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Birth of Christ

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This theses on the Date of Birth and Crucifixion of Christ

was written by

Christopher James


On Palm Sunday Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, in His victory procession riding upon a foal of an ass with the multitude crying "Hosanna to the Son of David" and waving Palm branches. In less than a week He was to be Crucified. Jesus ate the last supper the following Thursday night and was betrayed by Judas, taken by the Jews and tried by the Sanhedrin, then by Pilate, Herod and again by Pilate, offered for release and rejected crucified and buried on the Friday before sunset. Briefly, these are the events that tradition expects us to believe happened almost 2000 years ago. But can tradition be relied upon? What year did the crucifixion take place? A closer look at the facts surrounding the crucifixion and birth of Christ reveal quite a different story than that handed down to us by our tradition.

All four gospels mention Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, but not one word is mentioned as to the day of the week. The date is indicated by John in chapter 12:1 when he states; "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany" where He stayed at Lazarus house and was anointed with the spikenard. The next day vers 12, Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem, this would be five days before the Passover. Counting backwards 5 days from the Passover on the 14th day, using the normal method at the time of Christ of including that as one of the days, brings us to the 10th. day of the month. In fig (1) this day is marked off because it was the day the Passover lamb was to be taken into the house, just as Jesus our Passover lamb was taken into the house of Gods people to be killed. As the 10th. day of the month could have occurred on any day of the week there is no evidence here to imply it was a Sunday.

Passover and the Jewish law

Jesus was a Jew, and therefore came under the Jewish law and custom concerning the Passover feast. It is among these laws that we must look for a clue to what happened. The Passover is a festival of the Jews that dates back to Moses, celebrating the passing over of the Angel Of Death when the first born of the Egyptians were killed and the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place. The day the Passover is celebrated on is fixed by the observance of the astronomical position of the Sun, Moon and spring equinox. The spring equinox occurs when the Sun crosses from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. The point that the Sun is at when it is exactly over the equator is defined as 0 deg. of right ascension by astronomers. This happens about 21st March in our current calendars, and from this position all other points in the sky are measured. The first day of the first month is that day when the first crescent of the Moon can be seen after the spring equinox. The first crescent can be seen with the naked eye one to two days after it's nearest pass to the Sun, just after sunset. Since the Moon's monthly rotation around the Earth is not synchronized with the yearly orbit of the Earth around the Sun, the start of the 1st month can wander from as early as March 21st to as late as April 20th. As the Passover falls on the eve of the 14th day of the 1st month, it is possible to calculate the exact date that this event would occur for any given year, and even the day of the week.

The Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, followed by the wave offering of the First Fruits continues for a total of eight days. Exodus 12, Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28 all describe this feast. On the 10th day of the 1st. month the Passover lamb was to be taken in to the house of their fathers until the 14th. day, the day of the Passover, when it was killed in the evening. The evening or sunset on the 14th. day is the beginning of the 15th. day, and is also the 1st. day of the feast of unleavened bread. The feast of unleavened bread lasts for seven days until the 21st day of the month. The 1st. and 7th. day of the feast of unleavened bread are holy convocations to the Lord and therefore a Sabbath day. The day following the feast of unleavened bread, the 22nd. day of the month, was the day the High Priest waved the First Fruit offering before the Alter, and again was considered as a Sabbath day. (Lev 23:15, 16, 19 & 21) "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days;" "then ye shall offer a sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of PEACE OFFERING." "And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day that it may be a holy convocation unto you:" a Sabbath day.


Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 (10) 11 12 13 (14) {15}
16 17 18 19 20 {21} {22}
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
39 31 32 33 34 35 36
37 38 39 40 41 42 43
44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57
58 59 60 61 62 63 64
65 66 67 68 69 70 {71}

Fig. (1) Calendar showing the days and ceremonial Sabbaths {xx}, from 1st. Nisan through to Pentecost. The (10)th was the day the passover lamb was to be taken into the home, and killed on the (14)th day.


Jesus was crucified at the Passover of the Jews. We know from scripture that Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, and by tradition we are led to believe He ate the Passover on Thursday night. He was then taken by the Jews, tried and finally crucified and died on the Friday, leaving enough time for Joseph of Arimathea to ask Pilate for His body and place it in the tomb before sunset. The Passover begins at evening or the end of the 14th day of the 1st. month of Nisan or Abib as it is often referred to. If Christ ate the Passover on a Thursday night then that evening would have started the 15th day of Nisan, the 1st day of the feast of unleavened bread and therefore a Sabbath day. For this day to have been the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath then Christ would have had to eat the Passover meal on the evening of the 13th. day. The gospels clearly state that on the day of the Passover the disciples were sent to arrange for the room for the last supper. It will be apparent that if Christ and the disciples ate the Passover on the previous day, they not only broke the holy laws of God but also lied about it later.

The Gospel of John reveals that the day before the resurrection on the first day of the week, was a high day. By this we are to assume that it was not only a Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week, but a high Sabbath, a Sabbath day of the feast of unleavened bread. If the crucifixion were after the Passover, after the Sabbath on the 15th. Nisan, then the next day that could have been considered a high Sabbath would be the 21st. But the following day, the 1st day of the week would have been the day of the First Fruits, a Sabbath day, and it is unlikely that a Jewish woman would have gone to attend the dead on a holy day. The only way to allow Mary to be at the tomb on the first day of the week after a high Sabbath is if the high day were the 22nd. day of the month, the Sabbath day when the first fruits were waved by the high priest. If the 22nd. day of the month were the 7th. day of the week, then the 1st. 15th. and 71st days were also high Sabbath days (see fig.(1)), all of them associated with ceremonial Sabbaths. Did God give Moses an accurate prophecy of Christ's crucifixion, even too the days of the week that it would happen, hidden in the ceremonies conducted in the Temple according to the law? If this statement by John is correct it gives us an astronomical alignment that can prove in which year the crucifixion took place, and it could not have been 33 A.D.

"The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away." (John 19:31). John reveals to us that Jesus was taken off the cross on the day of preparation. The day of preparation in a normal week would have been Friday, but this week was the feast of Unleavened Bread and there were two holy Sabbaths one after the other. The resurrection took place on the 1st. day of the week, therefore the previous day, the 7th. day of the week must have been the day of the First Fruits, and the 6th. day of the week would be the Sabbath day at the end of the feast of Unleavened Bread, making the 5th. day of the week Thursday the day of preparation.

As stated above the Passover meal is always eaten in the evening of the 14th day of the 1st month. If Christ had eaten the Passover meal according to law then He would have eaten it on the 1st. day of the feast. The 1st day of the feast is a Sabbath day and more than a week before His resurrection on the 1st day of the week. It would appear from the evidence provided, if Jesus and His disciples complied with the law, instead of the three or four days normally associated with His passion, a full week must be accounted for.

Whether one accepts that the high day spoken of by John was the day of the First Fruits or the day of the Passover it amounts to the same thing, all the ceremonial Sabbath days associated with Passover ceremony fell on the seventh day of the week, except the 21st day. The 1st day of the month in scripture is always a Sabbath day and must fall on the seventh day of the week if the Passover and the First Fruits is to line up with the weekly Sabbaths. On examination of the astronomical data for the start of the Passover between 20 and 34 A.D. only the year 27 A.D. could produce an alignment that would create a high day on the seventh day of the week.

Traditional Position on the Birth and Crucifixion of Christ

In 525 A.D. Dionysius the father of the common era method of dating that the majority of the world accepts today, placed the crucifixion in 33 A.D. and the birth of Christ on the 25th December 1 B.C.. The early western church had settled on the 25th December as the date of Christ's birth but the eastern church celebrates it on January 6th. The Roman Christian apologist Tertullian who lived in the late second century A.D. placed the birth of Christ during the census when Sentius Saturninus was governor of Syria. Most modern scholars now place the governorship of Sentius Saturninus from about 9 to 7 or 6 B.C.. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Orosius and Cassiodorus Senator said that Christ's birth was in a year we now recognize as 3 B.C.. Sulpitius Severus (A.D.. 363-420), indicated that Herod continued to live four years after the birth of Christ, and therefore placed His birth on the 25th December in the year we now know as 4 B.C..

Most historians today accept that the 1 B.C. date is too late for the birth of Christ as King Herod had already died by this time. Dionysius also placed the crucifixion in 33 A.D., and as Christ was about 33 years old when He died, it is more likely that he got both dates wrong than one wrong and the other right. As the B.C./A.D. boundary was supposed to coincide with the birth of Christ, it must therefore be concluded that Dionysius made a mistake when calculating the 500 or so years from Christ until his own time. We must also be careful when we encounter dates given in the period prior to 525 A.D. as there can be no authentic historical documents dated earlier than this year in the common era format. It will be obvious that the early church fathers such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Orosius and Sulpitius Severus for example could not have placed the birth of Christ using the B.C./A.D. format, but rather used the method of dating that was common to their era, leaving it up to historians interpretation to place it in the correct time slot. If historians move the accepted date for the birth of Christ they must also move the date of the Crucifixion.

Although most theologians and church ministers realize that the 25th. December is not the correct time of year for the birth of Jesus, no real consensus of opinion, nor political will exists to change this date for a better one. Part of the problem establishing the true date for the birth of Christ is obtaining sufficient irrefutable and convincing evidence, a birth certificate would be great, but unfortunately not available, so we must assemble what we can into a cohesive unit using all available sources.

From the above one can see the impossibility of placing the birth of Christ in a definitive year by using historical evidence alone from around the time of His birth. The only certain way to fix the time of Christ's birth is by the use of astronomical references associated with His birth and crucifixion, and correlating them with other references given in scripture.

What follows is a study of the historical and astronomical evidence associated with the timing of the birth and crucifixion of Christ, and why His birth must be looked for in the spring or more precisely the 12th month of the Jewish calender; the helical rising of the star of Bethlehem; and as the Magi were astrologers the astrological delineations associated with his birth. Because the birth and crucifixion of Christ are separated by some 33 or so years, to fix the year in which Christ was born, the year of the crucifixion must also be established.

Is it important to know the real date of Christ's birth? The answer to this question is not simple, if we cannot prove the correct date of birth then we cannot prove the correct year of His crucifixion. It is the date of Christ's crucifixion that is more important because this event is the subject of a time linked prophecy in Daniel, and if a correction needs to be made to the accepted 33 A.D. date then history and current interpretation of prophecy from the exile of the Jews in Babylon until Christ may have to be rewritten. Is it possible to find the correct date for the birth and crucifixion of Christ? To find this elusive date, not one stone must be left unturned, others have tried and failed to arrive at a convincing conclusion, but one thing they have not done is to consult the oldest "Science" known to man, Astrology.

Astrology is the science of statistics, not an infallible tool for predicting future events. Today pollsters predict the outcome of elections based on the polling of a small quantity of electors, and their predictions have a dependability proportional to the number of people polled and are based on the trend they see in the poll. Astrology is similar, but it relates events with the position of the sun moon and planets in the solar system.

The Magi made a very long journey to witness the birth of the Messiah based on the evidence they saw, specifically the planetary positions at the time. Therefore, although the planetary positions may have had no effect on the event, they would without a doubt have had an effect on what the Magi believed. For this reason specific planetary positions must have been visible at the time of Christ's birth in order to motivate the Magi to make the journey. Furthermore any dates without the proper astrological positions are not acceptable as the Magi would not have come.


"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King," (Matt 2:1) "there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed." "And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria." (Luke 2:1-2). Augustus wrote in his own hand of the official censuses in 28 B.C. 8 B.C. and 14 A.D. (Res Gestae Divi Augusti, II, 8). The 28 B.C. census would have been far to early to have been the one referred to by Luke, and of course by 14 A.D. Herod was dead so neither of these two need be considered. Even the 8 B.C. census seems to be rather early for the birth of Christ and many attempts have been made to suggest a later census around 4 B.C. so that a 33 A.D. crucifixion can be reasonably maintained. If Christ was born during the 8 B.C. census then He would have been 39 to 40 years old in 33 A.D. far to old for the account of His life in the Gospels. Most theologians put Christ's age at the crucifixion, round about 33 years old. If Christ's birth was in the 8 to 7 B.C. period then His crucifixion must have taken place between 26 to 28 A.D..

A 27 A.D. crucifixion would coincide with an 8 or 7 B.C. birth date without having to introduce any other unrecorded or unofficial census to make sense of a later birth date. It would also harmonize with the account of Tertullian's census when Sentius Saturninus was governor in Syria mentioned above.


According to Luke 1:5, Zechariah John the Baptist's father was executing the priest's office in the order of the course of Abijah when an angle of the Lord appeared to him with the news that he was to have a son.

King David and Samuel established twenty-four courses of priests (1Chron 24:1-19) from the sons of Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron, to serve in the temple, "which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year", (1Chron 27:1). But after the Babylonian captivity Ezra discovered that representatives of only four of these priestly courses could be found, (Ezra 2:36- 39). "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel - after the ordinance of David the king of Israel" (Ezra 3:10). Ezra had divided the surviving four courses into the original twenty-four. Abijah had received the eighth lot (1Chron 24:10) and Zechariah would therefore be ministering in the temple in the eighth month. "And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house." (Luke 1:23) and Elisabeth his wife conceived.

Zachariah would have been in the temple until at least the 1st day of the 9th month. "And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months," (Luke 1:24). "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth," (Luke 1:26) Mary conceived and then "went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zachariah, and greeted Elisabeth" (Luke 1:40-41). If Elisabeth conceived in the 9th month then her 6th month of confinement would be the 2nd or possibly the 3rd month of the following year. Assuming a normal gestation period of 280 days, or 9.5 lunar months, the earliest time for the birth of Christ, would be the middle of the 11th month but probably later, the 12th month, as this earlier date would not allow time for Zechariah to return home after his priestly duties.

The 12th month is not December as one may think but is normally the last month of their year, the month just before the Passover. The Hebrew lunar year was shorter than our solar year with only 354 days, therefore about every 3 years an extra month was added to bring the year back in line with the seasons. We should therefore expand our search to cover three months of the Hebrew calendar, the 11th. 12th. and 13th. month if there was one, or the 1st. month of the following year.

The start of the Jewish month of Nisan is controlled by the observance of the first crescent of the Moon after the spring equinox. As this can vary from as early as 21st of March until the 20th April, the birth date for Christ in the 11th or 12th month should occur between February and April inclusive.


Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship him."

The words translated "in the east" in the original Greek "En te anatole" is singular whereas the Greek plural "anatolai" is used to refer to "the east" elsewhere. "Anatole" is the term used however for the helical rising of a star and only occurs when the star rises about 1hr. before sunrise.

On December 17th 1603 the Imperial Mathematician and Astronomer Royal Johannes Kepler was observing the night sky high above the Moldava in the Hradcyn in Prague. With a modest telescope he watch the Conjunction of Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces. A conjunction is the technical name given by astronomers to the position when two or more celestial bodies appear on the same degree of longitude, and some times come so close that they appear as one very bright star.

Looking through His notes Kepler recollected reading an account of the rabbinical writer Abarbanel (1437-1508 A.D.), commenting on the book of Daniel, referring to the unusual influence that Jewish astrologers attributed to this constellation. The coming of the Messiah was supposed to occur at the time when there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the same constellation of Pieces.

Kepler was a mixture of astronomer and astrologer and must have realized the significance of this conjunction in the birth chart of someone born under it's influence. He checked his calculations again and again. The result, there had been three conjunctions in the space of a year, in 7 B.C. But according to the astrological tables these conjunctions occurred in 6 B.C. Kepler decided in favor of this later date.

Kepler's discovery was published in a number of books but his work fell into disrepute when, because of his occult tendencies he eventually steeped himself in mysticism. Rejected and finally disregarded Kepler's hypotheses remained ignored until the 19th century, but clear scientific proof was not to be provided until 1925 when the German scholar P. Schnabel deciphered the Neo-babylonian cuneiform papers from the School of Astrology at Sippar in Babylonia. Among the endless series of dates and observations he came across a note about the position of a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pieces carefully marked over a five month period in 7 B.C..

Historians and Archaeologists have to reconstruct there view of history with painstaking care over fragments of incomplete documents and artifact that don't contain any conventional dating system. All our understanding of history is interpretive, and it is therefore very difficult to arrive at a conclusive and accurate view of history using this method. If one piece of the puzzle is missing, or there is an incomplete line of historical evidence, which is often the case, then any conclusions that are made will reflect the bias of the scholar making them. This is not so for the modern astronomer. Anyone armed with a computer, a planetarium program and a rudimentary knowledge of how to use them can turn the cosmic clock backwards even beyond creation itself.

2000 years ago on the 1st March 7 B.C. in Bethlehem of Judea, looking towards the east, Mercury was as far from the Sun as it can get in the morning sky. Jupiter had just risen above the horizon in conjunction with Uranus, closely followed by the sun. Saturn was just below the horizon with the Moon, followed by Venus now the evening star. With the Sun in this position its light would completely obscure any attempt to see the planets at this time.

Running time forwards in 24Hr. jumps is like having a time laps film of a flower coming into bloom, the movements of the planets become even more exciting to watch than a study of Kepler's planetary tables. As the faster moving Sun overtook Saturn, the Moon moved out of the picture and Mercury raced headlong into a combined conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter at the end of March, a configuration in which the Moon would play a major role.

Jupiter and Saturn continue to play a roll of cat and mouse for the rest of the year. Jupiter moving slightly faster and catching up to Saturn early in May, appeared as one very bright star for the whole of the month. June saw the start of a separation as Jupiter moving ahead of Saturn put some distance between them. Saturn turned and headed westward. Jupiter turned with Saturn and seamed to be chasing him, finally closing the gap, when they appeared as one very bright star dominating the night sky from the end of September until the beginning of December when Jupiter races off into the east leaving Saturn behind.

If this Jupiter, Saturn conjunction is the star that the wise men saw in the east then the only time it could be referred to as "anatole" would be from the middle of March to the beginning of April 7 B.C. when it was rising about one hour before the sunrise.

We can never know for certain just what convinced the Magi to make the journey to see the Christ child at this time, nor whether they had made other similar journeys previously, but the fact that the Magi were astrologers, suggests that it is among the rules of astrology that we may find a clue to the date and possibly the time of Christ's birth. This started a search for astronomical alignments that would have aroused an astrologers interest between the middle of March 7 B.C. and the end April.


On 28th March 7 B.C. at 3:59 pm. in Bethlehem there was a conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter just as they were setting at 339 deg RA., Mercury at 341 deg RA. and Saturn at 344 deg RA. Thirty-two days and one hour later there was an eclipse of the sun. From an astrologers point of view these events would have had enormous significance.

The Magi were originally one of six tribes of the Medes (Herodotus, I, 101; Pliny, Natural History, V, 29), a priestly caste similar to the Levites among the Israelites. The Magi were among the magicians and astrologers that Nebuchadnezzar commanded to be assembled to show him the meaning of his dream in Daniel 2:2 "Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and sorcerers, and Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams." They were therefore acquainted with Daniel, and must have known of his prophecy of the time of Christ coming; "Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself" (Daniel 9:25-26). It would be reasonable to assume that seeing this planetary alignment rising in the east, they could have interpreted it as a sign of His coming.

According to the rules of astrology the positions of the planets during the first 24 hours after birth indicate the events that will happen to the subject during the first year of life, and each successive day represents one year in the life of the subject. This is known as progressing the chart.

Christ was baptized when He was about thirty years old and His ministry lasted for about three years until His crucifixion. This would make Christ about 33 years old and in His 34th year when he died.

If we do a progressed chart for the eclipse of 29th April 7 B.C., and apply it to the crucifixion at the Passover in 27 A.D., it would be equivalent to the 34th year of life of someone born on the 27th March 7 B.C. and therefore represent in astrological terms the year following the 33rd birthday. Using the eclipse of April 29th 7 B.C. we are able to rectify our tentative birth date to the 27th March 7B.C..

In 27 A.D. the Passover started in the evening of Friday the 11th April. The 12th April 27 A.D. was a Saturday and therefore the Sabbath day. The feast of unleavened bread lasts for eight days from the day of the Passover until the feast of the First Fruits when the priest offered the first fruits of the land before the alter, and would have ended on the 19th April, again the Sabbath day. This Sabbath day would have been a High Sabbath because it was both the weekly Sabbath and the feast Sabbath. The feast Sabbath before Christ's resurrection, occurred on the seventh day of the week, otherwise Mary Magdalene would not have been going to the sepulcher on the first day of the week John 30:1. If the eclipse of the Sun on 29th April 7 B.C. does indeed represent astrologically the crucifixion in Christ's birth chart then the time of birth can be rectified from this information.

Assuming Jesus was 33 years old when He was crucified would defiantly place his birth on the 27th March 7 B.C., a day either way would make him 32 or 34 years old and would therefore not synchronize with the "High Sabbath" at the Passover in 27 A.D.. Counting the days from the 27th March 27 A.D. to 12th April of the same year, the start of the Passover, gives a total of 17 days inclusive. But Christ was not crucified at the start of the Passover! He rose from the tomb after three days according to His own words, this would place his death late on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, for a resurrection early on the first day of the week. This would give us another four days to consider a total of 21 days. In a progressed chart 21 days would be equivalent to (24hrs x 21days)/365.25 = 1hr:23min. Counting backwards from the eclipse of 29th April 7 B.C. 4:52 pm., 33 days 1Hr:23min. we arrive at a tentative time of 27th March 7 B.C. 3:29pm. As each day is represented by only 4 minutes in the progressed chart, even a few days error here will not affect the birth time very much.

As mentioned earlier the date for Christ's crucifixion can only be placed at the Passover of 27 A.D. if we are to align the high Sabbath prior to His resurrection with the weekly Sabbath. It is simple mathematics that requires someone who is thirty-three years old in 27 A.D., to be born in 7 B.C. and it is for this reason alone that a birth date of March 7 B.C. will be the only one considered here.

Tentatively assuming the 27th March 7 BC to be the birth date of Christ we must assemble as much convincing evidence as possible to establish it as a fact, because if it is correct then the history around the time of Christ will have to rewritten. This fact alone is likely to raise up most of the historical community with cries of "astrology is not science", and this comment is absolutely true, but neither are miracles nor the resurrection from the dead, science. Science by definition has put it's self into a straight jacket in order to protect it's self from things that it cannot explain. It is not the precepts of astrology, nor whether it is true or false that is the issue here, the issue is the Magi believed it to be true, and so did the majority of the population that lived under the Roman Empire. It is for this reason that this section will deal mostly with the astrological evidence associated with a birth date of 27th March 7 BC.

The first thing that an astrologer would do is to set up a birth chart for the subject, this is called a radix or natal chart. This chart is simply a map of the planetary positions as viewed from the earth, placing the Sun, Moon and planets in there zodiacal signs and houses with the earth at the center.

The zodiacal signs represent a division of the heavens around the equatorial belt into twelve equal parts of 30 degrees of ark. The first sign Aries starts at zero degrees R.A. (right ascension), this position is defined as the point where the Sun crosses the equator at the spring equinox and slowly regresses through the heavens at a rate of approximately 30 deg. every 2000 years. Today this point is found just entering Aquarius and this is why the times that we now live in are referred to as the age of Aquarius. All the references to zodiacal positions are given with relation to this spring equinox position and has no relation to the constellations of stars with the same names that form the backdrop of the heavens.

Positioning of the houses in the chart is not so easily explained. Depending upon which of the systems of house division is used the cusps or dividing line of the houses moves slightly. To position the house cusps in there rightful place, an accurate birth time and location must be obtained, as this is impossible with an estimated time of birth, a simple equal house division will suffice. The first house starts with the point in the zodiac that is rising at the time of birth, known as the ascendent, and each successive house cusp follows in thirty degree segments in an anticlockwise direction.

Once the natal chart has been drawn up, the various aspects or angles that the Sun, Moon and planets form with each other has to be calculated. The following is a list of the angles made by the major aspects and there nature. Only the strong aspects have been listed and they need not be exact: if a planet is within the "orb of influence" it is said to have an aspect. The orb of influence for the strong aspects are, 10 degrees for the Sun or Moon and 8 degrees for the other planets on either side of the exact degree. If the planets are moving towards the aspect, it will have more effect than when they are separating. This is because when the chart is progressed the influence of separating aspects will grow weaker and the applying aspects stronger.

Conjunction 0 degrees apart Strong Variable

Sextile 60 Harmonious

Square 90 Discordant

Trine 120 Harmonious

Opposition 180 Discordant

When all the calculations are complete then delineation of the chart can begin. Using any easily available astrological delineator the interested student may obtain a more in-depth reading of the chart than is represented here. What follows is only a brief reading of each planet, for it is not our intent to recreate the life of Christ through astrology but simply show the influence of astrology on the Magi.

The Sun was at 4 deg. Aries in the eighth house which gives much mental energy and quick wit. Natives of this sign are natural leaders often headstrong and impulsive, ambitious, and full of enterprising new ideas. They are inclined to be fiery, quick to resent abuse or imposition but forgiving and do not hold a grudge long. The Sun is in the eighth house and signifies gain by marriage, partnership or inheritance. Fame often coming at death which maybe due to self sacrifice or heroic deed, if afflicted there is a likelihood of premature, sudden or violent end. Although the sun was not badly afflicted, Mars, the ruler of the eighth house was in the first house and in opposition to the mercury, Jupiter, Saturn conjunction would result in losses and delays through legacies and death by irregularity.

Aquarius is the humanitarian sign of the zodiac, and the Moon in the 26th degree gives the subject the ability to sympathize with the needs of man. Natives of this sign seek freedom, often at all costs and therefore result in unusual relationships. Except for a Sextile aspect with Venus, which gives the native an affectionate nature, the Moon like the Sun has no strong aspects to it. The Moons 6th house position gives a desire to serve the public in some professional capacity and is likely to get better results from serving others than others serving him.

Venus seems to be out on it's own at 20 deg Aries, not strongly aspected, inclining the native to a fondness for travel, music singing and art in general, This location of Venus inclines to popularity and many friends but probably with disappointments through them as there is a weak unfavorable aspect to Saturn. With it's position in the eighth house there are again indications of gain through marriage or inheritance.

The ascendent at 4 degrees Virgo makes the native very active and quick to learn, but often given to worry and over anxiety, sensitive to surroundings and conditions of others. Cautious regarding their own interests and the interests of others, being diplomatic, tactful and shrewd. Mars in the 11th degree of Virgo gives originality and boldness in enterprises in which they are usually successful, yet has many struggles of a peculiar nature as this location of Mars puts difficulties in the way of the ambitions and desires for power and fame, helping to bring reversal, downfall, obstacles and continual annoyance or opposition. Mars in Virgo adapts the native to medicine, hygiene and healing. They are also apt to numerous ties with inferiors, death of friends and helpers or parting from them through quarrels or misunderstanding.

Mercury at 9 deg Pisces adds inspirational influences to the intellect giving gains in knowledge not so much by study as by intuitive perception. Possessing an understanding not acquired from books, rarely at a loss to explain any condition and often called a walking encyclopedia.

The Jupiter conjunction in 9 deg Pisces again increases the Pisces tendency to spiritual perception and psychic impressions, given to experiences of psychic phenomena and prophetic dreams and visions. This position of Jupiter inclines to honors, gain, favors and high occupations.

Saturn the last of the three planets in this conjunction, at 14 deg. Pisces testifies to delays, deception, slander and discredit through friends and acquaintances. Many sorrows and disappointments in life, most of which they bear secretly and attempts to present the best side of things, The native often reaches positions of honor or dignity but has difficulty in maintaining them.

Uranus at 3 deg. Pisces, was not known of at the time of Christ, and therefore cannot be considered to be part of the Star of Bethlehem, but once again testifies to the psychical ability and expresses itself in the form of dreams visions and strange experiences. The unfavorable aspects associated with Uranus in this position bring trouble, difficulty, estrangement from friends, and public opposition, hostility, criticism and scandal coupled with unexpected misfortune and reversals. The seventh house position of this major conjunction, especially considering the opposition from Mars, reveals open conflict with an equal. With what is known of the conflict between Christ and Satan it would be easy to embellish this position beyond the bounds laid down in the astrological delineator.

The Mercury, Jupiter conjunction enhances and strengthens the characteristics already described under Mercury in Pisces, especially with regard to visions, psychic and inspirational experiences. The Saturn conjunction signifies great sorrow through death of father or brethren, estrangement from family although not necessarily through quarrels, but more as the result of circumstances. An unfavorable aspect to Uranus gives an active mind, very observant, a reformer's spirit with extreme or radical ideas bringing difficulties through public criticism and sudden adverse changes.

Jupiter's conjunction with Saturn is unfavorable, bringing losses through litigation, enmity and treachery, the native being subject to charity and imprisonment. The conjunction with Uranus Threatens sudden and heavy losses through friends, governmental or legal decrees and misinformation.

The opposition of Mars to this massive conjunction is all unfavorable so each aspect will be listed under the name of the aspecting planet. The opposition to Mercury gives good intellectual powers with a sharp mind but is apt to be quick tempered and argumentative which may create enmity and opposition from those criticized.

The aspect of Mars to Jupiter indicates impulsive generosity and apt to suffer from the dishonesty of others. Difficulty through political and religious people, suffering from the deceit and treachery of others. Dangerous or difficult journeys through foreign lands.

Opposition to Saturn causes the mind and senses to act in conflict with each other giving a quick temper and apt to hasty impulsive acts. An unfortunate aspect for the parents, denoting their death or separation. This aspect also denotes trouble with the parts of the body denoted by the sign that the afflicting planets occupy. Virgo rules the bowels, Mars rules sharp objects e.g. sword or spear, it is no wonder from this arrangement that Christ was pierced in the side. Neptune at 6 deg. Scorpio is the only planet that is really well aspected giving some relief to the opposition of Mars to the Uranus through Saturn conjunction. This position tends to practical mediumistic or occult experiences and assists other testimonies in the chart for gain by legacy.

Astrologically Pluto is still a young planet and will not be considered for a delineation at this point. It's position at 13 deg. Virgo is included only to complete the map of the heavens, but like Uranus and Neptune is not visible to the naked eye and was most likely not known to the Magi.

The foregoing interpretation of the natal chart was taken in the main from the "A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator" written by Llewellyn George, although slightly modified so as not to offend any copyrights. Even the most skeptic of us must see from the delineation a similarity between it and the character and life of Christ presented in the Bible. The gains from marriage as testified to by the Sun in the eighth house, although not specifically stated in the new testament gospels, is supported in the Gnostic Gospel of Philip. "And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth." The "Companion of the Savior" would more correctly be translated as spouse and would therefore make more sense out of the story of the wedding at Cana when Jesus turned the water into wine and the bridegroom got the credit for the new wine. If the bridegroom and Christ were one and the same then Christ was indeed married.

The Crucifixion

A progressed chart set up for the year following the 33rd birthday shows the Sun Moon conjunction forming an eclipse of the Sun in the 8th house. As this aspect was used to fined the date and time of birth, associating it with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, it would be unfair now to use this aspect to prove that the 27th March 7BC. was the correct date, but the 8th house position, the house of death is fair comment. This position and aspect would cause the native ill health, bereavement, loss of honor, fame and office, and a danger of imprisonment. Mars progressed to the twelfth house also testifies to a similar events especially as this planet was one of the main components of the opposition to the massive conjunction in the birth chart.

Before considering the transits and other aspects in the astrological chart for the week of the feast of Unleavened Bread of 27 AD. a review of the known facts concerning Christ's crucifixion would be in order.

Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, in His victory procession on the 10th. day of Nisan. For five days He taught in the temple and then came the Passover. This day must have been the 14th Nisan, changing to the 15th at sunset. The 15th Nisan is a Sabbath day according to the law of Moses, and as demonstrated previously the seventh day of the week. The last Supper would have been eaten by Christ and His disciples on the Passover, the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread according to the law. The main problem is, instead of the three days normally associated with Christ's passion, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which stretches the realms of credibility beyond the limit's, to fit in all the events, we now have a full week of events to explain.

In order to recreate the chronological events in the proper order and time we must first speculate a little then see if the documented events fit properly. The last Supper and the resurrection are probably the only two events that we can for certain place in there correct time.

Matthew 28:1 clearly states "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to the sepulcher." This statement clearly places the time in the dawn of the Sunday morning. This conclusion is supported by Mark 16:1 & 2, Luke 24:1 and John 20:1. The only other event that can be accurately placed is the last supper, on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan, the 1st day of the Passover. Although the scriptures allude to the evening of the 1st day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, care must be taken because the day starts at sunset, therefore the evening and night precede the daytime. These two events as mentioned earlier are eight days apart, so what happened to Jesus during the feast?

The 1st day of the feast was a Sabbath day, and in 27 AD. this would start at sunset on Friday 11th April. That night after Jesus had dismissed Judas to go and betray Him the disciples continued to eat the last supper, then they left to go to the mount of Olives. There was no apparent hurry to get things accomplished as would be required with the three day theory, in fact the opposite seems to be the case. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for a period of about one hour, and returned to the disciples to find them asleep (Matt 26:40). "He went away again the second time to pray" (Matt 26:42), and again returned to find the disciples asleep. The third time He left them to pray (vers 44) and on returning told them to "Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners". Then Christ said "Rise, let us be going: behold he is at hand that doth betray me" (Matt 26:46).

If we are to believe, that the first time Jesus left the disciples to pray alone He was away for about one hour, then we must conclude that the total time He spent in prayer was three hours. The last time Jesus came back from prayer He told his disciples to sleep on, then in the next breath He told them to get up in a hurry. For someone who is supposed to know everything, he quickly changed his mind, or was there a long period of rest, sleep for the disciples, between these two verses. Jesus would not have been taken and held early on the Saturday morning, neither would the high priests have dared to try Him on the Sabbath as this would not have appeared legal. At the earliest He would have been arrested at the end of the Sabbath day after sunset, Saturday evening, the 1st day of the week.

A Saturday evening arrest and trial by the Sanhedrin would concur with both the biblical record and also the legalistic mind of the Jews. "And they that laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest" (Matt 26:57). "When the morning was come all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor" (Matt 27:12).

From here, if we are to believe the popular traditions, Jesus was tried by Pilate, sent to Herod, returned back to Pilate, offered for release and rejected, scourged and prepared for the crucifixion, crucified, died and was placed in the tomb, all between Thursday evening and sunset on the Friday. This would have had to take place within the space of one, or two days at the most. Although the Bible is fairly consistent in the order that the events happened, there is no indication of the time periods they pertain to.

To place these events in their proper chronological time frame, Astrology can be used as a tool to recreate the historical record as it could have occurred.

Indications Of The Stars for Passover 27 AD.

When trying to recreate events of the life of an individual, both the progressed aspects and transits must be taken into account. Unlike the natal chart, progressed aspects and transits do not have a large orb of influence but are more precise in their calculation. The progressed aspects are those taken from the position of the planets in the progressed chart set up in this case for the 29th April 7 BC. and the angles that they make between themselves and the position of the planets in the natal chart. The transits are the aspects made by the position of the planets at the time of the event, (Passover 27 AD) with the positions of the planets in both the natal and progressed chart. The Moon is the fastest moving planet in the zodiac and acts as a trigger that sets off events in the life of the subject, for this reason close attention must be paid to it's position. As mentioned above a day or two either way in the timing of the crucifixion only makes a few minutes difference in the birth time, but a few minutes error in the birth time can make a vast difference to the timing of a progressed Moon's influence. Because the eclipse of the Sun on the 29th April 7 BC lasted for about 11 to 12 minutes, which would represent approximately 3 days in the progressed chart, the end of the eclipse has been used to represent the timing of the resurrection early on Sunday morning. The start of the eclipse would therefore aline it's self with Thursday morning and indicate the time of death. The main point to remember is not the exact time that the these events took place, but could the crucifixion have taken place at this time to someone born on the 27th March 7 BC at approximately 3:30 pm.

On Friday 11th April the evening of the Passover according to Jewish law, the transiting Moon came into opposition to progressed Mercury at 7:30pm. Mercury is the planet that rules communication and to associate this position with the timing of Judas dismissal from the last supper seems almost too easy. It is interesting to note that on the first Passover the Israelites were to remain indoors on this night for fear of being killed by the Angel Of Death, Judas left the Passover meal to betray Jesus to the High Priest, and ended up killing him self.

The rest of the Friday night until 10:00pm on Saturday the Moon passed through very favorable aspects and it is doubtful if any thing evil would have overtaken the subject. At 10:00pm on Saturday night the transiting Moon became square to the position of the natal Moon, and because of the lateness of the hour and the fact that "Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns" (John 18:3) to arrest Jesus at night, this position again perfectly aliens it's self with the known facts.

The Moon continued it's transit through the chart until at 5:45am. it came into opposition to the progressed Venus, aligning with the time of the admission by Christ in Matthew 26:64-65 when "Jesus said unto them, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." At this, "the high priest rent his cloths saying He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?" and declared the death penalty. At 10:40am. the Moon became square to the natal position of Uranus. The timing of this aspect would have given the Jews four hours to have bound Christ and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor, and for Pilate to have made a preliminary examination of the case. Pilate tried to release Jesus, saying "I fined no fault in this man" (Luke23:4) but because of the people, and Jesus being from Galilee he sent Him to Herod. At 12:00 noon on Sunday the 13th. the transit moon came into a trine aspect with the natal Sun offering the relief that this event would have offered under the circumstances.

At 1:40pm. the Moon started a series of square aspects, all of them adverse, that would continue for the next thirty or so hours until at 9:10pm. on Monday 14th April the Moon came into a good aspect with the position of the natal Venus. The adverse quality of these aspects can only be associated with the trials that Jesus went through under Herod and Pilate.

From Monday night through until 12:48am. Wednesday morning the moon passed through a Sextile aspect with it's own natal position and the natal position of Uranus. This aspect is very week and may be associated with the time when Jesus was offered for release with Barabbas. At 12:48am. the Moon became square to the natal Sun, and with the approaching progressed eclipse of the Sun, would have sealed His fate. As stated above each day of the progressed chart is represented by less than 4 minutes of real time, so as a rectified time of birth has been used here it is only possible to say that this progressed aspect should come into effect on Wednesday or Thursday.

It is only from the written evidence in the Bible that we can gain some indication as to when death occurred. As mentioned in the section on the crucifixion there are two Sabbaths together at the end of the Passover, placing the day of preparation, and therefore the removal of Christ from the cross on the Thursday. There was a period of darkness after Christ was placed on the cross, and considering the time difference between sunset and moon rise that Wednesday night, it could have accounted for this darkness without the necessity of a miraculous event. It is probable that Christ was placed on the cross some time on the Wednesday.

In 1887 Drs. McIntosh and Twyman presented a book, "The Archko Volume" Keats Publishing Inc., of translations from manuscripts in Constantinople and the "Records of the Senatorial Dooket" taken from the Vatican at Rome. What follows is a quotation from page 142 to 144 of Valleus's notes- "Acta Pilati" and refers to the report Pilate sent to Caesar of the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. After Jesus had been tried and placed on the cross to die, there had been an earthquake in lower Egypt which filled everyone with fear:-

"Near the first hour of the night I threw my mantle around me and went down into the city toward the gates of Golgotha. The sacrifice was consummated. The crowd was returning home, still agitated, it is true, but gloomy, taciturn, and desperate. What they had witnessed had stricken them with terror and remorse. I also saw my little Roman cohort pass by mournfully, the standard-bearer having veiled his eagle in token of grief; and I overheard some of the Jewish soldiers murmuring strange words which I did not understand. Others were recounting miracles very like those which have so often smitten the Romans by the will of the gods. Sometimes groups of men and woman would halt, then, looking back toward Mount Calvary, would remain motionless in expectation of witnessing some new prodigy.

"I returned to the praetorium, sad and pensive. On ascending the stairs, the steps of which were still stained with the blood of the Nazarene, I perceived an old man in a suppliant posture, and behind him several Romans in tears. He threw himself at my feet and wept most bitterly. It is painful to see an old man weep, and my heart being already overcharged with grief, we, though strangers, wept together. And in truth it seemed that the tears lay very shallow that day with many whom I perceived in the vast concourse of people. I never witnessed such an extreme revulsion of feeling. Those who betrayed and sold him, those who testified against him, those who cried, 'Crucify him, we have his blood,' all slunk off like cowardly curs, and washed their teeth with vinegar. As I am told that Jesus taught a resurrection and a separation after death, if such should be the fact I am sure it commenced in this vast crowd.

"'Father,' said I to him, after gaining control of my feelings, 'who are you, and what is your request?'

"'I am Joseph of Arimathea,' replied he, 'and am come to beg of you upon my knees the permission to bury Jesus of Nazareth.'

If the above section is an accurate translation of an authentic document written soon after the crucifixion of Jesus, then His body could not have been taken down from the cross before nightfall, as it was already "the first hour of the night" when Pilate left to go into the city. It must have been some time later, when Pilate came back that he met Joseph of Arimathea, long after sunset. If on the other hand the document is a forgery, it is incomprehensible that someone with access to the Vatican library would want this kind of information, criticizing the traditional view of events, ever being discovered.

As one can appreciate, the events of the crucifixion could not have been known to the Magi at the time of Christ's birth, and are only included to show what may have happened and when. The astrological evidence for the birth date of Christ is not given as proof that Christ was in fact born at this time. It is on the irrefutable astronomical evidence, that places the Passover in 27 A.D. as the only year that the crucifixion could have possibly taken place with an alignment of the ceremonial and weekly Sabbaths. The observation of the star of Bethlehem at it's helical rising 33 years earlier in March 7 B.C. that places the birth of Jesus around that time. The astrological evidence is given only to support, and try to refine the probable birth date of Christ.

If the astrological evidence is denied then one must explain why an "unholy pseudo-science" can come so close in describing the life and character of Christ. On the other hand if the astrological evidence is accepted, one must also accept that when God created the Heavens and the Earth, He placed the planets in their relative orbits so that they would come together at just the right time to give this particular character to Christ. If one accepts this later position then the history of the world was set from the very beginning, and man can do little or nothing to change the events of history, past, present or future.

One final point of interest that a birth date of 27th March 7 B.C. is worth consideration. Lev 23:5-6,& 10 "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it". Lev 23:15-16 "And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; (ver 19) then ye shall offer a sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of PEACE OFFERING." (ver 21) " And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day that it may be a holy convocation unto you:" a Sabbath day.

The Passover in 8 BC started on Friday April 25th. and Saturday 26th. was the 1st. day of the feast of unleavened bread. The wave offering of the first fruits falling on the Saturday 2nd. May, the Sabbath. Fifty days later the day of Pentecost fell on the Sabbath day, Saturday June 20th., 280 days, the textbook gestation period for a woman to conceive and give birth, before our tentative date for the birth of Christ on the 27th March 7 BC. The day of Pentecost was the sacrifice of a peace offering. What better peace offering could man get than the conception of the SON OF GOD ?

All of the ceremonial Sabbath days connected with the Passover fell on the weekly Sabbath the seventh day of the week, not only in 8 BC. the year of Christ's conception but also 27 AD. the year of His crucifixion.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and on the first day He created light. Light is used in the Bible to represent the knowledge of God. On the fourth day God created the Sun. The Sun is the physical manifestation of the sours of light, it is not however the sours of light because light came first. Jesus is the physical manifestation of the sours of our knowledge of God and therefore to associate the creation of the Sun with the birth of the Son of God in someway seams reasonable. The Sun was created on the 4th day. If the 1st day of creation were the spring equinox, then 4 days later the Sun would have been at about 4 deg. Aries when it was created, the very same position of the Sun on 27th March 7 BC. at 3.30pm. If each day of creation represents a thousand years in prophecy, then an event on the 4th day would represent an event in the 4th millennium. Most theologians place the creation about 4000 BC. and therefore a 7 BC. birth date would place the coming of the Messiah in the 4th millennium.

If Jesus is the lamb of God, then as a true fulfillment of the type, He would be born when lambs are born, in the spring.

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