Dionysius Exiguus Got It Right

ABSTRACT: Proposes Dionysius correctly selected the dates for Jesus’ birth and death. Jesus Christ was born on or near December 25, 1 BC and died on Passover AD 33. Eclipse data indicates the traditional death of Herod in 4 BC is wrong and that he died in 1 AD. Tracking the priestly courses indicates the time of the birth of John the Baptist was in August 2 BC and Jesus in late December 1 BC or Early January 1 AD. Eclipse data locks 33 AD in as the year of Jesus death.

 

Copyright Ó 2000 Bruce A. Killian    updated 2000   email bakillian at earthlink.net

To index                      File: www.scripturescholar.com/DionysiusExiguus.htm

 

            Do the exact details of these dates matter? The apostle Peter tells us, the prophets guided by the Spirit carefully and diligently searched to know these times and details. “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”[1] We would profitably follow their example.

Dionysius Exiguus was a Scythian monk and prominent scholar who lived in Rome and who had access to the state and church archives including many records now lost. Dionysius carefully selected the year we call 1 BC for the birth of Christ, and set the date at December 25th as was customary in his time, and commenced the Christian Era with January 1, 1 AD (seven days later) to agree with the start of the ordinary Roman year. [2] If these dates are correct, our current year starts on the day Jesus was circumcised and named.[3]

The areas of problem are the dates of Jesus' birth, start and length of His ministry and the date of His death.  There is much apparently contradictory evidence.  The first set places the death of Jesus in Nisan AD 30; the second set of evidence places His death in Nisan AD 33.  The year AD 30 and 33 are fixed as the main choices. Only in these years was a Friday crucifixion astronomically possible.  The alternate days of the week for the crucifixion are without serious merit.  A later paper may deal with this topic. For the length of Jesus’ ministry, see Jesus’ two-year ministry.

God prompting the Church to establish the standard dating system (Anno Domini, Gregorian Calendar) used worldwide, influenced the accurate selection of the date chosen for the birth of our LORD.  This would best fit the scenario that Jesus was about 30 when he began his public ministry early in AD 31 and died in AD 33. If there were a year 0, it would be 1 BC.  If Jesus was born Dec 25 1 BC he would just be 30 years (and 7 days) old at the start of 31 AD or 32 years old when he died Passover 33 AD.

No ancient historian recorded the birth of Jesus in 4 BC. This date is based on the statement of Josephus that the death of Herod the Great occurred shortly after an eclipse of the moon.  This eclipse is said to have occurred on March 13, 4 BC.  This is the only eclipse recorded by Josephus. The eclipse that occurred in March 4 BC was a minor partial eclipse that was only visible from 2 to 4AM.  This eclipse would only be noticed by a small number of people, and Josephus would be unlikely to record it.  There was a partial eclipse in which more than half the orb was obscured that was visible for 2 hours from the time the moon became visible about 20 minutes after sunset on December 29, 1 BC.  Since Herod died after the eclipse, but some two months before the Passover, this eclipse more closely fits the data regarding the time of the birth of Jesus.[4] Lunar eclipses visible in Jerusalem near this time are September 15, 5 BC; March 14, 4 BC; January 10, 1 BC; and December 29, 1 BC.[5] The main reconciliating assumption is that King Herod the Great died five years later than is normally assumed. “Of the candidates to be Herod’s eclipse, the December 29, 1 B.C. eclipse was the most likely to be widely observed.”[6]

The date for Jesus’ birth can be further narrowed with the following information.  Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist was a priest of the order of Abijah,[7] and was executing his priestly office as part of his course at the time of the announcement of the birth of John.[8]  Abijah is the eighth of twenty-four courses of priests. [9]   Each course served for eight days overlapping with the preceding and following courses on the Sabbaths. Three times per year during the weeklong feasts of Unleavened Bread, Weeks and Tabernacles all the priests ministered.  This occasion is not one of those because Zechariah's course is ministering.[10] Since the festivals did not necessarily start and end on the Sabbath, these would not interfere with the order of the courses.  The first course of priests had just taken office when the temple was destroyed on August 5, 70 AD.[11] The previous Sabbath started August 3, AD 70.  This date indicates that the courses rotate through the year—rather than restarting yearly on Nisan 1. The following table tracks the dates of the courses back through the years from 70 AD and included the dates for the earliest start of Elizabeth’s sixth month and Mary’s 9th month from there. This assumes Elizabeth becomes pregnant after the end for Zechariah’s service not before or during it. It is unlikely that the priests served two successive weeks because then each course must serve a Sabbath with only one course of priests serving.

Counting backward subtract (24*7) 168 days for each cycle of the entire course. Continuing back to the time of Jesus ministry and on to his birth, we can discern elements of the time of certain events. Abia or Abijah, the 8th course was the course of Zechariah and John the Baptist. The course of Abijah started ministering on the 50th day of the cycle day 49.


 

336=24*7*2

1st course

8th course

6th month

9th month

1st course

8th course

6th month

9th month

 

 

When John and Zechariah ministered

When Mary conceived

When Jesus was born

 

When John and Zechariah ministered

When Mary conceived

When Jesus was born

each row 336

3 Aug 70

All Saturday

All Saturday

All Saturday

All Saturday

 

 

 

days earlier

1 Sep 69

+50 days

+(5*30)-14+7

+(30*9)-14

16 Feb 70

 

 

 

All dates

30 Sep 68

 

days

days

+(24*7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

are Julian

17 Sep 34

6 Nov 34

 

 

4 Mar 35

23 Apr 35

 

 

dates AD

16 Oct 33

5 Dec 33

 

 

2 Apr 34

22 May 34

 

 

unless noted

14 Nov 32

3 Jan 33

 

 

1 May 33

20 Jun 33

 

 

 

14 Dec 31

2 Feb 32

 

 

30 May 32

19 Jul 32

 

 

John turns 30

12 Jan 31

3 Mar 31[12]

 

 

29 Jun 31

18 Aug 31

 

 

11 Aug 30

10 Feb 30

1 Apr 30

 

 

28 Jul 30

16 Sep 30[13]

 

 

 

11 Mar 29

30 Apr 29

 

 

26 Aug 29

15 Oct 29

 

 

 

9 Apr 28

29 May 28

 

 

24 Sep 28

13 Nov 28

 

 

 

9 May 27

28 Jun 27

 

 

24 Oct 27

13 Dec 27

 

 

            

7 Jun 26

27 Jul 26

 

 

22 Nov 26

11 Jan 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Aug 1

24 Sep 1

14 Feb 2

28 Oct 2

20 Jan 02

11 Mar 2

1 Aug 2

14 Apr 3

John's birth

3 Sep 1BC

23 Oct1BC

15 Mar 1

26 Nov 1

18 Feb 01

9 Apr 1

30 Aug 1

13 May 2

11 Aug 1BC

3 Oct 2BC

22 Nov 2BC[14]

13 Apr 1BC[15]

25 Dec 1BC[16]

19 Mar 1BC

8 May 1BC

28 Sep 1BC

11 Jun 1AD

 

1 Nov 3BC

21 Dec 3BC

13 May 2BC

24 Jan 1BC

18 Apr 2BC

7 Jun 2BC

28 Oct 2BC

10 Jul 1BC

 

30 Nov 4BC

19 Jan 3BC

11 Jun 3BC

22 Feb 2BC

17 May 3BC

6 Jul 3BC

26 Nov 3BC

9 Aug 2BC

 

29 Dec 5BC

17 Feb 4BC

10 Jul 4BC

23 Mar 3BC

15 Jun 4BC

4 Aug 4BC

25 Dec 4BC

7 Sep 3BC

 

28 Jan 5BC

18 Mar 5BC

8 Aug 5BC

21 Apr 4BC

14 Jul 5BC

2 Sep 5BC

23 Jan 4BC

6 Oct 4BC

 

 

 

1 Jan 1AD

Circumcision

 

2 Feb 1AD

Presentation

 

The human gestation period is 9 months, but this is counting from the start of a woman’s last period. The actual gestation period is two weeks shorter than this because this is the normal time from start of a menstrual cycle until ovulation. All the dates in the chart are Sabbaths.

Elizabeth hid herself during the first five months of her pregnancy[17] and in the sixth month the angel Gabriel told Mary of Elizabeth's condition and that she too would conceive.  Pregnancy is dated from the last period, which proceeds the time of conception by about two weeks. Elizabeth would enter her 6th month 4½ months after conception. Mary would give birth ±10 days from 8½ months from conception. The conception of Jesus occurred in Nazareth during the week of Unleavened Bread that year. Mary may have been home alone because her parents had gone to Jerusalem.

Since it says that Joseph and Mary went every year to Passover in Jerusalem, may we extend that to mean that they returned from Egypt for Passover 1 AD?  This would explain why the angel had to inform Joseph that Herod was dead—to give the family time to return to Jerusalem.

Joseph, a righteous man and Jesus’ foster father, would not have journeyed to Bethlehem when he was supposed to be staying in Jerusalem. Therefore, we know that Jesus’ birth did no occur during one of the pilgrim festivals.[18] But it is very likely because there was no room available in Bethlehem that it was immediately preceding or following a festival. Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem.

            Herod the Great was alive at the time that the wise men visited Jesus. There were at least forty-days between Jesus’ birth and the slaughter of the boys at Bethlehem. The magi visited Jesus after his presentation in the Temple, because his parents pled poverty to give the inexpensive offerings.[19] Had the magi come earlier then Joseph would have had money for the more expensive offerings.  When Jesus was presented in the Temple on the 40th day; and assume the wise men visited that evening; the flight to Egypt occurred that night; and the boys of Bethlehem were slaughtered the next morning. Herod the Great died at least a few weeks but no more that a few months later.

A web site that gives evidence that Josephus’ date for Herod’s death was at least as late as 1 BC. Herod “The date of Herod’s death: The errors corrected.”

 

The Date of the Baptism of Jesus

Jesus would then be about 30 years and a few days at the time of His baptism and 40 days fast in January and February AD 31. John’s birth in early August 1 BC would make him 30 for the start of his ministry in August AD 30.

In John 2:20 the Jews mention that the temple was 46 years in building.  Herod the Great began reconstructing the temple in the 18th year of his reign, which would be 20-19 BC then 46 years in would be AD 27-28.  Was there preparation and gathering for the construction as separate from and before the actual construction?  If Herod the Great Died in 1 AD as proposed above then the 46th year would be 4 years later or AD 31-32. If Josephus miscalculated the date of the start of Herod the Great’s reign then many problems evaporate. Josephus is not Scripture.

Numbers 4:30 et al, Levitivcal priests ministered from 30 to 50 years of age.  John the Baptist was a priest.  It is logical to assume that he was thirty when he began his public ministry.  John came to Jerusalem for the Passover and other required feasts.  John ministered at the Temple two weeks per year as his father Zechariah had in the course of Abijah.

"The earliest day in which Jesus could be baptized and still fulfill the requirements of the Law would be the seventeenth @?isn't Tabernacles over on the 21@ of Tishri (October 14, A.D. 29)" because he spent forty days in the wilderness after his baptism which to keep the law he could not have done because all males must be in Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles on the 15 of Tishri.

            The Jubilee announced by Jesus is normally dated to the beginning of Jesus' second year of ministry and the beginning of his Galilean ministry.  In Boyer's chart of the New Testament, this event is placed about November of the second year of Jesus' ministry.

Year of the Crucifixion

            This is a greatly discussed topic, only AD 30 and AD 33 are the only astronomically viable options. These years are viable because only in these years could Passover be on a Friday.

            In an article, “Jubilee Timetable”, it was found that it Jesus ministry most likely started on the Sabbath year preceding the 100th Jubilee year since Adam or 4900 AM. This is believed to represent the fullness of time (4900 = 7 * 7 * 10 * 10).[20] The Jubilee in Jesus’ public ministry links well to the earlier jubilees from Adam on including but not limited to the translation of Enoch, the birth of Isaac and Reuben, the beginning and end of the Sojourn in Egypt, the time of settling in the land, the start of the Kings period, The founding of the capital in Jerusalem, the dedication of the Temple, the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, the captivity in Babylon, the return of Ezra, Daniel’s 483 years, the establishment of the feast of Purim, the victory of Antiochus, etc.

The Length of Jesus Ministry

The length of Jesus public ministry appears to be about 2.3 years, rather than the standard figure of 3.5 years, for the following reasons. The length of his ministry is to be fixed by the number of Passovers during his ministry. Jesus observed three Passovers during his ministry,[21] not four as is commonly proposed.  Only three Passovers are specifically stated in the Gospels and all mentioned by John. Passovers: John 2:15, 6:4, and 13:1.  This would make the public ministry of Jesus to be just over 2 years, but to extend into a part of 4 different years.  Following this argument is most easily done with a harmony of the Gospels or another work that sequences the events of Jesus’ public ministry.  The author has several and all are in general agreement as the time and sequence of these events. See Jesus’ two-year ministry.

The purpose for making Jesus ministry longer is to make up years to account for the belief that Jesus was born in 4 BC and was 30 year old when he began to minister and died in AD 30 or AD 33. The Bible nowhere states the length of Jesus’ ministry; the points that are believed to be cases for a longer ministry follow.

It is assumed that John the Baptist did not start ministering until he turned thirty years of age. Because John the Baptist turns 30 just before the Anniversary of the death of Tiberius Caesar, his ministry would start late in the 15th year of Tiberius. Luke 3:1-2 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar … the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. The date of Augustus Caesar’s death is 19 Aug AD 14. The 15th year would start Aug 19, AD 28 and end Aug 18, AD 29. If this dating of this event were low by one year, John’s ministry would start at the very end of the 15th year as he turns 30 years old 11 August AD 30. He is in his 5th month of ministry when Jesus comes to him to be baptized in January AD 31.

It is assumed that Jesus was about 30 to mean that he was almost exactly 30, but that his baptism did not occur “on” his birthday.

 

John the Baptist started ministering in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius Caesar ascended to the throne after Augustus Caesar died August 19, AD 14. The fifteenth year would start August 19, AD 28 and end August 19, AD 29. Unless accession year reckoning was used then he could be counted as reigning up to one year later. Tiberius did become the co-ruler with Augustus some three years earlier.

Did God influence the month that we start the count of our months from to give honor to the birth of our Creator? The change occurred with the Julian Calendar in about 45 BC.

Problem the only viable years for a Friday crucifixion are AD 30 and 33. If Jesus’ ministry was 3.5 years then the date for John the Baptists ministry fits very well starting about 6 months before Jesus’ baptism in the fall of AD 26 or AD 29. The problem is that we now have good evidence that Jesus’ public ministry was only 2 years. This makes the ministry of John either at least a year and a half or it places the 15th year of Tiberius ending not before mid-August AD 30. I like this option for another reason but there are some assumptions in my reasoning. Passover was the only feast that whole families from Galilee would travel to Jerusalem for. The feast of Pentecost and Booths would only be visited by the men of age in the households. When the families traveled from Galilee to the Passover they would travel via the Jordan River to Jericho then climb the last 17 miles to Jerusalem. This path was probably easier that the other routes. When only the men journeyed, they would pass through Samaria. While the route was tougher going up and down the hills of Samaria, it was shorter.

John the Baptist was dead by the time Jesus went to the unnamed feast of the Jews in John 5. While Josephus places John’s imprisonment in Machaerus and his death in AD 34. John was a prophet (Luke 7:26) and all prophets die in Jerusalem (Luke 13:33). Maybe John was transferred to Jerusalem by Herod at John’s request to keep the feast of Pentecost. Here it is proposed that John lived less than 50 days from the time of his arrest.

 

Another view on the dating of Herod the Great that bring the end of his reign a few years later: Herod. 

 

Accession year 19 Aug AD 14 to 31 December AD 15

1st year 1 January AD 15 to 31 December AD 16

2nd year AD 16

14th year 1 January AD 28 to 31 December 29

15th year 1 January AD 29 to 31 December 30

ends 10 months before Jesus’ baptism

C. Based on Roman records from the first century Tiberius' first year began on August 19, 14 AD, making his fifteenth year August 29 AD.

1. Other historians who concur include: Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, Philo and Josephus.

2. Further, Luke is addressing Theophilus, a Roman official, and would employ the dates with which Theophilus was familiar.

 

Notes from other web sources

http://www.doig.net/NTC14.htm

From the earliest days, Christian writers variously supported one-, two- or three-year ministries. In the second century Tatian, Irenaeus and probably Melito of Sardes supported a two-year ministry, even before there was any recorded suggestion of a three-year ministry[22]. Epiphanius counted His ministry as two years and seventy-four days[23]. He placed Jesus' baptism on November 8 and began His ministry on January 6, His birthday. He then ministered for a little over two years, which ended Friday, Nisan 14, or March 20. In the fourth century, St. Cyril of Alexandria and Apollinarius of Laodicea supported the two-year ministry. In the sixth century, Dionysius Exiguus placed the baptism on January 6 and Jesus' crucifixion two years and three months later. Dionysius is the chronographer who established the present counting of the years Anno Domini, or A. D. The two-year ministry has only found scattered support during the intervening centuries.

 

www.becomingone.org/cp/cp4.htm cp305 Dionysius' "new chronology was not regarded as a major discovery by its author; Dionysius' own letters are all dated by the indiction...

·       Anastasius, a Bishop of Antioch, states, that our Lord suffered, in his 33rd year, on the 14th day of the moon.  Jesus’ 32 years old in his 33rd year.

¶ cp331 Thus, the year just before A.D. 1 had the same Golden Number as A.D. 532, which is I (Bond, p. 127).

 

¶ cp349 According to Finegan, most dates from early Christian sources give dates for Christ's birth that translate from 4/3 BC to 1 AD (Finegan [1964], Table 107; etc.). The following gives a date between 3 to 2 BC:

·       Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews (c. 198 AD)

·       Julius Africanus, Chronographies (c. 170-240 AD)

·       Hippolytus of Rome, Chronicle, (c. 170-236 AD)

·       Origen, Homilies on Luke, (c. 185-253 AD)

·       Eusebius of Caesarea Church History, (c. 325 AD)

·       Epiphanius, Panarion, (c. 315-403 AD)

 

..the total eclipse on January 30, 30 BC … This total eclipse was one of the longest in duration in history.


¶ cp361 There are at least 4 different ways of counting Tiberius Caesar's reign. (See Finegan [1964], Table 115, and paragraph 409) It should be noted that Luke 3:1-3 is speaking about when John the Baptist began to teach. Through scripture it can be shown that John began his ministry 6 months before Christ started his own ministry, and six months before his water baptism (Luke 1:11-33; cf. Num 4:2-3; Luke 3:23).

 

www.faqs.org/faqs/calendars/faq/part2/

2.13. How does one count years? --- In about AD 523, the papal chancellor, Bonifatius, asked a monk by the name of Dionysius Exiguus to devise a way to implement the rules from the Nicean council (the so-called "Alexandrine Rules") for general use. Dionysius Exiguus (in English known as Denis the Little) was a monk from Scythia, he was a canon in the Roman curia, and his assignment was to prepare calculations of the dates of Easter. At that time it was customary to count years since the reign of Emperor Diocletian; but in his calculations Dionysius chose to number the years since the birth of Christ, rather than honour the persecutor Diocletian. Dionysius (wrongly) fixed Jesus' birth with respect to Diocletian's reign in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 AUC (ab urbe condita, i.e. since the founding of Rome), thus making the current era start with AD 1 on 1 January 754 AUC. How Dionysius established the year of Christ's birth is not known (see section 2.13.1 for a couple of theories). Jesus was born under the reign of King Herod the Great, who died in 750 AUC, which means that Jesus could have been born no later than that year. Dionysius' calculations were disputed at a very early stage. When people started dating years before 754 AUC using the term "Before Christ", they let the year 1 BC immediately proceed AD 1 with no intervening year zero. Note, however, that astronomers frequently use another way of numbering the years BC. Instead of 1 BC they use 0, instead of 2 BC they use -1, instead of 3 BC they use -2, etc. See also section 2.13.2. It is sometimes claimed that it was the venerable Bede (673-735) who introduced BC dating. Although Bede seems to have used the term on at least one occasion, it is generally believed that BC dates were not used until the middle of the 17th century. In this section I have used AD 1 = 754 AUC. This is the most likely equivalence between the two systems. However, some authorities state that AD 1 = 753 AUC or 755 AUC. This confusion is not a modern one; it appears that even the Romans were in some doubt about how to count the years since the founding of Rome.

 

www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-06.htm#P522_306670  Chapter V. The Time of His Appearance Among Men.

2 It was in the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus and the twenty-eighth after the subjugation of Egypt and the death of Antony and Cleopatra, with whom the dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt came to an end, that our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, according to the prophecies which had been uttered concerning him. His birth took place during the first census, while Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

 

Chapter X. The High Priests of the Jews Under Whom Christ Taught.

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

Luke 3:1. Eusebius reckons the fifteenth year of Tiberius from 14 AD, that is, from the time when he became sole emperor.

Luke says simply, "While Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea," and does not mention the year, as Eusebius does.

Eusebius' reckoning would make Christ's birthday synchronize with the beginning of our Christian era,...

Luke 3:2 compared with John 11:49,51, and 18:13.

www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-06.htm#P666_349973 Chapter IX. The Times of Pilate.

 

1 The historian already mentioned agrees with the evangelist in regard to the fact that Archelaus151 succeeded to the government after Herod. He records the manner in which he received the kingdom of the Jews by the will of his father Herod and by the decree of Caesar Augustus, and how, after he had reigned ten years, he lost his kingdom, and his brothers Philip152 and Herod the younger,153 with Lysanias,154 still ruled their own tetrarchies. The same writer, in the eighteenth book of his Antiquities,155 says that about the twelfth year of the reign of Tiberius,156 who had succeeded to the empire after Augustus had ruled fifty-seven years,157 Pontius Pilate was entrusted with the government of Judea, and that he remained there ten full years, almost until the death of Tiberius.

 

3 For the things which they have dared to say concerning the passion of the Saviour are put into the fourth consulship of Tiberius, which occurred in the seventh year of his reign; at which time it is plain that Pilate was not yet ruling in Judea, if the testimony of Josephus is to be believed, who clearly shows in the above-mentioned work160 that Pilate was made procurator of Judea by Tiberius in the twelfth year of his reign.

 

1 It was in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius,161 according to the evangelist, and in the fourth year of the governorship of Pontius Pilate,162 while Herod and Lysanias and Philip were ruling the rest of Judea,163 that our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ of God, being about thirty years of age,164 came to John for baptism and began the promulgation of the Gospel.

 

Our Saviour and Lord, not long after the beginning of his ministry, called the twelve apostles,174

 

1 Tiberius died, after having reigned about twenty-two years, from Aug. 29, AD 14, to March 16, AD 37.

15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24-25-26-27-28-29-30-31-32-33-34-35-36-37

  1    2   3   4   5    6   7   8    9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16  17  18  19 20 21 22 23

Luke 1:5-23; 1 Chronicles 24:7-19;

 

The details of the days of the week for the Friday Passover and Omer, second first etc. seem to fit both 30 AD as well as 33 AD. Things that don’t fit 30 AD are the jubilee connection with the year 1208, eclipse of the moon, and darkening of the sun.

 

Note: Those who discount the traditional Friday crucifixion cite Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  First, in both cases the view is from that of a person who is dead—time may very well pass at a different speed for those who are dead. So if time passes at twice the speed for those who have died then three days and three nights would go from 3PM Friday to 3AM Sunday. The term the heart of the earth is used only here what does it mean? The term “for as” or “just as” implies that the period of time was equivalent for Jonah and Jesus. Jonah was tracking time while dead on the inside of a huge fish—he was not tracking time by the rising and setting of the sun.

 

H        For a chronology of the Jesus public ministry, see Jesus’ two-year ministry.



[1] 1 Peter 1:10-11.

[2] Dionysius was an early user of the concept of zero. He only dated forward from the birth of Jesus. http://members.aol.com/jeff570/z.html His Easter tables use "nulla" for the first epact in each nineteen-year cycle, his predecessors used thirty. A reference is Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, vol. 67, col. 493 [Christian Marinus Taisbak].

@Discuss the fullness of time 4900 = 7 * 7 * 10 * 10, of the time from Creation to the Death of the Messiah.

[3] Matt 8:21-38 Circumcised on the eighth day.

[4] Bonnie Gaunt, Stonehenge . . . a closer look (Ann Arbor: Braun-Brumfield, n.d.), p. 208.

Also John Pratt, “Yet Another Eclipse for Herod,” Reprinted from The Planetarian*, vol. 19, no. 4, Dec. 1990, pp. 8-14. www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/herod/herod.html.

[5] John Pratt, “Newton’s Date for the Crucifixion,” Reprinted from Quarterly Journal of Royal Astronomical Society 32, (Sept. 1991), 301-304, www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/newton.html.

[6] John Pratt, “Yet Another Eclipse for Herod,” Reprinted from The Planetarian*, vol. 19, no. 4, Dec. 1990, pp. 8-14. herod.html.

[7] Luke 1:5.

[8] Luke 1:8-17.

[9] 1 Chronicles 24:10

[10] 24 courses * 2 times per year + 3 weeks = Two cycles are completes in 48 weeks so the courses rotate through the year at 365.25-336 days per year. Each year the course of priests would have to serve about a month earlier in the year. This would place Jesus birth late December 1 BC or early January 1 AD.

[11] Josephus, Jewish Wars, Ab 10.

[12] John the Baptist starts to minister in the Temple for 8 days from Sabbath to Sabbath, while Jesus and disciples are at the wedding feast in Cana.

[13] John the Baptist now age 30 ministers for 8 days in the temple for the first time.

[14] Zechariah ministers as a priest in the Temple, he is probably age 49 the oldest age a Priest is allowed to minister.

[15] Annunciation, Jesus was conceived, Elizabeth in 6th month = 4½ months since John the Baptist conceived or 4¾ months since the start of Zechariah ministry in the Temple. Passover was April 7, 8 or 9 that year. Mary was in Nazareth and may have been alone while her parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover.

[16] Earliest date for the birth of Jesus. This is 8½ months after the annunciation. Did the Spirit guide the selection of these dates? Why was there no room in the inn, because of Chanukah? There was an eclipse of the moon visible several days later, 29 Dec 1 BC.

[17] Luke 1:28.

[18] Passover, Weeks, and Booths, Leviticus 23.

[19] Luke 2:22-24 cf. Leviticus 12:8.

[21] John 2:13; 6:4; 13:1.

[22] E. F. Sutcliffe, A Two Year Public Ministry Defended (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1938), 51-53, 74.

[23] Sutcliffe, Two Year Ministry, 75-76, quoting Epiphanius, Haereses 51:28.