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FAQ - JESUS
Is there any positive proof that our Lord
Jesus was born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, and if so where can it be found? (A.S.)
<ANSWER>--There is nothing to prove that Christ was born December 25th, but the evidence is clear and strong that the time of His birth was about October 1st. It is generally recognized that Jesus was crucified on Friday, April 3d, A.D. 33. The fact that His crucifixion occurred at the close of the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, and that this date rarely falls on Friday, but did so in the year A.D. 33 substantiates that date so thoroughly even Usher, who adopted B.C. 4 as the date of Jesus' birth, was forced to admit that His crucifixion was A.D. 33. Our Lord was thirty years of age when He began His ministry, and it is clear that His ministry was for three and a half years only. This generally conceded fact is proved by Daniel's prophecy (`Dan. 9:25-27`) concerning Christ's cutting off in the middle of the seventieth week of Israel's favor. The "seventy weeks" (A day for a year--490 days, or 490 years--`Eze. 4:6`) dating from 454 B.C. terminated A.D. 36. In the "midst" of that last week of seven years, the "seventieth week," Christ was "cut off" --crucified--April 3d, A.D. 33. As the Lord Jesus was thirty-three and a half years old when He died, we have only to measure back that length of time to the date of His death to ascertain the date of His birth, which would be about Oct. 3d, B.C. 2. It is certain that the midwinter date, December 25th, does not well agree with the statement of the Scriptures, that at the time of our Lord's birth the shepherds were in the fields with their flocks.
I find in Matthew and Luke what purport to be the genealogies of Christ.
Matthew gives His ancestry back to Abraham; Luke goes back to Adam. Between Christ ad
David, `Matthew` gives 27 generations, and `Luke` gives 42; and none of the names in these
two lists are the same. Will you please explain this seeming discrepancy?
<ANSWER>--Our Lord Jesus became related to the human family by taking our nature through His mother Mary. Mary's genealogy, as traced by Luke, leads back to David through his son Nathan. (`Luke 3:23`.) (Joseph is here styled "the son of Heli," that is, the son of Eli, Mary's father, by marriage, or legally; or as we would say, son-in- law of Eli. By birth, Joseph was the son of Jacob, as stated in `Matt. 1:16`), while Joseph's genealogy, as given by Matthew, traces also back to David through his son Solomon. (`Matt. 1:6-16`.) Joseph having accepted Mary as his wife, and adopted Jesus, her son, as though He were his own son, this adoption would entitle Jesus to reckon Joseph's genealogy; but such a tracing back to the family of David was not necessary, because His mother came also of David, by another line. Thus the seeming discrepancy is due to the fact that Luke gives Mary's genealogy while Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph. The difference in the number of generations from David to Christ need not be considered as remarkable. It would be remarkable had they been the same.