Jackson Snyder, December 19, 2001

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He Was Born in the Reign of Emperor Caesar Augustus

Luke 2:1-2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Augustus reigned during the "Golden Age" of Rome, from 27 BC to 14 AD

He Was Born in Herod’s Reign

Matthew 2:1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem....

Herod ruled from 37 - September, 4 BC when he died If Jesus was born during his reign, then he had to be born before 4 BC

It is true that Herod’s successor was another Herod , but this successor was named later in Matthew (Archelaus, ruled 4 BC to 6 AD, Matthew 2:22).

Luke also mentions him (1:5): In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah....

He Was born Before the Slaughter of Innocents

Matthew 2:16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men.

If Herod reckoned from the Wise Men that Jesus could have been as old as two and if Herod died in 4 BC, this indicates that Jesus may have been born earlier still than 4 BC

He Was Born Around the Time of a Census

Luke 2:2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Quirinius was governor beginning in 6 AD (Josephus). According to secular history, there was no census during his reign. Jesus could not have been born under the reign of Herod the Great and Quirinius, because they did not rule at the same time! Could Luke have been mistaken?

Saturnius was governor of Syria from 10 - 1 BC There was a census during his rule, according to Josephus, historian.

A Star May Have Hailed His Birth

Mat 2:1b-2 ...wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, {2} asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising (or his star in the East or his star in Anatolia)...

The Wise Men were astrologers. They would have seen a real "star" or something like it. Jewish writings note that the Messiah would be born when Saturn and Jupiter came into conjunction in the constellation Pisces.

John Kepler (1603), German astronomer, calculated a conjunction of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation of Pisces in 7 BC

Halley's Comet flew over Palestine by in 12 BC

A super nova (exploding star) lasting seventy days was reported in 5 BC (by the Chinese of the Han Dynasty).


He Was Born When Shepherds Were in the Open

Luke 2: 8-9 Now in this same district there were shepherds out in the fields, keeping watch through the night over their flock, when suddenly there stood before them an angel of the Lord.

Sheep are pastured this way between the former rains and latter rains - April through October. Bethlehem experiences chilling rains and sometimes snow during November and December.

He May Have Been Born During a Time of Taxation

Luke 2:1-3 In those days a decree was issued by the Emperor Augustus for a registration (for taxing) to be made throughout the Roman world.

If the people were to be taxed, they would have money during the Feast of Tabernacles from harvest during September or October. (Hebrew years go by the lunar rather than the solar calendar, so, depending upon the year, Tabernacles can be in September of October. In 2002, Tabernacles is September 20.)

Confirmation for a Fall Date

Luke 1:5. In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. 8. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 11. there appeared to him an angel of the Lord. 13. "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." 24. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived

The Abijah division served beginning eight weeks after the Feast Unleavened Bread, which is in March. If John were conceived during the Abijah Division, nine weeks after Unleavened Bread, then John was conceived about June.

Luke 1:26. In the sixth month (after Elizabeth conceived) the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27. to a virgin, and the virgin's name was Mary.

If John was conceived in June, then Jesus was conceived in December. This means that Jesus was born in September or October.

Why is September significant for Jesus’ birth? Well, look at the line up for September 2002 as an example:

Feast of Trumpets - September 6-8, 2002

Day of Atonement - September 15-16, 2002

Feast of Tabernacles - September 20-27

The Last Great Day - September 28-29

Feast of Tabernacles, 5 BC

John 1:14 (Young's Literal Bible) And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.

Note the literal translation of John 1:14. The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of Yahweh’s presence with Israel and also the whole world. It was a thanksgiving for blessings and a time of hope for the coming of Messiah. In 5 BC, the year of the great 70-day supernova, the Feast began the equivalent of our September 29th.

Luke 2:21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Feast of Tabernacles is eight days long. Jesus was circumcised on last day, known as the Great Day, October 6, 5 BC

So my best research tells me that Jesus was born Sept 29, 5 BC, which lines up with every indicator in the Bible. What do you think of that?

What Difference Does It Make? Christmas is a time for interpreting prophecy (as Matthew did in Jesus’ birth over and over). If a day for the Lord is like 1000 years, then interpret this prophesy.

Hosea 5:15-6:3 I will return again to my place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face. In their distress they will beg my favor: {6:1} "Come, let us return to Yahweh; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. {2} After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.