When Was Jesus Born?
“Dating the Birth of Christ,” Jeffrey R. Chadwick, BYU Studies, Vol. 49, no. 4
“When Was Jesus Born? A Response to a Recent Proposal,” Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, no. 3
The actual date of the birth of Jesus is an interesting topic. While apparently April 6, 1 AD, was not put forth as a birth date for Jesus until James E. Talmage wrote his books, his view has been widely accepted among Church members. Jeffrey R. Chadwick reconsiders that date and draws upon scriptural, historical, archeological, and astronomical sources and suggests the Savior would have been born around December of 5 BC. In another article, Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment propose that Chadwick’s suggestion is narrower than available historical and scriptural evidence permits, but also agree that Talmage’s date does not fit the evidence.
Jesus Christ Is Born
“What on Earth are Swaddling Clothes?” John W. Welch, BYU New Testament Commentary
In Luke 2, the angels tell shepherds to look for an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. John Welch writes that the babe being wrapped in swaddling clothes was common practice at that time, but being laid in a manger was not, and that is the sign they note in Luke 2: 16.
Chart 8-5: “The Birth of Jesus,” Charting the New Testament
New Testament Chart 8-5 compares the different accounts in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 side by side and shows how each had a different audience and message in mind.
“Behold the Condescension of God: A Scriptural Perspective on Three Nativity Scenes,” Doris Dant and Richard Oman, BYU Studies, Vol. 41, no. 3
For a look at how nativity scenes draw us to remember Jesus, see Doris Dant and Richard Oman’s article on crèches created by LDS artists around the world.
For more commentary on Luke 2, we recommend Kent Brown’s posts:
And Eric Huntsman’s posts at http://huntsmannewtestament.blogspot.com/.