Happy 2018 Everyone! Or is it 2017, or 2016, or 2015?

Posted on December 31, 2021

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By David Ettinger

A little beginning-of-the-year fun here, everyone, but this something that’s been rattling around in my brain for quite a few decades now.

I base the title above on what most New Testament scholars believe is the actual year of Jesus’ birth – somewhere between 4 B.C. and 7 B.C.

This is because most scholars date the death of King Herod the Great to 4 B.C.

Since Herod played a major role in the narrative of Jesus’ birth (as presented in Matthew chapter 2), Jesus would have had to been born before Herod died, but not too much earlier than the time of Herod’s death.

With this is mind, it appears that the monk Dionysius Exiguus was off by a few years.

Exiguus, who lived during the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., was the originator of the B.C. and A.D. calendar (based on when he calculated the date of Jesus’ birth).

Exiguus, famous for his Anno Domini calculations, was apparently – according to Bible scholars – off by 4 to 7 years.

Therefore, we should really be celebrating the New Year of anywhere 2018 back to 2015.

And, by the same reasoning, shouldn’t each one of us be 4 to 7 years younger than we actually are?

Of course that’s preposterous as our birth years would be pushed back as well.

All this frivolity aside, thank you for your faithfulness, and we wish you a most blessed New Year – no matter what year that is!


David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.