Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45

Thread: September 11th: Happy Birthday Jesus?

  1. #1
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,509
    Amen (Given)
    6955
    Amen (Received)
    6645

    September 11th: Happy Birthday Jesus?

    Many many years ago, as a teen growing up in a cult called the The Way Ministry, the Way had this peculiar belief that December 25th wasn't the day that Jesus was born, rather, he was likely born on September 11th, 3 BC.

    Years after leaving The Way I had mostly forgotten about it, but then 9/11 happened. Maybe a month later, I might have been watching the news or something, but it was like, September 11, where had I heard that date before? And then it came back to me, "Oh right, that was supposed to be Jesus's birthday!"

    Now, I'm pretty certain that Jesus wasn't born on Christmas day, but I sorta/kinda dismissed the 9/11 thing as a Way gaffe, and went about my days. However, over the course of the last year or so I've been diving into Old Testament scholar Michael Heiser's work, and wouldn't you know it, he too holds that Jesus was born on Sept. 11th 3 (or 4) BC!

    So, now, something about The Way. The Way billed itself as a research ministry and would often incorporate good scholarship (and sometimes in the case of Aramaicist George Lamsa, bad scholarship) into their unorthodox theology. So, while I was blown away to hear that Heiser agreed with something uniquely Way-ish, it didn't surprise me too much that they might have accidentally stumbled into something legit.


    Back to Dr. Heiser. I don't think Heiser knows anything about The Way Ministry. He says that he was convinced about the date by reading Dr. E. L. Martin’s The Star that Astonished the World (which can be found read here for free).

    What is the actual argument for Sept. 11th? Well...it's complicated. Basically it boils down to Hebrew astronomical signs that John wrote into Revelation 12. Heiser goes into the subject in this brief Youtube video here:



    And you can find more in his podcast here:





    To be clear, I'm not asserting that Jesus was, for certain, born on Sept. 11, only pointing out that there is teaching out there that suggests that he was, and thought it was relevant for posting today. I believe he almost certainly wasn't born on Dec. 25th.
    Last edited by Adrift; 09-11-2019 at 11:59 AM.

  2. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
  3. #2
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    49,908
    Amen (Given)
    4995
    Amen (Received)
    22132
    Personally I don't think anyone can know the exact date of his birth. All these astrological theories seem pretty much made up to fit the theory as much as anything else. Like the people who use numerology or bible codes then conveniently find exactly what they want in the text.

    I really don't have time to listen to those videos, though. Is there a text summary I could look at somewhere of the theory?

  4. Amen DesertBerean amen'd this post.
  5. #3
    Child of the One True King Raphael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Middle Earth, New Zealand
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    5,283
    Amen (Given)
    2800
    Amen (Received)
    3097
    Oddly enough we were talking about this exact thing at Home Group last night.
    TheologyWeb Needs YOU! - Please Help Us Upgrade Tweb! Click here for more info


    "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
    -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    1 Corinthians 16:13

    "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
    -Ben Witherington III

  6. Amen Adrift, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
  7. #4
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,509
    Amen (Given)
    6955
    Amen (Received)
    6645
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Personally I don't think anyone can know the exact date of his birth. All these astrological theories seem pretty much made up to fit the theory as much as anything else. Like the people who use numerology or bible codes then conveniently find exactly what they want in the text.
    Heiser is strongly against Bible code nonsense, which makes me a little more confident that this is a bit more legit than your average astrological garbage, but yeah, I get what you're saying. I think it's possible that John, who was in a place to know Jesus' birth, might paint imagery in Revelation that can point us to a date, so I don't think it's completely out of the realm of plausibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I really don't have time to listen to those videos, though. Is there a text summary I could look at somewhere of the theory?
    I'll see if I can find one. I might have to pull it from the transcript of that podcast.

  8. #5
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,509
    Amen (Given)
    6955
    Amen (Received)
    6645
    Quote Originally Posted by Raphael View Post
    Oddly enough we were talking about this exact thing at Home Group last night.
    Oh wow. Was it just the date itself, or did they mention Dr. Heiser?

  9. #6
    Child of the One True King Raphael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Middle Earth, New Zealand
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    5,283
    Amen (Given)
    2800
    Amen (Received)
    3097
    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Oh wow. Was it just the date itself, or did they mention Dr. Heiser?
    Both. One of the guys even shared a link to his #138 podcast to our WhatsApp group.

    https://nakedbiblepodcast.com/podcas...as-jesus-born/
    TheologyWeb Needs YOU! - Please Help Us Upgrade Tweb! Click here for more info


    "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
    -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    1 Corinthians 16:13

    "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
    -Ben Witherington III

  10. Amen Adrift amen'd this post.
  11. #7
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,509
    Amen (Given)
    6955
    Amen (Received)
    6645
    I'm not sure if I can, but I'm going to attempt to summarize this.

    Scripture Verse: Revelation 12:1

    A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. 7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

    © Copyright Original Source



    • Heiser goes into how ancient Jews views astrology/astronomy in the 2nd Temple period.
    • What John is looking at is indisputably astronomical.
    • The woman is the key figure, and represents both the virgin Mary and Israel, the virgin of Zion (Israel perhaps being a better paradigm than Mary).
    • The virgin is Virgo, with 12 stars around her head, which Jews at the time of Jesus's birth would understand as the 12 tribes of Israel, and the imagery would have been completely familiar to 1st/2nd century Jews and Christians.
    • The description that the woman was clothed with the sun is stock astronomical language of the day for the sun being in the midst of a constellation.
    • While the sun is in the woman, the moon is at her feet. For this situation to occur, the constellation of the woman must be (in astronomical language) "on the ecliptic"—the imaginary line in the sky that the sun and the moon follow in their journey through the zodiac constellations.
    • Paul might have had the ecliptic in mind when he references Psalm 19 in Romans (in the Masoretic, Psalm 19:4 states: "their line goes out through all the earth.")
    • Virgo is on the ecliptic.
    • [T]he apostle John saw the scene when the Sun was “clothing” or “adorning” the woman. This surely indicates that the position of the Sun in the vision was located somewhere mid-bodied to the woman, between the neck and the knees. The Sun could hardly be said to clothe her if it were situated in her face or near her feet. The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to “clothe” the celestial woman called Virgo (that is, to be mid-bodied to her, in the region where a pregnant woman carries a child) is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This “clothing” of the woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year. This 20 degree spread could indicate the general time when Jesus was born.
    • Because of the moon's "behavior" relative to the ecliptic and Virgo in any given year, the 20-day window narrows to a roughly 90-minute period in which to astronomically pinpoint the birth of the child of Revelation 12, which is the Messiah, which was Jesus.
    • Revelation 12:5's reference to the child is Jesus, and his ascension, and is a reference back to Psalm 2:7-9
    • The dragon is a reference to the Middle Eastern concepts of the sea monster which represented chaos. Bruce Malina points out that there are only two major constellation candidates for it: Hydra or Scorpio (both have their strengths). It can't be Draco because of its position at the North Pole.



    • This collection in Revelation 12 isn't rare, although to be fair, there are only a handful of dates in real time that could accommodate them in the context of New Testament chronology for the birth of Jesus. But those dates narrow to one date once other astronomical events that occurred at the same time (which are not noted in Revelation 12) are added to the celestial profile.
    • The constellation above the head of Virgo (the very next one in the zodiac) is Leo, the lion. The lion was the symbol associated with the tribe of Judah and royalty (Genesis 49:9-10).
    • Leo was considered a royal constellation since it was dominated by the star Regulus. The star Regulus was known by astrologers as the "King Star." So we have the king constellation (Leo, Lion of Judah) and the star Regulus in Leo.
    • Leo also comes into conjunction with Jupiter, the "King Planet."



    [I]f you're the Magi and you're familiar with Gentile religious astronomical thinking and you're familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures (which we know they are because they go to Bethlehem)... If you're looking at this sign you've got a virgin with twelve stars, the sun in her midst, the moon at her feet, the dragon... Then above that, you've got Leo, the lion. It's the symbol of the tribe of Judah. And within that constellation you have Jupiter, the King Planet, and Regulus, the King Star, overlapping. They're conjoined at this moment. Remember, we're talking about a 90-minute window where all these things are there. So the combination of astronomical signs produces a unique set of circumstances, which can only be accounted for by one date that matters in the sweep of New Testament chronology. And this date, as we will see... I'm just going to say it here, but we'll talk more about it. This date has dramatic significance in the Jewish calendar. According to all of these signs taken together (and Martin has even more in chapter 5), the day of Jesus' birth—the birth of the Messiah—was September 11, 3 B.C.


    that's just the bare bones of the transcript found here: https://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/wp...Transcript.pdf. Heiser goes into much more detail, also making other points like how the discussion of the heavenly appearance of the temple and the Ark of the Covenant immediately preceding Revelation 12 (Revelation 11:19) is significant.

    New Testament scholar Greg Beale notes the significance of this juxtaposition by John of Revelation 11 and 12 (the reference to the ark in the temple and the references given in Revelation 12:7—these signs. Beale writes this:

    [A] trumpet was to be blown on Tishri 1, which in the rabbinic period came to be viewed as the beginning of the New Year. God’s eschatological judgment of all people was expected to fall on this day. . . The New Year trumpet also proclaimed hope in the ongoing and ultimate kingship of God, in God’s judgment and reward according to people’s deeds, and in Israel’s final restoration.

    That's Beale (page 620), and he actually alludes to the Babylonian Talmud: Rosh Hashanah 16 for that information. Now incredibly, the astronomical reconstruction of the circumstances of Revelation 12:1-7 that produces a September, 3 B.C, date for the birth of the Messiah was also the beginning of the Jewish new year in 3 B.C. (Rosh Ha-shanah, Tishri 1, the Day of the Trumpets, the Feast of Trumpets). Tishri 1 was also the day that many of the ancient kings and rulers of Judah reckoned as their inauguration day. This procedure was followed consistently in the time of Solomon, Jeremiah, and Ezra. If you want proof of that, you can look at Edwin Thiele's Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (page 28, 31, 161, 163). I would say this is a powerful piece of evidence for the astronomical reading of Revelation 12:1-7 as celestial signs of the birth of the messianic king.


    Not much of a summary, but hope that's helpful.
    Last edited by Adrift; 09-11-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  12. Amen Raphael, Teallaura amen'd this post.
  13. #8
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    618
    Amen (Given)
    254
    Amen (Received)
    276
    I think it's generally agreed across Christianity that Jesus's actual birth wasn't December 25th. I think the date was picked to supplant a major pagan holiday on that date. I've read His birth was more likely in the spring because that's when shepherds would be watching the flocks at night.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  14. Amen Adrift, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
  15. #9
    Child of the One True King Raphael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Middle Earth, New Zealand
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    5,283
    Amen (Given)
    2800
    Amen (Received)
    3097
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I think it's generally agreed across Christianity that Jesus's actual birth wasn't December 25th. I think the date was picked to supplant a major pagan holiday on that date. I've read His birth was more likely in the spring because that's when shepherds would be watching the flocks at night.
    The Dec25 date lines up to a Jewish (and most likely early church) belief that a prophet would die on the same day of the year as he was concieved. Easter is (roughly) 9 months before December 25th.

    Edit to add: the 11 September date suggested above would be early autumn in Israel so would also work for shepherds to be watching their flocks at night.
    TheologyWeb Needs YOU! - Please Help Us Upgrade Tweb! Click here for more info


    "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
    -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    1 Corinthians 16:13

    "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
    -Ben Witherington III

  16. Amen Adrift, Teallaura amen'd this post.
  17. #10
    Thread Killer QuantaFille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thulcandra
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    1,461
    Amen (Given)
    612
    Amen (Received)
    836
    Quote Originally Posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
    I think it's generally agreed across Christianity that Jesus's actual birth wasn't December 25th. I think the date was picked to supplant a major pagan holiday on that date. I've read His birth was more likely in the spring because that's when shepherds would be watching the flocks at night.
    I've read that the supposed "pagan holiday" wasn't actually celebrated until after Christmas became popular, and was intended to supplant it, not the other way around. I'll have to see if I can find the article.
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •