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What is known about the true date of Christ's birth?

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Little is known for sure about the true date of Jesus Christ's birth except that it most likely didn't occur on December 25. Scholars believe that it occurred around September or October, while some religious leaders believe that April is the date. These leaders point to scriptural references to shepherds watching their sheep, a springtime activity.

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Scholars believe that winter was an unlikely time for Christ's birth because censuses were generally not performed during this time of the year. People were unlikely to travel in freezing weather over poor roads. Based on when John the Baptist was conceived and born, figured partly from when Zacharias worked in the temple, people believe that Jesus was born in September or October.

Another consideration is the astronomical event or new star described in the New Testament. Astronomers suggest that this may mean the light of Venus and Jupiter combined to form the appearance of a bright light, which would have happened in June, or that the light of Saturn and Jupiter combined, which would have happened in October.

The year of Christ's birth is also in dispute. The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurred in 2 B.C., while the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter occurred in 7 B.C. Chinese records suggest that a comet passed in 5 B.C., another possible date for Christ's birth.

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