You are hereAstronomers 'pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection'

Astronomers 'pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection'

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By Virgil - Posted on 29 May 2003

Two Romanian astronomers say their research shows Christ died at 3pm on a Friday, and rose again at 4am on a Sunday. Liviu Mircea and Tiberiu Oproiu claim to have pinpointed the exact time and date of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.The pair, from the Astronomic Observatory Institute in Cluj, Romania, say Jesus died at 3pm on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, and rose again at 4am on Sunday, April 5.

They used a computer programme to check biblical references against historical astronomical data.

They said the New Testament stated that Jesus died the day after the first night with a full moon, after the vernal equinox.

Using data gathered on the stars between 26 and 35 AD they established that in those nine years, the first full moon after the vernal equinox was registered twice - on Friday, April 7, 30 AD, and on Friday, April 3, 33 AD.

They were convinced the date of the crucifixion was 33 AD, and not 30 AD, because records showed a solar eclipse, as depicted in the Bible at the time of Jesus' crucifixion, occurred in Jerusalem that year.

mrfullpreterist's picture

The people of the 1st century weren't stupid. They knew the difference between a Lunar eclipse and a "strange darkness". This "strange darkness" is recorded by a few of the notable historians of the time. It was never described as an eclipse. This just seems like another attempt to deny that anything supernatural happened at the crucifixion of the Lord.

Robert L. Statzer

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

Virgil's picture

I am not so sure...certain educated people understood the movements of planets, but the 99.9% of the masses were largely ignorant. I would argue in favor of an eclipse right now, especially since an eclipse can be pinpointed very closely around the time of Christ's death. I don't see any problem with science confirming Biblical events.

mrfullpreterist's picture

Virgil,

Are you saying that Christ died in 33 A. D.? I thought he was born sometime around 2-4 B.C. This would mean his ministry lasted 5-7 years instead of 3. I will find the historical documents I refered to and I will share them with you. They also describe this darkness in almost exactly the same terms as the Bible.

I'll see you this sunday. I'm bringing a friend of mine.

Rob

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

Virgil's picture

Nobody really knows exactly when Christ was born. Based on the fact that history points to a 70 AD destruction of the temple, and our understanding of a 40 year transition period, we have more evidence to stick to the traditional position, but that's besides the point of this article :)

JL's picture

Actually Virgil,

We can date it as accurately as we can the cruxifiction. We just have to accept and use non-biblical astronomical writtings to do it. We also have to ignore several hundred years of tradition that claims the Magi followed the star and read what Matthew actually said.

Jesus was born Feb. 28, 6 BC, by the Gregorian calendar.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Seeker's picture

We know Christ was born in 4 b.c almost to a certainty. The article also stated that one occured in 30 a.d. So I don't see a problem with it being an eclipse. He would have been 30 years old in 27 a.d. and 33 years old when he died in 30 a.d.

Seeker

Seeker

JL's picture

Virgil,

The "solar eclipse" the Romanians' reference occurred from around 11 or 12 and lasted 3 hours. This is what the Bible says. Since it happened on the day of the full moon, it was not a solar eclipse.

These Romanians are claiming that a solar eclipse that happened several months later than the date they propose was the 3 hour darkness that occurred at Passover.

Luke dates his book by Tiberius' reign. The AD 30 date is the only one that works.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Virgil's picture

Ok, this makes more sense. So you are for the position then that the "strange darkness" was miraculous rather than an actual eclipse?

JL's picture

Virgil,

No eclipse could do it.

Volcanic ash could, but I know of no major volcanic activity on an appropriate date. Plus all volcanic examples last for several days, not 3 hours.

With this event, numerous recently dead folks came out of their graves. This is clearly a miraculous event. Why not the darkness that accompanied it.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Prickert's picture

an Interesting site to counter this finding is www.bethlehemstar.net ... really interesting research there! I agree with you Rob!

Paul

mrfullpreterist's picture

Paul,

The sight to which you refered also supports that it was a lunar eclipse. If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33 and not A.D. 30 it's quite possible that it was a lunar eclipse after all. Although I do not know why they would call it a "strange" darkness when they knew it was an eclipse. Maybe it was "strange" simply because it happened at the time of Jesus' death. I don't know. It really doesn't matter a whole lot anyway.

Robert L. Statzer

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

JL's picture

Rob,

A strange darkness during the day can not be caused by a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse is when the full moon goes dark. This could happen on Passover night as it did in 4 BC (when Herod was on his death bed in Jericho). But if it happened during the day, it just means that the night time side of the earth would see it.

The strange darkness during the day in Jerusalem could not be caused be a solar eclipse either. Those only happen during a new moon.

These Romanian astronomers denied the accuracy of a certain statements in the Gospels and leap to all sorts of unjustified conclusions. Luke dates Jesus' ministry. Jesus was crucified in AD 30, not AD 33.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Paul,

Josephus' dating of Herod's death was not changed by a copyist's error as this site claims. Herod died in Jericho shortly after a Passover that had a lunar eclipse, that is the moon went dark. This is all that Josephus said.

It is easy to take that $30 astronomy program this site claims you can use and look at all sorts of dates. However, the results will be useless for determining lunar eclipses 2000 years ago. Instead, look at those years where the Passover full moon is visible from Jerusalem at precisely the hour of the full moon. For this the programs are accurate. You will notice that 4 BC and 3 BC are excellent candidates. You will notice that 2 BC, and AD 1 are poor candidates and that 1 BC is impossible.

Those who use far more expensive programs tell me that 4 BC is the year.

The only survivng census record from Herod's reign is a letter from Augustus Caesar to Herod dated in 8 BC where Augustus says he doesn't trust Herod and will be ordering a count. (There are plenty of records from later censi (?) in 14 year intervals after that.) Given that this wasn't a formal public decree of a census and these things take time, 7-6 BC is the reasonable time frame.

This website makes the claim: "7) it endured over a considerable period of time. The Magi saw it, perhaps from Babylon, traveled to Judea and saw it still." This is false. The record in Matthew states clearly that they saw it where ever they came from then went straight to Jerusalem. They never saw it on the journey to Jerusalem. Those in Jerusalem never saw it. It was not in the sky to be pointed to while the Magi were in Jerusalem.

And any person who tries to make the argument that Jewish years are 360 days and thereby makes Daniel's 70 weeks fall 7 years short is just a fool with a calculator. (And this site does that.) The Jewish calendar has never had 360-day years. It has 354-day years with occasional longer years thrown in to make an average of 365.25 days per year.

This website also proposes a common occurence for the sign. Why couldn't the King of the Jews be 12 years older? That is, born when this proposed sign occured in 15 BC? The site claims it was brighter this time. This is bunk. Jupiter is always just as bright. Regulus is similarly unvarying. They claimed "closeness" only lasts for a few hours, after that, it looks the same as any other passing.

And if the sign this website proposed is the one, Herod's advisors would have known the date it appeared. They would not have had to ask.

They conveniently place the Jerusalem visit on Dec. 25, 2 BC. Josephus records that Herod was never in Jerusalem during Dec. Imediately after Purim, he went to the Dead Sea for the winter and did not come back until Passover. So Herod was not anywhere near Jerusalem to be distressed.

It's also interesting that this site doesn't bother to tell us on what date the star appeared.

There's ultimately nothing of value on this web site.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

mrfullpreterist's picture

JL,

Now my only question becomes one of how long Jesus ministry lasted, and how old he was when he died. I guess he was 36 years old, and his ministry lasted 6 years. That doesn't sound right though. Also I knew that about a lunar eclipse, I just wasn't paying attention to my terms.

Rob

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

JL's picture

Rob,

If Jesus was born in 6 BC, he was 36 (by modern western reckoning, or 37 by eastern reckoning, no zero) when he was crucified in AD 30, after a 3 year ministry.

Luke said Jesus was about 30 in AD 27. We have reason to believe 30 was a special age in that culture, just as 21 is a special age in our culture.

You're 21. I'm 21. I've been 21 for so long, I've even got a daughter who's 21. In fact, she's been 21 for a couple of years now. My mother is also 21. It's not just an age, but a synonym for being an adult, of having the full rights of an adult.

Luke dates things very carefully for someone in his culture. I'm sure he knew full well that Jesus was really about 34 (what we call 33), but if he were writing to us, he could just as well have said 21 and been correct.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Seeker's picture

This site you provided is a nice site, but it doesn't counter the above information. If anything it agrees with it.

They do make a couple of mistakes. They assume we must look for a year when this occurrs on a Friday; not so! Many people have given very valid arguments for a Wednesday Crucifixion. The next day being a special Sabbath they would have had to rest and then on Friday they could have went and bought the spices and prepared them, rested on Saturday and then went to anoint his body early Sunday morning. Otherwise when did they buy, and then prepare, the spices?

Seeker

Seeker

Seeker's picture

J.L.

Now that's kinda silly. The Bible clearly says he was about 30; this was in 27 a.d. when he was baptised and his ministry started. He was about 33 and a half in 30 a.d. when he died. It's really pretty simple.

Seeker

Seeker

Seeker's picture

The beginning of the Jewish year is based on the first new moon after the spring equinox.

"as we will see, in 30 CE absolutely precludes a Friday crucifixion.

It is important for the Orthodox Church to establish 30 CE as a Friday Passover as we will see that the sequence of the Passovers in John from the fifteenth year of Tiberius indicates a 30 CE crucifixion, given the Passover narrative in John 11:55 and John 12:1. The timing of the Passover either in 30 CE or 31 CE has great significance for the Sign of Jonah. Daniel-Rops intuitively understands this point when he observes that:

Forty years later, at the beginning of the month of Nisan, in the year 70, a Roman army invested the Holy City. Four legions of Syrian and Numidian auxiliaries, sixty thousand men with the finest material equipment, were led by the Emperor Titus, the son of Vespasian, who had been proclaimed only six months earlier by a coup d’etat of the legions in Egypt (ibid., p. 452).

Thus, if the gospel of John refers to only one Passover in chapters 11 & 12, which is almost certain, and the commencement of the narrative is at the Passover of 28 CE, we have a 30 CE Passover. Thus the Orthodox must fabricate the Friday crucifixion, and the Sign of Jonah commences in 30 CE and finishes at 1 Nisan 70 CE. The subsequent destruction of the Temple and the closure of the Temple at Leontopolis in Egypt, is just narrative from the commencement of the closure. If it is in 31 CE the closure of the Sign is with the cessation of sacrifice. Let us examine the options.

A necessary step is to establish the dates of the New Moons at Jerusalem over the period of 28-33 CE in order to examine when the dates of 1 Nisan and, thence, the Passover occurs in those years. It is then possible to ascertain quite accurately when a Wednesday or Friday crucifixion is possible, and whether such a view coincides with the biblical texts.

Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office has supplied the dates on which the New Moons fell in the years 28-33 CE based upon the work of H. H. Goldstine (ibid.). The times are supplied from observation at Babylon (Baghdad) and thus 37 minutes must be deducted from the times to get Jerusalem civil time. Irregularities in the earth’s rotation give rise to small irregularities in times. The equinox is also earlier from the Julian dates, i.e. 20-21 March. The equinox can be as early as 20 March in the Gregorian system also.

New Moon times are thus:

Monday 15 March 28 CE @ 03:38

Tuesday 13 April 28 CE @ 17:21

Friday 4 March 29 CE @ 04:13

Saturday 2 April 29 CE @ 20:43

Wednesday 22 March 30 CE @ 20:59

Friday 21 April 30 CE @ 12:48

Monday 12 March 31 CE @ 01:29

Tuesday 10 April 31 CE @ 14:45

Saturday 29 March 32 CE @ 23:08

Monday 28 April 32 CE @ 10:09

Thursday 19 March 33 CE @ 13:41

Friday 17 April 33 CE @ 22:12

From the New Moon timings, the beginning of the sacred year, or 1 Nisan, fell as follows using the standard rules of the New Moon nearest the equinox and the Passover falling past the equinox and working on the standard Jewish day from dark on one day to sunset End Evening Nautical Twilight (EENT) the next day:

Monday 15 March 28 CE

Sunday 3 April 29 CE

Thursday 23 March 30 CE

Monday 12 March 31 CE

Monday 31 March 32 CE (postponed from

Sunday 30 March)

Thursday 19 March 33 CE

These postponements were not according to the Hillel or later systems, but were ad hoc decisions (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156)).

Of these times, we know that the time of the New Moon on Thursday 19 March 33 CE, would have been observed from the next evening [because by ancient Jewish tradition, when the New Moon cannot be observed on the day on which it falls, i.e. that it falls within daylight hours, it is observed on the following day]. Thus, 1 Nisan 33 CE would have been Friday 20 March 33 CE. From these dates the Passover preparation day of 14 Nisan would have fallen on Thursday two weeks later. The Passover itself would have been on a Friday commencing from the previous evening - but Christ was crucified in daylight of the previous day, which was a Thursday. However, given the Jewish tendency to avoid Sabbaths and Holy Days in sequence (except for the minimal times), a Friday crucifixion was possible in this year. Thus the crucifixion would have been on the following days from the above tables:

Sunday 28 March 28 CE

Sunday 17 April 29 CE (postponed from

Saturday)

Wednesday 5 April 30 CE

Sunday 25 March 31 CE

Sunday 13 April 32 CE (postponed from

Saturday)

Friday 3 April 33 CE (postponed as

described in previous paragraph)

Except for 33 CE, it is impossible for the crucifixion to have been on a Friday. The date in 30 CE is clearly a Wednesday. The date in 31 CE is a Sunday. Thus, 31 CE appears ruled out by the advocates of a Wednesday crucifixion. How might 31 CE be accommodated? The argument is made that the sacred year in 31 CE did not begin until Wednesday 11 April 31 CE according to the rules of postponement now extant. However, that still only places the crucifixion on a Tuesday, namely 24 April. Aside from this fact there are a number of other problems with this date. From the ancient system of observation which was observed by both Orthodox Christians and Jews prior to the Hillel calendar’s introduction in 344-358 CE, the latest possible date for 1 Nisan is the Gregorian 7 April (or earlier with the Julian date)."

quoted from www.ccg.org
Bible study papers
"Timing of the Crucifixion and Resurrection"

Seeker

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