Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Dating the Crucifixion


The date of the Crucifixion has been debated for many years, but there has been no agreement on the year nor the day. Astronomical calculations have now been used to reconstruct the Jewish calendar in the first century AD and to date a lunar eclipse that biblical and other references suggest followed the Crucifixion. The evidence points to Friday 3 April AD 33 as the date when Jesus Christ died.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Hoehner, H. W. Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1977).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Tacitus Annals XV, 44.

  3. Reicke, B. The New Testament Era (Transl. Green, D. E. ) (Black, London, 1968).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Jeremias, J. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (transl. Perrin, N. ) (SCM, London, 1966).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bruce, F. F. New Testament History (Pickering & Inglis, London, 1982).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Whiteley, D. E. H. Aufstieg und Niedergang der Romischem Welt Vol. 25, Pt II (de Gruyter, Berlin, in the press).

  7. Jaubert, A. La Date de la Cene (Gabalda, Paris, 1957).

  8. Schurer, E., Vermes, G. & Millar, F. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ Vol 1 (Edinburgh University Press, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Fotheringham, J. K. J. theol. Stud. 35, 146 (1934).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Goldstine, H. New and Full Moons, 100 B.C. to A.D. 1651 (Fortress, Philadelphia, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Fotheringham, J. K. Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc. 70, 527 (1910).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Maunder, E. W. J. Br. astr. Ass. 21, 355 (1911).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Kornfeld, G. H. & Lawson, W. R. J. opt. Soc. Am. 61, 811 (1971).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Ogg, G. The Chronology of the Public Ministry of Jesus (Cambridge University Press, 1940).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Edwards, O. Palest. Explor. Q., 29 (1982).

  16. Robinson, J. A. T. Redating the New Testament (SCM, London, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  17. Neil, W. The Acts of the Apostles (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Bruce, F. F. The Acts of the Apostles (Inter-Varsity, Leicester, 1952).

    Google Scholar 

  19. James, M. R. The Apocryphal New Testament, 154 (Clarendon, Oxford, 1953).

    Google Scholar 

  20. Ginzel, F. K. Spezieller Kanon der Sonnen- und Mondfinsternisse (Mayer & Muller, Berlin, 1899).

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  21. Pertz, G. H. Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores, Hanover, 1959); Vols 16–19 (reprinted by Kraus Reprint Corporation, New York, 1963).

    Google Scholar 

  22. Stephenson, F. R. Vetus Testamentum 19, 224 (1969).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Bruce, F. F. Commentary on the Book of the Acts (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1981).

    Google Scholar 

  24. Oppolzer, T. R. von Kanon der Finsternisse (1887) (Transl. Gingerich, O.) (Dover, New York, 1961).

    Google Scholar 

  25. Stephenson, F. R. & Clark, D. H. Applications of Early Astronomical Records (Oxford University Press, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  26. Stephenson, F. R. Scient. Am. 247 (4) 154 (1982).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Chambers, G. F. The Story of Eclipses (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1899).

    Google Scholar 

  28. Davis, D. Sky Telescope 64, 391 (1981).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Humphreys, C., Waddington, W. Dating the Crucifixion. Nature 306, 743–746 (1983).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing