Just How Old Was He?

Q. I have seen various bible scholars set the date of Christ’s death the month of Nissan 32 AD. Christ’s entrance into this world thru the Virgin Mary was sometime before Herod the Great died. Herod died in 4 BC. If Jesus was 33 years old when he died on the cross, how does this add up? 4 BC to 32 AD would be 36. Or are the dates of Herod’s death incorrect?

A. Jesus has to have been born sometime before 4 BC but we don’t know exactly how long before.

According to Luke 3:23 Jesus was “about 30 years old when He began His ministry” but we don’t know His exact age.

Many scholars believe the length of His ministry was “about 3 1/2 years” but that’s just their estimate of how much time it should have taken Him to do what He did. So we don’t know the exact length of His ministry.

And 4 BC to 32 AD is really only 35 years because there’s no year zero. (It skips from 1 BC to 1 AD.) So the notion that he was exactly 30 when He began His ministry and was exactly 33 when He died is man’s tradition and not Biblical truth.

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