This is a WordPress repost of an article originally posted from the christianevidence.net website regarding the darkness and earthquakes that 3 out of the 4 Gospels make reference to, that took place during the time that Jesus hung on the cross from noon to 3 PM in the afternoon. This article makes reference to ancient historical documents outside of the Bible that reference this occurrence.
“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mark 15:33)
During the last three hours of Jesus’ death on the cross, an unusual darkness struck the land. This darkness was most definitely a result of God’s direct intervention, because it can’t have been a solar eclipse for the following two reasons:
- The maximum duration for a total solar eclipse is seven minutes, not three hours, and at the latitude of Jerusalem the maximum duration is even less.
- A solar eclipse can occur only at new moon, but we know that Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover (Matthew 26:2; Mark 14:1–2,12; Luke 22:1–2, 7; John 13:1), and that the Passover is at the time of full moon (Exodus 12:1–11; Leviticus 23:5).
But it is also confirmed by four other historians outside the Bible: Phlegon, Thallus, Africanus and Tertullian. These historians attempt to interpret the darkness as a direct effect of a solar eclipse which we know is scientifically not possible – but they would not have known that in their time.