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Biblical Evidence Shows Jesus Christ Wasn't Born on Dec. 25

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History convincingly shows that Dec. 25 was popularized as the date for Christmas, not because Christ was born on that day but because it was already popular in pagan religious celebrations as the birthday of the sun.

But is it possible that December 25 could be the day of Christ’s birth?

“Lacking any scriptural pointers to Jesus’s birthday, early Christian teachers suggested dates all over the calendar. Clement… picked November 18. Hippolytus … figured Christ must have been born on a Wednesday … An anonymous document[,] believed to have been written in North Africa around A.D. 243, placed Jesus’s birth on March 28” (Jeffery Sheler, U.S. News & World Report, “In Search of Christmas,” Dec. 23, 1996, p. 58).

The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth.

A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that Dec. 25 is an unlikely date for Christ’s birth. Here are two primary reasons:

First, we know that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7-8 Luke 2:7-8 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
American King James Version×
).

Shepherds were not in the fields during December. According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays, Luke’s account “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night” (p. 309).

Similarly, The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary says this passage argues “against the birth [of Christ] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted” shepherds watching over their flocks in the fields at night.

Second, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4 Luke 2:1-4 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
American King James Version×
).

Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating.

Given the difficulties and the desire to bring pagans into Christianity, “the important fact then … to get clearly into your head is that the fixing of the date as December 25th was a compromise with paganism” (William Walsh, The Story of Santa Klaus, 1970, p. 62).

If Jesus Christ wasn’t born on December 25, does the Bible indicate when He was born?

The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.

Since Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36 Luke 1:24-36 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
American King James Version×
), we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5 Luke 1:5THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
American King James Version×
). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible, 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child (Luke 1:8-13 Luke 1:8-13 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him. 13 But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
American King James Version×
). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24 Luke 1:23-24 23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
American King James Version×
). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth. 

  

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    Comments

  • TinaPanagos

    I am wondering if anyone really even asks this question. I overheard it said on televison and HAD to google this. I am not quite surprised at the validity. The things we learn. Now I am getting a yen to research more on the Bible.

    Thank you for the knowledge.
     Tina

  • ckc2000rn

    Tina
    This concept about Christmas not being Biblical sound really got me going (frustrated and angry) in 2003 to search more. I felt so misled through out my life thinking it was Biblical and Jesus was born on that day. I would have a birthday cake to represent His birthday. I pray this will also lead you to read more and discover more. You will be amazed of what is taught in Traditional churches compared to what God teaches us in His Word. It totally changed my life; the truth will set you free. Tina dig in deep and you will leave a fuller life.

  • James Stewart1
    What supposed Christian does not know this? The ones who do research somehow do not research very well, or they never leave the Church to do it. If they did they would have certainly come across the name Horus. Now if you come across it, let me give you an absolute case for people who do who MUST be indoctrinated. If I told you Zeus was the Man of Steel, could jump tall buildings in a single bound, more powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet… you would say “Fool… you are talking of Superman”. Now if I proved to you that all of those things were also aspects of Zeus… would you not say that in fact there is NO doubt in your mind that Superman was stolen and duplicated from Zeus using another name? Wouldn’t you? Enough for a Court of Law? Well with Jesus<> Horus there are 43 of the same similarities. Go figure! And not only was Horus born on December the 25th, but so were so many of the others. Not copies of Jesus, much the reverse, as they ALL are much older than even the Torah.
  • therese_catajoy
    it is not very important to know the exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth, instead the most important is to recognize and celebrate that Jesus was born to save us.
  • Dee Dee H
    Jesus DIED to save us. The bible gives us the exact date of his death, Nisan 14, because this was what we should remember. It does not give us the exact date of his birth because it was not important. In fact, only 2 birthday celebrations are mentioned in the bible, both of which had bad things happen at them. One of these was John the baptist being beheaded. This would indicate that revelries to celebrate the day of anyone’s birth are not scriptural, after all, if knowing Jesus exact day of birth is not important, how much less important is the date of our birth?
  • tyler
    @James Stuart1: I get your superman metaphor and it is rather clever. but consider the purpose of making such the case. Jesus was not born on solstice, (the 25th December, or any where near) the biblical record shows that. But it is careful not to record the date probably because it was not God’s purpose to have people venerate the birth. however the church in Rome decided to use the already occurring worship of pagan deities re-branded with Jesus’ name to garner more adherents. This is the point of the article, christmas is not the birthday of Christ. I assume you are trying to say that because powers of Zeus and Horus were ascribed to Jesus by the catholic church and it’s offshoots that this refutes the existence/ deity of Christ. This is where we differ, one could well make the case that such acts do cast doubt on the people making those claims. But the bible does not make these claims, but people who claim Christianity but make up doctrine from existing myth and philosophy rather than the record of the bible.
  • tyler
    @therese_catajoy: Christ never said that we should celebrate His birth. He was not “born” to save us, he “Died” to save us. He asked us to celebrate this act: His Death not his Birth. 1Corinthians 11:26 http://www.ucg.org/files/booklets/holidays-or-holy-days-does-it-matter-w… @DeeDee H: whether you celebrate your own birthday is really not addressed in scripture at all. you are making an argument from silence. perhaps if people are considering whether it is right to celebrate any birthday, they should and in face most likely do so as a non religious manner. celebrating is not prohibited in the bible except if it is done to worship something other than God, or partaken of in a sinful manner. if you do not think it is appropriate dont do it. but if you wish to argue that no one should you will need proof that is simply not available in scripture.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    JamesStewart1, I am not sure where you are coming from, even though I know something of Horus the Egyptian sun-god. The overriding thing to keep in mind is that Satan the Devil is the master of deception; after all, he has deceived the whole world (ourselves included, prior to conversion) - Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    American King James Version×
    and 2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
    American King James Version×
    . He makes his “ministers” appear to be ministers, or servants, of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15 2 Corinthians 11:15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • MarcelaH
    Not sure where is James Stewart1 going with his dissertation? humans share over 98% of their genes with some chimps and we share 50% of our genetic make up with a banana. I agree Jesus was not born on December 25th during the winter. Based on comments above plus the child wouldn’t have survived the weather. Mary covered him with pieces of cloth. During the winter she would have chosen animal skins or something warmer: Luke 2:7 Luke 2:7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    American King James Version×
    “…she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.”.
  • randye
    the resurrection is more important not his birth
  • queen vic
    The resurrection is def more important. In response to those being angered for just finding this out….this just goes to show you have to form your own relationship with God and know and study the word yourself. You can’t walk around here believing everything you were taught as a child and you can’t possibly be a light to world if you don’t know the word. Your soul is more valuable than believing what someone has told you. The people who will argue you with you over religion or say that it’s fake are the ones who will have researched yours. You have to know the truth, and moreover you have to educate yourselves on other religions as well.
  • ceeton
    I’ve known this a long time ago, the problem is that people are so bind, people love being misled. People are so bent on “my pastor said than following the reality of the scriptures. Pls do me a favor of spreading this information where it can get to the masses faster and lets see if this “ignorance jingoism” can at least reduce. THANKS fOR THE INFORMATION ANYWAY!
  • Shay Hicks
    I think we are missing the point. Any educated believer knows Jesus was not born on Dec 25. The reason we celebrate the birth is because THAT night God Broke his silence and the greatest gift of love ever entered the world. I cant help but celebrate whenever I realize that God became one of us. I don’t care what day of the year we celebrate it on, but I know that Christmas has strengthened my relationship with him. A baby boy, born to die for us. Rejoice our savior was born.
  • Schakk
    Randye: It is very common for one person to say his birth, death, or resurrection is more important than the other. This article, however, is not debating that; it is simply explaining the fallacies with Jesus’s birthday being the 25th of December. If you do want to go into that, I understand that the resurrection had to be in order to fulfill the prophecy, but his death is what paid off our debt of sin, that gave us a chance in heaven. And if Jesus had not been born, then he could not have died and certainly not resurrected. Just something to think on.
  • Sequoiarayne
    The fact is, no matter if you celebrate the life of Jesus or not, this holiday was stolen by the Pagan/Wiccan holiday Yule and that it bothers Pagans/Wiccans of today. This day and age we need to teach our children facts, for the more false information they find out, the more they stop believing. No matter what religion they learn. Many say it’s Jesus’s birthday on Christmas, which it is not. I am not about to teach my child a lie. In reality Christmas, minus the “T” is actually the celebration of the German pagan god Kris Kringle. “Krismas” “Santa Clause”. He spreads cheer and gives gifts to poor children. Yule, the Winter Solstice and Kris Kringle are what the holiday are about. Not Jesus. Christians just thought it would be an easy way to convert Pagans. But guess what? It didn’t work and now, Pagans/Wiccans are back trying to save what was once their rightful celebration. In my opinion, a more realistic meaning to the celebration of the holiday. Why can’t you just pick another day to celebrate the life of Christ? Why must you oppress and fight those that have had their religion and holiday stolen from them? I seriously do not think Jesus would mind.
  • keyboardjimmy
    Birth, death, resurrection….what about his life and what he commanded us to do should we accept the challenge?
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Keyboardjimmy, Absolutely! I think we SHOULD accept Jesus’ resurrection to life and what He commanded us to do. There is other material on ucg.org that will help those wanting to truly find out more about following what He said. For starters, “The Road to Eternal Life” and “What Is Your Destiny?” The above article, concerning Jesus not being born December 25, was written with obedience to Him in mind, too, because it points out one of the many fallacies of Christmas beliefs. For more info. on the topic of Christmas, which is important since we must worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24 John 4:23-24 23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
    American King James Version×
    ), you may be interested in “Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?”
  • Ivan Veller
    Yes Keyboardjimmy, Could traditional Christianity’s focus on the historical birth, death, & resurrection of the person of Jesus risk missing His teaching that we’re to “become holy” & go on “to live lives that befit holiness (1 Peter 1:16 1 Peter 1:16Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.
    American King James Version×
    )”? http://www.ucg.org/holidays-and-holy-days/passover-season-death-and-life… “Many…rely on a false ‘grace’ that is merely a license to sin—unaccompanied by true repentance, obedience and overcoming”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/who-god/partaking-divine-nature/jesus-christ-… Why should preaching Christ start at his birth and end at the tomb? Wasn’t His purpose to make “possible for all people to enter an intimate relationship with Him” & the Father—closely joined in heart, mind, & soul? Why does He “write His laws on the believer’s heart and mind (Hebrews 8:8 Hebrews 8:8For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, said the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
    American King James Version×
    )” today? http://www.ucg.org/suffering/seven-reasons-why-jesus-was-born/ Yes, Jesus “loves you…But…Jesus requires His followers to obey the Father’s commandments, both for their own good and for the benefit and blessing of all those around them (1 John 2:3-6 1 John 2:3-6 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
    American King James Version×
    ; 5:3)”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/jesus-christ-real-story/your-date-destiny-mee…
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Sequoiarayne, Re: “this holiday was stolen” from pagan celebrations of “the Winter Solstice”—exactly! “‘Once given a Christian basis the festival became fully established in Europe with many of its pagan elements undisturbed’”: http://www.ucg.org/holidays-and-holy-days/do-you-know-surprising-origins… Re: “Yule”—yes, “‘German and Celtic Yule rites’” represented “‘rebirth…the evergreen was a symbol of the life that would return in the spring…[while the burning of the Yule log] was important in dispelling the growing darkness of the solstice’”: http://www.ucg.org/booklet/holidays-or-holy-days-does-it-matter-which-da… Re: “Christians just thought it would be an easy way to convert Pagans”—but instead, “‘Christianity was in turn infiltrated, and to a considerable extent subverted, by the paganism it was supposed to destroy’” (a fascinating study): http://www.ucg.org/bible-study/lessons-no-one-taught-me-about-christmas-… ~~~ Christians—Instead of setting up an evergreen tree in your house, why not let God “transplan[t]” you to His “own house” (Psalms 92:12 Psalms 92:12The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
    American King James Version×
    , NLT 2007)? Why not let the Pagans have their holiday back?
  • Bradley Westmoreland
    Does it matter when you celebrate Jesus’ birthday? When was Jesus born? Let’s dig in deep. Christ never said that we should celebrate His birth. He “Died” to save us. And when we partake of communion, we are proclaiming the fact that He died for us until His return. 1 Corinthians 11:26 1 Corinthians 11:26For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.
    American King James Version×
    Due to many scholar’s assumptions, figuring out exactly when Jesus was born has become near impossible, though there are some very awesome points to be made. The thing is, we have to keep in mind what Jesus wants us to remember, and what we are remembering when we partake of the communion, the Lord’s Supper, is His death for the remission of sins. It is more important to know when to partake of the passover, rather than the birth of Jesus. The Passover is what we do to signify what Jesus did for us, and it IS what He commands us to remember and do. Luke 22:19 Luke 22:19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
    American King James Version×
    And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” So, let’s take a look at when the PASSOVER would have been. We know that the Passover was in Exodus when they would celebrate when God freed the Israelites from Egypt. When it started
  • JJDoey
    The one thing in your writing that I would have issue with is the sixth month. I see the scripture in Luke 1:26 Luke 1:26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
    American King James Version×
    as saying “In the sixth month”. Not the sixth month of her pregnancy. That would lead me to believe that JESUS was born in the month Sivan. While our calendars don’t match, perhaps I can state it this way. March/April was the first month, But we’ll say March. Count 6 to September. Now count nine months to Jesus birth and we have June. Astrologists have determined that there was a great light in the sky on June 17 2AD. Perhaps this is closer to the truth. However when I began to study scripture, I immediately began to question the teachings of denominations, so I have not believed that December 25 was even remotely true.
  • Over This1
    I’m just so over all of this. Seriously? Where have some of you been for the last 3 decades??? No, December 25th is NOT Jesus’ birthday. No he wasn’t born any time in the winter. No his birth was not important to his overall plan, it was his death that mattered. Not even the resurrection takes precedence over it…it’s his death people. But overall the whole thing here that we’re missing the point about is that religion is just made up. It was never handed down to us from God…it was written by the elite and the “Educated” of the time to control the masses. Which is what most of us our. We are the sheep in the flock. We are the blind searching the wilderness for some sustenance of divinity. Why are more people secular and not religious? Because we now have science. We now have people who are educating themselves about the delusions that have been carried down thru the centuries. Religion is dying people and all for the better. It has done nothing but brought harm to millions, death and destruction all in the names of Christ, Allah and whomever else we’ve wanted to create. Jesus probably never even existed!! Oh the shame of it all!
  • lightgiver
    With most likely date been in September and one counts back 9 month put it in December in truth then it when the angel came to Mary, so it not in truth Jesus birth but his conception we celebrate on December. The start of Gods plan for salvation of mankind, the birth of Gods plan to save us.
  • longlove
    What exact day Jesus was born we don’t know. Neither do we know what day he died or the day he is coming back. The day that is celebrated around the world Dec 25th ? unless you live in the same time zone as in Bethlehem ( Middle East ) the western world is celebrating Christmas the day before or the day after December 25th.
  • United Church of God
    Hi Over This1, Luke 2:1-2 Luke 2:1-2 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
    American King James Version×
    tells us Jesus Christ was born during Caesar Augustus’ reign at the time of the first census when Quirinius was governor. Matthew 2 also tells us that Herod (the Great) was still king immediately after Christ’s birth. Since Herod died somewhere around 4 or 3 B.C., and some records indicate Quirinius was ruling in 4 B.C., we believe Christ was probably born in late September of 4 B.C. Although it’s difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated Dec. 25 as Christmas, historians are in general agreement that it wasn’t until sometime during the fourth century. This is an amazingly late date. Christmas was not observed in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, until about 300 years after Christ’s death. Its origins show that it cannot be traced back to the earliest Christians. For more information on this subject we recommend our booklet “Holidays or Holydays: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?” located at http://www.ucg.org/booklet/holidays-or-holy-days-does-it-matter-which-da… .
  • United Church of God
    You asked about Christ’s death and our view is that Christ died in A.D. 31. There are reasons we come to this conclusion. First of all, on what day was Jesus to die? We are told in the book of Daniel, “…But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering…” (Daniel 9:27 Daniel 9:27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured on the desolate.
    American King James Version×
    ). It is through Christ’s death that the temple sacrifices were ended and we learn that the Messiah was to be cut off in the middle of the week which would be a Wednesday. If you do an internet search on Passover dates from A.D. 26-34 you can find a chart that lists the dates. You will find that Passover fell on Friday April 7 in A.D. 30 and on Wednesday, April 25, in A.D. 31. Based upon this one point, A.D. 31 would appear to fit with the timing of Jesus’ death. Friday, April 7, A.D. 30 would fit with the traditional view of Christ’s death. However, when events are analyzed more carefully, Wednesday, April 25, A.D. 31 fits precisely. Why do we say this? Several computer software programs exist that enable us to calculate when the Passover and God’s other festivals fall in any given year. Those programs show that in A.D. 31, the year of these events, the Passover meal was eaten on…
  • United Church of God
    …Tuesday night and Wednesday sundown marked the beginning of the “high day,” the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus, then, was crucified and entombed on a Wednesday afternoon, not on Friday. Can we find further proof of this in the Gospels? Yes, indeed we can. Let’s turn to a seldom-noticed detail in Mark 16:1 Mark 16:1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
    American King James Version×
    “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.” In that time, if the body of a loved one was placed in a tomb rather than being buried directly in the ground, friends and family would commonly place aromatic spices in the tomb alongside the body to reduce the smell as the remains decayed. Since Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb just before that high-day Sabbath began, the women had no time to buy those spices before the Sabbath. Also, they could not have purchased them on the Sabbath day, as shops were closed. Thus, Mark says, they bought the spices after the Sabbath — “when the Sabbath was past.” But notice another revealing detail in Luke 23:55-56 Luke 23:55-56 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
    American King James Version×
    , “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body…
  • United Church of God
    …was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Do you see a problem here? Mark clearly states that the women bought the spices after the Sabbath — “when the Sabbath was past.” Luke tells us that the women prepared the spices and fragrant oils, after which “they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” So they bought the spices after the Sabbath, and then they prepared the spices before resting on the Sabbath. This is a clear contradiction between these two Gospel accounts — unless two Sabbaths were involved. Indeed when we understand that two different Sabbaths are mentioned, the problem goes away. Mark tells us that after the “high day” Sabbath, which began Wednesday evening at sundown and ended Thursday evening at sundown, the women bought the spices to anoint Jesus’ body. Luke then tells us that the women prepared the spices — activity which would have taken place on Friday — and that afterward “they rested on the Sabbath [the normal weekly Sabbath day, observed Friday sunset to Saturday sunset] according to the commandment.”
  • United Church of God
    By comparing details in both accounts, we can clearly see that two different Sabbaths are mentioned along with a workday in between. The first Sabbath was a “high day” — the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which fell on a Thursday. The second was the weekly seventh-day Sabbath. The original Greek in which the Gospels were written also plainly tells us that two Sabbath days were involved in these accounts. In Matthew 28:1 Matthew 28:1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
    American King James Version×
    , “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.” Where Matthew writes that the women went to the tomb “after the Sabbath,” the word Sabbath here is actually plural and should be translated “Sabbaths.” Bible versions such as Alfred Marshall’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Green’s Literal Translation Young’s Literal Translation and Ferrar Fenton’s Translation make this clear. In summary, by putting together the scriptures it becomes clear that Christ ate the Passover meal and instituted the New Testament symbols of the bread and wine on Tuesday night at the beginning of Passover. …
  • United Church of God
    He was arrested later that night condemned around dawn on Wednesday, and died on the cross on Wednesday afternoon. He was placed in the garden tomb near sunset on Wednesday. The women gathered spices on Friday and the kept the weekly Sabbath. This timing does not correlate with A.D. 30 but it does fit perfectly with the way Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread fell in A.D. 31. To help you in more fully analyzing the answer above, we will refer you to our article, “Jesus Wasn’t Crucified on Friday or Resurrected on Sunday - How long was Jesus in the tomb?” (http://www.ucg.org/doctrinal-beliefs/jesus-wasnt-crucified-friday-or-res…). For more information on this subject we recommend our booklet “Holidays or Holydays: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?” located at http://www.ucg.org/booklet/holidays-or-holy-days-does-it-matter-which-da… .

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