Category Archives: With Another Person

How do we calculate backwards to the total solar eclipse that occurred when Jesus died on an afternoon in 33 CE? Has it ever been published?


Kyle Davison Bair (Master of Divinity in The Bible & Teaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) wrote this piece on Quora and has kindly allowed me at my request to share it with my audience as a guest post, please check out his site and his books, which seem to be absolutely first rate.

This is going to be fun.

The darkness at the time of Jesus’ Crucifixion gives us solid proof — either of the Bible lying or the Bible recording a remarkable truth. The Bible describes two spectacular events on the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion.

Listen to how Mark describes the first: “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mark 15:33 NIV).

If darkness covered the entire land, it would be visible to more than those in Jerusalem. Everybody around the Roman Empire should have seen something, if it was real.

The second event likewise would be visible everywhere. Joel prophesied it and Peter quoted it:

“This is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: […] ‘I will perform wonders in the sky above […] The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ […] Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know.”

(Acts 2:16, 19–22)

A blood moon occurs during a lunar eclipse. As with the darkness, it should be widely visible, if indeed it happened during Jesus’ crucifixion — as Peter indicates it did.

If we find nothing in the historical record, then it appears the Bible lied.

But do find this in the historical record — well, then things get interesting.

So what do we find?


Thallus was one of the first to write about the darkness at the time of the Crucifixion, writing at about 52 AD/CE. His original work has been lost, but Julius Africanus, an historian who wrote around 221 A.D., quotes Thallus to disagree with him:

‘On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.’

Both of Thallus and Julius attest to the darkness as a real event, so much so that they can bicker about the cause.

Phlegon, a Greek historian and author of a detailed chronology in 137 AD/CE, wrote:

“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (33 AD/CE) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.'”

This one is especially handy, as it corroborates the exact year and time of day for the darkness, as well as and the earthquake.

Africanus also wrote a five-volume history of the world c. 221 AD/CE. His account is particularly noteworthy both for its length and for his credibility; he had impressed Roman Emperor Alexander Severus so well with his historical rigor that he was put in charge of the Emperor’s library in the Pantheon; in other words, he was the most well-known, influential, and well-resourced historian in the Empire.

While I quoted him briefly above to highlight Thallus’ contribution, Africanus’ full paragraph adds a great deal more detail:

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth—manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period.”

This one additionally is valuable given that it mentions the resurrection of the dead and again the earthquake, in addition to the darkness.

Tertullian (second century) also provides a remarkable attestation, writing:

“At the moment of Christ’s death, the light departed from the sun, and the land was darkened at noonday, which wonder is related in your own annals, and is preserved in your archives to this day.”

Not only does Tertullian attest to it, but he appeals to how well-recorded the event is in established historical archives of the time. This is perhaps the most significant attribution, given that he cites how extensively the event was recorded and appeals to the public records to prove his point.


The darkness, then, is well-established.

What then do we find about a blood moon?

It turns out that a lunar eclipse did happen on exactly the day the darkness was recorded: April 3, 33 A.D./C.E.

A view of the partial lunar eclipse on August 7, 2017 as seen from Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit and copyright: Leonard Ellul-Mercer.

The precise data on the partial lunar eclipses of April 3, 33 A.D./C.E.

This blood moon during the day of Jesus’ Crucifixion was so well-known that writers in the early church appealed to it frequently.


Skeptics have long scoffed at these details in the Bible. But like most details in the Scriptures, when you dig into the research, you find the claims verified.

The Bible is not a book of cleverly-invented myths. It records real events that happened in real history. The more we press into the individual details, the more we find them verified.

Puławska Street and politics


Original YT playout date: 2 March 2009
Duration: 19:02

We have a drive through Mokotow and the talk turns to politics…
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Goldylists and the Three Learners


Original YT playout date: 1 March 2009
Duration: 4:20

We take a sneak peek at three goldlists in progress, just to show that this is a living system, in use to learn languages for a variety of learners.
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Daveynory – Jimmy and the Pink Diamond – Part 10/10


 

Original YT playout date: 1 March 2009
Duration: 10:56

We reach the end of the charming children’s story of Jimmy the cat and his Russian raven friends, by Lee Delehanty
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Cheryl from Manitoba asks about the GoldList Method


Original YT playout date: 28 February 2009
Duration: 1:14:13

Cheryl from Manitoba in Canada gives 5 great questions about the Gold List method which will certainly help people who are using the method and still have uncertainties about its application.

Some of these ideas are of course superseded and the best thing that you can do is look at the GoldList Method section in the navigation at the top of this site, and soon anyway the Guidebook is coming out.
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Answer to Response


Original YT playout date: 18 February 2009
Duration: 1:47:23

This upload took seven attempts – seriously! But then it is seven times longer than it should be and was seven weeks late. It was seven weeks back, and the end of last year, that KenBank gave his well-delivered response to my video entitled “The Gospel and Homosexuals”. Here’s my response, or rebuttal if you like, to Ken’s points. Hard luck, viewers, the result of me addressing what Ken says in 10 minutes is a whacking 100 minutes of possibly not the most scintillating repartee you’ve ever heard, but I get into a number of ideas which I hope some of my viewers, who are used to the fact that brevity has never been my strong suite and are kind enough to indulge me, will enjoy thinking about. So it’s a question of grabbing a coffee at the start, I’d say. No feelings were hurt in the making of this film. Hopefully. But we’ll see what sort of reaction you give it below…
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Hardenfeldt


Original YT playout date: 14 February 2009
Duration: 2:22

Michael Hardenfeldt, celebrated teacher of Danish to foreigners, expresses his opinions about the Gold List method in Danish, in the Some Place Else restaurant in the Warsaw Sheraton.
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The Gospel and Continuing Sin


 

Original YT playout date: 27 December 2008
Duration: 24:31

Bob Vieira joins me this evening and I open the mike to him to say whatever he likes to the viewers of this channel. We kick off with a little recounting of the story of the Elephant Man before launching on a ful discussion of the Gospel of salvation by faith. As the Pope has made discussion of homosexuality topical again with his recent comparison to the rainforests, we also discuss what is the chance for a homosexual to be a true believer.

Feel free to join in the debate by adding your comments below. Remember this is a discussion of theological principals and not an attempt to type-cast any individual or make them feel personally got at. Therefore lets try to keep the below comments free of personal remarks, but to focus on substantive arguments.
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Polish Christmas Office Party


Original YT playout date: 26 December 2008
Duration: 28:19

Grupa Strategia ( http://www.grupastrategia.com ) your one-stop shop for professional services in Poland for company set-up, tax advice, bookkeeping, audit, mergers and acquisitions, legal advice, software systems (JD Edwards and Galileo/Magique) as well as a fully licensed real estate brokerage for unusual properties, and China consulting, has now completed its move into the new office in Warsaw (as well as having offices in Katowice, Poznan, Gdansk and Poznan). Here we are having our first “wigilia firmowa” with the observing of Polish christmas traditions such as the sharing of the “oplatek” as well as the singing of a selection of Polish and international carols and a table with Polish christmas fare at the end. Enjoy the traditions of the Firm and the country with us, and Merry Christmas!
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Interview with a Marsupial


Original YT playout date: 25 December 2008
Duration: 19:20

Many people are wondering how Lord Moggy of “lordmoggy” channel is getting on since he’s stopped posting normal videos. So in reply, here he is in all his sheepskin. He finds Poland less warm in the winter than his native Australia, so he has to wear his sheepskin coat indoors.
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Road Trip to Dadaj


Original YT playout date: 23 December 2008
Duration: 58:27

We drive in the company of Lord Moggy, Alan Heath and Marysia to a summer camp in Dadaj, seeing the roads of northern Poland on the way. When Alan is around, the conversation always flows, so enjoy!
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Re When all we need is love


 

Original YT playout date: 21 December 2008
Duration: 5:13

In the olden days when YouTube was a Community thing first and foremost, we had a “Re” function for video reponses. These have long disappeared and all the links have gone. All that is left is the “Re” in the title of the video.
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