The Road to Golgotha

King Herod. The census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. The guiding star. The building of the temple at Jerusalem. The crucifixion.

These are among the events that we know of from the Bible that might be used to set the life of Jesus in the historical record. But generations of researchers have found that it is far from easy to reconcile the different accounts of Jesus’s life given in the four Gospels, and to tie them to independently verifiable historical dates. In contrast to his massive significance in the centuries since his life, Jesus of Nazareth was known by only a few during his lifetime, and left little mark on the historical records of his time. As a result there is still much debate about the exact dates of his life. When was he born? When did his ministry begin, and when did he die?

Stephen J Dudley takes a mathematician’s approach to the issue. He looks not only at the events in the Gospels that might be linked to independent histories, but also at the difficulties of dating each one. What exactly is meant by ‘in his thirtieth year’, for instance? Even simple statements like this can be surprisingly misleading. Using a careful process of logical analysis, The Road to Golgotha tries to identify both the evidence and the pitfalls in interpreting it. Its conclusions are arguably the most accurate yet obtained about what we can and cannot know of the chronology of Jesus’s life.

Stephen worked as a mathematics teacher and an automotive engineer before taking early retirement in 2006 to run a gite in the Loire Valley, France. This is his first book.

Some sample pages from the book:

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ISBN 978-0-9568758-5-3
Publication July 2013.
144 pages, 198 x 129 mm, including tables and b/w illustrations.
Notes, bibliography and index.

More on author Stephen J Dudley