Quake reveals day of Jesus' crucifixion

by Vidqun 41 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Vidqun


    "When data about the Jewish calendar and astronomical calculations are factored in, a handful of possible dates result, with Friday, April 3, 33, being the best match, according to the researchers."

  • Listener

    It's always refreshing to see science and the bible work in harmony.

  • mP

    What about the walking zombies and eclipse and how do we explain John and the synoptics giving different days of the week ?

  • Vidqun

    mP, according to the article, the darkness could be ascribed to a dust storm, which the geologists would be able to pinpoint. There is also no record of a mass resurrection during that time, so the corrupt text could have been caused by a transcription error. An earthquake could have caused bodies "to stand up." Afterwards people would have wondered amongst the tombs. Just my five cents worth.

  • heathen

    If that was on a passover , it may well work with the story in the bible . They do need to prove he existed before they prove anything else . Science is about provablility not about faith .

  • Qcmbr

    No it doesn't

  • Flat_Accent

    This is a backwards way of doing the research.

    There's no evidence an earthquake actually happened on Friday April 3rd. They just use the Bible's 'testimony', figured out the date and then said 'an earthquake must have happened this day.' If you're going to do that at least investigate the reliability of the source. ie. 0.

  • Leolaia

    I have read the article in International Geology Review. It is a huge, huge stretch to say that "Quake reveals day of Jesus' crucifixion". All the authors do is find a Judean earthquake dateable to AD 31 ± 5 years; in other words, an earthquake that occurred sometime during Pontius Pilate's tenure (AD 26-36). So the quake adds nothing to the dating of Jesus' crucifixion since everyone who has ever offered up dates agrees that Jesus was crucified under Pilate. Rather the authors speculate that the quake under investigation is the same one mentioned in the gospel of Matthew that occurred during the crucifixion. But they do not conclude that the Ein Gedi quake may be identified as such. Their conclusions admit at least three possibilities:

    "(1) the earthquake described in the Gospel of Matthew occurred more or less as reported;
    (2) the earthquake described in the Gospel of Mathew was in effect ‘borrowed’ from an earthquake that occurred sometime before or after the crucifixion, but during the reign of Pontius Pilate;
    (3) the earthquake described in the Gospel of Matthew is allegorical fiction and the 26–36 AD seismite was caused by an earthquake that is not reported in the currently extant historical record."
    (p. 1226)

    The precision of dating the crucifixion to April 3, AD 33 is entirely due to the astronomical work of Humphreys and Waddington (1983), not the earthquake evidence, but it should also be noted that Humphreys and Waddington's conclusions while commonly accepted have been questioned by other specialists who have come up with different analyses of the dating of Passover in the 30s AD or other grounds for reckoning the dates (Leo Depuydt, Alexandra Smith, Nikos Kokkinos), and there is also the inherent uncertainty of whether Nisan 14 or 15 was the date of the crucifixion. The clincher for Humphreys and Waddington, the lunar eclipse moonrise that occurred on April 3, AD 33, cannot be associated with the crucifixion exegetically by the texts they cite. And I still find AD 36 as the most persuasive date on account of evidence from Luke and Josephus (as also argued by Kokkinos, Smith).

    The earthquake is also mentioned in only one of the six extant passion narratives and it is clearly a Matthean redaction to the more original Markan narrative; one may note that Matthew also adds a reference to an earthquake in 28:2 (the day after the sabbath) which is also unique and absent in the parallels in Mark 16:4, Luke 24:2, John 20:1, Gospel of Peter 9:37. The mention of the earthquake is also connected to the uniquely Matthean reference to the resurrection of the sleeping saints (the earthquake forcefully opening their tombs), which is of very doubtful historicity. This makes the reference to the earthquake itself dubious, and like many other features of the passion narrative the linkage between darkness and an earthquake has an OT exegetical basis in Joel 2:10: "The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble. The sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining". So all this is a point in favor of option (3) above.

  • james_woods

    This is idiotic. Geology cannot somehow identify the exact day of an ancient earthquake.

  • Jeffro

    This is all fairly backward reasoning. There is very little evidence that Jesus existed, and no evidence that he was crucified. So it's not particularly scientific to start from the assumption that he was, and then try to align the date of some earthquake. It's possible that the entire account, with its earthquake, were entirely made up. Or it is possible that the author of the story added in details of an earthquake that was known from historical accounts to make the story seem more plausible. Or it is possible that there was an earthquake on the same date some people were crucified. Whatever the case, it is a great stretch to make the bold claim in the article in question.

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