Jack Snyder

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Nativity Puzzle – What Year Was Yahshua Born

This post is best read as the third installment of Taking Christ Out of Xmas (this is part 3)

Historical Markers

According to Matthew, the Nativity occurred during the reign of King Herod the Great (Matthew 1:1).

Herod: Herod the Great died in 4 BC.

Archelaus: Herod’s son Herod Archelaus took over until 6 AD (he reigned about 10 years) when the Romans sent him away.

Augustus: According to Luke, the Nativity occurred when Octavian Caesar (Augustus) was Roman Emperor.  Augustus ruled until 14 AD.

Quirinius: Luke says Quirinius was governor of Syria.  He began ruling 5 – 6 AD

Census: In the rule of Qurinius, there was a census taken 6 – 7 AD.

According to Matthew, the Nativity had to have occurred before the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC.

According to Luke, the Nativity had to have happened in 6 or 7 AD.

Contradiction: So there is a 10-year contradiction between the two evangelists.

Solution: The contradiction is fixed if Matthew’s Herod is not the one they call the Great, but his son Herod Archelaus.

In 6 AD: Augustus was Caesar, Quirinius was Governor, a Herod was King of the Jews, and a census was ongoing. So I choose September 9 (or so), 6 AD as the most likely date of the Nativity (according to the calendar we use).

And the Lifespan?

It is recorded in the annals of secular history that the Savior did indeed die under the governorship of Pontius Pilate.

Pilate: ruled for 10 years – from 25 AD to 35 AD. After the Savior’s crucifixion, Pilate was exiled.

With this plan, the Savior’s natural lifespan would have been 5-6 AD to 30-35 AD.

This works well with the Scripture of Luke 3:23, which tells us that “Yahshua was about thirty years old when he archomenos.”

This word does not mean “began his ministry.”  It means simply ‘began.”

According to our calculations, he lived 5 AD to 35 AD, which is indeed 30 years. (Besides, how can ‘Christ’ have been born ‘BC’?)

THE STAR: What the Star Wasn’t?

Finally let us resolve the mystery of the star mentioned in Matthew that led the Wise Men to Bethlehem, “till it stood over where the child was.”  With this description, we may eliminate several kinds of ‘stars’:

Planet, Conjunction: no – they do not come down. I hope you watched the sky throughout November and December of 2009.  Jupiter was brighter than at any other time in our lives.  I looked at Jupiter many nights – for it first appeared right beside the moon – and saw that we would never be able to tell what Jupiter (or any other planet) was hovering over.

Comet: no – comets never stop moving.

Meteor: no – because they hit the ground in a burning explosion.

Meteorite: no – they burn up in the atmosphere.

There is one kind of start remaining.

THE STAR: What the Star Was

The Wise Men said (Mattyah 2:2), “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East (Anatolē, Anatolh – note the capitalization in the RSV) and have come to worship him.”

Anatolē can mean three things: (1) in Turkey, is still called Anatolia; (2) in ‘the East’ (actually, from the East); and (3) ‘at its rising,’ this being the correct translation.  Why?

Because YAHSHUA HIMSELF WAS THE STAR, and thus the true fulfillment of the enigmatic prophecy of Balaam (Bamidbar 24:17):

The saying of Bil’am, son of Beor . . . ‘I see Him, but not now; I observe Him, but not near. A STAR WILL COME OUT OF YA’AQOV (Jacob), and A SCEPTER WILL RISE OUT OF YISRA’ ĔL . . .

Since the Wise Men were looking a STAR in Judea (star out of Ya’aqov), belonging to the KING of the Jews (the Scepter), we need no longer look for planet conjunctions or such astral phenomena, but a supernatural sign, perhaps even Yahweh’s Malach himself.

In the Scriptures,

Jackson Snyder


January 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment