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What was the real date of Jesus' birth?

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 4:55 p.m.

    I thought it was the historical understanding that if Christ lived 33 years he was born in either 4 B.C. or 5 B.C., probably 4 B.C. It fits best with the probable death of Herod's death (4 B.C.) and other reported historical documents with Christ's birth being in the historical timeline with the death of Cleopatra, Augustus, and the reign of Tiberius.

  • CougarClassic Orem, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    What was the "tax" season? That would clearly answer the month.

  • CaseySee Sheboygan Falls, WI
    Dec. 24, 2010 6:19 p.m.

    Actually the Book of Mormon provides the actual date of Christ's Birth, but it doesn't tells us what calendar system that the Nephites use. The date given is in 3 Nephi 8:5 where it states that the death of Christ happened in the 34th year in the first month and 4th day of the day of the month from the giving of the sign of Christ's birth. But we don't know if the Nephites used a 365 day calendar, a 360 day calendar, a 365 1/4 day calendar or some other calendar. Assuming a 365 day calendar, Christ's death would have happened 4-5 days before his 34th birthday. Assuming a 365 1/4 day calendar it was 4 days after his birthday. If they used a 360 day calendar it was in the fall around Sept or October. So again we don't know.

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    FAIR has an article or two on the subject.

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 7:55 p.m.

    Does it really matter?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 24, 2010 8:46 p.m.

    Great to see some of the lore aspects being put perspective. Thanks for publishing.

  • Fuzz Springville, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 9:00 p.m.

    Its just as possible that he was never born at all.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Dec. 24, 2010 10:52 p.m.

    It's just as possible that he was born! In fact, regardless of your personal beliefs, there is some text by the Roman's that actually describe him.

  • TwoBitsWorth Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 12:46 a.m.

    Physical or historical proof I have none, but in my heart I know that He was born and I know that He lives! And I find great comfort in that knowledge!

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    Dec. 25, 2010 5:09 a.m.

    YES, but what REALLY matters - only - is that He is born in your heart... That's the date we should each remember.
    AND
    Remember in John's words "Testimony of Christ, is the spirit of prophecy".
    Merry CHRISTmas

  • JoeBA Pleasant Grove, ut
    Dec. 25, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    Actually, some people are proving themselves too smart for their own good. There is a lot more inaccuracy than admitted in the dating record. The B of M says that Christ is born 600 years from the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, which almost all scholars put around 597 B.C....hmmm...and the angel did not necessarily come to Mary the day before she became pregnant--who knows. The time for that event is never specifically given. It seems that passover season does fit the NT well, though. And lastly, there are no roman documents that describe Christ. I've seen some examples of fraudulent copies, but the closest possible archaeological evidence is the headstone on a grave of a possible brother of Christ decades after his death. Bottom line--don't trust the scholars. I know, because I'm one of them.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 8:18 a.m.

    Actually, the historian, Josephus, writes about Christ as an historical man and gives a physical description of him. I don't think any credible scholar tries to make the case that Christ was never born.

    I find this article fascinating. I had no idea there was a debate going on, within the Church, about the date of his birth. And...I did think it was considered a revelation that it was on April 6. This is totally new information to me and I just love stuff like this. It's so interesting.

    I've also seen a study done to determine what date the First Vision took place. The guy who did this came up with a date, I believe, at the end of March of 1820. He said he had spoken to another guy who had also analyzed it and came up with the same date. It was done based on clues and weather information, etc. from that year. I just can't remember what the date was.

    Anyway, it would be really cool if we did find out that Christmas is actually celebrated on the right date.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    Amazingly, the question of an actual historical Jesus rarely confronts the religious believer. The power of faith has so forcefully driven the minds of most believers, and even apologetic scholars, that the question of reliable evidence gets obscured by tradition, religious subterfuge, and outrageous claims. No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people.

    Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Some people actually believe that just because so much voice and ink has spread the word of a character named Jesus throughout history, that this must mean that he actually lived. Evidence is surely lacking, but the myth is nonetheless inspiring!

  • SSMD Silver Spring, MD
    Dec. 25, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    If I recall correctly, Josephus's description was that Christ had brown hair and hazel eyes. Did he interview an eyewitness?

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    Fuzz | 9:00 p.m. Dec. 24, 2010
    Springville, UT

    It's quite possible you were never born at all. From the evidence we have here, there is no proof at all that you are alive or have ever existed. You are for all we know are just a specter on the internet.

    But no, I am sure you exist. Just as well as Jesus Christ.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Dec. 25, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    I love to study, seculate and wonder as much as anyone. But lately I am really starting to question whether ANYTHING that we teach and believe in the church is actual solid, unchanging, revelation? It seems as if everything is subject to change, revision, reconsideration, and the next GA, scholar or apologist's opinion and speculation.

  • carver Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    It's my feeling that the actual day of Christ's birth should be hidden from the world for a wise and rightous purpose.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Dec. 25, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    As we do not know the exact date of Christs birth, the date of December 25 for Christmas may have been arbitrary. The Church could have chosen another date on which to celebrate the birth of Christ. One reason December 25 may have been deemed suitable is its proximity to the winter solstice. After that date the days start to become longer, and thus it is at the beginning of a season of light entering the world (cf. John 1:5). The summer solsticeafter which the days start to get shorterfalls near June 24, on which the Church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist, who declared of Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). In the sixth Month, the birth of Jesus. ( Luke 1:26).

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Dec. 25, 2010 2:51 p.m.

    What we know for a fact is that Jesus Birth Date was Not Dec 25th.

    Even someone taking Religion 095 at a Community College Knows that.

    Christmas is a Hijacked Pagan Holiday.

    I partly as a convert and partly because it just makes sence from a Scripture and describtion point of view.

    D&C 20 or Not April 6th is a much closer date.

    However for Marketing purposes it is to close to his Death.

    As we all know theses days its about Sales. Even Religion is about Sales as Converts to any Religion become Tithe Payers, and this supports the Faith Groups and those with Jobs In Religion.

    One of the 1st lessons I learned as a Convert was to avoid contention. Such as Bible Bashing Others.

    With that in mind take the 25th and enjoy it as Jesus Birthday. Next week the Greek and Russian Orthadox Church will observe Christmas.

    Just Remember the purpose of the Birth. Not the Day or Time. Cut the poor Innkeeper some Slack he did the best he could considering.

    I accept the 25th of Dec because that is the way to go and there is No Need Not To. Merry Christmas.

  • Patrick Wiggins Tooele, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    Remember the part about the birth happening while shepherds were tending their flocks. Shepherds don't do that in winter so it would appear the birth did not happen in December.

  • Rich in California Palo Alto, CA
    Dec. 25, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    I don't currently see any way to reconcile 3 Ne. 8:5 with a December 25 birthdate using any plausible 3rd-Nephi-era calendar system. That is going to be my main question when I read this new article. Regardless of any other arguments, this point is a showstopper in my opinion unless it is credibly addressed.

  • FairEnough Draper, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    This is not news or historical research. It is nonsensical speculation based on events that for the most part never happened. The Deseret News is not a news organization. It is made up of some news and the religious doctrines of men. What a monumental waste of time.

  • Anon 64 Oahu, HI
    Dec. 25, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    Let us remember what B.C. Before Christ and A.D.Anno Domini or after the Birth Of Christ are about.

    The Roman Calender starts at year 1.

    That method of keeping track of time and years was not kept until well after the Death Of Christ.

    There are other way of counting time in use.

    The Jewish Calender does Not have a Break or Adjustment.

    To them Christ has not come the 1st time let alone the 2nd time. That Child Born in a Stable was just that a Child Remotely related to King David.

    The Jews had been defeated for many years and the Temple Destroyed. They where under the control of Rome and Rome was Not always Kind.

    Thus the killing of all Jewish Males under 2. Jesus Parents had of course taken him somewhere else.

    The Christian Religion is inpart the invention of Rome in an effort to control the masses and counter act forces from the Middle East.

    This worked well until the Refermation, and the Invention of the Printing Press and moveable Type.

    The Bible was put in the Hands of Common Man some very Common. Today we have the result. Merry Christmas.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Dec. 25, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    Funny I have to agree with cougar classic...the real key is tied to the time of taxation which in all my course study has proven to be around the months of March and April in Roman times. The exact date really isn't important. The important issues are that he was born the literal son of God. That he lived a mortal existance and organized his true church and gave the keys and authority of the living Gospel to those he appointed as Prophets Seers and Revelators. And that he as our Savior died as was foretold by crucifixion.. bringing to pass the atonement after which he was resurrected thus opening the way for all men to enter into immortality. Easter and Christmas regardless of place in time are in sumilitude and represent the bookends of the Life of the Savior. Knowing the exact dates would be nice....but is it as important as living his teachings??? Again...If you must... start with the season of taxation among the Romans as described in Epistles of the New Testament.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Dec. 25, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    Jesus in History,"In those days of Caesar Augustus(31B.C.-A.D.14) issued a decree that a census should be taken in the Roman world, this was the first census that took place while Cyrenius(4B.C-9A.D.)was governor of Syria.(Luke 2:1-2). God used the decree of a pagan emperor to fulfill Micah 5:2, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Fulilled in(Luke 2:4-7)

    Mt 2:16 Herod (Died in 4 B.C) ordered all the boys under 2 in a small unimportant town of Bethlehem to be killed but Jesus had fled to Egypt. Fulfills several prophecies.
    Alma 7:10, Born in Jerusalem?

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    I really don't care about the exact date. Excuse me now, I am gonna go climb back under the Christmas tree and see if I missed anything.

  • Mithrandir Tupelo, MS
    Dec. 25, 2010 10:14 p.m.

    @ Rich in California

    The article links to the full paper which does indeed cover your concern from 3 Ne. 8:5. There is a small fee.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    DId all of this work in the adjustments made to the calendar by Pope Gregory? I understand that he corrected an error of many days.

    But it is disturbing that for all of my life in the church (60 years) it was confidently taught from the pulpit that the birth was April 6th. "Proofs" were offered then that included biblical prophesy and even things like lambing season. All of the symbology was brought to bear to confirm this date.

    Now we are supposed to believe something else? Why would Heavenly Father let the Brethren be so wrong for so long? Or are these resaerchers missing somthing critical? It would be appropriate at this point for the church to redeclare the "officla" stand that they have taken for decades, or declare that it was wrong, and all of the gospel writers and lecturers wrong with it.

    And if wrong about this, why not wrong about things like the Word of Wisdom? It was initially a "Principle with a Promise" and not given "by commandment or constraint."

    It is time for another McConkie to rise up and put the doctrines of the church back on firm footing.

  • John Malone Olympia, WA
    Dec. 25, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    I think carver succintly describes the most interesting hypothesis! (Carver said, "It's my feeling that the actual day of Christ's birth should be hidden from the world for a wise and rightous purpose.")

    To Idaho Coug, who said,
    "I love to study, seculate and wonder as much as anyone. But lately I am really starting to question whether ANYTHING that we teach and believe in the church is actual solid, unchanging, revelation? It seems as if everything is subject to change, revision, reconsideration, and the next GA, scholar or apologist's opinion and speculation. "

    The SAVING PRINCIPLES haven't changed! Consider your observation in context with the scriptures about the eternal principles of Jesus Christ, His restored Gospel, and the Plan of Salvation.

    For example, the Savior's birthDATE is not one of the Saving Principles.

    Pardon me if I'm taking anyone too literally! But the key things don't change, and that's a comfort to me.

  • utahmtnman Park City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 10:43 p.m.

    Yucatan Penninsula Connection to April 6th.

    The peoples of the Yucatan Penninsula had a fascnination with April 6th. It is the only day of the year when sunlight peers through a hole in a wall near the main entrance to the ancient temple o Talum. Evidence suggests the Mayans believed April 6th was the date the Descending God was born. (See yucatanrevealed.com) It was also one of the most important days of the year at Chichen Itza, which was one of the days on which the most important religious ceremonies were held. (See worldmysteries.com/chichenitza.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Dec. 25, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    Thanks for this piece. I always thought the April 6th date was revelation but this article sheds light on how that might not be the case. That's good to know.

  • Hubble65 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 25, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    I think it is hilarious that people in the Church are all caught up in this. I personally don't think that the Savior cares if we celebrate a day for his birth. We should remember his birth, life and death each week as we renew our covenants in the sacrament. In the end, I think He'll care more about how we obey, serve and love than whether we celebrate a specific day. Are we willing to mourn with those that mourn, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, to minister to others by giving of our time, means and selves regardless of their faith? Do we treat our spouses with love and kindness, striving to communicate and understand, and our children? In the end, that is how our discipleship will be measured and our efforts should be spent there, not in matters that truly don't get us actively involved in life and with others IMHO.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Dec. 26, 2010 12:39 a.m.

    Google "John Pratt', "another eclipse for Herod"
    and "Planetarium".
    John explains how folks can be 4 years off in regards to King Herod.

    There is another eclipse on 29 Dec 1BC which was more likely observed then the one in 4BC. The 4BC eclipse happen between 4 and 6 AM in the morning when all were asleep. The 29 Dec 1 BC eclipse happened right after sunset when all would be awake to notice.

    I have also read that there are two Mayan calendar systems and one of these systems if cycled back, zeros out on 6 Apr 1BC, when the BoM peoples re-started their calendar system on Christ's birth.

    The "Taxation" (actually an enrollment and oath census) season lasted 1 1/2 years.
    Over 6,000 Jews refused to give their allegiance to Roman, thus setting up the tension between Jews and Roman during the NT era.

    A 6 Apr birth and 29 Dec eclipse give more time for the wise men to arrive, as they probably originated from SE Arabia (Bountiful) based on the gifts presented.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    "Fair Enough" apparently has lot of time to waste. Funny how the skeptics like to spend their time on such articles as determining the date of Christ's birth.
    For me, Jesus asked us to remember Him and we have a great opportunity to do that on this semi-secular holiday of cloudy origins. It's as good a time as any. Marry Christmas, everyone. Maybe it happended on December 26!

  • lyn Orem, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2010 3:25 p.m.

    Just a reply to those who are concerned about the shepherds being in the fields during December. It's important to remember that Jerusalem has a completely different climate than we are used to here in Intermountain West of the U.S. Shepherds near Bethlehem graze their flocks year round on the grasses that grow plentifully especially during the rainy season from November to April. They don't experience the harsh winters that we experience here. A previous comment mentioned the lambing season being in the spring, but that's not the case in Jerusalem. As I understand it, the peak of the lambing season in Israel is in February, but the first of the lambs often come as early as December. We need to be careful about projecting our own circumstances onto a situation that is completely different from our own.

  • Can't we all just get along??? North Salt Lake, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2010 3:29 p.m.

    The LDS Institute Manual "The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ" states the following quote by President Harold B. Lee:

    This is the annual conference of the Church. April 6, 1973, is a particularly significant date because it commemorates not only the anniversary of the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this dispensation, but also the anniversary of the birth of the Savior, our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. [Quoted D&C 20:1 ] ( CR, Apr. 1973, p. 4.)

    So it comes down to whether you believe the Prophet or the inaccuracies of scholars. I personally would rather believe the Prophet, even if in error, as opposed to men who base their opinions on information they really have no way of knowing for sure...

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 26, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    Did you all read the article? It specifically states that D&C 20 has been misprinted, hence misinterpreted by church leaders and researchers for over a century.

  • s. reno West Valley City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    Excellent article, Michael.

    To Lyn of Orem: Thanks for your comments. They provide valuable perspective.

    By the way, the phrase in the year of our Lord pops up in D&C 76:11 and in JS History 1:3, but refers to Feb. 16 and Dec. 23, respectively, not April 6.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 26, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    Whether you want to know the date or not really isn't important. What is important is that the Father gave his only begotten son, in the flesh, to us as a gift. His Son, even Jesus Christ, died upon the cross but took upon himself all the sins of the world.

    The date is not important nor should we be concerned with it. As Neal R Anderson said in the last General Conference, some things are better placed back on the shelf unto the Lord clarifies thigs. There are only a few dates in Church History that have meaining, April 6, the Date the Church was organized and restored to the Earth, June 27 the death of Joseph Smith and July 25 when the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley. All others are just dates.

    It is up to us to understand that if we worry about something said 150 years ago or even today seems contradictory and we find offense or anger with it, that is our decision. The Lord knows what is important and that is why in most scriptures from the Book of Mormon to the Bible dates are ommitted. Jesus Christ life matters only.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Dec. 27, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    RE: Bill in Nebraska,"dates are not important."

    Dates are significant to the Israels Feasts: 1.Passover,Nissan 15./Unleavened bread. Spring. 2. First fruits, Spring,Nissan 16. 3. Feasts of weeks, 7 weeks after Passover(Pentecost). 4. Feasts of trumpets(Rosh Hashannah) Tishri 1, early autumn. 5. Day of Atonement, (Yom Kippur )Tishri 10, autumn. 6. Feasts of booths, autumn(final harvest).
    All fulfilled in Christ.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Dec. 27, 2010 10:21 a.m.

    It's obvious that the Lord didn't put much importance to the exact date of His birth as essential or necessary to our salvation, otherwise he would've given a specific revelation for such. So if it's not relevant to our eternal salvation or exaltation, why on earth should we waste any sleep over it? Enjoy the date as it is celebrated today, not because it's the correct date but because of what it represents! He WAS born, and He is the Son of God! Don't worry about the date, it's not that important!

  • path6 San Diego, CA
    Dec. 27, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    Maybe this scripture has imput:
    Helaman 14:1 And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Dec. 27, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Interesting discussion. I agree with what cmtam pointed out about the winter solstice. What we call Christmas appears to be a "Christianing" of the winter solstice, which was celebrated on the winter solstice with lights, cheer, and gifts. It is the spread of Christianity that converted this celebration to Christmas.

  • dice1899 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 27, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    sharrona, that comment in the Book of Mormon about Christ being born in Jerusalem is not an error.

    First of all, Bethlehem is only six miles from Jerusalem. It's basically a suburb of the city. When you're talking to people from elsewhere, you often make the comment that you live in Utah, because that's a recognizable place. If you were just to say that you lived in Layton, and you were talking to somebody who had never been to Utah, they'd have no idea what you were talking about. Also, remember, by the time that prophecy was made, the Nephites had been living in the Promised Land for nearly 400 years. They had no idea where Bethlehem was geographically, but they knew that they'd originally come from Jerusalem. It was to give them a description they could understand.

    Secondly, Bethlehem is often described as being part of Jerusalem, or in the land of Jerusalem, in ancient documents, including some stemming from before the time the Nephites left Israel. Much of the original translation of the Book of Mormon was written in Hebrew language patterns and phrases. This was almost certainly one of them.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Dec. 27, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    Dice 1899, that comment in the Book of Mormon about Christ being born in Jerusalem is not an error?
    Biblical Prophecy should be correct , Genesis 3:15 Born of a seed of a woman ,fulfilled in Galatians (4:4)MADE of a woman(The Virgin Birth).
    Psalm 22; They have pierced my hands and feet not my ears or nose.
    Mic 5:2 Born in Bethlehem not JerusalemAlma 7:10
    Joseph Smith was also wrong about the precise location of Jesus' baptism by John "in Bethabara(KJV), beyond Jordan" (1 Ne. 10:9). Earlier a better MS, in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan (John 1:28 NIV,NET )Papyrus 66, 150-200A.D.,Papyrus 75,175-225A.D.)

    Also wrong in Joseph smiths inspired version, These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing(John 1:34 JST)

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 27, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    So what is the big deal?????????????????
    I have always believed that he was born on April 6. If something comes out that proves that this is wrong is it going to shake my testimony?????? NO!!! The date of when Christ was born is not on the Temple Recommend interview and is not of eternal consequence in anyway. I believe he was born !!!! That is what is important - not the day he was born.

  • marble Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    Holy cow! Let's hope there's not a mass exodus from true gospel principles. While the speculation is interesting, it's just that. NOT vital for salvation. Is Elder McConkie entitled to speculate? How about everyone else? I know that Christ lives. Amen.

  • nathan000000 Orem, UT
    Dec. 27, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    I heard an astronomer present on this topic once, and he pointed out that the date of Herod's death is not nearly as secure as many assume it to be. Roman records say there was an eclipse near his death, but modern scholars frequently assume it was a full lunar eclipse, making 4 B.C. the only option.

    However (according to the astronomer) partial lunar eclipses happen much more frequently, and ancient records often refer to them indiscriminately from full eclipses. There were partial lunar eclipses in the Mediterranean in 1 B.C. and 1 A.D., leaving several options for the "fixed date" of Herod's death that do not get the consideration they should.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    Alma 7:10

    "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers"

    2 kings 14:20

    Amaziah - "And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David"

    Luke 2:4

    "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Jud├Ža, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem"

    The issue raised here is picking at unimportant details. Clearly the "Land At Jerusalem" refers to the area of Jerusalem - Which would include Bethlehem.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Jan. 1, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    LDSareChristians: The wisemen didn't find jesus until he was 3 or 4 years old

  • mrlater Springfield, VA
    Jan. 21, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    According to Matt 2:16, He could have been 2 years old or older when Herod died. As far as the sheep are concerned, in North America, sheep may be stabled in winter, but what about the warmer climate of the Mediterranean? Interesting thoughts, though.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 28, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Casey makes the assumption that when the Nephites switched to calibrating their calendar from the birth of Christ they set the day of Jesus' birth as the first day of the year.

    The actual time frame from the known start of Zedekiah's raighn to the known death of Herod, which is only 594 years, leads to the conclusion that at least for part of their history the Nephites used years that were less than 365 days. John L. Sorenson argues it works fairly well with a 360-day year.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 28, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    awsomeron,
    I would urge that you read Brother Chadwick's well considered article. There is little evidence for the claim of hijacking a Pagan holiday, it comes long after the event of choosing that date. It is altogether possible that Christ was born on December 25th, although proving such is not possible.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 28, 2011 8:26 p.m.

    To Charles,
    The point of prophets is to testify of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, the one who provides a way to salvation, and to teach us the correct doctrines of his gospel and administer His Church by holding the keys.

    The function of prophets is not to tell us the exact date that any event in history happened. If the exact date of Jesus' birth is central to your faith, it is built on very uninportant things.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 28, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    To Cant we all just get along?,
    Brother Chadwick analyses this and similar statements in his article. He points out that none of these prophets claimed to have recieved revelation on the matter. He also points out that it was based on a reading of the Doctrine and Covenants section in question that assumes a literalism in the section not really justified.

    God speaks to man in the language of the man, so he will call the year after the language of the man. Anyway, the portion in question is clearly not in the voice of the Lord, since it speaks of "the coming of our Lord". That is actually the proper English rendering of A.D., so the passage in question is a statement of the year, not of any particular relation to the birth of Christ.

    I do not care what the date of Christ's birth is. However the Lord has told us to study the scriptures. When the prophet is not claiming he is making a statement based on revelation, but just based on his own understanding in his own time, we should not use it as an excuse to stop inquiry.

  • sweetpoet New york, NY
    Dec. 24, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Jesus could not have been in early winter, as it was too cold, rainy, and snow for any shepherds to still be out. This is old news, and it's special pleading to still maintain a December 25th date for the birth of Jesus. Not to mention, frankly, rather desperate. And no, He was NOT born in the spring either. That notion is based on flimsy inferences about Herod's death, and dogmatic assumptions about just how close Jesus' birth was to Herod's death. Fail. Also, it's based on a sloppy assumption by some of wrongly thinking that Jesus was exactly 33 years old when He died. He wasn't. He was 33 1/2 when He was killed. He died in early Spring, so going back 6 months lands you in late September/early October. NOT spring or winter.