The dates of Jesus birth and death

Date of the Jesus’ Birth from Scripture

By Greg Biltz

There is something about the date of Jesus’ birth that the devil just doesn’t want it known.  There has been centuries of obfuscation:  Herod died in 4 BC, Quirinius didn’t serve as governor of Syria until 6 AD, and there was no reason to register.  We have always known that December 25 is nothing more than the feast of the Roman sun god. 
Looking directly at scripture 
God wanted Moses to convey to his people some truths that He wanted them to never forget.  Those truths form the very basis of salvation history.  So, he made them a list of festivals to be celebrated every year (Lev 23:4-43): Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.  He called them “holy convocations, my appointed feasts” (Lev 23:2).  Convocation in Hebrew: “קָרָא”, (transliterated: kaw-raw”), has two meanings and God meant both: a convocation and a dress rehearsal. 
convocation is when all the Israelite men, were to convene in the place designated for the worship of Yahweh: the place where the Ark of the Covenant resided (Deut 16:6)After the Exodus, but prior to David that place varied between Bethel (Jug 20:27), Shiloh (1Sam 1:3), seven months (1Sam 6:1) in the hands of the Philistines in Ashdod, in the temple of Dagon (1Sam 5:2), Kiriath-jearim (1Sam 7:3) and later Gibeon, in the house of Obed-edom (2Sam 6:11).   After David, it was Jerusalem.  “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost], and the Feast of Tabernacles” (Deut 16:16)Women and children went to Jerusalem for Passover which is a family feast but were only required to go to Jerusalem for Tabernacles on  Sabbatical, Shmittah year – years divisible by 7 (Deut 31:10-13).  They did not need to attend the other Feasts. (The holy family went to Jerusalem every year for Passover (Lk 2:41).)
dress rehearsal concept implies that the feasts are prophecies of something beyond themselves.  These feasts form the cornerstone of the practice of the Jewish faith. 
Jesus was Jewish, and the Jewish faith is focused on the Feasts of the Lord.  Jesus said: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt 5:17-20).  It is easy to understand how Jesus fulfilled the prophets, but how do you fulfill the law unless there is prophecy in the law: the law defines the Feasts of the Lord and requires that they be celebrated every year.  Jesus has already fulfilled five of the seven feasts: Tabernacles, Unleavened Bread, Passover, First Fruits, and Pentecost and He fulfilled each of them on the specific day of each feast!  Because God does not forget his promises, Jesus will also fulfill the two remaining feasts: Trumpets and Atonement.
The Feasts in date sequence, according to the Jewish Temple, solar/lunar Religious Calendar:
Passover (Pesach) is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month, Nisan. It is a remembrance of the sacrifice of an unblemished, male lamb; whose blood saved the 1st born sons of the Israelites.  It is in fact a dress rehearsal for the sacrifice of God’s First-Born Son, the Lamb of God, to save all men.  It happened on the 14th day of the first month.
Unleavened Bread (Chag Matzot) begins on the 15th of Nisan with the Seder Meal which was both the sacrificial meal for the Paschal lamb, slaughtered just before sunset, and a Todah, thanksgiving, offering of unleavened bread and wine. The Todah was in thanksgiving for the deliverance, about to be provided, by the blood of the paschal lamb: the angel of death would see the blood on the door posts and lintel of the homes of those who had participated in the Seder meals. The Angel of death would then "pass over" their houses (Ex 12:21-23)Sacrifices could only be made in the Temple in Jerusalem.  Anyone offering sacrifice anywhere else was to be cut off from the people of God.  Anyone who could not travel to Jerusalem was expected to celebrate the Seder in an un-bloody fashion as the primary event is the Todah.  The word “Todah” means “thanksgiving”.  Todah in the Greek is “Eucharistia”.   The Seder is a dress rehearsal for the Eucharist: a Todah, Eucharistic, offering of bread and wine in thanksgiving for the deliverance [from sin] accomplished through the blood of the Lamb of God.  The Seder meal as the sacrificial meal for the Paschal Lamb is celebrated after the death of the Lamb. Since Jesus could not celebrate the Seder meal after his own death God arranged for there to be two calendars in use in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus death.  Jesus celebrated the Seder meal on the Essene calendar, on Tuesday Evening. The Essene’s were not allowed to offer sacrifice in the Temple. So, the Seder celebration was called an un-bloody sacrifice, celebrated just as the Jews celebrate the Passover Seder Meal today.
The Last Supper, a Seder meal, was initiated on the 15th of Nisan, according to the Essene calendar.  God uses both calendars!  It was completed on the cross, with the completion of the Seder ritual’s consumption of the 4th cup and the declaration of the Nirtzah: “It is finished”.   That happened right before the death of the Paschal lamb, the Lamb of God, on the Passover Preparation Day: Nisan 14 on the Temple calendar!  Jesus, the Lamb of God, upon entering Jerusalem, had been selected by the people on Lamb Selection Day (Palm Sunday) as the lamb for sacrifice for all the people by waving Palm fronds and shouting Hosanna.
First Fruits (Reishit Katzir) is the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest.  It is an acknowledgement that God continues to provide for us.  Jesus is the first fruit of the resurrection, opening the Kingdom of God and demonstrating that God continues to provide for us for all eternity (1Cor 15:20).  First Fruits was the third day: Passover Eve (the day the Lamb of God died on the cross) is the first day; the first day of Unleavened Bread (the Seder) is the second day; and First Fruits is the third day.  First Fruits was the day Jesus rose from the grave.  So, in answer to the question: Where does it say in scripture that the Messiah must die and rise on the third day?  Although most scholars will quote Hos 6:2, it is specifically in the fulfillment of Passover and First Fruits! (Lev 23:1-14). Passover, Nisan 15, the second day, is always a Sabbath. The Hebrew calendar is always tweaked so that two Sabbaths will never occur back to back: Friday & Saturday or Saturday & Sunday. That was because no cooking was done on the Sabbath and without refrigeration food would not keep for two days without cooking.  Thus, the Feast of First Fruits, specified in Leviticus as occurring on the first day after the Sabbath, is always on the 3rd day.
Pentecost (Shavuot) means 50 days and is the 50th day after First Fruits.  It is a memorial of the day God himself came down on Mount Sinai in a cloud of fire and smoke and a blast of God's trumpet (Ex 19:18-19), to ratify the covenant with his people.  It is a dress rehearsal for the day the Holy Spirit came down as flames of fire on the disciples, with a noise loud enough to draw a crowd of over 3,000 to the Cenacle, to ratify the new covenant written in our hearts.
Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated on the 1st day of the 7th month.  The feast celebrates God judgement: when all the world is judged before God’s throne.(1)   It is unfulfilled but thought to be the warning or illumination when everyone will see themselves as God sees them.  The first of the two events that must yet be fulfilled before the Messiah returns is that the Gospel must have reached all men.  If you think about it the only way that can happen is with the warning, a supernatural event in which all men recognize the truth.  It is interesting to note that it is the only event that happens to everyone in the world on the same day.  If you think about it there is no time when it is the same day everywhere in the world, but Trumpets is also a 2-day feast, oh what a coincidence!
Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the holiest day of the year.  It is celebrated on the 10th day of the 7th month.  It is unfulfilled.  It is thought to be when the Jewish nation will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.  The second event, that must happen before the end, is the conversion of the Jews.  That is not meant to be the personal conversion of every Jew but rather the acknowledgement by the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, that Jesus was/is the Messiah.
Tabernacles (Succot), the Feast of “God with us”, in Hebrew “Emanuel”, is on the 15th day of the 7th month.  It is the feast that celebrates God’s physical presence with the Israelites, during the Exodus, in a pillar of cloud by day to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light during the Exodus (Ex 13:21)The feast is celebrated by living in Sukkot, tents with a thatched roof, though which the stars must be visible, and rain must leak into the dwelling.  It is a dress rehearsal for the birth of Jesus; when God came to live among his people as the Light of the World and the Source of Living Water. Jesus was born in a stable, which with the thatched roof qualified as a sukkah.  The stable was used to protect infant lambs during the first week of life, while they were still vulnerable to the weather. Jesus, like infant lambs, was inspected by Levitical Shepherds and found without blemish thus set aside for sacrifice on Passover: The Lamb of God!  It is interesting to note that just as it says in scripture the first shall be last and the last shall be first (Mk 10:21):  Tabernacles was the first of the Feasts to be fulfilled and the last in the list on the Jewish lunar, solar calendar.

Checking consistency with the rest of scripture
It is one thing to derive the approximate year of Jesus birth and to believe that Jesus fulfilled the feast of Tabernacles with his birth. It is another to show that is in accord with Matthew and Luke’s description of all the events surrounding the conception of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus. 
A birth on the Feast of Tabernacles explains:

  1. Why there was no room in the inn (the caravansary courtyard): it was full of wealthy men’s tents (sukkot). They could not stay inside the inn, so they set up their sukkah in the courtyard where the poor people normally stayed. 
  2. Why Jesus was born in a stable: it qualified as a sukkah and provided more privacy than a poor man’s sukkah. 
  3. Why none of Joseph’s relatives opened their home to Mary who was about to give birth: she wouldn’t have stayed anywhere but in a sukka.
It fulfills both Jewish celebrations of light:
  1. The Incarnation on the last day of Chanukah, the little celebration of light, when every family had lit all eight candles on the Menorah (a half a million families with 8 candles on each Menorah produces 8 million candle power. 
  2. The Nativity on the Feast of Tabernacles, the create celebration of light for which 4 giant (75’) Menorahs were erected in the Court of Women.
One of the things about the story of the Nativity that struck me the most was that Jesus was born in a stable used to protect ‘paschal’ lambs from the weather.  He was inspected by Levitical shepherds (All the shepherds around Bethlehem were caring for the flocks owned by the Sadducees and only a Levitical shepherd could declare a lamb unblemished). Jesus was found without blemish; thus, set aside for sacrifice on Passover: The Lamb of God.  That would not have happened if He had not been born on the Feast of Tabernacles.  He would have been born in a family home, remember Joseph was from Bethlehem.  He certainly had friends and family there.  In a culture with a strong tradition of helping travelers, Joseph would not have been refused shelter in his own home town, especially when his wife was in labor.
John the Baptist was most likely to have been born on Passover,  March 20, 2BC. (2) The Jewish tradition has been that Elijah would return on Passover, Nisan 15.  Thus, according to the tradition, to this day, the Jews leave a place for Elijah at the table, for the Passover Seder Meal. The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that his son, John, would have the spirit of Elijah (Lk 1:17).  Although that makes the birth of John three weeks early, Elizabeth was certainly in enough stress.  Mary was in her 15th week and Joseph’s arrival for the celebration of the Seder was his first encounter with Mary since the Incarnation.
We know from scripture that Zechariah was serving in the temple during his divisions “normal” course of service when the angel appeared to him (Lk 1:11)Normal course of service means he was not serving during one of the convocations during which a man from any division could serve.  We know that he was of the division of Abijah (Lk 1:5) which is the eighth division.  There were 24 divisions (1Chr 24:7-18), and each served for a week twice a year.  24 divisions twice a year is 48 weeks. There are 51 weeks (50 weeks and 4 days) in a year on the Jewish calendar.  In a leap year there is an additional 4 weeks and 2 days. The temptation is to consider that the extra weeks were all common weeks or that the rotation continued during the leap year but paused during the convocations: festival weeks of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, when all men were required to be in Jerusalem(3).   However Gemera  Suka 55b-56a  and Rambam(4) Hilchos Klei Hamkidash 4:4-6 (5) indicate that during the festivals all Kohanim, priests, could serve in the service that was specific to the holiday.  They were selected by lot for that service. They would all share from the Lechem Hapanim, the showbread, and the two breads of Shavuos, the leavened bread offered at Pentecost, but other sacrifices were brought by the mishmar, the division of priests, of that week.(6) Thus, the weeks served by each division shifted from year to year and the rotation never paused.  That means a division could over time serve in any of the weeks.  There is no reference in scripture as to which division of Priests was serving on any particular date. There is however a reference in the Talmud: Mishnah (b. Taan 29a) that Jehoiarib was serving on the 9th of Av in 70 AD, when the temple was destroyed,(7), (8)  (Saturday August 4th 70 AD) and a correlative reference in Josephus Wars 6.4.5. All that needs to be done is to figure out the Hebrew calendar and walk it back in time.  
Luke tells us that John the Baptist began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar (Lk 3:1), who reigned from September 17, 14 AD to 37 AD.  That means his 15th year began on September 17, 28 AD and ended at his 15th anniversary which would have been Sept. 17, 29 AD. 
John was the son of a priest.  John would have been trained as a priest.  A priest like a Rabbi began his ministry at age 30.  We also know that Jesus was 30 when He was baptized by John and began his ministry (Lk 3:23), about 6 months after John began his ministry.   So, if John was 30 by September 17, 29 AD then he was born in 2 BC or late 3 BC.  There was no year 0.  So, if he was born in 2 BC, he was 1 in 1 BC; 2 in 1 AD; and 30 in 29 AD.  Thus, John would have most likely been conceived in 3 BC. 
There are only 2 cases to consider:
1) John was conceived Shevat 10, 3758 (Jan 26, 3 BC) which would imply that Jesus was born on Nisan 15, 3759. That might(9) explain why the caravansary was full (there was no room in the inn).
2) John was conceived Av 1, 3758 (July 13, 3 BC) which implies that Jesus was born on Tishrei 15, 3760 (Sept 13, 2 BC).  That explains: why the caravansary was full; why Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger; why shepherds were sent to the manger; and how the Feast of Tabernacles was fulfilled, and even fulfills the Feast of Chanukah.
We know that Mary conceived right away since, when Mary arrived in Ein Kerem seven days later, Elizabeth knew she was pregnant.  We could then assume that Elizabeth likewise conceived right away, especially since Zechariah was given great incentive to believe what the Angel told him.  Since Zechariah didn’t initially believe, to make his point the Angel struck him mute (Lk 1:20)Scripture tells us that Zechariah served the rest of his week before returning home (Lk 1:23).  If Elizabeth conceived on Av 1, 3758, the night Zechariah returned home; then Av, Elul, Tishrei, Cheshvan, and Kislev were the 1st thru 5th months of her pregnancy.  Tevet is Elizabeth’s 6th month.  If the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary on Tevet 2 then 278 days later (during the 40th week)(10), Mary gave birth on the 15th of Tishrei: The Feast of Tabernacles, The Feast of God with Us, The Feast of Emanuel.  That means the Incarnation occurred on the 8th day of Chanukah.  The number 8 stands for new beginnings and dedication to God:
  • Sukkoth lasts 8 days,
  • Boys are circumcised on the 8th day,
  • Temple dedication took 8 days.
The 8th day of the celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple, Chanukah, after the temple had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanies, marked a new beginning in the relationship between the Israelites and Yahweh.  That year, 3 BC, it was truly a new beginning in man’s relationship with God: God became man! 
The Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th day of Chanukah are the two celebrations of light in the Jewish religion.  On the eighth day of Chanukah all eight candles on the menorah are lit.(11)  On that day Jesus, the light of the world, was conceived.  On the Feast of Tabernacles four giant menorahs were constructed in the court of women in the temple and lit .  The light from the four giant menorahs could be seen all over Jerusalem, making it light all night long, and the light from the 75’ menorahs could be seen in Bethlehem where Jesus, the light of the world, was born.(12)
The dates of Jesus birth and death are readily established by looking at the Jewish Religious Calendar. Once the Feasts of the Lord celebrated by the Jews are recognized as Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus on the day of the feast it is easy to conclude that Jesus was born on September 13th, 2BC (the Feast of Tabernacles), and that Jesus died on preparation day for the Feast of Passover, April 3rd, 33AD.
Thus, we have established from scripture the date of Jesus birth and validated it via the story of the conception of John the Baptist and the consistency with the narrated events surrounding the birth of Jesus.  There should be no further requirement, but our atheistic society demands extra biblical validation and Luke was kind enough to provide it.  
Checking extra biblical sources
All the historians seem to begin with establishing the date of Jesus’s death. Using a Hebrew calendar, it is easy.  There were only three occasions during Pilate’s reign, on which Passover was on a Saturday: the first year, in AD 26; the year AD 33; and on the last year of his reign, 36 AD.  It could not have been his first or his last year therefore there was only one possibility. It is apparent none of the historians bothered to look at the Hebrew calendar.
The biggest obstacle to dating Christ birth is the belief that because Herod’s son began his reign in 4 BC, Herod must have died in 4 BC.  Thus, Jesus must have been born before Herod died.  However, Herod was reduced from a “friend” to a “subject” by Cesar Augustus in 4 BC (13),  for sending troops into Arabia.  He did not die!  He then had to share his reign with his chosen heir, Antipater(14).
Antipater considered his two younger half-brothers who were of “Royal”, Hasmodean, descent a potential threat.  He connived to have them executed for treason.  Then Antipater plotted to kill Herod, so he would not have to wait to have control of the kingdom.  His plot was discovered and exposed.  Since Herod had been demoted, he had to get Varus, governor of Syria, to hear the case.  (That would be difficult to do while dead.)  Varus found Antipater guilty and left the punishment up to Herod.  Herod ordered him executed(15).  Herod then decided to split the kingdom between his three remaining sons: Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip.  Their reigns were antedated to when Herod was demoted to show the continuity of reign.  Coins confirm that antedating was common.  Herod died 3 years after Antipater was executed(16).
Josephus gives two indications of the length of the rule of Herod: 1) He says Herod had a reign of 37 years from the time he was proclaimed king by the Romans and; 2) He says he reigned for 34 years after the death of Antigonus, which happened shortly after Herod took Jerusalem(17).  Herod took Jerusalem late in 36 BC.  Josephus says Herod captured Jerusalem 27 years to the day that Pompey committed his abominations, which happened in 63 BC.  He also said it was on the occasion of the 185th Olympiad which began in July of 36 BC(18).  Both clearly give 36 BC for Herod's capture of Jerusalem.  If we use the common accession method of counting years of rule(19), a practice the Jews copied from the Babylonians, the date to start his 34 years is on the 1st of Tishrei in 35 BC or on the 1st of Nisan in 35 BC (the beginning of the Temple year following the capture of Jerusalem).  Israel’s Northern and Southern Kingdom used different methods of accession counting: one using the Secular year starting on Tishrei 1 and the other used the Temple year starting on Nissan 1.  Which method that was used by Josephus doesn’t really matter as both imply a death in 1 BC. So, Herod's 34th year of rule would start with the 1st of Tishrei in 2 BC and end with the 1st of Tishrei in 1 BC or would start with the 1st of Nisan in 2 BC and end with first of Nisan in 1 BC.  Now 34 years after 35 BC would give 1 BC for the death and end of the reign of Herod. 
The crux of the debate on the date of the death of Herod lies in the statement of Josephus that Herod died shortly after having Matthias burned alive on the day of a “fast” and that very night there was an eclipse of the moon(20).  
The point missed by all the scholars is that: “Josephus calls the day of the fall of Jerusalem "the day of the fast" (νηστείας μέρα; "Ant." xiv. 4, § 3); but in this he merely followed the phraseology of his Gentile sources, which regarded the Sabbath as a fast-day, according to the current Greco-Roman view. Dio Cassius says (xxxvii. 16) correctly that it was on a "Cronos day," this term likewise denoting the Sabbath(21).   There are four candidate eclipses considered by the scholars:

  1. Friday September 15, 5 BC 
  2. Monday, Tuesday Mar 12-13, 4 BC 
  3. Saturday January 10, 1 BC 
  4. Wednesday December 29, 1 BC 

There is only one that falls on a Sabbath (Cronus Day) and it is also the most memorable: being a Total Eclipse centered over Libya just west of Jerusalem which lasted 3 hours and 34 minutes and was in total eclipse an hour and 39 minutes: certainly, worthy of being the eclipse mention by Josephus.
Herod died soon after the total eclipse of the moon as indicated by Josephus.  The eclipse occurred on Jan. 10, 1 BC.(22) 
Jul Date
Umbra Magnitude
Jan 10, 1 BC
Luke also ties the birth of Jesus to a census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Lk 2:2).  This has caused problems because Quirinius reigned from 6 to 9 AD. But considering that: “there was found near Tibur (Tivoli) in AD.1764 a fragment of marble known as the Lapis Tiburtinus, with part of an inscription, which is now preserved in the Lateran Museum of Christian Antiquities, as one of the important monuments bearing on the history of Christianity:

21 Lapis Tiburtinus
The inscription records the career and honors of a Roman official who lived in the reign of Augustus, and who survived that emperor. He conquered a nation; he was rewarded with two Supplicationes and the Ornamenta Triumphalia, i.e., the gorgeous dress of a triumphing general, with ivory scepter and chariot, etc.; he governed Asia as proconsul; and he twice governed Syria as legatus of the divine Augustus.
Though the name has perished, yet these indications are sufficient to show with practical certainty (as all the highest authorities are agreed -- Mommsen, Borghesi, de Rossi, Henzen, Dessau, and others), that the officer who achieved this splendid career was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius.  His government of Syria in 6-9 AD, was therefore his second tenure of that office. He had administered Syria at some previous time. Is not this earlier administration the occasion to which Luke refers?(23) 
“Here again, however, we are confronted with a serious difficulty. The supreme authority on the subject, Mommsen, considers that the most probable date for Quirinius's first government of Syria is about BC.3-1.”(24) 
That serious difficulty evaporates when we realize that Jesus was born in 2 BC not sometime before 4 BC as was assumed by Mommsen and others.
We have established now that Herod was still alive and Quirinius was the Governor of Syria at the time of Jesus’ birth.  We still want to validate the rest of Luke’s statement, that there was a requirement to go to the ancestral home for taxation. The Romans levied a variety of taxes, including both a Land Tax and a Poll tax.  The Land Tax was levied every 14 years and only affected the wealthy who owned property.  The Poll Tax was also levied every 14 years.  It affected both men (age 14 to 60) and women (age 12 to 60).  The Poll Tax required everyone to return to their home city and register.  The Poll Taxation occurred half way between the Land taxations.  There was a Land tax riot mentioned by Josephus which occurred in 6 AD.  Thus, the prior Land Tax would have occurred in 9BC and the Poll tax would have occurred in 2 BC and would have been executed by Quirinius during his first reign as governor of Syria from 3 to 1 BC (25).

Validation of the Jewish Calendar
Some scholars may complain that I used a derived calendar, whereas the Jews only started using a derived calendar after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and therefore, all my dates are suspect at best because all the dates are on or before 70 AD.  However, the derived calendar was derived based on more than 2000 years of practice: the time from Moses to 70AD.  And the original calendar was self-correcting every spring. So, to validate the calendar I checked its validity using NASA’s solar and lunar eclipse records.  All dates should be plus or minus 2 days because the date changes at sunset not midnight and because the Jews tweaked the calendar to prevent back to back Sabbaths.  Because the Hebrew calendar is a lunar based calendar a solar eclipse can only occur on the 1st of the month and a lunar eclipse can only occur on the 15th of a month.
We have shown that the temple destruction began on the 9th of Av, of 70 AD and the Talmud establishes that on the 10 of Av the priests were reciting the prayers for the afternoon of the first day of the week, when the soldiers came into the Holy of Holies. On our derived calendar the 9th of Av is also a Saturday, August 4th and therefore the 10th is thus a Sunday the first day of the week: Sunday August 5th:  exactly right.
The validity of the date of the crucifixion is easy because the moon rose over Jerusalem as a partial blood moon: in a partial eclipse on April 3rd of the year 33 AD.  (As referenced by Peter's speech referring to the day of Jesus' crucifixion on Pentecost (Acts 2:20) as a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (Joel 2:10).  As shown the crucifixion happened on April 3rd, 33AD, the 14th of Nissan the eve of Passover.
To validate the calendar for the date of Jesus’ birth we have:
  1. On February 15, 3 BC a total solar eclipse #4757 which occurred on the last day of Adar, 30 Adar 
  2. On January 10, 1BC a total lunar eclipse #4821 which occurred on the 15th of Shevat 
  3. On July 5, 1 BC a total lunar eclipse #4822 which occurred on the 14th of Tammuz

Since Jesus was born on Tishrei 15, of 2 BC, which is after the solar eclipse of February 15, 3 BC at which time the derived calendar was exactly right and before the total lunar eclipse of January 10th, 1 BC at which time the derived calendar was exactly right; we have  established the date of his birth.”

Anyone interested in the details of the spreadsheet used to determine the date of the Angel Gabriel’s apparition to Zachariah and the birth of Jesus can view it at:

(1) The Feast of Trumpets in Old Testament times was understood as the inauguration of a judgment process .
(3) There is some controversy over whether the weeks of the leap year were common weeks. That cannot be the case as to travel just from Nazareth to Jerusalem took 6 days so priests living away from Jerusalem would be en route when the designated priest examined the barley to see if it was a leap year. That would then imply that either the traveling priest had to return home or stay in Jerusalem for a month which is not logical.
(6) Gemara Suka 55b-56a seems to imply that the priests assigned that week continued to serve and would complete their normal rotation in spite of the additional priests. It makes no difference as there were 216 common weeks between Av of 70 AD and Tammuz of 3 BC. That is exactly 9 rotations: oh, what a coincidence!
(7) Talmud Mishnah (b. Ta?an 29a). Av 9 fell on Saturday, August 4th in 70 AD
(8) Josephus Wars 6.4.5
(9) Bethlehem was a town of about 400 people. It was, at that time, the center for sheep production for the priests in the temple. It had a caravansary which is an inn with a walled in courtyard. The courtyard was used to protect pack animals and their owner’s property from wild animals and thieves. Poor people slept on the ground inside the courtyard with the pack animals while the wealthy slept in the inn. For the inn to be full means there had to be a very large celebration going on in Jerusalem which was 5 miles away. Travelers to Jerusalem would have stayed there if they expected the inns in Jerusalem to be full. There was nothing but sheep to attract people to stay in Bethlehem, but Jerusalem was only an hour’s walk away.
(10) normal time 268 days to 280 days.
(12) Which celebration of light was greater: The 8 candles on every menorah in 2 million homes throughout the world or 4 75ft, (23m) menorahs each fueled by a barrel of oil with wicks made of rolled up priestly garments? Jesus’ birth required the public manifestation while the incarnation was the more significant event (my opinion).
(13) Antiquities’ of the Jews, Josephus Flavius Book 16, Chapter 9:3
(14) Herod’s sons were king in name only. Herod retained his power and his sons the title.
(15) Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus Flavius Book 17 Chapter 7
(17) Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus Flavius Book 17 Chapter 8
(18) Antiquities of the Jews Book 14 Chapter 16
(20) Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus Flavius Book 17 Chapter 6 verse 4
(22) : 04821 0000 Jan 10 02:04:40 (note: NASA uses a year 0 in the eclipse list but since there was no year 0 that year is actually 1 BC.) (note: NASA uses a year 0 in the eclipse list but since there was no year 0 that year is actually 1 BC.) href=""
(23) Arthur Eedle, Seven Steps to Bethlehem page 81 and
(24) and
(25) Author Eedle Seven Steps to Bethlehem p77-79


Jerry Scarbrough said...

So this is saying Jesus was actually 34 years old when he died?

Greg Biltz said...

No, Jesus’ birthday is September 13. He died on April 3rd while He was still 33.

Stephen Ho said...

Christmas Is The Central Date In Human History

Proofs That Tradition Is Accurate: We Are 2010 Years After His Birth In Bethlehem
When did King Herod the Great Die?


Unknown said...

Thank you! An amazing piece of work. Among many other things, you addressed a long nagging question of mine: why wouldn't Joseph's family have taken them into their home in Bethlehem? Such a rich mine of information and analysis! As suspected, there's not a superfluous thing in the Bible. The more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to explore, to be revealed. I'm sure I'll be re-reading your post many times to my great delight. Thank you and God bless you for sharing all this!

Anonymous said...

Although not from Catholic visionary, it is scriptually relevant from christian perspective

This point was so important that the Holy Spirit told me Himself. I watched the fifty saints enter Heaven, but the point I missed was the time frame involved. It was explained to me that at the same time those fifty saints died on Earth, 1,950 other humans also died; or only 50 out of 2000 made it into Heaven. That other 1,950 were not there. Where were they? That was only 2 ½ percent going to Heaven! Ninety seven point five percent did not make it! Is that representative of the entire world today? If so, 97 ½ percent of the population of this world today is not ready to meet God.

Asterius said...

Our Lord Jesus was born on 25th December in the year -1 and He died on 3rd April in 33.
Jan Pouč: Our era Jesus Christ and King Herod: a defense of our era and the chronology of Jesus.

SilverStone said...

An alternative interpretation of the feasts:

Passover - Israelites as slaves in Egypt

Unleavened Bread - 40 years in the wilderness eating manna

First fruits - the birth and life of Christ - the first-born of the Father

Pentecost - the descent of the Holy Spirit to create the Christian church

Trumpets - the call to form the modern nation of Israel (beginning with Herzl)

Atonement - the second coming of Christ to judge the nations

Tabernacles - the resurrection (booths representing the new resurrection body)

Unknown said...

im the 5 of 8 5 1990 b day same as christ huh just came here yesterday got my whole life tribulation