The Actual Birth Date of Jesus

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The Actual Birth Date of Jesus

Post  Waqar Daniel on Sun 27 Dec 2009, 4:16 pm

Every December, some object to the date Jesus was born and that is December 25. Some celebrate it in September, however, the date is not important for we celebrate Heavenly Father's mercy to the mankind in the form of Jesus.

There are different methods through which date of birth of Jesus is calculated. Let us examine them:

Method # 1
The first method begins with Luke 1:5, 8 where we read that Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was serving in the course of Abijah in the temple. 1 Chronicles 24:7-19 indicates that there were 24 courses. The assumption is that the eighth course was the course of Abijah and that this period of service started in early June. Assuming this conclusion to be accurate, some believe that we can count forward to discover the dates of birth for John the Baptist, and then by deduction, Jesus (born about six months after John, see Luke 1:24-36).

Assuming that Elizabeth became pregnant right away, and that the pregnancies of both Mary and Elizabeth were normal in terms of length, John the Baptist would have been born in March, nine months after his conception in June. According to this calculation, Jesus might have been born in the month of September. For some, the fact that the autumn festivals of the Old Testament begin at this time adds credibility to these calculations.

If all these assumptions are correct, the conception of Jesus, when the miracle of incarnation really began, when Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), would have happened in December.

Method # 2
The second method of trying to fix a date for Jesus’ birth counts backward rather than forward. When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the priestly course of Jehoiarib was serving. If the priestly service was unbroken from the time of Zechariah to the destruction of the temple, this calculation has the course of Abijah in the first week of October. Some early Christian writers (John Chrysostom, 347-407) taught that Zechariah received the message about John’s birth on the Day of Atonement, which falls in September or October. This would place John the Baptist’s birth in June or July, and the birth of Jesus six months later, in late December or early January. Some advocates of this second method view believe that December 25 is the correct day of Jesus’ birth, while others believe that January 6 is the correct day.

Tax Census
Luke 2:1-7 mentions a tax census ordered by Augustus Caesar. The census records were eventually taken to Rome. Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) requested that the true date of Jesus’ birth be taken from the census documents. He reported that the date he was given from these documents was December 25. Unfortunately, these records are no longer available.

For me there is nothing more worthy of celebration than the coming of our Savior into the world!

I do not celebrate a day, but rather I celebrate the fact that God, in the person of Jesus ("Immanuel—which means ‘God with us’" — Matthew 1:23) came to save me from my sins." It was in Jesus that God gave me the greatest gift. He came to save me, to give me salvation, and eternal life. He gives me that gift freely, by the riches of his grace. I celebrate the extravagant and lavish love of God that is demonstrated by the birth of Jesus Christ.


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)

Waqar Daniel

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