Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why December 25? The origin of Christmas had nothing to do with paganism
WORLD Magazine ^ | Dec 10, 2005 | Gene Edward Veith

Posted on 12/07/2005 2:36:38 PM PST by Charles Henrickson

According to conventional wisdom, Christmas had its origin in a pagan winter solstice festival, which the church co-opted to promote the new religion. In doing so, many of the old pagan customs crept into the Christian celebration. But this view is apparently a historical myth—like the stories of a church council debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or that medieval folks believed the earth is flat—often repeated, even in classrooms, but not true.

William J. Tighe, a history professor at Muhlenberg College, gives a different account in his article "Calculating Christmas," published in the December 2003 Touchstone Magazine. He points out that the ancient Roman religions had no winter solstice festival.

True, the Emperor Aurelian, in the five short years of his reign, tried to start one, "The Birth of the Unconquered Sun," on Dec. 25, 274. This festival, marking the time of year when the length of daylight began to increase, was designed to breathe new life into a declining paganism. But Aurelian's new festival was instituted after Christians had already been associating that day with the birth of Christ. According to Mr. Tighe, 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 to Roman Christians." Christians were not imitating the pagans. The pagans were imitating the Christians.

The early church tried to ascertain the actual time of Christ's birth. It was all tied up with the second-century controversies over setting the date of Easter, the commemoration of Christ's death and resurrection. That date should have been an easy one. Though Easter is also charged with having its origins in pagan equinox festivals, we know from Scripture that Christ's death was at the time of the Jewish Passover. That time of year is known with precision.

But differences in the Jewish, Greek, and Latin calendars and the inconsistency between lunar and solar date-keeping caused intense debate over when to observe Easter. Another question was whether to fix one date for the Feast of the Resurrection no matter what day it fell on or to ensure that it always fell on Sunday, "the first day of the week," as in the Gospels.

This discussion also had a bearing on fixing the day of Christ's birth. Mr. Tighe, drawing on the in-depth research of Thomas J. Talley's The Origins of the Liturgical Year, cites the ancient Jewish belief (not supported in Scripture) that God appointed for the great prophets an "integral age," meaning that they died on the same day as either their birth or their conception.

Jesus was certainly considered a great prophet, so those church fathers who wanted a Christmas holiday reasoned that He must have been either born or conceived on the same date as the first Easter. There are hints that some Christians originally celebrated the birth of Christ in March or April. But then a consensus arose to celebrate Christ's conception on March 25, as the Feast of the Annunciation, marking when the angel first appeared to Mary.

Note the pro-life point: According to both the ancient Jews and the early Christians, life begins at conception. So if Christ was conceived on March 25, nine months later, he would have been born on Dec. 25.

This celebrates Christ's birth in the darkest time of the year. The Celtic and Germanic tribes, who would be evangelized later, did mark this time in their "Yule" festivals, a frightening season when only the light from the Yule log kept the darkness at bay. Christianity swallowed up that season of depression with the opposite message of joy: "The light [Jesus] shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).

Regardless of whether this was Christ's actual birthday, the symbolism works. And Christ's birth is inextricably linked to His resurrection.



TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: belongsinreligion; borninmarch; christmas; christmasday; churchhistory; faithandphilosophy; godsgravesglyphs; johanneskepler; mithras; notahistorytopic; origins; paganism; romanempire; saturnalia; starofbethlehem; staroftheeast; waronchristmas
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250 ... 401-416 next last
To: AmusedBystander
"So why did Christians change it to Sunday?"

Only the uninformed Christians refer to Sunday as the Sabbath.

Sundays is called the Lord's day, since it was the day of His ascension.
151 posted on 12/08/2005 3:26:14 AM PST by AlGone2001 (Two supreme court vacancies. Hopefully more on the way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Thinkin' Gal
There is a major difference between being the "Son of God", and being a "son of God".

Christ was the "Son of God" because He was with God in the beginning, while the Christians are the "sons of God merely by Grace".

Jesus had to be the "Son", before I could be a "son".

Christ Himself did not rebuke those who worshiped Him, because of His identity as the "Son". However, being a son does not entitle us to worship.

Read the story of Peter's visit to Cornelius:

Acts 10

25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.

26 But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."
152 posted on 12/08/2005 3:32:32 AM PST by AlGone2001 (Two supreme court vacancies. Hopefully more on the way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: carton253

I think given what Luke says that the conception was near or on the 25 of our December. That would then make the date of His birth in sometime during our month of September.

I agree with the range you describe.


153 posted on 12/08/2005 4:59:35 AM PST by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 137 | View Replies]

To: binkdeville
in a year the media would have some sort of gift giving event going and we'd be in the same boat again.Jan is a slow retail time.They would LOVE your suggestion.

Then either we'd move the date again, or we'd eschew the purchase of gifts. After all, we just got through the Xmas season, so there would be no need to enrich the Chinese military in the name of Christ.

In short, Xmas is not a Christian holiday anymore, and it is regrettable that we succumb to tradition in buying presents that don't mean anything, and exchange them in a festival of greed and secularity every year, while we fatten the pockets of those too embarrassed to even mention the name of the man in whose name they profit.

154 posted on 12/08/2005 6:22:59 AM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 128 | View Replies]

To: nopardons
You and Cromwell...kindred souls.

Odd you should say that. I'm just finishing up a biography of the Great Protector, and it mentions that his Parliament actually sat on Christmas Day in 1658.

Cromwell shunned all celebration of Christmas; I am merely suggesting that, since the date is arbitrary anyway, we steal it back from the secularists by creating a new one, replete with new traditions that don't include trading meaningless gifts purchased from godless thieves.

155 posted on 12/08/2005 6:26:50 AM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 136 | View Replies]

To: Reeses
The Roman calendar used to begin the year with March. The fifth month was Quintilis (quintus = 5th), the sixth month was Sextilis (sextus = 6th), the seventh month was September (septem = 7), then October (octo = 8), November (novem = 9) and December (decem = 10). Quintilis was changed to Julius to honor Julius Caesar, and Sextilis to Augustus in honor of the emperor Augustus).

The order of the names of the days comes from astrology. Each of the planets controlled certain hours of the day, and they went in order as they thought the planets were further from the earth. Whichever planet controlled the first hour of the day, the day was named for it. It ended up with the moon for Monday, Mars for Tuesday, Mercury for Wednesday, Jupiter for Thursday, Venus for Friday, Saturn for Saturday, and the sun for Sunday. The connection is still obvious if you look at the Italian, French, or Spanish days of the week. In English they substituted the Germanic god which was considered to be the equivalent of the Roman god which was equated with the planet in question.

156 posted on 12/08/2005 6:31:25 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 143 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

In the early days of Massachusetts Bay colony, it was illegal to observe Christmas...you were expected to go out and work on December 25, unless it was a Sunday. A law of 1670 imposed a fine of five shillings for not working or for feasting on Christmas. In 1686 Governor Andros arrived in Boston just before Christmas and insisted on celebrating Christmas (he was a mainstream Anglican), which caused a lot of conflict with the local Puritans.


157 posted on 12/08/2005 6:37:26 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 155 | View Replies]

To: Reeses

The 7 day week is an invention of the Jews which passed out to the rest of the world by way of the Hellenic and Roman Empires. There is nothing celestially relevant about seven days. It is a completely arbitrary number for dividing time (unlike the month or the year, which have natural sources and which all people use).

The seven day week was not common to all cultures, and before a certain point didn't exist in ANY culture other than the Jews. They're the ones wot invented it.
It would be best to say that there is no record of it pre-existing the Jews. MIGHT the Babylonians have used a seven day week? Sure. But they didn't leave us any record of doing so. The oldest record of anybody making anything special out of Seven Days is the Jewish Genesis.

So, the comment about Sunday originally being the week-END, not the start, is almost certainly not true. The Jews invented the week. The Seven Day week originates in Genesis. The Sabbath was always the seventh day in Judaism, and there isn't any record of anybody else was using the seven day week before the Jews did.

So, other folks may have not stressed the importance of the seven days and its order the way the Jews did, but that there are these celestial names for the days in the West doesn't demonstrate anything. That there is a seven day calendar in the West at all came from the Jews of the East, and their original week was seven days.

In the Judaeo-Christian North, where Christianity has been the dominant philosophy since the dawn of literacy in those regions, the week has begun on Sunday and ended on Saturday, exactly as the Jews ordered it in their Bible.


158 posted on 12/08/2005 6:46:10 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 143 | View Replies]

To: Reeses

The natural monthly cycle is about 12 1/2 months, although some years have 13 months and others, 11, or just about.

The Roman ten months had two added to them in honor of dictators and emperors. Specifically, July was named in honor of Julius Caesar, and August in honor of Caesar Augustus.


159 posted on 12/08/2005 6:48:13 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 143 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

Yet we're supposed to believe that religion played no part in the founding of this country, and that a "wall of separation between church and state" has always existed.


160 posted on 12/08/2005 6:48:57 AM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 157 | View Replies]

To: AmusedBystander
to ensure that it always fell on Sunday, "the first day of the week," as in the Gospels. I always thought that God rested on the seventh day.

He did - that's why the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday.

161 posted on 12/08/2005 6:52:40 AM PST by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
Next book he should write explains how Saturn'sDay, SunDay, and MoonDay are really not Roman at all.

Or how Tiu's Day, Woden's Day, Thors' Day or Frie's Day have nothing to do with the Germanic gods!

162 posted on 12/08/2005 6:55:05 AM PST by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Thinkin' Gal

"I[f] 'son of God' equals God, then aren't Christians making themselves equal with God?"

The clearest expression of Jesus' divinity is not made in the "Son of Man" or "Son of God" sections, but elsewhere.

From his own mouth, he used the great I AM self-referentially, SHOCKING blasphemy to his hearers...unless he was God.

And John begins his Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh..."

So, Jesus was the Word made flesh, and the Word is God. Therefore, Jesus is God, the great I AM of Genesis, which is what he called himself in John's Gospel.

Jesus said he was Yahweh. That's as direct a claim of divinity as is possible.


163 posted on 12/08/2005 6:58:09 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: Sentis

God clearly warned the Israelites to avoid doing that-- not to intermarry, to avoid the "high places", the ashtaroth, the household gods, etc. of Joshua, Judges, etc. These men were faithful to God's Word to the point of death as they established Christianity(don't put new wine into old skins) . Therefore it is incumbent on Christians not to roll over and accept the thought that there was the degree of syncretism you suggest. As remote and obscure as your sources necessarily are, and as subjective as interpretation of history is, anyway, all that really remains is the agenda(just like reading NYT today.) Do you believe in the literal bodily resuurection, and the literal virgin birth , or is your Christianity too broad minded for that old time religion?


164 posted on 12/08/2005 7:26:28 AM PST by gusopol3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 122 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

"What is the evidence that Paul belonged to the Sanhedrin?"

There isn't any. He wasn't. My statement was in error.
What I should have said was that Saul served the Sanhedrin as an investigator and prosecutor prior to his conversion, not that he was himself a member of the 71. That would have been correct.
In my eagerness to make the point that Saul of Tarsus was certainly Jewish, I ran past the facts and made and error.

We are prone to do this out of religious zeal.
It's a trap easily fallen into.
And we should always try to resist it, and correct ourselves when we find we have done it.

As to the specific time that the Judaism became formally matrilinear, it is difficult to pinpoint.

The Jewish War and destruction of the Temple mark a clear break in history, because after that the Jews were no longer geographically as compact or secure. The Jewish CENTER was broken, and the religion and ethnic group fell everywhere into ill repute because of the war against the Empire.

Certainly in the aleas of warfare, many many Jewish women were enslaved and raped by Roman soldiers and their auxilia.

But the Jewish traditions regarding Jesus suggest that Jesus was ben Pantera, son of the Panther, which may be a gloss on the Pantera legion. In other words, Jesus was the son of a prostitute and a Roman soldier. Such was the opinion of an earlier part of Jewish tradition. This is not exactly emphasized in the modern world of get-along gemutlichkeit, in which the words of hatred for Judaism and Jewish authorities contained in the New Testament are jarring. We should remember that the hatred was mutual, and that the Jews of the era were the established power, and murdered a lot of Christians. Saul of Tarsus was a prosecutor out there ferreting out Christians for arrest, torture and death. The anti-Jewish polemics of the New Testament were those of an oppressed minority believing it possessed the truth but fighting for its life, and the destruction of the Temple was viewed, by the Christians of 70 BC, as proof that God had destroyed the Jews and condemned them to perdition, etc.

Anyway, to return to the matrilineal concept, we can't point to a single document that says when it became so - no such document exists. But we do know that before the Romans was the Hellenic era and the Maccabean dynasty, and terrible traumas from foreign invasions, etc. Certainly after the destruction of the Temple the matrilineal principle became recorded in the Jewish traditions. But was this made up out of wholecloth, or did it represent a traditional understanding? Probably the latter.

Beyond that, a high-ranking Jew like Saul of Tarsus, committed and zealous and studying within Jewish circles, was certainly a Jew by birth, both patrilineal and matrilineal. Think well about TODAY, when changing religion is really no big deal, when deal and horror does not await anybody who challenges anything, and when yeshiva is wide open to anyone of any faith who wants to enter it. Just how many young Christians or Gentiles are devotedly focused on joining the rabbinate? Probably none.

Now retrograde to the ethnically bigoted, utterly closed-minded, violent and xenophobic First Century Palestine. Could Saul the Gentile have become a prosecutor in the Sanhedrin, and a committed student of Judaism in the inner circle? No. It was impossible. Could a Roman have simply showed up, said he wanted to adopt the religion, and actually been admitted to the inner circle, and entrusted with the most delicate matters of faith?
No.


165 posted on 12/08/2005 7:34:00 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 135 | View Replies]

To: Godzilla
Read your bible more, with Saturday being the sabbath and the last day of the week, Sunday is naturally the first day of the week. Mt 28:1 - In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

I have read enough to know that all four accounts differ considerably on this. But the point was that Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb around dawn on Sunday. That doesn't mean that it wasn't empty Saturday at 11:59 pm. The Scriptures don't fix the time only the discovery.

166 posted on 12/08/2005 7:37:06 AM PST by AmusedBystander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

Comment #167 Removed by Moderator

To: AmusedBystander
I have read enough to know that all four accounts differ considerably on this. But the point was that Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb around dawn on Sunday. That doesn't mean that it wasn't empty Saturday at 11:59 pm. The Scriptures don't fix the time only the discovery.

Obviously not close enough. Read further in Matthew -

Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.

The opening of the tomb in the other gospel parallels is indicative of the time of the resurrection. It is nonsensical to think that the moment of resurrection was 11:59 PM Saturday when the associated opening of the tomb, and appearances of Jesus indicate otherwise.

168 posted on 12/08/2005 7:54:44 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 166 | View Replies]

To: Just mythoughts; Charles Henrickson
When they found the Dead Sea Scrolls they found a temple service calendar. Zechariah's time of service can be calculated from the calendar. If you calculate forward from that date to when John the Baptist was 6 months in the womb, then an additional 9 months gives you December 25th.

More than you wanted to know about the various methods used for calculating the date of Jesus's birth

169 posted on 12/08/2005 8:02:02 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of ye Chace (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Godzilla
Matthew 28:1-10 1 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.

Well three other accounts don't jive with this one, so why pick this one over the others? Also, further reading into Matthew gives us this in 28:6 "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

Again, the Scriptures plainly state that the tomb was already empty. Does this somehow shake your faith, whether it was Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday? I doubt that the day matters at all, it is the event that is celebrated.

170 posted on 12/08/2005 8:06:49 AM PST by AmusedBystander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 168 | View Replies]

To: Diego1618
You are correct....in fact here is the original Greek, [Now late on Sabbath as it was getting dusk toward the first day of the week, came Mary the Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.]

That's not the greek that would be associated with my bible, or any other accepted translations. Dawn does not equal dusk. The greek word here is Epiphosko (tranliterated) which means "to grow light, to dawn " this is further supported by the word used for "end" - Opse (transliterated) which has as its definition "after a long time, long after, late late in the day, i.e. at evening the sabbath having just passed, after the sabbath at the early dawn of the first day of the week

Only a perverted greek interpretation would come anywhere close to what you claim is the interpretation.

171 posted on 12/08/2005 8:08:21 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: Junior
Sabbath ends at sundown on Saturday. If the women waited till the end of Sabbath, it would've been on Saturday night.

In a very closed sense you are correct. However, that ignores the greater context of what is recorded, and in the light of the context is an incorrect understanding. Words mean things and context provides the understanding of the desired definition of words. BTW, there is nothing in the gospel narratives indicating that the women were carrying lamps, nor were Peter and John when they went to the tomb. This would make sense if it were the daylight hours of Sunday, not the night time hours of Saturday night.

172 posted on 12/08/2005 8:12:30 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 79 | View Replies]

To: Junior
The first recorded persecution of Christians by the Romans was in AD 64, or about 30 years after the crucifixion.

I was not refering to Roman persecution, but persecution by Jewish authorities. Up until approximately AD 64 the Romans considered Christianity to be an Jewish cult, and therefore 'tolerated' until Nero singled it out for persecution. However, Christians were persecuted by Roman and other civil authorities prior to this as docmented in Acts.

173 posted on 12/08/2005 8:16:08 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 82 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

Ah, you stated it far better than I.


174 posted on 12/08/2005 8:16:57 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 140 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson; CholeraJoe; xsmommy; Texan5; secret garden
Technically, I could also argue that Christmas Day (Dec 25 in your liberal anti-religious calenders) is one of only 4 days in the year when the Solar time is exactly equal to clock time.

Measure time by a sundial (as they did until clocks became reliable in the early Renaissance) and on Dec 25, you have no correction for the Equation of Time on a sundial.
175 posted on 12/08/2005 8:21:18 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (-I contribute to FR monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS supports Hillary's Secular Sexual Socialism every day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AmusedBystander
Well three other accounts don't jive with this one, so why pick this one over the others? Also, further reading into Matthew gives us this in 28:6 "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

The other gospels provide more and less detail, similar to testamony given by different witnesses at a trial. Matthew provides a little more detail in the timing. For instance, the others do not mention the angel rolling back the stone, but in the other narratives the stone is rolled back without explaining the how. Different witness, different details, none contradicting the other.

Again, the Scriptures plainly state that the tomb was already empty. Does this somehow shake your faith, whether it was Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday? I doubt that the day matters at all, it is the event that is celebrated.

It matters in that Jesus had stated that he would be raised on the third day:

Mt 16:21, 17:23, 20:19, 27:64 (understood by the Jewish leadership); Lk 9:22, 13:32, 18:33 (again, understood by the Jewish leadership), 24:7, 24:46

The when is important as it seals His claim to be Messiah and God.

176 posted on 12/08/2005 8:26:51 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 170 | View Replies]

To: Godzilla
It matters in that Jesus had stated that he would be raised on the third day:

Third day from when? If it is in the usage of today, that would put it on Monday. If your mailman tells you on Friday that he will return with a package in three days, when will you expect to see him?

177 posted on 12/08/2005 8:31:47 AM PST by AmusedBystander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 176 | View Replies]

To: mikrofon
Two different visits? Shepherds in Sept at the cave/manger/barn.

Then (about 2-3 years later) the Magi arrived when they were in a regular house. Herod killed all boys less than 3 years old in the first persecution of Christian innocents, so the birth had to be at least 2 years previous to the visit of the foreigners to Herod's court. Doesn't give a city either as I recall.
178 posted on 12/08/2005 8:35:58 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (-I contribute to FR monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS supports Hillary's Secular Sexual Socialism every day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 75 | View Replies]

To: Ted Kennedys Neck Brace

"To say that Jesus was physically with God in the beginning is to read into the verses in the Gospel of John, theology that is simply not there."

I wasn't making this point, but a different one: that Jesus was God.
That's what it says. Word = God. Word became flesh in Jesus. Word = Jesus. Therefore, God = Jesus.
The temporal sequence of who and when it not my concern, but rather to demonstrate the basic truth, which seemed to be in the original questioner's question, that Christian religion does not consider Jesus to simply be a very holy prophet, or merely the son of God like you or me, but actually God incarnate, unlike you are me.

In other words, to put it directly, Jesus is God, and Christians specifically worship Jesus. They don't worship God THROUGH Jesus. They worship Jesus, because Jesus is The One True God.

Christian theology can then parse out the mystery of the three persons of the Trinity and their interrelationship and temporal existence. But that's "High Theology" which can be indulged in only after one has accepted the central premise: Christianity is the direct worship of God Jesus.

That's why Jesus was executed for blasphemy. At least in John's account he said he was God. In the other accounts, he is more elusive..."The Son of Man". In John, Jesus outright applies the divine name, the Great I Am, to his own person: "I tell you, that before Abraham was I AM."
Jesus said he was Yahweh.
Can't get more blasphemous (or flippin' insane) than THAT.
Unless he was.


179 posted on 12/08/2005 8:43:32 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 167 | View Replies]

To: Godzilla
Epiphosko (tranliterated) which means "to grow light, to dawn

To dawn also means to begin.... like toward the first day of the week. This, in the Hebrew way of looking at things, would be close to sundown.

180 posted on 12/08/2005 8:46:52 AM PST by Diego1618
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 171 | View Replies]

To: AmusedBystander
Third day from when? If it is in the usage of today, that would put it on Monday. If your mailman tells you on Friday that he will return with a package in three days, when will you expect to see him?

Glad you recognize that the language usage of today in our society is not the same as the Jewish society of 1700+ years ago. It is very important that in English there is a very great difference between in or on the scripture uses versus after which appears to be your (mis)understanding of the timeframe. Jesus was buried day one on Friday before sabbath (dusk), sabbath (day two) and rose on Sunday (day 3). It is important to note that Jesus said he would rise again on the third day. Again see these versus:

Mt 16:21, 17:23, 20:19, 27:64 (understood by the Jewish leadership); Lk 9:22, 13:32, 18:33 (again, understood by the Jewish leadership), 24:7, 24:46

Thus Jesus' use of the term within the linguistic and cultural understanding of His day (MT 27:64 and Lk 18:33), His reminder to His followers and the day of the resurrection (Sunday) are in agreement.

181 posted on 12/08/2005 8:55:13 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 177 | View Replies]

Comment #182 Removed by Moderator

To: Diego1618
To dawn also means to begin.... like toward the first day of the week. This, in the Hebrew way of looking at things, would be close to sundown.

Please read things a little more closely and you will avoid such embarrassing statements. Once again the word used here is epiphosko. Its definition is to grow light, dawn. There is no way this can be construed as being the equivalent of dusk or evening which is the opposite. It is a perversion of English and common sense to insist otherwise. Even in the Hebrew way of looking at things which mark the start of the day at sunset. Had they meant that time of day the word Opsios would have been used.

183 posted on 12/08/2005 9:03:34 AM PST by Godzilla (Jesus - The REASON for the SEASON)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 180 | View Replies]

To: AmusedBystander; Godzilla
Third day from when? If it is in the usage of today. . . .

It isn't. He was crucified, died, and was buried on Friday. Saturday was the day of rest in the tomb. He rose early on Sunday--the third day, counting inclusively.

184 posted on 12/08/2005 9:19:06 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 177 | View Replies]

To: Ted Kennedys Neck Brace

If Jesus is not God, and the passages you cited mean that, then the Trinity is a false doctrine, isn't it?

Query: in the Greek version of Exodus, when God says his name, how is that translated into the Greek?

Does Jesus not use the same term when he says "Before Abraham was, I AM"? Grammatically, one would expect "Before Abraham was, I was."
Of course, our English language bibles make a great deal of theatre capitalizing "I AM" in both Exodus and John, but what about the Greek.
And was Jesus speaking Greek?
Or was he speaking Aramaic at the time?
And when he said "I AM", did he pronounce the regular Aramaic "I am", or did he pronounce the Hebrew name of God, the Great I Am?
No way to know from the Greek text, since this is a distinction that cannot be made.

But from the content of the story we see that at that moment his hearers were astonished and infuriated and sought to stone him. What, precisely, is blasphemous about saying "Before Abraham was, I was"? or "Before Abraham was, I am?", mangling syntax?

Or was it that Jesus used the Great I Am, the word only pronounced by the High Priest on the High Holy Day, in the Holy of Holies?

Anyway, if Jesus wasn't really God, the Trinity falls apart.

The tension between John's Gospel and the synoptics on this point is perfectly awful.


185 posted on 12/08/2005 9:19:26 AM PST by Vicomte13 (Et alors?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 182 | View Replies]

To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Herod killed all boys less than 3 years old in the first persecution of Christian innocents, so the birth had to be at least 2 years previous to the visit of the foreigners to Herod's court.

Not necessarily. Matthew 2:16 states, "from two years old and under." Several possible variables: 1) how age is counted in a particular culture--is a newborn "one" or "zero"? 2); Herod could have been covering his bases and adding a little cushion, just to be sure; 3) how much time elapsed between the magi's initial appearance in Jerusalem and Herod's realization they weren't coming back; 4) "and under" includes all the younger ones.

Doesn't give a city either as I recall.

It does, several times. Bethlehem.

186 posted on 12/08/2005 9:32:12 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 178 | View Replies]

Comment #187 Removed by Moderator

To: Robert A. Cook, PE

There's a lot of places to poke holes in all of these "theories". For one, Herod's death obviously happened after the Nativity, and that could've been anywhere from 4BC to 1AD, depending on whose records you believe. And that's if there's a rational explanation of the Star to begin with...

As I said, the symbolism of the players in the celestial events and the significance of their names was quite interesting.


188 posted on 12/08/2005 9:32:38 AM PST by mikrofon ('Common Era' Not Used Here)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 178 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
Hmmm......don't know that I agree with HIS date of birth...I'm much more inclined to believe HE was born in late Sept. or very early Oct, which would be DAY OF ATONEMENT....
189 posted on 12/08/2005 9:33:42 AM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
Birth certainly at Bethlehem. But were they still at Betrhlehen when the Magi arrived?

The Magi then were told about the prophecy (Son of David... Bethlehem ... " but that doesn't mean that the family was still in Bethlehem when they (the Magi) visited, does it?

He did grow up in Nazareth, so at some point the family went back to there.
190 posted on 12/08/2005 9:37:42 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (-I contribute to FR monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS supports Hillary's Secular Sexual Socialism every day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 186 | View Replies]

To: Ted Kennedys Neck Brace
Of course this is the age-old mystery of the Incarnation and of the Trinity, that Christ is both true God and true man in one person, "equal to the Father as touching his Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood" (Athanasian Creed).

We settled this back in the 4th and 5th centuries.

Are you an Arian perchance? Or the contemporary counterpart, a Mormon?

191 posted on 12/08/2005 9:40:47 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 182 | View Replies]

Comment #192 Removed by Moderator

To: Robert A. Cook, PE
The Magi then were told about the prophecy . . . but that doesn't mean that the family was still in Bethlehem when they (the Magi) visited, does it?

Almost certainly it does. It would be a very strange reading indeed of Matthew 2:1-11 to have several mentions of Bethlehem, including the magi receiving information to go to Bethlehem, and then have them go to some other unnamed place that is not Bethlehem.

He did grow up in Nazareth, so at some point the family went back to there.

Yes, but not until AFTER they fled Judea (where Bethlehem was), sojourned in Egypt for a while, and THEN returned, not to Judea, but to Galilee, to the city of Nazareth. See Matthew 2:22-23.

193 posted on 12/08/2005 9:52:31 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 190 | View Replies]

To: Ted Kennedys Neck Brace
Well, you are an Arian, whether you realize it or not. You are citing the same proof texts and the same false doctrine as those anti-Trinitarian heretics did.

If Christ is not both true God and true man, we have no Savior and we are still lost in our sins.

194 posted on 12/08/2005 9:55:31 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 192 | View Replies]

To: Ted Kennedys Neck Brace
"This is the catholic faith which, except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved" (Athanasian Creed).

Wake up. Your salvation is at stake.

195 posted on 12/08/2005 9:58:12 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 192 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
If Christ is not both true God and true man, we have no Savior and we are still lost in our sins.

Or, we were never lost in the first place and it's all been a millennia-long money-making scam.

196 posted on 12/08/2005 9:58:51 AM PST by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 194 | View Replies]

To: Junior
Or, we were never lost in the first place. . . .

Good luck with that.

197 posted on 12/08/2005 10:01:40 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 196 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson
It kind of reminds me of the sales pitch in The Music Man: Convince the rubes they're in trouble and then offer them "the only possible solution" -- at cost, of course. It works for more than just band instruments, though...
198 posted on 12/08/2005 10:04:29 AM PST by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 197 | View Replies]

To: Junior
Of course someone who thinks depravity is "healthy" is going to want to convince himself that he's not in trouble and that Christians are either rubes or the money-grubbing charlatans who prey on them. He'll want to numb his conscience and hide from God.

That's sad. I hope some day you come to the end of yourself. Jesus will be waiting to take you in.

199 posted on 12/08/2005 10:28:56 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor--which must make me a money-grubbing charlatan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 198 | View Replies]

Comment #200 Removed by Moderator


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250 ... 401-416 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson