What Was The Christ Doing, c. ~ 2,000 Years Ago Today?
Do you know what the Bible says that Jesus Christ / Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Rabbi Yeshua bar Yosef) was doing some c. ~ 2,000 years ago this month, mid November 2015? Well not much at all really. Classic church traditional teaching is that Jesus was birthed in c. ~ 1 BC, would have experienced His now infamous preaching in Jerusalem at the age of twelve years, in c. ~ A.D. 12, commenced with His earthly Ministry in c. ~ A.D. 30, and was crucified, died, buried and Resurrected in c. ~ A.D. 33. But is a birth year of 1 BC reasonable in view of A) Matthew’s story as depicted in Matthew 2:16 – “And Herodus, when he saw that he was mocked by The Magi, was greatly enraged, and he sent and killed all the boys of Bethlehem and of all of its borders, from two years old and under, according to the time he had searched out from the Magi.” – (Aramaic Bible in Plain English); and B ) in view of what history tells us about Herod the Great, in specificity about the time of Herod’s death?
History tells us that Herod’s “Slaughter of the Innocents” (1) (or “Massacre of the Innocents”) had to have occurred before 4 BC (or at least before c. ~ March of 4 BC), as that is when Herod the Great is said to have died. (2). If Christ was born anywhere from as recently as, the winter (January / February) of 4 BC to as long ago as the late summer or even fall (August through December) of 7 BC, Christ’s age at the time of Herod’s death would be anywhere from a few weeks old to a couple of months old (January / February 4 BC), to as much as 30 months (2 ½ years) at the time that Herod gave his heinous order. Let’s just pick 16 November 7 BC as an arbitrary date for Christ’s birth. (I do not care if you celebrate, as do I and my own family, the birth of our Lord on the date of December 25th or not, as this is not about whether or not that date is fact or fiction. It really matters not either way, as the important issue is NOT the express specific date of His birth, rather it’s about the simple fact of His birth).
And hereto as with His birth ‘date’, the exegetical, the foundational to the Christian faith and the central core issue, is not about whether or not those dates are, in fact, “fact” or “fiction”. It really matters not either way, as the important issue(s) here is / (are) NOT the express specific date of either His ministerial commencement or death (or even of His Resurrection), rather it’s about the simple facts of the events of His Ministry, Death and Resurrection!
But if it’s not exegetical, or even remotely important, why even talk about it? It’s a fascinating subject matter, that’s all. It’s interesting, and it is intriguing to muse over the fact that some eight years ago, we were 2,000 years post the Boy Jesus preaching at the Temple in Jerusalem! It is somehow exciting that in eight to ten more years, we will be 2,000 years post the commencement of the earthly Ministry of Jesus. And that in about a dozen or so years, should the Lord’s return tarry that long, we will be 2,000 years post His very crucifixion, death (as it is by and through His death that we as Christians are truly set free, II Timothy 1:10; Yeshayah 25:8; and Hebrews 2:14) and Resurrection (and yes, it is by His Resurrection that we as Christians have hope, I Corinthians 15:20; Romans 8:11 and I Peter 1:3, for new life in Christ. A hope that is available to ALL of humankind Romans 10:9 and John 3:16-17. Isn’t that truly #RAD?!)