Jesus Was Born Before Jesus Was Born, Says Ratzinger

The entire Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation, the Pope has declared, as he claims in a new book that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed.

Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC. So what’s the Pope think? He thinks the same thing… He doesn’t (and honestly, who DOES) believe that Jesus was born in year 0 or year 1.

“The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” the Pope writes in the book, which went on sale around the world with an initial print run of a million copies. “The actual date of Jesus’s birth was several years before.” The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC. But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world’s one billion Catholics is striking.

Many? How about all. I’m not sure who Mr Squires of the Telegraph has been reading all these years, but it isn’t any New Testament exegete known to me. Seriously, this isn’t even news to anyone even REMOTELY familiar with the subject. The Telegraph must be having a slow news day.

Via Milton A.

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5 thoughts on “Jesus Was Born Before Jesus Was Born, Says Ratzinger

  1. Matthew Hamilton 21 Nov 2012 at 8:56 pm


    Year “0”. Almost as bad as those who write about the book of “Revelations” Any chance you will give yourself a Dilly?


    • Jim 21 Nov 2012 at 8:58 pm

      dont recognize mockery?


  2. […] Jesus Was Born Before Jesus Was Born, Says Ratzinger ( […]


  3. […] Jim West highlights a news report about the book and how the Pope says Jesus was not born in 0 AD; Jim asks so what else is new? A similar feeling can by seen with Sonja of Women in Theology who found this volume boring compared to the prior two books by Ratzinger on Jesus. She also notes there really isn’t any debunking in the book at all, but is actually very traditional (I agree). Timothy at Catholic Bibles finds some of the news going around silly, though he does get a kick out of the tongue-in-cheek post “The Pope Hates Christmas”. There the author has more criticism at the media than the Pope. Lastly, one of the few blog posts critical of the book’s historical criticism comes from Bart Ehrman, though most of that post is behind a pay wall (with the proceeds going to charitable causes). It also looks like Ehrman is working on a collection of English translations of the non-canonical infancy gospels. That seems like something useful. […]


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