Magi at the Nativity and Shepards at Night?

What are the odds the Magi actually made it to the Nativity at the birth of Christ? Is it more likely that they visitied the Holy Family when they returned to Nazareth?

Also, I heard a protestant claim that December 25th could not be the actual time of Christ’s birth because at those times, shepards only watched thier flock at night during the summer? Does this theory has any validity?


The Gospel of Matthew says:

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."

Clearly Jesus was already born by the time the Magi arrived in Bethlehem. How much time had passed between his birth and their visit is not recorded in the Gospel.

As for the Shepherds being outside and the date of December 25th, there’s no real way to definitively solve the issue. December 25th was the date chosen for to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is not a historical claim to his actual birthday.

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