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What date did Jesus die?

Personal Questions | VBVM Staff | Dec-20-2016

Q: Can we know for sure the exact date of Jesus' death?

A: Based on the biblical record, we can determine the day of Jesus’ death precisely. 

  1. Matthew says Jesus was born in the days of Herod the Great. History records that Herod died in 4 BC, so Jesus must be born on or before 4 BC. (Matthew 2:1)
  2. Jesus was born about two years before Herod died (see Matthew 2:13-16), so Jesus was born around 6 BC.
  3. Luke says Jesus started His ministry at the age of 30 (Luke 3:23), therefore Jesus started His ministry between 24-25 BC.
  4. Jesus’ ministry covered three years on the earth (by counting Passover feasts in the Gospels), so Jesus dies at the age of 33, which means His death must have been between AD 27-28. 
  5. Jesus dies on a Thursday. The Gospels report Jesus was raised before sunrise on the first day of the week, Sunday (Luke 24:1), and He was in the grave three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40). Counting backward from Sunday, we find Jesus died during the daylight hours of a Thursday afternoon.
  6. Passovers begin each year at sundown on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan (new days begin at sundown by Jewish reckoning).
  7. Consulting the astronomical records, we find only one year when Passover fell within the window of opportunity required by scripture. In AD 27 Passover began at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, April 9th.
  8. Therefore, Jesus was crucified on Thursday, April 10, AD 27.

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