Sunday, January 19, 2020

When were Herod's death and Jesus' birth?

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Herod’s Death, Jesus’ Birth and a Lunar Eclipse. Letters to the Editor debate dates of Herod’s death and Jesus’ birth.
Both Luke and Matthew mention Jesus’ birth as occurring during Herod’s reign (Luke 1:5; Matthew 2:1). Josephus relates Herod’s death to a lunar eclipse. This is generally regarded as a reference to a lunar eclipse in 4 B.C. Therefore it is often said that Jesus was born in 4 B.C.

But physics professor John A. Cramer, in a letter to BAR, has pointed out that there was another lunar eclipse visible in Judea—in fact, two—in 1 B.C., which would place Herod’s death—and Jesus’ birth—at the turn of the era. Below, read letters published in the Q&C section of BAR debating the dates of Herod’s death, Jesus’ birth and to which lunar eclipse Josephus was referring.
The astronomical matters are outside my expertise. But I found this interchange very interesting.

Very belatedly for Christmas.

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