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How December 25 Became Christmas
Biblical Archeology Review ^ | Andrew McGowan

Posted on 12/10/2011 11:59:31 AM PST by SeekAndFind

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?

The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled. Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical.

The extrabiblical evidence from the first and second century is equally spare: There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this point.

This stands in sharp contrast to the very early traditions surrounding Jesus’ last days. Each of the Four Gospels provides detailed information about the time of Jesus’ death. According to John, Jesus is crucified just as the Passover lambs are being sacrificed. This would have occurred on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, just before the Jewish holiday began at sundown (considered the beginning of the 15th day because in the Hebrew calendar, days begin at sundown). In Matthew, Mark and Luke, however, the Last Supper is held after sundown, on the beginning of the 15th. Jesus is crucified the next morning—still, the 15th.a

Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion. Its observance could even be implied in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5:7–8: “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival...”); it was certainly a distinctively Christian feast by the mid-second century C.E., when the apocryphal text known as the Epistle to the Apostles has Jesus instruct his disciples to “make commemoration of [his] death, that is, the Passover.”

Jesus’ ministry, miracles, Passion and Resurrection were often of most interest to first- and early-second-century C.E. Christian writers. But over time, Jesus’ origins would become of increasing concern. We can begin to see this shift already in the New Testament. The earliest writings—Paul and Mark—make no mention of Jesus’ birth. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke provide well-known but quite different accounts of the event—although neither specifies a date. In the second century C.E., further details of Jesus’ birth and childhood are related in apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James.b These texts provide everything from the names of Jesus’ grandparents to the details of his education—but not the date of his birth.

Finally, in about 200 C.E., a Christian teacher in Egypt makes reference to the date Jesus was born. According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. Surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25 at all. Clement writes: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20 in our calendar]...And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].”2

Clearly there was great uncertainty, but also a considerable amount of interest, in dating Jesus’ birth in the late second century. By the fourth century, however, we find references to two dates that were widely recognized—and now also celebrated—as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor). The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas.

The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”3 In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition.

In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in midwinter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?

There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.

Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.

It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. A marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.5 In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars spurred on by the new study of comparative religions latched on to this idea.6 They claimed that because the early Christians didn’t know when Jesus was born, they simply assimilated the pagan solstice festival for their own purposes, claiming it as the time of the Messiah’s birth and celebrating it accordingly.

More recent studies have shown that many of the holiday’s modern trappings do reflect pagan customs borrowed much later, as Christianity expanded into northern and western Europe. The Christmas tree, for example, has been linked with late medieval druidic practices. This has only encouraged modern audiences to assume that the date, too, must be pagan.

There are problems with this popular theory, however, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.

Granted, Christian belief and practice were not formed in isolation. Many early elements of Christian worship—including eucharistic meals, meals honoring martyrs and much early Christian funerary art—would have been quite comprehensible to pagan observers. Yet, in the first few centuries C.E., the persecuted Christian minority was greatly concerned with distancing itself from the larger, public pagan religious observances, such as sacrifices, games and holidays. This was still true as late as the violent persecutions of the Christians conducted by the Roman emperor Diocletian between 303 and 312 C.E.

This would change only after Constantine converted to Christianity. From the mid-fourth century on, we do find Christians deliberately adapting and Christianizing pagan festivals. A famous proponent of this practice was Pope Gregory the Great, who, in a letter written in 601 C.E. to a Christian missionary in Britain, recommended that local pagan temples not be destroyed but be converted into churches, and that pagan festivals be celebrated as feasts of Christian martyrs. At this late point, Christmas may well have acquired some pagan trappings. But we don’t have evidence of Christians adopting pagan festivals in the third century, at which point dates for Christmas were established. Thus, it seems unlikely that the date was simply selected to correspond with pagan solar festivals.

The December 25 feast seems to have existed before 312—before Constantine and his conversion, at least. As we have seen, the Donatist Christians in North Africa seem to have know it from before that time. Furthermore, in the mid- to late fourth century, church leaders in the eastern Empire concerned themselves not with introducing a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but with the addition of the December date to their traditional celebration on January 6.7

There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years.8 But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.9 March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception.10 Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.d

This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.”11 Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.

Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”12

In the East, too, the dates of Jesus’ conception and death were linked. But instead of working from the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the easterners used the 14th of the first spring month (Artemisios) in their local Greek calendar—April 6 to us. April 6 is, of course, exactly nine months before January 6—the eastern date for Christmas. In the East too, we have evidence that April was associated with Jesus’ conception and crucifixion. Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis writes that on April 6, “The lamb was shut up in the spotless womb of the holy virgin, he who took away and takes away in perpetual sacrifice the sins of the world.”13 Even today, the Armenian Church celebrates the Annunciation in early April (on the 7th, not the 6th) and Christmas on January 6.e

Thus, we have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6).

Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together. One of the most poignant expressions of this belief is found in Christian art. In numerous paintings of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary—the moment of Jesus’ conception—the baby Jesus is shown gliding down from heaven on or with a small cross (see photo of detail from Master Bertram’s Annunciation scene); a visual reminder that the conception brings the promise of salvation through Jesus’ death.

The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud preserves a dispute between two early-second-century C.E. rabbis who share this view, but disagree on the date: Rabbi Eliezer states: “In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; on Passover Isaac was born...and in Nisan they [our ancestors] will be redeemed in time to come.” (The other rabbi, Joshua, dates these same events to the following month, Tishri.)14 Thus, the dates of Christmas and Epiphany may well have resulted from Christian theological reflection on such chronologies: Jesus would have been conceived on the same date he died, and born nine months later.15

In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism—from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year—than from paganism. Then again, in this notion of cycles and the return of God’s redemption, we may perhaps also be touching upon something that the pagan Romans who celebrated Sol Invictus, and many other peoples since, would have understood and claimed for their own too.16

Notes 1. Origen, Homily on Leviticus 8.

2. Clement, Stromateis 1.21.145. In addition, Christians in Clement’s native Egypt seem to have known a commemoration of Jesus’ baptism—sometimes understood as the moment of his divine choice, and hence as an alternate “incarnation” story—on the same date (Stromateis 1.21.146). See further on this point Thomas J. Talley, Origins of the Liturgical Year, 2nd ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), pp. 118–120, drawing on Roland H. Bainton, “Basilidian Chronology and New Testament Interpretation,” Journal of Biblical Literature 42 (1923), pp. 81–134; and now especially Gabriele Winkler, “The Appearance of the Light at the Baptism of Jesus and the Origins of the Feast of the Epiphany,” in Maxwell Johnson, ed., Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 291–347.

3. The Philocalian Calendar.

4. Scholars of liturgical history in the English-speaking world are particularly skeptical of the “solstice” connection; see Susan K. Roll, “The Origins of Christmas: The State of the Question,” in Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 273–290, especially pp. 289–290.

5. A gloss on a manuscript of Dionysius Bar Salibi, d. 1171; see Talley, Origins, pp. 101–102.

6. Prominent among these was Paul Ernst Jablonski; on the history of scholarship see especially Roll, “The Origins of Christmas,” pp. 277–283.

7. For example, Gregory of Nazianzen, Oratio 38; John Chrysostom, In Diem Natalem.

8. Louis Duchesne, Origines du culte Chrétien, 5th ed. (Paris: Thorin et Fontemoing, 1925), pp. 275–279; and Talley, Origins.

9. Tertullian, Adversus Iudaeos 8.

10. There are other relevant texts for this element of argument, including Hippolytus and the (pseudo-Cyprianic) De pascha computus; see Talley, Origins, pp. 86, 90–91.

11. De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis domini nostri iesu christi et iohannis baptistae.

12. Augustine, Sermon 202.

13. Epiphanius is quoted in Talley, Origins, p. 98.

14. b. Rosh Hashanah 10b–11a.

15. Talley, Origins, pp. 81–82.

16. On the two theories as false alternatives, see Roll, “Origins of Christmas.” a. See Jonathan Klawans, “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?” BR 17:05. b. See the following BR articles: David R. Cartlidge, “The Christian Apocrypha: Preserved in Art,” BR 13:03; Ronald F. Hock, “The Favored One,” BR 17:03; and Charles W. Hedrick, “The 34 Gospels,” BR 18:03. c. For more on dating the year of Jesus’ birth, see Leonara Neville, “Fixing the Millennium,&rd; AO 03:01. d. The ancients were familiar with the 9-month gestation period based on the observance of women’s menstrual cycles, pregnancies and miscarriages. e. In the West (and eventually everywhere), the Easter celebration was later shifted from the actual day to the following Sunday. The insistence of the eastern Christians in keeping Easter on the actual 14th day caused a major debate within the church, with the easterners sometimes referred to as the Quartodecimans, or “Fourteenthers.”

________________________________________

Andrew McGowan

Warden and President of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Andrew McGowan’s work on early Christianity includes God in Early Christian Thought (Brill, 2009) and Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals (Oxford, 1999).


TOPICS: History; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: bethlehem; christmas; december25; godsgravesglyphs; johanneskepler; starofbethlehem; staroftheeast

1 posted on 12/10/2011 11:59:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The father of John the Baptiser, is the key to knowing when Mary became pregnant. The time when he was charged with Temple service, can be figured out, Mary came soon to tell her cousin the news that was foretold her about the Messiah. John was already within the womb, and Yeshua was within Mary. Figure out 9 months, and voila’....closer to September for his birth.


2 posted on 12/10/2011 12:26:00 PM PST by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics. ProgressiveRepublicansInConservativeCostume)
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To: SeekAndFind; runninglips
I will with the greatest lovingkindness, disagree with Artie.
Artie seems to only use the works of man; which always fail.

I will explain with the help of the WORD of G-d through the
illumination of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to all mankind
to help us come to Know the Holy WORD of G-d.

Chanukah is a great time for followers of the Jewish Messiah to celebrate.
The eight day Feast of Chanukah echoes of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles
Chanukah was most likely when the "light of the world"
(John 8:12) entered human form and tabernacled among us.

Feast of Tabernacles is the birth day of Yah'shua.

This question is answered when you believe and trust
the Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1.

Yah'shua's birth on Sukkot
(Sukkot is the Feast of Tabernacles or booths,
where we live in temporary shelters.
Sukkot is when YHvH took on a temporary
garment to be with His People
and to die as the Lamb of G-d on Pesach
in order to bring salvation to all
who would call on His NAME:
(Romans 10:13 & Joel 2:32)
Yah'shua ( YHvH is/be my salvation)).
Exod. 15:2; 1 Sam. 2:1; 2 Sam. 22:47;
Ps. 18:2, 46; 27:1; 35:9; 38:22; 88:1;
118:14; 119:174; 140:7; Isa. 12:2; 56:1;
61:10; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 3:18

Sukkot as the date is supported by Elizabeth's
pregnancy of John the Immerser.
The time sequence is outlined by the
Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1 with Zacharias.

Zacharias served as a high priest and
based on his tribe, we know when he served
(1 Chronicles 24:7-18) and when he was
struck dumb and when John was conceived.

John would have been born on Pesach.
Most Jews believed that Elijah
would come at Pesach to announce
the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5).

Factor in when Miriam visited her cousin Elizabeth,
Elizabeth was six months pregnant (Luke 1:26)
Thus the timing of Yah'shua's birth can be ascertained.

John (1:14) tells us that Yah'shua was made flesh
and tabernacled among us.

The word "dwelt" in the Koine Greek is:

σκηνόω Strong's G4637 - skēnoō
1) to fix one's tabernacle,
have one's tabernacle,
abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent),
tabernacle
2) to dwell

Eight days after the beginning of Sukkot is
another Holy Feast Day called Shemini Atzeret.

Eight days after a Jewish male is born he is circumcised.

After the Eighth day comes the the most Joyous day:
Simchat Torah or
the rejoicing in the Torah (The WORD of Elohim).

Nine months back from Sukkot is Chanukah
where the light entered the temple.

Biblical Dates for the Birth of Yochanan the Immerser
and for the Conception and Birth of Yeshua HaMashiach

Seek the YHvH in His WORD.

See Psalm 118

8 It is better to take refuge in YHvH Than to trust in man.

9 It is better to take refuge in YHvH Than to trust in princes.

14 YHvH is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

3 posted on 12/10/2011 12:40:48 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Appendix 179 —Companion Bible ,Kregel Publishers—gives about the most reasonable explanation I’ve seen. We ought be teaching it cellebrates when “the Word became flesh” or the
conception. But that would really anger the pro-abortion bunch and all those who insist it was just a gimmick to encourage the pagans to join with the cult of Rome. Appendix 179 Parallel datings of the Times of Our Lord /Dates of the Begetting and the Nativity & c / and the course of abia is worth consideration.


4 posted on 12/10/2011 12:56:04 PM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: SeekAndFind

Great article


5 posted on 12/10/2011 1:04:55 PM PST by political1 (Love your neighbors)
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To: SeekAndFind

bookmark


6 posted on 12/10/2011 1:15:59 PM PST by Jen
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To: SeekAndFind

2 EXCELLENT Videos on the subject:
http://www.amazon.com/Star-Bethlehem-Frederick-Larson/dp/B002RBHDFK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1323552810&sr=8-4 AND
http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Star-Freedom-Films-Video/dp/B001KKSXVW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323552901&sr=8-1


7 posted on 12/10/2011 1:43:58 PM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: runninglips

John, as a kind of Elijah, was likely born on 14, Nisan (Eliyahu does show up for Passover). Sukkot begins 180 days (6 months) later. If John was born on Passover, his cousin Yeshua (”Jesus”) was born during Sukkot - which is almost always late September or early October on the Gregorian calendar.


8 posted on 12/10/2011 1:54:43 PM PST by Tzfat
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks SeekAndFind.

Just in time for Christmas, from the FRchives: To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


9 posted on 12/10/2011 2:15:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
As a casual astronomer, I've always been intrigued with the multitude of theories regarding the Star of Bethlehem, particularly that the "star" sightings by the Magi were in fact many of the planetary conjunctions taking place around the BC/AD boundary.

I once ran an old astro program to follow the movements of Jupiter, Venus, among other significant objects around that time (adjusting for 2,000 years of precession) yielding views from the Middle East. One specific view from Jerusalem in the pre-dawn hours during mid-September of 3 BC corroborates a predicted conjunction of Jupiter with Regulus (the "King Star") in Leo ("The Lion"):

This epoch would coincide with one of the Jewish Holy Day periods when some have postulated that Christ was born.

Now, the exact date of the Nativity is not critical to my faith (that He came, suffered, died, and rose again *is*), but it makes for interesting discussion...

10 posted on 12/10/2011 3:08:37 PM PST by mikrofon (Blessed Christmas to All)
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To: Tzfat; runninglips
"John, as a kind of Elijah, was likely born on 14, Nisan (Eliyahu does show up for Passover). Sukkot begins 180 days (6 months) later. If John was born on Passover, his cousin Yeshua (”Jesus”) was born during Sukkot - which is almost always late September or early October on the Gregorian calendar."

Exactly right, guys. The Bible gives plenty of evidence for when Christ was born. Tabernacles is the only festival that survives into eternity. But there's more to consider.

Consider that Christ's birth at Tabernacles puts His conception at Hannukah. The Festival of Lights. When the Temple was re-dedicated. So also the human temple of the Holy Spirit was 're-dedicated' to God at the conception of Christ. Christ is the Light of the World and was conceived at the Festival of Lights.

Of course the oil which burns for 8 days represents the Holy Spirit-filled person of Christ. 8 is the number of resurrection. Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit at conception for life unto resurrection. He was resurrected on the 8th day.

Lots of neat stuff becomes clear if people would only recognize the obvious. Incredibly, very few people can understand or accept this.

11 posted on 12/10/2011 3:38:58 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

Yes, exactly.

For 3 feasts all of Israel was commanded to come to Jerusalem. Tabernacles (His birth), Passover/FirstFruits (Crucifixion & Resurrection) and Pentecost (Birth of the Church).

Everything God did regarding Christ and the Church, He did in full view of Israel and commanded them to be there to watch it.

Hallelujah!


12 posted on 12/10/2011 3:43:40 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
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To: SeekAndFind

As others have said, “bookmark” - and thank you!


13 posted on 12/10/2011 4:46:07 PM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: GourmetDan
Hallelu'Yah
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

14 posted on 12/10/2011 4:59:58 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: runninglips
The father of John the Baptiser, is the key to knowing when Mary became pregnant.

Yes; that is the key. The Course of Abia, the time of his Temple Service, gives June for Zacharias' encounter in the Temple with Gabriel, telling him his wife, Elizabeth, would conceive.

Then we have John 6 months in the womb in December, giving the date of Jesus' conception.

December 25 becomes the date Jesus began to dwell upon the earth...in Mary's womb.

His birth would them be on or about the Feast of Tabernacles.

15 posted on 12/11/2011 1:51:12 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Nobody's bought bot.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The intent of the Syriac author that the McGowan uses to validate the claim by an allegiance of satanists, atheists, pagans and adventists that Christmas is from a pagan holiday probably had a propagandistic purpose. bar Salibi’s ideas were the only evidence found by these pagans to support their “guess” that Christmas spring from Sol Invictus, but bar Salibi is debating the CALENDAR.

The Eastern churches, to which bar Salibi, continued to use the older Julian calendar to date Christmas. The Western church, noting that the days were drifiting from their astronomical significance, switched to the Gregorian calendar. This reliance on Rome put Christmas back on the day of Sol Invictus, which Salibi uses for propagandistic purposes.

But we know from several ancient sources that great prophets were held to have died on the day of their conception, so that their “conception into Heaven” would harmonize with their conception on Earth. The date of Jesus’ conception into Heaven was 200 A.D.


16 posted on 12/11/2011 6:26:05 AM PST by dangus
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To: SeekAndFind

The intent of the Syriac author that the McGowan uses to validate the claim by an allegiance of satanists, atheists, pagans and adventists that Christmas is from a pagan holiday probably had a propagandistic purpose. bar Salibi’s ideas were the only evidence found by these pagans to support their “guess” that Christmas spring from Sol Invictus, but bar Salibi is debating the CALENDAR.

The Eastern churches, to which bar Salibi, continued to use the older Julian calendar to date Christmas. The Western church, noting that the days were drifiting from their astronomical significance, switched to the Gregorian calendar. This reliance on Rome put Christmas back on the day of Sol Invictus, which Salibi uses for propagandistic purposes.

But we know from several ancient sources that great prophets were held to have died on the day of their conception, so that their “conception into Heaven” would harmonize with their conception on Earth. The date of Jesus’ conception into Heaven was 200 A.D.

Further, the feast of the Dedication, when God dwelt among the Jews in His holy Temple, was on 25 Kislev, which, on average occurs near the 25th of December. (It’s the last day of Hannukah.) This date was set more than a century before Christ.

In contrast, In Sol Invictus was a holiday made up in the fourth century in Rome, to revive the Roman cult, which was in decline because of the spread of Christianity; so it’s far more likely that In Sol Invictus was set to Christmas, than the other way around.


17 posted on 12/11/2011 6:37:26 AM PST by dangus
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To: runninglips

So Yeshua would likely be born right around the festival of Sukkot...


18 posted on 12/11/2011 7:01:38 AM PST by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

Totally agree... It’s great to find other folks on the page!


19 posted on 12/11/2011 7:02:59 AM PST by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
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To: DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis

I have believed for years that Jesus Christ was born at Tabernacles. I do not any attention to the holiday observed on December 25th...if others wish to; that is up to them.


20 posted on 12/11/2011 7:22:39 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Same here for the last ? number of years. It’s nice to find others who think alike. God bless you FRiend and have a happy Hannukkah. :-)


21 posted on 12/11/2011 8:01:52 AM PST by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks Civ
Interesting article!


22 posted on 12/11/2011 5:13:19 PM PST by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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Christmas is always four weeks after Thanksgiving so that even people that get paid once a month can have the opportunity to go buy presents. Duh....


23 posted on 12/11/2011 5:38:29 PM PST by Vermont Lt (I just don't like anything about the President. And I don't think he's a nice guy.)
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To: mikrofon
If you ever have the opportunity, look a little more closely. There were three conjuctions in succession beginning in Leo and culminating in a grand trine in Virgo if I'm not mistaken, certainly something that would have court astronomer/astrologers (such as the magi) sitting up and taking notice. The symbolic meaning is there, the Lion of Judah, King of the Jews, born of a virgin. The festivals fit and the dates can be deduced from the Bible itself to coincide. One might even go so far as to say that the Trinity is symbolized. It's a compelling case.
24 posted on 12/11/2011 5:56:27 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Cincinna

My pleasure. :’)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2293035/posts


25 posted on 12/11/2011 6:50:57 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! May 2013 be even Happier!)
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To: SeekAndFind
I had heard a theory that the date of the birth of Jesus can be found in the Bible. The secret is in Luke 1 with the priestly division of Zachariah, the uncle of Jesus, being revealed.

Some scholars say that the timing of this division of “Abijah” puts the CONCEPTION of Jesus on December 25...which is how many cultures count birthdates; they use the date of conception. This would be the day that God came to earth as a humanbeing.

http://www.luziusschneider.com/Papers/JesusDateOfBirth.htm

I don't vouch for any of it, I just post for amusement of others. I do not care when he was actually born, but the fact that he has made the darkest days of our winter, bright. The darkest days of the winters of our lives as well! Jesus brings light to the darkness!

26 posted on 12/12/2011 1:39:36 PM PST by tuckrdout ( A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. Prov.29:11)
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