When was Jesus born? If we presume that Jesus was circumcised on the 8th day per the Law to fulfill the 8th day of the Festival of Booths, which is reasonable since he was born in the fall, then we can calculate precisely within a day when Jesus was born because the Jews used a lunar calendar and we can look up the precise days of the festival. In that case, Jesus would have been born around September 14, 2 BC, specifically. The technical full moon occurred on the 13th of September so the observed full moon would count from the 14th, so he would have been born on the night of the 14/15th, 2 BCE.
Date of Herod's death? Herod died on Shebat 2, 1 AD. The eclipse mentioned by Josephus is only possible on a single date, December 29, 1 BC. (Note that because there was no zero year in the Roman calendar, the eclipse on Tebet 14, 1 BC is only 18 days away from Shebat 2, 1 AD. Tebet us month 10, Shebat is month 11. The eclipse so consistently used to misdate Herod's death in 4 BC doesn't happen until March 13/14, 4 BC, which is long after Herod's death and is not a few days before any annual Jewish Fast. So it's just a fluke that occurs due to the revision of Herod's death by 3 years. All the chronology from Herod likely through to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE is 3-4 years off because of this revision. The error shows up at various point when comparing the Biblical timeline with the secular timeline. Same old story. The eclipse was included by Josephus to clue insiders in on the true date of Herod's death, an eclipse that occurs shortly before his death, a few days after an annual fast. There is even a hint the entire story might have been invented just to include this eclipse reference. It's hard to tell though. Suspicous is the reason why there was a need to replace the high priest for one day. The reason Josephus gives, is that he had a dream of having a "conversation with his wife", which is a euphemism of dreaming he had sex with his wife. That would have made him ceremonial unfit to officiate. Everyone was in an uproar though that probably this elderly man was so preoccupied with sex so that Herod comes off his death bed basically to try and replace him. Does this story really sound credible? Then it so happens two rabbis get caught descrating some eagle placed on the temple allowing for Herod to be on hand to have them put to death. The night this happens there was seen an eclipse of the moon. Note that Jesus was impaled at night at 9:00 p.m. also so this might have been the normal and practical time for the executions. Still, the story seems spurious because an eclipse is often used to clue in on the original chronology but it has to appear in some narrative to do so. If Josephus needed to isolate the eclipse by placing it in the setting of Tebet 14, which would be just 4 days after the annual Jewish Fast of Tebet 10, he would have needed a circumstantial reference for that. So it would have been literary license that he came up with the story of Herod wanting to replace the high priest for some reason and Josephus probably thought it was funny if he couldn't officiate because of having a spillage of semen from a "wet dream." The average Jew would be laughing at this point because what old man still has wet dreams? So it is suspicious in the least, especially since we understand that Josephus needs to deliberately double date this event. At any rate, an eclipse indeed does occur 18 days before Herod's death on Shebat 2. Since the eclipse of March 13/14 in 4 BCE doesn't even begin to fit the circumstances mentioned by Josephus he in no way had in mind a double reference for that eclipse for trying to date Herod's death in 4 BCE. We know that, because even his rivised dating of Herod's death by 3 years would date Herod's death on Shebat 2, 3 BC not 4 BC. That is, the superficial historical date for Herod's death per Josephus is Shebat 2, 3 BC. His cryptic reference to the original dating via the eclipse is Shebat 2, 1 AD. The only reason people focus on 4 BC is because of this eclipse mention and the only one available was this one in 4 BC. It has stuck because in the cloud of determining historical circumstances around Herod's death it is known that Archaelus is appointed sometime before the Passover season. So they know that Herod died shortly before Passover. However, the March 13/14 eclipse happens just a month before which is not enough time for all the events to take place after Herod's death, let alone the fact that the eclipse has to happen before Herod's death and right after an annual Jewish Fast. There are only four annual Jewish Fast days in months 4 and 5, 7 and 10; not month 12 when the March eclipse would have taken place. So we can forget about Herod's death when dated to 4 BCE, it's a joke. The eclipse coordination for Herod's death on Shebat 2, however, fit perfectly for his death in 1 AD, which in turn matches the Biblical narrative.
Quirinius Census in 6 CE? I don't know if this is a legitimate reference or a fabricated one historically, but potentially it is three years off anyway, as all the chronology is for the entire Roman Period from Herod through Flavius. My best guess, since Josephus was hired by Flavius to do the Jewish history anyway, that he wanted to flatter Flavius by adding a few years to his reign, and he did that by stealing 3 years from the reign of Herod. This throws off the chronology at certain checkpoints, such as the Bible mentioning that Paul in the 14th year of his ministry witnessing the death of another Herod (Agrippa). But Herod Agrippa's rule is dated from 41-44. The 14th year of Paul's conversion if he was converted as early as 34 CE would date Herod's death no earlier than 47-48 CE. So you have this same 3-4 year discrepancy at this check point. Then there's the implied coordination of the fall of Jerusalem in line with the 70 weeks chronology. We suspect either 40 years after Jesus' death in 33 CE or perhaps 40 years after the end of the 70th week in 70 CE. Thus the true fall of Jerusalem would not actually be in 70 CE, but 73 or 76 BCE, with perhaps a few more years picked up from the reign of Nero or something. It's hard to tell. Point being, the 6 CE date for the Quirinius census cannot be a counter reference to Herod's death or Jesus' birth at this point, which we can confirm occurs in 2 BC per the Bible. The big hint, of course, that Josephus is manipulating the popular timeline, of course, is his hint when he notes that the temple was built in either year 15 or 18 of Herod's rule, and that he gives two timelines for Herod's rule, precisely three years apart as well; one that he ruled for 37 years from the time of his appointment by Caesar but only 34 years officially. Quite suspicious, but quite revealing as well since that would simply mean to switch the reference. That is, to apply a 37-year rule from 37, which apparently was the original chronology. When that happens, of course, Herod dies in 1 AD. The 34-year rule was part of the revisionism, therefore, and Josephus mentions the eclipse for those who know astronomy to historically link the true date of Herod's death to the 1 AD dating. But he does similarly all through his history. This is how a historian gets published and survives though. They don't just change the history according to the current whim, they secretly use clues in their stories, especially eclipses, to cryptically reference the original dating. But at this point, once you see a clear contradiction and you have a choice of following the gospels or secular history, the gospels indicate there was a census in 2 BC and that's it. There was. Whether the current revised history has a reference for that or not is not an issue.
Date of Jesus' Death: Someone stated that Jesus died on Nisan 14th and that there was a conflict in the Synoptic gospels vs John. This is just another incredible falsehood and misconception of Bible scholars reflective of their disdainful prejudice against Jews and Jewish tradition. That is, basically, including the WTS, think the Jews were just so consistently disobedient and consistent in breaking God's laws that everything they do is wrong, including how they celebrate passover. But that's not the case. Had Christian scholars fully understood and accepted the passover tradition and not gotten confused over modern consignments of calculating the days and date change, they would have known that the same night that the Jews leave Egypt is the same night they eat passover. The Jews left on the 15th of Nisan. Period. That means that Jesus was arrested that same night the Jews left Egypt, right after passover. If so, then he was arrested on the 15th of Nisan, not Nisan 14th. That is according to the Synoptic Gospels. The Jews celebrate the day they left Egypt, it is a special passover holiday, the 1st day of unfermented cakes. Plain, simple direct. Since the Jewish sabbath day begins at sunset, however, this allowed the passover meal to be eaten on the first day of unfermented cakes! In other words, the BIG CELEBRATION, the solumn assembly that celebrated the day the Jews left Egypt likely was held at noon on the 15th. But the 15th actually begins the previous evening after sundown, right? Well since they ate passover that same evening, it means that the passover meal is eaten on the sabbath day of the 15th. If Passover Seder is eaten on a sabbath day, then there is no way Jesus could have died that day, right? Right. So when did Jesus die? He dies on the day of preparation before a "high sabbath" day and then stays in the grave for "three days and three nights" before he rises one day after a sabbath day, which is a Sunday. This fits perfectly the following weekend since the 7th day of unfermented cakes, the 21st is a "high sabbath" day of passover. It would have been followed by the regular sabbath on the 22nd, thus you have two sabbath days in a row. So Jesus could indeed die one day before a high-sabbath and rise one day after a sabbath and still be in the grave for three nights. That is, Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night. That's what really happened.
But people don't check the facts or don't think these things through. For instance, the trial mentioned at John 19:14 was at noon. Jesus was impaled at the "third hour" which is either 9 p.m. or 9 a.m. Yet after his impalement it got dark for three hours. So per the Bible, Jesus was either on the torture stake/cross for at least 3 hours or at least 15 hours before it got dark. So how is it he's just now having his trial at noon? There is absolutely no way you can resolve this without two separate days. Obviously since the trial would come before the impalement, his trial must have been on Wednesday, Nisan 19th, then he would have been impaled at 9 p.m. that night at the third hour, consistent with night executions as above, and remained on the torture stake all that night and into the next day. Early that morning when some saw the sign above Jesus' head saying he was the "King of the Jews" they ran to Pilate to get it changed and he refused. Jesus was expected to be seen all that day until the evening when the bodies would have been taken down. At noon it got dark for three hours and then Jesus dies at 3:00 p.m. That's how it must occur to coordinate the gospels. So what we have to do is to coordinate John's reference for a noon-day trial on the day of preparation with this timeline. Since there seems to be a contradiction, we look at the actual Greek and find the answer to the confusion.
You see, the Jews used the word "de" (translated "but") in front of the time of day to reference "immedialy before" that time. When they left it off, it was a reference to during that time. Thus for all the references to the day of preparation in the gospels, were we find Jesus being put into the tomb, "de" is not used before preparation. The only place where "de"/but-preparation is used is at John 19:14. Thus the correct translation of John 19:14 must include "de" as a modifier of "preparation", but it is not translated. What shall it be translated as? Anything you wish as long as it indicates some concept of "just before", "before", "almost", "nearly", "not yet", etc. "But" is a negative modifier even in English it means "not"; i.e. "Everything BUT the kitchen sink" = "Everying; not the kitchen sink." In terms of time, when we say it is "not yet 12" we mean it's before 12, etc. At any rate, this was the simple means of expression "just yet" or "not yet" by using "de" in front of times of the day, which can be consistently demonstrated by simply making all the comparisons you want for pertinent scriptures if you doubt this. But please make the comparisons FIRST before deciding this just doesn't sound right to your untrained ear, right? Thus John 19:14 actually does indicate it was the afternoon before preparation that the trial took place and should be translated something like: "It was near preparation for passover. The hour was about the sixth."
Now the other reference as to this being "preparation for passover" has generally been covered since it is well known that by this time, "Passover" and the "Festival of Booths" were completely interchangeable. Thus "passover" no longer was a specific reference to just the Seder meal, but to all the rituals connected with the entire passover week. Thus, since the Passover week had two special sabbath days, one on the 14th and one on the 21st, there were two accompanying prepeparation days for passover; one on the 14th and one on the 20th. That is, "preparation for passover" would be either of these two days. Since we know Jesus was arrested on the 15th, the 14th is out for this reference. That only leaves one other reference and that is the 20th, and indeed everything points to the 20th as the date of Jesus' death, even acknowledging that he dies before a "high sabbath" or a special sabbath, not the usual Saturday sabbath which is consistent with a special holiday sabbath, that of the 7th day of unfermented cakes, the 21st. But, again, what John 19:14 is saying is that it was noontime, just a few hours before preparation for the passover sabbath. Preparation would have been in a few hours that night, so the trial was on that Wednesday, the 19th.
CONCLUSION: On close examination of all involved, there is absolutely zero contradiction between John and the Synoptic gospels as some claim, but both the Synoptic Gospels and John 19:14 are in total agreement that Jesus' trial at noon was the day before preparation for passover of the 20th.
Finally, in case there are some scholars out there who are going to check this out further, you should know that the Jews, when they left Egypt were using the Egyptian custom of changing the calendar date at midnight. Whether they casually made reference later to the time changing at sundown or not doesn't matter. Officially, in the Bible, while the sabbath day did begin at sundown, the Jews still didn't change the DATE until midnight. Thus whenever a DATE is associated with any sabbath day, the Bible makes a special effort to clarify by noting these sabbath days involve two calendar dates. This is evident when the day of atonement is mentioned on the 10th of the seventh month for the special celebration, but then it makes it clear this begins on the "9th, in the evening." (Lev. 23:27, 32) Just so it is clear what day is in reference. Same with the first day of unfermented cakes. The main celebration is always on the 15th, but when describing the seven days of unfermented cakes, it begins it on the "fourteenth in the evening." (Exodus 12:18). Now for some strange reason, of all the people I have discussed this with in the past, some who have no problem whatsoever understanding Jesus must die on Nisan 20th, cannot get passed whatever strong "cultural bias" there is agains the Jews finding it appropriate to change the calendar date at midnight while starting their ceremonial sabbath days at sunset, even though that is precisely what they have to do now since our calendar now changes the official date at midnight. I don't know if people don't think the Jews were that smart or sophisticated or what. But it is so bad that they insist the reference to the "evening of the 14th" must mean the day before; that is, the Bible is using the 14th to introduce the 15th, instead of just saying the 15th. But if any cultural was not redundant linguistically it was the Jews. Why would we say, "See you on the day after Monday?" in normal conversation? We simply say "Tuesday." It's a direct reference. Why would the Bible, therefore, bother to mention the "evening of the 14th" if it was not related to passover eaten on the 15th? It makes no sense. But it does if the actual calendar date didn't change until mdinight, in which case the evening of the 14th was indeed the evening of the 14th and the DATE on which passover was eaten. But the meal ended at midnight when the angel of death arrives. That why there were strict instructions not to leave any of the meal remaining over until "morning." Only thing is, "morning" has to be synonymous with midnight. JUST LIKE IT IS TODAY! No problem. The Jews fully understood the Egyptian concept of the Sun traveling in a circle around the earth and at noon it began its descent, thus they began "evening" at noon, and obviously at midnight it began it's ascent, so they begin "morning" at midnight. It's not that hard of a concept. So "morning" back there began at midnight, just as it does today. Simple. That means that the ceremonial and secular days were understood to straddle two different calendar days, and that was made clear when necessary.
Case in point when describing at Numbers 33:3 that the Jews left Egypt on the night of the 15th. Now that's a problem when you change the date at midnight, right? Because every calendar date has two periods of night; one from nightfall to midnight and one from midnight to dusk. So you can't just say the "night of the 15th" without clarification. You can say the "evening of the 15th" because there is only one. You can say the "day of the 15th" because there is only one. But you can't say the "night of the 15th" because there are two. Therefore, in this reference it clarifies which "night of the 15th" this is by simply noting it was the night "immediately after passover." Passover is officially over at midnight held on the 14th, so we know the night in question is the night immediately after passover, that is, the night that begins at midnight rather than at sundown on the 15th.
But again, for some reason this is just too complex for the average person to comprehend for some reason. There is just a mental block to think the Egyptians and the Jews were that culturally advanced and sophisticated I guess. Oh well. It's here as a "theory" for the record, with my only note here being that this explanation removes completely all contradictions. This is the view that has complete BIBLICAL HARMONY. All others require compromises, therefore, I don't accept them. The Bible must work 100% or it's not the true, inspired word of god. Those who don't have that high standard, accept compromises here and there and end up selecting their own favorite explanation, like many dismiss the Synoptic gospels and side with John, generally, presuming that allows them to place Christ's death on the 14th, which so clearly conjures up that image of Jesus being killed at the same time the lambs are being sacrificed all over Jerusalem, even though Jesus has already eaten Passover? In the meantime, the gospels are giving forth an inaccurate story as if these Bible writers just were that uncoordinated and incompetent. But its not like that, it's not the Bible writers who are incompetent but the lazy scholars and those who let their biases override the scriptural truth.
Listen, I could give more details but I promised I'd keep this short, so I'm outta here!