How old was Jesus when he was Crucified?

Everyone says 33 years, which make sense to me. However I was recently reading the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus, and he makes references to Jesus living on earth for 30 years.

Does the Eastern tradition use a different method to calculate his age?

I am interested in seeing what some of our Eastern Catholic friends say regarding this.

However, PERHAPS, it something as simple as rounding.

For example, how many times do we say “for 2000 years the Church…”

The Church hasn’t been around for 2000 years. It’s only been around for 1986 years (+- the number of years the calendar is off), assuming Christ died at 33.

So it just might be that simple

That’s what I was thinking. Maybe it didn’t seem that important since we can’t determine an exact age, so they shrugged their shoulders and said “eh, 30 sounds close enough”

Nobody knows how old he was when he was crucified. People assume he was 33 because they mistakenly think the Bible says he was 30 and then died after a three year public ministry. However, the Bible does not say he was 30 when he started his ministry. It states he was about 30 which can easily mean several years either side of 30.

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The Gospel of Luke mentions that Jesus started His ministry when he was around 30 years old, and John’s Gospel has the ministry take place over three years, so that’s where we get the traditional 33 years. On the other hand, the three Synoptic Gospels seem to collapse everything into just one year — or, at least, they’re more interested in Jesus’ final Passover than in any others He might have celebrated — so a crucifixion closer to 30 is possible. One Church Father (Irenaeus of Lyons, I think) strongly believed that Jesus must have lived through every stage of human life in order to redeem it, and so held that He was much older than we usually think when He was crucified, but his is very much a minority position.


That’s an interesting idea, to think of an elderly Jesus on the cross.

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To calculate Jesus’ age when he was crucified, we need to establish two dates: the year of his birth, and the year of the Crucifixion. The Crucifixion is the easier of the two. Pontius Pilate governed Judea from 26 to 36 or possibly early 37, and based on the date of Passover in each of those years, it is now generally accepted that the Crucifixion could have occurred in either 30 or 33, but in no other year. The date of Jesus’ birth is more difficult. Matthew 2 specifies that it was in the last few years of Herod the Great’s lifetime, but the date of Herod’s death is disputed. Jesus was probably born some time between 7 and 4 BC, but that cannot be stated as an absolute certainty.


He began His ministry at the age of 30. He was crucified on Calvary’s Cross at the age of 33.

Strictly speaking, Our Lord has no age. He was begotten, not made, in eternity.

I fully understand, though, what is being discussed here. The general consensus is that, in His human form, He was in His early thirties.

Jesus could have been born no later than 4 B.C., the year that Herod the Great died. If He was crucified in 30 A.D., then He was at least 34 years old. If He was crucified in 33 A.D., then he was at least 37 years old.


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I favor the crucifixion in AD 30. Because that makes the destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70 exactly 40 years later, which is a significant number in the Bible. Just my opinion though.

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We don’t know that. The Bible says he began his ministry about age 30. That is not the same as 30. It could be late 20’s or early 30’s.

Luke 3:23 When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age.


He did not. The Bible does not say that. Please give us the verse in the Bible that supports your claim.

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Have you read the earlier post in this thread?

Does that mean I get to be 4 years younger?

Yes, you will, but be prepared for the jet lag.

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actually we’d be 4 years older and it’d be 2023 right now. Oops :upside_down_face:


Oh dear … old AND bad at maths!


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