Eclipse hysteria touches the Bible

The Kansas City Star anticipating the solar eclipse on August 21, which will be total here, published an article with this headline:  “Was Jesus crucified during a solar eclipse? NASA shows one occurred in 33 A.D”.  This caught my attention because, on other grounds, I do think the crucifixion took place in +33.   However, the headline is misleading because the path of the eclipse they are talking about was near Antarctica, not Jerusalem.

In fact, no solar eclipse affected Jerusalem on any Passover in any possible year for the crucifixion.  It can’t happen at Passover, because a solar eclipse never happens at full moon.  The article, as opposed to the headline, explains that.

There was a partial lunar eclipse visible in Jerusalem on April 3 in +33, but I don’t see how that is relevant.

The earthquake and the three-hour darkening of the sun that the gospels  report are apocalyptic imagery so we should not expect literal phenomena that we can use to precisely date the event.

The earliest text of Luke 23:45 says the sun’s light failed.  Secondary manuscripts used the word for eclipse, but this was probably a misunderstanding.


About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.
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