Editor's note: This has been updated from the print version.

"Most scholars accept that Jesus was born around 4/5 B.C. and died around 29, based on the Roman and local officials mentioned in the Gospels," notes EWTN’s vice president of theology, Colin Donovan.

"A monk, who lived several hundred years after Christ, came up with a calendar based on when Jesus was born to replace the Roman one, based on the founding of the city of Rome (in 753 B.C.). He was quite certainly wrong in placing the Nativity — and thus the year 1 and other dates related to Christ’s life and mission.

"John Paul II alluded to the chronological question in his apostolic letter on the Jubilee (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 15), since it was likely we arrived at the millennium in 1996, not 2000. The Church, nonetheless, celebrated the year by the calendar we have and will likely also do so for the 2,000th anniversary of the Redemption — that is, keep it in 2033, rather than 2029."


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