***From Alan Schuetz in Baton Rouge, LA:  The following demonstrates that
Christ (Yehoshu'a HaMashiach ) was likely born on the Feast of Weeks
according to the Qumran calendar and the Scriptures.
Assumption #1:  The canonized Bible as we know it (except possibly Esther
which is the only "canonized" book which does not even mention God -- among
other things) is the inspired word of God.  For our discussion, we will
focus primarily on Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Luke for Biblical references.

Fact #1:  The Book of Luke is written in *consecutive order* based on
eyewitness accounts (Luke 1:1-4 with emphasis on v3).

Fact #2:  Zacharias served in the eighth of 24 priestly courses -- the
division of Abijah (Luke 1:5 and 1 Chronicles 24:7-18 with emphasis on v10).

Side Note:  In the Masoretic calendar which is primarily lunar-based, there
are at a minimum 354 days per year and a maximum of 384 ("Encyclopedia of
Jewish Concepts" p.306).  If we divide 354 days per lunar year by 7 days per
week, we arrive at 50.5714 weeks per year.  If we divide that result by 24
courses per year, then each priestly course served at a minimum two times
per year and a maximum on three.  [The point of this discussion is that each
course does not serve at the same time every year -- even under the
Masoretic calendar -- as some Messianics have taught].

Assumption #2:  The calendar described in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) will be
used for this discussion.

Fact #3:  The solar calendar discussed in the DSS has 364 days per year
every year ("The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English" and "The Dead Sea
Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English").

Fact #4:  If we divide 364 days per solar year by 7 days per week, we arrive
at exactly 52 weeks per year.  If we divide that result by 24 courses per
year, then again each course served a minimum of two times and a maximum of
three times per year.  This calendar is available in a Microsoft Excel
format at
or in an Adobe Acrobat PDF at
The free Acrobat reader may be downloaded from
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.  I am currently
converting this to a HTML format.

Fact #5:  The fact that Zacharias served in the eighth division of Abijah
does not tell us when he may have actually served during a particular
year -- regardless of the calendar employed.  This course served at
different times from year to year (although the Qumran calendar limits this
to a cycle of six years).

Fact #6:  We know that after Zacharias completed his course, he returned
home and Elizabeth conceived John (Luke 1:23-24).

Assumption #3:  Based on deduction from the DSS, the priestly courses
commenced on the Sabbath and was completed on the sixth day ("The Complete
Dead Sea Scrolls in English" and "The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The
Qumran Texts in English").

Fact #7:  Zacharias and Elizabeth lived in the hill country in a city of
Judah (Luke 1:39-40).

Assumption #4:  This city was probably Hebron [aka Kiriath-arba] (Joshua
20:7) which is approximately 20 miles from Jerusalem ("PC Bible Atlas").

Fact #8:  Zacharias would not have travelled more than a Sabbath day's
journey after he completed his course (Acts 1:12); this is 2,000 cubits or
approximately 3/5 mile ("NAS Concordance") because Elizabeth and he followed
the commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6).

Fact #9:  The earliest that Zacharias could return to the hill country of
Judah -- regardless whether the city was Hebron or not -- would be on the
first day of the week.

Assumption #5:  The *mute* (and shaken) Zacharias returned home in the hill
country of Judah on the first day of the week to fulfill the prophecy given
to him by Gabriel during his course (Acts 1:11-20).

Fact #10: The angel Gabriel visited the virgin Mary in the sixth month (Luke

Fact #11:  During Gabriel's conversation with Mary, he revealed that Mary's
relative Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy (Luke 1:36).

Fact #12:  Gabriel revealed that Mary *would* conceive and bear a son
[future tense] (Luke 1:31).

Fact #13:  After Gabriel's visitation, Mary immediately left Nazareth (Luke
1:26) *in a hurry* to visit Zacharias and Elizabeth in the hill country of
Judah (Luke 1:38-40) -- a distance of approximately 82 miles ("PC Bible

Fact #14:  As Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy
Spirit, and it was revealed to her that Mary had conceived as was prophesied
by Gabriel (Luke 1:41-45).  Notice the *fulfillment* in v45.

Assumption #6:  Mary conceived in the sixth month based on the facts
provided above.

Assumption #7:  Assuming that Mary went a full, nine-month term, then she
would have given birth in the third month.

Fact #15:  According to God, the first month is Abib (Deuteronomy 16:1;
Exodus 12:1ff with emphasis on v2; Exodus 13:1-4 with emphasis on v4).
There is no reference to both civil and religious calendars in the OT; that
is rabbinic Judaism from the "Talmud Bavli" [Babylonian Talmud].  The world
was not created on Rosh Hashanah; there is absolutely no evidence of this
(and is contrary to the DSS which coincides with the Genesis account).  The
meaning of "rosh hashanah" [head of the year] in Ezekiel 40:1 should
coincide with the Septuagint "proto meni" [first month]; within context,
this passage is absolutely *not* referring to the seventh month.

Assumption #8:  For Elizabeth to be six months pregnant during the sixth
month of the year, Zacharias must have served his course sometime during the
twelfth month.  According to the DSS, the only time that the course of
Abijah served during the twelfth month was in course year 3 of 6 -- from the
14th through the 20th.

Assumption #9:  Based on Assumption #5 above, Elizabeth and Zacharias would
have had sexual relations on the 22nd day of the twelfth month -- which was
the first day of the week -- and Elizabeth would have conceived.

Assumption #10:  If Mary conceived *exactly* 26 weeks (or six months) after
Elizabeth did, then we arrive at the 22nd of the sixth month -- aka the
Feast of New Oil.

Fact #16:  Mary went full term (Luke 2:6).

Assumption #11:  Assuming "full term" is *exactly* 38 weeks from conception,
then we arrive at Christ's birth on the 15th of the third month -- aka the
Feast of Weeks/Shavu'ot/Pentecost.

Fact #17:  Three times of the year are *especially* significant to God:
Passover, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Booths (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Fact #18:  Religion, 525 AD:  "Easter Tables" issued by Roman
theologian-mathematician Dionysius Exiguus, 25, give the birth day of Jesus
incorrectly as December 25, 753 years after the founding of Rome.  The error
will be standardized in all Christian calendars. ("The People's Chronology")

Fact #19:  Religion, 1740:  Moravian immigrants at Bethlehem [Pennsylvania]
(see 1740) introduce the celebration of Christmas with such German customs
as the visit from Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus.  In Puritan New England
Christmas remains a working day. ("The People's Chronology")

I also recommend viewing "Christmas Unwrapped" which has been aired on "The
History Channel" on cable for the past couple of years.  Log onto
http://store.aetv.com/ and Search for "Christmas Unwrapped" (without

For private reply, e-mail to "Alan Schuetz" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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