Wise Men HeaderThe Date of Christ's Birth.

By Rev. Phil Greetham. © Copyright 1996. This Version, 2012.

3: The Luke 1:26 Theory.

Bruce Borowski points out that Luke 1:26 tells us when Jesus was born.
Luke 1:26
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
Assuming the Jewish year, this would indicate the annunciation took place around September. This indicates Jesus' birth would be approximately the June of the following year..

Like many others I had linked this particular verse with v 36 of the same chapter
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
Thus the term 'sixth month', would refer to Elizabeth's pregnancy - not the sixth month of the year. In the original Greek the 26th verse links straight in with the previous verses. There are no verses or new paragraphs in the original. In verse 24 it says
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
Having mentioned the fifth month, verse 26 follows naturally after this to mention the sixth month.

It isn't impossible to interpret verse 26 to mean 'the sixth month of the year', but nowhere else does Luke mention the month of any any other event. It would have been very confusing for Luke to have put this in the middle of several verses mentioning the month of pregnancy. All commentaries and scholars I have read interpret this as the month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, not the month of the year of Christ's conception.

Taking the reading in isolation, it could appear to mean the 6th month of the year, but given the context, it seems unlikely.
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