Question: I have been told that it would be impossible for Luke 2:8 to be true, as the shepherds and their flocks could not have been in the fields since it was winter. They say Christ could not have been born at this time. Is this true?
Answer: In 1971 a friend of mine was traveling in the Holy Land. On December 25th the group observed sheep feeding in the fields on grass over a foot high. There was grass from Dan to Beersheba, even to Jericho, with cattle and sheep feeding. This is the time of the "greater rains" which ran from October through December. This is when our Lord was born in an empty stable. (Luke 2:6,7)
In 1 Chronicles 24:1-18, there were 24 priests with two serving each month. Abijah served during the 8th order (1 Chronicles 24:10), which is the 4th month or July. (The first month in the Jewish calendar, Abib, is our April.) Read Luke 1:5, which is the same course found in 1 Chronicles 24. "Abijah" (Hebrew) and "Abiah’ (Greek) are the same. Therefore, Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist was serving his term during July.
In Luke 1:23-37 we find Elisabeth conceived in either August or September. Her first month was September or October. Notice...in Elizabeth’s 6th month, February or March, the Virgin Mary conceived. (Luke 1:36). Mary’s first month was March or April; therefore, her 9th month would be either November or December. Since the "greater rains" are in December, causing the grass to grow, it is fitting that Luke 2:8 should tell that the shepherds and their sheep were in the fields at the time of Christ’s birth.
The middle verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:8 and is so true.
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."