Biblical timelines differ significantly among biblical scholars. Among the most debated dates in the Bible is the date of birth of Jesus Christ. While most Christians across the globe celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas, which is Dec. 25, others argue that Jesus was not born in April. So, was Jesus born in April?
The Bible does not provide an exact date when Jesus was born. However, observing the Jewish traditions and the season when Jesus was born, it is likely that he was born in April. Luke 2:8 is the verse that suggests that Jesus may have been born during spring. It says: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8. has a significant implication on the season.
In this article, we will discuss whether the Bible provides the exact dates of the birth of Jesus and why some people believe that he was born on Apr. 6. We will also see why some scholars are skeptical about the December date.
Does the Bible confirm the exact date of Jesus’ birth?
The Bible does not confirm the exact dates of Jesus’ birth. The birth of Jesus is recorded in the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke. It is also recorded in various prophecies, including that of Isaiah. Although extensively prophesied and documented, the exact date of Jesus’ birth was not mentioned in the Bible.
Although the Bible does not mention the dates when Jesus was born, some pointers can help us understand the year and the season. First, we can predict the season from Luke: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11.
This verse implies that the shepherds were around Jerusalem, where Jesus was born. It also indicates that the shepherds were in the field, which indicates favorable weather. In Jerusalem, shepherds could only stay out at night during summer, spring, and autumn. Beyond that point, it was too cold and rainy for them to be in the field.
Another thing that can point us to the time he was born in the prophecy of his death in the book of Daniel. It says: Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, But in the middle of the week, He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:27. This is the prophecy of his death which brought the sacrifice of the old covenant to an end. The verse mentions a week. A week can represent seven years. In Numbers, the Bible implies that a day in prophecy can mean one year: According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, Numbers 14:34. With this information, we can confidently say that the ministry of Jesus lasted three and a half years and had begun at the age of 30 according to Luke Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, Luke 3:23. If he died at the age of thirty-three and half years and he died during Passover which is in the first month called Nisan, the n we know that he was born about six months before Passover. That is between summer and fall.
Why do some people believe that Jesus was born on Apr. 6?
Some people believe that Jesus was born on Apr. 6 because of some astrological predictions. They argue that there was a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on 2 BC Jun. 17 with the arrangement of the stars Leo and Jupiter, which had attained a retrograde orbit in the previous months. They believe that the King Star or Regulus had a conjunction with Venus, a symbolic conception of Jesus by Mary.
Due to the conjunction, there was a star that gave a bright which made the wise men plan their journey. That bright Star is believed to be the one that represents Jesus and the one referred to in: I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult. Numbers 24:17. Therefore, using the astrological methods, some people arrive at Apr. 6 date as the birth of Jesus Christ.
Why do some religious scholars question the December date?
Some religious scholars question the December date because it was during the winter. In Jerusalem, where Jesus was born, December is usually deep into winter. Scholars argue that Jesus could not have been born during winter. Such is because the Bible indicates in Luke 2:8 that the shepherds were out in the field, taking watch over their sheep. In winter, shepherds usually seek shelter for their sheep and remain indoors until the winter is over. It would have been impossible for the sheep and the shepherds to be out at night during winter.
Also, Jesus was born during a time of a Roman census. And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, Luke 2:1-4. It is not practical that the Roman authorities would have required people to conduct a census during winter when it is extremely cold, and the roads are impassible. So, a census during winter would have been impossible.
Finally, the Bible says that Jesus was born outside in a manger. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7. It would have been impossible for the child to survive a cold winter outside in a manger with mere swaddling cloths as his cover. The fact that December is a very cold winter and has no biblical backing makes some scholars skeptical about a December birth.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.