Anyone, who has done a deep and serious study into a subject within the Bible, knows that possible answers to questions sometimes only surface when you discern between what scripture doesn’t say, compared to what it does say.
Also, they realize most of the stories contained in the Bible are written in a very condensed form and are deficient of particulars. As an example, Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (ESV).1 That may be only ten simple words, but you will find that it sums up all thirty-one verses of the first chapter of Genesis. And when the Bible mentions an event, many times it is vague — it tells the facts, but they are lacking in specific details.
Today, we will dig into what is said, what is not said, and what is implied, so we can come up with an educated hypothesis to solve a puzzle. We are searching for information that will help determine the date Jesus arrived on earth as a human, as well as the actual date of his birth. Is there a difference? Yes, there is.
Think of this as an exercise — an investigation — not an academic study aimed at altering accepted and customary Christian beliefs. To arrive at this date, we will examine parts of the Old Testament and the New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation. No matter what you actually believe at the end, this study will give you plenty to think about.
I did not come up with all these conclusions by myself, for my journey to understanding began by attending a Bible Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, more than thirty years ago, where I heard a most interesting lecture. Therefore, some of the following knowledge I obtained, came from a discourse on the book of Genesis, presented by an older gentleman,2 which sparked my own imagination for further investigation.
Yes, our purpose here is to reveal previously unknown dates, especially the date Jesus was born. Am I crazy? Maybe, a lot of people have hinted so, but I will lay out the logic of this approach and let you decide if the result is reasonable. This study will give extra attention to events in the first three books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus), along with Jesus’ story as told in the Gospels. If nothing else, this article will demonstrate the great importance of studying both the Old and New Testaments for a true understanding of God’s single divine plan.
Nowhere in the Bible, or in any historical reference, is a birth date for Jesus plainly stated, but the evidence suggests it was somewhere shortly before the year 1 AD.3 And, because of errors discovered in early calendars, most theologians and academics4 believe he was born between 6 BC and 4 BC,5 while a few others say as late as 2 BC.
In trying to estimate the birth year, combinations of methods for determination have been used: (1) by using references of known historical events mentioned in the nativity accounts of Matthew and Luke, like the reign of leaders; (2) by reversing the events of Jesus’ ministry, in other words, starting at his death and work backward; (3), using heavenly signs, such as astrological or astronomical alignments (e.g., the Star of Bethlehem).6
To narrow the time even more and estimate the season or month, researchers study other references, such as descriptions of shepherds and their livestock activities (Luke 2:8), or when miscellaneous statements are made, such as the maturity of our Lord: “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23a).7
The best estimates that have been published were derived using the above methods, and most scholars believe the time of Jesus’ birth was in late September or early October, but there has always been disagreement about the exact date. Clement of Alexandria wrote that it may have taken place in the Egyptian month of Pachon (on May 20), others said it was in the month of the Coptic calendar, Pharmuthi (on April 20 or 21). Suggested in other writings are April 18 or 19, March 25, January 2, November 17 and November 20. So, as you can see, these supposed dates are widely scattered.8
It is very interesting that our modern celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas day has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Although the actual birth date is not mentioned in the Bible, all indications are that it was definitely not December 25.
So, how did December 25 become established as his birth date? Well, it wasn’t always a Christian holiday, but a Roman celebration of the birthday of the sun god, Mithra. “The date fell right in the middle of Saturnalia, a month long holiday dedicated to food, drink, and revelry, and Pope Julius I is said to have chosen that day to celebrate Christ’s birth as a way of co-opting the pagan rituals,”9 around 350 AD.10 For an article about some other odd facts about Christmas, see the short article “A few questions about Christmas – and what is it with all that glitter?” listed in References & Notes.11
We are not going to spend any more time discussing these previous suggestions about our Lord’s birthday — they are all just guesses, at best. I, too, am going to speculate, but with one difference — my suggestion will be supported by the logic of scripture. We will try to solve this puzzle from God’s perspective.
This will take a while and we will be going down a rabbit hole12 to obtain information. We will be studying God’s creation story and the fall of our first human parents, and also discuss their first children. Then, we will examine events concerning Moses, and finally, the time of Christ. But first, we need some basic information about the Jewish calendar.
The Jewish Calendar
This treatise isn’t long enough to give a full description of all the calendars used throughout history, for there were many more than just a handful. As one educator wrote, “Ancient Israel did not have a single, uniform calendar throughout its history, and problems in Israelite chronology are well known.”13
We do, however, need to understand some basic information. Today, our modern secular calendar is based upon a solar cycle of 365¼ (365.25) days a year. But in the ancient Hebrew world, the calendar was based upon the lunar cycle of 29½ (29.5) days per month (twelve such months are 11 days short of the solar cycle). Even that calendar varied considerably from place-to-place, but we can simplify some features (although, agreeably, lacking some details).
Calendars used in the Bible were based upon alternating lunar months containing either 29 or 30 days.14 An added complication to this system is that God changed the starting month of the year, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Sometimes, this complication makes it difficult to convert to the Roman calendar, because it is hard to understand which Hebrew calendar was being used. We will address that issue, shortly.
So generally, today there are two Jewish calendars: the civil calendar which begins in autumn with the month Tishri (or Tishrei), and the religious one which begins in spring with the month Nisan (or Nissan). The list and arrangement of the months are the same in both calendars, only the time when the next year number begins is different. For our study, the only months discussed will be Nisan, Tishri, and Tevet.
At least, to make matters simpler, the basic idea has not changed. The Jews celebrate the 1st of Tishri as the first day of the Jewish New Year, which they call Rosh Hashanah. And on the 10th of Tishri, they still celebrate their most holy day of the year, the Day of Atonement, called Yom Kippur. So now, let us learn about these two very important days.
At the time of Adam’s creation, when the calendar first started, Tishri (September-October on our modern calendar) was the first month of the year. That means the birth of Adam would, logically, have been on the 1st of Tishri of the first year.
The Adamic Covenant
After creating Adam, God breathed his own spirit into his creation. This is what makes humans different from every other form of life on this planet — into no other animal did he breathe his spirit. This unique gift included the ability to think and reason and it gave him the free will to make his own decisions, it allowed him to have a connection with the spiritual world, and the possibility of everlasting life on earth.15
“Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7). As one academic stated, “when God breathed into him, Adam and all later humans became a unique mix of the physical and the spiritual.”16 As another scripture relates, “as long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3).
In the book of Genesis, a few verses after Adam’s creation, scripture says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:15-17).
This is known as the Adamic Covenant — the first contract made between God and man. It was both a blessing and a warning. And to insure us that this was, indeed, a covenant, let’s examine an explanation of the reason for a later punishment of Israel and Judah in the 8th century BC. The book of Hosea states this: “But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me” (Hosea 6:7).
Examining this first God-human understanding in Genesis, you will find that it is a condensed version of the Mosaic Covenant, lacking only the details. Both implied “obey and you will live, disobey and you will die.”
Now, continuing with Genesis 2, let’s examine a few verses. “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed . . . The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:8, 15). Verse 10 says, “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers” (Genesis 2:10). These verses give us some information that sometimes goes unnoticed. Adam was formed and was a living being before God put him in the Garden of Eden.
Organizing this information, we discern that in the territory of Eden, a garden was planted on the east side. A river flowed from the west through Eden and the garden, then exited out of the east end. This gives us a better portrait of the landscape. This is where God put Adam and then created all the animals and had Adam give them names. This is where he instructed Adam as to his job, and told him of the importance of the two special trees in the garden, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life. This was the environment Adam lived in before Eve.
God created Eve by removing half of Adam’s personality (characteristic feelings, thoughts, behaviors) and crafted those attributes into a new body with its own unique physiology — a bit of Godly genetic engineering. Hence, when married they become one, each half joining to make one single whole unit. They were both equal with different functions and traits that worked well together.17 One author stated it this way, “They both had the same nature. But what man lacked . . . she supplied, and what she lacked he supplied. The culmination was one flesh — the complete unity of man and woman in marriage.”18
Let’s focus in on this Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why the prohibition regarding this tree? Would not such knowledge have been of benefit to humankind? Wouldn’t that knowledge have been beneficial for the comprehension of moral judgement by distinguishing between good and evil? Wouldn’t that knowledge be necessary for them to become morally mature?
Experiencing discipline and self-control allows a person to gain character and moral strength, but these spiritual powers must come from within a person, not from without. The knowledge of good and evil should have come gradually to humankind through the teaching of God. By trying to learn on their own, Adam and Eve would commit an act of disobedience and then be exiled from the garden. By leaving the garden, they would also leave behind the Tree of Life, and lose the possibility of living forever.
And that is exactly what happened, after sin entered the scene in Genesis 3. Sin is the transgression of God’s law19 and Eve sinned when she was tempted by an evil power. According to the Apostle Paul, the serpent deceived Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3) — she was deceived not by her disobedience of the act, but deceived regarding the result of the act — she believed the Serpent’s lie. Even today, we sometimes find ourselves not keeping a constant watch for this Serpent’s craftiness.
Eve gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, they both ate, and the eyes of both were opened. Because they were innocent and not prepared, they were engulfed with guilt and shame at the revelation of their disobedience and what it caused them to know.
Now, the curse upon the Serpent is highly symbolic. God says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is an encapsulated statement of God’s ultimate purpose. The warfare is between Satan and Christ and between Satan and the Church. The adversary’s victory seemed certain, until Jesus Christ later appeared and demonstrated the promised final victory over Satan.
Out of the Garden
God made clothing of skins for the human couple, to cover their guilt and shame (it had nothing to do with sex). Although scripture doesn’t mention the kind of skins they wore, there is a clue elsewhere in scripture. The Bible later mentions that Christ is considered the “Lamb who was slain” (Revelation 13:8), and we know that God will accept this slain lamb as the covering of the sinful nature of our first parents, which all of their progeny have inherited, down to this very day.
Adam and Eve were then driven out of the garden. To prohibit their reentrance, Cherubim (plural) stood guard, along with a flaming sword, which turned in every way (Genesis 3:24). It doesn’t say the Cherubim held the flaming sword, but only that it was there (maybe some form of technology).
This blockade to reentering implies that the garden existed for a time after the expulsion from Eden. What did Adam and Eve really lose? We need only to look in Revelation to understand that Eden must have been a model for the perfect earthly conditions to come in our future life on earth with our Savior leading us.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).
Cain and Abel
“Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” And again, she bore his brother Abel” (Genesis 4:1-2). This is one of those places where we must understand what is not in the Bible. Later on, in God’s holy book, when someone is born, conceiving is usually indicated first. In this case, scripture only says that “she conceived and bore Cain . . . and again, she bore his brother Abel.”
Some academics believe that these first children were twins, since the fact that a second child was immediately reported and the Bible does not plainly state that she “conceived again.”20 This assertion, although speculative, is reasonable. French theologian John Calvin believed all children were born in pairs, during this early period.21 The idea is that Cain was born first, and immediately after, Able was then born.
Being twins and raised together, it should be obvious that they were both fully instructed by their parents as to mankind’s short history. We cannot doubt that the lamb skins were provided for our first parents and they would have known that only a blood sacrifice (slain lamb) was acceptable to God for covering sins.
The narrative of Genesis 4 indicates that Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. Clearly there is nothing wrong with being a tiller of the ground, God had more than once indicated that tilling the ground would be a laborious work necessary for sustenance. But the story says that in the ‘course of time’ (Genesis 4:3), it came to pass that Cain brought the fruit of the ground and offered it to the Lord and Abel brought the firstborn of his livestock.
We may be sure that these first parents told their sons the significance of this these sacrifices. But “by faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts” (Hebrews 11:4). For those interested, an article titled “A Bible Murder Mystery: Genesis 4 — The Story of Cain and Abel” is listed in References & Notes at the end of this study.22
Let’s consider that phrase in Genesis 4:3 that says in the ‘course of time’ offerings were made. What did this phrase mean? Both Cain and Abel brought their offering to a particular place and at a particular time. Could that place have been the entrance to the Garden, at the eastern gate, where the Cherubim stood guard? Just a thought, since the Bible does not state the specific location. Regardless, this first offering to God, in the ‘course of time’, could have been when reaching the age of maturity. As twins, they would have reached the age of full maturity together and brought the first sacrifice together, to the same particular place and at the same time.
The phrase, ‘in the course of time’, is translated in the NKJV as ‘in the process of time’ and in the YLT23 it is translated as ‘at the end of days’. In any case, that interval of time allowed for a considerable increase in the world’s population.24 If we think of maturity as not just physical, but also a time when one is worldly and spiritually wise, we would expect it to be around 30 years of age — the same amount of time as for the perfect man, Jesus, before he started his ministry. Many contemporary brain scientists believe “people don’t become fully ‘adult’ until they’re in their 30s.”25 Biblically, that is reasonable.
In any case — and this is important to our study — all this seems to indicate that there was a particular time for Cain and Abel to present their offering, a sin offering, to the Lord. This would reasonably be at the time they reached full maturity at 30 years of age. And, logically, this sin offering to God would have been on the anniversary of the day sin entered the world through their parents, Adam and Eve, the 10th of Tishri (September-October).
Shortly, all this will be brought together to establish the full date of Christ’s birth, so just hang-on a bit longer. I said we will be using scripture to establish it, so we need to lay the groundwork for this information, first. And if the next section is a bit too complicated, don’t worry, you will still get the general idea, as we go on.
Passover — Day of Trumpets — Day of Atonement
While you keep that in mind, we are going to jump ahead to the book of Exodus. After the Egyptian Pharaoh released the captive Israelites, it was then that God changed the first month of the year to Nisan, to commemorate their new beginning. This change was not for the purpose of counting years, but only as a commemoration of liberation from Egyptian slavery; it is an Ecclesiastical calendar.
The Jewish Civil calendar is still used for the counting of years, and the first month, Tishri, will continue being considered the first month of the common calendar. Both calendars have the same list of months. All this is complicated, I know, but we must consider this situation when reading scripture, such as that below from Exodus.26 In other words, when the Bible refers to the first month of the year, we must consider which calendar is being referenced, to understand the correct name of the month.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:1-2).
“It is the LORD’s Passover . . . This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast” (Exodus 12:11b, 14).
The instructions for the Passover ritual begin with the inauguration of the new ecclesiastical calendar. The month Nisan (March-April), would now be considered the beginning of the year marking their freedom. Previously, the beginning of the new year was always in the fall in the month of Tishri (September-October).27
Once again, hold these thoughts, while we take a side trip into the book of Leviticus, when our Lord instructed Moses about two holy celebrations. What we learn there are important parts of the puzzle for understanding. Upon leaving Egypt, our Lord spoke to Moses and gave him instructions.
Speak to the people of Israel, saying, “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:24-25).
Remember: This seventh month now, was the first month of the Civil year before being changed by God. In other words, it is still the month of Tishri and this 1st day is a memorial to the Day of Trumpets (sometimes called the Feast of Trumpets).
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD. And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God” (Leviticus 23:26-28).
Again, remember: on the 10th of the seventh month (Tishri) is a Day of Atonement. (Before God changed the start of the civil year, this would have been the first month of the year.)
We have already established that the first day of Adam’s creation was the 1st day of the first month, Tishri. So, would not the completion of God’s human creation correspond to the Day of Trumpets? That was a time “when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7), as earth was being prepared for humankind.
We do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden before the fall through sin. It really doesn’t make any difference how many years they kept their innocence, but it would seem logical that the day God announced as the Day of Atonement, would be the anniversary day, in whatever year, that Adam and Eve had sinned? And that day was on the 10th of the month, Tishri.
God’s Calendar and Jesus — Let’s do the Math
We can accept that earthly time actually began when Adam became a living being. We can also accept that Jesus came to this world to ransom Adam and his progeny from sin. Doesn’t it seem appropriate that Jesus would come into the world on the first day of the first month — the same anniversary day that Adam came into the world? The Day of Trumpets would be quite an appropriate welcome for his first public appearance as a new born baby.
And at the birth of our Lord, shepherds were in the fields when an angel stood before them and said, “‘I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.’ At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: ‘Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on earth who please him’,” (Luke 2:10b-14, The Message).28
We have established a date, but in what year? If Jesus was born on the 1st of Tishri, when would he have been conceived? If we can solve that puzzle, we will know the year he was born. Being a perfect man, we can assume he had a perfect gestation period within his mother’s womb. As all mothers know, the average gestation period is 40 weeks (40 x 7 = 280 days).29 If we count back 280 days from the 1st of Tishri, we arrive at the 16th day of Tevet (December-January on our modern calendar).
Researching the Jewish calendar, and using the optimal 280-day gestation period, I found that within the possible years Christ could have been conceived, only one date stood out to me and that was the 23rd of Tevet in 3 BC. The reason it stood out, is because in 3 BC the winter solstice was the 23rd of Tevet 3, at 11:39 a.m. (Israel time). This date converts to 23 December 3 BC on the Roman calendar.
What a marvelous portrait this presents, because the winter solstice is a celestial event on God’s timetable that represents a turning point. It brings change to the earth, from diminishing light and increasing darkness, to a progressive renewal of increasing light and shorter nights, as the earth moves toward Spring (in the northern hemisphere). Jesus left his heavenly realm at the perfect time of year to arrive on earth and begin his life as a perfect human embryo within Mary’s womb on 23 December 3 BC.
And the year Jesus was born was . . .
After the perfect gestation time, Jesus was born 40 weeks after conception on the 1st of Tishri, 2 BC, which according to the Roman calendar was 29 September 2 BC, and it was a Monday.
But because the Jewish calendar doesn’t match up with our modern calendar, the date for this event moves slightly each year, just as the Passover date (or Easter) is different each year. For the year 2020, Jesus’ birthday fell on 19 September. In 2021 it will fall on 7 September; in 2022 it will be 26 September. You can convert most any date by using the calendar conversion link listed in References & Notes.30
There are other ideas and guesses out there, which can be investigated. In researching the information for this article, I did find another publication, by biblical scholar and author Dr. Michael Heiser, who suggested 11 September in 3 BC as Jesus’ birth date. He wrote, “The astronomical context of John’s description of what he saw in the heavens in Revelation 12 puts the birth of Jesus on September 11, 3 BC”31 While offering a good academic viewpoint, I think 19 September 2 BC is better accommodated by scripture.
Does the exact date of Jesus’ birthday even matter, today? After all, some Christian religions refuse to acknowledge any birthdays. Well, personally, I believe it is appropriate to do so. If a heavenly host appeared to announce this wonderful event to the whole world, would you not think it was important enough for celebration?
As for me, I believe we should celebrate Jesus’ birthday on the Day of Trumpets, on the actual day, which will vary each year on our modern calendar. However, it should not be celebrated in any commercial way, but through worship, reflection, and prayer, along with food and/or drink — with family and friends (like-minded ones, of course). For some people, that may be a lonely celebration, but hey, you will surely have proper spiritual company. That, of course, is just my personal thought.
I hope our journey through scripture for this study has been both entertaining, as well as educational. Your opinions, even if you wish to disagree (and I’m sure many do), will be welcomed as comments. As previously stated, I am not out to rewrite or alter any accepted or customary Christian beliefs, or change anyone’s mind. I am always searching for truth and only wish to present this idea for consideration.
There were many ways, over the years, for errors to creep in and compromise the dates of numerous calendars as they transitioned from one form to another. Even today, we must make adjustments and correct for errors; for instance, the fractions of days as they pile up (e.g., leap years). I tried to get everything right, but if you find math or other errors in my calculations, I invite you to let me know.
Finally, I can’t think of a more appropriate song to go with this article than ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’. This version by Grammy winner Larnell Harris has the feel of a jazz-soul-gospel mix. Watch Harris’ manipulation of the microphone to vary the sound of his voice. He raises it, lowers it, and moves it side to side to give unique vocal effects. Selected lyrics are below and a link to his music video is listed in References & Notes.32
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!
The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! Above the Earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Savior’s birth
Copyright © 2020, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The text has been used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Eldridge, George, “A Closer Look at Genesis”, (Phoenix, AZ: discourse presented at Phoenix Bible Conference, New Year’s weekend 1989-1990).
- BC, AD: some academics place BC before the year number (BC 217) and AD after the year number (217 AD). For this study BC or AD will both be placed after the year to avoid confusion.
- Dunn, James D. G., Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Vol. 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003), p. 324.
- Sauter, Megan, “When Was Jesus Born—B.C. or A.D.?” (Biblical History Daily, Biblical Archeology Society, BAR, 17 December 2019), https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/when-was-jesus-born-bc-or-ad/
- “Date of birth of Jesus”, (Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 19 November 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_of_birth_of_Jesus
- “Christmas,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 28 October 2018), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
- “When Americans banned Christmas,” (The Week Magazine, 20 December 2011), https://theweek.com/articles/479313/when-americans-banned-christmas
- “Pope Julius I”, (Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 15 December 2020), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Julius_I
- Hermann, Ray, “A few questions about Christmas – and what is it with all that glitter?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 4 November 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/a-few-questions-about-christmas-and-what-is-it-with-all-that-glitter/
- down the rabbit hole: This phrase is rooted in the story of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. ‘Down the rabbit hole’ is a metaphor describing a journey that is difficult, complex, and/or chaotic and becomes more so, as it unfolds.
- Garrett, Duane A., Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), p. 252.
- The moon takes 29.5 days for its full cycle. Using 29 days one month and 30 days the next, will keep this cycle, somewhat, in sync. This still does not match one full solar cycle.
- Hermann, Ray, “Satan’s Strategies of Attack — How to Protect Yourself”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 20 November 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/satans-strategies-of-attack-how-to-protect-yourself/
- Bergen, Robert D., CSB Study Bible: Notes, (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), p. 7.
- Hermann, Ray, “Did God Really Make Eve from Adam’s Rib?, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 23 December 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/did-god-really-make-eve-from-adams-rib/
- Ross, Allen P., “Genesis,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, (Eds.), (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), vol. 1, p. 31.
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
- Carasik, Michael, (Ed. & Translator), “Genesis: Introduction and Commentary,” The Commentators’ Bible: The Tubin JPS Miqra’ot Gedolot, Genesis, (Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2018), p. 48.
- Jamieson, Robert, et al., Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), vol. 1, p. 20.
- Hermann, Ray, “A Bible Murder Mystery: Genesis 4 — The Story of Cain and Abel”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 1 September 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/a-bible-murder-mystery-genesis-4-the-story-of-cain-and-abel/
- Young, Robert, Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, (Edinburgh, UK: A. Fullarton & Company, 1863).
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, Arthur Farstad, (Ed.), (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), p. 37.
- “People don’t become ‘adults’ until their 30s, say scientists”, (BBC Newsbeat, 19 March 2019), https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-47622059
- The first month of the year before the first Passover was Tishri (September-October). After leaving Egypt (see Exodus 12:2), God started a new Hebrew Ecclesiastical Year calendar, with it’s first month of the year being Nisan (March-April). The Jewish Common (or Civil) calendar would continue with it’s first month of the year being Tishri (September-October). (In reality, the confusion can get worse, for there are not only “other” yearly start times, but differing names for the months, as well.)
“Why are there two Jewish new years” (Refiner’s Fire, retrieved 16 December 2020), https://therefinersfire.org/two_new_years.htm
- Mays, James Luther, (Ed.), Harper’s Bible Commentary, (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988), p. 141.
- Peterson, Eugene H., The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005).
- average human gestation period: The average length of human gestation is 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. Included in the full time of pregnancy is preparation of the uterus, ovulation, and then fertilization of the egg. A pregnancy is considered full term if birth falls between about 28 to 42 weeks, with 40 weeks considered optimal. For those that wish to use a calculator for confirming conception, one, of many on the internet, can be found with this link.
“Pregnancy Conception Calculator”, (Maple Tech International, retrieved 15 December 2020), https://www.calculator.net/pregnancy-conception-calculator.html
- Hebrew-Roman Calendar Conversion, (Church of God Study Forum, retrieved 12 December 2020), https://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/
- Heiser, Michael S., Reversing Hermon: Enoch, The Watchers & The Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017), p. 65.
- “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, Artist Larnell Harris; CD/DVD: Gaither Vocal Band – Reunited Live; (Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC, 2018), Licensed to YouTube by UMG (on behalf of Gaither Music Group) – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/lw0YtcCrN_o
10 thoughts on “Puzzle Solved: Here is Jesus’ Birth Date, and the Date of Mary’s Conception, too.”
I look forward to spending the time to read many of your teachings/studies. TY Outlaw!
Thank you for your comment. I pray you find much useful information.
This was an interesting read and I commend you for this more appropriate approach to observing our Heavenly Father’s already-appointed patterns for deducing when the Son was to be conceived and be born in the flesh to redeem His creation.
That said, perhaps referring to the Book of Jubilees (The little Genesis), which the early Christians also read as Scripture may shed some light as to when Adam and Eve first fell into sin. Of course, I’d take it with a grain of salt since we do not know how much of it is still untampered through translations.
“And after the completion of the seven years, which he had completed there, seven years exactly, and in the second month, on the seventeenth day (of the month), the serpent came and approached the woman, and the serpent said to the woman, “Hath God commanded you, saying, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” – The Book of Jubilee 3:17
So if the Book of Jubilee’s account is true, then perhaps the Israelite’s day of atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri) may not correlate to the day Adam and Eve sinned, but to another event. Just my two cents…
I appreciate that you read this article and took the time to comment. You have an interesting thought and I’m sure it will give many readers something to think about. Thank you.
Some people refer to the Birth as when people went to pay their taxes, right or wrong?
Hello, ‘Fingerless Fidler’, thank you for reading the article and taking the time to write. When Mary gave birth, she and Joseph were traveling to be registered for a census (see Luke 2:1-5).
Some historians believe this decree, by the Roman emperor Augustus, was that the whole empire should be registered for purposes of taxation and military service (CSB Study Bible: Notes, page 1605).
Another good source to buttress your opinion are 2 recent articles in Bibliotheca Sacra, July-September, 2020,
Volume 177, number 707, and October-December, 2020, Volume 177, number 708, written by Andrew Steinmann and Rodger Young:
“Elapsed Times For Herod the Great in Josephus”
“Consular and Sabbatical Years in Herod’s Life”
The articles are rather technical, accompanied by tables & charts. But they do show how Christ’s birth date/Herod’s death date, can align nicely with Luke 3:1 and 23.
Cheers in Christ!
Thanks for visiting this website. And thanks for sharing your thoughts about additional information useful for research, which can be found in the theological journal published by Dallas Theological Seminary.
Now I understand how difficult it is to get accurate dates for events in the biblical world. It is also hard to imageine living at a time when there was no calendar hanging on the kitchen wall and no clocks in the house. Now I understand when two different sources can say two different dates for the same thing. I thank you for the post.
I am pleased this article has helped you. And I appreciate that you took the time to write and share your thoughts.