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Exploring the Historical Interval Between Moses and Jesus

How Many Years Between Moses and Jesus

When it comes to Christianity, there are two main figures that many people debate about – when was the start of the church and who is considered to be the Messiah or Christ? These debates can get very heated and even lead to violence!

Many Christians believe that the date for the beginning of the church is around A.D. 30 with Paul as the leader and apostle of the faith. This is called The New Testament Era (or NT). Others say that the birth of the Christian Church happened in Jerusalem during the reign of Emperor Augustus in A.D. 31.

This second group is referred to as The Pre-New Testament Era (or PTN) because they feel that the Bible does not explicitly state when the church started so they go back from what we know about Jesus’ life and ministry to make an assumption about when the church began.

By this reasoning, they conclude that the year A.D. 31 is the most accurate since it is the closest possible year to when someone assumed Jesus to be the Son of God. Some also refer to this era as The Common Era or CE. You may have heard these terms before!

There are several reasons why some scholars put off identifying A.D. 31 as the starting point for the church. One being that they do not fully trust the information we have on Jesus’ birthdate. Another reason is that they think that it is too early to begin counting years in the history of the church.

How many years from Moses to Jesus?

The Bible does not specify how many years separate the birth of Moses from that of Jesus. However, by using other events in Scripture as reference points, we are able to make an assumption about how long it took for Christians to recognize his return.

By looking at the time frame between Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land and their first appearance under Joshua’s leadership (around 1400 BCE), we can determine when Christianity began.

This gives us an average of 14 generations or around 350 years between each leader and his successor. This means that if you were born one generation after another up until now, then you would be 1/350th of a person who was 2 ½ decades older than you!

If this concept seems hard to grasp, that is okay! Most people cannot even comprehend what age Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were either! But believe me when I tell you that everyone else out there your same age as well as people two and three times your own age are very important individuals.

How many generations were there between Moses and Jesus?

The Bible does not specify how many generations exist between someone like Moses and Jesus. Some say that there are at least six, some say eight, some say 10, and others say 20 or more!

We do know one thing about the time frame, though- it was quite a bit longer than two years! When we look back at the history of God’s people, we find that most were in fact raised up during the era of Israel’s monarchy (the period from just after the death of Solomon through the exile of the Babylonians).

Israel reigned for around 30–40 years under King David, Solomon, and his son Rehoboam before they got exiled by the Assyrians in 722 BCE and returned under Hezekiah in 701 CE. This is a total span of some 70–80 years![1]

Many believe that this is why Paul says that “all gospel truth came to its fullest with the ministry of John the Baptist and then Christ” (2 Corinthians 13:10).

Second century AD

How Many Years Between Moses and Jesus?

The second important time period we should consider is the years between the death of Christ in the first century and when many Christians believe that his spirit left his body and entered into heaven. This event is known as the “Resurrection” or more commonly, the “Risen Lord.”

Many Christians believe this happened within forty days of His crucifixion. Some say it occurred one morning around dawn while He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Others say it took place at sunset during an intimate conversation with God in the temple called the Throne Room. Still others say it happened after Jesus descended to the underworld (the lower part of our planet) for a few hours before returning to Heaven.

It is very difficult to pinpoint a date because there are so many different theories about what happened next! But most agree that Christianity would not exist if it were not for the Resurrection.

After the Risen Lord ascended back up to Heaven, he appeared to people who had witnessed his suffering. These individuals included apostles, prophets, and other Christian leaders such as Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Joanna. They also include followers whom Jesus healed and trained during his earthly ministry.

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Third century AD

How Many Years Between Moses and Jesus?

The early church historian, Eusebius, wrote his famous work “On the History of the Church” in the late 300s or early 310s. According to him, the time between the death of Moses (1250 BC) and that of Christ (30 AD) was 32 years!

He also mentioned that this time frame included 9 months for the Exodus journey and 11 more months for the 40 year wandering period after leaving Egypt. This equals 52 total months or 684 days.

So how did he come up with such an incredible number?

It comes down to math. He assumed that during this time frame there were no significant changes in leadership. So he counted every year as one full year. For example, when Israel spent their first night in the wilderness they had no leader. But we know that Yahweh was the only person who could have been their leader at that point.

Eusebius made the assumption that since it took place under his own personal knowledge base that he considered Yahweh to be the leading figure.

Fourth century AD

The most popular theory about when the New Testament was written is that it was completed around A.D. 140, almost four centuries after Moses’ death! This theory suggests that Mark wrote his gospel in Rome during this time period.

This theory was proposed by German theologian Adolf Hilgenfeld in 1908. It became increasingly popular among scholars as more gospels were discovered. Some even believe that Luke and John were also written during this time frame.

The main argument for this theory comes from the word “Moses” found in chapter 6 of Matthew. In this verse, Jesus says to His disciples, “And who are these greatest? I will show you. They are those who have been good up to their own house.”

Many Christians take this verse to mean that greatness is determined only by one’s self-righteousness. These people say things like, ‘I am great because I never tell lies,’ or ‘I am great because I always help my friends.’

However, many non-Christian philosophers disagree with this interpretation. For example, Plato said that greatness is knowing how to live according to reason rather than emotion.

These individuals are called moralists. By this definition, someone who spends all day watching TV and eating junk food would not be considered great. Rather, they would be described as unwise (or foolish).

Fifth century AD

 

The most prevalent theory about when the gospels were written is that they were all completed in the time frame of around 70-100 years after the death of Christ. This theory was proposed by German scholar Julius von Schlosser, who also coined the term “Synoptic” to refer to the three main gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

This theory gained traction due to its logical consistency. If we assume that each gospel writer wrote his own version of events during this period of time then it makes sense to say that these versions agree with each other because both writers lived through important events which are consistent.

However, there are two major problems with this theory. First, none of the early Christians claimed to be writing their accounts while living in the same era as Christ. Second, even if one writer did claim to have been living at the same time as Christ, it does not make sense to compare their account to those that came later unless you believe that theirs is wrong!

The first problem can be solved by saying that the gospels were originally oral histories that were passed down generation to generation. In fact, some scholars argue that this is how stories such as The Epic of Gilgamesh began. As the story spread, people added onto it and adapted it for their culture, making it more relevant to them.

With technology now, we can easily verify whether or not this is true by looking back at any surviving writings from ancient cultures.

Sixth century AD

How Many Years Between Moses and Jesus?

The Church does not know with certainty when the last time was that all four of the Gospels were in one place, written by one person. This is known as the “canonical or formal collection” of the New Testament books.

The most likely end date for this period comes from an incident mentioned in two gospels. According to Mark 6:20-22, during Passover week in Jerusalem, some Jews gathered around Peter and asked him if he could testify that the God we now call Yahweh (or Jehovah) had ever been married.

If you read between the lines here, it seems like they wanted to discredit his Jewish heritage because he was clearly not practicing their religion. So, he replied by telling them what many people say about such questions: “God never puts the same question twice!”

By saying this, he revealed something very important – even though there are several versions of the Old Testament, none of them contain any stories where Yahweh gets married. In fact, no book mentions his first name either.

This means that someone somewhere made up the story of who He is, which also makes Him unique. No other god has His own identity that people attached to Him throughout history.

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Seventh century AD

 

The Church does not recognize 790 years as the time between the death of Moses and the birth of Christ. This is because the Bible clearly states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem around 6 BC and died in Jerusalem near the end of 30 AD.

The year 30 CE is the most common date given for his crucifixion, though some scholars argue either 27 or 33 as more accurate.

So how do we account for this large gap? The short answer is that we don’t! It simply doesn’t exist within Christian theology.

We know there are errors when counting days (for example, adding one day to an April calendar entry will make it enter May), but no one ever adds 700+ days to their life.

That would be ridiculous! If someone did this, then they wouldn’t think very highly of themselves…or God.

Eighth century AD

 

The most popular theory about when the Jews stopped accepting the Book of Moses as completely true is that they did so in the eighth century. This theory was proposed by Flavius Josephus, an ancient historian who lived during the first half of the second century AD. He wrote about several different Jewish leaders and their beliefs, including whether or not there would be another prophet like Moses.

Josephus mentioned two main reasons why some people believed this to be the case. The first was because the book Ezra published was seen as fake. Most scholars agree that this book was written by someone else who took pieces of the earlier books of Moses and rewrote them for religious purposes.

This person added stories and ideas that matched what they wanted the followers of his religion to believe. For example, he may have included some myths about other gods to make it seem like the previous prophets had knowledge of these deities. By changing the story, the writer could influence how people viewed the past prophets.

Ninth century AD

 

The ninth century was an important time period for Christianity. During this time, many of the books we have come to recognize as fundamental to Christian reading were written. But what most people don’t know is that there was another book in the Bible that didn’t exist back then.

This book is called the Book of Enoch or 1 Enoch. It was only discovered in our current form during the 19th century when it was included in the Pearl Series (a collection of religious texts). Before being reattributed as part of the Old Testament, Christians referred to it as 2 Esdras or 2 Ezra.

The reason why it took so long to be recognized can be traced back to the early church. A lot of scholars consider 1 Enoch to be non-canonical because they say it doesn’t fit into any established canon at the time.

I. The Timeline of the Old Testament

There are many ways to determine how long ago some events took place, or what year something happened. We can use historical documents to tell us when things occurred, we can make an educated guess as to what happened based on known information at that time, or we can estimate how long it would have taken for important events to occur.

By studying the timeline of the old testament, we get different length estimates for when certain events in God’s story took place. Some say the exodus took place around 1400 years ago, while others say 1500-1700 years ago depending on which event they choose to put their date down.

We cannot know exactly when the exodus took place, but by using all of these methods together, we are able to create our own personal estimated timelines for when various events took place.

I. Introduction

In this article, we will be talking about how people calculate the timing of key events in the Bible. You will learn some basic concepts like estimating absolute dates, relative dating, and internal dating.

You will also learn how to apply these concepts to your personal estimated timeline for when specific events in the bible took place.

There are many ways to organize the timeline of the OT, but one that is very popular includes what are called “prophetic timelines.” A prophetic timeline lists events in order from the past (ancient times) to the future (future times).

The list begins with the event that God spoke directly to people through His prophets and moves forward from there. Two main theories exist for why this is done.

One theory says that as humanity experiences more time, we find it harder to believe that someone who has never spoken to us personally would tell us something important about our lives. As we age, we feel that we know less and less people, so we assume that if someone told us something, they must be a liar or mistaken.

This perception can easily carry over into other areas. Since we have not heard direct messages from God, we assume that He does not really exist or that he could not possibly care about us. So when people say things that contradict this assumption, we tend to ignore their message and advice.

By listing all of God’s answers along a sequence of points, we see how much faith He had in Himself and what He knows about human nature. We also learn that He will always speak truthfully to those who ask Him for help.

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II. How Many Years Separated Moses and Jesus

The Bible does not make exact predictions, but it gives us clues as to when important events took place. When these are combined with an understanding of how time is calculated in Judaism and Christianity, we can determine that there was a gap of about 14 years between Moses’ death and Jesus’ birth.

This gap corresponds to the fourteen years mentioned in Deuteronomy 34:5–7 where Israel spent during this period. Most scholars agree that this refers to the exile of the Jews from their homeland after the conquest by the Assyrians in 721 BCE. Some believe the verse describes the return trip home or even another exile.

Whatever the case may be, most Christians assume that God sent his only son at some point close to 700 CE, making Jesus around 26-27 years old when he died.

III. The Significance of Moses and Jesus in History

There are many similarities between the life of Jesus and that of Moses, but there is one major difference.

Moses never lived to see his teachings spread across the world nor did he ever establish an organized religion like Christianity has done with the Church and Catholicism.

But what He gave us we can enjoy now!

His teaching can be found throughout history and it still makes sense today. His lessons have flourished and grown as time has passed.

Jesus’s legacy also grows every day as Christians around the globe recognize his importance in their faith.

So how old was Moses when he died? According to tradition, he died at about age 120-125 which gives him 7–8 years more living than Jesus who died at 30.

IV. The Impact of the Old Testament on Christianity

Over the past two thousand years, many scholars have dedicated their lives to studying the Bible to determine what it means for Christians today.

Some focus on historical details, such as determining when certain stories were written or how well preserved some parts are. Others look at the larger themes that run through the books, like what Christian beliefs we can learn from studying the book of Romans.

Yet another group looks beyond the borders of the individual books to see how the different authors’ perspectives relate to each other. For example, reading between the lines reveals something about who these people were and why they wrote as they did.

And while some may disagree over whether one interpretation is better than the others, most agree that the Bible teaches us about God, which makes it an important source of knowledge for our religion.

V. How Mosaic Law Influenced the Life and Teachings of Jesus

The Bible tells us that God gave his law to Moses, and that he carried this law in his heart as he lived his life. This is what allowed him to connect with people from all walks of life and inspire them through his teachings.

Jesus was fully aware of the importance of the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). He referenced it frequently throughout his ministry and even made specific comments about some parts. For example, according at least one source,[1] when some Jews were discussing whether it was permissible to eat meat prepared by pagan cultures, or if only food sacrificed to God could be eaten, then Jesus said that no such thing can ever take away consecrated (or sacred) foods like milk and bread.[2]

This shows two things. First, Jesus believed that the Jewish religion was very important because he protected and upheld their traditions.

There are two main theories about how many years exist between the writing of the Old Testament books and the writings of The New Testament. These theories differ slightly in their estimation of the time span, but they both agree that there is a significant gap!

The longer interpretation assumes that the book was written at a specific time period while the shorter one does not include this extended waiting period.

Which theory you believe depends mostly on your preference for timing Scripture. If you like having more time to connect each verse with the next then go with the longer timeline. On the other hand, if you find it difficult to make these connections then use the shorter version.

You also should consider who wrote the book. A popular argument for the short timeline is that since all four gospels were written by eyewitnesses then none of them contain any inaccurate information or exaggerations. This means that although John’s account may be different from someone else’s, his story must be closer to the truth because he knew the person involved.

 

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