Chronology

© 2005 Dr. Barbara Thiering (May, 2005)

In any history, the first information needed is the dating of events. The gospels and Acts are in the form of history, yet are remarkably vague about dates. Luke is the most helpful, saying that the ministry of Jesus began in 29 AD, the 15th year of Tiberius (accession 14 AD), but he does not give the most needed date of all, that of the crucifixion. He appears to follow the Synoptics in presenting only a year's ministry for Jesus, whereas John's gospel presents at least three Passovers, indicating three years.

It appears to be inconsistent that the gospels give exact hours - the 10th hour (John 1:39), the 7th hour (John 4:52), the 3rd, 6th and 9th hours for the crucifixion (Mark 15:25, Mark 15:33; John 19:14) yet give no indication of years. Moreover, John's gospel disagrees with the Synoptics about the hours of the crucifixion.

The major contribution of the pesher is to show that there is a complete chronology, given through the use of terms with special meanings. When information from the Dead Sea Scrolls and related literature is drawn on, it is found that an exact set of significant times is being given, in terms of years, seasons, months and hours.


The necessary information on the following topics in that section will be found directly by following the links:

The foregoing details on Chronology give the main schemes, but more details are needed for the full pesher. These are explained in Jesus the Man (Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and the subsequent books. A full set of events with their dates is given in Jesus the Man.


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