The birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated by billions of people throughout the world every year on December 25. Although this may be true, most academics agree that he was not born on that date or even in the year A.D. 1.
The birthdate of Jesus is not given in the Bible. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birthday. This has led to a plethora of legends concerning the date of December 25 and its subsequent adoption as the celebration of Jesus' birth.
The winter solstice, which fell on December 25 according to the Julian calendar, was the occasion for the annual celebration of the Nativity of the Sun. Because the Gospels don't give a specific date for Christ's birth, the early church refused to acknowledge it. Augustine claims that "it was a heathen custom to celebrate the birthday of the Sun on the same twenty-fifth day of December." Leo the Great believed that the new sun's birth was the reason Christmas was not solemnised.
Based in part on the biblical story of King Herod the Great, some academics have proposed a birth date range of 6–4 B.C. The monarch supposedly ordered the execution of all male babies under the age of two in the Bethlehem area, a slaughter known as the Massacre of the Innocents. This occurred right before Herod's death, the circumstances of which are still up for debate. Peter Richardson and Amy Marie Fisher, authors of "Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans: Second Edition" (Routledge, 2018), are among the many experts who believe Herod passed away in 4 B.C.
Many historians consider the mass murder of infants to have been a fake, and they can't agree on the year when Herod died. "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" by Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013) claims that the massacre ordered by Herod "survives with not a scrap of corroborating evidence in any chronicle or history of the time, whether Jewish, Christian, or Roman."
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