Blog

Jesus’ Birth – Roman History

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.

The “Dark Decade” in History – 6 BC to AD 4

I have established with near certainly in earlier Posts that September 11, 3 BC is the likely birth date of Jesus. Can this date be further confirmed from secular historical records? This is puzzle piece 6.

Although the answer is “Yes,” secular records are scarce from the Roman Empire during the years 6 BC to AD 4. Ernest Martin has stated that

“It is a common lament among Roman historians that this ten-year period (one of the most important in the history of western civilization) bristles with many historical and chronological difficulties because of garbled or imperfect records that have come down to us.”

This problem was echoed by Sir Ronald Syme in his work The Crisis of 2 BC (1974), in which he wrote about “. . . the hazards inherent in the obscure decade 6 B.C. – A.D. 4.”

And of the great first century historian Josephus, Ernest Martin wrote:

“One must exercise caution in the reading of Josephus—especially in chronological affairs from about 9 B.C. to A.D. 6. We do not know why Josephus in that period neglected to give cross-references to internationally recognized eras of time, but he was negligent! And this is precisely where our problem lies. Not only are the records from Roman historians very deficient at this period of time (it was when that dark decade was in effect), but Josephus himself fails us too when it comes to precise chronological indications. It is no wonder historians are confused regarding the time of Jesus’ birth.”

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – Roman History”

Jesus’ Birth – The Star of Bethlehem

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.

What Did the Magi See in the Sky?
Biblical Description of the Star

There are two verses in the Gospel of Matthew which mention the Star of Bethlehem that the Magi observed and followed:

“. . . Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east [or: when it rose] and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1b-2 NIV)

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east [or: seen when it rose] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” (Matthew 2:9-10 NIV)

From these verses we see that the star was defined by the Magi as “his star” and that it was seen when it rose while they were in Persia. Later, the star seemingly moved in the sky, heading in a southerly direction as the Magi traveled from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The “star” then stopped any movement and was directly overhead when the Magi arrived at the place where Jesus was located in Bethlehem. These are all wonderful clues to help identify the “star.”                       

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – The Star of Bethlehem”

Jesus’ Birth – The Wise Men (Magi)

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.

Who Were the Magi?

 Biblical Description of the Magi from Matthew 2:1-12

The account of the story of the birth of Jesus and of the visit of the Magi is forever etched in the minds of most people. They see the Magi in most manger scenes related to the traditional celebration of Christmas.

Let’s look more closely at this visit of the Magi to discover who they actually were and when they actually came to worship Jesus.

The Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel that tells us about the visit of the Magi, who came from the east to visit Jesus in Bethlehem. As Brent Landau states in the Introduction to his recent translation of a forgotten ancient manuscript, Revelation of the Magi – The Lost Tale of the Wise Men’s Journey to Bethlehem (2010):

“The Magi – usually known as the ‘Three Wise Men’ or ‘Three Kings’ – are easily the most famous of the visitors who appear at Jesus’ birth . . . Whether or not one is a churchgoer, practically everyone has heard of them.”

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – The Wise Men (Magi)”

Jesus’ Birth – The Feast of Trumpets

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.

Evidence for the Birthdate of Jesus Being on the Feast of Trumpets

In Revelation 12:1-6 the Apostle John is presenting something of great significance in a symbolic way. The date of September 11, 3 BC was Tishri 1 on the Jewish calendar in 3 BC.  Tishri 1 is, of course, the 1st day of the first Jewish month. This date is also called Yom Teruah: The Day of Trumpets; the Feast of Trumpets; and Rosh Hashanah: Head of the Year, or Feast of the New Year.

From the proper astronomical interpretation of Revelation 12:1-6 (see previous Post: Jesus’ Birth – Astrological/Zodiacal References in Scripture), the only day in 3 BC which meets the astronomical confluences discussed is September 11, 3 BC, during the period of sunset to moonset, 6:18 pm to 7:39 pm. The close proximity of the positions of the sun and the moon as described in Revelation indicate a new moon time frame, which is exactly the situation which exists on the first day of a Jewish lunar month, as on Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus must have been born on the Feast of Trumpets, as no other day of the year in 3 BC could astronomically meet the specific requirements detailed in Revelation.

We can then also conclude that Jesus’ birth was not on the Feast of Tabernacles or on Passover, as others have proposed.  Both the Feast of Tabernacles and Passover occur in the middle of lunar months; therefore, there can be no new moon, as required by Revelation 12:1-6.

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – The Feast of Trumpets”

Jesus’ Birth – Astronomical/Zodiacal References

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.

Background of “Signs” and the Biblical Zodiac

Signs in the Heavens

In this discussion we will find that even the stars and planets in the heavens point us to the actual date of Jesus’ birth.  This astronomical/zodiacal evidence is our puzzle piece #2 in solving the “puzzle” of the birth date of Jesus.

Who has not looked up into the sky on a clear night and marveled at the vastness of the universe and wondered about the God who created all things? In Genesis, God explains His purpose for creating all those lights in the universe. He said,

“Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years; And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so” (Genesis 1:14 KJV)

It is interesting that God created the stars, planets and other objects in the universe as “signs”, among the other reasons stated. Certainly, the Magi who came seeking the Jewish Messiah saw some kind of “sign” or “signs” in the heavens. The Bible calls our attention to starry objects, and the Psalmist gives us context in a poetic style, as the King James Version captures so well in its translation:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun . . .” (Psalm 19:1-4 KJV).

The heavens are for His glory, and they are there to teach us. It is wonderful that there is a reason for all these things we see. God has said so. Remember that He named each star (Isaiah 40:26) in spite of their vast number.

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – Astronomical/Zodiacal References”

Jesus’ Birth – Birth of John the Baptist

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.

Zechariah – Priestly Order of Abijah

When considering the birth date of Jesus, it is easy to eliminate any proposed date that does not occur in the fall of the year. Although some have speculated that Jesus was born in the springtime – even during Passover – a birthdate in the spring is not reasonable, due principally to the biblical method of calculating the month of Jesus’ birth.

The biblical method of calculating the birthday of Jesus involves figuring the birthdate of John the Baptist and then applying other information in Luke’s Gospel regarding the time difference between their births. This clearly places Jesus’ birthdate in the fall of the year.

The Gospel of Luke covers the birth of John the Baptist before giving details of the birth of Jesus. There is a reason for this: The two are inseparably linked in the chronology of their births as well as in their ministries.

Determining the birth date of John the Baptist is the first puzzle piece in our process of assembling the “puzzle” of Jesus’ birth.

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – Birth of John the Baptist”

Jesus’ Birth – Traditional vs Actual Date

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.

Traditional Date: December 25, 1 AD
How Did the Traditional Date of December 25 Come About?

The traditional celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25 is nowhere found in Scripture and, frankly, the customs come from pagan origins. In ancient Persia, Mithra, the Persian god of light, was said to be born out of a rock on December 25. The Roman emperor Aurelian in the third century (AD 274) established the festival of Dies Invicti Solis, the Day of the Invincible Sun, on December 25. Mithraism became Rome’s official religion with the patronage of Aurelian, and Emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism up to the time of his purported conversion to Christianity in the fourth century AD.

Continue reading “Jesus’ Birth – Traditional vs Actual Date”