The Talmud, although Jewish scriptures, provides some clues to the year of the Crucifixion in a passage about the destruction of the Temple. Remember that Herod's Temple was sacked by the Romans in 70 CE. According to the Talmud the year 30 CE was significant. Tomorrow I will examine the Gospels to discover if 30 CE was a possible year for the Crucifixion to have occurred during.
Here is a portion of my book from Chapter 7:
The Talmud, which informed us that the patriarchs were born and died during Nissan, also provides an interesting verse about the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. The Babylonian Talmud Yoma Tract 39b, states the following:
“The rabbis taught: Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the lot never came into the right hand, the red wool did not become white, the western light did not burn, and the gates of the Temple opened of themselves, till the time that R. Johanan b. Zakkai rebuked them, saying; “Temple, Temple, why alarmist thou us? We know that thou art destined to be destroyed. For of thee hath prophesied Zechariah ben Iddo [Zech. Xi. 1]; ‘Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and the fire shall eat thy cedars.’”
Thus, before the destruction of the Temple, there were 40 years of unusual events. The random choosing of the “lot” that was cast on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) came up black 40 years in a row during the last 40 years of the Temple. The lot chosen determined which of two goats would be “for the Lord” and which goat would be the Azazelor “scapegoat.” During the two hundred years before 30 CE, when the high priest picked one of two stones, again this selection was governed by chance, and each year the priest would select a black stone as often as a white one. But for 40 years in a row, beginning in 30 CE, the high priest always picked the black stone. The odds against this happening are astronomical (2 to the 40th power). In other words, the chances of this occurring are about 5.5 billion to one. But, that is not the only unusual event to occur during the last 40 years of the Temple.
The Rabbis also told us of the crimson strip or cloth tied to the Azazel goat. A portion of this red cloth was also removed from the goat and tied to the Temple door. Each year, the red cloth on the Temple door turned white as if to signify the atonement of another Yom Kippur was acceptable to the Lord. This annual event happened until 30 CE when the cloth then remained crimson each year up to the time of the Temple’s destruction. This undoubtedly caused much concern and anxiety among the Jews. This traditional practice is linked to Israel confessing its sins and ceremonially placing this nation’s sin upon the Azazel goat. The sin was then removed by this goat’s death. Sin was represented by the red color of the cloth (the color of blood). But the cloth remained crimson—that is, Israel’s sins were not being pardoned and “made white.”
For Jews, the number 40 was significant; the Jews re-mained lost in the wilderness 40 years, and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights in Genesis. Historic evidence informs us that the Romans destroyed the Temple of Herod in 70 CE, fulfilling the burning of the Temple’s pillars made of cedar stated in Yoma Tract 39b. However, for Christians the number 40 was important: the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days. Some theologians even use Yoma Tract 39b as evidence that Jesus died in 30 CE, because that year would be the first of the 40 years during which the Temple miracles began to occur. Michael Brown writes of the relationship of the negative signs around the sacrifice and the Crucifixion of Jesus:
According to b. Yoma 39b, God did not accept the sacrifices that were offered on the Day of Atonement for the last forty years before the destruction of the [Second] Temple (this was known to the people by means of a series of special signs, all of which turned up negative for those forty years . . . What great event happened in year 30? Jesus was rejected and nailed to a cross! Is it possible that God no longer accepted the atonement sacrifices because the Messiah had offered himself as the perfect, final sacrifice?
209 Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, 1541.
210 Michael Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: General and Historical Objections (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 2005), 74.
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.