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When Was Jesus Born According To The Bible? – It Wasn’t In December

When Was Jesus Born

“Hello. Can you tell me when was Christ born please? All I know is that it’s not in December. And can you give me the info to find it in the Bible?” – Seretha Gibbs

I’ve had several people ask me to provide this information and show them how to look it up in the Bible, so I  figured it was time to post the answer. Below you will find very detailed and Biblical information on how to figure out when Christ was born. Please feel free to share this post.

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What You Will Need

Before we get started, there are a few things you’re going to need to have on hand to check this information for yourself.

Now that you have the essentials, you’re going to want to follow along carefully and check every reference for yourself (Acts 17:11)

The Courses of The Priests

The story of the birth of Jesus actually picks up just six months before His conception. The birth of John the baptist (Jesus’ cousin) is first told to his father  by the angel Gabriel:

“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.” – Luke 1:5

Zacharias was serving in the temple and he was of the course of Abia. Abia is the Greek translation of Abijah. It was during the time of David that the priests were divided into twenty four courses. Abijah was of the eight course.

“The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,” – 1 Chronicles 24:10

Each course is associated with one month on the Hebrew calendar. In this case, the 8th course would fall in one of two months, depending on whether we are talking about the civil  calendar or the ecclesiastical calendar.

  • Iyar (civil)
  • Heshvan (ecclesiastical)

If we convert those months into the standard calendar we currently use here in America, we get the following possibilities:

  • Iyar (April/May)
  • Heshvan (October/November)

It is important to note that the Hebrew calendar consists of twelve 30 day months, and a 360 day year. Their months overlap two of our months.

The Timing of Jesus’ Birth

For this section, we’re going to assume that Jesus was carried for a full 9 months before being born. Elizabeth (Mary’s cousin) became pregnant six months before Mary:

“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.” – Luke 1:36

Using this timing and counting from the months we’ve already established, we come to the following time for the conception of Christ:

  • Heshvan (October/November)
  • Iyar (March/April)

Now that we have a rough estimate of Jesus’ conception, we can count nine months to His birth. Again, assuming Jesus was carried the entire nine months,we come to the following dates.

  • Av (July/August)
  • Shebat (January/February)

Biological Factors That Matter

A full term pregnancy is considered to be 40 weeks, which is actually ten months and not nine. With that in mind, Jesus was likely born in one of the following months depending on which calender was being referenced:

  • September (civil)
  • March (ecclesiastical)

Either way, Jesus was not born in December or even close to it. If you have never heard of a full term pregnancy being considered to be 40 weeks, here are a few links for reference:

Feel free to chime in with your questions, comments, etc. Don’t forget to share this article with everyone you think will benefit from it.

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  • Minister Fortson says:

    Michael,

    Interesting stuff. Thanks for the input.

    March 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm
  • Michael says:

    There’s a lot of evidence that Jesus’ birth coincided with the Feast of Tabernacles, which would point to a September date. The Judeans expected the Messiah to appear at the Feast of Tabernacles. That’s why Jesus’s sceptical brothers taunted him to go to it (Jn. 7:2-3). What was the basis of this expectation? Jeremiah 23:5-6 tells us that the Messiah would be a “Branch from David’s line”. Zechariah prophesies that the Branch will wipe away our guilt (Zech. 3:9), that he will build the temple of the Lord and have royal dignity (Zech. 6:12-13), and that “on that day”, the Line of David will be “like the Angel of the Lord going before them” (Zech. 12:8). When will “that day” be? It will be the Feast of Tabernacles! Zech. 14:16 tells us that is when all nations are commanded to celebrate “that day”. Acts 15:16, quoting Amos 9:11, explains that God has returned to re-build David’s tabernacle, while Ezekiel 37:24-28 prophesies that David, the servant shepherd, will become king and that His people will live “under the shelter of my dwelling”. Isaiah explains that the Lord will save us in Jerusalem – a “city of feasts” and a “sturdy tent” (Is. 33:20-22) – and that His throne shall be set up in David’s tent (Is. 16:5). In John 1:14, the word “dwelled” is literally “tabernacled” in the Greek – and this comes as the climax to John’s version of the story of Christ’s incarnation. There’s more but you get the idea.

    February 19, 2014 at 4:52 am

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