Bible 106, 310

Dating Considerations in the Life of Jesus

  1. Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matt. 2:1); Herod died in the spring of 4 B.C.
  2. Jesus was presented in the temple after 40 days (Luke 2:22).
  3. The Magi found him in a house (Matt. 2:11).
  4. Herod killed baby boys 2 years old and younger (Matt. 2:16).
  5. There is no 0 year in the BC/AD system (there is a 0 year in some BCE/BC systems--those that have to do with astronomy).
  6. John began preaching during the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1).
    1. Tiberius succeeded Augustus on Aug. 19, AD 14
    2. Roman method: 15th year is Aug. 19, 28 - Aug. 19, 29
    3. Syrian method: 15th year is Sept/Oct. 27 - Sept./Oct 28
  7. When Jesus started His ministry, He was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23).
  8. At the first Passover following His baptism, the Jews said that it had taken 46 years to build the temple to that point (John 2:20). Herod started the temple in 20 or 19 BC
      inclusive counting:
    1. if in 20/19 BC, year 46 is AD 26/27
    2. if in 19/18 BC, year 46 is AD 27/28
      exclusive counting:
    3. if in 20/19 BC, year 46 is AD 27/28
    4. if in 19/18 BC, year 46 is AD 28/29
  9. Thus the earliest Passover after Jesus' baptism and the beginning of His preaching would be in the spring of AD 28.
  10. John mentions three Passovers during Jesus' ministry (John 2:13; 6:4; 11:55) and one unnamed feast that may have been a Passover (John 5:1), giving either a 2 or 3 year ministry as a minimum.
  11. Jesus died on the 15th of Nisan in a year that it fell on Friday.
    1. This happened in AD 30 and in AD 33.
    2. AD 30 would give a 2 year ministry.
    3. AD 33 would give a 5 year ministry.

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