As is usual this time of year, much is discussed about Christmas, it’s timing and the pagan customs that are used in the celebrations.
The following is an excerpt from an appendix of the Bible Translation by Fred Coulter ( A Faithful Version-the original bible restored), with a link to the full article.
It gives historical as well as biblical evidence that demonstrates that Christ could not have been born on the 25th of December or anywhere even close to that date.
Certainly a document that it would be well for all of us to review or even store for reference.
When Was Jesus Christ Born?
The date of Jesus Christ’s birth has been a topic of controversy for centuries. Various theories have placed His birth from 6 BC to 1 AD. As to the season of the year, some claim He was born in the spring, while others feel He was born in the fall. Overwhelmingly, most believe He was born in the winter.
Although an abundance of scriptural and historical evidence proves Jesus was not born on December 25, the majority of professing Christians observe this date as His birthday. Few realize, however, that this date is actually linked to pagan traditions that predate Jesus’ birth by thousands of years. Age-old customs of pagan origin entered the Christian churches many centuries ago and are now viewed as an essential part of Christian worship. Most church-goers today have never thought to ask the question: “Where does Christmas come from anyway?”
Still, Jesus’ birth is a foundational cornerstone of true Christianity—and fulfilled a number of significant prophecies that are recorded in the Old Testament. A proper understanding of the true circumstances of His birth will provide deeper insight into the meaning of His life and the ultimate purpose of His first coming.
Jesus Was Born During the Reign of Herod the Great
The Gospel of Matthew records that the birth of Jesus Christ occurred during the reign of Herod the Great. Shortly after Jesus’ birth, Herod heard that the prophesied King of the Jews had been born and feared the Jews would begin to revolt against his rule (Matt. 2:1-3). God warned Joseph in a dream that Herod would attempt to kill the infant Jesus and instructed him to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt (verse 13). Matthew’s account indicates that Herod died not long after they fled to Egypt. After the death of Herod, Joseph brought Jesus and Mary back to Nazareth, a city in the district of Galilee (Matt. 2:19-23).
This scriptural record offers conclusive evidence that the birth of Jesus occurred a short time before the death of Herod. Through the historical writings of the noted historian Josephus, we can determine precisely when Herod reigned and when he died. Josephus reveals the specific year that Herod was crowned king at Rome: “And thus did this man receive the kingdom, having obtained it on the hundred and eighty-fourth Olympiad, when Caius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second time and Caius Asinius Pollio [the first time]” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14:14:5).
An Olympiad is four years in length and is reckoned from July to July. The 184th Olympiad extended from July 1, 44 BC, to June 30, 40 BC. Records of this period show that Calvinus and Pollio were consuls in the year 714 AUC (years from the founding of Rome), which was 40 BC (Finegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology, p. 96). Thus, we know that Herod became king in 40 BC. While the Olympiad was reckoned from July 1 to June 30, the calendar year for consuls was reckoned from January 1 to December 31. Since the 184th Olympiad ended on June 30, 40 BC, and the consuls did not take office until January 1 of that year, we know that Herod was made king sometime during the six-month period from January through June of 40 BC.
Although Herod was crowned at Rome in 40 BC, three years passed before he conquered Jerusalem and began to reign there: “When the rigour of winter was over, Herod removed his army, and came near to Jerusalem and pitched his camp hard by the city. Now this was the third year since he had been made king at Rome…” (Josephus, Ant., 14:15:14).