Note: Over the last few days while working on this essay, I’ve noticed that December the 25th fell on a sabbath. Coincident? That and trying out a new thing I’ve been instructed how to do on the computer, I’ve decided to post it at sunset on December the 24th . THANKS Julia! Ole dog ain’t never too old to learn a new computer trick. Ha, Ha, Ha!!! https://precioussheepofrenown.com/2021/12/20/where-did-christmas-originate/
When Was Jesus Flesh Born a Babe?
One may ask why I did not just title this essay “When was Jesus Born?”. Well, John tells us that the Word (Logos) became flesh, which indicates He existed prior to being born in the flesh. (John 1:14) His name was Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) and Mary was instructed to call his name JESUS. (Matt. 1:21) He was the express image of Father God by whom He made all the worlds. By the brightness of His glory He upholds all things by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:1-3) There is no need to try and distinguish who is who with the pronouns He and His because: “In the beginning (at the commencement) was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God (Theos), and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) It truly goes with the adage “Like father like son” because they are of the same spirit (mental disposition) and it is holy. Together as “us” they made man, male and female in their image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7,18-25) [For more in depth detail, see Missing Links, chapters I, II & III in the main menu.]
Now that the stage is set, let’s see what the Bible has to say about when Jesus was born. First off, the year has been disputed for centuries. I believe the year was 5 BC. According to all I can find searching the cyber library, I still rather depend on the prophet Daniel’s 70 week (490 days) timeline prophecy for the year and math. (See Missing Links, Chapter VI in main menu.) That leaves us with the season and there are four seasons to the year. Most of the whole world celebrates Jesus’s earthly birthday on the Gregorian calendar’s December 25th, which just happens to be the four days after the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, it would be four days after the summer solstice. This is done by tradition only and is not Biblical as it is by man’s tradition only. Where did this tradition come from? Rome! Isn’t it said, “All roads lead to Rome? Here’s a general roadmap with many search clicks:
In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there are only two Gospels that address the physical birth event of Jesus Christ – Luke and Matthew. Two major events (shepherds and wise men) at two separate times are conveyed and do not reflect the traditional nativity story. However, they do tell the true story which is contrary to today’s man-evolved traditions. We’ll begin with the Gospel of Luke for the shepherd event occurred first, but the Magi were on their way to Jerusalem.
First there was the conception which was in the sixth month. This would be the sixth month (Elul – Aug/Sept) of the sacred calendar, which begins in the spring on the new moon closest to the spring equinox. (Luke 1:26-37) Then Mary went to see her cousin Elisabeth, who also received a miracle five months earlier. (Luke 1:24) It just so happened that when Mary went with haste to see Elisabeth in those days of her miracle, Elisabeth was six months pregnant. The sixth month in verse 26 is a calendar (sacred – a lunar type) month, not Elisabeth’s pregnancy month in verse 36. [Luke was writing a declaration of facts to a Roman official titled “most excellent Theophilus”, probably a Senator. Verse 36 would not have been a duplicated fact repeating the date time of verse 26.] Luke 1:41-56 was the first introduction of Jesus to John the Baptist, Jesus’ second cousin. He (John) literally leaped for joy in his mother’s womb! Mary and Elisabeth spent the next three months visiting with each other and praising the Lord who was developing in Mary’s virgin womb. Luke 1:57-80 is the declaration of John the Baptist’s birth until he was grown and began living in the deserts.
Luke picks up with his declaration in the second chapter with the tax decree. This tax decree was a part of the Roman census that was made in 8 BC, then expanded in 5 BC to include the whole of the empire which Judea was part. Luke 2:6 states that Mary’s days were accomplished while they were there. Rome set this census and tax time during a period that all the males would be in and/or around Jerusalem. Surely the Romans would have known that the best time to catch all the males in or near Jerusalem would be around the time they were required to go there before the Temple, which was Passover, Firstfruits (Pentecost) and Feast of Tabernacles. (Exodus 23:14-19) The first two are in the spring of the year: Nisan (Mar/Apr), the first month according to the Biblical Sacred calendar for Passover/week of unleavened bread and Pentecost in the third month of Sivan (May/June). The third is the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month Tishri (Sept/Oct).
In Luke 2:7, Luke states that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed crib or trough as for feeding sheep); because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke knew that Mary had other children after the birth of Jesus or else he would not have used the term “firstborn”. The most probable reason there was no room at the inn (motel) was they were all full because of both the feasts and census/tax. Whether it was a stable, barn or cave for housing sheep during the winter makes no difference: however, there would have been plenty of room in the Inn in the winter and no room in barns, stables or caves as they would have been full of sheep. The sheep were out in the countryside grazing on green grass being tended by shepherds which would have been watching over them by night. (Luke 2:8) The grass is not green on the hills in Judea in the wintertime. It is dormant!
In Luke 2:9-16. The shepherds are approached by angels of the Lord and given the news of the birth. When they found Mary and Joseph, they also found “…the babe (G1025 – βρέφος – an infant) lying in a manger.” In Luke 2:17-18. The shepherds go about testifying to all they had seen and heard. Then Mary kept and pondered all those things in her heart. (Luke 2:19) The shepherds returned to their flocks praising god for all the things they had witnessed. (Luke 2:22) Luke 2:21-24 is the circumcising of Jesus, the purification of Mary and the trip to the Temple for dedication and offering. Luke 2:24-35 was the meeting and blessing of Simeon. Luke 2:36-38 was the meeting of Anna, a prophetess. When all things were finished at the Temple, they (Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus) returned to Nazareth in Galilee. (Luke 2:39) From there, Jesus grew! Luke continues his declaration from there until the Baptism of Jesus by John in Luke 3:20-22, In Luke 3:23, he gives us the approximate age of Jesus and the complete genealogy all the way back to Adam who He breathed the breath of life into after creating him from the elements (dust) of the earth. (Genesis 2:7) Why that far back? Corinthians 15:19-26
Matthew’s account is more general and not as detailed as Luke’s; however he covers an event that wasn’t covered by Luke because it happened at a different place at a different time. Matthew starts with the forward genealogy from Abraham to Joseph. After Matthew’s genealogy in 1:1-16, he lists three groups of 14 generations (Matt 1:17) which just happen to correspond to the two weeks of years Jacob served for Rachel. (Genesis 29:15-30) [Three and fourteen are significate numbers in Biblical numerology, math and prophecy.] Then Matthew begins “Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise (G3779 – οὕτωσ – thus, so, in this manner) in verse 18. In Matt. 1:18-25, he conveys the prophetic facts quoting the prophet Isaiah and the maintaining of virginity during gestation leading up to Jesus’ birth.
In chapter 2, Matthew begins with “Now when…” which is after the fact that Jesus was born and continues with “…There came wise men (G3097 – μάγος – a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by implication, a magician)” inquiring of Herod about the birth of Jesus, King of the Jews whom they came to worship. (verse 2) They came from the east, around the area of what is now northern Iran and southern China. They followed a star they saw from the east which would have been in the south-western sky from their point of perspective. Jerusalem is west and south of northern Old Testament Persia. The knowledge of the astronomical event of the Bethlehem Star would most likely have been handed down to them from those before them, who learned from the Jewish captives 14 generations ago when Jewish astronomists during Daniel’s time were taken into captivity to Babylon, then Persia. (Daniel 1:3-7)
King Herod (an Edomite) was very disturbed about this news. (verse 3) News of Jesus’s birth was also spreading throughout Judea due to the shepherds in Luke’s account. He even called in the chief priests and scribes and demanded where Jesus was born (verse 4). After the chief priests had clued Herod in on where Jesus was born (verses 5-6), Herod had a private moment with the three Magians. (verses 7-8) [The three wise men (Magians) were never referred to as “Kings” in scripture!] After they finished with Herod, they departed. In verse 9, the prepositional phrase “…in the east…” refers to from whence they saw the star, which was from the east. The chief priest and scribes telling Herod that Bethlehem was the birthplace was based on scripture and prophecy. They knew nothing of the star the Magi were following.
When the star was first sighted from northern Persia, it would have been in the southwestern sky over Judea, so the Magi traveled to the capital of Judea which was Jerusalem. They traveled there because it was the most logical place to look for a King of Judea. But Jerusalem may have been too far south for a fixed star event such as in a nova or supernova as opposed to a moving comet. (See another Bethlehem Star Article) If Jerusalem was too far south of the fixed position in the southwestern sky, then the star would have been in a slightly more northern direction from Jerusalem, which is many latitudes south of Persia/China. After hearing all King Herod had to say, “…they departed: and lo, the star was before them (in front of), till it came (into position) and stood over (in the central sky) where the young child was.” [The gate to enter and exit a King’s residence for official business is customarily located on the northern end.] As supernovas do, its light becomes more brilliant just before it extinguishes. Then they rejoiced! (verses 9-10) Where did they find “the young child (G3813 – παιδίον – a childling of either sex)”? [This is a completely different Greek term from that used by Luke.] This term is also used in verse 11.
Matthew 2:11 – “And when they had come into the house…” (G3614 – οἰκία – properly, residence (abstractly), but usually (concretely) an abode (literally or figuratively); by implication, a family (especially domestics) Derivation: from G3624; KJV Usage: home, house(-hold). G3624 – οἶκος – a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively) Derivation: of uncertain affinity; KJV Usage: home, house(-hold), temple. After the Magi had worshiped the Lord, presented their gifts and had their dream, they departed a different way back to their home country. (verses 11-12) Then Joseph had his dream and took Mary and Jesus into Egypt. (verses 13-15) Then Herod got really mad! He ordered the killing of all children under two years old. (verses 16-18) Then Joseph had another dream and returned home. (verses 19-21)
In verse 22, Joseph had heard who reigned in Judea and was afraid to return there or his ancestral home Bethlehem, which was only about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. The angel told him to “go into the land of Israel”, but not what part. (verse 20) So, he returned to Nazareth in Galilee where he was living before Jesus’s birth. (Luke 2:4) The reason that Matthew worded verses 22-23 as he did was to convey the fact that prophecy was fulfilled. Joseph may have wanted to return to Bethlehem to be close to extended family, Jerusalem and the Temple, but being that things were as they were and prophecy is always fulfilled, he decided to return to Nazareth.
And from there, Jesus grew!
An as an old dear radio comentator used to say. “Now you have the rest of the story.” And it’s the real Biblical story.