Why was Jesus born at THAT Time?


Why was Jesus born at THAT Time?

26 July 2023 Hits:1520

Why was Jesus born at THAT time? It’s a great question. Of all the times God could have entered the world, why did he choose 4 B.C.? That’s right, Jesus wasn’t born in the year zero. The calendar creators got it wrong.

Different calendars

According to the Hebrew Calendar, based on a Lunar year of 360 days, Jesus was born in 3758.  2023 is the year 5783 until the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah (15-17 September 2023). Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

At the time of Jesus, the gentile world used the Julian Calendar Julius Caesar instituted. In 45 B.C., he ordered a calendar of twelve months based on a solar year. This calendar employed a cycle of three years of 365 days, followed by a year of 366 days, a leap year.

The Julian Calendar was widely used until the 16th century when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced on 24 February 1582. The date was advanced by ten days that year (4 October was followed by 15 October). The ten days were skipped to make up for the extra days accrued under the Julian calendar and established a more accurate accounting for leap years to avoid the accrual of additional days in the future.

The terms B.C. and A.D. were introduced into the Julian calendar by Dionysius Exiguous in 525 but were widely used from the 9th century. A.D. stands for Anno Domini, “in the year of the Lord.” B.C. means “Before Christ.” In 2007, these were changed to BCE (before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).

Back to Jesus

With that history in mind, why was Jesus born in 4 B.C.? Why that time and not some other time? Paul wrote, when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. The Amplified Bible says, But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son.

The Greek language here was applied to ships in the first century. Ships were filled with freight and merchandise, sailors, rowers, soldiers, and rigging until they were ready to set sail for their purpose. The same word is used regarding filling Noah’s Ark with animals until it was ready to float on the flood waters.

And so, Jesus was born at the right time when everything was ready for God’s salvation plan to be accomplished. There are six reasons why this was the right moment:

  • Jewish expectation for the Messiah.

Roman rule made the Jews keen for a Saviour like Moses who would set them free from oppression. In that regard, Jesus disappointed many in Israel because his purpose was to free humanity from sin, satan, and death, not from Rome. God’s plan came through the Jews but was not limited to them.

  • Universal peace and unity.

Rome had conquered and unified much of the world under its government. The Empire was also relatively peaceful. Jesus was born during the Pax Romana, the Roman peace from 27 B.C. to 180 AD.

The Pax Romana was a time of unprecedented peace and economic prosperity throughout the Empire, bordered by England in the north, Morocco in the south, and Iraq in the east. These areas were the first to receive the gospel for unmistakable reasons. Christian Roman soldiers were the first to bring the gospel to Britain.

  • Ease of travel.

Peace and unity allowed for ease of travel, allowing the first Christians to spread the gospel. Such freedom would have been impossible at other times. Pompey had rid the Mediterranean of pirates, and Roman soldiers kept the peace on the roads. Roman roads, some of which still exist in their original form, were sturdy and straight and covered over 400,000 km of the Empire.

  • Universal language

While the Romans conquered militarily, the Greeks dominated culturally. Following the Greek conquests under Alexander the Great, a common form of the Greek language (koine Greek) was spoken throughout the Empire, making it possible to communicate the gospel to many different people groups through one common language. Greek in the first century was like the English language today.

  • A spiritual void.

The first-century world was religiously dominated by multiple idols, gods, and goddesses. But these deities had failed to give victory over the Roman conquerors. People felt let down and abandoned by their worship of those idols.

At the same time, Greek philosophy and science had left others spiritually empty, like modern atheism or secular governments. People sought to fill the resulting spiritual void, and the gospel offered the simplicity of one God and one faith as opposed to the multiple gods and rituals of polytheistic religion.

  • Greek and Roman mystery religions.

Many ancient religions consisted of the offering of blood sacrifices to a saviour god. Contrast that with the Christian gospel, a Saviour God who became the victim to end blood sacrifice forever.

The Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul, not of the body, but the gospel promises eternal life in a body that is imperishable, glorious, dynamic, and spiritual.

And so, that’s why Jesus was born at THAT time? All of these things, and probably some others, lined up to present the best time for God to enter the human family and bring the good news of his love for all people by the birth of Jesus Christ.



Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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3 replies on “Why was Jesus born at THAT Time?”


Thanks for sharing this. You answered a lot of questions I didn’t know I had eg why didn’t everyone speak Italian?

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Haha. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog, Mary


I love how you have combined religion and history together.

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