Jesus was 30, 40 or 50 years old?  

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How old was Jesus when he was Crucified?

Today, The majority of Christians believe Jesus lived to 33 years old. However, there is no evidence in the New Testament Bible to support the 33 age claim. There are evidences Jesus was 26, 30, 33, 35, 40, 42, 46 or 50 years old.

JESUS | 26 Years
Academic consensus places the birth of Jesus between 6 BC and 4 BC (with a small minority favoring 2 BC), and the death of Jesus between 28 AD and 33 AD. That gives us a range of 26 years to 39 years (6 BC-33 AD) for the age of Jesus at the crucifixion.
JESUS | 30 Years
One Passover (1 year)
In Mark's Gospel, there is only one Passover Feast mentioned. The one towards the end when Jesus was executed.
And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
Jesus' ministry lasts 'a few months'
The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) present a condensed timeline in which the public ministry of Jesus appears to last less than one year. In fact, the entire Mark's Gospel appears to take place over a matter of months, and not years. One of Mark's favorite words is "immediately", and then the author jumps to the Spring Passover festival where Jesus is arrested and executed. It reads as if Jesus' entire ministry lasts a few months.

If we exclude the historicity of John and go strictly by the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), we get Jesus' age of 30 years.
JESUS | 33 Years
Jesus baptized at 30
Jesus got baptized to fulfill all righteousness. This fulfillment was in reference to the Old Testament requirements for being a priest, which among them was being the minimum age of 30.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.'
from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting,

Jesus' Ministry started 'about 30'
According to Luke, Jesus was around 30 when he was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. This was the acceptable age for a Rabbi to enter into the service of the Lord.

Historically, we cannot prove Luke had access to special information on Jesus' baptism, or if he was just guessing. No gospel, Mark, Matthew, Luke or John given any indication at all of Jesus' age.
was about thirty years old when he began his ministry

Three Passovers (3 years)
John's Gospel mentions that Jesus attends 3 separate Passover feasts (in John 2:1-13, John 3:4 and John 11:55) during his public ministry. Since the Passover is an annual festival, it is naturally assumed Jesus' ministry must have approximately 3 years.

Assuming, Jesus started his ministry at 30, and it lasted 3 years. Jesus would have been 33 years at the time of death. Most Christian scholars agree on the 33 age figure.
JESUS | 35 Years
It is generally agreed that Jesus "began his ministry" when he "was about 30 years of age" (Luke 3:23) and engaged in a 3 year ministry. Therefore, Jesus was 33 years old at the time of his death.

However, this is disputed. Jesus was born before Herod the Great issued the decree to execute "all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under" (Matthew 2:16, ESV) and before Herod died in the spring of 4 BC.

If Jesus was born in the fall of 5 or 6 BC, and if we do not count the "0" between BC. and AD., then Jesus would have been 37 or 38 years old when he died in the spring of 33 AD. Even if Jesus died in the year 30 AD, he would have been around 35, not 33 years old.
JESUS | 40 Years
Pontius Pilate
Assuming Jesus was born around the year 7 BC, Pontius Pilate was in office from 26 to 36 AD. Therefore, if Jesus died near the end of Pilate's term of office he would have been aged 40 to 42 years old.
JESUS | 42 Years
With the beginning of John's ministry somewhere around 27 to 29 AD. The date of the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and the death of John also help anchor this as does Luke's statement that Jesus was "about thirty years old" when he began his ministry (Luke 3:23). That all means Jesus was born somewhere between 6 and 4 BC.

Josephus and Tacitus
Dating Jesus' death uses non-Christian sources like Josephus and Tacitus; and another method works backward in time from the historically well established trial of Paul in Achaea to establish the date of Paul's conversion. Both these methods establish the latest possible date for the crucifixion as 36 A.D. Astronomy has also been called into service for this. Sir Isaac Newton dated the crucifixion at 33 AD. Recent research supports this.

So, if Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C. and his preaching began around 27-29 A.D. and lasted one to three years, and his death took place between 30 and 36 AD. that would mean Jesus was at least 34 years old, and at the very most 42 years old when he died. These are approximations though.
JESUS | 46 Years
Jesus' body a temple
The Jewish temple started reconstruction in 20 BC. Add 46 years to get 26 AD. These dates must be incorrect, as John the Baptist only began his ministry in 29 AD. This could mean either:

  1. Jesus had a 10-year ministry which began in anonymity 2 to 3 years before John the Baptist or
  2. '46 years to build this temple' was an indirect reference to Jesus' age and body
Whilst John has this conversation at the beginning of his Gospel. In the other Gospel's, Jesus does not talk about his death until just before his final days. Based on the above, it is possible that Jesus lived to 46 years old.
They replied, "It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?
JESUS | 50 Years
John's Gospel
In John, Jesus says that if the temple is destroyed he will raise it up in 3 days. The Jews responded saying that how can this be possible if it took 46 years to build. John's Gospel then says that he was speaking about the temple of his body.

This implies that at least according to John's Gospel, Jesus was 49 when he was crucified. This assumes that John describes the passage of 3 passovers in his Gospel plus the 46 years taken to build the "temple of his body".

In fact due to this passage, Ireneaus believed that Jesus was crucified under the reign of Claudius at age 50: (see below)
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up
JESUS | 50 Years
Irenaeus: Against Heresies (182-188 AD)
Irenaeus, a respected authority Church bishop, a disciple of Polycarp, who in turn was a disciple of the Apostle John claimed Jesus was 50 years and cited a number of evidences.

1. Heretics lie
Irenaeus claimed it was the heretics who initially claimed that Jesus' ministry lasted for 1 year and he died in his 30s.

2. Jesus the Old Man
For Irenaeus, a person went into old age between 40 and 50 years of age (Against Heresies II 5:22). And that's how old Jesus was when he was executed, nearer to 50, and so his ministry lasted many years.

Irenaeus based this claim on the fact that he learned this from reputable sources, the disciples of John, son of Zebedee indicated that Jesus 'grew to be an old man'.

3. Jesus Saves All
In his writings (Against Heresises: book 5, chapter 22), Irenaeus claims that since Jesus came to save all people: infants, children, youths and the elderly, he would have lived through the ages of those whom he saved. Thereby, setting an example of piety for people of every age. Therefore, Jesus must have lived to an elderly phase of his life.

4. 'Not yet 50'
Irenaeus wrote that you would never say to someone 'You are nearly 50 years old' if they were was just 30. Instead, they would have said something like 'You are not yet 35 years old' or 'You are nearly 40 years old'.

The fact they [the Jews] explicitly said 'not yet 50' indicates they must have known, from public knowledge or by visual appearance that Jesus was in his late 40s. Otherwise the verse does not make sense.
You are not yet fifty years old," they [the Jews] said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!
5. Abraham awaited 'his day'
Irenaeus quotes John 8, where Jesus had a controversy with his Jewish opponents in which he claimed Abraham, father of the Jews had looked forward to 'his day'. His opponents are highly skeptical and dubious, 'You are not yet 50 years old, and have you seen Abraham?'.

As Abraham lived to the age of 175 years, Irenaeus believed that Jesus too must have lived to an elderly age.
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.

932 views · 10 hrs ago |   Author: Guest   •   Updated: 14 Jan 2019

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