Wikipedia gives two possible dates for resurrection 7 Apr 30 and 3 Apr 33: I wonder why we cannot date the event with accuracy since we know the details : full moon on 14 Nisan. It would seem quite easy , with modern knowledges and techniques, to determine on what year the first vernal full moon took place on 14 Nisan, what are the problems?

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    Actually the dates given in the Wikipedia article are for the Crucifixion. – davidlol May 16 '18 at 14:41

It is indeed possible to calculate, within a few hours, the timings of full moons in the first century. Stochastic variations mean we cannot be more accurate.

The question asks whether we can apply the knowledge that there was a full moon on Nisan 14 to narrow down the possible years it could have been. Unfortunately this does not help. This is because Nisan like all Jewish and Islamic months only starts when the new moon is sighted. This means there is always a full moon on, or very close to, Nisan 14. We would be looking for a full moon occuring 14 days after a new moon became visible. Not a distinguishing feature.

Because the Resurrection was Sunday, and the Crucifixion believed to be Friday, this means that we are looking for a year in which the full moon was Thursday or Friday. We know there was a full moon on Thursday evening, April 6th, 30AD; and one on Friday afternoon, April 3rd, 33AD. In other years in the late twenties and early thirties the full moon was on a different weekday.

These dates are calculated according to the Roman calendar (Julian). We cannot say, with certainty, what date in the Jewish calendar, used in the first century, was the equivalent to a Roman date. In principle these dates should have been Nissan 14. However the start of a month depended on actually seeing the crescent moon, and this depennded partly on the weather and the amount of sand in the air.

Furtermore, although the temple authorities aimed to ensure the Nisan full moon was the first full moon in Spring, there were other considerations. If there was a risk that the Nisan full moon would happen before the equinox they interposed an extra month, making Nisan later. Two other considerations were that the barley and wheat were developing. If they were not Nisan might be postponed leading to the Nisan full moon being the second full moon of Spring. This was because a barley offering was made at Passover time, and a Wheat offering at Pentecost. If the winter weather persisted later than usual Nisan might not be announced at the expected time.

We do not know the exact dates, in Roman terms, on which Passover occurred. We do know there was always a full moon on or close to Nisan 14, but that doesn't help.

The reason AD30 and AD33 are the main candidates, rather than nearby years, is purely because the full moon was Thursday evening and Friday afternoon respectively.

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    Thanks, but we do know that preaching started in what is currently called 29 A.D. (15th year of Tiberius) so, why can't we calculate how long preaching lasted to get the exact date? 30 A.D. seems too close, don't you agree? – user157860 May 19 '18 at 6:35

The main problem is that the Bible itself doesn't state the exact date of Jesus' resurrection from the grave.

The two main points of Biblical information about the day of Christ's Resurrection from the Grave:

Matthew 28:1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

John 2:19Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20“This temple took forty-six years to build, the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?” 21But Jesus was speaking about the temple of His body."

The Bible gives us the information that God wanted us to know in order to believe. We know that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, and that he was in the earth for 3 days.

Any attempt to settle the exact day that Jesus arose would have to use information outside of biblical context and therefore unable to confirm. So to answer your question, while information you quote could raise supposition, it can never affirm without Biblical context.
thank you


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There are a couple of issues to consider as background to answering the OP with an emphatic yes.

Technically, the full moon is supposed to fall on the 15th of Nisan. They left Egypt at night by that. It was 24 hours of light with sunset and moonrise within minutes of each other. But to find the full moon, you have to sight the new moon. So, its not enough to only know the date of the full moon.

And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. Numbers 33:3

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Deut. 16:1

The other issue with the new and full moon is the time of the Spring Equinox. Some disagree that the new moon must first appear after the Equinox, but nearly all agree that the full moon must appear after the Equinox. So, one also has to know when that occurred.

The final issue, and there are many in this area, is the timing of the birth and life of Christ. These things have to align with historic events, like the death of Herod or who the high priest was or how many Passovers Christ observed during His ministry, and when was He baptized.

If one puts all considerations together, one would find that the Triumphal Entry was on a Sunday the 10th when the people picked their Lamb (or King), Christ was crucified in CE 30 at age 33 1/2 on Thursday the 14th of Nisan on Passover. He was already buried on the 15th Friday (full moon) on first day of Feast of Unleavened Bread. He was resurrected at sunset as the Sabbath ended and the first day dawned (see Mat. 28:1-4).

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