When I teach my New Testament students that Jesus could not have been born in “zero” B.C. I am greeted with blank stares. When I explore the range of possibilities between 4 and 6 B.C. they begin to fidget. Eighty-five percent of my students are returned missionaries and most of them have read Talmage’s “Jesus the Christ.” They know that Elder Talmage wrote that Jesus was born on April 6th, exactly 1830 years from the organization of the Church. Eventually, I have to take a deep breath and gently say, “Elder Talmage was wrong.” More blank stares. At that moment, it is helpful to have clear justifications for my assertion. Many have tackled this question but I recommend the work of Lincoln Blumell (BYU) and Thomas Wayment (BYU). The following link takes you to their detailed response to the dating of Christ’s birth proposed by Jeff Chadwick (colleague of Blumell and Wayment at BYU). Explore this read (and helpful charts) and pass it on. Hopefully fewer stunned students in New Testament classes going forward.
Here’s the link: