TRADITIONAL LANGUAGE

1.  Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was on this wise: In the time when his mother was given in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband was a just man and did not wish to expose her.  He purposed to put her away secretly. But when he thought of this, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary thy wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. She shall bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, and he shall save his people from their sins. And when Joseph arose from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife; and knew her not until she brought forth her firstborn son.  

2.  Then there went forth a decree from Caesar that all the people of his dominion should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And Joseph went up from Nazareth to the city of David called Bethlehem with Mary, to be enrolled there. And while she was there she brought forth her first son; and she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them where they were staying.

3.  And there were in that region shepherds abiding, keeping their flock in the watch of the night. And behold, the angel of God came unto them, and the glory shone upon them; and they were terrified. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to the whole world; there is born to you this day a Savior, which is the Messiah, in the city of David. And this is a sign: you shall find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And there appeared with the angels suddenly many heavenly forces praising God and saying, Praise to God in the highest, And on the earth peace, and good hope to men.

 4.  And when the angels departed, the shepherds spoke to one another saying, We will go to Bethlehem and see this word that the Lord made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe. And when they saw, they reported the story. And all that heard wondered. But Mary kept these sayings in her heart. And those shepherds returned, magnifying and praising God for all that they had seen and heard.

 5.  And when eight days were fulfilled that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, being called that by the angel before his conception in the womb. After that, the Magi came from the east to Jerusalem, and said, Where is the King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And Herod the king heard, and he was troubled. And he gathered all the chief priests of the people, and asked them in what place the Messiah should be born. They said, In Bethlehem of Judea: thus it is written in the prophet.  

6.  Then Herod called the Magi secretly, and inquired of them the time at which the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go and search about the child; and when you have found him, come and tell me so I might go and worship. And they departed; and the star went before them, until it came and stood above the place where the child was. And they entered the house and beheld the child with Mary his mother, and fell down worshipping him, and opened their saddlebags and offered him gifts, gold and myrrh and frankincense. And they saw in a dream that they should not return to Herod, and they traveled by another way in going to their country.  

7.  Then the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt until I tell you; for Herod is determined to slay the child. And Joseph arose and took child and mother and fled into Egypt until the death of Herod.  So Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the Magi, was very angry, and sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem, from two years old and under.  

8.  When Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, Rise and take the child and his mother, and return to the land of Israel; for they have died who sought the child's life. And Joseph rose, took the child and mother, and came to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus had become king instead of Herod his father, he feared to go there; and he saw in a dream to go to Galilee instead, and abide in Nazareth: that the prophet might be fulfilled, saying he should be called a Nazarene.

 

TRUE NAMES LANGUAGE

1.  Now the birth of Yahshua the Messiah was this way: In the time when his mother was given in marriage to Yosef, before they came together, she was found with child of the Ruach haQodesh. And Yosef her husband was a righteous man and did not wish to expose her.  He purposed to put her away secretly. But when he thought of this, the malaq of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Yosef, son of David, fear not to take Maryah your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Ruach haQodesh. She will bear a son, and thou will call his name Yahshua, and he will save his people from their sins. And when Yosef arose from his sleep, he did as the malaq of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife; and knew her not until she brought forth her firstborn son.  

2.  Then there went forth a decree from Caesar that all the people of his dominion should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And Yosef went up from Nazareth to the city of David called Bethlehem with Maryah, to be enrolled there. And while she was there she brought forth her first son; and she wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them where they were staying. 

3.  And there were in that region shepherds abiding, keeping their flock in the watch of the night. And see, the Malaq of Yahweh came to them, and the Shekinah shone on them; and they were terrified. And the Malaq said unto them, Do not be afraid; for I bring you news of great joy that will be for the whole nation; there is born to you this day a Savior who is Messiah in the David's city. And this is a sign: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And there suddenly appeared many heavenly forces with malaqim praising Elohim and saying, Highest praise to Yahweh; And on the earth peace, and good hope for humankind.  

4.  And when the malaqim departed, the shepherds spoke to one another saying, We will go to Bethlehem and see this word that Yahweh made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Maryah and Yosef, and the baby. And when they saw, they reported the story. And all that heard wondered. But Maryah kept these sayings in her memory. And those shepherds returned, magnifying and praising Yahweh for all that they had seen and heard.  

5.  And when eight days were completed so that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Yahshua, being called that by the Malaq before his conception in the womb. After that, the Magi came from the east to Jerusalem, and said, Where is the Meleq of the Yahudaim? We have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And Herod the malaq heard, and he was troubled. And he gathered all the peoples' kohenim ha gadolpeople, and asked them in what place the Messiah should be born. They said, In Bethlehem of Yahudah: it is written in the prophet this way. 

6.  Then Herod called the Magi secretly, and inquired of them the time at which the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go and search about the child; and when you have found him, come and tell me so I might go and worship. And they departed; and the star went before them, until it came and stood above the place where the child was. And they entered the house and beheld the child with Maryah his mother, and fell down worshipping him, and opened their saddlebags and offered him gifts, gold and myrrh and frankincense. And they saw in a dream that they should not return to Herod, and they traveled by another way in going to their country.  

7.  Then the malaq of Yahweh appeared in a dream to Yosef, saying, Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee into Mitzraim until I tell you; for Herod is determined to slay the child. And Yosef arose and took child and mother and fled into Mitzraim until the death of Herod.  So Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the Magi, was very angry, and sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem two years old and under.  

8.  When Herod died, the malaq of Yahweh appeared in a dream to Yosef in Egypt, and said, Rise and take the child and his mother, and return to the land of Yitzrael; for they have died who sought the child's life. And Yosef rose, took the child and mother, and came to the land of Yitzrael. But when he heard that Archelaus had become malaq instead of Herod his father, he feared to go there; and he saw in a dream to go to the Galil instead, and abide in Netzaret: so the prophecy might be fulfilled, saying he should be called a Netzari.

 

Puzzle / Discussion - What Year was He Born? 

Jackson Snyder, 1994


CLUES

1. There is no year -0-.

2. A sixth-century monk, Dionysius Exiguus, invented the modern year system. He calculated the birth at 1 A.D.

3. Herod the Great, the King of the Jews (Mat 2:1, Luke 1:5, or #5 above).  History tells us that Herod ruled from 37 - 4 B.C. But there were several Herods. We assume that Herod the Great was the one that Matthew and Luke were writing about.

4. But the Bible mentions Herod's son, Herod Archelaus (see Matthew 2:22). Archelaus succeeded his father in 4 B.C. and ruled until a Roman Procurator was assigned in 6 A.D.

5. The slaughter of innocents, Mat 2:16.  There is no secular record of this event, though there is evidence that:

Herod had his heir, Antipater, executed in 4 B.C.  Earlier, in 7 B.C., he executed his two sons of the Maccabean princess Mariamne, Alexander and Aristobulus (II).

6. Octavius, aka (Caesar) Augustus (Luke 2:1-2) reigned during the "Golden Age" of Rome, from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D.

7. The reign Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, the Syrian governor:

Luke 2:2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Quirinius was governor beginning in 6 A.D., according to Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. The Census of Quirinius refers to the enrollment of the Roman Provinces of Syria and Iudaea for tax purposes taken in 6/7.  The census provoked revolt because censuses are forbidden under Jewish law

8. A world census (taxing) may have taken place during the reign of Sentius Saturnius, an earlier Syrian governor. He reigned somewhere around 9 - 6 1 B.C., according to Tertullian (ca. 155-245 CE), a Christian theologian at Carthage.  (Yet this could be an apologetic gloss.)

9. The star at its rising:

Mat 2:1b-2 ...wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, {2} asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage."

a. Jewish writings note that the Messiah would be born when Saturn and Jupiter come into conjunction in the constellation Pisces. John Kepler (1603), German astronomer, calculated that this happened in 7 B.C.

b. Halley's Comet flew over Palestine by in 12 B.C.

c. A super nova (exploding star) was reported by the Chinese of the Han Dynasty in 5 B.C. It was visible for over 70 days.

d. But according to the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17, referred to by Matthew, the "star" is probably not a heavenly body, but an angel.

 

NOW - We'll guess the year of Jesus' birth by plotting events and dates the chart below. When finished, draw a line from the top date to the bottom date through the year the most events pointing to Jesus' birth took place. (You will want to intersect as many lifespans or events as possible.) When complete, you will have made a calculation just as viable as the most educated Bible scholar. Good for you! Now consider alternative dates.

       <== B.C. | A.D. ==>

15--------------10--------------5----4--------1-----------5------------10------------15

EXAMPLE:

#2 Dionysius___________                                                            X

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

______________________

   <== B.C. | A.D. ==>

15--------------10--------------5----4--------1-----------5------------10------------15

What difference does it make when Jesus was born? Christmas is a time for interpreting prophecy (as Matthew did in Jesus birth over and over). If a day for Yahweh is like 1000 years, then interpret this prophesy of Hosea:

Hosea 5:15-6:3 I will return again to my place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face. In their distress they will beg my favor: {6:1} "Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. {2} After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. {3} Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth."

Sources: Ian Wilson, Jesus: The Evidence, 1988. William Whiston, translator, The Works of Josephus, 1988. (Flavius Josephus was born in 37 A.D.) Brown, FItzmyer & Murphy, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, 1968. Madeleine & J. Lane Miller, Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1952.

 

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