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Cyberseeker
May 13th 2016, 06:09 AM
Early Christian historian, Eusebius, said that Jesus’ ministry lasted three years. I agree, and so do a lot of commentaries and people who attempt to harmonize the gospels. However, problems start when we try to make St. Johns account fit with the synoptic gospels; big problems. :(

Ive finally managed to get my timeline up on the forum. Here is how I see a 3-year, step by step, chronology of Jesus’ ministry. Notice how it takes the sequence of events in St Johns gospel more seriously than what some have thought. My view is that the synoptic gospels do not contradict John after all. However, we need to accept two separate ‘cleansings’ of the temple – one at each end of his ministry. Let’s see what folks think, and I’ll try to explain my scheme as we go along.

Cyber


https://dl.dropbox.com/s/vcgzac5ppmyfypv/JesusMinistryFinal2.svg

shepherdsword
May 13th 2016, 08:36 AM
Hello Cyber,

I am going to study your timeline in detail. I have always struggled with Eusebius's 3 year time frame. Due in part to the lack of harmonization of John's with the other gospels and due in part that we have statements from several ECFs that Jesus's ministry was about a year. (Clement,Tertullian,Origen,Lactantius) I picked up a book by a well known HRM teacher and studied the one year time frame he presented. His entire theory is based on the elimination of John 6:4. This verse is missing from one manuscript(472 I think) but it is in countless others. I struggled with his timeline as well but I did notice that it addresses huge gaps in Jesus's ministry once you used the feeding of the 5000 as a template to synchronize all 4 gospels and build a timeline. Of course,all of the scholars are refuting this teacher's theory so it is spurious at best. However,the problem with the 3-3 1/2 year ministry is that it leaves huge gaps in Jesus's ministry where we are told nothing.

Cyberseeker
May 13th 2016, 01:34 PM
Yeah, I hope it helps. :)

The seasons provide us with clues to the chronological order of the gospels. The month of Nisan was springtime, and the month of Tishri was autumn. They were also when the 2 main feasts of Passover and Tabernacles were observed.

That is why I have shown Nisan and Tishri on each year, because it enables us to pinpoint summer and winter events in-between. For example, the eating of the grain (Mark 2:23) could have only happened in the summer in the middle of Jesus' first year.

Similarly, it helps locate the ‘calming of the sea’ (Mark 4:35) because storms in Galilee were a feature of winter there. When these seasonal clues are taken into account, the various gospel stories fit together quite nicely.

Noeb
May 14th 2016, 03:32 PM
I can't see the image. Well, I see it on my android browsers but it's too small, and when I download it it's a ".svg.jpg" and nothing wants to view it. Renamed it both jpg and svg, still nothing. On my desktop I can't see it at all. Copied the link from my phone to my desktop and (this is not intended to be an actual link) get "Your search - ​https://......................JesusMinistryFinal2.svg - did not match any documents."

Noeb
May 14th 2016, 05:31 PM
However,the problem with the 3-3 1/2 year ministry is that it leaves huge gaps in Jesus's ministry where we are told nothing.
Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

I don't find this to be a problem at all.

Cyberseeker
May 15th 2016, 12:40 AM
I can't see the image. Well, I see it on my android browsers but it's too small, and when I download it it's a ".svg.jpg" and nothing wants to view it. Renamed it both jpg and svg, still nothing. On my desktop I can't see it at all. Copied the link from my phone to my desktop and (this is not intended to be an actual link) get "Your search - ​https://......................JesusMinistryFinal2.svg - did not match any documents."

If you dont have a full size PC perhaps you can print a full diagram from my website diagram. (http://5loaves2fishes.net/image/jesus-ministry-timeline)

Noeb
May 15th 2016, 01:38 AM
If you dont have a full size PCI do, "I copied the link (of the image) from my phone to my desktop" but didn't see anything on the desktop via link or here on the forum. I can tell something is there by the extra space under "Cyber" though. I do see it on my phone. Thanks for giving a link to your website. I can see the timeline on both my phone and desktop. I agree with two cleansings, one at the beginning one at the end. I was curious to see if you had separate entries for sermon on the mount/sermon on the plain, but I see it's not that detailed. Nice work.

ewq1938
May 15th 2016, 03:45 AM
I resized it. It's still not great but it's easier to read, just click on the picture and it will get bigger:

http://s32.postimg.org/989ng2flh/timeline.png (http://postimg.org/image/nrgshh8q9/full/)

Cyberseeker
May 15th 2016, 03:52 AM
Thanks for giving a link to your website. I can see the timeline on both my phone and desktop. I agree with two cleansings, one at the beginning one at the end. I was curious to see if you had separate entries for sermon on the mount/sermon on the plain, but I see it's not that detailed. Nice work.

Rather than clutter the diagram, I have limited it to seasonal clues, and left it to readers to fill the gaps. A key to my time sequence is how Mark locates the grain fields incident in summer, AD 27. (That's when the grain would have been ripe for eating) Luke 6 records the same story with the 'sermon on the mount' straight after that. Therefore, we can safely place Jesus' sermon on the mount in late summer AD 27.

Tony P
May 17th 2016, 06:26 AM
I resized it. It's still not great but it's easier to read, just click on the picture and it will get bigger:

http://s32.postimg.org/989ng2flh/timeline.png (http://postimg.org/image/nrgshh8q9/full/)

Thanks!.........

ewq1938
May 17th 2016, 06:30 AM
Thanks!.........

You're welcome.

Tony P
May 17th 2016, 07:28 AM
Good work, Cyb!

If I understand correctly, you see a 3.5 ministry in the chart, but you say 3 years in the text. Do you mean the same thing? I, too, figure a 3.5 year timeline for Jesus' ministry.

There is another factor that does make this work much more difficult. That is the fact that chronological biographies were not known in those days. That is more of a modern way of recording someone's life. We can see examples of this in the gospels where certain stories are included in a different order from one gospel to another. They all start with John the Baptist and end with Jesus' final week. Everything in the middle may not have any chronology to it. I've never seen an ancient biography that was chronologically written.

Personally, I believe the cleansing of the Temple in John 2 is the same one that actually occurred in Jesus' last week. I know most people see them as two events. I just think the surrounding context indicates that Jesus was not at the beginning of his ministry in John 2. This scene is where Jesus says, "destroy this Temple and I will raise it up in three days," which is precisely what he was accused of at his trial before death. It would seem odd to bring up this charge three years later when the witnesses were long gone. I think John 2:13+ is in the final week.

Another sad fact is the current books we have in the NT were arranged and standardized at the 325 AD counsel of Nicea. Few people had a complete book (gospel). Official versions were adopted and all others destroyed. We don't have any versions that date before this counsel. A scrape maybe with a few words, but no complete books by which we can compare. The order of stories we have today may not be in the original order that the authors wrote them. This early church editing can be found in the way the Olivet discourse is laid out in the synoptics. It was widely believed to be about 70 AD at the time. For early Christians, Jesus' prediction of Jerusalem's destruction was proof of his deity. However, the Olivet has nothing to do with 70 AD, but his return. So, what helped the early church believe in Jesus confuses many today. Editing over time happened to several OT books as well to the point where they could no longer be trusted. Enoch for example. Jude quotes from it as if it is real scripture. The version of Enoch we have today isn't the same.

Jesus is the same in any case, but the details may be a bit muddled. Remember, Paul didn't know Jesus during his ministry, nor did he even consult with the disciples until many years later. How did he know so much that he could found church after church? The Holy Spirit. The same is true today. The Holy Spirit still teaches us one on one if we take the time to hear him. The paper and ink is just the beginning of knowledge.

Tony P
May 17th 2016, 07:30 AM
You're welcome.

As I age, I need a bigger and bigger monitor. I guess its time for another upgrade........to a projector!

ewq1938
May 17th 2016, 07:32 AM
As I age, I need a bigger and bigger monitor. I guess its time for another upgrade........to a projector!

Just buy a movie theater and eat popcorn for life!

Cyberseeker
May 18th 2016, 05:11 PM
Good work, Cyb!

If I understand correctly, you see a 3.5 ministry in the chart, but you say 3 years in the text. Do you mean the same thing? I, too, figure a 3.5 year timeline for Jesus' ministry.
Strictly speaking, he began a 3 year ministry in Nisan when he started choosing his disciples. However, when we count from his baptism, it is longer. If we knew exactly when John started I think it would be 3.5 years, and would coincide with (I believe) the last of Daniels 70 'sevens'.



There is another factor that does make this work much more difficult. That is the fact that chronological biographies were not known in those days. That is more of a modern way of recording someone's life. We can see examples of this in the gospels where certain stories are included in a different order from one gospel to another. They all start with John the Baptist and end with Jesus' final week. Everything in the middle may not have any chronology to it.

The sequence of his ministry appears different between John and the others, until we notice how John records details of Jesus' first 2 or 3 months, but the synoptic gospels dont. They leave gaps after his baptism, (eg. trip through Samaria) and start the narrative again after he arrives back in Galilee in the summer.

ForHisglory
May 30th 2016, 09:08 AM
Strictly speaking, he began a 3 year ministry in Nisan when he started choosing his disciples. However, when we count from his baptism, it is longer. If we knew exactly when John started I think it would be 3.5 years, and would coincide with (I believe) the last of Daniels 70 'sevens'.
I want to appreciate the work you have put into this. I think trying to connect things into Daniel's 70 weeks in the way you do is wrong.
Without taking into consideration your 27 AD through to 30 AD aspect though, my first question is why you think that Jesus called the first disciples in Nisan?
Is this because you try to fit it all into John 2:13?

Joh 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Joh 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
If the first miracle was at Cana and then that wedding ends and they go to Capernaum, and then they stay a few days there and then they travel down to Jerusalem, it really condenses time.

Further we have this to consider:
Joh 1:28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

This places Jesus' baptism in the southern region, which then means you have Jesus head north afterwards, which also needs building into your time line.
Only for Jesus to then head south again. It doesn't really fit.

And also did you notice this:
Joh 1:48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Joh 1:50 Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."

Now why was Nathanael under a fig tree?
Do you sit under a fig tree when the weather is cool? Further do you sit under a fig tree when it has no leaves?
According to your own dates of when Nisan would be in 27 AD (and 30 AD) these would both be in March before the weather heats up and before the fig tree puts forth its leaves.
Not conclusive in itself, but definitely to be noted.


The sequence of his ministry appears different between John and the others, until we notice how John records details of Jesus' first 2 or 3 months, but the synoptic gospels dont. They leave gaps after his baptism, (eg. trip through Samaria) and start the narrative again after he arrives back in Galilee in the summer.
John seems to do the same in his gospel as he does in Revelation. Half his gospel is about the final week. Before that he writes of who Jesus is, and before that he writes of the miracles Jesus does. So it doesn't read to me as though John has an intense 2-3 months and then spread out over many years, but rather he has the beginning, connecting with the end (as an explanation) and then leads through the events in the middle, intensifying as he reaches the climax of Jesus ministry on earth.

So I do like you picking up some of the clues, but I find that Jesus starts his ministry after the Passover and then leads through. I feel challenged to get more detailed in my thinking though and will read the gospels more to pull things together. Of all the gospels Mark's seems to be the most chronologically precise, but I need to work through that now.

Cyberseeker
May 30th 2016, 09:25 PM
... my first question is why you think that Jesus called the first disciples in Nisan?
Is this because you try to fit it all into John 2:13? ... it really condenses time.

John 1:28 begins in Galilee, 1st Nisan, and chapter 2 follows chronologically. John 2:13 reaches about 14th Nisan, and by that time Jesus had traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Timing fits comfortably from what I can see.


... why was Nathanael under a fig tree? ... do you sit under a fig tree when it has no leaves?
According to your own dates of when Nisan would be in 27 AD (and 30 AD) these would both be in March before the weather heats up and before the fig tree puts forth its leaves.

Nisan was April in AD 27. Yes, the new leaves would have recently sprouted when Jesus called his disciples. As for what Nathaniel was doing under the tree in springtime is anybody's guess. Maybe keeping out of a shower of rain?


I find that Jesus starts his ministry after the Passover and then leads through. I feel challenged to get more detailed in my thinking though and will read the gospels more to pull things together. Of all the gospels Mark's seems to be the most chronologically precise, but I need to work through that now.

No, he starts his ministry shortly before Passover, as John's gospel shows. Yes, Mark is good chronologically, but so is John.

ForHisglory
May 31st 2016, 08:14 AM
John 1:28 begins in Galilee, 1st Nisan, and chapter 2 follows chronologically. John 2:13 reaches about 14th Nisan, and by that time Jesus had traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Timing fits comfortably from what I can see.
Huh?!?
John 1:28 is not Galilee. Why do you think that?
Joh 1:28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Where is Bethany across the Jordan?
The baptismal site of Bethany Beyond the Jordan (John 1:28) is near the southern end of the Jordan River, across from Jericho and 8 kilometres south of the King Hussein (or Allenby) Bridge. It is 40 minutes by car from the Jordanian capital of Amman.
Link (http://www.seetheholyland.net/bethany-beyond-the-jordan/ (http://www.seetheholyland.net/bethany-beyond-the-jordan/))

However timing does not fit at all. If Jesus is baptised on the 1st Nisan - though I still see no connection with that date from scripture, then we are told this:
Mat 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'"
Mat 3:4 Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,

This confirms it is a southern part of the Jordan river and not up by lake Galilee beyond Samaria. Would those from Jerusalem and all Judea go beyond Samaria to hear John yet no mention made of Galilee?

Further we read this:
Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

Now if Jesus came FROM Galilee, this points to Jesus no longer being in Galilee.
Mark puts this quite succinctly:
Mar 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mar 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
Mar 1:3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'"
Mar 1:4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mar 1:5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mar 1:6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.
Mar 1:7 And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
Mar 1:8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
Mar 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
Mar 1:10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Mar 1:11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Mar 1:12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

John is in the wilderness, which isn't Galilee.
He has those in Judea and all Jerusalem going out to him.
Jesus comes from Nazareth.

And finally we have the Spirit IMMEDIATELY driving Jesus into the wilderness. Which means Jesus is in the wilderness for forty days after His baptism. So the earliest He will go to Cana is more than a month later. In fact Galilee is where He goes to after the temptation is over. This means that If Jesus is baptised on 1 Nisan it is impossible for Him to be in Jerusalem for the Passover that year.


Nisan was April in AD 27. Yes, the new leaves would have recently sprouted when Jesus called his disciples. As for what Nathaniel was doing under the tree in springtime is anybody's guess. Maybe keeping out of a shower of rain?
If the leaves are sprouting in April, then you won't find full leaves immediately. They take a couple of weeks to be in full leaf.
If Nathanial is sheltering under the fig tree either due to sun or rain, it requires fully formed leaves, otherwise there is no shelter.


No, he starts his ministry shortly before Passover, as John's gospel shows. Yes, Mark is good chronologically, but so is John.
So John misses out 40 days of Jesus in the wilderness.
Matthew and Luke also point to the 40 days being straight after the baptism.
Jesus could have been baptised any time after the feast of booths and before Nisan and so John 2:13 could still be the first time Jesus goes to Jerusalem after He was baptised.

ForHisglory
May 31st 2016, 10:45 AM
Just to add it does get confusing because of course John speaks of on the third day they go to Cana for a wedding. If you read quickly you may assume the third day after His baptism. However it is the third day after Jesus call these disciples and left for Galilee.
This gives a macro timeline of:
Jesus is baptised at Bethany beyond the Jordan
Jesus is in the wilderness for 40 days
Jesus returns to where John was baptising.
John affirms that Jesus is the one John was preaching about because he saw (past tense) the Holy Spirit descend like a dove on Jesus.
The next day John again iterates who Jesus is and two of John's disciples go to Jesus.
The day after the others are called.
Then Jesus goes to wedding.
On the third day from setting out to Cana, they arrive.
So the first miraculous thing Jesus does is around 45 days after Jesus is baptised.
These disciples seem to have gone to their own homes after the wedding, and so Jesus starts His preaching and finds them preparing to go fishing etc.

Cyberseeker
Mar 11th 2017, 04:25 AM
It has been exceedingly difficult to harmonise the gospel of John with Matthew, Mark and Luke during the time of Jesus' early ministry. This is because the synoptic gospels miss out the time from his temptation unto his Galilean ministry. They jump straight from in the wilderness in Judea to Galilee. John, on the other hand, details several months between in Judea and Samaria.

Here is a diagram that is easy to follow. (man I looove the new svg format) I hope it helps anyone who might have problems with so-called contradictions in the New Testament.




http://5loaves2fishes.net/sozi/jesusearlyministry.svg

Cyberseeker
Mar 12th 2017, 12:41 AM
Most of the criticisms of St. John relate to order of events. Here is an example: The gospel of John tells the story of the calling of several disciples at the place where John was baptising. (John 1:37-42) This place was in the Jordan valley well away from Galilee.

However, the synoptic gospels describe the calling of these disciples on the shore of Galilee. (Matthew 4:18-22) I think there might be a reasonable explanation for this 'discrepancy', but I would like to hear what others say about it. What say ye? :hmm: