Q: When, or what season of the
year, was Jesus Christ born?
A: This question has often been
posed to me. But whenever it comes from a Branhamite, the question
is often accompanied by a regurgitation of what Branham said,
quotes from His sermons, just so to show that no matter what my
answer, I was wrong. Such believers have a sense of pride to think
and believe they know what they do not know.
Here is an example from one (M.W.)
who disagrees with my teachings; he wrote:
In your message you
state categorically that Christ was born in September. This view is
close to the Catholic view than to the Message or the Bible and here
1. Brother Branham said
several times that he believed that Christ was born during the
spring time in Palestine and that would put the time frame somewhere
around April. This is also the time when sheep have their lambs and
so it would not be surprising for the Lamb of God to be born around
Does M.W. know that Branham believed and taught that Jesus Christ
preached for 3½ years, and died at the age of 33½? How does it
add up to 33½ years, if Christ was born in April and died in April?
Foolishness. And, Anti-Branham preachers will accuse Branham as a liar because he made
such statement not once or twice but several times.]
2. The other reason
is that the Bible shows that shepherds were with the sheep out in
the fields where the Angels appeared to them announcing the birth of
the Lord Jesus Christ. They would never spend the night out in the
open in late autumn or winter which September represents. This
points to a warmer time of the birth of our Lord.
3. The Romans had
just been conducting a census during the time of the birth of the
Lord and this is Why Joseph had to return with his wife Mary to
Bethlehem. The Romans were wise people and they did not send out
their soldiers to conduct a census in winter but in warmer months.
This is a historic fact. This also points away from September and
4. Josephs wife was
nearing full term of pregnancy and he would never undertake a risky
journey in winter because of the risks.
5. I said the
view is closer to the Catholic teaching because
September is closer to the Catholic
December 25 than April.
You can still
stick to September
if you wish in order to maintain your message but remember it is at
variance with Bible and message teaching.
Interestingly, this believer’s
arguments are partly sound, but he shot his own foot because he did
not know the climates in Palestine are different from those in
There are many believers like
him, foolishly quoting Branham without realizing that Branham might
just be wrong in using the lambing season (Spring) of
America for that in Palestine. And it is a misleading notion to
sheep have their lambs only in Spring,
is to say that there are no lamb born in any other seasons of the
year, in countries with different seasons. Let us also not forget
that there are different types of sheep. Consider the "fat tail"
sheep in the Arabic and Asiatic countries which lambing seasons are
often in the autumn, and even winter, unlike those sheep in western
The general periods of American’s
four seasons are:
Spring - March Equinox to June
Summer - June Solstice to September Equinox;
Autumn (Fall) - September Equinox to December Solstice; and,
Winter - December Solstice to March Equinox.
The four seasons in Palestine are
different. During the Greco-Roman period, the Jews divided the year
into four seasons by using the original Hebrew names of the months
in which each season began:
Spring - 15 Shevat - 1 Tammuz
Summer - 1 Tammuz - 1 Tishrei
Autumn (Fall) - 1 Tishrei - 25 Kislev
Winter - 25 Kislev - 15 Shevat
Now, the annual temperature range around the vicinity of Jerusalem
and Bethlehem is shown in this graph:
Winter, of course is the coldest
period. As suggested by M.W., the sheep could not be out in the field
in winter or even late autumn (see point 2 in his argument). That is
perhaps true in America but in Palestine the season happens to be
the beginning of autumn; the temperature is still warm, about 28°C
(82°F) to 14°C (57°F). However, the temperature in the month of
March-April is much colder, being early spring, 7°C (45°F) to 21°C
Sept-Oct. climate: 28°C (82°F) -
14°C (57°F) [Av.15°C]
Mar-Apr. climate: 7°C (45°F) - 21°C (70°F) [Av. 8.5°C]
Therefore the months of November
to April, being cold months (in Palestine, not America) are
unlikely months for sheep to be out in the field. For the Roman
government to conduct a census throughout their empire during those
cold months would be self-defeating; citizens would find it
difficult to travel to their city or town of birth to be registered.
That rules out Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary, making a trip from
Nazareth to Bethlehem since a census would not have been decreed.
Therefore, the notion that Jesus was born in December or April is a
lie. One is a Catholic teaching; the other, an idolatrous
belief/trust. Both are at variance with the Sacred Scripture; both
are held by make-believers of the Bible.
The only logical time of Jesus’
birth must be in the late Summer or early Fall. Biblical accounts
point to the Fall of the year as the time of Jesus’ birth.
Briefly, from the Biblical
Zacharias was a priest of the
course of Abia (Luk.1:5). One day Angel Gabriel appeared to him
while he was serving in the Temple, to tell him that his wife
Elizabeth would have a son (Luk.1:8-17). Jewish writings tell us
that the service of the Abia (Abijah) division of priests was
scheduled for the last two weeks of the Hebrew month Tammuz,
which corresponds to June-July of the Gregorian calendar.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s
pregnancy with John the Baptist, Mary conceived Jesus (Luk.1:24-33);
the month being Tevet (December-January). Three months later,
in the month of Nisan (late March), about the time of the Feast
of the Passover, John the Baptist was born. [Note: The Jews have
long held to the tradition that the prophet Elijah will return at
Passover (cf. Mal.4:5-6; Luk.1:17). Incidentally, John the
Baptist was beheaded in the week before Passover, a year
before Christ was crucified (Mat.14:1-12; Joh.6:1-14).] Adding
another six months (the difference in age between John and Jesus),
brings us to the seventh month, Tishrei or Tishri
(September-October), when Jesus was likely born end of September.
The Jews celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in the month of
Tishri, from 15th to 22nd day. How apt that Jesus would say
to the Father, “…a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb.10:5); a
revelation revealed to Paul concerning the prophetic utterance of
King David in his praise of Yahweh in the 40th Psalm.
Consider the day Jesus was born
and the day He was baptized. As a child Jesus grew “and waxed
strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing
unto Israel” (Luk.1:80 cf. 2:52). That “day of his shewing
unto Israel” was when He was “about thirty year of age”
(Luk.3:23), after “being baptized, and praying, the heaven was
opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove
upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my
beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luk.3:21-22). Yahweh
suddenly came into His temple and tabernacled in the flesh of His
own Son (Mal.3:1; Joh.14:10; Col.2:9). How timely and fulfilling
were His birth and incarnation – on the very same week of the
Feast of Tabernacles! The Feast of Tabernacles is a feast
of thanksgiving, the most joyous of all the Jewish feasts. The
significance of the feast will only be fully realized when our Lord
Jesus returns to tabernacle among men and reign for a thousand
years, during the Age of Regeneration.
Those who insist that Jesus was
born in April and died in April believe He only ministered three
years. (Those who are uncertain, believe it could be two years, or
even four.) The Gospel of John shows that Jesus ministered longer than
that. Apostle John recorded a total of four Passovers
(Joh.2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 13:1) in the life of Christ, after His baptism;
His death being in the last of the four. The time and events between
the baptism of Jesus and the first mentioned Passover are abridged
in John’s Gospel, chapters 1 to 2.
Apostle John did not record about
the Spirit leading Jesus into the wilderness to be tested of the
devil after His baptism (Mat.4:1). After the forty days of
temptation Jesus returned to Nazareth to recuperate. It is not known
how long He remained in Nazareth before He went out to Bethabara,
beyond Jordan, where He was baptized; to where John the Baptist was
preaching and baptizing. It was during one of the visits that the
Baptist saw Jesus and declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which
taketh away the sin of the world” (Joh.1:29).
The following two days Jesus
called His first four disciples (Joh.1:35-51).
Then on the third day, Jesus and
His mother went to Cana for a wedding (Joh.2:1-11). No record was
given on the number of days for the wedding feast or the length of
time that Jesus and His mother remain in Cana after the wedding,
before they returned to their home in Nazareth. During that late
cold winter period, December to early March, Jesus and His immediate
family most likely remained in Nazareth; there Jesus spent
The Apostle John then wrote
(Joh.2:12): “After this – the period of events detailed in
John 1:33, 43 and 2:1 concerning the movement of Jesus after John
the Baptist declared Him as the Lamb of God (Joh.1:29) – he went
down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his
disciples: and they continued there not many days”. Jesus, his
mother, brothers and the four disciples then moved out of Nazareth,
where He had been raised, to stay in Capernaum. They were there
– that is, less than many
but more than few –
perhaps because the Passover was drawing near.
Jesus was raised in Nazareth, but
the people of the city violently rejected Him (Luk.4:16-30). After Jesus heard that John the
Baptist was cast into prison (Mat.4:12-13), He left Nazareth to live in Capernaum,
“his own city” (Luk.4:31; Mat.9:1).
All in, the whole period could
not have taken just a few weeks. It required a few
months; from September to April. And so, there is no
doubt our Lord Jesus ministered for about three and a half years
after His baptism in late September, the time of the Feast of
Tabernacles, the same period of His birth, thirty years earlier.
Jesus was crucified in the month of April, on Passover day at
the age of thirty-three and a half years old.
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