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Why September is the likely time of Jesus birthday

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Another Lazarus, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Another Lazarus

    Another Lazarus Old Newbie

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    https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-too...-jesus-christ-born-was-jesus-born-on-december

    A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that December 25 couldn’t be the date for Christ’s birth. Here are two primary reasons:

    First, we know that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7-8). Shepherds were not in the fields during December. According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays , Luke’s account “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night” (p. 309).

    Similarly, The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary says this passage argues “against the birth [of Christ] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted” shepherds watching over their flocks in the fields at night.

    Second, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating.

    Given the difficulties and the desire to bring pagans into Christianity, “the important fact then which I have asked you to get clearly into your head is that the fixing of the date as December 25th was a compromise with paganism” (William Walsh, The Story of Santa Klaus , 1970, p. 62).

    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 (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36), we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

    It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus (Luke 1:35-36)) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth.
     
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  2. Steve Petersen

    Steve Petersen Senior Veteran

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    There is an ancient Jewish polemic against Christians that seems to indicate that the birth of Christ was considered by the early community of Jewish believers to be at the Festival of Sukkot, in the fall.

    Birth of Jesus at Sukkot
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
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  3. Adstar

    Adstar Well-Known Member

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    Yes the time of the year that Zacharias served in the temple is key to understanding when Jesus was born and yes September is the most accurate calculation of the time.. This proves that Christmas on the 25th is the creation of the catholic church's mixing pagan darkness with the Light of the Gospel to muddy the water..
     
  4. Steve Petersen

    Steve Petersen Senior Veteran

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    If this is what it took to civilize savages like the Danes, I am OK with it.
     
  5. Sarah G

    Sarah G Human bean. Supporter

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    If Elizabeth gave birth in June and John (the baptist) was six months older than Jesus wouldn't that still be December (six months after June) or have I gone completely doolally?
     
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  6. Another Lazarus

    Another Lazarus Old Newbie

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    Elizabeth was pregnant in June and delivered in March and Jesus was delivered six months later.
     
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  7. JackRT

    JackRT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dionysius Exigius (aka Dennis the Short), a monk from Russia who died about 544, was asked by Pope John I to set out the dates for Easter from the years 527 to 626. It seems that the Pope was keen to produce some order in the celebration of Easter. Dionysius decided to begin with what he considered to be the year of Jesus' birth. He chose the year in which Rome had been founded and determined, from the evidence known to him, that Jesus had been born 753 years later. He did have an error in that because one emperor changed his name during his reign, Dionysius counted him twice.

    He was almost certainly acquainted with a suggestion by Hippolytus (170–236) that the date of Jesus' birth was December 25, but the trouble was that Hippolytus had not backed up this claim with sound arguments. Dionysius, however, had just the argument: His contemporaries claimed that God created the earth on March 25. It was inconceivable that the son of God could have been in any way imperfect. Therefore Jesus must have been conceived on March 25. This meant that he must have been born nine months later—December 25. Dionysius also concluded that, as a perfect being, Jesus could not have lived an incomplete life so he must have died on March 25 as well!

    December 25 was an auspicious choice. In 274, in Rome, the Emperor Aurelian declared December 25 a civic holiday in celebration of the birth of Mithras, the sun god. By 336, in that same city, Christians countered by celebrating the birth of Jesus, the son of God, on December 25. Christians in Antioch in 375 celebrated the birth of Jesus on January 6. Christians in Alexandria did not begin to celebrate Christmas at all until 430. So until Dionysius came along there was confusion over dates, and debates raged, even over the usefulness of celebrating the birth of Jesus at all. What had been universally important for all Christians—the pre-eminent event—was the celebration of Easter.

    When, in 527, he formalized the date of Jesus' birth, Dionysius put Christmas on the map. Jesus was born, he declared, on December 25 in the Roman year 753. Dionysius then suspended time for a few days, declaring January 1, 754—New Year's day in Rome—as the first year in a new era of world history.

    With a stroke of ingenuity Dionysius had managed to shift the attention of the church from Easter to Christmas. From this point in time it seemed only logical to celebrate the birth of Jesus before his death. If Jesus' death by crucifixion had made possible salvation for all people everywhere, so the argument went, then his birth was the sign that God was identifying with human kind by taking human form.

    But Dionysius made a mistake in his calculations. Perhaps he had never read the gospel account of the birth of Jesus. In Matthew Jesus is said to have been born while Herod was still King (2:1). That would translate into 4 BC (or even earlier) according to the calculations of Dionysius. As a consequence, for Christians the year 2000 is not two thousand years after the birth of Jesus, but more like 2004.

    That was not his only mistake. Dionysius followed the convention of his times and, as the Roman calendar moved from the year 753 to 754, he called the latter "year one" of the New World order—anno domini, the year of our Lord. The concept of naught (zero) didn't come into Europe from Arabia and India until about two hundred years later. As a result, centuries end with naught and begin with the digit one. So for us the year 2000 was the end of one millennium but it was not the beginning of the next: that occurred in 2001.

    Later, when Pope Gregory tidied up the calendar on 24 February 1582, the calendar lost eleven days. To synchronise the calendar of Dionysius with the movement of the sun, October 4 became October 15, and to avoid having to make further adjustments a leap year was introduced. Pope Gregory must also have known of the mistakes made by Dionysius but all he did was to confirm them, perhaps hoping that no one would notice.

    There is one other problem. Bishop Ussher (1581–1656) worked out the precise year of creation as 4004 BC (he knew about Dionysisus getting the date of Jesus birth wrong). But he also advanced the view that the earth had a total life span of six thousand years. In order to come up with this conclusion he based his calculations on all the generations mentioned in the Bible.

    In reality we do not know when Jesus was born—neither the year, the month, nor the day. The chronology of our western calendar is based on mythology masquerading as theology. We do well to treat it all with the humour it deserves.

    If the shepherds were with their flocks in the fields by night, it must have been lambing season. At all other times the shepherds would keep their sheep within a stone corral and lay their bedrolls across the entrance. They were with the sheep in the field since in a crowded corral there was a very real possibility that the newborn lambs might be trampled. Lambing season in Palestine occurred around Passover which would make it early springtime.
     
  8. Sab

    Sab New Member

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    A couple of weeks after i became a christian in August 1979 i was reading a book called Byzantine Civilization by H.W. Haussig and saw that Dec 25 was taken from pagan religion and that Isis supposedly gave birth to Horus on 25 Dec.
    I never celebrated xmas again. I had embraced paganism when I didnt know Christ. I've never understood why "christians" defend christmas. Aren't we supposed to be the pillar and ground of the truth?
     
  9. Another Lazarus

    Another Lazarus Old Newbie

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    People need a date anyway to celebrate Jesus's birthday, just look at the positive point.
     
  10. Sab

    Sab New Member

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    Why? The early church didn't celebrate His birth, they celebrated his death and resurrection.
     
  11. Sarah G

    Sarah G Human bean. Supporter

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    The entire nativity story is beautiful and therefore worthy of celebration. December 25 - January 6 is as good a time as any to meditate on the miracle of Jesus' coming into this world. What a wonderful thing it is, the birth of our Messiah, Son of God, King of kings! Of course we should celebrate the birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ everyday but Christmas is a special time. It often brings people to the faith as well as renewing the faith of many Christians who may simply not find the time to focus, pray, contemplate and worship all year round.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  12. Erik Nelson

    Erik Nelson Well-Known Member Supporter

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  13. JackRT

    JackRT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When the Birth Narratives are examined objectively and in detail one is left with some real questions as to just how historically accurate it is. The earliest New Testament writer, Paul, makes scant reference to the birth of Jesus except to say that it was "according to the flesh" which I would read to mean 'perfectly natural --- nothing special'. About 15 years later the next writer, Mark, makes no mention of the birth at all and begins his narrative with the baptitsm of Jesus. Both Matthew and Luke, writing some 10 to 15 years after Mark, treat the birth in some detail but contradict each other considerably. The first suggestion of the “virgin birth” is in Matthew and that seems to be based on a misinterpretation of a passage in Isaiah. Finally John, writing about AD 95, must have been aware of the birth stories of Matthew and Luke but he, like Mark, includes no Birth Narrative.

    At the moment I will focus on the question 'when did the birth of Jesus take place?' In Matt 2:1 he says "in the days of Herod the king". We know from secular sources that Herod (the Great) died in 4 BC. This would suggest that Jesus was born in the last few years of Herod's reign perhaps between 7 and 4 BC. When we turn to Luke we are immediately perplexed. In Luke 2:1-3 he says that it was during a world-wide census "when Quirinius was governor of Syria". We know that Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth in Galilee. We also know that in AD 6 Galilee was attached to Syria and that Quirinius immediately called a census. Already we have a discrepancy of at least 9 years (there is no year '0').


    More needs to be said about the census. There is no record of a comprehensive census of the entire (Roman) world. In those days a census was much different than those of today. In Italy periodic censuses were ordered to enroll all men of military age but this happened only in Italy. Elsewhere in the Empire a census had a quite different purpose --- it was to enroll the value of land and/or business assets for the purpose of taxation. Such a census did not require that people return to their ancient home town. Can you just imagine the massive dislocation that would entail? The Romans were a very practical people and the census was not focused on people at all. The census dealt with land and business in place. In the colonies the Romans employed the notorious system of tax farming. This system resulted in very onerous tax burdens.


    The Jews of Galilee knew this well and so when Quirinius ordered his census they rose in revolt under the leadership of Rabbi Judas of Galilee. Incidentally Judas was regarded as a messiah. His revolt met with some initial success but a Roman Army dispatched from Syria defeated them . Rabbi Judas with about 2000 of his rebels were captured and they were crucified en masse at Sephoris (just an easy walk from Nazareth). If Luke was correct in his dating then Jesus would have just been born. On the other hand if Matthew was correct Jesus would have been about ten and could possibly have witnessed some of the events surrounding the revolt.


    It is hardly necessary to point out that these two Birth Narratives not only contradict each other but they also contradict the historical record.



    If we are to believe the birth narrative that the shepherds were "with their flocks in the fields by night" then this enables us to place the birth within a few weeks. Shepherds corraled their sheep at night. The corrals were simply low walls of rough fieldstone. The gate was just a gap in the wall across which the shepherd would lay his bedroll. This was not done in lambing season in order to prevent newborn lambs from being trampled and injured in the crowded corral. This would put the birth in the early spring in late March or early April.
     
  14. Seville90210

    Seville90210 Psalm 118:26

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    I think Jesus was born on God's calendar, not the Gregorian nor Babylonian, both man made calendars. It's likely Christ's birth was around 6 BC during the middle to late part of March as Jonathan Cahn quoted. This would also put Jesus' life span to 40 years on earth, instead of 33, which the bible has mentioned 40 years as a generation in a few passages.
     
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