Jesus' Ministry Begins


When did Jesus begin his ministry? Luke tells us that it began in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius (Luke Ch. 3) during the prefecture of Pontius Pilate (26-36 CE), the rule of Herod Antipas in Galilee (4 BCE-39 CE), Herod Philip’s tetrarchy of Iturea and Trachonitis (4 BCE-33 CE) and the high priesthood of Joseph Caiaphas (18 CE-36 CE). Augustus died August 29, 14 CE which must be counted as the beginning of the reign of Tiberius. The first year of Tiberius reign, therefore, would be August 29 through December 31, 14 CE making the 15th year of that reign as the year 28 CE. Jesus began his ministry sometime before Passover when corn was ripe (Mark 2:23) and grass was green (Mark 6:39). He celebrates three passovers during his ministry, John 2:13 (28 CE), John 6:4 (29 CE) and John 11:55 (30 CE). His death was on the eve of a Passover Sabbath which occurred in the years 30 and 33. Since his ministry seems to have begun in late Adar or early Nisan of 28, the year 30 fits. Jesus’ public ministry, therefore, appears to have begun sometime between the middle of March to the 1st of April, 28 CE and ended with his death on April 7, 30 CE., a period of exactly 2 years and perhaps 2 weeks.


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