What Year Did Jesus Die? A Chronological Journey

By Charalampos •  Updated: 03/31/23 •  6 min read

When we think about Jesus’ life and death, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We know that He died for our sins, but beyond that, a lot of details can be confusing – especially when trying to narrow down the exact year He passed away.

To help clear things up a bit, we’re taking a chronological journey through Jesus’ life and ministry on Earth; specifically focusing on when He died so we can have a deeper understanding of what His death means to us today.

The Story Before The Death of Jesus

Story Before The Death of Jesus

The death of Jesus on the cross is considered an important aspect of Christianity. Jesus died for the sins of humanity, and his resurrection three days later offered the gift of eternal life to all who believe in him.

The events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion are recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All of them write that Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, and arrested by the Roman authorities blamed for blasphemy and sedition. 

He was tried by the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas, and then brought before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, who sentenced him to death by crucifixion because the crowd wished only death for Him.

Crucifixion was a common method of execution in the Roman Empire, and it was considered one of the most brutal and humiliating punishments. The physical pain and suffering of crucifixion were often compounded by public humiliation and mockery.

The death of Jesus is one of the most well-documented events in ancient history. Scholars have analyzed the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and have compared them with other historical sources to determine the most likely date of his death.

Chronological Journey of Jesus’s Death

Chronological Journey of Jesus's Death

According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified and died on a Friday, which is now known as Good Friday. However, the exact year of Jesus’ death stays unknown.

The most famous year for Jesus’ death is 30 AD. This year is based on the chronology of events recorded in the New Testament.

The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all record the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, but they provide little different details and chronologies.

In the Gospel of John, it’s written that Jesus was crucified on the day before the Jewish Sabbath, which would have been a Friday.

In John 19:31 is written about the preparation and that Jews didn’t want the bodies to remain on the Sabbath.

This verse shows that Jesus was crucified on the day of Preparation, which was the day before the Sabbath. This corresponds with the information in the other Gospels which says that Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

The Gospel of Mark also says that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. This information can be found in Mark 15:42.  

The Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of Judea from 26-36 AD. Matthew 27:2 says that Jesus was delivered to Pilate, who was the governor of Judea. Thus we know that Jesus was crucified during the time that Pilate was in power.

Historical Evidence and Facts on Jesus’s Death

Facts on Jesus's Death

There are also other historical and archaeological sources showing that Jesus died in the year 30 AD.

For example, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote in his book “Antiquities of the Jews” that Jesus was put to death by Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius was emperor from 14-37 AD, which supports the theory that Jesus was crucified in 30 AD.

The Roman historian Tacitus who lived in 56-117 AD wrote about the persecution of Christians under Nero in Rome in 64 AD, and made a brief reference to the death of Jesus:

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”

In this passage, Tacitus says that Jesus was a real person who was executed during the reign of Tiberius by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Tacitus also notes that Jesus was the founder of Christianity, which had spread beyond its origins in Judea to Rome and elsewhere.

Importance of The Death of Christ

The Death of Christ

Although the exact year of the crucifixion is unknown, the significance of his sacrifice and resurrection remains the most important aspect of the Christian faith.

The Apostle Paul wrote about the significance of it in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, where is said that Jesus died for our sins and was raised on the third day.

Jesus’ death and resurrection offered a great gift of eternal life to humanity.

The significance of Christ’s death can also be traced back to the Old Testament, where the prophets foretold the coming of a Messiah who would save people from sin and death.

The death of Christ also represents a victory over sin and death. In Colossians 2:13-15, Paul writes about the idea that Jesus’ death was not just a sacrifice for sin, but a defeat of the powers of darkness that hold humanity in bondage.

For Christians, the death of Christ is not just a historical event that happened in a chronology of time, but a personal experience of salvation. Through faith in Jesus, Christians can be united with God and can get the gift of eternal life. The death of Christ is a powerful reminder of God’s love and grace.

Final Thoughts

It can be concluded that the most commonly accepted year for Jesus’ death is 30 AD, based on the chronology of events recorded in the New Testament and the writings of the historian Flavius Josephus who lived in that time.

However, some historical, scientific, and archaeological sources support the alternative date, such as 33 AD, based on astronomical calculations and the dating of Passover during that time.

The importance of the death of Jesus can be seen in the Bible, for example, the book of Hebrews describes Jesus’ death as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Hebrews 9:26 also says that Jesus came to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Regardless of the exact year, the events of Holy Week leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection continue to transform our lives.

The sacrifice on the cross let us get eternal life and not be afraid of death anymore.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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