Discovery News reports a major study by geologists has pinpointed the specific date of the Crucifixion as April 3, in the year A.D. 33 based on seismic activity that occurred in the region.
It’s amazing how even scientists with the best of intentions can be so easily misled in their assumptions.
While it’s true that a significant earthquake coincided with the death on the cross of Yeshua (known to Westerners by the Greek name Jesus), it almost certainly did not take place on that date.
The team of geologists headed by Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and including Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences, whose work was published in the scholarly journal International Geology Review, made the same mistake many Christian religious traditions do.
Here are the “clues” they used to search out dates for seismic activity:
- The Crucifixion took place during the reign of Pontius Pilate. (So far, so good.)
- All four gospels say the Crucifixion occurred on a Friday. (None of them say any such thing – and, despite the tradition of “Good Friday,” there is no way that’s possible if Yeshua was three days and three nights in the tomb.)
- All four gospels agree that Jesus died a few hours before the beginning of the Sabbath, which they assume was nightfall on Friday. (Yet, Yeshua was crucified during Passover week – a week with more than one Sabbath, a factor often overlooked by Christians and non-Christians devoid of understanding of the biblical feast days.)
- Lastly, they suggest that the synoptic gospels disagree with John’s gospel on the date of Yeshua’s death. (Again, this is just plain wrong.)
Again, I’d like to know about the earthquake that happened coinciding with Yeshua’s death as much as the next guy, but you’ve got to start out with a correct set of assumptions before you start zeroing in on a day and date that is almost certainly wrong.
One of the most popular and biblically accurate treatments of the actual story Yeshua’s Crucifixion can be found in a chapter of Joe Kovacs’ “Shocked by the Bible.” Kovacs makes a persuasive case for a Wednesday Crucifixion with Yeshua rising from the tomb sometime on the Saturday Sabbath.
Had the geologists taken the effort to read that book, or that story, or one of the dozens of scholarly works on the subject – or even just a plain reading of the Bible – they might have actually found the correct earthquake that coincided with Yeshua’s death on the cross.
But they didn’t.
“The day and date of the Crucifixion are known with a fair degree of precision,” explained Williams, assuming it was a Friday, which can be found nowhere in the Bible, only in the tradition of men.
The pity of this is that many biblically illiterate Christians will embrace this startling new misinformation like it’s the Holy Grail. It is most definitely not, though I certainly don’t want to discourage further scientific explorations of matters like this.
But the best information to start with is found in the Bible, which most Christians and non-Christians read through Western, non-Hebraic eyes.
If you want to understand who Yeshua really was, what He did and when He did it, it helps to understand the Bible as a Hebrew book told through Hebrew eyes and using a Hebrew calendar. It also helps to have an understanding of the symbolism of the ultimate sacrifice Yeshua, “the Lamb of God,” made during Passover week, the time when lambs, mostly from Bethlehem, were sacrificed as a way of atoning for sin.
After 2,000 years, it’s time to put away the tradition and get back to the biblically established facts.