The Birth Time of Jesus
Transcribed from “The Astrology Show” with Mj Patterson
(Airdate: December 26, 2014)
Mj Patterson: We’re very lucky today, we’ve got William Stickevers. He’s calling in all the way from San Francisco, and I had the pleasure to meet him at the last conference I attended. He has the delightful reputation of offering colorful opinions, and sometimes people try to give him a hard time for it but, you know what, he backs everything he says up with facts — and you know how I like my facts. So I’m delighted that William is joining us today. How are you doing?
William Stickevers: Great! Thank you for having me today, Mj.
Mj: Oh, it’s my pleasure indeed; I really appreciate your time. So we’re going to try to do a couple of things here, and it’ll probably span two shows, which is perfect with me. The first thing is that I was halfway through this show about “when is Jesus really born” — you know, “while shepherds watch their flocks by night,” not really going to happen in the winter time. And I was chatting with you on the Facebook and you said you had a chart.
William: Well, basically I started writing an article on the first Christmas celebration which occurred in 336 AD in Rome which we have a record of. And from there I noticed that when that occurred it was shortly after the time that the last processional ingress of Aries occurred in 292 [AD], which initiated the age of Pisces.
William: Now I found that very, very interesting because Catholicism, or Christianity in general, is very much tied up with the image of Pisces. The idea of repenting, or “repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near” — that’s actually the first phrase or soundbite people become aware of when Jesus began his ministry in October 29 AD.
Mj: And there’s a quote or something “I will make you fishers of men” at some point in the New Testament.
William: Yes, that’s right. And the 12 disciples were called fishers of men. And so, there’s lots of references to a lot of Piscean archetypal imagery, and metaphor, and words we associate with Pisces all throughout the New Testament and the sign of Christianity when it was a cult religion for the first 300 years under the Roman Empire was a sign of the fish. That was the secret symbol.
Mj: Which is pretty cool. Now, just for our senior students who might be listening, when you say that something has moved out of Aries and into Pisces, can you help them understand the astronomy of what you’re talking about?
William: Yes, it’s a little complex, but we have actually two zodiacs. We have a Tropical zodiac axis [the Tropical system defines it based on the position of vernal equinox, for example the intersection of the ecliptic with the celestial equator], which is what astrologers in the Western world primarily use, and we have a Sidereal zodiac which is what a majority of astrologers in the Eastern world use, especially in India.
William: And they were one and the same, meaning that if you were born March 24 around the time of Jesus, you were an Aries in both the Tropical and Sidereal. But what happened over time was those zodiacs, for very complex astronomical reasoning, mechanics that go beyond the scope of this show, and something I’m not ready to explain in detail at the moment, however they started moving apart from one another. And that has very much to do with the wobble of the Earth’s rotation.
Mj: Exactly. Because our pole star wasn’t always Polaris, and we don’t spin completely straight up and down, we have that wobble going on. And absolutely, it splits the two. Basically the sky, the piece of sky we call Aries now isn’t the same piece of sky anymore.
William: Right. Actually we’re 23 degrees Pisces according to the Sidereal zodiac. So what happens is that we have an equinox and during the time of the equinox the Sun on March 20th at the equator at sunrise is at 0 degrees of Aries in the sky. That happens every year. However, because the Sidereal zodiac is moving backwards, it’s actually 23 degrees of Pisces [as of 2015, when directly measured against the backdrop to the zodiacal constellations].
William: And so what I found interesting, going back to the Christianity, is that the time that that processional moment happened in 292 when the zodiac started separating from each other, Christianity emerged as a major political force and cultural force inside the Roman Empire because it was approximately only 40 years later that the first Christmas celebration occurs. And then, within 20 years of that, the Edict of Milan was enacted, which was an agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.
Mj: So no more feeding them to the lions.
Mj: (jokingly) Darn.
William: And eventually it would become the de facto religion of the Roman Empire in 380 [Edict of Thessalonica].
Mj: That’s a pretty fast track for any religion, isn’t it?
William: Yes, very fast. And I believe it’s very much tied with the processional ingress where the zodiac started splitting from one another. And, if that is the case, when in 292, the year that the age of Pisces officially started, we can see that archetypal development in history, then leading into the age of Aquarius, that will occur sometime around 2496.
Mj: And the same idea, because we’re wobbling, the pieces of sky are slowly creeping apart from each other. And I find this quite amusing because those who do not understand or see through the glass darkly love to use this separation of Sidereal and Tropical as some kind of proof that astrology doesn’t work, which is delicious because here you are using it to demonstrate that astrology does work.
William: Absolutely. It was something I discovered as I was writing the article itself. It’s not like I noticed this and thought ‘let me find a way to write an article about this and talk about this and talk about processional ingressions or separation between tropical and sidereal zodiac’. I didn’t have that approach at all. If I was writing for an astrology magazine, maybe, yes. But I was just trying to write something for most people who are curious about how astrology and Christmas tie into one another.
William: And when I was reading that the 12 apostles were called “fishers of men” and the early Christians called themselves “little fishes” which was a code word for Jesus, I started looking into it further and found that correlation.
Mj: Got ya. So what is the actual date that you’ve chosen for the chart and time? And when I did my research, I came up with well over 10 different charts. And I sort of poo-pooed anything that wasn’t in March or April, but actually your chart is in September, I believe.
William: Well, here’s the reason why. First of all, we know it’s September because you can’t be called Rabi unless you’re born in the month of September in 1st century Palestine.
Mj: Okay, sorry, you just cut out — can you say that again?
William: In 1st century Palestine, there were certain rules in Judaism that, in order to be rabbi, to even be called rabbi you had to be born within the month of September.
Mj: Wow — where did you find that little nugget? That’s pretty powerful.
William: Yeah, the Jewish community, the 1st century Palestinians in Judea were very aware of the prophecy. In fact, the Roman Emperor Augustus was aware of that prophecy that there would some Savior that would be born in Judea and to liberate the Jews from Roman rule and reestablish their empire. But, there were certain conditions that had to be met: the Savior had to be born in Judea, from the house of David – meaning the bloodline from the mother had to be directly from the house of David; he had to be a first-born son; he had to born in the most holy month of Judaism. So in order for Jesus to qualify as rabbi, he had to be born in the holiest month of Judaism, which is the month of Tishri. [Tishri usually occurs in September on the Gregorian calendar.]
William: So that is very clear. The other bit of evidence that we know that he was born in the month of September is because we know, based on the New Testament sources, that John the Baptist was born in the month of March, because we know the time that he was conceived (Leviticus 21:16–23). [The Eighth Course of Abijah was May 26 to June 1 in 3 B.C.E, John was conceived during that period of time. The human gestation period is about 280 days ― nine months and ten days. This shows the birth of John the Baptist near March 10, 3 B.C.E.] And we know, if you just do the math, he was born sometime in about early March. And we know Jesus was conceived sometime in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:26, 36).Jesus was born six months after, which makes it September. So the evidence is really clear why Jesus wasn’t born December 25th, but sometime around the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles which was a very holy day in Judaism, and that is September 11th. So, around the date-time of September 11th [Tishri One on the Jewish calendar].
Most modern scholars and archaeologists who do this type of work believe that Jesus was born around that time, for various reasons. We don’t know the exact day, and anyone who claims to know the exact day is just speculating. So we know that. We also know what year he was born, and that you basically just do the mathematics.
Mj: Well, I was going to ask you about that. Now a couple things have popped into my mind and one is this old hymn, “While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks By Night.” Being a crabby old Celt in that a lot of people call them Celtic reconstructionist — I like to call them Celtic inventionist — I found that histories lie, but stories and songs tell the truth. You just have to know how to read them. So, I give a lot of weight to the old “While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks By Night” and I’m just curious, is that something they would do in the fall? Or is that just hoo-hoo? And the other question is didn’t Herod die in 4 BC?
William: No, well, let’s put the Herod controversy to the side because — and I’m not avoiding that question —
Mj: Nope, I know you well — you don’t avoid any question; you go barreling in.
William: Right. I first want to establish the most important data. If we take the time of the crucifixion, which we know is April 3rd, 33 AD, Nisan 14 [day and hour in the Jewish calendar] and in 33 AD it occurred on a Friday in the month of April. And so that exactly correlates with Passover, we know there was a lunar eclipse at that time, and we know it occurred at 5:21 pm LMT (Local Mean Time) [in Jerusalem]. Jesus, according to Luke, died shortly after the eclipse and the apostles had to rush the body to prepare it for burial before the sunset.
Mj: Right, because of shevat, probably.
William: Right, because of the Sabbath [the commencement of the Jewish Passover meal that would begin at Sunset – Nisan 15, that would begin at 6:15 pm LMT]. So, here’s the thing. We know the date of the crucifixion. We also know for a fact that he began his ministry in 29 AD, which was the 19th year of Tiberius’ rule. So, just taking those two facts into consideration we can do the math because he’s “of 30 years of age” when he begins his ministry. And using those two dates, 33 and 29 and working backwards from this, it would appear that Jesus was born in 2 or 3 BC. And most likely 3 BC.
Mj: Okay, didn’t Herod kill all the little kids and if Herod’s dead, he can’t do that.
William: Well, that’s another oversight. You have to realize, too, that there’s a mix up because Herod dies during a lunar eclipse. However, there are mistakes made by some modern historians, especially in the mid-’60s and early ’70s, about the timing of that eclipse because there were two lunar eclipses that exactly coincided with Herod’s death. For there that occurred in 1 BC and the other is in 4 BC.
Mj: So they might’ve gone for the wrong eclipse in other words.
William: Correct. And there’s plenty of evidence that points to that Herod died 18 days after the January 10th Lunar Eclipse in 1 BCE [and that Jesus was therefore born in 2/3 BC (regnal dating) — as confirmed by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Africanus, Hippolytus of Rome, Hippolytus of Thebes, Origen, Eusebius and Epiphanius].
Mj: Got ya.
William: Much more evidence pointing to that. We could talk more about that; I just wanted to keep it short.
Mj: We could go pretty deep through this but we’ve got a one-hour show and I want to pick your brains in other ways. So I’m going to throw out a couple things from, I would say, competing contenders in terms of charts. There’s a plethora of 7 BCE charts and one that I saw which was 6 BCE. The 7 BCE charts are looking at a big stellium in Pisces that was rising in the east as it were, I guess the star of Bethlehem, and the one chart that was 6 BCE was using the same constellation, or stellium, but — for anyone listening, as stellium just means a whole lot of planets in one spot, and shiny. And one of these fellas was Saturn. And Saturn would have been visible in the night sky in those days, and they didn’t know about some of the other ones that are further out, but they totally knew about Saturn, and it would be quite shiny rising in the east there. They’d definitely spot that. And the one guy that went for 6 BCE said, you know, those magi, they came from Persia, that’s a long walk, I’m thinking that it might’ve taken them a year to get there. So I think they’re trying to use those indicators to find the time or day rather earlier. So any thoughts on why that wouldn’t work, or any thoughts on that at all?
William: Well, it just won’t work because if you do the math, Jesus was “of 30 years of age.” He was 29, or he was 30 years of age in 29 AD in October. Now if we do the math the way I’m looking at it, he just turned 30 years of age when he began his ministry.
Mj: Okay. That’s very Saturn Return, isn’t it?
William: Yes. So the other thing too is, which happens to be one of my gripes with many of astrologers is they say, ‘well, this 6-8 BC thing is when the stellium in Pisces occurred’ or ‘so that had to be when Jesus was born’, and make these conclusions, as they overlook all the other historical data. For they don’t look at what the writing of the historians of the time, like Josephus for instance.
Mj: Yep. And then they call it science.
William: And then they call it science and then you have to take them for their word, and they’ve already made up their mind that it’s 7 BC. Hey look, I was guilty of this as well. I said, oh, my teacher said it’s 7 BC, it has to be so I can’t question my teacher or question the facts, it just is what it is. However, when I started looking at the historical facts [during that period], and then started coming up with a different year, it was correlating very closely to what modern scholars say. Then all of a sudden all the 7 BC astrologers went up in arms against me.
Mj: You bad, bad man; you’re rocking the boat again (laughs). Good for you!
William: Yeah. Yes, so I believe that astrologers need to reexamine this. And we do know for a fact when the eclipse occurred on the day of Christ’s crucifixion, we knew he was of 30 years of age — not 40 years of age. And by the way, the average lifetime age of a 1st-century Palestinian man was 37 years of age. So it’s hard to believe that Christ was born 7 BC, and that the apostles would be of 40 years of age, it just doesn’t add up and make sense. Everything supports a 2 or 3 BC date.
Mj: Okay. Have you any thoughts about what the Star of Bethlehem then would have been, and indeed would it have occurred at his birth, prior to his birth, or is it all made up tosh and it’s just a bit of PR?
William: Well, you know, there’s a big problem with the Star of Bethlehem because the Chinese, which were a very sophisticated civilization as well, did not see any Star of Bethlehem. If there was a star that big and bright, other indigenous cultures around the world, especially the Chinese and the Mayans, would have noted that, and we would have been able to see the astronomical calculations to determine the time frame. So, I tend to believe that star, they were referring to something else, and that had to do with the activity that was active in 3 BC at that time.
Mj: Okay. Well, that’s pretty cool. So basically you say that you can guess roughly when he was born, but to get an exact chart, that’s just supposition. So, no 24-hour rectification then?
William: Right. I would say we should be looking more at the month of September 2 BC or 3 BC, or we could even look at 4 BC, although the math doesn’t add up based on Biblical chronology …
Mj: Yeah, that’s kind of stretching it, isn’t it? Because wasn’t he supposed to be around 2 when Herod did his nasty? He wasn’t very old.
William: Right. Well, when Herod [who was born 74 BCE was around 70 years of age] became very sick, his sons were printing his coins; as early as 4 BC to ensure their succession of rulership in Judea. So, it’s pretty clear if we look at the evidence that it’s most likely that Herod died in 1 BC. And doing the math, we know that there was some persecution from Herod within 2 years of Jesus’ birth. So, I would think that astrologers need to reexamine now the month and the time frames of what we discussed and then they can speculate from there what would be the astrological chart of an individual [born during the founding era of the Roman Empire in an obscure province] who had arguably the biggest impact in shaping the Western medieval worldview and influencing the course of history over the past 2000 years.
Mj: Yep. Pretty much. I mean, I can’t think of anything anywhere on the planet, even in places where ostensibly Christianity isn’t “the state religion.” It still has a far-reaching effect. I grew up in Korea and knew the Orient pretty well, and I mean, they’re mostly Buddhists, right. But, my goodness, even there, the impact is pretty staggering.
William: Right. So that’s how I see it. I think if I were to say it’s September 11th, 3 BC at 8:48am, but that’s just pure but informed speculation on my part, and that’s not really going to help much.
Mj: Nope, I get it. That’s one thing I very much appreciate about you, young fella, that you’re very much about the facts. And it’s so refreshing, I have to say. It’s wonderful.
William: And I think the crucifixion date is more relevant and I think what’s even more relevant is the official date of the Roman Catholic Church, when that began which was on Pentecost, which was in May 24th of 33 AD, and we even know the time that the Catholic Church became an [spiritually empowered] operational entity.
Mj: What time?
William: We know it’s 9am. And it’s actually stated in the Bible.
Mj: Is that LMT? Is that in Rome? At the Vatican?
William: No, it’s not in Rome. It’s in Jerusalem, and it is stated directly out of the Bible when the Holy Spirit entered the 12 apostles. And I believe there was nearly 100 people in the room who experienced that.
William: So that occurs in May. We actually have the chart for that event that occurred in May.
Mj: Okay, so for those listening, it’s May the what?
William: May 22nd, 33 AD at 9am and that’s Local Mean Time in Jerusalem.
Mj: Okay, and all you people listening, if you’ve been following my classes, you know how to get Local Mean Time. … That’s what we’re all about — to get more people involved in the real astrology, as opposed to the stuff in the newspaper.
William: Right. And the source is from the Book of (Acts 1:13, 26). Where the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles became known as Pentecost.
Mj: That is so cool. Thanks, William. So, I hope I haven’t forgotten to ask you any useful questions about this chart, but I think I would love to have you back next week for the new year’s show to share some ideas about what’s coming up this year.
William: Yes, I would love that.
Mj: So do you have anything that you want to finish off with, any details?
William: No, I just think that we’re never going to know Christ’s birth. The astrologers can claim what they want as a community [that they know it’s 6 BC or 7 BC], but in terms of real rigor, historical matching up the horoscope with the historical facts and based on new and recent breakthroughs in archaeology on 1st century Palestine, it is clear that the years of Christ birth are off and erroneous. It cannot be that time frame that they are talking about, and it’s much closer to the time frame that the Gregorian calendar was based on [that was introduced it in 1582 which was a refinement to the Julian calendar amounting to a 0.002% correction in the length of the year and Anno Domini (AD 1) the traditionally reckoned year of the conception and birth of Jesus of Nazareth.].
Mj: Bang on.
William: So that’s how I’ll sum it up, and I think we could learn a lot more by looking at what happened during the time of the crucifixion and Pentecost and how the Church unfolded using those horoscopes.
Mj: Well, I very much appreciate that, and everything you say, I’ve learned from experience, you back it up with not one, not two, but a whole plateful of data which I really appreciate.
William: Thank you.
Mj: Thank you very much for joining us this weekend. I look forward to having a chat with you next week about 2015.
- Jesus’ Birth – September 11, 3 BC
- Magi Arrive Bearing Gifts – December 25, 2 BC
- Herod’s Death – January 28, 1 BC
- Tiberius Becomes Emperor of Rome – August 19, 14 AD
- Jesus Begins His Ministry – October 18, 29 AD
- Crucifixion and Death – April 3, 33 AD
- Pentecost – May 24, 33 AD
- Destruction of the Second Temple and Jerusalem – August 3, 70 AD
The Astrology Show with Mj Patterson airs on Fridays 6:00-7:00pm AST (Atlantic Standard Time) on CKDU-FM (Halifax, Nova Scotia) or at www.ckdu.ca.
Get a Personal Consultation with William.