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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.

It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.

Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Guest Blog: Stratfor - The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar (with a Bonus Re-post from Brianroy Regarding This Calendar Issue In Dating Christ Jesus at Bethlehem and Jerusalem)

The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar 



The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar 



When England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, some 170 years after it was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, Benjamin Franklin wrote, "It is pleasant for an old man to be able to go to bed on Sept. 2, and not have to get up until Sept. 14." Indeed, nearly two weeks evaporated into thin air in England when it transitioned from the Julian calendar, which had left the country 11 days behind much of Europe. Such calendrical acrobatics are not unusual. The year 46 B.C., a year before Julius Caesar implemented his namesake system, lasted 445 days and later became known as the "final year of confusion."

In other words, the systems used by mankind to track, organize and manipulate time have often been arbitrary, uneven and disruptive, especially when designed poorly or foisted upon an unwilling society. The history of calendrical reform has been shaped by the egos of emperors, disputes among churches, the insights of astronomers and mathematicians, and immutable geopolitical realities. Attempts at improvements have sparked political turmoil and commercial chaos, and seemingly rational changes have consistently failed to take root.

Today, as we enter the 432nd year guided by the Gregorian calendar, reform advocates argue that the calendar's peculiarities and inaccuracies continue to do widespread damage each year. They say the current system unnecessarily subjects businesses to numerous calendar-generated financial complications, confusion and reporting inconsistencies. In years where Christmas and New Year's Day each fall on a weekday, for example, economic productivity is essentially paralyzed for the better part of two weeks, and one British study found that moving a handful of national holidays to the weekend would boost the United Kingdom's gross domestic product by around 1 percent.
The Gregorian calendar's shortcomings are magnified by the fact that multiple improvements have been formulated, proposed to the public and then largely ignored over the years -- most recently in 2012, with the unveiling of a highly rational streamlined calendar that addresses many of the Gregorian calendar's problems. According to the calendar's creators, it would generate more than $100 billion each year worldwide and "break the grip of the world-wide consensus that embraces a second-rate calendar imposed by a Pope over 400 years ago." This attempt, like many of the others, has received some media attention but has thus far failed to gain any meaningful traction with policymakers or the wider public.

Myriad geopolitical elements and obstacles are embedded in the issue of calendar reform, from the powerful historical role of empires and ecclesiastical authorities to the unifying forces of commerce and the divisive nature of sovereignty and state interests. Indeed, geopolitical themes are present both in the creation of the Gregorian calendar and its permanence, and its ascendance and enduring primacy tells us much about the nature of the international system.

How We Got Here

At its core, the modern calendar is an attempt to track and predict the relationship between the sun and various regions of the earth. Historically, agricultural cycles, local climates, latitudes, tidal ebbs and flows and imperatives such as the need to anticipate seasonal change have shaped calendars. The Egyptian calendar, for example, was established in part to predict the annual rising of the Nile River, which was critical to Egyptian agriculture. This motivation is also why lunar calendars similar to the ones still used by Muslims fell out of favor somewhat -- with 12 lunar cycles adding up to roughly 354 days, such systems quickly drift out of alignment with the seasons.

The Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, was itself an attempt to address the problems of its predecessor, the Julian calendar, which had been introduced by Julius Caesar to abolish the use of the lunar year and eliminate a three-month gap that opened up between the civil and astronomical equinoxes. It subsequently spread throughout the Roman Empire (and beyond as Christianity spread) and influenced the design of calendars elsewhere. Though it deviates from the time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun by just 11 minutes (a remarkable astronomical feat for the time), the Julian system overly adjusted for the fractional difference in year length, slowly leading to a misalignment in the astronomical and calendar years.

For the Catholic Church, this meant that Easter -- traditionally tied to the spring equinox -- would eventually drift into another season altogether. By dropping 10 days to get seasons back on track and by eliminating the Julian calendar's excess leap years, the Gregorian calendar came closer to reflecting the exact length of an astronomical year (roughly 365.24 days) -- it is only off by 26 seconds annually, culminating in a full day's difference every 3,323 years.

But what was perhaps most significant about Pope Gregory's system was not its changes, but rather its role in the onset of the globalized era. In centuries prior, countries around the world had used a disjointed array of uncoordinated calendars, each adopted for local purposes and based primarily on local geographical factors. The Mayan calendar would not be easily aligned with the Egyptian, Greek, Chinese or Julian calendars, and so forth. In addition to the pope's far-reaching influence, the adoption of the Gregorian system was facilitated by the emergence of a globalized system marked by exploration and the development of long-distance trade networks and interconnectors between regions beginning in the late 1400s. The pope's calendar was essentially the imposition of a true global interactive system and the acknowledgment of a new global reality.

Despite its improvements, the Gregorian calendar preserved several of the Julian calendar's quirks. Months still varied in length, and holidays still fell on different days of the week from year to year. In fact, its benefits over the Julian calendar are disputed among astronomers. Nonetheless, its widespread adoption and use in trade and communication played a fundamental role in the development and growth of the modern international system.

Implementation Problems

From the start, however, the Gregorian calendar faced resistance from several corners, and implementation was slow and uneven. The edict issued by Pope Gregory XIII carried no legal weight beyond the Papal States, so the adoption of his calendar for civil purposes necessitated implementation by individual governments.

Though Catholic countries like Spain and Portugal adopted the new system quickly, many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries saw the Gregorian calendar as an attempt to bring them under the Catholic sphere of influence. These states, including Germany and England, refused to adopt the new calendar for a number of years, though most eventually warmed to it for purposes of convenience in international trade. Russia only adopted it in 1918 after the Russian Revolution in 1917 (the Russian Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar), and Greece, the last European nation to adopt the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, did not do so until 1923.

In 1793, following the French Revolution, the new republic replaced the Gregorian calendar with the French Republican calendar, commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar, as part of an attempt to purge the country of any remnants of regime (and by association, Catholic) influence. Due to a number of issues, including the calendar's inconsistent starting date each year, 10-day workweeks and incompatibility with secularly based trade events, the new calendar lasted only around 12 years before France reverted back to the Gregorian version.

Some 170 years later, the Shah of Iran attempted a similar experiment amid a competition with the country's religious leaders for political influence. As part of a larger bid to shift power away from the clergy, the shah in 1976 replaced the country's Islamic calendar with the secular Imperial calendar -- a move viewed by many as anti-Islamic -- spurring opposition to the shah and his policies. After the shah was overthrown in 1979, his successor restored the Islamic calendar to placate protesters and to reach a compromise with Iran's religious leadership.  

Several countries -- Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran among them -- still have not officially adopted the Gregorian calendar. India, Bangladesh, Israel, Myanmar and a few other countries use various calendars alongside the Gregorian system, and still others use a modified version of the Gregorian calendar, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, North Korea and China. For agricultural reasons, it is still practical in many places to maintain a parallel local calendar based on agricultural seasons rather than relying solely on a universal system based on arbitrary demarcations or seasons and features elsewhere on the planet. In most such countries, however, use of the Gregorian calendar among businesses and others engaged in the international system is widespread.

Better Systems?

Today, the Gregorian calendar's shortcomings have translated into substantial losses in productivity for businesses in the form of extra federal vacation days for employees, business quarters of different sizes and imperfect year-on-year fiscal comparisons. The lack of consistency across each calendar year has also created difficulties in financial forecasting for many companies.

Dozens of attempts have been made over the years to improve the remaining inefficiencies in Pope Gregory's calendar, all boasting different benefits. The Raventos Symmetrical Perpetual and Colligan's Pax calendars feature 13 months of 28 days, while the Symmetry 454 Calendar eliminates the possibility of having the 13th day of any month fall on a Friday. In 1928, Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman introduced a more business-friendly calendar (the International Fixed calendar) within his company that was the same from year to year and allowed numerical days of each month to fall on the same weekday -- for example, the 15th of each month was always a Sunday. This setup had the advantage of facilitating business activities such as scheduling regular meetings and more accurately comparing monthly statistics.

Reform attempts have not been confined to hobbyists, advocates and academics. In 1954, the U.N. took up the question of calendar reform at the request of India, which argued that the Gregorian calendar creates an inadequate system for economic and business-related activities. Among the listed grievances were quarters and half years of unequal size, which make business calculations and forecasts difficult; inconsistency in the occurrence of specific days, which has the potential of interfering with recurring business and governmental meetings; and the variance in weekday composition across any given month or year, which significantly impairs comparisons of trade volume since transactions typically fluctuate throughout the week.

In 2012, Richard Conn Henry, a former NASA astrophysicist, teamed up with his colleague, an applied economist named Steve H. Hanke, to introduce perhaps the most workable attempt at calendrical reform to date. The Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar (itself an adaptation of a calendar introduced in 1996 by Bob McClenon) is, as the pair wrote for the Cato Institute in 2012, "religiously unobjectionable, business-friendly and identical year-to-year."

The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar
The Hanke-Henry calendar would provide a fixed 364-day year with business quarters of equal length, eliminating many of the financial problems posed by its Gregorian counterpart. Calculations of interest, for example, often rely on estimates that use a 30-day month (or a 360-day year) for the sake of convenience, rather than the actual number of days, resulting in inaccuracies that -- if fixed by the Hanke-Henry calendar, its creators say -- would save up to an estimated $130 billion per year worldwide. (Similar problems would still arise for the years given an extra week in the Hanke-Henry system.)
Meanwhile, it would preserve the seven-day week cycle and in turn, the religious tradition of observing the Sabbath -- the obstacle blocking many previous proposals' path to success. As many as eight federal holidays would also consistently fall on weekends; while this probably would not be popular with employees, the calendar's authors argue that it could save the United States as much as $150 billion per year (though it is difficult to anticipate how companies and workers would respond to the elimination of so many holidays, casting doubt upon such figures).

Obstacles to Reform and a Path Forward


Most reform proposals have failed to supplant the Gregorian system not because they failed to improve upon the status quo altogether, but because they either do not preserve the Sabbath, they disrupt the seven-day week (only a five-day week would fit neatly into a 365-day calendar without necessitating leap weeks or years) or they stray from the seasonal cycle. And the possibilities of calendrical reform highlight the difficulty of worldwide cooperation in the modern international system. Global collaboration would indeed be critical, since reform in certain places but not in others would cause more chaos and inefficiency than already exist in the current system. A tightly coordinated, carefully managed transition period would be critical to avoid many of the issues that occurred when the Gregorian calendar was adopted.
Today, in a more deeply interconnected, state-dominated system that lacks the singularly powerful voices of emperors or ecclesiastical authorities, who or what could compel such cooperation? Financial statistics and abstract notions of global efficiency are not nearly as unifying or animating as religious edicts, moral outrage or perceived threats. 

Theoretically, the benefits of a more rational calendar could lead to the emergence of a robust coalition of multinational interests advocating for a more efficient alternative, and successes such as the steady and continuous adoption of the metric system across the world highlight how efficiency-improving ideas can gain widespread adoption.
But international cooperation and coordination have remained elusive in far more pressing and less potentially disruptive issues. Absent more urgent and mutually beneficial incentives to change the system and a solution that appeals to a vast majority of people, global leaders will likely not be compelled to undertake the challenge of navigating what would inevitably be a disruptive and risky transition to an ostensibly more efficient alternative.

Any number of factors could generate resistance to change. If the benefits of a new calendar were unevenly distributed across countries -- or if key powers would in any way be harmed by the change -- any hope for a comprehensive global agreement would quickly collapse. Societies have long adjusted to the inefficiencies of the Gregorian system, and it would be reasonable to expect some level of resistance to attempts to disrupt a convention woven so deeply into the fabric of everyday life -- especially if, say, the change disrupted cherished traditions or eliminated certain birthdays or holidays. Particularly in societies already suspicious of Western influence and power, attempts to implement something like the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar may once again spark considerable political opposition.

Even if a consensus among world leaders emerged in favor of reform, the details of the new system likely would still be vulnerable to the various interests, constraints and political whims of individual states. In the United States, for example, candy makers hoping to extend daylight trick-or-treating hours on Halloween lobbied extensively for the move of daylight saving time to November. According to legend, in the Julian calendar, February was given just 28 days in order to lengthen August and satisfy Augustus Caesar's vanity by making his namesake month as long as Julius Caesar's July. The real story likely has more to do with issues related to numerology, ancient traditions or the haphazard evolution of an earlier Roman lunar calendar that only covered from around March to December. Regardless of what exactly led to February's curious composition, its diminutive design reinforces the complicated nature of calendar adoption.
Such interference would not necessarily happen today, but it matters that it could. Policy is not made in a vacuum, and even the carefully calibrated Hanke-Henry calendar would not be immune to politics, narrow interests or caprice. Given the opportunity to bend such a reform to a state's or leader's needs -- even if only to prolong a term in office, manipulate a statistic or prevent one's birthday from always falling on a Tuesday -- certain leaders could very well take it.

Nonetheless, a fundamental, worldwide change to something as long established as the calendar is not unthinkable, primarily because it has happened several times before. In other words, calendrical change is possible -- it just tends to happen in fits and starts, lurching unevenly through history as each era refines, tinkers and adds its own contributions to make a better system. And if a global heavyweight with worldwide influence and leadership capabilities adopts the change, others may follow, even if not immediately.

Universal adoption, though preferable, is not ultimately necessary. If the United States were to deem a new calendar necessary and demonstrate its benefits to enough leaders of countries key to the international system, a critical mass could be reached (though the spread of the metric system around the world has been achieved without U.S. leadership). And the Gregorian calendar would not need to be eliminated altogether; Henry believes it could still be used by those who depend on it most, such as farmers, in the same way certain religions, industries, fields of study and states use multiple calendars for various needs.

Will the Gregorian calendar survive? Will this century end with a December lasting 31 days or Hanke-Henry's 38? The current geopolitical realities surrounding calendrical reform tells us that reform would not happen quickly or easily, but history tells us change is possible -- especially during periods of geopolitical transformation or upheaval.

 "The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar is republished with permission of Stratfor."



I have previously posted an article I wrote here regarding the current calendar being used to go 2,000 years into the past.  In effect, the calendar in use in a software program is only as good as the information entered into it by the one writing the software, and just using the basic relevant historical astronomical information on the Birth and Death of Jesus reveals that the software is flawed.  Some font and color changes, and a few spelling corrections were made to this January 1, 2011 post of mine.    -- Brianroy


Time to correct our Calendars and our Calendar computer software programs to be in line with the Bible and centered on Jesus Christ, for accuracy. And a call to dig up the real Bethlehem that Jesus knew.

The Bible informs us collectively that Mankind's existence is centered around the fact that G-D Himself went to the Cross on our behalf and paid for our sins, that we might be rejoined to Him.  Humanity was created to intelligently follow, obey, and worship G-D.   Therefore, in order to be closer to what really is as things are in the design of the Universe, we must adjust ourselves more to the Creator's laws,  and even adhere more and pay more attention to the words left us by the Designer.  For G-D, humanity's concept of time and existence centers upon what Christ Jesus did at the Cross.  Therefore, our reckonings of time, including calculations of certain lunar and solar events are to be readjusted to conform to when the Gospels say they happened.  I believe that by doing so, a new alignment and greater understanding of the past and present and even future (in Christ)  falls into place. 

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

...And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
              (Luke 23:33,44-45)  written ca. 50 A.D.

"And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull...they crucified him, and...from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour."
       (Matthew 27:33,35,45) written ca. mid 55-mid 56 A.D.

"And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. ...And when they had crucified him...it was the third hour, and they crucified him. ...And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour."
          (Mark 15:22,24,25,33) written ca. June 57 A.D.

In 52 A.D., Thallus tried to blow off Jesus’ 30 A.D. crucifixion event of noon-day to 3 pm darkness on an unclouded day as a full moon solar eclipse that even the Romans saw and experienced.

But according to the Gospel accounts, and the failure of hostile Jewish sources to refute the event, the sun appeared to black out while the moon turned to blood from Jerusalem to Rome itself during a full moon when sun was at its meridian, and the moon was above the horizon in fullness.

But when more closely examining the calendar calculations of both Gentile and Jewish calendars to address date certainty, we find that there is NO CERTAINTY:

 (notice section 1.3’s conditional application)

Although some rabbinics will say that the Jewish calendar is not likely off by more than a day to at most a few days:

and infers that there is a recognition (among many rabbinic Jews)...but I believe the ancient Jewish Calendar calculations to be off by exactly + 1year -1 day when they are overlapping their Hebrew calendar upon the current Western Civilization calendars. 

March 23 would be the correct Passover date as Lactantius, On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died, .1 indicated; being the 10th of the Kalends of April or March 23.

In other words, March 23, 30 A.D -- not March 23, 34 A.D. -- overlaps Nisan 14/15 falling on a Wednesday.  I believe this correction to be the most extremely accurate correction that they can make on their computer models (such as the Kaluach software program, for example).

Software programs are only as accurate as the software designer, and if he or she commits flaws in the software programming, the whole calculation becomes flawed at and after some y-factor point.

In the 6th century A.D. Philopon , ON THE MAKING OF THE WORLD, 2.21, wrote in his Greek text regarding the manuscript text from Phlegon,

"And of this darkness... Phlegon also made mention in "the OLYMPIADS".

For he says that "in the second

[only the letter d as the abbreviative is used, as was common practice, d as deutero is "second"]

year of Olympiad 202    [i.e, A.D. 30]

an eclipse of the sun happened, of a greatness never formerly known,

and at the sixth hour of the day it was night,

so that even the stars in heaven appeared."

Philopon continues, conjecturing an interpretation for the abbreviative letter "d" to mean "four", when the most plausible interpretation of the abbreviation is "two".  He then obviously adds to what the manuscript of Phlegon said, calculating from that presumption. This addendum apparently then leading to some confusion among scholars about the year of the crucifixion of Christ.

In the Syriac of 12th century Michael the Syrian writes,

“Phlegon, philosopher of the common, had wrote this: 
'The sun it is darkly obscured, and the earth trembles; 
the dead are brought back to life to enter Jerusalem and they cursed the Jews.'

That is, the pagan philosopher Phlegon, who wrote from the 120s to 137 A.D. using Roman records available at the time to research his Olympiads and write into 16 books that data, confirms Matthew 28's own account as accurate from the Roman records themselves; finding these tidbits as note-worthy historically true trivia, as he passes by on dealing with the 202nd Olympiad.   This is among many interesting facts that anti-Christians having anti-Christian agendas don't want you to know. 

Did Michael the Syrian add the part about the resurrected dead cursing the living? Hard to say. But if one went to Hell  and came back, even if just resurrected (to live a year years more) and found religious works a deception from true faith pushed on them by greedy religious leaders...then, surely, it is NOT an anti-Semitic (but rather a human) flavor being added because as Jews themselves they cursed their religious leaders for holding back the saving message of the Salvation and Redemption of G-D from them and all other Jews.   It was the same for the poor ancient Jews who were victims of their rabbis and Sanhedrin as modern Christians are often taken by greedy certain tele-evangelists and pastors of their own Churches who use the purse-strings of their Church to accumulate houses and lands for themselves, irregardless of the Law or accountability either here or before G-D in the world to come.

In Jesus’ ministry, the NASA software designates there were at least two lunar total eclipses:

       1)     December 20, 28 A.D. between 1:27 to 3:07 pm, Jerusalem time.

       2)    June 14, 29 A.D. between 9:01 -9:47 pm, Jerusalem time

Oddly enough, the December 20 total eclipse is about 15 months and 3 days prior an ancient testified day for March 23, 30 A.D. being both the 14th of Nisan until sunset, and the day Christ was Crucified. 

According to NASA (i.e., their software as it stands at present),  there were allegedly no solar  total eclipses during any Passover around the time of Jesus' Crucifixion, and show a closest date as November 24, 29 A.D. from 9:22 am to 12:12 pm.

That is 119 days and 3 hours too early, and had the times been 12:22 to 3:12 pm, on March 23, 30 A.D., this too would have been a perfect alignment with the Gospel accounts and ancient historians (like Thallus in 52 A.D. claiming the same happening at the Cross and affecting Rome also, was a predictable eclipse). But with the Gospels and the Book of Acts, we have a testimony of a joint total eclipse of both the sun and the moon at the same time…the sun being black as sackcloth and the moon looking like it turned to blood.

If  NASA would update the software, moving up / advancing the dates of Jerusalem time solar eclipses in the First Century A.D. by 119 days and 3 hours...and adjust lunar eclipses up as well by exactly 15 months and 3 days forward, the NASA software would then match ancient historical accounts regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

However, such an adjustment would also have to be taking into account the total lunar eclipse that occurred on the night Herod allegedly died on some 33 years earlier (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.6.4 - "And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon"); but currently dated by historians looking to the same calculations as that now used in the NASA software, and now dated as either March 23 of 4 B.C. (and formerly as March 13, 4 B.C. prior to the NASA Software calculations).    What is not told, is that on September 15, 4 B.C., there was another total lunar eclipse at night from 9:22 pm to 12:01 am the next morning.  Because the Bible is the inspired Word of G-D, we are to place the primary (more objective / factual) emphasis on the data that matches the Bible, not on requiring the Bible to meet whatever subjective / emotional theories we come up with thousands of years later.

If we move either one forward 15 months and 3 days, we have the option of Herod dying December 18, 03 B.C. or  June 26, 3 B.C.   If Joseph was told by an angel of G-D that Herod was dead on December 18/19 of 4 B.C. , we would look to the Jewish Calendar for 5 B.C. to see if Joseph had enough time to travel from Egypt in 4-5 days for Channukah. 

But for this, we reckon 33-1/2  years from March 23, 30 A.D. to calculate Christ's birth...adjusting 1 year for the leap from 1 A.D. to 1 B.C, we arrive upon the Fall of 5 B.C.

 If Herod dies on December 18, 03 B.C.,  the comparable data needs to be taken from the Jewish Calendar listing the Calendar date of December 17, 02 B.C. (the margin of its Software error), and December 18 of 3 B.C.  would align with Herod's death.  That December 18 of 3 B.C. date would then be ca. Thursday 2 Tevet 3759, 12 days after  Hannukah on the Jewish "kaluach" software for the same Western European and US Civilizations calendar.

The Hebrew calendar to the Julian is One year minus one day ahead.  as when Herod died according to the Jewish Kaluach Calendar adjustment...and this tells us that the Jewish Sabbath according to the software program, has lost a leap day or such adjustment somewhere, plus misreckoned then by exactly one year with the accepted Gentile Calendar for exact Western European and US Civilization/Hebrew alignment dates.  

In light of this new data, I too must readjust my prior historical reconstruction to the closest literal interpretation of the Gospel Accounts, and submit that  in 3 B.C., Jesus missed Channukah in Israel on the literal day, though He did not miss its belated observance with the prophet and prophetess Simeon and Anna who waited for Him at the Temple. 

This would place Jesus' actual birthday almost definitively as between September 15 - 22 of 5 B.C., and his removal from Israel to Egypt. 

Herod was likely visited by the Wise men between sometime in August of 3 B.C., before the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles which began on or about the 24th, and before the second birthday of Christ (one of the days of September 15-22).

Phillip Schaff, in his History of the Church, has an excellent synopsis on the period around Jesus’ Birth and the time of the Lukan census, and becomes an aid for us at this point.

He states that in the calculations of Kepler regarding the Bethlehem "star", Kepler calculated a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in 747 Anno Urbis (5 B.C.); and that centuries later, these calculation were moved from June, August, and December of 5 B.C. to May 20, October 27, and November 12 by Professor Ideler in 1826.

Based on the approximation of 2 years old and younger given us in Matthew as to when the Star first appeared, we may gather that the massacre of infants 2 years old and younger likely occurred in or about late August of 3 B.C.

So what is the summary thus far?

1.  That the Total Lunar Eclipse Calculations by NASA's software is dating 15 months and 3 days too early at 1980 years into the past.

2.  That the Total Solar Eclipse Calculations by NASA's software are 119 days and 3 hours too early at 1980 years into the past.

3.  That the Jewish Calendar is 364 days ahead of schedule at 1980 years into the past. 

4. Herod more likely died on December 18, 3 B.C.  

5.  Christ was born between September 15-22 of 5 B.C.

6.  Herod was likely visited by the Wise men between sometime in August of 3 B.C.,  well before the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles which began on or about the 24th, and before the second birthday of Christ (one of the days of September 15-22). 

7. The massacre of infants at Bethlehem, some 4.1 miles from Jerusalem, most likely occurred in or about late August of 3 B.C., based on the orders of Herod to slay 2 year olds and younger.

Point 4 tells me that I have to amend my previous assessments that Jesus, rather being weeks old when he was scurried away into Egypt, I have to amend my position that Jesus was indeed very likely about 2 years old when He was removed from Bethlehem into Egypt, and still had time to appear at the Temple to be dedicated on December 25 of 3 B.C. (instead of December 25 of 5 B.C.).    Therefore, while one of the 8 days of the Feast of Tabernacles is likely still the de facto birthdate of Jesus.

We must then read the 50 A.D. Luke narrative of the Shepherds in the fields as that of 5 B.C., and Matthew updating the narrative 5-6 years later in 55-56 A.D. regarding Jesus being taken to Egypt just before the age of 2...meaning that Matthean narrative with the wise men deals with 3 B.C.

Western Civilization would do better to recognize the Birth of Christ while Israel keeps Sukkot/Tabernacles.  But for the sake of convenience, we can still keep Christmas as a Festivity to recognize Christ Jesus, but it would be better to place that Holiday into the context of a recognition of the dedication of  Jesus at the Temple, and the revealing of the Messiah to Simeon and Anna, as though to run parallel to the "born again" experience.  However, since Christmas is more of a day of reaching out to the lost, and spreading Christ's Love of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, in a positive message pointing them to the Cross...we can leave it be to the context of being meat eaters in the presence of vegetarians, seeking to join in fellowship in a way that does not offend our brothers and sisters in Christ away from Him. 

So, in rereading the Gospel accounts with the above knowledge, the Shepherds in the fields and the Census of Augustus happens in October 5 B.C.   And as Matthew follows the 50 A.D. account of Luke by 5 years, he also jumps in his 55 A.D. account (published in and around Jerusalem among hostile witnesses, none of whom are in Jewish histories as refuting any of his facts and assertions) by jumping in his account by about 2 years later in chapter 2.   In Matthew Chapter 2, Joseph, Mary, Jesus are still in Bethlehem...but now, Joseph (a master carpenter and/or stone-cutter) owns his own home.

A Call to excavate the yet unexcavated Bethlehem that Herod knew, and where Jesus was born in

Justin Martyr, in his Apology, 1.34, says:
"And thou, Bethlehem, the land of Judah" etc.
"Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, 35 stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can [still] ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judea."

1 stadia was roughly 606 - 630 feet to the Greco Roman. 35 stadia was roughly 4.0 to 4.1 miles from Jerusalem's Old City.

From this, we gather:

1) There were still existing meticulously detailed Roman records about a century and a half after their entry.

2) The taxing Bureaucracy were thorough and exacting record keeping pack-rat Administrators; junkies for detailed information and administration.

3) Cyrenius was called the 1st procurator of Judea.

4) Bethlehem was still existing in the second century A.D., as was known to have existed in Cyrenius' and Jesus' day.

5) The location of this Bethlehem rules out all other nominations for Jesus' birthplace, being 35 stadia from Jerusalem. But pay attention to Justin, here.

Hence, that Bethlehem of Jesus' is in the open fields and winding roads north-northeast of the current city of Bethlehem.  That means, it is outside the boundaries of Bethlehem's northern wall. And it is these open fields that archaeologists should excavate. Here is the most likely area they will dig up a stone relic engraved with Bethlehem or some such information in it.

So, if the second century Christian, Justin Martyr (Apology 1.34), stated that the 35 stadia / 4.0-4.1 mile length of that Bethlehem from Jerusalem, (read the gates at the Hinom Valley), and hence that Bethlehem that Jesus was born in was well closer to Jerusalem than the modern Bethlehem, various Christian denominations and sects are currently worshipping in the wrong place.   

The identifiable location where archaeologists should generally dig for the Bethlehem of 3 B.C. is in the fields north-northeast of current Bethlehem, 4.0 - 4.1 miles from the Hinom Valley, just on the south side and near the top of a hill, barely  out of  a direct line of sight view from Jerusalem.

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