Friday, May 19, 2017

Interesting Random Facts--Jesus was actually born around 4 BC

So, first of all apologies to my old school friends (if any of them are reading this) for whom all of this is old hat.
But sometimes those of us who grow up in the Christian school system can take this kind of knowledge for granted, and we forget that the rest of the wider world doesn't actually know all the Bible trivia that we know.
I realized it today, when some co-workers were discussing the Anno Domini dating systems, and I mentioned that Jesus wasn't actually born in 1 AD, and it completely surprised them.  And so I figured that this would probably qualify as interesting and new information for much of the Internet reading public.
So, here it is as today's Interesting Random Fact:
The Anno Domini dating system is supposed to start with Jesus's birth at year 1.  But when Dionysius Exiguus was setting up this system in 525, he actually miscalculated the year of Jesus's birth (W).
How do we know?  Well, we know from other sources that Herod the Great died in 4 BC.  And Herod the Great was King when Jesus was born (according to the Gospels).  So  Jesus must have been born in the year 4 BC, or possibly as early as 6 BC (W).
So, dig the irony of it.  Jesus Christ was born in the year 4 Before Christ.

Addendum
Um, actually, all of the above is assuming you take the accounts in Matthew and Luke as being historically accurate.  Which many historians don't.  So perhaps a more accurate why statement would be "we actually have no idea when Jesus was born."  But that's another can of worms.  Save that one for another day.  For today, the interesting fact of the day is that according to the traditional Gospel accounts, Jesus was born in 4-6 BC.

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