Date of Jesus’ Death

What day and year was Jesus crucified? The following is part of Appendix 1 of my book, Judas Son of Simon.

Luke 3:1-2 provides numerous historical references to the religious and political leaders during John’s and Jesus’ ministries. It says, “in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesars’ reign, when Pontius Pilate was ruler of Judea, Herod (Antipas Bar-Herod) was Tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip (Philip Bar-Herod) Tetrarch of Iturea…while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John.”

The fifteenth year of Tiberius’ reign – circa 28AD

Pontius Pilate – Prefect of Judea, 26-36AD

Antipas Bar-Herod – Tetrarch of Galilee/Perea 4BC-39AD

Philip Bar-Herod – Tetrarch of Iturea, 4BC-34AD

Joseph Bar-Caiaphas – High Priest, 18-36AD

Annas Bar-Seth – High Priest, 6-15AD. Annas continued as the power behind succeeding High Priests for decades. Caiaphas was his son-in-law, and five of Annas’ sons served as High Priest.

So, from Luke 3 we know that John’s and Jesus’ ministries took place between 26 and 34AD.

Luke 3:23 says, “Jesus was about 30-years old when he began his ministry.” – circa 26-28AD.

John 2:20 says, “It has taken us 46-years to build this temple.” Herod began to rebuild the Temple circa 18-19BC. Therefore, John 2:20 takes place circa 28AD

The Gospel of John records three Passovers during Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptizer and Jesus both appear to have begun their ministries circa 27-28AD. Jesus’ baptism by John likely took place in January of 28AD.

During Pontius Pilate’s term of office as Prefect of Judea, there were only two years when Passover fell on a Sabbath – the years 30 and 32AD. So, Jesus’ crucifixion appears to have occurred on one of these two dates. Given the overall timeline, it is most likely that Jesus was crucified on April 7, 30AD.

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Mona Lisa of Galilee

This is “The Mona Lisa of Galilee” a 2000-year old floor mosaic, called this because of the artist’s skill in capturing the subject’s beauty. It is located in Sepphoris. During Jesus’ childhood, Sepphoris was Galilee’s capital and largest city. Many mistakenly think Jesus grew up in a tiny rural village. But Nazareth was a suburb or Sepphoris, only three miles away. During Jesus’ childhood, Sepphoris was undergoing a tremendous building project. This is likely one of the main reasons Joseph and Mary moved their family to area. Sepphoris had plenty of employment for Joseph. Joseph and Jesus were not “carpenters,” as has been mistranslated. The correct translation is “builder.” Even the word “mason” would be a more accurate than “carpenter.” The Greek word used in the New Testament for Joseph and Jesus is “tekton”. From it we get our English words “technician” and “architect (meaning head builder)”. There is little wood in Israel, and homes are not built from wood. In Galilee, homes and other buildings were built of stone, such as black basalt. Herod Antipas rebuilt Galilee’s capital, Sepphoris, in Greco-Roman style. It is likely Joseph, and perhaps even Jesus, worked as builders in Sepphoris. Although I have little evidence to back it up, I wonder if Joseph, Jesus, and family, could have specialized in the construction of synagogues. We also have indications of Jesus’ familiarity with theatre in Sepphoris, because he frequently used the Greek word “hypokrites” meaning actor. In Greco-Roman theatre, the actors wore masks, hiding their faces. They were literally two-faced. So, when Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, he was calling them actors, hiding their true selves behind a false façade.Mona LIsa (2)

The Prodigal Son

Jerash (known in the Jesus’ time as Gerasa) – One of the Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis (meaning “ten-cities,” but in Jesus’ day there were some 18 cities). In Jesus’ day Gerasa was approximately the same population as Jerusalem. But apart from the size and grandeur of the Jerusalem Temple, Gerasa was more impressive architecturally. Josephus tells us that Scythopolis (Beth-Shean) was the largest city of the Decapolis, and was less than 25 miles from Nazareth. In Jesus’ day, the contrast between Galilean towns, constructed of black basalt, homes having roofs of mud and sticks, would have been a striking contrast to the beauty and allure of the nearby Greco-Roman cities, with their theatres, athletic arenas, running water, indoor toilets, bathhouses, gymnasiums, beautiful streets, public buildings, and fleshly pleasures. Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son was a common problem for Israelite families, where Jewish boys were seduced away from Judaism and their families by the majesty and temptations that the pagan world offered. To illustrate this – when Jerusalem fell to the Roman legions and the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, it was a Jew who was second in command under Titus, Tiberius Julius Alexander, the Alexandrian Jew, was the embodiment of a Jewish prodigal.Jerash

Indiana Jones’ Petra

For all you Indiana Jones fans – here is a picture of Petra that figure so prominently in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In Jesus’ day, Petra was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, a rock city roughly the same size as Jerusalem (50,000). We climbed to mountain to see the “High Place” above Petra, where they sacrificed to Molech. Herod Antipas was married to the Nabatean king’s (Aretas IV- 9BC – 40AD) daughter, Phasaelis. Herod divorced her to married his brother’s wife, Herodias the mother of Salome. When Phasaelis learned that Antipas intended to divorce her, she fled to her father, King Aretas. Eventually Aretas went to war against Herod and defeated him. When John the Baptist denounced Herod for divorcing Phasaelis and marrying Herodias, this was not merely a moral statement, but worsened the political crisis Herod was facing because of his divorce and remarriage, leading to John’s imprisonment and execution.

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Daniel Molyneux in the Holy Lands.

Author and Pastor Daniel Molyneux just returned from an extensive trip to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, visiting such places as: Herod’s Dead Sea Fortress Machaerus where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded, the “rock city” Petra (for you all you Indiana Jones fans), Jerash (biblical Gerasa in the Gospels), Abu Simbel near the Egyptian border with Sudan, the ancient Jericho road to Jerusalem, Sepphoris (Galilee’s ancient capital during Jesus’ day, only 3 miles from Nazareth) Tel Hazor, and so on. Molyneux said about the trip, “It is always a transformative experience to go to the Holy Lands. It provides tremendous inspiration and data for teaching, preaching, and for my books. It was especially great to have George DeJong lead the trip.” To find out more about Daniel Molyneux’s books go to www.angelofa.com

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THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF RUSSIAN BOOKS IN THE WORLD

This is the Helsinki Cathedral (Lutheran).

Left of the Cathedral is Finland’s National Library.

I did not bother take a picture because it is covered in construction mesh for renovation. The National Library’s main building will reopen in January.

If one wants to do research with original Russian books, magazines and other sources, one is more likely to end up here, than in Russia.

Finland’s National Library is home to the world’s largest Russian/Slavic collection, because the Soviet Communists destroyed mass quantities of books in Russia and the Soviet Union in their efforts to rewrite history. The Russian Civil War and World War II also destroyed massive numbers of books in the Soviet Union.

The Librarian in the Finland’s National Library was extremely friendly and helpful. She invited us to come back when they reopen the newly renovated main building.

Finland remains one of my favorite places – great people, a great country, prosperous, clean, tech savvy, helpful, and friendly. What more could one want (well maybe warmer weather).

Daniel Molyneux

Daniel Molyneux’s website: www.angelofa.com

The Angel of Antioch on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Angel-Antioch-Daniel-Molyneux/dp/0692349634

Daniel Molyneux, American author, Fairfield CA, The Angel of Antioch, Finland, Russian books, book research, Helsinki Cathedral, Lutheran, Rasputin,
Daniel Molyneux in front of Helsinki’s Cathedral