Wednesday, November 16, 2005

3 pm, 7 April, AD30

In Paleojudaica Jim Davila mentioned an article appearing in Saturday's Times:

Moving on from reproach to rapprochement
By Geza Vermes

It is an important article on an important topic, so please forgive me for the most minor historical question which intrigues me:
The original catastrophe struck at 3pm on Friday, April 7, AD 30, when the charismatic Galilean religious preacher, Jesus of Nazareth, expired on a Roman cross, wrongly sentenced to death as an insurgent by the governor of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, with the connivance of the local Jewish leaders.
The note that intrigues me is the date. (Interesting, by the way, that The Times still use AD in an article about rapprochement; to my knowledge the scholarly BCE/CE has made no dent at all on media consciousness.) If I have understood correctly, and this is not something I have spent any time studying, the 30 date comes out of the Johannine dating of the Passion, aligning the Passover with the Sabbath, rather than the Synoptic dating, which aligns Passover with the day before the Sabbath that year. From scouting around on the net, I see that Vermes explicates this in his book The Passion, so I will have to take a look.

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