Humphreys and Waddington have cleared up several theological issues for me by the publication of their paper. Even though the published in 1992, the work was unknown to me until today. I think they are probably correct in their dating chronology of Christ and the references to His crucifixion. The blood moon rising just after the start of The Passover fulfilled Joel’s prophecy which Peter quoted fifty days later at Pentecost. This, to me, makes the most sense of Peter’s speech.
Another point also which I realized from this paper was the aspect of Christ being the “First fruits.” During Passover three “observances” are fulfilled: Passover, waving the first fruits of barley harvest, and seven days of eating bread without yeast (dough starter). Waving the barley sheaves of first fruits occurs the day after Passover (Nissan 16) which coincided with the Sunday upon which Jesus rose from the dead.
Also, the apparent conflict between the Synoptic Gospels and John has been resolved concerning the timing of Jesus’ death. It is now evident to me that the Last Supper was not a “Passover” observance since nowhere a lamb is mentioned.
Here is the summary:
Astronomical calculations have been used to reconstruct the Jewish calendar in the first century AD and to date a lunar eclipse that biblical and other references suggest followed the Crucifixion. The evidence points to Friday 3 April AD 33 as the date of the Crucifixion. This was Nisan 14 in the official Jewish calendar, thus Christ died at precisely the time when the Passover lambs were slain. The date 3 April AD 33 is consistent with the evidence for the start of Jesus’ ministry, with the gospel reference to 46 years to build the temple and with the symbolism of Christ as our Passover lamb. The mention of a solar eclipse at the Crucifixion in some texts of Luke is discussed and explained. A new chronology of the life of Christ is suggested.