Date of Jesus' Baptism


#1

Jesus was baptized shortly after John began preaching in the 15th year of Tiberius. (Luke 3:1) Romans dated their year from January so that means Jesus was baptized some time between Jan AD 26 and Jan AD 27. (Some say one or two years later)

We also know that his earliest ministry activity was approaching Passover (John 2:13) equating to March AD 27 so his Jordan experience would have been late AD 26. But how late? September? October? November? December? :hmmm:

My question relates to the season and I wonder if anyone can help. We have reason to think that he might have been baptized by John on the Day of Atonement 10th Tishri on the Hebrew Calendar. This would equate to 11th Sept AD 26.

Any thoughts? Does any ancient literature add anything to this?

Cyber


#2

** We have reason to think that he might have been baptized by John on the Day of Atonement 10th Tishri on the Hebrew Calendar.**

iirc I believe Rabbi Schneider co-host of TV's the 'Jewish Jesus' preached very same thing. To listen to the Rabbi connect Gods the Father's reason for having God the Son baptized at that exact time is a new revaluation of the baptism of Jesus...for me anyway.

...that is if I understood him correctly.;)


#3

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:1, topic:313551"]
Jesus was baptized shortly after John began preaching in the 15th year of Tiberius. (Luke 3:1) Romans dated their year from January so that means Jesus was baptized some time between Jan AD 26 and Jan AD 27. (Some say one or two years later)

We also know that his earliest ministry activity was approaching Passover (John 2:13) equating to March AD 27 so his Jordan experience would have been late AD 26. But how late? September? October? November? December? :hmmm:

My question relates to the season and I wonder if anyone can help. We have reason to think that he might have been baptized by John on the Day of Atonement 10th Tishri on the Hebrew Calendar. This would equate to 11th Sept AD 26.

Any thoughts? Does any ancient literature add anything to this?

Cyber

[/quote]

While it would be interesting to know the dates of his birth, baptism by John, and his death it doesn't really matter, having no impact on our faith.


#4

Well, there are plenty of biblical matters that have no direct impact on our faith but are still important. Reliable dates can reinforce our confidence in scripture. :)

As for the year of his baptism, John and others had been counting something. The Dead Sea scrolls are full of calculations pertaining to this period. John’s followers question, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” (Matt. 11:3) underscores the anticipation which existed back then.


#5

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:4, topic:313551"]
Well, there are plenty of biblical matters that have no direct impact on our faith but are still important. Reliable dates can reinforce our confidence in scripture. :)

As for the year of his baptism, John and others had been counting something. The Dead Sea scrolls are full of calculations pertaining to this period. John’s followers question, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” (Matt. 11:3) underscores the anticipation which existed back then.

[/quote]

I disagree. It is absolutely not important we know the dates that Jesus was born, baptised and died. Why is that important. Not knowing in no way means Scripture has any problems.


#6

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:4, topic:313551"]
Well, there are plenty of biblical matters that have no direct impact on our faith but are still important. Reliable dates can reinforce our confidence in scripture. :)

As for the year of his baptism, John and others had been counting something. The Dead Sea scrolls are full of calculations pertaining to this period. John’s followers question, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” (Matt. 11:3) underscores the anticipation which existed back then.

[/quote]

Can you please give us a quote from one of these documents? I'll look it up.


#7

There are two ways to understand “the fifteenth year of Tiberius.” One approach assumes that the reign of Tiberius started when he became co-regent in AD 11, which would indeed the start of the ministry of John the Baptist around AD 26. The other approach assume it to be upon the death of his predecessor Augustus Caesar in AD 14, implying that the ministry of John the Baptist began in AD 29.


#8

Wrong.

The Romans counted a partial year of reign as the first year.

Tiberius' first year would have been A.D. 14. His fifteenth would have been A.D. 28.


#9

Well, I wouldn’t want to claim vital importance to us today, but certainly important to those who were watching for his coming back then. Anna, Simeon, John t.b, his followers, the Essenes - they were all expecting the anointed one. This expectation had its basis in the Hebrew Sabbatic year system which was essentially a calendar.

So yes, dates are important to certain areas of biblical study.


#10

Tiberius’ co-regency with Augustus began in AD 12 as explained in Patrick’s post. His royal status was equal to his father from that earlier date.


#11

[quote="Cyberseeker, post:9, topic:313551"]
Well, I wouldn't want to claim vital importance to us today, but certainly important to those who were watching for his coming back then. Anna, Simeon, John t.b, his followers, the Essenes - they were all expecting the anointed one. This expectation had its basis in the Hebrew Sabbatic year system which was essentially a calendar.

So yes, dates are important to certain areas of biblical study.

[/quote]

Note: the Qumran sectarians expected two messiahs, but they don't play any major part in their eschatology. In fact, there was no single messianic expectation: almost everyone seems to have had their own peculiar notions about what the messiah(s) would be like. And not everyone expected a messiah.


#12

Like today, there would have been dozens of different ideas - some of them wacky Im sure. :whacky: But I think it would be true to say that there was a heightened expectation at that particular time. It would have stemmed from attempts to count Daniels prophecy of the ‘weeks.’

Has anyone here been involved a major evangelical promotion? How hard is it to gather a crowd without major inputs of advertising, organizing, and top-notch programming? And yet John walked into the desert (a virtual unknown) with his message, “The time is near!” What time was near?

Johns message struck such a chord that instant crowds appeared (in the most unlikely places) to hear what he had to say. (Such crowds don’t just ‘happen’) So, putting 2+2 together we realise that there was a major anticipation brewing at that time. I believe it would have been based on a count of the Sabbatic years as per Daniels prophecy.


#13

Not according to Josephus. Augustus died in August of A.D. 14, and then Tiberius was approved by the Senate.

No serious historian starts Tiberius’ reign at A.D. 12.

For that matter, Tiberius ran things the last ten years of Augustus’ reign as it was- why stop at A.D. 12?.


#14

I just thought of something. :cool:

Jesus baptism was probably October-November before the river reached its high winter flow. :winter: The Jordan river wasn’t diverted for irrigation like it is today and I would imagine winter baptisms would have been quite dangerous.

Also, Jesus’ first Passover is recorded (John 2:13) before which he had spent forty days in the wilderness then an unspecified time in Galilee (Luke 4:13-15) hence my October-November guestimation. What do you reckon? :hmmm:


#15

If you are interested in dates, you should read Hagan’s stuff.

Regarding an earlier post, Josephus doesn’t even mention the Day of Atonement. That could have been a later addition to Jewish ritual. At any rate, it wasn’t as important as the festivals back then.

When the Jordan flowed mightily, there were plenty of low-flow tributaries in the Jordan delta as it emptied into Lake Asphaltitis where baptisms could be held.


#16

What do you make of this then?

“And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments. He shall make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. And this shall be a statute forever for you, that atonement may be made for the people of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.” And Aaron did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Even if you’re in the camp who thinks that the Torah was written during or after the Exile you still gotta admit that there is no chance that Yom Kippur was a post-70 development. :shrug:

On the tenth day of the same lunar month [Hyperberetaeus, Tishri] they fast till the evening; and on this day they sacrifice a bull, and two rams, and seven lambs, and a kid of the goats, for sins.
And in addition they bring two kids of the goats, one of which is sent alive out of the limits of the camp into the wilderness to be a propitiation and an intercession for the sins of the whole people; the other they lead to a place of great cleanliness just outside the camp, and there burn it, with its skin, without any sort of cleansing.
With this goat is burnt a bull, not brought by the people, but by the High Priest, at his own expense; which, when it is slain, he brings some of its blood into the sanctuary, together with the blood of the kid, and with his finger sprinkles it toward the ceiling with his finger seven times, as also on the floor, and again as often onto the sanctuary and about the golden altar. The remainder he brings into the open court, and sprinkles it about the great altar. In addition, they set the extremities, and the kidneys, and the fat, with the lobe of the liver upon the altar. The High Priest also presents a ram to God as a burnt offering.


#17

OK.

But Josephus didn’t dwell on it at all. Just mixed it in with the feast of the Tabernacles. And he was a Temple priest.

Would the non-Jewish world even know about it if Sandy Koufax hadn’t missed a World Series game because of it?


#18

[quote="steve53, post:17, topic:313551"]
OK.

But Josephus didn't dwell on it at all. Just mixed it in with the feast of the Tabernacles. And he was a Temple priest.

Would the non-Jewish world even know about it if Sandy Koufax hadn't missed a World Series game because of it?

[/quote]

For one, there was no obligation to go to Jerusalem during Yom Kippur unlike during Sukkoth (Tabernacles). Hence Sukkoth - which occurs just five days after the Day of Atonement - was the more important feast of the two, which was probably why Josephus lumped them together.


#19

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