Thursday, September 15, 2005

Christmas: Is September 15 Jesus Christ’s birthday?

7 BCE Is this Jesus Christ’s birthday?

Perhaps we should deck the halls with boughs of spring flowers, because an English astronomer suggested that Jesus might have been born on September 15, 7 BCE.

Dr David Hughes, of Sheffield University, argued that September 15 is the real Christmas for the following reasons:

In the Gospel of St Luke we read that Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem because “... 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. And all went to be taxed, every one in his own city” (Luke 2:1,2). Such a decree occurred about 8 BCE.

King Herod (Herod the Great) was so infuriated that a rival had been born (the ‘King of the Jews’) that he ordered the massacre of all baby boys in Israel, but Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt. They stayed there for two years until Herod’s death, said to have closely followed a lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses occurred in 4 BCE and 1 BCE ...

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