The Gospels: An Astronomical Guide

The Gospels: An Astronomical Guide

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Provides the date of every event in the four Gospels using easily provable astronomical events. Chronologically Harmonized into one Gospel narrative/ timeline. 54 pages, 8 x 10 inches, 7 color images.


                                    The Gospels: An Astronomical Guide

                             Date                                                           Event



Jesus was present from the Beginning (before He became a human being)

Circa Jan 6-8, 5 BC

John was born on Oct 1, 5 BC (see below). Counting back 266 days (avg. gestation period), Elizabeth probably conceived on Jan 8, 5 BC.  Zacharius and his division were serving in the Temple the week before that, so the angel probably appeared to John a day or two before that.

Angel’s announcement to Zacharius, and miraculous conception of John

Zacharius is struck dumb because he was old, and his wife was old, and it caused him to doubt the angel

Circa Jul 3-4, 5 BC

Jesus was born on March 27, 4 BC (see below). Counting back 266 days (avg. gestation period), Mary probably conceived on Jul 4th,, 5 BC. The angel may have appeared to Mary a day or so before that.

Angel’s announcement to Mary, and immaculate conception of Jesus

Circa mid-July, 5 BC

Luke says Mary went to see Elizabeth “in those days with haste” meaning soon after Mary conceived. Elizabeth’s baby would have been able to jump in the womb in response to sounds by the 26th week, or about mid-July. 

Mary visits Elizabeth, John jumps in womb, Elizabeth praises Mary

Oct 1, 5 BC

On Oct 1, 5 BC, during a solar eclipse, the Dayspring Star (Venus) appeared high in the sky over the hill country of Judea when John was born.  Source: Distant Suns, v. 2 (Star-tracking S/W for PCs)

Birth of John the Baptist

Zacharius speaks again after naming his baby John as instructed by angel

Late 5 BC

This event happened when Mary’s pregnancy was showing, but other than that, there is no way of knowing a precise date.

Angel’s announcement to Joseph of miraculous conception of Jesus

Joseph changes his mind, decides not to divorce his pregnant fiancee

Mar 26-27, 4 BC

(see below)

Mary & Joseph journey to Bethlehem to pay their taxes, and the time came for Mary to give birth

There was no room at the Inn, so Jesus is born in a stable and laid in a manger

Mar 27, 4 BC

On March 27th, 4 BC, during a solar eclipse, a bright Star in the East (Venus) appeared over Bethlehem near high noon.1 

The Dead Sea scrolls indicate that the magi/wise men were the calendar keepers of the Qumran community. They were also shepherds who watched the stars while tending their sheep at night.  (Luke’s version was “romanticized” as it was passed down over the decades, while Matthew’s is not because he was there).  Qumran is due east of Jerusalem. It is unlikely that any kings east of there (much less three) would have known anything about the Jews’ promised Messiah. If they had, like Herod, they likely would have come to kill Him, not worship Him.  

Visit of magi/shepherds when the Star in the East (Venus) appears over Bethlehem and the manger

Mar 28-29, 4 BC

As the angel warned on the night of March 27th, Herod indeed went mad the next day, and proceeded to kill a lot of young males he suspected of wanting to become King of Israel, including one of his own sons, prompting Caesar to say, “I would rather be one of Herod’s swine than one of his sons”

As instructed by angel, Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus flee into Egypt to escape the impending massacre of innocent babies  in Bethlehem

Apil 1-3, 4 BC

Most historians say Herod died on April 1st, 4BC

When Herod dies, Mary and Joseph return from Egypt with Jesus

April 4, 4 BC

Mary and Joseph dedicate/circumcise Jesus in the Temple when He is 8 days old, as was the custom

At 8 days old, Jesus is dedicated / circumcised in the Temple

The prophets Simeon and Anna, both of great age, witness it and proclaim Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah

April 5, 4 BC


Mary, Joseph and baby return to Nazareth


From April, 4 BC to April, 9 AD

Jesus grows strong and wise

Circa April 22, 9 AD

This event occurred at the end of Passover, circa April 22, 9 AD 2

At 12 years old, Jesus and His parents attend the Passover feast in Jerusalem, and Jesus accidently gets left behind. After searching for Him three days, they find Him in the Temple talking with the Rabbis and astounding them with His knowledge.


  1. Source: Distant Suns, v. 2
  2. (Depending on whether the ancient Hebrew Lunar Calendar months began with a full moon or crescent moon -- see debate on that at