When Was Jesus Born?
Note: The following Post is taken from the book by Joseph Lenard entitled Mysteries of Jesus’ Life Revealed—His Birth, Death, Resurrection, and Ascensions. For an overview and complete chapter listing of this fascinating study, click here.
Jesus’ Birth and the Start of His Ministry
In addition to Biblical, historical, and astronomical sources, there is yet another method we can employ to assist us in solving the puzzle of Christ’s birthdate. This method – our puzzle piece 8 – uses the Bible to obtain chronological information about the Jewish Sabbath Days, Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years. The method can also be used to determine the proper chronology of other events in Jesus’ life – as reported in the New Testament – including the start of his ministry and the year of His crucifixion.
What is this key? It involves understanding the chronology of the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23) during the ministry of Jesus, as well as the Jewish law related to the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years and cycles (Leviticus 25).
It is well known that the Gospel of John provides prime chronological references for reckoning Jesus’ years of ministry that the other three Gospels do not. John specifically mentions three Passovers which occurred during the ministry of Jesus (John 2:13; 6:4; 13:1). In addition, there was an “unknown feast” between the first two Passovers (John 5:1), and the Feast of Tabernacles and Hanukkah are mentioned after the second Passover (John 7:1). These Feasts provide specific information about the chronological sequence of events in the years of Jesus’ ministry.
In his book The Star That Astonished the World (1996), Ernest Martin provides us yet another piece of information. It relates to a statement by Jesus which was made between His first two Passovers (John 2:13 and 6:4) and before the “unknown” feast (John 5:1). This piece of historical information has previously been overlooked and misunderstood. Once understood, it provides us with a significant key to understanding the chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry.
The statement was made by Jesus at Jacob’s well in Samaria, after Jesus had left Jerusalem following the first Passover mentioned by John. While travelling with His disciples to Galilee (John 4:3), Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman while his disciples went into the village to obtain food. Jesus’ teaching to the woman solves a major chronological problem with the time frame and length of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus said to the woman:
“Say ye not, ‘There are yet four months and then cometh the harvest?’ behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white [ripe] already for harvest.” (John 4:35)
What is this description of “. . . four months and then cometh the harvest” by Jesus all about? According to Ernest Martin, there is no known proverb in Jewish literature which refers to a four month season from sowing to harvest. This period typically requires six months. Jesus’ statement acknowledges that the grain was ready for harvesting (typically late May or early June), but He also stated that there would be another four months before the grain would be harvested. From the statement, it would appear that this was a Sabbatical Year. Sabbatical Years occur every seven years.
The reason we can know with some certainty that this was a Sabbatical Year is because no sowing or reaping was allowed during that year, extending from autumn to autumn. This is what Jesus was referring to when He stated that it was still “four months” to the period of harvest. At the time of the statement, it was the month of May, a month or so into his ministry; there were four months remaining until the month of Tishri (in the fall), when the Sabbatical Year ends, and harvesting could begin again.
Early in his ministry Jesus made other references to this Sabbatical Year, as recorded in the Bible, such as in His experience of visiting the Synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:17–21) and in His comments following His reading of the Scripture which He was provided (Isaiah 61:1–2).
What does all this mean? It means that this first year of Jesus’ ministry occurred during a Sabbatical Year. During this year, the fields were required to remain fallow. As a result, Jews were free to travel. That would help to explain the number of Jews who traveled to hear John the Baptist preach by the Jordan River, how the disciples and others could so easily travel to hear Jesus teach, and how so many could follow Jesus when He called them.
According to Ernest Martin, this particular Sabbatical Year – in Jesus’ first year of ministry – can now be identified (autumn AD 27 – autumn AD 28). This year had heretofore been uncertain. From this new knowledge, we can now use other Bible information – such as the statement in Luke 3:23 that “Jesus began [his ministry] about 30 years of age” – to derive Jesus’ birth date and confirm what we have endorsed in previous Posts. We can conclude, therefore, that Jesus was born in the autumn of 3 BC. We previously determined – from the other dating methods – that Jesus was born on September 11, 3 BC!
It is God who determines what is important. Specific days on the calendar are important to God, and it pays to understand what they are all about. Jesus, who was born a Jew and remained devout Jew during his life and ministry on earth, was careful to observe specific days on the Hebrew calendar as taught in Scripture.
Observances of Sabbath, Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years – in addition to the Feasts of the Lord – are specified in Leviticus 23 and 25. So what does all this have to do with the birth date of Jesus?
In my previous Post The Feast of Trumpets, I established that Jesus was born on Yom Teruah [the Feast of Trumpets, on Tishri 1 (September 11, 3 BC)]. As we have just seen, knowing that the first year of Jesus’ ministry was a Sabbatical Year allows us to confirm His birthdate in the autumn of 3 BC and, by extension, the actual date in September of 3 BC.
Theologians seldom mention the importance of the Sabbatical Years. Moving forward, we first need to better understand some background related to Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years.
The Sabbath days mentioned in Scripture refer to the 7th day of the week – the weekly Sabbath – as well as to the special Sabbath days (High Holy Days) of some of the Feasts of the Lord. Their regulations are presented in Leviticus 23 and 25.
In addition, specific years are important to God. These are the Sabbatical Years and the Jubilee Years. In the Old Testament law relayed by God to Moses (Leviticus 25:1–7), God commanded that the Israelites let their lands in the Promised Land lie dormant each 7th year—the Sabbatical Year (also called the Shemitah or Shmita). According to Jonathan Cahn in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah (2014), Shemitah is most often translated as “the release” or “the remission.” Just as the weekly Sabbath was a day of rest instituted by God for man (Genesis 2:2-3), the Sabbatical Year was a year of rest for the land. In addition, debts of fellow Israelites were required to be forgiven in Shemitah years (Deuteronomy 15:2).
Although it is not specifically stated in Leviticus 25:1-7, it appears that God prescribed a continuing cycle in which every 7th year would be a Sabbatical Year, in perpetuity. This seems straightforward, but it is not. As explained below, there is a complication. It is called the Jubilee Year.
In the Jewish tradition, the year following the 7th Sabbatical Year was called the Jubilee Year. The Jubilee Year occurred every fiftieth year, the year after seven Sabbatical Years had passed (Leviticus 25:8-11). Theologians often argue that the occurrence of the Jubilee is to years what Shavuot (Feast of Weeks; Pentecost) is to days. Unfortunately, it is not that straightforward.
Shavuot occurs on the fiftieth day – on the day following the weekly Sabbath (Saturday), which precedes First Fruits (Sunday) of the Passover week (Leviticus 23:15-16). This formula means that Shavuot will always be on the first day of the Hebrew week (Sunday). This is the case with First Fruits, which occurs the day after the (weekly) Sabbath of the week of Passover.
Although the determination of Sabbatical Years is relatively straight-forward, this is not the case for Jubilee Years. The seventh Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year are separate, back-to-back years. Everyone agrees to this much, because it is clearly stated in Scripture (Leviticus 25:8-10). The name “Jubilee” is the Latin term (means 50), which is from the Hebrew word yovel (means “ram’s horn”). The term is in reference to the ram’s horn which was sounded when the year was proclaimed (Leviticus 25:9). In the Jubilee Year, the land also rested for a year; however, in addition, slaves and prisoners were released, and all lands were returned to their proper tribal owners – those owners from among the original 12 tribes, as originally assigned by God.
So the Jubilee Year was celebrated consistently in Israel after each seventh Sabbatical Year. Right? Not exactly. The Talmudic view is that the Jubilee Year was not observed during the whole Second Temple period because the majority of Jews no longer lived in the land of Israel. In their book The Feasts of the Lord (1997), Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal have stated the following:
“The observance of the Jubilee Year, like that of the Sabbatical Year, was also neglected during Israel’s early history. In fact, there is no historical record, biblical or extrabiblical, that Israel ever once observed the Jubilee Year. Josephus often cited Sabbatical Year observance, but never that of the Jubilee Year.
The ancient rabbis generally believed that the Jubilee was no longer in effect after the exile of the northern ten tribes (722 B.C.), since the biblical command for observance was for ‘all the inhabitants thereof’ (Lev. 25:10). They believed that the Jubilee Year applied only when all the Jewish people were in the land, with each tribe in its own territory. Perhaps this is the reason that only the Sabbatical Year (not the Jubilee Year) was mentioned in the people’s solemn oath in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 10:31). . . . Since the timing is not known today [for the Jubilee Year], the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown in the synagogue as a memorial of the Jubilee Year at the close of Yom Kippur each year.”
According to Howard and Rosenthal, the Jubilee Year cycle has been lost and is unknown. Others say that the Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years can be known, and are known. Regardless who is right, we can be certain that God has not lost count. He is still interested in the Sabbatical Year and Jubilee Year cycles.
Controversies About Sabbatical and Jubilee Years
There are several controversies involving the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year, and more than a little frustration has resulted. As an example, Dr. David R. Reagan – the Founder/Director and Senior Evangelist of Lamb and Lion Ministries (founded in 1980) – made the following comments in February 2015 in an interview with Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn:
“One of the problems I have with your [Jonathan Cahn’s] theory [Jonathan’s book, The Mystery of the Shemitah (2014)] is that the Jewish calendar is a mess. It’s a mess! It’s lacking about 250 years that should be in there, because the sages short-termed the Persian rule. They put it down for about 52 years when it lasted over 200 years [see Appendix II of The Last Shofar!]. So, the whole calendar is off. Since they don’t know when the Jubilee years are, how can they know when the Shemitahs are?”
Yes, in a lot of ways, the Jewish calendar is a “mess.” The following sections discuss several of the controversies which exist related to the determination of Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years.
The first controversy involves the determination of the exact start of the next Sabbatical Year following the Jubilee Year. Jonathan Cahn, Joseph Dumond, Yves Peloquin, Ernest L. Martin, and many others hold to the position that the Jubilee Year (the 50th year) is also the first year of the next seven-year Sabbatical-Year cycle – a repeating 49 year cycle.
There are two heavy-weight scholars who also hold to the view of a 49 year cycle. The first of these is Benedict Zuckerman (whose was theory first proposed in 1857), who wrote Treatise on the Sabbatical Cycle and the Jubilee (1974 title; it was published under a different title in 1857). Zuckerman’s chronology is consistent with the geonim (medieval Jewish scholars) and the calendar of Sabbatical Years used in present day Israel.
The second scholar is Ben Zion Wacholder (whose theory first proposed in 1973), who wrote The Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles During the Second Temple and the Early Rabbinic Period (1973), The Timing of Messianic Movements and the Calendar of Sabbatical Cycles (1975), and The Calendar of Sabbath Years during the Second Temple Era: A Response (1983). Wacholder’s proposed set of Sabbatical Years are offset by one year, being one year later than Zuckerman’s set of years.
Then there is the group of Howard and Rosenthal, Tim Warner, Todd D. Bennett, and others who have stated that the first year of the next Sabbatical Year cycle starts after the completion of the Jubilee Year – a repeating 50 year cycle. This is a significant variation from the continuous 49 year cycle of Sabbatical Years assumed throughout history. In their book The Feasts of the Lord (1997), Howard and Rosenthal state emphatically,
“Others have postulated that the Jubilee Year was the fiftieth year and also the first year in the counting of the next sabbatical cycle. This, too, finds no biblical support. In addition, the overwhelming majority of ancient Jewish sages clearly taught that the Jubilee Year was the fiftieth Year . . . and distinct from the first year in the next sabbatical cycle. Seven complete sabbatical cycles preceded each Jubilee Year, and seven complete cycles followed it.”
Tim Warner takes the same position as Howard and Rosenthal and has stated:
“In Leviticus 25, we learn of God’s Jubilee calendar of 50 year cycles which God commanded Israel to observe. . . . Some claim that these cycles are actually 49 years. However, the Sedar Olam Rabbah, the ancient 2nd century Jewish chronology and the oldest word on the subject, states plainly that the cycles were 50 years. There is an example in Scripture of a Sabbatical year being followed by a Jubilee Year (15th and 16th years of Hezekiah), which requires a 50 year cycle (Isaiah 37:30).”
So which is the correct interpretation of how the cycles are calculated? I believe the better case is that the Jubilee Year cycle is 49 years rather than 50 years, with the Jubilee Year following the 7th Sabbatical Year and also being the first year of the next seven year Sabbatical Year cycle. This allows the seven year cycle to continue uninterrupted throughout time – in the same way as the weekly Sabbath is the seventh day and the next day, Sunday, starts the first day of the next week.
The second controversy involves the calendar date for the start of the Sabbatical Year. Leviticus 25:9-10 clearly states that the Biblical Jubilee Year starts on the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10), and it might be inferred that the year would end one year later, at sundown of the previous day (Tishri 9). It might also be inferred from this Scripture that the Biblical Sabbatical Years would also start on Tishri 10; this is the assumption of Ernest Martin. However, Jonathan Cahn (supported by others) has claimed in his book The Mystery of the Shemitah that the Sabbatical Years start on Tishri 1 and end at sundown on Elul 29, the last day of the year on the Jewish civil calendar. The modern State of Israel seems to accept this argument, as it starts its official Shemitah Year (Sabbatical Year) on the Jewish New Year (Tishri 1), the most recent of which began on October 2, 2016, corresponding to the Hebrew calendar year 5777.
To add to the confusion, Joseph Dumond states that the start of a Sabbatical Year is Abib 1 (Nisan 1; March/April) – in the first month of the Jewish religious calendar given by God through Moses – rather than in the seventh month of Tishri (September/October). However, there does not seem to be much support for this position.
Although there is confusion, the most widely-accepted position seems to be that Sabbatical Years start on Tishri 1 and Jubilee Years start on Tishri 10.
With the different start dates for Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years we find that the last Sabbatical Year before the Jubilee Year is one-year-and-ten days long. This is an important insight uncovered by Nelson Walters. According to Walters, the last year of the future 70th Week of Daniel (Daniel 9) will be a Sabbatical Year, with a duration of one-year-and-ten days, possibly the exact number of days that the Church will be in heaven following the Rapture and before returning to earth with Jesus. Note that it is also the same number of days that Noah was protected in the Ark, as calculated from Genesis 7 and 8 – from the day Noah entered the Ark on the 17th day of the second month (Genesis 7:11-13) until he emerged on the 27th day of the second month (Genesis 8:14-16). This equates to one year and ten days. Coincidence? Probably not!
Obedience is no a small thing in God’s eyes. All of the laws which God gave to Moses were to be obeyed, and in Leviticus 26 God enumerated the blessings He would shower on Israel for obedience, as well as the curses He would exact for disobedience. Take, for instance, the Sabbatical Years. The destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of Judah to Babylon were a direct result of Judah’s failure to keep the law, including the failure to observe the Sabbatical Years. How do we know that? Jeremiah 9:11–16 clearly identifies this punishment. God told Judah what their punishment would be if it did not obey Him – exile from the land (Leviticus 26:31–35). This is precisely what they experienced!
Seventy years were decreed for Judah’s exile in Babylonia (Jeremiah 25:11; 2 Chronicles 36:20–21; Daniel 9:1–2). The reason for the 70 year exile was to fulfill (make-up for) the Sabbath Years from the previous 490 years (the 70 Sabbatical Years which had been ignored). Something important to take away from this is that God keeps track of the Sabbath days, Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years, even when they are not honored by His people. These are a part of God’s calendar and His count of days and years!
Is the Sequence Now Known?
Some believe that Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years can be determined and are, in fact, “known”. In his book The Star That Astonished the World, Ernest Martin, who accepts the views of Ben Zion Wacholder, has stated:
“. . . only within the last 50 years (and especially within the last 30 – [since about 1966]), has it become possible, through archaeological discoveries, etc., to determine with an almost certainly what the exact Sabbatical Years’ sequence was and is. This can be known from 163 B.C. to the present. Two brilliant historical studies by Prof. Wacholder of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, have solved the riddle of when the Sabbatical Years occurred in ancient times, and when they ought to be observed today.”
If it is therefore now possible to know the sequence of Sabbatical Years, much can be determined regarding the chronology of Biblical events, including those in the life of Jesus. Martin, like Wacholder, holds to a 49-year cycle of Jubilee Years, something which I agree with, as I have previously stated.
And yet the question remains as to whether the Jubilee Year is the first year of a new 7-year Sabbatical Year cycle (resulting in 49 year cycles) or whether the Jubilee Year occurs and then the first year of the next 7 year Sabbatical Year cycle begins (resulting in 50 year cycles). It is important to understand that there are two sides to this controversy. Each side has its supporters, and Scripture does not offer much in the way of clarification.
Actual Sequence of Sabbatical Years
Josephus and other first century writers mentioned Sabbatical Years in relation to events they had written about, and these events corroborate Professor Wacholder’s claim for 49 year Sabbatical Year cycles. Clear evidence in support of this position is also found in the timing of various large construction projects in Israel. As we would expect, these were often done during Sabbatical Years, when labor was readily available, as farming was not being done during those years.
As reflected in the historical records of Josephus and others, the following events (and their respective Sabbatical Years ) were recorded (7 year Sabbatical cycles and 49 year Jubilee cycles):
37 BC–36 BC: Herod’s conquest of Jerusalem occurred on the Day of Atonement, at the end of this Sabbatical Year
Josephus tells us that Herod reigned 34 years after the death of Antigonus, who was killed just months after Herod’s conquest of Jerusalem; therefore, Herod reigned until 2 to 1 BC. We have previously confirmed that Herod died on January 28, 1 BC.
2 BC–1 BC: Herod’s son, Philip, started construction of Caesarea Philippi.
The Magi coming on Hanukkah of 2 BC (December 25, 2 BC) would have been during this Sabbatical Year. Jesus’ birth on September 11, 3 BC (Tishri 1, Feast of Trumpets) was one year prior to the start of the Sabbatical Year of 2 BC, starting on Tishri 1, The Feast of Trumpets.
AD 41–AD 42: King Agrippa I started building the expansive third wall around the northern parts of Jerusalem.
AD 62–AD 63: Agrippa II started to rebuild Caesarea Philippi.
AD 69–AD 70: The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.
AD 132–AD 133: Bar Kokhba revolt of the Jews against the Romans.
All of these events occurred during Sabbatical Years, and all are in the proper sequence, providing credibility to Wacholder’s findings for 49 year cycles. If the above dates are known, then all Sabbatical Years between the above Sabbatical Years can also be known, occurring at continuous seven-year intervals. This does, however, assume that the Jubilee Year following the Sabbatical Years was either omitted or is also the first year of the next seven year interval. The only way to maintain a consistent seven year cycle throughout history is to follow the analogy of the Sabbath, which is a consistent seven day cycle throughout history.
In summary, I support the 49 year cycle of Jubilee Years, with the Jubilee Year being the 50th year and it also being the first year of the next 7 year Sabbatical Year cycle. Some additional insights regarding the timing of the 49 year cycle and how it relates to the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks can be found in Nelson Walters’ recent book Revelation Deciphered (2016).
Daniel’s 70 Weeks Prophesy is in Sabbatical Years
The Scribes, Pharisees, and other Jewish religious leaders should have known when the Messiah was coming. They unfortunately did not. Apparently, they did not read or understand the 70 Weeks Prophesy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24–27), which so clearly announced the time frame for the arrival of the “Anointed One” and which provided the time that He would subsequently be “cut off” (die).
The Magi were looking for the coming King of the Jews, but for the court of King Herod and the religious leaders in Jerusalem, it was not on their “radar.” Jesus stated, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matt 16:3). One of the “signs of the times” was the prophecy of Daniel as to when the Messiah was to come. Unfortunately, the Jews were not looking for this sign from Daniel.
To correctly interpret the future time frame of the 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel, we need to know the nature of the “Weeks” of which Daniel was referring. The “Weeks” refer to “weeks of years”, or seven-year periods. As used by Daniel, each week equals seven years. With the benefit of hindsight, we know this definition of “weeks of years” with near certainty (and that these prophesied years were probably 360 day prophetic years of twelve 30 day months, as with Noah – see Genesis 7:11,24; 8:3,4), because the part of this prophecy which deals with the time frame in which the Messiah would come and be “cut off” (killed) was fulfilled with the crucifixion in AD 30.
There are other key elements to the prophecy in Daniel. First, he divided the first 69 Weeks into a period of 7 Weeks and 62 Weeks (Daniel 9:25), until the Messiah is “cut off.” Why would he specify these two divisions? Understanding God’s Jubilee Calendar from Creation (outlined in Leviticus 25) provides insight here. The probable reason is that the first 7 Weeks complete a Jubilee cycle.
Second, the prophecy has a starting point: “From the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem.” When exactly is this? It begins with the decree of Cyrus to end the Jewish Babylonian captivity. Others have speculated that a later decree given by a Persian king is the correct decree. However, the decree by Cyrus is verified in Isaiah 44:28, which states that the decree relates to both the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. This was confirmed by Josephus in his book Antiquities.
Dating the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel from Cyrus’ decree has the additional benefit of freeing us entirely from reliance on inaccurate non-Biblical sources related to the Persian kings. According to Tim Warner, some theologians believe that the decree by Cyrus was on the 70th Jubilee year from Creation, marking the year as a kind of double-fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy as it related to Israel’s exile and release (Jeremiah 25:8-14).
So, beginning with the decree of Cyrus and adding 69 weeks until the Messiah is “cut off”, what year would be the year of Christ’s death? In other words, what is the time frame that the Jews should have known from Daniel that their Messiah would come, especially with the understanding they should have had of Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years as related to Daniel?
Exact dates remain difficult to determine. However, we can come close. First, a close approximation of the year of Cyrus’ decree needs to be established. That year was 70 years (the God-decreed period of the exile) after the destruction of Solomon’s Temple [in 3443 AM – (Anno Mundi, years from Creation – like the Jewish calendar); =520/519 BC]. Tim Warner gives the following description of the beginning of the 70-Week chronology, starting with the decree by Cyrus:
“The 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel begins on the . . . year Cyrus decreed the end of the captivity and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. The first Jubilee cycle consisted of the first ‘seven weeks’ [(7 x 7 years = 49 years) . . . in the prophecy, and was the duration of the time from Cyrus’ decree until the Temple and Jerusalem’s walls were completed by Nehemiah (covering the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). Adding the remaining ’62 weeks’ [62 x 7 = 434 years] . . . we arrive at the end of the year [end of the 69-Weeks, after which the Messiah would be cut off.”
Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus should been able to approximate the time of the Messiah’s coming from Daniel’s prophecy. They should have been able to figure from the 70 Weeks prophecy that 69 Weeks (483 years) after Cyrus issued his decree (in 3502 AM = 461/460 BC) the Messiah would be “cut off.” This would be after 3985 AM (3502 + 483 years = 3985 AM or AD 23/24). Peloquin believes that Jesus died in 3993 AM (AD 31/32), which is after the end of the 69 Weeks prophecy of Daniel. Taking away 30 years (Jesus’ age at the beginning of his ministry) and a few years for His ministry until His death, they could have derived an estimated birthdate for Jesus. But they did not keep track of the Daniel Prophecy.
From their reaction at the meeting with the Magi, it appears that Herod and the religious leaders in Jerusalem were completely surprised by the birth of the Messiah, as foretold by their own prophet, Daniel. Shame on them! And Jesus said as much as He drew near to Jerusalem, “You did not know the time of your visitation [His coming]” (Luke 19:44).
If Jesus implied that the Jews should have known when he was coming, then there must have been a way to count the years from the time of the decree by Cyrus until Jesus was to be “cut off”, at the end of the 69 weeks of years (483 years). The Jews should have known from Daniel when their Messiah was coming. His Word is true, and He came at the appointed time.
Knowing from Biblical evidence that the first year of Jesus’ ministry was during a Sabbatical Year (Luke 4:17–21; John 4:35–38), that it aligned with the Sabbatical Year of AD 27 to AD 28, and that Jesus was 30 years old when he started His ministry, we can confirm the birthdate of Jesus in 3 BC. The study of Sabbatical Years and Jubilee Years is the eighth and final piece of our puzzle to determine “When was Jesus Born?”
Note: In my next Post I will provide a summary of historical events relative to the birth of Jesus.