Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to all four canonical Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' crucifixion. A number of stories that developed during the Middle Ages connect him with both Glastonbury, where he is supposed to have founded the earliest Christian oratory, and also with the Grail legend.
Tony Robinson of time team’
Not of the christian persuasion excavated saint georges island and reckons that local legend places joseph trading tin with the cornish leaving christ to play on the beach
Joseph of Arimathea was quite an enigma !
From history we learn that he was previously known as Joseph de Marmore as he lived in Marmorica in Egypt before he moved to Arimathea.
There is speculation that Joseph of Arimathea, or Joseph of Glastonbury as he later became known, was the uncle of Mary, mother of Jesus.
The relationship to Mary made him a Great Uncle of Jesus.
From this, we may presume that he was an elderly man at the time of the crucifixion.
We have few verifiable details about Joseph except that he was he was quite wealthy.
Some claim that Joseph of Arimathea was a merchant in metals and took young Jesus with him on his business trips to England, India, and even to South America.
It is a well documented fact that Britain led the world at this time with its tin mining.
Joseph of Arimathea was referred to by the Romans as 'Nobilis Decurio' or Minister of Mines to the Roman Government.
Joseph of Arimathea was not one of the original 12 apostles, but he was a disciple of Jesus and was an important man in his own right.
He is mentioned in all four gospels (Matthew: 27:57-
He was a high counselor, a voting member of the Sanhedrine which officially wanted Jesus condemned to death.
We may speculate that he had not consented to, or agreed with, the decision to push Pontius Pilate to impose the death penalty upon Jesus.
In spite of his relationship with Jesus, his loyalty to Him was largely kept secret (John 19:38).
Jesus was obviously unpopular with the elders of the church, and to outwardly support Him did not bring favor in their eyes (John 19:38).
Even though Joseph of Arimathea had attempted to keep his love for Jesus a secret, he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus to be placed in his trust.
This is significant in and of itself.
Joseph of Arimathea, not Mary Jesus' mother, not Mary Magdalene, or any of the apostles were entrusted with the act of taking Jesus down from the cross. Most of the apostles had fled anyway. Joseph took the body and put it in his own tomb. According to various historical sources, Joseph's actions provoked both the Roman and Jewish elders and he eventually did spend time in prison for his support of Jesus.
Other historical sources report that Joseph of Arimathea went on a preaching mission to Gaul with the apostle Phillip, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, and others sometime between the years A.D. 37 and A.D. 63 (the year is in dispute). At Marseilles, Lazarus and Mary parted company with the main group who continued on further up North.
When Joseph's party reached the English Channel, Phillip sent Joseph with 12 disciples to the furthest corner of the Roman Empire, the Island of the Britons.
Legend has it that Joseph sailed around Land's End at the southern tip of England with the intent of catching up with old business acquaintances in the lead and tin mines.
They ran aground in the Glastonbury marshes.
Once again, it is reported that after climbing a nearby hill to survey the countryside, they were exhausted and Joseph thrust into the ground a staff made from the 'Holy Crown of Thorns' worn by Christ. He announced that he and his traveling companions were all weary. It is legendry that the thorn staff immediately took root and the thorn bush can still be seen today on 'Wearyall Hill.' Joseph built a church (Vetusta Ecclesia)5 of mud and wattle on the site and decreed that 12 monks should always reside in that most sacred place. It is interesting to note that a spirited shrub which grows near the now ruined Abbey is of the same type that grows in the Eastern Mediterranean and flowers only twice a year -
It is also claimed that Joseph collected some of the blood and sweat of Christ after His side was pierced as He hung on the cross.
The chalice or cup which Joseph used to collect the fluids is reported to be the same one used during the last supper. Joseph took the cup with him on his voyage to England and is said to have hidden it on the site at Glastonbury, at the bottom of a deep well, called the 'Chalice Well', or the 'Blood Well.'
The well is a rather curious place, 25 thousand gallons of red-
The red tint is caused by high iron content in the water.
Babylonian date of Addaru
ABOUT THE TIME OF JESUS’ DEATH Most early accounts suggest that Jesus died between AD28 to AD33.
JULIUS AFRICANUS: says the passover when Jesus was killed was “the 2nd year of the 102nd Olympiad” (Ch 18:2-
THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS: Gives the date of March 25 in the consulship of Rufus and Rubellio (AD33) in the fourth year of the two hundred and second Olympiad which was between July AD32 to July AD33. (Acts of Pilate, A-
CLEMENT of Alexandria: (AD153-
HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME: (AD170-
CHRONICON PASCHALE: 19th year of Tiberius, the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad. (July AD32 to July AD33) but also has the Ascension in AD29 and death in AM5540 or AD31. (Witby p3 & p13)
EUSEBIUS: said in 340 (Between Oct in AD29 to Oct in AD30) Last lines of Book 2, Penguin p34 and says the temple was destroyed “forty years after their crime” (Penguin p75) Josephus says that the temple was destroyed on the 10th of Lous (Av) which is thought to have been Monday the 6th of August in AD70 (Wars 6:4:4), 40 years before this date would be August AD30, but using the Hebrew method of counting 40 years results in AD31. In the notes by Witby in The Chronicon Paschale, Eusebius said it was the 18th year of Tiberius, the 3rd year of the 202nd Olympiad. (July AD31 to July AD32) (CP p15)
EPIPHANIUS: Calculation shows he thought Jesus died in AD31. (Ch 51) Hippolytus, Tertullian and Dionysius Exiguus believed that Jesus was both conceived and crucified on March 25 (subsequently it follows that Jesus was born 9 months later on Dec 25) (Chambers-
ASTRONOMICAL F.M. (O/S) BABYLONIAN LUNAR CALENDAR DATE FOR NISAN 14
AD29 Sunday April 17 Monday April 18,
AD30 Thursday April 6 Friday April 7,
AD31 Wednesday April 25, Wednesday April 25,
AD32 Monday April 14 Monday April 14,
AD33 Sunday May 3 Saturday May 2
– all these fell in April or May and not once did the passover fall in March, the only year in which the Passover fell in March after the equinox “in Aries” is when using the system of Aristobulus and Josephus, and this could only have been in AD31, and would have been Tuesday March 27 which was both the date of the astronomical Full Moon and the Babylonian date of Addaru 14, and the 25th of March was the previous Sunday, which was not the day of the passover. More recent writers include:
AD27 Clark, Humphreys.
AD29 Clark but he does not commit himself as to which day he thinks was the Passover.
AD30 Cath’ Ency’, Schaff, Humphreys, Ruckstuhl.
AD31 Maxwell (SDA), Ruckstuhl.
AD33 Cath’ Ency’, Schaff, J W’s, Humphreys, Ruckstuhl.
AD34 Clark, Humphreys.
The perpetrators and perpetuators of the Friday “crucifixion” myth have tried to fit the dating to suit their theories, saying that Jesus died or could have died on Fridays in AD27 to AD34. Schaff (p62) says that the Friday in AD30 was Nisan 15 (April 7 O/S) also the Catholic Encyclopedia agrees that it was Nisan 15, but the fact is that the Passover was not Nisan 15 as these claim but the Passover was killed on Nisan 14 and so Jesus would have died the day before the 15th, which would have been on Thursday, April 6.
In AD30 the Passover on Nisan 14 was a Friday but for a Passover day to be on a Friday in consecutive years it must be in association with an intercalated year, for the Passover to be on a Friday for three years in a row is impossible, and so it is also impossible for all the Passovers to have been on a Friday in AD27, 29, 30, 31, 33 & 34 which are the most frequently used years by those who try to perpetuate the myth that Jesus died on a Friday and rose on the following Sunday morning. SDA’s live in a seemingly perpetual state of denial of calendar realities while Coulter who claims a Wednesday death says that it could have been a Wednesday in AD30 as well as AD31. (153, Scriptural Truth about Passover O.T. Tape 1, Side 1).
Martin uses quotes from the Talmud in “The Strange Ending to Sotah” (p8) to arrive at AD30, but Tishri AD31 is 40 Hebrew calendar years before Av in AD70.
Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus died on Friday Nisan 14 in AD33, they use the N/S calendar and say that it was April 1 in AD33, which is April 3 (O/S) which was also the date of the astronomical full moon, although the date of Passover on the Babylonian calendar in AD33 was actually Saturday May 2.
AD33 There have been a number of people who have thought that Jesus was killed in AD33.
The Gospel of Nicodemus can be found in the Ante-
The Julian calendar shows that this was a Wednesday. It seems to imply that this was the day of Jesus trial and death but it could be argued that this may have only been referring to the date on which the account was written and if so then Jesus died before this date. This date for Jesus death is not possible because the moon was only at first quarter on March 25th in AD33 and the Passover on Nisan 14 was not until Friday April 3rd. It says “the moon as if turned into blood” but this is also fictitious as the full moon at Passover would not have been visible during the day when the sun was darkened as the moon does not rise until around evening at passover time, while another version of this account says “the moon being like blood, did not shine the whole night and yet she happened to be at the full.”
THE ECLIPSE OF THE MOON THEORY In an edition of Nature, December 22-
2) According to the Babylonian calendar the Passover of Nisan 14 was on a Friday in AD27 (April 10 O/S) and a Friday in AD30 (April 7 O/S) and in AD33 it would have been on a Saturday (May 2 O/S) but using the previous lunar month as Josephus describes it would have been on Friday (April 3 O/S) but it was the prerogative of the Sanhedrin to delay the month.
3) They assume that “the great and glorious day” in Joel and Acts is referring to the day of Jesus resurrection but the “Day of the Lord” does not mean, the day of “Christs resurrection” but is referring to the figurative day of 1000 years which is yet future, (1 Thes 5:2) which ends when “the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements will dissolve with fire.” (2 Peter 3:10) Since Adam was told that he would die “in the day” that he ate of the the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Gen 2:17) and yet lived until the age of 930 years, (Gen 5:5) and as the spiritual “rest” (Heb 4:1-
a) Jerusalem is surrounded with armies and the abomination set up then shall be great tribulation. (Matt 24:1, Lk 21:20-
b) The sun is darkened and the moon turned to blood (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20) and the stars will fall from heaven. (Mark 3:24, Rev 6:12)
c) the Day of the Lord begins when the Beast and false Prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. (Joel 2:31, Rev 19:20)
4) Josephus shows Herod the Great began the reconstruction of the temple in his 18th year which was 20BC, the 46th year was not AD30-
MORE ABOUT WHICH YEAR John 7:37 tells us “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” This was about six months before the Passover when Jesus was killed. Later that day Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. (John 8:1) “and early in the morning he came again unto the temple and all the people came unto him;” (John 8:2) Some think there may be a break between the close of the eighth chapter of John and the start of chapter nine but chapter nine goes on to say that on that day he healed a blind man “And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.” It was suggested that as this healing was done on the sabbath day, then the “Last Great Day” fell on a Friday in that year, but this “last day, that great day of the feast,” was not the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles but was the seventh and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is called “Hoshana Rabbah” (The Great Hosanna) The following day when Jesus made the clay was the eighth day, the annual sabbath day called “Sabbat Shmini Atzeret” (The Concluding Sabbath) which follows the “Last Great Day”, the seventh day of the Feast. There are discussions in the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud (Suk 54-
THE 22 OF TISHRI IN THE BABYLONIAN CALENDAR (Nisan starts after equinox)
Year Time of the Equinox Date of Last Annual Sabbath
AD28 22 March – 01:33 PM Friday-
AD29 22 March – 07:30 PM Thursday-
AD30 23 March – 01:19 AM Monday-
AD31 23 March – 07:08 AM Sunday-
AD32 22 March – 12:55 PM Friday-
AD33 22 March – 06:42 PM Thursday-
THE 22 OF TISHRI USING THE SYSTEM OF JOSEPHUS (Passover in Aries)
Year Time of the Equinox Date of Last Annual Sabbath
AD28 22 March – 01:33 PM Friday-
AD29 22 March – 07:30 PM Thursday-
AD30 23 March – 01:19 AM Monday-
AD31 23 March – 07:08 AM Friday-
AD32 22 March – 12:55 PM Friday-
AD33 22 March – 06:42 PM Tuesday-
THE 22 OF TISHRI USING THE CALCULATED CALENDAR (Rules of AD801)
Year Time of the Equinox Date of Last Annual Sabbath
AD28 22 March – 01:33 PM Thursday-
AD29 22 March – 07:30 PM Tuesday-
AD30 23 March – 01:19 AM Saturday-
AD31 23 March – 07:08 AM Thursday-
AD32 22 March – 12:55 PM Thursday-
AD33 22 March – 06:42 PM Monday-
THE 22 OF TISHRI IN THE 364 DAY QUMRAN CALENDAR (Dead Sea Scrolls)
The date of the Last Annual Sabbath was always a Wednesday.
THE 22 OF TISHRI ACCORDING TO THE TALMUD (Sanhedrin 11a)
As the month of Nisan could be delayed due to seasonal conditions
then the date of the last Annual Sabbath could vary by a month.
The Talmud forbids feastgoers from dwelling in their tabernacles on the Eighth Day unless their tabernacle has been invalidated so as not to add an eighth day to the festival. (PT Sukk 4, BT Sukk, 27a) The bible does not call this eighth day either the “Last” or the “Great” day. Just as the day of Preperation precedes the annual Passover sabbath, (Mk 15:42, Lk 23:54, Jn 19:31) so Hoshana Rabbah precedes the final annual holy day sabbath. If the so called, “Last Great Day” (Eighth Day) had fallen on a Friday in AD30 and the next day was a weekly sabbath, then it is impossible for the date of Jesus death in the following year to have been in AD31, the year which allows for Jesus spending a full 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb as the lunar calendar clearly shows. Those who think Jesus died in AD31 cannot have it both ways, one or the other is false, and it is not the calendar that is wrong. The “Last Great Day” is the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles , “the Eighth Day” is the eighth day of the bibles cosmic plan and conveys the idea of being, not the “Last” but the “FIRST Great Day”, of eternity. The English equivalent of the Jewish title for this eighth day is “Shabbat Shmini Atzeret” or “conclusion”. Some suggest the eighth day prefigures Judgement Day or a new beginning. The book of Jubilees (Ch 32) calls the eighth day “Addition” and tells a story of why it was added.
THE 3 1/2 YEAR MINISTRY OF JESUS After the time of Jesus, people could not agree how long the ministry of Jesus had been. This uncertainty is evident by the second century.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA who wrote around AD193 said “it was necessary for him to preach only a year,” which he thought was “the acceptable year of the Lord” (The Stromata, Book 1 Ch 21, A-
IRENAEUS the bishop of Lyons (AD120-
ORIGEN thought it was 3 years and 4 months. (Commentary on Matthew 24:15)
EPIPHANIUS says “from the time of the baptism and the start of the preaching until the crucifixion, a period of three years.” (Ch 51:22:1) As he gives Jesus birth as the 6th of January in 2BC and His baptism just prior to his 30th birthday as the 8th November (AD28) and his death on the 20th of March in AD31, it appears that Epiphanius thought the length of the ministry was really a little over 2 years and 4 months.
Some parallel the 3 1/2 year ministry of Elias (1 Kings 18:1, James 5:17) and the two witnesses in Rev 11:3 with that of Jesus and take the prophecy of Daniel which says “he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” (Dan 9:26-
Luke 3:1 shows that John began his ministry after Pontius Pilate had become governor in AD26 and if John was born about the time of the Passover in 4BC he would have turned 30 in about April in AD27 and would have baptised Jesus later that same year after the Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus also had turned about 30 years of age.
HIPPOLYTUS said that Jesus “suffered in the thirty third year” (Commentary A-
MELITO wrote in about AD170 that “three years” elapsed after Jesus was baptised (Fragments 7, A-
EUSEBIUS of Caesarea says “the Roman governors bestowed the high priesthood first on one then on another and the office was held for not more than a single year. He quotes Josephus (Ant 18:2:2) After Ananus or Annus was Ishmael, Eleazar, Simon and then Joseph Caiaphas “Thus the whole period of our Saviour’s teaching is shown to be actually less than four complete years” (The History of the Church, Book 1, Ch10. Penguin p27) but these appointments are thought to have been made by Valerius Gratus the procurator of Judea before he was succeeded by Pontius Pilate in AD26. Eusebius says that the year of the resurrection and ascension was 340, which is said to be AD30. (Penguin p34)
The book of John gives a chronological order of the events during the time of the ministry but few details, while the others give more details but not always in order so looking at the lives of John the baptist, the disciples etc and comparing the events with the feasts and seasons as best we can, we have;
THE FIRST SIX MONTHS FROM OCTOBER AD27 Jesus’ baptism at age 30 (about Sunday October 5 in AD27) John 1:32 followed by 40 day fast. (mid Nov AD27) It appears that this may have been the beginning of a sabbatical year but as some point out a 50 year Jubilee cycle was not being observed and so this may not have been a true sabbatical year.
The miracle at the wedding at Cana followed by the first passover 2:13, 23. when Herods temple was about 46 1/2 years old. (2:20) This was March 29, AD28.
FROM THE PASSOVER AD28 TO THE PASSOVER AD29 After the passover Jesus went to Judaea while John baptised at Aenon. Jn 3:23. Jesus was returning to Galilee through Samaria (4:3) when he said “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?” 4:35 Some think this refers to the end of the sabbatical year in Oct AD28 (would any of the crop have survived from April to October ?) while others think it means the next Passover of April AD29. He later did some miracles back in Galilee. 4:54
After his return to Nazareth Jesus read from Isaiah, Martin suggests p246-
THE PASSOVER OF AD29 TO THE PASSOVER AD30 The next feast John mentions is “a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” 5:1. This appears to have been after the “harvest” he mentioned earlier (4:35) and again there are several alternatives that some suggest,
1) The Feast of Tabernacles, 2) Hanuka, 3) Purim, 4) Passover AD29, although the chronological order of events shows this was after the passover of AD29 because at this time Jesus heals a man on the sabbath, (5:8-
Shortly after this, perhaps on the sabbath day following the day of Purim, Jesus healed the man who had been crippled for 38 years and then mentions that John the Baptist, “-
The next Passover John mentions is in 6:4 and is the one in AD30, working backwards from the death of Jesus this passover is soon after Jesus is told that John the Baptist had been killed, Jesus then fed the 5000 (Matt 14:21) which is supported by the green grass, (Mark 6:39) and the barley loaves.(John 6:13) and is mentioned by all four Gospel writers.
THE LAST PASSOVER This was twelve months after the feeding of the 5000 and was the Passover of AD31 when Jesus was killed.
3 1/2 YEAR CHRONOLOGY
MATT MARK LUKE JOHN
Jesus goes from Galilee to Jordan to John 3:13
Jesus baptised about 30 years of age (Oct AD27) 1:1-
Jesus in the Wilderness 40 days 4:1 4:1-
He turns the water into wine at Cana 2:1-
Goes to Capernaum 2:12
Then goes up to Jerusalem at Passover 2:13
This is the 46th Year of Herods temple 2:13-
Jesus talks with Nicodemus 3:1-
Goes to Aenon in Judah where John is 3:22-
Then to Samaria (Dec) “4 months to harvest” 4:4-
Hears John is cast into prison, shut, arrested 4:12 3:20
Back to Galilee, taught in synagogues 1:14 4:14-
At Nazareth reads Isaiah on sabbath (Pentecost?) 4:16
It appears that he had healed at Capernaum 4:23
Moves to Capernaum, began preaching “Repent” 4:13-
Cana Noblemans son fever (2nd miracle) 4:46-
Casts out demon on Sabbath at Capernaum Synagogue 4:33-
Nain mothers son healed 7:11-
John hears in prison, sends 2 disciples 11:2-
That hour cured many 7:21
Go tell John what you hear and see 11:4 7:22-
Jesus upbraids Chorazin Bethsaida Tyre etc 11:20 10:13
70 return 10:17
Visits Marthas 10:38-
GRAINFIELDS sabbath, good, sheep,David, Abithar 12:1 2:23 6:1
Goes into their Synagogue on another sabbath 12:9 6:6
Withered hand healed on sabbath 12:10 3:1 6:10
Pharisees and Herodians conspire 12:14 3:6
Withdrew himself, many followed 12:15 3:7
Prayed in hills all night 6:12
Appointed 12 apostles 3:14 6:13
Into his own country, prophet without honour 13:54 6:1
Disciples sent 2 x 2 6:7 9:1-
JOHN DEAD, disciples bury him in tomb 14:1-
FEAST OF THE JEWS (probably Purim) 5:1
Jesus goes to Jerusalem 5:1
Impotent 38 year old man healed on sabbath. Bed 5:5-
Herod hears of Jesus 14:1 6:14 9:7
Disciples return Apostles 6:30
Johns disciples tell Jesus of Johns death 14:12
Jesus withdrew by ship to desert Bethsaida 14:13 6:32 9:10 6:1
Into the hills with disciples, 6:3
PASSOVER WAS AT HAND AD30 6:4
5 barley LOAVES 2 FISH, green grass Mk v39 14:14-
People sat in 50’s 9:14
Disciples into ship, Jesus to mountain 14:22-
Jesus walks on water in 4th watch 14:26 6:48 6:19
Land at Gennesaret 14:34 6:53
Sermon at Capernaum about manna 6:24-
Many drew back 6:66
Pharisees from Jerusalem, blind hypocrites, tradition 7:1
FEAST OF TABERNACLES 7:2
FEAST OF DEDICATION (Hanuka) 10:22
LAST PASSOVER AD 31 26:2 14:1 22:1 13:1
THE PASSOVER MONTH IN AD31 The Sabbath research Center of Westfield Indiana, the SDA writer Mervin Maxwell, Harold Hemenway and others say that in the year of Jesus death AD31, the Passover was in April and not in March. Perhaps Maxwell says it was April because the Hebrew calendar fits closer to the Friday crucifixion theory of Ellen White than when using March, and Hemenway because he believes that the year should begin after the equinox.
Aristobulus of Paneas (200-
Josephus writing in about AD94 agreed with this, saying that the Passover was kept “when the sun is in Aries” (Ant 3:10:5) Josephus finished writing his book in AD94 when the equinox was actually on Saturday March 22 (O/S).
Pliny the Elder (AD23-
Following the method used by Josephus for the year AD31, when the mean equinox fell on Friday March 23 (O/S), results in the Passover in Aries being on about Tuesday March 27 or if it was postponed a day, to Wednesday the 28th. This method explained by Josephus was not a biblical command that could never be changed later, as some of the writers in the 3th century AD show.
Peter of Alexandria wrote “the ancients celebrated the Passover according to the divine command after the equinox, whereas the men of the present day now celebrate it before the equinox.” (Fragments of Peter, A-
Anatolius of Alexandria said “they – have added three days before the equinox in which they hold that the Passover may be celebrated.” (Ch 9) “the lamb was sacrificed by the Jews after the equinox was past.” (Ch 10) (A-
In the time of Justinians rule from AD527 to 565, Procopius shows in The Secret History, 28:11 (Penguin p182) that the Passover sometimes fell after Easter. This probably occurred as a result of the introduction of the fixed Hebrew calendar leap-
AD31 During the 3 1/2 year ministry there would have been at least one leap year. Some believe the Sanhedrin used or based their calculations upon the Babylonian calendar during the time of Jesus.
Herman Hoeh, O’Neil (p90) and others have said that AD31 was the embolistic year having a thirteenth or intercalery month. On the Babylonian calendar which followed the 19 year calendar cycle, the 17th year which was a leap year ended in about March of AD31 and although the extra month would have been added after Elul, or about Sept in AD30 the added month of Adar II would not have been added to the Sanhedrins calendar until the end of the Hebrew year, around March and April of AD31.The old Babylonian cycle is not the same 19 year cycle as currently used in the modern Hebrew system of AD801 which was a later innovation and is the same 19 year cycle used in the Karaite calendar that makes the Hebrew year from Saturday the 16th of September in AD30 to Tuesday the 4th of September (O/S) in AD31 to have been the 10th year of the 200th cycle from September in 3761BC and so would not have made the year ending in AD31 to have been a leap year.
Following the method given by Josephus for determining the time of Passover being “when the sun is in Aries” requires a different 19 year cycle again and a reconstruction of this system results in the embolistic month being added in AD29 while AD31 was probably the 13th year of this 19 year cycle and so AD31 may not have been a leap year, but this creates an additional uncertainty which Solinsky mentions in his Mosaic Calendar (p63) which is that four days before the passover Matt 21:19 says, “And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only.”, Mark 11:13 adds, “And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.” The Equinox was on Friday the 23rd of March in AD31.
The offering of the firstfruits of figs was done at Pentecost which falls in May or June, and because the fig tree was in leaf this would ordinarily indicate that perhaps this took place in April rather than March although it seems a bit curious that Jesus would have been unaware that it would be too early in the year to expect to find any edible “figs” as Mark 11:13 suggests.
Christie thinks Jesus was hoping to find the small edible knobs that the Arabs call “taqsh” which accompany the leaves and fall off before the figs are formed and that this event was an omen. (Bruce, The NT Documents, p74)
The Bible Cyclopaedia by A.Fausset under Fig says, “Figs usually ripened in August; earlier ones in June.” – the leaves on the `one’ fig tree, when all others were bare, caught Jesus’ eye `afar off’; as the fruit precedes the leaves, naturally He might have expected, for satisfying His hunger, figs from a tree with such a precocious show of leaf, even though the season of figs was not yet come. It was the unseasonable display of leaves which led Him to come and see `if haply (if as might naturally be expected) He might find anything
thereon.’ – in a sheltered spot figs of an early kind may occasionally be found ripe as soon as the beginning of April,-
SDA’s FRIDAY AD31 Seventh Day Adventists such as Samuele Bacchiocchi and Mervyn Maxwell hold onto the teachings of Ellen White who claimed in her book called “The Desire of Ages” in the chapter called “Why Weepest Thou ?”, that Jesus died on the sixth day of the week and being so convinced of a Friday “crucifixion” they are prepared to agree with her notion that the Passover could have fallen on a Friday in AD31, this can be found in The Time of the Crucifixion by Samuele Bacchiocchi and in The Message of Daniel by Mervyn Maxwell. (Vol 1, p263) Bacchiocchi does not say which month he thinks Jesus died in, but Maxwell says that it was in April.
Some who seem unwilling to accept that Jesus died on a Wednesday in AD31 fill the two day gap by fudging the calender by one day making Nisan 14 a Thursday, then they say that Jesus died on the 15th instead of the 14th. Matt 26:5 says “Not on the feast, lest there be an uproar -
The rule that the Passover on the 14th of Nisan was to follow the equinox is thought to have been established by Aristobulus of Paneas before 150BC which Maxwell acknowledges on page 225 but assumes that it did not occur that way. The equinox in AD31 was on Friday March 23 (O/S) The conjunction in that month had fallen on Sunday March 11 (O/S) at about 11.26pm or just before midnight, a week after perigee, (when the moons movement is at its fastest) the first sighting of the new moon could have possibly, but is unlikely to have been sometime later within about the next 19 hours before the moon set at 6.41pm on Monday evening, this would result in the Passover being Monday March 26. If the moon was seen on the next evening before it set at 7.39pm on Tuesday March 13 (O/S) then it would result in the Passover falling on Tuesday March 27 which was the date of the astronomical full moon, and is the date of the 14th of the previous lunar month in the Babylonian calendar of Parker and Dubberstein, but if the Sanhedrin delayed or “postponed” the beginning of the month until the following evening as they are shown to have sometimes done perhaps due to cloudy weather or the failure of reports by the witnesses of the new moon, then this delay would make the Passover to have been on Wednesday March 28 (O/S) as indicated by 3 days and 3 nights, the Gospel of Peter and Anatolius etc. If Nisan began in the following month of April as Maxwell, the Sabbath Research Center and others say then as the conjunction in April of AD31 was on Tuesday the 10th (O/S) at 1.08am, and as the moon set at 4.37 in the afternoon, five days before apogee then the new moon would not have been visible on the same Tuesday evening and is unlikely to have been seen on the following evening as the moon set at 5.40pm but it was probably seen the next evening as the moon set at 6.41pm. The Astronomical full moon was on Wednesday April 25 (O/S) and according to the Babylonian calendar the Passover would have also been on Wednesday April 25 (O/S) this was over a month after the date of the equinox and was probably the second Hebrew month of Iyar. Even if the beginning of this month was delayed, the Passover would have only been on Thursday at the very latest and as there could only be a maximum of 30 days in a lunar month and not 31 days, it appears quite obvious that it was impossible for Jesus to have died on a Friday in AD31 as they believe.
THE LAST SIX DAYS BEFORE THE PASSOVER John 12:1 seems to invite us to take a closer look at the last six days before the Passover on which Jesus was killed. John shows Jesus traveled from the other side of Jericho to near Jerusalem “six days before passover”, but THREE DAYS BEFORE (on the 4th day of the six days), Matthew and Mark say that it was “two days” before the Passover, which would have made Thursday 5 days, not 6 days before the passover. Probably John is writing from the point of view of it being early on the sixth day, while Matthew and Mark are writing near the evening THREE DAYS BEFORE the Passover (on the 4th of the six days), meaning that there was only 2 days left to go. Bullinger in the Companion Bible thought the 6th day before the Passover meant the 9th of Nisan, a Friday and this is the dating followed by Garner Ted Armstrong, (The Passover p30 and his tape “The Eyewitnesses” 3-
THE LAST SIX DAYS (* critical verses)
MATTHEW MARK LUKE JOHN
THURSDAY MARCH 22ND NISAN 8 At Simon the lepers
In Bethany (26:6)
Judas goes v14 Simon the lepers house at Bethany
Ointment 14:3 Judas went 14:10 Entered Jericho v1
Near Jerusalem v11 Six days beforePassover * Bethany (12:1) supper, Ointment, Mary, Judas
FRIDAY MARCH 23RD NISAN 9
Near Jerusalem 21:1
Mount of Olives
Entered temple v12 overturned tables of MONEYCHANGERS
At Bethany 21:17 Near Jerusalem 11:1
Mount of Olives
DONKEY RIDE v17
Entered Jerusalem into the temple as it was already late 11:11
eventide at Bethany
Mount of Olives
DONKEY RIDE down Mt of
entered temple v45
BEGAN to cast out THOSE WHO SOL The next day v12 *
DONKEY RIDE 12:12
MARCH 24TH NISAN 10 In the morning v18 *
Saw FIG TREE v19
On the morrow 11:12 *
FIG TREE v13-
Came to Jerusalem
entered temple v15
carry no vessel v16 Lamb put aside?
SUNDAY MARCH 25TH NISAN 11
into temple v23
tried to arrest him v 46
Out of temple
Passover in 2 days 26:2 * In the morning v20 *
Fig tree withered
to Jerusalem v27
BY WHAT AUTHORITY?
Johns baptism v30
tried to arrest him 12:12
Out of temple Ch13
now 2 days before Passover and U.B. 14:1
Johns baptism v4
vineyard, v 13, stone,
tried to lay hands v22
Caesar v 22
Davids son v41
Poor Widow 21:2
MONDAY MARCH 26TH NISAN 12 no questions 22:46 did hide 12:36.
TUESDAY MARCH 27TH NISAN 13
1st day of U/B v17
EVENING 26:20 1st day of U/B v12
EVENING 14:17 U/B, lamb sacrificed v7
PASSOVER – WEDNESDAY MARCH 28TH ( NISAN 14)