When was Jesus Crucified?

Some of the proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion theory say they have backtracked the Jewish calendar to see when Jesus was crucified, and claim that the Passover sabbath occurred on the Thursday of the week of Christ’s crucifixion, and that the Sabbath referred to is not the weekly Sabbath but the Passover only.

The one thing that is about to become very clear is that none of the most qualified experts have been able to agree on both a day and a date, let alone a year using this teqnique. The popup tooltip from the text in italics a few lines below was taken from a site with no copyright. I have used this page for an example because they used something more accurate than trying to calculate the phases of the moon, but like many have overlooked two things that caused them to come up with a date that is two years out. Why are so many wrong? Read the following excerpt and then we will look at why they and others have miscalculated by either one or two years or more.

As for backtracking the phases of the moon, many have tried and you will soon see that even the expert scholars cannot agree on a year yet alone a day as it is far more involved than you could ever imagine and so cannot be relied on at all. What has also become very apparent to me in my study of this topic is that everyone who came up with a different date for the baptism and crucifixion of Jesus and used the 70 weeks of Daniel for supposed evidence, all varied the date to rebuild Jerusalem to a date that could be reconciled with their conclusion for the crucifixion date of Jesus. See also Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy.

The author of the tooltip excerpt states that the year of crucifixion was 33 A.D. and that 31 and 32 A.D. is impossible because of the phases of the moon. However, by his own date reckoning using the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, he is a total of two years out but one indisputable year in his count, which would actually have made his result 32 A.D. that he said was an impossibility. Like thousands of others, he is obviously wrong. It would have been better if he never read or listened to that wrong information on the so called accuracy of lunar phases dating back so far. So why is his count one year out? He directly added 15 years to the sole reign date of 14 A.D. of Tiberius, which does not allow for inclusive years as demonstrated below.

Note that 14 A.D. is the 1st year and 15 is the 2nd, 16 = 3rd, 17 = 4th, 18 = 5th, 19 = 6th, 20 = 7th, 21 = 8th, 22 = 9th, 23 = 10th, 24 = 11th, 25 = 12th, 26 = 13th, 27 = 14th and 28 A.D. is the 15th, not 29 A.D.

The following dates are based on the well known starting date for the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and can be reconciled with Luke 3:1 once we discover the other overlooked factor for a one year discrepancy.Daniel's Seventy weeks

Tiberius Caesar is said to have reigned from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D. but 14 A.D. is the starting year of his sole reign. After his adoption in 4 A.D., Tiberius was granted tribunician (legislative) power and proconsular (military) power and in 13 A.D., his powers were made equal to that of Augustus effectively making him ruling co-emperor. So when Augustus died in 14 A.D., the question of succession was not an issue as Tiberius already had the powers of emperor. The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar using his sole reign would make the baptism of Jesus in 28 A.D. Many get 29 A.D. because they forgot to use inclusive years. The calculation should be 14 A.D. + 15 – 1 year = 28 A.D. But this of course cannot be reconciled with the decree date to rebuild Jerusalem. But if you allow for the fact that he ruled jointly with Augustus for one year prior to 14 A.D., then that would make the baptism of Jesus to be one year earlier in 27 A.D. That is 13 A.D. + 15 – 1 = 27 A.D. This of course aligns with the other evidence we have for the starting date of 457 B.C. to rebuild Jerusalem. Observe the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia encyclopaedia excerpts for verification.

The decree to rebuild Jerusalem

The issuing of the decree to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem begins with a specific event. The problem is that there are Bible records for several different decrees concerning rebuilding within Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:25Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem…




Specifics of the Decree


Ezra 1:1-4

539 B.C.

Permitted Jews to return to the land and rebuild their Temple. This work was discontinued because of false accusations (Ezra 4:6-13).


Ezra 6:8-12

520 B.C.

Permitted Jews to complete the rebuilding of the Temple


Ezra 7:11-28 

457 B.C. 

Allowed Ezra authority to lead the nation in the Laws of God


Nehemiah 1

445 B.C.

Nehemiah given permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem

The first two decrees are way too early to have any bearing upon the coming of the Messiah and the last decree is far too late. Ezra was given his commission in the 7th year of Artaxerxes. Allowing for his ascension year, that Persian king began his reign in 464 B.C. This would place his decree to Ezra around 457 B.C. (464 B.C. - 7 = 457 B.C.)

The culmination of the 69 weeks is the coming of “Messiah the Prince” and is universally agreed among Christians that this Anointed Prince is a reference to Jesus. So it becomes a simple matter for us to look at the four decrees and find which one of them aligned with the coming of Christ.

Daniel 9:25Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks…

Date for the giving of the Decree

Plus 483 Years


Ezra 1:1-4

539 B.C.

56 B.C.


Ezra 6:8-12

520 B.C.

37 B.C.

7th Year of Artaxerxes

Ezra 7:11-28

457 B.C.

27 A.D.

20th Year of Artaxerxes

Nehemiah 1

445 B.C.

39 A.D.

It is evident from this chart that the first decree of Artaxerxes given to Ezra in 457 B.C. is what matches the prophecy of Daniel as the date of 27 A.D. falls within the timeline of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. Using the historical evidence of fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, (Luke 3:1) and allowing for the one year joint reign with Augustus, gives us the same date of 27 A.D. as one would expect. This gives us a crucifixion date of 31 A.D. with no complications in reconciling both dates. Remember to exclude year zero or you will be another year out. The calculation should be 457 – 483 – 1 = 27 A.D.

Calendar Converters

There are many people starting to use Javascript calendar converter programs to attempt to establish a date and day but even these do not line up with the qualified expert scholars in this field.

Many of the experts have also been using very complicated software and algorithms to calculate the phases of the moon instead of the historical data and most have concluded the crucifixion of Christ to be on Nisan 14, 3793. If you place this date in the Javascript calculator below, you will find it comes up with Friday, 1st April 33 A.D. This is what many people on the internet are using to come up with their date but the qualified experts that also concluded the year 33 A.D. say it is Friday, April 3rd. How can this be? These calculators say Friday, 1st of April while the experts say Friday, 3rd of April. So who is right? I would say that the software used by the experts would be more accurate but who can be 100% certain?

If you enter the crucifixion date of Christ based on correct historical records, the Hebrew date would be Nisan 14, 3791. If you place this date in the Javascript calculator below, you will find it comes up with Monday, 24th March 31 A.D. Monday of course is not possible. I have recently seen another Wednesday crucifixion proponent go to extreme lengths to try and prove that Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D. Why this year? Because by the calculator below that some are using reports Wednesday. This would make the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to be 458 B.C. and the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar to be in 26 A.D. This would mean his sole reign would have started in 13 A.D. and joint reign in 12 A.D. NONE of these dates can be reconciled with any historical records and is clearly an attempt to prove a Wednesday crucifixion based solely on this calculator, which does not agree with other scholars and astronomers.

Two reasons these calculators are incorrect is because the ten days that were dropped from the calendar in October 4, 1582 are not allowed for and because the author claims there is about a one day error for every 19,500 years. One web site using this calendar was honest enough to give the following message. “WARNING: Results for year 1752 C.E. and before may not be accurate. It does not take into account a correction of ten days that was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII known as the Gregorian Reformation.

The person claiming 30 A.D. states the lunar cycle cannot be Compromised by Satan, but that indicates the author of the fourmilab site is infallible and could not possibly be in error or in anyway influenced by Satan in his calculations, and could not have possibly overlooked one single parameter or variable. The expert astronomers and scholars would laugh and scoff at such a statement. Researchers from Newton to Schaefer have stated that the two most accepted dates are Friday 30 A.D. and Friday 33 A.D. Note that they believe 30 A.D. to be a Friday rather than a Wednesday. So who is wrong? I emailed the person responsible for the fourmilab web site and asked him why his findings are different from Sir Isaac Newton and other experts such as two of today’s leading astronomers. This person who does not appear to have any official qualifications did not have the courtesy to even reply. So what can be concluded from all of this? No one has got the day or year right using the lunar cycles or these calculators. So what can we rely on for the day of the week proof? The Bible of course!

The calculator below allows you to interconvert dates in a variety of calendars, both civil and computer related. All calculations are done in JavaScript and executed in your browser and the complete source code is embedded in or linked to this page. This code is NOT written by myself and is available from many locations on the internet. The current date is set into each calendar by default. To use the page, your browser must support JavaScript and you must not have disabled execution of that language.

If the box above says “Your browser supports JavaScript”, just simply enter a date in any of the boxes below to show that date in the other calendars. Hebrew and Gregorian is what is relevant here.

 Chronological Julian Day   
 Calendar A (short cycle) 
 Indian Civil   
 ISO 8601     
 International Fixed     
 Yerm  - ( (
 Mayan (584283)   
 Mayan (584285)   

Can we back track the Date

So is it true that the proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion theory have accurately backtracked the Jewish calendar and found what day and year Jesus was crucified on? Considering the experts and the authors of the calendar calculators cannot even agree, I think it would be very arrogant and or dishonest for them to make such a claim. In so doing, they would be placing themselves above one of the world’s greatest scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, and other leading experts in this field. I would strongly advise ignoring anyone making such a claim. The following paragraph is an excerpt from an online encyclopaedia that further demonstrates the difficulty.

Isaac Newton was one of the first scientists to estimate the date of the crucifixion by calculating the relative visibility of the crescent of the new moon between the Hebrew and Julian calendars. Newton suggested the date as Friday, April 23 AD 34. Writing in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1991, John Pratt argued that Newton’s reasoning was effectively sound, but included a minor error at the end. Pratt suggested the year 33 AD as the accurate answer. Using similar computations, in 1990 astronomer Bradley Schaefer arrived at the same date, Friday, April 3 33 AD. Thus it can be concluded that Newton’s argument favours the April 3 33 AD date. Somewhat earlier than Pratt, in a 1983 article in the journal Nature, Humphreys and Waddington of Oxford University also confirmed Friday April 3 33 AD as the date of the Crucifixion. This date was further confirmed in 2003. Using a computer program, astronomers Liviu Mircea and Tiberiu Oproiu again estimated that Jesus died at 3 pm on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, and rose on Sunday, April 5, dates that agree with Schaefer. Another computer calculation suggests somewhat different dates.

One of the reasons so many have concluded April 3, 33 A.D. (April 1, 33 A.D. using the above calculator) is because they believe that Nisan 14 of this year was a Friday. There is far more accuracy and reliability in the historical information such as the decree to rebuild Jerusalem that can also be reconciled with the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar once one discovers the error that most have made in not allowing for the one year he co-reigned with Augustus. That makes the year of the crucifixion of Jesus to be 31 A.D. and not 33 A.D. as many have concluded. As for the day, as you have seen, no one can even agree what date goes with what day let alone a year. This leaves us to go by the most reliable evidence being the Holy Bible, which at least leaves no doubt of being a Friday crucifixion.

Writing for the Royal Astronomical Society in 1990, astronomer Bradley Schaefer begins his article with three of the following statements. “The exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has long held a fascination for scholars. ... All four Gospels place the death of Jesus Christ on a Friday afternoon. ... If the correlation between the day of the week and the day of the month is known, then enough information MAY be available to determine a unique date.” He concludes his article with the following. “I have re-examined the starting dates of the Jewish lunar months around the time of the crucifixion by means of an improved algorithm for predicting lunar visibility. These dates can be of use in helping identifying the exact date of Christ’s death.

The one thing that is abundantly clear from all the scholars and astronomers that have ATTEMPTED to find a date over the years, is that calculating the lunar cycles is by no means guaranteed despite what some of the Wednesday crucifixion proponents would like you to believe. As time has gone on and the proponents arguments have been progressively squashed, they have turned to other means such as saying the lunar cycles prove they are right rather than the Bible. It is very sad when one turns from the Word of God and uses secular means when they cannot convince others of their erroneous belief. I have found that there is an absolute desperation for this group to have us believe the day is Wednesday and a literal 72 hours. So much so that I find they get abusive in their emails and ignore everything you try and show them. This is definitely the spirit of Satan at work. It should come as no surprise that this heresy started with well known cult leader Herbert Armstrong and has spread over the last few decades. I can only conclude that Satan has a hand in this for reasons that become associated with confusion over Commandment keeping, which is what Satan really wants.

The following information has already been covered on the previous page but let’s just cover some of the key issues briefly one more time. The literal 72 hours seems to be the real stumbling block for the Wednesday crucifixion proponents, but if one wants to go down this path then one must accept it is a full literal 72 hours and Jesus would have to rise on the fourth day. Despite this there is not one verse that even hints Jesus rose on the fourth day. There are over 15 verses that all say Jesus rose on the third day. Here is one such example I have chosen because it shows that the people of that time understood how long and saw no need to watch the tomb until the fourth day but only until the third. It was clear to them that Jesus was expected to rise before the fourth day and not after. Matthew 27:64Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

If one could only accept and understand the three days in the light of inclusive reckoning of time. This was the method used throughout the Bible in computing time. Jesus and His friends spoke and wrote in harmony with the common literacy used those days, and that usage recognized inclusive reckoning of time. In simple language, this means that any part of a day was counted as a whole day. The Jewish Encyclopaedia states. “A short time in the morning of the seventh day is counted as the seventh day; circumcision takes place on the eighth day, even though, of the first day only a few minutes after the birth of the child, these being counted as one day.” Vol. 4, p. 475. Any small part of a day was reckoned as the entire twenty-four hour period. Scores of contradictions would appear in both Old and New Testament if this principle were ignored. We must compare Scripture with Scripture and use the idiom of the language in which the Bible was written. Inclusive reckoning was taken for granted by all the writers of the Scriptures. When you understand this, one can let go of this literal 72 hour heresy that does not fit scripture anyway such as Jesus did not rise on the fourth day, he rose on the third. The proponents of the Wednesday crucifixion theory cannot let go of this fixation they have for a literal 72 hours despite the facts of inclusive reckoning that they just choose to outright ignore. This really lacks wisdom.

If Jesus were crucified on a Wednesday, then the women would have anointed the body of Jesus on the Friday being their first opportunity, as Thursday would have been Passover sabbath. There is not a chance in hades that they would have waited till Sunday. They would not be sitting idle for a day with this task they would be very anxious to do plus a dead body stinks something awful by the fourth day. Luke 23:56, 24:1-3And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and RESTED THE SABBATH DAY ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT. Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Every single Bible Commentary written by ALL the late great famous theologians (used by almost every Pastor on planet Earth) ALL say that a “High day” is a double Sabbath. Why else would it have a special name? If this were not so then it would not need or qualify for a special name such as a “High day” that has special significance. If both Passover sabbath and the Lord's Sabbath fell on the same day then the crucifixion day can ONLY be Friday and NOT on any other day. Here is one of the clearest Bible Commentaries. “The People’s New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson” quotes: “John 19:31 - That sabbath was a high day. A double Sabbath, both the weekly Sabbath and a passover Sabbath. It was usual Roman custom to leave crucified bodies on the cross, but out of deference to their wishes Pilate consents that the legs of the victims should be broken in order to hasten death, so that the bodies might be taken down and buried. The legs were crushed with a hammer like a sledge and the shock would bring speedy death.” There are many unqualified people erecting web sites now saying otherwise in an attempt to hide this truth as they are so desperate to make others believe their error. All the experts are not wrong but those trying to cover this fact are very deceived. And the following final point given here proves the experts are right from scripture and cannot be debated.

So if one can understand the simplicity of this final point, then the day is undisputable on this alone. When the Bible states the phrase “The Sabbath,” it is always referring to the Seventh Day. If you ever said “The Sabbath” to anyone, they would never conclude you were referring to Passover. Why not? To begin with and to state the obvious once again, Passover is not “The Sabbath,” it is “A sabbath” and one of many, but it is not and cannot ever be “The Sabbath.” This is why the following two verses alone prove that both Sabbaths fell on the Saturday and why it is called a High Sabbath as every recognized Bible Commentary states. John 19:14And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” and John 19:31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” In both of these verses the word “the” is the definite article. In other words, it exists in the original Greek text. So verse 14 says this is “the preparation” for “the Passover” and verse 19 says it is “the preparation” for “THE Sabbath” also. “The Sabbath” cannot refer to Passover as this would be a serious contradiction. As previously stated, Passover is “A sabbath” and can NEVER be called “The Sabbath.” Passover is just one of many feasts and hence is “A Feast” and could never be called “The Feast” as that would imply it is one of a kind as is the Seventh Day Sabbath and hence is “THE Sabbath” and not “A sabbath.” This is very simple to understand, but not so it seems for those who cannot get their head around a literal three days. This would not be a problem if they could only accept inclusive reckoning that was used in Biblical times as seen and proven by many other places in scripture. See inclusive reckoning on page four for more detail.

The following quotes are provided for those who follow the Spirit of Prophecy. They refute the Wednesday crucifixion theory as well as the Lunar Sabbath heresy. “The Father and the Son rested after their work of creation. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all the work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested.” The death of Christ was designed to be at the very time in which it took place. It was in God's plan that the work which Christ had engaged to do should be completed on a Friday, and that on the Sabbath He should rest in the tomb, even as the Father and the Son had rested after completing Their creative work. The hour of Christ's apparent defeat was the hour of His victory. The great plan, devised before the foundations of the earth were laid, was successfully carried out.” — (E.G. White, Ms25-1898, February 24, 1898). And the following quote completes the three days. “The night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come. Christ was still a prisoner in His narrow tomb. The great stone was in its place; the Roman seal was unbroken; the Roman guards were keeping their watch. And there were unseen watchers. Hosts of evil angels were gathered about the place. Had it been possible, the prince of darkness with his apostate army would have kept forever sealed the tomb that held the Son of God. But a heavenly host surrounded the sepulcher. Angels that excel in strength were guarding the tomb, and waiting to welcome the Prince of life.” — (E.G. White, DA 779.1). And the last two state the crucifixion was on Friday the sixth day of the week. “The Saviour was buried on Friday, the sixth day of the week. The women prepared spices and ointments with which to embalm their Lord, and laid them aside, until the Sabbath was past. Not even the work of embalming the body of Jesus would they do upon the Sabbath day.” — (E.G. White, SJ 157.3). “On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die; on the first day of the next week they found themselves deprived of His body, and they were accused of having stolen it away for the sake of deceiving the people.” — (E.G. White, DA 794.2)

The following page has scanned images from the Royal Astronomical Society that demonstrates just how incredibly involved it is to try and establish the phases of the moon from nearly two thousand years ago and leaves no doubt in one’s mind that it cannot be relied on as proof of a year yet alone a day. The experts are busy trying to decide on a year anywhere between 30 A.D. and 36 A.D. Many are favouring 30 A.D. or 33 A.D. because they believe both these days were a Friday yet the person who wrote the above calculator shows 30 A.D. to be a Wednesday and why some of the Wednesday crucifixion proponents have chosen this date as their supposed proof above the Bible. Clearly there is no harmony between any of these people on a year and day. Continue with page three to read what astronomers John P. Pratt and Bradley E. Schaefer wrote in regards to finding the crucifixion date of Jesus.

Wednesday crucifixion - Page 3.