The Life of Jesus Site index

Work in progress. Still adding, reorganizing and correcting.

1. Main page

2. Jesus’ timeline

3. Herod 1BC

Tiberius + Philip

Herod’s death  

War of Vares  



4. Conception

5. Birth year


6. Birth date

John born

Bible and stuff


7. Circumcision

8. Baptism        

Birth of John the Baptist

1. John the Baptist was born during  Passover

Luke 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
Luke 1:25 ?Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me , to take away my reproach among men.
Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

When Elizabeth was pregnant for 6 month Gabriel went to Nazareth.

Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

“The Lord is with thee” may be assumed a common way to greet someone. But reading the next verse it’s surely wasn’t. Considering that and the whole context it’s easy to conclude the true meaning is “You carry Lord Jesus in your womb.”

Luke 1:29 And when she saw him , she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

So John the Baptist (Elisabeth’s son) was about six month older than Jesus. Verse 26 states ‘in the sixth month’, but not an exact day of that month.
John was the prophesied Elijah, of who the Jew’s have always assumed he would come during Passover. Christian scholars agree with that.

2. The priestly course of Abija by Zacharias

2a. Introduction

This is a quite useless section because sources are unclear and contradicting. I’ll start with listing the views I’m aware of.

I’ll continue, and I’ll have a result that aligns with what I think the result should be. Basically the only reason I added this section, is because that way nobody can discredit my conclusions with any of the above views. Simply because there are so many unknowns that it can’t be taken as evidence.

2c. Calendar

The calendar I’ll use is likely far different from what you’ve seen before.
The differences relevant for this topic are:

Lots and lots of information about that calendar can be found here.

2d1. Two 24 courses

The religious year starts at New Moon Day 1 Nisan. The course of the previous year ends at the Sabbath of 8 Nisan. The first course starts at the same day.

I assume 2 or 3 days traveling until Zechariah gets home. Few days rest and 15 Sivan Elizabeth get’s pregnant. 280 days later is 1 Nisan.
That’s over two weeks short from the 14 or 15 Nisan we are looking for.

2d2. Is two weeks difference a problem?
It’s not a problem but an uncertainty I don’t like.

Lev 15:28 But when her flow of blood is stopped, after seven days she will be clean.
Lev 15:29 And on the eighth day let her get two doves or two young pigeons and take them to the priest to the door of the Tent of meeting,

The above means there were fourteen days the couple couldn’t have sex. The 7 days of menstruation and the seven days to get clean.
So depending what time in her monthly cycle Zechariah came home the couple had to wait up to 14 days.

When is the best time to get pregnant?

So what does all this mean? It means that conception is only possible by having sex in the days just prior to ovulation and on the day of ovulation itself.

Because the egg will only survive for an absolute maximum of 24 hours, any sex you have after ovulation day will NOT result in pregnancy. And actually, even having intercourse on the day of ovulation itself can sometimes be too late.

That could shift the birth date of John the Baptist to 14 Nisan, Passover.

2e. The rule of eight
Eight days from the ‘official’ end of the period ovulation takes place. This is the ideal day to get pregnant.

As this article (click) shows the eight day of a baby boy’s life is the ideal day for circumcision because the prothrombin is exceptionally high on that day. High concentrations of prothrombin cause faster coagulation/blood clogging which reduces blood loss.

On the third day the prothrombin level is exceptionally low; making it the worst possible day for surgery.

I just wanted to share this little big of information because it shows Intelligent Design and that God’s Laws in those two cases exactly align with the biologically perfect time.

2f. Two 24 courses + 3 Feasts

The religious year starts at New Moon Day 1 Nisan. The course of the previous year ends at the Sabbath of 8 Nisan. The first course starts at the same day.
Then all 24 courses serve during Passover - Feast of Unleavened bread.
After that the second course starts.

I assume 2 or 3 days traveling until Zechariah gets home. Few days rest and 22 Sivan Elizabeth get’s pregnant. 280 days later is 8 Nisan.
That’s over a week short from the 14 or 15 Nisan we are looking for.

Also in this case the escape route suggested under 2e2 could be applied.
That could shift the birth date of John the Baptist to 14 Nisan, Passover.

2e. The extra Passover course was two weeks long

During the pilgrimage festival all 24 courses served as I wrote above. The reason was simple; during those days it was much to busy for one course to handle everything. I’ll list a few events that increased the priests’ workload.

Perhaps more activity I’m not aware of.

Deut 16:16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

During the Feast of Unleavened Bread al 24 courses should serve.

Lev 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, is Jehovah's Passover.
Lev 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to Jehovah. Ye shall eat unleavened bread seven days.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is from 15-21 Nisan. So it starts on a Sabbath. All priests are present during that week. But what about the week before that ? 8-14 Nisan.

Jesus was crucified on 14 Nisan. From Scripture we know it was busy then.
The moment Jesus died many lambs were killed.

Especially 14 Nisan looks like a very busy day to me. But it’s in a different week. Should that week also be lumped together with that other week as one big feast? Logic says yes. Tradition shows that Passover itself was often viewed as being semi-part of the feast because during the Passover meal which was eaten on the 14 Nisan only unleavened bread was allowed. Before that the houses were swept clean of leaven. It even included a ceremony in a private setting.

If so this extra week would put John’s birth on 14 Nisan, Passover.

2f.  Verses & quotes

2Chr 23:8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the sabbath, with those who were to go out on the sabbath. For Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss the divisions.

While it certainly implies one week courses, it doesn’t completely rule out for example two week courses as they are also from Sabbath to Sabbath.

But in Josephus, a priest and historian living in Jesus’ time, wrote:

“one course should minister to God eight days, from sabbath to sabbath.”
Ant. 7:14:7

1Chr 24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,

Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

2g. Wrong priestly course?
The 24 courses ended about halfway the year and restarted counting again. That means there are two eighth courses in a year. That would shift all dates forward by six month. Let’s investigate.

Luke 6:1 And it came to pass on the second-first sabbath, that he went through cornfields, and his disciples were plucking the ears and eating them , rubbing them in their hands.

Luke 6:1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Luke 6:1 Now it came to pass for him to be going through the grain fields on a particular sabbath, and his disciples were plucking the ears and were eating, rubbing them in their hands.

Luke 6:1 Now it came to pass on the first Sabbath of the second month that He was going through the grainfields. And His disciples were picking the heads of grain and were eating them, rubbing them in their hands.

Above the same verse from various Bibles. Needless to say the translators had big problems translating it. The first translation is right. It’s exactly as it is in the Greek text. But what does it mean? Something found in the other translations; like for example the first Sabbath of the second month? I think not.

The verse states that the 24 courses were complete and the count restarted. On that day the priests of the first course served their second regular week. That second course doesn’t include them serving on Passover and Pentecost.
Course 24+1= course 25.

Their 28 Tammuz. Pentecost. But that’s not important now. It would break all the 266 and 280 day patterns (shown later). And very likely Scripture would have added ‘second-eight’.

2h. To open for many views
So, no matter if Zachariah’s duty ended 8, 14 or 21 Sivan there is way to arrive at the desired date. All of that are facts. Another fact is, that I personally would like a less open result…
I’ll end this article with a graph showing how the feasts are connected. As you will see that graph goes a long way proving Passover as John’s birth date correct.

Conclusion: John the Baptist was born 14 Nisan (Passover).