To determine when Jesus was actually born, we have to make a few assumptions based on Jewish Rabbinical tradition, use the calculated crucifixion date from the previous blog post related to Daniel’s 70-year prophecy and pull together a lot of historical information regarding various constraints to the possible time frame.
- Jesus was 33 1/2 years old at crucifixion by many traditional accounts. His 7 year Ministry on Earth lasted 3 1/2 years.
Daniel 9:27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;”
April 3, 33 AD – Crucifixion of Christ
Crucifixion occurred during the 70th Week or Holy Week
- Sunday March 29, 33 AD – Palm Sunday.
- Thursday April 2, 33 AD – Last Supper Passover Feast begins after sundown.
- Friday April 3, 33 AD – Passover with Lunar Eclipse – Red Moon best viewed from Israel.
- Saturday April 4, 33 AD – Sabbath, day set aside from Week of Creation for this event.
- Sunday April 5, 33 AD – Resurrection Day!!!
October 3, 29 AD – Jesus was Baptized by John the Baptist
Jesus was baptized on his 30th Birthday by John the Baptist according to Jewish Rabbinical Tradition which is considered the official start to His Ministry.
April 3, 33 AD – 3.5 years = October 3, 29 AD
October 3, 29 AD – 30 years = October 3, 2 BC, therefore, Jesus was born on October 3, 2 BC
October 3, 2 BC – Jesus as Born in Bethlehem
Joseph and Mary Travel to Bethlehem for Census, Feb 5, 2 BC – Oct 3, 2 BC
In the temple of Augustus at Ankara, an inscription was found referring to a census in the year 8 BC. The relationship of this “tax call” with the enrollment of Joseph and Mary is an unfounded conjecture, since it would apply only to Roman citizens. And even more conjectural is to imagine that Mary would have had to travel so far, because the taxes would apply only to Joseph. On the other hand, historians have identified a combination of census and oath of allegiance that would have effectively involved Mary and Joseph, done between the years 3 and 2 BC, as the result of an imperial decree related to the bestowal of the title “Pater Patriae” to Augustus by the Senate on the 5th of February of the year 2 BC. Josephus recorded that nearly 6000 pharisees refused to take the oath, approximately one year before Herod died.
2nd Century Saint Iranaeus writes of Jesus Birth
Iranaeus, born about a century after Jesus, notes that Jesus was born in the 41st year of the reign of Augustus. Since Augustus began his reign in the autumn of 43 BC, this appears to substantiate the birth of Jesus as the autumn of 2 BC. Eusebius (264-340 AD), the “Father of Church History,” ascribes it to the 42nd year of the reign of Augustus and the 28th from the subjection of Egypt on the death of Anthony and Cleopatra. The 42nd year of Augustus ran from the autumn of 2 BC to the autumn of 1 BC. The subjugation of Egypt into the Roman Empire occurred in the autumn of 30 BC. The 28th year extended from the autumn of 3 BC to the autumn of 2 BC. The only date that would meet both of these constraints would be the autumn of 2 BC.
December 21, 3 BC, WINTER SOLSTICE – Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ
Oct 3, 2 BC – 9 months, 12 days or 40 weeks, 6 days = Dec 21, 3 BC – Winter Solstice
“THE times of the Birth and Passion of Christ, with such like niceties, being not material to religion, were little regarded by the Christians of the first age. They who began first to celebrate them, placed them in the cardinal periods of the year; as the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, on the 25th of March, which when Julius Caesar corrected the Calendar was the vernal Equinox; the feast of John Baptist on the 24th of June, which was the summer Solstice; the feast of St. Michael on Sept. 29, which was the autumnal Equinox, and the birth of Christ on the winter Solstice, December 25, with the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Innocents, as near it as they could place them. And because the Solstice in time removed from the 25th of December to the 24th, the 23d, the 22d, and so on backwards, hence some in the following centuries placed the birth of Christ on December 23, and at length on December 20.” – Sir Isaac Newton, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733), Chapter XI, Of the times of the birth and passion of Christ.
During the time Sir Isaac Newton wrote these observations, the Julian calendar was being replaced by the Gregorian calendar in England. Due to the incorrect length to the solar year in previous calendars, the dates for the winter and summer solstices were inaccurately dated. With today’s scientific knowledge, we now know that the winter and summer solstices precisely fall on December 21st and June 21st unless it is a leap year where they are each one day later.
June 21, 3 BC, SUMMER SOLSTICE – Conception of John the Baptist
June 21, 3 BC – Summer Solstice
John 3:27-30 “27 To this John replied, ‘A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.’ 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
Much like an earthly day where the sunlight increases or becomes greater during the morning and sunlight decreases or becomes less during the evening, God’s Prophetic “evenings and mornings” day works in the same manner as a solar year with the Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice as the morning and the Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice as the evening described in Daniel’s 2300 day prophecy in Daniel 8:14, He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.” Notice how in the verse that “evenings” comes before “mornings” rather than the reverse order as an earthly day. This is just like a jewish day which begins at sundown so evening comes first. Evening, Summer Solstice = John the Baptist; Morning, Winter Solstice = Jesus Christ. John came before Jesus. Also John said himself, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Luke 1:26-27 & 39-41 “26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. 39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. [This happened after sunrise on the morning of the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st, 3 BC. The Immaculate Conception clearly took place the night before which was still the same Jewish day marked from sundown to sundown.] This verse in Luke specifically shows the 6 month difference between John the Baptist and Jesus. The two solstices are exactly 6 months apart which means their conceptions were perfectly opposite in timing relative to the tropical year as well as symbolically speaking, one with sin – man, the other without sin – God, among many others.
April 3, 2 BC – Birth of John the Baptist 9 months 12 days later
The birth of John the Baptist was 9 months 12 days later, April 3, 2 BC, – 34 years before crucifixion, exactly. June 21, 3 BC – April 3, 2 BC
Approximate Death of Herod with Known Errors – 1 BC or 1 AD
Herod suffered a grave political demotion in 4 BC, as the result of a misunderstanding over raiders he sent to Arabia to suppress robbers hiding there. Augustus condemned Herod, removed his title “Caesar’s Friend” (amic Caesaris), and relegated him to the lower position of “subject”. This loss of status was a serious matter. Its ramifications eventually included Herod’s execution of his own son Antipater, and others, in a show of loyalty to Augustus.
The conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter in 3 and 2 BC around the fixed star Regulus were impressive and unique celestial phenomena. Since the ephemeris of Brian Tuckerman were published in the mid-60’s, allowing the experts to know this fact, Jupiter/Venus have been the preferred alternative for the star of Bethlehem in the mind of many astronomers and historians. This also suggests that related incarnation events were still in motion past the 4 BC date for Herod’s death.
Josephus (1st century Jewish Historian) mentions that Herod died in the interval between a Lunar eclipse and the following Passover. For centuries this has been thought to be the eclipse of March 13, 4 BC, and the evidence of astronomy has been decisive to establish the dogma that Herod died that year. The eclipse of December 29, 1 BC fits this criterion much better. The full moon was nearly half eclipsed when it could first be seen rising in the east above the distant mountains about twenty minutes after sunset. A partial eclipse is more easily seen at moonrise than a total because totality delays first visibility (the entire moon is in the “invisible” portion) and the shape of the missing portion would have made it obvious that it was an eclipse, especially to the Judeans who used the moon to indicate the day of the month and who expected a full moon. Of the candidates to be Herod’s eclipse, the December 29, 1 BC eclipse was the most likely to have been widely observed. If December 29, 1 BC is correct, then Herod died in early 1 AD rather than early 1 BC.
The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi 3 BC – 2 BC
September of 3 BC, Jupiter came into conjunction with Regulus, the star of kingship, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. Leo was the constellation of kings, and it was associated with the Lion of Judah. Just a month earlier, Jupiter and Venus had almost seemed to touch each other in another close conjunction, also in Leo.
Then the conjunction between Jupiter and Regulus was repeated in February and May of 2 BC. These celestial events would have certainly raised the curiosity of the magi or wise men from far away.
June 17, 2 BC, Jupiter and Venus, the two brightest objects in the night sky except for the moon, came so close that their disks appeared to touch. This exceptionally rare event could not have been missed by observers such as the Wise Men. This seems to have been the unique shaped and unusually bright “star” that triggered their journey to Jerusalem.
The Bible does not mention how many Wise Men (likely Jewish Descendants from old Babylon Magi School started by Daniel) there were or where they came from. (The tradition of three Wise Men developed from the Bible’s description of three gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh.) It is reasonable to suppose that their journey took months, however, since they had to cross several hundred miles of desert to reach Jerusalem. If they were in Jerusalem before dawn on Dec. 25, 2 BC, they would in fact have seen Jupiter (the King Planet) stop moving almost directly over Bethlehem to the south. They could have traveled the five miles to Bethlehem and presented their gifts that day but they had to travel carefully since Herod was probably watching which direction they left Jerusalem. By then Jesus would have been a young child living with his parents in a house, not a baby in a manger. There is a reference not to an infant (brephos in the Greek) but to a toddler (paidion), indicating that the birth itself had been some months before.
Jan 6, 1 BC – Magi find Jesus who is ~ 3 months old.
What is Dec 25, 1 BC?
440 AD – The Church in Rome officially proclaimed December 25th as the birth of Christ to align it with the pagan holiday celebrating the pagan sun god to influence them to Christianity. Up to this time, several dates had been used as Christ’s birth date due to persecution. Easter was the primary Christian holiday for centuries and not His birth.
525 AD – Dionysius Exiguus, a 6th Century monk, is the inventor of the Anno Domini Era (i.e. AD) Calendar Renumbering centered on presumed Jesus’ conception or birth when updating the Easter Table for the Pope. Dionysius had different reasons for a new calendar numbering starting point to get rid of previous calendars; To drop any pagan heritage and Diocletian era Christian persecution tainted calendars; To drop Anno Mundi era calendar counting methods which count years from creation that was nearing the feared end-of-world 6000 year millennium based on the 6th day of Creation in Genesis when man was created. Years were calculated with inaccurate number of days in a year so the AM count wasn’t accurate. (16th century mathematicians discovered the correct calculation of a tropical year, averaged to be 365.2422 days instead of 365.25 days, which caused a Gregorian calendar correction by the Pope to skip ahead by 11 days in the calendar from Oct 4 to Oct 15, 1582 AD in many European countries that accepted it.) Dionysius realigned the new yearly count with an assumed end of the religious age marked by a calculated conjunction of all planets (visible planets in the sky all appearing in a straight line) in May 2000 AD. This was the assumed NEW end-of-world timeframe when Christ would return by. Wrong again, we are still here! He assumed the start of the 2000 year religious age with Dec 25, 1 AD using the ‘all planets conjunction’ as the anchor but decided to align instead with Jan 1, 1 AD so the incarnation date changed to Dec 25, 1 BC. Dionysius claimed to have calculated the birth of Christ from the beginning of Rome (i.e. 732 AUC) but offered no evidence on how this was calculated. Therefore, the birth of Christ was presumed to be Dec 25, 1 BC for all using the new calendar.
- March 5, 444 BC – Nehemiah Decree (476 Years 24 Days to Palm Sunday)
- June 21, 3 BC – Summer Solstice – John the Baptist’s Conception (9 months 12 days to birth or 40 weeks and 6 days.)
- Sept, 3 BC – Jupiter came into conjunction with Regulus in the constellation Leo the Lion.
- Dec 12, 17 BC 11:31 IST = Birth of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ
- Dec 21, 3 BC – Winter Solstice – Immaculate Conception (9 months 12 days to birth or 40 weeks and 6 days.)
- Feb, 2 BC – Jupiter came into conjunction with Regulus again.
- Feb 5, 2 BC – Roman Decree of Census and Oath of Allegiance in birth cities across Roman Empire.
- Feb 5 – Oct 3, 2 BC – Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem sometime during this timeframe.
- April 3, 2 BC – Birth of John the Baptist (34 years 0 days before crucifixion of Christ).
- May, 2 BC – Jupiter came into conjunction with Regulus again.
- June 17, 2 BC – Jupiter and Venus came into conjunction, touching, creating a very bright star! Go Magi!
- Oct 3, 2 BC – Birth of Jesus Christ (33 years 6 months before crucifixion of Christ).
- Dec 25, 2 BC – Magi see Jupiter stop or hang over Bethlehem from Jerusalem marking location of Jesus.
- Jan 6, 1 BC – Christian Holiday Epiphany (12 Days of [after] Christmas). Magi find 3 month old Jesus in Bethlehem.
- Dec 29, 1 BC – Passover, 1 AD – Timeframe that Herod most likely died.
- Oct 3, 29 AD – John the Baptist Baptizes Jesus, Beginning of His Ministry (Jesus’ 30th Birthday).
- March 29, 33 AD – Palm Sunday (End of Daniel’s 69th Prophetic Week, Beginning of Daniel’s 70th Literal Week).
- April 2, 33 AD – Last Supper Passover Feast begins after sundown.
- April 3, 33 AD – 6-hour Crucifixion of Christ during Passover with Lunar Eclipse (Red Moon best viewed from Israel).
- April 4, 33 AD – The Sabbath, The Holy Day, set aside from Week of Creation by God for this very special event!
- April 5, 33 AD – Resurrection Day!!! (Easter)
- May 23, 33 AD – Day of Pentecost, Feast of Weeks or First Fruits, Birthday of Ancient Israel. (50 days after crucifixion).
- 440 AD – The Church in Rome officially proclaimed December 25th as the birth of Christ to win pagan converts.
- 525 AD – Anno Domini Calendar (i.e. BC/AD) invented, incorrectly dates Christ’s birth on Dec 25, 1 BC.
- 800 AD – Majority of the Western World adopts AD Calendar.
- Oct 4, 1582 AD – Pope decrees Gregorian Calendar correction and skips 10 days to Oct 15 based on 365.2422 day tropical year.
Jesus’ Birth Date, John the Baptist’s Birth Date, Jesus’ Immaculate Conception date, and John the Baptist’s Conception Date with commentary – by Chad Horton – Jan 18, 2011.
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy: A detailed look at Daniel 9:24-27 http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/weeks.htm
The Curious History of the Gregorian Calendar http://www.infoplease.com/spot/gregorian1.html
Was Jesus Born on December 25 http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/was-jesus-born-on-december-25-faq.htm
Consideration of the Origin of the Yearly Count in the Julian and the Gregorian Calendar http://www.calendersign.com/en/to_adjustment_AD.php
Anno Domini – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini
Isaac Newton, Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733) http://www.isaacnewton.ca/daniel_apocalypse/
Yet Another Eclipse for Herod http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/herod/herod.html
On the Year of Herod’s Death http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/steiner/herod.html
The Stary Dance http://www.bethlehemstar.net/dance/dance.htm
Star of Bethlehem May Have Been Planets Jupiter, Venus http://newsinfo.iu.edu/OCM/packages/bethstar.html
BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages http://www.tccsa.tc/articles/star_dates.html
Summary of Conjunctions of Planets Near Time of Christ’s Birth http://www.biblegateway.com/
Add or Subtract a Number of Weeks and/or Days to a Date Calculator http://www.easysurf.cc/ndate4.htm