The actual span of which Jesus’ ministry lasted is something that is under much debate amongst scholars today. While reading through the gospels prior to John they give an example of the time to which Jesus had been teaching, preaching and healing; that being about a year being that he only attended one Passover during the time of his ministry, according to Matthew, Mark and Luke. However, while reading through the book of John I noticed that John states he attended not one but three Passover feasts during the time of his ministry, but more importantly, why the difference in years between the gospels? “According to Luke 3:1, John the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign. Tiberius was appointed as co-regent with Augustus in AD 11, and 15 years later would be AD 26. Jesus began His ministry shortly thereafter at approximately the age of thirty (Luke 3:23). This gives us a basis upon which we can approximate what year Jesus began His public ministry: around AD 26. As for the end of His ministry, we know that it culminated with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.” Through the information presented in Luke, one could make an accurate claim to the time which Jesus started his ministry, even approximately what year. We don’t however; see any information telling us the exact span of time in which Jesus’ ministry lasted.
“According to John’s Gospel, Jesus attended at least three annual Feasts of Passover through the course of His ministry: one in John 2:13, another in 6:4, and then the Passover of His crucifixion in 11:55–57. Just based on that information, Jesus’ ministry lasted 2 years, at the very least.” With this information we are still only at 2 years of ministry, but there has to be some extra time in between there, some that isn’t clearly mentioned. We know that at the time of Jesus’ baptism his ministry began, and through the reign of certain political figures of the time we are able to pinpoint a fairly precise time to which that might have been. “Years later in other research I found compelling research for the correct years of Jesus birth and death: Fall 3 BCE and Spring 30 AD, respectively. These years only leave room for a life span of 31 years, not the 33 years that you need to make a 3½ year ministry beginning at age 30 fit. Only a short one year ministry works. If I still believed the 3½ year ministry at the time of the discovery of those two data points, I probably would have rejected one of this as wrong when all along it was the 3½ year ministry that was wrong. (Note: when you find the difference between 3 BCE and 30 AD be sure to subtract 1 for no year zero! And another 1 because Jesus died six months before his birthday that year. If you don’t, you’ll end up with an age at death of 33 or 32 instead of 31.)” The common thought of a three and a half year ministry sort of comes together with all of the information received. The gospel of John was right after all. It seems as if John was more informed of all the life of Jesus and what all he had accomplished more so than the other writers of the synoptic gospels; that is not a proven fact but it is what many biblical scholars would argue. So ultimately, according to the timelines found in the gospels and the views of the different biblical scholars, it would be fair to say that Jesus’ ministry was somewhere around the time of 3 and ½ years.
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