Dating christs birth book of mormon
Coponius and Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, senator and governor of Syria (the Cyrenius of Luke’s account), went to Judaea for the express purpose of reviewing the financial records of Archelaus, which may have included taking a census of the people for taxation purposes.
Since Joseph and Mary lived in Galilee, they were under the rulership of Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great), not Coponius.
Archelaus fell into disfavor with the Jews, then the Romans.
The Roman emperor Caesar Augustus banished him in his tenth year of rule ( 6) and made Judaea a Roman prefecture, with Coponius as the first prefect.
And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
(3 Nephi –14) The question of when Christ was born can be considered in two parts: 1) In what year was Christ born? Christians of the sixth century wanted a calendar that was not tied to the Roman rulers. Modern scholars acknowledge that he erred by at least four years, perhaps because his calculations were based on the regnal years of the Roman emperors, and he counted the reign of Caesar Augustus from 27 The Bible has clues that can help us pinpoint the approximate year of Christ’s birth.
Some have suggested that Luke’s Cyrenius was Quinctilius Varus, who became governor of Syria in 6 , around the time of another Roman census, and held the office at the time of Herod’s death.
However, records of the time suggest that each census conducted in the time of Caesar Augustus was of Romans only, not of subjugated peoples.
Luke 1:5 notes that the birth of John the Baptist had been announced “in the days of Herod, the King of Judaea.” John’s mother Elizabeth was a cousin of Jesus’s mother Mary and John was evidently born six months before Jesus (Luke –36).
So Luke agrees with Matthew in placing the birth of Christ in the time of King Herod.
Famed German astronomer Johann Kepler (1571–1630) calculated that there would have been a partial lunar eclipse (40%) visible in Palestine during the night of 13–14 March 4 noted that Herod the Great was named king of the Jews in “the one hundred and eighty-fourth Olympiad, when Caius Domitius Calvinus was consul the second time, and Caius Asinius Pollio [the first time]” ( According to Josephus, following the death of Herod, his son Archelaus sent to Caesar (Augustus) his petition for approval of Herod’s testament.
Caesar consulted with others, including his grandson Gaius, about the matter (, meaning that his father died before that time.
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