Bible and calendars
Bible and calendars
PREFACE BIBLE AND CALENDAR
I. PRELIMINARY NOTIONS
1. METHODOLOGY BIBLE AND CALENDAR
2. A QUITE ANCIENT NEW CALENDAR
3. ABOUT CALENDARS
4. A LUSTRUM
5. SWIFT AS THE WIND
II. REDATING JESUS' DEATH
1. DID JESUS' CRUCIFIXION ACTUALLY HAPPEN ON APRIL, 7th, 30 ?
2. RECONSTRUCTING OLD LUNAR OBSERVATIONS
3. EASTER FELL ON A SATURDAY
4. NEW YEAR WAS A SATURDAY TOO
5. THE ONLY LUNAR EXPLANATION
6. THE LONG MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
7. A NEW READING OF DANIEL'S PROPHECY
8. "THEY HAD BEEN REBUILDING THE TEMPLE FOR 46 YEARS..."
9. THE ROMAN POINT OF VIEW
10. EXIT PILATE - ARMY MANOEUVRES IN THE EAST
11. PAUL'S TRAVELS
12. "AND JESUS HIMSELF BEGAN TO BE ABOUT 30 YEARS OF AGE"
13. CONCLUSION
III. THE SECOND TEMPLE CALENDAR
1. WHAT CALENDAR WAS IN USE AT THE TIME
2. ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF JUBILEE YEARS
3. RECONSTRUCTING THE ANTIQUE CALENDAR
4. THE CORRECT WAY TO USE FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS
5. THE CREATION OF THE WORLD ERA
IV. CONCLUSION
V. ANNEXE
FINAL REMARKS

II. REDATING JESUS' DEATH



   

8. "They had been rebuilding the temple for 46 years..."




Some Jews question Jesus and he answers :

-  "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."(John, 2, 19). This answer sets the historian with a first interrogation : what is the precise beginning of the reconstruction works that Herod had started after the damages caused by the - 30 earthquake (31 BC) in Jerusalem ?

Flavius Josephus mentions the event in both his works, The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities, providing different but not incoherent numbers. Indeed he first says (J.W. I, 14, 284) that Herod the Great was appointed King of Judæa, at Cæsar's and Anthony's instigation, through a vote by the Rome Senate which, according to historians, took place in - 39 (40 BC).

Flavius Josephus also tells us (J.W. I, 17, 343) that Herod had to fight for his throne and entered Jerusalem "three years after his nomination in Rome", i.e. around - 36/37.

The first book of Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War, is well known as a pro domo plea for his ambiguous position during the Judæan troubles of 66 - 70. He mainly adresses his fellow countrymen and to them Herod had only been King of Jerusalem since - 36, therefore when he sets the Temple's reconstruction during the 15th year of his reign it corresponds to the year - 22 (J.W. I, 21, 401).

Flavius Josephus provides us with a very precise chronological milestone (J.W. I, 19, 370) when he mentions that in the 7th year of Herod's reign, during the battle of Actium, there was an earthquake. Both these events are dated by historians in - 30 (31 BC).
Jewish Antiquities, which he wrote 20 years later in order to get the Roman to know better the Hebraic history and culture, the beginning of Herod's reign is naturally related to the Senate vote of - 39. So when he mentions that the Temple reconstruction began in the 18th year of his reign (J.A. XV, 380), it still leads us to the year - 22.

Despite the apparent contradictions, Flavius Josephus's chronology can therefore be trusted, contrary to what has sometimes been written.
Being certain of the reconstruction date, we can safely say that "46 years later" fall on the year 24 of our era (AD). A real problem then appears to us, since according to Luke (Luke, 3, 1) John the Baptist did not turn up before 28 and Jesus even later.

Since we do not contemplate precise numbers provided by Evangelists being false, there remains but one solution to our problem : a transcriber's mistake.

Let us first mention that in Greek, as well as in Hebrew, numbers are represented by the alphabet successive letters :

α Flèche 1     βFlèche 2     γFlèche 3    . etc
 and that 40 Flèche  μ  (mu)  and 50 Flèche  ν  (nu)


Then it is not implausible to think that an hearing confusion took place while the text was dictated, and that 46 was written instead of the initial 56.

During the 1st century, the author used to dictate his work to a secretary, a fortiori if there was need of a translation from one language to another.

Let us note as well that phonetical confusions did happen in Greek, the language in which the Gospels were written.

One has to admit that such a mistake is highly plausible. Then we can get out of the dead end in which our reasonning was moments before ; then we can state that the discrepancies between the Temple reconstruction and John the Baptist first apperances are settled : both happened ten years later, i.e. in 34.

They then happened, according to my guess, at the beginning of Jesus' public life. This agrees with John's testimony who, let us bear in mind, had been an eyewitness.
Consequently, Jesus' death cannot have occured in 30 or 33, as some authors have said.

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