Date of the Crucifixion of Jesus
Writing in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1991, John Pratt argued that while he believed Newton’s date was wrong, his reasoning was effectively sound but claimed Newton had included a minor error at the end. Pratt suggested the year 33 AD as the most likely accurate answer. Using similar computations, in 1990 astronomer Bradley Schaefer arrived at the same date, Friday, April 3 33 AD. Thus it has been concluded that Newton’s argument must actually favour the April 3 33 AD date but how reliable is any of this information and the calculations involved?
I have noticed that John P. Pratt, Sir Isaac Newton and others place the crucifixion of Jesus at the end of Daniel’s 70 week (490 years) prophecy. This however is incorrect as Jesus was crucified in the middle of the final seven years (7 prophetic days - 7 years), which would make their favoured date of 33-34 A.D. more like 30-31 A.D. Here is the verse taken verbatim from the Amplified Bible.
Daniel 9:27 AMP “And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator.”
John P. Pratt on his own web site quotes the following, “Those familiar with my work will know that in virtually every case, the Lord’s prophecies are fulfilled not only to the year, but to the very day. Can that be the case with the seventy weeks prophecy?” Pratt believes that Artaxerxes decree began April 3, 458 B.C. and places the crucifixion of Christ at the end of the 490 years in Friday 1 April, 33 A.D. making it almost exactly 490 years (two days out.) The problem is of course that Jesus was crucified 3.5 years before the end of the 490 years. What has also been overlooked is that Daniel’s 70 week (490 years) prophecy is part of Daniel’s 2300 day (2300 year) prophecy from the previous chapter.
Daniel 8:14 “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
The angel told Daniel that at the end of the 2300 years, the sanctuary would be cleansed. This is the fulfilment of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), which was the cleansing of all the sins of the people from God’s Temple. The Day of Atonement falls in the month of Tishri, which is around September, October on the Gregorian calendar. So based on Pratt’s belief that these prophecies are very precise in time with which I and good theologians would agree, means that the beginning of the 2300 years, which is also the beginning of the 70 weeks (490 years), would also have to start from the time of the Day of Atonement around September, October and not April 3. This makes the date of 458 B.C. wrong; it would actually be 457 B.C. that also aligns with the 15 year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.
Why there are so many obvious errors being made here can only be attributed to our adversary. This passage in Daniel 9:24-27 is the perfect Messianic prophecy that proves that Jesus is the Christ (anointed one). Non Messianic Jews would know they missed the first coming of Christ if they understood this passage in Daniel 9, but they believe this passage has a curse on it and so will not accept or read it. The one passage that proves Jesus is the Messiah and they think it is cursed. Now where do you think that comes from? The Roman Catholic Church also commissioned Jesuit priests to write counter interpretations of Bible prophecy as part of the Counter Reformation against the Protestant reformation when the finger was pointed at them as being antichrist. Jesuit Francisco Ribera claimed that the final seven years of Daniel’s 70 weeks was a future antichrist and that antichrist would put an end to sacrifices in a rebuilt temple. This is where the supposed 7 years of tribulation comes from. This of course was manufactured prophecy written with the sole purpose of deceiving people on the true identity of antichrist. Have you ever seen one passage so abused by Satan himself? Attributing this date of Jesus’ crucifixion to antichrist is outright blasphemous. Please see futurism Bible prophecy for more information on this crucial topic.
What was the Crucifixion Date of Jesus?
The following four pages are what John P. Pratt wrote in regards to the crucifixion date of Jesus as expressed by Sir Isaac Newton. What becomes apparent here is that finding the date using the phases of the moon has many complications and there is no guarantee of finding the exact year yet alone a day. Read Daniel's 70 weeks and 2300 day prophecy for detailed information proving the crucifixion date of Jesus.
The Crucifixion Date Continued
The following fourteen pages are what Bradley E. Schaefer wrote in regards to the crucifixion date of Jesus. What continues to be very apparent is that finding the date using the phases of the moon has extreme complications and many variables and there is no definitely no guarantee of the finding being 100% accurate. The one fact that Schaefer does make abundantly clear and is correct on is that the Gospels show Jesus to have been crucified on a Friday.
So here it is from two astronomers with degrees and as you can clearly see, there are lots of factors and lots of variables and definitely no guarantee. As Schaefer said, the crucifixion date has long held a fascination for scholars and that his calculations MAY be of use in trying to find the exact day. If someone tells you they back tracked the calendar and knows the day, smile sweetly and walk away!
Inclusive Reckoning - Page 4.