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When Was Jesus Crucified And Resurrected?


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When was Jesus crucified and resurrected?

Mathew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mosiah 3: 9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.

10 And he shall arise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.

I once heard a radio preacher state emphatically that the current Christian concept that Jesus was crucified on Friday is incorrect, because it does not agree with Jesus' several statements as regard to his stay in the tomb and especially since we do know that he was resurrected before dawn on the first day of the Jewish week. I have spent several frustrating hours research on this subject. Numerous “experts” do not agree even to what year or what day Jesus was crucified. In one article I read over 100 experts were reviewed in which there was very little agreement.

The Christian world can not state for certain which year Jesus was Born or Crucified, although we know from the Doctrine and Covenants 20:1 that the current Gregorian calendar is correct as far as the year is concerned, and that Jesus was born on April 6th per the current calendar.

Interestingly there was no year 0 Gregorian. They went from BC 1 to AD 1. So we believe Jesus was born BC 1.

LDS can be fairly certain that Jesus was crucified in AD 34 because that it is what is recorded in:

3rd Nephi 8:5 And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.

7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

These events preceded the visit of Jesus to this continent.

3 Nephi 10: 9 And it came to pass that thus did the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away.

Incidentally Sir Isaac Newton also calculated that Jesus was crucified in AD 34.

Trying to ascertain exactly when the Passover was in any particular year that far back comes down to what source you pick, because the “experts” do not agree. However some will tell us that Jesus was crucified on the passover and at the hour of the killing of the passover lambs in the temple. This agrees with the scriptures, as we read in:

John 18: 28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

And Paul wrote in:

1st Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

According to Naval Observatory data in 34 AD Passover would have been on Thursday. If Jesus was crucified on Thursday and resurrected on Sunday before sunrise, this would agree with the pronouncement of Jesus himself that he would be in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights. No scenario (from any of the supposed experts) that I found accounts for a 72 hour interval between burial and resurrection.

But how is it that the next day after the crucifixion was the sabbath? Because we read in:

Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

43 Joseph of Arimathæa, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

To Clarify:

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

And we read in:

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

There is a clue though right there in John 19:31, “ for that sabbath day was an high day”. What “high day” could it have been?

We read in

Leviticus Chapter 23: 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover.

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

So we know that Jesus was placed on the cross on the day before the evening of the passover and that the day after a passover supper was a Sabbath but not necessarily a 7th day of the week. So according to Jewish law there could have been 2 Sabbaths between the death, entombment and the resurrection the first being “an high Sabbath” referred to in John 19:31 was not the 7th day of the week (Saturday) but Friday in 34 AD.

Could there have been 2 Sabbaths? We read in:

Mathew 28:1

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.

There is no Joseph Smith Translation for this verse, however in the Greek it reads:

oye de sabbatwn th epifwskoush eiV mian sabbatwn hlqen maria h magdalhnh kai h allh maria qewrhsai ton tafon

This highlighted word here transliterated is Sabbaton or literally translated Sabaths, plural and you can see that the word Sabbaton actually appears in the verse twice and is plural booth times.

One additional item that may need clarification. How did Jesus eat the Passover the evening before his crucifixion but was crucified on the day of Passover? Because we read:

Luke 22:11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

Luke 22:13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

The answer is fairly simple. Galileans ate Passover the evening before Judeans ate Passover. Jesus and most of his disciples were Galileans.

I think the logic here is correct and scriptural but I have assumed that the Naval Observatory is the correct calendar conversion among many. I also assume that the Book of Mormon is correct and I think I am on firm footing there.

Copyright George Franklin 5/13/2013

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As you have pointed out ,there are multitudinous opinions on the matter. A review of the calendars available from 200 BC to today has convinced me that precision is nearly impossible and , for that matter , unnecessary for my salvation. That said, it is always fun to learn about possibilities.

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When was Jesus crucified and resurrected?

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The Christian world can not state for certain which year Jesus was Born or Crucified, although we know from the Doctrine and Covenants 20:1 that the current Gregorian calendar is correct as far as the year is concerned, and that Jesus was born on April 6th per the current calendar.

Interestingly there was no year 0 Gregorian. They went from BC 1 to AD 1. So we believe Jesus was born BC 1.

LDS can be fairly certain that Jesus was crucified in AD 34 because that it is what is recorded in:

3rd Nephi 8:5 And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.

7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

These events preceded the visit of Jesus to this continent.

--------------------------------

Incidentally Sir Isaac Newton also calculated that Jesus was crucified in AD 34.

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We read in

Leviticus Chapter 23: 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover.

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

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Copyright George Franklin 5/13/2013

Here's the problem, George, today is 4-13-13, not 5-13-13. Gotta be careful.

Also, the D&C is simply following modern convention in its use of the Gregorian calendar, not establishing it as an absolute dating system.

As Nathair suggested, III Nephi 8:5 cannot have been using the Gregorian calendar in stating that Jesus died in the 34th year, 1st month, and on the 4th day of the week. It was not invented yet. And even the Julian calendar had only recently been invented in the Old World, and years were not counted in B.C. and A.D. until centuries later.

Moreover, just from your quotation of Leviticus, it should be obvious to you that the Jewish calendar placed the Passover on day 14 of the 1st month. How does that become the 4th day in the Nephite calendar?

There is indeed a wide range of opinion on when Jesus died, and that reflects the apparent differences among the 4 Gospels. Most experts agree that, based on the biblical data, it is not possible to determine when Jesus was crucified. Only a set of possibilities can be trotted out for our consideration.

However, there are three dates in the Book of Mormon which can be used to establish a relatively tight dating system for the entire book:

(1) date when Zedekiah was placed on the throne of Judah (his first year as king)

(2) date when the 600-year prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus' birth

(3) date of Jesus' death.

All three of those dates must be simultaneously coordinated. If Newton were here, he'd have no trouble making sense of the chronological confusion.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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This subject has interested me for many years long before the internet allowed the ability to so easily research the subject. This paper was started a year ago as part of an Easter Sunday talk that I gave in sacrament meeting. I had plenty of other material and I decided at the time that this might generate more heat than light and so this part was not included when I spoke but I have continued to research the subject and I am pretty sure the timeline is correct. I teach the High Priests. We are running a little behind so todays lesson is lesson 6 "Becoming Perfect before the Lord "A little Better Day by Day". Robert, As you pointed out I am even-) at 65 quite capable of errors. That said regardless of what calendar system used I think it is still interesting to note:

We know that at least some of the American natives had better calendar systems than their Old world counterparts. I think it would be safe to assume that at least the number of years were counted correctly in III Nephi.

Jesus and his disciples ate Passover the evening before He was crucified as indicated in several places in the scriptures. But the Jews ate Passover the evening of the day He was crucified as indicated in John 19:14, 28 and 31

That there were 2 Sabbaths between His Death and resurrection as indicated by the Greek version of Mathew 28:1 And that there could have been 2 Sabbaths is allowed by Leviticus 23:5-7.

I am an Engineer, I like things to be logical, consistent and without contradiction. But you can't engineer a testimony of the Church.

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I have alway thought that Jesus was crucified before Passover on the day of preperation, ten days before the Passover holiday began.

Just a thought I also look forward to reading more thoughts and opinion to come.

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Robert, As you pointed out I am even-) at 65 quite capable of errors.

I'm a bit older, and feeling the years myself.

That said regardless of what calendar system used I think it is still interesting to note:

We know that at least some of the American natives had better calendar systems than their Old world counterparts.

Yes virtually all the Mesoamerican groups inherited a common set of interlocked calendars from the Olmec civilization which preceded them. The Maya are simply the best known, and their calendar was probably the most accurate on Earth at that time. You can discover the basics of that system easily on the internet or in any good encyclopedia. You might want to keep in mind the Long Count of the Maya, which used 360-day years. I discuss the use of that and other calendars in my “The Role of Cyclical Fatalism Among the Maya,” 2011, online at http://www.scribd.co...-Among-the-Maya .

I think it would be safe to assume that at least the number of years were counted correctly in III Nephi.

I agree, and I think it helpful to include the entire Book of Mormon as a set of carefully computed annals such that the 600-year prophecy of the birth of Jesus is tied to the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, which we can set as an absolute date based on the contemporary annals of King Nebuchadrezzar -- who put Zedekiah on the throne on 10 Nisan 597 B.C., and whose first official regnal year cannot have ended later than 1 Nisan 595. Since we also know that Herod the Great died in the Spring of 4 B.C., we also know that Jesus had to have been born before that date. That leaves just 591.4 solar years from Lehi leaving Jerusalem and the birth of Christ -- a window from April 6 B.C. to April 4 B.C. As pointed out by John L. Sorenson nearly 40 years ago, the only way to shoehorn 600 years into that interval is to use the Long Count of 600 360-day years. April 4 B.C. is too late (after the death of Herod), so that leaves us with possible birth dates in 6 and 5 B.C., which is in accord with much good NT scholarship on this question.

In order to establish the month of Jesus' birth, we must backtrack from the 34 years and 3 days which Jesus is said to have lived in Book of Mormon terms. The Long Count loses 6 months of solar years in 34 years, meaning that Jesus' birth had to have been in the Fall of 6 or 5 B.C., instead of in the Spring (Passover) when we know he died. This means that his birth had to have been at the New Year or Tabernacles. As it turns out, the synagogue liturgy for that Fall feast period, as used in Jesus' day, was later moved by the Christian Church to December-January and Xmas in order to absorb the Roman Saturnalia and celebration of Sol Invictus. On this you may want to read Eric Werner, The Sacred Bridge: Liturgical Parallels in Synagogue and Early Church (N.Y.: Schocken Books, 1970), 79, 81, 89-92, and Ray Vander Laan and Judith Markham, The True Christmas Story (Zondervan, 2002).

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I am an Engineer, I like things to be logical, consistent and without contradiction. But you can't engineer a testimony of the Church.

True. There is no substitute for a spiritual testimony. However, there is a substitute for erroneous data when doing computations.

These basic data must be accounted for, and three dates must be correlated and aligned simultaneously: (1) the date when Lehi left Jerusalem (I Nephi 1:4, III Nephi superscription), (2) the birth of Jesus 600 years later (Helaman 14:2, III Nephi 1:1, 2: 8 ), and (3) the death of Jesus in his 34th year and 4th day (III Nephi 8:5). The NT provides us with no such tight synchronism.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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Robert, when I first read your comments I was thinking you were way out in left field, but after some further research it appears you have a much better grip on this subject than I do.

While I have believed D&C 20 defined the birth date of Jesus, this is apparently not the case. Several Church authorities have expressed different opinions, but the Church does not have a definitive answer on the subject.

I was also surprised to learn that Jesus must have been born some time prior to 4 BC, Herod's death. And so correlating that to a Nephite calendar system is not possible and does not yield a death year of 34 AD Gregorian.

"However, there is a substitute for erroneous data when doing computations." Ouch. Guilty as charged. I have to thank you. My basic premise still stands so I am rewriting my paper.

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Robert, when I first read your comments I was thinking you were way out in left field, but after some further research it appears you have a much better grip on this subject than I do.

While I have believed D&C 20 defined the birth date of Jesus, this is apparently not the case. Several Church authorities have expressed different opinions, but the Church does not have a definitive answer on the subject.

Correct. Our eternal salvation probably does not rest on a correct understanding of Book of Mormon chronology in any case.

I was also surprised to learn that Jesus must have been born some time prior to 4 BC, Herod's death. And so correlating that to a Nephite calendar system is not possible and does not yield a death year of 34 AD Gregorian.

I suggest placing the Nephite calendar system within the Mesoamerican Long Count of 360-day years. That is the only way to make any sense of the 600-year prophecy.

"However, there is a substitute for erroneous data when doing computations." Ouch. Guilty as charged. I have to thank you. My basic premise still stands so I am rewriting my paper.

Glad to be of help. I'll be interested to see what you eventually come up with, George.

My own answer to that question was published as two appendices (one a spreadsheet) in the FARMS Book of Mormon Critical Text, 2nd ed., 3 vols. (FARMS, 1986-1987).

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I am working on rewriting this paper. To start with it will be retitled "How long was Jesus in the Tomb?" which is really what I am interested in. People much smarter than I am have not come to an agreement as to to what year Jesus was born or crucified, although Robert's use of the long count calendar has interesting implications. No matter how it is explained I still find a Friday crucifixion inconsistent with what I read in the either the Bible or the Book of Mormon. And while the answer to this question will not determine salvation or exaltation I feel that I need to answer the question for my own benefit, and to satisfy that engineer in me. Bouncing the question off minds other than my own allows me to see if my thinking is as good as it should be.

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When it comes to gospel calendars, John Pratt is the man:

Dating the First Easter

Because all four Gospels are describing the same events, and because John’s calendrical references are so precise and self-consistent, whereas the synoptic accounts are unclear,12most scholars accept John’s account that the day of the Crucifixion was 14 Nisan and then offer explanations for why the Savior and his disciples ate the Last (Passover) Supper a day before the Judeans. (For example, it has been suggested that the Last Supper was eaten a day early because the Savior knew of his imminent arrest, or that perhaps the disciples used the calendar of Qumran or a Galilean calendar to reckon when to celebrate Passover.13) Part 2 of this article will give a doctrinal argument supporting 14 Nisan. Accordingly, although a 15 Nisan Crucifixion date is not impossible, it is proposed thatthe most likely Judean date for the Crucifixion is 14 Nisan.

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In summary, the historical and biblical evidence seems to indicate that the Lord was crucified at the time of a Passover feast, probably (1) on a Friday, (2) on the fourteenth day of the lunar month Nisan, and (3) during the period A.D. 29 to A.D. 34. Principles of astronomy can now be used to determine when 14 Nisan could have fallen on a Friday during that period, and to correlate the possible dates for the Crucifixion to our Gregorian calendar.21

Edited by cinepro
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I assume you are quoting John P Pratt from http://www.johnpratt.com/

I read Brother Pratt's article referred to at #21 above. Clearly the man has done his homework, however:

I don't see how the day of crucifixion could have been anything other than 14 Nisan. That Jesus and his disciples ate Passover the evening before is equally indisputable. The reason that Jesus and his disciples ate Passover the evening before is too easily ascribed to the Galilean/Judean calendar difference. I don't see how the Essenes at Qumran could have entered the picture. They are not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament nor is any association established.

Brother Pratt suggest that part of Sunday could be counted in the three days but Mathew 28:1 seems to preclude any portion of Sunday being counted.

Mathew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

I don't see how Jesus could have been crucified on a Friday and then resurrected some time before dawn or even at dawn on Sunday and still fulfill the numerous references to 3 days in the tomb and more specifically 3 days and 3 nights.

Incidentally the end of the Jewish Sabbath would have occurred as the sunset the previous evening but the end of the Galilean Sabbath would have been at dawn.

The statement "Principles of astronomy can now be used to determine when 14 Nisan could have fallen on a Friday during that period, and to correlate the possible dates for the Crucifixion to our Gregorian calendar." Is disputable. Various sources give various answers to that question. Choose your source carefully and you can get any answer that you'd care to have.

John 19:31 refers to the oncoming Sabbath as "an high day" to distinguish it from a regular Sabbath. Leviticus Chapter 23:5-7 tells us that the Sabbath referred to is not necessarily a Saturday.

For the best argument for more than 1 Sabbath occurring between death and resurrection we only need to refer to the Greek version of Mathew 28:1

oye de sabbatwn th epifwskoush eiV mian sabbatwn hlqen maria h magdalhnh kai h allh maria qewrhsai ton tafon

"This 3rd and 7th word here transliterated is Sabbaton or literally translated Sabaths, plural, and you can see that the word Sabbaton actually appears in the verse twice and is plural booth times." Quoted from my first post above here.

I am still in the process of rewriting this but I fairly certain that a careful examination of the scriptures will yield just one answer as to how long Jesus spent in the tomb.

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During the Passover, all faiths agree on this if they believe NT.

I am not sure what you are referring to here. But Passover starts at sundown for either Jews or Galileans although there was a 1 day calendar difference between them. If we use the Judean calendar Jesus was crucified, died and was entombed prior to the start of Judean Passover which would have started at sundown. He was in the tomb for the "Holy convocation" as defined in Leviticus 5:7. And He rose on the first day of the week (which was either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th day) of an 8 day Festival of Unleavened Bread. That is about as far as any "Christian" agreement goes.

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I assume you are quoting John P Pratt from http://www.johnpratt.com/

I read Brother Pratt's article referred to at #21 above. Clearly the man has done his homework,

John Pratt's focus is too narrow to be of much use here. As one example, he is unable to take full account of Book of Mormon chronology.

however: The statement "Principles of astronomy can now be used to determine when 14 Nisan could have fallen on a Friday during that period, and to correlate the possible dates for the Crucifixion to our Gregorian calendar." Is disputable. Various sources give various answers to that question. Choose your source carefully and you can get any answer that you'd care to have.

Jack Finegan points out that the work of Fotheringham and of Parker & Dubberstein in correlating astronomy with the Babylonian & Jewish calendars provides the kind of "accuracy of which there is a very high degree of probability." (Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology, 2nd ed. [Hendrickson, 1998], 359)

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I am still in the process of rewriting this but I fairly certain that a careful examination of the scriptures will yield just one answer as to how long Jesus spent in the tomb.

Likewise, on this question, you will want to consult with Finegan's Handbook, 354-358. That is if you want to deal with such questions seriously.

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Methinks that you approach this too mathematically.

True, I would not know where to start with every scripture he missed to make the point? If he knows all those scriptures, he knows the others; "Touch me not for I go to my God and to your God, to your father and to my father" (hope I quoted it correctly from memory) and from memory..."Ye men of Gallilee (can't remember spelling) why stand yen here gazing into heaven, this same man ye see ascend into heaven for he shall come in like manor" Also, "Why do you think you have seen a ghost, for it I, see me handle me; have he any fish". Then Tomas comes and feels the nail prints in his hands and feet and thrust his hand in his side.

Sorry guys, I misread "When as Was"....I wonder I'f I could be worse at this. :( Maybe time to stop embarrassing myself.

Edited by Bill “Papa” Lee
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After reading more on the subject I have come the conclusion that I could possibly be wrong about Jesus being crucified on a Thursday. However I am certain that he was not crucified on Friday. A Wednesday crucifixion is possible but I still lean towards Thursday as the most likely and the best possible answer given the scriptures that we have.

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