One of history's most significant events was Jesus' birth, but the exact date is still unknown. We look at how, despite the lack of historical evidence, it was determined when and where Jesus was born in this article. Continue reading to learn more about the development of the Christmas story over time!
How does the Bible describe Jesus' birth?
Jesus' birth is portrayed in the Bible as a miraculous event that took place in Bethlehem. The record of his introduction to the world is given in the stories of good news of Matthew and Luke.
As per the good news of Matthew, a heavenly messenger appeared to Joseph in a fantasy and let him know that Mary, his pledged, was pregnant with the Child of God. To avoid King Herod's wrath, who was planning to kill all male infants in Bethlehem, Joseph was instructed to take Mary and flee to Egypt.
The good news of Luke lets us know that Mary was visited by a holy messenger who told her she would bring forth the Child of God. This news puzzled Mary, but the angel reassured her that it would all be possible through the Holy Spirit's power.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, according to both accounts, and angels appeared to nearby shepherds to announce his arrival. The shepherds went to see him and shared what they had seen and heard with the world.
The introduction of Jesus Christ steered mankind's set of experiences. He was a humble infant when he was born, but as a man, he would change everything. All those who have faith in him are given new life and hope through his life, death, and resurrection.
Reactions of early Christians to the date Early Christians disagreed about the date of Jesus' birth. Others thought it took place in the winter, while some thought it took place in the spring. To disprove a Gnostic teacher's claim that Christ was born on January 6, the early church father Origen even stated that Jesus was born on December 25.
When Emperor Constantine declared that December 25th would be the official date of Christmas in 336 AD, the issue was not really resolved. Even at that time, there were some who were opposed to this decision and continued to observe January 6 as the day of Jesus' birth.
When Jesus was born?
Jesus' birth is documented in both Matthew and Luke's gospels. According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great of Judea. This occurred about 4 BCE. According to Luke's Gospel, Jesus was born during a census while Quirinius was governor of Syria. This occurred about 6 CE.
The majority of academics believe that Matthew's version is more accurate than Luke's. This is due to the fact that Jesus had to have been born before Herod the Great died in 4 BCE. Jesus could not have been born while Quirinius was governor of Syria because he did not become governor until after 6 CE.
There are additional pieces of evidence that suggest Jesus was born around 4 BCE. For instance, Johannes Kepler, an astronomer, estimated that a rare conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn took place in 7 BCE. Jerusalem would have seen this conjunction, and it has been speculated that it may have been the "star" the Magi saw (though this is disputed).
Therefore, we can say with some assurance that Jesus was born in or around 4 BCE.
From where did Jesus originate?
When asked where Jesus came from, people respond in a few different ways. Some say that He was brought into the world in Bethlehem, as the Book of scriptures says, while others guarantee that He was brought into the world in Nazareth. On the other hand, the most widely held belief is that He was in fact born in Jerusalem.
This is because there is no evidence that any babies were born in Bethlehem at the time Jesus is said to have been born. In fact, John the Baptist's birth is the only birth that was recorded in Bethlehem at that time.
Regarding Jesus' birth, Nazareth is not mentioned at all in the Bible. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that He was born there.
Last but not least, Jerusalem holds significant historical significance for Jesus. It was not only where He was born and began His ministry, but also where He died and rose from the dead. Because of these factors, many academics believe that Jerusalem is the most likely location where He was born.