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Thread: Just when was the Christ born?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Just when was the Christ born?

    I'm pretty sure it wasn't Dec 25th! So when? What do you say, and why? Does it matter?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    When Was Jesus Born?
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    The Bible’s answer

    The Bible does not give a specific date for the birth of Jesus Christ, as these reference works show:

    “The true birth date of Christ is unknown.”—New Catholic Encyclopedia.

    “The exact date of Christ’s birth is not known.”—Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

    While the Bible does not directly answer the question, ‘When was Jesus born?’ it does describe two events surrounding his birth that lead many to conclude that he was not born on December 25.
    Not in winter

    The registration. Shortly before Jesus was born, Caesar Augustus issued a decree ordering “all the inhabited earth to be registered.” Everyone had to register in “his own city,” which might have required a journey of a week or more. (Luke 2:1-3) That order—probably made to support taxation and military conscription—would have been unpopular at any time of year, but it is unlikely that Augustus would have provoked his subjects further by forcing many of them to make long trips during the cold winter.

    The sheep. Shepherds were “living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks.” (Luke 2:8) The book Daily Life in the Time of Jesus notes that flocks lived in the open air from “the week before the Passover [late March]” through mid-November. It then adds: “They passed the winter under cover; and from this alone it may be seen that the traditional date for Christmas, in the winter, is unlikely to be right, since the Gospel says that the shepherds were in the fields.”

    In early fall

    We can estimate when Jesus was born by counting backward from his death on Passover, Nisan 14 in the spring of the year 33 C.E. (John 19:14-16) Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his three-and-a-half-year ministry, so he was born in the early fall of 2 B.C.E.—Luke 3:23.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    0 BC/AD
    (donít forget the Romans re-organized their calendar by adding two months to it)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    The calendar we use today was developed under Pope Gregory much ,much later than Christ. Pope Gregory tried to establish the year Christ was born by historical events and counting backwards. It is now believed that he missed the year by either 4 or 6 years depending on how some documents are dated. So probably Christ was born in either 4 or 6 BC. As to the day and month we have no idea. I do like some of the reasoning as to the time of year presented by others.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    "When" He was born makes an interesting coffee shop discussion but it makes no difference at all to any Christian doctrine.

  6. #6
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    I’m not sure when He was born, but praise God He was! I know my Redeemer lives, hallelujah.
    Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    And amen.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    It's an interesting bit of archaeology - pegging down the particulars of a low-born guy from 2,000 years ago who was only really on the public stage for a handful of years. I've tried to sort out details of both my grandfather's WWII histories from the snippets I have - - - even when you have breadcrumbs, a separation of only 70-odd years, AND the country they were born in still exists, it can be a real bear.

    I've often wondered about the validity of attempting to peg a date, or at least a season, for Jesus' birth based on weather conditions. . . I'm no expert on Israel, proper, but we ARE talking about a (actually THE) mild Mediterranean climate here - bordered closely by a couple of scorched deserts. Winter in Palestine isn't remotely what people in the northern reaches of the Roman Empire would call "brutal" - - indeed, it may actually be a better time to do your moving around than in summer. At any rate, it's not operating on the European model where you can't actually DO anything for 3-4 months out of the year. The Romans wouldn't want to compromise THEIR economy by disturbing anything vital to their interests that was seasonal. How much in that climate actually IS seasonal.

    December 25 therefore could be the date for all we know, but on the other hand, it seems like it could easily be a contrived church strategy based on the winter solstice that all the pagans would have been celebrating. If your goal is to go out and preach conversion, and you don't know the actual date anyway, when better to catch the locals than when they have scheduled down time, and how better to get repeat "air time" by separating the birth date of the religious figure by roughly half a year from the celebrations of resurrection and ascension? If the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension actually all really did occur within the same couple months of the calendar, that might be factually accurate, but would make it harder to make your pitch year-round.

    But no, it doesn't matter at all from a religious/believer's perspective. Sure, we actually know when George Washington was born, but is that date as relevant as the day Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown? It's what you did, not when you got here.

    The proper thing to look for would be Roman or local government records - doubtful though it is that they still exist anywhere in any form: then, as now, bureaucrats who can tax and draft you will be the ones who "love" you the most, will want documentation of the means to tax or draft you not caring one iota what your divine qualifications are, and are far more likely to remember your birthday than your spouse is. Funny, given recent political shenanigans, that we should hope to find the Messiah's birth certificate AND tax returns recorded in some lost "Gospel of Accounting".
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    In the early church, such things as the dates of Jesus' birthday, day of death and day of resurrection and venerated bones of designated "saints" had no application and no great meaning.

    Only after a few hundred years what was finally becoming the Roman church began to co-opt the trappings and traditions of the pagans around them. The pagans already observed somewhat equivalent days so the church determined to observe the advent and sacrifice of Jesus on special days the pagans already accepted so that seemed right to them.

    Some people are still appalled by Christians celebrating those pagan days but I say Christians have happily snatched those days from the hands of Satan and dedicated them to the worship of Lord Jesus; there can be no delight to Satan over what the church has done to his evil plans.

    I find it interesting to see Indiana Jones, et al, movies include the worship of demons in lofty and ornate temples, led by ornately robed and gold ladened teams of "priests" giving repetitious chants in candle smoke, all within a tightly controlled religious organization. It took several hundred years for all that to become "sanctified" by mandated Roman church "tradition" - NOT Bible, but "new" traditions. Scripture (Paul) gives religious traditions no good mention.

    Such pomp, visually splendid and ornate pagan practices, remind me of a supposed salvation by works driven religious organization we still have today.

  10. #10
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    By history we know herod died in 4bc, he ordered the murder of every boy in Bethlehem 2 and under. So that would put the date of his birth before 4bc and after 6bc. The day is not as easy to gather information. Your speculations are based on shepherd's being in the fields with sheep so weather was warm enough for them not to go in at night. Close as I can come to it.
    The actual day is not important the fact that is important is he was borned, lived a sinless life and died on that cross of Calvary for our sins. Amen

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    ..................Only after a few hundred years what was finally becoming the Roman church began to co-opt the trappings and traditions of the pagans around them. The pagans already observed somewhat equivalent days so the church determined to observe the advent and sacrifice of Jesus on special days the pagans already accepted so that seemed right to them.

    Some people are still appalled by Christians celebrating those pagan days but I say Christians have happily snatched those days from the hands of Satan and dedicated them to the worship of Lord Jesus; there can be no delight to Satan over what the church has done to his evil plans.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Such pomp, visually splendid and ornate pagan practices, remind me of a supposed salvation by works driven religious organization we still have today.
    You seem to be linking Pagans and Catholics.

    You are also kind of hard on Pagans claiming them as Satanic. Celebrating the passing of the seasons as marked by the travel of the Sun, Moon, Planets and Stars across the sky and worshiping the water, earth and sky does not seem like the work of the devil.

    It is sort of narrow minded to just dump all pagans into one bucket. There are more different kinds of pagans than there are different kinds of Christians. The Mayans were more different from the Druids than Christians are different from Islamists. Do you consider Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Shinto, Sikhs and Zoroastrians pagans? Are those religions the work of the devil.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    As biographers, the four men who wrote the Gospels woefully failed today's modern audience.

    We don't know when Jesus was born, we don't know what happened to his father, we don't know how many siblings he had, we don't know what he looked like and we are missing large periods of his life history.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    For the time they said for how the shepherds was looking over there flock because of the time of year for that is lamb season , For lamb season is spring. I had seen a video on this subject ,can not find it now .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Here is the video that I was talk about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlsXtTf6n0
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  15. #15
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    You know, this is a very interesting question, but ultimately, not a very relevant one when it comes to what He said to us. I always regard these type questions pretty lightly, but FWIW, if anything, I suspect he may most likely have been born in the mid to late spring. That's my best guess because as has been said already above, Caesar wouldn't likely have issued the decree in the coldest weather, and therefor make travel much harder. And it would likely have taken a while for the edict to be spread widely enough to have effect. So mid to late spring would be my best guess, but that's all it is - just a simple guess, and I'm not wedded to it in any way.

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