born in Judea. Michael R. Molnar, "The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi," Rutgers University Press, 1999.
  151. Raymond E. Brown, 101 Questions and Answers on the Bible, Paulist Press (2003), page 79.
  152. A recent example points back to a 1991 report from the Royal Astronomical Society, which mentions that Chinese astronomers noted a "comet" that lasted 70 days in the Capricorn region of the sky, in March of 5 BC. Authors Dugard and O'Reilly point to this event as the likely Star of Bethlehem. O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, "Killing Jesus: A History," Henry Holt and Company, 2013, ISBN 0805098542, page 15.

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