Crucifixion Quake (2020) - full transcript

A geologist goes on a 20 year quest to determine if the physical events reported on the day of the Crucifixion happened as narrated - or not.

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You get up in the morning,

you're thinking about
your high school friend

from 20 years ago or your college friend,

and you wake up and
that's all you can think

about is like gosh I wonder
how so-and-so's doing,

I haven't seen her in
years, I'd love to see her.

And you go to work, and
you get out of your car,

and you're walking down the street,

and you turn the corner and there she is.

That would be a situation
where these two people

had connected at one point in their lives



and then they separated,

and then suddenly they met
in a very meaningful way

at a time when something

very meaningful was happening perhaps.

Why did you wake up
thinking about that person?

Are you responsible for that happening

or is there some benevolent force

that is somehow making that happen

in order to do something for you.

I'm certain that everybody

thinks I'm obsessed, maybe.

But I don't care what that
looks like from the outside.

I know it's been 20 years but
I'm close now, I really am.

I always ask myself what
happens after I die?



And then something happened.

Something happened that made me realize

we all need to know this.

We all need to know this badly,

since then I just couldn't stop.

The last time I almost died
was over 20 years ago, 1996.

But I didn't die.

I was supposed to be on that flight.

John and Charlie were on that flight.

They were dead like everybody else

but I was alive, my life had been spared

and I didn't know why.

They were better than me.

John was young, Charlie left two kids.

Why them?

I feel guilty.

They're the ones who
should still be alive.

Here I was still in this world

when I was supposed to be gone,

what does that mean?

Was I born again?

Was this my baptism?

I don't know but since
then everything changed.

From now on I needed to find
a purpose for my existence.

I need to do something
that wasn't just about me.

I was determined to remember this

not to let it slip away within a week

when my life went back to normal

because this is what we do.

We're distracted, not paying attention,

not open to see whatever's waiting for us.

We just keep going with our lives.

And this is what happened to me.

But looking back I know now

that my life changed on that flight.

I called my parents, I told them,

"I wasn't on the flight that crashed."

I hung up and I thought about myself.

I had to find meaning for my life.

I did read it once,

it was about 20 years ago.

I remember the night I got to Matthew.

Now from the six hour there was darkness

over all the land until the ninth hour,

and about the ninth hour
Jesus cried with a loud voice,

"My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me?"

And Jesus cried again with a loud voice

and yielded up his spirit,

and behold the curtain of the temple

was torn in two from top to bottom

and the earth shook and
the rocks were split.

When the centurion and those
who were who were with him

keeping watch over
Jesus saw the earthquake

and what took place they
were filled with awe

and said, "Truly this was the Son of God."

This is a vivid description
of an earthquake.

I'm a geologist so
everything became clear,

from that moment I had a goal.

- The Bible isn't a scientific book,

it is a book that tells us not
how things happened by why,

which is probably more important

so it's a book of faith.

And read in that context so
it's a story of salvation

God's love for humanity.

- You know when you ask what is the Bible,

it's not an easy question

because you got Jews who would say,

"It's the Old Testament."

Of course they don't
call it the Old Testament

they call the Hebrew Bible.

Christians have also the New Testament,

which is an additional 27
books that they put together.

And there are other religious traditions,

Roman Catholics have
an additional 14 books

they call the Apocrypha.

- The New Testament is
basically the story of Christ.

You have the Four Gospels

giving us the words and the deeds of Jesus

written down obviously not
at the time but afterward.

Then you have the Book of Acts,

then you have the various letters,

and then you have the final book

the Book of Apocalypse or Revelation.

- The Gospels don't tell four

entirely different stories about Jesus,

they tell the same story
in four different ways.

Why four?

It's rather like having four
portraits of the same person

because a portrait brings out

some characteristics of an individual

but it can't bring out
every characteristic.

And so Christians have said,

"That it takes Four Gospels

to tell the one Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The crucifixion is the part
of the story of Jesus's life

in which the Four Gospels
are more closely aligned

in their narrative similarities
than in any other place.

The curtain
of the temple was torn

in two from top to bottom, top to bottom.

This was the Son of God.

- According to Luke, and
to Mark, and to Matthew

all of them say, "That
at the death of Jesus

the temple curtain was torn."

- That's in Mark, Matthew
repeats it, Luke repeats it

but normally that's
understand as in the temple

if you go inside the outer
chamber the holy room

there is a curtain.

But Josephus tells us,

this is the Jewish historian of the period

who knew, and lived, and saw the temple

that there was another
curtain, a huge curtain

that was probably 30
feet across, very heavy

that was in front outside
the temple complex.

- Inner curtain and outer
curtain, the curtain was ripped,

well doesn't say which one.

The significance though it
says, "From top to bottom."

means they were not done by a human hand,

is that now because of
Jesus's death the barrier

between God and humanity is now gone.

- When we look at Mark's description

of the tearing of the
temple curtain the centurion

who's standing by sees all of these events

and declares, "Now that
was the Son of God."

The only tearing of the temple curtain

you could see from Golgotha

would be the giant 80 foot
really public curtain.

- So the question is
is it a theology point

the blood of Christ is
now covering our sins,

is that Mark means

or does he have some
memory right as Jesus died

of this huge curtain somehow being torn?

But the only think that
could tear the huge curtain

in the front of the temple

would possibly be a seismic event.

- The Gospel of Matthew adds
a new accent to that story

that Mark and Luke don't have.

And Matthew's accent is that
there was also an earthquake.

- Now that's a real problem

because if all we had was Matthew

I would completely dismiss
it as embellishment,

theological exaggeration,
theological embellishment,

making it more supernatural

because that's what he does throughout.

Mark doesn't say there as an earthquake

but he does say, "That the
veil of temple was rent."

Now if he saying that big
outer curtain was rent

then you got an earthquake
in Mark as well.

But he doesn't use the word earthquake.

- Because of that article
I lost my reputation,

my colleagues were worried
about their reputation.

Scientist don't like
their integrity questioned

and that article questioned
it in a very substantial way

because it strongly implied
that my colleagues and I

were trying to prove the Bible.

So after the news article came out

nobody wanted to work with
me, nobody returned my calls.

13 years of developing
contacts went down the drain

in the 48 hours it took
that article to go viral.

I had to swallow a lot
of things in my life.

And right now I feel like a failure.

But I'm not going down without a fight.

I'm going back to the Dead Sea,

there's more work for me to do there.

I don't know if this is my last chance

to figure this story out

but it sure feels like it.

I better be ready.

I know everybody thought I wanted to prove

what happened at the crucifixion

and that article was a result

but that's not what I did.

It's more complicated than that.

I have to go back more than 20
years to explain what I did.

It all started the night I read Matthew.

- When you are passionate about something

that fills you with joy and
excitement, and motivation

it awakens you to possibilities

that you didn't know existed,

to a purpose or a meaning
that you didn't have before.

It's as if the universe
is conspiring to help you.

This has been the intuition
of mystics, spirit people

around the year for hundreds of years,

you can say thousands of years.

There's tradition for that belief.

Some people say, "Well, it was my purpose,

I couldn't help it, I had to do that,

it's what I was born for."

It's like you have spiritual
awakening in a way,

not in any traditional sense
about any traditional God image

but you're having a spiritual experience.

When I first
read that account in Matthew

I thought this could be
studied but not by me.

I wasn't an earthquake geologist, not yet.

I didn't have the skills
and I didn't feel confident.

I wanted to pass the idea on
to someone with those skills.

I thought they would jump
to study such an earthquake

as it's in the middle of
the most influential story

in human history but
they weren't interested.

I was shocked by their indifference.

But someone gave me a name.

Someone was already studying

the earthquake history of the Dead Sea.

So in 1999 I made my
first trip to the Dead Sea

and I spoke to Amotz
Agnon of Hebrew University

He told me, "There was
evidence of an earthquake

from 33 A.D. in the
sediments in the Dead Sea.

Revital Bookman was
working in Nahal Zeelim,

Claudia Migowski was working in Ein Gedi,

and Elisa Kagan would
later work in Ein Feshka.

Their advisors were Moti
Stein and Amotz Agnon.

- Paleoseismic studies started in Zeelim

under PhD work of Revital Bookman.

We were interested in this research

because we found we can date earthquakes

that happen in prehistorical times,

which is exactly what Revital did.

- When you look at the
walls of the gullies

you see mostly horizontal
layers, very thin layers,

which we call lamina.

And every once and a while you see

that some of them are not horizontal

and they're actually
quite deformed, mixed up,

or folded in different ways.

- We see the disassembly,

instead of the layers are
looking like this flat, right,

and we have beautiful laminated sections

that are not disturbed,

we have disturbances like pressures

that we see fragments of
layers within other layers,

and we see folds and this kind of stuff.

- And this indicates that at
the time when these layers

were actually on the lake bottom
something happened to them.

- And our interpretation

this all is related to
earthquake activity.

- These deformations were
caused by earthquakes.

- Later on Claudia Migowski

worked on the drill in Ein Gedi

so she got really most of the story.

- This was extremely successful

so in Ein Gedi probably
covered 20 meters...

- Most of the paleoseismic studies

in the world are done on cores.

When people started studying
these lake sediments here

only a few meters were
exposed in the river beds

and in order to get view
of the entire Holocene

the best way to do it was to
drill cores into the shores.

They didn't even have to go into the lake,

they drilled the cores on
the shores of the Dead Sea.

- The idea with the core
is that you are limited

to a very narrow width
of a few centimeters

the holes that you stick
in the ground gives you.

- Even when Revital started working

they were working in very,
very small narrow lake beds

with just you know a
few meters of exposures

and as time went by the lake,

the Dead Sea has been going down

and the rivers have been
incising more and more

and the river bed walls exposures

have been getting deeper and deeper.

- The valley now is
something like 10 meters,

the wall is 10 meters wide.

At that time was less than four meters.

- I don't know if this is a true story

but the Zeelim Gully where
most of my work was done

and a lot of us were
he could just jump over

from one side to the other.

- We could jump, we could jump
from one side of the valley,

it wasn't a valley, it was
just a trench like this.

- However the most drastic

and very, very quick lake level drop

has been happening the past
10's of years up until today

and and still the lake
level's dropping more

than a meter a year and
doesn't seem to be stopping.

- Today the Dead Sea is at
432 meters below sea level,

so when you stand now in the Dead Sea

just imagine there was a lake

that its surface elevation was
250 meters above your head.

Let me repeat it,

you stand now on the
shores of the Dead Sea

and the surface of that lake

was 250 meters above your head.

- Recently obviously it's
been going down, down, down

therefore the lake sediments
are now exposed in many places.

Elisa Kagan moved
in working in Ein Feshka,

which turn out to have many more seismites

so this give a whole new dimension.

- What I mostly did was
study the exposures.

The advantage of an exposure

is that instead of just having
a few centimeters of view

you have a very large view
of what you're looking at.

You can choose where you wanna work.

It's much easier to
find material for dating

when you have a core that's only this thin

you have to get pretty lucky.

The exposures, the
geological lake bed exposures

in the geologist field

is becoming more and more available to us.

There's almost no need in the
Holocene to look at the cores

if you wanna look at the lake margin.

- And this was actually
the beginning of the saga

that continues now for more than 25 years.

- I went to the Dead Sea to look

for evidence of the earthquake.

I looked everywhere for
days, I couldn't find it.

I went back the next year in
2000, I still couldn't find it.

They were studying all the
earthquakes that could be seen

but all I cared about
was this one earthquake.

I don't know if they liked that.

Plenty of people are
going to the Holy Land

to try to prove the Bible.

I think they were afraid
that I was one of them.

I felt like they were
keeping me at arm's length.

Someone even told me I
wasn't allowed to study this

but I wouldn't listen.

You're gonna need a lot
more than that to stop me.

But still I couldn't find it.

I felt like an idiot.

I came back again in 2001

and this time I begged Amotz for help.

He helped me.

Nobody's helped me more than
Amotz over the last 20 years.

He arranged for his PhD student Revital

to meet me the field
and she showed it to me

in Nahal Zeelim there it
was, right in front of me.

I started to work on it.

I still felt inadequate

but if nobody else was gonna
study this it had to be me.

I took a deep dive into
radiocarbon dating,

which is how you dated the earthquakes.

You took pieces of old plants lying

at different depths in a section

and ya sent them to the lab.

The lab results and subsequent analysis

told you the approximate age

when that depth of
sediments was deposited.

- Revital and Elisa were my
students, my PhD students

and so they came with the
data and we interpreted it.

- We could recover the
entire Holocene period,

which is the past 10,000 years.

And they identified at least
for the past 2,00 years

so even more, all the historical aspects.

In our...

the first layer that is not disrupted

was deposited immediately after the event.

Then we can say something about the year

or perhaps the season

when the ground shaking event happened.

Basically the
best way to date them

is using carbon-14, go in
the field look at the area,

look at the layers that we wanna date

and we can go along the exposures

until we find small twigs, seeds, logs,

any kind of organic material
that we can find in there.

The sampling for
radiocarbon is done in the field

when you recognize without contaminating

it with your fingers or anything

you pull it out with tweezers

and you keep it in a aluminum foil.

Problem with dating
recently with radiocarbon

is that radiocarbon is
not sufficiently accurate.

There are calibration issues

that give you a range of dates.

- Radiocarbon dating method

like everything in science
has its limitation.

When we go through the past 2,000 years

we have all this arguments

but then we have the dating

because we are dating the earth

and then we can compare them
to the historical documents.

The geologist
were using what was known

as earthquake catalogs
or historical catalogs

to know when and where an
earthquake was reported.

I had never heard about
these catalogs before.

Like everybody else I assumed
that they were correct

because historians must
have worked on them.

So I started to study them

collecting dozens of historical catalogs

looking for evidence of this earthquake.

I was looking for every single mention

I could find for an earthquake in 33 A.D.

At the same time I needed to
know if Matthew was reliable.

- Now when people open the Bible

and they see the Gospel
according to Matthew

or even if you got a Greek text,

it would say in Greek the Gospel,

according to Matthew.

But the problem is those headings

are from the fourth
century, they're very late.

They're attributed authorship.

- The designation of the
authorship of the Gospels

is actually kind of unusual.

They use a Greek phrase which is,

which means according to.

That did not usually mean
author that meant source.

It meant according to so-and-so.

- The Four Gospels that we have

with regard to the New Testament,

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,

none of them gives the name of its author.

- So the Gospels use this structure

which normally would suggest
that these people, these names

are not the people who wrote the books

but are the people who here the source

for the material in the books.

- But the idea that many readers have

is that's Matthew one of the 12 apostles.

There's no evidence that
that would be the case.

There were
two of Jesus's disciples

that were called Matthew

and we might even have a third Matthew,

and so that name cannot automatically

be assumed to come from
Matthew the Apostle of Jesus.

- So most of us in the academic world

would say it anonymous.

- We're pretty sure these Gospels

originally circulated anonymously

and someone later gave them names.

And even the person,

whoever that was who gave them those names

is trying to suggest that these names

are the sources for the books

rather than the actual authors

and that got quickly forgot.

The Christian apologist of the time

just started really selling these Gospels

as written by these authors

and made up legends about them and so on.

But mainstream scholars generally

don't believe the legends
and things like that.

- In the 19th century scholars

began to do very serious
literary criticism

on the relationship of the first

three gospels to each other.

These Gospels are called synoptic Gospels

that is to say when you compare them

they look alike, they
follow a similar form,

a similar development of the narrative.

They even use similar stories.

And the church has been much
exercised over the question

of what is the sequence of those Gospels.

- Matthew has a lot of priority,
mainly because it's first

but that's actually quite
misleading historically speaking

because he definitely is
not the earliest Gospel.

And early Christians thought he was

but as scholars we now have pretty well

established the chronology
that Mark, the shortest,

is actually the earliest.

- Well that's again,
that's a matter of opinion,

I think the juries out on that.

But in the 1800's there was an effort

on the part of the German government

to discredit Christianity

and so they came up with this theory

that Mark was the very first
Gospel is the shortest,

to adding things that can't be original,

which is not necessarily true.

- When Matthew comes to
record the death of Jesus

it's in the next to the last chapter,

chapter 27 of Matthew,

his source is Mark,
that's really all he has,

he doesn't have independent sources.

And if you compare them side by side

you can see he's just
going through and editing,

it's literally a second edition.

But when he comes to very death of Jesus

he presents a whole interpolation
that Mark does not have,

his source does not have

and it's extremely
embellished and supernatural.

Mark simple has Jesus die
and he breathes his last,

and the centurion says, "Truly
this is the Son of God",

and it's basically all over.

But Matthew has a great earthquake,

people being raised from the dead,

angel come from heaven,
he's in dazzling apparel,

there's another earthquake,
and people fall over dead.

So you can see if you

just take Mark and Matthew side by side

he is essentially
retelling the story of Mark

but in an extremely
supernatural embellished way.

After all for Matthew this is
the virgin born Son of God.

He can't have an ending like Mark has.

It's gotta be a glory hallelujah ending

and he certainly provides that.

We're trying to match

an earthquake in a section

to an earthquake recorded
in these catalogs.

But I started to realize
that most of these catalogs

were just referring to other catalogs.

So I needed to go beyond the catalogs

and read the original source documents,

the ancient books, the ancient letters,

old margin notes, whatever,

that are the source of every single entry

in every single catalog.

At first I felt lost

reading the historical source documents,

they weren't in English, it was archaic,

and I didn't initially
understand the context.

The old text could be a mess,

sometimes they described an earthquakes

that were too large to believed

or the date of an earthquake

from two different historical
sources didn't always agree.

Sometimes they didn't even
describe a real earthquake.

But none of the other geologists

were reading the historical
source documents.

They were relying solely

on the historical earthquake catalogs.

- There are many historical
catalog all over the world.

And the ones here the Middle
East and in the Mediterranean

are one of the best ones in the world

because the civilizations
have existed here continuously

throughout the past 2,000,
3,000 or more years.

- So this was the purpose of Revital work.

So she described the...

She actually discovered most
of the historical earthworks.

She found that these seismites,

these deformations that she sees

were the same time as
historical earthquakes

that she could compare them
to historical earthquakes

and she could see that almost

all of the historical earthquakes known

from historical records that historians

have been collecting all these years

she could actually see them
in the geological record.

- And when we put all of them together

then we see that one by one

we can match the past 2,000 years.

- I found out that almost all the catalogs

have been compiled by
scientists not by historians.

They contained errors,
sometimes significant errors.

I tried to tell this to
Revital but she cut me off,

"I'm a geologist not a
historian," she said,

"That's not my job."

- Nothing an be more accurate than this

because you get historical documents

of people that are
describing the situation

and you have the exact date of this.

- Nobody listened to me.

In 2002 completed my thesis

and I knew that it was more correct

than the other study in Nahal Zeelim.

I studied the historical source documents

for every earthquake in the section

and now I knew what the source
for the 33 A.D. earthquake.

But Bodhi Stein asked me,
"To wait to publish it

till Revital completed her PhD."

I agreed, and their article was published.

An article that said among other things,

"That there was an earthquake in 33 A.D."

I waited two years before
I published my thesis,

it was 2004, same year
that my daughter was born.

No one read it, no one sited it.

But most important the historical errors

that I pointed out were ignored.

I didn't give up, I kept working.

I knew we hadn't figured
this earthquake out,

there was a lot more work to be done.

Every year I went to the
Dead Sea and I took samples.

I brought them back and I studied them.

I knew I was looked upon as an intruder,

someone who came to the Holy
Land with the wrong purpose.

I felt the pressure but I persisted.

Something began to change in
me, probably in my attitude.

For the first time I began to
think that I was on the road

to being the only person in the world

who understood this earthquake,
the crucifixion quake.

I went through every catalog

that mentioned the 33 A.D. earthquake

and followed every single reference back

and they all lead to one
source, only one source.

- When you get over to the New Testament

you have your Gospels, to me
those are mostly literature.

Are they based on fact?

Well, of course there's some fact

but the question is what kind of fact?

Have they reversed fact?

- They're not a biography in
the modern sense of the word

but they are historical.

That's as far as what the church teaches.

Others may disagree with that of course

but as far as what we
believe as Catholics.

- I would say you should
approach them as literature.

They are great literature,

no doubt about that they
are great literature,

and they will be here a
thousand years from now

and they will be considered
great literature.

Faith
requires no reason.

Matthew wants us to know

that the appearance of
Jesus Christ in this world

and the report that he makes about him

is a historically verified account.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
they all do the same thing.

Our scholars
have been arguing about this

for the last hundred or 200 years,

and I wouldn't even try to got there.

I just know that his crucifixion
was among many others,

so many crucifixions that
there was not enough wood

for the crosses, nor
enough hills or places

to place them up on.

There's so much
evidence has been destroyed,

it's so ambiguous and
difficult to really figure out

what really happened
that we can't be sure.

I do think though the
evidence kind of tends

to suggest that he didn't exist really

and that the character of Jesus walking

around Galilee as a historical
person gathering disciples

is a story that was created later.

- Just because something is literature

doesn't mean it doesn't have
historical references in it.

The question is what's the spin?

What's the attitude?

How is it presented?

That's more the literary
aspect of something.

Now was there an earthquake in the 30's?

Probably, if it's referred
to there probably was.

That's nothing to do with
the spin so to speak,

if you wanna call it that

or the way the narration is framed

or the way the narrators
present their facts.

Be careful what is literary
and what is real history.

- I don't need to believe that the Gospels

are entirely mythical and fictional.

I could fully believe that
there's history in there

and that it's just been exaggerated

because that's completed
compatible with my atheism

so there's no threat to me to suggest

that there's real historical
facts in the Gospels.

It just so happens that the
more I look at the Gospels

the more I realize that
that's not the case.

- And interesting enough
the church does not require

that we have the scientific evidence.

You have it, great, right,
additional proofs wonderful.

But our faith isn't based
upon the scientific evidence.

- Faith is not foully.

it's not guessing, it's
not flipping a coin.

Faith is making a judicious commitment

to something that you
have reason to trust.

What the historical veracity
and reliability cannot do

is convince us of the meaning.

And we know this from our lives,

for example, if someone says
to you or to me I love you,

that is a statement that
cannot be proven historically.

In order to rightly
interpret that statement

we have to know a lot about that person.

Is he or she a truthful person?

Is my experience been one of loving

or has it not been and so forth.

And it's only on the basis of
that larger objective context

that then we can understand
the statement I love you.

A person that you trust you will believe.

A person that you do not trust,

no matter how sincerely
that person claims to say it

you will not trust.

When scholars work hard

to reconstruct the context
of the New Testament

they, we, I, need to be aware that at best

we are creating that context

in which readers then can
make a right judgment,

a judicious judgment on
the claims of the text.

But the claims of the
text cannot be proven.

In the same way that if I say to someone

or someone says to you, I love you,

we cannot say to that person prove it.

- My main paper from 2004,

which was published in
the International Journal

was a result of the work of Amotz Agnon,

of Revital Bookman, and Morti Stein.

All the colleagues they're
very happy with my results.

In 2007 I made
contact with the Germans

who did the first work
on the Ein Gedi core.

I was able to exam the exact same core

that Claudia Migowski studied for her PhD.

- Claudia sent me the data

and we meet occasionally from Germany,

again working on the interpretations,

suggesting methods of screening,

of understanding what
we were are looking at.

- Claudia was reviewing
the catalogs in her way

and then Elisa Kagan she in her paper,

she again reviewed the catalogs.

She came up with the date

of 33 A.D. for this earthquake

but I knew that geology
wasn't that precise

so I worked out a new date 26 to 36 A.D.

- I took all the dates they had

and tried to match it with my results.

I was just having my own earthquakes

and then the historical catalog

and was trying to match those.

- If the matching is more or less okay

and it's more or less okay

then it gives support to both sides.

Supporting the historical document,

supporting the interpretations.

I had to make a distinction

that the other people weren't making.

I started to call the earthquake

described in Matthew
the crucifixion quake.

And the best year for this
supposed earthquake is 33 A.D.

But I called the earthquake

that I saw in the sediments
the Jerusalem quake

because I knew that it shook Jerusalem

but I didn't know if
it had an relationship

with the crucifixion quake.

- On the basic of science is that you know

you can really, comes new data

and you can change your interpretation.

Otherwise it's not science,

that's the definition of science.

This is how we have

to talk about this earthquake.

It struck during the
reign of Pontius Pilate

but we don't know in
which of those 10 years

at least not yet.

- Several very strong earthquakes,

which anchored my matching.

And there was one earthquake,

which I estimated to 33 A.D.

- I kept getting asked,
"Why was I the only one

coming up with a range of 10 years

when this earthquake had already

been precisely dated
multiple times to 33 A.D?"

It was because I understood
where 33 A.D. came from.

And I did not realize that

it was only the Bible which said that.

And so I checked what

was the reference on those
catalogs, on the 33 A.D.,

do you remember what was there?

- I cannot comment on it.

I really cannot comment.

- The Bible, I don't know.

Exactly.

Is there one that was 33?

- I don't know.

I don't remember the numbers.

- Okay.
- This is like a,

you know somebody
telling jokes by numbers.

- I don't really feel comfortable talking

about this specific earthquake

but I what I can say
is that I looked at my,

the geological records that
I saw on the different sides

and I had, I did not think about
the historical earthquakes,

I dated them independently.

I was not trying to find
any specific earthquake.

- We're in another conversation now,

even one single word was
not related to religion.

So this is out of the blue question now,

it's not related to our
conversation at all.

I can put it in a very
simple way science is science

and religion is religion, that's all.

- Yeah, I remember about this earthquake

popping in some of the outcrops.

I need to look at the tables

to give you a responsible answer

because I never memorized.

- In this table you can
see for every seismic

the different historical earthquakes

that fit into this time period, right,

those are the different
options for that event.

And then when I actually
decide what to choose here,

Ein Feshka I correlated to 33 A.D.

I don't know what you're, why you're,

you wanna see it?

- If you have such a lot
of earthquakes to match up

you take it for granted
that they have the catalog

and they have the facts, historical facts.

- This is the way it
worked out with the dating.

- We mainly looked at catalogs
and when they conflict

we might look into sources.

Honestly it's not something
standard for us to look.

- I was not involved in
looking at the catalogs.

- Okay.
- I trusted her.

- Trusted her.
- Yeah.

- The Discovery News article said,

"That I determined an exact
date for the earthquake,

April 3, 33 A.D."

The same year as everybody else.

But that's not what I did it's
more complicated than that.

I never came up with such a precise date,

I did the opposite.

I dated the earthquake
to a 10 year time span

based only on the geology.

They wrote an article about an article

I had recently gotten published
in a scientific journal.

Based on what they wrote

I'm certain they didn't even
bother to read my article,

all they read was the abstract.

They fabricated quotes
from me from an interview

that never even took place.

Everything was falling apart.

Do you know what that feels like?

You put 13 years of time,
money, and effort into something

and within 48 hours it's all gone.

- My name is Etan Campbell.

I was born in Wilmington, Delaware.

I moved to the State of Israel in 1968

with my parents and three brothers.

And for the most part I've been
here for the last 50 years.

And it's been quite an experience.

At one point when I was younger

I had this question mark in my mind,

what was I missing in the United States?

And I went back, I was there
for maybe a year, a little over

and I had this intense
craving to get back to Israel.

I think there's a special
energy here in this country.

It takes us all back
so far in our memories

to historical events, the Bible.

Remember that the three major religions

were born in the desert

and people come and wanna feel

and take part in the
little way of understanding

this chapter in history.

Everyone can find that little thread

that pulls him into the
nucleus of the country.

There is nothing like feeling
the land with your legs,

touching the stones with your hands.

Keep tuned, and keep open,
and aware you will feel this.

Jerusalem is a very
intense spiritual city.

I feel it very strongly when I go there.

I can visit Jerusalem, I
wouldn't wanna live in Jerusalem.

There's an energy that comes
through and it can be felt.

It taps into each one of
us, moves between everyone

and when it's done in a collective way

as you would feel in Jerusalem
it becomes extremely intense.

To me it's overwhelming.

- The human psyche is composed of energies

that we don't know very much about.

Energies from our unconscious selves.

And these energies that
everybody shares in common,

universal energies are called archetypes.

Humans need a mother, they need a father,

they need to know who
mother and father are.

They wanna be nurtured
by mother and father.

So mother and father are archetypes

that every human being shares.

Now Carl Jung said,

"That we all our born with a God image."

A religious function is
another name he called it.

He also called it the Essential
Self, self with capital S.

And he believed that archetype of the self

was our core and our circumference.

He believe that every
human need to believe

that there is spiritual
purpose and meaning to life.

If we didn't then there would
be no such thing as religion.

Everyone whether they believe
in organized religion or not,

whether they believe
in the same God or not

everybody has a yearning to be related

to something benevolent,
that's greater than them.

And so we believe in
the God of our culture

but that God is just
our culture's God image

of a bigger power that we
all want to be connected to.

Everybody has that basic need.

That comes from the archetype of the self.

So an archetype is a very real
emotional and physical power

that can influence every
aspect of our lives

for good or for ill.

We can use that archetypal
energy consciously

or we can allow it to swamp us

to the point that our dark
side comes out, our shadow.

- Well there is definitely the good God

and there, we as Catholics believe

in a thing called demons.

So yes, there is bad energy too.

And we have to make choice
what we wanna be part of.

The energy of those archetypes

that are shared by large amount of people,

when you've got enough people

that energy can get very
big and very powerful

until we have mass hysteria.

It's a lot harder for an individual

to resist a mass movement of
energy than it is to join it.

I felt I was finished

but I couldn't quit this.

26 to 36 A.D. is not an
answer, it's a question.

Everything I'd been
doing up to that moment

had prepared me to do this serious work

to figure this story out.

I needed to work out specific timing

but nobody wanted to work with me now.

They were afraid of what I
might do to their reputation.

I felt alone, deflated,
defeated but also angry.

- It's a natural human
response to being ignored.

And a natural human
response is too be hurt

and to get angry.

Is that negative, it
depends on how you use it.

If you are so caught up in it

that you cannot look at the
situation objectively anymore

because the archetype has taken over,

the anger, that emotion is very powerful.

You start thinking about
it and you dwell on it.

That anger could be a
not a good thing for you.

I was angry
about the indifference.

I was angry about the lies

that had been broadcast in the media.

If felt like the whole
world was against me,

everything bad was happening

while my life was falling apart.

I started receiving threats.

At first they were anonymous,

then they weren't anonymous.

And then they moved into violence,

I didn't know how to deal with that.

My anger was increasing.

I realized I needed to deal with it.

Driving helped, finding
places to be alone and think.

I needed a discipline,

a spiritual practice to challenge my anger

otherwise it was going to eat me up.

I needed to focus my mind

and find peace to complete my mission.

I locked myself in the lab
to work on the sediments.

I worked every single day.

I wanted to find the truth.

I made progress but I wanted perfection

so I started to work at night too.

I got obsessed, worked
for nine months straight.

It was just me, my lab, and the data

that were sitting there in the sediments.

I couldn't quit, I couldn't stop working.

I couldn't stop reading history

looking for clues in the text.

I just couldn't stop.

My father died, he died needlessly

due to negligence and
indifference at a hospital.

It was awful, I cried.

I still miss him

but life goes on.

My daughter, my mother,
and I we mourned his loss

and we moved on.

On the other hand anger

can often be a great motivator.

If you have a great deal
of passion about something

and other people don't
think it's important

and they dismiss you and
you're angry about that

that can make you even more determined

to try to prove it to people.

That's a matter of how conscious you are.

A consciousness means
that you are learning

to paying attention to your feelings

and what you're doing with those feelings

so it's up to every individual
to do enough inner work.

The violence
toward me kept going.

I want it to stop but it won't.

But then a miracle happened,

my spiritual practice taught
me how to discipline my mind

so that I could handle
it and make it go away.

I trained my soul to accept
and deflect the violence.

I had this discipline I
followed every day for years,

this spiritual practice and
slowly my anger subsided

replaced by determination and peace.

My mission was keeping me alive.

I wasn't gonna let anybody stop me.

I would persist until I succeeded.

This may be my last trip.

I need to collect all the data required

because I don't know if
I'm gonna make it back.

I had to step back and
look at the big picture,

at all these other events recorded

on the day that Jesus died

because I think it is only
by looking at everything

that we can figure out
if this text is reliable.

I realize that there were
other parts of the text,

which would or could have
left a mark in the sediments.

The key is to determine

if they happened together on the same day.

Was it a conjunction of
events on one momentous day

or bits and pieces of oral history

that occurred at different points in time

cobbled together into
one dramatic narrative

to make a point.

I don't know the answer to that

but I think the sediments do.

If we could only figure
out how to read them.

I wanna know what happened on that day.

I wanna know the specific timing.

I wanna know what was in the
air because it's possible now.

So I better get ready.

- It appears to be a law of the universe

that when you awaken to a great passion

the universe begins to open doors.

And so yes that would be very much

like what happened to your geologist.

He suddenly awakened to this
exciting new possibility

and that's when his life
took a different direction.

He began to find his purpose in life

and when that happens to
somebody there's no stopping him.

I gotta go.

And this time I have to
date an entire section

so I can be sure that I'm
working on the right earthquake.

I have to do exactly what
Revital did and that's not easy.

I think now I finally gonna understand

what they went through, all that work,

all that thinking and wondering,

did I get this date right,
did I get that date right?

Geology is an interpretive science.

We deal with a lot of uncertainty.

Until now I based my work

on what Revital, Claudia, and Elisa did

matching approximate dates from geology

to sometimes also approximate
dates from history.

Now I have to provide my dates

and just like I saw mistakes in their work

I know I am gonna make mistakes.

There's no way to do geology

without making at least some mistakes.

What if there's something
I'm not considering

like they did when they
dealt with the catalogs,

the more you do this, the more you know

there's always something
you're not considering.

I'm worried.

- The Gospels and also outside the Gospels

there's a writing by a Roman
historian called Tacitus

and he tells us that Christ was crucified

when Pontius Pilate was governing Judea

and when Tiberius was a Roman emperor

and the Gospels say the same thing.

And we know from Roman records

when Pontius Pilate was
procurator of Judea,

and we know when Tiberius was the emperor,

and so from these dates we
know that the crucifixion

must have been in the 10
year period A.D. 26 to 36.

We know the crucifixion was on a Friday

because all four Gospels say,

"That Jesus was crucified
on the eve of the Sabbath."

And so the eve of the Sabbath was a Friday

so Jesus was crucified on a Friday,

and all early literature
says the same thing.

And then Matthew's Gospel tells
us the time that Jesus died.

And about
the ninth hour Jesus

cried with a loud voice my God, my God.

- He said, "That Jesus
died at the ninth hour."

And the Jewish people they calculated

their hours of sunlight

from when the sun rose in the morning,

which at Easter time was
six o'clock in the morning

so from six o'clock in the morning

you add on nine hours...

that's three o'clock in the afternoon.

So we know that Jesus died
at 3:00 p.m. on a Friday

in this 10 year period A.D. 26 to 36.

One of the major apparent
discrepancies in the Gospels

is that Matthew, Mark, and Luke say,

"That the last supper that
Jesus had was a Passover meal."

And John's Gospel equally clearly says,

"It was before the Passover meal."

And this is a very strange mistake to make

because Jewish people were
very familiar with Passover,

a very special meal

so they would never mistake

an ordinary meal for a Passover meal.

I came up with this theory that the reason

for this is that they're both
using different calendars.

So Matthew, Mark, and
Luke were using a calendar

which in fact was an ancient calendar,

which Jesus chose to use

and John was describing events

according to the official Jewish calendar

in that first century A.D.

We have solar calendar in the west today,

then the Jewish people
had a lunar calendar.

And the first day of the
month in their calendar

was when new crescent moon
could first been seen.

And the Jewish month is from
one observation of the new moon

to the next observation of the new moon

so the new light from the new moon

meant a new month basically.

And the first month of their
lunar year they called Nissan,

and in our calendar that
corresponds to March-April.

And so the Gospels say,

"That Jesus was crucified
in the month of Nissan."

So we know he was crucified in
March or April in our terms.

When the moon is invisible

that's when it's called conjunction,

when the Moon, and the Sun, and the Earth

are in a straight line and
then you can't see the Moon.

And then it starts again as a new moon.

We see to start with a
faintly growing crescent moon

and then the moon grows to a quarter moon,

and then a half moon,
and then the full moon.

And the full moon's in the middle of month

and in Jewish terms that would

have been either 14 or
15 the sun, the full moon

and that corresponds with the Gospels say

it's a Passover time and so
we know that was a full moon

when Jesus was crucified.

If John's Gospel is correct

then Jesus was crucified exactly

when the first Passover lambs were slain.

On the other hand if the
Synoptics are correct

it would appear that Jesus

was crucified a day later on 15 Nissan.

And so these are the two possibilities

that come out of the Gospels

we consider Jesus was either crucified

on Nissan 14 or Nissan 15.

And what we can do we
can now use a astronomy

to calculate when that would have been.

So Newton was very great scientist,

in fact he's one of the
greatest scientist in the world

but what most people don't know is

he actually wrote more about religion

than he wrote about science.

And he was really interested in religion.

He had decided first I think,
he was the first person

to say, "Let's try to
reconstruct the Jewish calendar,"

in the first century A.D.

He was using what were called orreries,

this mechanical simulation
and he just wound

it backwards in time to
the first century A.D.

And so he reconstructed the
Jewish calendar at that time.

He was the first person
to come up with a date

for the crucifixion using
this scientific method,

a date in April A.D. 34 and that is indeed

still a possible date for the crucifixion

so what he did was very scientific.

Our method is more accurate

because we understand
the equations in motion

of the Earth around the Sun
and the Moon around the Earth,

we understand it more accurately.

So Newton happened to get
one of the right dates

but other ones, possible
dates he got wrong

because he assumed that the
Earth's rate of rotation

that you can measure
now and he measured it,

well, you know once every
24 hours it goes around

that varies in time and
he didn't know that,

he thought it was constant.

And it varies in time
because of our tides,

it's called lunar friction.

And he just didn't know
that, we know that now

and we can take this
account in our calculations

of the ancient Jewish calendar.

What I tried to do was to
reconstruct the Jewish calendar

in the first century A.D.

So just as today we can
use astronomy to calculate

when the first crescent
moon would be seen,

we can use astronomy to wind
the equations back as it were.

I was fortunate to work with
a very good astrophysicist

in Oxford University called
Dr. Graeme Waddington.

So I explained the problem to him

and he calculated the calendars.

He wrote a new set of computer programs

and we checked this programs
against over 1,000 recent

and old observations of the new moon

and it gave the correct result every time

so I have a lot of
confidence in this calendar.

Today we use what's called
the Gregorian calendar

but before this reform people

used what was called a Julian calendar,

which Julius Caesar
inaugurated back in Rome.

And so the convention is
from the first century A.D.

we always refer the dates
back to the Julian calendar

because that's what the
Roman's used at the time

and we transferred our
dates in the Jewish calendar

to this Roman Julian calendar.

We got a calendar then we
could ask this question

in this period A.D. 26 to 36

when did Nissan 14 or Nissan 15

because we're not sure what's
right, fall on a Friday?

We find that eliminates every year apart

from A.D. 27, A.D. 30,
A.D. 33, and A.D. 34

so those are the four possible
years for the crucifixion.

I feel a
lot of responsibility

after every thing that happened.

I can't mess this up,
I have to do it right.

I wanna do it right.

I don't wanna tell the
world the wrong thing.

I feel the pressure.

The only solution I have is

that I have to be open
to present all my data

so that if I do make a mistake
someone could correct it.

Even though you desperately
want to achieve perfection

you can't and you know that,

and that makes you worry.

Everyday, all day, I'm bothered by this.

I'm worried.

The greatest clue we have
in the Biblical account

is the time of year.

It's not very specific
about the year he died,

it gives us clues that we
have to do detective work on.

But it's very specific on the time of year

and that's in the spring,
late March, early April.

What if there's a way to ask the sediment

in what season of the year
this earthquake occurred.

- A palynologist is somebody
who works with pollen grains.

It can be modern day pollen grains

that we find in the air and cause allergy

or it can be fossil pollen grains

we find in sediments when
it has fall into the water

and is trapped in the mud at
the bottom of lakes or the sea.

Most people use palynology

to reconstruct ancient
vegetation and ancient climate

but we can also use it for
something completely different

look at natural hazards and
events such as earthquakes.

My main specialty is to work
with fossil pollen grains,

those that are trapped in the sediments

at the bottom of a lake or the sea.

If there is not too much air,

if the environment is poor in oxygen

then the pollen grains can
survive millions of years

in the sediment that turns
over the ages into rocks.

The advantage of the Dead
Sea is that it's dead,

there's no life in the Dead Sea

therefore there are no shells and worms

that could mix up the layers.

In most lakes everything is mixed up

but the Dead Sea is exceptional

there are very few lakes
like that in the world

that their layers are well preserved

and that's very bottom
source of information.

We can use the study of pollen grains

to find out when those layers were formed

especially at what season of the year.

Different plants will bloom
at different times of the year

and produce pollen in the air

and so when the mud layer is forming

at the bottom of the lake

if we look at the pollen in it

we can say when that mud layer has formed.

He was going to send
me blocks of sediments

is true of the age,

I bring it to the lab and there
I will make a pollen slide,

a very thin layer of glycerol

where the pollen grains are swimming,

then analyze the slide with my microscope.

And then I can start making
some statistics on them

to try to see if we
have more pollen grains

from spring blooms or more
pollen grains from autumn blooms.

No we cannot provide absolute ages.

We cannot say it was 30 A.D
or 33 A.D. or something like

that's, we cannot do that

but we can say it was in spring,

it was in winter, or in autumn.

We have to be very careful here

and trying really to keep to the fact

not to jump to hypothesis too quickly.

We are working in a field
between science and religion

and so the limit between the two sometimes

can be a bit blurry and some people

do not hesitate to mix the two.

This is the
way I'm working right now

I will go there and I will not focus

only on this earthquake,

right now this is not only thing I see.

I started to have a wider vision.

We have a lot of questions

but I think it's possible
to have an answer now.

I've been waiting 20 years
for an answer, it's time now.

And the only place where
we can find this answer

is in the big picture.

We have to put all the evidence together

and see if they all match.

We have clear evidence of an earthquake

in the 10 year time
period of 26 to 36 A.D.

Clues in the text give
us four possible dates

for the crucifixion in the
same 10 year time period.

We can now work out the season of the year

studying the pollen to see if it matches

with the story on one of these dates.

But there's also something else

for 10 years I've been staring

at this dark layer in the sediments.

I wasn't sure what it was

but now I think I know what it is

and this is the other thing I
wanna find out during my trip.

This could be a crucial
clue to solve this mystery.

- I definitely see Matthew
expanded, embellishing,

making everything more
supernatural, more dramatic

because he wants a powerful Jesus

who is the cosmic center of everything.

Mark's not quite like that

but Mark does have two
events right when Jesus dies

that we can't simply overlook.

And one is that around
noon there's darkness

till about three in the afternoon.

After the six hour

there was darkness over all
the land until the ninth hour.

- The question is what might
that darkness have been due to?

And there was an early idea it was due

to an eclipse of the Sun.

- There's no evidence was an eclipse

that could have occurred,

certainly could not have
occurred during a Passover

that's actually astronomically impossible,

the Moon is in the wrong place

for there to be a solar eclipse

and solar eclipses don't last three hours.

- We can rule that out

because you can only have
an eclipse of the Sun

at new moon time and
we know the crucifixion

was at full moon time

so it couldn't have been
an eclipse of the Sun.

- So we don't really have any eclipses

that you can map onto there

and more over Mark isn't
describing an eclipse,

he says, "A three hour darkness."

It's not an eclipse this
is a supernatural event

he's conveying here.

- There's ancient writing
called, the Sibylline Oracles,

it's in the Apocrypha.

The quote says there's something like,

"Dust arose in the Sun's
light failed at midday."

So this actually says it was a dust storm

and you can't have dust storms
which last for three hours.

- You know you're in a dust storm

if you're in a high wind event

and your visibility starts to drop,

the particles are becoming
suspended in the air

and they're blocking out
the transmittance of light.

So you usually observe it

as like a brown pall in the air.

And if you're in a
really strong dust storm

you're going to be physically impacted.

And at really high levels
you'll have trouble breathing.

It can actually start to
affect your lung functioning.

- If there was such a dust storm

Mark clearly is not writing it that way.

He doesn't say there was a dust storm

and the dust, you know
blotted out the Sun.

He just says basically there
was darkness over the earth.

In fact the term he uses
normally meant the entire world.

- The seasons of dust storms
today we know from records

are the same season of dust storms

you know thousands of years ago

they're recorded in Egyptian literature

and they are in the spring

so these happen in the spring.

So it really does fit Passover in Nissan,

which is March or April in our calender.

- I would include the Dead
Sea area in the Middle east.

Yeah, I would think that you would likely

have more than one dust event in a year.

- We can't know that he's
getting it from a real event

and since we don't have any
independent documentation

of such an event, no historian records

there being a dust storm,

far as I know there's no
geological evidence of it.

- If it's dark from 12 to three

it is possible to have a dust event

that would last long enough
to potentially obscure the Sun

but it would have to be a very
intense dust storm I think.

- Because we can't show
that we can't know that.

It's still possible, certainly possible

but we just don't know.

And again you have the same problem

it might not been the
same day or the same year,

they might of just been
moved to the time to fit.

- A, it's too speculative
because you have no idea

on what the winds were doing

so you know you can speculate if the wind

stayed at 25 meters per second
for three hours straight

then the obscuration would last,

could potential last that long

but I don't want to put any affirmation

from myself on that story.

This dark layer appears

to be a dust storm deposit
and we can study it.

It's not gonna be easy

but it could contain the chronological key

to unlock this mystery.

What if there's evidence
of a massive dust storm

on the same day as the Jerusalem quake?

What if there's evidence that
there wasn't a dust storm

on that day or on a different
day a few years later?

Chronology, synchronicity is the place

where I can find an answer.

Having a purpose in your life

and believing that you are
moving in the direction

that you are meant to
is a very good thing.

But I think that you have to release

your attachment to the outcome

'cause you aren't gonna be
able to control the outcome.

I'm calling
myself an earthquake geologist

but am I really an earthquake geologist?

Can I pull this off?

I think I can.

I think I can because I'm
desperate, I'm hungry,

I need to figure this out.

The world needs to figure this out.

I just hope and pray
that I can play my part

and not screw it up.

- One of the things that
needs to be considered

besides the Gospels is the Book of Acts

because in the second
chapter of the Book of Acts

right after Jesus's death

and he ascends to heaven and leaves

the followers of Jesus
have this experience

in which it's described

as the Holy Spirit is
poured out upon them.

And they explain this based

on a prophecy from Joel Chapter 2,

which says, "In the last days

I'll pour out my spirit on all flesh."

Now I don't take that
as historical video tape

of what happened that day

but I do think it's instructive
in that this community

at this time is thinking they're
in the apocalyptic period.

Apocalyptic means revelatory.

The ancient Jews believed
that at the end of time

God was going to intercede in this world,

he was going to initiate something

that would conclude history.

We would call the final judgment

or the second coming of Christ.

These magnificent events
at the end of time

will be accompanied by
extraordinary signs.

The Sun'll be darkened,

the Moon'll turn to blood

before the great and
terrible day of the Lord.

- So the author of the Book of Acts

is doing the same thing that he does

and other writers do with the Gospels

is he's creating a fictional story

that sells a particular narrative

that he wants people to believe.

- There are two other documents
which really specify this,

one is what's called the Report of Pilate,

which is a report of Pilate
about the crucifixion.

And this report says, "At
his crucifixion the Sun

was darken and the Moon was
even turned into Blood."

And then 400 years later a
very Orthodox bishop writes,

"That at the crucifixion the
Moon appeared like Blood."

So we have three references
the moon being like blood

and scientifically we
know a blood red moon

is an eclipse moon.

- There's a lot of stuff
that happens in Acts

that doesn't make any plausible sense.

It's rewriting history to
tell the version of history

that that author wants to have been true

rather than the version of
history that actually happened.

And this makes it really difficult for us

to figure what if anything in Acts

about the history of the
church is actually true.

- What scientist can do

is they can calculate
eclipses in the future.

We can also calculate past eclipses.

And so Graeme Waddington
calculated past eclipses

which were visible from Jerusalem

in the years A.D. 26 to 36

and he found one eclipse
and only one eclipse.

Chronology, chronology,

synchronicity, synchronicity,

this is place where I can find it.

We have clear evidence of an earthquake

in the 10 year time
period of 26 to 36 A.D.

We can now work out the season of the year

studying the pollen to see if it matches

with the story on one of these dates.

- The date was in
spring, it was in winter,

or in autumn.
- The clues in the text

give us four possible
dates for the crucifixion

in the same 10 year time period.

- We got a calendar then
we can ask the question,

in this period A.D. 26 to 36

when did Nissan 14 or
Nissan 15 fall on a Friday?

We find that eliminates every year apart

from A.D. 27, A.D. 30,
A.D. 33, and A.D. 34

so those are the four possible
years for crucifixion.

A.D. 27 is really too early.

- Well in the Gospel of Luke

we're told that John the Baptist,

the one who came before Jesus,

prepared Jesus way, he started
his ministry in the year,

14th year of Tiberius Caesar.

And we know from
historical Roman documents

what year that was and
that was in fact A.D. 29.

So if John the Baptist starts in A.D. 29

Jesus couldn't have died in 27 A.D..

- And then we can rule A.D. 34

because the Apostle Paul

was converted after the crucifixion.

- He was converted about 34 A.D.,

18 months after Jesus's crucifixion

so Jesus could not have been crucified.

- And so that just means
we got two possible years

which are A.D. 30 and A.D 33

so we just look at small
pieces of evidence.

In John's Gospel he says,

"In the first year of
the ministry of Jesus

the Jews questioned Jesus."

And Jesus says, "I can destroy
this temple in three days."

- How can you do this?

It took 46 years.

And apparently the Greek word

for temple is the inner sanctuary.

That inner sanctuary was
finished in the year 31.

- So the crucifixion
cannot of been A.D. 30.

So we can rule that out

and we're just left this one date

and Jesus died on Friday
third of April A.D. 33

at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Jesus died on Friday
third of April A.D. 33

at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Chronology,
chronology, synchronicity.

There was evidence of a
dust storm in the sediments.

- There's darkness-
- It would have to be-

- At around noon.
- Very intense dust.

There's darkness till

about three in the afternoon.

- All of them say at the death

of Jesus the temple curtain was torn.

Maybe
there was a lunar eclipse

on that same night.

- We can also calculate past eclipses.

And they found one eclipses
and only one eclipses.

And that was on the third of April A.D. 33

so it's remarkable, that's
exactly the same date

as reduced from the Bible.

If we put it all together

what does this mean?

- A synchronicity is a
meaningful coincidence

between mind and matter

that cannot be explained
by cause and effect.

You get up in the morning

you're thinking about
your high school friend

from 20 years ago or your college friend.

And you wake up and that's
all you can think about

is like gosh I wonder
how so-and-so's doing,

I haven't seen her in
years, I'd love to see her.

And you go to work and
you get out of your car

and you're walking down the street

and you turn the corner and there she is.

You didn't make that happen,

you didn't call 'em,

there was no physical observable

cause and effect relationship.

We don't consciously make it happen

something else makes a
meaningful coincidence happen.

The story of the passion of Jesus Christ

is a very interesting example

of some very overwhelming synchronicities.

Had that not been so

we would have no such thing
as Christianity today.

- Let's say we have an actual historian

who was there and documents in his diary

and we have the diary that Jesus

was killed on exactly that day

and there was an earthquake just then

and there was a dust storm

I think at best that would
be an amazing coincidence.

And then you would have reverse causation,

you would have like that coincidence

caused people to believe that Jesus

was the real Messiah
and cause Christianity.

So rather than it being the
proof that Christianity is true

it's actually the series of coincidences

that caused this religion to flourish.

- I think when miracles
are miracles of timing

that things happen at just the right time

in which no physical laws are broken.

With the earthquake no
physical laws were broken

it was a natural earthquake,

a natural eclipse as it were

but the timing was just
remarkable it likes synchronicity,

it's like things really
happen at the right time

and God arranging the time is perfect.

- I've told you that you have a problem

when you're looking at the Gospels

of separating literature from history.

All the elements you've talked to me

about could be real elements

but to me these are all literary elements.

I think that if
this story's a factual story

it raises our expectations
that the whole story is true

a lunar eclipse on the
evening of crucifixion

does suggest that you know there is a God

and this is his perfect timing.

I'm looking
back at 20 years now

when I first started
this everybody thought

I was trying to prove the text.

But I wasn't trying to prove the text

I was trying to determine
something about the text

to figure out the truth about the text.

I didn't know the answers.

- And then there's the whole idea

you speak about of God's Son.

You can become a Son of God
but only in a symbolic way.

It's a title that is given
in terms of your behavior,

you become like unto a Son of Gun.

So was Jesus Son of God?

Did all these elements
occur at his crucifixion,

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

To me these are all literary elements

that these scientist or quasi scientists,

whatever they may be
are trying to work out

and see if they can then work out

and therefore I would not rely

on any of their final conclusions

even though they may be
based on some important data.

- As a Catholic priest I
have no fear of science,

it would only affirm my faith.

I mean all these things really
happened in the same day

the old say coincidences
are the footprints of God.

God can use nature.

A historical fact does not prove

that Jesus is the Son of God.

It can show that the Gospel of Matthew

is historically accurate
at that particular point

but the claims of the document
itself cannot be proven.

They must be accepted by faith.

Early on it felt

like I was serving a higher power,

something external seemed
to be driving me to persist.

It's as if the universe

is conspiring to help you.

It's like you have a spiritual awakening

in a way.

Now thought that
drive seems more abstract,

it's a higher purpose not
necessarily a higher power.

I don't know if I have
any help beyond myself.

I still wanna know the truth.

I still have plan.

I still know how to do this.

But I don't know if I'll like the outcome.

People will use my results
for their own purposes,

for their own belief,
for their own disbelief.

My instincts are driving me.

My instincts tell me that
there's something we don't know,

something we can figure out.

My instincts tell me
that knowing the truth

is a good thing.

My instincts tell me to keep going

even if the path is lonely,

even if nobody understands me.

But I'm not sad, I'm happy.

I found peace.

One reason
that they would do this

like have big climatic events,
the eclipses, earthquakes

conjoined with the death of someone

is specifically to sell that idea,

that this proves that the heavens agree

that this was an important person.

So we're gonna put an eclipse in there,

we're gonna put an earthquake in there.

And all of this stuff,
it's all of a piece,

it's the same kind of language
that they're speaking,

it's not historical
writing, it's myth writing.

- So you're saying if we
have an interest in something

and we want to spread that
information that we have found

that we might exaggerate.

Sure.
- The last time I almost died

was over 20 years ago but I didn't die.

- Are you asking me
can we use it right now

in telling this story?

What if I didn't tell

you exactly the truth about the story?

Maybe I just exaggerated
to make it stronger.

I was supposed
to be on that flight.

My life had been spared

Here I was still alive.

I was supposed to be gone.

What does that mean?

- That's a human tendency,

probably everybody does it more or less.

It depends on what you're looking

for in the story you're telling.

If it were me and I was trying

to convey the truth about a circumstance

I'd feel guilty about stretching the truth

and I'd wonder should I have done that.

- When he comes to the very death of Jesus

he presents a whole interpolation.

- Be careful what is literary
and what real history.

- And it's extremely
embellished and supernatural.

- We as Catholics believe
there are historical documents.

- It's rewriting history to
tell the version of history

that that author wants to have been true.

- On the other hand if I say,

I'm telling you a really good story

did it happen, did it not happen?

I don't know you be the judge.

But here's the way I
see it, it's different.

- Can you see it now?

If you put all the pieces
together it starts to make sense.

I used to wonder if everything

was supernatural and embellished.

I see two ways to approach it,

one everything is fiction,

two everything is real

or it's based on real events

but the author compressed
the timing to make a point.

So if this is the case
the next question is

how much did they distort
the timing of these events?

Does everything happen at the same time

or is the timing the fictional part?

Cut.

Okay, good.

Let's do one more.