Christian Faith Lacking Foundations?
by Sandor Balog 9/06/2011 / Bible Studies
Nearly two millennia have passed since the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Despite the real and fake efforts that have since been made by real and fake followers of Christ, the Christian faith still seems to lack a solid foundation. It was difficult to find any solid fact on which Jesus' early followers could build their faith. The only point on which there has been agreement among Christians all along is that Jesus died for us, to redeem our sins. Nevertheless, this is a statement that cannot be tied to any exact historical date. Moreover, Christians are divided on the issue of the three days and three nights Jesus spent or did not spend in the tomb as per Mat 12:40. Viewed from outside with the eye of an atheist or a member or sympathizer of another religion, Christianity is far from being a "compact" faith. You can find more "compact" ones, in certain respects, if you look around. Some outsiders claim that there is neither direct, nor indirect proof for Jesus' resurrection, which is considered to be the cornerstone of Christian faith and part of the good news about the future resurrection of the dead. Although, none of us was there to take a photo of Jesus' resurrection, it is widely accepted that Jesus was a living, historical person. Josephus Flavius also mentions Him in his records. How could we prove that the events in the Gospels happened exactly as written?
There are questions that seem unsolvable at first sight. Sometimes also at second! This, for example, has been the case in respect of a great number of scholars and theologians trying to determine the chronology of the major events in Jesus' earthly life for almost two thousand years now to no avail.
In identifying the exact dates of Jesus death and resurrection, I adopted the approximation approach and tried to locate these dates on the basis of Mat 12:40 where Jesus foretold that He would be three days and three nights in the tomb. As my basic assumption was that the Bible was God's Word and every word in it was true, I regarded this verse as a starting point and assumed that Jesus had spent exactly 72 hours in the tomb. As the next step, it was reasonable to locate the year when Jesus died, taking historical and biblical facts into account. Thus, I concluded that Jesus died between 29 and 33 AD, but the exact year could only be identified on the basis of the Gospels. Even such widely accepted beliefs had to be necessarily discarded, as Jesus died on Nisan (or Abib) 14. In this article I have not gone into details, as hopefully every possible aspect of this issue was addressed in my article entitled "How Could Jesus Spend Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb?". The "result" of my research was a Tuesday Crucifixion and Friday Resurrection doctrine, which sounded rather strange, in fact, ridiculous, but only in the light of traditional theories. After I had put the pieces of this biblical puzzle together, I came to the most probably irrefutable conclusion that the only year Jesus could have died was 31 CE. This is also supported by the Gospels. If I had not taken the three days and three nights doctrine as a basis of my research, I should have never come to this conclusion. The exact dates of Jesus' birth and baptism could be determined using calculations based on the Bible.
Now we know the exact dates of the major events in Jesus' earthly life. These are as follows: Birth: September 26, 4 BCE, 3pm; Baptism: September 26, 27 CE, 3pm; Death: March 25 (Nisan 15/!/), 31 CE, Tuesday, 3pm; Resurrection: March 28, 31 CE, Friday, about 6pm.
Knowing these dates, there is nothing to stop us from laying the foundations (proclaiming the exact dates of Jesus' life) of the Christian faith after nearly 2,000 years. I don't think that true Christians should care what traditional Churches, like the Catholic Church, and any other Christian denominations say in this regard unless they present substantive counter-arguments.
My intention was to make you proud of knowing exactly these important dates relating to our Savior and to enable you to respond to those atheists, non-Christians, anti-Christians and/or members or sympathizers of other religions who claim that Jesus was a liar as He did not even fulfill His own prophecy (Mat 12:40) about His being three days and three nights in the tomb, being there not more than 33-36 hours. This allegation is just being "fuelled" and implicitly recognized to be true by all those Christian Churches and denominations that have been and are still teaching Friday Crucifixion and Sunday Resurrection, which is non-biblical. Any future accusations by non-Christians that Christians do not even know the exact dates of the major events of their Lord's life can from now on be regarded as completely groundless!
Now you are free to defend your Savior by using genuine arguments and demonstrate your faith in Him and His Father.
Please check out these data revealed in the article referred to above and, if you deem appropriate, show both articles, this and that one, to others, for their information and comments. God bless you!
By Sandor Balog
Sandor Balog (pen name: Attila B. Magyar), author of Palm Wednesday.