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When Jesus Christ was Born

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

December 19, 2021—During the time of Mary’s pregnancy, Caesar Augustus (aka Octavian) declared a census decree (Luke 2:4). Therefore, when she was in the later part of her pregnancy, they went to Bethlehem (or the City of David) because Joseph was of David’s lineage (Matthew 1:1-17, and Luke 2: 4). It has been estimated that it would have taken four to seven days to travel on foot from Nazareth to Bethlehem. While they were in Bethlehem, Mary began labor. They tried to get room at the inn, but due to the census, there was no room for them.


When Mary delivered Jesus, she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed Him in a manager. The birth of Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus Christ’s birth in Bethlehem fulfilled the prophetic message found in Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”


After His birth, an angel appeared to shepherds living in the fields of the same country and they were keeping watch over their flock. The glory of the Lord was around the angel, and the angel told the shepherds, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger”. The Holy Bible says that, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:8-14

The shepherds went to Bethlehem and saw Jesus Christ in the manger. The Holy Bible tells us that they “made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.” (Luke 2:17). The shepherds then returned to their fields.


However, these shepherds were not the only ones to see Jesus Christ. Three wise men from the East came to worship him because they saw “His star in the East.” (Matthew 2:2). They went to Herod to find the location of Jesus Christ. Herod instructed the wise men to bring back word to him. When the three men arrived at Mary, Joseph and Jesus Christ, they fell down and worshipped Him. They gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). However, being warned in a dream, the three men did not return to Herod, they went to their own country a different way.




The typical nativity scene of Jesus's birth.  Includes the three wise men (nothing in the Holy Bible says that they were kings), Mary, Joseph and Jeus Christ.
The typical nativity scene of Jesus's birth. Includes the three wise men (nothing in the Holy Bible says that they were kings), Mary, Joseph and Jeus Christ. Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash

Jesus Christ and Christmas

The Holy Bible does not mention the exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth, and no it is not Christmas Day (December 25). December 25 is a conglomeration of pagan holidays (see History Channel):

· Yule- celebrated by the Norse from winter solstice (December 21) through January. Logs would be brought home by fathers and sons, and they would set the logs on fire, and would feast until the log burned out.

· Odin- the god of Germanic people and they honored this god in the mid-winter holiday. The Germans were petrified of Odin as they believed he observed people at nocturnal flights and would decide who would be successful and who would perish.

· Saturnali- celebrated by the Romans for the God of Winter, Saturn. Keep in mind that winters were not as harsh as they are in the far north. This was celebrated for a month beginning in the week leading to the winter solstice. Food and wine were plentiful, and social order was rearranged: slaves would be granted freedom to participate in the festivities, and businesses and schools were closed.

· Juvenalia- also celebrated by the Romans, this was a feast honoring the children of Rome. The upper class would celebrate the birthday of the god of the sun, Mithra on December 25. Some Roman citizens considered this the most sacred day of the year.


How Jesus Christ fits in on a pagan holiday when we are not to be involved in such things (see Deuteronomy 5:7, 8), is due to the Catholic church in the fourth century. In the early forms of Christianity, only easter was celebrated. However, church officials decided that it was time to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday, and some evidence suggests that Pope Julius I, a bishop from Rome, chose December 25. There is belief that December 25 was choosen by the church to let it be embraced by others, and to help it spread. It ultimately did spread to Egypt in 432, and to England at the end of the sixth century (see History Channel).


Something important to note is that persecution from religion caused the celebration and religion of Mithra to be suppressed and eliminated. Guess when that was? The fourth century. The persecution from Christians came from the Roman Emperor Theodosius I who issued anti-pagan decrees and his reign began only 27 years after the death of Pope Julius I.


To Egypt

Back to Jesus Christ here. When Joseph, Mary and Jesus Christ of Nazareth departed from Bethlehem, an angel visited Joseph in a dream warning him to take his family and flee into Egypt because Herod was going to seek Jesus Christ to kill him. The angel also told Joseph that they are not to return until word is given to him by God. Joseph woke up at night and took his family by night and departed for Egypt.


When Herod realized that the three wise men were not coming back, he became exceedingly angry. Herod then ordered a decree to kill all boys two years old and younger. This applied to those in Bethlehem and within all its districts. The Holy Bible does not have the number of boys slain. The Holy Bibles does discuss a prophecy that was fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more. Jeremiah 31:15


When Herod died, his kingdom was divided between his three sons, Archelaus (Judea), Antipas (Galilee, Perea, Samaria and Idumea), and Philip (Iturea and Trachonitis). At the time of his death, an angel came to Joseph in another dream and told him to return to Israel. However, with Archelaus reigning over the region where they were, and being warned by God in a dream, Joseph went into the region of Galilee. This fulfilled the prophecy that “Out of Egypt, I called My Son.” (Hosea 11:1). Joseph and his family came to dwell in Nazareth which fulfilled another prophecy, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Judges 13:5).

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