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Was Jesus born 0 A.D.?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod. . .Matthew 2:1

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) Luke 2:1-2

The Bible does not say the year Jesus was born. But, we know two things. It was not 0 A.D. and it was probably around 7-6 B.C.

Dionysius Exiguus was a Romanian monk who lived in Rome around 500 A.D. He devised a new calendar that was more Christian centered, highlighting the Easter celebrations, which we call the Anno Domini calendar. A.D. stands for Anno Domini, which means “the year of our Lord.” People incorrectly translate it “after death.”

How he arrived at his dates and times is unclear, complicated and not really important.

On that calendar there is no year 0 A.D. So 0 A.D. was not the year Jesus was born. Nor was it 1 A.D.

The clues to Jesus’ birth year center on the political offices mentioned in the Bible.

King Herod was alive when Jesus was born. King Herod died 4 B.C. He ordered the Massacre of the Innocents of all babies two years old and younger, a number he got from the wise men. This places Jesus birth at least two years earlier. Given a window of a year or so, this would place Jesus’ birth around 7-6 B.C.

The Jewish historian Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (ca. AD 93), indicates that Quirinius’ governorship of Syria began in AD 6, and that the census occurred sometime between AD 6-7.

This leads us to believe that Jesus was born in 7 or 6 B.C.