Correcting the year of Christ’s birth

Birth of Jesus in a Kabyle Catholic book

Image via Wikipedia

Monday, we will be focussing on the correct month of Jesus‘ birth, but for today and tomorrow, first we need to correct the calendar.

As Homer Rhea notes: “The most outstanding record that is graven on the scroll of time the date of the birth of Jesus Christ. No issues document is legal, no signed check is valid, and no business receipt is of value unless it bears the statistical reference to this great historic event.”

Yes, every single time you sign a check or write the date and include the year, you are in fact acknowledging the birth of Jesus Christ, like it or not. We measure time itself based on the birthday of the Lord. Or do we? Of course, but you might be interested to learn that we are off by a year or two.

The Bible says that Jesus was born before the death of Herod at the time of the census, by decree of Caesar Augustus to be supervised by Governor Quirinius. So it seems logical to use these three men to triangulate the birth of Jesus right? It is not quite that simple. Back in the 1800’s scholars stated that Quirinius was a myth therefore the Bible was wrong. Luke was wrong. No, Luke was (as always) a historian of the first order. A discovery was then made of documentation supporting the fact that Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was indeed a Governor over Syria around the time of Jesus’ birth.

The issue then, was that the record that was found dated that Quirinius was governor in 6 A.D., after Jesus’ birth. Since that was found however, that argument was beaten as well, because new evidence showing that he had been elected to multiple terms earlier on.

Next problem, modern scholars state that Herod died 4 years before Christ was born. Since Matthew 2:1 says that Herod was ruling at the time of the virgin birth, that would mean Jesus was actually born four years earlier than we believe.  Or does it?

Our calendar divides history into B.C. and A.D., or “before Christ”, and “Anno Domini” which means the “Year of our Lord”. Our calendar is based on the calculations of a monk from the 500’s in Ukraine named Dionysius Exignus. Exignus calculated that the birth of Christ occurred in the Roman year  754. He counted 1 A.D. as beginning on January 1 of the year “AFTER” Jesus was born. So according to our calendar’s advent, Jesus was born in 1 B.C., a year earlier than we’ve been taught.

We need to understand that in the 500’s the concept of “zero” had yet to spread therefore there simply is NO A.D. zero year. Exignus based his calculations on historical records available to him in the Vatican Library in Rome as well as the records listed in Luke.

(Continued Tomorrow)


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One Response to “Correcting the year of Christ’s birth”

  1. Does anyone in Australia like Jesus anymore? | Unsettled Christianity Says:

    […] Correcting the year of Christ’s birth ( […]

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