What time was Jesus crucified? What time did Jesus die on the cross?
Answer The gospel authors make a number of references to the period of Jesus’ crucifixion in their writings. When we put all of these allusions together, we may obtain an approximation of when time of day Jesus died. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) will be used in this article since it provides a literal translation of the time references given in the original Greek. We know that Jesus was arrested in the middle of the night and brought before Pilate the next morning. “Now when the morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people conspired together against Jesus, deciding that He should be put to death; and they tied Him, carried Him away, and handed Him to Pilate the governor,” Matthew 27:1–2.
Pilate, on the other hand, had to make the final call.
Pilate saw he was achieving nothing and that a riot was about to break out.
Then he freed Barabbas for them.
” When it was at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ (Who is like God?) in other words, ‘My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?’ In fact, when they heard it, several of the people who were gathered there immediately began to exclaim, ‘This man is asking for Elijah.’ So one of them dashed to the side of the road and, taking a sponge, filled it with sour wine, placed it on a reed, and handed it to Jesus to drink.
- The rest, on the other hand, said, ‘Let us wait and see if Elijah will come to save Him.’ And Jesus cried out with a loud voice once more, this time yielding up His spirit.
- Consequently, Jesus died “around the ninth hour,” according to Matthew.
- Mark 15:25 provides additional information, stating, “It was the third hour when they crucified Him,” and the rest of the account is consistent with Matthew and Luke’s accounts of the times of darkness and the death of Jesus.
- It was about the ninth hour when darkness descended from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, and Jesus died at about that time.
- Considering that a new day begins at midnight, the third hour would be 3:00 a.m., according to modern reckoning.
- As a result, the third hour when Jesus was crucified would have been three hours after sunrise, or approximately 9:00 a.m.
- All of this is fairly straightforward, except for the fact that John appears to record something entirely different.
It was about the sixth hour of the day of preparation for the Passover.” It was now the day of preparation for the Passover.
There are several possible solutions to the seeming discrepancy.
This solves the problem of chronology; however, D.
Carson, citing research by Henry Morris, thinks this unlikely, as this reckoning was normally reserved for Roman legal documents (Pillar New Testament Commentary, “John,” Eerdmans, 1991, p.
Merrill Tenney points out that this “Roman” method would be inconsistent with John’s other notations of time (NIV Bible Commentary, Volume 2, New Testament, “John,” Zondervan, 1994, p.
Andreas Kostenberger also notes that John appears to use the traditional sunup-to-sundown frame of reference when referring to time in John 1:39 where the tenth hour seems to refer to late afternoon (4:00 PM), not 10:00 AM (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, “John,” Baker Academic, 2004, p.
- So the “Roman time” solution seems to be unlikely.
- In this theory, an early copyist of John mistakenly wrote Ϝ (the Greek numeral digamma, or6) instead of Γ (the Greek numeral gamma, or3) (the Greek numeral gamma, or3).
- Kostenberger, although he does not necessarily endorse the idea, suggests that John may be making a theological point here and is not attempting to give a literal indication of the time (op cit, p.
- (op cit, p.
- The Paschal lamb selection would normally take place at noon on the day before Passover.
However, this solution has its own chronological difficulties.
The fact that Jesus had already eaten the Passover with His disciples would seem to indicate that the meal itself has already occurred.
538) and Carson (p.
Before the use of watches and other precise timekeeping devices, the day was usually divided up into three-hour blocks, and people often estimated and rounded off the time.
In this solution, there is no discrepancy, just a difference in the way each writer estimated the time.
It is possible that John and Mark “rounded off” the times in keeping with custom.
Carson puts it this way: “More than likely we are in danger of insisting on a degree of precision in both Mark and John which, in the days before watches, could not have been achieved.
If the sun was moving toward mid-heaven, two different observers might well have glanced up and decided respectively that it was ‘the third hour’ or ‘about the sixth hour’” (p.
Taking all the evidence together, Jesus was crucified at some time in the morning, and He died at some time in the afternoon.
He would have spent somewhere between three and six hours on the cross, with a good portion of that time in total darkness. The gospel writers were not overly interested in precision in this matter. They were far more concerned with the theological implications, which they faithfully recorded.
What time of day did the crucifixion happen?
Earlier in the day, about 6 a.m. or shortly afterwards, the Jewish leaders arrived to Pilate’s office (see John 19:14). It was approximately seven o’clock in the morning on Friday when Herod was summoned to court. Jesus’ second trial before Pilate began about 8 a.m., and according to Mark 15:25, it concluded with the crucifixion taking place at “the third hour,” which corresponds to nine o’clock in the morning using the Jewish way of counting. It was approximately 3 p.m. when Jesus cried out, “It is done,” and died on the crucifixion, which occurred around noon when He was hanging on the cross (see Matthew 27:45).
The trials of Jesus
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was apprehended by the Jewish religious authorities at roughly midnight, according to the majority of commentaries. In the home of Caiaphas, He was put on trial for the first time at roughly one o’clock in the morning, and the second effort to accuse Him happened an hour or so later, at approximately two or three o’clock in the afternoon. Then, somewhere between three and four o’clock in the morning, the trial before the Sanhedrin took place before the court.
- and the sun rises around 5:30 a.m.
- and the sun rises around 5:30 a.m.
- As a result, it was necessary to confirm it in broad daylight.
- In the year of the crucifixion, Nisan 14, the day scheduled for the killing of the paschal lambs, occurred on a Thursday; the preparation for (or eve of) the Passover coincided with the preparation for (or eve of) the weekly Sabbath, resulting in a conflict between the two.
- Mark 15:42 to 16:2; Luke 23:5 to 24:1).
When Did Jesus Die? The Year, Day & Time
There has been much speculation concerning the day and year of Christ’s crucifixion and death, owing to the absence of clear day-to-day linkage in the stories of the four Gospels. We know that Jesus died on Preparation Day because it is mentioned in each of the four Gospel narratives. But was it a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday when that happened? In addition, what hour did Jesus die? There has even been discussion over the year in which he passed away. To figure out the day of Jesus’ death on the cross, we must piece together the evidence from his four Gospels and our understanding of his historical period and cultural context.
Cultural Information to Keep in Mind
1. The gospel writers were more concerned with depicting Jesus as a person than they were with the precise chronology of his appearance. Dates have become increasingly important in today’s environment in order to provide proper news coverage. However, the Gospel authors were more concerned with the events themselves than they were with the precise date of the occurrences. They were attempting to introduce Jesus to a variety of audiences rather than providing a thorough biography. It was the day before the Sabbath that was designated as the Day of Preparation.
This is the day on which Jews prepared meals and completed all of the tasks that were prohibited from being completed on the Sabbath but that still needed to be completed.
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What the Gospels Say about Jesus’ Burial
The Gospel of Matthew contains the most detailed account of Jesus’ death and burial (Matthew 27:31-62). In this tale, we learn about Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea “who had himself become a follower of Jesus,” according to one piece (Matthew 27:57 b). In Matthew 27:58-61, it is said that Joseph approached Pilate and begged for permission to bury Jesus’ body. “The next day, the day after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate,” we are told in Matthew 27:62. Joseph followed out this plan on Preparation Day.
In the Jewish calendar, it was Preparation Day (i.e., the day before the Sabbath).” (Matthew 15:42 a.) … Consequently, Joseph purchased some linen cloth, brought the body down from the casket, wrapped it in the linen, and buried it in a tomb cut into the rock.
Jesus died on the Day of Preparation, as confirmed by Luke and John: “Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb cut into the rock, in which no one had yet been laid.” As it happened, it was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin” (Luke 23:54).
What Day Did Jesus Die? Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Over the years, academics have developed a variety of hypotheses about what occurred during the days of the week preceding up to Jesus’ death on the cross. These versions each offer a different day for Christ’s death, such as Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
- Wednesday The fact that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday permits for Him to have been buried for three full days and nights
- Nevertheless, this also means that He resurrected on the fourth day. Furthermore, the Triumphal Entry would have taken place on Saturday, the day of Sabbath rest
- Instead, it took place on Thursday. With a Thursday crucifixion, the Triumphal Entry is moved to Sunday, which makes more sense and removes the necessity for a “quiet day” (a day during thePassion Weekwhen no events were recorded). On the other hand, we know that the Pharisees hurried to put Jesus in the tomb on The Day of Preparation (John 19:34-42), which is Friday, and before the Sabbath began at nightfall (the Jews timed days from the beginning of the nightfall to the beginning of the nightfall). Upon closer examination of the facts, we find that Friday is the most consistent with the Gospel narratives and the historical context. According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day—not necessarily after three complete, literal days—and was buried on the third day (e.g.,Matthew 16:21
- Acts 10:40). As previously stated, Jesus had to be hustled inside the tomb on the day of preparation because of the crowds. In contrast to a Friday crucifixion, which would demand a “quiet day” (most likely Wednesday), this day gives the Sanhedrin the opportunity to make plans for Jesus’s arrest and following trials. As a result, the day is just “quiet” since we haven’t documented anything significant
What Time Did Jesus Die?
According to Matthew Henry’s interpretation, Jesus was nailed to the crucifixion between the third and sixth hours, which corresponds between nine and twelve o’clock in the morning. After then, he died shortly after the ninth hour, which was sometime between three and four o’clock in the afternoon. Commensurate with the aforementioned practice, the Jews throughout the time of Christ measured days from dusk to nightfall. The Matthew 27:46 KJV, which is the “ninth hour,” can be translated into the Matthew 27:46 NIV, which is the “three o’clock in the afternoon,” according to Bible experts.
Timing of Jesus Death in Mark, Luke, and John
- The Gospel of Mark 15: 33:34, 37 “At midday, darkness descended across the entire region, lasting until three o’clock in the afternoon. Also, about three o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus said, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” in an obnoxiously loud voice. (which translates as ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’). “Jesus breathed his last with a piercing scream.”
- Matthew 23:44-46 ” It was now around midday, and darkness descended upon the entire region until three o’clock in the afternoon since the sun had ceased shining. And the temple’s curtain was split in two by the earthquake. I put my spirit into your hands,’ Jesus said with a resounding voice, calling out to the Father. At the moment he stated this, he exhaled his final breath.” (See also John 19:14-16.) “It was approximately midday on the day of Passover preparations, and it was the day of Passover preparations. ‘Your king has arrived,’ Pilate said to the Jews. They, on the other hand, cried out, “Take him away!” Take him away from me! ‘Put him to death!’ ‘Do you want me to crucify your king?’ Pilate was the one who inquired. ‘We do not have a monarch other than Caesar,’ the leading priests responded. Eventually, Pilate gave him over to them, and they crucified him.”
What Year Did Jesus Die?
During this video, Doug Bookman, a New Testament professor at Shepherds Theological Seminary, shows why biblical academics have reached an agreement about the year Jesus died. “It all boils down to this. Pilate served as prefect of Judea and Samaria from 26 A.D. to 36 A.D., according to the evidence we have. So that’s our view out the window. The following question is: On what day of the week did Passover occur during the year that Jesus died? In the opinion of the majority, it occurred on Thursday or Friday.
Given all of this, the vast majority of researchers will agree that it leads to one of two conclusions: ” Theory 1: Jesus died about the year 30 A.D.
“At this point, the argument becomes pretty technical,” says Bookman of the situation.
“With regard to every one of the chronological questions, there is a case to be formed on both sides of the argument,” he continues. I am convinced that the year 33 A.D. “I teach the life of Jesus within the framework of that structure.”
3 Significant Events Shortly After Jesus’ Death
Matthew 27:51-54, Matthew 27:51-54 As a result of this, the temple’s curtain was split in half, from top to bottom. The ground trembled, the rocks cracked, and the tombs burst into flames. Many pious persons who had died were brought back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. They emerged from the graves following Jesus’ resurrection and proceeded to the holy city, where they appeared to a large number of people. They were startled and cried, “Surely he was the Son of God!” when the centurion and others with him who were guarding Jesus witnessed the earthquake and everything that had transpired.
- The temple curtain had been ripped in half.
- We know from the laws of the Old Testament that entering God’s presence was a severe matter.
- The fact that this curtain was destroyed represented the completion of Jesus Christ’s accomplished work on the cross, which eliminated the barrier between sinful humans and holy God by becoming the ultimate High Priest and the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of all people.
- John Gill’s remark on the event states that “this was a demonstration of Christ’s authority over death and the tomb.” When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, he demonstrated that he had destroyed both the power of death and the permanence of the grave.
- In addition to its grandiose claims, this event is noteworthy because it is a narrative predicting Christ’s second coming to collect the remainder of his people.
- This text in Matthew glosses over such a remarkable occurrence, but Christ’s resurrection is told in greater detail in Matthew 28, which is the gospel of Matthew (as well as inMark 16,Luke 24, andJohn 20).
How Many Hours Did Jesus Suffer on the Cross?
Generally speaking, it is believed that Jesus endured on the Cross for three hours before to His death. Although this assertion is incorrect, it is also predicated on the assumption that the testimony of the synoptic Gospels (St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke) contradicts the testimony of St. John’s Gospel. Ultimately, the goal of this article is to determine what is causing the confusion about the length of time that Jesus suffered on the Cross, to determine the actual length of time that our Lord suffered on the Cross, and to resolve the issue by demonstrating that there is no contradiction between the testimonies of St.
- It appears that there is a conflict between the Gospel of St.
- John over the date on which Jesus was crucified, which is the basis of the uncertainty.
- Mark 15:25 expressly specifies that Jesus was crucified at the “third hour,” which corresponds to 9:00 a.m.
- Saint John’s Gospel claims that Jesus was on trial and turned over to be executed at the “sixth hour,” which would be noon if St.
- As a result, because St.
- Mark 15:33-37, and St.
- John 19:14 from the Gospel of St.
- However, according to the Gospels of St.
- Mark 15:33, and St.
- For example, how is it possible that the Gospel of St.
It appears that the synoptic Gospels are in accord on the specifics of the Crucifixion in this passage:
- When Jesus was crucified, the world went dark during the “third hour” (9:00 AM) — St.Mark 15:25
- When Jesus was hanging on the Cross, the world went dark during the “sixth hour” (12:00 PM) — St.Matthew 27:45
- When Jesus died on the Cross, the world went dark during the “ninth hour” — St.Matthew 27:46-50, St.Mark 15:33-37, and St.Luk
While the Gospel of St. John appears to be at odds with the synoptic Gospels in the following ways: It was the sixth hour of the day of preparation for the Passover, and it was the day of preparation for the Passover. “Behold your King!” he said to the assembled Jews. They chanted, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” they screamed out. “Do you want me to crucify your King?” Pilate inquired of them. As a response, the leading priests said, “We have no sovereign save Caesar.” Then he gave him over to them, who crucified him on the cross.
He carried his own cross to this location.
- Concerning the time of the events surrounding the Crucifixion, the evidence of the synoptic Gospels is at odds with the witness of John’s gospel. The Gospel of John provides accurate information about the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, but the synoptic Gospels provide inaccurate information. The synoptic Gospels are right regarding the date of Jesus’ death, despite the fact that they were incorrect about the day of His crucifixion and the date on which the world went black.
These three fundamental assumptions, on the other hand, are extremely troublesome since the Catholic Church holds that Sacred Scripture is without error. “Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as being affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, desired to be confided to the Sacred Scriptures,” states paragraph 107 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).
- John cannot be reconciled with the testimony of the synoptic Gospels, including the specifics of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
- John’s witness and the testimony of the synoptic Gospels, assuming they cannot be in contradiction?
- What if St.
- What if St.
- As a result, if the synoptic Gospels are referring to Jewish time and the Gospel of John is referring to Roman time, the Gospel stories are completely consistent.
- St.John 19:14states that Jesus is still on trial and is turned over for crucifixion during the “sixth hour” Roman time (6:00 AM), i.e., He begins bearing His Cross
- St.Mark 15:25states that Jesus was crucified during the “third hour” Jewish time (6:00 AM) (9:00 AM). There are three hours between the conclusion of Jesus’ trial and the time He is actually nailed to the Cross
- St. Matthew 27:45, St. Mark 15:33, and St. Luke 23:44state that the world turned dark during the “sixth hour” Jewish time (12:00 PM)
- St. Matthew 27:46-50, St. Mark 15:33-37, and St. Luke 23:44-46state that Jesus gave His life during the “ninth hour” Jewish time (3:00 PM)
With this perspective, we can clearly see that there is no conflict between the Gospel of St. John and the synoptic Gospels, and as a result, this interpretation sustains the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture, which the Church recognizes in CCC 107. Please study the following chart, which depicts the approximate link between Jewish time and Roman time, and always remember that the Gospel of St. John refers to Roman time, whilst the synoptic Gospels relate to Jewish time: Hours and Watches, for a better understanding of this.
” Recognition of these truths exposes something quite intriguing!
However, the manner in which we count hours and days differs from the manner in which the people of Jesus’ day numbered hours and days.
A counting series, on the other hand, always began with the number one. So, what precisely does that imply and imply? The distinction is as follows:
- Modern counting is as follows: 9:00 AM equals 0 hours
- 10:00 AM equals 1 hour
- 11:00 AM equals 2 hours
- 12:00 PM equals 3 hours
- 1:00 PM equals 4 hours
- 2:00 PM equals 5 hours
- 3:00 PM equals 6 hours.
- For example, if you are counting during the time of Jesus, 9:00 AM is one hour, 10:00 AM is two hours, 11:00 AM is three hours, 12:00 PM is four hours, 1:00 PM is five hours, 2:00 PM is six hours, and 3:00 PM is seven hours.
“The History of Zero:How was zero discovered?” by Nils-Bertil Wallin provides further information on the origin of the zero placeholder. Jesus’ suffering on the Cross lasted seven hours, according to the Gospel writers and their intended audience, which is a considerable amount of time in history. Why? The reason for this is because Jesus simultaneously fulfilled the Old Covenant while also transforming it into a new covenant, and the Old Covenant was comprised of seven agreements between God and man.
- Isn’t it fascinating how God works in mysterious ways?!
- When the Gospel stories are read in their correct context, this knowledge is gained.
- Jason Hull is a musician from the United Kingdom.
- PermissionsAll intellectual property rights are reserved.
You Asked: What Time Did Jesus Die?
Attention: Please send any theological, scriptural, and practical ministry questions to with your complete name, city, and state included. We’ll forward them on to the members of The Gospel Coalition’s Council and other friends in the hope of receiving a response we can share with you. Zack B. from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has the following question: According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was crucified at the “third hour” (Mark 15:25), whereas according to the Gospel of John, the sentence of crucifixion was carried out at “around the sixth hour” (John 19:14).
It was Justin Taylor, vice president of the book division at Crossway, and co-author with Andreas J.
In order to address this question, we must first revisit some fundamental concepts regarding how “time” was seen in the first-century Mediterranean society.
How Jews Understood Time in the Day and Night
First and foremost, we must keep in mind that we, in the Western world, are exceedingly time sensitive, and we keep track of the passage of time down to the second. “Time notations from the time of Christ and earlier were extremely inaccurate, having little or no similarity to the current sense of timeliness,” explains Johnny V. Miller. Sundials were not often used in the first century, and there was no time unit smaller than the “hour” that was widely accepted. Second, Jews believed that a day consisted of 12 hours, from sunrise to sunset, and that this indicated the length of a day.
- Third, Jews used to split the day into three halves using three reference points.
- 27:45;Mark 15:25,33;Luke 23:44;John 19:14).
- The Lord instructs his followers to remain alert when discussing the approaching return of the Messiah, saying, “For you do not know when your lord ofthe house will arrive, in the evening or at midnight, or at first light of the dawn, or in the morning” (Mark 13:35).
In this diagram, we observe the period of “night,” which spans from sunset to sunrise and is split into four watches: evening, midnight, rooster-crow, and morning. Kevin Lipp created the following useful graphic assistance for us:
What Is Going on in Mark 15:25 and John 19:14?
When we come to a passage like Mark 15:25, it is probably best to understand the expression “the third hour” not as a precise reference to 9 a.m., but rather as an approximate reference to midmorning—from 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. until 10 or 10:30 a.m. When we come to a passage like Mark 15:25, it is probably best to understand the expression “the third hour” not as a precise reference to 9 a.m., but Similarly, the “sixth hour” might refer to any period between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.
Note that the “hours” were only rough estimations of the sun’s location in a quadrant of the sky, so keep that in mind.
and two witnesses were to look at the sun in the sky, one may round down to “about the third hour” and the other could round up to “about the sixth hour,” depending on other factors they would want to emphasize during the sentencing (for example, if John wants to highlight in particular the length of the proceedings and that the final verdict concerning the Lamb of God is not far off from the noontime slaughter of lambs for the Sabbath dinner of Passover week).
At the end of the day, there is no final contradiction, especially given the fact that John provides an estimate (“approximately”) of something that was never intended to be accurate to begin with.
April 3, AD 33: Why We Believe We Can Know the Exact Date Jesus Died
We assume, but do not argue, that Jesus’ crucifixion took place in the spring of either AD 30 or AD 33, with the majority of scholars agreeing on the former. In our book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived, Justin Taylor and I assume but do not argue for a precise date of Jesus’ crucifixion. As a result of the astronomical data, the alternatives are reduced to AD 27, 30, 33, or 34). For the sake of clarity, the Bible does not clearly state the particular day of Jesus’ death, and it is not a crucial salvation fact.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of understanding or importance.
Among the Gospel writers, no one makes this point more strongly than Luke, the Gentile physician turned historian and inspired chronicler of early Christian history.
The Year John the Baptist’s Ministry Began
In Luke’s account, John the Baptist began his public ministry soon before Jesus did, and the author provides us with a historical reference point for when the Baptist’s ministry began: “in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign.” (See Luke 3:16). It is known from ancient Roman history that Tiberius succeeded Augustus as emperor on August 19, AD 14 and was approved by the Roman Senate on the same day. He reigned until the year AD 37. “The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign” appears to be a straightforward date, but there are some ambiguities, beginning with when one begins the calculation.
Most likely, Tiberius’ reign was measured from the day he assumed office in AD 14 or from the first day of January of the following year, AD 15 (whichever came first).
When Tiberius’ “fifteenth year” began, it might have begun as early as August 19, AD 28, and it may have finished as late as December 31, AD 29, depending on the date of his death. So John the Baptist’s ministry began anywhere between the middle of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 29.
The Year Jesus’s Ministry Began
Because the Gospels appear to suggest that Jesus began his ministry not long after John, the most likely date for Jesus’ baptism would be late in AD 28 at the absolute earliest, according to the calculations above. Nevertheless, it seems more likely that it occurred somewhere around the first half of the year AD 29, because a few months had probably gone between the beginning of John’s career and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (and the year AD 30 is the latest possible date). As a result, Jesus’ career must have began somewhere between the end of AD 28 and the beginning of AD 30 at the earliest.
The most plausible dates for Jesus’ birth are 6 or 5 BC, which means he would have been roughly thirty-two to thirty-four years old in late AD 28 to early AD 30.
The Length of Jesus’s Ministry
To determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted, we must first determine how long Jesus’ public ministry lasted. If Jesus’ public ministry lasted two or more years, it appears that the spring of AD 30 cannot be considered as a plausible date for the crucifixion. The Gospel of John records that Jesus attended at least three (perhaps four) Passovers, which were held once a year in the spring and were as follows:
- In Jerusalem, at the beginning of his public ministry (John 2:13–23)
- In Galilee, during the midpoint of his public career (John 6:4)
- And in Bethlehem, at the end of his public ministry (John 6:4). In Jerusalem, at the conclusion of his public ministry, that is, at the time of his crucifixion (John 11:55
- 12:1), there was a final Passover celebration. And it’s possible that Jesus attended another Passover that wasn’t reported in the Gospel of John, but was documented in one or more of the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, and Luke)
This would make a date of a.d. 30 all but impossible as the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, even if there were only three Passovers in all. As previously stated, the earliest possible date for the beginning of Jesus’ career, according to Luke 3:1, is late in the first century AD. The first of these Passovers (which occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry; John 2:13) would happen on Nisan 15 in the year 29 (since Nisan is in March/April, around the beginning of a year), which would be the first of these Passovers in the year 29.
If Jesus’ ministry corresponded with at least three Passovers, and if the first Passover occurred in AD 29, this suggests that he could not have been executed in ad 30, as previously thought.
The Passovers in the book of John would thus take place on the following dates:
|Nisan 15||AD 30||John 2:13|
|Nisan 15||AD 31||Either the unnamed feast in John 5:1 or else a Passover that John does not mention (but that may be implied in the Synoptics)|
|Nisan 15||AD 32||John 6:4|
|Nisan 15||AD 33||John 11:55, the Passover at which Jesus was crucified|
Jesus Was Crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover
It is also mentioned by the apostle John that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John 19:31), which corresponds to the Friday before the Sabbath of the Passover week (Mark 15:42). Earlier in the day, on Thursday evening, Jesus had a Passover meal with the Twelve (Mark 14:12), which is referred to as his “Last Supper.” Passover always falls on the fifteenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6), according to the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar that was generally used in Jesus’ day. According to this calendar, Passover begins on Thursday after sundown and finishes on Friday after nightfall.
33, the year in which the crucifixion is most likely to have occurred, the most likely date for Jesus’ crucifixion is April 3 in the year a.d.
33, also known as the year of Jesus’ crucifixion. Accordingly, we created the following chart in The Final Days of Jesus to indicate the dates for Jesus’ final week in the year a.d. 33, which is shown below:
|April 2||Nissan 14||Thursday (Wednesday nightfall to Thursday nightfall)||Day of Passover preparation||Last Supper|
|April 3||Nissan 15||Friday (Thursday nightfall to Friday nightfall)||Passover; Feast of Unleavened Bread, begins||Crucifixion|
|April 4||Nissan 16||Saturday (Friday nightfall to Saturday nightfall)||Sabbath|
|April 5||Nissan 17||Sunday (Saturday nightfall to Sunday nightfall)||First day of the week||Resurrection|
The computations in the preceding section may look difficult, but in a nutshell, the reasoning goes as follows:
|Beginning of Tiberius’s reign||AD 14|
|Fifteenth year of Tiberius’s reign:Beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry||AD 28|
|A few months later:Beginning of Jesus’s ministry||AD 29|
|Minimum three-year duration of Jesus’ ministry:Most likely date of Jesus’s crucifixion||AD 33 (April 3)|
While this is, in our opinion, the most plausible scenario, it should be noted that many people think Jesus was killed in the year AD 30, rather than the year AD 33, as we have said. If, on the other hand, the beginning of Tiberius’ rule is set at the year AD 14, it becomes nearly difficult to fit fifteen years of Tiberius’ reign and three years of Jesus’ ministry between AD 14 and AD 30, as is the case. As a result, some have speculated that Tiberius and Augustus shared co-regency (combined rule) during the last few years of Augustus’ reign.
As a result, we believe that Jesus was most likely crucified on April 3, AD 33, as previously stated.
Because of this, when we celebrate Easter and walk with Jesus every day of the year, we may be certain that our faith is founded not just on subjective personal confidence, but also on solid historical evidence, which makes our faith a perfectly rational faith.
Crossway’s executive vice president and publisher for books, Justin Taylor, holds this position.
When it comes to the killing of Jesus, how detailed can we be? Is it possible to pinpoint the precise date? We are in the midst of our yearly commemoration of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which began on Easter Sunday. All of us are aware that something like this occurred in Jerusalem during the first century. That distinguishes Jesus from mythological pagan deities, who were said to have lived in places and at times that no one could pinpoint precisely. When it comes to the killing of Jesus, how detailed can we be?
We have the ability to do so.
Clue1: The High Priesthood of Caiaphas
According to the gospels, Jesus was executed at the behest of Caiaphas, a high priest from the first century who was known for his ruthlessness (Matthew 26:3-4,John 11:49-53). Based on previous accounts, we know that he served as high priest from 18 to 36 A.D., which places Jesus’ death at that time period. However, we may be a little more particular. There’s a lot more.
Clue2: The Governorship of Pontius Pilate
All four gospels agree that Jesus was killed on Pontius Pilate’s orders, according to the New Testament (Matthew 27:24-26,Mark 15:15,Luke 23:24,John 19:15-16).
Due to information from other sources, we know when he served as governor of Judea — from A.D. 26 to 36 — and hence can restrict the time period down by several years. Nevertheless, how are we going to narrow the scope to a single day and year?
Clue3: After “the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Caesar”
The beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry is specified in the Gospel of Luke as follows: In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign.the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert, where he remained for forty days. This specifies a certain year, namely A.D. 29. Because all four gospels represent Christ’s ministry beginning after that of John the Baptist (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, and John 1), we may trim a few more years off our estimated time frame for his birth. The death of Christ has to take place within a seven-year time span: between A.D.
Clue4: Crucified on a Friday
There is unanimous agreement among the four gospels that Jesus was crucified on a Friday (Matthew 27:62, Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, and John 19:42), immediately before a Sabbath, which was just before the first day of the week (Luke 23:54; John 19:42). (Matthew 28:1,Mark 16:2,Luke 24:1,John 20:1). Due to the fact that Friday was designated as “the day of preparation,” we know it was a Friday. This means that it was the day on which Jews made the preparations they required for the Sabbath, as they were not permitted to work on that day.
- According to the Jewish Encyclopedia: Friday is referred to as ‘Ereb Shabbat’ since it is the day before Shabbat (The Eve of Sabbath).
- In Josephus’ Antiquitiesxvi.
- The day is referred to as “Yoma da-‘Arubta” in Yer.
- 1 of the Jewish calendar (Day of Preparation).
- 29 and 36, despite the fact that six days of the week were eliminated.
Clue5: A Friday at Passover
It is also agreed upon by the gospel writers that Jesus was crucified in connection with the yearly festival of Passover (Matthew 26:2,Mark 14:1,Luke 22:1,John 18:39). Here we find a temporary problem, because Matthew, Mark, and Luke characterize the Last Supper on Holy Thursday as a Passover supper (Matthew 26:19,Mark 14:14,Luke 22:15). (Matthew 26:19,Mark 14:14,Luke 22:15). That would infer that Good Friday was the day following Passover. On the other hand, while recounting the morning of Good Friday, John makes it clear that the Jewish rulers had not yet eaten the Passover meal.
- It was early.
- So Pilate went out to them.
- There are a variety of ways of resolving this.
- It’s also conceivable that Jesus justadvanced the dateof the Passover celebration for him and his disciples.
- If he says, “We’re celebrating Passover today,” and it’s a day early than other people, they’d just go with it.
- However, regardless of what Jesus’ movement did, we can look to John’s statement about the Jesus’ captors as an indication of what the Jewish authorities or the mainstream Jewish practice was: They were celebrating a Passover beginning on what we would call Friday evening.
That lets us narrow down the range of possible dates to just a few. Here is a complete list of the days between A.D. 29 and 36 on whose evenings Passover began:
- Monday, April 18, the year 29
- Friday, April 7, the year 30
- Tuesday, March 27, the year 31
- Monday, April 14, the year 32
- Friday, April 3, the year 33
- Wednesday, March 24, the year 34
- Tuesday, April 12, the year 35
- And Saturday, March 31, the year 36
As you can see, there are just two candidates remaining on the table: Jesus was crucified on either April 7th, A.D. 30 or April 3rd, A.D. 33, depending on the source. Which one was it, exactly? The year A.D. 33 is generally accepted as the date. There are a significant number of people that support the A.D. 30 date in today’s world. Do the gospels provide us the option of choosing between the two?
Clue6: John’s Three Passovers
During Jesus’ career, the Gospel of John mentions three separate Passovers: the first, the second, and the third.
- Jesus’ first public appearance was during the Passover Seder, which was described in John 2:13, towards the beginning of his career. 2nd Passover: This event is mentioned in John 6:4 and takes place in the midst of Jesus’ career. Passover3: This is mentioned in John 11:55 (and has been referenced several times thereafter), and it occurs near the conclusion of Jesus’ career.
That implies that Jesus’ ministry had to have lasted at least a couple of years longer than that. An in-depth examination would disclose that it lasted around three and a half years; yet, even if we believe that it began immediately before Passover1, the inclusion of two additional Passovers demonstrates that it lasted at the very least more than two years. That indicates the A.D. 30 deadline has passed. A ministry of at least two years cannot be accommodated in the period available between the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (A.D.
The numbers don’t add up in this case.
Is it possible to be any more specific?
Clue7: “The Ninth Hour”
Jesus died about “the ninth hour,” according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Matthew 27:45-50,Mark 15:34-37,Luke 23:44-46). The “ninth hour” is what we would regard to as 3:00 p.m. in our modern day. This allows us to narrow down the time of Jesus’ death to a very specific point in history: around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33, on the third day of the first month of the first century. Of course, there are a slew of thorough counter-arguments that I haven’t had time to address in this article.
This is the exact moment it occurred.
It is recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke that Jesus died at around “the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45-50,Mark 15:34-37,Luke 23:44-46). It is 3:00 p.m. today, which is known as “the ninth hour” in medieval times. Because of this, we are able to pinpoint the exact hour of Jesus’ death to a very definite point in history: about 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33, which is a very specific moment in history. I’m sure there are a slew of detailed points that I haven’t had the opportunity to address here.
How many hours was Jesus on the cross?
The Romans devised the crucifixion as a method of execution in order to murder, torment, and humiliate their victims. Some people died after being nailed to a cross for several days. Jesus was crucified for around six hours before he was killed. The Romans began each day’s hours at the stroke of midnight. According to the Roman calendar, Jesus’ trial began about the sixth hour, or 6 a.m., according to the gospel of John (John 19:14). Every day begins at 6 a.m., according to the Jewish calendar, which the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke follow.
From the sixth hour to the ninth hour, or from midday to 3 p.m., according to Matthew, the day changed to nightfall (Matthew 27:45).
A Roman soldier poked a spear into Jesus’ side to determine whether or not He was indeed dead, and He was thereafter brought down from the cross (John 19:34–38).
to approximately 3 p.m., Jesus was hanging on the cross.
What day of the week did Jesus die on the cross?
What are the meanings of Christ’s last seven statements, and what are they about? What are some of the reasons why I should believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Is it more necessary to remember Jesus’ death than to remember His resurrection? Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.