What Year Was Jesus Christ Crucified?


Jesus of Nazareth continues to captive people all over the world 2,000 years after he lived on earth. People are interested to know as many details about his life as they can. Scholars of the Gospels are able to sketch a reliable timeline of Jesus’ life with significant detail. This helps answer the question about when Jesus was crucified.

Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross in the Spring of 30 A.D. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John devote a lot of space in each of their Gospels to the last week of Jesus’ life, in which they provide important details that shed light on the date of his death. Some believe Jesus’ death occurred on April 7th.

How do scholars know the year and season of Jesus’ crucifixion? What details in the Gospels are they using to construct a timeline? Do any theological issues depend on the exact year Jesus died? Why do some believe Jesus died on April 7, 30 AD? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see Why Was Jesus Christ Crucified? to learn more.

cross of Jesus Christ
Do any theological issues depend on the year of Jesus’ death? See below

Dating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The table below lists significant periods in the last year of Jesus’ life, leading up to his crucifixion. The year and season are based on information compiled from all four Gospels, which mention events like annual festivals and celebrations, and various rulers and governors, which can help date different scenes.

EventDateScripture
Jesus feeds 5,00029 A.D. (Spring)Matt. 14:13-21
Jesus transfiguration29 A.D. (Summer)Matt. 17:1-13
Jesus attends the Festival of Tabernacles29 A.D. (Fall)John 7:11-52
Jesus begins his last trip to Jerusalem30 A.D. (Winter)Luke 17:11
Jesus resurrects Lazarus30 A.D. (Winter)John 11:1-44
Jesus is crucified and resurrected30 A.D. (Spring)John 19:17-42

For timelines on Jesus’ early life and the first two years of his ministry, see below.

Who was ruling when Jesus died? The Gospels reveal that Jesus was crucified during the reigns of the Roman governor, Pilate (26-36 AD), the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas (18-36 AD), and the Roman Tetrarch, Herod Antipas (4 BC-AD 37). Knowing these facts helps scholars date Jesus’ crucifixion.

Do some scholars believe that Jesus died in 33 AD? Yes. Some Gospel scholars believe that Jesus died in 33 AD. However, the majority view of those who construct reliable timelines of the Gospels’ details is that his crucifixion occurred in 30 AD. It’s further argued that what is known about events after the crucifixion with regard to events in Acts and Paul’s life fit better with the 30 AD date.

Do any theological issues depend on the year of Jesus’ death? No. The person and work of Jesus Christ have the same theological significance no matter what year he died. Nothing about the atonement hinges upon the exact year, month, or day that Jesus died.

Also see How Long Did Jesus Hang On the Cross? to learn more.

Jesus Christ crucifixion
Why do some believe Jesus died on April 7, 30 AD? See below

Chronicling the last two days of Jesus’ life

What day did Jesus die? Mark records that after Jesus was nailed to the cross, cried out to the offer, and offered sour wine to drink, “he uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (15:37). He then writes that on the same day, Joseph of Arimathea got permission from Pilate to take Jesus’ body down and bury it.

“And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” (Mark 15:42-43)

Time of DayEvent
Thursday eveningThe Last Supper
Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Judas betrays Jesus
Jesus is arrested
Late Thursday, Early FridayJesus appears before Annas
Jesus appears before Caiaphas
Peter denies Jesus three times

What annual celebration was happening when Jesus was crucified? The “day of Preparation” as Mark calls it, is the day before the Sabbath, which means that Jesus died on a Friday.

Mark has already informed readers that this occurred at the time of the Passover celebration (cf. 14:12, 14, 16), which was celebrated annually on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, based on the appearance of the new moon.

Time of DayEvent
Friday morningThe Sanhedrin meets
Jesus appears before Pilate
Jesus appears before Herod
Jesus appears before Pilate again
Friday middayJesus is crucified
Friday midafternoonJesus dies
Friday near sundownJesus is buried

Why do some believe Jesus died on April 7, 30 AD? Some scholars believe that astronomical data is reliable enough to calculate when the 15th of the month of Nisan occurred in AD 30. Using the months and days based on the Gregorian Calendar, they estimate that Jesus died on April 7.

Also see How Many Years Has It Been Since Jesus Died? to learn more.

When did Jesus start his public ministry? See below

Dating the life and ministry of Jesus Christ

Jesus’ Early Life – Birth to Adolescence: 5 B.C. to 8 A.D.

EventDatesScripture
Jesus is born5-6 B.C.Matt. 1:24-25
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph flee to Egypt3-4 B.C.Matt. 2:1-12
Adolescent Jesus teaches in the temple7-8 A.D.Luke 2:46-47

The Inauguration of Jesus’ Ministry: 27 A.D.

EventDatesScripture
John the Baptist baptizes Jesus26-27 A.D.Matt. 3:13-17
Jesus’ first miracle at Cana26-27 A.D.John 2:1-11
Jesus is tempted in the wilderness26-27 A.D.Matt. 4:1-11
Jesus cleanses the temple27 A.D. (Winter)John 2:13-15
Jesus meets Nicodemus27 A.D. (Winter)John 3:1-21
Jesus meets the Samaritan woman27 A.D. (Winter)John 4:5-42
Jesus begins to preach in Galilee27 A.D. (Fall)Luke 4:42-44

The Time of Popularity: 28 A.D.

EventDateScripture
Jesus chooses 12 disciples28 A.D. (Winter)Mark 3:13-19
Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount28 A.D. (Spring)Matt. 5:1-7:29
Jesus ministers in Galilee again28 A.D. (Summer)Luke 8:1-3
Jesus sends out the 1228 A.D. (Fall)Matt. 9:35-11:1
Jesus calms the storm28 A.D. (Fall)Luke 8:22-25

Also see What Time Did Jesus Christ Die? to learn more.

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Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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