Hebrew Roots/Neglected Commandments/Idolatry/Birth Christ
When was Yeshua/Jesus born?
- A. Popular myth puts his birth on December 25th in the year 1 C.E.
- B. The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ (Yeshua's) birthdate.
- C. The year of Jesus/Yeshua's birth was determined by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk, “abbot of a Roman monastery in 525 AD
- He also devised the currently used system of chronology related to the supposed year of His birth which Has been realized to be in error of at least four years. Part of the reason for this was that no one had a standardized accurate accounting of time.
The year of His birth would be according to our present calendar 4BC. His calculation went as follows:
- a. In the Roman, pre-Christian era, years were counted from aburbe condita (“the founding of the City” [Rome]). Thus 1 AUC signifies the year Rome was founded, 5 AUC signifies the 5th year of Rome’s reign, etc.
- b. Dionysius received a tradition that the Roman emperor Augustus reigned 43 years, and was followed by the emperor Tiberius.
- c. Luke 3:1,23 indicates that when Jesus turned 30 years old, it was the 15th year of Tiberius reign.
- d. If Jesus was 30 years old in Tiberius’ reign, then he lived 15 years under Augustus (placing Jesus birth in Augustus’ 28th year of reign).
- e. Augustus took power in 727 AUC. Therefore, Dionysius put Jesus birth in 754 AUC.
- f. However, Luke 1:5 places Jesus’ birth in the days of Herod, and Herod died in 750 AUC – four years before the year in which Dionysius places Jesus birth.
D. Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association – writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament, writes about the date of Jesus’ birth, “Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1. The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced ca. 533 by Dionysius Exiguus.” Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.
Luke 2:8 tells us the shepherds were in the fields. If it had been December or November the sheep would have been in pens for warmth - no one would have their sheep out on a winter night.
Gabriel’s announcement to Mirium occurred on the last day of Hanukkah (Feast of Lights) I.E. 2 Teveth (3999) plus 280 day gestation period puts Yeshua's birth on Tishri 15 (Sept 23, 3 BCE [before Christian era]) which puts His birth on the Feast of Tabernacles. Lev. 24 tells us The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days to Yahweh. The seventh month was Tishri in the Hebrew calendar.
The date that Gabriel the angel told Zechariah that he and his wife were going to have Yochanan is established from the following. Luke 1.5 states that Zechariah is a priest of the course of Abijah. King David, according to I Chronicles 24, had divided the priestly families into twenty-four groups. Each group was called to serve twice a year with all being present for the major festivals. (Deuteronomy 16.16). Therefore, the first course served the first week of the year (Aviv); the second course, the next and so on. I Chronicles 24.10 lists the course of Abijah as the eighth course. This course would serve on the tenth week of the first half of the year, having allowed two weeks for the festival of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost. It is at this time that Zechariah receives the prophecy of Yochanan's birth. Luke 1.8-13
Allowing time for conception after his return home and going forward a normal pregnancy, the time of Yochanan's birth (if this is the first half of the year) would be approximately Passover.
Six months following Elizabeth's conception, the angel Gabriel is sent to Miriam (Mary), the cousin of Elizabeth. Luke 1.26-33
Six months from Elizabeth's conception would bring the date of the angel Gabriel's pronouncement to the month of Kislev. Starting at Chanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Miriam's pregnancy brings one to the approximate time of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) which is in Sept/Oct of the Gregorian calendar which we use, and autumn in the Middle East.
Further indication that it was the festival of Sukkot is the fact that there was no room for lodgings in Bethlehem (being close to Jerusalem) which would take the overflow of people coming there for the festival.
This can be further established by the date of Herod's death which is recorded by the historian Josephus.
Thus, it can be definitely said that Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah) could not have been born on December 25th.