Where the world comes to study the Bible

How old was Jesus when he was crucified?

This is a subject that has been debated by scholars for many years. There are no passages that give the exact time historically speaking other than general historical references that have to be determined from what we know of the history of the time, like when Herod ruled and the historical references in Luke 2:1f. See also Luke 3:23 and John 8:57. The general consensus is that He was in His mid thirties.

Below I have inserted the conclusions of Dr. Harold Hoehner of Dallas Seminary on both the time of Christ’s birth and crucifixion. Dr. Hoehner is a recognized authority on the chronological aspects of the life of Christ. For more on this, you can read his lengthy work in Bibliotheca Sacra, the theological journal of Dallas Seminary. You can do the math on the dates Hoehner suggests.

Regarding His birth:

It is clear that Christ was born before Herod the Great’s death and after the census. In looking at the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke one would need to conclude that Christ was born of Mary within a year or two of Herod’s death. In looking to some of the other chronological notations in the gospels, the evidence led to the conclusion that Christ was born in the winter of 5/4 B.C. Although the exact date of Christ’s birth cannot be known, either December, 5 B.C. or January, 4 B.C. is most reasonable.

Regarding His Crucifixion:

The date of the crucifixion of Christ has been greatly debated. Scholars have dated it anywhere from A.D. 21 to 36.

In order to attempt to come to a concrete date, one must examine all the evidence at hand. First, it was seen that the officials at Christ’s trial were Caiaphas and Pilate who were in office simultaneously from A.D. 26 to 36. This eliminates the A.D. 21 date. Next in examining the day of crucifixion, it was concluded that it occurred on Friday, Nisan 14. With the help of astronomy the only possible years on which Friday, Nisan 14 occurred were A.D. 27, 30, 33, and 36. One can eliminate A.D. 27 and 36 when one looks at the ministry of Christ, leaving only A.D. 30 and 33 as feasible dates. However, upon further examining the evidence of astronomy and the life of Christ the most viable date for the death of Christ was A.D. 33. This date is confirmed when one looks into history for it not only fills several passages of the gospels with meaning but it also prevents the charge that the gospels are inaccurate in some parts of the passion narrative.

Here, then, is the case for the A.D. 33 date for the crucifixion date of our Lord.

Related Topics: Crucifixion