607 and Jesus
A discussion with my grandmother the other day regarding dates for the destruction of Jerusalem raised a question. She stated that the 607 date can be confirmed by the date that Jesus was either born or started his ministry...which I can't exactly remember.
She said this was discussed recently at a meeting, and that if you go by the date that Jesus was on earth, you arrive at 607.
Can anyone elaborate on this belief and why it is wrong? I'm familiar with most arguments against the 607 date, yet not with this one.
Hi Kwin- Matthew and Luke attempt to give the time of Jesus' birth, approximately. Matthew clearly states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Luke states that Augustus Caesar issued a decree that the world should be taxed, that "this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria," and that Jesus was born at the time of this taxing. But between these two attempts there is a discrepancy of about ten years-Herod died 4 B.C., while Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until 7 A.D. Also- the Calendar of Philocalus (354 A.D.) assumed Jesus' birth date to be Friday, December 25, 1 A.D. So...there are some appoximate dates for the birth of Jesus but no real proof and not much agreement. But this is what I've come up with, someone else might have some better information. I don't know if this helps or not Kwin.
According to the Gospel record, ?Jesus was born before the death of Herod the Great...
at the time of a census or enrollment made in the territory of Herod in accordance
with a decree of Augustus when Quirinius..(also known as Cyrenius). was exercising authority in the Roman
province of Syria...? 2 And so it would seem logical to use these three historic men
? Augustus, Quirinius and Herod ? to triangulate the birth of Christ, right?
Not quite so simple. Firstly, in the nineteenth century, scholars found it fashionable
to call Quirinius a myth, since there was no record of his existence outside of
Luke 2:1-2 .
But Luke has once again been vindicated as a reliable historian by
the recent discovery that Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was in fact a historical figure
and indeed governor of Syria around the time of Christ?s birth. Still, scholars questioned
Luke?s accuracy, since the available evidence was that Quirinius? governorship
of Syria was from AD 6 onwards. New evidence has come to light, however,
showing that Quirinius served an earlier term as governor of Syria.
But one problem is still outstanding. Modern scholarly consensus holds that Herod
died in 4 BC . And since Matthew 2:1 tells us that ?Jesus was born... during the
time of King Herod ,? this pushes back Jesus? birth to well before 4 BC . Or does it?
Our modern calendar, which divides world history into BC (which stands for ?Before
Christ?) and AD (which stands for ?Anno Domini,? or ?The Year of Our Lord?),
is based on the calculations of a sixth century Ukrainian monk called Dionysius Exignus.
Dionysius calculated that the birth of Christ occurred in the Roman year 754. He
counted AD 1 (the inaugural year of Anno Domini) as commencing on January 1 of
the year following the birth of Christ.
Therefore, according to his reckoning, Jesus was born in 1 BC (there was no ?zero
year? since the concept of zero had not entered the West). How did Dionysius
come to this conclusion? He based his calculations on the historical records available
to him in the Vatican Library at Rome and on the record of Luke 3:1-2 .
Let?s now take a quick look at the evidence provided by early Christian writers. 3
Tertullian stated that Augustus began to rule 41 years before the birth of
Christ and died 15 years after. The date of Augustus? death is known to be
August 19, AD 14. This would place the birth of Jesus at 2 BC (since there is
no AD zero). He also asserted that Jesus was born 28 years after the death
of Cleopatra, once again placing the birth of Christ at 2 BC .
Irenaeus, born about a hundred years after Jesus, wrote: ?Our Lord was
born about the forty-first year of the reign of Augustus.? This doesn?t contradict
Tertullian?s 42 years, since Augustus? reign began in the autumn of 43
BC . This places the birth of Jesus in the autumn of 2 BC .
Eusebius, in the fourth century, wrote: ?It was the forty-second year of
the reign of Augustus and the twenty-eighth from the subjugation of Egypt
on the death of Antony and Cleopatra.? The 42nd year of Augustus spanned
between the autumn of 2 BC and the autumn of 1 BC . The ?subjugation of
Egypt? took place in the autumn of 30 BC . According to this reckoning,
therefore, the 28th year from the subjugation of Egypt spanned from the
autumn of 3 BC to the autumn of 2 BC . The only possible date for the birth of
Jesus that meets both requirements would be the autumn of 2 BC .
The evidence strongly points to 2 BC as the birth of Christ, making Dionysius out
in his calculations by just one year. But what about the fact that Herod supposedly
died in 4 BC ? Historians calculate this date because Josephus reports a lunar
eclipse occurring just before Herod?s death, and for some time, the only eclipse that
fitted the evidence was in March 13, 4 BC . Astronomical science, however, has
since determined that a lunar eclipse was visible in Jerusalem on January 9, 1 BC .
Combined with the testimony of early Christian historians, the weight of evidence
leans toward the autumn of 2 BC , which also corresponds with Luke?s assertion
that Christ was ?about thirty years old? ( Luke 3:23 ) in or just after ?the fifteenth
year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar? ( Luke 3:1 ), whose actual ascension to the
Thank you both, Gordy and Under74. I always thought that Jesus' birth was just estimated, I had no idea there was so much background info on that.
So how does the WTS tie in Jesus life with thier 607BC chronology?
I think it has to do with their beloved idea of "Pivotal Dates" and how they can tie in prophecies like all that 70 weeks crud to arrive at other dates...how the 70 weeks started the count from when the walls of Jerusalem were being laid down to where "in the middle of the week the anointed one would be cut off"....Remember how the WT said that the calcualtions from 53x BCE would bring one to 29 CE? That's the link with Jesus... IIRC... Then of course one could just count back 70 years from 537 to get 607.
What a load!!!
When relatives and even Elders confront me and ask if I'm still hung up on dates I tell them I'm over that now.... then I ask when will the Organization get over it and let go of all the dates as well?
Job 24 1 "Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?
Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
1 Thessalonians 5 1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1 Timothy 1
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
She stated that the 607 date can be confirmed by the date that Jesus was either born or started his ministry
I think she may be thinking of Daniel's prophecy of the 70 weeks (Dan 9:24-27). This is WT's explanation:*** w86 10/1 p. 5 Daniel?An Authentic Book of Prophecy *** 70 weeks (490 years) < 69 weeks (483 years) > < 1 week (7 years) > 455 B.C.E. 29 C.E. 33 C.E. 36 C.E. "From the going "until Mes- "Messiah "And he forth of the word siah the will be must keep to restore and to Leader. . ." cut off. . ." the cove- rebuild Jerusalem, nant in force for one week"
As you can see, however, this uses the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a starting point. Do you think she might have confused the rebuilding of Jerusalem with the destruction of Jerusalem (which WT say was in 607 BC)?
If you need to disprove 607 from the Society's own literature, this is a brilliantly simple explanation: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/10/55372/1.ashx. (Note to Lady Lee: may I suggest this thread is added to your Best of ... WT Chronology thread?)
Awesome post Shotgun!!!
Has the society ever said "we don't know."
Not, "we don't know but...."
THAT's when the Big A will happen....when they finally say they don't know.