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This was posted on a Jewish website, obviously emotionally-charged in that it intends to sour Jews from associating with Christmas. I am not a historian or scholar... and whereas I am surprised by most of these historical (?) points I can see a benefit of "adapt and overcome" even in religion and certainly in one's own life.

I know there are a ton of Christian textual and historical scholars on this 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?

1 posted on 12/22/2012 6:03:04 PM PST by Phinneous
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To: Phinneous

“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.

2 posted on 12/22/2012 6:12:06 PM PST by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: Phinneous
Christmas in October
3 posted on 12/22/2012 6:18:26 PM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Phinneous

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?

4 posted on 12/22/2012 6:20:09 PM PST by discostu (Not a part of anyone's well oiled machine.)
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To: Phinneous
Many of the stricter earlier English settlers of tje North American colonies believed similarly. My own paternal grandparents declined to celebrate Christmas in any visible way other than going to church. On this they softened a little when grandchildren came along, they'd buy modest gifts.

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?

5 posted on 12/22/2012 6:23:42 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Phinneous

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.

6 posted on 12/22/2012 6:36:48 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Phinneous

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.

7 posted on 12/22/2012 6:46:24 PM PST by Nifster
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To: Phinneous

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.

9 posted on 12/22/2012 7:00:49 PM PST by stilloftyhenight
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To: Phinneous

I had it explained to me that many of the “pagans” were prophets of the coming of Christ. Made sense.

19 posted on 12/22/2012 8:07:07 PM PST by Mercat (Adventures make you late for dinner. Bilbo Baggins)
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To: Phinneous

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.

20 posted on 12/22/2012 8:08:42 PM PST by INVAR ("Fart for liberty, fart for freedom and fart proudly!" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Phinneous
The Apologetics of Christmas (Part 1)

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? Weren’t 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 Joseph’s reaction, in Matthew 1:19, to the news of Mary’s 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? Couldn’t he have just left her in Nazareth?

These are among the questions we explore in this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast!

Click "Part 1" to listen to the answers to these questions:

Part 1

Part 2

1. I’ve heard it wasn’t 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:

Part 2

21 posted on 12/22/2012 8:18:16 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Phinneous
Most Americans have no idea about the Pilgrims who settled in America, no idea of the Reformation. The only Biblical Holy Days are the 52 Sundays of the year called the Lord's Day.

The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)

Professing Christians in America today all too often do not honor the Christian Sabbath, the Lord's Day, but they celebrate Easter and Christmas, days that are unscriptural feast days.

It simply goes to show that many Protestants are completely unaware of the Reformation (why they are in Protestant denominations to begin with), as I was until only a few years ago.

The following link is definitely not the place to rely on for facts without checking them, but this article does provide a very quick overview of the era.

The Reformation

IMHO, it would be profitable for Americans to at least get familiar with the foundings of their nation - and the several hundred years prior which set the stage. It will truly be a pleasant and exciting journey when one makes the connection between American ideas and the events and issues of those several hundred years.

IMHO, always good to learn and gain true wisdom - and I always try to learn from my own mistakes and learn from history. The challenge, of course, is... what to read.
24 posted on 12/22/2012 8:38:20 PM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: Phinneous
Early Christians stopped celebrating the holy days of the Lord because of Roman antipathy against Jews. A series of Jewish revolts against the Roman empire caused a hatred of Jews among people in the region. This caused Christians to abandon God's holy days because to keep them would make one look too "Jewish". Four hundred years after the death of Christ it became heretical to keep the holy sabbath of scriptures.

Today we have a choice...keep the biblical holy days of the Lord Jesus Christ or observe man made holidays.

25 posted on 12/22/2012 8:43:33 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Phinneous

I like to celebrate Christs birthday, as long as they keep santa clas out of it.

32 posted on 12/23/2012 2:09:03 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: Phinneous
The way I look at the whole issue is that there are some very sour people who hate any thought of celebrating the birth of Christ. They complain about the date, the Christmas tree, giving presents, and even Santa Claus (although how Santa Claus-reindeer thing remotely relates to the birth of Christ is one I'm still trying to figure out). And now even Charlie Brown's Christmas. The bottom line is that these people hate the thought of celebrating the birth of Christ. If we had definitive proof that Christ was born on the 25th of December they still would hate 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.

33 posted on 12/23/2012 4:09:34 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: Phinneous
Why not just accept it for what it is??? We have a pagan tree at our house...And it is in no way connected to Jesus...

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...

34 posted on 12/23/2012 5:06:38 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: Phinneous
Salvation history, all of it, crammed into 365 days.

37 posted on 12/23/2012 6:40:25 AM PST by Oratam
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To: Phinneous; donna
Sheldon Cooper: “In the pre-Christian era, as the winter solstice approached and the plants died, pagans brought evergreen boughs into their homes as an act of sympathetic magic, intended to guard the life essences of the plants until spring. This custom was later appropriated by Northern Europeans and eventually became the so-called Christmas tree.” ****

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 don’t 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: You’re kidding, right? It’s a bust of Sir Isaac Newton.

Penny: Oh, sure, sure, yeah. Very Christmassy.

Sheldon: Wait, excuse me, but it’s much more Christmassy than anything you’ve 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.

41 posted on 12/23/2012 8:23:25 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: Phinneous

>> “ 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.

43 posted on 12/23/2012 10:45:24 AM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Phinneous
Conceived as the light entering the temple (John 10:22 / John 8:12)

I start by reading John 1:14 under the illumination of the Ru'ach HaKodesh.

John 1:14 And the WORD became flesh,
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 temporarily

σκηνόω 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
The word for Tabernacle, mishkan, is a derivative of the
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.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

61 posted on 12/23/2012 1:02:48 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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