When was Jesus crucified? Article by Kevin Woodbridge

When was Jesus crucified?
Evidence pointing to the year 31 AD

Dr. Kevin P. Woodbridge, University of Hull, UK
E-mail: kevinpaulwoodbridge@gmail.com

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When was Jesus Crucified? Article by Kevin Woodbridge
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus:
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

Kevin Woodridge, Ph.D., gives details pointing to a crucifixion date in AD 31 on Thursday, 14th Nisan, including a blood moon on Wednesday night, the beginning of Nisan 14 on the Thursday. Friday 15th Nisan, a special Sabbath, was followed by the normal Sabbath on Saturday 16th Nisan, and the resurrection on Sunday 17th Nisan, the first day of the Feast of First Fruits.

A selection from his article is included in Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology in The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story.  This is his article:

When was Jesus crucified? Evidence pointing to the year 31 AD

Abstract

In which year was Jesus crucified? Many scholars consider that he died some time between 29 AD and 34 AD. A partial lunar eclipse (as described by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost) on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) corresponds well with the Gospels, if the Last Supper were a private “eve of Passover” meal eaten as a Teacher with his disciples one day earlier than others in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus praying and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) corresponds well with the New Testament, if this were followed by a “special Sabbath” for the Passover on 15th Day of Nisan, then a regular weekly Sabbath on 16th Day of Nisan, then the resurrection of Jesus on 17th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), with descriptions of fig trees in bloom and bearing “early figs” being suggestive of a late Passover. This chronology, with the death of Jesus on 14th Day of Nisan, would account for the “Quartodeciman Controversy” in the 2nd Century AD.

Key words: crucifixion, 31 AD, lunar eclipse, Passover, 14th Nisan.

Introduction

Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ is at the very centre of the Christian faith and is the world’s most famous person. Almost all historians consider him to be a historical figure who lived in the Holy Land in the 1st Century AD (Ehrman, 2011). Yet the precise details of the date of his death are not known. The position of many scholars is that he died some time between approximately 29 AD and 34 AD. Any earlier, and the chronology of the life of Pontius Pilate becomes problematic (Flavius Josephus, a Romano-Jewish historian, stated in “Antiquities of the Jews” (written in about 93 AD) that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate and that he was the Roman governor of the province of Judaea from 26 AD until summoned to Rome in 36 AD) (Theissen and Merz, 1998; Köstenberger et al., 2009). Any later, and the chronology of the life of the apostle Paul becomes problematic (St. Paul was on trial by Junius Gallio in Achaea, Greece around 51-52 AD, approximately seventeen years after his conversion, which was after Jesus’ death) (Jewett, 2012; Bond, 2012, 2013).

In many ways this lack of knowledge does not matter, as it demonstrates that Jesus was a rather ordinary man in his time – a Galilean carpenter and itinerant preacher, who met his end by being executed in the Roman province of Judaea by crucifixion. He was a Mediterranean Jewish peasant (Crossan, 1991). Yet, as we approach two thousand years since this event, it is perhaps frustrating that we cannot be more precise. The year in which Jesus died is a very important year in history, as it was the year of Christian beginnings – the year in which Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit was poured out on his disciples.

When did Jesus die? I believe we can identify the likely year, by a careful reconsideration of descriptions of nature and events given in the New Testament. These descriptions are mostly already known to scholars, though the way that these descriptions have been analysed and reconsidered together here is different.

Partial eclipse of the moon on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan)

In ancient history, there is frequently uncertainty as to the exact dates of events and, where available, descriptions of lunar and solar eclipses have been used to provide precise dates for events and to construct chronological frameworks for antiquity. This is because eclipses are natural astronomical phenomena that can be interpreted with a precision of the nearest hour or better, even over a time interval of 2,000 years (Morrison and Stephenson, 2004). It has long been suspected (at least since the times of Sir Isaac Newton, who considered the dates of Friday 3 April 33 AD and Friday 23 April 34 AD) that there was a lunar eclipse in the year that Jesus died (Pratt, 1991). The main difficulties, as is frequently the case with ancient history, have been determining whether the ancient descriptions definitely refer to a lunar eclipse and relating these ancient descriptions to the correct lunar eclipse within the astronomical record.

The main reason for considering a lunar eclipse around the time of the death of Jesus is the wording of the sermon given by the apostle Peter in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-22):

“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

St. Peter quoted the prophet Joel who spoke of the moon being turned to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord, and stated that this was one of the wonders in the heavens above which his fellow Jews knew God had done among them. The moon being turned to blood, that is a “blood moon”, is particularly significant as it is the description that is frequently used for a total lunar eclipse in which the moon usually takes on a reddish hue (though it may occasionally be used to describe a moon that appears reddish because of dust, smoke or haze in the sky) (Kher, 2021). Peter was clearly saying that the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But was Peter also saying that one of the wonders seen in the heavens above around this time, known to both him and his fellow Israelites, was a lunar eclipse? Probably. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) record that that there was darkness over Jerusalem for several hours on the day that Jesus died, so Peter probably meant “the Sun was turned to darkness” literally. Hence, Peter probably meant “the moon was turned to blood” literally, as well. In antiquity, lunar eclipses often have been described in this way. For instance, the total lunar eclipse of 20 September 331 BC (two days after Alexander the Great crossed the River Tigris) was described by the Roman historian Quintus Curtius as “suffused with the colour of blood” (Ginzel, 1899), and the partial lunar eclipse of 18 October 69 AD (before the second battle of Cremona) was described by the Roman historian Dio Cassius as causing great confusion in the camp of Vitellius as the moon “appeared both blood coloured and black” (Humphreys, 2011).

If the sermon of St. Peter was referring to a lunar eclipse visible in the Roman province of Judaea in the early spring (the time of the Passover) between 26 AD and 36 AD, then there are only three possible lunar eclipses, as given in Table 1.

Table 1. Lunar eclipses visible in Judaea in March or April between 26 AD and 36 AD (From NavSoft.Com, 2012)

 

Date

(Julian calendar)

Type of eclipse Approximate time using Universal Time +2 hours 20 mins for Jerusalem
Sunset Start of civil twilight Start of astronomical twilight Moonrise Start of eclipse (start of penumbral phase) Start of partial phase Maximum eclipse End of partial phase End of eclipse (end of penumbral phase)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD Partial lunar eclipse 18.31 18.56 19.58 18.15 20.02 21.17 22.17 23.18 00.32 (Thursday 26 April 31 AD)
Friday 3 April 33 AD Partial lunar eclipse 18.18 18.42 19.41 18.17 14.07 15.29 16.55 18.20 19.42
Tuesday 23 March 34 AD Penumbral lunar eclipse 18.12 18.36 19.33 18.09 16.00 17.22 18.44

At first sight, each of these lunar eclipses look quite promising candidates for the “moon being turned to blood”, but that is not the case when their appearance from Jerusalem is carefully considered. The lunar eclipse of Tuesday 23 March 34 AD ended several minutes after the start of civil twilight in Jerusalem, meaning that the eclipse would have had no discernible effect. The lunar eclipse of Friday 3 April 33 AD had a partial phase that ended at 18.20, before the start of civil twilight, meaning that the eclipse would probably not even have been noticeable in Jerusalem and certainly any reddish colouration of the moon associated with the eclipse would not have been visible (Schaefer, 1990; NavSoft.Com, 2012).

Which leaves the partial lunar eclipse on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan). This eclipse took place entirely within astronomical twilight and so would have been clearly visible from Jerusalem, weather permitting. Further details of the appearance of this partial lunar eclipse are given in Figure 1 (NASA, 2011).

Figure 1. Appearance of the partial lunar eclipse of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (From NASA, 2011)

Note: TD (Terrestrial Time, also known as Dynamical Time) of 23.02 & 48 secs for Time of Greatest Eclipse = 20.12 & 27 secs UT (Universal Time) (NASA, 2007, 2011)

This eclipse of the moon on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD could have been the cause of the “moon turning to blood” that the apostle Peter described in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:20). It was a partial lunar eclipse with about one quarter of the moon totally immersed in the Earth’s shadow, so the moon would have appeared dimmed with part of the moon having a reddish hue. Cloud and atmospheric dust may have accentuated the redness and dimming of the moon. Indeed, the appearance of lunar eclipses can vary, and may range in colour from nearly black to grey, brown, rust coloured, brick red, copper red, orange, yellow, or gold, with red being the most frequent colour. The amount of dust particles, water droplets, clouds, and mist can all have an effect on the shade of red, and volcanic ash and dust can cause the moon to turn dark during an eclipse (Link, 1969; Kher, 2021). There is a Danjon Scale for lunar eclipse brightness that demonstrates this range (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The Danjon Scale for lunar eclipse brightness (From Kher, 2021)

It is interesting that a lunar eclipse on the evening and night of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD fits in well with descriptions in the Gospels, if that was the night that Jesus was betrayed and arrested. According to the Gospel of Luke, after the Last Supper Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, where he prayed earnestly and “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44). This description might have arisen if Jesus were facing towards the eclipsed moon as he prayed and his sweat took on a blood red tinge in the red moonlight. Also, more prosaically, if Judas Iscariot and a band of men came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives at around the hour of 10.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m., this would have been the time of maximum eclipse and could explain why they came carrying torches, lanterns and weapons (John 18:3) on the night of a full moon. As they approached, Jesus said “Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53). On a night of a full moon, Jesus said it was the hour of darkness. Whilst these descriptions could have applied if the night were overcast or the band of men routinely carried torches and lanterns for searches, they have particular significance if the moon were at the maximum of an eclipse. Even though Jesus had been seen regularly in the Temple, the men needed Judas Iscariot to point Jesus out in the reddish darkness of the eclipse (Hage, 2014). Furthermore, this darkness and blood red moon would have been etched in St. Peter’s memory, as the night that he fell asleep instead of keeping watch, struck out with his sword, and then deserted and denied Jesus (Mark 14:32-72).

There are a few difficulties with assigning the arrest of Jesus to Wednesday 25 April 31 AD. One issue is that this was only a partial eclipse, so the appearance of the moon might not have been as red as “the moon turned to blood”, though other partial eclipses, such as that on 2 March 462 AD observed by Hydatius, bishop of Chaves (in Portugal), have been described in this way (Stephenson, 2021). Another issue is that the verses Luke 22:43-44 are not in all early manuscripts and may have been an interpolation into the Gospel of Luke made sometime prior to 160 AD (Ehrman and Plunkett, 2006). If Jesus were crucified on the day after his arrest, this would mean that Jesus died on Thursday 26 April 31 AD, whereas traditions of the established church assign the crucifixion of Jesus to a Friday. This is not such a great difficulty as it first seems, especially since there may not have been an unbroken cycle of weekdays from the 1st Century AD to modern times (Schaefer, 1990).

Crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan)

It is reasonable to assert that Jesus was crucified on the day after his arrest. All four Gospels indicate this, and the priests would have wanted swift action before the Passover and before Pilate left Jerusalem, as the consent of Pilate was needed to inflict capital punishment (Freeman, 2011). If that were the case, then Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan). Whilst this is contrary to church traditions which assign the crucifixion to a Friday, dates for the crucifixion of Jesus on a Thursday and the resurrection of Jesus on a Sunday fit in very well with certain interpretations of the Gospels and the New Testament.

It is worth noting that the word “Sabbaths” – the Greek word is σαββάτων (sabbaton), which is clearly plural (Nestle et al., 1988) – is used in certain places in the Gospel accounts of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, as shown by Young’s Literal Translation:

“And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre,” (Matthew 28:1)

“And the sabbath having past, Mary the Magdalene, and Mary of James, and Salome, bought spices, that having come, they may anoint him, and early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun, and they said among themselves, ‘Who shall roll away for us the stone out of the door of the sepulchre?’” (Mark 16:1-3)

“And the day was a preparation, and sabbath was approaching, and the women also who have come with him out of Galilee having followed after, beheld the tomb, and how his body was placed, and having turned back, they made ready spices and ointments, and on the sabbath, indeed, they rested, according to the command. And on the first of the sabbaths, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bearing the spices they made ready, and certain [others] with them, and they found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb, and having gone in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 23:54-24:3)

“And on the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb, she runneth, therefore, and cometh unto Simon Peter, and unto the other disciple whom Jesus was loving, and saith to them, ‘They took away the Lord out of the tomb, and we have not known where they laid him.’” (John 20:1-2)

Interpreting the use of the plural Greek word “Sabbaths” is very difficult, not least because σαββάτων can be translated as “the seventh day of the week on which the Jews abstained from all work – the Sabbath”, or as “seven days – a week” (Thayer, 1995). The Jews simply numbered the days of the week rather than giving them names, except for the Sabbath (and “Sabbath” literally means “seven”, as it is the seventh day of the week). Furthermore, the word “Sabbaths” could mean that Jesus’ resurrection took place following the sabbaths of the last week of his life. In short, this use of the plural “Sabbaths” is puzzling, as is the chronology of the death and resurrection of Jesus in general. In particular, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) apparently assign the crucifixion of Jesus to the daytime after the Passover meal – on the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (daytime on 15th Day of Nisan, the first month of the year in the Jewish calendar, with Jewish days running from sunset to sunset). By contrast, the Gospel of John assigns the crucifixion of Jesus to one day earlier to the daytime before the Passover meal – on the Preparation Day for the Passover (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) – with Jesus crucified at the same time as the lambs were slaughtered. Whilst this may have been a literary construct by the Gospel of John to portray Jesus as the Passover lamb taking away the sin of the world (Barclay, 2001; Ehrman 2009), the imagery is quite subtle, though strong. For instance, after death, Jesus’ legs were not broken (John 19:31-33), just as none of the bones of the Passover lamb were to be broken (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12), and the Passover lamb was traditionally roasted on two transverse spits of dry wood arranged like a cross (one spit from the lower limbs to the head, and another at the shoulder, to which the paws were fastened) (Tabory, 1996).

Nevertheless, especially since the Gospels used some sources in the Semitic language of Aramaic (Grant, 1943; Missick, 2006), the use of the plural “first of the Sabbaths” for the Sunday of the resurrection may be an indicator that the original oral traditions referred to two consecutive Sabbaths prior to the Sunday of the resurrection. These two consecutive Sabbaths could have been a “special Sabbath” on the Friday that was the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (daytime on 15th Day of Nisan), on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done (Leviticus 23:6-7), followed by the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday (daytime on 16th Day of Nisan). This appears to be borne out by Luke 23:54-24:1, with the women preparing spices and ointments (to anoint the body that had been prepared and buried by Joseph of Arimathea on the Thursday), on the first Sabbath on the Friday, the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Figure 3). This was a day on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done, and the preparing of spices and ointments by the women was not “ordinary” work. The next day, the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday, the women rested according to the commandment. Then on the Sunday, after the two Sabbaths, they went to the tomb (Biblical Hermeneutics, 2016). Furthermore, the Gospel of John clearly specifies that the day after Jesus’ crucifixion was a “special Sabbath”: “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down” (John 19:31). It would have been highly objectionable to the Jewish leaders to allow crucified bodies to remain on the crosses overnight during this special Sabbath (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). All of this indicates that Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) and was resurrected on Sunday 29 April 31 AD (daytime on 17th Day of Nisan).

This is contrary to the traditions of the established church, which ascribe the death of Jesus to the Friday, but is in keeping with various aspects of the Gospels which indicate that Jesus was three nights in the tomb. For instance, when speaking about the sign of Jonah, Jesus said “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). Also, on the day of the resurrection, two disciples on the road to Emmaus said “The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place” (Luke 24: 20-21). It is also consistent with the apocryphal Gospel of Peter which indicates that Jesus’ crucifixion was on the day before the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, that is in the daytime on the 14th Day of Nisan (Mattison, 2018). However, there are some aspects of the Gospels which appear consistent with the crucifixion of Jesus being on a Friday, such as when Jesus said to some Pharisees regarding Herod Antipas: “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (Luke 13:32-33).

A date for the crucifixion of Jesus of Thursday 26 April 31 AD is quite late in the year. Does it fit in with the Passover date for that year? The official Jewish calendar was designed with the intent that the spring equinox always fell either in the month of Adar (the last month of the Jewish year), or at the latest on the 1st Day of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish year). The Jewish calendar (which was comprised of 12 0r 13 lunar months with lengths of 29 or 30 days) in the 1st Century AD was variable. This was due to factors such as the start of each lunar month being dependent on the visibility of the crescent new moon and the insertion of an intercalary or “leap” month (an additional Adar I month with a length 30 days) every two to three years, aiming to keep this lunar calendar in step with the Sun (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992; Reis, 2019). In the 1st Century AD, the Jewish authorities had a fairly detailed knowledge of astronomy, such as the average length of time between each lunar conjunction (or molad), and calculations were made; though Jewish writings indicate that the purpose of the calculations were to assess the reliability of witnesses of the visible new moon crescents, not to determine when months and years began. The “calendar” that was held sacred by both the Jews and the Babylonians was the one determined by the clock in the sky, not that created by the calculations of men. The practice of establishing Jewish calendar dates by calculation alone was not instigated until about 358 AD (Beattie, 2012). Hence, there is some uncertainty as to the exact date of the Passover in each year in the 1st Century AD. In the year 31 AD, the spring equinox was on Friday 23 March 31 AD, so, whilst some scholars have assigned the Passover in that year to the time around Tuesday 27 March 31 AD (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992), others have assigned it to the time around Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (Nelte, 1998).

Assuming the late April Passover date, the actual 1st Day of Nisan would have been determined by the first sighting of the crescent moon after the new moon at time 14.14 on Tuesday 10 April 31 AD. Since this new moon was in the daytime, the first opportunity for seeing the crescent moon in Jerusalem would have been on the evening of Wednesday 11 April 31 AD. However, if the sky had been obscured by cloud or dust in Jerusalem on the evening of Wednesday 11 April 31 AD, such that the new moon crescent was not sighted until the following evening, then the 1st Day of Nisan would have been on Friday 13 April 31 AD, and the 15th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread) would have been on Friday 27 April 31 AD (Hage, 2014). This would be consistent with people in Jerusalem having eaten the Passover meal on the evening of Thursday 26 April 31 AD. It would also be consistent with Jesus and his disciples having eaten the Last Supper as a private meal “before the Passover” on the previous evening of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD.

Hence, the apparent confusion regarding dates and whether or not the Last Supper was a Passover meal may have been because Jesus and his disciples ate the Last Supper as a private meal in preparation for the Passover, such as one of a Teacher or Rabbi eaten with his disciples or pupils. Such a meal would have taken place on the “eve of Passover” after sunset of the 14th Day of Nissan, or on the evening of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD by the chronology proposed here. Indeed, there is some evidence that the Last Supper in the early church was celebrated as an “Agape Meal” with fellow Christians (Reis, 2019). This would account for the Last Supper having some, though not all, of the characteristics of a Passover meal. There was bread, wine, and the singing of a hymn (Mark 14:16-26); though, crucially, no mention of a lamb being sacrificed at the Temple, nor of it being brought home and roasted. It would also account for how the Synoptic Gospels state that Jesus and his disciples prepared the Passover (Matthew 26:19; Mark 14:16; Luke 22:13), rather than stating that they actually “ate” the Passover (Reis, 2019). Jesus’ instructions for preparation were quite elaborate and implied an element of covertness – going into the city, following a man carrying a water jar to a house, asking the owner ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’, and being shown a large upper room, furnished and ready, as the place to prepare the Passover (Mark 14:13-15). Interestingly, a few groups, most notably the Samaritans and the Essenes, probably ate the Passover meal on a different day to most people in Jerusalem, due to them still using a pre-exilic calendar (using a day that ran from sunrise to sunrise and the conjunction of the new moon to determine the 1st Day of Nisan) that was one to four days earlier than the post-exilic calendar that was the official Jewish calendar in the 1st century AD. The instructions to follow a man carrying a water jar (a task that celibate Essene men often did out of necessity) may have been a sign to enter the city through the Essene Gate and use an upper room of the Essene community for the “before the Passover” meal (Humphreys, 2011).

The key events of spring 31 AD are summarised in Table 2. From this table it can be seen that dates in spring 31 AD fit in well with events and beliefs expressed in the Gospels, the book of Acts, and the early letters of St. Paul.

Table 2. Key events in Jerusalem and its environs in April – June 31 AD

Date (Julian calendar, year 31 AD) – Approx. time using Universal Time + 2 hours 20 mins for Jerusalem Event (with date in Jewish calendar, year 3792 Am, each day in the official Jewish calendar running from sunset to sunset or nightfall to nightfall)
Tuesday 10 April 31 AD – Time 14.14 Conjunction of new moon (the molad) – First new moon after the spring equinox
Wednesday 11 April 31 AD – Early evening First opportunity to sight crescent new moon in Jerusalem missed due to cloudy or dusty sky
Thursday 12 April 31 AD – Early evening Crescent new moon sighted by religious authorities in Jerusalem
Friday 13 April 31 AD 1st Day of Nisan (first month of the Jewish year)
Sunday 22 April 31 AD 10th Day of Nisan (five days before the Passover) – Probable date of triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (John 12:1 & 12)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD

 

13th Day of Nisan – Jesus and his disciples prepared the Passover during the day and ate the Last Supper after sunset during 14th Day of Nisan as a private “eve of Passover” meal, eaten as a Teacher with his disciples (one day before most people in Jerusalem ate the Passover) (Mark 14:12-26; John 13:1-2)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD – Time 21.17 to 23.18

 

14th Day of Nisan (evening/night) – Partial phase (darkest phase) of partial lunar eclipse – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives and Jesus arrested by a band of men guided by Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:39-53)
Thursday 26 April 31 AD 14th Day of Nisan (daytime) – Preparation Day for the Passover, with sacrificial lambs for the Passover meal killed in Jerusalem in the afternoon and eaten after sunset during 15th Day of Nisan (Leviticus 23:4-6) – Trial of Jesus during night and morning (Jews did not enter Pilate’s palace on the morning of 14th Day of Nisan, as they wanted to be able to eat the Passover after sunset on 15th Day of Nisan) (John 18:28) – Crucifixion of Jesus (the Passover lamb, 1 Corinthians 5:7) – As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen cloth, and placed it in a new rock-cut tomb (Matthew 27:57-61)
Friday 27 April 31 AD 15th Day of Nisan – First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, a “special Sabbath” for the Passover festival on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done (Leviticus 23:5-8) – Women who had come with Jesus from Galilee went home and prepared spices and perfumes (Luke 23:55-56)
Saturday 28 April 31 AD 16th Day of Nisan – Regular weekly Sabbath – Women rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment (Luke 23:56)
Sunday 29 April 31 AD – Early morning 17th Day of Nisan – First Day of the Feast of First Fruits, first harvested barley sheaf waved by the priest before Yahweh (Leviticus 23:9-14) – Resurrection of Jesus (the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23) – Women found an empty tomb (Luke 24:1-3)
Sunday 29 April 31 AD 17th Day of Nisan – Two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus on the third day since his crucifixion (Luke 24:20-21)
Sunday 17 June 31 AD 7th Day of Sivan (third month of the Jewish year) – Feast of Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost (Greek meaning “50th day”) – Final Day of the Feast of First Fruits, two lambs waved by the priest before Yahweh together with baked wheat bread of firstfruits, celebration of the revealing of the Torah to the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai (Leviticus 23:15-22) – Holy Spirit came to the disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-5) (the firstfruits of the Spirit, Romans 8:23)

Fig trees already in bloom and bearing “early figs” suggest a Passover during late April in the year Jesus died

A further aspect of the Synoptic Gospels which indirectly supports the late spring date of Thursday 26 April 31 AD for the crucifixion of Jesus, is the description of fig trees that they provide. Like all deciduous trees, fig trees change with the seasons. In Jerusalem and the uplands of Judaea, fig trees shed all their leaves by December and remain bare until the spring. Generally, from about the end of March onwards they put forth buds, followed by the appearance of larger green leaves in early April. When these leaves appear, every fig tree which is going to bear fruit from the “new wood” in August, will have some knob-like “early figs” on them, small figs that are also known as “taqsh” or “breba” figs (Figure 3) (Masterman, 1939; Bruce, 2003). These taqsh can

be eaten if one is hungry and are an indicator that a specific fig tree is not barren, as sometimes the entirety of this first crop may abort so that by May there are no figs at all on the fig tree. It was a crop of taqsh figs that Jesus was most probably looking for when he was hungry and cursed the fig tree, causing it whither (Mark 11:12-14 & 20-25); particularly since the writer of the Gospel of Mark commented: “When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs” (Mark 11:13) (Masterman, 1939; Bruce, 2003).

Figure 3. Taqsh or breba figs

This happened shortly after the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, which, if Table 2 is correct, would place it in late April 31 AD. To find a fig tree with leaves and be looking for taqsh or early figs on it makes good sense in late April, but considerably less sense in late March, unless it were an especially mild year. Also, at around the same time, Jesus said “Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near” (Mark 13:28). Fig trees usually bloom in early to mid-spring, so the crucifixion of Jesus was probably in a year of a late Passover during late April, as the fig trees were already in bloom and summer was near. In Jerusalem and the Holy Land spring and autumn are only very short seasons, with the hot, dry summer effectively extending from about May to September (Alon, 1969).

Summary

In summary, this careful interpretation of the New Testament and nature strongly suggests that Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD. This is a challenge to the view of those who consider that the memory of the precise details of the last days of Jesus’ life had been lost to the collective memory by the time the Gospels were written (approximately 66 AD – 110 AD) (Perkins, 1998; Lincoln, 2005), meaning that the year of Jesus’ death is probably not recoverable other than that it was around the time of the Passover between about 29 AD and 34 AD (Bond, 2012, 2013). Whether the good coincidence of dates in 31 AD arises due to the Gospels being written mainly from eyewitness accounts, or due to the Gospels being written mainly to emphasise fulfilment of prophecy and theology, depends on one’s point of view (Crossan, 1991; Martin, 1996; Wright, 2003; Beilby and Eddy, 2009; Ehrman, 2009; Bond, 2012; Bauckham, 2017). Either way, the year 31 AD is a good fit. Other dates for the death of Jesus, particularly Friday 7 April 30 AD (Dunn, 2003) and Friday 3 April 33 AD (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992), have been carefully researched and proposed. However, they do not fully account for the evidence given here, particularly a lunar eclipse that would have been clearly visible from Jerusalem. A chronology can be constructed for the spring of 31 AD which fits in very well with the New Testament accounts and theology (Table 2), including Jesus being crucified as the Passover lamb and rising from the dead as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. The key exception to this is the assigning of the death of Jesus to a Thursday, whereas churches commemorate the death of Jesus on a Friday.

Why does the established church commemorate the death of Jesus on Good Friday? Most probably, the early church in the 1st Century AD celebrated the Passover, with the interpretation of Jesus as the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29), sacrificed on the 14th Day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6; John 18:28), and resurrected on the 16th or 17th Day of Nisan (the day after the Sabbath after Passover, the initial day of the Feast of First Fruits, when the first harvested barley sheaf was waved by the priest before Yahweh) (Leviticus 23:9-22). St. Paul described the resurrection as being firstly of Christ, the firstfruits of the harvest (as on the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), then of those who belong to Christ, at his Second Coming at the completion of the harvest (as on the Final Day of the Feast of First Fruits) (1 Corinthians 15:20-28) (White, 2015).

The practice of celebrating Easter on a Sunday started around the time of Pope Sixtus I (c. 126 AD), as a repressive change from the Jewish lunar calendar to the Roman Julian solar calendar, and became a major issue during the “Quartodeciman Controversy” in which Pope Victor I (189 – 198 AD) threatened to excommunicate Polycrates, and other bishops in Asia Minor and Jerusalem, who celebrated the Passover for Christians on the 14th Day of Nisan. After the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), Quartodecimanism was outlawed under the Roman emperor Constantine I (306 – 337 AD) and persecuted under the Roman emperor Theodosius I (379 – 395 AD), and it was ruled that all churches should follow a single rule for Easter Sunday, computed independently of the Jewish calendar (Freeman, 2011). It seems probable that during this long, unedifying struggle to separate Christianity from its Jewish roots, the correct, historical tradition of Jesus dying on a Thursday was lost.

References

Bible quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version © 2011 by Biblica, Inc., and from The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Young’s Literal Translation (1862) by Robert Young.

Alon, A. (1969) The Natural History Of The Land Of The Bible. Jerusalem Publishing House, Jerusalem, Israel.

Barclay, W. (2001) The Gospel of John, Volume Two. The New Daily Study Bible. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Bauckham, R. (2017) Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Second Edition. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Beattie, M. J. (2012) How Accurate is the Calendar at this Website? Web page of CGSF about the Hebrew Calendar: http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/about

Beilby, J. K. and Eddy, P. R. (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five views. SPCK, London, UK.

Biblical Hermeneutics (2016) Greek – Sabbath, Sabbaths or week? Matthew 28:1. Web page of Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21961/sabbath-sabbaths-or-week-matthew-281

Bond, H. K. (2012) The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. T&T Clark, London, UK.

Bond, H. K. (2013) ‘Dating the Death of Jesus’: Memory and the Religious Imagination. New Testament Studies, 59 (4), 461-475.

Bruce, F. F. (2003) The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Crossan, J. D. (1991) The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. (2009) Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them). HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. (2011) Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. and Plunkett, M. A. (2006) The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43-44. In: Ehrman, B. D. (ed.) Studies in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 178-195.

Freeman, C. (2011) A New History of Early Christianity. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Ginzel, F. K. (1899) Spezieller kanon der sonnen- und mondfinsternisse für das ländergebiet der klassischen altertumswissenschaften und den zeitraum von 900 vor Chr. bis 600 nach Chr. Mayer & Müller, Berlin, Germany.

Grant, F. C. (1943) The Earliest Gospel. Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York, USA.

Hage, O. H. (2014) Jesus History: The Crucifixion of Jesus. Web page of Hage Productions: https://petragrail.tripod.com/tree.html

Humphreys, C. J. (2011) The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Humphreys, C. J. and Waddington, W. G. (1992) The Jewish calendar, a lunar eclipse and the date of Christ’s Crucifixion. Tyndale Bulletin, 43.2 (1992), 331-351.

Jewett, R. (2012) Dating Paul’s Life. SCM Press, London, UK.

Kher, A. (2021) Why Does the Moon Turn Red? Web page of timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/why-does-moon-look-red-lunar-eclipse.html

Köstenberger, A. J., Kellum, L. S. and Quarles, C. L. (2009) The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, USA.

Lincoln, A. T. (2005) The Gospel According to St John (Black’s New Testament Commentaries). Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

Link, F. (1969) Eclipse Phenomena in Astronomy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Martin, E. L. (1996) Secrets of Golgotha (Second Edition): The Lost History of Jesus’ Crucifixion. Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Masterman, E. W. G. (1939) Fig, Fig-tree. In: Orr, J. (general ed.) The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. W. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Mattison, M. M. (2018) The Gospel of Peter: Revisiting Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Scotts Valley, California, USA.

Missick, S. A. (2006) The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity. Xulon Press, Maitland, Florida, USA.

Morrison, L. and Stephenson, F. R. (2004) Historical Values of the Earth’s Clock Error ΔT and the Calculation of Eclipses. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 35 (3), August 2004, 327-336.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (2007) Historical Values of Delta T (ΔT). Adapted from “Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses” [Espenak and Meeus]. Web page of NASA: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/deltat2004.html

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (2011) Five Millennium Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: 0001 to 0100 (1 CE to 100 CE). NASA TP-2009-214172. Web page of NASA: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE0001-0100.html

NavSoft.Com (2012) Historical Events: Death of Jesus. Web page of NavSoft.Com: http://navsoft.com/html/___death_of_jesus.html

Nelte, F. W. (1998) Passover dates for 30 A.D. and for 31 A.D. Web page of Frank W. Nelte: https://www.franknelte.net/article.php?article_id=111

Nestle, E., Marshall, A. and Phillips, J. B. (1988) The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English. Tenth Printing. Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Perkins, P. (1998). The Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles: Telling the Christian Story. In: Barton, J (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 241-258.

Pratt, J. P. (1991). Newton’s Date for the Crucifixion. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 32 (No. 3), 301-304.

Reis, A. (2019) The Chronology of the Crucifixion: An Updated Adventist View. Paper on website of Academia.edu:

https://www.academia.edu/39331184/_The_Chronology_of_the_Crucifixion_An_Updated_Adventist_View_

Schaefer, B. E. (1990) Lunar visibility and the crucifixion. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 31, 53-67.

Stephenson, F. R. (2021) Eclipses in history: Medieval European. Article on website of Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/science/eclipse/Medieval-European

Tabory, J. (1996) The Crucifixion of the Paschal Lamb. The Jewish Quarterly Review, 86 (No. 3/4), 395-406.

Thayer, J. H. (1995) Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Coded with Strong’s Concordance Numbers. Hendrickson, Peabody, Massachusetts, USA (Originally published in 1889).

Theissen, G. and Merz, A. (1998) The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, USA.

White, J. (2015) ‘He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures’ (1 Corinthians 15:4): A typological interpretation based on the cultic calendar in Leviticus 23. Tyndale Bulletin, 66.1 (2015), 103-119.

Wright, N. T. (2003) The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3). SPCK, London, UK.

______________________________

The following excerpt here is from Kevin Woodridge’s article, now included in Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology in The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story. The excerpt begins this way:

Blood Moon AD 31 on Nisan 14

Kevin Woodridge, Ph.D., gives details pointing to a crucifixion date in AD 31 on Thursday, 14th Nisan, including a blood moon on Wednesday night, the beginning of Nisan 14 which continued on the Thursday. Friday 15th Nisan, a special Sabbath, was followed by the normal Sabbath on Saturday 16th Nisan, and the resurrection on Sunday 17th Nisan, the first day of the Feast of First Fruits.

His PDF article is When was Jesus crucified? Evidence pointing to 31 AD. His Abstract says:

In which year was Jesus crucified? Many scholars consider that he died sometime between 29 AD and 34 AD. A partial lunar eclipse (as described by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost) on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) corresponds well with the Gospels, if the Last Supper were a private “eve of Passover” meal eaten as a Teacher with his disciples one day earlier than others in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus praying and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) corresponds well with the New Testament, if this were followed by a “special Sabbath” for the Passover on 15th Day of Nisan, then a regular weekly Sabbath on 16th Day of Nisan, then the resurrection of Jesus on 17th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), with descriptions of fig trees in bloom and bearing “early figs” being suggestive of a late Passover.


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

Contents of The Life of Jesus

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The Life of Jesus  –  in English and Urdu

The Life of Jesus  –  in English and Urdu

History’s Great Love Story

 

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF – English

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                                   A Brief Overview

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WestBow Press – The Life of Jesus

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
Be enriched. A most helpful telling of the life of Jesus using the biblical text and adding some background and charts. Anyone using this book will be enriched.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* The book is beautifully written and I have learned and understood a lot. I am recommending this book. ~ Kattie Mayson (Amazon 5-stars)
* I read your book last night. This is a great book. Thanks for writing this for all of us. ~ Nabeel Sharoon (Pakistan)

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The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions [see below]
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Preface

Why would such a good man who loved so profoundly and helped so many people be killed? Why did he provoke opposition?

If God walked among us in the person of his Son, why would people want to kill him? Why did so many vehemently oppose him?

That puzzled me as a boy. It still does.

The greatest love story the world has ever seen led to the excruciating death of crucifixion.

Many people have given their lives for other people as soldiers do in war. They die for others, defending home and country. But Jesus’ death was different. God’s Son chose to die for us because of his immense love for us. He took our place. His death gives us life. He is the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for us. His blood cleanses us from all our sin as we trust in him. We are forgiven.

But why did so many good people, good religious people, hate him? That puzzled and fascinated me, so I explore that mystery in this book. I wanted to write a summary overview that people of all ages could read.

I always believed in Jesus. Even as a small boy I loved to hear and then read stories about him. He was so unique, so different. I believed his story as a boy and trusted in him. I still do and I hope you do too.

Jesus did what was good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, set people free from addictions and evil, performed miracles, and even raised dead people. Huge crowds followed him and wanted him to be their king.

Now billions follow him, captivated by his love, the greatest love story of all. You can do that also. I invite you to simply pray something like this: Thank you Lord for all you’ve done. Forgive me for any wrong in my life. I trust in you and give my life to you.

Introduction

The year on our calendar or diary reminds us of when Jesus was born, approximately. We count the years from his arrival. So when you look at your diary or calendar you can be reminded again of Jesus.

They called him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, the same name as Moses’ famous general who led God’s people into their Promised Land. Yeshua means God saves, or God is salvation.

That name comes to us in English through many translations from Yeshua or Y’shua in Hebrew and Aramaic, then translated into Iesous in Greek, then to IESVS in Latin and later as IESUS as printed in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611. Later that century ‘J’ replaced the ‘I’ so the English name became Jesu (vocative) and Jesus (nominative) but eventually just Jesus in English. Other languages have translations such as Jesu, Yesu, and Isa.

English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name.[1]  So in English, the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel announced his name before his birth to both Mary his mother and to Joseph who married Mary.[2] Gabriel explained that Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) had that name because he would save his people from their sins.

The great love story had begun. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life.

His followers recorded that story of his life and his love in the good news of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest of the New Testament explores the mystery and wonder of that amazing life and love.

Scholars have a bewildering array of theories about the Bible and about who wrote what, and when, and where, and why. I’m content to run with traditional explanations that have been used throughout most of history.

Jesus’ unique and wonderful life, his brutal death for us, and his powerful resurrection, all reveal his and God’s eternal love for us all. You could pause and thank him right now even as you read this.

John’s Gospel emphasizes God’s eternal love revealed in Jesus. It includes the most famous passage in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

That love, powerfully shown on the cross, has transformed billions of lives, restoring believers to an intimate and eternal relationship with God and with others.

Three physical metaphors help me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alert us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

May the light of God’s love breathe life in you right now.

We’ve been made in God’s image to have an eternal, loving relationship with him that even transcends death. We can know and experience God’s unconditional love no matter how far we stray from him. Those who stray most are often the most grateful for his forgiveness and love. We all stray in many ways and we all need forgiveness and we can and should be truly grateful.

God knows and loves us as we are. That makes praying or talking to him easy because he already knows our failures and struggles and welcomes us just as we are. The more honestly we come to him the more he can transform us.

If we have trouble believing we can at least say, “God, if you’re there, help me.”

Some thoughts may get in the way when we pray or want to talk to God. Just give him those thoughts. He already knows all about it and loves us as we are.

If we reject God’s love and mercy by ignoring him and going our own way, we condemn ourselves to eternal darkness away from his light and love.

If we accept his love and forgiveness by believing in him, by trusting him, he gives us life, his eternal life. That makes us new. We are transformed.

Vast numbers of people worldwide of all faiths, and of none, have prayed the prayer in the popular hymn by Charlotte Elliot, ‘Just as I am’ which includes these adapted verses:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Your blood was shed for me
And that You bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fighting and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

God welcomes us and we can all pray that prayer. A title for Jesus, as in that song, is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away our sin.

The Life of Jesus is a vast topic with millions of books written about it. I hope my small contribution gives you a helpful overview. I quote from the New Revised Standard Version unless indicated otherwise, and include many footnotes that you can explore to discover more.

Best of all, of course, are the inspired Gospels now in over 700 different languages in Bible translations and a further 3,500 languages have Bible portions, especially the Gospels. Read and respond to those Gospels.

[1] Iesous (Yeshua) is translated as Joshua in these verses: Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8.

[2] Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21.

Start of Chapter 1

It began at the beginning, this great love story, for “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1]

Why did he do that?  For us.

He did it for you. He loved you so much he created you to know and enjoy him now as you read this, and forever. He offers you intimate, infinite love. He created you through the wondrous union of your parents’ ecstasy.

He made the earth for us to inhabit and care for and rule. He made the heavens (plural) for us to inherit, the physical firmament and also the realms of vast, eternal glory prepared especially for us.[2]

He created us free to accept or reject his astounding love. Sadly we went our own way. We all, like sheep, went astray. We all turned to our own way. So God laid on his Servant, his Son, all our iniquity.[3] God saves us through his Son in their great love for us all. You could pause and thank him now as you read this.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed intimate, unashamed relationship with God and each other. Then, like us, they believed lies and went their own way, losing Paradise. But God still blessed and sustained them and their descendants who chose to love him and live for him. Sadly only a few did.

Noah and his family loved and obeyed God and he rescued them from the great flood. People ridiculed him for obeying God and building a huge boat on dry ground – not even in a dry dock. The rainbow became the sign of God’s covenant to Noah and his descendants including us.

Abram, a wealthy sheik from the wide fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys in western Asia, north-west of the Arabian Peninsula (now Iraq), loved and obeyed God. Renamed Abraham (God’s friend) he journeyed to the Promised Land, now called Israel, from the name given to his grandson who wrestled with an angel or with the Lord.[4] Circumcision became the covenant sign for them and for their descendants through whom God would provide his salvation for us all.

Abraham and his descendants walked that verdant Promised Land, as did Jesus and his followers. So did our family for a month in December-January, 1981-82.[5]

[1] Genesis 1:1.

[2] John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:9.

[3] Isaiah 53:6. See Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth Servant Song, along with Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7.

[4] Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 35:9-10.

[5] See Exploring Israel in General Books and Biography on renewaljournal.com

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

Discussion Questions (for use in groups)

Chapter 1: Birth and Boyhood
1. What is one of your favourite Christmas carols and why?
2. What surprises you most about the Christmas story?
3. What challenges you about the boyhood and youth of Jesus?
What would you like people to pray about for you?

Chapter 2: Ministry Begins
1. Why do you think Jesus’ public ministry began after his baptism?
2. What puzzles you most about Jesus’ ministry? (eg casting out spirits)
3. What challenges you about being a disciple of Jesus?
What prayer would you appreciate receiving?

Chapter 3: First to Second Passovers
1. Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular and well known?
2. Who can you identify with in Jesus’ early ministry (eg Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, disciples, religious leaders)
3. What do you think challenged Jesus’ disciples?
What prayer would encourage you just now?

Chapter 4: Second to Third Passovers
1. What impresses you most about Jesus?
2. What challenges you most about Jesus?
3. What surprises you most about Jesus?
What prayer would help you just now?

Chapter 5: Passover to Pentecost
1. What shocks you most about the crucifixion?
2. What helps or challenges you about Jesus’ death and resurrection?
3. What interests you most about the Holy Spirit?
What prayer support would you like now?

Map in the book

See also Devotional Books

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume
READ SAMPLE
* Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages… Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! ~ John Olley.
* This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it … If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read.
 ~ A. Aldridge

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story
READ SAMPLE

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
3 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper
READ SAMPLE


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances
READ SAMPLE

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel
READ SAMPLE

A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
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The Life of Jesus

The Life of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story


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Review Comments

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
Be enriched. A most helpful telling of the life of Jesus using the biblical text and adding some background and charts. Anyone using this book will be enriched.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* This is a wonderful book and can be read over and over. Thank you. ~ Kerry Rawson
* This is a great read. Simple and easy language that even my children can read as a guide, and have a better understanding of the Life Journey of Christ, as they read it in the Gospels. Thank You. ~ Florence
* Good clear language for a seeker to read and understand the life of Jesus. ~ Duncan Gibb
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* I keep this book with my Bible. It is especially helpful when reading through the Gospels. ~ Cathy Hartwig
* This book is for those who question Jesus’ reality as the Son of God, and for those who search for the details of His amazing life on this earth. ~ Judith Abrey
* The book is beautifully written and I have learned and understood a lot. I am recommending this book. ~ Kattie Mayson (Amazon 5-stars)
* I read your book last night. This is a great book. Thanks for writing this for all of us. ~ Nabeel Sharoon from Pakistan, now translating it into five languages: Urdu, Hindi, Pakistani Punjabi, Indian Punjabi, and Sindhi. A gifted translator, Nabeel works on his phone, so if you can donate towards him serving God with a laptop, add a comment.
Other Translations in preparation.
The Life of Jesus in Sindhi, Pakistani Punjabi, and Indian Punjabi.
 
Video

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passovers
4 Second to Third Passovers
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions [see below]
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Preface

Why would such a good man who loved so profoundly and helped so many people be killed? Why did he provoke opposition?

If God walked among us in the person of his Son, why would people want to kill him? Why did so many vehemently oppose him?

That puzzled me as a boy. It still does.

The greatest love story the world has ever seen led to the excruciating death of crucifixion.

Many people have given their lives for other people as soldiers do in war. They die for others, defending home and country. But Jesus’ death was different. God’s Son chose to die for us because of his immense love for us. He took our place. His death gives us life. He is the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for us. His blood cleanses us from all our sin as we trust in him. We are forgiven.

But why did so many good people, good religious people, hate him? That puzzled and fascinated me, so I explore that mystery in this book. I wanted to write a summary overview that people of all ages could read.

I always believed in Jesus. Even as a small boy I loved to hear and then read stories about him. He was so unique, so different. I believed his story as a boy and trusted in him. I still do and I hope you do too.

Jesus did what was good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, set people free from addictions and evil, performed miracles, and even raised dead people. Huge crowds followed him and wanted him to be their king.

Now billions follow him, captivated by his love, the greatest love story of all. You can do that also. I invite you to simply pray something like this: Thank you Lord for all you’ve done. Forgive me for any wrong in my life. I trust in you and give my life to you.

Introduction

The year on our calendar or diary reminds us of when Jesus was born, approximately. We count the years from his arrival. So when you look at your diary or calendar you can be reminded again of Jesus.

They called him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, the same name as Moses’ famous general who led God’s people into their Promised Land. Yeshua means God saves, or God is salvation.

That name comes to us in English through many translations from Yeshua or Y’shua in Hebrew and Aramaic, then translated into Iesous in Greek, then to IESVS in Latin and later as IESUS as printed in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611. Later that century ‘J’ replaced the ‘I’ so the English name became Jesu (vocative) and Jesus (nominative) but eventually just Jesus in English. Other languages have translations such as Jesu, Yesu, and Isa.

English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name.[1]  So in English, the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel announced his name before his birth to both Mary his mother and to Joseph who married Mary.[2] Gabriel explained that Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) had that name because he would save his people from their sins.

The great love story had begun. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life.

His followers recorded that story of his life and his love in the good news of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest of the New Testament explores the mystery and wonder of that amazing life and love.

Scholars have a bewildering array of theories about the Bible and about who wrote what, and when, and where, and why. I’m content to run with traditional explanations that have been used throughout most of history.

Jesus’ unique and wonderful life, his brutal death for us, and his powerful resurrection, all reveal his and God’s eternal love for us all. You could pause and thank him right now even as you read this.

John’s Gospel emphasizes God’s eternal love revealed in Jesus. It includes the most famous passage in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

That love, powerfully shown on the cross, has transformed billions of lives, restoring believers to an intimate and eternal relationship with God and with others.

Three physical metaphors help me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alert us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

May the light of God’s love breathe life in you right now.

We’ve been made in God’s image to have an eternal, loving relationship with him that even transcends death. We can know and experience God’s unconditional love no matter how far we stray from him. Those who stray most are often the most grateful for his forgiveness and love. We all stray in many ways and we all need forgiveness and we can and should be truly grateful.

God knows and loves us as we are. That makes praying or talking to him easy because he already knows our failures and struggles and welcomes us just as we are. The more honestly we come to him the more he can transform us.

If we have trouble believing we can at least say, “God, if you’re there, help me.”

Some thoughts may get in the way when we pray or want to talk to God. Just give him those thoughts. He already knows all about it and loves us as we are.

If we reject God’s love and mercy by ignoring him and going our own way, we condemn ourselves to eternal darkness away from his light and love.

If we accept his love and forgiveness by believing in him, by trusting him, he gives us life, his eternal life. That makes us new. We are transformed.

Vast numbers of people worldwide of all faiths, and of none, have prayed the prayer in the popular hymn by Charlotte Elliot, ‘Just as I am’ which includes these adapted verses:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Your blood was shed for me
And that You bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fighting and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

God welcomes us and we can all pray that prayer. A title for Jesus, as in that song, is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away our sin.

The Life of Jesus is a vast topic with millions of books written about it. I hope my small contribution gives you a helpful overview. I quote from the New Revised Standard Version unless indicated otherwise, and include many footnotes that you can explore to discover more.

Best of all, of course, are the inspired Gospels now in over 700 different languages in Bible translations and a further 3,500 languages have Bible portions, especially the Gospels. Read and respond to those Gospels.

[1] Iesous (Yeshua) is translated as Joshua in these verses: Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8.

[2] Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21.

Start of Chapter 1

It began at the beginning, this great love story, for “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1]

Why did he do that?  For us.

He did it for you. He loved you so much he created you to know and enjoy him now as you read this, and forever. He offers you intimate, infinite love. He created you through the wondrous union of your parents’ ecstasy.

He made the earth for us to inhabit and care for and rule. He made the heavens (plural) for us to inherit, the physical firmament and also the realms of vast, eternal glory prepared especially for us.[2]

He created us free to accept or reject his astounding love. Sadly we went our own way. We all, like sheep, went astray. We all turned to our own way. So God laid on his Servant, his Son, all our iniquity.[3] God saves us through his Son in their great love for us all. You could pause and thank him now as you read this.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed intimate, unashamed relationship with God and each other. Then, like us, they believed lies and went their own way, losing Paradise. But God still blessed and sustained them and their descendants who chose to love him and live for him. Sadly only a few did.

Noah and his family loved and obeyed God and he rescued them from the great flood. People ridiculed him for obeying God and building a huge boat on dry ground – not even in a dry dock. The rainbow became the sign of God’s covenant to Noah and his descendants including us.

Abram, a wealthy sheik from the wide fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys in western Asia, north-west of the Arabian Peninsula (now Iraq), loved and obeyed God. Renamed Abraham (God’s friend) he journeyed to the Promised Land, now called Israel, from the name given to his grandson who wrestled with an angel or with the Lord.[4] Circumcision became the covenant sign for them and for their descendants through whom God would provide his salvation for us all.

Abraham and his descendants walked that verdant Promised Land, as did Jesus and his followers. So did our family for a month in December-January, 1981-82.[5]

[1] Genesis 1:1.

[2] John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:9.

[3] Isaiah 53:6. See Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth Servant Song, along with Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7.

[4] Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 35:9-10.

[5] See Exploring Israel in General Books and Biography on renewaljournal.com

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

Discussion Questions (for use in groups)

Chapter 1: Birth and Boyhood
1. What is one of your favourite Christmas carols and why?
2. What surprises you most about the Christmas story?
3. What challenges you about the boyhood and youth of Jesus?
What would you like people to pray about for you?

Chapter 2: Ministry Begins
1. Why do you think Jesus’ public ministry began after his baptism?
2. What puzzles you most about Jesus’ ministry? (eg casting out spirits)
3. What challenges you about being a disciple of Jesus?
What prayer would you appreciate receiving?

Chapter 3: First to Second Passovers
1. Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular and well known?
2. Who can you identify with in Jesus’ early ministry (eg Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, disciples, religious leaders)
3. What do you think challenged Jesus’ disciples?
What prayer would encourage you just now?

Chapter 4: Second to Third Passovers
1. What impresses you most about Jesus?
2. What challenges you most about Jesus?
3. What surprises you most about Jesus?
What prayer would help you just now?

Chapter 5: Passover to Pentecost
1. What shocks you most about the crucifixion?
2. What helps or challenges you about Jesus’ death and resurrection?
3. What interests you most about the Holy Spirit?
What prayer support would you like now?

Map in the book

Jewish scholar argues for Jesus’ birth in Spring, Nisan 1, the first day of the first month.

See also Devotional Books

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume

* Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages… Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! ~ John Olley.
* This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it … If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read.
 ~ A. Aldridge

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
3 books in 1

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel

A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1

FREE SUBSCRIPTION for new Blogs and free offers

Popular Books – by Geoff Waugh

Revival Books – gift ideas

Renewal Books – gift ideas

General Books – gift ideas

Devotional Books – gift ideas

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

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BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
The Life of Jesus – in English and Urdu

Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival:
www.renewaljournal.com

MEDICAL-FORENSIC EXPLANATION OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN

MEDICAL-FORENSIC EXPLANATION OF THE MAN OF THE SYNDONE

Juan Manuel Miñarro López

Google English translation of http://www.lahornacina.com/articulosminarro.htm
See also The Shroud of Turin


INTRODUCTION

The following text, illustrated with drawings and photographs, represents the conclusion of six years of personal work and research on the Shroud of Turin (Italy) and the Holy Shroud of Oviedo (Spain), as a member of the EDICES (International Research Team of the Centro Español de Sindonología), but it also represents the most complete compilation of the most complete legal medical research that has ever been carried out on an object closely related to the Passion of Christ.

The work of eminent specialists in the field of legal and forensic medicine, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, has been fundamental to understanding the Shroud and the Shroud; but also thanks to the contribution of other specialists belonging to different fields of science, such as anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, physicists, chemists and artists.

Never has an ancient object brought together such a complete multidisciplinary team. Science does not currently have a satisfactory answer to explain the formation of the image of the Shroud, and no one for or against has been able to present science with definitive evidence that will withstand relevant scientific analysis.

REPRESENTATION OF THE MAN’S BODY OF THE HOLY SHEET

The body that we have represented, in its general and particular aspect, obeys the studies contributed by physical and forensic anthropology: the image or imprint present in the Shroud corresponds exactly to the appearance of a recent corpse, of about five or six hours , in a state of intense rigidity established instantaneously or very early, characteristic of cases due to violent deaths, extremely tiring, painful and accompanied by severe dehydration aggravated by a sustained state of fever.

In the anatomical areas of slopes, referring to the position of the body on the withers, and due to the action of gravity after death, hemostatic or cadaveric spots have been represented, with the tonality that can be expected in a corpse of a few hours. These spots are formed by the accumulation of blood due to gravity, so it is a clear indication of the position in which a body remains at the time of death.

The morphology of the trauma, color and texture of the blood, has been carried out thanks to the forensic advice of Dr. Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla and by the medical analyst Dr. Antonio Petit Gancedo. Thanks to their contributions, I have been able to represent the hematic morphology according to the different types: venous, arterial and post-mortem hemorrhage. Likewise, fluids due to serum and fluids of origin in cadaveric pulmonary edema have been distinguished.

The somatic constitution, according to Judica Cordiglia, could be described as that of a tall man of stature (between 178 and 180 cm), keeping the lines of his trunk and extremities a harmony and sculptural proportion; balanced in both width and length. Reason why the man of the Shroud can be defined as a normotype; that is to say: it presents a completely peculiar somatic structure, being outside and above any type of ethnic classification.

Regarding the disposition and composition of the body, the head is slightly bent forward (approximately 40º angle) and the nape is elevated and tense, with marked cervical kyphosis; the sternocleidomastoid, trapezius and inspiratory muscles appear stiff, as do the deltoids, and supinator muscles of the arms; the thorax is dilated, as in a forced inspiration; the pectoralis major muscles are contracted and protruding; the scapular muscles are also contracted and attached to the ribs; the sunken epigastrium; the prominent hypogastrium; the dorsal-lumbar muscles very tense, with accentuated lumbar lordosis; the belly is swollen, a characteristic symptom of a suffocating death; the legs are represented bent: the right at an angle of 64 degrees and the left at an angle of 77 degrees; the nail wound in the feet has been located according to Dr. Smith’s theory, at the point of confluence of the calcaneus, talus, navicular and cuboid, a space that leads to the sinus tarsi; the left foot is flexed 90º and the right is hyperextended 155º, a position called by Palacio Carvajal “standing equine”; the arms are less rigid than the rest of the muscles of the body and are placed crossed over the pubis, but in such a way that a clearly forced pose results from the fact that they had to overcome the rigor mortis set by the cross position; the hands appear with the thumbs folded over the palms, due to a possible injury to the palmar nerve arch caused by the nails;

FACE AND HEAD: GAPS AND CROWN OF THORNS

The studies carried out reveal a swollen face, typical of a man who has been very mistreated and who at the same time received the placement of a lacerating object on his head, like a crown or helmet of thorns.

More than fifty puncture wounds are seen over the visible regions of the head. The crushing of the nose and the swelling of the eye and right cheekbone reveal the type of injuries that could have caused a blow from the stick; cylindrical object about 4.5 cm in diameter. You can also see the lack of hair in the beard, as if pieces had been deliberately pulled out.

By its appearance, the face reveals traces of an intense beating. Presents injuries caused by both direct and indirect blows, perhaps due to falls: swelling in the forehead area, region of both superciliary arches and mid-frontal area; tumescence continues in the arch of the right eyebrow, more pronounced in the outer part of the eye, which should condition its partial closure; abundant clots of vital blood on the forehead, temples, neck and scalp; profusion of arterial or venous hemorrhages, compatible with wounds caused by sharp objects, arranged peripherally on the skull ( cap of spines of ziziphus jujuba); large contusion under the right zygomatic region (right cheek) in the shape of a triangle, the most elongated vertex of which is directed towards the crest of the nose; at the level of the left vertex of the nasal dorsum, there is a bruised and bruised area caused by a blow that must have fractured the nasal cartilage, causing the nose to deviate to the left; the nose has a flattened and flattened left wing; the lips, mustache, chin and beard are impregnated with blood; abundant streams of blood mixed with saliva and fluid from pulmonary edema, coming out of the right corner of the mouth; very bruised chin, and abundant streams of blood coming out of the nostrils, forming two jets that cross the right side of the mouth and the center of the lower lip.

ROMAN FLAGELLATION FOOTPRINTS

Practically the entire body is covered with small wounds, equal to and similar to small dumbbells of about 3 cm in length. The marks, paired and pinpoint, are formed by small circles of about 12 mm in diameter, somewhat separated from each other but joined by a transverse line, in many cases visible. Some of these marks are not very visible on the Shroud with the naked eye, but are clearly revealed by ultraviolet light photographs. They are undoubtedly those that would be left by the Roman torture instrument, known by the name of “flagellum taxillatum”, named for the balls or “taxilli” that finished off its three straps formed by nerves obtained from animals.

The representation of these lesions is located throughout the body: back, legs, chest, belly, gluteal area and, possibly, even on the genitals. Obviously, we think that the man must have been totally naked when he received this brutal and systematic punishment.

The study of the syndonic image reveals some characteristics that should be highlighted, and that have been applied in the realization of the body: the punishment was applied by two executioners or lictorsright-handed, located on each flank of the inmate, approximately 1 meter away, distributing the blows in a fan shape throughout the victim’s body, systematically and viciously; the number of blows amounted to about 120, not counting those that we have not been able to study due to the lack of traces of a large part of the arms, an area of ​​the image lost due to the 1532 fire in Chamberí (France), in addition to the no side or side image of the man’s body in the Shroud (aspect not yet satisfactorily explained); During the flagellation, the posture of our man must have been hunched, which is deduced from the studies carried out by computer on ultraviolet photographs obtained from the Shroud, By means of which the cancellation of the blood and serum streams in the different parts of the body can be verified; in the stooped position, the spurs of the upper dorsal part fell to the sides with an angulation of 100º, 90º and 70º, during the application of the punishment, later, already in an upright position or sitting, the spurs fell downwards following the action due to gravity, something similar happened in the gluteal areas, and in the lower extremities the streaks are clear and are directed, almost always, downwards; The great clarity with which many of these trails are appreciated can be explained by the time that passed from the flogging until they were dressed again, the time necessary for them to dry and not be absorbed by the tunic, remaining in the body and then passing to the shroud through a process that cannot be explained only by contact; In the upper part of the back, the tracks and the marks of the “taxilli” have disappeared, being seen to be blurred and compact, in addition the area is very abraded, as if the wounded skin were scorched by friction against some type of rough surface (The patibulum?); Finally, the knees are also heavily injured: the right one presents numerous excoriations of different sizes at the level of the patella, and a loss of substance is sensed in the same place, while the left one presents less extensive wounds. The explanation for these injuries is obvious: on the way to the torture, the man must have fallen, and perhaps on several occasions.

FOOTPRINTS OF THE CRUCIFIXION

The first thing that catches our attention in the Shroud, when we look at the crossed arms (left over right), is the existing wound at the level of the left wrist (and not in the palm of the hand, as is always represented in sacred art) . Dr. Pier Barbet carried out experiments with recently amputated arms, still alive, and confirmed that the most suitable area to insert a nail was through the carpus, and not in the palms. In these areas the tissues do not have structures to support the weight of a body.

We calculated a weight of about 80 kg for the man from the Shroud, hanging in a vertical position and with the arms forming an angle of approximately 65 degrees. It is easy to deduce the weight that each arm would support depending on the mentioned angle, applying the following mathematical formula: 40 kg / cosine of 65º = 95 kg. The palms could not bear this weight; however, the wrists can withstand up to 200 kg of traction. Therefore, according to Barbet and many other specialists, the nail had to penetrate through a space between the carpal bones, called the “destot point”, a space that Barbet, and later other syndonologists, had placed between the large bone and the lunate. . In turn, Barbet maintained that this injury caused the injury of the median nerve and the abduction of the thumbs. However, according to recent studies by Dr.

For Palacios Carvajal, a specialist in traumatology, there are two possible spaces in the carpal area, in this case absolutely certain, where the nail could penetrate. Although he also considers that Barbet’s other theory about the supposed lesion of the median nerve, to explain the absence of traces of both thumbs in the syndonic image, does not seem true or plausible either, and maintains that the thumbs may not be seen because they are simply retracted, as is almost normal in every hand in an attitude of relaxation.

From all the above, what seems at least plausible is that the nail penetrated through the carpal area and not through the ulnar radial space. Although this is another anatomical area, it must also be considered feasible to achieve a stable suspension. Furthermore, it is relatively so close to the carpal region, difficult to see clearly enough in the Shroud, that we cannot at the moment make an absolute judgment.

The nail wound in the feet has been located according to Dr. Smith’s theory: at the point of confluence of the calcaneus, talus, navicular and cuboid, the space that leads to the sinus tarsi.

In the dorsal image the feet appear somewhat crossed: converging toes and separate heels. The right foot presents all its marked sole, which indicates the most flexed disposition of the right knee. Of the left foot we only see the heel and the central part. The heel of the left foot, profusely stained with blood, has marks that appear to be caused by the fingers of one hand.

With complete security, the left foot was nailed on the right, pressing the wound on that side, in such a way that the blood that flowed was slowed by the pressure, forming a trapezoidal and irregular stain that extends to the left in a trail oblique. This would happen when the blood does not flow freely due to the pressure of the left foot already mentioned. However, the entry point of the nail is clearly visible on the left foot, as well as some free-flowing trails of blood.

LAUNCHED ON THE SIDE

The wound in the side is located between the fifth and sixth rib. It may be an evident proof of the practice of “exactus mortis”, a mere verification of death effected with an accurate blow of the spear. We know that the crucified were normally practiced the “crurifagium”, a violent blow with the mace with which their legs were broken to accelerate their death. We know from the Gospels that such a technique was not necessary for Jesus, since he died relatively quickly. It was only necessary, by order of the Roman attorney Pontius Pilate, to verify the reality of his death.

According to what we see in the Shroud, the wound on the side can be irrefutable proof of death, especially because of its appearance and morphology. Different forensic authors describe characteristics of a post-mortem hemorrhage, showing how the blood mass is already separated from the plasma or liquid medium in which the red blood cells float. In addition, the halos formed by serous liquids are clearly visible in the entire periphery of the clots, especially if we apply ultraviolet light. Also, the edges of the wound remain open: there is no retraction in the skin, there is no life.

On the other hand, these blood serum or serous fluids probably come from a severe pulmonary edema caused by the flogging and aggravated by the asphyctic death of the prisoner. This same effect and type of stain can be seen in the central part of the Shroud of Oviedo. In the case of the spear, these liquids were perhaps the cause of the phenomenon described to us by Saint John the Evangelist, a witness to the “exactus mortis”, explaining it in the Gospel passage as an emanation of blood and water that gushed out from the side of Jesus.

The haemorrhage from the side continues on the back through compact, cadaveric-type streaks, which in this case are in a transverse direction with respect to the vertical, so it must have occurred when the body was no longer on the withers. In the Shroud we call it the “lumbar belt” and we think that it is blood from the wound on the side, caused when the corpse moved, which caused drainage of the inferior vena cava and traces of fluid from pulmonary edema, serum and pleural fluid.

Recent studies have discovered an exit hole for the spear on the left side of the back, below the scapula. If this is true, the prophetic phrase “look at the one they pierced” would be real and literal.

Reconstruction of the way he was shrouded in the linen sheet
Note from La Hornacina : this Reclining Syndicate by the Sevillian sculptor Juan Manuel Miñarro, carved in polychrome cedar wood (approximately 178 cm high), is the main axis of the traveling exhibition on the Shroud that has been seen this year in Malaga and next 2013 it will be seen in Seville (Sala Antiquarium), as well as in other Spanish cities such as Toledo, Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela or Alcalá de Henares.

www.lahornacina.com

Google English translation of http://www.lahornacina.com/articulosminarro.htm
See also The Shroud of Turin

See also:

Crucified and Risen


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Alternate Chronology – 3 days & nights

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Alternative Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus

Alternative Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus

Like Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth, we may celebrate these events of the crucifixion on symbolic days which remind us of the literal events, even though we may not be following their exact chronology or dates.

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This page is adapted from Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology in my book The Life of Jesus.


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

Contents of The Life of Jesus

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology

Some scholars argue for a crucifixion on the Thursday of Holy Week followed by two Sabbath days, the Passover Sabbath on Friday and the regular Sabbath on the Saturday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover is one day while the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for seven days.

Jesus led the Last Supper with his disciples on the same Jewish day, after sunset, that he died, the day the Passover lambs were killed, to be eaten that night on the special Passover Sabbath (the next Jewish day, as the day ended at sunset).

A literal translation of Matthew 28:1 has Sabbaths in the plural (in Greek), allowing for two:  After the Sabbaths, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the burial site. (International Standard Version© 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation.)

John also allows for this: Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath (John 19:31, see also John 13:1).

This chronology correlates with Jesus’ predictions:

For just as Jonah was for three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).

Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32  For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33  After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again’ (Luke 18:31-33).

James Tabor examines the gospel accounts of the last supper in his article ‘The Last Days of Jesus: A Final “Messianic” Meal’, reproduced by the Biblical Archaeology Society (https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/the-last-days-of-jesus-a-final-messianic-meal/). He writes:

The confusion arose because all the gospels say that there was a rush to get his body off the cross and buried before sundown because the “Sabbath” was near. Everyone assumed the reference to “the Sabbath” had to be Saturday so the crucifixion must have been on a Friday. However, as Jews know, the day of Passover itself is also a “Sabbath” or rest day no matter what weekday it falls on. In the year 30 AD Friday, the 15th of the Jewish month Nisan was also a Sabbath so two Sabbaths occurred back to back Friday and Saturday. Matthew seems to know this as he says that the women who visited Jesus’ tomb came early Sunday morning “after the Sabbaths” (Matthew 28:1).

As is often the case, the gospel of John preserves a more accurate chronology of what went on. John specifies that the Wednesday night “last supper” was “before the festival of Passover.” He also notes that when Jesus’ accusers delivered him to be crucified on Thursday morning they would not enter Pilate’s courtyard because they would be defiled and would not be able to eat the Passover that evening (John 18:28). John knows that the Jews would be eating their traditional Seder meal Thursday evening.

That discussion sent me checking the plural Sabbaths in Matthew 28:1. It is plural and can be used for either Sabbaths or Sabbath, as also in Matthew 12:1. Most translators opt for singular, but a few retain the literal plural, such as these for Matthew 12:1 and 28:1.

At that time Jesus went through the grain on the Sabbath days. And his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of grain and to eat.
(New Matthew Bible,© 2016 by Ruth Magnusson (Davis))

At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat,
(Young’s Literal Translation, by Robert Young who compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance.)

After the Sabbaths, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the burial site.
(International Standard Version, © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation.)

The Bible passages allow for a crucifixion on the Thursday of Holy Week, and even where Sabbath is used in the singular it does indicate that they found the stone rolled away on the first day of the week after that Sabbath. The first day of the week had begun at the previous sunset.

That Friday may have been a special Passover Sabbath, not just the Saturday. Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down (John 19:31).

Blood Moon AD 31 on Nisan 14

Kevin Woodridge, Ph.D., gives details pointing to a crucifixion date in AD 31 on Thursday, 14th Nisan, including a blood moon on Wednesday night, the beginning of Nisan 14 on the Thursday. Friday 15th Nisan, a special Sabbath, was followed by the normal Sabbath on Saturday 16th Nisan, and the resurrection on Sunday 17th Nisan, the first day of the Feast of First Fruits.

His article is titled When was Jesus crucified – Evidence pointing to 31 AD. His Abstract says:

In which year was Jesus crucified? Many scholars consider that he died sometime between 29 AD and 34 AD. A partial lunar eclipse (as described by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost) on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) corresponds well with the Gospels, if the Last Supper were a private “eve of Passover” meal eaten as a Teacher with his disciples one day earlier than others in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus praying and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) corresponds well with the New Testament, if this were followed by a “special Sabbath” for the Passover on 15th Day of Nisan, then a regular weekly Sabbath on 16th Day of Nisan, then the resurrection of Jesus on 17th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), with descriptions of fig trees in bloom and bearing “early figs” being suggestive of a late Passover.

He continues:

Crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan)

It is reasonable to assert that Jesus was crucified on the day after his arrest. All four Gospels indicate this, and the priests would have wanted swift action before the Passover and before Pilate left Jerusalem, as the consent of Pilate was needed to inflict capital punishment (Freeman, 2011). If that were the case, then Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan). Whilst this is contrary to church traditions which assign the crucifixion to a Friday, dates for the crucifixion of Jesus on a Thursday and the resurrection of Jesus on a Sunday fit in very well with certain interpretations of the Gospels and the New Testament.

It is worth noting that the word “Sabbaths” – the Greek word is σαββάτων (sabbaton), which is clearly plural (Nestle et al., 1988) – is used in certain places in the Gospel accounts of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, as shown by Young’s Literal Translation:

“And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre,” (Matthew 28:1)

“And the sabbath having past, Mary the Magdalene, and Mary of James, and Salome, bought spices, that having come, they may anoint him, and early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun, and they said among themselves, ‘Who shall roll away for us the stone out of the door of the sepulchre?’” (Mark 16:1-3)

“And the day was a preparation, and sabbath was approaching, and the women also who have come with him out of Galilee having followed after, beheld the tomb, and how his body was placed, and having turned back, they made ready spices and ointments, and on the sabbath, indeed, they rested, according to the command. And on the first of the sabbaths, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bearing the spices they made ready, and certain [others] with them, and they found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb, and having gone in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 23:54-24:3)

“And on the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb, she runneth, therefore, and cometh unto Simon Peter, and unto the other disciple whom Jesus was loving, and saith to them, ‘They took away the Lord out of the tomb, and we have not known where they laid him.’” (John 20:1-2) …

These two consecutive Sabbaths could have been a “special Sabbath” on the Friday that was the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (daytime on 15th Day of Nisan), on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done (Leviticus 23:6-7), followed by the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday (daytime on 16th Day of Nisan). This appears to be borne out by Luke 23:54-24:1, with the women preparing spices and ointments (to anoint the body that had been prepared and buried by Joseph of Arimathea on the Thursday), on the first Sabbath on the Friday, the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Figure 3). This was a day on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done, and the preparing of spices and ointments by the women was not “ordinary” work. The next day, the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday, the women rested according to the commandment. Then on the Sunday, after the two Sabbaths, they went to the tomb (Biblical Hermeneutics, 2016). Furthermore, the Gospel of John clearly specifies that the day after Jesus’ crucifixion was a “special Sabbath”: “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down” (John 19:31). It would have been highly objectionable to the Jewish leaders to allow crucified bodies to remain on the crosses overnight during this special Sabbath (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). All of this indicates that Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) and was resurrected on Sunday 29 April 31 AD (daytime on 17th Day of Nisan).

Other scholars argue for crucifixion on Wednesday, 25 April, AD 31.
See Passover Dates 26-34 A.D.

Irrespective of the day, the great significance is that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover, the day on which the Passover lamb was killed so that after sunset the Passover could be celebrated on the next Jewish day beginning after sunset.

John suggests this:  Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:1-5)

However, most scholars see the special Passover Sabbath as on Saturday. Some point out that there is no Nisan 14 (the day of preparation) on a Thursday, and that from the celestial calendars Nisan 14 fell on Friday April 7 in AD 30, and Friday April 3 in AD 33, the most likely dates for the crucifixion, based on the dates from the new moon of those years.

Irrespective of the day, the great significance is that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover, the day on which the Passover lamb was killed so that after sunset the Passover could be celebrated on the next Jewish day beginning after sunset.

The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) describe how the meal with Jesus was celebrated as a Passover meal and Jesus gave it new meaning, telling us to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

Like Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth, we may celebrate these events of the crucifixion on symbolic days which remind us of the literal events, even though we are not following their exact chronology or dates.

I’m content to follow the traditional chronology and dates, as in our diaries, as symbolic and liturgical reminders of the greatest events in human history.

See also:


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story

 

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – 
PDF
3 books in 1

 

A Holy Week All
Holy Week – Blog
Holy Week – PDF

Summary of the events of Holy Week

 


The Shroud of Turin

Medical-Forensic Explanation of the Shroud of Turin
English translation of Model of the wounded Shroud of Turin image

Included in BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The Shroud of Turin

“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) 

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We do not base our faith, or hopes, on an artifact but, although controversial, it does provide confirmation of the brutal torture and trauma of crucifixion that Jesus suffered.

The Shroud of Turin


Enhanced positive image

The Shroud of Turin is the most intensely investigated religious artifact in history. Many scholars believe it may be the linen cloth that was wrapped around Jesus’ body. Its faint image shows the horrendous wounds of a crucified man with wounds exactly matching the description of Jesus’ death.

Physicist, and founder of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), John P. Jackson, has proposed that the image features of the Shroud of Turin were produced by radiation emanating from the body in the Shroud at the moment of resurrection.

The shroud of Turin is a 14.3 foot by 3.7 linen cloth bearing the faint double image (ventral and dorsal) of a naked man who appears to have been crucified (together with burn marks and water stains resulting from fires, one in 1532).

There is a puncture wound on his left wrist (his right wrist is hidden from view), and there are puncture wounds on his feet as if they were pierced by a nail or nails. The back of the man is covered with over 120 scourge marks, apparently imposed by the Roman instrument of torture known as the flagrum (a whip with two or three thongs to which were attached small balls of lead). There is a large puncture wound on the right side between the ribs from which blood and a watery serum have flowed. The image resides only on the top-most fibres of the threads with which the Shroud is woven, and it is a negative image.

Although very faint when viewed as a positive, the image becomes much clearer when darks and lights are reversed.

[Carbon dating in 1988 from a tiny corner of the Shroud dated the sample between 1260 and 1390 AD, but it is argued that the sample came from repaired cloth.]

If the medieval date is right, then this implies that the Shroud is a forgery, when all the scientific evidence we have other than this date implies that it is not a forgery: the image on the Shroud was not drawn or painted (there are no binding agents or particulates on the Shroud in the region of the image); it is a negative created at a time when photography didn’t exist, but it is not a photograph (in contains 3D information and photographs do not), it is not a contact print (parts of the Shroud that were not in contact with the body bear impressions as clear as parts that were in contact with the body); the man in the Shroud has truly been subject to horrific and mortal injuries; he has wounds associated with crucifixion, and the exit wound on the wrist contradicts depictions of the crucifixion in medieval art, but reflects the way in which people were crucified; he is covered with scourge marks clearly inflicted by the Roman instrument of the torture known as the flagrum, and he has puncture wounds on his head consistent with the wearing of a roughly prepared cap of thorns rather than the elegant wreath of thorns depicted by medieval artists; there is a large wound on his right side which matches a spear used by Roman executioners and from which post-mortem blood and a watery serum (visible only by ultraviolet fluorescence photography) have flowed; the blood on the Shroud – that of a real man – contains a high level of bilirubin, a substance associated with severe physical trauma; there are no signs of decomposition, meaning that the body was removed from the Shroud within a few days; the Shroud contains traces of pollen from plants growing only in the area of Jerusalem, some of which are extinct since antiquity, and there are microscopic traces of dirt at the foot of the man in the Shroud that only match limestone found in the area of Jerusalem.

Source: On the Physics of the Shroud of Turin.

See Google for many articles and images from the Shroud of Turin.

Latest on Shroud of Turin: Science Finally Catches Up with Faith

It is the most intriguing and unique relic of its kind and the longstanding irony is – there are legions of professed Christians who have no idea what it is, or that it even exists. The Shroud of Turin is revered as the sacred burial cloth of Jesus Christ and is arguably the most important archaeological artifact ever found. The image on the cloth is like a photographic negative exposed to light that is a detailed portrait of a crucified man. The historical specifics include the multitude of gashes from the scourging, the flow of blood, the presence of Pontius Pilate coins on the eyes, the wounds on the wrists and not the hands, the presence of a pony-tail running down the man’s back, bits of pollen that are unique to the region around Jerusalem are all remarkably accurate.


Encoded 3-D Information at High Resolution

Experts say victim was ‘tortured’

Is this proof that the Turin Shroud was used to bury Jesus?

Experts have revealed that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a victim of torture – supporting claims it was used to bury Jesus.

The linen cloth, believed to have been used to wrap the body of Jesus after crucifixion, contains ‘nanoparticles’ which are not typical of the blood of a healthy person.

Elvio Carlino, a researcher at the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, Italy, says the tiny particles “have recorded a scenario of great suffering, whose victim was wrapped up in the funeral cloth.”

These particles had a “peculiar structure, size and distribution,” according to University of Padua professor Giulio Fanti.

Model of the wounded Shroud of Turin image

English translation of Model of the wounded Shroud of Turin image
Medical-Forensic Explanation of the Shroud of Turin

Blood trickled from the victim’s wrists down his arms, indicating that he hung from his wrists on the cross, not with his arms horizontal as in most crucifixion paintings.

We do not base our faith, or hopes, on an artifact but, although controversial, it does provide confirmation of the brutal torture and trauma of crucifixion that Jesus suffered.

The Shroud of Turin and the painting by Akiane Kramarik

Akiane Kramarik became famous for her paintings and poetry, begun at age four when she started having visions of Jesus and heavenly scenes. An interesting video shows the correlation between the face on the Shroud of Turin and the painting of the vision of Jesus by Akiane:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2AdNTKcGnc

    
Enhanced Shroud face and Akiane painting.
 

Visions are subjective and open to interpretation, but we live in a time when increasing numbers of people, especially Muslims, are having visions of Jesus that often bring them to faith in him as their Saviour and Lord. You too can believe in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, your Saviour and Lord.

See also:


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

 

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story

 

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – 
PDF
3 books in 1

 

A Holy Week All
Holy Week – Blog
Holy Week – PDF

Summary of the events of Holy Week

 


Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

Included in BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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How December 25 became Christmas

How December 25 became Christmas.

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover.

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bruegel-bethlehem
A blanket of snow covers the little town of Bethlehem, in Pieter Bruegel’s oil painting from 1566. Although Jesus’ birth is celebrated every year on December 25, Luke and the other gospel writers offer no hint about the specific time of year he was born. Photo: Scala/Art Resource, NY.

 

The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”3 In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition.

In the East, January 6 [now Epiphany] was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?

There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.   …

Connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.

There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years.8 But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.


The baby Jesus flies down from heaven on the back of a cross, in this detail from Master Bertram’s 14th-century Annunciation scene. Jesus’ conception carried with it the promise of salvation through his death. It may be no coincidence, then, that the early church celebrated Jesus’ conception and death on the same calendar day: March 25, exactly nine months before December 25. Kunsthalle, Hamburg/Bridgeman Art Library, NY

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.9 March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception.10 Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.d

This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.”11 Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.

Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”12


Learn about the magi in art and literature in “Witnessing the Divine” by Robin M. Jensen, originally published in Bible Review and now available for free in Bible History Daily.


In the East, too, the dates of Jesus’ conception and death were linked. But instead of working from the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the easterners used the 14th of the first spring month (Artemisios) in their local Greek calendar—April 6 to us. April 6 is, of course, exactly nine months before January 6—the eastern date for Christmas. In the East, too, we have evidence that April was associated with Jesus’ conception and crucifixion. Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis writes that on April 6, “The lamb was shut up in the spotless womb of the holy virgin, he who took away and takes away in perpetual sacrifice the sins of the world.”13 Even today, the Armenian Church celebrates the Annunciation in early April (on the 7th, not the 6th) and Christmas on January 6.e

Thus, we have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6).

Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together. One of the most poignant expressions of this belief is found in Christian art. In numerous paintings of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary—the moment of Jesus’ conception—the baby Jesus is shown gliding down from heaven on or with a small cross (see photo above of detail from Master Bertram’s Annunciation scene); a visual reminder that the conception brings the promise of salvation through Jesus’ death.

The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud preserves a dispute between two early-second-century C.E. rabbis who share this view, but disagree on the date: Rabbi Eliezer states: “In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; on Passover Isaac was born … and in Nisan they [our ancestors] will be redeemed in time to come.” (The other rabbi, Joshua, dates these same events to the following month, Tishri.)14 Thus, the dates of Christmas and Epiphany may well have resulted from Christian theological reflection on such chronologies: Jesus would have been conceived on the same date he died, and born nine months later.15

In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism—from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year—than from paganism. Then again, in this notion of cycles and the return of God’s redemption, we may perhaps also be touching upon something that the pagan Romans who celebrated Sol Invictus, and many other peoples since, would have understood and claimed for their own, too.16

Source: How December 25 became Christmas, by Andrew McGowan in Bible History Daily, September 24, 2020.

Some Christmas Blogs


The Queen’s Christmas & Easter Messages


The best Christmas of my life


A Christmas story by a Russian orphan


How December 25 became Christmas


See also Christmas Worship

Included in BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Crucified and Risen


Crucified and Risen
The Easter Story

Crucified & Risen – PDF

Holy Week – PDF

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A summary of the events on one Jewish Day – from sunset to the next sunset.

The Passover lamb was killed that day.  Jesus chose to die on that day, fulfilling the Passover and the prophecies about the Messiah/Christ – God’s Anointed One.

This Blog: selections from the book Crucified and Risen: The Easter Story.

Use and reproduce these resources any way you wish to share the Good News of Easter – He is risen indeed.

From the Introduction

The Easter Story

Tension rose. Many believed that the famous, radical young prophet from the rural hills of the village of Nazareth in the north was the long-awaited Messiah, the Christ.  That ancient title Messiah (Hebrew) or Christ (Greek) meant God’s Anointed One. People believed their Messiah would free them from the tyranny of the Roman Empire and establish his eternal kingdom.

Some people, like the Zealots, wanted to fight to free their nation. Roman soldiers savagely crucified these insurrectionists as a public demonstration of the futility of opposing their Empire. One disciple of the young prophet was Simon the Zealot.

Other people, such as the Jewish leaders, co-operated with their Roman overlords, hoping to keep the peace and prevent further invasion and destruction. One of the radical prophet’s disciples was Matthew, approved as a tax collector for Rome. People regarded tax collectors as traitors.

Other disciples of the popular prophet ran a successful fishing business in Galilee, owning many boats and employing many fishermen. They returned to their business after the traumatic and confusing events of their prophet’s arrest, torture and public execution.

This radical young prophet annoyed the Jewish leaders. He broke many of their strict religious laws and traditions. He welcomed all kinds of people and was widely known as a friend of prostitutes and traitors like tax collectors. He visited their homes. He welcomed sinners to join him in the homes of strict religious leaders who were shocked, appalled and angered.

He survived many assassination attempts.  Two kings, father and son, wanted to kill him (Matthew 2:13; Luke 13:31).  People in his home village attempted to push him over a cliff (Luke 4:29).  People in Jerusalem tried to stone him more than once (John 8:59, 10:31).  Religious leaders often plotted to kill him (Matthew 12:14, 26:4; Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47).  At times, his own family thought he was crazy, and many Jewish leaders said he used demonic powers (Mark 3:21-22).

So, during his three years of public teaching and preaching, he stirred up opposition as well as a huge following of people wanting healing and miracles. Then during his final journey to Jerusalem for that momentous Passover, he warned his closest followers three times that he would be arrested, tortured and executed. They could not comprehend that, and Peter earned a harsh rebuke for disagreeing with Jesus. But Jesus clearly described what lay ahead, as in this explanation:

Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon.  After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.’  But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.  (Luke 18:31-34, see also Luke 9:22, 44-45)

The High Priest and the chief priests of the ruling Sanhedrin were determined to kill this dangerous, radical young man. Driven by jealousy of his popularity and the threat that his popularity may lead to a possible uprising and severe Roman retaliation (as did happen around 40 years later in 70AD), the religious leaders wanted him dead and his threat removed.

Eventually they did kill him.  But he chose the time and the place and the method (John 10:17-18).  He was publicly crucified on the day the Passover lambs were killed.  He fulfilled prophecies about the Messiah, but even his closest friends did not understand that, until later.  One of his disciples betrayed him.  Another fought to defend him, slicing off a high priest’s servant’s ear – which needed immediate repair. Then all his friends deserted him and fled.  By nine o’clock that morning their leader and friend, the Messiah, was savagely tortured and crucified.

Romans crucified their victims along the main road just outside a town or village.  They lopped trees and their victims carried the crossbar to the dreadful execution site where they were nailed to the crossbar and hoisted onto a tree trunk or stake.  Peter later wrote that Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). The execution place just outside Jerusalem’s city wall was called the place of the skull, with graves nearby.  There are tombs and graves just outside that city wall even today.

Eye-witnesses saw and heard the horrendous spectacle. A few, like John, saw it from nearby. Spectators taunted the central victim: And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ (Luke 23:35-37)

The three victims gasped out brief cries, one with angry accusations: One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ (Luke 23:39)

Soldiers divided the victims’ clothes among themselves, gambling for some.  Eventually they smashed the legs of the two victims still alive so they died quickly, no longer able to push up from their spiked feet to gasp more breath. Religious leaders wanted them off the crosses before the Sabbath began at sunset.

The other victim was already dead so one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out.

The mystery deepened rapidly.  Matthew, the disciple who had been a despised tax collector for Rome, reported that the curtain of the temple was split from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split and tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life and came out of the tombs after the resurrection and went into the city and appeared to many people (Matthew 27:51-52).

Rumours began to spread that weekend.

Most people thought that the unbelievable rumours that the Messiah was alive were impossible, and said so.  Loudly.

Only a few, very few at first, thought that it had really happened.  Even after a month some still doubted that it actually happened. (Matthew 28:16-17)

They saw the awful, brutal execution. Their leader had been severely flogged and tortured early one morning before his execution.  The conquering Romans made sure their victims suffered maximum agony and humiliation on thousands of crosses, suffering publicly and slowly in excruciating pain to their last agonized breath. That’s how we got our English words excruciate (ex-crux – out of the cross) and agony from the Greek word agon (struggle or contest).

Then, on the third day, he mysteriously appeared to many of his friends. That afternoon and evening he explained that the Scriptures said that the Messiah had to suffer:

Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47).

Crucified, as thousands were, their Messiah and King then appeared mysteriously for just over a month from the full moon at Passover until his ascension beyond the clouds. Even his name, Yeshua/Joseph/Jesus told that story. It means God saves.

The Greek word Ἰησοῦς (Iesous, Yeshua), translated mostly as Jesus, but also as Joshua, means God saves, or God is salvation. English translations of the Bible traditionally use ‘Jesus’ when the reference is to Joshua/Yeshua of Nazareth and commonly as ‘Joshua’ for anyone else with that name (see Luke 3:29;  Acts 7:45;  Hebrews 4:8).  So in English the name Jesus became unique for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.

These brutal and mysterious events transformed the lives of the people involved and changed the history of the world.

Eye-witnesses wrote their reports on parchments in the Greek language, now incorporated into the New Testament, the most translated and most read book in the world.  All or part of it is translated into over 3,000 languages and the whole Bible translated into over 670 languages.  I use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) in this book with other translations added occasionally.

This story covers the most momentous events in history because it not only affected those involved but also changed the lives and eternal destiny of countless millions through history.

Events in this book are reproduced in more detail in my book The Lion of JudahThere I include extra passages, some from Paul’s letters and from various passages in the New Testament including The Revelation.

In this book, I reproduce Bible passages in italics. These passages, translated from the original eye-witness reports, tell the astounding story.

Matthew, Mark and John saw it personally.  Luke gathered his reports from eye-witnesses for his two books, the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles.

Paul wrote: For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Corinthians 1:18)

John penned the famous words: God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

SUMMARY OF EVENTS

The Last Supper

Preparation of the Passover – Mt 26:17-19   Mk 14:12-16   Lk 22:7-13
Washing the disciples’ feet – Jn 13:1-17
The breaking of bread – Mt 26:26   Mk 14:22   Lk 22:19
‘One of you shall betray me’ –  Mt 26:21   Mk 14:18   Lk 22:21    Jn 13:21
‘Is it I ?’ – Mt 26:22-25   Mk 14:19
Giving of the dipped bread – Jn 13:26-27
Departure of Judas Iscariot – Jn 13:30
Peter warned – Mt 26:34  Mk 14:30   Lk 22:34   Jn 13:38
Blessing the cup – Mt 26:27,28   Mk 14:23,24   Lk 22:17
The discourses after supper – Jn 14:1-16:33
Christ’s prayer for his apostles – Jn 17:1-17:26
The hymn – Mt 26:30   Mk 14:26

Gethsemane and Trials

The agony – Mt 26:37   Mk 14:33   Lk 22:39   Jn 18:1
The thrice-repeated prayer – Mt 26:39-44   Mk 14:36-39   Lk 22:42
Sweat and angel support – Lk 22:43,44
The sleep of the apostles – Mt 26:40-45   Mk 14:37-41   Lk 22:45,46
Betrayal by Judas – Mt 26:47-50   Mk 14:34,44   Lk 22:47   Jn 18:2-5
Peter smites Malchus – Mt 26:51   Mk 14:47   Lk 22:50   Jn 18:10
Jesus heals the ear of Malchus – Lk 22:51
Jesus forsaken by disciples – Mt 26:56   Mk 14:50
1) Trial with Annas – Jn 18:12,13
2) Trial with Caiaphas – Mt 26:57   Mk 14:53   Lk 22:54   Jn 18:15
Peter follows Jesus – Mt 26:58   Mk 14:54   Lk 22:55   Jn 18:15
The high priest’s adjuration – Mt 26:63   Mk 14:61
Jesus condemned, buffeted, mocked – Mt 26:66-67   Mk 14:64-65   Lk 22:63-65
Peter’s denial of Christ – Mt 26:69-75   Mk 14:66-72   Lk 22:54-62   Jn 18:17-27
3) Trial with Pilate – Mt 27:1,2   Mk 15:1   Lk 23:1-4   Jn 18:28
Repentance of Judas – Mt 27:3
Pilate comes out to the people – Jn 18:29-32
Pilate speaks to Jesus privately – Jn 18:33-38
4) Trial with  Herod – Lk 23:5-11
Jesus mocked, arrayed in purple – Lk 23:5-11
5) Trial with Pilate, scourged – Mt 27:26   Mk 15:15   Jn 19:1
Jesus crowned with thorns – Mt 27:29   Mk 15:17   Jn 19:2
‘Behold the man’ – Jn 19:5
Jesus accused formally – Mt 27:11   Mk 15:2   Lk 23:2
‘Behold your King’ – Jn 19:14
Pilate desires to release him – Mt 27:15   Mk 15:6   Lk 23:17   Jn 19:12
Pilate’s wife message – Mt 27:19
Pilate washes his hands – Mt 27:24
Pilate releases Barabbas – Mt 27:26
Pilate delivers Jesus to be crucified – Mt 27:26   Mk 15:15   Lk 23:25   Jn 19:16

Crucifixion

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross – Mt 27:32   Mk 15:21   Lk 23:26
They give Jesus vinegar and gall – Mt 27:34   Mk 15:23   Lk 23:36
They nail him to the cross – Mt 27:35   Mk 15:24,25   Lk 23:33   Jn 19:18
The superscription – Mt 27:37   Mk 15:26   Lk 23:38   Jn 19:19
1) Father, forgive them – Lk 23:34
His garments shared – Mt 27:35   Mk 15:24   Lk 23:34   Jn 19:23
Passers-by and the two thieves revile –  Mt 27:39-44   Mk 15:29-32   Lk 23:35
The penitent thief – Lk 23:40
2) Today you will be with me … Lk 23:43
3) Woman, behold your son. … Jn 19:26,27
Darkness over all the land – Mt 27:45   Mk 15:33   Lk 23:44,45
4) My God, my God, why … ?  [Psalm 22:1]   Mt 27:46   Mk 15:34
5) I thirst – Jn 19:28  [Psalm 22:15 ;  69:3, 21]
The vinegar – Mt 27:48   Mk 15:36   Jn 19:29
6) It is finished – Jn 19:30   [It is accomplished]
7) Father, into your hands …  [Psalm 31:5]   Lk 23:46
Rending of the temple veil – Mt 27:51  Mk 15:38  Lk 23:45
Graves opened, saints resurrected – Mt 27:52
Testimony of Centurion – Mt 27:54  Mk 15:39  Lk 23:47
Watching of the women – Mt 27:55  Mk 15:40  Lk 23:49
The piercing of his side – Jn 19:34
Taken down from the cross – Mt 27:57-60  Mk 15:46  Lk 23:53  Jn 19:38-42
Burial by Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus – Mt 27:57-60  Mk 15:46  Lk 23:53  Jn 19:38-42
A guard placed over the sealed stone – Mt 27:65-66

Resurrection

Women carry spices to the tomb – Mt 28:1   Mk 16:1,2   Lk 24:1
The angel had rolled away the stone – Mt 28:2
Women announce the resurrection – Mt 28:8   Lk 24:9,10   Jn 20:1,2
Peter and John run to the tomb – Lk 24:12   Jn 20:3
The women return to the tomb – Lk 24:1
The guards report to the chief priests – Mt 28:11-15
12 APPEARANCES OF CHRIST
1) To Mary Magdalene – Mk 16:9,10   Jn 20:11-18
2) To the women returning home – Mt 28:9-10
3) To two disciples going to Emmaus – Mk 16:12   Lk 24:13-35
4) To Peter – Lk 24:34  1 Co 15:5
5) To ten Apostles in the upper room –  Lk 24:33   Jn 20:19-23
6) To eleven Apostles in the upper room – Mk 16:14   Jn 20:26-29
7) To 500 at once – 1 Cor 15:6
8) To James – 1 Cor 15:6
9) To disciples at the sea of Tiberias – Jn 21:1-23
10) To eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee – Mt 28:16-20
11) Eating together in Jerusalem – Acts 1:4-5
12) The Ascension from the Mount of Olives – Mk 16:19   Lk 24:50-51   Acts 1:6-9

Jesus explained these events on the afternoon of his Resurrection Sunday:

 Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.  …

Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things. 

(Luke 24:25-27; 44-48 NRSV)

Appendix 1 – alternate chronology
Appendix 2 – the shroud of Turin

Easter Resources

I was told by a distinguished rabbi about the ceremony when the Children of Israel presented lambs to the priest. The lamb would be impaled on a horizontal and vertical pole. Its back would be flayed to ensure it was a spotless lamb. None of its bones would be broken, and the blood would be drained from the lamb.
Does that sound familiar? The lamb was roasted on two poles forming a cross. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was placed on a cross. His hands and feet were pierced, and none of His bones were broken. Jesus was crucified on the very day the Passover lambs were being offered up.
Dr Michael Evans (Jerusalem Prayer Team)


For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14).
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

Books


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1

A Holy_Week_Passover & Resurrection_Kindle

Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

3 books in 1 volume

Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection – PDF
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

Paperback and eBook on Amazon –

CONTENTS of this book (& 3 books)

1 Holy Week

Holy Week – PDF
READ SAMPLE

 A Holy Week All

This summary follows the outline in Mark’s Gospel.

This is an approximation:

Palm Sunday – Day of Demonstration – Mark 11:1-11 (Zech 9:9) – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Day of Authority – Mark 11:12-19 – fig tree, temple cleansed

Tuesday – Day of Conflict – Mark 11:20 – 13:36 – debates with leaders

Wednesday – Day of Preparation – Mark 14:1-11 – anointed at Bethany

Thursday – Day of Farewell – Mark 14:12-42 – last supper

Good Friday – Day of Crucifixion – Mark 14:43 – 15:47 – trials and death

Saturday – Day of Sabbath – Mark 15:46-47 – tomb sealed

Easter Sunday – Day of Resurrection – Mark 16:1-18 – resurrection appearances

Easter Friday It is finished

It is finished  –  It is accomplished
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

2 Christian Passover

Christian Passover Service

A Retelling of the Last Supper

Christian Passover Service – PDF

READ SAMPLE

A Christian Passover All

  1. Lighting The Candles
  2. First Cup ‑ Cup Of Blessing
  3. Washing The Hands
  4. First Dipping ‑ Bitter Herb In Salt Water
  5. The Four Questions
  6. The Plagues
  7. Paschal Lamb, Unleavened Bread, Bitter Herb
  8. Second Cup ‑ Cup Of Thanksgiving
  9. Second Dipping ‑ The  Mixture (Charoseth)
  10. The Passover Meal
  11. Communion Instituted
  12. Third Cup ‑ Cup Of Redemption
  13. Fourth Cup ‑ Cup Of Praise
  14. The Great Praise ‑ Final Song
    This order of service for Passover is an attempt to be as true as possible to the historic one Jesus had with his disciples, with Christian explanations added.

Resurrection

RISEN: short version

Risen –_PDF

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A Risen All Short

Preface

A Mysterious Month

Resurrection Sunday

Forty Days

Photos from the longer version

Addendum: The Old City of Jerusalem

See also:  Risen! : longer version
Risen! –_
PDF

A Risen! All

Part 1: A Mysterious Month, gives the full eye-witness accounts of 12 resurrection appearances. The contents of RISEN – shorter version – now also included in this book,

Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection.

Part 2: Our Month in Israel, gives my reflections on walking where Jesus walked, with photos of those locations. Not included in Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection.

See also: Mysterious Month
Mysterious Month – 
PDF

0 A Mysterious Month All3

Expanded contents of RISEN! – the longer version

with more details and photos of Jerusalem in Part 2.

See also:

Blog:  Holy Week – the greatest week in history

Crucified and Risen: The Easter Story
Crucified & Risen – PDF
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

 

A 4 Death of Jesus
The Death of Jesus – Blog
The Death of Jesus – PDF
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Crucified ad Risen:
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Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

 

The Meaning of Easter

The Meaning of Easter

A message outline you may like to use or adapt

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The Meaning of Easter:
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Message Outline, 4 March 2018 – by Nick Kikuchi, Riverlife Baptist Church, Brisbane.
Message given at the Easy English service for overseas visitors.

Easter Friday lamb

Love Declared · Love Demonstrated  –  The Meaning of Easter

Easter Today
* Easter is one of the two biggest Western festivities, along with Christmas.
* Pagan (non-christian religions) celebration of re-birth of the earth in the spring was combined into Easter Festivities. (like bunnies and eggs)
* Lots of celebrations and even non-christian celebration. (egg hunt, Easter Bunny)
* Easter is a Christian Festival and it celebrates the Resurrection (come back to life) of Jesus after His death on the cross.

Easter is Related to the Jewish Festival of Passover

* Passover is the most important Jewish festival.
Jesus celebrated 
Passover every year. Jesus died on Passover weekend.

* History of Passover (Exodus 1-12)

1. Slavery (bondage) of Israelites in Egypt in 1700BC.
2. Moses’ job to free Israelites from Egypt and God’s ten disasters to Egypt. (Exodus 7-11)
3. Tenth disaster (different from others) – the death of the firstborn (Exodus 12:5-14) and an act of faith was needed by Israelites.
(a) Free from bondage needed a substitution of payment.
(b) Unblemished (perfect) lamb to be sacrificed (killed) and blood to be put on the pillars of entry. (Exodus 12:5-7)
(c) They feasted on roasted lamb, herbs and hard bread.
(d) Anticipate the liberty and be ready to leave. (Exodus 12:11)
(e) Angels of death passed over the entry ways marked with blood of lamb. (Exocus 12:12-13)
(f) People celebrated passing over and being free.
(g) It became a festival, remembering this great day. (Exodus 12:14)
4. It was a model of Great Salvation to all human beings.
5. Passover showed that substitute Death is needed for salvation.
What Happened in the original Easter Week? (2000 years ago – AD30)

* Jesus celebrated Passover.

*The last year of His life, the last P
assover (Matthew 26-27)
1. He taught disciples extensive teaching.
I am going 
away but believe in me. (John 15)
2. He had the Last Supper and told them to do this in memory of Jesus.
(Matthew 26:26-31)
3. Jesus lived a sinless life. (1 John 3:5-6)
4. Jesus was killed on the cross and His blood was placed on the
cross.
5. Whoever believed in Jesus’ blood on the cross (that He is God in Man to die on the cross for our sin and his death will save us from God’s wrath) will be saved. (1 John 1:7; John 3:16)

* He came back to life (Matthew 28:6) to prove He won against
sin and death. Proof that He is God, who has power to save us. (Romans 6:9)

* We celebrate His resurrection because Jesus has done it all. We
don’t have to do anything. We are saved if we believe He is our personal Saviour.

God’s Master Plan to Save Humans from Sin and Death
* Passover was a model to show what is to come. (Hebrews 10:11)
* Easter Passion Week – death of Jesus on the cross was the real substitute death that lambs in the past have represented.
* Similarity:
1. Unblemished lamb vs sinless man (God in Him – Lamb of God).
2. Both killed.
3. Blood on the door pole vs blood on the cross.
4. Believing gave liberation from slavery vs believing gives liberation from the slavery and curse of sin and death.
5. Israel became a nation of God to bless other nations vs Christian became saved people to give Good News to the world.

* Key Points
1. Jesus is God in human body (incarnated God).
2. Jesus lived a sinless life.
3. Jesus died for our sins to pay the sin’s debt and came back to life to guarantee it.
4. Jesus is offering His guarantees to anyone who believes in Him our Saviour and Lord.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the similarities between Christmas and Easter?
2. What is the meaning of Passover?
3. What are the similarities and the differences between Passover and
Easter?
4. What does Easter mean to you?

communion-bread-wine2

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The Easter Story
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A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – PDF
3 books in 1
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Christian Passover Service
A Retelling of the Last Supper
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A Christian Passover AllHoly Week
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A Holy Week All

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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Inspiration
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Journey into Renewal and Revival

Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival
Looking to Jesus: Journey into Renewal and Revival – PDF

God’s Surprises

God’s Surprises – PDF

Journey into Ministry and Mission

Journey into Ministry and Mission – PDF

Pioneer Mission in PNG

Light on the Mountains – Blog
Light on the Mountains – PDF

Community and Ecological Transformation

South Pacific Revivals
South Pacific Revivals – PDF

Transforming Revivals

Transforming Revivals
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Revival Pioneers

Anointed for Revival
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Renewal: I make all things new
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Revival: I will pour out my Spirit
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Great Revival Stories

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A Christian Passover All

Christian Passover Service
Christian Passover Service – PDF

A Holy Week All

Holy Week
Holy Week – PDF

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1

Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – PDF

Crucified and Risen  –  The Easter Story
Crucified and Risen – PDF

A Risen! All

Risen: 12 Resurrection Appearances
Risen! – PDF

A Mysterious Month All

Mysterious Month
Mysterious Month – PDF

The Hoy Land

Exploring Israel (paperback colour)
Exploring IsraelPDF

The Holy Land

Exploring Israel (paperback black & white)
Exploring IsraelPDF


Body of Christ 1: Body Ministry

The Body of Christ, Part 1: Body Ministry
The Body of Christ, Part 1: Body Ministry – PDF

Ministry Education

The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education
The Body of Christ, Part 2: Ministry Education – PDF

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Jesus on Dying Regrets
Jesus on Dying Regrets – PDF

Follow links to Blogs for each book

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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