How Old Actually Is Jesus?

Have you ever wondered, “How old is Jesus actually?” When we think about Jesus Christ, the son of God, the images of the manger, his life of teaching and healing, and the crucifixion often come to mind. Born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, the impact of his life, death, and resurrection has touched people’s lives in countless ways throughout history. But is Jesus only as old as his earthly existence?

In this intriguing article, we will explore the age of Jesus beyond his earthly life by looking into scripture, specifically the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, and considering the intriguing theological questions that arise from it.

As we take this journey together, we will seek to understand Jesus’ eternal nature, his relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and how this knowledge can deepen our faith and connection with Him. So, fasten your seat belts and get ready for an enlightening and thought-provoking discussion about the ever-relevant question – how old is Jesus, really?

How Old Actually Is Jesus?

I. Unraveling the Mystery: When Was Jesus Really Born?

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To pinpoint the exact date of Jesus’ birth, one must delve deep into the biblical clues and historical events surrounding the nativity. Although the Bible doesn’t explicitly provide a specific date, it offers vivid details and context that allow for educated estimations.

Firstly, it is essential to recognize that December 25th was not chosen based on biblical evidence, but more likely due to the Roman celebration of the pagan festival Saturnalia, which marked the winter solstice. By exploring the scriptural accounts, particularly in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the probable timing of Jesus’ birth can be deduced through various indicators:

  • The Census: According to Luke 2:1-3, there was a census decreed by Caesar Augustus that required every citizen in the Roman Empire to return to their place of origin. Historians have estimated that this census took place around 6-4 BC.
  • Shepherds in the Fields: Luke 2:8 depicts shepherds watching over their flocks by night at the time of Jesus’ birth, which suggests that it happened during the warmer months when the sheep would be grazing in the fields. The winter months of December and January were typically too cold for this activity.
  • The Star of Bethlehem: Matthew 2:2 tells of a unique celestial sign that guided the wise men to Jesus. Though many theories debate the nature of this phenomenon, it is widely believed to be an astronomical event that occurred between 7 BC and 2 BC.

When bearing all these clues in mind, it becomes increasingly apparent that Jesus’ birth happened sometime during the late summer to early autumn months, potentially around 6-4 BC. An interesting hypothesis offered by Dr. Ernest Martin posits that Jesus was born on September 11th, 3 BC—a theory based on astronomical data coinciding with the date of the Feast of Trumpets, a crucial Jewish celebration.

While the exact date remains uncertain, the scriptural evidence points towards a timeframe distinctly different from the widely celebrated December 25th. Regardless of this, it is essential to remember that the true significance of Jesus’ birth lies in its profound impact on mankind—ushering in hope, salvation, and a new relationship with God.

II. The Historical Timeline: Analyzing Clues from the Bible

Analyzing clues from the Bible to piece together a historical timeline can be both fascinating and educational. To begin with, we can look at the creation account in Genesis for our starting point. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This simple statement sets the foundation for understanding the rest of the Bible’s narrative. Scholars have attempted to calculate the age of the earth using Scripture and have arrived at various dates, but what is most important is to understand God’s active role in shaping history.

Next, we can turn to key biblical chronologies such as the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 to approximate significant historical events. Here are some examples:

  • The Flood, which destroyed almost all life on earth, took place approximately 1,656 years after creation according to Genesis 7:11.
  • The Tower of Babel and the dispersion of people, as described in Genesis 11:1-9, happened some few centuries after the Flood.
  • The call of Abraham in Genesis 12 occurred approximately 2,000 years after the creation.
  • The Exodus from Egypt under Moses’ leadership, which is documented in Exodus 12-14, happened around 2,500 years after the creation, with scholars estimating a date somewhere between the 15th and 13th centuries BC.
  • The reigns of King David and King Solomon, described in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, took place around 3,000 years after the creation, with scholars estimating their reigns to have occurred in the 10th century BC.
  • The birth of Jesus marked the dividing point between BC and AD, approximately 4,000 years after the creation.

Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and scholars often debate the timeline due to variations in historical records, genealogies, dating methods, and calendars. Nonetheless, the Bible provides a rich account of world history leading up to the coming of Jesus Christ, showcasing God’s sovereign plan of redemption throughout the centuries.

III. The Magi, The Star, and The King: Decoding the World Events of Jesus’ Time

The account of the wise men, or Magi, following the star to find Jesus in Matthew 2:1-12 is an intriguing part of the Nativity story. These Magi were scholars from the East who sought Jesus, referred to as the “King of the Jews”, by following a unique celestial phenomenon. Although it’s uncertain what the star was – some propose it was a supernova, a planetary conjunction, or simply a miracle from God – the Magi’s determination to find the Messiah demonstrates a great faith.

While Herod, the ruling king at the time, is unsettled by Jesus’ birth, the Magi recognize the importance of His coming and come to worship Him, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This suggests that even among the non-Jewish community, there was an awareness and anticipation for the Messiah’s arrival.

Significant world events during the time of Jesus’ birth include the Roman Empire’s rule over the region, King Herod’s reign, and the subsequent quest for power and control. Herod, known for his cruelty and paranoia, saw Jesus as a threat to his rule and sought to kill Him, reflecting the broader political climate during this period. However, God’s intervention ensured that Jesus was protected, and prophecy was fulfilled through these events. Among them:

  • The census decree by Caesar Augustus, which led Mary and Joseph to return to their hometown, Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).
  • The flight to Egypt by Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus, because they were warned of Herod’s intentions in a dream (Matthew 2:13-15).
  • The fulfillment of prophecy regarding the murder of male infants in Bethlehem in Herod’s attempt to eliminate Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18).
  • The resettlement in Nazareth, a fulfillment of prophecy that Jesus would be known as a “Nazarene” (Matthew 2:19-23).

These world events not only provide context to Jesus’ birth but also underline the sovereignty of God’s plan, as His purposes remain unaffected by the turmoil and power struggles of the world. The Magi, the star, and King Herod’s response to Jesus’ birth reflect the global impact of this monumental event – the birth of the Savior of the world.

IV. Fact or Myth: Debating the Popularity of December 25th as Jesus’ Birthday

Fact: The Bible does not specify a date for Jesus’ birth. Many people have long debated whether December 25th is the actual birthday of Jesus Christ. The Bible itself does not mention a specific date for His birth, which leaves the question open for speculation. In fact, certain details from the biblical narrative suggest that Jesus might not have been born in the winter season.

Luke 2:8 (NKJV) states that there were shepherds living out in the fields during the time of the birth, which is less likely during cold winter months. Additionally, some scholars argue that according to the biblical account of events leading up to Jesus’ birth, it is more probable that He was born during the fall season.

Despite the uncertainty around the exact date, December 25th has been widely accepted and celebrated as Jesus’ birthday since the 4th century. There are various theories as to why this date was chosen, including the idea that it was selected to replace or coincide with existing pagan festivities.

Some popular pagan celebrations during this time of year include the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of the Invincible Sun. As Christianity gained prominence, it is plausible that the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25th facilitated the transition from pagan to Christian traditions. Ultimately, regardless of the specific date, the important thing for believers is to honor and rejoice in the birth of Jesus as the coming of the Savior:

  • Matthew 1:21 (NKJV) – “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
  • John 3:16 (NKJV) – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”


In conclusion, the true age of Jesus Christ remains a thought-provoking topic for Christians and scholars alike. While we can reliably date His human birth to around 4 BC, the eternal existence of Jesus as the Word of God presents a fascinating aspect that goes beyond the constraints of time. John 1:1-2 (NKJV) states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”

Contemplating the age of Jesus helps us appreciate the inconceivable concept of His eternal nature, while also considering the divine convergence of God’s perfect planning that allowed Jesus to walk among us as a human being. Ultimately, it encourages us to acknowledge and renew our faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, who, in His timeless love, has brought hope, forgiveness, and salvation to all of humanity.

As we reflect on this profound question of Jesus’ age, let us draw closer to understanding God’s immeasurable and enduring love for us. And, as we do so, remember Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV), which reminds us of the eternal nature of Jesus: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

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