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The birth of Jesus is recorded in Matthew and Luke but with differing detail and a wealth of legend whose full extent is difficult to determine Many critics would reject even the placing of the birth at Bethlehem as a Christian attempt to satisfy the prophecy of Micah 52 and the tracing of his descent from David as a similar attempt to satisfy Messianic tradition contrast Jesus use of Ps1102 in Mk 1235-37 Of the first thirty years Lk323 of his life we know little more than that he was brought up at Nazareth as a carpenter the reputed son of Joseph and his wife Mary with brothers James Joses Judas Simon and sisters Mk 63 It is only with his baptism by John and the beginning of his ministry that it becomes possible to take up the story in any detail I The Chronology and Duration of the Ministry Luke fixes the beginning of John the Baptists preaching in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar probably to be reckoned as AD 28-29 in Jn 220 allusion is made to the fact that the Temple has been in course of building for forty-six years and as we know from Josephus that Herod the Great began to rebuild the Temple in 20-19 BC the date given would appear to be AD 27 or 28 It would seem therefore not unlikely that the beginning of Jesus ministry is to be dated from late in AD27 or early in AD 28 although allowance must be made for the possible error of a year or two either way The date given for the crucifixion must largely depend on the view taken of the length of the ministry Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judaea from AD 26-36 and Caiaphas seems to have held the office of high priest from AD 18-36 Attempts have been made to discover in which of these years the 14th Nisan the day
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