When Was Jesus Born?
Written by Cory Collins
We know that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matt 2:1; Luke 1:5). Josephus confirms that Herod died in the thirty-fourth year of his reign, which we would call 4 BC. Before he died, he ordered that the males in Bethlehem, age two and under, were to be massacred. As Mark L. Strauss notes, "Most scholars place Jesus' birth sometime between 7 and 4 BC. There is little other evidence to establish a more precise date" (Four Portraits, One Jesus, p. 405). Strauss takes into account matters related to the census, the star of Bethlehem, etc., as he reaches this conclusion. People who have thought they could prove the year of Jesus' birth have not been able to persuade others involved in the same pursuit.