Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
Mark 15:33 When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.
Luke 23:44-45 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
This three hour period of darkness is one clue that confirms the year of Christ’s death.
Hebrews mark time the following way. The sun comes up in the first hour. The sun sets in the twelfth hour. Midday or noon is the sixth hour. The ninth hour is 3 o’clock in a western way of thinking. As we view time in a western sense, darkness fell upon the land at noon and remained until 3 p.m.
The event described in the Bible was not a solar eclipse. An eclipse of the sun only occurs when the moon is directly between the sun and the Earth, a new moon phase. The day of the crucifixion was the day before Passover. The spring holiday occurs during a full moon. The moon was on the far side of the Earth away from the sun. A solar eclipse can last only seven and a half minutes in any one place. Darkness in the verses of the Bible lasted three hours.
We know there was seismic activity in the region on the day of Christ’s death from Scripture and extra biblical historians. This region of the world is noted with tectonic and volcanic activity.
Matthew 27:51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
Matthew 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Secular historians report a failure of the sun during the middle of the day. Below is an example.
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad, a failure of the sun took place greater than any previously known, and night came on at the sixth hour of the day (noon), so that stars actually appeared in the sky; and a great earthquake took place in Bithynia and overthrew the greater part of Niceaea,”— TRALLIANUS, OLYMPIADES
This event was confirmed by many other historians. Here is a brief list: Phlegon (Greek), Julius Africanus, Thallus, Eusibis, Syncellus, Jerom, Maximus, and the list goes on and on…
Bithynia is modern day Turkey near the capital of Istanbul or historical Constantinople. Niceaea is the region of northwest Turkey.
If the sun went dark in the middle of the day in the 21st century, there would be a significant historical record of the event. It would be well documented. I can almost guarantee this. People would literally freak out if the day turned to dark and there was no solar eclipse scheduled. Put yourself in Jerusalem at the event of the cross in that day. Eerie, eerie, eerie…
The Bible confirms secular history. The sun went dark at noon. The year was 33 AD. Christ was on the cross at that time.
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