Friday, December 25, 2009
AS SEEN IN:
"Mary, Mother Of Jesus"
AS PLAYED BY:
From Wikipedia: Scholars conclude that Jesus was born 7–2 BC/BCE and died 26–36 AD/CE.
There is no contemporary evidence of the exact date of Jesus' birth. The common Western standard for numbering years, in which the current year is 2009, is based on an early medieval attempt to count the years from his birth. The Gospel of Matthew places his birth under the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4 BC/BCE, and the Gospel of Luke describes the birth as taking place during the first census of the Roman provinces of Syria and Iudaea in 6 AD/CE. Scholars therefore generally assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC/BCE.
The earliest evidence of celebration on 25 December of the birth of Jesus is of the year 354 in Rome, and it was only later that the 25 December celebration was adopted in the East, with the exception of Armenia, where his birth is celebrated on 6 January. Indeed there is no month of the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned his birth.
According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea to Mary, a virgin, by a miracle of the Holy Spirit. The circumstances of the two gospels differ by 9 years, and are historically incompatible. In Luke, the angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her that she was chosen to bear the Son of God.[Lk. 1:26–38] An order of Caesar Augustus had forced Mary and Joseph to leave their homes in Nazareth and come to the home of Joseph's ancestors, the house of David, for the Census of Quirinius. After Jesus' birth, the couple was forced to use a manger in place of a crib because of a shortage of accommodation.[Lk. 2:1–7] An angel announced Jesus' birth to shepherds who left their flocks to see the newborn child and who subsequently publicized what they had witnessed throughout the area (see The First Noël).
In Matthew, the "Wise Men" or "Magi" bring gifts to the young Jesus after following a star which they believe was a sign that the King of the Jews had been born.[Mt. 2:1–12] King Herod hears of Jesus' birth from the Wise Men and tries to kill him by massacring all the male children in Bethlehem under the age of two (the "massacre of the innocents"). The family flees to Egypt and remains there until Herod's death, whereupon they settle in Nazareth to avoid living under the authority of Herod's son and successor Archelaus.[Mt. 2:19–23]