When was Jesus Born?

The following explanation is taken from “The Sequential Events in the Life of Jesus Christ: A Chronological Description of the Four Gospels” by Dr. Mark Spitsbergen.   There are many more footnotes concerning the specifics of the chronology of the Gospels that are not present here.  The footnotes given are specific to place the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.   Dr. Spitsbergen has pastored The Abiding Place church in San Diego, California since 1985 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Biblical languages.

(Note:  Question marks in parenthesis, such as (??? ???? ?????) are Greek words that will be edited in soon.)

Pg 45, note 7 –  We will show proofs for the dating assigned to these events in this calendar throughout this book.  We are convinced that Jesus was about 30 years of age when he was baptized by John according to Luke 3:23.  We are also convinced that Jesus was born before the death of Herod the Great according to Matthew 2:1,3,12,13,15,16,19 and Luke 1:5.  The records of Herod’s death are undeniable and are dated in the Spring of B.C. 4.  We also know that John’s ministry began in the fifteenth year of Tiberius (Luke 3:1) and that Jesus was baptized shortly after the beginning of John’s ministry. All of these data,which will be discussed throughout this book, indicate that Jesus was born sometime between July and August B.C 5.

Page 46 There are six fixed points for the birth of Jesus.

1. Jesus was conceived in the sixth month (October).

2. Jesus was born before Herod’s death (April B.C. 4).

3. Jesus was about 30 when he was baptized by John.

4. John was six months older than Jesus.

5. John’s ministry began before Jesus ministry in the 15th year of Tiberias.

6. The first Passover of Jesus ministry was during the 46th year of the temple, 780 AUC or A.D. 27.

Luke 1:27 (pg48, note 10) – The sixth month would have been in late September or October dating from the Passover which is the beginning of the Jewish year (Ex.12:2).  Subsequently Jesus would have been born in July of B.C. 5 about 8 months before the death of Herod in April of B.C. 4.

Luke 1:36 (pg49, note 12) – Luke 1:36 supplies the evidence that John was 6 months older than Jesus. It follows that John was conceived in April about the time of the Passover, 6 months before Mary conceived.  Dr. Benjamin Davies – The sixth month here refers back, not to the vision, but to the conception of Elisabeth.

Luke 1:57 (pg51, note 14) – John was probably born in January in the year of Rome 749 or BC 5.This is evident for two reasons: First, he began his ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius. Augustus died August 29th, in the year of Rome 767. Tiberius was associated with Augustus in government before Augustus’ death, beginning in the year of Rome 765.Therefore, the fifteenth year of Tiberius would have been in the year of Rome 779 or A.D. 26. Assuming that John began his ministry like all other priests at the age of thirty, he would have been born in the year of Rome 749 or B.C. 5. Secondly, John was born six months before Jesus. Therefore, It is possible to approximate when John was born based on the time of Jesus’ birth. Jesus was conceived in the six month which would be September or October (see footnote 10). Subsequently, Jesus would have been born in July or August the following year. Jesus was born before Herod’s death which was in the year of Rome 750 (Jos. Antiq. xvii.8, 1.4 xvii.9, 3).Therefore, placing the birth of Jesus just prior to the death of Herod Jesus would have been born July/August in the year of Rome 749 or B.C. 5 and John six months earlier.

Matthew 1:18 (pg53, note 15) – Mary was probably in her fourth or fifth month of pregnancy before it was perceptible to Joseph. This event would have had to occur after the return from Elizabeth’s house and probably after the birth of John (Luke 1:36,39). Edward Robinson – Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to Nazareth; Luke 1:56. It was after this and after the birth of John, when Mary was now in her fourth month, and her pregnancy had become perceptible, that Joseph was minded to put her away. Dr. Lightfoot – I have placed the appearance of the Angel to Joseph after Mary’s return from the house of Elisabeth, as she came back from Hebron before the birth of John, three months after the annunciation of the Messiah.

Luke 2:1 (pg54, note 16) – Dake – “Caesar Augustus Caius Octavius, adopted son and successor of Julius Caesar. He reigned 29 B.C. to 14 A.D”  A.T. Robertson – It was thought that no such decree was given by Greek or Roman historians and it was for a long time assumed by many scholars that Luke was in error. But papyri and inscriptions have confirmed Luke on every point in these crucial verses 2:1-7.  B.W. Johnson -Augustus Caesar, the nephew and heir of Julius Caesar, the first of the Roman emperors, was now the ruler of the civilized world. Though Judea was ruled by Herod as king, he was dependent upon and the servant of Augustus Caesar.  R.Mimpriss – This was Caius Ceasar Octavianus Augustus, from him the month August received its name.  He was proclaimed Emperor of Rome in B.C. 29, and died in A.D. 14.

Luke 2:2 (pg54, note 17) – John M’Clintoch and James Strong – Cyre’nius- His full name was Publius Sulpicius Quirinus. Some years afterwards but not before B.C. 5, he was appointed governor of Syria, and while in office he took a census of the Jewish people. Quirinus held a census in Judea after the banishment of Archelaus (Joseph. Ant. xviii, 1,1), which took place B.C. 6.This is what is meant by the “taxing” (????????). That Cyrenius, a Roman senator and procurator, was employed to make this enrollment,we learn not only from Luke, but by the joint testimony of Justin Martyr, Julian the Apostate, and Eusebius.  A.W Zumpt – In B.C. 9 Sentius Saturninus succeeded M.Titius in the province of Syria, and governed it three years. He was succeeded by T. Quintilius Varus (Josep. Ant. xvii, 5,2),who as it appears remained governor up to the end of B.C. 4. After that we lose sight of him till he is appointed to the command in Germany, in which he lost his life in A.D. 7. Now from the law acted on by Augustus (Dion. Cass. lii, 23), that none should hold and imperial province for less than three or more than five years,Varus could not have been governor of Syria during the twelve years from B.C. 6 to A.D 6.Who, then,were the missing governors? Could Quirinus have been governor at any such time?  Dr. Lardner – This was the first enrollment of Cyrenius,who, though a Roman senator only, when it was decreed, was governor of Syria, and is known among the Jews by that title to this both Dr.Paley and Hale’s agree. Cyrenius may have been specially commissioned by the emperor to take charge of this census.  George Clark – It is objected that Cyrenius was not governor of Syria until about ten years after Herod’s death. However, Justin Martyr records that Cyrenius was governor at the time of the birth of Christ Jesus.   Dr. Benjamin Davies – It has been rendered highly probable by the researches of Dr. A.W. Zumpt, that Cyrenius (P. Sulpicius Quirinus) was twice governor of Syria.

Luke 2:7 (pg55, note 19) – Dionysius the Small, a Scythian and Abbot of Rome in the sixth century, fixed the birth of Jesus at the 754th year of Rome. However, Herod the Great died in the year of Rome 750 B.C. 4, a few days before the Passover (Jos. Antiq. 17.8,1,4).This has been verified by calculating the eclipse of the moon, which happened just before his death. This mention of the eclipse by Josephus is of the very highest importance in fixing the birth of Jesus and enables us to know that Jesus had to be born before the spring of the year of Rome 750. We know that Jesus remained in Egypt until the death of Herod. It could not have been more than a year prior to the death of Herod the Great, that Jesus was born thus the latest date would have been in the 749th year of Rome corresponding to B.C. 5. It is certain from heathen authorities that Augustus ordered a general census in the years of Rome 726, 746 and 767. If the census of 746 corresponds to the birth of Jesus then Jesus could have been 3 or 4 years old by the time of Herod’s death. However, the majority of the data indicates that Jesus was born in B.C. 5.  Our present Christian era is universally accepted as being misdated. However, scholars who have attempted to correct it have come to very different conclusions. Some led purely by the facts others by traditional influences and personal bias. For example, Pearson and Hug place the birth of our Lord in B.C. 1; Scaliger, B.C. 2; Baronius, Calvisius, and Paulus, B.C. 3; Lamy, Bengel, Auger, Wieseler, and Greswell, B.C. 4; User and Petavius, B.C. 5; and Ideler and Sanclemente, B.C. 7. Robinson says that the present Christian era is about 4 to 5 years off the actual birth of Christ.

Luke 2:8 (pg55, note 20) – This gives us yet another clue as to when Jesus was born. The flocks were usually in the fields from March until November. Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 215 mentions those who dated the birth of Jesus on May 20th while others designated the 19th or 20th of April. Additionally, it is unlikely that a general census would be carried out during mid-winter. St. Augustine says that December 25th was observed as the Savior’s birth in the West in his time as an ancient custom; and from St. Chrysostom – who is adamant about the accuracy of December 25th being the birth date of our Savior – says that it was introduced into the East from the West about A.D. 376 and its observance spread rapidly and widely.

Matthew 2:16 (pg63, note 30) – The statement “from two years old and under” indicates that Jesus may have been up to 2 years of age at this time. However, this is unlikely, Herod died in the spring of B.C. 4 which would have made Jesus birth between B.C. 7 and B.C 6. Jesus began his ministry when he was about 30 (Luke 3:23) shortly before the Passover (John 2:13) .Had Jesus been born earlier than the spring of B.C. 5 he would have been older than 30 at the time of the fifteenth year of Tiberius. For Jesus both, to have been, thirty in the year of Rome 779 and been born prior to the death of Herod, his birth would have had to taken place sometime in the later part of the year of Rome 749 or B.C. 5. James Strong places his birth on the 1st of August; Lardner, places it between the middle of August and the middle of November; and Robinson places his birth in the middle of the autumn.

Matthew 2:19 (pg64, note 32)  – Once again we have an additional clue as to the year in which Jesus was born. Herod the Great died in the spring of the 750th year of Rome, or B.C. 4. Now Herod had inquired diligently of the Magi when the star had first appeared. It is also reasonable to assume that the star appeared at either the announcement of Jesus’ birth or the time of His birth.When Herod gave the order to kill the children he ordered them up to 2 years of age to be killed. Therefore, at the time that Jesus and his family went into Egypt he could not have been older than 2 years of age. In keeping with all the other facts it is unlikely that he was born before the 748th year of Rome or B.C. 6. Additionally, we know from John 2:20 that the temple had been under construction for 46 years at the time of Jesus’ first year of ministry.  Josephus tells us that Herod began construction in the 18th year of his reign which coincides with the year of Rome 732. Our Lord’s first year of ministry would have been in the year of Rome 780. At the first Passover of our Lord’s ministry he was about 30.This would fix the date of his birth at the year of Rome 749. The majority of the historical data surrounding the birth of Jesus point to the year of Rome 749, or B.C.5.  M.W Jacobus – Herod died a most remarkable and loathsome death (Josephus’ Antiq. 17:10), an evident visitation of God, and about the thirty-seven year of his reign. It is not probable that the family of Joseph remained more than one year in Egypt. The child was clearly under two years of age when Herod sought his life. He waited a sufficient time for the return of the Wise Men,and died soon after the brutal massacre of the infants.  Easton – After a troubled reign of thirty-seven years, he died at Jericho amid great agonies both of body and mind, B.C. 4 i.e., according to the common chronology, in the year in which Jesus was born.

Matthew 2:22 (pg63, note 33) – John Gill – This Archelaus was a son of Herod the great by Malthace Samaritan, and was appointed by him for his successor a little before his death, and was upon it declared king by the populace, the soldiers, and those that were in power; all which is affirmed by Josephus, and confirms the account given by the Evangelist; with whose account agrees with what the Jewish chronologer says, that “Archelaus, the second king of the family of Herod, reigned after his father’s death: and a little after he says, Caesar Augustus caused Archelaus to reign “in the room of Herod his father””; M’Clintoch and Strong – Archelaus inherited his fathers dominions (B.C. 4) Idumea, Judea and Samaria, with the important cities Caesarea, Sebaste, Joppa, and Jerusalem.

Luke 3:1 (pg73, note 36) – Edward Robinson – Augustus died Aug 19th A.U. 767; and was succeeded by Tiberius, who had already been associated with him in the government for at least two years, and probably three. If now we reckon from the death of Augustus, the fifteenth year of Tiberius commenced Aug. 19th A.U. 781; and going back thirty years,we find that John must have been born not earlier than August, A.U. 751 and our Lord A.U 752. If on the other hand,we reckon from the time when Tiberius was admitted as co-regent of the empire,which is shown to have been certainly as early as A.U. 765, and probably in A.U. 764; then the fifteenth year of Tiberius began in A.U. 778; and it follows that John may have been born in A.U.C. 748, and our Lord in A.U. 749.  McGarvey – Tiberius Caesar, stepson of and successor to Augustus, began to reign as joint ruler with Augustus in August, A.U.C. 765 (A.D. 11).On August 19, 767, Augustus died and Tiberius became sole ruler. Luke counts from the beginning of the joint rule, and his fifteen years bring us to 779. In August, 779,Tiberius began his fifteenth year, and about December of that year Jesus would have completed his thirtieth year,probably A.D. 25 or 26  R.Mimpriss – This was the thirteenth year of his being sole emperor. He was two years joint emperor with Augustus; And Luke reckons from the time when he was admitted to share the empire with Augustus Caeser.  George Clark – Tiberius Caesar, this emperor succeeded Augustus, in whose reign Christ was born.He began his reign August 19, A.D. 14, reigned twenty-three years, and died March 16, A.D. 37, aged seventy eight years. His fifteenth year was 779, or A.D. 26. He was a most infamous character. During the latter part of his reign especially, he did all the mischief he possibly could; and that his tyranny might not end with his life, he chose Caius Caligula for his successor, merely on account of his bad qualities; and of whom he was accustomed to say, This young prince will be a SERPENT to the Roman people, and a PHAETHON to the rest of mankind.

Luke 3:1 (pg73, note 37) – M’Clintoch and Strong – Pilate was the sixth Roman procurator of Judea, under whom our Lord taught, suffered and died.The testimony of Tacitus on this point is no less clear than it is important; for it fixes beyond a doubt the time when the foundations of our religion were laid.

Luke 3:1 (pg73, note 38) – This was Herod Antipas, one of the three sons of Herod the Great.  M’Clintoch and Strong – A son of Herod the Great by Malthase, a Samaritan (Joseph. Ant. xvii,1,3;War,i,28,4).He inherited of his fathers dominions only Galilee and Perea (B.C. 5). He first married the daughter of the Arabian king Aretas, but afterward became enamored with Herodias, his half-brother Philip’s wife, and contracted a clandistine marrige with her, on which account the Arabian princess indignantly returned to her father ( Joseph. Ant. xviii,5,1).

Luke 3:2 (pg75, note 41) – McGarvey – Annas had been high priest 7-14 A.D when he was deposed by the procurator, Gratus. Caiaphas was son-in-law of and successor to Annas. Luke gives both names, one as the rightful and the other as the acting high priest (compare Acts 4:6). Gentile innovations had made sad havoc with the Jewish law as to this office. In the last 107 years of the temple’s existence there were no less than twenty-eight high priests. Luke is the only one who fixes the time when Jesus began his ministry. He locates it by emperor and governor, tetrarch and high priest, as an event of world-wide importance, and of concern to all the kingdoms of men. He conceives of it as Paul did (Ac 26:26).   Adam Clark – The facts which St. Luke mentions here tend much to confirm the truth of the evangelical history. Christianity differs widely from the philosophic system; it is founded in the goodness and authority of God; and attested by historic facts. It differs also from popular tradition, which either has had no pure origin, or which is lost in unknown or fabulous antiquity. It differs also from pagan and Mohammedan revelations, which were fabricated in a corner, and had no witnesses. In the above verses we find the persons, the places, and the times marked with the utmost exactness. It was under the first Caesars that the preaching of the Gospel took place; and in their time, the facts on which the whole of Christianity is founded made their appearance: an age the most enlightened, and best known from the multitude of its historic records. It was in Judea, where every thing that professed to come from God was scrutinized with the most exact and unmerciful criticism. In writing the history of Christianity, the evangelists appeal to certain facts which were publicly transacted in such places, under the government and inspection of such and such persons, and in such particular times. A thousand persons could have confronted the falsehood, had there been one! These appeals are made – a challenge is offered to the Roman government, and to the Jewish rulers and people- a new religion has been introduced in such a place, at such a time this has been accompanied with such and such facts and miracles! Who can disprove this? All are silent. None appears to offer even an objection. The cause of infidelity and irreligion is at stake! If these facts cannot be disproved, the religion of Christ must triumph. None appears because none could appear. Now let it be observed, that the persons of that time, only, could confute these things had they been false; they never attempted it; therefore these facts are absolute and incontrovertible truths: this conclusion is necessary. Shall a man then give up his faith in such attested facts as these, because, more than a thousand years after, an infidel creeps out, and ventures publicly to sneer at what his iniquitous soul hopes is not true!

Luke 3:2 (pg76, note 42) – Lightfoot (Harmony, p 8.Works, vol. i), Newcome (Harmony) and Bedford (Scrip.Chron.) all suppose that there were 6 months between the beginning of John’s ministry and that of Jesus’ ministry.

Matthew 3:13 (pg82, note 47) – Jesus was probably baptized sometime between January and February A.D. 27. We calculate this on the basis that Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted immediately after His baptism. He was in the wilderness for forty days. He then went to Cana, which could account for an additional week. He then went to Capernaum apparently for a few days and then He came to Jerusalem for the Passover (April).Taken altogether would total eight to nine weeks.Therefore, subtracting eight to nine weeks from April, the time of Passover, would result in sometime between January and February.  Dr. F Gardiner – All probabilities concur in pointing to the early part of January. That there is no difficulty from temperature of the air and the water at that season is abundantly shown by Andrews, life of our Lord pp. 33-35.The traditional day (January 6) seems as likely as any other suggested.

John 2:1 (pg89, note 62) – The “third day” after that Jesus had retuned from the wilderness and left Jordan to begin His ministry. With the information available one could conclude that about 43 days had passed since Jesus was baptized by John.  McGarvey And the third day. From the calling of Phillip (Joh 1:43).The days enumerated in John’s first two chapters constitute a week, and may perhaps be intended as a contrast to the last week of Christ’s ministry (Joh 20:). It took two days to journey from the Jordan to Cana.  Dake – a. third day – Third day after Jesus left Jordan to start His ministry.  b. marriage – A marriage feast (as in Mt. 22:1-14), sometimes lasting a week.  c. Cana of Galilee – Located on a low hill on the side of a rich upland plain, about seven miles north of Nazareth. Called “Cana of Galilee” to distinguish it from Cana of Asher.

John 2:13 (pg94, 65) – The identification of this Passover and those which follow, allows us to determine the duration of our Lord’s ministry. Previously, the calculations were described that were used to determine the year that our Lord began his public ministry,which was A.D. 27 or the year of Rome 780. Also, according to the calculations of numerous scholars, especially Roger Bacon, Jos. Scaliger, Nic.Mann, R,Dodwell and Mr. Feruson who calculated the dates of the Passover’s during these years determined the date of this Passover to be April 9th which fell on Wednesday of that year.Also, modern computer models have confirmed the day and the date of this Passover in A.D. 27.  John Gill – This was the first “passover” after Christ’s baptism, which is generally thought to have been about half a year before; though so much time cannot be made out from the scriptural account; for from his baptism, to his return out of the wilderness to John, were forty days; and from thence, to his coming to Cana, four or, five days more; and perhaps he might be seven days in Cana; for so long a wedding was usually kept; and his stay at Capernaum was but a few days; all which do not amount to above eight or nine weeks at most: the second passover after this, is, by some, thought to be the feast mentioned in Joh 5:1, and the third in Joh 6:4, and the fourth and last, at which he suffered, in Joh 18:28.The Evangelist John is the only writer that gives an account of the passovers after Christ entered on his public ministry; by which is known the duration of it,which is generally thought to be about three years and a half.  McGarvey And the passover of the Jews was at hand. We get our information as to the length of our Lord’s ministry from John’s Gospel.He groups his narrative around six Jewish festivals: (1) He here mentions the first passover; (2) another feast, which we take to have been also a passover (Joh 5:1); (3) another passover (Joh 6:4); (4) the feast of tabernacles (Joh 7:2); (5) dedication (Joh 10:22); (6) final passover (Joh 11:55).This gives the entire length of our Lord’s ministry as three years and a fraction.  A.T. Robertson The passover of the Jews (?? ????? ??? ????????). The Synoptics do not give “of the Jews,” but John is writing after the destruction of the temple and for Gentile readers. John mentions the passovers in Christ’s ministry outside of the one when Christ was crucified, this one and the one in 6:4.There may be another (5:1), but we do not know. But for John we should not know that Christ’s ministry was much over a year in length.  Greswell – April 5th the day of the commencement of our Savior’s ministry, at the Passover,  U.C. 780.

John 2:20 (pg96, note 67) – Herod was first declared King in the year of Rome 714; Jos Ant. 14. 14. 4,5. B.J. 1. 14.4; comp. Ant 14.16.4. Ideler Handb.der Chronol. II p. 390. Herod began to build the temple in the 18th year of his reign. Therefore, this is another fact that allows us to date the time period of the life and ministry of Jesus.  George Clark – The temple proper according to Josephus, was rebuilt by Herod in eighteen months; the surrounding galleries were completed in eight years; but the exterior structures and outbuildings were not entirely finished till about A.D. 64, in the reign of Nero.  R.Mimpriss – Herod began to repair the temple 16 years before the birth of Jesus.  George Clark – Herod began to rebuild the temple on a large and more splendid scale in the eighteenth year of his reign, in the 734th year of Rome. Jos. Antiq. xv.11:1.This work was not finished until long after his death. It was still going on in perfecting the outbuildings in the time of our Savior. Hence forty six years extended to the time of this Passover. Adding the forty six years to the time of Herod’s eighteenth year, as above, and we have the 780th year of Rome (A.D. 27)  M’Clintoch and Strong – The work was actually commenced on the nineteenth year of the reign of Herod- that is the beginning of B.C. 21. Priests and Levites finished the Temple itself in one year and a half. However, some building operations were constantly in progress under the successors of Herod, and it is in reference to this we are informed that the Temple was finished only under Albinus, the last procurator but one, not long before the commencement of the Jewish war in which the Jewish Temple was again destroyed. It is in reference to these protracted building operations that the Jews said to Jesus,“Forty and six years was this Temple in building”.

John 5:1 (pg142, note 101) – The feast of the Jews probably refers to the second Passover of our Lords ministry if so then it corresponds to Luke 6:1.Many scholars agree that this is the second Passover of our Lord’s ministry.  Adam Clark – “A feast”This is generally supposed, by the best critics, to have been the feast of the Passover, which was the most eminent feast among the Jews. In several excellent MSS. the article is added, ? ?????, The feast, the grand, the principal festival.  John Gill – After Christ had been in Samaria, which was four months ago, Joh 4:35, and had been in Galilee for that time, and had cured the nobleman’s son, and had done other mighty works, the time came for one of the three festivals of the Jews; either the feast of Pentecost, as some think; or as others, the feast of Tabernacles; or rather, the feast of the Passover, so called, in Joh 4:45 since John is very particular, in giving an account of the several Passovers, in Christ’s ministry.  A.T. Robertson – “A feast of the Jews” (????? ??? ????????). Some manuscripts have the article “the feast” which would naturally mean the Passover. As a matter of fact there is no way of telling what feast it was which Jesus here attended. Even if it was not the Passover, there may well be another Passover not mentioned besides the three named by John (2:13,23; 6:4: 12:1).  McGarvey – “After these things there was a feast of the Jews.”Though every feast in the Jewish calendar has found some one to advocate its claim to be this unnamed feast, yet the vast majority of commentators choose either the feast of Purim, which came in March, or the Passover, which came in April. Older commentators pretty unanimously regarded it as the Passover, while the later school favor the feast of Purim (Joh 4:35).  Dake – Jew’s Passover It started out to be “the Lord’s Passover” (Ex. 12:11, 27; Lev. 23:5; Num. 28:16), but now it had degenerated to be “the Jews’ Passover” (Jn. 2:13; 6:4; 11:55).  The feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:2) had now become the feasts of the Jews (Jn. 5:1; 6:4; 7:2; 11:56; 19:42). Even the commandments were nullified by traditions of men (Mt. 15:1-9; 16:6- 12).  Greswell – Probably the Passover,Vol. II pages 254- 259.

Luke 6:1 (pg145, note 102) – We know that this event took place sometime between Passover and Pentecost. The Sabbath referred to here could not have been before Passover, because, no Jew could eat either bread or parched corn or green ears until the second day of Passover (Le. 23:14).The Passover which begins the feast of unleaven bread lasted for seven days.The first day was a Sabbath which always took place on Nisan the 15th regardless of the day that it fell on. Also the last day of the feast was a Sabbath. It is probable that this Passover took place on Monday,March 29th A.D. 28, if so then the second Sabbath would have been on Saturday, April 3rd, A.D. 28 and the third sabbath would have been on Sunday evening. It is evident that this Passover is different from the Passovers of John 2:12, John 6:4 and John 11:55 because of the events that surround it. Finally, this event would serve as additional information to support that Luke 6:1,Mark 2:23 and Matthew 12:1 took place during the first part of the second year of the ministry of Jesus.  Adam Clark – The first Passover after Christ’s baptism John 2:13.The second is mentioned, Lu 6:1.The third, Joh 6:4. And the fourth, which was that at which he was crucified, Joh 11:55. Easton – The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law De 23:25 plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted Mt 12:1 Mr 2:23 Lu 6:1 Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord Le. 23:14.  John Gill – Or “second first Sabbath”, concerning which interpreters are greatly divided. Some think, that it was either the seventh day of the feast of unleavened bread, or the eighth day of the feast of tabernacles. Others, that it was the Sabbath which fell that year on the day of Pentecost; and that as there were three grand festivals among the Jews, the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and tabernacles; so when the Sabbath day fell on the feast of the Passover, it was called the first prime Sabbath, when on the feast of Pentecost, it was called the second prime Sabbath, and when on the feast of tabernacles, the third prime Sabbath.  McGarvey – “And it came to pass, that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields.” This lesson fits in chronological order with the last, if the Bethesda events took place at Passover. The Paschal lamb was eaten on the fourteenth Nisan, or about the first of April. Clark fixes the exact date as the twenty-ninth of March, in A.D. 28, which is the beginning of the harvest season. Barley ripens in the Jordan valley about the first of April, but on the uplands it is reaped as late as May. Wheat ripens from one to three weeks later than barley, and upland wheat (and Palestine has many mountain plateaus) is often harvested in June. If Scaliger is right, as most critics think he is, fixing this Sabbath as the first after the Passover, it is probable that it was barley which the disciples ate.  George Clark – Irenaeus in the third century, and after him, Eusebius and Theodoret regard the festival as the second Passover of our Lord’s public ministry.This view has been held by Luther, Calovius, Scaliger, Grotius, Lightfoot, LeClerc, Lampe, Kuinoel, Hengstenberg, Greswell, Robinson, etc. It could not have been either the feast of Pentecost or of Tabernacles, following our Lord’s first Passover; for he did not return from Judea to Galilee until eight months after that Passover, when both of these were past. Nor could it have been the Feast of the Dedication; for the one after his first Passover afforded too short a time, and that a year later too long a time for the events that intervened. Besides, the multitudes of sick (John 5:3) would hardly have been waiting in the porches of Bethesda in mid-winter. Nor is there any circumstantial evidence that it was the feast either of the Pentecost or of the Tabernacles, after his second Passover; nor does it appear that such a view is now held. The language, however, in Luke 6:1 “the second Sabbath after the first” and the plucking of the ears of grain, indicate a time near the two other festivals named Passover and the Feast of Purim… but the Jews did not go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Purim but observe it throughout the world by reading the book of Esther in their synagogues, and in “sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor,” Esth. 9:22; Joseph. Antiq. 11. 6,13. It is not probable that Jesus would have gone up to Jerusalem at the Feast of Purim, rather than at the Passover, which occurred a month later.

Luke 8:1 (pg159, note 113) – Luke, alone relates this second preaching tour of Jesus throughout Galilee.  A.T. Robertson – This is the second tour of Galilee, this time the Twelve are with him.  McGarvey – We here get a glimpse of the tireless activities of the ministry of Christ. Journeying from place to place, he was constantly preaching the gospel publicly to the people, and as ceaselessly instructing his disciples privately. The twelve were now serving an apprenticeship in that work on which he would soon send them forth alone. From this time forth we can hardly look upon Capernaum as the home of Jesus. From now to the end of his ministry his life was a wandering journey, and he and his apostles sustained by the offerings of friends. The circuit of Galilee here mentioned is peculiar to Luke.  George Clark – Luke alone relates this second comprehensive Preaching Tour Throughout Galilee, and places it soon after the anointing of the preceding section. It very probably occupied two or three months in the summer, possibly extending into the autumn of A.D. 28.

Matthew 9:35 (pg184, note 129) – The first preaching tour of Galilee is recorded in Matthew 4:23,Mark 1:35-38 and Luke4:42-43, after Jesus had called the four to be with him. The second preaching tour is recorded in Luke 8:1 at which time he had already ordained the twelve and had them with him. Now we come to the third preaching tour of Galilee described by both Mark 6:6 and Matthew 9:35-38. During this preaching tour Jesus sends out the twelve that he ordained.   A.T. Robertson – And he went round about the villages teaching is descriptive of this third tour of all Galilee.  McGarvey – And he went round about the villages teaching. In the first circuit of Galilee some of the twelve accompanied Jesus as disciples; in the second the twelve were with him as apostles; in this the third they, too, are sent forth as evangelists to supplement his work.  George Clark – This third preaching tour was probably made from about November, A.D. 28, to February. A.D. 29.  Mimpriss – Jesus is supposed to have already made two circuits of Galilee; the first, Mark 4:23; the second, having the twelve with him, and certain women, which ministered to him of their substance Luke 8:1-3.

Luke 9:7 (pg188, note 131) – Herod had killed John sometime just prior to the sending forth of the disciples or before their return. It is generally believed that John’s public ministry lasted about three years beginning in A.D. 26 or the year of Rome 779. John was cast into prison before the second Passover of our Lord’s ministry. It is possible that when Jesus was referring to the harvest in John 4:35 that he was literally speaking of the harvest and subsequently the Passover (the Passover coming first followed by the harvest of wheat by about three weeks) as being four months away if so then John was cast into prison sometime around November or December of A.D. 27.The third Passover of our Lord’s ministry was near to the time of the sending out of the twelve. Many scholars place the date of the sending out of the twelve as March A.D. 29.Therefore, John would have been in prison for about one year and four months prior to his death.  Edward Robinson – While the Twelve are absent preaching in the name of Christ, Herod causes John the Baptist to be beheaded in the castle of Machaerus at the southern extremity of Perea, near the Dead Sea; Jos. Ant. 18.5.2. In consequence of the preaching of the Apostles, Herod hears the fame of Jesus; his conscience-smitten; and declares him to be John, risen from the dead.The disciples of John come and tell Jesus; and the Twelve also return with the same intelligence; upon which Jesus retires to the northeastern coast of the lake, not far from the northern Bethsaida or Julias; see Bibl. Res. Palest. III p. 308. All these events seem to have taken place near together. According to John 6:4, the Passover was near at hand, the third during our Lord’s ministry. John therefore had lain in prison not far from a year and six months; and was beheaded about three years after entering upon his ministry.  Dr. F Gardiner – John was beheaded by Herod in the castle of Machaerus (Joseph. Ant.18.5.2.) at the southern extreme of Perea, near the Dead Sea. It appears to have occurred during the absence of the Twelve, and from the mention by St. John in the next section (Jn. 6:4) of the approach of the Passover, must have been near eighteen months from the time of his imprisonment.

John 6:4 (pg200, note 135) – The ability to chronologically order the events of the Gospels, by the Gospel of John, is once again represented here with the feeding of the 5000. Without the representation of the Gospel of John and the tracking of the feast we would think that the ministry of Jesus was about 1.5 years.These events of the multiplication of food and the Passover not only turn the calendar for us in the ministry of Jesus, but also serve as a juncture where all four gospels meet. This Passover is dated as beginning on the 17th of April A.D 29.  McGarvey – “Now the passover, the feast of the Jews,was at hand.”3This Passover is computed to have been held on April 16, A.D. 29.This statement as to the time of year prepares us for his further statement that there was much grass in the plain. It also explains in part the gathering of a multitude in this secluded region. Pilgrims on their way to the Passover would gladly go several miles out of their way to see the great Prophet perform a miracle.The excitement, due to the mission of the twelve and the death of the Baptist, also tended to swell the crowd. Adam Clark – “And the passover-was nigh.”This happened about ten or twelve days before the third Passover which Christ celebrated after his baptism.  John Gill – This was the third Passover, since our Lord’s baptism, and entrance into his public ministry; see Joh 2:13, 5:1.  Dr. F Gardiner – The feeding of the five thousand evidently took place on the N.E. side of  the Sea of Galilee, in Perea.  Tischendorf makes the time to have been just that at which the Passover was celebrated at Jerusalem, considering the remark in John 6:4 as referring to the assembling of the multitudes.

John 7:1 (pg210, note 145) – Mc Garvey – John told us in his last chapter that the passover was near at hand. He here makes a general statement which shows that Jesus did not attend this passover. The reason for his absence is given at Joh 5:18 (“The Jews sought to kill him”).   Jamieson, Fausset,Brown – “After these things” refers to all that is recorded after John 5:18.  It appears that our Lord did not attend the Passover mentioned in John 6:4 – being the third since His ministry began, if the feast mentioned in John 5:1 was a Passover.  A.T Robertson – He now skips the period of withdrawal from Galilee of about six months (from passover to tabernacles). A literal picture of the itinerant ministry of Jesus. He has returned to Galilee from the region of Caesarea Philippi.  Edward Robinson – In John 7:1, a reason is assigned why Jesus did not go up at this time to the Passover mentioned in John 6:4.This was the third Passover during his ministry.  Dake – After this Greek:meta (????) tauta (?????), after these things.A common phrase used 15 times by John for the times of the events which he wrote about and is rendered “after these things” (Jn. 3:22; 6:1; 7:1; 21:1; Rev. 7:1; 18:1; 19:1);“after this” (Jn. 5:1; 19:38; Rev. 4:1; 7:9);“after that” (Rev. 15:5; 20:3);“afterward” (Jn. 5:14); and “hereafter” (Jn. 13:7; Rev. 1:19; 4:1;9:12). This phrase is used only 12 other times in the New Testament to express the order of events (Mk. 16:12; Lk. 5:27; 10:1; 12:4; 17:8; 18:4; Acts 7:7; 13:20; 15:16; 18:1; Heb. 4:8; 1 Pet. 1:11), which shows the books of John and Revelation are more chronological in events than other New Testament books.The next verse in John, John 7:2 is six months away.During this time many events took place in the ministry of Jesus.We begin with the next event in Mark 7:1. Both the Gospels of Mark and Matthew will parallel with each other until they meet up with Luke at the Confession (Luke 9:18) followed by the Transfiguration (Luke 9:27).

John 7:2 (pg235, note 162) – The events of John 7:2- 10:42 must be taken up now because Luke 9:51 begins our Lord’s final trip to Jerusalem. In John 7 Jesus will go up to Jerusalem to keep the feast of Tabernacles (which is in October, 6 months before the crucifixion, and then in John 10:22 He will be in Jerusalem to keep the feast of Dedication, which takes place in December, 3.5 months before the crucifixion.  Dr F.Gardiner – Luke 9:51 bears upon the face of it that this was our Lord’s final departure from Galilee, and his entrance upon a series of journeyings which terminated at last in his death at Jerusalem and his ascension. Any other interpretation of ?????????? (taking up) is forced; and the expression “fulfilling of the days” implies that this was now so near at hand that there was no longer any intervening object of magnitude, but rather that all things were rapidly converging to this consummation.  McGarvey – Joh 7:1 tells us that Jesus kept away from Judea because the Jews sought for his life.This keeping away or seclusion began at the Passover season, and led Jesus not only to keep away from Judea, but even to hover upon the outskirts of Galilee itself. We now turn back to take up with John the narrative which tells how, after his six months’ retirement, Jesus prepared to appear once more in Judea.The Feast of Tabernacles began on the fifteenth day of the month Tisri, which answers to our September-October, and consequently came six months after and six months before the Passover. It was the most joyous of the two great feasts.  1889 People’s New Testament Commentary – It fell in the month Tizri, covering part of September and of October, and lasted for a week. It was one of the three feasts that all Jews were expected to attend.  A.T. Robertson – Only New Testament example of this word (?????, tent, ???????, to fasten as in Heb 8:2).Technical name of this feast (De 16:13; Le 23:34,43). It began on the 15th of the month Tisri (end of September) and lasted seven days and finally eight days in post-exilic times (Ne 8:18). It was one of the chief feasts of the Jews.  George Clark – It was now probably eighteen months since our Lord’s last visit to Jerusalem at his second Passover, which commenced March 29th A.D. 28. It was about the middle of the feast (John 7:14) when Jesus appeared in the temple and taught. Hence he probably did not arrive at Jerusalem till about that time. Valling’s Jesus Christ, p. 133 – “The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish Church,was the most popular and important festival after the Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city. Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens,were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow.The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.”  Adam Clark – This feast was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the month Tisri, answering to the last half of our September, and the first half of October. Dake – The Feast of Tabernacles was held on the 15th to 22nd of September. This feast was about seven months before the crucifixion.

John 10:22 (pg247, note 167) – The Feast of Dedication took place about 3 months after the Feast of Tabernacles of John 7:2 and about 3 months before the crucifixion.There is no reason to believe that Jesus departed from the vicinity of Jerusalem between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Dedication.The Gospel of John is very careful to describe every departure of Jesus from Jerusalem and there is no mention of a departure during this time.  McGarvey – “And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem.”The feast of dedication was one of eight days’ duration and began upon the twenty- fifth of Chisleu, which, according to the calculation of M. Chevannes, fell upon the nineteenth or twentieth of December, A.D. 29.The feast was kept in honor of the renovation and purification of the temple in the year B.C. 164, after it had been desecrated by the Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc. 1:20-60; 4:36-59; 10:1-8); Josephus,“The Antiquities of the Jews”.  A.T. Robertson – Clearly there is a considerable lapse between the events in 10:22-39 and 10:1 21, possibly nearly three months (from just after tabernacles 7:37 to dedication 10:22).  Edward Robinson – According to John’s narrative, Jesus, after leaving Galilee to go up to the festival of Tabernacles in October (John 7:10), did not return again to Galilee; but spent the time intervening before the festival of Dedication in December, probably in Jerusalem, or, when in danger from the Jews, in the neighboring villages of Judea; John 8:59, Luke 10:38. Had Jesus actually returned to Galilee during this interval, it can hardly be supposed that John, who had hitherto so carefully noted our Lord’ s return thither after each visit to Jerusalem,would have failed to give some hint of it in this case also, either after John 8:59 or 10:21. But neither John, nor the other Evangelists, afford any such hint. Immediately after the festival of Dedication, Jesus withdrew from the machinations of the Jews beyond Jordan; whence he was recalled to Bethany by the decease of Lazarus; John 10:40; 11:7. He then once more retired to Ephraim; and is found again at Bethany six days before the Passover; John 11:54; 12:1.  Adam Clark – This was a feast instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of his purifying the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes. This feast began on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, (which answers to the eighteenth of our December,) and continued for eight days.  Dake – It was about 3 1/2 months after the feast of Tabernacles of John 7:2 and about four months before the Passover and the crucifixion.

John 11:55 (pg272, note 186) – John Gill – ”And the Jews’ passover was nigh at hand”,Which was the fourth Passover from Christ’s entrance on his public ministry, and the last he ate with his disciples.  A.T. Robertson – This last passover was the time of destiny for Jesus. John shifts the scene to Jerusalem just before the passover with no record of the way that Jesus came to Jerusalem from Ephraim. The Synoptic Gospels tell this last journey up through Samaria into Galilee to join the great caravan that crossed over into Perea and came down on the eastern side of the Jordan opposite Jericho and then marched up the mountain road to Bethany and Bethphage just beside Jerusalem.

Luke 13:22 (pg273, note 187) – There are nine days from this point until the crucifixion based on two facts: 1- Luke 13:32-33 provides us with the remaining length of time that Jesus will be traveling toward Jerusalem. 2- When he arrives in Bethany (just 2 miles from Jerusalem) there are still six days remaining before the final Passover.  Adam Clark – “Journeying toward Jerusalem”, Luke represents all that is said, from Lu 9:51, as having been done and spoken while Christ was on his last journey to Jerusalem.” It should be noted that the trip which began in Luke 9:51 was definitely not a direct route for he went on at least 2 separate occasions to Bethany prior to John 12:1 which brings us to the last six days before the crucifixion.  Edward Robinson – After Long consideration, therefore, I do not hesitate to refer Luke 13:22 with the transaction and discourse of which it forms the nucleus, mainly to a journey of our Lord through the populous region of Perea, on his return to Bethany after sojourning in Ephraim. There may have also been excursions from that city to the neighboring villages of Judea, or even to the Jordan Valley.  Dr. Benjamin Davies – His words indicate that he was proceeding leisurely (??????????) toward Jerusalem, and expecting to arrive in about three days, and that he feared nothing from the malice of Herod inasmuch as His “decease was to be accomplished at Jerusalem”.

Luke 13:32 (pg274, note 188) – McGarvey – “Wiesler,Meyer, Alford, and other able commentators think that the days mentioned in this difficult passage are literal days. If the language is to be thus construed, the saying amounts to a promise to leave Herod’s territory in three days.” It is most likely that Jesus is referring to being out of Herods’ jurisdiction in three days.”  Adam Clark – “It is probable that the place from which Christ was desired to depart was Galilee or Perea; for beyond this Herod had no jurisdiction. It can scarcely mean Jerusalem, though it appears from Lu 23:7, that Herod Antipas was there at the time of our Lord’s crucifixion.”  Dake – Gr. teleioo, to complete, finish, bring to an end.The idea here is that He was going to work today, tomorrow; and on the third day He was going to bring His work to an end and then die in Jerusalem (six days after arriving in Jerusalem (John 12:1)).The miracle of John 11:40:44 completed His many works that confirmed His ministry (v33).Not only His work would be ended in three days but He would be out of Herod’s country and under Pilate’s jurisdiction.  John Gill – “today and tomorrow, and the day following”, a few days more in Galilee, and towards Jerusalem: all the Oriental versions read,“the day following I shall depart”; either out of this world; or out of Galilee, and go to Jerusalem, and there suffer and die:

John 19:28 (pg301, note 192) – In order to understand more clearly the sequence of events that will take place over the remaining six days it is important to establish some facts about the chronology.

Fact 1 – Jesus was crucified at the time of the slaying of the Passover lamb, which took place on the 14th day of Nisan (Ex. 12:6) between the 9th and 11th hour, equivalent to 3 and 5 p.m. Josephus tells us that the Jews had two evenings; one at the going down of the sun, Deut. 16:6, which is the 9th hour, and the second at the setting sun, or the 11th hour. It was during the time of the evening sacrifice, at 3:00 p.m., that Jesus gave up the Ghost (Matthew 27:46,Mark 15:34 and Luke 23:44). The Passover was a perfect type of Christ, and we can rest assured that He died at exactly the time typified by the Passover lamb.

Fact 2 – Jesus will be in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights (Matthew 12:40) and we know that He arose from the dead on Sunday morning. A Jewish 24 hour day begins at sunset and ends at sunset the following day. The resurrection could actually have taken place anytime after sunset on Saturday. We know that the time of the resurrection was on the first day of the week, to find the day of His death we count back three days and three nights, which brings us to Wednesday on the 14th of Nisan. The Jews did not accept evidence as to the identification of a dead body until after three days, for corruption took place quickly in the East. Therefore, this period of three full days and three full nights was necessary to preclude all doubt that His death had actually taken place, and stop all suggestion that Christ might have been in a trance. Jews would legally have to conclude His death, should He remain dead the full three days and three nights (Finis Dake). Herodotus testifies that embalmment did not take place until after three days when the spirit was supposed to be gone (Herod. ii. 86-89) The embalmment practices correlate well with the women taking sweet spices to anoint Jesus on the first day of the week if we conclude that this was His third day in the grave (Mark 16:1 and Luke 24:1). Finally, the phrase “and be raised the third day” is used 9 times in the gospels, Mt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Mk. 9:31; 10:34; Lk. 9:22; 18:33; 24:7 and 24:46. Additionally, The majority of all investigators into the life and times of Christ Jesus date his death at 30 A.D.When research was done to determine the day of the full moon and thus the day that the Passover began, it was discovered by all the investigators that Passover was on a Wednesday in A.D. 30. In fact, Sir Isaac Newton determined that the only occasion for Passover to have occurred on a Friday would have been in A.D. 33 or A.D. 34.The principle investigators that did this research were Roger Bacon, in his Opus Magnum p. 131. Jos. Scaliger and Nic. Mann, De veris annis N.D. Jesu Christ p 239. R.Dodwell,De Cyclis,p 848.Mr. Ferguson in his Astronomy, Sir Isaac Newton On the Prophecies, and Lamy in his Harmony (refer to chart 2).

Fact 3 – The first day of the Passover is a day of preparation and is referred to as a High Sabbath regardless of what day it falls on (Lev. 23:6-7, John 19:31).The High Sabbath is not the regular Sabbath, which takes place on Friday at sunset. This particular High Sabbath was on Wednesday at Sunset.

Matthew 26:17 (pg353, note 217) – This would have been on Tuesday the 14th of Nisan when the Passover was prepared from sundown Tuesday to sundown Wednesday. The 15th of Nisan began at sunset on Wednesday and it was at this time when the normal Passover meal was eaten. However, we know that Jesus ate the Passover a day earlier not only for the reasons which shall be described but also because the Jews would not enter the judgment hall when Jesus was being condemned so that they could eat the Passover (John 18:28).Nisan the 14th will also be the day of the crucifixion which will take place on Wednesday beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. We know with certainty that these things are true as we have shown, he must be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth and the only calculation that makes that possible is for Him to have died on Wednesday evening. It is also a fact that in A.D. 30 Nisan 15 was on a Wednesday. Nisan the 15th beginning at sunset Wednesday would be the “High Day” or the great sabbath. It is on the “High Day” that the regular feast officially begins. However, it was customary for the Jews to begin to eat unleaven bread on the day of preparation which is Nisan the 14th.

Passover- The paschal lamb (Ex.12:5) was to be selected on the tenth day of the first month, (Ex. 12:30).On the fourteenth day of the same month, (called Abib in the Pentateuch, and later Nisan,Deut. 16:1, Esth. 3:7) the lamb thus selected was to be killed at a point in time designated by the expression between the two evenings, Ex. 12:6, Lev 23:5, Num. 9:3,5. The true time of killing the Passover lamb would be between 3:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the 14th of Nisan (Wednesday ) the passover was then eaten the same evening which begins the 15th of Nisan Ex. 12:8.The eating of the unleavened bread began after sunset on the 14th day of Nisan, and continued until sunset at the end of the twenty-first day, Comp. Jos. Ant. 3.10.5. It was customary for the Jews, on the 14th day of Nisan to put away all leaven out of their houses before noon; and to slay the paschal lamb towards the close of the day.Therefore, in popular usage, the 14th day of Nisan (in our case sunset Tuesday to sunset Wednesday) became known as the beginning or first day of the festival and thus it was classically referred to even by Josephus as a festival that lasted for eight days.

John Gill– There were seven of these days, and this was the first of them, in which the Jews might not eat leavened bread, from the fourteenth, to the twenty first of the month Nisan; in commemoration of their being thrust out of Egypt, in so much haste, that they had not time to leaven the dough, which was in their kneading troughs: wherefore, according to their canons, on the night of the fourteenth day; that is, as Bartenora explains it, the night, the day following of which is the fourteenth, they search for leaven in all private places and corners, to bring; it out, and burn it, or break it into small pieces, and scatter it in the wind, or throw it into the sea.Mark adds,“when they killed the passover”,Mr 14:12; and Luke says, “when the passover must be killed”, Lu 22:7; which was to be done on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, after the middle of the day; and this was an indispensable duty, which all were obliged to: “every man, and every woman, are bound to observe this precept; and whoever makes void this commandment presumptuously, if he is not defiled, or afar off, lo! he is guilty of cutting off.’’The time of killing the passover was after the middle of the day; and it is said that “if they killed it before the middle of the day it was not right; and they did not kill it till after the evening sacrifice, and after they had offered the evening incense; and after they had trimmed the lamps, they began to slay the passovers, or paschal lambs, unto the end of the day; and if they slayed after the middle of the day, before the evening sacrifice, it was right.’’ The reason of this was, because the lamb was to be slain between the two evenings; the first of which began at noon, as soon as ever the day declined: and this was not done privately, but in the temple; for thus it is affirmed, “they do not kill the passover but in the court, as the rest of the holy things.’’The time and manner of killing the lamb, and by whom, of the sprinkling of the blood, and of their flaying it, and taking out the fat, and burning it on the altar,may be seen in the Misna.

John 18:28 (pg384, note 237) – As has already been pointed out, this is evidence that Jesus ate the passover before the normal time, at the beginning of the 14th of Nisan, instead of the beginning of the 15th of Nisan.  Dake – passover Jesus had eaten of the passover before the time (Mt. 26:18-20; Mk. 14:12-16; Lk. 22:7-15), and was Himself slain at the time of the offering of the paschal lamb (1 Cor. 5:7).”

Matthew 27:19 (pg389, note 241) – Her name was Claudia Procula. Grotius observes that this circumstance marks the time of this event, and affords an incidental proof of the accuracy of Matthew; for it was only in the reign of Tiberius that the wives of governors obtained permission to go with their husbands to the provinces.

Matthew 27:63 (pg404, note 260) – The Jews did not accept evidence as to the identification of a dead body until after three days, for corruption took place quickly in the East.Hence, this period of three full days and three full nights was wanted by God, so as to preclude all doubt that death had actually taken place, and end all suggestion that Christ might have been in a trance. Jews would legally have to conclude His death, should He remain dead the full three days and three nights.  Dake -”After three days I will rise again” The 47th and last New Testament prophecy in Matthew (Mt. 27:63, fulfilled, note,Mt. 12:40). This shows how the Jews understood the three days and three nights of Mt. 12:40, proving the crucifixion could not possibly have been on Friday and the resurrection one day and one night after His death.

John 20:26 (pg422, note 282) – The Gospel of John once again exhibits its chronological nature by supplying us with the number of days between the events after the resurrection.  John Gill – “And after eight days,”That is, after another week, the same day a week later, which taking in the day in which Christ rose and appeared to Mary Magdalene, and his disciples, and the day in which he now appeared to the disciples with Thomas,made eight days; a like way of speaking see in Lu 9:28 compared with Mt 17:1. And Dr.Hammond has proved from Josephus, that the Jews used to express a week by eight days.  F. Gardiner– If the question is asked “Why the Apostles remained so long in Jerusalem after Jesus had told them to go before him into Galilee?” it may be answered that they remained, of course, through the Passover which extended to Thurday evening, and then they would have remained over the Sabbath for want of time to reach Galilee before it.  Dake – “Six more Sundays after this 18th day after the resurrection made 50 days, the day of Pentecost. His time on the other 4 Sundays while He remained on earth with them was spent in teaching (Acts 1:3). The 40th day, or Thursday, He ascended (Acts 1:11), leaving 10 days until the 2nd Sunday after His ascension and the 7th Sunday after His resurrection, which was the 50th day or Pentecost (Acts 2:1; Lev. 23:15-16). What Christ did between Sundays is not known. He might have used part of this time to teach also. At least the first week between Sundays He did not teach them (Jn. 20:19, 26).

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