The date when Jesus died is not stated in the four Gospels. Also, no historical record from when Jesus lived informs us about the same. However, based on the nativity events that took place at the time of His death, biblical scholars estimate that Jesus died in AD 29 or AD 33. So, exactly when did Jesus die?
Most Biblical scholars have agreed that Jesus died on Friday, April 3, AD 33. He was crucified three to six hours after sunrise (nine to twelve). He died nine hours after sunrise (three o’clock in the afternoon).
What year did Jesus die? Why is there a controversy about the day Jesus died? What time did Jesus die? Why does John record that Jesus died at around noon? How did Jews measure time in the era of Jesus’ crucifixion? How did Romans measure time in Jesus’ era? Does the Bible say when Jesus died? How do historians estimate the year when Jesus died? How old was Jesus when he died? Keep reading to get answers to these questions!
What year did Jesus die?
Most biblical scholars agree that Jesus died on Friday, April 3, AD 33. Jesus was born between 6 BC and 4 BC. This timeline is arrived at by taking into account the year when Herod I died, which was not long after the birth of Jesus. Herod was the King of Judea from 47 BC to 4 BC.
Based on the historical clue found in Luke 3:1, “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,” we can deduce that John the Baptist started his ministry around c. AD 28 or 29. Tiberius became Emperor in AD 14. Therefore, if Jesus was baptized, began his ministry around AD 29, and ministered for three and a half years, as the Bibles states, he must have died in AD 33.
Jesus was crucified during Passover, which, combined with the above facts, narrows down the time of his death on the cross to Friday, April 3, AD 33. However, some groups dispute this date and state that Jesus died earlier. For instance, a group firmly believes that Jesus died on April 7, AD 30. This date is based on the argument that John the Baptist started his ministry before AD 29. The most probable date is Friday, April 3, AD 33.
Why is there a controversy about the day Jesus died?
Over the years, the day Jesus died has been widely disputed. A group of scholars believes that Jesus died on Wednesday, others on Thursday, and the last group sticks to Friday.
The argument that Jesus died on Wednesday allows Him to have been buried for three days and nights. However, this point of view would only mean that Jesus rose on the 4th day, which is wrong. Also, going by this argument, the triumphal entry (Palm Sunday) would have taken place on Saturday instead of Sunday. This is another thing that disqualifies a Wednesday death.
A Thursday crucifixion and death of Jesus moves the Palm Sunday (triumphal entry) to Sunday, which makes more sense. It also eliminates the silent day. However, there is enough evidence in the Bible to suggest that Jesus was placed in the tomb on the Day of Preparation (Friday) before the Sabbath began at nightfall.
Friday fits the best with the historical context and Gospel accounts, although it necessitates a silent day. The Friday crucifixion allows for the planning of the arrest of Jesus by the Sanhedrin and the trial that followed before he was crucified. By this account, Jesus rose on Monday (the third day), which is accurate.
What time did Jesus die?
Jesus was crucified three to six hours after sunrise, nine to twelve. He died nine hours after sunrise. “And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mathew 27:46. This places His time of death between three and four o’clock in the afternoon.
Why does John record that Jesus died at around noon?
John records that Jesus’ judgment to be crucified was passed at noon. “When Pilate, therefore, heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” John19:13-14. As stated in John’s book, Jesus was taken to Golgotha, where he was crucified after the judgment. Also, according to John, Jesus did not die immediately after He was crucified. Therefore, although John does not specify the time Jesus died, it must have been around three in the afternoon.
How did Jews measure time in the era of Jesus’ crucifixion?
In the era of Jesus’ crucifixion, Jews measured days from nightfall to nightfall. For this reason, they ordered that the legs of Jesus and the two thieves be broken so they could die and be buried before sundown, marking the start of the Sabbath. “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away,” John 19:31.
How did Romans measure time in Jesus’ era?
In Jesus’ era, Romans measured time using the sundial. The sundial consisted of a Gnomon and a solar meridian. The former cast a shadow on the latter when hit by the sun’s rays. This shadow was used to determine the time of the day. However, the sundial was only used during sunny days or seasons.
Does the Bible say when Jesus died?
The Bible does not specify the date when Jesus died. However, it clues to those wishing to know the exact date when He died. Using the nativity events that happened around the time Jesus was crucified, as stated in the Gospels, it is possible to point out the exact date when Jesus died precisely.
How do historians estimate the year when Jesus died?
Historians estimate the year when Jesus died by closely looking at the nativity events around His death, as stated in the Bible. For instance, the Bible says that Jesus died during the reign of Pontius Pilate, who, according to history, ruled Judea between AD 26 and AD 36. Therefore, Historians believe that Jesus died during that period.
How old was Jesus when he died?
The Bible does not state how old Jesus was during His Crucifixion and death. Jesus was born in 5 BC; therefore, in 1 BC, He was four years. Four plus 33 years will give you the age Jesus was when He died in AD 33, which is 37 years. Therefore, Jesus was in His 30s when He died.
dailymail.co.uk. (2012). Jesus ‘died on Friday, April 3, 33AD’, claim researchers, who tie earthquake data with the gospels to find the date. Retrieved January 4, 2023
ehrmanblog.org. (2022). When did Jesus die? Dating Jesus’ death by the earthquake. Retrieved January 4, 2023
GotQuestions.org. (2014, July 02). In what year did Jesus die? Retrieved January 4, 2023
GotQuestions.org. (2019). How old was Jesus when He died? Retrieved January 4, 2023
kingjamesbibleonline.org. (n.d.). Official king James Bible online. Retrieved January 3, 2023
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.