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The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

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  • The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

    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.


    I’ll try 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.

    https://static.wixstatic.com/shapes/...7e9b9f599c.svg
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  • #2
    Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

    Originally posted by Cyberseeker View Post
    [FONT="]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. [/FONT]

    [FONT="] [/FONT]
    [FONT="]I’ll try 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.[/FONT]

    https://static.wixstatic.com/shapes/...7e9b9f599c.svg
    Perhaps the biggest stumbling block is Christmas - the most treasured Pagan Feast cherished among Christians. Our Lord died at Passover, so if He was born at Christmas, and He began His ministry when He was "about 30 years" (Lk.3:23), His ministry would have been 3¼ years. But if all the evidence is gathered, including when shepherds tend their flocks, our Lord's birth would have been around September, giving Him a ministry of 3½ years. Three and one half years is the time of Elijah's drought at Israel's crisis, and three and one half years is the time of the Beasts ministry at Israel's crisis. What are the chances of our Lord's reconciliation ministry at Israel's crisis being three and one half years?

    By the way, I know it is popular, but do we need two cleansings of the Temple if John is NOT chronological?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

      I count his ministry as 3 years and 3½ if we include John the Baptist. As for St. John being 'NOT chronological', there are those who say that. But it creates more problems than it solves IMO.
      "Your name and renown
      is the desire of our hearts."
      (Isaiah 26:8)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

        Originally posted by Cyberseeker View Post
        I count his ministry as 3 years and 3½ if we include John the Baptist. As for St. John being 'NOT chronological', there are those who say that. But it creates more problems than it solves IMO.
        One should not follow a trend just because it doesn't add to the problems. We follow what happened and live the problems it causes. But if scripture has made the exact time of our Lord's ministry obscure, what grand mystery will the exact time reveal?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

          Well, Johns account starts at Passover (John 2:13), and Jesus death was on Passover, so the length in-between is either 2 years or 3 years exactly, because another Passover was mentioned in John 6:6.

          I say 3 years, so whats the mystery in my math?
          "Your name and renown
          is the desire of our hearts."
          (Isaiah 26:8)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

            Thank you for the picture! It really outlines everything and makes it easier to follow along!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

              Thanks Warrior,

              I’ve tried to keep it simple by stepping through key events by season. For example, we know the “feeding of the 5000” was in spring because there was “much grass” (John 6:10). However the “feeding of the 4000” doesn’t mention grass. Why? Because it was summer, and that region would have browned off by then.

              Same with the grain field incident - obviously summer. These seasonal observations are a great help making accurate timelines.
              "Your name and renown
              is the desire of our hearts."
              (Isaiah 26:8)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                Originally posted by Cyberseeker View Post
                Well, Johns account starts at Passover (John 2:13), and Jesus death was on Passover, so the length in-between is either 2 years or 3 years exactly, because another Passover was mentioned in John 6:6.

                I say 3 years, so whats the mystery in my math?
                Jesus's ministry in John started when He gained two disciples in John 1:37; "And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus." Is not Christ's ministry to make disciples (Matt.28:18-20)?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                  The widely held view that Jesus taught for three years has a basis and point of origin. Its source is (yep) Daniel's 70 week prophecy saying that the coming New Covenant would take seven years to be established, three and a half years of which would be centered on the work of Messiah.
                  “After the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off … he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering."


                  A 'week', of course, was referring to the Sabbatical cycles of seven years, and 'middle of the week' was understood by the Christian Church to be when Christ’s sacrifice took place 3½ years into the final week, resulting in the abolition of the old method of atonement. So, his ministry was between the beginning of the week when Christ was revealed, and the middle. The historian, Eusebius, put it this way:

                  “The prophecy of the events that happened to the Jewish nation in the intermediate period between the seven and sixty-two weeks, there follows the prophecy of the new Covenant announced by our Saviour. So, when all the intermediate matter between the seven and the sixty-two weeks is finished, there is added, "And he will confirm a covenant with many one week, and in half the week the sacrifice and the libation shall be taken away." (Book 8:2)
                  "Your name and renown
                  is the desire of our hearts."
                  (Isaiah 26:8)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                    Originally posted by Cyberseeker View Post
                    The widely held view that Jesus taught for three years has a basis and point of origin. Its source is (yep) Daniel's 70 week prophecy saying that the coming New Covenant would take seven years to be established, three and a half years of which would be centered on the work of Messiah.
                    “After the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off … he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering."


                    A 'week', of course, was referring to the Sabbatical cycles of seven years, and 'middle of the week' was understood by the Christian Church to be when Christ’s sacrifice took place 3½ years into the final week, resulting in the abolition of the old method of atonement. So, his ministry was between the beginning of the week when Christ was revealed, and the middle. The historian, Eusebius, put it this way:

                    “The prophecy of the events that happened to the Jewish nation in the intermediate period between the seven and sixty-two weeks, there follows the prophecy of the new Covenant announced by our Saviour. So, when all the intermediate matter between the seven and the sixty-two weeks is finished, there is added, "And he will confirm a covenant with many one week, and in half the week the sacrifice and the libation shall be taken away." (Book 8:2)
                    I could contend this, but rather, I refer you to your initial postings in which you referred to John's gospel as proof. Shall we finish that first because if our Lord Jesus set aside the daily oblation then He contradicted Himself. He said in Matthew 5:18-19;

                    17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
                    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
                    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

                    • In verse 17 our Lord confirms that He will fulfill the Law BUT NOT DESTROY IT
                    • In verse 18 the Law, fulfilled or not MUST REMAIN till the White Throne Judgment when heaven and earth pass
                    • In verse 18 the "fulfilling" is done in the third person. That is, He is not talking of HIM fulfilling it, but IT BEING FULFILLED. That can only mean Israel as they HAVE the Law but did not fulfill it
                    • In verse 19, even when the Millennial Kingdom is in effect, breaking any one commandment will demote the citizen of that Kingdom
                    • In Luke 22:15-16 our Lord PROMISES (with desire) that He will kill and eat the Passover in the Millennial Kingdom - when He comes again - some 2,000 years after Daniel's last week

                    I doubt if it is our Lord Jesus who stops the daily oblation. Why "confirm THE Covenant" that has the daily oblation, say that you will never remove even a jot or tittle till 3,000 years later, and then abolish a mainstay of it 3.5 years later? But if the grammar is followed as normal, then it is the Beast who confirms the Covenant at the beginning of the last seven, and then ends it in the middle so that he may have exclusive worship. So easy.

                    Let's try this;
                    • Our Lord Jesus was born around September. He dies in late March/early April. He starts His ministry at age 30. That must have been a September. September to March/April is half a year. He either ministered for 1½ years, 2½ years, 3½ years or 4½ years. But He could NOT have ministered for a round figure of 2, 3 or 4 years.
                    • Our Lord ministered at Israel's crisis, so did Elijah - for three and a half years
                    • If one of the Witnesses in Revelation 11 is Elijah, or a man in the spirit of Elijah, he ministers at Israel's crisis for three and a half years
                    • This Witness who ministered three and a half years lies dead for three and a half days at Israel's crisis
                    • The False Messiah, the Beast, ministers in Israel in their crisis for three and a half years

                    What are the chances of our Lord Jesus's ministry at Israel's crisis being three and a half years?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                      Originally posted by Walls
                      I doubt if it is our Lord Jesus who stops the daily oblation.
                      I was quoting the early church understanding of it. Yes, there were Ebionites back then but they were considered heretics.

                      Originally posted by Walls
                      Let's try this;[LIST][*]Our Lord Jesus was born around September. He dies in late March/early April. He starts His ministry at age 30. That must have been a September. September to March/April is half a year. He either ministered for 1½ years, 2½ years, 3½ years or 4½ years. But He could NOT have ministered for a round figure of 2, 3 or 4 years.
                      He started his ministry in March-April. We know his from John 3:13 which tells us it was almost Passover. And the 1st chapter of John is linked to the 2nd chapter by just a few days. We can follow the sequence of events by Johns regular description, "The next day" (verse 1:29, 1:35, 1:43, 2:1, 2:12, 2:20

                      So the length of Jesus ministry 3 years. The ½ year before Jesus got started referred to the forerunner work of John the Baptist.
                      "Your name and renown
                      is the desire of our hearts."
                      (Isaiah 26:8)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                        Originally posted by Cyberseeker View Post
                        I was quoting the early church understanding of it. Yes, there were Ebionites back then but they were considered heretics.



                        He started his ministry in March-April. We know his from John 3:13 which tells us it was almost Passover. And the 1st chapter of John is linked to the 2nd chapter by just a few days. We can follow the sequence of events by Johns regular description, "The next day" (verse 1:29, 1:35, 1:43, 2:1, 2:12, 2:20

                        So the length of Jesus ministry 3 years. The ½ year before Jesus got started referred to the forerunner work of John the Baptist.
                        But what do you think of my argument? You have to show it incorrect. As to your argument about the days, the grammar does not indicated sequential days. Rather, they are vital to the "signs" that Jesus did. John 20:30-31 tells us of his Book that;

                        30 "And many other signs (semeion - Gk.) truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
                        31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

                        Thus, John 2:11 says; "This beginning of SIGNS (semeion - Gk.) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." The designation "the third day" does not set a sequence for the timing of the gospel but declares the "SIGN". And the SIGN is the Wedding Feast in the "third" millennial day when Christ returns.

                        Finally, no chronology can be deduced in John for we learn in John 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."

                        By its own admission the inspired record says that large portions are missing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                          Hello, Cyberseeker
                          I find it hard to understand two cleanings of the temple especially when even John doesn't mention two. I just simply think the writer of John just misapplied it chronologically.

                          Hello, Cyberseeker
                          I find it hard to understand two cleanings of the temple especially when even John doesn't mention two. I just simply think the writer of John just misapplied it chronologically.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                            Hi Beckrl, good to see you again.

                            John says the temple cleansing happened at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, but Matthew, Mark and Luke say at the end, but I don't think its a matter of misapplied chronology. When the reader notices not one but several differences, we may be excused for wondering if there might be a better explanation. Could it be there was no mistake made at all, and Jesus cleared the temple twice?

                            Take, for example, the route Jesus used to get to Jerusalem. In the closing weeks of his ministry he came up via Jericho, having traveled on the eastern side - modern day Jordan. This is explained in the synoptic gospels due to his wish to avoid Samaria. However, in the first year he used the direct north-south route. John says concerning his journey home, "So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria." (John 4:3-4)

                            It might also be worth noting how, when he arrived home, his 'temple cleansing' episode was the 'talk of the town' among the Galileans.

                            "When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there." (John 4:45) These folk were particularly vulnerable to the sacrificial temple trade because of cattle transport distance.

                            Of course, the journey back from Jerusalem highlights an even more obvious difference between the two 'cleansings.' On the second occasion Jesus never got back; he was arrested! On the first occasion after he cleansed the temple, he left, spent some time baptising, (John 3:22) then proceeded home as we have noted.

                            So, I think that the 2-cleansing explanation is feasible. Have you had a look at the timeline in the opening post?
                            "Your name and renown
                            is the desire of our hearts."
                            (Isaiah 26:8)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The 3-year Ministry of Jesus

                              @Cyberseeker

                              The story line of John has the Jesus cleaning the temple early in his ministry, however Mark gospel which is taken to be the first written sites this event of cleaning the temple last and points to the reason the Jewish leaders go after Jesus. If this event happened early why doesn't this cause the Jewish leaders to go after Jesus at this time? I don't think John is attempting to be chronological but build on a narrative that the believing body of the saints is the Temple and not this physical building. John 2 goes into this theme.

                              @Cyberseeker

                              The story line of John has the Jesus cleaning the temple early in his ministry, however Mark gospel which is taken to be the first written sites this event of cleaning the temple last and points to the reason the Jewish leaders go after Jesus. If this event happened early why doesn't this cause the Jewish leaders to go after Jesus at this time? I don't think John is attempting to be chronological but build on a narrative that the believing body of the saints is the Temple and not this physical building. John 2 goes into this theme.

                              Comment

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