I know there are a ton of Christian textual and historical scholars on this site...so soften it up for me. Are we really supposed to be at each others' throats as this article would have us be? Are these commonly-accepted facts among Christians or is it a little/lot inflated for the purpose of distancing Jews from Christmas?
“The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology” explains that the earliest Christians did not have a time when they regularly observed Christ’s birth. However, by the late fourth century it was generally celebrated in churches. December 25 became recognized as Christmas day because it provided a Christian alternative to pagan festivals related to the Roman god Saturn and the winter solstice.
I don’t know about at each other’s throats, but the core reality is that pretty much all the big Christian holiday traditions, including the timing, are stolen from pagans. Not just Christmas either, Easter has the same issues going on, ever wonder where that egg laying bunny appears in the Bible?
The author veers into hysteria further into the article, though, calling Christmas a 24 hour repudiation of Judaism. Some Christian groups might look at it that way, but none of my folks ever did. Jesus was a Jew as were all the Apostles. He came to fulfill the Law, not repudiate it.
Many of the customs associated with Christmas actually are an accumulation of practices, some with pagan origins. My maternal grandparents were Lutheran, descended from Moravians, German speaking people. They celebrated Christmas with all their hearts. It had nothing to do with the pagan origins of greenery and a tree, it was Christmas.
I recall Michael Medved taking the opposite tack several years back, attacking these same early American settlers for their refusal to celebrate Christmas. He tried to paint them as almost anti-American, with the American, commercialized Christmas of Macy's Parades, department store Santas, electric lights decorating everything and an orgy of buying gifts as a kind of interfaith cultural event that was a defining quality of what it meant to be American.
I thought he was wrong. There would be no America without those early settlers who eschewed celebration of Christmas. But, this other Jewish author is just as wrongheaded in trying to sow division, even if many of his facts are not disputed by many Christians themselves.
Does this make any sense at all, lol?
The audio at the link is MUCH more entertaining than the essay.
Not sure what the big deal is, some Jewish months are named after pagan gods. Christian scholars don’t deny historical cultural milieus either.
The Jewish practices around Nittel Nacht might amaze contemporary Christians more.
The information is accurate and correct based on historical writings. Do about it what you will. Dec 25th is NOT the date of my Savior’s birth.....does not mean I can’t enjoy my family’s company and some spritz cookies.
It doesn’t matter. Our custom now celebrates the birth of our Savior. I am so tired of “pagan” articles that try to spoil our celebrations. He lives! We honor HIM! Amen.
I had it explained to me that many of the “pagans” were prophets of the coming of Christ. Made sense.
As a biblical Christian who does not celebrate the traditions of Christmas or Easter - and instead follows the biblical holy days - I think in our current state of societal collapse, it is a grave mistake for Christians to focus on bashing other Christians and their traditions and appointed Feasts.
While the Body of Christ in the USA lo, these many decades of peace and prosperity, has been busy tearing down any and every Christian who is not sitting under our own denominational roofs - we lost our culture to secular government-worshipping hedonists. At the same time we have become lukewarm as a faith to where Christianity stands for little outside of adding a new ATM or coffee shop in the lobby to attract those seeking Sunday entertainment while calling it religion.
I don’t keep the traditions of mainstream Christianity - but I acknowledge that we were a better country when they were respected and honored by the bulk of our people just a few generations ago.
We can argue until the cows come how regarding which day is Jesus Christ’s birthday. We can even argue the fact it is not disclosed in scripture, nor is there any evidence in the Gospels or the Acts of anyone keeping the date. (I’m of the understanding it was most likely sometime in the early Fall around 4 B.C.).
What IS important - is that Jesus Christ WAS BORN, and became a human being for the express purpose of becoming our Passover sacrifice for sin. Without His birth, there is no redemption to life for mankind, as our sins have condemned us to eternal death as scripture plainly states.
Since many people may actually cast a thought about Jesus during this time of year - now is the perfect opportunity to encourage the faith and show others the way of God more perfectly, that our faith would not perish amidst the gathering darkness around us.
The world needs Jesus Christ, and mankind NEEDS His Kingdom on this earth. Let us continue to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness - that revival might come to a nation on the brink of absolute ruination.
by Jimmy Akin (Catholic Answers)
Should Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus? There is no evidence the apostles did. When did it become a feast day? Werent birthdays a pagan thing?
Why was he named Jesus when, as stated in Matthew 1:23, the Messiah was to be called Immanuel?
Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 as a virgin will conceive from the Septuagint, but the original Hebrew uses the word almah meaning young woman of marriagable age. Was Matthew wrong to quote this?
What does Josephs reaction, in Matthew 1:19, to the news of Marys pregnancy tell us about his character?
Why would Joseph take a 9-month pregnant Mary to Bethlehem instead of taking her earlier? Why did he take her at all? Couldnt he have just left her in Nazareth?
These are among the questions we explore in this weeks episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!
Click "Part 1" to listen to the answers to these questions:
1. Ive heard it wasnt uncommon for some people to sleep in the stable of an inn during busy times? Was that true?
2. What was the Star of Bethlehem? A conjunction of planets, meteor, comet, supernatural event? What does the Church or Church Fathers say about it?
3. What is significant about gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
4. How did the birth of Jesus come to be celebrated on December 25?
5. Why do Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on January 7?
6. What light does the Ark of the Covenant shed on Mary's perpetual virginity, and what evidence do we have for her perpetual virginity?
Click "Part 2" to listen:
Today we have a choice...keep the biblical holy days of the Lord Jesus Christ or observe man made holidays.
I like to celebrate Christs birthday, as long as they keep santa clas out of it.
I don't care. I will celebrate Christmas and Christ's birth. I will put up my CHRISTmas trees, snowmen, and, yes, even figurines (not idols) of Santa Clauses. We have always been careful to explain that Santa Claus represents, like the wise men, a time when we can give without receiving. I'll go to church and sing Christmas carols and have fun. I make it a point to wish people (including my Jewish friends) a very happy holiday. They know what I'm talking about. Others are free to sit in a dreary house and complain about the pagan traditions.
We don't pray to the tree or bow down before it so we know it is not connected with worship or pagan gods or goddesses...
We spend the time and money buying and wrapping meaningless Christmas presents...Fight the traffic...Fight the crowds...Fight with each other because of all the stress...
Many towns have a Christmas Day parade...Christians as well as others flock to them...Sometimes you might see a Nativity scene but mostly it's Santa Claus and reindeer...Music...A big party...
So why do we have the tree and celebrate that Holiday, you ask???
Because the kids and Grandkids would freak out if we didn't...Because I get a couple of paid vacation days...
True, it does afford some Christians a scheduled time to more focus upon Jesus and his birth and his mission...And churches do capitalize upon this...
However, if the Christians ever accepted the idea that Jesus was born probably in October instead of the Winter Solstice would we continue to celebrate his birthday??? Would we incorporate a Christmas tree and it's associated madness???
I take it for what it is...
Sheldon: Oh, yes. We had a tree, we had a manger, we had an inflatable Santa Claus with plastic reindeer on the front lawn. And to make things even more jolly, there were so many blinking lights on the house they induced neighbourhood-wide seizures.
Penny: So I take it you dont want to help us trim the tree.
Sheldon: I do not. But if you insist on decorating a spider-infested fire hazard in my home I would request that you add this.
Penny: What is it?
Sheldon: Youre kidding, right? Its a bust of Sir Isaac Newton.
Penny: Oh, sure, sure, yeah. Very Christmassy.
Sheldon: Wait, excuse me, but its much more Christmassy than anything youve put on the tree.
Leonard: Here we go.
Sheldon: December 25, 1642, Julian calendar, Sir Isaac Newton is born. Jesus, on the other hand, was actually born in the summer. His birthday was moved to coincide with a traditional pagan holiday that celebrated the winter solstice with lit fires and slaughtered goats. Which, frankly, sounds like more fun than 12 hours of church with my mother followed by a fruitcake.
>> “ Are we really supposed to be at each others’ throats as this article would have us be?” <<
If we are to worship him in SPIRIT, and in TRUTH, then yes, that has to be, for most will follow the wide gate unto destruction, and only the few, the remnant, will find the narrow gate.
Conceived as the light entering the temple (John 10:22 / John 8:12)shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
I start by reading John 1:14 under the illumination of the Ru'ach HaKodesh.John 1:14 And the WORD became flesh,The word for Tabernacle, mishkan, is a derivative of the
and [fn]dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
[fn](1:14) Or, tabernacled; i.e. lived temporarilyσκηνόω Strong's G4637 - skēnoō
1) to fix one's tabernacle,
have one's tabernacle,
abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent),
2) to dwell
same root and is used in the sense of dwelling-place in the Bible
The verse also provides illumination as to
Yah'shua being the Shekhinah glory.
Shekhinah means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling
or settling of the divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Here is a very visual source:
Jesus' date of birth
Just based on scripture.
Again the first clue to the birth of Yah'shua is John 1:14 as cited above.
Important events in the life of Yah'shua occurred
on YHvH commanded Feast days as metaphors of the feast.
Conceived as the light entering the temple (John 10:22 / John 8:12)
Born on the Feast of Tabernacles.(John 1:14)
Circumcised on the Feast of Simchat Torah ( Joy of the WORD)
Bread and wine of the Pesach.
Death as the Lamb of G-d on Hag Matzoh.
Rising on the Feast of First Fruits.
Sending the Ru'ach HaKodesh on the Feast of Shavuot(Pentecost).
Who knows if the final trump will occur on the Feast of Trumpets
Seek YHvH in His WORD.