Monday, December 24, 2018

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Was Jesus Born on December 25?

by Steve Ray on December 24, 2018

Yes, Christ Was Really Born on December 25: Here’s a Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas   by

The following is adapted from Taylor Marshall’s new book: The Eternal City: Rome & and Origins of Catholic Christianity.

This is a long article and quite convincing. I have only given Objection 3 to whet your appetite….

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Objection 3: Christ could not have been born in December since Saint Luke describes shepherds herding in the neighboring fields of Bethlehem. Shepherds do not herd during the winter. Thus, Christ was not born in winter.
Reply to Objection 3: Recall that Palestine is not England, Russia, or Alaska. Bethlehem is situated at the latitude of 31.7. My city of Dallas, Texas has the latitude of 32.8, and it’s still rather comfortable outside in December. As the great Cornelius a Lapide remarks during his lifetime, one could still see shepherds and sheep in the fields of Italy during late December, and Italy is at higher latitude than Bethlehem. [STEVE RAY HERE: I have been in Bethlehem many winters and sheep are in the fields during December.]
Now we move on to establishing the birthday of Christ from Sacred Scripture in two steps. The first step is to use Scripture to determine the birthday of Saint John the Baptist. The next step is using Saint John the Baptist’s birthday as the key for finding Christ’s birthday. We can discover that Christ was born in late December by observing first the time of year in which Saint Luke describes Saint Zacharias in the temple. This provides us with the approximate conception date of Saint John the Baptist. From there we can follow the chronology that Saint Luke gives, and that lands us at the end of December.
For the whole article, click HERE.
Jimmy Akin has an audio discussion: “When Was Jesus Born?” for a wide-ranging discussion of differing points of view. Click HERE.

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