Christmas Date: Not what you thought

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by shodan, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. shodan

    shodan
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    Every year, somewhere in the Christian neighborhood, some Grinch will seek to steal the spotlight from Christ. Grinches bring up the myth that Christmas was based on a pagan holiday.

    Here are two articles that set the record straight.

    The key point is that December 25th was arrived at via the Jewish tradition that conception and death occurred on the same day for a prophet. The date of Christ's death was calculated to be 25 March With the death/conception tradition, 9 months later is December 25. (The articles do NOT claim that Dec 25th is accurate, just that it was not derived from pagan myths--keep that distinction clear in your mind.)

    Main Article: Prof. Wm. Tighe (Ph.D., Cambridge)


    LInks:

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-v

    Dr Anthony McRoy:
    http://www.answering-islam.org/pagan/christmas.html


    "...A prominent Roman Studies specialist, Dr Steven Hijmans, has demonstrated that contrary to claims . . . Aurelian’s religion was a development of the existing Roman cult. Moreover, in Hijmans’ article, Sol Invictus, the Winter Solstice and the Origins of Christmas, we read: ‘…December 25 was neither a longstanding nor an especially important feast day of Sol… the suggestion that it was established by Aurelian cannot be proven. In fact, there is no firm evidence that this feast of Sol on December 25 antedates the feast of Christmas at all.’ He continues: ‘The traditional feast days of Sol… were August 8, August 9, August 28, and December 11[/B]. Of these, only August 28 is still mentioned in the Calendar of 354, along with October 19 and October 22, the latter being the most important, judging by the 36 chariot races with which it was celebrated.’

    "He also emphasises that we must distinguish between the Sun-god - the cult of Sol - and the Sun - i.e. the astronomical body. Hijmans states that the failure to differentiate ‘between astronomy and cult’ touches upon the ‘fatal flaw in the contention that Christmas was instituted on December 25 to counteract a pagan feast.’ The winter solstice in December was an astronomical event: the major feast of Sol, the sun-god, was October 22. Christians could deal with the astronomical symbolism of the sun, without engaging the deity Sol. Thus Natalis Solis Invicti i.e. the winter solstice, observed on December 25, was recognised as the ‘birthday’ of the astronomical entity, not necessarily the solar deity! This allowed the Christians to utilise the imagery of Malachi 4:2 - that Christ was the ‘Sun of Righteousness’.

    "The essential point is this: if Aurelian did not initiate any festival on 25 December, and there was no major festival before that, it follows that the Christian feast of the Nativity – Christmas – cannot be construed as deriving from a pagan festival!"
     
  2. Walter

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    Thank you for posting this. I mentioned something about this on another thread and everyone is so anxious to believe December 25 is the perpetuation of a pagan holiday that it was ignored. I just sat through about an hour long lecture given to me by one of my JW family members about how Christmas is pagan. Of course, they already think that Catholicism is pagan and me putting up a tree and other Christmas decorations is only confirming for them that I am a pagan. I decided to play into it. I told them that I am going to seek out as many Germanic pagan winter things that I can and incorporate them into my celebration this year, I usually only put up a tree. But this year, I am doing all the pagan things. I am gonna get a Yule log, mistletoe, a wreath, drink mead, etc. I am even thinking about going "a wasailing" this year. :thumbs:
     
  3. DHK

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    The two articles don't set anything right. They do agree on one thing.
    There was no celebration of the birth of Christ until the fourth century. The early Christians did not celebrate the birth of Christ. That took four centuries. In fact the only birth celebrated in the NT was than of Herod, and we know what that resulted in: A seductive dance by his step-daugher, a request from her mother, and the gruesome beheading of John the Baptist! Some birthday party! They were held by pagans not by Christians.

    Christians commemorated the deaths of loved ones, as in the death of Christ. He instituted, at the Last Supper, the Communion Table, a time to remember His Death, burial and resurrection. But never did he institute a time to remember his birth.

    The second link you provided was based on a false premise. The author, in his mind, wants an answer for Islam and J.W.'s. "What do I tell them?" Instead of telling them the truth he skews the facts. It is a dishonest presentation of the facts to placate not only his mind but to give an answer to non-believers.
    The truth is better. Why not agree with them?
    Agree with the J.W. Yes, you are right. Christ was not born on December 25th and no one knows what day he was born. It was probably in the spring.

    From there use your own soul liberty.
    For example, I would say: "Therefore, I agree and do not celebrate Christmas," (and that would totally shock them).

    However you could give another answer according to your own conscience: This is the reason I do: Not for commercialism, not for greediness, not for traditionalism, etc. but to honor Christ.

    It is better to be honest with the facts. Look them up in secular encyclopedias: Britannica, World Encyclopedia, etc. They will not agree with your sources. Christmas is on the same day as a pagan festival. It is on that day because the Christians wanted to celebrate, wanted a holiday just like the pagans.
    It reminds me of Israel. "Give us a king like all the other nations."
    We want to be like everyone else. It is called worldliness.
    There was a time when the celebration of Christmas was against the law.
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    Christmas has become the Holiday for the secular world to celebrate, while to the Early Christians, far more important was to remember his death and resurrection, so easter would be the main one for us to celebrate and focus on...

    I tend to view all of this as under christian liberty in christ though, for God gives to each of us the freedom to chose to celebrate Christman/easter, and if we do or do not, base it upon a good conscious and persuaded from the scriptures!
     
  5. Getting it Right

    Getting it Right
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    Observing Christmas

    Thank You! A refreshing reminder!

    :thumbs::wavey:
     
  6. Melanie

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    Thank you Walter for the articles. It certainly does nothing to add or subtract from celebrating this important Christian feast day , but it is always interesting to learn something new ( to me anyway!) .
     
  7. Bro. James

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    Another chapter in the war between Encyclopaedia Britannica and New Advent Encyclopedia.

    Dumb question: What does the Word of God say?

    Has anyone considered moving Fat Tuesday closer to Saturnalia?

    Does the date for Easter still depend on astrological considerations? Was this a major consideration at the Nicea Council in the 4th century-- the one presided by the pagan Emperor: Constantine, The Great One?

    Watch and pray--Satan is still devouring the world--no time for celebrations.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #7 Bro. James, Dec 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2014
  8. PreachTony

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    I've seen a lot of posting lately about the date of Christmas, and some people saying that we shouldn't celebrate it. I've read in some places online that you are not a true Christian if you celebrate Christmas. None of that sits well with me. Granted, I love the Christmas season. Always have. The closeness of family, the cold weather, the lights in the (all too rare here in Georgia) snow...I love it.

    Now, is it scriptural? No, not really. We don't know on what day Jesus was born. Scriptural evidence seems to point to spring or perhaps early autumn. There are various stories out there about how Christmas settled on December 25. You have the co-opting of pagan festivals like Saturnalia or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which all fall anywhere between December 13 and the end of the year. This theory seems to hold the most water.

    But really, what does it matter? It is a holiday in which, like Easter, we see more people in church than on almost any other given Sunday. I almost take the same approach Paul took in saying:
    Even though not everyone was sincere in their exercise of preaching the gospel, Paul noted that at least Christ was preached, meaning that the word was going out, and that the Holy Ghost of God could work through those that heard it.

    Even if we've picked the wrong date, or if you think that we shouldn't celebrate the incarnation of Christ into this world, at least Christ is preached, at least more people are hearing about it. And in that shouldn't we likewise rejoice?
     
  9. DHK

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  10. JonC

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    I knew that Irenaeus believed Jesus was conceived on 25 March, but I never knew why. Although I am not willing to say "accurate," it is interesting.
     
  11. shodan

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    Yes, no one is saying it is accurate, only that this was a Jewish tradition that, if followed, was the basis for Dec. 25.

    ' Dr David Gwynn, lecturer in ancient and late antique history at Royal Holloway, University of London, says..." ‘The majority of modern scholars would be reluctant to accept any close connection between the Saturnalia and the emergence of the Christian Christmas.’
     
  12. Eliyahu

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    Christmas is nothing but the pagan holiday, festival.


    Christmas may be the abreviation of Christ+ Mass. Check with the dictionary or etymology book.

    Mass performs the mock sacrifice because Catholics don't believe the eternal effect of the Sacrifice at Crosss Once For All where RCC ask their god to forgive their sins because they don't believe their sins were already forgiven at the Cross.

    Mass may have come from < Macto, Mactare> which means slaughter, kill, punish

    while Missa may have come from <mitto, mittare> which means emit, dismiss, emitting the blood.


    I don't want to kill Christ. I don't want Jesus bleed His Blood again.
    Jesus was slaughtered Once For ALL, which is enough for me and for all the people of the world.

    So, I don't celebrate Christmas.



    Eliyahu
     
  13. JonC

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    If you believe that by celebrating Christmas you would be killing Christ, or desiring Jesus to "bleed His blood again", then it certainly would be inappropriate for you to celebrate Christmas as for you to do so would be active rebellion. I suppose it is different for those who came out of the RCC, or other religions that held Mass (I've only been a member of Baptist churches and this Catholic definition is not the only thing Baptists reject). I prefer to glorify God through worship along with celebrating Christmas with my family...but my observance is not restricted to antiquated definitions.

    In fact, I don't know why so many are stuck on antiquated definitions here and not elsewhere. Not too long ago someone had a post about bullies. But, you know, the archaic definition is a complement. Just imagine if we all argued against things by using meanings that no longer applied or didn't apply to the context of the argument (e.g., Christmas meaning Mass for Christ on a Baptist board). It'd be pure foolishness.
     
  14. Walter

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  15. TCassidy

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    "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures . . . "

    Check out Luke 1:5-and following.

    Zachariah was a priest who served in the Temple in the Course of Abijah. According to 2 Ch 23:8; 24:7-19; each course served for one week and Abijah's course was the 8th. Zachariah would have served in the 8th week following the beginning of the month Nissan, which begins the Jewish calendar year (1 Chr 24:10).

    Nothing much was happening at that time (no feast days) so it would not fit the narrative of verse 10 (And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense).

    However, after the 24th course served they started all over again so we have to add 24 weeks, plus 8 weeks, plus 2 weeks for the feast days when all courses served. That puts us at week 34, on or about the 10th of Tishri which was also the Day of Atonement which would not only account for the "whole multitude of the people" as well as the topic of the Angel's talk with Zachariah about the Atonement (Luke 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.)

    10 Tishri is late September. Zachariah went home and Elizabeth got pregnant, so John was born 9 months later in late June.

    Jesus was 6 months younger than John, so He would have been born in late December (Luke 1:26).

    It's all there. All you have to do is dig a little bit.
     
  16. Salty

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    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecc 3:1

    And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Lev 23:41
     
  17. Bro. James

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    Backup to Eccles. 1:14,17; 2:11,17,22,26.

    Fwd to: 4:4,6,16; 6:9

    Feasts and such were for Israel. All OT laws were fulfilled at Calvary, and are not obligatory to Gentiles anyway. In Christ, there is no more Jew and Gentile.

    See also Gal. 4:10. The Galatians were having a problem with holly-days. Paul called them foolish and bewitched.

    There is a sizeable group called Christian which has some sort of observance for every day of the Gregorian Calendar--usually some feast day for a Saint. One can even buy a medal and pray to them.

    "In vain do ye worship, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"

    What a waste of precious time!!! All of these works will burn. Now what?

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  18. Salty

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    Okay - you have convinced me.

    Please give me the location of the Puritan commune that you are associated with so I may start living the proper life.
     
  19. Getting it Right

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    O Come Let Us Adore Him........

    Christ, Messiah, Jesus, Savior, Prince of Peace.

    And all God's children said, "Amen."

    :jesus:
     
  20. DHK

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