Protestants sometimes accuse roman inn Catholics of hold to heritages not uncovered in the bible (e.g. Mary’s immaculate conception and perpetual virginity, etc.). However even Protestants should be cautious with your judgment, as they will certainly be measured by the exact same measure with which they measure up others (Matt 7:1-2). Absolutely they don’t irrationally hold on to heritages unsupported by Scripture, carry out they?

We can explore a number of such legacies that Protestants should be willing to reconsider in light of the biblical data. In this post, I’ll tackle the frequently unexamined maxim the Jesus’ set lasted for 3 years. A associated assertion is that Jesus was 33 year old as soon as he to be crucified. Mindful observation of the scriptural data will present us the these assertions could be true, yet they are far from certain.

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Reasons for the Tradition

If you research study an short article or publication that examines the question, and doesn’t merely assert the 3-year timeframe, you’ll find the answer commonly hinges ~ above a few pieces that biblical evidence:

Luke claims Jesus began his ministry in ~ “about 30 years of age” (Luke 3:23).John documents three Passover events throughout Jesus’ set (John 2:13, 6:4, 11:55). That 3rd Passover is attracted out likewise in john 12:1, 13:1, and John 19:14.

From this evidence, the conclusion is drawn: He started at period 30, the ministered because that 3 year (through 3 annual Passover feasts), and therefore he died at age 33.

St. Paul’s Timeline, Heidi Blanton (2010), an innovative Commons

Familiarity vs. Observation

But you re welcome don’t enable your familiarity through the heritage to remote you from careful observation of the text!

Luke clearly says the Jesus to be “about” 30, not “exactly” 30. Maybe Luke wants united state to think the the beginning of Jesus’ ministry together analogous to the “coming the age” of priests (Num 4:1-3) and rulers (Gen 41:46, 2 Sam 5:4) at age 30. Or maybe he has actually other factors for rounding the number.Though John documents three Passover events, we have actually no proof the he intends his narrative to it is in literally chronological. Part scholars argue that the first Passover (chapter 2) to be the exact same Passover as the one during which he was crucified, and that john bumps it early on in his narrative to make a theological point. Rather argue that the Passover of man 6:4 describes same Passover of the year Jesus was crucified (and therefore, that john 6:4 and also John 11:55 space referring to the exact same event).But regardless of whether john tells us about three Passovers, 2 Passovers, or even one—he never says that these were the only Passovers Jesus attended during his ministry. come assert or assume this 3 Passover references typical Jesus’ ministry it is long 3 year is to controversy from silence.


Now i hope this evaluation doesn’t generate seismic repercussions in anyone’s faith. My guess is the most people reading this explanation room not shaken come their core by it. If her reaction is follow me the currently of, “Who cares whether Jesus’ ministry to be 3 years, or 2 years, or even 6 year long?”—I would choose to buy you a drink and also bless friend in the name of Christ.

So why carry out I treatment enough to suggest it out?

Because these points snowball across generations. It’s not difficult for one angel’s legit blessing of mary (Luke 1:28) come evolve over time right into sacred legends about her ethical perfection, perpetual chastity, or particularly origin. In the same way, that knows once or how the erroneously assumed “three-year set of Jesus” could evolve into a three-year master arrangement for discipleship, or a three-year sacred legacy for church planting, or a collection of uncompromisable three-year expectation for just how God must work to build his kingdom?

Most spurious traditions have actually their origin in something true and good. However we cannot add to that reality without, in the end, compromising the an extremely truth we sought to uphold. For example, that is a an excellent and best thing come love God an ext than your parents (Luke 14:26). But it’s an completely wicked thing to add traditions to that reality which finish up undermining the duty to treatment for your aging forebears (Mark 7:9-13).

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The holy bible doesn’t tell us precisely how many years Jesus invested with his disciples, going about doing an excellent and healing. So us ought no to casually assert a three-year timeline together though it to be self-evident.