I thought it strange when I learned Jesus was born in the year 4 B.C. How, I thought, could Jesus have been born four years before He was born? Obviously I soon learned the calendar makers erred and it was easier to leave it as it was and redate Jesus’ birth than to change so many historical and business records.
According to the Jewish calendar this is the year 5763. The Chinese have a legend that Emperor Huangdi invented the calendar in 2637 B.C. The oldest calendar I am aware of is the Egyptian calendar that dates back to 4241 B.C.
According to our Bibles God established a seven-day cycle of time during creation week recorded in Genesis one. However, that does not give us a yearly date. Two years ago folk were concerned something major was going to happen as we transitioned into a new millennium. Similar concerns occurred a thousand years before that when we left the 900’s behind.
I wonder if God smiles at our concerns with the date. When you are eternal a few thousand years here or there really makes not much difference. When you are a fruit fly 24 hours is a big deal. So much of life is relative. What is not relative is the fact that time is ticking away and the hour of God’s judgment grows near. Jesus’ disciples asked Him when it would be. His answer is fascinating. He said in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Written by Roger Bothwell on December 12, 2002
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