November 25, 2012

Jesus was born years earlier than thought, claims Pope


(TelegraphRome) The entire Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation, the Pope has declared, as he claims in a new book that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed. The 'mistake' was made by a sixth century monk known as Dionysius Exiguus or in English Dennis the Small, the 85-year-old pontiff claims in the book 'Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives', published on Wednesday.

"The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years," the Pope writes in the book, which went on sale around the world with an initial print run of a million copies.

"The actual date of Jesus's birth was several years before." The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC.

But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world's one billion Catholics is striking. Dennis the Small, who was born in Eastern Europe, is credited with being the "inventor" of the modern calendar and the concept of the Anno Domini era. He drew up the new system in part to distance it from the calendar in use at the time, which was based on the years since the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

The emperor had persecuted Christians, so there was good reason to expunge him from the new dating system in favour of one inspired by the birth of Christ. The monk's calendar became widely accepted in Europe after it was adopted by the Venerable Bede, the historian-monk, to date the events that he recounted in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which he completed in AD 731.

But exactly how Dennis calculated the year of Christ's birth is not clear and the Pope's claim that he made a mistake is a view shared by many scholars. The Bible does not specify a date for the birth of Christ. The monk instead appears to have based his calculations on vague references to Jesus's age at the start of his ministry and the fact that he was baptised in the reign of the emperor Tiberius.

Christ's birth date is not the only controversy raised by the Pope in his new book – he also said that contrary to the traditional Nativity scene, there were no oxen, donkeys or other animals at Jesus's birth. He also weighs in on the debate over Christ's birthplace, rejecting arguments by some scholars that he was born in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem.

John Barton, Professor of the Interpretation of the Holy Scripture at Oriel College, Oxford University, said most academics agreed with the Pope that the Christian calendar was wrong and that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly thought, probably between 6BC and 4BC.

"There is no reference to when he was born in the Bible - all we know is that he was born in the reign of Herod the Great, who died before 1AD," he told The Daily Telegraph. "It's been surmised for a very long time that Jesus was born before 1AD - no one knows for sure."

The idea that Christ was born on Dec 25 also has no basis in historical fact. "We don't even know which season he was born in. The whole idea of celebrating his birth during the darkest part of the year is probably linked to pagan traditions and the winter solstice."


10 comments:

ማህበረ፡ክርስቲያን said...

በእከሌ፡በእከሌ፡ተረጋገጠ፡የሚል፡አባባል፡ምንድነው፡፡አንድ፡መናፍቅ፡እኛ፡ልክ፡አይደለንም፡ብሎ፡ቢናገር፡አይገርምም፡፡የእኛን፡ትክክል፡መሆን፡ቤተ፡ክርስቲያናችን፡የምትነግረን፡በቂ፡ነው፡፡በዛ፡ላይ፡ከክርስትና፡መንገድ፡የወጡ፡የመናፍቃን፡ወሬ፡ለኛ፡ጥቅም፡የለውም፡፡እነሱን፡ራሱ፡ክርስትያን፡ብሎ፡መጥራት፡ስህተት፡ነው፡፡

Bewketu Teshale Bekele said...

"The actual date of Jesus's birth was several years before." The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC.

Unless I am naive here, what does earlier mean? If my father thinks that I am born in 1990E.C., i.e. Now (in 2005 E.C.) I will be 15 years old. But say there is confusion, and my parents rather think I was born earlier than what is registerd. Then I will be for sure more than 15 years old, can be 18 or 20 years.

Hence my conclusion is if they say earlier then the Ethiopian calendar does not even fit as it should have been more than 2005.

My final comment is this calendar difference (the counting) is not something we can explain it. It will need to clearly put the different calendar ammendments made. I am sure our old church books have enough information about the calendar. Hope some one who knows Bahire Hassab a lot can jump in here explains things.

Anonymous said...

we already have the perfect religion thank God .may be they will lern from us but we are not looking for any help from those they don't even have the right way .

Anonymous said...

እነርሱ መጀመሪያውኑ እኮ መሰረታቸው የተናጋ ነው ስለዚህ የጌታን የትውልድ ዘመን የትውልድ ቦታ ውይም በቤተልሔም ሲወለድ ይሄ ነበረ ያኛው አልነበረም ቢሉ እኮ አይገርምም ከመጀመሪያው መነሻ የላቸዉማ!ስለዚህ አዲስ ነገር የለም ያው በስህተት ውስጥ ያለ ያው ሁልጊዜ እዛው ውስጥ ነው ያለውና:: የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ እንደሆነች ከማንም ምንም አትፈልግም ብትሰጥ እንጂ::

Anonymous said...

of@Bewketu, that is exactly what came to my mind. ...Hence my conclusion is if they say earlier then the Ethiopian calendar does not even fit as it should have been more than 2005....

Welde Haqq said...

Actually... according to the Ethiopian/Egyptian Calendar, Jesus would have been born LATER and not earlier than according to the Gregorian/Julian Calendar. So Pope Benedict XVI argues against the Ethiopian Calendar and not in favor of it...

Ethiopia Selam said...

A year before, I met one catholic bishop. During our discussion of religion topics: he said to me ‘’Ethiopian calendar is a correct and true‘’ and also he added ‘’ the problem is now how could we admit the mistake.’’ In addition a number of perfect evidences in our church old Holy Parchments books, currently science also disproved by radioactive testes results from Israel that tells the birth of our Father Jesus Christ exactly fit with Ethiopian calendar. Dejeselam, I doubt not only the pop but also any layman affirming Ethiopian Calendar is correct publicly. Look these words ‘’ Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed’’ If I will be in his foot, I will say Jesus was Born seven years earlier than…..

Anonymous said...

We are already know that we are following the correct calendar. This is great now the rest of the world will confirm to our beliefs!

Anonymous said...

The comment of Welde Haqq is correct, the pope's statement makes a Gregorian calender which was already wrong even worse, according to our Ethiopian/Julian calendar Jesus Christ was born 7 years later than what Dennis the small/Gregorian Calendar says, and there is a spiritual and logical reason for it. So according to the Pope there is still more than 7 years difference between the Ethiopian calender and the Gregorian.

Anonymous said...

But our calander it's not earlier than the European ... I am not clear about it ?

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