Since Jesus was conceived six months after John, we know when He was born. It is most probable that Jesus was conceived on the Feast of Lights, which is celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month known as Kislev (this occurs during the November-December timeframe). So Jesus was most likely born on the feast of Tabernacles on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (this occurs in the September-October timeframe).
On this holiday, all the Jewish people would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem from far away. Since Bethlehem was only 5 miles from Jerusalem, it’s reasonable to expect that all the inns in Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be full of visiting pilgrims attending the feast. This would explain why there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn and why she had to give birth to Jesus in a stable.
There is no place in Scripture where we are told explicitly, exactly what day Jesus was born on. And there is no place in Scripture where we are told to celebrate His birthday. Neither do we find any Scriptural record of the early Church celebrating His birthday. In fact, the date when the world celebrates Christmas is closer to the time when Jesus was conceived, rather than the time He was born.
We know that the Jewish Feasts are types of Christ, and that Jesus was sacrificed as the paschal Lamb on the Jewish Passover feast. This is explicitly stated in Scripture. And it was no mere coincidence, but rather a fulfillment of the feast, in which a lamb was sacrificed and its blood upon the homes of God's people protected their first born children from the death angel who was passing over.
Likewise, it is reasonable to expect that Jesus was also conceived and born on Jewish feasts, as well. If He was conceived on the Feast of Lights, that would be appropriate, since He is the Light of the World, who came as a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory for God's people Israel (Lk 2:32). He came like the rising sun from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death (Lk 1:79). And if He was in fact born on the Feast of Tabernacles, what a perfect time it was, since it was a time of rejoicing and celebration of deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 23:42-43)! Jesus has come to set us free from the bondage of slavery to sin. He has provided deliverance from hell, death and the grave for all who believe in Him!!!
Update: This article was originally posted December 26, 2010 and on July 31, 2018, I made a new discovery that corroborated my conclusion in this article. I happened to see Sid Roth's interview with Roy Reinhold, in which he explained how hidden Bible codes reveal the future. I highly recommend watching it! It was so amazing to me that I went to his website and found his five-part article on the Birth of Yeshua (Jesus), which he published on February 1, 2001. I was even more amazed to find that through his research into Bible codes, he discovered that the Lord Jesus was conceived on the first day of Hannukah or the Festival of Lights, just as I stated in this article. He states, "The matrix shows that as 24 Kislev was ending and 25 Kislev beginning, marking the beginning of Hanukkah, that the power of the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she conceived."
Then he states, "The matrix shows...1 Tishri as the exact day of Yeshua's birth." 1 Tishri is the Jewish New Year's Day called Rosh Hashana, meaning literally "head of the year." Rosh Hashana is know in English as the Feast of Trumpets, and it is marked by the blowing of the Jewish shofar, or ram's horn, to commemorate the ram that God provided to Abraham in place of Isaac. This festival corresponds with going and telling the world that Yeshua Himself has become that ram and ultimately died in our place.
In 3 BC, 1 Tishri was on September 11. The center of the matrix that shows the Lord's birthday says, "Holiday of the Nativity" and "Sing (or Rejoice), My people." The complete matrix has many key words in it like "Yeshua (Jesus)," "Messiah," "Wonderful," "Counselor," "Son of Man," "born," "manger," "Beit (Bethlehem)," "Lekhem (Bethlehem)," "star," "angels," "shepherds," "Miryam (Mary)," and "Yosef (Joseph)." It also contains the words "Hakodesh (Holy)," "Ruach (Spirit)," "from heaven," and "to the earth," as well as many other key words that connect it with the biblical account of the nativity of Christ.
Reinhold goes on to state "Yeshua is the second Adam, and the rabbi's have long taught that Adam's birthdate was on 1 Tishri. So it is no coincidence that the second Adam has the same exact birth date." I had surmised that the Lord was born on 15 Tishri, and although he had also expected to find the same thing, he has discovered that it was actually 1 Tishri. I'd say that is amazingly close, considering my article had not been published yet when his was written, and I did not even know about his article when I wrote mine. I was off by 14 days from his findings with respect to the day of the Lord's birth.
Finally, his discoveries of the conception and birth dates of Christ in the Bible codes not only corroborated my conclusions, but he points out that "the conception of Mary was shown to be 271 days prior to the birth date," as would be expected, based on average gestation periods. And he discovered that the Brit Milah (dedication and circumcision) at the Temple--took place on 8 Tishri just as we would expect it to, according to Jewish custom that says it must be done on the 8th day. Glory to God!
Here are the links to the five-part article by Roy Reinhold (part 2 contains the above information):
Exact Date Of Yeshua's Birth, part 1
Bible Code Matrix of Yeshua's Birth, part 2
Angelic Announcement to Mary & Yeshua's Conception, part 3
Brit Milah at the Temple on the 8th Day, part 4
Other Scholarship Proving the Exact Date of Birth of Yeshua (Jesus), part 5
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading In What Year Was Jesus Born?, The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ and The Son of Man, as well as the other articles on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.