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The Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    It’s generally accepted that early Christians adopted December 25th as the day of Christ’s birth to co-opt the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Some believe this fact undermines Christianity.

    But according to Professor William Tighe, this “fact” may actually be a myth.

    Based on his extensive research, Tighe argues that the December 25th date “arose entirely from the efforts of early Latin Christians to determine the historical date of Christ’s death.” He also goes so far as to claim that the December 25th pagan feast of the “'Birth of the Unconquered Sun'… was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance of Roman Christians.”

    Tighe explains…

    In the Jewish tradition at the time of Christ, there was a belief in what they called the “integral age”—that the prophets had died on the same days of their conception or birth. Early Christians spent much energy on determining the exact date of Christ’s death. Using historical sources, Christians in the first or second century settled on March 25th as the date of his crucifixion. Soon after, March 25th became the accepted date of Christ’s conception, as well.

    Add nine months—the standard term of a pregnancy—to March 25th, and Christians came up with December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth.

    It is unknown exactly when Christians began formally celebrating December 25th as a feast. What is known, however, is that the date of December 25th “had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time (Roman emperor from 270-275), nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.” According to Tighe, Aurelian intended the new feast “to be a symbol of the hoped-for ‘rebirth,’ or perpetual rejuvenation, of the Roman Empire…. [and] if it co-opted the Christian celebration, so much the better.”

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/myth-pagan-origins-christmas
     
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  2. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    A third century theologian of Rome began the supposition of Dec. 25th being the date of the birth of Jesus.
    His name was Hyppolytus (170-235/236).
     
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  3. Judepriest

    Judepriest New Member

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    The feast of The Saturnalia is what it's called. the feast celebrates Cronus' AKA Saturn's victory over Ragnarok to become Supreme deity. The date associated with this is around the December. later, on it was associated to Mithra the Sun God. the early church used the assimilation of traditional practices and incorporate it to Christian teachings, like the Virgin birth or theNativity, this is a good method to evangelize the Gentiles. This technique is applied by the Christian colonizers in the Far east and the Americas, since the time of Columbus and Magellan, several Christian festivals related to the Virgin and Jesus were former tribal customs by the natives there in the conquered lands. The Evangelists were successful by adapting these traditions to Christain teachings.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy Well-Known Member
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    What is important is what December 25th means to Christians today and not to what it may have meant to others centuries ago.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    "It’s generally accepted that early Christians adopted December 25th as the day of Christ’s birth to co-opt the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Some believe this fact undermines Christianity.

    But according to Professor William Tighe, this “fact” may actually be a myth.

    Based on his extensive research, Tighe argues that the December 25th date “arose entirely from the efforts of early Latin Christians to determine the historical date of Christ’s death.”
     
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  6. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    And you ignored and failed to respond to the substance of the OP.
     
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