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When did Mary become pregnant with Jesus?

Thank you so much for this note to us here at TruthBook.

You commented: "Your explanation on how Joseph and Mary got married was not detailed enough; was it around the time Joseph was working for Mary's father that Mary got pregnant with Jesus?"

You're obviously reading in the Jesus papers, some of the best of The Urantia Book...here are some clues from the text that might help answer your questions about when Mary conceived Jesus...sometimes, we have to read "between the lines" to get the whole story. And remember, in the years marked "B.C.," we count backwards – so that 8, B.C. is the year before 7, B.C., the date of Jesus' birth as revealed in the book.

In this passage, we read about the meeting of Mary and Joseph:

122:5.8 When Joseph was a young man, he was employed by Mary’s father in the work of building an addition to his house, and it was when Mary brought Joseph a cup of water, during a noontime meal, that the courtship of the pair who were destined to become the parents of Jesus really began.

We can infer that this was in the year 9, B.C., and we know that Joseph would have been about 19 years-old because in this next passage, we'll read that Joseph was 21 when they were married after a  2-year courtship.

122:5.9 Joseph and Mary were married, in accordance with Jewish custom, at Mary’s home in the environs of Nazareth when Joseph was twenty-one years old. This marriage concluded a normal courtship of almost two years’ duration. Shortly thereafter they moved into their new home in Nazareth, which had been built by Joseph with the assistance of two of his brothers.

We don't know whether Joseph continued to work for Mary's father during the courtship, but 2 years later, after their courtship, we learn that the pair were married, and that Joseph was called to the census:

122:7.1 In the month of March, 8 B.C. (the month Joseph and Mary were married), Caesar Augustus decreed that all inhabitants of the Roman Empire should be numbered, that a census should be made which could be used for effecting better taxation...Throughout all the Roman Empire this census was registered in the year 8 B.C., except in the Palestinian kingdom of Herod, where it was taken in 7 B.C., one year later.

Eight months later, in November of 8, B.C., Gabriel appeared to Mary:

122:2.6 Gabriel appeared to Mary about the middle of November, 8 B.C., while she was at work in her Nazareth home.
122:3.4 Gabriel’s announcement to Mary was made the day following the conception of Jesus and was the only event of supernatural occurrence connected with her entire experience of carrying and bearing the child of promise.

If we count back nine months from August of 7, B.C. (Jesus' birthdate), we can see that this information adds up. The passage above states that Mary and Joseph were married in March of 8, B.C., so we can infer that Jesus was conceived about 8 months after their marriage, in November of 8, B.C.

And of course, we know that nine months later, in August of 7, B.C., Jesus was born in Bethlehem, when they traveled there for the census.

Please feel free to reference our informative Timeline, too, for accurate information about other events in the Master's life

Thanks so much for this important question regarding Jesus conception, his parents, and the events surrounding his birth on Urantia. I hope that this reply has been helpful...

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Author: Staff