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Benedict argues Christian calendar based on miscalculation

November 23rd, 2012 - Comments Off

VATICAN CITY, Rome — Pope Benedict XVI reportedly argues in his new book that Jesus was born earlier than previously believed, which means that the Christian calendar based on the year of his birth is off by several years.

The head of the Catholic Church asserts in his book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, that the Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation because Jesus was born sometime between 7 B.C. and 2 B.C., the Telegraph reported. It is now on sale around the world with an initial printing of 1 million copies.

“The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” Pope Benedict XVI writes. “The actual date of Jesus’ birth was several years before.”

The Christian calendar was created by an Eastern European monk named Dionysius Exiguus. He invented the now commonly used Anno Domini (A.D.) era, which counts years based on the birth of Jesus. He came up with this concept in the year 525, or, 525 years after the birth of Jesus.

While the claim isn’t a new one and will likely not have any consequences, it is the first time the leader of the church has stated publicly such doubts about one of the keystones of Catholic tradition.

The assertion that Jesus was born earlier than Dionysius Exiguus believed means the Christian calendar, based on his birth year, is off by several years. The Bible does not specify when Jesus was born, and it seems Dionysius based his calculations on vague references to Jesus’ age.

This is one of several new arguments the 85-year-old pope makes in the book. He also says that, despite what most people think of as a typical nativity scene, there were no animals present at Jesus’ birth.

The book is the final installment of Benedict’s trilogy on the life of Jesus.

Mfrances is a staff writer for CatholicFavors.com where you can buy the finest in Swarovski sterling silver rosariesSwarovski 24KT gold over sterling silver rosariesCzech 24KT gold over sterling silver rosaries, and other religious gift ideas.

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