Day of Jesus' Crucifixion Believed Determined

//

THE GIST

- Researchers believe that Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was crucified on Friday April 3, 33 A.D.

- Textual and geological clues, along with astronomical data, support the date.

- Scientists acknowledge that natural events described in the Bible could be allegorical.

Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday April 3, 33 A.D.

The latest investigation, reported in the journal International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:

NEWS: Biblical Burial Box Reveals Clue About Death of Jesus

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open."

To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.

Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and an early first century seismic event that happened sometime between 26 A.D. and 36 A.D.

The latter period occurred during "the years when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea and when the earthquake of the Gospel of Matthew is historically constrained," Williams said.

"The day and date of the crucifixion (Good Friday) are known with a fair degree of precision," he said. But the year has been in question.

In terms of textual clues to the date of the crucifixion, Williams quoted a Nature paper authored by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. Williams summarized their work as follows:

- All four gospels and Tacitus in Annals (XV,44) agree that the crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from 26-36 AD.

- All four gospels say the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.