The most recent investigation, reported in the journal International Geology Assessment, targeted on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, positioned 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion:
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.”
To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.
Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and an early first century seismic occasion that happened sometime in between 26 A.D. and 36 A.D.
The latter period occurred during “the years when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea and when the earthquake of the Gospel of Matthew is historically constrained,” Williams stated.
“The day and date of the crucifixion (Very good Friday) are known with a fair degree of precision,” he stated. But the year has been in query.
In terms of textual clues to the date of the crucifixion, Williams quoted a Nature paper authored by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. Williams summarized their work as follows:
All four gospels and Tacitus in Annals (XV,44) agree that the crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from 26-36 AD.
All four gospels say the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.
All four gospels agree that Jesus died a number of hours prior to the starting of the Jewish Sabbath (nightfall on a Friday).
The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) indicate that Jesus died prior to nightfall on the 15th day of Nisan proper just before the begin of the Passover meal.
John’s gospel differs from the synoptics apparently indicating that Jesus died prior to nightfall on the 14th day of Nisan.
When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations are factored in, a handful of possible dates outcome, with Friday April 3, 33 A.D. getting the best match, according to the researchers.
Sources and more information:
Publication: The Times Of India Mumbai. Date May 26, 2012 Quake study says Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33 AD Washington: A study on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea has revealed the exact date of Jesus’ crucifixion, which has been debated for years. Researchers believe that Jesus, as described in the …
Okay … this one hit the internets yesterday and I’ve been nursing vipers in my breast ever since. It begins with an item at Discovery Newswhich begins thusly: The front side (recto) of Papyrus 1, a New Testament manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew. Most likely originated in Egypt. Also part of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (P. oxy.