Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

When did Jesus die?

Posted 11 October 2006 in bible, interesting, Jesus, and passover

I sure do enjoy this New Testament class I'm in. Everything's so fascinating and new when I'm reading it more carefully and critically! (It of course helps when my book is pointing out the more interesting highlights.) So now how about this question: When did Jesus die?

Mark, Matthew, and Luke all agree that Jesus died at 9:00a, the morning after the Passover meal. They actually very strongly agree in this respect, which is one of the hallmarks of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew and Luke appear to have taken a number of cues from Mark, which is where we get the term Markan Priority. Thus, the three generally agree on a number of points, right down to the word. Here's the basic chronology as it appears in Mark:

Jesus has his disciples prepare for the Passover (Mark 14:12), conducts the Last Supper, is arrested after the Passover meal, is crucified, and dies at 9:00a the morning after (Mark 15:34).

John, however, is not considered a Synoptic Gospel; it's fundamentally different. Here's what we learn from John:

Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples and is then arrested. John 18:28 indicates that it was early morning the day of the Passover preparations when Jesus was arrested. At around 6:00a - remember, the morning prior to the Passover meal - Jesus is handed over to be crucified. He dies on the day of Preparation for the Passover (John 19:31).

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus has a Passover meal with his disciples, and dies the morning after. In John, Jesus is already in the tomb during the Passover meal.

When did Jesus die?