Jump to content

Jesus Only 3 Missing Years


Recommended Posts

this assumes Jesus existed which I particularly don't necessarily believe at this  point this comes from a discussion I was having on another forum




After some brainstorming this morning I had an epiphany. Everyone is always looking for the missing 18 years. It is curious I must admit, however Several problems creep up with this figure the first in reference to the link above. Average life expectancy of a Roman Citizen was 30 if they reached the age of 20. The justification for Jesus being 33-34 at the time of crucifixion can be found here

Jesus likely was not a Roman citizen and likely did not enjoy its privileges that would allow him to reach this age. The assumption is that he was 33 but given the evidence he would be near death at this age making travel across a desert region difficult at this age. What if he wasn't 33 what if he were much younger? Suddenly there is no longer 18 missing years.

In Luke we get  great time stamps the census under Augustus and his baptism.

And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Augustus is known to have taken a census of Roman citizens at least three times, in 28 BC, 8 BC, and 14AD.

Cyrenius* was appointed 6 AD this leaves 14AD as Jesus's birth


*Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (Greek Κυρήνιος - Kyrenios or Cyrenius, c. 51 BC – AD 21

now the second key date the beginning of his ministry and baptism

Luke 3:1

3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar

that year is AD 29

making Jesus roughly 15 at the beginning of his ministry which isn't that shocking considering life expectancy was roughly only 30 years

and this anecdote.

42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the Feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances.

45 And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.

46 And it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions.

47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

now there should only be 3 missing years which is not a huge leap

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about G.John?

2:20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
8:57 The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"

     This kind of causes a person to infer he was on his way towards 50 doesn't it? 


     The first case is a bit weaker but they specifically mention the number of years at 46 and then immediately that is followed by the comparison to his body.


     In the second instance if he was very young it seems more reasonable to insert a lower number closer to his actual age unless we're to assume "fifty" was some stock response here.  There doesn't seem to be anything to say one way or the other.  However,  as written it seems like if 50 was too low to have seen Abraham.  So then what of 20?  Having someone say that would seem absurd "You're not even twenty and you've seen Abraham?"


     It seems like G.John might have an even older person in mind.  And I believe Irenaeus(?) says something similar (I don't recall the specifics off-hand however).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're blinded by averages, when what's relevant should be variance and statistical deviation - that is, if there's a huge deviation in lifespans, it wouldn't unusual for people to die at 25 or 35 or even further off from 30, but they would average out to 30. An important thing that reduced the average life span were plagues as well as wars, so a person who didn't die from either of those two was probably likely to approach 40 years or so in times of peace and relatively low-intensity spread of infectious disease. Also, I have heard different enough average lifespans given for that period - e.g. 30 if you only exclude infant mortality.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect the 30 year old figure was plucked from the Old Testament, where a king or a high priest had to be 30 years old to serve in office.

The 3 year ministry comes from John, but the Synoptic Gospels do not indicate this, they provide a ministry of about 1 year.



The above link also mentions Irenaeus and his much older version of Jesus.


Also to be considered is that Matthew gives a birth date earlier than Luke by quite a few years and Luke's birth narrative is vastly different than that of Matthew.

I'm not sure how one reconciles an age or crucifixion date for Jesus when so many assumptions have to be employed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with all that is mentioned above and yet we all are equally right. biggrin.png Luke makes a birthdate earlier than 6 AD impossible John puts him close to 20 BC and Pauline Epistles put him at 1BC-1AD. Wendybanghead.gif  seems to me he was either 3 different people or :gasp: he's just a myth. or 2 of the three are wrong and not divinely inspired. 


@meikko I get itwink.png  LE was more of a backdrop to the likelihood of the luke dates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh, that is interesting. I still wonder why the authors of the books never addressed his childhood.  Maybe it was just a cultural thing back then. I know now a lot of books address a character's or figure's childhood.  Maybe childhood just didn't really mean that much? I don't know.  That is good to know, though. That maybe not so many years were missing after all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

     The Infancy Gospel of Thomas addresses the childhood of jesus.  But no one really accepted it as canon.  It does show the problem being taken seriously enough by someone that they invented an entire childhood for their supposedly historical person without thinking twice about if these things really happened (or these things really happened and were finally written down).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.