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HISTORY REBUILT PART 7 – THE PERIOD OF JESUS LIFE ON EARTH

We will move into the period of time that Jesus lived on earth. This period will consist of about 30 years from his birth, to crucifixion, to resurrection and then ascension. We will examine this period to test and verify the information leading up to his birth. We find a lot of scripture that substantiates previous periods and societal conditions that we need to put a verification stamp on the period.


The exact date or the time of year of the birth of Jesus Christ is uncertain. Matthew’s Gospel (see Matthew 2:1) records that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (who died in 4BC). Herod’s decision to order the slaughter of all boys in the Bethlehem area aged two or under when he heard the report of the magi (see Matthew 2:16) suggests that Jesus was born during the two years before the death of Herod.


The birth and childhood of Jesus 6BC – 26AD

  • 6 or 5 BC - Jesus is born in Bethlehem. He is visited by the shepherds at Bethlehem, and consecrated to the LORD at the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus is visited by the magi at Bethlehem. He and his family escape Herod’s persecution by fleeing to Egypt.

  • 4 BC - Herod the Great dies. Palestine is divided between his three sons – Archelaus, Herod Antipas and Philip.

  • c.2 BC - Jesus and his family return from Egypt to Nazareth in Lower Galilee.

  • c.5 AD - Saul (Paul) is born at Tarsus in Cilicia.

  • 6 AD - Archelaus is deposed. Judaea is ruled by a Roman procurator.

  • c.7 AD - Jesus sets off to visit the Temple in Jerusalem aged 12, rapidly approaching manhood on his thirteenth birthday.

  • 14 AD - Augustus Caesar dies.

  • 26 AD - Pontius Pilate is appointed as Procurator of Judaea.

The ministry of Jesus Summer 26AD – Spring 30AD

  • Summer 26AD - John the Baptist begins his ministry.

  • 26AD - Jesus is baptized by John in the River Jordan.

  • 26AD - Jesus meets Andrew and his brother Simon.

  • 26AD - Jesus is tempted by the Satan (the ‘accuser’) in the Judean Desert.

  • Autumn 26AD - Jesus performs his first miracle at a wedding at Cana in Galilee.

  • Spring 27AD - Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. He performs many miracles and teaches Nicodemus about spiritual re-birth.

  • Summer 27AD - Jesus and his disciples baptize in the River Jordan.

  • 27AD - John the Baptist is imprisoned at Machaerus by Herod Antipas.

  • 27AD - Jesus goes north to Galilee. En route he meets the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in Sychar (Shechem).

  • Autumn 27AD - Jesus is met at Cana by a royal official. Jesus heals his son.

  • 27AD - Jesus raises a widow’s son from death at Nain.

  • 27AD - Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James and John to be his disciples.

  • 27AD - Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law at Capernaum.

  • 27AD - Jesus makes Capernaum the base for his ministry.

  • 27AD - John sends two disciples to ask whether Jesus is the ‘Messiah’.

  • Winter 27AD - Jesus goes on his first preaching tour in Galilee.

  • Spring 28AD - Jesus preaches the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ near Capernaum.

  • 28AD - Jesus heals a paralyzed man in Capernaum.

  • 28AD - Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) to be a disciple.

  • 28AD - Jesus’s disciples pick ears of corn on the Sabbath.

  • 28AD - Jesus heals a man in the synagogue at Capernaum on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees begin to plot Jesus’s death.

  • 28AD - Jesus appoints his twelve apostles overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

  • Summer 28AD - Jesus teaches parables about the ‘Kingdom of God’.

  • Autumn 28AD - Jesus calms the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

  • 28AD - Jesus sends numerous evil spirits into a herd of pigs near Gadara.

  • 28AD - Jesus brings Jairus’s daughter back to life at Capernaum.

  • 28AD - John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod Antipas at Machaerus.

  • Winter 28AD - Jesus sends out his twelve disciples across Galilee.

  • Spring 29AD - Jesus feeds five thousand people in the territory of Decapolis.

  • 29AD - Jesus walks on the waters of the Sea of Galilee.

  • 29AD - Jesus visits the Mediterranean coastal towns of Tyre and Sidon. He heals the daughter of a Phoenician woman.

  • 29AD - Jesus miraculously feeds another four thousand people.

  • Summer 29AD - Jesus visits Bethsaida and heals a blind man.

  • 29AD - Peter acknowledges that Jesus is the ‘Messiah’ at Caesarea Philippi.

  • 29AD - Jesus is transfigured on the snow-topped Mount Hermon.

  • 29AD - Jesus pays his temple tax to the tax collectors at Caesarea.

  • Autumn 29AD - Jesus attends the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The Pharisees try to stone him for alleged blasphemy. He heals a blind man.

  • Winter 29AD - Jesus is in Jerusalem for the mid-winter festival of Hanukkah.

  • 29AD - Jesus declares ‘I and the Father are one’. The Jews try to stone him for what they perceive to be blasphemy.

  • Spring 30AD - Jesus travels east and preaches near the River Jordan.

  • 30AD - Jesus visits Mary and Martha at Bethany. He raises Lazarus from death.

  • 30AD - Eyewitnesses report the event to the Jewish Sanhedrin, who plot to kill Jesus. Jesus escapes secretly to Ephraim with his disciples.

  • Spring 30AD - The death and resurrection of Jesus

  • Spring 30 AD - Jesus passes through Jericho on his last journey to Jerusalem. He meets Zacchaeus and heals Bartimaeus – a blind man.

  • Sunday 2 April - Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds assembling for the Passover Festival spread palm leaves on the road and greets him as the ‘Messiah’. Jesus and the disciples stay overnight at Bethany.

  • Monday 3 April - Jesus curses the fig tree for its failure to bear fruit. On arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus enters the outer courtyards of the Temple and drives out the merchants and money-changers.

  • Tuesday 4 April - Jesus teaches in the shade of Solomon’s Porch, a colonnaded portico on the edge of the Temple courtyard. In the evening, Jesus is anointed with expensive perfume at Bethany.

  • Wednesday 5 April - Judas Iscariot goes to the chief priests and agrees to betray Jesus.

  • Thursday 6 April - In the evening, Jesus and his disciples share the Passover meal in an upper room in Jerusalem. Afterwards, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus is arrested and is held overnight at the house of Annas, one of the chief priests.

  • Friday 7 April - Jesus is tried before the Jewish council (the ‘Sanhedrin’) at daybreak. He is found guilty of ‘blasphemy’ which the council considers merits the death penalty. Peter follows, but denies three times that he knows Jesus. Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate in the Praetorium (Herod’s Palace) and is condemned to death for insurrection. He is crucified by the Romans at Golgotha (the ‘Place of the Skull’) on the hill of Calvary just outside the walls of Jerusalem, and is buried in a new tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. The Sabbath day, the first day of the Feast of Passover, begins at dusk.

  • Saturday 8 April - The tomb is guarded by Roman soldiers during the Sabbath day.

  • Sunday 9 April - Three women come to anoint Jesus’s body, but find the tomb empty. An angel tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead. The risen Lord Jesus then appears to Mary Magdalene, to two disciples journeying to Emmaus, and to the eleven disciples in the upper room.

  • One week later - Jesus appears again to the eleven disciples in the upper room and invites Thomas to touch his wounds.

  • Some time later - After the disciples return to Galilee, Jesus appears to them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus cooks breakfast for them and asks Peter to ‘take care of my sheep’.

  • Forty days later - Jesus blesses the disciples and passes into heaven on the Mount of Olives.

We chose to review this point of history for two fold. One was to present references made by Jesus as contained in the New Testament from the Old Testament giving us validation of the Old Testament scriptures, people’s actions and prophecies. This provides us validation of things provided by Old Testament scripture to support historical events. We take this first validation from an article written by Jews for Jesus.


From start to finish, the New Testament contains quotations, references, allusions and paraphrases of the Old Testament. Sometimes the New Testament follows the Hebrew text; in other cases it more closely follows the translation into Greek of the Old Testament called the Septuagint.


This article lists many references to the Old Testament found on the lips of Jesus in the Gospels. They have been organized by the three divisions of the Old Testament: Torah (Five Books of Moses), Prophets (or Nevi’im), and Writings (or Ketuvim).


The Torah

When Jesus was tempted

The Torah is foundational to Judaism, and Jesus quoted it often. The first three examples below come from the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan out in the desert. Jesus responds to each temptation by quoting from the Torah, showing the supreme value he placed on it for life, thought and behavior.


But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4, cf. Luke 4:4)

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)


Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7; cf. Luke 4:12)

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” (Deuteronomy 6:16)


Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” (Matthew 4:10, cf. Luke 4:8)

It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. (Deuteronomy 6:13)


In the Sermon on the Mount

The next set of examples is from the “Sermon on the Mount,” in which Jesus gives ethical instruction. Each time Jesus begins “You have heard that it was said…” and contrasts it with “…but I say.” He is not contradicting the Torah, about which he would have said, “It is written.” The phrase “You have heard that it was said” referred to popular understandings of the Torah—the way it was understood and applied, the way people learned it from their parents and teachers, the way it was repeated at the watering trough and the back alleys and the shoemaker’s shop. Sometimes that was the same as what the Torah had to say; sometimes not. Yet the basis of those understandings was the text of the Torah, and so we include these examples here.


“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ ” (Matthew 5:21)

“You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’” (Matthew 5:27)

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18)


“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’” (Matthew 5:31)

“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house . . . (Deuteronomy 24:1)


“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’” (Matthew 5:33)

If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. (Numbers 30:2; cf. Deuteronomy 23:21)


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’” (Matthew 5:38)

But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:23–25; cf. Leviticus 24:19-20, Deuteronomy 19:21)


Honoring parents: a key Jewish value

Everyone Jesus spoke to agreed that the Bible taught honor for one’s parents. Then as now, there were some legal loopholes that allowed unscrupulous (or lazy) people a way out. Someone might decide to donate their old bedroom dresser, which otherwise could have been sold or used to help one’s parents, to the Temple in Jerusalem. The dresser would be physically labeled with the Hebrew word “Korban,” meaning “given to God.” (Think of labeling your boxes on moving day “For the kitchen,” “for the den.” These items were “for the Temple.”) According to one school of thought, now that the dresser was “for the Temple,” no one else could use it, including family members. In Jesus’ view, such people neglected to ensure that parents would be honored. In the following example, to make his point, Jesus quotes from the Torah.


Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”


He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” (Matthew 15:1-6 ); cf. Mark 7:10)

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12, cf. Exodus 21:17)


Divorce and creation

In our next example, Jesus in addressing the question of divorce goes to the Torah.

What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.


He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4–6), cf. Mark 10:6-8)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)


The Ten Commandments

Next, Jesus converses with a young man regarding the way to eternal life and God’s commandments. He quotes from the Ten Commandments, also known in Jewish tradition as “the Ten Words.”


And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:17–20, cf. Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20)

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:12–16, cf. Leviticus 19:18">Deuteronomy 5:16-20, Leviticus 19:18)


What Proof Do You Have That Jesus Is the Messiah?

The Scriptures tell us specific credentials to help us identify the Messiah.


The Torah and the resurrection from the dead

In the following example, Jesus quotes from the Torah to challenge the Sadducees’ lack of belief that the dead will (eventually) rise again with a quote from the Torah. Jesus is either arguing that God says, “I am,” not “I was,” and so affirming that if He is their God in the present, then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must have continued to live beyond death.


“And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31–32, cf. Mark 12:26, 27, Luke 20:37-38)

And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:6)


This kind of argument was known to rabbinic Judaism, too. We find something in similar in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 90b), as scholar Joseph Klausner notes:


“It is written, ‘And I also kept my covenant with them (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) to give them the land of Canaan;’” it says not “to you” but “to them;” therefore we must deduce the resurrection of the dead from the Law—i.e. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shall come to life again and to them shall be given the land of Canaan in the world to come. (Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth [New York, Macmillan, 1926] p. 319.)


The two greatest commandments

In the next instance, Jesus replies to an inquiry by citing the two greatest of all the 613 commandments of the Torah. Why are they the greatest? Because all the others can be placed under one or the other of these. Note that while the Torah has “all your might,” in Matthew Jesus says “all your mind.” Variations like that were common (the Greek translation of the Torah has “all your strength”) and all the more in verbal conversation. Perhaps Jesus wanted his inquirer to think more deeply about things!


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.


And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39, cf. Mark 12:28-34)