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Led by the prophets Samuel and Nephi, the calendar in the new world was restarted to align with the very day when the great sign of the Lord’s Birth occurred. Also, inspired particularly by the gospel of Luke, the year on the Roman calendar in the old world was updated to align with the year 1 BC, the zero year for the modern Christian calendar, indicating the Birth year of Jesus Christ.[i]

In our modern day, most leaders and scholars deny that the old world Christian calendar was adjusted to the right year, preferring several possible years other than 1 BC for Jesus’ birth year. Citing modern revelation, Apostle James E. Talmage, President Spencer W. Kimball, and other apostles and prophets forcefully have proclaimed that the calendar was changed correctly to reflect the very year of His Birth. Their testimony is that the most important calendar change in history was made accurately.

We should pay attention to these statements of modern apostles and prophets that the calendar based on the life of the most important Person in history was not done in error. In fact, this Christian calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, has become the universal calendar used worldwide, chronicling the passage of time in all areas of life on earth, legal, business and personal.

Picture #2 - Samuel on wall full view

Follow the Lead of Book of Mormon Prophets

The Book of Mormon provides a model that established a new calendar in America based on the exact day when Samuel’s prophesy of Christ’s Birth was fulfilled with “great lights in heaven.” (Helaman 14:3) The Prophet Nephi, the great grandson of Helaman the son of Alma, recorded how their society’s official Nephite calendar was adjusted to restart at the Redeemer’s Birthday.

Mormon records this transition recorded by the Nephite prophet Nephi on the plates of Nephi.[ii]

“And also an hundred years had passed away since the days of Mosiah, who was king over the people of the Nephites. And six hundred and nine years had passed away since Lehi left Jerusalem. And nine years had passed away from the time when the sign was given, which was spoken of by the prophets, that Christ should come into the world. Now the Nephites began to reckon their time from this period when the sign was given, or from the coming of Christ; therefore, nine years had passed away.” (3 Nephi 2:5-8)

The Nephite nation went beyond chronicling the coming of Christ as a very important event on their normal calendar by beginning “to reckon their time from this period when the sign was given,” making an exensive change in their society. A new calendar was created and then used as the official national calendar in all aspects of daily, legal and business life.

Not only did this new calendar reset the year, but the month and day counts also started over on the day of Christ’s Birth. From start to finish, this change relied on the testimonies of Samuel and Nephi, including the supernal signs related to Samuel’s very specific timed prophesy of the signs of Christ’s Birth and the literal fulfillment of that prophesy with astronomical magnificence.

Example of the Mostly Unused Hebrew Calendar

In the Hebrew calendar, there is a “year of the world” value that after the turning over of the first month Nisan this spring (2016) is currently set at 5776. John Pratt has provided compelling evidence that this Hebrew calendar date for the years since the beginning of mortality should be set at 6016.[iii] [iv]

Because the Hebrew calendar is a calendar we don’t actually use in daily legal, business and personal date transactions, we pay little attention to the exact year of a particular version of that calendar. We still believe that there is a “year of the world” value that God knows and is accurate. In the meantime, most certainly agree to let the research and study of the Hebrew calendar continue.[v]

Picture #3 - Hebrew Calendar

The Hebrew Calendar with its year of the world number varies substantially over its various versions from 5776 to 6016. If this calendar were to become a universal calendar used for a society or the world, a specific version would have to be used with one formula for the year number.

General Conference as a Specialized Calendar

An example of a calendar that has an unambiguous, recognized zero year and would be mostly meaningless without it is the LDS General Conference years on top of our current calendar. It would seem ridiculous to use or even create such a special calendar if the zero year was not known to be 1830 when the Church was organized. Using this specialized calendar is important as conferences are celebrated. The two 1980 General Conferences are correctly identified as being contained in the 150th year of General Conferences. Creating a new calendar after this manner shows that renumbering the year unambiguously with a single formula really is a characteristic of such a calendar.[vi]

Picture #4 - 1590882-oct 2015 general conference

The First Presidency at April 2016 General Conference, the 186th Annual General Conference of the Church, with the “zero year” set to 1830.

Many Opinions (Versions) on our Modern Calendar Zero Year

Today, few scholars or leaders, religious or secular, support 1 BC as the year of Christ’s Birth. Even among latter-day saints, few scholars support the validity of that year as the one when the great sign of His birth, the night without darkness, appeared in the new world and the new star appeared in the nighttime sky which was viewed worldwide.

Since the version we use of the modern calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, already changed to be based on the 1 BC starting year, has become the universal calendar used daily constantly throughout the world, it becomes very problematic if this zero year, the heart of the calendar itself, is not correct.

If the single year, 1 BC, is not the birth year of Jesus Christ, but rather that the year is an approximate date range of 4-5 BC, then every date, official or otherwise, chronicled by the calendar would technically be in error. That is, every year, noted in many official documents to be “the year of Our Lord,” would be wrong.

Also, when a calendar is updated to a new zero year, the calculation logic for that update of the new base year requires a single value. For example, if Christ’s birth year is somewhere between 4-5 BC and that year range was implemented in the calendar algorithm, then this year, 2016, would be the year 2019 or the year 2020. Having two (or more) possible results for the year are not valid return values for the Year() or the YearOfOurLord() function calculation in the calendar algorithm. This fact can be easily understood if you considered that with two values for every year you might be a year early or a year late for your doctor’s appointment.

Ancient and Modern Prophets to the Rescue!

Samuel, Nephi and Mormon testified of how their calendar was adjusted under the direction of Prophets. The Book of Mormon contains the prophesies, including the very specific five year prophesy of His Birth. The official records made by those Prophets on the plates and the interpretation of those signs and wonders validated to the very day the Birth, Death and Resurrection dates of Jesus Christ.

In the context of disbelief in 1 BC as the correct year of His Birth reflected in our modern calendar, the testimonies of Elder James E. Talmage, President Spencer W. Kimball and other Apostles and Prophets strongly support a specific birthdate of April 6, 1 BC for Jesus Christ.

They testify that April 6, 1830, the date of the organization of the Church, really is “one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh” (D&C 20:1) They testify that the year number used everywhere in date calculations throughout the world representing the “year of our Lord” is accurate.[vii]

Why So Bold a Declaration by Elder James E. Talmage?

The strongest, most unambiguous declaration by an apostle supporting April 6, 1 BC as Jesus’ Birth date, which is coupled with the 33 AD Death and Resurrection dates, is contained in Elder James E. Talmage’s book Jesus the Christ, published in 1915 and recently republished as an electronic edition by Meridian Magazine.[viii]

“Apostle, scientist and scholar James E. Talmage added a belief statement to the Church’s doctrinal list in his landmark book Jesus the Christ when he declared: ‘We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, [1 BC].’

“Instead of a modest statement supporting the Dionysian designation of 1 BC as the year zero of the Christian era via the April 6, [1 BC] date; instead of a note in the preface or a footnote in his chapter 8 discussion of the birth of the Savior; instead of saying ‘it seemed to me that’ or ‘I believe after study and contemplation that;’ instead of any of those options, Elder Talmage boldly declared that ‘we believe’ in April 6, [1 BC] as the birth date of the Redeemer of the world.”[ix]

Evidence that this powerful declaration was as Elder Talmage intended and that all of the book Jesus the Christ had been approved before publication is supported by the extensive review that occurred of the complete book by the First Presidency and Quorum of the twelve.

Picture #5 - James E. Talmage

Elder James E. Talmage, author of Jesus the Christ, published in 1915 and still the official Church volume for all missionaries on the Savior Jesus Christ.

Reading from an Institute Church history course manual:

“During eighteen separate sessions over a two-month period, Elder Talmage read the chapters to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for their input and approval.”

This statement on the review process by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve before Jesus the Christ’s publication provides further support for the truth of Elder Talmage’s bold declaration on the birthdate of the Lord Jesus Christ. This powerful assertion by Elder Talmage was made even though there are differing opinions that have been expressed by other General Authorities. Most specifically, since Elder Talmage’s day, these differing opinions include President J. Reuben Clark and Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

Right Except for One Misguided Assertion?

I have had discussions with latter-day saints who believe that Elder Talmage is wrong and that the fact that Jesus the Christ was written in the temple does not make his statement on the Lord’s Birth date true. I ask if there are any other statements in the book that they think are uninspired.

“No, everything else in the book is fine. It is just that one statement,” is the response. The book is fine except for one glaring four or three year calendar error!? Surely, I would think that there are other ways to interpret the rare lack of unanimous agreement on this topic by General Authorities in the quorums of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

President Kimball’s Testimony of April 6, 1 BC

Speaking as the Prophet and President of the Church in General Conference on the day of the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church, April 6, 1980,

President Spencer W. Kimball proclaimed “My brothers and sisters, today we not only celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the organization of the Church, but also the greatest event in human history since the birth of Christ on this day 1,980 years ago. Today, [April 6, 1980], is Easter Sunday!”[x]

Picture #6 - Spencer W. Kmball

In the 150th Annual General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball noted that April 6, 1980 was both the exact anniversary of Christ’s birth in 1 BC, but also Easter in 1980.

5-4 BC to 30 AD OR April 6, 1 BC to 33 AD

If the accuracy of the creation of our modern Christian Calendar is indeed important and these testimonies of apostles and prophets that it was done accurately both in the new and the old world is also something we ought to care about, then we should become informed on the issues regarding the dating of Christ’s Birth and also His Death and Resurrection.

The two options for dates in Jesus’ life that are most favored by latter-day saints are widely different from each other. And, with the lack of the typical unanimity among the highest quorums in the Church on the subject, the actual date of the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ remains a popular topic of debate and discussion in the Church.[xi] [xii]

BYU Professor Jeffrey Chadwick’s recent articles in BYU Studies on the birth and death of Christ support the 5-4 BC to 30 AD dates.[xiii] John Pratt’s life-long study of ancient calendars supports the 1 BC to 33 AD dates.

These two excellent researchers are the most active LDS writers particularly concerned with the dates in the life of Christ and evidence for the various opinions on the subject. I strongly recommend studying their articles. There is an extensive group of articles by these writers in the Ensign, BYU Studies, and Meridian Magazine.

Can Important Religious Dates be Discovered by Scientific and Scriptural Research?

One area where scholarly research has consistently been able to discover dates of important religious events has been the life-long work of astronomer John Pratt. His Meridian Magazine article on the uniqueness of this year’s Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, shows many aspects of the practical application of this scientific research.[xiv]

John Pratt’s work shows how one set of these dates for Jesus’ Birth, Death and Resurrection strongly correlates with Biblical and many other historical dates while the other set of dates does not. This research adds another piece of important evidence in favor of what the real Birth, Death and Resurrection dates are.

John Pratt’s research that has discovered over 200 important dates in religious history found in his astronomical reconstruction of 14 ancient calendars is so strongly interlocking that it now it forms compelling evidence that the April 6, 1 BC Birth, April 1, 33 AD Death and April 3, 33 AD Resurrection dates for Jesus are indeed correct.[xv]

I highly recommend an article entitled “Twelve Steps from Christ to Adam” which shows how the April 6, 1 BC and April 3, 33 AD dates are key anchor dates for John Pratt’s ancient calendar models that then use normal calendar parameters such as rotations and orbits of solar system bodies.[xvi] 

Linking Book of Mormon New Christian Calendar to the Length of Jesus Christ’s Life

John Pratt discussed one calendar linkage between the Book of Mormon and the number of days in Jesus Christ’s lifetime.

“The Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants appear to be consistent to the very day concerning Jesus Christ’s birth date, the length of his life, and the date of the resurrection. An exact length for the Savior’s life can be deduced from the Book of Mormon, which records that Nephite reckoning began at the sign of his birth (see 3 Ne. 2:8) and that he died on the fourth day of the thirty-fourth year (see 3 Nephi 8:5). If Jesus was born on the first day of the first Nephite year (which may be implied), and if the years each had 365 days (consistent with the Egyptian and Mesoamerican calendars used before and after the Nephites), then Jesus lived 12,048 days. Counting 12,048 days after a Passover feast day on Thursday, 15 Nisan — 6 April 1 B.C. — brings one precisely to a Passover sacrifice day: Friday, 14 Nisan, 1 April A.D. 33 — the day indicated by the pattern in the law of Moses as the day of the death of the Lamb of God. Moreover, that is most likely the very day indicated by the Bible as the day that Jesus died. Such interscriptural consistency in these details provides a strong witness to the proposed dates of both the birth and the death of the Savior.”[xvii]

Pay Attention to Prophetic Witnesses of the Christian Calendar in the New and Old Worlds!

Samuel and Nephi, prophets who received revelation about and witnessed the signs and wonders associated with these real events: the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Christ, provide a clear pattern of how the Nephite nation adjusted their existing calendar to restart at the exact Birth day of the Savior Jesus Christ.

Modern apostles and prophets have also strongly testified that the year of Christ’s Birth adjustment to the Roman Calendar which became our Modern Calendar used worldwide was also made correctly. These testimonies are in spite of the period of apostasy during the early centuries of the Christian era and even though there are various scholarly, religious, and General Authority opinions as to when the key dates in the Savior’s life occurred.

Shouldn’t we become better informed about these most important events in history and their link to our universally used modern calendar?

 

[i] “Samuel the Lamanite,” LDS Media Library.

[https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/samuel-the-lamanite-39661?category=category/book-of-mormon-all-gospel-art&&lang=eng]

[ii] Mormon’s later testimony of Nephi’s credibility after the signs of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection:

“And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity—“ (3 Nephi 8:1)

[iii] John P. Pratt, “Venus and the Beginning of Mortality,” Meririan Magazine, July 9, 2003.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2003/mortal.html]

“The Venus Calendar may provide a scientific method of precisely determining the chronology in the Book of Genesis, beginning with the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.”

[iv] John P. Pratt, “The Hebrew Calendar Testifies of the Creator,” Meridian Magazine, October 26, 2007.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2007/hebrew.html]

“The precise lengths of the solar year and lunar month were apparently designed to fit the day-year pattern of the Hebrew calendar.”

[v] “Hebrew Calendar Date Converter,” Accessed 6/4/2016.

[https://www.hebcal.com/converter/]

[vi] “April 2016 General Conference,” lds.org.

[https://www.lds.org/church/events/april-2016-general-conference?lang=eng]

“All members of the Church are invited to participate in the 186th Annual General Conference of the Church.

“The First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church will deliver messages of inspiration and guidance in six sessions:”

[vii] James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Gutenburg Project, 1915, p. 103.

[http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22542/22542-h/22542-h.htm]

“The time of Messiah’s birth is a subject upon which specialists in theology and history, and those who are designated in literature “the learned,” fail to agree. Numerous lines of investigation have been followed, only to reach divergent conclusions, both as to the year and as to the month and day within the year at which the “Christian era” in reality began. The establishment of the birth of Christ as an event marking a time from which chronological data should be calculated, was first effected about 532 A.D. by Dionysius Exiguus; and as a basis for the reckoning of time this method has come to be known as the Dionysian system, and takes for its fundamental datum A.U.C. 753, that is to say 753 years after the founding of Rome, as the year of our Lord’s birth. So far as there exists any consensus of opinion among later scholars who have investigated the subject, it is to the effect that the Dionysian calculation is wrong, in that it places the birth of Christ between three and four years too late; and that therefore our Lord was born in the third or fourth year before the beginning of what is designated by the scholars of Oxford and Cambridge, “the Common Account called Anno Domini.”[246]

“Without attempting to analyze the mass of calculation data relating to this subject, we accept the Dionysian basis as correct with respect to the year, which is to say that we believe Christ to have been born in the year known to us as B.C. 1, and, as shall be shown, in an early month of that year. In support of this belief we cite the inspired record known as the “Revelation on Church Government, given through Joseph the Prophet, in April, 1830,” which opens with these words: “The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh.”[247]”

[viii] Scot Facer Proctor, “Sneak Preview of the New, Amazing, Electronic Edition of Talmage’s Jesus the Christ,” September 24, 2015.

“This month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landmark publication of Elder James E. Talmage’s Jesus the Christ. Most of us have been greatly influenced by this wonderful book. Many tie their testimonies of the Savior to their first reading of this book. Others have made a life-long study of Talmage’s work. It is required reading for missionaries. No book in our culture, save the scriptures, has been sold or distributed wider. It truly is a foundational work. What better way to celebrate this most amazing and sacred publication than to announce the ‘production’ of the Second Century Edition! Let me explain why I purposely used the word ‘production’ rather than publication.”

[ix] Ronald P. Millett, “Why So Bold a Statement? Elder James E. Talmage and April 6,” Meridian Magazine, November 12, 2012.

[https://ldsmag.com/article-1-11759/]

[x] Spencer W. Kimball, “Remarks and Dedication of the Fayette, New York, Buildings,” Ensign, May, 1980. Emphasis added.

[https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/04/remarks-and-dedication-of-the-fayette-new-york-buildings?lang=eng]

RPMNote: The original Easter is that greatest event remembered annually with our celebration of Easter. 1980 was a year where April 6th was Easter Sunday as well as April 6th.

See also David A. Bednar, “Bear up their burdens with ease,” April, 2014 General Conference, April 6, 2014.

[https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/bear-up-their-burdens-with-ease?lang=eng&_r=1]

“Today is April 6. We know by revelation that today is the actual and accurate date of the Savior’s birth.”

Picture from: Spencer W. Kimball, “General Conference,” Retrieved 6/5/2016.

[https://www.lds.org/general-conference/speakers/archive?page=1&speaker=Spencer%20W.%20Kimball&lang=eng]

[xi] Supporting the 1 BC to 33 AD date option:

John P. Pratt, “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 1: Dating the First Easter,” Ensign, June 1985.

[https://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/06/the-restoration-of-priesthood-keys-on-easter-1836-part-1-dating-the-first-easter?lang=eng]

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/easter/dating.html]

“This first article reviews how the disciplines of scriptural study, history, and astronomy can be used to propose from the New Testament a precise date for the Savior’s resurrection: Sunday, 3 April A.D. 33, on our calendar. After noting some of the reasons why other dates have been proposed, this article suggests that modern revelation supports that date.

“Part 2 will consider the relationship of the Passover ceremony to the Lamb of God and then will discuss the return of the Savior, Moses, Elias, and Elijah; the priesthood keys and authority they restored; and the significance of this restoration occurring on 3 April 1836.”

Specific references supporting 1 BC Birth date in this article:

“Since the organization of the Church on 6 April 1830, many members have believed that Jesus was born on 6 April 1 BC This belief is based on a revelation stating that the Church was organized “one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.” (D&C 20:1.)”

John P. Pratt, “The Restoration of Priesthood Keys on Easter 1836, Part 2: Symbolism of Passover and of Elijah’s Return,” Ensign, June 1985.

[ https://www.lds.org/ensign/1985/07/the-restoration-of-priesthood-keys-on-easter-1836-part-2-symbolism-of-passover-and-of-elijahs-return?lang=eng]

“On Easter Sunday, 3 April 1836, the Savior, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared in succession in the Kirtland Temple and restored priesthood keys required for the dispensation of the fulness of times. (See D&C 110.) Elijah’s coming had been prophesied more than twenty-two centuries earlier by Malachi. (See Mal. 4:5; D&C 110:14.)

“This article reviews the importance of that restoration and suggests that it occurred on a day chosen in part because of its symbolic significance. To help us appreciate this symbolism, it will be shown that even the timing of the Lord’s death and resurrection was foreshadowed in the Passover ceremony. Then the return of Elijah, which the Jews have long anticipated at Passover, will be discussed, as well as the symbolism of the day Elijah returned in 1836.”

RPMNote: The 33 AD date fits in with this analysis to link in with the 1836 date while the 30 AD date does not. This allows scholarly analysis based on research to promote one Resurrection date over the other.

[xii] Supporting the 5-4 BC Birth and 30 AD Death and Resurrection dates:

Jeffery R. Chadwick,Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ” BYU Studies 49:4, 2010

[http://byustudies.byu.edu/content/dating-birth-christ]

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken no official position on the exact date of Christ’s birth. In his 1915 classic Jesus the Christ, Elder James E. Talmage maintained that Jesus Christ was born on April 6 in the year 1 BC. Talmage was apparently the first LDS writer to propose this particular date. Nearly a century has passed since his book appeared, and in that time it has become practically axiomatic among Latter-day Saints that Jesus was born on April 6 in that year. Two other Apostles, President J. Reuben Clark and Elder Bruce R. McConkie, published major studies on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and proposed that Jesus was born in late 5 BC or early 4 BC. In this article, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Jerusalem Center Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies, draws upon many sources—scriptural, historical, archeological, and astronomical—to shed light on the probable date of the Savior’s birth. Using the known date of Herod the Great’s death, information from the Book of Mormon about the length of Jesus’s life, technical details about the Jewish lunar-solar calendar, the timing of the Annunciation to Mary, and other historical data, Chadwick narrows the window of time in which the Savior would have been born to December of 5 BC. The author is careful to deal with statements made by latter-day prophets supporting the April 6, 1 BC, date first proposed by Elder Talmage. Chadwick is able to show that these statements always occur in talks given about other topics (not expressly about the date of Christ’s birth) and probably rely on Elder Talmage’s assumptions. But a careful look at Doctrine and Covenants 20:1, upon which Talmage’s proposal is based, shows that this verse was not a revelation by the Lord about his birth date. In fact, the verse is likely prefatory material dictated by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribe with the express purpose of establishing the date of the Church’s organization rather than the date of the Savior’s birth.”

Page 8: “A significant number of later General Authorities, including Church Presidents Harold B. Lee,

Spencer W. Kimball, and Gordon B. Hinckley, have commented on the April 6 date

warmly and acceptingly but without explanation or greater specificity.

“Elder Talmage had stated his position in words perhaps implying that this view or belief was obligatory on the entire membership of the Church: ‘We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6,

[1 BC].’This statement notwithstanding, the two highest-ranking General Authorities who subsequently published their writings on Jesus’s life and ministry took positions different from Elder Talmage’s.

“President J. Reuben Clark, who served as both First and Second Counselor in the First Presidency, published

Our Lord of the Gospels in 1954. This book was reprinted as an official publication of the Church when it was released as a Melchizedek Priesthood manual for 1958. In Our Lord of the Gospels, Clark pointed to the traditional early winter time frame for the date of Jesus’s birth. He explained: ‘I am not proposing any date as the true date. But in order to be as helpful to students as I could, I have taken as the date of the Savior’s birth the date now accepted by many scholars,—late 5 b.c. or early 4 b.c.”

“[Elder Bruce R.] McConkie dated the Annunciation to Mary in March or April of 5 bc, and the birth of Jesus in December of 5 bc (with the caveat that his birth could also have occurred from January to April of 4 bc).”

RPMNote: President Clark’s quotes come from the preface of his book and Elder McConkie’s quote comes from a footnote. Elder Talmage’s quote is the only one with a bold declaration in the text of his book.

Chadwick’s discussion of John Pratt’s publications:

“John P. Pratt has written a series of articles in favor of both a birth date for Jesus on April 6 of 1 bc and a date for his death on April 1 of ad 33, utilizing Gregorian calendar dating. Articles in which he argued for these dates appeared in the Ensign in 1985 and 1994. LDS-oriented website Meridian Magazine has featured others of his articles on numerous occasions.”

[xiii] Jeffery R. Chadwick,Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ” BYU Studies 49:4, 2010

[http://byustudies.byu.edu/content/dating-birth-christ]

Jeffery R. Chadwick, “Dating the Death of Jesus Christ” (BYU Studies Quarterly 54:4, 2015) [http://byustudies.byu.edu/content/dating-death-jesus-christ]

“In December 2010, BYU Studies published a study by Jeffrey R. Chadwick entitled “Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ.” It presented historical and scriptural evidence showing that Jesus was not born in April of 1 BC, as popular Latter-day Saint thought supposed, but most likely in December of 5 BC. A significant component in “Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ” was the proposition that Jesus died at Passover in the early spring of AD 30. While this dating is widely accepted, a minority of scholars disagree. A great deal of historical and scriptural evidence suggests otherwise, however, and this study demonstrates, with some degree of certainty, that Jesus did in fact die in AD 30, on the eve of Passover, the 14th day of the Jewish month Nisan, which in that year fell on April 6 in the old Julian calendar. This study also presents evidence that the day on which Jesus died was not a Friday, but the fifth day of the Jewish week, the day we call Thursday. This paper introduces a great deal of data to support the author’s conclusions, including modern scholarly assessments, original primary historical references, citations from the New Testament and the Mishnah, astronomical information, and tables that display the timing of events.”

RPMNote: It is interesting that Chadwick mentions nothing about John Pratt’s research in this latest landmark paper whereas much was discussed in Chadwick’s 2011 article on the Birth date of Christ. The 1985 Ensign articles by John Pratt discuss the Birth date but are focused on the Death and Resurrection (First Easter) dates.

Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “The Real Day of Jesus’ Death,” Meridian Magazine, March 21, 2016.

[ https://ldsmag.com/the-real-day-of-jesus-death/]

“Dozens of these clues were explored in a recently published academic article I prepared, which appeared in the most recent number of BYU Studies Quarterly (December 2015). In that article it is demonstrated that Jesus was executed on the fifth day of the week, which we call Thursday. This occurred in the year AD 30 (rather than AD 33, as some LDS sources often maintain). Moreover, the calendar date of that Thursday was April 6 in the Julian calendar in Roman use at the time. For those interested in examining all of the evidence in the 57 page article, a link will appear below. Right now, I’ll just rehearse a few of the main points.”

[xiv] John P. Pratt, “This Easter is Unique in All of History,” Meridian Magazine, 23 Mar 2016.

[http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/2016/unique_easter.html]

“Easter Sunday this year on 27 Mar 2016 is unique in history in symbolizing both the Savior’s birth and resurrection.

“Easter Sunday celebrates what is to most Christians the most important event in all of history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of mankind. It is a day to remember and contemplate all that the Savior has done for us, especially giving everyone the gift of resurrection. This article announces that Easter this year, Sun 27 Mar 2016, occurs on holy days on two other sacred calendars which makes it unique in all of history and especially symbolic of both the Savior’s birth and resurrection.”

[xv] John P. Pratt, “Religious Chronology Summary,” December 12, 2014.

[http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/dates.html]

[xvi] John P. Pratt, “Twelve Steps from Christ to Adam,” Meridian Magazine, December 23, 2014.

[http://johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2014/twelve_steps.html]

“A precise chronology from Christ back to Adam is created in twelve steps, requiring only minimal knowledge of Biblical history and the Venus Calendar.

“Over the past three decades, fourteen sacred calendars have been discovered which have been used to create a chronology from Adam through the present day. Many of the key religious events of history occurred on dates which are holy days on many of those calendars simultaneously. Each calendar provides one thread of testimony, but together the threads are woven into a strong rope which provides compelling evidence of the overall accuracy of the chronology.”

[xvii] John P. Pratt, “Passover: Was it symbolic of His Coming?” The Ensign, January 1994.

[http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/passover/passover.html]

“Not only was Passover a prophetic symbol of the Lord’s sacrifice, its timing foreshadowed the coming of the Savior in the meridian of time.”