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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ed Edwards, Sep 11, 2005.
This is the annual Christmas debate.
WHen was Jesus born?
I thought you meant what month. I heard a Pastor explain that it most likely wasn't december, more like April.
I think he was born 25 Dec BC0001.
The night of the 24th BC0001 it was 53-degrees-F out
on the hillsides of Judah. It was what we
in the sheephearding business call a 2-sheep-night!
(it is well to snuggle up with two
sheep to keep warm)
Said on another Forum:
"Show me in the Bible where Jesus was born
in the year 0 please."
It cannot be seen in the Bible.
In fact, there is no 'year 0' in which
to be born.
31 Dec BC0001 is the day
before 01 Jan AD0001.
The calendar was formed in the Roman world
which had no 'zero' symbol. It was nigh unto
AD800 before the Arabs invented the zero.
Then how could there be a year 800? Wouldn't it then be the year 8--?
Luk 2:21 (KJV1611 AD):
And when eight dayes were accomplished for the
circumcising of the childe, his name was called
Iesus, which was so named of the Angel before
he was conceiued in the wombe.
There was no person called 'Jesus', son of Mary of
Nasareth, born in Bethelehem, until the 8th day.
born: 25 Dec BC0001 - day 1
26 Dec BC0001 - day 2
27 Dec BC0001 - day 3
28 Dec BC0001 - day 4
29 Dec BC0001 - day 5
30 Dec BC0001 - day 6
31 Dec BC0001 - day 7
circumcised 01 Jan AD0001 - day 8
just curious, but what has led you to conclude that He was actually born on the 25th?
My whole argument has already been offered.
Some time in the past someone thought that
time should begin on the day Jesus was born.
We now number our days from that time. What
argument did they use back when this was
I know the arguments of other times that
Jesus might have been born. Above is my
whole argument. Take it or leave it.
Our year 800 would be DCCC in Roman Numerals.
Try to subtract 135 (The second destruciton
of Jerusalem) from 800 in Roman Numerals:
oh, it takes more letters to say 135 than to
Needless to say, real arithmetic didn't start
until the invention by the Arabs of the
zero. So to express 800 you are saying
eight one-hundreds, and NO tens and NO ones.
Today it is popular for preachers and teachers to dispel the "myths" of Christmas. It makes for great sensationalism but not for great reason or accuracy. There are several aspects of the traditional Christmas story that are under fire. While no one can positively set the exact time and scene of the first Christmas there is no biblical necessity for scrapping the biggest majority of our traditional understanding of these events.
I. Jesus could easily have been born on December 25.
The traditional date of December 25 for Christmas may well be in the proper time frame even if it is not perfectly correct. It has been the date commemorated for almost 1800 years.
Edersheim wrote, "There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds which seem to me historically untenable."
"The subject has been fully discussed in an article by Cassel in Herzog's Real. Enc. xvii. pp.588-594. But a curious piece of evidence comes to us from a Jewish source. In the addition to the Megillath Taanith (ed. Warsh. p. 20) the 9th Tebheth is marked as a fast day, and it is added, but the reason for this addition is not stated. Now, Jewish chronologists have fixed on that day as that of Christ's birth, and it is remarkable that, between the years of 500 and 816 A.D. the 25th December fell no less than twelve times on the 9th Tebheth. If the 9th Tebheth, 25th December, was regarded as the birthday of Christ we can understand the concealment about it."
II. The shepherds did stay in the fields in December.
"Equally so was the belief that He (the birth of Messiah) was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, the 'tower of the flock.' This Migdal Eder was not the watch-tower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for the temple-sacrifices, and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not impossible. The same Mishnic passage also leads us to infer that these flocks lay out all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before the Passover--that is in the month of February when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest." Edersheim
III. The wise men came while Jesus was still an infant.
There are several time landmarks in the gospels by which we can ascertain the time of the wise men's visit to the infant Christ.
1. The taxing of the world by Caesar Augustus while Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
2. The death of Herod the Great.
3. The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar.
4. Jesus's age at the beginning of his public ministry.
Any time setting for the visit of the magi must be consistent with all four of these dates.
Caesar Augustus reigned from 31 BC until 14 A.D. Cyrenius was governor of Syria in 8 BC and again in 7 AD. Augustus conducted censuses three times in Italy: 28 BC. 8 BC. and 14 AD. He taxed Gaul in 27 BC. Egypt was taxed every 14 years starting in 20 BC.
While we have no direct local records of such taxing in Palestine there is no reason not to believe that Caesar ordered the census and taxation of Palestine during the first governorship of Cyrenius. This helps to validate the general history of the account but is not specific enough to help us in the actual time placement of events.
Luke 3:1 tells us that John began his ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. The same chapter v. 23 says that Jesus was baptized and began his public ministry when he "began to be about thirty years old." Tiberius came to the royal purple in 14 A.D. Working forward, his fifteenth year (counting the year of ascendancy as a year) would be A.D. 27. Subtracting the 30 years of Jesus's age brings us to 4 BC. Jesus must have been born between August of 5 BC and April of 4 BC (the month in which Herod died.) Historically we know that Herod left Jerusalem a few months before he died so that February of 4 BC is the latest that the wise men could have found him in Jerusalem. Even if Jesus was born in late August of 5 BC he could not have been more than five months old when worshiped by the wise men.
In Luke 1:5 we see additional evidence for the December 25th date for Christ's birth.
John the Baptist's father was said to serve in the Temple and was of the course of Abia, one of the twenty-four classes or courses of priests according to 1 Chron 24.
Each course served for one week, twice a year. During the special sabbaths all of the courses served.
It was while he was serving in the Temple that the announcement of the birth of John was made to him. Elizabeth conceived after his course of duty in the Temple.
John was six months older then the Lord.
When did the course of Abiah serve? According to the Misna, from the third week to the fourth week of September. So, if John was conceived in late September, he would have been born 9 months later, in late June. If Christ was six months younger, He would have been born in late December!
I don't have this information available, BUT, at least I can make you "AWARE OF IT", to check out yourself, besides ya'll need something to do.
Lu 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshdow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Lu 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Lu 1:8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
"Priestly duties" were divided up and carried out according to the "TRIBE" of the Person/Priest.
There are given in the OT, at the moment, I can't remember where.
By knowing Zacharias's TRIBE" it's possible to what time of the year he was serving when the angel appeared.
And from that "DATE", plus John born SIX MONTHS prior to Jesus, it's possible to "GET CLOSE" to the time Jesus was born.
Don't "QUOTE ME" but I believe it was during the "Festival of "LIGHTS", in the "SPRING".
Well, at least we know He WAS born!
Ed Edwards, I was not trying to argue with you, just trying to get your viewpoint on it. Thank you.
And thank you, TCassidy. Your post was very informative.
<sigh> No. All priests were of the tribe of Levi. No non-levites were allowed to be priests. The penalty for a non-levite intruding on the priestly office was death.
I already covered that. The Levitical priests served by courses. The course of John's father served in late September. Thus, John was born in late June. Jesus was born 6 months later, in late December.
If it was in the spring, the bible is wrong.
You are welcome. But Me4Him must have missed it.
I found this at: http://www.calvaryroadbaptist.org/pages/The%20Baptist's%20Public%20Ministry%20Begins.htm
4D. Another thing Luke’s reference to these powerful men accomplishes. It tells us approximately how old John the Baptist was when his ministry began. You see, we know from Luke 1.5 that John the Baptist was born during the reign of Herod the Great, king of Judea. We also know, from archaeology, that Herod died during the first part of the year in 4 B. C.
5D. Looking now to Luke 3.1, we see that John the Baptist’s public ministry, at least as the Gospel accounts began to take note of his public ministry, in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, emperor of Rome. Back then years were reckoned according to the length of a king’s or emperor’s reign, not any single fixed historical event.
The 15th year of Tiberius Caesar was about 27 A. D.
6D. If you can count then you will come to the conclusion that John the Baptist’s public ministry began when he was about 33 years of age, give or take a year.
My mistake on "TRIBES", that's what ya get for trying to "THINK/REMEMBER/TYPE" at the same time.
Some people deny the December birth time due to the fact that there were shepherds keeping sheep outdoors at night. They forgot to note that the Bethlehem-Jerusalem area has a much-milder climate than does much of the USA, Canada, or Europe. It seldom has temp extremes either way. And the sheep must eat every day, summer or winter. Yes, it has seasons, but they're not as sharply different as they are for most of the readers of this board. Sheep could easily survive outdoors in December in that land.
That's not the point, robycop3. The fact is that sheep were penned at night except for the times when the lambs were being born, in the spring and in the fall. If sheep were kept penned during this time, the lambs could easily be trampled during or immediately after birth. Thus, they had to be out in the fields during these two times of year, but they did pen their sheep during summers and winters at night.
There is very good evidence that Jesus was born in the autumn of the year, but that, when he was about fifteen months old, the Magoi of Persia visited him on the date of
Well, Me4Him, perhaps you're starting to see the light now. On another forum, you accused me of substituting secular history for Scripture when I called down your "1948 years Adam to Abraham, 1948 years Abe to Jesus,1948 years from Jesus to modern Israel" thingie. You wouldn't believe us in the other forum, but you believe the well-known Dr. Hymers? Well, at least you DO see how someone misled you.
And by Jesus' time,(actually, from the time of Rehoboam, Solomon's son) the Levites were counted as JEWS, as were the Benjaminites, of whom Paul was one.
Aaron had many descendants by the time of John, some righteous such as was Zacharias, some evil, such as Annas & Caiaphas.
As Doc C points out, Scripture gives us many landmarks for us to determine the general time of Jesus' birth. Cyrenius(Publius Sulpicius Quirinius ) was Augustus Caesar's "right-hand man". He was sent,about 8 BC, with an army to the Syria-palestine area to put down a revolt by the Homanadensians, a mountain tribe. Wisely, he NEGOTIATED a peace with them, knowing they would make excellent"first-line-of-defense" allies against some of the more-militant peoples of the area. Quirinius stayed in the area as military governor to both carry out his promises to the Homanadensians, and to make sure they stuck to their side of the agreement.(They did.) He then left for Rome.
He returned as de-facto governor in 6 AD after Augustus deposed Herod's son Archelaus, whose repressive actions against the Jews were fomenting revolt. Since he didn't have a Ferrari, it took him till 7 AD to reach the area, and he implemented Augustus' census/tax of 8 AD. He stepped down in 9 AD, retiring from public life, dying in 21 AD.(Info gleaned from several partial bios of Cyrenius/Quirinius)
Some people confuse the two periods of Quirinius' rule over Judea, but as scripture narrates the event, it's plain that HEROD was then the local nabob, that he sought Jesus' life, & that he died while Jesus was in Egypt, to be succeeded by his son Archelaus. In Josephus' careful history of the Herods, only ONE was succeeded by a son names Archelaus...HEROD THE GREAT, so-called by the Jews because he embellished the Temple to the greatest splendor the Jews had ever known. This was the Herod who died early 4 BC AFTER JESUS WAS BORN!
And we must note that in those days, it took time for many people to travel to the place of their birth, and Augustus didn't wanna shut down the local economies by compelling everyone to leave at once, so he allowed them to finish their business and save enough money for their journeys. Thus, Augustus easily coulda ordered the taxation in 6 BC while Quirinius was still in the area, and it coulda taken J&M until late 4 BC to have arrived in Bethlehem, given the time it took for the decree to have reached Nazareth & for Joseph to have finished any carpentry projects he had going.
At any rate, the "1948 years from Jesus to modern Israel" thingie is dead. I have believed that Jesus was born between 4 & 6 AD for a long time.
Thanx for your additional input, Helen!
If you're going to "Quote me", at least get it right.
From the first Adam until Abraham was 1948 years,
and from the "Second Adam" (Jesus) until Israel was restored as a nation was 1948 years.
Where you got the Abe to Jesus 1948, I don't know.
Do you really believe the 1948 in both case went "UN-NOTICED" by God???
If you do, you've got a lot to learn about God.
Man's calendar might be "fouled up", but rest assured, God's isn't.
If you prefer to believe what man writes, rather that what is in the scriptures, and evident in the world, why bother to read the Bible???