When Was Jesus Christ Born?
Although the Christian calendar is nominally dated from the year of Christ’s birth, modern researchers have placed the actual year between 4 and 7 B.C. When the calendar was changed the monk Dionysius Exiguus (500-600) set the date of “the incarnation of the Lord” as the year 753 after the founding of the city of Rome. But his arithmetic was inaccurate.
The Gospels say that Jesus was born while Herod was on the throne, and Herod died about 749, according to the Roman calendar, or about 4 B.C. Also the census mentioned by St. Luke as the reason why Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem seems to have been held in the Roman year 747, or 6 B.C.
Jesus also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who has become the central figure of Christianity. Christians believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the biblical Jesus reflects the historical Jesus.
Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist and subsequently began his own ministry, preaching his message orally and often being referred to as “rabbi”. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, and was crucified by the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. Jesus debated fellow Jews on how to best follow God, performed healings, taught in parables and gathered followers. After his death, his followers believed he was resurrected, and the community they formed eventually became the Christian Church.
His birth is celebrated annually on December 25 (or various dates in January for some eastern churches) as a holiday known as Christmas, his crucifixion is honored on Good Friday, and his resurrection is celebrated on Easter. The widely used calendar era “AD”, from the Latin anno Domini (“in the year of our Lord”), and the alternative “CE”, are based on the approximate birth date of Jesus.
Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, whence he will return.
Most Christians believe Jesus enables humans to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of a Divine Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural.
In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God’s important prophets and the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin but was not the Son of God. The Quran states that Jesus himself never claimed divinity. To most Muslims, Jesus was not crucified but was physically raised into Heaven by God.
Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies and asserting that the resurrection is a Christian legend.