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In the Pope’s new book Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, he reveals that the Christian calendar, which is based on the year of Jesus’ birth, is off by several years.
The book says that Jesus was actually born sometime between 7 B.C. and 2 B.C.
“The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote, ABC News reports. “The actual date of Jesus’ birth was several years before.”
According to The Telegraph, “miscalculation” was made by sixth century monk Dionysius Exiguus. He created the system of Anno Domini (A.D.), which counts years based on Jesus’ birth date.
The book was published Wednesday and it initially saw one million copies being distributed.
The miscalculation is no new rumor, as it has been circulating for a while now, but it is significant in that it’s the first time an official figure in the church has come forward with it.