1 John the Baptist is clearly described by Josephus as having been murdered by the Jewish Priesthood in 36 CE. Josephus is consistent with Christian tradition, which places this sad event in August/September, about 6 months before the next Passover. (The Jewish leaders murdered both John the Baptist and the Messiah on major agricultural feast days whose origins clearly came from the old Canaanite religions.) Please see: http://members.aol.com/fljosephus/JohnTBaptist.htm "The Dating of John According to Josephus" 2 The Gospels clearly indicate that the Messiah was crucified after John the Baptist's murder, during a Passover. Further, both the Gospels and secular sources confirm that the Crucifiction happened uner Pilate. Pilate was Procurator until 37 CE, when a series of disturbances in Judea forced him to be recalled to Rome, where he was executed by beheading. 3 This leaves one option. The Messiah was crucified after John the Baptist was murdered (Sept. 36 CE) and while Pilate was still procurator (until a few months after Passover 37 CE). Thus, Jesus was crucified at Passover in 37 CE. 4 Passover in 37 CE happened on the Ides of March, on the 15th. It was a Friday, exactly as Christian tradition teaches ("Good Friday"). (It was also the 80th anniversary of Julius' Caesar's assassination in Rome.) Moreover, exactly as Christian tradition teaches (and the Jewish Talmud records: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=42290), Passover Week began at sun-down on that very Friday, so that the Crucifiction was indeed on the eve of the Passover festival. It all works out. 5 Jesus was around 30 at the time of his crucifiction, according to Church Tradition. That means he was born around 7 AD. This is exactly the testimony of Luke 2:1-3, which ties the Messiah's birth to the Census of Quirinius, firmly dated to 9 CE. (For example, we know there were major censuses in 28 BCE, 8 BCE, and 14 CE — every 20 years. Other censuses happened every 5 years, putting Quirinius' census in 14-5=9 CE.) This means he was born, not under Herod the Great, but under Herod's son and successor, Herod Archelaus. This is not implausible, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Archelaus Archelaus was driven from power for extreme cruelty in 9 CE. (The Romans installed Quirinus as Procurator in his place, who immediately conducted the Census mentioned above.) The "Massacre of the Innocents" targeted all children ages 2 and under (Matt 2:16-18). If the Messiah was born at this time, and Herod Archelaus cruelly murdered scores of infants, this would perfectly explain why the Jews deposed Archelaus at precisely this time. Note: Josephus' description of the reign of Archelaus is notoriously brief in all the surviving manuscripts of Josephus. In fact, so little information is available from any Classical source for his 10 year reign (1 BC - 9 AD) that it is known as the "Dark Decade".