Bible Answer

In what year was Jesus born?

In what year was Jesus born?

We do not have an exact date for Jesus’ birth in scripture, but we can narrow the date down based on some details. First, we know that Herod the Great was ruling when Jesus was born:

Matt. 2:1 " Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying..."

Since history records that Herod the Great died in 4 BC, Jesus must have been born no later than 4 BC. Secondly, we know that Jesus began His earthly ministry at “about” the age of 30:

Luke 3:23  "When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli"

Furthermore, we know Jesus’ earthly ministry to Israel lasted three years, as Jesus refers to Himself as the landowner in the parable of the unfruitful tree in the vineyard:

Luke 13:7 “And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’"

Putting all this together, we suppose that Jesus died at the age of 33, having been born in 4 BC and having begun His earthly ministry in the year AD 26. If our suppositions are correct, then Jesus would have died on Passover in the year 27 AD.

Interestingly, when we consult astronomical records, we find that the day of Passover (14th of Nisan on the Jewish calendar) occurred on a Thursday in the year AD 27, which is correct day for Jesus’ death according to the Bible. 

Therefore, we all evidence points to Jesus’ birth in the year 4 BC.