Roman calendar order in the late Before Christ era represents a
fluid period of history. Julius Caesar improved a lunar calendar
with random intercalations by adopting the Egyptian solar calendar.
Events leading toward the mystical lifetime of Jesus bore the marks
of successor August strengthening the solar calendar with additional
leap day adjustments.
Christians know full well that Jesus
Christ empowers our New
Testament part of the Word.
Faith building requires reading and hearing about miraculous
testimonies. We assert Him daily by sharing parables, healing
stories, prophecies and other divine events. With one accord
then, we have mutual agreement to seek the passion of Christ written in the Holy Bible.
Gifted scholars and learned theologians concur to place Christ’s
birth between 4 and 6 BCE. The four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
convey harmony to nearly pinpoint this timeframe. Relevant
historical documents likewise indicate the factual scenario.
His birth signifies a very unique snapshot in time. The moving
picture is the solar calendar we use to describe the Savior’s life
and times. The determining number line methodology seems so
The original Babylonian lunar/solar calendar had some traits
eventually embraced by the Greeks. Necessary intercalary
months were fundamentally applied. However, their deployment
seems abstract given the lack of known references. About 738
BCE, Romulus is said to have instituted the Roman republican
calendar. The early Roman calendar went through a myriad of
successive changes, from lunar to lunar/solar culminating with
10-months. The Latin month names Martius, Aprilis, Maius,
Juniius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and
December first resulted in a year of 304-days. Quintilis
corresponds to the number 5. Sextilis is the 6th month,
followed by the prefixes for numbered months 7 – 10. Another
Roman ruler, Numa Pompilius added January to start the year and
February at the end, making a 12-month year. February was
moved to the place it holds today by 452 BCE. February leap
insertions between January and March had caused an unstable calendar
system for centuries.
The Roman calendar from the fourth to first centuries BCE was
lunar. Attempts were made to transform moon phase names:
Kalends, Nones or Ides to the standardized pattern we know as new,
first quarter and full. In practical terms, lunar phases have
no coincidence with numbering. Intercalations were combined
with a Latin verb februare, meaning to "expiate" or "purify" and the
festival Lupercalia. An irregular intercalary month called
Mercedonius, usually consisted of 27 or 28 days. Mercedonius
month was inserted every other year between February 23 and
24. Geo-politcal maneuvers further compound any
intercalations. Months had varying lengths and 7-day weeks
were inconsequential in a numbered calendar system.
Julius Caesar desired to further expand Roman control in the Holy
Lands and elsewhere. He invades Egypt and proclaims Cleopatra
queen in 47 BCE. The lack of a universally recognized Roman
calendar was problematic to his efforts. He learns of the
Egyptian solar calendar having 365-days and plans its adoption by
Rome. His goal is to extract taxes according to a
schedule. Jewish people were using basically the same version
of 19-year lunar/solar calendar. Some differences were
apparent as they sought to synchronize calendars by sighting new
moons. Other regional cultures likewise had issues with
consistency. Julius Caesar employs the Egyptian astronomer
Sosigenes to help devise a new 12-month calendar starting 45
BCE. His namesake Julian calendar reform extends July to
31-days and shortens February from 30-days to 29-days.
The year 46 BCE became an extra-long year by Julian decree.
Ending a series of irregular years, the "last year of confusion" was
extended to 445-days. The calendar year was reset to start
January 1, 45 BCE. The Roman Republican calendar previously
had 10 numbered months and one extra intercalary month added during
February. Februarius had been a purification month since the
former lunar/solar calendar had only 355-days during regular
years. Julian adjustments further spread some 10-days more
amongst the monthly endings. A leap month every 2 or 3 years
changed into leap day to end the year on February 29. The
ultimate time reckoning shift had occurred. A new Julian
system had replaced the earlier lunar/solar (proleptic) system.
After Caesar’s death in 44 BCE, Octavius appoints himself Augustus,
meaning first emperor. Augustus Caesar (pontifex maximus)
continued some Julian policies, including chastity law and calendar
enactment. Augustus felt slighted and decided to extend our
current month August from 30 to 31-days. February gets further
shortened to 28-days. Roman officials were imposing solar
calendar reform upon Jewish lunar/solar traditions. Customary
Jewish Passover pilgrimage at this time meant everyone would return
to their home city and be counted for impending Roman taxation.
Leap days were the next solar calendar disturbance. The Decree
of Canopus was issued by the pharaoh Ptolemy III, c. 238 BCE.
Egypt was instructed to add an extra day every fourth year.
Egypt was using a 12-month, 365-day solar year in the third century
BCE. Ptolemy III efforts to implement the traditional leap
year pattern were largely unsuccessful. Disagreement amongst
Roman leaders lead to improper leap day additions during at least
the first 36-years following inception. Augustus further
spread the Julian calendar with modification. Emperor Augustus
successfully instituted a reformed Alexandrian calendar by adopting
an Egyptian leap year in 25 BCE. Augustus skipped three leap
days in order to realign the year and correct future leap day
routines by 8 AD. The normal Julian leap year sequence began
in AD 4, the 12th year of the Augustan reform; and the Roman
calendar was finally aligned to the Julian calendar in 1 BCE.
The first full year of alignment occurred AD 1.
“And it came to
pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus that all the world should be taxed.”
Christ grew into our Savior
during a highly unstable calendar. Some 40-years had passed
since the Julian calendar first began. The Holy Trinity involving God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
was manifest during the calendar transition. Gaps, seams and
separations in the time stream provide conditions for supernatural
increase. The will of God
authorizes prophecies be fulfilled. Miraculous deeds were
accomplished and scriptures written to record evidence. “Signs
and wonders” in the divine realm verify co-eternal presence.
Ordinary physical boundaries of time and space were overcome.
New Testament events and
early Christianity exhibit reason for worship. Crucifixion and
the Resurrection proved the Son of
Geography and communications hampered broad acknowledgment of the
Julian calendar. The Roman Empire applied the Julian calendar
within somewhat ambiguous borders. Following Paul’s ministry
in Acts, until 70 AD, the early church developed locally. The
Roman Empire included many of the other calendars aligned with the
Augustan reforms. By the fourth and fifth centuries AD,
Alexandrian Christians, Coptic and Ethiopian churches all observed
Easter. Movement toward associating Bible events with annual ceremony arose.
The Annunciation of the Lord, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, still
determines the New Year for many. Angel Gabriel told Mary to
name her son Jesus, meaning
"Saviour" according to Luke 1:26
ff. Announcement also specified "in the sixth month"
of Elisabeth's pregnancy with a child later called John the
Baptist. The Immaculate Conception is approximated to have
taken place near the vernal equinox in March.
Verses in Matthew 3:1-7 are
germane to engaging the co-eternal nature of Christ with preceding
calendars. First, prophecy from Isaiah 40:3 prepares a way for the Lord. Advice to prepare a
highway for God was written
for wandering Jewish people in the wilderness and deserts of
life. John the Baptist is said to have fulfilled the prophecy
during a time of Jewish and Roman calendar contention. A
second series of events contain angelic proclamations to both
Elisabeth and Mary coincidently about impending baby Jesus. The Holy Spirit acted most
prominently during this time we call late BC and early AD. Jesus began public ministry
about the age of 30, following Baptism and the Spirit of God descending like a
dove. Shared governmental roles and two widely divergent,
unstructured and informal calendars sanction divine intervention.
Are you a pastor, educator or a student of the Holy Bible? Timeemits.com
seeks anointed people to review and contribute to the Ages_of_Adam ministry.
Ancient lunar/solar calendars like the Jewish and Mayan calendars
provide the background to understanding early time. Ancient
calendars of the Holy Bible
use differences between the moon and sun, numerical matching and a
364-day calendar year to describe X-number of days that match with
X-number of years. Ages_of_Adam
is a free read at timeemits.
Clark Nelson is webmaster for http://www.timeemits.com/Get_More_Time.htm,
author of Ages_of_Adam and
Copyright 2011 Clark Nelson and timeemits.com All Rights
Reserved. URL http://www.timeemits.com/tat/Jesus_and_BC_Calendars.htm