Comments about ‘What was the real date of Jesus' birth?’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 24 2010 4:00 p.m. MST

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Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I thought it was the historical understanding that if Christ lived 33 years he was born in either 4 B.C. or 5 B.C., probably 4 B.C. It fits best with the probable death of Herod's death (4 B.C.) and other reported historical documents with Christ's birth being in the historical timeline with the death of Cleopatra, Augustus, and the reign of Tiberius.

Orem, UT

What was the "tax" season? That would clearly answer the month.

Sheboygan Falls, WI

Actually the Book of Mormon provides the actual date of Christ's Birth, but it doesn't tells us what calendar system that the Nephites use. The date given is in 3 Nephi 8:5 where it states that the death of Christ happened in the 34th year in the first month and 4th day of the day of the month from the giving of the sign of Christ's birth. But we don't know if the Nephites used a 365 day calendar, a 360 day calendar, a 365 1/4 day calendar or some other calendar. Assuming a 365 day calendar, Christ's death would have happened 4-5 days before his 34th birthday. Assuming a 365 1/4 day calendar it was 4 days after his birthday. If they used a 360 day calendar it was in the fall around Sept or October. So again we don't know.

Woods Cross, UT

FAIR has an article or two on the subject.


Does it really matter?

Durham, NC

Great to see some of the lore aspects being put perspective. Thanks for publishing.

Springville, UT

Its just as possible that he was never born at all.

Layton, UT

It's just as possible that he was born! In fact, regardless of your personal beliefs, there is some text by the Roman's that actually describe him.

Salt Lake City, UT

Physical or historical proof I have none, but in my heart I know that He was born and I know that He lives! And I find great comfort in that knowledge!

across the sea
Topeno, Finland

YES, but what REALLY matters - only - is that He is born in your heart... That's the date we should each remember.
Remember in John's words "Testimony of Christ, is the spirit of prophecy".
Merry CHRISTmas

Pleasant Grove, ut

Actually, some people are proving themselves too smart for their own good. There is a lot more inaccuracy than admitted in the dating record. The B of M says that Christ is born 600 years from the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, which almost all scholars put around 597 B.C....hmmm...and the angel did not necessarily come to Mary the day before she became pregnant--who knows. The time for that event is never specifically given. It seems that passover season does fit the NT well, though. And lastly, there are no roman documents that describe Christ. I've seen some examples of fraudulent copies, but the closest possible archaeological evidence is the headstone on a grave of a possible brother of Christ decades after his death. Bottom line--don't trust the scholars. I know, because I'm one of them.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Actually, the historian, Josephus, writes about Christ as an historical man and gives a physical description of him. I don't think any credible scholar tries to make the case that Christ was never born.

I find this article fascinating. I had no idea there was a debate going on, within the Church, about the date of his birth. And...I did think it was considered a revelation that it was on April 6. This is totally new information to me and I just love stuff like this. It's so interesting.

I've also seen a study done to determine what date the First Vision took place. The guy who did this came up with a date, I believe, at the end of March of 1820. He said he had spoken to another guy who had also analyzed it and came up with the same date. It was done based on clues and weather information, etc. from that year. I just can't remember what the date was.

Anyway, it would be really cool if we did find out that Christmas is actually celebrated on the right date.

Clearfield, UT

Amazingly, the question of an actual historical Jesus rarely confronts the religious believer. The power of faith has so forcefully driven the minds of most believers, and even apologetic scholars, that the question of reliable evidence gets obscured by tradition, religious subterfuge, and outrageous claims. No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people.

Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Some people actually believe that just because so much voice and ink has spread the word of a character named Jesus throughout history, that this must mean that he actually lived. Evidence is surely lacking, but the myth is nonetheless inspiring!

Silver Spring, MD

If I recall correctly, Josephus's description was that Christ had brown hair and hazel eyes. Did he interview an eyewitness?

Dave from Taylorsville
Taylorsville, UT

Fuzz | 9:00 p.m. Dec. 24, 2010
Springville, UT

It's quite possible you were never born at all. From the evidence we have here, there is no proof at all that you are alive or have ever existed. You are for all we know are just a specter on the internet.

But no, I am sure you exist. Just as well as Jesus Christ.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

I love to study, seculate and wonder as much as anyone. But lately I am really starting to question whether ANYTHING that we teach and believe in the church is actual solid, unchanging, revelation? It seems as if everything is subject to change, revision, reconsideration, and the next GA, scholar or apologist's opinion and speculation.

Enterprise, UT

It's my feeling that the actual day of Christ's birth should be hidden from the world for a wise and rightous purpose.

lake forest, ca

As we do not know the exact date of Christs birth, the date of December 25 for Christmas may have been arbitrary. The Church could have chosen another date on which to celebrate the birth of Christ. One reason December 25 may have been deemed suitable is its proximity to the winter solstice. After that date the days start to become longer, and thus it is at the beginning of a season of light entering the world (cf. John 1:5). The summer solsticeafter which the days start to get shorterfalls near June 24, on which the Church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist, who declared of Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). In the sixth Month, the birth of Jesus. ( Luke 1:26).

Oahu, HI

What we know for a fact is that Jesus Birth Date was Not Dec 25th.

Even someone taking Religion 095 at a Community College Knows that.

Christmas is a Hijacked Pagan Holiday.

I partly as a convert and partly because it just makes sence from a Scripture and describtion point of view.

D&C 20 or Not April 6th is a much closer date.

However for Marketing purposes it is to close to his Death.

As we all know theses days its about Sales. Even Religion is about Sales as Converts to any Religion become Tithe Payers, and this supports the Faith Groups and those with Jobs In Religion.

One of the 1st lessons I learned as a Convert was to avoid contention. Such as Bible Bashing Others.

With that in mind take the 25th and enjoy it as Jesus Birthday. Next week the Greek and Russian Orthadox Church will observe Christmas.

Just Remember the purpose of the Birth. Not the Day or Time. Cut the poor Innkeeper some Slack he did the best he could considering.

I accept the 25th of Dec because that is the way to go and there is No Need Not To. Merry Christmas.

Patrick Wiggins
Tooele, UT

Remember the part about the birth happening while shepherds were tending their flocks. Shepherds don't do that in winter so it would appear the birth did not happen in December.

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