Many correlate December 25 to Jesus Christ’s birthday. But actually, December 25 is far from His birthday. Using biblical events as a basis for a timeline, numerous historians attempt to calculate Jesus Christ’s real birthday and birth year.
Many historians continue to debate on Jesus Christ’s actual birthdate. With that said, scholars speculate that Jesus’ birth occurred somewhere between 4 and 6 B.C. as they used King Herod’s death as a basis.
The Confusion Surrounding Jesus’ Birthdate
With Christianity recognized as the most practiced religion, many people associate December 25 as the birthday of Jesus Christ. With that said, most scholars agree that December 25 isn’t the exact birthdate of Jesus Christ. Not only do experts debate about Jesus Christ’s birthday, but they also speculate on Christ’s birth year.
Not all Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday on December 25, with 37% of Orthodox Christians mainly located in Russia and Egypt acknowledging Christmas a few weeks later on January 7 due to a distinction in calendars. Historians generally agree that both dates aren’t accurate to the birthday of Jesus Christ. (Source: Christianity)
As nobody can answer the existing question regarding Jesus Christ’s birthday, researchers theorize that the reasoning behind Jesus’ December 25 birthday is due to the Saturnalia, a festival devoted to the Roman god Saturn, and the winter solstice. From that, scholar Ignacio Götz state that the church can co-opt the commonly celebrated pagan festivals to commemorate Jesus Christ’s birthday. (Source: Live Science)
In an article describing the birthdate of Jesus Christ, Bible Info calculates Jesus’ birth month using events in the bible.
We can approximate the month of Jesus’ birth to be around the time of Tishri (mid to late September). To arrive at this date, start at the conception of John the Baptist, Sivan (June), count forward six months to arrive at Gabriel’s announcement of the conception of Jesus, Kislev (December), then count forward nine more months, the time it takes for human gestation, to reach Tishri (September) when Jesus was born.Bible Info
(Source: Bible Info)
Jesus Christ’s Speculated Birth Year
Numerous New Testament experts agree that Jesus Christ’s birth year is 4 B.C. or 6 B.C. as they use King Herod as a basis. In Matthew 2, King Herod had a significant role in the birth of Jesus. King Herold the Great commanded the Massacre of Innocents, the death of all male infants under two years of age in Bethlehem. (Source: Biblical Archaeology Society)
According to scholars, including Marie Fisher and Peter Richardson in their book Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans: Second edition, this mass killing occurred before Herod’s death in 4 B.C. With that, many base Jesus’ birth year on Herod’s death, stating that He was born before the king died.
As for the year of Herod’s death, a new problem emerges as historians continue to theorize about the accurate year of his passing. Moreover, most experts agree that the Massacre of Innocents never even took place. In Reza Aslan’s work entitled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, he stated that no recorded evidence indicated the existence of the massacre. (Source: Live Science)