(Ed. This page is part of the Admin's
Blog section on the website IHS-WA.net, therefore being the private
view of Max Jefferies. It is NOT a
representation of any view within the Christian Brethren movement.)
*** This article has been REVISED ***
In my original article I was
establishing the date of the crucifixion of Jesus from the estimated
year of His birth, which has been anywhere from 7 to 2 BC, and then
adding 33 years to get to the crucifixion date. I have since
discovered that the date of His death has been firmly calculated as
April 3, AD 33.
Please read the attachment at the end of this article for a full
It is the death of Jesus that we are concerned with in this article as
that was when the old covenant was replaced with the new covenant, and
salvation, through the shedding of His sinless blood, became available
to all people who would respond to Him.
FRIGHTENING - EXCITING -
Here we go - another prophecy date-fixer! I have kept quiet about my
thoughts on the return of Jesus, fearing the typical expected
backlash, but now feel that I must come out in favour of this view
that is becoming more widely aired on the internet these days. To me
this is so exciting and what a challenge - to live your life with the
purpose of investing all you have into God's Kingdom before His VERY
NEAR RETURN. How much money do you have - to meet the Lord Jesus and
still have many thousands of dollars still in your bank account or
invested when it could have been used to distribute Bibles or spread
God's message in countries hungry for the Good News, would be a great
shame. And your time - spent on things of this world instead of
working earnestly to further Christ's message and love before His near
return, would be rather pointless.
Get excited about Christ's return - get active - it is your last
chance this side of heaven.
A Logical Date
On the lead up to the year 2000 I began thinking about how close the
return of Jesus is and adding 2,000 years to date of His death, which
finished the old covenant and brought in the new covenant. Jesus death
has been reliably calculated to have occurred in AD 33, which gives a
simple figure of the years
for His possible return. Pretty simple really! BUT, WOW!! This is
frightening, exciting and challenging to us, the followers of Christ!
There have been numerous dates set for Jesus' return over the years,
most needed a Ph.D. to follow them, but it must be said now THAT ALL
THOSE DATES ARE NOW IN THE PAST, so you can forget about them. The
only future date that has any real biblical weight to it is 2,000
years from the cross of Christ.
No Day or Hour, but the Year?
Many people jump on you when you talk about dating the second coming
of Christ, that we are told we can
know the day or hour - clearly seen in what Jesus says in Matthew:
"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already
become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away
till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but
My words will by no means pass away.
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,
but My Father only."
(Matthew 24:32-35 NKJV)
But Jesus does say we will be able to see the timing of His return in
a more general sense, when it is at your door, and that we MUST be
prepared for it! To talk about the approximate YEAR of His return is
not to go against the Bible passage above, but to put it into the real
world that we are living in. As the next few years develop, it will
become more obvious that the end of this era is drawing to a RAPID
God's 7 Day / 7,000 Year Plan
This is something I found on the internet that got my attention and
thought. In Isaiah God says He declares the end from the beginning.
The beginning was the creation week, but how does this show the 'End'
"Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no
other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things
that are not yet done,
saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.""
(Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV).
"...saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers
fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of
creation.” For this they wilfully forget: that by the word of God the
heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the
water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded
with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by
the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing,
that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but
that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come
as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a
great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the
earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." (2 Peter
This understanding that God has established a 7 day / 7,000 year
master plan for His creation of mankind on planet Earth is a
intriguing concept. The 'beginning' was 6 days of creation and a day
of rest, the Sabbath. 7 days! We are almost to 6,000 years since
creation and we are looking forward to Christ's return to earth for
what the scripture says is a thousand year reign of rest - making a
total of 7,000 years - then the Judgement Seat of Christ will occur.
Let us read the Book of Revelation chapter 20 for a better
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the
bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the
dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan,
and bound him for a thousand years;
and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a
seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more
till the thousand years were finished.
But after these things he must be released for a little while.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed
to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their
witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the
beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads
or on their hands.
And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years
were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he
who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has
but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with
Him a thousand years.
when the thousand years have expired,
Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive
the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and
Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the
sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and
surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire
came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who
deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where
the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be
tormented day and night forever and ever.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was
found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing
before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which
is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their
works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up
the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who
were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the
second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was
cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:1-15 NKJV)
After the previous chapters in the book of Revelation describing the 7
years of 'Tribulation', we see this 1,000 years of rest, then the
final battle with Satan, then the end of the age with the Judgement
Seat and the Book of Life. Then the 7,000 years are complete. 7 days
of creation / 7,000 year history of the earth. We are almost to the
end of the 6,000 year period.
The Fig Tree and Israel
Just days before Jesus’ death, He told a parable that greatly helps us
pinpoint when his 2nd Advent will occur:
"Now as He
sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately,
saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign
of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already
become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So
when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
Assuredly, I say to you,
this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take
(Matthew 24:32-34 NKJV)
Sometimes in Scripture the fig tree is a representation the nation of
Israel. God told the prophet Hosea: “I found Israel like grapes in the
wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig tree at
her first time” (Hosea 9:10). And during Jesus’ 3½ year ministry, he
often used the symbol of a fig tree when communicating things about
the nation of Israel. When the nation of Israel came back on the map
again in AD 1948 (after almost 1,900 years of non-existence), it is
seen that Israel (the Fig Tree) has put forth her leaves once again!
So Jesus was declaring that there will be some of those who were alive
at that time will still be alive when Jesus returns to earth once
more. So how long are we talking about in years here? The observation
in the text below is about 80 years (but now would be longer still).
"The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength
they are eighty years..." (Psalm 90:10 NKJV)
So if you add 80+ years to the foundation date of Israel in 1948 it
yields AD 2028+. This puts it well within the timeframe of Jesus
Christ returning to Earth 2,000 years after the crucifixion,
approximately AD 2033.
The Tribulation Years & the Rapture of the Church
So given the above, this means the final 7 year tribulation period
prophesied in Scripture will begin somewhere around AD 2026, BEFORE
the end of the 6,000 years. So we need to abandon our focus on things
of this world and put all our resources and energy in to sharing the
good news of salvation from our sins and freedom in Christ, to those
wanting to hear. There are people in some countries eager for the
truth of God's Word, for Bibles and teachers of scripture, and we need
to release our accumulated money into sharing Jesus with them NOW,
before it is too late. But not just our financial resources, but
ourselves as well.
For those who hold to the view of the church being raptured (taken up)
to meet Jesus in the air before the tribulation begins
(pre-tribulation rapture), then the time for the harvest of souls for
God's Kingdom is so much shorter, the time being just a few years away
around AD 2026. The following is a quick view of the three main
'Rapture' views within the Christian church today.
The 'Rapture of the Church' comparison chart: It must be noted that
all three views see the church taken up to be with Jesus before the
Millennium reign of Christ on the earth. Before the 6,000 year period
is complete at around AD 2033.
The Frightening Conclusion
END is NEARER than you THINK!
This simple idea of adding 2,000 years from the date of Jesus'
crucifixion is compelling, giving us around AD 2026-2033 for the
return of Christ for His church and for judgements. We have gotten
into the lull of thinking Christ won't return and have become dull and
lazy, and have lost our first love. Our minds refuse to accept the
obvious - Jesus' return IS CLOSER THAN IT HAS EVER BEEN!!!!!
gives us a wakeup call to stop messing around playing "Christian"
games and biding our time from Sunday to Sunday. Believer, the joy you
get from worldly activities is a small taste of the joys one feels in
active service for Jesus, and it has eternal rewards for you and the
ones you reach and serve in Christ name.
Send any comments & thoughts through to me on this subject
copy into email address.
Placing the Cross in History
Andreas J. Köstenberger on April
1, 2014; last featured April 23, 2016
Can we know the exact date of Christ’s death? The Bible’s firsthand
accounts give us plenty of historical details that narrow down when it
fell within the Roman Empire’s tumultuous early days.
did Jesus die? Scholars continue to debate this important question.
Admittedly, the Bible does not specify the precise date of Jesus'
Crucifixion, and the date is not an essential salvation truth. At the
same time, Christianity is a historical religion, and the events of
Christ’s life did take place in human history alongside other known
events. For this reason it is helpful to locate Jesus' death—as
precisely as the available evidence allows—within the larger context
of human history.
Reference to the 15th Year of Tiberius in Luke
events in Jesus' ministry are firmly rooted in human history. Among
the evangelists, no one makes this point more strongly than Luke. He
provides several rather precise historical details that help us set
the key dates of Jesus' life. In Luke
writes that “in those days [that is, when Jesus was born] a decree
went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be
registered.” Augustus (ruled 31 BC–AD 14) presided over the Golden Age
of Rome, an era of peace and prosperity. Upon his death, he was
succeeded by Tiberius (AD 14–37). In Luke
read, “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius
Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee,
. . . while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God
came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into
all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance
for the remission of sins.” Later in the same chapter, Luke provides a
brief account of John’s baptism of Jesus (Luke
states that “Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of
efforts to reconstruct the most probable date of Jesus' Crucifixion,
we are greatly indebted to Luke. In fact, it is hard to imagine a more
thorough account of the historical setting of John the Baptist’s and
Jesus' ministries. Most helpful are Luke’s references to various Roman
government officials, particularly Tiberius, because several Roman
histories detail the lives and reigns of the various emperors. Through
such reports, we learn that the Roman Senate confirmed Tiberius as
Augustus’s successor on August 19, AD 14.
Implications from the Data Provided by Luke
Scholars have calculated “the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius
Caesar” in a number of ways. Most likely, Tiberius’s reign was counted
either from the day he took office in AD 14 or from January 1 of the
following year, AD 15. The earliest possible date at which Tiberius’s
“fifteenth year” began is August 19, AD 28, and the latest possible
date at which his “fifteenth year” ended is December 31, AD 29. So the
most likely way to interpret the beginning date of John the Baptist’s
ministry is anywhere between August 19, AD 28, and December 31, AD 29.
If, as Luke’s account indicates, Jesus began His ministry not long
after John, the earliest date would be in late AD 28, but sometime in
the first half of the year AD 29 seems more likely because it appears
that a few months elapsed between the beginning of John’s ministry and
that of Jesus (and the year AD 30 is the latest possible date).
can estimate Jesus' age when He began His ministry. If He was born in
6 or 5 BC, Jesus would have been anywhere between 32 and 35 years of
age at the start of His ministry.1
This coheres with Luke’s statement that “Jesus, when he began his
ministry, was about thirty years of age” (Luke
that Luke does not say Jesus was exactly thirty years old; “about”
indicates his approximate age. Luke’s reference to Tiberius’s
fifteenth year is important because it provides a firm historical
starting point for calculating the year of Jesus' Crucifixion. If
Jesus' ministry lasted for more than one year, this would seem to rule
out AD 30 as a possible date for the Crucifixion. John’s Gospel
mentions that Jesus attended at least three Passovers, first in
then in Galilee (John
finally in Jerusalem at the time of His Crucifixion (John
In addition, Jesus may have attended one more Passover not recorded in
John but in the other Gospels. If so, Jesus' ministry lasted for about
three years (if spanning four Passovers, about three and a half
years). With the year AD 29 as the most likely starting point, this
places the date of Jesus' Crucifixion in the year AD 33.
Crucifixion on the Day of Preparation for the Passover
Fast-forwarding to the Gospel accounts of Jesus' Crucifixion, John
mentions that Jesus was crucified on “the day of Preparation” (John
is, the Friday before the Sabbath of Passover week (Mark
night before, on Thursday evening, Jesus ate a Passover meal with the
the Pharisaic-rabbinic calendar commonly used in Jesus' day, Passover
always falls on the fourteenth day of Nisan (Exodus
which begins Thursday after sundown and ends Friday at sundown. In the
year AD 33, the most likely year of Jesus' Crucifixion, Nisan 14 fell
on April 3, yielding April 3, AD 33, as the most likely date for the
Luke provides several rather precise historical details that help us
set the key dates of Jesus' life.
This enables us to determine a possible date for the Crucifixion.
above calculations may appear complicated, but the argument is easier
to follow in chart form (above).
AD 33 is in the author’s judgment the most likely scenario, it should
be acknowledged that many believe Jesus was crucified in the year AD
30. However, if the beginning of Tiberius’s reign is placed in the
year AD 14, it is virtually impossible to accommodate fifteen years of
Tiberius’s reign and three years of Jesus' ministry between AD 14 and
30. For this reason, some have postulated a co-regency (joint rule) of
Tiberius and Augustus during the last few years of Augustus’s reign.
However, there is no reliable ancient historical evidence for such
author concludes that Jesus was most likely crucified on April 3, AD
this is not a salvation truth and while other dates are possible,
believers can take great assurance from the fact that the most
important historical events in Jesus' life, such as the Crucifixion,
are firmly anchored in human history. The same is true for all of the
Bible’s history, including creation and humanity’s rebellion in the
Garden that brought death into the world and made Christ’s Crucifixion
necessary. When we celebrate Easter, and as we walk with Jesus every
day of the year, we can be confident that our faith is based not only
on subjective personal assurance but on reliable historical data,
which makes ours an eminently reasonable faith.
Author: Dr. Andreas Köstenberger is senior research professor at
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North
Carolina. He is the founder of Biblical Foundations (www.biblicalfoundations.org)
and author of The Final Days of Jesus (with Justin Taylor, Crossway,
allows at least a few months to pass before Herod ordered the killing
of Bethlehem’s infants under two years old. Many date Herod’s death to
the spring of 4 BC.
Attachment sourced from:
Print a copy of this article
PDF version -
MS PUBLISHER version