Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Crucifixion happened in 30 A.D.

30 A.D., or 30 C.E. to be politically correct. I believe is the year of the Death and Resurrection of Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Vinicius and Longinus (or, less frequently, year 783 Ab urbe condita). I'm aware 33 AD is a more common date to cite, so I'm going to explain all the reasons I favor 30 AD. I won't bring Daniel's 70 weeks into it, in order for the Prophetic significance of that to be impressive we must prove independently that it points to the same date, so I'll address that in a separate study.

The first chronological mistake made in dealing with the time of Jesus is how people read Luke 3. It does not date when Jesus "Began to be about 30 years old" to the 15th year of Tiberius, it dates his Baptism and 40 days in the Wilderness to when he was "about 30". And it dates the beginning of John The Baptist's ministry to the "15th year of Tiberius". People tend to assume those two events were very close to each other, but Acts 13 says John "completed his course" before Jesus came to be Baptized. The 15th year of Tiberius is usually assumed to be dating from the death of Augustus in August of 14 AD. But Augustus had effectively made Tiberius co-ruler in 12 AD after his return from Germania. If we count from that then 26-27 AD was the 15th year of Tiberius.

The biggest chronological mistake made when dealing with the Crucifixion is when people incorrectly state that John refers to three or four Passovers occurring during Jesus's ministry. (The discrepancy between three and four is a Feast being refereed to that isn't identified.) John 2 (It's second story), John 6 and 12 all refer to Passover clearly, the last being the Passover season of the Crucifixion. John 5 refers to a Jewish feast but doesn't identify which, many then assume this is Passover. Since the Passover is largely the thematic heart of John's narrative I believe he would have identified it if it was Passover. I believe the one in John 5 is possibly Purim or Pentecost.

So John has three at most. The problem is the basic narrative of the Synoptic Gospels does not seem to allow more then a Year and a few months for Jesus' Ministry. The thing people overlook is that John's Gospel is the most Mystical of the Gospels, and because of that it's not always purely Chronological, sometimes events are described next to each other for symbolic reasons, not because they actually happened side by side.

John 2 describes two stories. The first is the miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding banquet. That story clearly seems to be at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, since it's presented as his first public miracle. The second story involves The Temple. I believe they're told side by side because together they make John 2 a Beth chapter. Beth is the second letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, and it also means house. So John 2 deals with both The House as in the Family and The House as in the House of God. Both also refer to a three day period of time.

What is so often and to me annoyingly overlooked is that John 2 gives clearly a more detailed account of the Cleansing of The Temple. Which the Synoptics clearly place in the same week as the Crucifixion. Some would suggest it happened twice, but in the Synoptics it's clearly the last straw that drives the Scribes and the Pharisees and the Priesthood to want Jesus dead, if he'd done the same thing 2 or 3 years before that wouldn't make much sense. It's also interesting that the Synoptic account alludes to what only John records Jesus saying here, (About destroying this Temple and rebuilding it in 3 days) in the form of false witnesses misrepresenting it.  But my point here is it's presented as something he recently said.

So in truth John gives a Ministry of only just over a year (many Atheists criticize the Gospels by saying the Synoptics clearly depict a ministry of only about a year and that John's three year model is then a contradiction. I've provided the means to refute that,) or maybe even less.  And since John 2 is recording the Passover season of the Crucifixion, that is very useful since John 2 dates itself.

"Forty and six years has this temple been in building". The renovation of the Temple Herod started wasn't finished till the 60s, so this is referring to them speaking 46 years after Herod's renovations began. 20/19 BC is when Herod first announced the project, but as a careful study of Josephus shows it really began in late 18 or early 17 B.C. So 46 years latter on Passover brings us to 30 A.D.  Ussher dated John 2's Temple incident to the same year, but repeated the error I explained above.

Even John 6 might actually have the same Passover season in mind, since the preparation for Passover in a sense begins an entire 30 days before in Rabbinic custom, around Purim. And in John 6 they're not in Jerusalem yer.  But that could go either way for my current theory to work.  John 6 is either the 30 or 29 AD Passover.

--Lactanius, "On the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died", .2, tells us that only "25 years" lapsed, "until the beginning of the reign of Nero". Nero became Emperor in 55 A.D.

What else can give further support to 30 AD? In the Talmud Yoma 39b it says

Our Rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine; and the doors of the Hekal would open by themselves, until R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself? I know about thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
40 years before The Temple's destruction takes us to 30 AD The reference to Johanan ben Zakkai confirms this is the second destruction, not the first.  Why link the beginning of this period to the Crucifixion?  Because the Veil was torn when Jesus died.

On the Roman calendar years were always named after the Consuls at the year's start. The solider who pierced the side of Christ comes to be named Longinus in extra Biblical tradition. It is often explained as only a pun on the Greek word for spear John used, Logche (long'-khay). But Longinus was a real Roman name, as a family name of the Cassius who killed Caesar, so that Longinus's feast day in Catholic tradition becomes the 15th of March is interesting. The Longinus who was Consul for 30 AD was a great Nephew of the killer of Caesar. Perhaps the name became linked to the Crucifixion because it was linked to the year it happened.

Passover and week days

The problem with trying to determine the date based on what day of the week Passover each year occurred, is that it's not really possible for us to know for sure what the Lunar cycles were that far back, different web sites will tell conflicting things on that. Chuck Missler believes the year 32 A.D. supports a Wednesday Crucifixion, and that people only argue for a 33 A.D. date to support a Friday Crucifixion. Yet the only model I've seen with a Friday Passover in 33 has it on Monday in 32. I'm firmly against a Friday Crucifixion but I can support either a Wednesday or Thursday model.

I prefer a Thursday model because it makes the Triumphal entry (Which was on a Sunday) the 10th of Nisan. According to Exodus 12:3 the 10th of Nisan is the day the Lamb offered is to be selected and presented. And that also makes the Sunday of the Resurrection (the feast of First Fruits) the 17th of Nisan. The 17th of Nisan is both the day Genesis 8:4 says Noah's Ark retested in the mountain of Ararat, and the day Esther 7 says Haman was hanged, and earlier Mordecai honored. Jewish tradition also tends to identify the 17th as the day of the Red Sea crossing. All good events to be anniversaries in advance of the Resurrection of The Messiah and his victory over Death.

Both the Synoptics and John place the Crucifixion on the 14th of Nisan, contrary to what some people accusing the Bible of contradictions think.

I've found an article that supports a Thursday Crucifixion in 30 A.D. (and the 10th and 17th being Sundays) But it does make some of the other mistakes I corrected above (Like the 3 Passovers mistake).

The argument Friday proponents make about a partial day being counted as a whole day are valid. Problem is even that can't give you three nights. However a Wednesday Crucifixion would make four nights. The three days are not intended to be exactly 72 hours, then he'd be Resurrected at the same time of day he died.  When Jesus Resurrection is refereed to as the Third Day, I believe the third day of Unleavened bread, the 17th of Nisan, is meant.

The 15th of Nisan was a special Sabbath, that's why a Thursday model works. But the notion that a non Sabbath is needed between the two Sabbaths for the women to buy the materials is wrong. The Gospels aren't clear on the chronology of when they bought them, and the idea that all they'd do having a full day to work with is buy stuff is silly.

In Israel, denying burial to the dead was and is considered to be disrespectful to the body. Jewish law requires that every effort be made to complete the burial  process within 24 hours of death. Only a Sabbath can extend this time. Had Friday not been a special Sabbath the women would have completed the burial then, as required by law. Only consecutive Sabbaths on Friday and Saturday would have allowed them to delay their work until Sunday.

Luke 23:56 says the women saw where the Lord’s body was put, then went home to prepare spices and perfumes, and then rested on the Sabbath. Mark 16:1 is misunderstood by the Wednesday proponents.  It doesn't say they bought the ointments after the Sabbath, it says they had already bought them, after the Sabbath is when they are now using them.  Mark 16:1 is describing the same thing as Luke 24:1.

Proponents of a Wednesday model tend to believe it was still The Sabbath when Jesus rose, Sunday morning is just when the Tomb was found Empty.  I have trouble imaging him just lounging around doing nothing for 8-12 hours.  Also I believe Jesus rested on the Sabbath Day (the 16th), having done harrowing of Sheol on Friday the 15th.

In John 20:17 Jesus said "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:" while not that much later the same day he allows people to Touch Him.  This is seen as showing that after the Resurrection He had a brief Ascension to the Heavenly Temple were He served as High Priest making the First Fruits offering.  Hebrews 9:11-12 is seen as backing this up.  I see that as evidence against the scene in Jon 20:17 having been around half a day since He first rose.

Malachi calls Jesus the Sun of Righteousness.  And Genesis 1 tells us the Sun, Moon and Stars are given for times and seasons.  So I think Jesus Rose from the Dead at Sunrise.

I used to disagree with calling the 14th the preparation, but I've changed my mind on that. There are other issues related to the Spring Feasts I think modern Rabbinical Judaism is wrong on, but the Passover meal being eaten on the 15th isn't.

Exodus 12 says the Lamb is to be selected and presented on the 10th and then kept till the 14th and killed. If the meal was eaten at sunset on the 14th the Lamb would have to be slain on the 13th. Also when Exodus 12 refers to the Special Sabbath that is the first day of Unleavened Bread (15th) it says "This day" still referring to Passover, the day of deliverance.

Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28 call the 14th Passover because that's the day the Passover Lamb is killed. In a sense Passover can refer to the entire period, from the 10th to the 21st. John 2 helps demonstrate that.

Some people who have a problem with the complexities of the actual Biblical view of the After Life, insist Jesus didn't descend into Hell to release the saved dead in Abraham's Bosom, but actually did burn there, fulfilling the typology of the sacrificial offerings being burnt after they're slain. But it doesn't have to be either/or on why he went to Hades/Sheol.

Exodus 12 says what's left of the Passover Lamb is to be burnt up before the morning, meaning before sunrise. What happens during the daylight hours of the day the Passover Lamb is eaten? Not more suffering and bloodshed, Israel is delivered out of Egypt.

So what I view the fulfillment of Passover as is.
10th: Jesus presents himself to Jerusalem the day the Lambs are presented.
14th: Jesus's slain as the Lambs are slain
15th Night: Jesus travels through the fires of Hades as the Lambs' remains are burnt
15th Day: Jesus delivers the saints from Sheol the day Israel was delivered from Egypt
17th: Jesus begins the First Resurrection followed by other Saints on the day of First Fruits

John 19:31 makes clear that Jesus was slain on the Preparation day (The 14th), and the day after wasn't a weekly sabbath but a high day on which no work was done. Hence the 15th of Nisan.

What about the Last Supper? Nothing in the Gospels really proves it was a Passover Sedar, just statements that the Passover is approaching. Matthew 26:17 and it's other Synoptic equivalents are verses I'm still struggling with because at face value it says it's already the 15th (unleavened bread) two days before Passover, which makes no sense. The Greek texts seem to be using a lot of terms more loosely then we're used to. They may be expanding Unleavened Bread as loosely as Passover is used elsewhere (like the suggestion that Passover is approaching during the days of Unleavened Bread in Acts 12), and so after two days is the 12th or 13th. And that they weren't on the day the Passover is killed yet but just that the day was upon them. And the references to preparing for the Passover meal doesn't necessarily mean that's the meal that is then recorded.

Passover and Unleavened Bread being sort of merged together with each other seems to be part  of Bible Prophecy in Ezekiel 45:21-23 "In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams   without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering."

The problem with seeing the Last Supper as the Passover meal is that a lot more then Bread and Wine is consumed in that meal, even the main course is ignored in the NT narrative. Many consider it a "Teaching Sedar" a tradition that developed in rabbinical Judaism, I don't know about that.  I think when he told them to do this in remembrance of him.  He may have meant that to begin with the Passover Seder the night following.

The point to me however is that the real Torah precedent for the Lord's Supper isn't in Exodus but Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God." Jesus is a Priest "after the order of Melchizedek" as Hebrews spends Chapters elaborating on from Psalm 110,  Psalm 110 is quoted by Jesus himself as Messianic. Jesus also calls the Disciples his friends as YHWH called Abraham his friend, in direct connection to the Last Supper.  Believers have the opportunity to serve as "kings and priests" also.

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