Did God choose the time God was born? Did it need to be around the year one?
God chose the time.
However, in the Roman calendar that existed at the time the year was 754, measured roughly as the 754th year since the founding of Rome (though year numberings were less frequently used by people of the day than references to who reigned at the time). According to the Hebrew calendar it was roughly 3761/2. It wasn’t until 500 years later that calendars began to be “reset” to be measured from the birth of Christ, and it didn’t become widely adopted until the 800s. So it wasn’t about God choosing to have Jesus born based on it being “year one.” That system of numbering years based on Jesus’ (estimated) birth year wouldn’t come about until later.
All that said, two thoughts. One: fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel. It’s a bit rough I’ve heard, but a prophecy for the coming of the Son of Man is made in Daniel. Two: A lot of the early Church fathers held that the time was perfect for the message to begin being spread. Koine Greek was the common language of the known world, meaning people from many different nations could all hear the gospel. The Roman Empire made dispersion easy in the sense of interconnectedness, though I don’t mean to imply it was easy overall (given the persecution of Christians early on). Plus, Greek and Roman philosophy had reached near enough the truth for it to be perfected by Christian philosophers. These are just common points one sees mentioned, though to sum up “the time was ripe” for the Gospel to begin to be preached to all nations.
Jesus came in the fullness of time. The Roman Empire controlled most of the known world and there was relative peace, which allowed for Christianity to spread the most and relatively quickly.
Thank you for answer. The prophecy of Daniel didn’t came to my mind, that’s true. Also, the Roman empire was so interconnected, that Christianity could quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean and even beyond. “The time was ripe” is a really good way to think about it, thanks.
My apologies on how I understood your “Did it need to be year one” question. Reading it again now I think I misunderstood the angle you were asking that.
I believe there were many reasons. There’s a very corporate aspect to human salvation, as with the fall. Through Adam man had rebelled, going his own way like a prodigal, being cut off from direct and intimate knowledge of God and all that relationship entails. But God began working with man immediately, later through a chosen people, revealing Himself and His will gradually down through the centuries as humanity was ready to receive it. The covenants played their parts, each one of them a step in man’s “education”, so to speak, in the big picture. The world would be ready, just barely, to receive the light when it finally appeared in its full brilliance in the person of Jesus Christ.
By then we’d experienced a great deal of time spent in a world where man’s will reigns, and the Master’s effectively gone away. We could develop a hunger and thirst for true righteousness, and be all the more ready to receive it, all the more ready to receive Him , the essence and source of all righteousness, when finally offered. Man’s own failure to achieve righteousness by his own efforts based on the Old Covenant was one critical lesson to be learned, a lesson we all need to learn as individuals. Man needs God first of all, above all else. “Apart from Me you can do nothing”, John:15:5. That’s what Adam didn’t get.
Other factors would play their parts. For example, based solely on reason alone, through philosophy, man had arrived at the understanding that a creator-God must exist In any case I think a certain collective human experience and maturation had to be in place before the time was ripe.
And, yes, the Church saw all history as divided by one critical event, the advent of Jesus Christ. Man would make a calendar based on that concept, interestingly, since it now dominates in world usage.
How was there a fullness of time at his birth?
What had happened that lad it the fullness of time?
Mary chose. She had been pregnant long enough and it was time.
The Beach Boys sang about this in:
“God only knows”
Paul Simon as well in Slip Slidin’ Away:
“God only knows. God makes His plan. The information’s not available to the mortal man…”
Me? I’m dying to know.
It’s plain from the historical work on this that, regardless of whether divine intervention was involved, the conditions for the birth of Jesus and the rise of Christianity were just right. It’s doubtful that it would have been effective if it was born in the context of even a century prior.
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