December 25 has marked the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth for most Christians ever since the 4th or 5th century, but scholars question whether that date is historically accurate. The Gospels themselves do not pinpoint an exact date, but they do offer some clues.
St. Luke gives us the most information regarding the birth of Jesus.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin′i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem… And [Mary] gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-4,7)
This and the fact that the shepherds are out with their sheep during the night could point, according to some scholars, to “the spring lambing season.” However, shepherds in this region are found with their sheep at all times of the year and so this evidence does not definitively pinpoint a particular season of the year.