Skip to comments.Most Christians Say Jesus Wasn't Born on Dec. 25, Poll Finds
Posted on 12/25/2012 7:50:49 AM PST by SeekAndFind
When King James Bible Online asked the 110,000 users on its Facebook page if they believe Jesus was born on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, 83 percent of those who responded answered in the negative. A majority of the respondents also said Santa Claus is a "lie."
The date of the birth of Christ was among the four questions King James Bible Online asked as part of its survey, titled "What Do Christians Really Believe About Christmas," that was conducted this month.
Only 11 percent of the respondents said tradition is right about the date of Jesus' birth. Six percent marked "Not sure."
King James Bible Online, a website inviting its visitors to read the Bible online, says 65 percent of its users live in the United States. And 96 percent of those polled said they are Christian.
Interestingly, while the majority of the respondents do not believe Jesus was born on Dec. 25, 71 percent said they think Christians should celebrate Christmas. One-fourth of the respondents said "No."
When asked, "Do you think it's OK to let kids believe in Santa Claus?" the majority, or 64 percent, said, "Definitely not, it's a lie." However, 28 percent said, "Yes, it's just for fun," and six percent had no opinion.
The last question of the survey was, "Do you think it's OK to have a Christmas tree in a church building?" More than half, or 58 percent, of respondents marked "Yes," while 39 percent said "No." Three percent said they were not sure.
The majority of those polled, 82 percent, reported they have been a Christian for more than 10 years, and 79 percent said they had read the entire Bible at least once. Females in the group made up about 60 percent of the respondents.
Several academics have made the claim that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed.
In his recently published book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, Pope Benedict XVI argues that the Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation. "The calculation of the beginning of our calendar based on the birth of Jesus was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years," says the 85-year-old pontiff in the book that was published weeks before Christmas.
"The actual date of Jesus's birth was several years before," the pope argues.
Exiguus, or Dennis the Small, was a 6th-century monk from Eastern Europe who is best known as the inventor of the Anno Domini (AD) era, which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.
Darn, I can’t remember exactly which day the Big Bang started,....June 9th, or was it a Monday in October. Gee, I’m so forgetful! What an asinine poll.
Thanks Doc, you nailed it!
They’ll do just about anything to portray Christians in a negative light.
Many of my Religious Intellectual Friends believe that Jesus was born on April 6th.
Interesting. And what are their reasons for choosing that date?
I remember seeing an article which explained that Dec 25th was chosen by religious leaders in an effort to hijack a pagan holiday which revolved around worship of the sun god.
Asinine, is the exact word that came to mind!
As I type this, I hear the siren of the city fire truck, which is going along all the streets of the city to bring Santa, while the firefighters hand out candy and toys. It is an all day event, and firefighters from neighboring towns cover the fire response for the day.
Santa regularly makes stops along the way, to personally visit families who have lost loved ones, had tragedies during the year, etc.
I’m still surprised that some busybody hasn’t stepped in and convinced a judge to ban the practice. The tradition is deeply ingrained in the community, with estimated times of Santa’s arrival posted by community members, and a constantly updated feed as to where Santa is. Some families will not open presents on Christmas morning until after Santa has been by, and, well, go ahead and try to sleep in on Christmas morning - when Santa comes down your street, you’ll hear the siren.
This is a tribute to the Savior’s sacrifice and teachings. Is it something that Jesus would have done? No. He would never have waited until some special day to visit a grieving family and offer comfort. He’s already been there. These are the actions of imperfect people, who have chosen a day to bring joy and happiness that the Savior brings each and every day.
“Exiguus, or Dennis the Small...”
Best thing I’ve read all week.
It is far more consistent with the full weight of the nativity narrative that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets in the fall of the year.
More to the point, because of how vastly modern Xmas differs from the full weight of the Scriptural nativity narrative, I refuse to participate in any with with Xmas. And you should note that I refuse to even associate Christ’s name with this commercialized and syncretic abomination.
“I remember seeing an article which explained that Dec 25th was chosen by religious leaders in an effort to hijack a pagan holiday...”
You are correct, but I don’t remember the pagan group.
If anyone is interested, the author Fred Coulter in his excellent A Harmony of the Gospels in Modern
EnglishThe Life of Jesus Christ has a very straightforward section on the exact chronology of the birth of Jesus.
The origin of this festivity is presumed to be Mithraic and about 4000 years old. Mithra was the god of light in ancient Iran. The symbol of Mithra is Sun. Iranians used this symbol in their flag for at least the last 2500 years. The period of 17th to 24th of December was the duration of this feast. The 21st of December, which is the solstice of winter, is still celebrated in Iran. It is called Yalda and it represents the victory of light over darkness, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Mithraism was brought to Europe by Greek soldiers after the defeat of the Persians by Alexander and by the forth century AD it was the predominant religion of Europe and the main rival to Christianity. The worship of Mithra spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Romans adopted this festivity to celebrate the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice. The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and the priests of Saturn called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.
Noting that days start becoming longer after the winter solstice, the ancients gave birth to the myth that the sun-god rises from his death after three days. This belief of the death and resurrection of god was later incorporated into Christianity. Mass is the public celebration of Eucharist, the sacrament and the central act of worship in many Christian churches, which was instituted at the Last Supper and in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed in remembrance of Jesus’s death. The word “Mass” in Christmas means death and the ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and his consequent resurrection.
Prior to the dominance of Christianity the Romans celebrated this festivity during the 25th of December to 6th of January. Mithraism gained favor by the Emperor Commodus and Julian and in 307 Diocletian built a temple on the Danube River dedicated to Mithra. Mithraism spread throughout Europe from Rome to the province of Numidia in North Africa up to England and Scotland.
But after the conversion of emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. Christianity was spread throughout the empire and Mithraism, as St. Jerome reports, was forcefully subdued especially in Rome and in Alexandria. In the forth century, Pope Leo destroyed the temple of Mithra (376 A.D.). Despite that the Mithraic festivity of the birth of the Sun continued, as it was a convenient time to be merry in the middle of the winter. Even today many celebrate the Christmas although they are not Christians. It was not till the year 530 AD that the church commissioned the Monk Dionysius Exiguus to proclaim this popular festivity as the birth of Christ. Constantine converted to Christianity but he kept celebrating this pagan festivity and transformed it into the “Christian” holiday of Christmas.
The use of evergreen tree in Christmas festivities comes from Germany where it was used in worship and celebration of the yule god as well as in observance of the resurrected sun god.
The evergreen represented life and also was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship. It was believed that the red holly was a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, Diana. The white berries of mistletoe were considered to be the droplets of the semen of the sun god. Branches of holy and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes and it was believed that kissing beneath them will make the spirits of the god and goddess to enter one’s body and make them fertile.
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“It is far more consistent with the full weight of the nativity narrative that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets in the fall of the year.”
The Pope said the other day no one knows the exact year, month, or day Jesus was born.
The Pope wouldn’t be saying this unless he truely believes it.
I found this on another message board. It’s a “Christmas Greeting” to the liberal minded who rejects Christianity and religion. It’s quite funny:
Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;
a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.
(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)
Thank you, SeekAndFind.
I am running out the door right now but will be back in a couple of hours or a little more. Upon my return I will give your article my full attention. I have been wondering about the history of this for many years to include just the other day. You have now offered me the answer.
I will get back to you later in the day.
I can hardly wait to read your article.
Again, thank you very much.
People who see Christianity only as a religion and not for the way of life it represents will concern themselves with the minutia.
Christians celebrate the birth of the Jesus on December 25. The correct date cannot be known with accuracy but was very likely in A.D. 4.
The polls also said Romney would be President...
most Christians (and others) say Martin Luther King wasn’t born on the 3rd Monday in January, either
Most of the time
Except that’s when stuff is on sale
There was a great website I came across a while ago that debunked a lot of myths related to one particular element of the Scriptural narrative of Jesus Christ's birth: the star of Bethlehem. The science and historical information it contained was really quite remarkable. First and foremost, the idea that the Magi "followed a star" to find the place where Christ had been born is clearly not true even based on what the Gospels describe.
Can’t say I know when The Christ was born but I know the world didn’t end on 12/21/2012.
RE: The polls also said Romney would be President...
Nope, the polls were RIGHT ON ( most of them ). Most polls had Obama winning.
Only the conservative leaning polls were wrong this time.
Rasmussen, Gallup and Michael Barone.
According to my diary, it was a little afer 3:00 pm on a Tueseday in May.... that's when her parents got home..... Everything after that is a bit of a blurr.
RE: most Christians (and others) say Martin Luther King wasnt born on the 3rd Monday in January, either
Heck, we aren’t even sure WHERE Obama was born...
God doesn’t have any dates.
He is forever before and forever after.
It makes no difference when Jesus was born.
What’s important is that HE WAS BORN.
And he died.
And He rose again.
And He’ll be back.
"When King James Bible Online asked the 110,000 users on its Facebook pageif they believe Jesus was born on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, 83 percent of those who responded..."
Yeah, that's really MOST Christians. They left out a couple of billion or so.
The fact is, we just don't know the exact date of Christ's birth. If you're going to observe it, December 25 is as good a day as any. Who cares if it coincides with some pagan holiday? With only 365 days in the year and 4000 years of recorded history it'd be hard to pick a day that wasn't shared with something else.
Sometimes some Christians, secularists, and pagans argue that Christmas is just a pagan holiday that has been "baptized" by the Church. Accounts differ as to which one. Sometimes it is claimed that Christmas is based on Saturnalia or the birth of Sol Invictus ("the unconquerable sun").
But Saturnalia wasn't celebrated on December 25th. It ran from December 17th to the 23rd. It was over and done with before the 25th.
We do have records that suggest some pagans celebrated the birth of Sol Invictus on December 25th, but the first such record dates from the year A.D. 354 (on what is known as the Calendar of Filocalus or the Chronology of 354). The trouble is, even this source isn't fully explicit. It just says that December 25 was celebrated as the Natalis Invicti or the "Birthday of the Unconquerable One," without saying who that is.
We also know that some Christians had been identifying December 25th as Jesus' birthday at least a century and a half before this time. Around A.D. 206, St. Hippolytus of Rome wrote in his Commentary on Daniel that:
"The first coming of our Lord, that in the flesh, in which he was born at Bethlehem, took place eight days before the kalends of January."
In ancient Roman time reckoning, the kalends was the first day of the month, and if you count back eight days from January 1, you arrive at December 25.
It's true that we don't know for sure when Jesus was born, and early Christian writers proposed a variety of dates for his birth, including December 25th. But what is remarkable, in light of modern claims, is that when they write about Christ's birth they never say things like, "Let's schedule his birthday here so that we can convert a bunch of pagans" or "Let's put it here so that we can subvert this pagan holiday." There's just no record of any of them saying that.
When they propose dates for his birth, they use arguments to support their view, and they honestly believe that he was born on the dates they propose. Modern views on how the date was chosen are pure speculation.
People are entitled to their sincere beliefs, but that does not make it correct.
Coulter shows that since the cycle of Temple service of the priestly divisions is historically documented and since Zechariah was of the Abijah division, his time of service can be known almost exactly. See Luke 1:5. He derives most of his chronology from that hard fact.
You asked what would be the reason for believing that April 6th is Jesus Birthday. I don’t know how far to go with this because I would just be supporting someone else’s position and I, for one, just don’t know. However, here are a few considerations:
The Passover is usually around the first of April. This year it was on April 6th - 14th.
Jesus was the reality of the Passover Lamb. The lamb had to be a one year old male. The fact that Jesus died on the Passover is evidence that his birth was on the Passover.
The Roman census that is referred to in the Gospels would have taken place in the spring. Some research has been done as to when taxes were collected, remembering that Joseph and Mary were travelling to pay taxes.
Look to Luke 2:8, which states And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. It is cold and rainy during the winter in Judea and sheep would be placed in corrals. In spring, shepherds would stay with their flocks night and day, tending new births. It follows that Jesus had a spring birthday.
Muslims believe that Jesus, peace be upon him, was born in the Spring.
Some Mormons believe that their Church was founded on April 6th because it was Christ’s birthday.
The North Star shows up in late Spring. The planetary alignment that received the attention of the astronomers from the east can be worked out using the Hebrew calendar and comparing it with our own gregorian calendar.
Keep in mind however, a birthdate for Jesus being in the year 1 B.C is problematic. While April may possibly be the month of Jesus birth, most scholars date the year to between 4 B.C. to 7 B.C. The problem of dating Jesus birth in 1 B.C. arises from the date of Herods death. ...Herod died in 4 B.C.
No one knows for certain but I want to wish you the most joyous celebration of Christ’s birth, whenever it is.
It’s important to know that it was not Dec 25 and that it’s not important.
It was when Jesus was cutoff that’s important, not when he was born,
This is just my conjecture on his birth, but April 6th is interesting because I firmly believe its the day he fulfilled part of Daniel Chapter 9 in the year 32 AD, see Sir Robert Anderson’s book “The Coming Prince” written over a century ago detailing this,
From the Decree of Artaxerxes until Messiah shows up its 483 years per Daniel Chapter 9, or being exactly 173,880 days counting to April 6th 32 AD, (though he was cutoff at 434 years, leaving 56 years remaining for the future, and thats a whole separate discussion.) However April 6th is the day Israel should have recognized their Messiah would appear and they did not. Jesus said they ‘knew not the time of their visitation’ and their house is left desolate, see Luke 19:44, the Temple was destroyed and the Diaspora came as a result,
As to a time for Jesus to be born, we know it was 6 months after John the Baptist, and we know the 24 courses of Priests that David established and the order from Josephus. Also we know that Johns father Zacharias was serving as a priest in the Temple when the angel appeared to him announcing Johns birth. John began ‘in the wilderness’ in the 15th year of Tiberius(28 AD) Jesus began his work sometime after Johns being ‘about thirty’ years of age, and I believe Herod died in 1 BC with an eclipse, not 4 BC as commonly conjectured,
With the normal gestation period of humans being 280 days or (7 x 40 says) That would have required Jesus as being born in late September to very early October of 2 BC. I suspect on the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. John (the apostle) says ‘he tabernacled among us,’
With March 14, 445 BC as the starting point of the 490 years (or 70 Sevens) determined per Daniel Chapter 9, its 69 sevens (x360 day years) or 173, 880 days exactly counting to April 6th, 32 AD, while September 27, 2 BC is precisely 11, 880 days to the very same day, or 33 years exactly.
March 14th, 445 BC —483 years—> April 6th,32 AD
September 27, 2 BC —33 years—> April 6th,32 AD
Meaning if correct, I believe Jesus turned 33 years of age the very same day/week that he completed his work as the passover Lamb of God on the cross, and while I have zero interest in Babylonian heathen festivals, it would have been (interestingly enough) on or about December 25th of 3 BC that he would have been conceived by the Holy Spirit,
One bit of research I’ve seen indicates that December 25th could have been the approximate date of when the Magi visited the infant Christ in Bethlehem ... a visit which might have taken place weeks or months after the child was born.
Most Christians can't:
recite the 10 Commandments;
name the Four Gospels;
most Christians know " for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life" but can't tell you where in the Bible that verse is found or worse can say John 3:16 but can't recite the actual verse;
and finally, most Christians choose to continue to celebrate His Holy Birth on December 25th!
You hear this a lot, but it isn't true. I know a man who leads pilgrimages to Bethlehem every Christmas and he says that every year there are shepherds out in the surrounding fields at night with their sheep. The sheep have a full coat of fleece and Bethlehem is below the snowline in Israel, it's climate being a lot closer to California than upstate New York.
You are correct in that the Magi did not follow a star to the place Jesus was born. Scripture states that, when the Magi followed a star and found Jesus he was a “child” - not a babe in a manger - living in a house at the time. He could have been up to 2 years old by then. This explains why Herod had male children 2 years old and under executed. He knew “the Promised One” was due and he was afraid of losing his kingship.
When was Jesus born? Let's see if we can place Jesus' birth in Bethlehem at a particular time of the year. Remember, as always....be a Berean.
To begin our search lets go to Luke Chapter 1 and find Mary's cousin Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah. We begin at Jerusalem in the temple. We'll find some verses and highlight the parts that will help us in our search. Luke 1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
We find in 1 Chronicles 24:10 The division of Abijah was eighth in line to perform their tasks of serving God in the sanctuary - The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz. The eighth lot fell to Abijah.....
Luke 1:8-9 When Zechariah was serving with his division of priests in God's presence, he was chosen by lot to go into the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense, according to the custom of the priests.
Let's dissect this Israel was divided into districts in NT times. Priests from the various districts would go into Jerusalem and serve the needs of the temple during appointed times. The Jewish month of Nissan starts the counting of the months, the feast seasons and the priestly duty periods in the temple in Jerusalem. Each priestly division had to serve for one week (all served during the week of Passover) so this would place Zecharias in the temple at the 9th week.
Luke 1:11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. Luke 1:13 ...the angel told him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John. Luke 1:20 But because you did not believe my announcement, which will be fulfilled at its proper time, you will become silent and unable to speak until the day this happens." Luk 1:23-26 When the days of his service were over, he went home.
The following (#10) week, was the required celebration of Shavuot and the next week Zechariah would have gone home to Elizabeth. 11 weeks after the start of the year mid April.
After this, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and remained in seclusion for five months. She said, "This is what the Lord did for me when he looked favorably on me and took away my public disgrace." Now in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,
Luke 1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 1:30 ... the angel told her, "fear not, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 1:31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 1:32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 1:33 He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end." 1:34 Mary asked the angel, "How can this happen, since I have not had relations with a man?" 1:35 The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 1:36 And listen! Elizabeth, your relative, has herself conceived a son in her old age, this woman who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
Guess when the sixth month would find them?.....around the feast of dedication Hannukah! aka. the feast of lights...... remember the announcement that He was the light come into the world? Around the middle of ...December
Now do the math. If Mary conceived the Savior in December during Hannukah we count nine months,,,Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sept. What happens in late September?
The Feast of Tabernacles! The very time when God said He would dwell with his people. Exo_25:8 Let them make a sanctuary ( a tabernacle) for me so I may dwell among them.
If it's not important, then why is it important to "know" that it was not December 25? :)
“I’ve read something similar. My understanding is that shepherds would not have been out in the fields with their flocks in December, for example.”
This is true, plus Herod had required all male head-of-households to return to the place of their birth to be registered. This is why Joseph and Mary were traveling at the time. Herod was having trouble with Jewish unrest and would not risk further unrest by requiring them to do this traveling during the winter time. It appears that the timing of Herod’s decree and Jesus’ birth indicate the birth occurred in the fall late September, early October. Once gain Herod knew from prophecy that the Messiah was due and he was fearful of being usurped.
My theory -- which is based on nothing more than loosely-connected pieces of information from Scripture and my understanding of the astronomical events that "the star" may involve -- is that Herod ordered the slaughter of young children up to the age of two because he didn't know exactly when Christ was born. When the Magi told him that they had started on their journey after "reading" something in the stars, it's possible that they departed from the east many months before Christ was born ... but Herod would not have known that for certain.
you mean Rosh Hashanna
It took 39 posts for someone to get it right. Conceived Dec 25, born Sept 29.
Good post, but you’re incorrect about one thing. It wasn’t Herod who ordered the census/registration. It was the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus who ordered it.
I appreciate the emoticon. :-)
Since the bible does not give a date, that makes it specifically not important data to a Christian. To then ascribe a date where the Holy Spirit has said, by His silence, that a date is not important is to put ones self in the place of or over the Holy Spirit. This would be like putting a date on the end where Jesus said that it is not for us to know.
Rosh Hashanna = Feast of Trumpets, Lev 23:23
Love your comments, my FRiend!
The word "Mass" has nothing whatsoever to do with death. It's the Anglicization of the the Latin "Missa". "Missa" comes from the priest's words at the end of the liturgy, "Ite, missa est", probably best translated as "Go, you are dismissed". "Missa" certainly derives from the Latin verb "motto, matters", meaning "to send". No death anywhere in sight.