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Toward this end, Dionysius changed the system of dating years from the Roman system and the Alexandrian system to his own in which his present era dated from the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.His choice also eliminated another problem he found troubling: dating events from the reign of an emperor who had killed so many Christians.Dionysius was seeking to bring the eastern and western churches into agreement on a single day on which all Christians would celebrate Easter.

This calendar remained in use, with periodic revisions, until 1582 CE when Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian Calendar still in use in the present day.

He did not begin his efforts at reforming the calendar to accurately date the birth of Jesus of Nazareth; he did it in accordance with the wishes of the pope of the time who wanted Constantine's vision realized.

The Easter celebration of the resurrection was considered the most important of the church and Constantine, and those in power who followed him, wanted the event observed by all churches on the same day.

It was Dionysius' job to help make this happen and he tried to do so by reforming the calendar; calculating the date of Jesus' birth was a means to this end, not an end in itself.

Using the four gospels to determine Jesus' birth, however, is problematic since the Gospel of John does not agree with the other three and Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not always agree with each other regarding significant events. Cargill explains: According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great.

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