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“What year was Jesus born“? What kind of question is that!?
If our calendar is broken up into B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, the year of our Lord) doesn’t that mean Jesus was born in year one (since we don’t count year zero)?
Actually, the issue is a bit more complex than that.
Starting the calendar with the birth of Christ didn’t come about until the 6th Century, when a monk named Dionysius did his best to calculate when Christ was born.
He used Scripture and the historical information available to him and calculated that Jesus was born in the 753rd year of the Roman Empire. So that year was redubbed “A.D. 1” and we kept adding on from there.
However, information would eventually come to light which showed that the well-intentioned monk made some errors. By analyzing new information related to the chronological markers provided in Scripture, scholars were able to see that Jesus was born a few years later than initially thought.
Six years after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Elias Boudinot of New Jersey brought a resolution to the US House of Representatives requesting that the President set aside a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Washington responded with the following proclamation:
By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
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