Index, Home Schaefer (1990) and other modern researchers are apparently not aware that Sir Isaac Newton (1733) was the first to derive a date for the crucifixion of Christ by calculating when the crescent of the new moon was first visible in order to correlate the Judean and Julian calendars.
Schaefer notes the date without comment, while Humphreys & Waddington (1983) and Humphries (1989) suggest that Newton's "chief reason seems to have been that 23 April is St. "The Judean Calendar during the Second Commonwealth and the Scrolls," Jewish Quar.
George's Day." On the contrary, Newton reconstructed the Judean calendar just as they did.
The gospels indicate that Jesus was crucified at the instigation of the first century high priest named Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3-4, John -53). All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate (Matthew -26, Mark , Luke , John -16). But how are we going to get it down to a specific day and year? the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness [Luke 3:1-2]. We know that it was a Friday because it is referred to as "the day of preparation"--that is, the day on which Jews made the preparations they needed for the Sabbath, since they could not do any work on that day. It's also possible that Jesus just of the Passover celebration for him and his disciples.
36--so we can narrow down the range by several years. The death of Christ had to be in a range of seven years: between A. , Mark ; Luke; John ), just before a Sabbath, which was just before the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). However, when describing the morning of Good Friday, John indicates that the Jewish authorities had not yet eaten the Passover meal: Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium [i.e., Pilate's palace]. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover. That suggests that the Passover would have begun on sundown Friday. For example, some have suggested that Jesus and his disciples used a different calendar than the Jewish authorities, and we know that there were different calendars in use in first century Judaism.
Moreover, Newton's choice of Friday, AD 34 April 23, rather than Thursday, AD 34 April 22, depended on invoking a postponement rule from the modern Hebrew calendar which Zeitlin (1966) has effectively argued was not used at that time.
However, although Newton's arguments for AD 34 have not passed the test of time, the basis for his second choice of AD 33 is still sound.
The strongest is what Newton implied: Roman history indicates AD 29 was Tiberius' fifteenth year and no substantial evidence to the contrary has surfaced.
Moreover, Maier (1968) has pointed out that Pilate's capitulation when accused of not being "Caesar's friend" (John ), and his desire to appease Herod Antipas (Luke ) require the crucifixion to have been after the death of Sejanus in AD 31. "Astronomy and the Date of the Crucifixion," in Chronos, Kairos, Christos, ed.
Then Newton did the calendrical analysis almost exactly as has been done since: determining in which years the crucifixion day, 14 Nisan on the Judean calendar, could have been a Friday (John , 42).