posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 05:54 PM
Tertullian (d. 222):
“Against the Jews,” PL II, col. 614
1) records that the nativity of Jesus took place in the year 41 of Caesar Augustus. Although this is one year earlier that Jerome’s, this is due to
the fact that Tertullian is going strictly by the Latin dating (which, as we saw earlier, places the nativity one calendar year prior to the Greek
calendar, since December 25 is a calendar year prior to January 6), and it is known that Jerome, though a Latin, was using Greek sources when he was
living in Palestine.
2) records that the sun stopped shining in the middle of the day at the crucifixion of Christ. This is noted in Tertullian’s “Apologeticum” Bk.
1, ch 21:
“He wrought many wonders that were appropriate to such a death. Thus, at the time when the sun was in the middle of its orbit, the day was suddenly
deprived of its brightness so that those who did not know that this prodigy had been foretold for the death of Christ did not understand the reason
for it. Later they denied that it had happened, but you can find [the record of] this worldwide event stored in your archives.”
A corroborating text comes from a secular historian known as Phlegon who was a freed slave of Hadrian the emperor (117-138 AD):
“...in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad there was an eclipse of the sun which was so remarkable that nothing comparable had ever been seen
before. At the sixth hour of the day [noon], the darkness was such that one could see the stars” (Fragmenta Historicum Graecorum, Didot. Paris 1849,
vol. iii, Phlegon, Bk 13, ch. 14, as cited in J. S. Daly’s “The Controversy Concerning the Dates of the Birth and Death of Jesus Christ”).
NB: This phenomenon would not have been an eclipse caused by the moon, since darkness only occurs over specific areas of the earth in a total eclipse,
and does not last very long in any case. The gospels record that the sun stopped shining for three hours.
Origen (d. 254) in “Contra Celsus,” Bk. 2, n. 33, corroborates Phlegon’s testimony:
“The eclipse which took place at the time of Tiberius, during whose reign Christ was crucified, and the great earthquakes of the same time, wer
noted by Phlegon in his Books 13 and 24.”
Other Historians of the Church:
John Malalas (d. 578)
“Chronographia” PG xcvii, col. 351 in sequence:
Records: “In the 4th month of the 42nd year of Augustus, on the 8th of the Calends of January [that is, December 25th] at the seventh hour of the
day, our Lord Jesus Christ was born at Bethlehem”
“He was baptized in the Jordan on the sixth day of the month of Audynae (i.e., January)”
“In the year 18 of the reign of Tiberius, in the 7th month, our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas His disciple. On the 23rd of March, the
third day of the moon, the fifth day of the week at the fifth hour of the night [11 pm], He was led before Caiphas...On the following day he was taken
to Pilate...He was crucified on the fourteenth day of the moon...At that time the sun was bereft of its light and darkness covered the whole
Paul the Deacon
“Miscellaneous History,” PL xcv, col. 858-864
Records: “In the twelfth year of the reign of Tiberius, at Fidenae, an amphitheater collapsed burying 20,000 people. Seven years later, at the time
when Our Lord was suffering his Passion, there was an immense earthquake. Rocks were split in the mountains. On the same day, the sun was darkened
from the 6th to the 9th hour. Darkness covered the whole of the earth and the stars appeared.”
Extant Fragments, PG x, col. 90
Records: “In the year of the world 5533, that is 33 of Christ, namely the first year of the 203rd Olympiad, at the moment when Christ suffered his
Passion horrific darkness covered the world and rocks were broken by an earthquake.”
Orosius (d. 418)
“History Against the Pagans,” PL xxxi, book 7, col. 1059
1) records that Christ was born in December of 1 BC
2) records that in the year 3 of Christ, Herod slaughtered the innocents
3) records that in the year 6 AD, Herod died, eaten by worms
4) records that in the year 28, Tiberius sent Pilate to be governor of Judea
5) records that in the year 33, the passion took place on the 8th of the Calends of April, which is March 25th.
Cassiodorus (d. 580)
“Chronicle,” PL lxix, col. 1228
1) records that the passion of Christ took place in the year 18 of Tiberius, on the 8th of the Calends of April, during an eclipse of the sun. He also
writes: “Jesus Christ the Son of God was born at Bethlehem in the year 41 of the reign of Augustus.”
Sulpitius Severus (d. 420)
“Historia Sacra,” PL xx, col. 144
1) records that Christ was born in the year 33 of Herod, on the 8th of the Calends of January [December 25], and that Herod died four years later; and
that Christ was crucified in the 24th year of Herod the Younger (i.e., Herod Antipas).
Epiphanius (d. 403)
De Anno Natali Christi and De Anno Passionis Christi, PG xiii, cols. 902 and 978
1) records that Christ was born in the Julian year 45 (1 BC on our calendar), the fourth year of the 194th Olympiad, and that the passion took place
in the 18th year of Tiberius on March 25, and the Resurrection on the 27th.
NB: As noted, discrepancies are often explained by the differences in ordinal and cardinal numbers in the various dating systems.
it's from an article, not the same one I have though.