Miscalculating Time Due To Religion


The elusive idea of time has for centuries been a trivial subject for societies scholars worldwide, as the public attempted to classify past actions, argue for or against present choices and present future challenges, while of course pinpointing historical moments for the sake of referral. In fact, during this effort to organize human action and gain control over the outcome of people’s effort, some individuals, in every tribe, race, or society, begun studying the natural phenomena associating them with specific past historical experiences in relation to each other.


Classifying this obscure notion of time and categorizing human history into clusters of historical periods, has been an effort of experienced and highly intellectual people in different dynasties or empires. The exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth, for example, has become the focal point of numerous discussions held before the new 21st Century extravaganza, celebrated in the year 2000 instead of 2001. All this confusion is due to a Russian monk, Dionysius Exiguus, who was appointed by Pope John I to set out the dated for Easter from the years 527 to 627. After multiple calculations, which unfortunately were not precise, and based on previous scholars works, he claimed that Jesus was born on December 25 in the Roman year 753. After suspending time for a few days, the new era of world history was marked by the New Year’s Day in Rome, which he introduced it to be celebrated on January 1, 754. But the fact that the gospels provide some inconclusive facts in relation to the birth of Jesus, resulted probably in him making a couple of mistakes, which even after his death, were never completed corrected by other prestigious Roman figures, like Pope Gregory.


First, according to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is said to have been born while Herod was still King. That would mean that Jesus came into this world at or even before the year 4 B.C. since that year Herod died. Perhaps it seems like a big joke now, but according to these calculations, the new millennium or the 2,000 years from Jesus Christ’s birth should have been celebrated in the year 2004 instead of 2000. However, even if we accept that this mistake belongs to the past and there is no way it can ever now be corrected, then there is another mistake some people were heavily discussed before the big 2000 fireworks. The date Dionysius Exiguus introduced as the Jesus birth year was year one and not zero. In fact, the concept of naught had another two hundred years before it was to arrive from Arabia to Europe. Thus, centuries end with a zero and begin with the digit one. So, when the Roman calendar moved from 753 to 754, the latter became anno domini -year one of the New World order. If in that case, Jesus was born in year 1, then the 2,000 years after his birth would have passed in the year 2001. The year 2000 would then be the end of a millennium and 2001 the beginning of another. But, in reality as no proof on when Jesus was born exists, we cannot conclude on the exact, “correct” date of our new millennium.


Brandie Gonzales

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