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People have been celebrating Jesus birth on December 25th for a very long time. But was He really born then, or just how was such a date determined when no date of Jesus birth is clearly made in the Christian Bible?
Does the Christian Bible hold any clues as to when the actual birth of Jesus did take place?
As a matter of fact one is found in Lk.2:8, where we read, "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night." When an angel of the Lord appeared to them announcing to them that today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to them, who is Christ the Lord, in vs 11.
Which reveals Jesus could not have been born in the winter time on December 25th, because the shepherds could not have been tending their flocks by night during that very cold time of year.
The actual birth of Jesus is believed to have been establihed in the following extensive research over a number of years in the early 90s, by a team of scientists and astronomomers. Who retrogressed the heavenly bodies back by computers, to the time of the Star of Bethlehem, when the following "Wonderous sign in heaven," of Rev.12:1-2 took place, as revealed in the following:
The sign of the Son of Man referred to by Jesus in Mt.24:30 is that which is described in Rev,12:1-2, called the "Wonderous sign in heaven."
You could say - it is the gospel in the sky. [Ps.89:5] This wonder takes place once every year at a very specific time. When Jesus was born. The Star of Bethlehem was also involved in this astronomical phenomenon, which was found to be a conjunction between the king planet Jupiter and queen planet Venus, together with the king star, Regulus, which was a one time event.
What was the "Star" of Bethlehem ?
After leaving its conjunctions with Mars, Saturn, and Venus on August 27, 2 BC Jupiter continued its apparent motion westward each morning, as viewed by the Magi at their regular pre-dawn observations. This westward motion would have led them to Jerusalem. Jupiter then, due to retrograde motion, appeared to “stop” in the sky, as viewed from Jerusalem, directly to the south, over Bethlehem. It came to its normal stationary position at dawn on December 25th, 2 BC. Not only that, but the planet came to a stop in the constellation Virgo. It remained there for nearly six days. Furthermore, being near the Winter Solstice, the sun was also “standing still”.
So when was Jesus born ?
We know from Biblical references that Christ was born six months after his cousin John the Baptist. Again from Biblical references we can pin down the date of John’s birth. John’s father, Zachariah, was in the temple performing his priestly duties when an angel visited him in a vision and informed him that his wife Elizabeth, who was barren and on in years, would soon conceive a son. We know from Luke that Zachariah was responsible for the eighth of the 24 Priestly Courses of the Jewish Faith. Each of the 24 courses lasted a week and were repeated twice during the year. The Jews used a luni-solar calendar of 51 weeks - the other three weeks of the year were for the three major Jewish religious celebrations - Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Because the calendar only had 51 weeks, the Jews had to add 30 days at prescribed intervals so that the calendar kept pace with the solar year.
In the case of Zachariah, he was officiating in the 8th course, or 8th week of the Jewish year, when the angel paid him a visit. The priestly courses probably started their serving in the springtime month of Nisan - the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year. This is a chronological clue - it tells us the general time of year that Zachariah was serving. We also know that he was not serving at a festival period because the priests suspended their normal weekly duties and all served together during the major Jewish high holy seasons.
Assuming that the springtime month of Nisan began that year (it varied with the state of the crops - in 4 BC it began after midnight on March 28 - March 29) on what corresponds to the end of March of our current calendar, then Zacharias was visited by the angel, and his wife became pregnant, in the month of June. Remember also that Passover, one of the High Holy weeks of the Jews, occurred during the time interval from late March to June - putting off Zacharias’ priestly course for one week. Assuming a full-term pregnancy of 9 months, Elizabeth gave birth to John sometime in March. This means Jesus’ birth would have taken place the following September.
But in which year? And what if Zacharias was serving his priestly course during his second time of the year, in December? This would mean that Elizabeth gave birth to John in September, and Jesus was born the following March. In fact, many modern historians and theologians readily accept a spring date for the birth of Christ because of the passage in Luke regarding the angel who appeared to shepherds guarding their flocks in the field. Several of these historians assert that the only time shepherds were in the fields with the flocks was spring, which was lambing season. The lambs were an important part of the feast of the Passover. However, flocks of sheep were habitually kept in the fields, from early March until late October, and sometimes all year round. It does not seem reasonable that the shepherds would leave them unattended at all, as important as they were to Passover, where they would be subject to predators and theft. In other words, the sheep provide us with no real clue as to the time of the Nativity.
Again let us go back to the census of Caesar Augustus - the oath required of all people in the Roman empire and client kingdoms, which began in the late summer or early autumn of 3 BC. If this was indeed the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, and it seems quite probable that it was, than Jesus had to have been born sometime around this period. We know from the Biblical stories of the Nativity that Mary was “great with child” - in other words, close to full-term. We know that once Joseph and Mary arrived at their destination, Bethlehem, she went into labor and delivered. This makes September of 3 BC the most likely month of Jesus’ birth, with John being born in March of 3 BC. We know also that Jesus’ birth had to occur at or near the autumnal equinox of September 22 or 23 because the High Holy week of Tabernacles was from September 26 to October 3 in 3 BC; this required Jews to be in Jerusalem to celebrate this holy festival. Yet Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born.
The Romans would not have selected the three primary festival seasons for a census when most of the Jews in Palestine were required to be in Jerusalem. Luke tells us that the city of Bethlehem was crowded because of the census - NOT because people were crowding toward Jerusalem for ceremonial purposes.
There are other historical markers that point to the year 3 BC as the year of Jesus’ birth. Luke’s narrative states that Jesus began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius’ reign as Emperor of Rome, when Jesus was about 30.
Unfortunately Luke does not tell us if he used the Roman method of reckoning Tiberius’ 15th year, or that which people in Judaea and Syria were accustomed to, which antedated the reign of kings and emperors to Tishri One ( the Jewish New Year’s Day) of the previous year. However, Ernest Martin believes that it is more likely that Luke was using the Eastern method of reckoning Tiberius’ reign, because he was writing his gospel to the Greeks and Romans, to Gentiles in general, and to one Christian convert, Theophilus, in particular. This method of reckoning would put the whole year in which Tiberius became emperor of Rome on August 19, 14 AD as his first year of rule.
This means that New Year’s day for the beginning of that year begins the first year of Tiberius. Hence, the whole year from Tishri One, 13 AD to Tishri One, 14 AD would have been the first year of Tiberius. Consequently, Tiberius 15th year would have been from Tishri One in 27 AD to Tishri One in 28 AD. This would put Jesus’ birth somewhere in 3 BC, given that he was “about thirty” when he began his ministry. This also fits nicely with the Jewish belief that spiritual maturity did not begin until the age of thirty.
The Great and Wonderous sign of Rev.12:1-2 represents the exact time of Jesus birth in addition to the sign of the Son of Man in Mt.24:30. The event take place once every year as seen in the middle east.
The woman of Rev.12:1-2 represents the virgin Mary, with the sun amidst her body, representing her pregnancy. The moon at her feet represents the specific window of time this event took place.
The only time of year this event can be witnessed, is in the first month of the Jewish year, Tishri 1, or in September, at or around the Autumnal Equinox on the 22nd or 23rd, in our Gregorian Calendar. As seen from the middle east, at or around the Jewish Holy Convocation - feast and festival - of Rosh Hashanah, their New Year - which they call "a year of new beginnings." It is also the last fall feast and festival of their year which is also called the "feast of trumpets." They also believe it marks the anniversary of the day God began His creation of the world.
The woman's body is in the Constellation of Virgo (The virgin). She represents the virgin Mary, of Israel, and has a crown of twelve stars on her head - representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The sun is amid her body, revealing her pregnancy.
Her head is about 10% in the previous Constellation Leo (The Lion - of Judah) and the crescent moon is at her feet, about 10% into the Constellation Libra (The scales of righteousness and judgement).
With all the heavenly bodies in motion, this event can take place only between a time frame from 7:15 to 7:30 P.M., a 15 minute window, when the sun is setting and the moon is rising into the early evening sky.
So when Jesus talks about His return at His Second Advent in Mt.24:30, at the sign of the Son of Man, it will be at that specific time of year - and time frame, described in Rev.12:1-2.
Go to the following for more information on this subject:
http://www.tccsa.tc/articles/star_susan_carroll.pdf By Susan Carroll, and :
http://www.askelm.com/star/star006.htm By Dr. Ernest L. Martin, PhD, who wrote the book:
"The Star That Astonished The World." Which also reveals what the Star of Bethlehem was, from the years of studies by scientists and astronomers working together on it.
The pagan origin of December 25th originated.
Nearly all aspects of Christmas observance have their roots in Roman custom and religion. Consider the following admission from a large American newspaper (The Buffalo News, Nov. 22, 1984): “The earliest reference to Christmas being marked on Dec. 25 comes from the second century after Jesus’ birth. It is considered likely the first Christmas celebrations were in reaction to the Roman Saturnalia, a harvest festival that marked the winter solstice—the return of the sun—and honored Saturn, the god of sowing. Saturnalia was a rowdy time, much opposed by the more austere leaders among the still-minority Christian sect. Christmas developed, one scholar says, as a means of replacing worship of the sun with worship of the Son. By 529 A.D., after Christianity had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian made Christmas a civic holiday. The celebration of Christmas reached its peak—some would say its worst moments—in the medieval period when it became a time for conspicuous consumption and unequaled revelry.”
Consider these quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under “Christmas”: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” Further, “Pagan customs centring round the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” Under “Natal Day,” Origen, an early Catholic writer, admitted, “…In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world” (emphasis mine).
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956 edition, adds, “Christmas…was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth…a feast was established in memory of this event [Christ’s birth] in the 4th century. In the 5th century the Western church ordered the feast to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed.”
There is no mistaking the origin of the modern Christmas celebration. Many additional sources could be cited. It was 300 years after Christ before the Roman church kept Christmas, and not until the fifth century that it was mandated to be kept throughout the empire as an official festival honoring “Christ.”
What do the mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Egypt have add to the above? See the following for some very amazing facts!