Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When Was Jesus Born?

Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th, but it is more likely that He was born in the month of September.
Bryan T. Huie calculates the times by looking at some remarkably simple verses in the Biblical text that present the most plausible evidence that Christ was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Tabernacles which occurred in that year in September. Using the Jewish calendar of the time, he examines the Zacharias, a priest of the division of Abijah and the time of Zacharias’ temple service, the timing of Christ’s birth can definitely be extrapolated. In his research he also determined that there two total lunar eclipses that year, one on that particular night, September 15, 5 BC, and one six months earlier that would correspond to the birth of John the Baptist.
But does it really matter when we celebrate the Holy birth?
There is no record that early Christians, from Pentecost to the early 300’s BC even celebrated the birth of Jesus. From the beginning ‘Christians’ were just another sect of Jews that mainstream Jews simply referred to as people “of this way.” They were first called Christians in Antioch.

Up until that time, first century Messianic Jews, or the first Christians celebrated Jewish holy days, and the resurrection of the Messiah. When Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire, many pagans were converted to Christ. Now here is where there is controversy, because some say the Romans practiced the pagan celebrations connected with the winter solstice. From that perspective, the Roman Christians converted the pagan holidays into Christian holidays. The website Cadre Comments strongly disputes this belief (that Christians adopted the Pagan holidays for their own) but says it was the pagans who adopted the Christian holiday.

Christmas was later outlawed by the Puritans in parts of early America.
I personally don’t worry much about the exact date that the Birth of Christ occurred. I celebrate the Holy Birth, December 25th. There is scientific research that shows the Magi's visit to Jesus (who was a toddler by that time) was on December 25th, 2 BC. Religion and faith are deeply personal and I currently find nothing wrong with celebrating my Saviors birth on December 25th, nor do I have any problem with those who don’t. Who He is and why He came are far more important to me.

Merry Christmas to All!

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