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These words are a graphic summary of Jesus' teaching on discipleship 'Dating the Death of Jesus: Memory and the Religious Imagination', NTS 59 (), pp. At the origin of its haunting tradition the death of Jesus remains a traumatic event. . Jesus was provocative enough to call for a ransacking of the religious memories. . memory; he had to re-member by going back to the imaginative repertoires of .. White () would take the majority position of dating the text to the. In John 8, Jesus is speaking to the religious workers of His day, the . of the dating of Herod the Great's death, who was alive at Christ's birth.
His conclusion states bolding added by me, along with extra notations in brackets given below: Irenaeus was of sound mind when he wrote, in agreement with tradition and scripture. Instead of stifling his voice, it is necessary to elucidate the cultural context of the passage  and witness that the five stages of life that he sees in Christ , culminating in an age of death near 50is drawn straight from cultural assumptions about the stages of life and the prime of life  that in his [Irenaeus'] day would be commonplace, especially among those with an education in Greek.
So one finds that Iranaeus had a combination of Greek philosophical and cultural background regarding the stages of life and prime age of life that he coupled with a preconceived theological backdrop of Christ needing to pass through all stages of life to fulfill His work sanctifying and exemplary work driving his exegetical understanding of the John 8: This, coupled with a statement that on the surface is logical, that one would not mention 50 if the person were not in their 40's, does show, as Kirby notes, Irenaeus "was of sound mind when he wrote.
Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age Note how this number, also, is associated with the Levitical priesthood service ages noted previously above.
There are only three Passovers that Jesus is noted to have attended during His ministry time John 2: Otherwise, the dating of Christ living only into his thirties is primarily based upon the views of when He was born, when His ministry began in relation to John the Baptist's ministry which can be determined for its start date by Luke 3: Harold Hoehner has a series of articles about a lot of these dating issues, and without necessarily agreeing with all his conclusions, the relevant evidence related to Irenaeus's view are chiefly these: The dating of that specifically is where much of the question resides.
A major part of Hoehner's "Part I" gives his reasoning for his probable dating of the earliest possible birth date for Christ as 6 B. This fits still with Irenaeus's view of Christ being in His 40's, but only if the extreme points are taken for His birth and death.
Hoehner discusses the crucifixion dating in more detail, with the result of further narrowing factors being there are "only two plausible dates for the crucifixion, namely, A. While Hoehner himself believes B. Helen Bond Dating the Death of Jesus: Memory and the Religious Imagination Helen K.
All we can claim with any degree of historical certainty is that Jesus died some time around Passover perhaps a week or so before the feast between 29 and 34 CE.
Dunn, Jesus Remembered Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, Liturgical Press, Witherington, New Testament History: A Narrative Account Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, As these quotations illustrate, the 7th April 30 CE is widely regarded by many modern Jesus scholars as the day on which Jesus died.
Some favour the year 30 without specifying the precise day or month,2 others propose more idiosyncratic dates,3 and a sizeable minority of largely 1 For a survey of older literature, which similarly favoured 7th April 30 CE, see J.
Blinzler, The Trial of Jesus Cork: Mercier Press, Merz, The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide London: SCM,; E. Sanders accepts 30 as a useful approximation, but makes it quite clear that specific dates are impossible and not really useful ; more broadly he seems to prefer something in the range ofThe Historical Figure of Jesus London: Penguin,54, Kokkinos suggests Friday Nisan 1 conservative scholars favour What I want to do in this paper is 1 to ask how scholars got to the 7th April 30 CE in the first place, 2 to look at the implications of this date, and 3 to suggest that scholarly confidence in it is severely misplaced.
I Why 7th April 30 CE? As is well known, the Synoptic and Johannine accounts have both similarities and contradictions. Both agree on the general sequence of events: The major chronological discrepancy between the two accounts lies in the precise way in which events map onto the Passover.
One approach to this problem is to harmonise the two traditions, to suggest that John and the Synoptics simply used different calendars. Perhaps the most famous exponent of this method was Annie Jaubert who, in a series of studies from the s, famously suggested that Jesus and his disciples followed not the by now dominant Babylonian lunar calendar, but an old solar calendar evident in the books of Enoch and Jubilees and used at Qumran.
First, there is little evidence for any widespread use of alternative calendars in first century Palestine. See for example, J. Zondervan,; J. Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology: Hendrickson,; P. Barnett, The Birth of Christianity: Humphreys, The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus Cambridge: Doubleday, Humphreys, Mystery of the Last Supper, This ancient calendar, he argues, calculated the new month not from the visibility of the new crescent as the Babylonian calendar did but from the day of conjunction, and hence started its new days at sunrise.
Easter - Wikipedia
In all probability, he suggests, schematic calendars such as that at Qumran and also those of 1Enoch and Jubilees served not as living calendars, but as idealistic or theoretical models related to a future world order. If they routinely used a different calendar, it is strange that it does not show up elsewhere in the tradition. Finally, one further difficulty with the theories of Jaubert and Humphreys in particular is that by their reckoning the Last Supper was celebrated on either a Tuesday so Jaubert or a Wednesday so Humphreys.
By attempting to solve one discrepancy, these reconstructions have created another. More plausible, perhaps, is the suggestion that the discrepancy lies in a difference in dating between Palestine and the Diaspora.
Since the Passover was calculated following the sighting of the new moon as we shall see belowand since there does not seem to have been a centralised body to endorse one particular calendar at this point at least as far as we knowdiversity could have existed amongst various Jewish groups.
In view of this, M. Shepherd suggested that John followed the testimony of Christians in touch with priestly circles in Judaea, while Mark followed traditions endorsed by his own Roman church. All traditions and recollections of events would simply follow the Jerusalemite dating. It is difficult to see why they would be transposed onto a calendar 8 See J. Stern, Calendar and Community: Merz, The Historical Jesus, Stern, Calendar and Community, Faced with these significant difficulties, most scholars accept that we simply have to choose between the two options.
But which one - John or the Synoptics? Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, recent scholars have tended to give preference to John. The timescale can be narrowed quite considerably: There are two ways of solving this puzzle: Whichever method is employed, however, astronomers can pinpoint the beginning of the months in the first century by locating the lunar conjunction when the moon is between the earth and the sun and then, by adding two weeks, find a date for the Passover full moon.
SCM, ],a majority of more recent Jesus scholars have favoured John: Blinzler, Trial of Jesus, ; R.David Pawson - The Wonders of Jesus' Story - 3. His Death - 1/2
Brown, Death, ; J. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar.
Helen K. Bond on Social Memory and Dating the Death of Jesus
Because of the day difference between the calendars between and21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian Calendar. Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May in the Gregorian calendar the Julian calendar is no longer used as the civil calendar of the countries where Eastern Christian traditions predominate.
Also, because the Julian "full moon" is always several days after the astronomical full moon, the eastern Easter is often later, relative to the visible moon's phases, than western Easter. Among the Oriental Orthodox some churches have changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the date for Easter as for other fixed and moveable feasts is the same as in the Western church. Computus InBede succinctly wrote, "The Sunday following the full Moon which falls on or after the equinox will give the lawful Easter.
The full moon referred to called the Paschal full moon is not an astronomical full moon, but the 14th day of a lunar month.
Christ myth theory
Another difference is that the astronomical equinox is a natural astronomical phenomenon, which can fall on 19, 20 or 21 March,  while the ecclesiastical date is fixed by convention on 21 March. Their starting point in determining the date of Orthodox Easter is also 21 March but according to the Julian reckoning, which in the current century corresponds to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar.
In addition, the lunar tables of the Julian calendar are four days sometimes five days behind those of the Gregorian calendar. The 14th day of the lunar month according to the Gregorian system is figured as the ninth or tenth day according to the Julian. The result of this combination of solar and lunar discrepancies is divergence in the date of Easter in most years see table.
Easter is determined on the basis of lunisolar cycles. The lunar year consists of day and day lunar months, generally alternating, with an embolismic month added periodically to bring the lunar cycle into line with the solar cycle. In each solar year 1 January to 31 December inclusivethe lunar month beginning with an ecclesiastical new moon falling in the day period from 8 March to 5 April inclusive is designated as the paschal lunar month for that year. The 14th of the paschal lunar month is designated by convention as the Paschal full moonalthough the 14th of the lunar month may differ from the date of the astronomical full moon by up to two days.
The Gregorian calculation of Easter was based on a method devised by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius or Lilio for adjusting the epacts of the moon,  and has been adopted by almost all Western Christians and by Western countries which celebrate national holidays at Easter. This was designed to match exactly the Gregorian calculation. Controversies over the date Main article: Easter controversy A five-part Russian Orthodox icon depicting the Easter story.
Eastern Orthodox Christians use a different computation for the date of Easter than the Western churches. The precise date of Easter has at times been a matter of contention. By the later 2nd century, it was widely accepted that the celebration of the holiday was a practice of the disciples and an undisputed tradition.
The Quartodeciman controversy, the first of several Easter controversiesarose concerning the date on which the holiday should be celebrated. According to the church historian Eusebiusthe Quartodeciman Polycarp bishop of Smyrna, by tradition a disciple of John the Apostle debated the question with Anicetus bishop of Rome. The Roman province of Asia was Quartodeciman, while the Roman and Alexandrian churches continued the fast until the Sunday following the Sunday of Unleavened Breadwishing to associate Easter with Sunday.