Quake reveals day of Jesus’ crucifixion, researchers believe

Interesting story at MSNBC

Geologists say Jesus, as described in the New Testament, was most likely crucified on Friday, April 3, in the year 33.

The latest investigation, reported in International Geology Review, focused on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea, located 13 miles from Jerusalem. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.” 

To analyze earthquake activity in the region, geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea. Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years 26 and 36.

The latter period occurred during “the years when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea and when the earthquake of the Gospel of Matthew is historically constrained,” Williams said.  “The day and date of the crucifixion (Good Friday) are known with a fair degree of precision,” he said. But the year has been in question.

Williams is studying yet another possible happening associated with the crucifixion — darkness. Three of the four canonical gospels report darkness from noon to 3 p.m. after the crucifixion. Such darkness could have been caused by a duststorm, he believes. Williams is investigating if there are dust storm deposits in the sediments coincident with the earthquake that took place in the Jerusalem region during the early first century. (full item at link above)



2 comments on “Quake reveals day of Jesus’ crucifixion, researchers believe

  1. About the mention of darkness in this article I can say with certainty that while I was preaching at my wife’s church (Faith Tabernacle) in Cebu City, Philippines one time, a building that had open windows and doors, a multitude of insects, large insects, and so many insects, that the entire room, a quite large sanctuary, was darkened, so dark, you could barely see because this flying blanket of insects were so dense they covered the lights hanging from the ceiling darkening the room. Many women and children started crying out loudly as this phenomenon occurred. Many of the men got up and started hitting the insects for over 5 minutes until they were driven out of the room. I stood there amazed and bewildered. I felt like it was either a “God” sign to me and the people or God let some spirits control those insects in mass to come into the middle of my “good” preaching and disrupt the message being preached to His people!

    Either way, that group of people still talk about that evening of darkness when I preached the Word faithfully to the Saints who came gathered to hear me preach at Faith Tabernacle, Cebu City, Philippines.

    What happened was unusual. What happened that day of three hours of darkness, from noon until 3 p.m. as recorded in Scripture was just as unusual and guess what? Even in this generation, so many years later, we are still talking about it as a God thing! 🙂 Unusual to some, scorned by others, then and now!

  2. It’s amazing that geologists can find evidence like this nearly 2000 years after an event happened.

    Another great earthquake is recorded by Matthew as having occurred just days after Jesus’ crucifixion:

    And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it” (Matthew 28:2).

    Interestingly, the language Matthew uses suggests that the descent of this angel from heaven is what actually caused this earthquake, as if he landed with such force that it sent ripples throughout that region.

    In any case, either one of these earthquakes (or both of them) could have produced the evidence that these geologists are now finding.

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