3-Year Ministry Timeline of Jesus

Early Christian historian, Eusebius, said that Jesus’ ministry lasted three years. I agree, and so do a lot of commentaries and people who attempt to harmonize the gospels. However, problems start when we try to make St. Johns account fit with the synoptic gospels; big problems. :frowning:

I cannot get my svg diagram on to this forum, but here is the link to my timeline for discussion. Let’s see what folks think, and I’ll try to explain my scheme as we go along.


We don’t reconcile the Gospels to each other. The Bible is not history.

Much of the bible is historically accurate but historical accuracy is not the point of the Bible nor is it how ancient semitic authors wrote.

Modern man’s need to make the Gospels “fit” each other is itself the problem. Reading them like timelines is the problem.


Nope. It lasted 2 years.

I appreciate your efforts to make a timeline. As you noted, Catholics since the time of Eusebius have made similar efforts. One possible help: I don’t think Matthew, Mark, and John claim to be in historical order. It appears to me that only Luke’s gospel claims to be an “orderly account” in Luke 1:1-4, and that passage appears to contrast the other gospels with Luke’s on that score – at least that’s how I read it. If I were you, I would make Luke’s account the basis for the timeline, and fit the other accounts in on the assumption that they moved events around in order to structure their narratives on a non-timeline-y basis.

John is not attempting to write a historical document.
He is “putting it all together” in retrospect.

It’s a beautiful work.

Here is the fallible chronology of me.

Late 6 B.C. Jesus is born
5 B.C. Slaughter of the innocents
4 B.C. Herod dies
7 A.D. Jesus is found in temple
14 A.D. Augustus dies; Tiberius assumes the throne
27-28 A.D.15th year of Tiberius
28 A.D. Jesus cleanses temple
Friday April 7, 30 A.D. Jesus dies Nisan 15

You and I are very close. Just squeeze another year in there and Ill put your name forward for bishop. :wink:

Sorry, Cyberseeker. No can do.:wink:

On a serious note, Jesus’ ministry probably lasted 2 to 3 years.

Well, Luke basically was a biographer. John and the other evangelists had contact with Jesus or were contemporaries of the apostles.

Well, Luke basically was a biographer. John and the other evangelists had contact with Jesus or were contemporaries of the apostles.

A harmony of the Gospels would help with atheists

The basic problem is that Pilate didn’t arrive until 27 A.D. A 3-and-a-half year ministry would make Jesus die in 31 A.D. contrary to the Biblical evidence that he died on a Friday. A 2 year and 3 months ministry solves all the problems.

The Gospels are harmonious.

Again, they are not historical documents. The truths taught in the Gospels, the truths God wants us to know do not include a guarantee that everything happened literally they way the events were described and in the order put forth.

That’s not the way authors wrote back then. Holding first century semitic authors to the norms of 2016 newspaper and text book authorship is a big mistake. This is a mistake you are making.


Isn’t harmonzing the Gospels what the Fathers did?

Im sorry JB bro, but you cannot just assert that Pilate began his governorship in AD 27. It was in the previous year, and 99.9% of historians will quote AD 26.

He was appointed A.D. 26 and arrived A.D. 27.
From nowoezone:
The historical events in the administration of Pontius Pilate can now be considered. Soon after he arrived in Judea he “removed the army from Caesarea to Jerusalem, to take their Winter-quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar’s effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city.” (Ant. XVIII 3:1) The shields with Tiberius’ effigies offended the Jews, and after six days of protest Pilate removed the ensigns.28 The Megallit Ta’anit29 gives Kislev 3 as the day "the images were removed from the Temple court."30 That day was November 21 in 27 CE. Thus, the arrival of Pilate occurred earlier in about the summer or fall of 27.

Ive finally managed to get my timeline up on the forum. Here is how I see a 3-year, step by step, chronology of Jesus’ ministry. Notice how it takes the sequence of events in St Johns gospel more seriously than what some have thought. My view is that the synoptic gospels do not contradict John at all. However, we need to accept two separate ‘cleansings’ of the temple – one at each end of his ministry.


Mine is a two year timeline.

Jesus baptized January 6, 28 A.D.
Jesus cleanses temple 1st time 28 A.D.
Jesus feeds 5000 29 A.D.
Jesus enters Jerusalem Nisan 10 30 A.D.
Jesus cleanses temple second time Nisan 11 30 A.D.
Jesus is crucified Nisan 15 30 A.D.

So Cy, do you have any reason whatsover that Jesus missed a Passover during His 2-3 year ministry? Was He not the fulfillment of the Law?

As I understand it, he missed 2 Passovers (not to mention Tabernacles.) For example, in his second year Passover he was on the other side of Lake Galilee (John 6:1-4), after which he traveled to Phoenicia. (Mark 7:24) In his late ministry period we are told that he stopped fraternizing with the Jews. (John 11:54) That means going to Jerusalem, yes?

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