When Was Jesus Born?


Only Matthew and Luke record the details of Jesus’ birth. His resurrection took prominent throughout the rest of the New Testament. The church did not observe the birth of Christ in its early practices. In fact, for four hundred years there was no Christmas. Apparently, people eventually wanted to know more information about the person who was both man and God.

It is probably safe to assume that most Christians at that time were slaves to the Roman Empire. There were many long hard hours seven days a week. However, the Romans observed their own holiday called Saturnalia. On that day slaves had the day off. People celebrated and gave gifts to each other. Even though this was a pagan holiday, it was the most likely day to recall the time when Jesus was born. That was the 25th day in December.

On this holiday there was no war. Criminals were not executed. It was a time of revelry and debauchery. The slaves seized this day of freedom for the opportunity of recognizing the birth of Christ.

The actual day Jesus was born probably took place in the spring. It was around April that the shepherds tended their flocks in the open fields. It can be generally assumed that these sheep were tended in the open field near Bethlehem for the purpose of temple sacrifices. In the year 408 St. Augustine declared that the birth of Christ was December 25.

Worldwide Christians have accepted Christmas to be December 25. Whether that is a true date or not, the importance is that we celebrate the birth of Jesus and not bicker over when it occurred. Also, the importance that the Son of God took on human flesh so that he could become the sacrifice for every believer is of greater significance that after crucifixion he was resurrected. Jesus was born, ministered to those about him for three years, was murdered on the cross, and defeated death through his resurrection! Celebrate his birth, but keep in mind he was born to die and be resurrected for every single one of us who believe. Christmas and Easter are only holidays to the unbelievers. Those days are a kingpin for eternal life to the believers.

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