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  #1  
Old Aug 4, '09, 9:56 am
WJL WJL is offline
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Default What year was Jesus born?

In what year was Jesus born? I've heard 1 AD, 4 AD, and 6 BC but, which date fits the evidence?

I've always heard that Christ was 33 years old when He was crucified and that the Catholic Church was founded in 33 AD. I've been told there are some problems with the current dating chronology, meaning that Christ wouldn't have been born in 1 AD but, a few years after or before, apparently.

Also, I've read in St. Irenaeus' Against Heresies, he says: "The thirty aeons are not typified by the fact that Christ was baptized in his thirtieth year: he did not suffer in the twelfth month after his baptism, but was more than fifty years old when he died " What are your thoughts on that?
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Old Aug 4, '09, 10:40 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WJL View Post
In what year was Jesus born? I've heard 1 AD, 4 AD, and 6 BC but, which date fits the evidence?

I've always heard that Christ was 33 years old when He was crucified and that the Catholic Church was founded in 33 AD. I've been told there are some problems with the current dating chronology, meaning that Christ wouldn't have been born in 1 AD but, a few years after or before, apparently.

Also, I've read in St. Irenaeus' Against Heresies, he says: "The thirty aeons are not typified by the fact that Christ was baptized in his thirtieth year: he did not suffer in the twelfth month after his baptism, but was more than fifty years old when he died " What are your thoughts on that?
It depends upon which scholar you listen to. Most often, I hear that Jesus was born bewteen 6 and 4 BC and was crucified around 30 AD. The Gospels say that Jesus started his public ministry at the age of 30, and biblical scholars are pretty much unanimous that his public ministry lasted for 3 years (because of the timeline in the Gospel of John).

That's why everyone always says that Jesus was 33 years old. In turn, this is why you will see T-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Catholic Church=founded in 33AD." It makes for a catchier slogan and avoids having to sit and explain how they got the Gregorian calendar just a little bit off when they made it.

Pertaining to the words of St. Irenaeus, this is a clear example of why we must always look at the original context (in this case, Book II, Chapter 22 of Against Heresies). If you go to that chapter, you can plainly see that the quote from above is at the top because it is the heresy he is refuting! It is not Irenaeus' position.
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  #3  
Old Aug 4, '09, 5:19 pm
Cachonga Cachonga is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

I don't think I've ever heard any year given for His birth, but I am curious about how the Church figured He was born on Dec 25. From what I can find in Scripture, I am more inclined to believe John the Baptist was born around the time of the Passover, and Jesus was born 6 months later (around the Feast of Tabernacles).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe 5859
Pertaining to the words of St. Irenaeus, this is a clear example of why we must always look at the original context (in this case, Book II, Chapter 22 of Against Heresies). If you go to that chapter, you can plainly see that the quote from above is at the top because it is the heresy he is refuting! It is not Irenaeus' position.
Maybe you should read more of this work -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Book II, Chapter XXI, par 5
They, however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding that which is written, "to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," maintain that He preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month.
...
but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information.118 And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan.119 Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement.
It is not only his position (that Jesus was 50 when He was crucified), but he claims it was taught by by John and other Apostles. The heresy was the claim that Jesus was baptised, preached for 1 year, and was crucified in the 12th month. This is just an example of the fallibility of the ECF's.
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Old Aug 4, '09, 6:45 pm
Mattapoisett64 Mattapoisett64 is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Joe 5859 View Post
It depends upon which scholar you listen to. Most often, I hear that Jesus was born bewteen 6 and 4 BC and was crucified around 30 AD. The Gospels say that Jesus started his public ministry at the age of 30, and biblical scholars are pretty much unanimous that his public ministry lasted for 3 years (because of the timeline in the Gospel of John).

That's why everyone always says that Jesus was 33 years old. In turn, this is why you will see T-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Catholic Church=founded in 33AD." It makes for a catchier slogan and avoids having to sit and explain how they got the Gregorian calendar just a little bit off when they made it.

Pertaining to the words of St. Irenaeus, this is a clear example of why we must always look at the original context (in this case, Book II, Chapter 22 of Against Heresies). If you go to that chapter, you can plainly see that the quote from above is at the top because it is the heresy he is refuting! It is not Irenaeus' position.



Which is why it's hard to take this Mayan Calendar 2012 end-of-the-world thing seriously, 'cause as a practical matter it's already somewhere between 2013 and 2015. Happy new year!
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Old Aug 4, '09, 7:09 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by WJL View Post
In what year was Jesus born? I've heard 1 AD, 4 AD, and 6 BC ?
I believe that the best we can do is sometime between 4 AD and 4 BC.
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  #6  
Old Aug 4, '09, 7:09 pm
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Cachonga View Post
I don't think I've ever heard any year given for His birth, but I am curious about how the Church figured He was born on Dec 25. From what I can find in Scripture, I am more inclined to believe John the Baptist was born around the time of the Passover, and Jesus was born 6 months later (around the Feast of Tabernacles).
The church does not claim that December 25 is the *actual* birthday of Jesus. In fact, the church is fairly certain that He WASN'T born in December, because the shepherds would not have been in the fields, and other clues like that. December 25 is simply the feast day commemorating His birth.

Now, this date was chosen for two reasons. One, it already coincided with one of the most important pagan festivals in Rome. In trying to establish converts, early Christians chose one of the most popular holidays because they would already have the day off anyway. Further, for pagans used to celebrating on that day that converted, they would be able to keep the "cultural" aspect of celebrating on that specific day, but the REASON for celebrating was changed. It's no different than why Kwanzaa was selected to start December 26 - people already had the week off.

The other reason is the symbolism. This festival celebrated the winter, or the shortest day of the year... the day with the least light. It was easy to adapt the old pagan symbolism to Christ and a new Christian meaning... from now on, the days would get longer, and light (in the form of Jesus) was entering the world again.
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Old Aug 4, '09, 7:20 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Rolltide View Post
The church does not claim that December 25 is the *actual* birthday of Jesus. In fact, the church is fairly certain that He WASN'T born in December, because the shepherds would not have been in the fields.
Certainly the Church doesn't claim that Dec 25 is the actual birthdate. But I think your logic is a little flawed. Israel isn't North Dakota. The Average temp around Israel in Dec is between 60 and 70 degrees F.
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  #8  
Old Aug 4, '09, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
Certainly the Church doesn't claim that Dec 25 is the actual birthdate. But I think your logic is a little flawed. Israel isn't North Dakota. The Average temp around Israel in Dec is between 60 and 70 degrees F.
I never stated that they wouldn't be in their fields due to *cold*. lol I'll have to look it up, but there's something about it being the wrong time of the year for certain events like that to be happening.
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Old Aug 4, '09, 8:29 pm
Cachonga Cachonga is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolltide
Now, this date was chosen for two reasons. One, it already coincided with one of the most important pagan festivals in Rome. In trying to establish converts, early Christians chose one of the most popular holidays because they would already have the day off anyway. Further, for pagans used to celebrating on that day that converted, they would be able to keep the "cultural" aspect of celebrating on that specific day, but the REASON for celebrating was changed. It's no different than why Kwanzaa was selected to start December 26 - people already had the week off.
So when someone asked when Jesus was born so they could celebrate His birth, rather than be honest and say "We don't know", or "It could have been around this time", they decided to "Christianize" a pagan holiday. You may say that the Dec 25 date isn't binding, but isn't it a "Holy day of Obligation"? I wonder what Peter or Paul (or any of the Apostles) would think of that?
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Old Aug 4, '09, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Cachonga View Post
So when someone asked when Jesus was born so they could celebrate His birth, rather than be honest and say "We don't know", or "It could have been around this time",
The Catholic Church IS honest and DOES say that...

Quote:
they decided to "Christianize" a pagan holiday.
Just like Easter and *many* other feast days and traditions within the church. There is nothing wrong with co-opting a tradition, as long as it is understood that the pagan meaning no longer applies.

Quote:
You may say that the Dec 25 date isn't binding, but isn't it a "Holy day of Obligation"?
It isn't binding as a representation of the actual day that Christ was born. It IS indeed an important Holy Day of Obligation. Commemorating our Savior's birth is an important event in the life of the church. It's the date that the *feast* is celebrated, just like other important *feast* days that commemorate other events in Christianity, like Epiphany and Pentacost. None of these dates are supposed to represent the *actual* date these events happened. BTW... President's Day doesn't actually fall on either George Washington OR Abraham Lincoln's birthday anymore... so, is the holiday disingenuous?

Perhaps you would be happier if we simply picked an arbitrary date for Christmas, like August 24?

Quote:
I wonder what Peter or Paul (or any of the Apostles) would think of that?
Easy, He would have been hugely in support of it. He was strongly in favor of changing tradition when it could be used to convert Gentiles, as can be seen in Acts of the Apostles during the Council of Jerusalem. When the question of whether Gentiles had to follow Jewish laws and dietary restrictions, Paul argued AGAINST this, allowing the Gentiles to follow the NEW covenant and keep their old traditions. I can't think of a *stronger* supporter for such action than Paul, actually.
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Old Aug 5, '09, 1:23 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Cachonga View Post
they decided to "Christianize" a pagan holiday.
My dear brother in Christ, Every single day of the year was dedicated to one or more pagan dieties. For example Sunday used to be the day of the god of the sun. But since His coming it now belongs to The Son of God, as do all of the days belong to Him.

I hope this helps clear up your misunderstanding on this subject. For more information have a look here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs6qZ...rom=PL&index=9

If you would like to learn more about the teachings of Jesus Christ, please contact the folks at http://www.chnetwork.org/. I promise, if you unite yourself to Jesus Christ through His Church, you will experience the great gift the He has promised to those who follow Him. As Jesus said, "He who eats My body and drinks My blood lives in Me and I in him and I will raise him up on the last day." And He is faithful and sure to keep His promises. Repent, turn to the Gospel and be saved and you will have everlasting life.

Grace and peace be with you.

Your servant in Christ.
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Old Aug 5, '09, 4:28 pm
DaveBj DaveBj is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Ignatius View Post
I believe that the best we can do is sometime between 4 AD and 4 BC.
Actually, no. The Herod whose jealousy caused the Holy Family to flee to Egypt died in 4 B.C., so Jesus had to have been born earlier that. Since he ordered that children up to the age of two to be killed, and allowing for the meeting with the Magi to have been the year before he died, some place the Nativity as early as 7 B.C. However, if the meeting with the Magi was the same year that he died, and if he was fudging on the age of the children he wanted to murder, the Nativity may have been more like in 5 B.C.

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Old Aug 6, '09, 6:10 am
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

Jesus was born on November 25th, 15 B.C.

http://www.biblicalchronology.com/
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Old Aug 6, '09, 7:32 am
tjm190 tjm190 is offline
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Mattapoisett64 View Post
Which is why it's hard to take this Mayan Calendar 2012 end-of-the-world thing seriously, 'cause as a practical matter it's already somewhere between 2013 and 2015. Happy new year!
Their calendar has nothing to do with ours, so our errors don't affect their silly prediction.
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Old Aug 6, '09, 10:15 am
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Default Re: What year was Jesus born?

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Originally Posted by Mattapoisett64:
Which is why it's hard to take this Mayan Calendar 2012 end-of-the-world thing seriously, 'cause as a practical matter it's already somewhere between 2013 and 2015. Happy new year!
I'm a Latin American historian, and I can tell you that it's relatively easy to calculate which Mayan date corresponds to which modern calendar date without error. I'll even do it for you in the original Mayan if you want (using the English alphabet, not the Mayan glyphs, though I can do that too)...

In any case, the prediction is just a superstition, and beyond that, it isn't even for the end of the world. It's just the end of the next Mayan age. Another age will begin after it, although some interpret this as meaning the current Mexican civilization that's there would fall and be replaced by some other nation.
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