How old was Jesus when he died? (Historical evidence of Jesus’ age when he died?)

Christianity is among the largest religions in the world, so, understandably, many would like to examine the life of its founder: Jesus Christ. There are many questions theologians, Christians, and even non-Christians may have about him, with one of the most popular questions being: how old was Jesus when He died?

While it is not clearly stated in the Bible at what age Jesus died, historical accounts suggest that He died some years into His 30s – which could be when He was between 33 and 39 years old.

Looking into the accounts of Jesus’ death should help confirm the historical accounts of His life and the defining years of His ministry. By the end of this article, one will have a better understanding of which claims are true about his age during His death and which are speculations, making His life more relatable in a human sense.

Does the Bible say how old Jesus was when he died?

There are no Bible verses that specifically state the date that Jesus died – and neither does the Bible provide any information on the exact date of his birth. This makes it very difficult to know the exact age of Jesus when He died. The best information it provides is in the form of certain clues, which scholars have used to estimate how old he was.

Historical evidence of Jesus’ age when he died?
What do religious scholars believe was Jesus’ age when He died? See below

What do religious scholars believe was Jesus’ age when He died?

To have an idea of the answer to this question, scholars examine three main events in the life of Jesus: when He was baptized, when He began His ministry, and when He ended it. The information in these accounts comes mainly from the Gospels, particularly Luke, and historical accounts.

Is there a consensus on the exact year Jesus was born?

While there is no information on the exact date of Jesus’ birth, looking at the clues closely can give some good estimations. Matthew 2:1 talks of Jesus being born during the reign of Herod the Great, who died sometime around 4 BC.

Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem…Matt. 2:1

Jesus’ parents fled Bethlehem when Jesus was about 2 years old, just before Herod gave the orders to kill all baby boys who were 2 years old and younger, which leads scholars to estimate that Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC.

Additionally, Luke 2:1-2 gives some historical clues in the form of Caesar Augustus and Quirinius, the governor of Syria.

In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Luke 2:1-2

Caesar Augustus was in power between 27 BC and AD 14, and historical accounts state that he ordered the census in 6 BC, placing the year of Jesus’ birth around 6 or 5 BC.

Jesus’ public ministry timeline

To estimate when Jesus’ ministry began, we can look at when John the Baptist began his ministry in Luke 3:1-2 since Jesus started His ministry shortly after this when He was about 30 years old, according to Luke 3:23.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Itaraea and Trachonitis and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah in the wilderness… Luke 3:1-2

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about 30 years of age, being the son of Joseph, the son of Heli… Luke 3:23

According to historians, Tiberius and Augustus became co-emperors around AD 14, so his 15th year of reign would be around AD 29. If John the Baptist began his ministry during this time, we can estimate how long Jesus’ ministry lasted. The Gospel of John mentions that there were about three Passovers during Jesus’ ministry:

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast… John 2:23

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. John 6:4

Six days before the Passover, Jesus, therefore, came to Bethany… John 12:1

Therefore, if one goes by this account, Jesus’ ministry lasted almost three years. If he was baptized by John the Baptist around AD 29, and his ministry lasted for about 3 years, his death may have happened around AD 32 or 33. Jesus may have died between the ages of 34 and 36 if we account for the time frame in Luke 3:23.

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about 30 years of age, being the son of Joseph, the son of Heli… Luke 3:23

Is there historical evidence indicating Jesus’ age when He died?

Assuming that the evidence of Jesus’ ministry lasted three years, and he began when he was around 30 years old, he may have died when he was between the age of 33 to 39. Other than some historical guidelines to indicate when his crucifixion may have happened, there is no solid historical evidence that states Jesus’ exact age when he died.

All four Gospels talk of Jesus’ death when Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea. He ruled around 26 to 36 AD, according to historical accounts by Josephus, with the main account being Pilate being recalled back to Rome after 10 years of ruling Judea. Shortly after, he gave orders to kill Samaritans who were causing trouble in 36 AD.

Additionally, numerous historians argue that Jesus may have died between 27 and 34 AD because he died just before the Passover began, which is usually on a Friday – as stated in Mark 14:12.

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” Mark 14:12

There could be extra historical evidence that made two academics in the 1980s, WG Waddington and Colin J. Humphreys, suggest that Jesus died in 33 AD. This was because they stated a lunar eclipse may have happened in Luke 23:44-45. If it happened around this time, it is safe to estimate that Jesus died when he was between the age of 33 and 39.

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the temple of the curtain was torn in two. Luke 23:44-45


How old was Jesus when He died?

The Circumcision Ceremony

First-born, Redemption of

How old was Jesus when he died? | Bible Study Tools

Was there really a census during the time of Caesar Augustus?

Tiberius | Britannica

Chapter 4, Book 18 | Antiquities of the Jews

Oxford Scholars consult the stars to date crucifixion to 33 AD.

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