December 25th instituted as a Christian holy day
In Rome, in the third century A.D. sun-worship, became the dominant official creed, paving the road for the ultimate triumph of Judaeo-Christian monotheism. So strong was the belief in the Invincible Sun (Sol Invictus) that for example Constantine I (d. 337), himself at first a devotee of the sun cult, found it, indeed perfectly compatible with his pro-Christian sympathies to authorize his own portrayal as Helios. And in 354 the ascendant Christian church in the reign of his pious but unsavory son, Constantius II, found it prudent to change the celebration of the birth of Jesus from the traditional date (January 6) to December 25, in order to combat the pagan Sun god's popularityhis "birthday" being December 25.1
An in-depth look at the Jewish religious cycles, and biblical references concerning the priest Zechariah give us the conception date and birth date of John the Baptist 1 We cannot determine the year from this information but we can determine the Jewish months in which this takes place. From the New Testament passages in Luke 1 we can then determine the time line for the Birth of Jesus being six months after John the Baptist was born.
Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist AFTER Zechariah had finished his Temple service. So, she would have become pregnant after the third Sabbath of Sivan (approximately Sivan 19-25):
"When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion." (Luke 1:23)
If you go forward forty weeks, for a normal pregnancy, we see that John the Baptist was born on Passover. We would expect that this pregnancy would be perfectly normal because this is the mark of God's handiwork - perfection!
It is interesting that John the Baptist may have been born on Passover (15th of Nisan), because one of the rituals of the Passover is to set a special place setting, for Elijah, and to open the door to welcome Elijah. Jesus said thatPassover (15th of Nisan John the Baptist was the Elijah who was to come!2
Mary was at this point three months pregnant and if we jump ahead six months we find we are in the month of Tishri. The 15th of Tishri is the Feast of Tabernacles. (note, these Jewish times are translated into our modern calendar near the end of the paper)
SUKKOT (Tishri 15) - The Festival of Tabernacles or Booths (Hebrew 'sukkot'). One of the three pilgrim festivals (the others being Passover and Shavuot) when, in ancient times, Jews made pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem. It derives its name from the 'sukkah' or booth, a temporary structure in which time is spent during the holiday to commemorate God's protection of the Children of Israel during their 40 years in the wilderness.
Sukkot is also a harvest festival since it is the time of the ingathering of crops in Israel.
We find a hint to the birth date of Jesus on or about the Feast of Tabernacles in John 1:14:
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
Dwelt implies; tabernacle among us, in the original Greek
Determining the birth year of Jesus:
In The Unexpected King, (A Precise Mathematical Prediction) Chuck Missler goes through the calculations from a prophesy in the Book of Daniel to determine the very day Jesus presented himself as King of the Jews. The prophesy calculations agree with the biblical references to the day. This is the only occasion that Jesus presented Himself as King. It occurred on April 6, 32 a.d.4
Using the Calendar Conversions5 we can determine the approximate birth date of Jesus.
Historians have calculated that Jesus lived for 33 1/2 years old by taking the age reference in the passage of Luke 3:23 when Jesus was being baptized. "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry." By following the history of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John historians determine that Jesus ministry lasted 3 1/2 years.
The time when Jesus presented himself as King April 6, 32 A.D. (8 Nisan 3792 in the Jewish Calendar)
Minus 33 Jewish years
=March 11, 2 B.C. ( 8 Nisan 3759 ) ( Remember there was no year 0 )
If we take into account the birth occurred on or near 15 Tishri we get
=Sept 22, 3 B.C. ( 15 Tishri 3759 )
Sept 22, 3 B.C. (15 Tishri 3759 ) - April 6, 32 A.D. (8 Nisan 3792) = 33 1/2 years.
December 25th has absolutely no biblical foundation as a day of Christian worship?
Or does it!
Conception would have taken place 9 months prior, (modern research studies show 266 days has been determined as average human gestation time). 6
Sept. 22, 3 B.C. ( 15 Tishri 3759 )
=December 30, 4 B.C. = 14 Tevet 3758
This falls well within the range of Dec. 25 for the day of conception.
By celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25th, we may well be celebrating the conception of Jesus. Remember the miricle was not in the Birth of Jesus but in the conception of Mary by the Holy Spirit.
The transcendence of time for God allows him to know the future as well as the past. In this knowledge, God knew the issues facing our generation. This information puts a new spin on the abortion issue, when does life begin? Many courts say that life doesn't begin until birth, but here we see that God considers the day of conception shall be the day that life begins. Do you know anybody who would allow children to be killed after birth. And yet the issue of life and the fetus seems to create such a gray area that many courts have settled on the birth date as the day for the beginning of life and in many areas of the world abortion is legal and used as a form of birth control. Therefore, Christmas day may be Gods answer to our modern dilemma about life beginning in the womb.
The End of the Second Millennium
Now if we take the day of conception and add 2000 years, this will give us the proper end of the second millennium.
Approximate day of conception: December 30, 4 B.C. = 14 Tevet 3758
+2000 years ( There is no year 0 )=
December 30 1997 A.D. = 14 Tevet 5758
December 1997, Christmas Day (approx.) may well be the end of the second millennium, not the year 2000.
© Copyright 1997, Trinity Consulting, All Rights Reserved.
1.- Cramer, Frederick H., Astrology in Roman Law and Politics, p. 4. Copyright 1954 by the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.
2.- Killian, Greg, Birth of Yeshua (Jesus) during Succoth:
3.- Killian, Greg, Birth of Yeshua (Jesus) during Succoth:
4.- Missler, Chuck, The Unexpected King, (A Precise Mathematical Prediction):
5.- Lee, Scott E., Calendar Conversions:
6.- Lieber, Arnold L., M.D. "The Lunar Effect" ( Anchor Press / Doubleday