Reconciling Daniel’s Prophecy To Palm Sunday. Follow Up

Q. In Reconciling Daniels Prophecy to Palm Sunday, you stated, “483 years of 360 days each from 445 BC brings us to 32AD.” Elsewhere, you state historical evidence of Jesus being born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C., with which my own studies concur. Luke 3:23 states that Jesus was about thirty when his ministry began. If so, then I’m having a hard time connecting the dots. If Palm Sunday was in 32

A. In Luke 3:1 the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar is mentioned as being the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry. Although Tiberius had authority over the Roman provinces beginning in 11AD, he reigned as Caesar from 14 to 37 AD so his fifteenth year would have been 29 AD. This is the earliest year in which Jesus could have been baptized, but is not necessarily the exact year. Luke 3:21-23 imply that Jesus was baptized at the outset of His ministry and tell us he was “about 30”. If He was born shortly before King Herod died (4 BC) and was baptized in 29 AD He would have been 34 at the time His ministry began. Crucifixion in 32 AD would have made Him 37 at the time of His death.

John’s gospel mentions three Passovers between the beginning of His ministry and his death (John 2:13, John 6:4, John 11:55). This indicates a minimum of two years. My research into the birth of John the Baptist has led me to conclude that Jesus was born in the early fall, perhaps on Rosh Hashanah. If so, He could have been in ministry for as long as 6 months before that first Passover.

There are no clear dates in the Bible by which we can accurately measure the duration of His ministry. But by adding 6 months before that first Passover and another 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension, you could reasonably estimate the time to be something around 2 1/2 years.

Some scholars don’t believe this would have given Jesus enough time to accomplish all that He did, so they assume there must have been another Passover, not mentioned in the Bible, which would add another year to His ministry. That’s how the 3 1/2 year duration of His ministry came into existence, and by assuming Jesus was 30 when He began His ministry, they also assume He was 33 1/2 when He died.

As you can see all the calculations concerning the events of the Lord’s life are at least partially based on man made assumptions. He could have been born as early as 6BC but no later than 4BC. He could not have been baptized before 29AD but it could have been later. His ministry had to have spanned at least 2 years but could have been longer.

The truth is, no one knows exactly when He was born, when His ministry began, what its duration was, or how old He was when He died. So what you are missing is the same thing everyone else is missing; the facts concerning these milestones in the Lord’s life.

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