Is Christmas all about Jesus?

Jesus Birth: When Was Jesus Born?

When was Jesus born?

According to legend, Jesus Christ came on the night of December 24th to 25th in the year 0 to the world. Christians all over the world therefore traditionally celebrate the birth of the Messiah and Son of God on this date as Christmas. But is that Jesus' true date of birth?

No date of birth of Jesus is given in the New Testament. The lexicon for theology and the church also says: "The real one Jesus' birthday is unknown". That is not surprising, because the people at that time were still completely unknown. To this day, the true birthday of Jesus remains unclear. Historians have now agreed that Jesus." neither on December 25th nor in the year 0 was born.

The background: Jesus himself never wrote down his life story. What we think we know about him is based on the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament, each of which tells about the life of Jesus from their perspective. Only Luke (1.26-2.52) and Matthew (1.18-2.23) tell stories from Jesus' childhood and his birth. The well-known biblical Christmas story about the birth of the Son of God, which is based on these two scriptures, is the basis for many Christmas customs to this day: It is re-enacted in nativity plays in church services and in schools, read out at Christmas and traditionally in many families with the setting up of one Christmas crib reenacted.

What does the Bible say about the birth of Jesus?

The Bible tells the life of Jesus and his birth.

So there is only little valid information about the actual date of Jesus' birth. What emerges from the two biblical traditions of Luke and Matthew about this is:

  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea.
  • Herod the Great was King of Israel at the time of Jesus' birth. In fact, he died as early as 4 BC. BC and not in the year 0. This brings the period from 7 to 4 BC. In question for the birth of Jesus.
  • Jesus' parents were called Mary and Joseph, who were engaged to each other at the time of birth.
  • According to the Bible, the birth of Jesus was a virgin birth through the action of the Holy Spirit.

What speaks against the date of Christmas?

According to the Bible, a birth date in December is unlikely because there are various indications in it that the date of December 25th cannot be correct.

The Christmas story tells that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem and placed in a manger.

The story of the birth of Jesus begins in the Gospel of Luke with the fact that the then emperor Augustus became one census calls. For this reason Joseph goes with the heavily pregnant Mary on the 150 kilometer journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. In reality, it is unlikely that this census took place in winter: If the emperor really had his people like this in the middle of deep winter long and arduous journey expected?

When Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem, she gives birth to their son. The newborn is swaddled and placed in a crib with clean straw. Hence the assumption that Jesus was born in a crib. It says in the Gospel of Luke: "And there were shepherds in the same region who stayed in the open field and kept watch over their flock at night" (Luke 2: 8). That too leaves one Birthday in a warmer season close: Because in deep winter are in the Bethlehem area no flocks of sheep in the fields to see. There are no grasses in the fields at this time of year and the animals are housed in a stable.

If December 25th wasn't Jesus' birthday, then when? Researchers keep coming up with new assumptions and theses about this. However, none of them are really sound or verifiable. When Jesus of Nazareth was really born will remain a mystery forever.

Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas?

The nativity scene under the Christmas tree stands as Christmas story symbol: Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus surrounded by shepherds, travelers and animals in the stable. A scene around 2000 years ago that is still the reason for us to celebrate Christmas today. But why do we celebrate the festival every December if that is not really Jesus' birthday?

Scientists are up to this day disagree, but the majority assume that the festival will take place on December 25th in 4th century under Emperor Constantine was introduced in Rome.

Figurative representations around the birth of Jesus in the form of Christmas cribs inspire young and old to this day.

A list of pagan feast days in the Roman calendar suggests that this date was a very special one among the pagans at the time. The Romans celebrated that day Birthday of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus, the winter solstice and the "rebirth of the sun". They lit midsummer bonfires and performed festivals in the circus. During this time in December, the Roman Saturnalia: a Roman peasant festival in honor of the god Saturn. Researchers suspect that this date was therefore chosen to be the feast of the birth of Christ. Presumably in the 7th and 8th centuries, the custom spread in what is now Western Europe.

Did Jesus Christ Really Live? The most important information at a glance

There are many legends and myths surrounding Jesus' life and birth. Only a few pieces of information are conclusive and very few have been clarified with certainty. But one thing is clear to researchers: one Jesus of Nazareth really lived. His birth was a real event.

The childhood & youth of Jesus

Scientists today suspect that the Messiah was not in a stable in Bethlehem, but born in Nazareth has been. He and his parents were Jews; little is known about his family and childhood. However, it can be assumed that Jesus had several younger brothers and sisters, because they appear in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles of Paul. It is also obvious that Jesus first pursued the profession of his father, who was a kind of building craftsman. In addition, Jesus could read and write, say the evangelists. At that time, this privilege was reserved for only a small part of the population.

The greatest turning point in the life of Jesus was the Meeting with John the Baptist Jesus was baptized by him, left his family to join the so-called "desert preacher" and devoted his life to religion. Finally he broke away from John and went alone to preach his own message. As an itinerant preacher, he gathered a growing group of followers around him.

Jesus as a preacher

The four Gospels tell of Jesus in detail Life as a preacher, his religious message, how he healed the sick and performed miracles. He announced that the rulership of God was at hand. He also addressed the poor, the sick and the outcasts. His powerful sermons made him more and more popular with the people, which the Roman rulers did not like.

The crucifixion

Pontius Pilate, the administrator of the Roman emperor, finally had Jesus arrested and used Death by crucifixion condemn. This probably happened in the years 30 or 31 AD. According to legend, Jesus is on the third day after his crucifixion risen (easter). Further 39 days later (Ascension Day) took him back to heaven according to the Bible, according to God his Father.

Customs around the birth of Jesus

Although the chronological order in the four Gospels differs and the traditions are only partially the same, they still represent the Foundation stone of the Christian faith Many beautiful Christmas customs such as Christmas cribs and nativity scenes are based on the biblical Christmas story about the birth of Jesus back - even if the date is not the true birthday of Jesus.

Celebrating Christmas today is one of those days for many Germans who do not profess any faith popular family tradition. This includes rituals such as cozy get-togethers, baking cookies, setting up a Christmas tree and distributing gifts to loved ones. From the first Advent candles, fairy lights, Christmas markets and Christmas carols create a cozy Christmas atmosphere throughout the country.

By the way: On our blog you will find a lot more exciting information about Christmas and nativity scenes, for example about the history of the nativity scene, how to properly set up nativity figures or about the three wise men. Are you inspired and want that Christmas story now itself with a nativity scene readjust? Then feel free to browse our online shop. There you will find a large selection of high quality and handmade nativity figurines and Christmas cribs with which you can remember this special day.

Credit: Cover picture: © gettyimages / Jorisvo, picture 1: © gettyimages / PaulCalbar, picture 2: © gettyimages / Jorisvo, picture 3 and 4: © Lignoma, product pictures: © Lignoma.