A Census Requires Joseph And Mary To Move
Luke tells us that Caesar Augustus issued a decree requiring a census be taken of the entire Roman world, and everyone needed to go to their own town to register. So Joseph took Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem so they could be registered. While in Bethlehem, Jesus was born to Mary and he was placed in a manger because no legitimate room could be found.
At the same time, an angel appeared to local shepherds who were watching over their flocks that night. The shepherds were terrified of this visitor and the overwhelming glory of the Lord which accompanied him. The angel told them about the Saviors birth and where theyd find him. And then, out of nowhere, a host of angels appeared praising God. The shepherds went and found the Messiah and worshiped Him. Then they began spreading the good news .
When Was Jesus Christ Born
The date of Jesus Christs birth has been a topic of controversy for centuries. Various theories place the year of His birth in a range from 6 BC to 1 AD. As to the season of the year, most believe that He was born in the winter. Some claim that He was born in the spring, while others feel that He was born in the fall. Still others are inclined to shrug their shoulders, declaring that they dont know and, it really doesnt matter. While some theologians claim that it is not possible to know when Jesus was born, they readily accept December 25 as the day to celebrate His birth. They reason that the date or season is not as important as remembering the event.
Although an abundance of scriptural and historical evidence proves Jesus was not born on December 25, the majority of professing Christians still observe this date as His birthday. Few realize that this observance is based on ancient pagan tradition that predates Jesus Christs birth by thousands of years. Age-old customs of pagan origin entered the Christian churches many centuries ago and are now viewed as an essential part of Christian worship. Most churches today encourage their members to freely participate in the popular customs of the Christmas season.
The scriptural and historical facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ are readily available to all who are willing to examine them. These combined records clearly reveal the year, season and the approximate day of Jesus Christs birth.
Is Jesus God Or His Son
Jesus is recognized to be the Son of God on two occasions by a voice speaking from Heaven. Jesus is explicitly and implicitly described as the Son of God by himself and by various individuals who appear in the New Testament. Jesus is called son of God, while followers of Jesus are called, sons of God.
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Scriptural Evidence Of The Season Of Jesus Christs Birth
In his account of the birth of Jesus Christ, Luke records a major historical event of that time. Luke writes, Now it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Then all went to be registered, each to his own city .
The taxation and census decree by Caesar Augustus was carried out according to the Jewish custom which required that such taxes be collected after the fall harvest . Lukes record of this taxation reveals that the birth of Jesus took place during the autumn. When we combine Lukes record with Matthews account of Herods death, it is evident that Jesus was born in the fall of 5 BC.
Luke gives us additional evidence that Jesus was born during the fall festival season by recording that there were no guest rooms available at the inn when Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem. The scarcity of room was due not only to the taxation but also to the festival days that followed the fall harvest. Many thousands of people were already in the Jerusalem area to observe the fall festival season. Bethlehem was extremely crowded because of its proximity to Jerusalem. Since there was no room at the inn, Joseph and Mary were forced to lodge in a barn. Jesus was born there and was laid in a manger.
The Conclusion For Answering What Year Was Jesus Born
By 731 and after, it was clear that there had existed a year we could call A.D. 1. So thats the answer to our questionits obvious. Jesus was born in A.D. 1the first year of our Lord Jesus Christ. But not so fast.
There is another way to approach the truth. Lets review what the Bible and Roman history tell us. Matthew 2:1 tells us that Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod the Great. At about that same time, the Magi arrived in Jerusalem and reported they had seen the Star in the west and had traveled to worship the boy born to be king. Herod, vicious enough to have murdered two of his wives and three of his sons when he thought they plotted against him, ordered all male children around Bethlehem who are two years old and under to be murdered. From history, we believe that Herod died in the year 4 B.C. So we might conclude that Jesus must have been born about one or two years before the date of Herods death, in order for the Magi to have had time for their travel and to describe to Herod how old the child born at the time of the star must now be. Flexibility again. So maybe Christ was born in 4 or 5 Before Christ.
For simplicity and for lack of space, Ive left out others lines of speculation, but the consensus among scholars today seems to be an average of about this: Christ was probably born in year 2 or 3 Before Christ.
May Heupon His death at Easterredeem us and save us forever. Amen.
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Little Town Of Bethlehem
The first reference to Jesusâ home is in the oldest Gospel, Mark: âAt that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordanâ . Nazareth was an obscure northern town, but Mark does not say if Jesus was born thereâonly that he lived there.
The Gospel of Matthew names Jesusâ birthplace: Bethlehem, a Judaean town about 80 miles south of Nazareth in Galilee. More than just a location, Bethlehem is significant because of an Old Testament prophecy made by the Prophet Micah, which Matthew quotes: ââBut you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least . . . for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israelââ.
The Gospel of Luke also names Bethlehem as Jesus’ birthplace and details Joseph and Maryâs journey there from start to finish:
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David .
Luke also describes why a Nazarene couple, who were expecting a baby, made an 80-mile trek south to Bethlehem:
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register .
Winter Would Be A Difficult Time For Mary To Travel
The time of year that Jesus was born continues to be a huge subject of debate, particularly the month of Jesus birth. Many biblical scholars believe Scripture points to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus birth. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that Jesus was born in the summer. Reneke told New Scientist the Star of Bethlehem may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Using computer models, Reneke determined that this rare event occurred on June 17, in the year 2 B.C. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction, one between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.B., making Jesus an autumn baby.
Theologians have also suggested that Jesus was born in the spring, based on the biblical narrative that shepherds were watching over their flocks in the fields on the night of Jesus birth something they would have done in the spring, not the winter. The Bible nowhere points to Jesus being born in mid-winter. Unfortunately, nobody really knows exactly when Jesus was born.
While it is interesting to know Jesus birth from a historical perspective, it is theologically irrelevant and holds very little importance when looking at the bigger picture. It is less important that we know when it happened and more important that we know that it happened and why it happened. The Bible is clear on this.
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The Birth Of Jesusthe Calculated Hebrew Calendar With The Julian Calendar
This synchronized calculated Hebrew/Julian calendar illustrates the time period from March 6 BC to April 4 BC. The sequence of scriptural, historical and astronomical events depicted in this calendar reveals the actual year, season, and the most likely day of Jesus Christs birth. Note: The columns read downwardleft column first.
Massacre Of The Innocents Flight Into Egypt And Return To Israel
When Herod learned that the magi had tricked him he was infuriated, and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem under the age of two . This was in fulfilment of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” But an angel had appeared to Joseph in a dream and warned him to take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and the Holy Family remained there until Herod died to fulfil the words of the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” On the death of Herod an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to return with the child and its mother to Israel, but Herod’s son was now ruler of Judea, and after being warned in a dream Joseph went instead to Galilee, where he made his home in Nazareth “so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, âHe will be called a Nazorean.â Matthew 2
In this chapter Matthew needs to establish that “Jesus of Nazareth” was in fact born in Bethlehem, the town where David was born, for the “son of David” born there will be “King of the Jews” . Herod’s fear and the visit of the magi underline the royal birth, as do the various prophetic texts quoted or referenced in this chapter.
The Visit Of The Shepherds
Luke 2:15-20When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Jesus Had To Be Born To Remove The Sins Of Humankind Through A Perfect Sacrifice
Noah and the patriarchsAbraham, Isaac and Jacoboffered sacrifices to God. God asked Abraham, the father of the faithful, to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of faith and obedience. Though God intervened to stop Abraham from actually going through with it, Abraham’s willingness to give up his son foreshadowed the role of God the Father, who “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” as a sacrifice for our sins . Isaac, in offering no resistance, was a forerunner of Jesus, who willingly and obediently offered His life’s blood for the sins of the world.
Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, God revealed through His faithful servant Moses a religious system that included animal sacrifices and offerings. “. . . Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle . . . so you shall make it” .
God instructed His people during this time to set up in the wilderness the tabernacle, the tent that was the forerunner of the temple. God filled the tabernacle with His glory . God’s Spirit in this earthly tent pointed forward to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of Christians.
Why did the need for a perfect sacrifice mean that Jesus had to be born? It was because the earlier, physical sacrifices were imperfect. They could not take away the penalty for sin .
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Why Do We Celebrate Christmas On December 25
In part, it is assumed that this is the date that the Magi met the baby Jesus and gave him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and some support may be given from Rick Larson’s Star of Bethlehem to back this idea.
But in addition to that, in the year 336, the Roman emperor Constantine declared December 25 the day for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in place of the Indo-European god of light, Mithra. The cult of the latter was becoming popular amongst Roman soldiers.
It is unknown whether or not Constantine knew of the potential significance between that date and the day the Magi met baby Jesus and presented him with fine gifts or if we were simply competing with pagan festivals.
Jesus’ birth was never widely celebrated before December 25, 336 A.D. . So Constantine, a Roman Emperor, is officially responsible for how and why we celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas day and the reason why it’s a Christian celebration.
Why Is The Date Of Herod’s Death Necessary
The date of King Herod’s death is essential in discovering the date of Jesus’ birth because of all the things that happened within that time frame and what Luke recorded as the age Jesus began his ministry and the date Jesus died.
For example, if Herod had died in 4 B.C. that would mean Jesus would have been born at least in 5 or 6 B.C., possibly 7 B.C., to correspond with the information the Magi gave to Herod and his decree to kill all the male babies under the age of two, to be sure the Messiah was killed.
The event was called the Massacre of the Innocents. It is estimated that between 12-20 baby boys were killed that day, but Josephus failed to record it because, allegedly, it wasn’t worth recording since “so few died.”
This gives you a glimpse into the level of wicked Herod “the Great” was and how much the Roman world despised the Jewish people. Some Orthodox Christians commemorate the day on December 28 for Western churches or December 29 for Eastern churches with a feast called Holy Innocents Day. This could also give credibility to the idea that we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25 because of the Magi presenting gifts to Jesus mere days before the massacre.
We know from the Gospel of Matthew that once Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph once again and told them it was safe to return home because “those who were trying to kill him here dead.”
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If Jesus Christ Wasn’t Born On December 25 Does The Bible Indicate When He Was Born
The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.
Since Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived . Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year .
It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child (Luke 1:8-13Luke 1:8-13 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him. But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
What Month Was Jesus Born In
As we look at the story of when Jesus was born we often think of the shepherds in the fields watching over their flocks. What can this evidence tell us about the date of Jesus birth? Were the flocks in the fields around the time of our modern-day Christmas, December 25?
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Lets look at what the Bible says in Luke 2:8-9. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
According to Bible commentator Adam Clarke, it was customary for the Jews to send their sheep to pasture from the spring until early October. As the cold winter months began, the flocks would return from the fields for shelter and warmth. Since the shepherds were still tending their flocks in the fields around Bethlehem it can be concluded that the angels announced the news of Jesus birth no later than October.
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