Jesus’ Birthday – December 25
Who was Jesus Christ, and why is December 25 honored as a major holiday around the world, regardless of geography, political affiliation, or religious affiliation? Interestingly, while Jesus is predominantly linked with Christianity in the Western world, he is also regarded as a prominent figure by other religions. As we celebrate this intriguing, complex, and occasionally contentious man’s life on his birthday, we invite you to learn more about him.
Jesus’ Birthday timeline
When and why was Jesus Christ crucified, and why is December 25th a major festival celebrated around the world, regardless of geography, politics, or religion? Intriguingly, while Jesus is predominantly linked with Christianity in the Western world, he is also revered as a key figure in other religions as well. We’re celebrating his birthday by taking a look back at his interesting, complex, and occasionally contentious life.
How to Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday
- Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day with a broad range of traditions, the majority of which feature reenactments of the Nativity scene, which depicts Jesus’ poor beginnings. Caroling and Handel’s Messiah oratorio are among the highlights of the Christmas season, which ranges from simple carols to magnificent performances of Handel’s oratorio. Many Christian families make it an annual ritual to attend a midnight church service on Christmas Eve, which is lighted only by candlelight.
Celebrate as a winter nature and music festival
- When it comes to Christmas, the tradition of using a Christmas tree, mistletoe, and other plants that are linked with the festival dates back to pagan rites that became incorporated into religious observance since December 25th coincided with the winter solstice. Christmas lights have replaced candles as the modern equivalent. Also available are ever-expanding collections of Christmas tunes, ranging from jazz to rap
Celebrate as an occasion for joyful giving
- The tradition of exchanging gifts has evolved into a significant feature of the holiday season. This year, perhaps we might consider simplifying the gift-giving process by considering how we can offer something of ourselves as a present to someone else. Simply baking gluten-free sweets for a friend who has food allergies, locating a book for your spouse who has been yearning to read, or writing a genuine message of thanks to a family member may all count as acts of kindness. Making charitable contributions from a place of gratitude and abundance rather than out of obligation or pressure is essential to happy giving.
3 Little-known Facts About Jesus Christ
- “Christ” is a title or office rather than a given name, and it is derived from the Hebrew term for “anointed,” which is transliterated into English as “Messiah.”
Jesus was part of a big family
- In addition to his brothers James, Joses (or Joseph), Judas, and Simon, Jesus also had at least three sisters, the identities of whom have not been documented.
Some non-Christian religions also recognize Jesus
- According to Islam, for example, Jesus (often transliterated as Isa) is revered as one of God’s most prominent prophets, as well as a bringer of scriptures and as the promised Messiah. Islam, on the other hand, does not regard him to be the Son of God, as Christians do.
Jesus’ Birthday dates
If you think Jesus was born in the year 0 you’re dead wrong
Since the years of the Common Era are designated with the abbreviation “AD,” which stands for anno Domini, which means “in the year of the lord” in Latin, it is reasonable to infer that Jesus was born in the year 0 of the Common Era. To be more specific, he is widely thought to have been born on December 25, 1 BCE, eight days before the New Year, making his birth eight days before the New Year. However, this is extremely unlikely. For starters, there is no such thing as a year 0. The day after December 31, 1 BCE is January 1, 1 CCE, and the day after that is December 31, 1 BCE is December 31, 1 BCE.
In the year 525 C.E., Dionysius Exiguus, a monk from what is now Bulgaria, discovered a method of calculating the distance between two points (according to himself).
Given that there is no reason to believe he possessed any information that we do not currently possess, let us analyze the facts for ourselves.
In examining the historical Jesus, modern historians must take these narratives with a grain of salt because the authors of these works were clearly more interested in theology than history; they were written a long time after the fact; and they contradict one another, themselves, and other historical documents on a variety of issues, both major and minor.
- King Herod was reigning at the time of Jesus’ birth, according to Luke, who tells us that Jesus was born during or shortly after his rule (1:5).
- In light of the fact that Herod passed away in 4 BCE, it appears that we may safely infer that Jesus was born in that year or before.
- There is some evidence that Matthew chose to have Jesus’ birth take place during Herod’s reign in order to include his story of the Massacre of the Innocents (2:14), an infanticide that does not have any historical support and is not included in any of the other gospels.
- So it’s possible that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, or that he wasn’t (37 B.C.E.
- What further evidence do we have at our disposal?
- Penny denarius in honor of Emperor Tiberius, shown as follows: As recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus began his public ministry in the 15th year of Emperor Tiberius’ reign.
- This is most likely what prompted Dionysius to devise his method of keeping track of the years.
According to Luke (2:1-2), Jesus was born at Bethlehem rather than his family’s birthplace in Nazareth because of the Census of Quirinius (the ruler of Syria), which prompted Joseph to return to his ancestral home in Bethlehem due to the census.
That would imply that Jesus was born either that year or the next year.
Bethlehem during the winter months All four of the canonical gospels agree that Jesus was crucified under the reign of Pontius Pilate as governor of the Roman province of Galilee (26 C.E.
Because all four gospels agree on this, and because Pilate is a real man whose existence has been confirmed by outside evidence, this may be accepted as historical truth by the Christian community.
For the time being, the closest thing we have is Luke’s assertion that he was around 30 years old when he began preaching.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons In the case of Pilate’s governorship, subtracting 30 years from the total number of years gives us a range from 7 BCE to 6 CE, which is the most accurate estimate we can come up with.
The sole clue comes from a passage in Luke, which says that at the time of the birth, “in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock at night” (Luke 2:35).
Because sheep were kept indoors during the cold winter nights in Bethlehem, some academics believe that Jesus could not have been born during the winter.
Other academics have questioned the validity of this claim.
If early Christians were aware of the date of Jesus’ birth, it is puzzling because there is no record of such an event occurring prior to that time period.
That this event was turned from a pagan feast commemorating the rebirth of the sun to a festival commemorating the birth of Jesus appears to be the most plausible explanation.
It appears that we do not know when Jesus was born, neither the day nor the year, but we may guess that it was probably somewhere within the first decade of the first century C.E. or the first decade of the first century BCE.
When is Jesus’ Birthday 2022?
The celebration of Jesus’ birthday in 2022 will take place on Sunday, December 25, 2022. (in 299 days). Calendar for the year 2022
What is Jesus’ Birthday?
A representation of the birth of Jesus against a backdrop of a Christmas tree. While it is unknown on what day or in what year the historical Jesus was born (most academics believe it was somewhere between 6 BC and 4 BC), his birthday is remembered on December 25 every year for feasts and liturgical purposes. A religious and cultural festival, known asChristmas or Christmas Day, is celebrated by billions of people all over the globe on December 25th each year. In pagan festivities commemorating the winter solstice, which falls a few days before December 25, the origins of Christmas may be traced back to the celebration of the Nativity (the birth of Jesus) observed by early Christians, which was merged with the holiday.
When is Jesus’ Birthday 2023?
The celebration of Jesus’ birthday in 2023 will take place on Monday, December 25, 2023. (in 664 days). 2023 is the year on the calendar.
Dates for Jesus’ Birthday from 2017 to 2027
The date for the next occurrence of Jesus’ Birthday has been circled in red.
|Day of the week
|Jesus’ Birthday 2017
|December 25, 2017
|1527 days ago
|Jesus’ Birthday 2018
|December 25, 2018
|1162 days ago
|Jesus’ Birthday 2019
|December 25, 2019
|797 days ago
|Jesus’ Birthday 2020
|December 25, 2020
|431 days ago
|Jesus’ Birthday 2021
|December 25, 2021
|66 days ago
|Jesus’ Birthday 2022
|December 25, 2022
|in 299 days
|Jesus’ Birthday 2023
|December 25, 2023
|in 664 days
|Jesus’ Birthday 2024
|December 25, 2024
|in 1030 days
|Jesus’ Birthday 2025
|December 25, 2025
|in 1395 days
|Jesus’ Birthday 2026
|December 25, 2026
|in 1760 days
|Jesus’ Birthday 2027
|December 25, 2027
|in 2125 days
|Data provided ‘as is’ without warranty
Calendar templates for Word, Excel, and PDF in the year 2022.
2022 calendar as templatesforWord,ExcelandPDF
The following is a collection of calendar templates for 2022 in both landscape and portrait format, as well as featuring US federal holidays, that may be used for a number of purposes.
Various other nations
How Old Is Jesus This Year? – Religion
|How Old Is Jesus This Year?byMyX1:3:08amOnDec 25,2016
|The people that are celebrating Christmas.I have this Question for you.Since Christmas is meant for Christ Birthday, please HOW OLD IS JESUS THIS YEAR?If None of you is able to answer this question. That means you do not really know what you are celebrating.1 Like1 Share
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byBlakjewelry (m):3:15amOnDec 25,2016
|2000 years +1
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?bywtfCode:4:33amOnDec 25,2016
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byiammo (m):5:49amOnDec 25,2016
|2016 + 33
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?bySmellymouth:5:59amOnDec 25,2016
|Forget the age, enjoy the rice.Happy birthday Jesus.Farano, rice never dorn? Na your house I wan eat Christmas rice oo.
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byVickyRotex (f):6:14amOnDec 25,2016
|iammo: 2016 + 33If we’re to go by your point, then it means he was born 2016 years ago not 2016+33.The 33 years he lived is inside the AD2016.It means He is 2015 years, as AD starts from 1 not 0.But this Op sef
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byfriedcorn:6:27amOnDec 25,2016
|Well jesus rose from dead but mohammed is died and remain deas up till date. His bones are still in mecca worshipped by his followers.
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?by Nobody:6:38amOnDec 25,2016
|He’s ageless God,ancient of ages. I am that I am,1 Like
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byiammo (m):8:14amOnDec 25,2016
|VickyRotex: If we’re to go by your point, then it means he was born 2016 years ago not 2016+33.The 33 years he lived is inside the AD2016.It means He is 2015 years, as AD starts from 1 not 0.But this Op sefI guess he was 33 years as at time of his death and it’s been exactly 2016 years after his death. So am also guessing his posthumous age would likely be 2049 years old
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byBlakjewelry (m):9:01amOnDec 25,2016
|wtfCode: na u born am?Them say na 2000 years ago them born am na em make I put plus 1 though if I want to do actually calculation I can but like everyone, I have to stop at the year of death
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byVickyRotex (f):2:20pmOnDec 25,2016
|iammo:I guess he was 33 years as at time of his death and it’s been exactly 2016 years after his death. So am also guessing his posthumous age would likely be 2049 years oldI hope you know AD doesnt mean “After Death”?
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byVickyRotex (f):2:21pmOnDec 25,2016
|Jeffboi: He’s ageless God,ancient of ages. I am that I am,Correct!
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byiammo (m):2:26pmOnDec 25,2016
|VickyRotex: I hope you know AD doesnt mean “After Death”?Oh.now I knowmerry Xmas
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byVickyRotex (f):3:04pmOnDec 25,2016
|iammo: Oh.now I knowmerry Xmaslol. Thanks. Merry Christmas to you too!
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?bymrmrmister:3:06pmOnDec 25,2016
|What is jesus?
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?by Nobody:3:25pmOnDec 25,2016
|He is called Ancient of Days. He existed before time began
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byUyi168:3:28pmOnDec 25,2016
|friedcorn: Well jesus rose from dead but mohammed is died and remain deas up till date. His bones are still in mecca worshipped by his followers.Silly comment.are we discussing mohammed here?.infact,whats the proof that ur jesus rose from the dead?
|Re: How Old Is Jesus This Year?byorunto27:7:54pmOnDec 25,2016
|Jesus Christ is Ageless. He is The Beginning, The Now and The Forever. The Rock of Ages and The Life in you, I and in everyone.
Was Jesus really born on Christmas? The Bible implies differently
It is true that Christmas has become a shopping spectacle, but its roots can be traced back to the celebration of Jesus’ birth, who is considered to be God’s son according to the Christian religion. Was Jesus, however, truly born on December 25th? The quick answer is that it does not. It is not widely accepted that Jesus was born on December 25, the day on which Christmas is celebrated across the world. Instead, according to The History Channel, Christmas was chosen as a suitable celebration day since it fell on the same day as a pagan event that marked the equinox of the winter solstice.
- According to the Bible, it is possible to guess when Jesus was truly born.
- According to the United Church of God, this is clearly detailed in the Bible in Luke 2:7-8 and is such an important part of the tale that it has been used in Christmas hymns.
- In its place, this suggests that Jesus was born during a warmer month.
- According to reports, the census would not have taken place in the winter, and notably in December, since turnout would have been expected to be low.
- Six months before the birth of Jesus, John was conceived.
- The United Church of God particularly identifies the dates of June 13 to 17 as the most plausible dates for Jesus’ birth.
It was viewed as a middle ground between two conflicting viewpoints. Christmas is celebrated across the world on both December 25 and December 24, or Christmas Eve, with religious services taking place on both of these days.
When Was Jesus Born?
In less than a month, the globe will commemorate the purported birth of Jesus Christ, which will take place on December 25. Every year, the jingles on the radio and television intrude on our sanity earlier and earlier, and the decorations are put up far in advance of Halloween! We can’t get away from the “Christmas spirit” no matter where we go. For the most part, this is a season that we suffer through, wishing it would hurry up and be done with as soon as possible. While this is an exciting time of year, it is also a time when we must be on our watch.
- Some people are intrigued by such a difference, and they may wonder why we don’t maintain it as a distinction.
- If He was not born on that date, when did He become a human being?
- When this matter is brought up, both Protestants and Catholics become highly passionate, and many of them become strongly set in their beliefs about the December 25th date, despite the evidence to the contrary.
- Furthermore, biblical and historical specialists are evenly divided on this issue as is the general public.
- The Clues in the Gospel of Luke On the surface, the narratives of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke give little information concerning the timing of his conception.
- In his capacity as a respected historian, Luke, on the other hand, presents a sound and orderly account of the events that dispels any question as to the approximate period of Jesus’ birth.
- The author of Luke recounts a precise set of events that took place in chronological order in a lengthy stretch spanning Luke 1:5 to 2:8.
When Zacharias was doing his priestly duties during the course of Abijah, he was visited by the angel Gabriel, who informed him that his prayers had been answered and that he and Elizabeth would be expecting a son.
Because Zacharias had doubts that this would happen, Gabriel informed him that he would be unable to speak until the birth of his son, which took place the next day.
Elizabeth became pregnant shortly after and withdrew from society for five months, fearful of how her pregnancy would be seen.
Soon after, Mary paid a visit to her cousin Elizabeth, with whom she stayed until the latter’s ninth month of pregnancy, before departing soon before the birth of John.
What information do we have available to us at this time?
John the Baptist was born around six months before the birth of Jesus.
As luck would have it, Luke provides one by stating “the conduct of Abijah” (Luke 1:5).
Yes, it certainly is!
“These are the divisions of the sons of Aaron,” says the first verse of the chapter.
In order to serve as authorities of the sanctuary and of God’s home, these courses of priests were separated by lottery (verse 5).
Abijah’s course, which was the course during which Zacharias was responsible for working, was the eighth shift of the day (verse 10).
And so, in the presence of David, Zadok, Abiathar the high priest, and all the rulers, the courses were divided by lot; and the course that came up first was written down as the first, and the course that came up second was written down as the second, and so on until the twenty-fourth course was written down; and this division has remained to this day ” (Antiquities of the Jews, 7:14.7).
- The Talmud outlines the specifics of the rotation of courses, which begins on Nisan 1 and continues until Nisan 31.
- (The Hebrew calendar year is generally divided into fifty-one weeks.
- In this way, each of the courses operated five weeks out of the year: two weeks throughout the course of their particular course and three weeks during the holy day seasons.
- Because of this, the gospel stories make it abundantly obvious that he was born around a half-year before Jesus.
- This circumstance requires us to identify the first shift in Abijah’s journey as the moment when Gabriel met Zacharias in the Temple, which corresponds to the beginning of the first shift.
- 9), Frederick R.
- According to computer calculations that synchronized the Hebrew Calendar with the stylised Julian Calendar, the date was April 8, according to the Hebrew Calendar.
During the ninth week of Abijah’s assigned course and the tenth week of the Pentecost course, which spanned from Iyar 27 through Sivan 12 (Hebrew calendar), or June 3 through June 17, Zacharias of the course of Abijah worked nine weeks in his assigned course and ten weeks in Pentecost course (Julian calendar).
- With this information, we may determine that Elizabeth’s sixth month was December, which was also the month in which Mary became pregnant (Luke 1:26-38).
- As a result, John was born somewhere during the spring of 4BC, most likely between March 18 and March 31.
- It is an interesting side note that Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets, falls on one of the two middle days of this time frame, which is an odd coincidence.
- The fact that Jesus was born in the fall of the year has been confirmed by other evidence.
- Furthermore, it was typical in Judea to conduct their tax collection operations during this season, as this was when the majority of a farmer’s revenue was generated.
- This suggests that visitors from all over the globe had begun to come in Jerusalem and the surrounding cities at the time of the writing of this passage.
- In December, there would not have been a similar flow of travelers to the Holy Land.
- Sheep were usually herded into pens or corrals in the center of the pasture as the weather became cooler and the rainy season began, especially at night.
- While the sheep were out in the desert, the shepherds kept a close eye on them at all times.
And because these shepherds had not yet returned with their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet begun, and that, as a result, our Lord could not have been born on the 25th of December, when there were no flocks out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, when the flocks were still out in the fields at night, as the shepherds had not yet returned with their flocks.
- On this same basis, the celebration of the Nativity in December should be abandoned.
- Clayton’s Commentary, volume V, page 370.
- We certainly do not use this information to commemorate His birthday—in fact, He instructs us to commemorate His death rather than His birth (I Corinthians 11:23-26).
- It also points to the correct time of His ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection, thereby helping to disprove the unsupported Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition, which is also supported by the Bible.
- Furthermore, we need be aware of even these intricacies in order to be able to present rationales for our ideas that are based on common sense.
The Christmas season encourages people to believe a deception about the actual date of Jesus Christ’s birth. Beyond just rejecting the world’s explanation, we must seek to understand, prove, and pursue what is true.
Prophetic Announcements of Christ’s Birth
The birth of Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, the Eternal Father, is commemorated by Christians throughout the Christmas season. I will speak of the prophetic pronouncements of His birth as part of this First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which will serve as a model for our celebration. None of the announcements was more momentous than the appearance of the angel to Mary. “The angel replied to her, “Fear not, Mary; for thou hast won favor with God,” according to the Bible. You will get pregnant and give birth to a son, whom you will name Jesus, as a result of what has happened to you.
- Pre-earthly creation revealed to us that Jesus Christ was selected to experience mortal existence and to serve as the Savior required to carry out God’s purpose (seeMoses 4:2).
- So “thou must do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call on God in the name of the Son forevermore,” according to Moses (5:7–8).
- In his commandment to repent and be baptized “in the name of my Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, who is Jesus Christ, the only name that shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of mankind,” God the Father told us to do so (Moses 6:52).
- “A sign will be given to you by the Lord himself,” he said.
- “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon him shoulder, and his name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” Isaiah also declared.
- The Book of Mormon prophets were also given insight about the birth of Christ.
It was the prophet Abinadi who made the following statement: “Didn’t Moses prophesy to them in regards to the arrival of the Messiah, and that God would rescue his people?” Yes, and even all of the prophets who have prophesied since the beginning of time—have they not all spoken in some way or another of these things?
“And it came to pass that I observed that she had been taken away in the Spirit; and when she had been carried away in the Spirit for a period of time, the angel spoke unto me, saying: “Take notice!”” And I turned around and saw the virgin again, this time holding a kid in her arms.
The first proclamation made upon the birth of Jesus is one that we are all familiar with.
‘And there were shepherds staying in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, in the same country.’ “And lo, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shined around them, and they were greatly terrified.” For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be to all people, as the angel had announced to them.” And the angel said to them, “Fear not; for I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be to all people.” “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord,” says the prophet.
And immediately, there appeared a multitude of the heavenly host surrounding the angel, praising God and proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:8–11, 13–14, emphasis added).
And he entered the temple through the power of the Spirit, and when the parents brought in the infant Jesus, he performed for him according to the custom of the law.” When he finished, he lifted him up in his arms and thanked God, saying: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:”For mine eyes have seen thy deliverance” (Luke 2:25–30; emphasis added).
In the scriptures, Anna is referred to as “a prophetess.” She lived to be around fourscore and four years old, and she was a widow who “would not remove from the temple, but worshiped God with fastings and prayers night and day.” “And Mary came in that moment, and she offered thanks to the Lord as well, and she spoke of him to all those who longed for deliverance in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36–38; emphasis added).
The Savior’s first appearance is foretold in the prophesies and announcements that have just been recited.
In addition to the temple and its covenants, a family where children are nurtured and taught, and our many positions of duty designated by priesthood authority, such as missions, temples, and other callings that are faithfully carried out in branches, wards, and stakes, are among those “holy places.” With our eyes fixed on the horizon for His Second Coming and our feet planted firmly on holy ground, we continue to observe Christmas not simply as a time to send “Greetings” or “Happy Holidays,” but as a time to commemorate the birth of the Son of God and a time to recall His teachings and the eternal significance of His Atonement.
I pray that we will be steadfast in our commitments. The truth of these things is established by my testimony in the name of the One whose birthday we are commemorating, that is, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The Doctrine of Christ
Brothers and sisters, when we put the concept of Christ into practice in our lives, we are rewarded both temporally and spiritually, even while we are going through difficult circumstances. We eventually achieve the ability to “take hold of every nice thing.” This process has occurred and is continuing to occur in my own life, step by step and little by little, as I witness in this document. But, more significantly, we must put the concept of Christ into practice in our daily lives since it is the only way to return to our heavenly Father’s presence.
- 58In reality, the only way to be redeemed from sin and to make spiritual growth is to conduct our lives according to the teachings of Christ.
- does not remain in the doctrine of Christ, does not have God,” to put it another way.
- In order to better prepare for the Sacrament, we may make a conscious effort each week to spend some time in prayerfully considering where we need to make the most improvements.
- While doing so, the Holy Ghost will be drawn into our life to a larger extent, and we will get more power to overcome our flaws and shortcomings.
- It is only through Him that all things good are made available to people.
- Amen, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
When was Jesus Born?
When was Jesus’ birth commemorated? On Christmas Day, perhaps? We genuinely have no idea the day Jesus was born because we don’t have any records of it. Despite the efforts of scientists and theologians, there is no way to determine whether or not Jesus was born in the month of December at this time. We do, however, understand why we commemorate Jesus on the 25th of December. Around the year 200 A.D., Gnostic Christians in Egypt were the first to commemorate Christ’s birth. In the past, many church leaders believed that the 6th of January was the day of Christ’s birth, and thus they celebrated Christmas on that day; now, we commemorate Epiphany (or the arrival of the Magi) on that day.
- Because of the solstice, a number of pagan feasts were observed on and around December 25th, including a day dedicated to the worship of the sun.
- Historical Inferences Drawn from the Bible Despite the fact that the gospel narratives of Christ’s birth do not give us with a definite date, they do include historical data from which Christians have inferred a variety of interpretations.
- Because, according to certain historians, shepherds in Judea traditionally worked outside between the months of March and November, this apparently little fact has important historical significance.
- While some researchers believe that this shepherding calendar is historically accurate, others believe that the historical evidence for it is insufficient.
- Furthermore, during the warmer months, the sheep grazed in the desert, but Luke adds that the shepherds were not in the wilderness at that time of year.
The Jewish Mishnah provides one final historical detail: “The sheep around Bethlehem were outside all year, and those that were worthy for the Passover offerings were in the fields thirty days before the feast–which would be as early as February–one of the coldest and wettest months of the year.” In other words, the sheep around Bethlehem were outside all year.
- Christian scholars would spend hundreds of years attempting to compute the date as a consequence of the dearth of available material, and they would come to widely diverse conclusions.
- in Alexandria, Egypt, according to archaeological evidence.
- They adhered to an ideology in which the material is regarded as inferior to the spiritual, and their interpretation of the Incarnation was affected by this belief system.
- There was, however, some debate as to the precise moment when the revelation occurred.
- Despite the fact that this set of Christians observed Christmas in a manner that was significantly different from that of succeeding generations, this practice was one of the oldest commemorations of Christ’s birth and had a role in the evolution of the custom.
- However, previous to the formation of the date of December 25th, the most preferred day was January 6th, and this was for a variety of reasons.
Clement of Alexandria is credited with making the first significant reference to January 6 as the day of Christ’s birth.
He established the date to be January 6th by consulting an Egyptian calendar (Stromata1.21.145).
Clement, on the other hand, was not the only one who associated the 6th of January with the birth of Christ.
In accordance with Clement’s explanation, these Egyptian Gnostics commemorated the baptism of Jesus on the eleventh day of the month of Tubi, which corresponds to our present day January 6th.
An Adaptation of Pagan Cultural Traditions Another possible reason why Christians celebrated Christmas on January 6th was the presence of pagan culture in the surrounding area.
In Egypt, the sixth of January was celebrated as both the festival of the virgin goddess Kore and the birthday of the deity Osiris on the same day.
With a faint trace of the Egyptian Gnostic tradition, our current celebration of Epiphany commemorates the arrival of the Magi on the scene.
Additionally, the week between December 25 and January 6 is referred to as the “12 Days of Christmas” period.
Some researchers think that this practice was the impetus for the creation of December 25 as the Christmas feast day, which coincided with the widespread pagan festival of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, as the official Christmas feast day.
In fact, the date of the winter solstice has changed more than once.
It was typical in the surrounding Roman society throughout the first two centuries of the church’s existence to equate the winter solstice with the worship of the sun.
In the year 274, Emperor Aurelian formally established “the worship of SolInvictus, the Unconquered Sun,” which was thereafter known as “the Sun of Victory.” He also decreed that the Sun god’s birthday would be commemorated on December 25, the winter solstice, as a day of celebration.
Following then, the date was celebrated as a significant feast day across the Roman Empire.
Mithra was described as a son or friend of the sun, and he acquired a large number of adherents among the Roman troops.
Amid the conflicting traditions of the surrounding area, the local church in Rome formally designated December 25 as thedies natalis Christior, or “the day of Christ’s birth.” This specific pronouncement, which took place in 336, was not accompanied by any kind of rationale or explanation.
Despite the fact that there is little historical evidence to support this date’s selection, the majority of experts believe it was not a coincidental choice.
One last reason for selecting December 25 may have been the Saturnalian celebration, which took place from December 17 to 23 each year and was one of the reasons for selecting the date.
It is probable that the church was further pushed to secure December 25 as a counter-holiday to the pagan feast out of fear that Christians might succumb to its depravity.
Because the evidence is mostly circumstantial, some academics have proposed a separate hypothesis that corresponds to Christianity’s Jewish origins.
Some Christians, perhaps under the influence of old Jewish theological literature, may have concluded that the date of Christ’s death coincided with the date of his conception.
In this scenario, Christ would have been born on March 25, which is precisely nine months before the date of his death on December 25.
For example, Augustine wrote in On the Trinity that because he is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, on which day also he suffered, “the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, where no man had ever been laid, either before him or since him.” However, according to legend, he was born on the 25th of December.” The Feast of the Annunciation, which commemorates the day of Christ’s conception, is still observed on March 25th to this day.
This latter idea, like the assumption concerning Christmas’ pagan origins, has an element of educated speculation as well as a degree of skepticism.
As a result, the history and reasons behind our Christmas celebrations on December 25 will continue to be veiled in some degree of mystery for the foreseeable future.
The Origins of the Holiday Season.
55, published by Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Zondervan Publishing Company, 1978, p.
It may be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
From New Advent:2004, p.
Joseph Kelly is a writer who lives in New York City.
Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, p.
15 (2010, 2010). Talley, Thomas. The origins of the liturgical year. P. 119Ibid.Kelly, 2004, p. 57 Kelly, 2010, p. 15 McGowan, Andrew. “How December 25 Became Christmas.” Biblical Archaeology Review,2004, p. 62Ibid. p. 64Ibid.Ibid. p. 63Ibid. p. 64Ibid.Ibid. p. 66Ibid. 64McGowan