When WAS Jesus Born? 6BC or 6CE or is he a myth?

by 3Mozzies 2 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • 3Mozzies
  • Leolaia

    "The authors of Matthew and Luke both say that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great."

    I think this is an unwarranted assumption. There is a good case to be made that Luke was talking about Herod Archelaus, not Herod the Great (see the article by Mark Smith, CBQ 2000). I find the chronology in Luke to be quite consistent with that of Josephus: Jesus born in AD 6 in the year of Quirinius' census which precipitated the revolt of Judas the Galilean (as stated in Acts), John the Baptist started his ministry in AD 29, John the Baptist was imprisoned in c. AD 35 (he thus had about five or six years to build his ministry) and Jesus was baptised soon afterward (when he was about 30, i.e. 29 years old), then John was executed at the time of Herod the tetrach's birthday in summer of AD 35, by this time Jesus has already started his ministry, he is then himself executed in March/April AD 36. It couldn't have been a year later in March/April AD 37 because both Pilate and Caiaphas were no longer in power. The traditional date of the crucifixion in AD 33 has always been problematic because Josephus indicates that John the Baptist was not killed till later. I think there is a good chance that the author of Luke has a specific historical scheme in mind, and reading Luke on its own terms yields a pretty good chronology consistent with Josephus. The problem occurs when Luke is assimilated to Matthew, as the latter clearly has Herod the Great in mind (as he is succeeded by Archelaus), and thus requires a date of birth well before 4 BC. The two nativity stories are clearly independent of each other and draw on unrelated traditions.

  • AGuest

    Per my Lord... and verifiable history... my Lord was born, in the flesh, in the 4th year before the beginning of Common Era, dear 3Mozzies. He was baptized at age 30, in the year 27 CE... and put to death at age 33 in the year 30 CE.

    Peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


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