Passover, in the first century, almost always occurred from March
15 to April 21.
However, considering all possible options, I will analyze lunar
cycles from March 1 through May 1. The following tables present
lunar cycles for the years AD 29 through 34.
Viewing the graph for AD 29, a cross appears in the Friday column
showing one possible date for the crucifixion on April 15. In this
case, the full moon occurred on Sunday, April 17, two days after
Friday. Yet, AD 29 is not a good choice for the year of the
crucifixion based on the historic setting in the gospels of Luke and
John (AD 31 to 33).
Since there are no crosses in the Friday column above, AD 30 is
not a viable year for the crucifixion.
Roman Catholics generally select April 7, AD 30, as the date of
the crucifixion based on the scholarly assumption that Jesus died on
a Friday with a full moon. Yet, AD 30 does not match any of the
criteria. Jesus had to die on a Friday with a full moon occurring on
either Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Moreover, AD 30 does not match
the historic setting found in Luke and John for the years AD 31, 32,
Since there are no crosses in the Friday column above, AD 31 is
not a viable year for the crucifixion. The year AD 31 does fit the
historic setting found in Luke and John (AD 31, 32, or 33). However,
AD 31 does not match a Friday crucifixion date with a full moon on
Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.
Two lunar dates for the crucifixion emerge for the year AD 32. A
full moon occurred on Saturday, March 15. The crucifixion would have
been too early in the springtime on Friday, March 14. The second
choice of April 11 meets all the criteria.
Viewing the graph for AD 33, the only possible choice, though not
a good one, is for May 1. The full moon occurred on Sunday, May 3.
May 1 is a poor choice because it is very late in the spring.
Many theologians and church historians have picked the April 3
date because a full moon occurred on Friday. Early April is the
perfect setting for the Passover. Yet, there is no cross in the
Friday column with a full moon alignment on Saturday, Sunday, or
Astronomy shows that a lunar eclipse occurred on Friday, April 3.
However, a lunar eclipse offers no viable scenario for the
crucifixion on April 3 since the sun had to be darkened, not the
Again, since there are no crosses in the Friday column above, AD
34 is not a viable year for the crucifixion.