AD 31 and the Friday Crucifixion

AD 31 and the Friday Crucifixion


Most lunar Sabbatarians and non-lunar Sabbatarians believe that Jesus died on the sixth day of the week in the year AD 31.

The Bible is very clear in the gospel accounts that the day of the crucifixion was the day of preparation—the sixth day of the week, the day before the Sabbath.

And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. . . . And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (Mark 15:37, 42)

We have this confirmation of the sixth-day-of-the-week crucifixion from the Pen of Inspiration, as well:

Trouble seemed crowding upon trouble. On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die. (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 794)

How can we say that the year of crucifixion was AD 31? Based on the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9, we know that AD 31 is accurate. The seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy was from AD 27 to AD 34, and Christ died in the middle of the final prophetic week which was the spring of AD 31.

There are three further New Testament proofs to show that AD 27 was the year of baptism of Jesus which makes AD 31 (after three and a half years of ministry) the death of our Lord.


Proof 1: The death of Herod

Herod died, according to historical records, in 4 BC (Paul S. Karleen, The Handbook to Bible Study, page 332 and Sharon Rusten with E. Michael, The Complete Book of When & Where in the Bible and Throughout History, page 67), and Jesus was born just before the death of Herod, according to the Gospels (Matthew 2:19, 20). Jesus was baptized when He was about thirty years old, according to Luke (Luke 3:23), so that puts Jesus’ baptism at AD 27, thirty years from 4 BC.

Proof 2: The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar

Luke records the baptism of Jesus to be in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1, 21). According to historical records, the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar was AD 27 (The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 714)

Proof 3: The building of the Temple

When Jesus visited the Jerusalem temple for the first time after His baptism in the month of Abib, the first Jewish month, He had a discussion with the leaders of the Jews. He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), to which they replied that the temple had been in construction for forty-six years, so how could He re-build it in three days?

From historical records we know that Herod started to rebuild the temple in 20/19 BC (David S. Dockery et al., Holman Bible Handbook, page 522). Forty-six years later puts the baptism of Jesus in AD 27.