Jesus' Birth

Jesus' Birth

Uncertainty

1  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO WHAT YEAR JESUS WAS BORN.

 

A   4 B.C.E. or before.  

   (born during reign of King Herod who died 4 B.C.E.).  (Wikipedia: Herod the Great)

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,      Matthew 2:1

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. ... After those days his wife Elisabeth conceived. ... And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said ... thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.     Luke 1:5-31

B   After 6 C.E.  

   (year of the Roman Census – Antiquities 18:1:1,  Jewish Wars 7:8:1) Josephus  The Census of Quirinus occurred in 6 C.E.  according to Historian Josephus.

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)    Luke 2:1-2

The Herod that is referred to here is Herod the Great, as is made clear in Luke 2:22, which refers to Herod’s son, Archalaus. Since Herod the Great died in 4 BCE, this dates Jesus’s birth to no later than that year. But the gospel of Luke (2:2) says that Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria when Mary was pregnant with Jesus.  Quirinius was appointed governor in 6 CE.

We know then that Jesus was born sometime before 4 BCE and sometime after 6 CE – which makes his birth a truly miraculous event.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,     Luke 2:22

Quirinius (Cyrenius) became governer of Syria in 6 CE, nine years after king Herod's death.
(Wikipedia: Quirinius)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) ... Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, in Judea ... To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. Luke 2:1-4

The Matthew narrator informs us that Jesus was born in the days of Herod the King, and the Luke narrator says he was born when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria, or later. This is an error in the "Word of God" as Cyrenius was not Governor of Syria until some ten years after the time of Herod

2  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO WHO AN ANGEL APPEARED TO WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS.

A   To shepherds in the flesh.

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”     Luke 2:15

B   To Joseph in a dream.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”     Matthew 2:13

3 THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO JESUS BEING BORN IN A HOUSE OR IN A MANGER

Manger

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.     Luke 2:7

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.    Luke 2:16

House

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.     Matthew 2:11

Cave

Eusebius, the first ecclesiastical historian, who flourished during the Council of Nice (A. D. 327), it is very strange that, in speaking of the birth of Jesus, he should have omitted even mentioning them, and should have given an altogether different version. He tells us that Jesus was neither born in a house, nor in a stable, but in a cave, and that at the time of Constantine a magnificent temple was erected on the spot, so that the Christians might worship in the place where their Saviour's feet had stood.

In the apocryphal Gospel called "Protevangelion," attributed to James, the brother of Jesus, we are informed that Mary and her husband, being away from their home in Nazareth, and when within three miles of Bethlehem, to which city they were going, Mary said to Joseph: "Take me down from the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth." Joseph, replying, said: "Whither shall I take thee, for the place is desert?"

."Then said Mary again to Joseph: "Take me down, for that which is within me mightily presses me." Joseph then took her down from off the ass, and he found there a cave and put her into it. Joseph then left Mary in the cave, and started toward Bethlehem for a midwife, whom he found and brought back with him. When they neared the spot a bright cloud overshadowed the cave.

"But on a sudden the cloud became a great light in the cave, so their eyes could not bear it. But the light gradually decreased, until the infant appeared and sucked the breast of his mother." 

Tertullian (A. D. 200), Jerome (A. D. 375) and other Fathers of the Church, also state that Jesus was born in a cave, and that the heathen celebrated, in their day, the birth and Mysteries of their Lord and Saviour Adonis in this very cave near Bethlehem.  

Canon Farrar says: "That the actual place of Christ's birth was a cave, is a very ancient tradition, and this cave used to be shown as the scene of the event even so early as the time of Justin Martyr (A. D. 150)   "The place yet shown as the scene of their (the Magi's) adoration at Bethlehem is a cave."

The Christian ceremonies in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem are celebrated to this day in a cave,

Celebrated, in the same cave is the honoring of Adonis, in the time of Tertullian and Jerome; and as are still celebrated in Rome every Christmasday, very early in the morning.

The virgin-born Saviours wheom preceded Jesus almost all been born in a place of the most humble possible —such as a cave, a cow-shed, a sheep-fold, &c.—or had been placed there after birth. This was a part of the universal mythos.

Crishna, the Hindoo virgin-born Saviour, was born in a cave

How-Tseih, the Chinese "Son of Heaven," when an infant, was left unprotected by his mother, but the sheep and oxen protected him.

Abraham, the Jewish Patriarch, is said to have been born in a cave.

Bacchus, who was the son of God by the virgin Semele, is said to have been born in a cave,  The inhabitants of India had a tradition that Bacchus was born at Nisa, and was brought up in a cave.

Æsculapius, who was the son of God by the virgin Coronis, was left exposed, when an infant, on a mountain.

Romulus, who was the son of God by the virgin Rhea-Sylvia, was left exposed, when an infant, on the banks of the river Tiber.

Adonis, the "Lord" and "Saviour," was placed in a cave shortly after his birth.

Apollo (Phoibos), son of the Almighty Zeus, was born in a cave at early dawn. [

Mithras, the Persian Saviour, was born in a cave or grotto.

Hermes, the son of God by the mortal Maia, was born early in the morning, in a cave or grotto.

Attys, the god of the Phrygians, was born in a cave or grotto.

Light

"There was a great light in the cave, so that the eyes of Joseph and the midwife could not bear it."  In all early Christian painters of the Nativity, the light is made to arise from the body of the infant, and the father and mother are often depicted with glories round their heads.

The moment Crishna was born, his mother became beautiful, and her form brilliant. The whole cave was splendidly illuminated, being filled with a heavenly light, and the countenances of his father and his mother emitted rays of glory

At the birth of Buddha, "the Saviour of the World," which, according to one account, took place in an inn, "a divine light diffused around his person,"  He was "heralded into the world by a supernatural light."

When Bacchus was born, a bright light shone round him, "there was a brilliant light in the cave."

When Apollo was born, a halo of serene light encircled his cradle,and girded a broad golden band around his form. 

When Saviour Æsculapius was born, his countenance shone like the sun, and he was surrounded by a fiery ray.

When Moses was born, a bright light appeared and shone around.

4  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO WHAT CITY MARY AND JOSEPH WERE LIVING BEFORE JESUS WAS BORN.

A   Nazareth.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.      Luke 1:26

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.     Luke 2:4

B  Bethlehem

2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,     Matthew 2:1

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.    Matthew 2:16

angel announcing

 

5  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO IF A ROMAN CENSUS AFFECTED JOSEPH AND MARY.

A   Yes. 

   Had to leave their home in Nazareth and go to Bethlehem.

2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.     Luke 2:2-4

B   No.  

   Already living in Bethlehem.  The wise men came to Bethlehem (the “star” led them).

2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,      Matthew 2:1

Yet Matthew also says “he shall be a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:23.

 

56 THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO HOW LONG MARY & JOSEPH LIVED IN BETHLEHEM.

A   Two years. 

   Herod gave orders to kill all boys in Bethlehem under the age of two because of what he had learned from the Magi.  They had to flee to Egypt.

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.     Matthew 2:16

B   Forty days. 

   Mary & Joseph were living in Nazareth and went to Bethlehem for the Roman census.

So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, their own city, Nazareth.   Luke 2:39

Jesus birth

7  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO WHETHER MARY WAS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO JERUSALEM TO REGISTER FOR THE ROMAN CENSUS.

A   Yes.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.      Luke 2:4-5

B   No.

According to Roman Law. Joachem Heremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, pg 87

The deaf, insane, minors, neuters, hemaphrodites, women, slaves, the lame, the blind, the sick, the very old, and those who cannot walk up to the Temple Mount with their own feet, were exempt from the Roman census.

 

8  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO WHETHER JOSEPH WAS REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR THE ROMAN CENSUS.

A   Yes.

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.     Luke 2:1-3

B   No.

According to Roman Law, the Roman census only applied to Roman provinces.  Nazareth was not in a Roman province.  It was a kingdom ruled by King Herod.  Further Roman censuses only applied to those who owned property.  Mary and Joseph had to stay in a manger.

BC AD

 

9  THE “WORD OF GOD” IS UNCERTAIN AS TO JESUS WHETHER JESUS WENT TO EGYPT OR NOT.

A  Yes.

When he arose he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod. . . .

But when Herod was dead, . . . he took the young child and his mother and came . . . and dwelt in a city called Nazareth. (Matt. 2:14, 15, 19, 21, 23.)

B  No.

And when the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. . . . And when they had performed all things, according to the law of the Lord they returned . . . to their own city, Nazareth. (Luke 2:22, 39.)

 

 

 
Order
10