Citations

 

Chapter 1 - Ancient History

 

[1] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition.

 

Page 34: "Down to the second century A.D. the standard vehicle for all literary texts had been the papyrus roll…."

 

Page 2: "Another disadvantage was that the material of which it was composed [papyrus] was by no means strong, and damage easily ensued."

 

[2] Article: "Book, Handwritten Books." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

[Papyrus is a] paperlike material made from the pounded pith of reeds growing in the Nile River delta, formed into a continuous strip and rolled around a stick. … Although papyrus was easily made, inexpensive, and an excellent writing surface, it was brittle; in damp climates it disintegrated in less than 100 years. Thus, a great part of the literature and records of the ancient world has been irretrievably lost.

 

[3] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition.

 

Page 196: "Nearly all the papyri come from Egypt…."

 

Page 197:

 

The survival of the papyri was made possible because in the villages refuse, including waste paper, was thrown onto huge rubbish dumps, which rose high enough to make their contents immune from any effects of moisture from the annual inundation or irrigation; with the dryness of the climate the papyri often avoided further damage. A few of them come not directly from the rubbish dumps, but from tombs … or from cartonnage, the casings in which mummies were enclosed. This substance was made from layers of papyrus stuck together like papier mâché, and unwanted papyri were evidently bought up in quantity to make it.

 

[4] Ancient Manuscript: "PSI XIV 1393 r 1." This manuscript dates to the second century A.D. and displays sections 96D-E of Plato's work entitled Phaedo, which was composed around 360 B.C. Used with permission of the Istituto Papirologico "G.Vitelli."

 

[5] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition. Page 34:

 

Between the second and fourth centuries, the roll was replaced by the codex. … [A codex is] a book with essentially the same appearance as the one we use today. … The codex did not come into use for pagan literature until the second century; but it rapidly gained ground in the third, and triumphed in the fourth. It could be made of either papyrus or parchment, but it was the parchment codex that eventually won the day. … [P]archment was a much more durable material; in time its toughness was to prove a vital factor in the survival of classical literature.

 

Page 35: "[S]ome of the earliest surviving books of antiquity are parchment codices of the fourth century…."

 

[6] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 92: "By the fourth century … parchment was preferred to papyrus. From this and the following century come the earliest surviving manuscripts of classical authors."

 

[7] Book: Eusebius: The History of The Church from Christ to Constantine. Translated and introduced by G.A. Williamson. Dorset Press, 1965. Pages 9, 15, 29.

 

NOTE: The pages referenced above explain that the Christian historian Eusebius wrote during the fourth century A.D. He was a close associate of the Roman emperor Constantine and was among the most learned and respected men of his day. Based on the existing historical record, we know the titles of at least 46 works that he authored. Of these, 17 survive in full, 14 survive in part, and 15 are totally lost.

 

[8] Book: History of Libraries in the Western World. By Michael H. Harris. Scarecrow Press, 1995. Fourth edition.

 

Page 51: "It is estimated that perhaps ten percent of the major Greek classical writings have survived."

 

[9] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition.

 

Page 7: "Texts copied by hand are quickly liable to corruption; to make an accurate copy of even a short text is a much harder task than is realized by those who have not had to do it."

 

[10] Book: Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. Translated and introduced by G.A. Williamson. Dorset Press, 1965.

 

Page 14 states that hand copying, "as all students of ancient manuscripts know, resulted in numerous mistakes."

 

Page 15: "[U]nless a book was an outstanding success, few copies would get into circulation, and fewer still would survive."

 

[11] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 91: "The minimum of help is given to the reader: punctuation and even spacing between words are non-existent or at best erratic, and enlarged initial letters are not used."

 

[12] Book: Eusebius: The History of The Church from Christ to Constantine. Translated and introduced by G.A. Williamson. Dorset Press, 1965.

 

Page 14: "If passages had to be looked up for copying or summarizing they had to be ferreted out of an awkward roll; the reader could not find them in an index and then turn quickly to a numbered page."

 

[13] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition.

 

With regards to papyrus documents, page 4 states: "Punctuation was rudimentary at best. Texts were written without word-division, and it was not until the middle ages that a real effort was made to alter this convention in Greek or Latin texts (in a few Latin texts of the classical period a point is placed after each word.)"

 

[14] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 559: "The manuscripts in which the works of Greek and Latin literature are preserved for the most part date from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries AD…. [T]hey are thus at many removes from the author's autographs."

 

[15] Ancient Work: The Gallic War. By Julius Caesar. Translated by H.J. Edwards. Harvard University Press, 1958. First published in 1917.

 

Page ix states that Caesar was assassinated in the year 44 B.C. {Hence, this is the latest year this work could have been written.}

 

Page xv: "It is held by some scholars that the first seven books were composed in the winter of 52-51 B.C., and published in early 51."

 

Page xvii lists 6 manuscripts, the oldest of which date to the 9th century.

 

[16] Ancient Work: History of the Peloponnesian War. By Thucydidies. Translated by Charles Forster Smith. Heinemann, 1928. Volume 1.

 

Page ix states that Thucydidies was born "somewhere around 472 B.C."

 

Page xi: "It seems reasonable to assume that he was not alive in 396 B.C."

 

Page xxi lists 7 manuscripts, the oldest of which date to the 11th century.

 

[17] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Polybius. Translated by W.R. Patton. Heinemann, 1922. Volume 1.

 

Page vii states that Polybius was born in about 208 B.C.

 

Page x states that he died at the age of 82.

 

Page xv lists 3 manuscripts, the oldest of which dates to the 10th century.

 

[18] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Martin. University of California Press, 1981.

 

Page 26: "From the dates at which he held various magistracies it can be inferred that with reasonable accuracy that he was born in AD 56 or 57…."

 

[19] Article: "Tacitus." Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

NOTE: The offices Tacitus held include quaestor, praetor, consul, and proconsul.

 

[20] Book: The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 11: The Imperial Peace, A.D. 70-192. Edited by S.A. Cook, F.E. Adcock, and M.P. Charlesworth. Cambridge University Press, 1965. First published in 1936. Chapter 5: "Nerva and Trajan." By R.P. Longden.

 

Page 222 states that a consulship was "the highest honor a private citizen could obtain under the empire."

 

[21] Book: The Greater Roman Historians. By M. L. W. Laistner. University of California Press, 1963. Second printing (first published in 1947).

 

Pages 100-111 provide a brief overview of Tacitus' political career.

 

Page 110: "[I]t is customary to regard [Tacitus] as Rome's greatest historian."

 

[22] Book: The Roman Historians. By Ronald Mellor. Routledge, 1999.

 

Page 76 states that Tacitus was "the greatest historian that the Roman world produced."

 

[23] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Mellor. Routledge, 1993.

 

Page 23: "The Annals was completed in about 117."

 

[24] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Pages 345-348 state the Annales may have been the title that Tacitus gave to some of his work. They also explain how and why the titles that we use today for Tacitus' works were originally assigned.

 

[25] Article: "Nero." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"The great fire that ravaged Rome in 64 illustrates how low Nero's reputation had sunk by this time. … According to the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus and to the Nero of the Roman biographer Suetonius, Nero in response tried to shift responsibility for the fire on the Christians….

 

[26] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 15.44. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

[27] Matthew 1:16

 

[28] Mark 15:15

 

[29] Luke 3:1, 23

 

[30] Luke 24:50-52

 

[31] Article: "Bethany." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

NOTE: This article explains that Bethany is located in Judea near Jerusalem.

 

[32] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Martin. University of California Press, 1981.

 

Page 237 states this manuscript is commonly called the "Second Medicean" or "M2." It was written in the second half of the 11th century.

 

[33] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Pages 295-297 explain that the Second Medicean is located at the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy. Its official name is "Laurentianus 68.2," and it was "probably" written in the 11th century. The handwriting is indicative of documents produced at a monastery called Monte Cassino (located about 80 miles south of Rome), which is famous for preserving ancient Latin works. The name "Abbas Raynaldus" appears in it. There were two monks of this name who lived at this monastery during the twelfth century. Also, a bishop at Monte Cassino by the name of Paulus Venetus (who died in 1340) quoted from Tacitus.

 

[34] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Page 326 explains that these 32 manuscripts contain Books 11 to 16 of the Annals and Books 1-5 of the Histories (another one of Tacitus works). All of these manuscripts are missing the end of Book 16, have two misplaced passages, and end in Chapter 26 of Book 5 of the Histories.

 

Page 294 contains a list of all manuscripts.

 

[35] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Pages 239-344 provide a description of every manuscript and point out notable variations between them. There are none for this passage.

 

[36] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Pages 295-344 state that this determination is made on the basis of evidence such as spelling and format comparisons and by examining notes and names that are written on the manuscripts.

 

Conclusions are located on pages 326-327 and 344.

 

[37] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Page 327-337 explain that this manuscript is officially named "Leidensis B P L. 16. B." It is commonly called the "Leiden" or "Leyden" manuscript, and it is located at Leiden University in Holland. There are six major variations between the Leiden and Second Medicean manuscripts, none of which affect the passage about Christ.

 

NOTE: There is debate as to whether or not this manuscript is independent of the Second Medicean. Mendell believes it is. For an opposing view, see the book: Texts and Transmission: A Survey of Latin Classics. Edited by L.D. Reynolds. Oxford University Press, 1983. Pages 406-409.

 

[38] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957. Pages 225-238 contain all of the quotes from the 2nd through 14th centuries.

 

[39] The Perseus Digital Library contains the Latin text of the Annals and offers the capability to examine the frequency with which specific words appear: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

In our passage of interest, there are seven sentences. Excluding personal names and words such as "the," there are 92 words in the Latin text of these sentences. All of these words appear elsewhere in Tacitus' writings except for "confluunt" (confluence; translated as "find their center") and "canum" (dogs). The Latin version is entitled Annales ab excessu divi Augusti. (Edited by Charles Dennis Fisher, Clarendon Press, 1906.)

 

[40] Book: The Historical Evidence for Jesus. By G.A. Wells. Prometheus Books, 1982. Page 16.

 

[41] Article: "Caesarea Maritima: The Search for Herod's City." By Robert J. Bull. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1982.

 

"But the most sensational find uncovered by the Italians in the course of their theater excavation was an inscription. In the theater steps a stone was found containing a Latin inscription naming 'Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.'"

 

[42] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Section 15.44: "[A]t the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus…."

 

[43] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 2. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-2.htm

 

Chapter 9, Section 2: "Now Pilate, who was sent as procurator into Judea by Tiberius, sent by night those images of Caesar that are called ensigns into Jerusalem."

 

[44] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 2, Section 2:

 

As Coponius, who we told you was sent along with Cyrenius, was exercising his office of procurator, and governing Judea, the following accidents happened. … A little after which accident Coponius returned to Rome, and Marcus Ambivius came to be his successor in that government…. After him came Annius Rufus…. Tiberius Nero … sent Valerius Gratus to be procurator of Judea, and to succeed Annius Rufus. … When Gratus had done those things, he went back to Rome, after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as his successor.

 

[45] Article: "Philo Judaeus." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This article states that Philo was born 15–10 B.C. and died 45–50 A.D.

 

Note: More details on the chronology of Philo's life are provided in citation 144.

 

[46] Article: "Pilate, Pontius." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This article states that Pilate died AD 36.

 

NOTE: Pilate may have actually died later than this. More details on the chronology of Pilate's reign are provided in citations 195-196.

 

[47] Book: Studies in Roman Government and Law. By A. H. M. Jones. Barnes and Noble, 1968. First printed in 1960. Chapter 7: "Procurators and Prefects in the Early Principate." Pages 115-125.

 

Page 125: "It may be that Philo was being not muddle headed but strictly accurate in describing Pilate as 'one of the prefects appointed procurator of Judea'.63 If this is so, the change under Claudius will have been one of nomenclature rather than of substance."

 

[48] As the book cited in the next note documents, roughly 15 years after Pilate left office, the official title for the governor of a Roman province appears to have morphed from "prefect" to "procurator." There is no explicit documentation of such a change, but historical evidence points in this direction. Prior to this, a procurator was someone who acted on behalf of an individual as opposed to being a government official. An example of such would be a person who managed the private financial interests of a Roman emperor in a particular region. Despite this distinction, several different Roman officials, including Pilate, were referred to by both titles.

 

[49] Book: Studies in Roman Government and Law. By A.H.M. Jones. Barnes and Noble, 1968. Originally published in 1960. Chapter 7: "Procurators and Prefects in the Early Principate." Pages 115-125. Pages 123-125:

 

The procurators of Augustus and Tiberius, on the other hand, were officially only their private agents. They fall into two classes, the procurators of provinces, who handled all the emperor's financial affairs within each, and the lesser procurators who were bailiffs of individual estates which the operator owned in a private capacity. …

 

Procuratorships and prefectures may nevertheless not always have been kept strictly apart. Under the Republic it was apparently not unusual for proconsuls to grant prefectures (including command of troops) to the procurators of important persons, in order to give them the power to collect their principals' debts.53 …

 

Conversely prefects of provinces may have been concurrently procurators of Augustus. The prefect of Egypt was, we are told by Philo, intimately concerned with finance,58 and we know from the case of Pilate that the prefects of Judea, besides their military and judicial functions, handled the finances of the province.58  The same was probably true of all prefects of provinces. It was not customary for military officers, as the praefecti essentially were, to deal with public finances; imperial legati never did so. It may be therefore that for financial purposes a prefect of a province was deemed to be acting as a procurator of Augustus, and he may even have held two posts, a military command and a private agency, concurrently. This is suggested by a number of cases in which a governor is styled procurator et praefectus or pro legato. Two cases of the latter combination occur under Claudius, in Raetia and in Mauretania Tingitana:60 in the latter province it recurs in Trajan's reign and later.61 In Sardinia we find a procurator et praefectus under Vespasian, and here again the combination of titles recurs in later reigns.62

  

[50] Article: "A Reply to J. P. Holding's "Shattering" of My Views on Jesus and an Examination of the Early Pagan and Jewish References to Jesus." By G.A Wells. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/g_a_wells/holding.html#3

 

Footnote 3: "However, it could happen that a prefect might also be appointed procurator at the same time, and there are some reasons to believe Pilate may have held both positions (see A.H.M. Jones, "Procurators and Prefects in the Early Principate," Studies in Roman Government and Law, 1968, pp. 117-25)."

 

NOTE: The statement in the main text where this footnote appears reads: "Tacitus cannot, then, have been quoting from any official document which reported 'Christ's' execution.3" There is obviously no indication in this statement that Wells is making any sort of concession. Moreover, the source he cites in this footnote is the same source cited above containing facts regarding Pilate being both a procurator and a prefect.

 

[51] Book: The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10: The Augustan Empire, 44 B.C – A.D. 70. Edited by S.A. Cook, F.E. Adcock, M.P. Charlesworth. Cambridge University Press, 1966. First published in 1934.

 

Page 871-872 state that Tacitus was a praetor, held a "provincial post," "attained the consulship in 97," and was "proconsul of Asia about 112. … Thus he had an advantage denied to many of the historians mentioned here, of knowing the workings of the systems he was to describe."

 

[52] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Syme. Oxford University Press, 1979. First published in 1958.

 

Page 39: "Where there is a lack of precision in Tacitus, it derives from various preoccupations, notably stylistic, as when he goes out of his way to avoid technical terms." {Pages 389-396 provide details to substantiate this statement.}

 

[53] Book: The Historical Evidence for Jesus. By G.A. Wells. Prometheus Books, 1982. Page 16.

 

[54] Article: "Messiah." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

It was the Hebrew name for the promised deliverer of humankind, assumed by Jesus and given to him by Christians. The English word is derived from the Hebrew mashlah, meaning "anointed." In the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, this word is translated by the word Christos, from which "Christ" is derived.

 

[55] Entry: "Christus." A Latin Dictionary; Founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin Dictionary. Revised and rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short. Oxford University Press, 1879 (1955 reprint).

 

NOTE: This entry contains the following information: "= Χριστός." The presence of the "=" sign followed by the word "Christ" spelled in Greek letters indicates this word is a transliteration from the Greek.

 

[56] Entry: "Christ." Webster's College Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

NOTE: It is evident from the etymological information provided (specifically that the Greek spelling is "Christós") that "Christ" is a transliteration in English.

 

[57] Entry: "Transliterate." Webster's College Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

[58] Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm

 

[59] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Location  Time Period (A.D.)  Source
1.69  14-15  "Caius Plinius, the historian of the German wars"
1.81  14-15  "Tiberius' own speeches"
2.88  16-19  "writers and senators of the period"
2.88  16-19  "Greek historians"
3.3  20-22  "the daily register"
4.10  23-28  "the narrative of most of the best historians"
4.53  23-28  "the memoirs of the younger Agrippina, the mother of the emperor Nero"
5.9  29-31  "Historians of the time"
6.47  32-37  "the notes of the proceedings furnished to the Senate"

 

[60] Book: The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10: The Augustan Empire, 44 B.C – A.D. 70. Edited by S.A. Cook, F.E. Adcock, and M.P. Charlesworth. Cambridge University Press, 1966. First published in 1934. Chapter 19: "Tiberius." By M.P. Charlesworth.

 

Page 607: "By far the fullest and most trustworthy ancient authority for the principate of Tiberius is Tacitus…."

 

[61] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 4.11. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

[62] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 3.19. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

[63] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

NOTE: Tacitus wrote all of the qualifiers below in the context of relating matters of fact, as opposed to cases in which he considers peoples' motives and a qualifier is inferred.

 

Location  Qualifier
1.5  "some thought"
1.5  "Whatever the fact was"
1.5  "it has not been thoroughly ascertained"
1.29  "The common account is"
1.29  "according to some"
1.53  "Some have related that"
1.76  "it was said"
1.81  "I can hardly venture on any positive statement"

 

[64] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Published 104-109 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Random House, 1873. Reprinted in 1942. Section 5.2. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete…. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighboring countries…. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin…. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde…. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer….

 

[65] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 13.20. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

"Proposing as I do to follow the consentient [concurring] testimony of historians, I shall give the differences in their narratives under the writers' names."

 

[66] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Location  Evidence of usage of multiple sources
4.10  "the narrative of most of the best historians"
4.65  "As to that point historians differ"
12.24  "There are various popular accounts"
12.67  "writers of the time have declared"
13.17  "It is related by several writers of the period"
14.9  "So far our accounts agree"
15.38  "authors have given both accounts"

 

[67] I first saw this analytical method used in the article "Nero's Scapegoats: Cornelius Tacitus." By James Patrick Holding. Tekton Apologetics Ministries. http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/tacitus.html

 

NOTE: The methodology I employed to find a spectrum of opinions was to search for the keyword "Tacitus" at the Library of Congress (http://catalog.loc.gov/) and then study these books and the sources they cited.

 

[68] Book: The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 10: The Augustan Empire, 44 B.C – A.D. 70. Edited by S.A. Cook, F.E. Adcock, M. P. Charlesworth. Cambridge University Press, 1966. First published in 1934.

 

Page 873: "He is by far the most complete and most trustworthy author that we posses for the early Principate [Roman Empire]."

 

[69] Book: The Greater Roman Historians. By M. L. W. Laistner. University of California Press, 1963. Second printing (first published in 1947). Page 129.

 

[70] Book: Tacitus: The Man and His Work. By Clarence W. Mendell. Yale University Press, 1957.

 

Page 220: "[I]nfinite effort has failed to produce evidence of false statements beyond those occasional mistakes which no mere human can hope to escape."

 

[71] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Mellor. Routledge, 1993. Page 40.

 

[72] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Martin. University of California Press, 1981. Page 242.

 

[73] Book: The Complete Works of Tacitus: The Annals, The History, The Life of Cnaeus Julis Agricola, Germany and Its Tribes, A Dialogue on Oratory. Translated by Alfred John Church & William Jackson Brodribb with an Introduction by Moses Hadas. Random House, 1942. Page XXIII.

 

[74] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Syme. Oxford University Press, 1979. First published in 1958. Page 378.

 

[75] Paper: "Tacitus' Historical Methods in the Neronian Books of the 'Annals'." By Mark Morford. Published in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Röemischen Welt (abbreviated as ANRW), Volume 33, Part 2, pages 1582-1627. Walter de Gruyter, 1990. Page 1624.

 

[76] Book: Greek & Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation. By Michael Grant. Routledge, 1995. Page 89. Endnote 17 appears on page 148 and reads: "RMe, P. 38, 85 n. 65, RS/T, Ch. 29 ('The Accuracy of Tacitus')."

 

NOTE: "RMe" stands for R. Mellor, Tacitus, 1993. "RS/T" stands for R. Syme, Tacitus, 1958. The chapter Grants cites in Syme's book contains very little criticism of Tacitus. The overall view is very positive, and page 379 directly states: "Of positive errors, surely not very many." There are some criticisms of Tacitus on the two pages Grant cites in Mellor's book, but they hardly justify a characterization of "many mistakes." Also, as will be shown in a moment, some of this criticism is unjustified.

 

[77] Ancient Work: The Life of Cnaeus Julis Agricola. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published about 98 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church & William Jackson Brodribb. Random House, 1942.

 

Section 12: "The truth is, that the low shadow thrown from the flat extremities of the earth's surface does not raise the darkness to any height, and the night thus fails to reach the sky and the stars."

 

[78] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Syme. Oxford University Press, 1979. First published in 1958. Page 379.

 

[79] Book: Tacitus. By Ronald Mellor. Routledge, 1993. Page 21.

 

Also, page 90 states: "For a man who served as governor of Asia, his knowledge of Jews and Christians was woefully (and unnecessarily) confused."

 

NOTE: Given that Tacitus' only mention of Christianity appears in the passage we just examined, I wrote the author to gain an understanding of his basis for this assertion. He responded that since Tacitus applied the phrase "hatred of the human race" to Christians and it is "so often applied to Jews," we can infer that Tacitus regarded "Christians as a sect of the Jews" and, "by then the clear differences should have been known."

 

Even if the leap of logic inherent is this argument is true, Christianity and Judaism are, in truth, intimately associated. In addition to the fact that Christianity originated in Judea, the entire contents of the Jewish Scriptures are contained in the Christian Bible (see citation 291). Moreover, the New Testament is replete with evidence of a close relationship between Judaism and Christianity. For instance:

 

And [Jesus] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…. (Luke 24:44-5)

 

[80] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Published 104-109 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Random House, 1873. Reprinted in 1942. Section 5.2. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete…. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighboring countries…. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin…. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde…. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer….

 

[81] Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 1. Heinemann, 1926.

 

Section 310: "They also brought letters, whereby the leading men of Jerusalem, at the urgent request of the people, confirmed me in my command at Galilee…."

 

Section 80: "I even declined to accept from those who brought them the tithes which were due to me as a priest."

 

Section 5: "I was born in the year in which Gaius Caesar became Emperor."

 

NOTE: Gaius became emperor in 37 A.D. [Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm]

 

[82] Book: Great Historians from Antiquity to 1800: An International Dictionary‎. Edited by Lucian Boia. Greenwood Press, 1989.

 

Page 297: "Collectively, these works make Josephus the most important Jewish historian of the premodern era. Without him our knowledge of the first century B.C. to first century A.D. period of Jewish history would be extremely poor."

 

[83] Book: Historical Dictionary Of Judaism. By Norman Solomon. Scarecrow Press, 2006. Second edition.

 

Page 204: "Josephus's The Jewish War and The Antiquities of the Jews establish him as the greatest Jewish historian of antiquity; recent research has countered the skepticism with which his claims were once viewed."

 

[84] Book: The Jewish Mind. By Raphael Patai. Wayne State University Press, 1996. First published in 1977.

 

Page 85: "The works of Josephus as historical sources are invaluable. But beyond their purely documentary value, they are great historiography, written with a dramatic force, an artist's eye for detail, an unsparing precision, and a consistency of organization which equal the best of Greek historical writing."

 

[85] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965.

 

Book 20, Section 267 (the closing paragraph of this work): "[U]p to the present day, which belongs the thirteenth year of the reign of Domitian Caesar and the fifty-sixth of my life."

 

NOTE: Josephus was born in 37 A.D. (see citation 81), and Domitian became emperor in 81 A.D.* Hence, Josephus completed The Antiquities in 93/94 A.D.

 

* Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm

 

[86] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965. Book 20, Sections 197-202.

 

[87] Matthew 13:55: "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?"

 

Galatians 1:18-19: "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."

 

Acts 4:6: "And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem."

 

[88] Book: Die Flavius-Josephus-Tradition in Antike und Mittelalter. By Heinz Schreckenberg. Brill, 1972.

 

Pages 68-171 list examples from the 1st through 16th centuries.

 

[89] Book: The Latin Josephus: Introduction and Text. By Franz Blatt. Universitetsforlaget I Aarhus Ejnar Munksgaard, 1958.

 

Pages 25-94 list 171 Latin manuscripts. Of these, 129 encompass the portion of the Antiquities that contains the passage about Jesus and James. Four of these date to the 10th century and one to the 10th or 11th century. These manuscripts are numbered 10, 47, 49, 51, and 3. (The abbreviation "saec." followed by a Roman numeral denotes the century from which the manuscript dates.)

 

[90] Book: Die Flavius-Josephus-Tradition in Antike und Mittelalter. By Heinz Schreckenberg. Brill, 1972.

 

Pages 13-47 list 125 Greek manuscripts. Of these, 11 encompass the portion of the Antiquities that contains the passage about Jesus and James.

 

[91] Book: The Latin Josephus: Introduction and Text. By Franz Blatt. Universitetsforlaget I Aarhus Ejnar Munksgaard, 1958.

 

Pages 25-94 list 171 Latin manuscripts. Of these, 129 encompass the portion of the Antiquities that contains the passage about Jesus and James.

 

[92] In August 2002, I wrote to Louis Feldman, translator of the Antiquities (Books 19 & 20) for the Loeb Classical Library and arguably the leading Josephus scholar of all time. I asked him if there are any notable variations in any of manuscripts with respect to this passage and the text surrounding it (Antiquities 20. 200-203). He wrote, "So far as I can tell, there is only one place where the mss. [manuscripts] differ notably, namely in the spelling of Damnaeus in 203. But you should look at Niese's edition for other places where there are variants." {See next citation for my follow-through on Feldman's suggestion.}

 

[93] Book: Flavii Iosephi Opera: Edidit, Et Apparatu Critico Instruxit. Edited by Benedictus Niese. Volume 4. Weidmannos, 1955. Original volume published 1887—1895.

 

NOTE: This is a critical edition of Josephus's works based upon what Niese considered to be the best 13 manuscripts. Variations in these manuscripts are noted and commented upon. There are no relevant variations for the sentences pertinent to Christianity (Section 200). Special thanks to the scholar who translated and explained the commentaries.

 

[94] In April 2002, I wrote to Gary Goldberg, author of the Flavius Josephus Home Page (http://josephus.org) and asked him if this passage appeared in every existing manuscript. He wrote: "The James passage appears in every manuscript, so far as I know."

 

[95] Work: Against Apion. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93-95 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 1. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/apion-1.htm

 

Section 1: "Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue."

 

[96] Book: The Latin Josephus: Introduction and Text. By Franz Blatt. Universitetsforlaget I Aarhus Ejnar Munksgaard, 1958. Page 17:

 

In his famous text-book, Institutiones (1, 17, 1 p. 55 ed. Mynors) Cassiodorus mentions the translation of Josephus' Antiquities… "I have caused this author to be translated into Latin in twenty-two books [i.e., the twenty books of the Antiquities and the two books of Contra Apion] by my friends at the expense of much labor, as he is a very subtle and many sided writer."

 

NOTE: The fold-out after page 116 shows a family tree of manuscripts.

 

[97] Article: "Cassiodorus, Flavius Magnus Aurelius." Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

Cassiodorus was a Roman official who retired in about 540 A.D. "to devote himself to study and writing."

 

[98] The Perseus Digital Library contains the Greek texts of Josephus' Antiquities and offers the capability to examine the frequency with which specific words appear: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

In our passage of interest (Sections 197-202) there are 11 sentences. Excluding personal names and words such as "the," there are 118 words in the Greek text of these sentences. All appear elsewhere in Josephus except for "leusthêsomenous" (to stone). However, the word "leusthêsomenon," which is the singular form of "leusthêsomenous" appears elsewhere in Josephus's writings. (The Greek edition of this work is from the book: Flavii Iosephi Opera: Edidit, Et Apparatu Critico Instruxit. Edited by Benedictus Niese. Weidmannos, 1887—1895.)

 

[99] Book: Josephus and Modern Scholarship. By Louis H. Feldman. Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1984.

 

Page 705: "As Thackeray has remarked, the language and tone, especially the caustic reference to the heartlessness of the Sadducees (Ant. 20.199), are thoroughly Josephan."

 

[100] Book: Josephus and Modern Scholarship. By Louis H. Feldman. Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1984.

 

Page 705: "Almost all scholars have accepted as authentic Josephus' reference (Ant. 20. 200) to James, 'the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.'"

 

NOTE: Pages 705-707 contain overviews of numerous scholarly opinions on this matter. The bulk of these opinions concur that the passage is authentic, and the few that don't are debunked.

 

[101] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library: Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965. Book 20, Sections 197-202:

 

Upon learning of the death of Festus, Caesar sent Albinus to Judea as procurator. …Ananus thought that he had a favorable opportunity because Festus was dead and Albinus was still on the way. And so he convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned. Those of the inhabitants of the city who were considered the most fair-minded and who were strict in observance of the law were offended at this. They therefore secretly sent to King Agrippa urging him, for Ananus had not even been correct in his first step, in order him to desist from any further such actions. Certain of them even went to meet albinus, who was on his way from Alexandria, and informed him that Ananus had no authority to convene the Sanhedrin without his consent.

 

NOTE: Josephus' usage of the phrase "the city" could only refer to Jerusalem, as he grew up there, lived there, and called it "the greatest city we have."* Further evidence that the execution of James took place in Jerusalem is that the high priest Ananus also lived there.†

 

* Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 1. Heinemann, 1926. Section 198 states that Josephus was "a native of Jerusalem." Sections 7-9:

 

[M]y father Matthias was … among the most notable men in Jerusalem, our greatest city. Brought up with Matthias, my own brother by both parents…. While still a mere boy, about fourteen years old … the chief priests and leading men of the city used constantly to come to me….

 

† Article: "High Priest." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 6. Funk and Wagnalls, 1910. First published in 1904. This article states that the high priest "had one house attached to the Temple [which was located in Jerusalem], and another in the city of Jerusalem."

 

[102] As shown in the passage quoted above, Josephus states that this event took place as Albinus was traveling from Alexandria to Judea to assume the office of procurator. Footnote c in Section 197 of the Antiquities states that Albinus was appointed procurator in about 62 A.D. [Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965.]

 

[103] Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 1. Heinemann, 1926.

 

Section 5: "I was born in the year in which Gaius Caesar became Emperor."

 

Sections 11-12: "[O]n hearing of one named Bannus, who dwelt in the wilderness…. I became his devoted disciple. With him I lived for three years and, having accomplished my purpose, returned to the city. Being now in my nineteenth year…."

 

Section 13: "Soon after I had completed my twenty-sixth year it fell to my lot to go up to Rome…."

 

Section 16: "I returned to my own country."

 

Section 28: "After the defeat of Cestius Florus…."

 

Section 30: "I came into Galilee….

 

NOTE: This work and the quotes cited from it above are arranged chronologically. Josephus was born in the first year of Caius Caesar, which was 37 A.D. He lived in the wilderness for three years and returned to Jerusalem when he was nineteen years old (≈ 56 A.D). He took a trip to Rome when he was 27 (≈ 64 A.D.) and returned home again. Josephus then left Jerusalem for Galilee after Gessius Florus was defeated. Book 20, Section 252 of the Antiquities states that Florus was the procurator after Albinus. Since the execution of James occurred during the tenure of Albinus, and Josephus left Jerusalem after Florus' tenure, we can be sure that Josephus lived in Jerusalem during the time James was executed.

 

[104] Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 1. Heinemann, 1926.

 

Sections 8-9: "While still a mere boy, about fourteen years old … the chief priests and leading men of the city used constantly to come to me…."

 

Section 62: "I wrote to the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem and asked for instructions how I should proceed."

 

Section 194: "Ananus, the high priest, represented the difficulties of the action suggested, in view of the testimonials from many of the chief priests and leaders of the people to my capacity as a general…."

 

Sections 195-196: "[H]e instructed him to send presents to Ananus and his friends, as a likely method of inducing them to change their minds. Indeed Simon eventually achieved his purpose; for as the result of bribery, Ananus and his party agreed to expel me from Galilee…."

 

[105] The evidence laid out in the notes above would lead us to believe that the execution of James took place in about 62 A.D. and the trip to Rome in about 64 A.D. These, however, are estimates, and I have found no further details that enable more specificity. Thus, I allow for the possibility that there was overlap between the trip to Rome and the execution of James.

 

[106] Galatians 1:18-19: "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."

 

Acts 15:2, 4, 13: "[T]hey determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. … . And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders…. And after they had held their peace, James answered…."

 

Acts 21:17-18: "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present."

 

[107] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965. Book 18, Sections 63-64.

 

[108] Article: "Origen." Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

[109] Ancient Work: Contra Celsum. By Origen Adamantius. Published about 250 A.D. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen161.html

 

Book 1, Chapter 47 states that Josephus, "although not believing in Jesus as the Christ…."

 

[110] Ancient Work: Commentary on Matthew. By Origen Adamantius. Published about 250 A.D. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen-matthew.html

 

Book 10, Chapter 17 states that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ."

 

[111] Book: Josephus and Modern Scholarship. By Louis H. Feldman. Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1984. Page 700.

 

[112] Book: Josephus and Modern Scholarship. By Louis H. Feldman. Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1984. Page 684 states that the "notion that the text [of this passage about Jesus] as we have it has a substratum of authentic material seems increasingly confirmed by stylistic studies of it."

 

NOTE: This book surveys and comments upon the opinions of numerous scholars regarding this passage.

 

[113] For example: Book: Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species. By Jeffrey H. Schwartz. John Wiley & Sons, 1999.

 

Page 46: "The Dark Ages would not have existed if the church hadn't squelched all activities except those that were biblically sanctioned and inspired by revelation."

 

NOTE: This is a groundless assertion, as evidenced by the following two notes and the ensuing text of Rational Conclusions.

 

[114] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition. Page 50:

 

It is sometimes asserted that the Church formally imposed a censorship and burnt pagan books as a matter of policy. The policy, if it ever existed as such, took a long time to have its intended effect…. Occasionally there is a report of the burning of pagan books; Jovian in 363-4 is said to have burnt a library assembled at Antioch by his predecessor (Suda, s.v. Iobianos). But this was an isolated case of vindictiveness: such destructive fervor was usually reserved for the works of fellow Christians who had deviated into heresy, and several ceremonial bonfires of unorthodox books are recorded in the fourth and fifth centuries.

 

Page 51: "There is no reliable evidence for censorship."

 

[115] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 555: "There is no reason to believe that the early Christians in the Greek (or eastern) half of the Roman empire set about the systematic destruction of classical pagan literature. Classical literature was the basis of the whole education system for Christians and pagans alike…."

 

Page 556: "In general, Latin-speaking Christians like their Greek counterparts accepted that pagan Latin texts were still essential for education and could be used, but with caution."

 

Page 557:

 

Many Latin works perished when old parchments had their original texts removed by washing and were then reused for religious texts (reused manuscripts are called palimpsests), less from hostility than from complete lack of interest in the classics. … But at the same time, from the late sixth century onwards, classical literature was being saved and propagated by missionaries from Ireland; impelled by a zeal for books and learning they spread across Europe founding monasteries to which they passed on their own enthusiasm…. It was the importation of books in England in great quantity which enabled the biblical scholar and historian Bede (673-735), who had never left Northumbria, to acquire his vast learning.

 

[116] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

The "Chronological Table" on page 607 dates the earliest classical literature to about 700 B.C.

 

[117] Book: The Cambridge History of Classical Literature. Volume 1. Edited by P.E. Easterling and B.M. W. Knox. Cambridge University Press, 1985.

 

Page 714: "[L]ittle of what was written in Greek after the middle of the third century A.D. can be considered 'classical' in any sense of that elastic term, and most of it hardly qualifies as 'literature' at all."

 

[118] This determination was made by comparing maps from the following sources:

 

1) Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937. Map Appendix.

2) Article: "Rome, History Of." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

3) Book: New King James Version Life Application Study Bible. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. [Assorted maps throughout and in the back of this Bible.]

 

[119] Various modern commentators date the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire to as early as the first century A.D. to as late as the third century.

 

[120] Book: The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation. By Arther Ferrill. Thames and Hudson, 1986. Page 12:

 

Although the topic has been popular, and a myriad of reasons has been offered to explain Rome's fall, no consensus has emerged, and historians of the twentieth century have multiplied the varieties of explanations many times over. A recent book in German, almost 700 pages long, lists some 210 factors that have adduced as causes of Rome's fall.

 

[121] These examples are from a dozen different books addressing the topic.

 

[122] Book: The Mind of the Middle Ages. By Frederick B. Artz. Alfred A. Knopf, 1958. Third edition. Pages 179-180:

 

The Barbarian Migrations of the fifth century broke down the Roman political machine in central and western Europe and in North Africa, and the universal rule of Rome was replaced by a multitude of small and weak states. Warring tribes produced a fearsome chaos, and inside each of these weak political units, family carried on blood-feud against family. At the same time the old Roman economy, in the next four centuries, went to pieces; the towns and the Roman roads and bridges slowly sank into ruin. … The writers were full of woe: "every colony is leveled to the ground," wrote Gildas. "The inhabitants are slaughtered, and the flames crackled around. How horrible to behold the tops of towers torn from their lofty hinges, the stones of high walls, holy altars, mutilated corpses, all covered with lurid clots of blood, as if they had been crushed together in some ghastly wine press." ... "For centuries," says Trevelyan, The Roman ruins stood, a useful stone quarry sometimes by day, but at night haunted in the imagination of the peasant by ghosts of the race that his ancestors had destroyed."

 

[123] Book: The Mind of the Middle Ages. By Frederick B. Artz. Alfred A. Knopf, 1958. Third edition. Pages 183-200: "The Transmitters of Classical and Patristic Learning."

 

Pages 444-445 state that during the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, learning was "mostly confined to monasteries."

 

Page 187: "[T]he monks kept learning alive…. Without the monks there would have been very little learning in Latin Christendom down, at least, into the twelfth century."

 

Page 447: "Until the 12th century, the great centers of learning were the monasteries…."

 

[124] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875.

 

Page 59: "But from the third or fourth century downwards, the religious houses were the chief sources of books, and the monks were almost the only copyists."

 

[125] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition. Page 231.

 

NOTE: A review of this book in the journal Classical Bulletin states: "A valuable resource for both graduate student and scholar…. Every student of ancient literature needs to own and read this book."

 

[126] Article: "Charlemagne." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

"Buoyed by his Italian success, he now (775 [A.D.]) embarked on a campaign to conquer and Christianize them. … On Christmas Day, in 800, Charlemagne knelt to pray in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome."

 

NOTE: Charlemagne took actions inconsistent with the Bible such as imposing "baptism by the sword."

 

[127] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition.

 

Pages 81-82: "It was the monastic centres that were destined, often in spite of themselves, to play the major part in both preserving and transmitting what remained of pagan antiquity; a more slender, but at times vital, line of descent can be traced through the schools and libraries which became associated with the great cathedrals."

 

[128] Article: "Romanesque Art and Architecture." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

The Carolingian Renaissance, a term that is used by some historians to designate the revival of arts and classical studies under Charlemagne, left two significant legacies to future ages. One was the vast number of manuscripts copied by Benedictine monks. In these manuscripts are preserved virtually all works of ancient Latin and Early Christian culture that survived the barbarian invasions; nearly all the modern editions of these classical works are still based on these early manuscripts.

 

[129] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 557: "At the end of the eighth century came the new interest in learning that was crucial for the preservation of Latin literature, the Carolingian revival, brought about in Charlemagne's reconstituted Roman empire of western Europe, and centred on the monasteries."

 

[130] Book: The Mind of the Middle Ages. By Frederick B. Artz. Alfred A. Knopf, 1958. Third edition. Pages 194-199, 446.

 

Page 198: "Thanks to the Carolingian Renaissance, many of the Latin classics survived; over ninety per cent of the writings of ancient Rome that have come down to us exist in their oldest form in a Carolingian copy."

 

[131] Book: The Mind of the Middle Ages. By Frederick B. Artz. Alfred A. Knopf, 1958. Third edition.

 

Page 129 states that Byzantium "created a great art and a magnificent engineering," and her

 

services to civilization, in both the east and the west of Europe, were enormous. For centuries she preserved the Greek classics and Roman law until the barbarians from the worlds of Latin Christendom, Islam, and Slavdom were sufficiently civilized to take them over and develop them.

 

Page 95: "For over a thousand years, from the later fourth century to the middle of the fifteenth, the old city of Byzantium, the largest and greatest Christian city, was the center of a brilliant culture."

 

Page 99 states that the Byzantines "thought of themselves as the bearers of a great classical tradition and, more important, as a nation willed by a Christian God, standing together against the onrush of barbarians and infidels."

 

[132] Book: History of Libraries in the Western World. By Michael H. Harris. Scarecrow Press, 1995. Fourth edition.

 

Page 71 states that Greek was the primary language of the Eastern Roman Empire.

 

Pages 76- 77: "Of the Greek classics known today, at least seventy-five percent are known through Byzantine copies."

 

[133] Book: Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity. Edited by Louis H. Feldman and Gohei Hata. Wayne State University Press, 1987. Chapter 19. "Josippon, a Medieval Hebrew Version of Josephus." By David Flusser.

 

Page 386: "Christian churches had preserved, in Greek and Latin, numerous Jewish works, which were composed after the New Testament period and which had been lost to the Jews themselves."

 

[134] Book: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. By L.D. Reynolds & N.G. Wilson. Oxford University Press, 1991. Third edition. Page 234.

 

[135] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937.

 

Page 555: "[I]t is clear from a comparison of later manuscripts with early papyri, some of the latter not much later the Alexandrian scholars themselves, that there was no appreciable corruption during this time and that the quality of surviving texts was hardly impaired."

 

[136] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Page 25:

 

Intentional omissions, interpolations, or alterations, were unquestionably sometimes ventured on by transcribers. But so many are the means we posses for detecting any such willful corruptions—drawn from a comparison of different manuscripts, or from the incongruity of the interpolated passage, that there is perhaps, altogether, more probability that, from some accidental peculiarity of style, genuine passages of ancient authors should fall under suspicion, than that any actually spurious portions should entirely escape suspicion and detection.

 

Pages 36-37: "[T]he difficulty of avoiding every phrase of later origin, and all modern senses of those words which are continually passing from a literal to a metaphorical meaning, is so great, as to leave the chances of escaping detection extremely small.

 

[137] For a prime example, consider the book: Phlegon of Tralles' Book of Marvels. By William Hansen. University of Exeter Press, 1996.

 

Page 15: "Unfortunately, the initial pages of the Book of Marvels are lost…. [I]t is uncertain how much of Phlegon's work is missing…."

 

Page 17: "In addition to his Book of Marvels Phlegon authored several other works, including, A Description of Sicily, The Festivals of the Romans, A Topography of Rome, Long-Lived Persons, and Olympiads…. From their titles it appears they were all compilations of one sort or another… All of these works however are lost except for the essay entitled Long-Lived Persons and some fragments of Olympiads."

 

NOTE: Even though most of Phlegon's works are lost, there is evidence Phlegon did write about Jesus, which is, of course, discounted by skeptics because the evidence comes from the Christian writer Origen: "Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events (although falling into confusion about some things which refer to Peter, as if they referred to Jesus), but also testified that the result corresponded to His predictions." [Ancient Work: Against Celsus. Published about 248 A.D. Book 2, Chapter 14. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.vi.ix.ii.xiv.html]

 

[138] Article: "Refuting Remsberg's List." By James Patrick Holding. Accessed November 2006 at http://www.tektonics.org/qt/remslist.html

 

[139] Book: The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence. By John E. Remsberg. Prometheus Book, 1994. Originally published in 1909 by The Truth Seeker Company. Chapter 2. http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/rmsbrg02.htm

 

[140] Ancient Work: On Providence (Fragment II). By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge. Bohn, 1854-1855.

 

The Preface (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/preface.html) states: "On one occasion he mentions having visited Jerusalem…."

 

Section 64 (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book39.html): "There is a city of Syria, on the sea shore, Ascalon by name: when I was there, at the time when I was on my journey towards the temple of my native land for the purpose of offering up prayers and sacrifices therein…."

 

[141] Ancient Work: On Providence (Fragment II). By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge. Bohn, 1854-1855.

 

The Preface (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/preface.html) states: "His chief residence was at Alexandria…."

 

[142] Article: "Philo, Alexandrian and Jew." By David T. Runia. Located in the book, Exegesis and Philosophy: Studies on Philo of Alexandria. Variorum, 1990. http://www.torreys.org/bible/philoalexjart.html

 

This article states that Philo "lived his entire life" in Alexandria.

 

[143] Using a computerized map, I found it is about 314 miles (as the crow flies) between Alexandria and Jerusalem. To traverse this shortest route would require traveling by land and sea.

 

[144] In his work, The Embassy to Gaius, Philo writes about visiting Rome in about 39-40 A.D.* In Section 1 of this work, Philo writes he is "aged" and "grey." Based upon this, estimates for his birth have been made ranging from 20 to 13 B.C. As far as the date of Philo's death, all we know for certain is that it was after he wrote this work. Therefore, we can place Philo's adult life from no later than 5 A.D. to no earlier than 40 A.D.

 

* Ancient Work: The Embassy to Gaius. By Philo Judaeus. Translated and introduced by F.H. Colson. Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 10. Harvard University Press, 1962. Page xxvii: "Did this Embassy, of which we are only told that it set out in mid-winter, arrive in Italy in A.D. 39 or 40?"

 

[145] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965.

 

Book 18. Section 26: "Quirinius stripped him of his dignity and installed Ananus the son of Seth as high priest." [Note "e" dates his tenure from 6 to 15 A.D.]

 

Section 33: "Gratus deposed Ananus from his sacred office, and proclaimed Ishmaël, the son of Phabi, high priest." [Note "f" dates his tenure from 15-16 A.D.]

 

Section 34: "Not long afterwards he removed him also and appointed in his stead Eleazar, the son of the high priest Ananus." [Note "g" dates his tenure from 16-17 A.D.]

 

Section 34: "A year later he deposed him also and entrusted the office of high priest to Simon, the son of Camith." [Note "h" dates his tenure from 17-18 A.D.]

 

Section 35: "The last mentioned held this position for not more than a year and was succeeded by Joseph, who was called Caiaphas." [Note "a" dates his tenure from 18-36 A.D.]

 

Section 95: After [Vitellius] had bestowed these benefits upon the nation, he removed from his sacred office the high priest Joseph surnamed Caiaphas, and appointed in his stead Jonathan, son of Ananus the high priest."

 

Sections 123-124: "[Vitellius] spent three days there, during which he deposed Jonathan from his office as high priest and conferred it on Jonathan's brother Theophilus. On the fourth day, when he received a letter notifying him of the death of Tiberius…." [Note "a" states Tiberius died on March 15, 37 A.D.]

 

Section 297: "Having thus fully discharged his service to God, Agrippa removed Theophilus son of Ananus from the high priesthood and bestowed his high office on Simon son of Boethus, surnamed Cantheras."

 

Note c: "It appears from Josephus that Simon Cantheras was not appointed priest until shortly after Gaius' death…." {This was in 41 A.D. [Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm]}

 

[146] Luke 3:2: "Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests…."

 

[147] Article: "Annas." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 1. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901.

 

Pages 610-611: "Annas was the head of a family which produced five high priests … These were Eleazar, Jonathan, Theophilus, Anan, and Matthias. … The Anan family … is referred to in the Talmud (Pes. 57a) as having influence, but using it against the interests of the people."

 

[148] I triple-checked this by performing detailed searches of the following sources:

 

a) Book: Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 10. Harvard University Press, 1962. This volume contains Philo's work The Embassy to Gaius [translated by F.H. Colson] and general indexes for all of Philo's works. I searched the "Index of Names" and "Index to Notes" for the following variant name spellings: Ananus, Annas, Ananias, Anan, Ismael, Ishmael, Ishmaël; Fabus, Phabi, Eleazar, Simon, Simeon, Camithus, Camith, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Theophilus, Simon, Simeon, Cantheras. In places where the names appeared, the texts make it clear that these are not the people we are concerned with.

 

b) The Works of Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge. This is a complete collection of Philo's writings on CD (purchased at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/). I performed the same search as described in the note above.

 

c) Jewish Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1901-1906. http://jewishencyclopedia.com/

I found articles for five of the seven high priests we are concerned with: Annas, Ishmael, Eleazar, Caiaphas, Jonathan, and Theophilus. All of these articles cite ancient sources of knowledge for these people, none of which include Philo.

 

[149] Article: "High Priest." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 6. Funk and Wagnalls, 1910. First published in 1904.

 

The distinguished rank of the high priest is apparent from the fact that his sins are regarded as belonging also to the people…. On the Day of Atonement he alone entered the Holy of Holies, to make atonement for his house and for the people…. He alone could offer the sacrifices for the sins of the priests, or of the people, or of himself…. Josephus … contends that the high priest almost invariably participated in the ceremonies on the Sabbath, the New Moon, and the festivals.

 

[150] Article: "Philo, Alexandrian and Jew." By David T. Runia. Located in the book, Exegesis and Philosophy: Studies on Philo of Alexandria. Variorum, 1990.

http://www.torreys.org/bible/philoalexjart.html

 

Pages 14-15:

 

The Jews themselves decided Philo was not for them. … It was not really until the 19th century that Jews began to rediscover their long-forgotten compatriot. But exegetical activities in Alexandria did not die out. They were continued in a slightly revised form by a different group of people, the early Christians. By the end of the 2nd century a catechetical school had been established by the Alexandrian church, and it was here, in all likelihood, that the writings of Philo were saved from oblivion. Church Fathers such as Clement, Origen, and later Eusebius, Didymus the Blind and Ambrose, came to regard Philo as a 'brother in the faith', and did not hesitate to take over a great number of ideas and themes from his writings. Origen took copies of nearly all Philo's writings with him when he moved from Alexandria to Caesarea in Palestine in 233 A.D. In his Church History Eusebius gives a catalogue of the Philonic writings present in the Episcopal Library of Caesarea (2.18). It is certainly no coincidence that these writings are almost exactly those which we still possess.

 

[151] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Page 120:

 

Nothing can be more fallacious than an inference drawn from the silence of historians relative to particular facts. For a full, comprehensive, and, if the phrase may be used, a business-like method of writing history, in which nothing important—nothing which a well-informed reader will look for, must be omitted, is the process of modern improvements in thinking and writing.

 

[152] John 12:12: "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem…" {From here, the narrative leads up to the crucifixion.}

 

John 19:19-20: "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin."

 

[153] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 6, Section 7: "[H]is name was Agrippa…. [H]e was by nation a Jew, and one of the principal men of that nation…."

 

Chapter 6, Section 10: "Agrippa's freed-man, as soon as he heard of Tiberius's death, came running to tell Agrippa the news; and finding him going out to the bath, he gave him a nod, and said, in the Hebrew tongue, 'The lion is dead.'" {The timeframe for this passage is set by the death of Tiberius, which was in 37 A.D. (see citation 196)}

 

[154] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 5. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-5.htm

 

Chapter 5, Sections 1-2:

 

NOW this temple [in Jerusalem], as I have already said, was built upon a strong hill. …

 

When you go through these [first] cloisters, unto the second [court of the] temple, there was a partition made of stone all round, whose height was three cubits: its construction was very elegant; upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that "no foreigner should go within that sanctuary"….

 

NOTE: The timeframe for this passage is during the reign of Titus (79-81 A.D.*) as evidenced by many references to Titus in the surrounding text such as this one in Chapter 4, Section 3: "[T]here Titus pitched his own tent…."

 

* Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm

 

[155] Article: "Latin Language." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

This article states that Latin was the "language of ancient Rome."

 

[156] Acts 18:2

 

[157] Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm

 

Claudius reigned from 41-54 A.D.

 

[158] Ancient Work: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by Alexander Thomson. Worthington, 1883. The Life of Claudius, Section 25.

 

[159] Article: "Suetonius." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

This article states that Suetonius was a secretary to the emperor Hadrian and was born in about 69 A.D.

 

[160] Luke 1:36 and 1:57-60 note that John was Jesus' cousin.

 

Matthew 14:1-10 explain the circumstances regarding Herod and John.

 

[161] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 5, Section 2: "Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him…."

 

[162] Acts 23:24 mentions "Felix the governor."

 

Acts 24:24 mentions Felix and "his wife Drusilla."

 

NOTE: Although Felix is not explicitly referred to as the governor of "Judea," the fact that he was is clearly implied by the context and setting of the events described in these chapters.

 

[163] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 12.54. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

"Not equally moderate was his brother, surnamed Felix, who had for some time been governor of Judaea…."

 

[164] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Published 104-109 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Random House, 1873. Reprinted in 1942. Section 5.9. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

The kings were either dead, or reduced to insignificance, when Claudius entrusted the province of Judaea to the Roman Knights or to his own freedmen, one of whom, Antonius Felix, indulging in every kind of barbarity and lust, exercised the power of a king in the spirit of a slave. He had married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, and so was the grandson-in-law, as Claudius was the grandson, of Antony.

 

[165] Matthew 22:23: "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection…."

 

Acts 23:8: "For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit…."

 

[166] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 18, Chapter 1, Section 4. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

[167] To the best of my knowledge, the discrepancies between these headlines were first noted by the Media Research Center at http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2003/cyb20030225.asp#7

 

[168] To the best of my knowledge, the discrepancies between these headlines were first noted by The Wall Street Journal (http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110009470) in James Taranto's "Best of the Web Today" column (January 2, 2007). The following quotes from these two articles make clear that both writers were reporting on the same poll:

 

"The AP-AOL News poll of 1,000 adults was conducted by telephone from Dec. 12-14 by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company."

 

"The telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Dec. 12-14 by Ipsos, an international polling firm."

 

[169] Article: "AP poll: Americans optimistic for 2007." By Nancy Benac. Associated Press, December 30th, 2006, 7:22 PM ET. http://news.yahoo.com/

 

[170] Article: "Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007." By Darlene Superville. Associated Press, December 31, 2006, 7:12 AM ET. http://news.yahoo.com/

 

[171] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875.

 

[172] Matthew 27:2: "And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor."

 

[173] The Books of Matthew (Chapter 27), Mark (Chapter 15), Luke (Chapter 23), and John (Chapter 19) all state that Jesus was executed on a Preparation Day. For example, Mark 15:42: "[I]t was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath…."

 

To understand what is meant by the term "Preparation Day," one must first understand what is meant by the term "Sabbath." The Sabbath (Saturday) is a holy day of rest in the Jewish faith.* Those who strictly observe this day prepare meals for it on the day beforehand because work (such as cooking) is forbidden on the Sabbath.† For this reason, the day before the Sabbath is called "Preparation Day." Since the Jewish Sabbath takes place on Saturday, Preparation Day takes place on Friday.‡

 

The term "Preparation Day," however, can refer to days other than a Friday; specifically to the day before any Holy Day in which work is forbidden.‡ Hence, some assert that the Preparation Day mentioned in the Biblical accounts of the crucifixion does not refer to a Friday, but to the day prior to the Passover feast, which could have fallen on any day of the week. This claim, however, cannot be accurate because the Books of Matthew, Mark and Luke all state that the Passover took place before the crucifixion.§ Therefore, the "Preparation Day" mentioned in these books could not possibly have been the Preparation Day for the Passover feast because the Passover feast had already taken place.

 

As an aside, advocates of the view that Jesus was not executed on a Friday often point to Matthew 12:40, which states that Jesus would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." This is addressed in Chapter 4.

 

* Leviticus 23:3: "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings."

 

† Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 2.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-2.htm

 

Chapter 8, Section 9: "Moreover, [the Essenes] are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon."

 

‡ Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508. Page 502:

 

[T]he seventh day [is] called "Shabbat" (Rest) or "Yom ha-Shabbat" (Day of Rest). … Friday, as the forerunner of Shabbat, is called "Ereb Shabbat" (The Eve of the Sabbath). …

 

[Also,] the day is called "Yoma da-'Arubta" (Day of Preparation). …

 

The same terms are also applied to the days preceding and following any of the festivals….

 

§ Mark 14:12, 16-18, 15:1, 24, 42-45:

 

And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover…. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat…. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate…. And when they had crucified him…. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

 

Matthew 26:17-21, 27:1-2, 35, 57-62

 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat…. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor…. And they crucified him…. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate….

 

Luke 22:7, 13-15, 66, 23:33, 50-54:

 

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed…. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council…. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him…. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

 

[174] John 4:9: "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto [Jesus], How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."

 

John 4:22 [Jesus speaking]: "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews."

 

Matthew 1:1 states that Jesus is a descendant of Abraham and David; both of whom are very important people in the Hebrew Scriptures.

 

[175] The time spent in Egypt is discussed in Matthew 2:14-23. The Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use the word "Israel" a total of 30 times and also mention these specific places in the land of Israel: Galilee (61 times), Judaea (26), Jerusalem (61 ), and Samaria (6).

 

[176] Exodus 12:2-6, 8, 14:

 

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

 

Numbers 28:16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD."

 

Leviticus 23:5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover."

 

[177] Esther 3:7: "In the first month, that is, the month Nisan…."

 

[178] The Bible also uses the word "Abib" in reference to the first month of the year. For example, Deuteronomy 16:1: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." According to the Jewish Encyclopedia,* the word "Abib" means "ears" and is a reference to the ripening of ears of corn, which occurs in the spring. The name "Nisan" was adopted by the Jews from the Babylonians.

 

* Article: "Abib." Volume 1. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901. Page 57.

 

[179] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 3. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

Chapter 10, Section 5:

 

In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover….

 

[180] Ancient Work: Moses. By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by F.H. Colson in the book: Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 6. Harvard University Press, 1966. First printed in 1935. Book 2, Chapter 41.

 

Page 561: "In this month, about the fourteenth day, when the disc of the moon is becoming full, is held the commemoration of the crossing, a public festival called in Hebrew Pasch…."

 

[181] Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508. Page 501:

 

The Jewish calendar reckons the days from evening to evening, in accordance with the order observed in the Biblical account of the Creation…. With nightfall the day, the period of twenty-four hours ends and a new one commences. …

 

[In the modern Jewish calendar, n]ightfall, as the border line between two consecutive days, is the moment when three stars of the second magnitude become visible…."

 

[182] Article: "Day." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 4. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1905.

 

Page 475 notes that the practice of beginning a new calendar day when evening begins is in keeping with the Book of Genesis: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. … And the evening and the morning were the second day." (Genesis 1:5, 8)

 

[183] Leviticus 23:32: "[F]rom even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath."

 

[184] Exodus 12:2-6, 8, 14:

 

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

 

[185] Article: "Passover." By Emil G. Hirsch. Jewish Encyclopedia, Funk & Wagnalls, 1901-1906. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=98&letter=P

 

Kept until the fourteenth day, this lamb was killed "at eve" ("at the going down of the sun"; Deut. xvi. 6)….

 

The Passover lamb was killed, in the time of the Second Temple, in the court where all other [holy things] were slaughtered…. The time "between the two evenings" ("ben ha-'arbayim") was construed to mean "after noon and until nightfall"….  

 

[186] Ancient Work: Babylonian Talmud. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Pesachim. Edited by Hersh Goldwurm. Volume 9. Mesorah Publications, 2005. Page 2a1.

 

Editorial note 1: "In the Jewish calendar the new day begins at night. Thus, the fourteenth of Nissan begins at night and extends through the entire next period of daylight until nightfall of the fifteenth, the start of the [Passover] holiday."

 

[187] The writings of Josephus show that the Passover feast took place on the 15th of Nisan during the first century A.D.. This is evident from the fact that the Hebrew scriptures explicitly state that the festival of unleavened bread takes place on the 15th,* and Josephus wrote that "the feast of unleavened bread" and Passover were one and the same.†

 

NOTES:

* Numbers 28:16-17: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten."

 

Leviticus 23:5-6: "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread."

 

† Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 2, Section 2: "As the Jews were celebrating the feast of unleavened bread, which we call the Passover, it was customary for the priests to open the temple-gates just after midnight."

 

[188] To summarize and comment on the four citations above, Exodus 12 explicitly states that the Passover lambs must be slain on the 14th in the evening. Using the Jewish calendar, this leaves two options for interpretation: The word "evening" applies to the start of the 14th (nightfall into the post-sunset hours) or to the end of the 14th (from the pre-sunset hours until nightfall).

 

Deuteronomy 16:6 states that the lambs must be sacrificed "at even, at the going down of the sun." At the time of Jesus (while the Temple in Jerusalem still stood), thousands of lambs were sacrificed every Passover in this Temple – a process that undoubtedly took hours.* This seems to demand the latter construal, unless the passage is interpreted so that the slaying of the lambs can begin at the moment of nightfall and continue afterwards. Thus, "at the going down of the sun" was construed, "as the sun was going down."

 

This also relates to Numbers 9:4, which states that the lambs must be slaughtered "at evening," or literally "between the two evenings." As shown in citation 185, the rabbis interpreted this to mean "after noon and until nightfall," which is the period in which the sun is literally going down.

 

All of the above accords with writings of Josephus, who details Passover practices during the first century A.D.

 

NOTES:

* Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published in about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 6. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-6.htm

Chapter 9, Section 3: "So these high priests, upon the coming of that feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh {probably from about 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 or 5:00 P.M.† ‡} … found the number of sacrifices was two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred…."

 

† Book: Manual of Classical Literature. From the German of John J. Eschenburg with additions by N.W. Fiske. Fourth Edition. Biddle, 1850. First published in 1836. Page 60:

 

It is sometimes stated, that the first vigil and first hour of the day commenced at what we call 6 o'clock A.M. … This statement may be sufficiently accurate in general; but it must be remembered, that the Roman hours and watches were of unequal length; the first hour of the day began with sunrise, and the twelfth ended at sunset; and the first hour of the night began at sunset, and the twelfth ended at sunrise. Of course, the hours of the day in summer were longer than those of the night, and in the winter they were shorter. … Different devices have been employed for marking and making known these parts of the day. The sun-dial was used by the Babylonians and Jews; and by the latter, watchmen were maintained to announce the time.

 

‡ Ancient Work: On Dreams, That They are God-Sent. By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge. Bohn, 1854-1855. Chapter 39:

 

And the expression "from," has a double sense. One, that by which the starting point from which it begins is included; the other that by which it is excluded. For when we say that from morning to evening there are twelve hours, or from the new moon to the end of the month there are thirty days, we are including in our enumeration both the first hour and the day of the new moon.

 

[189] John 19:14, 17-18, 31:

 

And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour…. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him…. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

[190] Mark 14:12, 16-18, 15:1, 24:

 

And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover…. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat…. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate…. And when they had crucified him….

 

Matthew 26:17-21, 27:1-2, 35:

 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat…. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor…. And they crucified him….

 

Luke 22:7, 13-15, 66, 23:33:

 

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed…. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council…. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him….

 

[191] Luke 3:1-2, 21: "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar … the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. … Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized…."

 

[192] John 1:32: "And John [the Baptist] bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon [Jesus]." The three other Gospels, Mark (1:9-10), Luke (3:21-22), and Matthew (3:16), all refer to this event as occurring when Jesus was baptized. For example, Mark 1:9-10: "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him."

 

After this event, the Book of John mentions three separate Passovers including the one on which Jesus was crucified:

 

John 2:23: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover…."

 

John 6:4: "And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

 

John 11:1: "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany…."

 

[193] Ancient Work: De Vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Caesars). By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

In the book about Augustus, Section 100 states that he died "in the consulship of two Sextuses, Pompeius and Appuleius, on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of September (August 19, 14 A.D.) at the ninth hour, just thirty-five days before his seventy-sixth birthday."

 

[194] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 2. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-2.htm

 

Chapter 9, Section 1: "[T]he Roman empire was translated to Tiberius, the son of Julia, upon the death of Augustus, who had reigned fifty-seven years, six months, and two days…."

 

[195] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 4, Section 2: "So Vitellius … ordered Pilate to go to Rome, to answer before the emperor to the accusations of the Jews. So Pilate, when he had tarried ten years in Judea, made haste to Rome, and this in obedience to the orders of Vitellius, which he durst not contradict; but before he could get to Rome Tiberius was dead."

 

[196] Ancient Work: De Vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Caesars). By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

In the book about Tiberius, Section 73 states that he died "in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the twenty-third of his reign, on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of April, in the consulship of Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus and Gaius Pontius Nigrinus (March 16, 37 A.D.)."

 

[197] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/works.html

 

Book 13, Chapter 5, Section 9: "[T]he Pharisees … have so great a power over the multitude, that when they say any thing against the king, or against the high priest, they are presently believed." {This appears in the narrative covering the middle of the first century B.C.}

 

Book 13, Chapter 10, Section 6: "[T]he Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side." {Appears in the narrative covering the middle of the first century B.C.}

 

Book 18, Chapter 1, Section 4: "[T]he Sadducees … are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them." {Appears in the narrative around the beginning of the first century A.D.}

 

[198] Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/autobiog.htm

 

In Chapter 2, Josephus writes that he conducted himself "according to the rules" of the Pharisees.

 

[199] Ancient Work: Life of Flavius Josephus. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 100 A.D. Translated by H. St. J. Thackeray. Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, Volume 1. Heinemann, 1926.

 

Section 38: "Simon, the son of Gamaliel … was of the city of Jerusalem, and of a very noble family of the sect of the Pharisees…."

 

NOTE: This is corroborated by the Bible (Acts 5:34), which states: "Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people…."

 

[200] Articles: "Gamaliel,"  "Gamaliel I," "Simeon (Ben Gamaliel I)," "Gamaliel II," "Simeon II (Ben Gamaliel II)." Jewish Encyclopedia. Funk & Wagnalls.

Volume 5, 1912. Pages 558-562. AND Volume 11, 1905. Pages 347-348.

 

The article on Gamaliel I (page 559) states it is "a fact beyond all dispute that in the second third of the first century Gamaliel … occupied a leading position in the highest court, the great council of Jerusalem…."

 

NOTE: Other than the article entitled "Gamaliel," which is a general entry for the name, these articles are cited in chronological order from the eldest Gamaliel to the youngest. The confusion regarding their names is lessened when one understands that "Ben" means "son of," and the custom was to give the name of your father to your first-born son. [Article: "Gamaliel." Page 558: "Perhaps Hillel's father was called 'Gamaliel,' in which case the usual custom would have required the giving of this name to Hillel's first-born son."]

 

[201] Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933.

 

Rosh Hashanah 1.3-3.1 (pages 188-191) contain detailed rules and procedures associated with this practice of beginning each month when the crescent of the new moon became visible. (For example, see citation 210.) We can ascertain the Pharisees used this system by the fact that this section cites a leading Pharisee, "Gamaliel the Elder" (see citations 199-200) as an authority for one of these rules (2.5). Furthermore, generally speaking, the doctrines that appear in the Mishnah were followed by the Pharisees (see Details on Frequently Cited Sources).

 

[202] Article: "Moon." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

This article notes that the exact length of a lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds.

 

[203] CALCULATION: 12 months × (29 days + (12 hours + (44 min/60 min/hour))/24 hours/day) = 354.37 days

 

[204] Article: "Year." Contributor: James Jespersen (M.S., Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology). World Book Encyclopedia, 2007 Deluxe Edition.

 

The solar, equinoctial, or tropical year is the time between two passages of the sun through the March equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, this equinox is called the vernal equinox. This year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds long. This year is used for all practical and astronomical purposes. It is the basis of our common or calendar year.

 

[205] Ancient Work: Tosefta. Compiled by Jewish scholars around 400 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Fourth Division: "Neziqin." Translated by Jacob Neusner. KTAV Publishing House, 1981.

 

Sanhedrin 2.6 states that Gamaliel dictated the following letter on the steps to the Temple: "We inform you that the pigeons are still tender, the lambs are thin, and the spring-tide has not yet come. So it is proper in my view and in the view of my colleagues, and we have added thirty days to this year."

 

NOTES:

This reference does not state which Gamaliel dictated this letter, but the fact that he did it on the steps to the Temple (which was destroyed in 70 A.D.) shows this can only be Gamaliel the Elder. Furthermore, the article on "Gamaliel I" in the Jewish Encyclopedia* specifically states that this passage refers to the elder Gamaliel. There are numerous other references in ancient Jewish writings concerning the addition of an extra month in certain years. This particular one was chosen because it is attributed to Gamaliel the elder, a Pharisee who lived in the same era as Jesus (see citations 199-200). The practice is referred to as "intercalation," and it still used in the modern Jewish calendar.†

 

* Article: "Gamaliel I." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 5. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1904. Pages 558-560.

 

† Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508.

 

[206] Ancient Work: Babylonian Talmud. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Pesachim. Edited by Hersh Goldwurm. Volume 9. Mesorah Publications, 2005. Page 2b3.

 

Editorial note 28: "Each month in the Jewish calendar can be either twenty-nine or thirty days long." {This modern statement summarizes what is proven with primary sources in the note below.}

 

[207] Ancient Work: Talmud of the Land of Israel. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Sanhedrin. Translated by Jacob Neusner. University of Chicago Press, 1984.

 

Sanhedrin 1.2, IX.C (pages 37-38): "[So if one has sanctified the new month] prior to its proper time, on the twenty-ninth day, or after its intercalation, on the thirty-second day of the month, [it is not sanctified]."

 

EXPLANATION: If the new month was sanctified on the 29th day of the previous month or earlier, the previous month would have 28 days or less, and hence the sanctification would not be legitimate. If the sanctification was done on the 32nd day of the previous month or later, the previous month would have 31 days or more, and hence the sanctification would not be legitimate.

 

NOTE: The passage above is cited because it is the most explicit of the ancient passages I am aware of that describes this practice. It is not attributed to anyone, but we can ascertain it was the practice of the Pharisees based upon the following passage from the Babylonian Talmud,* which is attributed to a Pharisee and says basically the same thing but requires some background to comprehend:

 

Our Rabbis taught: Once the heavens were covered with clouds and the likeness of the moon was seen on the twenty-ninth of the month. The public were minded to declare New Moon, and the [Court] wanted to sanctify it, but Rabban Gamaliel said to them: I have it on the authority of the house of my father's father that the renewal of the moon takes place after not less than 29 days and a half and two-thirds of an hour and seventy three halakin.7 On that day the mother of Ben Zaza died, and Rabban Gamaliel made a great funeral ovation over her, not because she had merited it, but so that the public should know that the [Court] had not sanctified the month.8

 

7 Literally, 'parts' (sections of one hour), i.e., (73/1080) X 60 minutes = 4 minutes and 3 & 1/3 seconds. The new moon, therefore, could not be seen on the twenty-ninth day.

8 As the funeral oration would not be delivered on New Moon, which was regarded as a holy day.

 

Summarizing the above, sometime around 100 A.D. on a cloudy day that happened to be the 29th day of a month, some people said they saw the new moon. If this were true, the new month would have started that day, which means the previous month would have been only 28 days long. Rabban Gamaliel, the son and grandson of two prominent Pharisees,† said this was impossible because his father's father [Gamaliel I] had taught him that it takes the moon 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3.3 seconds to complete a cycle. (Note that this figure is within half a second of our modern calculation of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds.) Then, to underscore that the new month had not begun, Gamaliel made a public show of conducting a funeral because it was forbidden to have funerals on the first day of the month. This incident shows that the Pharisees knew exactly how long a lunar cycle took and demanded the length of all months remained consistent with it. Hence, a month could only be 29 or 30 days.

 

* Ancient Work: Babylonian Talmud. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Rosh Hashanah. Translated by Maurice Simon. Traditional Press, 1983. Rosh Hashanah 25a.

 

† According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the Rabban Gamaliel cited in the passage above made the statement in about 100 A.D.‡ This must therefore be Gamaliel II.§ See citations 199-200 for documentation that Gamaliel II's father and grandfather were prominent Pharisees.

 

‡ Article: "Calendar." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Volume 5. Keter Publishing, 1971. Page 49.

 

§ Article: "Gamaliel II." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 5. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1904. Pages 560-562. Page 560 states he was "the recognized head of the Jews in Palestine during the last two decades of the first and at the beginning of the second century."

 

[208] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 4. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-4.htm

 

Chapter 9, Section 12: "[O]ne of the priests … gave a signal … with a trumpet at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to leave off work, and when they were to go to work again."

 

EXPLANATION: The "seventh day" is Saturday – the Jewish day of rest or "Sabbath" – on which it is forbidden to work. Here, Josephus states that this day of rest began and ended "in the evening twilight." This is also the case in the modern Jewish calendar. [Article: "Day." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 4. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1905. Page 475.] We can ascertain the Pharisees observed this practice by the fact that Josephus was a Pharisee (see citation 198).

 

[209] Correspondence from Dr. Roy Hoffman, March 23, 2003. Dr. Hoffman is the chairman of the Israeli New Moon Society (http://sites.google.com/site/moonsoc/). He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Birkbeck College in London and is employed by the Department of Organic Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Hoffman writes: "The New Moon is only seen in the evening…. It is too faint to seen until it starts to get dark." Dr. Hoffman has created software called LunaCal that calculates the time of sunset and the timeframe the moon is visible on any given date. Generally speaking, new moons are visible during the interval between when the sun sets and the moon sets. This period lasts for about an hour or so.

 

[210] Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933. Rosh Hashanah 1.3-3.1:

 

[F]or a journey enduring a night and a day they may… go forth to bear witness about the new moon…. (1.9) There was a large courtyard in Jerusalem … where all of the witnesses assembled, and the court examined them. (2.5) … If their words are found to agree their evidence holds good. (2.6) … The chief of the court says, 'It is hallowed! and all the people answer after him, 'It is hallowed! it is hallowed!' (2.7) … If the court itself and all Israel had seen the new moon and the witnesses had been examined, yet night fell before they could proclaim 'It is hallowed!' then it is an intercalated month. (3.1)

 

EXPLANATION: People who saw the new moon would assemble at a courtyard in Jerusalem, sometimes traveling all through the night and day to get there. Here, they were examined by a court to insure that they were telling the truth. If their testimony held up, the chief of the court "hallowed" that day because the first day of the month was considered a holy day. If this was not done before nightfall, then the day afterwards would automatically be the first day of the month. An "intercalated" month is a 30-day month.*

 

The timeframes associated with this system disallow the possibility that the waning day was the first day of the month. It was either the waxing day, or if the court didn't hallow that day before nightfall, it was the day afterwards. The possibility that it was the day afterwards will be accounted for when we consider that clouds may have obstructed the new moon. We can ascertain the Pharisees used this system by the following three facts:

 

1) This section cites "Gamaliel the Elder," a famous Pharisee (as shown in citations 199-200), as an authority for one of the rules associated with this system (2.5).

2) This section cites Gamaliel II as an authority for two of the rules associated with this system (1.6, 2.8). It is unknown whether or not Gamaliel II was a Pharisee, but it is known that his grandfather and father were Pharisees (see citations 199-200).

3) Generally speaking, the doctrines that appear in the Mishnah were followed by the Pharisees (see Details on Frequently Cited Sources).

 

* Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508.

 

Page 502 states that months "contain either 29 or 30 days…."

 

Page 503 states that the "intercalation of a day in a month" makes it "thirty days."

 

[211] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 5. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover…."

 

NOTE: We can ascertain the Pharisees observed this practice by the fact that Josephus was a Pharisee (see citation 198).

 

[212] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 5. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month [Nisan], they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. And while they suppose it proper to honor God, from whom they obtain this plentiful provision, in the first place, they offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the manner following: They take a handful of the ears, and dry them, then beat them small, and purge the barley from the bran; they then bring one tenth deal to the altar, to God; and, casting one handful of it upon the fire, they leave the rest for the use of the priest. And after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.

 

[213] The Bible in Leviticus 23:10-14 (and other passages) requires this ceremony to be performed. However, the laws associated with this ceremony and timing of it were a subject of dispute among various Jewish sects of the first century A.D. (more about this in Chapter 4). This ceremony is referred to as the "Omer," which is Hebrew for "Sheaf."*

 

* Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933. Appendix I (page 795) defines Omer: "Literally 'sheaf'… Before the new harvest could be reaped, a sheaf of barley must first be reaped and the flour offered … in the Temple. … Only after it had been offered was the produce of the new harvest permitted for common use."

 

[214] Luke 3:1-3:

 

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

 

[215] Luke 3:1-2, 7, 21: "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar … the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. … Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him…. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized…."

 

Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17

 

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. …

 

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

[216] Ancient Work: De Vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Caesars). By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

In the book about Augustus, Section 100 states he died "in the consulship of two Sextuses, Pompeius and Appuleius, on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of September (August 19, 14 A.D.) at the ninth hour, just thirty-five days before his seventy-sixth birthday."

 

[217] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 2. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-2.htm

 

Chapter 9, Section 5 states that Tiberius died "after he had reigned twenty-two years, six months, and three days."

 

NOTE: If we subtract 22 years, 6 months, and 2 days from March 16, 37 A.D., we arrive at or around September 14, 14 A.D. This date may not be exact depending upon the type of calendar Josephus used, but it certainly puts us in the ballpark.

 

[218] Ancient Work: De Vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Caesars). By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

In the book about Tiberius, Section 73 states that he died "in the twenty-third [year] of his reign, on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of April, in the consulship of Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus and Gaius Pontius Nigrinus (March 16, 37 A.D.)."

 

NOTE: If he died in the year 37 in the 23rd year of his reign, his reign must have begun sometime in or around the year 14.

 

[219] Article: "The Evidence of Astronomy and Technical Chronology for the Date of the Crucifixion." By J.K. Fotheringham. Journal of Theological Studies, Volume 35, 1934.

 

Pages 146-162 give this matter a very thorough treatment and finish with the following words: "I take it, then, that we may safely regard the theory of an era of the co-regency of Augustus and Tiberius as exploded."

 

[220] Book: The Jewish People in the First Century: Historical Geography, Political History, Social, Cultural and Religious Life and Institutions. Edited by S. Safrai and M. Stern. Volume 1. Fortress Press, 1974. Chapter 1 Appendix: "Chronology." By M. Stern. Pages 62-63:

 

Several principles concerning the chronological calculations of events in Herod's reign may be mentioned here.

 

1) In the days of the Second Temple the regnal years were counted from spring, as explicitly stated in the Mishnah:1 'On the first of Nisan is the New Year for kings.' This we learn, too, from the statements in I Maccabees referring to the time of the high priesthood of Jonathan and Simeon.2

 

2) It is very probable that the system which obtained in Judea was the non-accession one. This means that that part of the year, whatever its length, which preceded the first Nisan of the reign was reckoned as its first year, so that its second year started from the first Nisan. This system also prevailed in this period in Roman Egypt as well as Roman Syria,4 which is of special interest for the custom current in Judaea. This was also the system in vogue according to the Talmud: 'If a king ascended the throne on the twenty-month of Adar, as soon as the first of Nisan arrives he is reckoned to have reigned a year'.1 [Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 2a]

 

[221] Book: Herod Antipas. By Harold W. Hoehner. Cambridge University Press, 1972.

 

Pages 307-308: "The one precise date is the fifteenth year of Tiberius, and this is interpreted in five different ways. … The first method of reckoning would be the normal Roman method, according to which Tiberius' fifteenth year would have run from 18 August A.D. 28 to 18 August A.D. 29."

 

NOTE: Page 308 lists the second method as reckoning from the co-regency of Tiberius and Augustus. Based on the historical record, the author rejects this implausible conjecture, as I have above.

 

Pages 308-309: "The third method is that used by Syria from the time of Augustus to Nerva. According to this the regnal years of those Roman emperors were reckoned from 1 Tishre…."

 

Page 310: "The fourth opinion is that Luke reckoned from 1 Nisan."

 

Page 311: "The fifth opinion is that Luke used the Julian Calendar, and therefore that he reckoned Tiberius' first year from 19 August A.D. 14 to 31 December A.D. 14., and his fifteenth year from 1 January to 31 December A.D. 28."

 

Page 312: "In conclusion, of the five methods, the second and fourth are the least likely. If one were to accept A.D. 30 as the crucifixion date, then the third method would be the most probable. On the other hand, if one thinks that Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33 as the present author does, then either the first or fifth method would be preferable."

 

[222] The following table was constructed based upon the information contained in the two previous citations. The table shows some of the methods used by ancient historians to reckon regnal years, including the method that gives the earliest possible date. Note that there are two different ways of reckoning the Jewish New Year: 1) Beginning on Nisan 1st, which occurs in the spring. 2) Beginning on Tishre 1st, which occurs in the fall.

 

Method of Reckoning  1st year  15th year  15th year

(our calendar)

Roman August 19, 14 - December 31, 14 January 1, 28 – December 31, 28 January 1, 28 – December 31, 28
Jewish (Nisan 1st) August 19, 14 - Nisan 1, 15 Nisan 1, 28 – Nisan 1, 29 Spring of 28 - Spring of 29
Jewish (Tishre 1st) August 19, 14 - Tishre 1, 14 Tishre 1, 27 – Tishre 1, 28 Fall of 27 –

Fall of 28

 

[223] John 1:32: "And John [the Baptist] bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon [Jesus]." The three other Gospels, Mark (1:9-10), Luke (3:21-22), and Matthew (3:16), all refer to this event as occurring when Jesus was baptized. For example, Mark 1:9-10: "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him."

 

After this event, the Book of John mentions three separate Passovers including the one on which Jesus was crucified on.

 

John 2:23: "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover…."

 

John 6:4: "And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

 

John 11:1: "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany…."

 

[224] Obviously, this allows for the possibility there were more. For example, the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke only mention one of the three Passovers mentioned in the Book of John. Furthermore, the Book of John (21:25) explicitly states that much of Jesus' life was not included in this book: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."

 

[225] Exodus 12:2-6, 8, 14:

 

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

 

Numbers 28:16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD."

 

Leviticus 23:5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover."

 

[226] Esther 3:7: "In the first month, that is, the month Nisan…."

 

[227] The Bible also uses the word "Abib" in reference to the first month of the year. For example, Deuteronomy 16:1: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." According to the Jewish Encyclopedia,* the word "Abib" means "ears" and is a reference to the ripening of ears of corn, which occurs in the spring. The name "Nisan" was adopted by the Jews from the Babylonians.

 

NOTE:
* Article: "Abib." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 1. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901. Page 57.

 

[228] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 3. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

Chapter 10, Section 5:

 

In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover….

 

[229] Ancient Work: Moses. By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by F.H. Colson in the book: Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 6. Harvard University Press, 1966. First printed in 1935. Book 2, Chapter 41.

 

Page 561: "In this month, about the fourteenth day, when the disc of the moon is becoming full, is held the commemoration of the crossing, a public festival called in Hebrew Pasch…."

 

[230] Matthew 27:2: "And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor."

 

[231] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 18. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-18.htm

 

Chapter 4, Section 2: "So Vitellius … ordered Pilate to go to Rome, to answer before the emperor to the accusations of the Jews. So Pilate, when he had tarried ten years in Judea, made haste to Rome, and this in obedience to the orders of Vitellius, which he durst not contradict; but before he could get to Rome Tiberius was dead."

 

[232] Ancient Work: De Vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Caesars). By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Published about 121 A.D. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Harvard University Press, 1920.

 

In the book about Tiberius, Section 73 states that he died "in the seventy-eighth year of his age and the twenty-third of his reign, on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of April, in the consulship of Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus and Gaius Pontius Nigrinus (March 16, 37 A.D.)."

 

[233] John 19:14, 17-18, 31:

 

And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour…. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him…. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

[234] Mark 14:12, 16-18, 15:1, 24:

 

And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover…. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat…. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate…. And when they had crucified him….

 

Matthew 26:17-21, 27:1-2, 35:

 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat…. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor…. And they crucified him….

 

Luke 22:7, 13-15, 66, 23:33:

 

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed…. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council…. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him….

 

[235] Exodus 12:2-6, 8, 14:

 

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

 

Numbers 28:16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD."

 

Leviticus 23:5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover."

 

[236] The Bible also uses the word "Abib" in reference to the first month of the year. For example, Deuteronomy 16:1: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." According to the Jewish Encyclopedia,* the word "Abib" means "ears" and is a reference to the ripening of ears of corn, which occurs in the spring. The name "Nisan" was adopted by the Jews from the Babylonians.

 

* Article: "Abib." Volume 1. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901. Page 57.

 

[237] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 3. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

Chapter 10, Section 5:

 

In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover….

 

[238] Ancient Work: Moses. By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by F.H. Colson in the book: Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 6. Harvard University Press, 1966. First printed in 1935. Book 2, Chapter 41.

 

Page 561: "In this month, about the fourteenth day, when the disc of the moon is becoming full, is held the commemoration of the crossing, a public festival called in Hebrew Pasch…."

 

[239] The Books of Matthew (Chapter 27), Mark (Chapter 15), Luke (Chapter 23), and John (Chapter 19) all state that Jesus was executed on a Preparation Day. For example, Mark 15:42: "[I]t was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath…."

 

To understand what is meant by the term "Preparation Day," one must first understand what is meant by the term "Sabbath." The Sabbath (Saturday) is a holy day of rest in the Jewish faith.* Those who strictly observe this day prepare meals for it on the day beforehand because work (such as cooking) is forbidden on the Sabbath.† For this reason, the day before the Sabbath is called "Preparation Day." Since the Jewish Sabbath takes place on Saturday, Preparation Day is on Friday.‡

 

The term "Preparation Day," however, can refer to days other than a Friday; specifically to the day before any Holy Day in which work is forbidden.‡ Thus, some assert that the Preparation Day mentioned in the Biblical accounts of the crucifixion does not refer to a Friday, but to the day prior to the Passover feast, which could have fallen on any day of the week. This claim, however, cannot be accurate because the Books of Matthew, Mark and Luke all state that the Passover took place before the crucifixion.§ Therefore, the "Preparation Day" mentioned in these books could not possibly have been the Preparation Day for the Passover feast because the Passover feast had already taken place.

 

As an aside, advocates of the view that Jesus was not executed on a Friday often point to Matthew 12:40, which states that Jesus would "be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." This is addressed in Chapter 4.

 

* Leviticus 23:3: "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings."

 

† Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 2.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-2.htm

Chapter 8, Section 9: "Moreover, [the Essenes] are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon."

 

‡ Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508. Page 502:

 

[T]he seventh day [is] called "Shabbat" (Rest) or "Yom ha-Shabbat" (Day of Rest). … Friday, as the forerunner of Shabbat, is called "Ereb Shabbat" (The Eve of the Sabbath). …

 

[Also,] the day is called "Yoma da-'Arubta" (Day of Preparation). …

 

The same terms are also applied to the days preceding and following any of the festivals….

 

§ Mark 14:12, 16-18, 15:1, 24, 42-45:

 

And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover…. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat…. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate…. And when they had crucified him…. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

 

Matthew 26:17-21, 27:1-2, 35, 57-62

 

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat…. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor…. And they crucified him…. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate….

 

Luke 22:7, 13-15, 66, 23:33, 50-54:

 

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed…. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council…. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him…. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

 

[240] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/works.html

 

Book 13, Chapter 5, Section 9: "[T]he Pharisees … have so great a power over the multitude, that when they say any thing against the king, or against the high priest, they are presently believed." {This appears in the narrative covering the middle of the first century B.C.}

 

Book 13, Chapter 10, Section 6: "[T]he Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side." {Appears in the narrative covering the middle of the first century B.C.}

 

Book 18, Chapter 1, Section 4: "[T]he Sadducees … are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them." {Appears in the narrative around the beginning of the first century A.D.}

 

[241] Book: Mapping Time. By E.G. Richards. Oxford University Press, 1998. Page 266:

 

Our week of seven days may well be among the oldest surviving human institution, with a history of continuous observation over 3000 years or more; the seven-day cycle, it would seem, has continued mostly without interruption for most of recorded time. There have been, however, two interruptions.

 

NOTE: The book explains that these two interruptions were localized incidents. One was in Alaska when the United States purchased it from the Russians in 1867. The other was in the Philippines in 1884.

 

[242] Inputting a Julian date into any number of calculators available on the Internet tells us what day of the week this took place on. I used the calculator at http://calendarhome.com/ and the LunaCal software that is also used to calculate the appearance of the new moon.

 

[243] Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933.

 

Rosh Hashanah 1.3-3.1 (pages 188-191) contains detailed rules and procedures associated with this practice of beginning each month when the crescent of the new moon became visible. For example, see citation 210.

 

We can ascertain the Pharisees used this system by the fact that this section cites a leading Pharisee, "Gamaliel the Elder" (as shown in citations 199-200) as an authority for one of these rules (2.5). Furthermore, generally speaking, the doctrines that appear in the Mishnah were followed by the Pharisees (see Details on Frequently Cited Sources).

 

[244] Exodus 12:2-6, 8, 14:

 

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. … And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

 

Numbers 28:16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD."

 

Leviticus 23:5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover."

 

[245] Esther 3:7: "In the first month, that is, the month Nisan…."

 

[246] The Bible also uses the word "Abib" in reference to the first month of the year. For example, Deuteronomy 16:1: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." According to the Jewish Encyclopedia,* the word "Abib" means "ears" and is a reference to the ripening of ears of corn, which occurs in the spring. The name "Nisan" was adopted by the Jews from the Babylonians.

 

* Article: "Abib." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 1. Funk & Wagnalls, 1901. Page 57.

 

[247] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 3. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

Chapter 10, Section 5:

 

In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called Nisan, and is the beginning of our year, on the fourteenth day of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the Passover….

 

[248] Ancient Work: Moses. By Philo Judaeus. Published in the first half of the first century. Translated by F.H. Colson in the book: Loeb Classical Library, Philo, Volume 6. Harvard University Press, 1966. First printed in 1935. Book 2, Chapter 41.

 

Page 561: "In this month, about the fourteenth day, when the disc of the moon is becoming full, is held the commemoration of the crossing, a public festival called in Hebrew Pasch…."

 

[249] Article: "Moon." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999. The exact length of a lunar month is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds.

 

[250] CALCULATION: 12 cycles × (29 days + (12 hours + (44 min/60 min/hour))/24 hours/day) = 354.37 days

 

[251] Article: "Year." Contributor: James Jespersen (M.S., Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology). World Book Encyclopedia, 2007 Deluxe Edition.

 

The solar, equinoctial, or tropical year is the time between two passages of the sun through the March equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, this equinox is called the vernal equinox. This year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds long. This year is used for all practical and astronomical purposes. It is the basis of our common or calendar year.

 

[252] Ancient Work: Tosefta. Compiled by Jewish scholars around 400 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Fourth Division: "Neziqin." Translated by Jacob Neusner. KTAV Publishing House, 1981.

 

Sanhedrin 2.6 states that Gamaliel dictated the following letter on the steps to the Temple: "We inform you that the pigeons are still tender, the lambs are thin, and the spring-tide has not yet come. So it is proper in my view and in the view of my colleagues, and we have added thirty days to this year."

 

NOTES:

This reference does not state which Gamaliel dictated this letter, but the fact that he did it on the steps to the Temple, which was destroyed in 70 A.D., shows this can only be Gamaliel the Elder. Also, the article on "Gamaliel I" in the Jewish Encyclopedia* specifically states that this passage refers to the elder Gamaliel. There are numerous other references in ancient Jewish writings concerning the addition of an extra month in certain years. This particular one was chosen because it is attributed to Gamaliel the elder, a Pharisee who lived in the same era as Jesus (see citations 199-200). The practice is referred to as "intercalation," and it still used in the modern Jewish calendar.†

 

* Article: "Gamaliel I." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 5. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1904. Pages 558-560.

 

† Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508.

 

[253] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 3. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

Chapter 10, Section 5:

 

But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month [Nisan], they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. And while they suppose it proper to honor God, from whom they obtain this plentiful provision, in the first place, they offer the first-fruits of their barley, and that in the manner following: They take a handful of the ears, and dry them, then beat them small, and purge the barley from the bran; they then bring one tenth deal to the altar, to God; and, casting one handful of it upon the fire, they leave the rest for the use of the priest. And after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.

 

[254] The Bible in Leviticus 23:10-14 (and other passages) requires this ceremony to be performed. However, the laws associated with it and timing of it were a subject of dispute among the various Jewish sects of the first century A.D (more about this in Chapter 4). The ceremony is referred to as the "Omer," which is Hebrew for "Sheaf."*

 

* Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933. Appendix I (page 795) defines Omer: "Literally 'sheaf'… Before the new harvest could be reaped, a sheaf of barley must first be reaped and the flour offered … in the Temple. … Only after it had been offered was the produce of the new harvest permitted for common use."

 

[255] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 5. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

[256] For those who are interested, this software is easy to use and inexpensive. It was purchased at http://www.starrynightstore.com/. Special thanks to Rick Larson of http://bethlehemstar.net/ for suggesting I use this in my research.

 

[257] The Julian calendar is the predecessor of and is very similar to our modern calendar (the Gregorian). Since the Julian calendar was in effect during antiquity, it is typically used for ancient chronological calculations. Note that the Starry Night Beginner user guide (page 56) states: "Starry Night uses the old Julian calendar for all dates before Oct. 15, 1582, and the Gregorian calendar for all dates more recent than this."

 

[258] As viewed from Jerusalem at 12 noon. This time was chosen because it is regularly used by astronomers as the start of a day. [Book: Mapping Time. By E.G. Richards. Oxford University Press, 1998. Page 288.]

 

[259] Using other ancient Jewish sources for an independent check on Josephus, I calculated that the 14th of Nisan fell no earlier than March 21st and no later than April 21st. This accords remarkably well with Josephus (March 24th – April 18th) and allows us to be practically certain of our conclusion.

 

[260] Article: "On the Smallest Visible Phase of the Moon." By J.K. Fotheringham. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Volume 70, 1910. Pages 527-531.

 

[261] Web Site: "The Israeli New Moon Society." http://sites.google.com/site/moonsoc/

 

This software was created by Dr. Roy Hoffman, who holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Birkbeck College in London and is employed by the Department of Organic Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This program has been proven accurate through numerous real-life observations.

 

[262] Through experimenting with the software, I reached the following conclusions:

 

a) Lower humidity is better for visibility.

b) Locations at higher altitudes are better for visibility.

c) Lower temperatures are better for visibility.

 

[263]

 

Year Julian dates on which the new moon would have been visible if the conditions were favorable for seeing it Julian dates on which the new moon would have been visible if the conditions were unfavorable for seeing it
30  Thu Mar 23  Fri Mar 24
31  Tues Mar 13, Wed, Apr 11  Tues Mar 13, Thu Apr 12
32  Sun Mar 30  Mon Mar 31
33  Fri Mar 20  Fri Mar 20
34  Wed Mar 10, Thu Apr 8  Wed Mar 10, Thu Apr 8
35  Tues Mar 29  Tues Mar 29
36  Sat Mar 17  Sun Mar 18
37  Wed Mar 6, Fri Apr 5  Thu Mar 7, Fri Apr 5

 

[264] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 4. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-4.htm

 

Chapter 9, Section 12: "[O]ne of the priests … gave a signal … with a trumpet at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to leave off work, and when they were to go to work again."

 

EXPLANATION: The "seventh day" is Saturday – the Jewish day of rest or "Sabbath" – on which it is forbidden to work. Here, Josephus states that this day of rest began and ended "in the evening twilight." This is also the case in the modern Jewish calendar. [Article: "Day." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 4. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1905. Page 475.] We can ascertain the Pharisees observed this practice by the fact that Josephus was a Pharisee (see citation 198).

 

[265] Correspondence from Dr. Roy Hoffman, March 23, 2003. Dr. Hoffman is the chairman of the Israeli New Moon Society (http://sites.google.com/site/moonsoc/). He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Birkbeck College in London and is employed by the Department of Organic Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Hoffman writes: "The New Moon is only seen in the evening…. It is too faint to seen until it starts to get dark." Dr. Hoffman has created software called LunaCal that calculates the time of sunset and the timeframe the moon is visible on any given date. Generally speaking, new moons are visible during the interval between when the sun sets and the moon sets. This period lasts for about an hour or so.

 

[266] Ancient Work: Mishnah. Compiled by Rabbi Judah around 200 A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Translated and introduced by Herbert Danby. Oxford University Press, 1954. First published in 1933. Rosh Hashanah 1.3-3.1:

 

[F]or a journey enduring a night and a day they may… go forth to bear witness about the new moon…. (1.9) There was a large courtyard in Jerusalem … where all of the witnesses assembled, and the court examined them. (2.5) … If their words are found to agree their evidence holds good. (2.6) … The chief of the court says, 'It is hallowed! and all the people answer after him, 'It is hallowed! it is hallowed!' (2.7) … If the court itself and all Israel had seen the new moon and the witnesses had been examined, yet night fell before they could proclaim 'It is hallowed!' then it is an intercalated month. (3.1)

 

EXPLANATION: People who saw the new moon would assemble at a courtyard in Jerusalem, sometimes traveling all through the night and day to get there. Here, they were examined by a court to insure that they were telling the truth. If their testimony held up, the chief of the court "hallowed" that day because the first day of the month was considered a holy day. If this was not done before nightfall, then the day afterwards would automatically be the first day of the month. An "intercalated" month is a 30-day month.*

 

The timeframes associated with this system disallow the possibility that the waning day was the first day of the month. It was either the waxing day, or if the court didn't hallow that day before nightfall, it was the day afterwards. The possibility that it was the day afterwards will be accounted for when we consider that clouds may have obstructed the new moon. We can ascertain the Pharisees used this system by the following three facts:

 

1) This section cites "Gamaliel the Elder," a famous Pharisee (as shown in citations 199-200), as an authority for one of the rules associated with this system (2.5).

2) This section cites Gamaliel II as an authority for two of the rules associated with this system (1.6, 2.8). It is unknown whether or not Gamaliel II was a Pharisee, but it is known that his grandfather and father were (see citations 199-200).

3) Generally speaking, the doctrines that appear in the Mishnah were followed by the Pharisees (see Details on Frequently Cited Sources).

 

* Article: "Calendar." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 3. Funk & Wagnalls, 1903. Pages 501-508.

 

Page 502 states that months "contain either 29 or 30 days…."

 

Page 503 states that the "intercalation of a day in a month" makes it "thirty days."

 

[267]

 

Year Dates on which the new moon would have been visible if conditions were favorable for seeing it (according to the Pharisaic reckoning of a day) Dates on which the new moon would have been visible if conditions were unfavorable for seeing it (according to the Pharisaic reckoning of a day)
30  Fri Mar 24  Sat Mar 25
31  Wed Mar 14, Thu Apr 12  Wed Mar 14, Fri Apr 13
32  Mon Mar 31  Tues Apr 1
33  Sat Mar 21  Sat Mar 21
34  Thu Mar 11, Fri Apr 9  Thu Mar 11, Fri Apr 9
35  Wed Mar 30  Wed Mar 30
36  Sun Mar 18  Mon Mar 19
37  Thu Mar 7, Sat Apr 6  Fri Mar 8, Sat Apr 6

 

[268] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Publius Cornelius Tacitus. Published 104-109 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Random House, 1873. Reprinted in 1942. Section 5.6. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

"Rain is uncommon, but the soil is fertile."

 

[269] Article: "Intellicast's Climate Guide to the Middle East." By Kristen Sullivan. October 30, 2000. http://www.intellicast.com/Travel/Library/Content.aspx?a=30

 

NOTE: This articles notes that in Jerusalem during the months of March and April, there is an average of 3 days of rain per month.

 

[270] Ancient Work: Babylonian Talmud. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Pesachim. Edited by Hersh Goldwurm. Volume 9. Mesorah Publications, 2005. Page 2b3.

 

Editorial note 28: "Each month in the Jewish calendar can be either twenty-nine or thirty days long."

 

NOTE: This modern statement summarizes what is proven with primary sources in the note below.

 

[271] Ancient Work: Talmud of the Land of Israel. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Sanhedrin. Translated by Jacob Neusner. University of Chicago Press, 1984.

 

Sanhedrin 1.2, IX.C (pages 37-38): "[So if one has sanctified the new month] prior to its proper time, on the twenty-ninth day, or after its intercalation, on the thirty-second day of the month, [it is not sanctified]."

 

EXPLANATION: If the new month was sanctified on the 29th day of the previous month or earlier, the previous month would have 28 days or less, and hence the sanctification would not be legitimate. If the sanctification was done on the 32nd day of the previous month or later, the previous month would have 31 days or more, and hence the sanctification would not be legitimate.

 

NOTE: The passage above is cited because it is the most explicit of the ancient passages I am aware of that describes this practice. It is not attributed to anyone, but we can ascertain it was the practice of the Pharisees based upon the following passage from the Babylonian Talmud,* which is attributed to a Pharisee and states basically the same thing but requires some background to comprehend:

 

Our Rabbis taught: Once the heavens were covered with clouds and the likeness of the moon was seen on the twenty-ninth of the month. The public were minded to declare New Moon, and the Beth din [Court] wanted to sanctify it, but Rabban Gamaliel said to them: I have it on the authority of the house of my father's father that the renewal of the moon takes place after not less than 29 days and a half and two-thirds of an hour and seventy three halakin.7 On that day the mother of Ben Zaza died, and Rabban Gamaliel made a great funeral ovation over her, not because she had merited it, but so that the public should know that the Beth din [Court] had not sanctified the month.8

 

7 Literally, 'parts' (sections of one hour), i.e., (73/1080) X 60 minutes = 4 minutes and 3 & 1/3 seconds. The new moon, therefore, could not be seen on the twenty-ninth day.

8 As the funeral oration would not be delivered on New Moon, which was regarded as a holy day.

 

EXPLANATION:

To summarize the above, sometime around 100 A.D. on a cloudy day that happened to be the 29th day of a month, some people said they saw the new moon. If this were true, the new month would have started that day, which means the previous month would have been only 28 days long. Rabban Gamaliel, the son and grandson of two prominent Pharisees,† said this was impossible because his father's father (Gamaliel I) had taught him that it takes the moon 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3.3 seconds to complete a cycle. (Note that this figure is within half a second of our modern calculation of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.8 seconds.) Then, to underscore that the new month had not begun, Gamaliel made a public show of conducting a funeral because it was forbidden to have funerals on the first day of the month. This incident shows that the Pharisees knew exactly how long a lunar cycle took and demanded the length of all months remained consistent with it. Hence, a month could only be 29 or 30 days.

 

* Ancient Work: Babylonian Talmud. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Rosh Hashanah. Translated by Maurice Simon. Traditional Press, 1983. Rosh Hashanah 25a.

 

† According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, the Rabban Gamaliel cited in the passage above made the statement in about 100 A.D.‡ This must therefore be Gamaliel II.§ See citations 199-200 for documentation that Gamaliel II's father and grandfather were prominent Pharisees.

 

‡ Article: "Calendar." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Volume 5. Keter Publishing, 1971. Page 49.

 

§ Article: "Gamaliel II." Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 5. Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. First published in 1904. Pages 560-562. Page 560 states he was "the recognized head of the Jews in Palestine during the last two decades of the first and at the beginning of the second century."

 

[272]

 

Year  Viable dates for the first of Nisan if conditions for seeing the new moon were favorable  Viable dates for the first of Nisan if conditions for seeing the new moon were unfavorable
30  Fri Mar 24  Sat Mar 25
30 (Rain dates)  Sat Mar 25  Sun Mar 26
31  Wed Mar 14, Thu Apr 12  Wed Mar 14, Fri Apr 13
31 (Rain dates)  Thu Mar 15, Fri Apr 13  Thu Mar 15, Sat Apr 14
32  Mon Mar 31  Tues Apr 1
32 (Rain dates)  Tues Apr 1  Wed Apr 2
33  Sat Mar 21  Sat Mar 21
33 (Rain dates)  Sun Mar 22  Sun Mar 22
34  Thu Mar 11, Fri Apr 9  Thu Mar 11, Fri Apr 9
34 (Rain dates)  Fri Mar 12, Sat Apr 10  Fri Mar 12, Sat Apr 10
35  Wed Mar 30  Wed Mar 30
Rain dates  Thu Mar 31  Thu Mar 31
36  Sun Mar 18  Mon Mar 19
36 (Rain dates)  Mon Mar 19  Tues Mar 20
37  Thu Mar 7, Sat Apr 6  Fri Mar 8, Sat Apr 6
37 (Rain dates)  Fri Mar 8, Sun Apr 7  Sat Mar 9, Sun Apr 7

 

[273]

April 27, 31: Only plausible if we allow for a seven-day margin of error in the timing of Passover.

March 26, 34: Only plausible if we allow for cloudy weather.

April 23, 34: Only plausible if we allow for cloudy weather and a seven-day margin of error in the timing of Passover.

 

[274] Article: "Astronomical Evidence for the Date of the Crucifixion." By J.K. Fotheringham. Journal of Theological Studies, Volume 12, 1910. Pages 120-127.

 

[275] Article: "The Evidence of Astronomy and Technical Chronology for the Date of the Crucifixion." By J.K. Fotheringham. Journal of Theological Studies, Volume 35, 1934. Pages 146-162.

 

[276] Book: Handbook of Biblical Chronology. By Jack Finegan. Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. First Published in 1964. Pages 329-369.

 

[277] Book: A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. By John P. Meier, Doubleday, 1991.

 

[278] Book: Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. By Harold W. Hoehner. Zondervan, 1977.

 

[279] Article: "Dating the Crucifixion." By Colin J. Humphreys & W. G. Waddington. Nature, December 22-29, 1983. Page 743-746.

 

[280] Chapter 2 of Acts starts with the following words: "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come…." In the calendar used by the Pharisees, Pentecost came on the 50th day after the 16th of Nisan.* According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified on the 14th or 15th of Nisan. That the Pentecost mentioned in Acts Chapter 2 was the one immediately following the crucifixion is ascertained by reading from Acts Chapter 1 onward.

 

* Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Published about 93 A.D. Book 3, Chapter 10, Sections 5-6. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-3.htm

 

But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month [Nisan], they first partake of the fruits of the earth…. They also at this participation of the first-fruits of the earth, sacrifice a lamb, as a burnt-offering to God. When a week of weeks has passed over after this sacrifice, (which weeks contain forty and nine days,) on the fiftieth day, which is Pentecost….

 

NOTE: We can ascertain the Pharisees used this system by the fact that Josephus was a Pharisee.

 

[281] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004. The section entitled "The first six minor prophets" states: "The dates of Joel … are difficult to ascertain. Some scholars believe that the work comes from the Persian period (539–331 BCE); others hold that it was written soon after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE."

 

[282] Joel 2: 31 (NIV): "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD."

 

[283] Acts 2: 20-22 (NIV) [Peter speaking]: "The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know."

 

NOTE: Peter quoted several other prophesies from this passage, all of which are have obvious parallels to the life of Jesus as described in the New Testament.

 

[284] Luke 23:44-45: "And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."

 

Mark 15:33-34: "And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

 

Matthew 2745-46: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

 

[285] Article: "Why is the Sky Blue?" By Anthony D. Del Genio (of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University). Scientific American, April 07, 2003. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=why-is-the-sky-blue

 

Sunlight, which appears white to the human eye, is a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow. … The result is that blue light is scattered into other directions almost 10 times as efficiently as red light. When we look at an arbitrary point in the sky, away from the sun, we see only the light that was redirected by the atmosphere into our line of sight. Because that occurs much more often for blue light than for red, the sky appears blue. … When we view the setting sun on the horizon, the opposite occurs. We see only the light that has not been scattered into other directions. … The longer distance that the sunlight travels through the atmosphere when it is on the horizon amplifies the effect--there are more opportunities for blue light to be scattered than when the sun is overhead. Thus, the setting sun appears reddish.

 

[286] The other viable date of Friday, April 7, 30 sits on the early fringes of what the chronological evidence allows for and is actually ruled out if the Gospel of Luke used the "most obvious" reckoning for the regnal years of Tiberius Caesar. See citations 220-222 and page 24 of Rational Conclusions.

 

[287] Ancient Work: Talmud of the Land of Israel. Compiled by Jewish scholars between the 3rd and 6th centuries A.D. For more detail, see Details on Frequently Cited Sources. Tractate: Sanhedrin. Translated by Jacob Neusner. University of Chicago Press, 1984.

 

[288] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 93 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 16, Chapter 6, Sections 2, 4. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/ant-16.htm

 

Caesar Augustus,* high priest and tribune of the people, ordains thus: Since the nation of the Jews hath been found grateful to the Roman people … the Jews have liberty to make use of their own customs, according to the law of their forefathers…. [T]hey be not obliged to go before any judge on the sabbath day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour. … Agrippa also did himself write after the manner following, on behalf of the Jews: "… I have also written to Sylvanus the praetor, that no one compel the Jews to come before a judge on the sabbath day."

 

NOTE: * Augustus reigned from 31 B.C. – 14 A.D. [Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm]

 

[289] Ancient Work: The Jewish War. By Flavius Josephus. Published about 78 A.D. Translated by William Whiston. Book 6, Chapter 10, Section 1. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/works/files/war-6.htm

 

AND thus was Jerusalem taken, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian*…. [F]rom its [the Temple's] first building, till this last destruction, were two thousand one hundred and seventy-seven years; yet hath not its great antiquity, nor its vast riches, nor the diffusion of its nation over all the habitable earth, nor the greatness of the veneration paid to it on a religious account, been sufficient to preserve it from being destroyed. And thus ended the siege of Jerusalem.

 

NOTE:

* The reign of Vespasian started in December of 69. [Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors. Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm]

 

[290] John 18:31, New King James Version

 

[291] Article: "Bible." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

"It is remarkable that Christianity includes within its Bible the entire scriptures of another religion, Judaism."