Greetings all, thanks for the continued interest in this blog! For the new people just joining I would suggest reading earlier blogs. Pay close attention to the blog about the integral idea. Most of my blogs originate or have something to do with this interesting verse stated in the Talmud.
This week I will be blogging about the birth of John the Baptist. Over the last week, I have come across many tweets and internet sites proclaiming the birth of Jesus in the month of September. In my book I do not address this topic, but I will update the book based mainly on what I am blogging here. The September birthday of Jesus has flaws. Unfortunately, once the flawed information gets out, it is echoed across the world in a matter of seconds and takes on a life of its own. Quite often Christians are good natured and accept whatever is posted in a positive way, such as evidence as the existence of Jesus, as true because the name Jesus is mentioned. As a historian I do not. The September birth theory is based on Luke 1: 5-26. Luke 1: 5-26 from the New American Standard Bible, states:
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to take away my disgrace among men.”
Jesus' Birth Foretold
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
Thus, historians know that Jesus was 6 months younger then John the Baptist. This is where things get misconstrued. Based on information for the Talmud, we know Zacharias' duty was over in late June. But, Luke only mentions that "after these days" that Elizabeth became pregnant. Therefore, as a historian I can not use this as evidence for when Jesus was born. Was "after these days" suppose to mean days, weeks, or months. Unfortunately, some have calculated a Passover birth for John, and a September birth for Jesus. For Friday's blog think about these two questions. First, why would Mary travel to Bethlehem when so close to delivery? Second, how important are Simeon and Anna's predictions of greatness for Jesus? Until then, GO WITH GOD!
14 years ago I became interested in the date that Jesus was born. This led to several years of research, I quickly realized that there was no valid information that provided any real answers to this question. Since this website is getting some interest I will post from time to time some of the information I learned during this quest.