The Life of Jesus Site index

Work in progress. Still adding, reorganizing and correcting.

1. Main page

2. Jesus’ timeline

3. Herod 1BC

Tiberius + Philip

Herod’s death  

War of Vares  



4. Conception

5. Birth year


6. Birth date

John born

Bible and stuff


7. Circumcision

8. Baptism        

The ‘War of Varus’ was in 1BC

1. The titles of Augustus

7 BC None.

6 BC None.

5 BC March 23. Total eclipse.

5 BC September 15. Total eclipse.

4 BC March 13. Partial eclipse.

3 BC None.

2 BC None.

1 BC January 10. Total eclipse.

To advertise conquest and peace, Augustus had already closed the Gates of War on two occasions. The third closing of Janus belongs about this time, so it may with some confidence be conjectured (the date has escaped all record). Active warfare lapsed for a season. A large number of legionary soldiers were released from service in the period 7-2 B.C.; and the titulature of the ruler registers no fresh imperatorial salutation for many years after he was acclaimed ‘imp. XIV’ (in 8 B.C.).

Sir Ronald Syme, The Crisis of 2 B.C., Page 3. - Click

When an army of Rome won a major battle, the emperor was credited for that. Even if he wasn’t involved in any way. So, no new title means no big wars in the Roman Empire.

The war most certainly was important enough to award Augustus a title for:

The war started to brew when Herod was still alive (priests killed) and exploded into a full scale war shortly after Herod was buried. This places the war in 1BC because Augustus didn't receive new titles for war victories between 7-2BC.

This section is all you need to know as another bit of proof for 1AD. The rest of this page is merely extra proof of the above.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

2. A riot in the Temple at Passover, 5 April, 1BC

1. NOW the necessity which Archelaus was under of taking a journey to Rome was the occasion of new disturbances; for when he had mourned for his father seven days, and had given a very expensive funeral feast to the multitude,

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.1

And here it was that a great many of those that desired innovations came in crowds towards the evening, and began then to mourn on their own account, when the public mourning for the king was over.

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.2

The two quotes above firmly establish these events shortly after Herod’s funeral. 1BC

These lamented those that were put to death by Herod, because they had cut down the golden eagle that had been over the gate of the temple. Nor was this mourning of a private nature, but the lamentations were very great, the mourning solemn, and the weeping such as was loudly heard all over the city,

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.2

3. At these clamors Archelaus was provoked, but restrained himself from taking vengeance on the authors, on account of the haste he was in of going to Rome,

But the seditious threw stones at him, and drove him away, as he came into the temple, and before he could say any thing to them. The like treatment they showed to others, who came to them after him, many of which were sent by Archelaus, in order to reduce them to sobriety,…

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.3

Big problems were brewing.

… And indeed, at the feast of unleavened bread, which was now at hand, and is by the Jews called the Passover,

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.3

This firmly pinpoints this riot at Passover, 5 April, 1BC

At this Archclaus was aftrighted, and privately sent a tribune, with his cohort of soldiers, upon them, … the whole multitude were irritated, and threw stones at many of the soldiers, and killed them;
The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.3

The Roman leader Archclaus failed to resolve things fairly peacefully.

the multitude could be restrained without bloodshed; so he sent his whole army upon them, the footmen in great multitudes, by the way of the city, and the horsemen by the way of the plain, who, falling upon them on the sudden, as they were offering their sacrifices, destroyed about three thousand of them;

The Wars Of The Jews, 2.1.3

3000 Jews were killed in/near the Temple at Passover, 5 April, 1BC

3. Things get worse and worse

After the riot in the Temple a legion was stationed there to keep things quiet. Without success.

1. BUT before these things could be brought to a settlement, Malthace, Archelaus's mother, fell into a distemper, and died of it; and letters came from Varus, the president of Syria, which informed Caesar of the revolt of the Jews; for after Archlaus was sailed,

Antiquities of the Jews, 17.10.1

Archelaus left for Rome to discuss his rulership with Ceasar.

Josephus continues writing about things of great concern. Many small riots. Lot’s of crime in general etc

8. And now Judea was full of robberies; and as the several companies of the seditious lighted upon any one to head them, he was created a king immediately, in order to do mischief to the public. They were in some small measure indeed, and in small matters, hurtful to the Romans; but the murders they committed upon their own people lasted a long while.

Antiquities of the Jews, 17.10.8

The Romans took this conflict very serious and deployed about 20,000 troops. That was all they had stationed in the entire region.

9. As soon as Varus was once informed of the state of Judea by Sabinus's writing to him, he was afraid for the legion he had left there; so he took the two other legions, (for there were three legions in all belonging to Syria,) and four troops of horsemen, with the several auxiliary forces which either the kings or certain of the tetrarchs afforded him, and made what haste he could to assist those that were then besieged in Judea. He also gave order that all that were sent out for this expedition, should make haste to Ptolemais. The citizens of Berytus also gave him fifteen hundred auxiliaries as he passed through their city. Aretas also, the king of Arabia Petrea, out of his hatred to Herod, and in order to purchase the favor of the Romans, sent him no small assistance, besides their footmen and horsemen; and when he had now collected all his forces together,

Antiquities of the Jews, 17.10.9

The fact that Varus brought in so many troops makes it clear the situation was very bad.

4. Background info

The Jews always hated the Romans. But this time they were extra motivated by prophesy.

These are those that are called the sect of the Pharisees,

being above six thousand; and when the king imposed a fine upon them, Pheroras's wife paid their fine for them. In order to requite which kindness of hers, since they were believed to have the foreknowledge of things to come by Divine inspiration, they foretold how God had decreed that Herod's government should cease, and his posterity should be deprived of it

The Pharisees prophesied Herod’s kingdom would be taken away from Herod and his offspring. Herod was died not long afterwards. But the Romans saw the rest of the prophesy as threat because in somehow, someone would take over. While they didn’t really respond military wise they were on full alert.

The Jews were on full alert to. They finally had hope to free from the Romans. And they decided they should give fate a helping hand by rioting.

But there was another part to the prophesy. A much more vague part.

; but that the kingdom should come to her and Pheroras, and to their children.

 These predictions were not concealed from Salome, but were told the king; as also how they had perverted some persons about the palace itself; so the king slew such of the Pharisees as were principally accused, and Bagoas the eunuch, and one Carus, who exceeded all men of that time in comeliness, and one that was his catamite. He slew also all those of his own family who had consented to what the Pharisees foretold; and for Bagoas, he had been puffed up by them, as though he should be named the father and the benefactor of him who, by the prediction, was foretold to be their appointed king; for that this king would have all things in his power, and would enable Bagoas to marry, and to have children of his own body begotten.

Antiquities of the Jews, 17.2.4

An eunuch would have children. A wonder that only could happen in a Messianic age.

So the riots were fueled by hate against the house of Herod and the hope for the Messianic age.