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Jesus Birth


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#1 Angie

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 10:01 AM

Could anybody tell me what year was Jesus born and what year was our Panagia born?

 

Thanks



#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 11:41 AM

No, nobody can. Scholars reckon it would have been somewhere around 4 to 1 BC. It follows we do not know when His All-Holy Mother was born but might have been around 18 to 16 BC. Not that it matters in either case.



#3 Olga

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 11:49 AM

Adding to Andreas' post, I would say that what is far more important is the fact that Christ and His Mother came into this world.



#4 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:01 PM

The traditional date (as worked out by St Bede the Venerable) is of course A.D. 1 but given that we  reckon that Herod died around 4 B.C. this would suggest an earlier date, as Rdr Andreas says we only know it was around that year but not the exact year (or date) indeed the Roman ("Byzantine") Church has traditionally used the year of creation rather than A.D., at the end of the day it doesn't really matter, it is (as Olga says) the event not the year that matters.


Edited by Daniel R., 16 October 2014 - 12:03 PM.


#5 Loucas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:07 PM

Much of the subjects discussed on this site seems to be about how to prove that God is God or how to change and make the Orthodox Church fit our lives. I whole heartedly support the previous 2 posts. We do not have a specific date for either and certainly, why would it matter. We could, I suppose, say that Christ did not have a birthdate as he is the Word of God. But I realize we are talking about God assuming the matter which he created. Remember all of creation changed then, before and after, and that his existance and that of our Panagia is what really matters. We are drawn to Orthodoxy to recognize our own sinfulness and to run to the Church to learn how to work on our salvation. Paul said it is not me who lives, but Christ in me. So then is Christ's birthday the day I was baptised and the day you were and Andreas and Olga were? That date seems to have much more importance.



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:19 PM

Mind you, we know the date - 25 December!



#7 Michał

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 04:36 PM

Mind you, we know the date - 25 December!

 

Really?



#8 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 05:43 PM

Well, that's what the Church says. Possibly not the actual date but then that doesn't matter either for the reasons already given. At any rate, it's when I go to church, and when I get my presents.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 16 October 2014 - 05:45 PM.


#9 Kosta

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 07:01 PM

I guess we can say Jesus was born between 6 BC and 4bc. His mother would have been anywhere from 15-17 years of age at the time. Give or take. This is on whether the date of Herod's death at 4bc is accurate.

Edited by Kosta, 16 October 2014 - 07:04 PM.


#10 Michał

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:00 PM

Well, that's what the Church says. Possibly not the actual date but then that doesn't matter either for the reasons already given. At any rate, it's when I go to church, and when I get my presents.

 

I remember reading some writing from the 4th century when author listed all dates Christians in various places celebrated Christmas. There were about 20 of them.



#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 09:33 PM

We forget that synchronised time is a very recent thing. In England, it came about from the need for nationwide train timetables in the nineteenth century.



#12 Ben Johnson

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:39 PM

Jesus was born anytime from 12 to 4 B. C.  There are other historical figures who have uncertain birth dates, but we still know they existed.



#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 October 2014 - 09:46 PM

I am sure that a date is not determinative of whether someone existed: our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God was begotten of the Father before all ages, if the words of the Creed are anything to go by, and yet we confess that He exists. We confess that He came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. The Creed does not say when.



#14 Kosta

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 02:36 AM

Jesus was born anytime from 12 to 4 B. C. There are other historical figures who have uncertain birth dates, but we still know they existed.


This is why I don't dismiss out of hand Irenaeous assumption that the Lord was either near 40 or possibly surpassed it at the time of his crucifixion. Historically, an age of over 35 is the probable assumption rather than the traditional 33 years. Even the gospel of Luke makes clear that he is estimating and rounding off the 30 year age for the beginning of Christ's ministry.

Edited by Kosta, 19 October 2014 - 02:37 AM.


#15 Mark Harris

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 04:36 PM

Astronomy should be able to help in this - there are progammes that enable any horizon to be selected and sky to be viewed for the last 10000 years. I recall there were a lot of unusual planetary alignments and activity from horizons in that region in (I think ) 7 BC

#16 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 05:17 PM

The Orthodox view is that the star which guided the Magi was not an astronomical event but a mystery in which the light of grace indicated the location of the Nativity. Thus, in the icons of the Feast, we see the same depiction of the light of grace as in other divine events such as the Baptism of the Lord and Pentecost. The iconography is paralleled by the troparion of the Feast of the Nativity:

 

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath shone upon the world
with the light of knowledge: for thereby them that adored the stars
through a star were taught to worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on High. O Lord, glory to Thee.
 



#17 Mark Harris

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 09:45 PM

The Orthodox view is that the star which guided the Magi was not an astronomical event but a mystery in which the light of grace indicated the location of the Nativity. Thus, in the icons of the Feast, we see the same depiction of the light of grace as in other divine events such as the Baptism of the Lord and Pentecost. The iconography is paralleled by the troparion of the Feast of the Nativity:
 
Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath shone upon the world
with the light of knowledge: for thereby them that adored the stars
through a star were taught to worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on High. O Lord, glory to Thee.
 


Thank you - I didn't appreciate this before. I did my investigations before I became Orthodox - perhaps just an interesting coincidence!

#18 Kosta

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 12:57 AM

Ive always found the triple conjuction of the three planets fascinating in 7BC. Probably because they were aligned in a triangle which plays into the star of David and the Trinity. As for what lead the magi to the house of Joseph I accept the patristic explanation.

#19 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 01:03 AM

St John Chrysostom (Homilies on Matthew) clearly rejects any astronomical or astrological explanation and declares the star was miraculous. Some say the star was an angel.



#20 Ben Johnson

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:15 AM

But St. John Chrysostom did not know as much about astronomy as we do these days, so now what do we do? :unsure:   On the one hand, there were astronomical events from 12 - 4  B. C. that may have fit the bill.   On the other hand, the way the star acts does not quite act like an astronomical event. :unsure:






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