How December 25 Became Christmas

Read Andrew McGowan’s article “How December 25 Became Christmas” as it originally appeared in Bible Review, December 2002. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily in December 2012.—Ed.


 

A blanket of snow covers the little town of Bethlehem, in Pieter Bruegel’s oil painting from 1566. Although Jesus’ birth is celebrated every year on December 25, Luke and the other gospel writers offer no hint about the specific time of year he was born. Scala/Art Resource, NY

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?

The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled. Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical.

The extrabiblical evidence from the first and second century is equally spare: There is no mention of birth celebrations in the writings of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus (c. 130–200) or Tertullian (c. 160–225). Origen of Alexandria (c. 165–264) goes so far as to mock Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this point.

This stands in sharp contrast to the very early traditions surrounding Jesus’ last days. Each of the Four Gospels provides detailed information about the time of Jesus’ death. According to John, Jesus is crucified just as the Passover lambs are being sacrificed. This would have occurred on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, just before the Jewish holiday began at sundown (considered the beginning of the 15th day because in the Hebrew calendar, days begin at sundown). In Matthew, Mark and Luke, however, the Last Supper is held after sundown, on the beginning of the 15th. Jesus is crucified the next morning—still, the 15th.a

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Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion. Its observance could even be implied in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5:7–8: “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival…”); it was certainly a distinctively Christian feast by the mid-second century C.E., when the apocryphal text known as the Epistle to the Apostles has Jesus instruct his disciples to “make commemoration of [his] death, that is, the Passover.”

Jesus’ ministry, miracles, Passion and Resurrection were often of most interest to first- and early-second-century C.E. Christian writers. But over time, Jesus’ origins would become of increasing concern. We can begin to see this shift already in the New Testament. The earliest writings—Paul and Mark—make no mention of Jesus’ birth. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke provide well-known but quite different accounts of the event—although neither specifies a date. In the second century C.E., further details of Jesus’ birth and childhood are related in apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James.b These texts provide everything from the names of Jesus’ grandparents to the details of his education—but not the date of his birth.

Finally, in about 200 C.E., a Christian teacher in Egypt makes reference to the date Jesus was born. According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. Surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25 at all. Clement writes: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20 in our calendar] … And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].”2

Clearly there was great uncertainty, but also a considerable amount of interest, in dating Jesus’ birth in the late second century. By the fourth century, however, we find references to two dates that were widely recognized—and now also celebrated—as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor). The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas.

The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”3 In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition.

In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?

There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.
 


 
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Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.

It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. A marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.5 In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars spurred on by the new study of comparative religions latched on to this idea.6 They claimed that because the early Christians didn’t know when Jesus was born, they simply assimilated the pagan solstice festival for their own purposes, claiming it as the time of the Messiah’s birth and celebrating it accordingly.

More recent studies have shown that many of the holiday’s modern trappings do reflect pagan customs borrowed much later, as Christianity expanded into northern and western Europe. The Christmas tree, for example, has been linked with late medieval druidic practices. This has only encouraged modern audiences to assume that the date, too, must be pagan.

There are problems with this popular theory, however, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.

Granted, Christian belief and practice were not formed in isolation. Many early elements of Christian worship—including eucharistic meals, meals honoring martyrs and much early Christian funerary art—would have been quite comprehensible to pagan observers. Yet, in the first few centuries C.E., the persecuted Christian minority was greatly concerned with distancing itself from the larger, public pagan religious observances, such as sacrifices, games and holidays. This was still true as late as the violent persecutions of the Christians conducted by the Roman emperor Diocletian between 303 and 312 C.E.

This would change only after Constantine converted to Christianity. From the mid-fourth century on, we do find Christians deliberately adapting and Christianizing pagan festivals. A famous proponent of this practice was Pope Gregory the Great, who, in a letter written in 601 C.E. to a Christian missionary in Britain, recommended that local pagan temples not be destroyed but be converted into churches, and that pagan festivals be celebrated as feasts of Christian martyrs. At this late point, Christmas may well have acquired some pagan trappings. But we don’t have evidence of Christians adopting pagan festivals in the third century, at which point dates for Christmas were established. Thus, it seems unlikely that the date was simply selected to correspond with pagan solar festivals.

The December 25 feast seems to have existed before 312—before Constantine and his conversion, at least. As we have seen, the Donatist Christians in North Africa seem to have known it from before that time. Furthermore, in the mid- to late fourth century, church leaders in the eastern Empire concerned themselves not with introducing a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, but with the addition of the December date to their traditional celebration on January 6.7
 


 
Read Andrew McGowan’s article “The Hungry Jesus,” in which he challenges the tradition that Jesus was a welcoming host at meals, in Bible History Daily.
 

 
There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years.8 But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.

The baby Jesus flies down from heaven on the back of a cross, in this detail from Master Bertram’s 14th-century Annunciation scene. Jesus’ conception carried with it the promise of salvation through his death. It may be no coincidence, then, that the early church celebrated Jesus’ conception and death on the same calendar day: March 25, exactly nine months before December 25. Kunsthalle, Hamburg/Bridgeman Art Library, NY

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.9 March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception.10 Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.d

This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.”11 Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.

Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so 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, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”12
 


 
Learn about the magi in art and literature in “Witnessing the Divine” by Robin M. Jensen, originally published in Bible Review and now available for free in Bible History Daily.
 

 
In the East, too, the dates of Jesus’ conception and death were linked. But instead of working from the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the easterners used the 14th of the first spring month (Artemisios) in their local Greek calendar—April 6 to us. April 6 is, of course, exactly nine months before January 6—the eastern date for Christmas. In the East, too, we have evidence that April was associated with Jesus’ conception and crucifixion. Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis writes that on April 6, “The lamb was shut up in the spotless womb of the holy virgin, he who took away and takes away in perpetual sacrifice the sins of the world.”13 Even today, the Armenian Church celebrates the Annunciation in early April (on the 7th, not the 6th) and Christmas on January 6.e

Thus, we have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6).

Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together. One of the most poignant expressions of this belief is found in Christian art. In numerous paintings of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary—the moment of Jesus’ conception—the baby Jesus is shown gliding down from heaven on or with a small cross (see photo above of detail from Master Bertram’s Annunciation scene); a visual reminder that the conception brings the promise of salvation through Jesus’ death.

The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud preserves a dispute between two early-second-century C.E. rabbis who share this view, but disagree on the date: Rabbi Eliezer states: “In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; on Passover Isaac was born … and in Nisan they [our ancestors] will be redeemed in time to come.” (The other rabbi, Joshua, dates these same events to the following month, Tishri.)14 Thus, the dates of Christmas and Epiphany may well have resulted from Christian theological reflection on such chronologies: Jesus would have been conceived on the same date he died, and born nine months later.15

In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism—from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year—than from paganism. Then again, in this notion of cycles and the return of God’s redemption, we may perhaps also be touching upon something that the pagan Romans who celebrated Sol Invictus, and many other peoples since, would have understood and claimed for their own, too.16
 


 
“How December 25 Became Christmas” by Andrew McGowan originally appeared in Bible Review, December 2002.
 

 
andrew-mcgowanAndrew McGowan is Dean and President of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies at Yale Divinity School. Formerly, he was Warden and President of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, and Joan Munro Professor of Historical Theology in Trinity’s Theological School within the University of Divinity. His work on early Christian thought and history includes Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christan Ritual Meals (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999) and Ancient Christian Worship (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2014).
 

 

Notes

a. See Jonathan Klawans, “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?” Bible Review, October 2001.

b. See the following Bible Review articles: David R. Cartlidge, “The Christian Apocrypha: Preserved in Art,” Bible Review, June 1997; Ronald F. Hock, “The Favored One,” Bible Review, June 2001; and Charles W. Hedrick, “The 34 Gospels,” Bible Review, June 2002.

c. For more on dating the year of Jesus’ birth, see Leonara Neville, “Fixing the Millennium,” Archaeology Odyssey, January/February 2002.

d. The ancients were familiar with the 9-month gestation period based on the observance of women’s menstrual cycles, pregnancies and miscarriages.

e. In the West (and eventually everywhere), the Easter celebration was later shifted from the actual day to the following Sunday. The insistence of the eastern Christians in keeping Easter on the actual 14th day caused a major debate within the church, with the easterners sometimes referred to as the Quartodecimans, or “Fourteenthers.”

1. Origen, Homily on Leviticus 8.

2. Clement, Stromateis 1.21.145. In addition, Christians in Clement’s native Egypt seem to have known a commemoration of Jesus’ baptism—sometimes understood as the moment of his divine choice, and hence as an alternate “incarnation” story—on the same date (Stromateis 1.21.146). See further on this point Thomas J. Talley, Origins of the Liturgical Year, 2nd ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), pp. 118–120, drawing on Roland H. Bainton, “Basilidian Chronology and New Testament Interpretation,” Journal of Biblical Literature 42 (1923), pp. 81–134; and now especially Gabriele Winkler, “The Appearance of the Light at the Baptism of Jesus and the Origins of the Feast of the Epiphany,” in Maxwell Johnson, ed., Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 291–347.

3. The Philocalian Calendar.

4. Scholars of liturgical history in the English-speaking world are particularly skeptical of the “solstice” connection; see Susan K. Roll, “The Origins of Christmas: The State of the Question,” in Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 273–290, especially pp. 289–290.

5. A gloss on a manuscript of Dionysius Bar Salibi, d. 1171; see Talley, Origins, pp. 101–102.

6. Prominent among these was Paul Ernst Jablonski; on the history of scholarship, see especially Roll, “The Origins of Christmas,” pp. 277–283.

7. For example, Gregory of Nazianzen, Oratio 38; John Chrysostom, In Diem Natalem.

8. Louis Duchesne, Origines du culte Chrétien, 5th ed. (Paris: Thorin et Fontemoing, 1925), pp. 275–279; and Talley, Origins.

9. Tertullian, Adversus Iudaeos 8.

10. There are other relevant texts for this element of argument, including Hippolytus and the (pseudo-Cyprianic) De pascha computus; see Talley, Origins, pp. 86, 90–91.

11. De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis domini nostri iesu christi et iohannis baptistae.

12. Augustine, Sermon 202.

13. Epiphanius is quoted in Talley, Origins, p. 98.

14. b. Rosh Hashanah 10b–11a.

15. Talley, Origins, pp. 81–82.

16. On the two theories as false alternatives, see Roll, “Origins of Christmas.”
 


 

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  1. Freedomborn says

    I think you will see very clearly if you follow the Link below that Jesus was born in December, as I shared before God’s wisdom, not man’s fleshy understanding is needed to know His Truth in all things.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/jesus-christ-gods-great-gift-to-us/

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

  2. James says

    Commentary on Dan­iel, which was written c. 204 a.d., St. Hippolytus wrote: “For the first advent of our Lord in the flesh, when he was born in Bethlehem, was December 25th, a Wednesday, while Augustus was in his forty-second year,”

    It seems to me that there is mention of December 25th before 4th and 5th centuries and before the holiday festivities became a concern. I suspect that the Birth of Christ was adopted for those holidays because it was already there.

  3. Stephen Ray says

    I like the idea that Jesus was born on September 11, 2 or 3 BC (depending if you use 1 AD or 1 BC as the zero year) and died between April 6 and April 13th when he was resurrected in 32 AD. This would have Jesus being 33 years and 7 months old. March of 31 AD would have been the death of John the Baptist and fortyt years of 360 day years later on August of 70 would be the destruction of the temple, this being the “this evil generation” of Jesus’ peerage when all of the marvelous sign gifts to the Jews prophesied in Micah 7:15 and discussed by Jesus in John 5:19-20 would occur. Incidentally, this would be the only time that the so called unpardonable sin would occur. According to 1 Cor. 13 there is a hint that while the special miracles and special healings headed up by the sign of tongues just stopped on that August 70 AD, the gift of the Holy Spirit enhanced memory of eyewitnesses of what Jesus said and did would be done away with along with the gift of prophecy in the person of John the Apostle who gave his last eyewitness (John) and his last prophecy (Revelation), leaving love (agape) as the only credibility giving gift to discern who was indeed the disciples of Christ till the end of the church age at the rapture of the church age saints, when again marvels and prophecies related to the Holy Spirit would return to mark the Jews who would enter into the thousand year kingdom, if they were not martyred before the seven years of the last week of years of Daniel’s prophecy would be completed. Jesus said “in this shall all know that ye are my disciples in that ye have love (agape) one to another which is what Paul said in 1 Cor. 13 when he said Agape alone of the special gifts would remain.

  4. RoseThistle says

    It is documented in God’s Word that Jesus Christ was conceived (first ‘tabernacle ‘with us’ in the flesh) on 12/25 and born at the beginning of Feast of Tabernacles 12/29. The course of abia, abijah in the Hebrew, mentioned in The Book of Luke, chapter 1 KJV is a set time. 1 Chronicles 24:10 KJV.

    The conception is the date that Jesus Christ first tabernacled ‘with us’ as the name, Emmanuel, means. Matthew 1:23 KJV And it is a date worth celebrating as is Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus Christ was born.

    This Bible study is from the 1800′s, (scroll down past the dates to see the study) http://levendwater.org/companion/append179.html#begetting

    I wrote out a Bible study about the dates of Jesus’ conception and birth documented in God’s Word, on my blog here http://rosethistleartworks.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-jesus-christ-immanuel-god.html

  5. Shteef says

    I find the assertion that pagan gods are false to be deeply offensive. How dare the follows of one imaginary being condemn the followers of multiple imaginary beings. Shame on you

  6. Dennis says

    In a land where Christmas has become a retail festival that now begins in August ( the UK) I find it impossible to relate the Messiah’s birth to 25 December. More important, Jesus (Y’Shua, or Joshua) was a (the) Jewish Messiah, and was strict in his Jewish attitude. The correct time for his birth has to be the Feasts of Tabernacles – the Jewish Messianic feast.
    Just as Y’shua was not born in an inn, the ‘census’ was more likely to have been a Romano/Greek image of Tabernacles, because people did not have to return to their birthplace for a census, but would do their best to be there for this feast; Rome was not into Jewish Messiahs, and would do their very best to hide this idea as much as they could.
    Stands to reason, really, especially because of the emphasis on Y”shua as a baby every year. When I celebrate my birthday, I celebrate the age that I have achieved, not the day of my birth. Rome maintains the image of Y’shua as a baby and Mary as the Queen of Heaven and the mother of God – totally untrue.

  7. Tracy says

    I did’t read all the comments because there were too many, so I apologize if this has already been addressed… if Jesus was conceived on the same day He was crucified, why isn’t Mary in Jerusalem at the Passover during the annunciation? And the Bible says right after Gabriel talked to her she went to Elizabeth’s, so she doesn’t seem to have gone to the Passover afterward. You’d think the Scriptures would make mention of some aspect of Passover if that’s when the annunciation/conception occurred. Any thoughts or insights about this?

  8. David says

    People should stick to the Bible teaching, if it was necessary for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus the apostles would have mentioned it since they were guided by the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
    The Holy Spirit gave them the whole truth.
    The last book was conclude in around the year 90 ac by John, and it’s ended this wa
    Revelation 22:18,19
    Do not add nor deduct from this book.
    First century Christians followed the teachings of the apostles, so should we.
    Acts 2:42.

  9. David says

    People should stick to the Bible teaching, if it was necessary for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus the apostles would have mentioned it since they were guided by the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
    The Holy Spirit gave them the whole truth.
    The last book was conclude in around the year 90 ac by John, and it’s ended this wa
    Revelation 22:18,19
    Do not add nor deduct from this book.
    First century Christians followed the teachings of the apostles, so should we.
    Acts 2:42.
    Colossians 3:16
    Whatever we do in word or deed must be done in the name of Christ. ( the Greek translation : by Chrst authority)
    Where is our authority to celebrate this?

  10. Eel says

    Responding to post by Shteef (12/24)…Shteef, there is but one God. Given as what I understand as the ‘tone’ of your post, I find what you offer to be silliness.

  11. Eel says

    David, the Church is the authority from which we celebrate Christmas.

  12. EelDrofsnal says

    Perhaps a small point, but, I think not: I wonder why it is that the author elects to report “in the year of our Lord” (A.D.) as the secular “C.E.” (common era)? As a Christian, I would cede nothing to the common secular culture.

  13. gary says

    What a load of fanny

  14. Dr says

    Dear ancient Hindus and todays Christians it would be a rude awakening to you and I’d be apologetic in advance, but let me declare –Jesus Christ was noone infact. The Jesus Christ is nothing but (non-Pagan)adaptation of the world’s most celebrated Icon i.e. Ishwar Krishna which was smoothened into Ishas=Jesus, Krishta=Christ. The whole of todays europe, whose western parts were not inhabitable till 400 AD until when it was Hinduized or ruled by Arya(n) Kings from India, was Hindu in faith & practice !! The pagan that you rejoice in using is nothing but the ancient Hindu practise ! You have to know a lot about yourselves, mates. But I can say you belong to me.
    Once all souls in world and even today in India we have celebrated this great hero of all time and we must not forget actually whom we’re celebrating actually who belonged to the Lord Krishna at that time of reign of western lands of earth ! Who first [infact] civilized the Europe & Middle -East after Aryanization means Invasion by Aryan !
    Good Day dear, and let me wish you Happy Krishn-maas and not “Christmas”.
    Wanna know more ? Learn Hindi and visit (if really wished)– http://shailesh001.jagranjunction.com/2014/12/26/%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%BE-%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%88-%E0%A4%95%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B8-%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%BE-%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B9%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF-%E0%A4%95/

    title means– Whats the secret of Christmas

    Thanks to you all ………..

  15. JoeSnow says

    Freedomborn,

    Whatever evidence you think you have is wrong. Historical evidence points to Mary and Joseph traveling to be counted in the Roman census and to pay their taxes. It would have been foolish for the Romans to schedule this during the winter because many people would not survive the journey, which would have been difficult enough on foot in warm weather. The Romans would have scheduled this during a more hospitable time of the year. Jesus was most likely born in the spring after the worst of the cold weather had passed but not yet at the height of the summer heat which would have made the journey equally perilous.

  16. Kurt says

    The Connection of Christmas with pagan Ancient Festivals.
    Sir Isaac Newton (“Commentary on the Prophecies of Daniel.”) says the Feast of the Nativity, and most of the other ecclesiastical anniversaries, were originally fixed at cardinal points of the year, without any reference to the dates of the incidents which they commemorated, dates which, by lapse of time, it was impossible to ascertain. Thus the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was placed on the 25th of March, or about the time of the vernal equinox; the Feast of St. Michael on the 29th of September, or near the autumnal equinox; and the Birth of Christ at the time of the winter solstice. Christmas was thus fixed at the time of the year when the most celebrated festivals of the ancients were held in honour of the return of the sun which at the winter solstice begins gradually to regain power and to ascend apparently in the horizon. Previously to this (says William Sandys, F.S.A.),[Introduction to "Christmas Carols," 1833.] the year was drawing to a close, and the world was typically considered to be in the same state. The promised restoration of light and commencement of a new era were therefore hailed with rejoicings and thanksgivings. The Saxon and other northern nations kept a festival at this time of the year in honour of Thor, in which they mingled feasting, drinking, and dancing with sacrifices and religious rites. It was called Yule, or Jule, a term of which the derivation has caused dispute amongst antiquaries; some considering it to mean a festival, and others stating that Iol, or Iul (spelt in various ways), is a primitive word, conveying the idea of Revolution or Wheel, and applicable therefore to the return of the sun. The Bacchanalia and Saturnalia of the Romans had apparently the same object as the Yuletide, or feast of the Northern nations, and were probably adopted from some more ancient nations, as the Greeks, Mexicans, Persians, Chinese, &c., had all something similar. In the course of them, as is well known, masters and slaves were supposed to be on an equality; indeed, the former waited on the latter.[The Emperor Nero himself is known to have presided at the Saturnalia, having been made by lot the Rex bibendi, or Master of the Revels. Indeed it was at one of these festivals that he instigated the murder of the young Prince Britannicus, the last male descendant of the family of the Claudii, who had been expelled from his rights by violence and crime; and the atrocious act was committed amid the revels over which Nero was presiding as master.] Presents were mutually given and received, as Christmas presents in these days. Towards the end of the feast, when the sun was on its return, and the world was considered to be renovated, a king or ruler was chosen, with considerable power granted to him during his ephemeral reign, whence may have sprung some of the Twelfth-Night revels, mingled with those in honour of the Manifestation and Adoration of the Magi. And, in all probability, some other Christmas customs are adopted from the festivals of the ancients, as decking with evergreens and mistletoe (relics of Druidism) and the wassail bowl. It is not surprising, therefore, that Bacchanalian illustrations have been found among the decorations in the early Christian Churches. The illustration on the following page is from a mosaic in the Church of St. Constantine, Rome, A.D. 320.
    The above quoted from:
    The Project Gutenberg eBook, Christmas: Its Origin and Associations, by William Francis Dawson.(which you can find here)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

  17. Melvin says

    The Birth of Jesus, the Christ

    The timing of birth of Jesus is a topic that has been the subject of debate for many years. There are many theologians that have openly started that the Birth of Jesus was not in December, and most likely not in the winter season. There are those who say that there is no way of telling when the birth of Jesus occurred, and that it does not matter as long as we celebrate it in the correct spirit and for the right reason.

    What if there really is a way to know the real date of the Birth of Jesus, would it make a difference?

    Remember that most of the treasures that are found in ALMIGHTY GOD’S Holy Word have to be dug out.

    A nugget of wisdom may be found on top of the ground or laying in a stream, but the mother-lode vein of understanding will only be uncovered with diligent, and time consuming search.

    What if the Holy Bible, ALMIGHTY GOD’S Holy Word, could actually tell us the day when the only begotten Son of God was born, would it make a difference to Christians, the Christian Church, would it make a difference to you.

    Let us take a look at some verses of Holy Scripture and the words that they contain, to see what can be found.

    The first 4 verses of Luke chapter one tell us of the importance and the reliability of what
    Luke is about to tell us concerning Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist
    and the time in which he served as a priest in the Temple.

    Luke 1:1-4

    1 For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

    2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

    3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

    4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things,
    wherein thou hast been instructed. KJV

    Verse 5 holds the key to unlocking the mystery we seek to understand.

    THE COURSE OF ABIA

    Luke 1:5

    5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. KJV

    NT:2183 Course

    ephemeria (ef-ay-mer-ee’-ah); from NT:2184; diurnality, i.e. (specially) the quotidian rotation
    or class of the Jewish priests’ service at the Temple, as distributed by families: KJV – course.

    (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance
    with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.
    Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

    Diurnality and Quotidian are words that mean Daily.
    (Webster’s Dictionary)

    NT:7 Abia / Abijah
    Abia (ab-ee-ah’); of Hebrew origin [OT:29]; Abijah
    the name of two Israelites: KJV – Abia.

    (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordanc:
    with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.
    Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

    The course of Abia, or Abijah as it is known in the Old Testament,
    was the time period that Abijah was to serve in the temple
    to burn incense unto ALMIGHTY GOD.

    The 8th course was named after Abijah as he was the first Priest to be appointed to that office for that particular time. Most Holy Bibles that have any kind of cross reference system, directing you from one verse that you might be reading to another, will most likely give you a cross reference from Luke 1:5 to I Chronicles 24:10.
    This cross reference may be found at the end of the verse that you are reading, in a center column, or in a foot note found at the bottom of the page. I have checked 4 of our KJV versions, and 1 NIV, and all show the same cross reference
    to I Chronicles 24:10 to tell us more about the COURSE OF ABIA / ABIJAH.

    1 Chronicles 24:10

    10. The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, KJV

    This would have been the 8th course, or lot, as stated in
    I Chronicles 24:1.

    Each course or division would be for service of seven days, or one week.

    Back to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, and his course, of Abia/Abijah, which would have been the 8th course or division which would have been the 8th week of the year.

    This would be the 8th week of the Hebrew year. The Hebrew year uses the Lunar Calendar which was established
    and governed by the New Moon, i.e. New Month which always began with the new moon.

    The book of Exodus chapter 12, Moses and Aaron are instructed by ALMIGHTY GOD as to when the beginning of the year will be, which is the month of Abib, also known as Nisan.

    Exodus 12:1-2
    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
    2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:
    it shall be the first month of the year to you. KJV

    OT:2320 Month / New Moon

    chodesh (kho’-desh); from OT:2318; the new moon; by implication, a month: -month (-ly), new moon.

    Then in Exodus 13:4 we are told the name of that month is Abib, also known as Nisan

    Exodus 13:1-4

    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and
    of beast: it is mine.

    3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you
    out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

    4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. KJV

    OT:24 Abib

    ‘abiyb (aw-beeb’); from an unused root (meaning to be tender); green, i.e. a young ear of grain;

    hence, the name of the month Abib or Nisan

    Knowing the name of the first month of the year, Abib, which ALMIGHTY GOD gave to Moses, we then can go to a Hebrew Calendar Website that converts the Gregorian Calendar Years to the Hebrew Calendar years.

    The Gregorian calendar is the calendar that most of the world uses today and starts the year with January 1.

    The Hebrew calendar Starts each month with the new moon. The month of Nisan, (Abib) starts in mid March to mid April depending on how the New Moon falls for that month, in that particular year.

    The year, or 2 years that we are looking at would be Hebrew years 3760 and 3761, which takes us back to the last year before

    the birth of Jesus, and the first year AD or CE, the year of the birth of Jesus. We are looking at 2 years due to the fact that John the baptist was conceived and born 6 months before Jesus. This would mean that the entire time period that we are looking at is a couple of days short of 17 months,

    (Hebrew Calendar), 9 months + 6 months + 8 weeks.

    9 months = the time period from John’s conception, to his birth.

    6 months = Jesus was conceived 6 months after John, which means he would be born 6 months after John.

    8 weeks = The 7 weeks before + 1 week that Zacharias served in the temple just before John was conceived.

    9 months + 6 months + 1 month and 26-27 days = 16 months and 26-27 days.

    Please remember the Hebrew months only had 29 – 30 days, not 30 – 31 as the Gregorian calendar.

    The year that John was conceived was Hebrew year 3760.

    The first month of the Hebrew year 3760 was
    Nisan / Abib.

    Nisan / Abib 1, 3760, on the Gregorian calendar would have been March 25th, 1BC.

    Zacharias served the 8th week of that Hebrew year in the temple, which would have been Iyar 20th, through Iyar 26th 3760, or on the Gregorian calendar it would have been May 13th through May 19th, 1BC.

    John was conceived on Iyar 27th, 3760, on the Gregorian calendar it would have been May 20th, 1BC.

    John was born 9 months later which was Sh’vat 27th, 3761, or February 10th, 1AD, on the Gregorian calendar.

    Jesus was conceived 6 months after John was conceived, which would have been Chesvan 27th, 3760. On the Gregorian calendar it was November 13th 1BC. Jesus was born 9 months later.

    On the Hebrew calendar Jesus was born on Av 27th 3761, this would have been August 6th, 1AD ,or CE.

    Please keep in mind that the birthday of Jesus will always remain the same on the Hebrew Calendar, it will always be the 27th day of the Hebrew month Av. However, because the Hebrew month has less days than the Gregorian month, his birthday on the Gregorian calendar will change each year to coincide with the Hebrew calendar. Most often, if not all the time, his birth date will fall within the month of August on the Gregorian calendar.

    By the way, one of the reasons ALMIGHTY GOD gave us the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, was to be able to figure out the days, the months, and the years, so that HIS people could keep the festivals that HE commanded us to keep.

    Genesis 1:14

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: KJV

    Below is the most user friendly website that I could find that converts the Hebrew years to Gregorian years and Gregorian to Hebrew, or BC to AD/CE.

    http://gallery.shirhadash.org/hcal/hcal.html
    http://gallery.shirhadash.org/hcal/hcal.html

    Highlight either one of above web addresses, and then right click on it and left click on COPY
    Then PASTE to google, then left click on Go to website

    Another item to consider.

    Matthew 2:1

    1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, KJV

    Matthew 2:11

    11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures,
    they presented unto him gifts;
    gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. KJV

    GOD tells us that these men were WISE.
    Please note that they came and gave gifts unto Jesus,
    not to each other.

    Ponder this for a moment, that if all the money and resources that was, is, and most likely will continue to be spent on Christmas gifts each year was taken and presented to the body of Christ, the Christian Church, and distributed to the the people who are truly in need, how exceedingly pleased, happy and joyful, GOD would be. To the homeless, the sick, the hungry, the thirsty, and those in prison. This is truly an opportunity for the Christian Church to glorify GOD and to share HIS love with the world. If you do not know or trust most Christian Churches or non profit organizations, than you could always find people in the area that you live in to give to help them through tough times.
    Go to your local grocery store and let ALMIGHTY GOD LEAD you to those that could use help buying food and needed essentials.

    There will always be those who have less than we do that we could give to as if we were giving personally to Jesus.

    Giving to those who are not lacking what they need the things that are only wants, and not giving to those who want what they need to live is most unpleasing to ALMIGHTY GOD, our HEAVENLY FATHER.

    Matthew 25:34-40

    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them,

    Verily I say unto you,

    Inasmuch as ye have done it unto

    one of the least of these my brethren,

    ye have done it unto me.

    amen and amen

    Americans are expected to spend over $469 billion shopping this holiday season. This is an astounding figure. For everyone out there who wants to “keep the Christ in Christmas,” perhaps it’s time for you to channel your outrage toward consumers, and away from people who opt for the phrase ‘happy holidays.”

    Are we really worshiping the Lord, who said
    “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven,” (Matthew 19:21), or simply worshiping consumption?

    In honor of our annual shopping ritual, let’s take a look at some other things that we could buy instead:

    $30 billion: Add this to what the world already spends on water safety, and every single person
    would have access to safe drinking water. Eighty percent of diseases in developing countries are caused by contaminated water. Over 2 million people are killed each year due to the use of
    contaminated water, most being children under the age of five.

    $600 million: This would pay for the surgeries of the estimated 2 million women in the developing world who are living with fistulas, an injury that occurs during childbirth in which a hole is created “between the birth passage and an internal organ such as the bladder or rectum.” The UNFPA provides a
    description of the effects of fistulas:

    “The smell of leaking urine or feces, or both, is constant and humiliating, often driving loved ones away. Left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems, including ulcerations, kidney disease, and nerve damage in the legs.” If Americans donated one-tenth of 1% of what they
    spent on holiday shopping this year, we would be able to alleviate much of the suffering these women face.

    $175 billion per year, for 20 years: In his book “The End of Poverty,” economist Jeffrey Sachs estimated that with this amount, we could end extreme poverty in the world. In other words, if Americans spent only $294 billion during the holiday season over the next two decades, nearly one billion people suffering from hunger would have adequate food sources;

    the estimated 600 million people who survive on less than $1 per day would see a dramatic improvement in their standards of living.

    $496 billion: This figure is admittedly a little more than Americans spend on holiday shopping, but not by much. With this amount, we could pay for every one of the U.S.’ safety net programs, such as food stamps, heating assistance, free and reduced price school meals, childcare assistance, low-income housing assistance, earned income tax credits, cash assistance, and unemployment insurance.

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that these programs “kept approximately 15 million Americans out of poverty in 2005 and reduced the depth of poverty for another 29 million people.” And that was before the recession hit.

    The latest statistics tell us that between 78% to 82%
    of Americans claim to be Christians. This would mean that 78% to 82% of the total amount ($469 billion) spent on Christmas, is spent by Christians. This amounts to about $360 billion a year that could be used by the Body of Christ to help the poor and needy of the world. Even if half this amount was was given the Body of Christ, and used to those who are truly in need, what an impact that would make to spread the love of ALMIGHTY GOD.

  18. Pam says

    The gestational period for humans is 40 weeks, which is more than 9 months. If conception is March 25th, 40 weeks later is December 30th, not the 25th.

  19. Jezabel says

    You’re all delusional ! The only one using REAL facts is Kurt

  20. GRACE says

    thank you all for your participation, JESUS IS LORD. when He is born in your heart and life. thats christmas.

  21. tapani says

    Is it possible that 25.12. and 6.1. are the same day – the old and the new calendar? In Armenia Christmas is 18-19.1.? The day’ s place is secondary. One principle: Ecclesiastes 7:2. Birth day tradition was rare.

  22. Rose says

    A visionary in the last century, Maria Valtorta, who wrote 5 books of her visions of the life of Christ tells of a celebration of the Feast of Lights (Hanukah) in Lazarus’ house, the second winter of Christ’s public life. The shepherds and the apostles were both present and it was mentioned that this Jewish feast they were celebrating was also the birthdate of Our Lord. In Valtorta’s vision, the apostles were asking and the shepherds were recounting the details of Jesus’ birth. Also, in John the Baptist’s statement, “He must increase, I must decrease,” if John was born 6 months before Jesus at the summer solstice and Jesus at the winter solstice, conveniently also the Feast of Lights, the stars would tell forth John’s prophetic pronouncement and so would the Jewish Feast.

  23. Gordie says

    When we trip over the answer, it makes so much sense…

    First, let’s be clear: there was a mixture of political influence (the emperor) and spiritual insight (the conciliar Bishops of The Church) AND Holy Tradition involved in coming up with December 25th.

    You may think that never should have happened, and I won’t argue with you.

    I’m happy, for the sake of unity within The Church, to follow the lead of the early Church Fathers and Mothers, no matter how they ultimately came to their decision.

    When The Church was beginning the practice of commemorating the lives of saints, prophets and patriarchs, the date often used (as mentioned in the article) was the date of death, when known.

    This would have been according to the JULIAN Calendar, also still used in some “Old Calendar” jurisdictions of eastern Orthodox Christianity.

    Also, as noted, the dates of Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection had already been established as closely as possible, even though that canonical determination was skewed by the requirement that Easter NEVER come “before the Hebrew Passover”.

    So, when the issue became a celebration of the day of the birth of Christ (who was to be CALLED Jesus in eight days), then the preeminent honor of THE FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR (January 1st) was given to THE FEAST OF THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST JESUS for it was also JESUS’ NAME DAY (known in some jurisdictions as THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NAME.

    For in the practice of commemorating lives of saints, that day for each saint becomes their name day, in accordance with earliest Christian traditions.

    Obviously, The Church did not want to use GOOD FRIDAY as The Name Day of Christ Jesus.

    Once Christ Jesus’ name day was determined, it was a simple process of COUNTING BACKWARD EIGHT DAYS to get December 25th as A DAY OF COMMEMORATION (not a historical determination) of Christ Jesus’ birth.

    Those feast days are STILL observed on January 1st in Orthodox Christian Churches, as well as some other traditions.

    As an aside, the mention in the article of January 6th as an ORIGINAL date of the celebration of Christmas is simply wrong.

    The practice of celebrating Christmas on that date (now January 7th) is still followed BY THE CHURCH in certain jurisdictions (i.e. Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine) because that is currently December 25th on the Julian Calendar.

    When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in The West in 1582, the difference between the two calendars was 10 days, which would have meant Christmas was celebrated on January 3rd in Old Calendar countries.

    Since that time, the gap between the two calendars continues to widen, which means that since then you might find historical references mentioning Christmas celebrations on January 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th OR 7th.

  24. Gordie says

    With apologies to Sir Issac Newton, there is a reason for this confusion:

    In the early days of The Church, the ROMAN empire (including what is called the Byzantine Empire in The East) was predominately GREEK speaking.

    Even though LATIN was spoken in The West (Italy and points west & north) GREEK was considered to be the more “refined” of the two languages.

    The earliest forms of The Divine Liturgy celebrated in Rome were in GREEK.

    We see this in the Latin mass with the clinging to the Greek phrase, Kýrie eléison/Kyrie eleison (meaning, “Lord have mercy”)

    Once the Roman empire was falling IN THE WEST, the Latin language began to become preeminent there.

    This was not simply a matter of two languages being used in opposite ends of The Mediterranean.

    It was two distinctly different CULTURES: Greek mystical logical and (thanks in part to Blessed Augustine) Latin Empirical Rationalism.

    This gradually helped lead to the Great Schism of 1054 A.D. (when the see of Rome separated from the sees of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem)

    By the time Sir Issac Newton’s work was published in 1733, six years after his death, no one in The West trusted the Greek East as a reference resource.

    It is ironic that some use “Sola Scriptura” as their only means of determining the answer to this question, when it was the adoption of Sola Scriptura in The West which effectively cut off any consideration of the wealth of the history of The Church, largely formulated in the Greek East.

  25. Shell says

    Christmas is not biblical period. It is purely pagan from the winter solstice the idol of the tree. Sorry to say. December 25 is the birthday of the Sun God Mithra (the true Gods of Constantine really proverb by archaeology), that is who you are unknowingly worshipping. It is the MO of Satan all through the Bible. While the ancient jews bowed down to their Balls and Calves and Asteroths they thought they were worshipping Jehovah their God the whole time. You may mentally suppress this truth at your leisure ;)

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  27. ken says

    Why do Christians worship on Sunday, when in the Ten Commandments it clearly says to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy?
    How was that insulting? I’ve read several books and articles about this. It’s a perfectly viable theory. Discussions questioning virgin births or Jesus’ marriage status or the melding of Roman religion and Judaism to form Christianity are perfectly…

1 2 3 4

Continuing the Discussion

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    [...] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society Tags: christmas, [...]

  21. When the Christians met the Pagans | Bjørn Stærk linked to this post on May 11, 2013

    [...] was taken from the Roman celebration of Sol Invictus. More plausibly, December 25 happens to be 9 months after the death of Jesus. This would mean that he was killed and conceived on the same day, a nice [...]

  22. Could Seventh-day Adventist Celebrate Christmas? | Simul Justus Et Peccator Blog linked to this post on August 22, 2013

    [...] [15] Finally, in about 200 C.E., a Christian teacher in Egypt makes reference to the date Jesus was born. According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. Surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25 at all. Clement writes: “There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord’s birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20 in our calendar] … And treating of His Passion, with very great accuracy, some say that it took place in the 16th year of Tiberius, on the 25th of Phamenoth [March 21]; and others on the 25th of Pharmuthi [April 21] and others say that on the 19th of Pharmuthi [April 15] the Savior suffered. Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].” See: Clement, Stromateis 1.21.145. In addition, Christians in Clement’s native Egypt seem to have known a commemoration of Jesus’ baptism—sometimes understood as the moment of his divine choice, and hence as an alternate “incarnation” story—on the same date (Stromateis 1.21.146). See further on this point Thomas J. Talley, Origins of the Liturgical Year, 2nd ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), pp. 118–120, drawing on Roland H. Bainton, “Basilidian Chronology and New Testament Interpretation,” Journal of Biblical Literature 42 (1923), pp. 81–134; and now especially Gabriele Winkler, “The Appearance of the Light at the Baptism of Jesus and the Origins of the Feast of the Epiphany,” in Maxwell Johnson, ed., Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000), pp. 291–347. I am indebted to Andrew McGowan, on his article entitled, “How December 25 Became Christmas,” (http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ…). [...]

  23. The 12 things I hate about Christmas | blondehairbrowndog linked to this post on November 11, 2013

    [...] 2. Jesus wasn’t even BORN in December. He was more likely born in March.  Not the Winter. Do you really think that the Shepherds would have been tending to their flock outside in the middle of winter? No. It gets cold in Israel . It snows. Just not on Jesus’ birthday. There’s a great article about how December 25th became Christmas here [...]

  24. Voice in the Wilderness linked to this post on November 17, 2013

    [...] related in apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James.b These texts provide everything from the names of Jesus’ grandparents to the details of his [...]

  25. Christian Christmas Grinches | Briarwood & Cloud linked to this post on November 20, 2013

    [...] As though the Incarnation is not an essential, miraculous, mysterious, wondrous faith event to be contemplated and meditated on and celebrated in… oh… say February.  As though Jesus was really born on December 25th. [...]

  26. How the real meaning of Christmas has been forgotten by Ken Grant | Celebrations 360 linked to this post on November 25, 2013

    [...] Jesus. While the Easter celebration tradition is very early in the Christian historical record, the Christmas celebration took more time to develop. It was not until the fourth century that the western church tradition [...]

  27. How December 25th Became Christmas | New Life Narrabri linked to this post on December 1, 2013

    [...] indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this [...]

  28. The Christmas Propaganda War | Daniel Tomberlin linked to this post on December 2, 2013

    [...] honoring the Roman god Saturn. Early Christians had speculated that Jesus was born on December 25 (click here for more). The public controversy was political and [...]

  29. Word Up 245 — New Church Family newsletter | GayDaytona.com linked to this post on December 4, 2013

    [...] For more details, here is the link to McGowan’s article — http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ… [...]

  30. The reason for the season? | The Unpackaged Eye linked to this post on December 4, 2013

    [...] a claim than Jesus to be “the reason for the season” of Christmas. Scholars have also proposed that the date of Christmas was set at nine months after the Passover, on the assumption that Jesus [...]

  31. This Week’s Best in Catholic Apologetics -/- DavidLGray.INFO linked to this post on December 6, 2013

    [...] Abortion Is a Threat to the Very Existence of the Nation – Agenzia Fides TIMELY CLASSIC: How December 25 Became Christmas – Andrew McGowan VIDEO: Steven Lawson – Catholic Convert from Agnosticism – The [...]

  32. The coming of the light | ThinkBannedThoughts Blog linked to this post on December 6, 2013

    [...] No, not the baby Jesus, he was born in the spring. [...]

  33. December 25 | Young Adults of Christ the King linked to this post on December 9, 2013

    [...] By Nancy Mitchell When was Jesus born? Not on December 25th. Probably sometime in the spring, with an unwed mother and some dirty shepherds (and an angel choir) to celebrate the balmy night of his birth. So why do we celebrate his nativity at the very end of the year? Pagans. That’s when the Romans used to celebrate the winter solstice. It was their holiday, the story goes, and we stole it. Cleverly, we appropriated it, and made it all about a little baby born in a barn. Centuries before his birth, throughout the Roman world the end of December marked the celebration of ‘the waxing of the light.’* Living as we do in an age of electric lighting, I don’t think we truly understand darkness. I remember the first time I went camping. I was 14. I didn’t realize it was possible for it to be that dark. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. The tenuous light of a flashlight, the faraway light of the stars: I had never known I could be so grateful for these little things. The pagans understood darkness. They lived with darkness. On the winter solstice they celebrated the longest night of the year. It was an article of faith to them that the light would come again. They had not been forgotten. It would not be this dark ever again. I don’t think we understand darkness. Our world is full of injustice, and we are far more complacent than we ought to be. Sometimes I hate to read the news, because there are so many bad things happening and it seems so hopeless. It would be easier not to think about it at all. But there is no reason to be afraid. We can face the darkness and still rejoice, because we know that the night is already over. The true light that gives light to all men has come into the world.** On the night that he was born, the darkness began to abate. Peace on earth, said the angels, and goodwill towards men. It would never be this dark, ever again. The pagans understood darkness. They knew what it mean to wait, in darkness, for a long, long time. They loved the light, and they celebrated its return. How appropriate, then, for us to celebrate his birth at the darkest time of the year. Our light has come. *Two Roman winter solstice festivals were Brumalia and Saturnalia. The festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or the birthday of the sun god, was celebrated in Rome on December 25, but it is unclear whether this festival predated Christmas or not. **This is John 1:9. ***Some scholars reject entirely the idea that the December 25th date was chosen for its coincidence with the Winter Solstice (or with the birthday of the sun god) and instead maintain that December 25th was chosen because it was nine months distant from March 25, celebrated as the day of the Annunciation. More on that here and here. [...]

  34. How December 25 Became Christmas | De Civitate Dei linked to this post on December 10, 2013

    [...] Read on here for more… Share this:Digg Pin ItShare on TumblrEmailPrintLike this:Like Loading… [...]

  35. A Blended Christmas Story | Simplicity Redesigned linked to this post on December 12, 2013

    [...] Bible History Daily [...]

  36. Why Christmas in December? | Writings of Branko's Blog linked to this post on December 13, 2013

    [...] from Andrew McGowan. It is quite inspiring and has a lot of interesting facts from the past: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ… Share this:FacebookEmailTwitterPrintGoogleLinkedInLike this:Like [...]

  37. Reblog: How December 25 Became Christmas | Everywhere Present Filling All Things linked to this post on December 15, 2013

    [...] related in apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Proto-Gospel of James.b These texts provide everything from the names of Jesus’ grandparents to the details of his [...]

  38. Why is Christmas on December 25? | Praedicare linked to this post on December 15, 2013

    [...] refer to this link.  I thank Biblical Archeology for this [...]

  39. Christmas Wars: Then and Now | Veracity linked to this post on December 17, 2013

    [...] Much of this post was adapted from the resources I link to above, but by far the most informative article I found was from BiblicalArchaeology.org, by Andrew McGowan, President …. [...]

  40. Julekildene | Bjørn Are Davidsens blogg linked to this post on December 18, 2013

    [...] den romerske delen har Andrew McGowan en bra gjennomgang i How December 25 became Christmas der han oppsummerer diskusjonen i lys av [...]

  41. Some of my Favorite Christmas Characters: Mary and Nicholas | Creation Science 4 Kids linked to this post on December 18, 2013

    [...] Biblical Archaeology: Why Dec 25th? [...]

  42. Onko joulu sittenkin alunperin kristillinen juhla? linked to this post on December 18, 2013

    [...] Andrew McGowan: How December 25 became Christmas? Bible History Daily, vierailtu 18.12. [...]

  43. Noah's Ark Has Been Found. Why Are They Keeping Us In The Dark? December 13, 2013 - Page 6 linked to this post on December 24, 2013

    [...] indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this point. This stands in sharp [...]

  44. Merry Christmas 2013 | Mr. Cool linked to this post on December 24, 2013

    [...] did some online research and found some interesting article. Rate this:Like this:Like [...]

  45. December 25 Feast of the Day – The Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ | The Onion Dome linked to this post on December 25, 2013

    [...] December 25 (Chronicon Blog) Sol Invictus evidently not a precursor to Christmas (Chronicon Blog) How December 25 Became Christmas (Bible History Daily) Sol Invictus (Wikipedia) Icon from stjohnmemphis.com (Public domain according to this rule). The [...]

  46. How December 25 Became Christmas | Taylor Halverson linked to this post on December 25, 2013

    [...] An insightful article on Biblical Archaeology about the dating of Christmas and other Christian holi…  Some argue that Jesus was conceived on April 6, born on January 6, and crucified on April 6.  Cyclical views of time where significant events fall on certain, specific, special days (perhaps borrowing from Judaism) may be more informative to the development of these dating traditions rather than linear notions of time, which are quite western. [...]

  47. I am a Muslim that Celebrates Christmas – And You Should Too | Pakistanis for Peace linked to this post on December 26, 2013

    [...] of the pagan god Mithra (also referred to as the sun) which was the pagan god of light. With Constantine accepting Hazrat Isa as the Messiah (meaning saviour) he declared that Hazrat Isa was the true [...]

  48. The holiday in disguise | Nova Safo linked to this post on December 26, 2013

    [...] And, of course, we know through lots of scholarly research that December 25 is almost certainly not the actual date of Jesus’ birth. Sure, we may spend a few hours in church. Personally, I love midnight mass on Christmas Eve, [...]

  49. Get It Right and Prepare For The Coming of The Lord | christisourvictory linked to this post on December 27, 2013

    [...] Maybe. The standard story is that December 25 was adopted after Constantine’s conversion to Christianity because it was on a pagan holiday and the winter solstice. Christians then co-opted the holiday and Christianized it. What’s interesting is that the early church put almost no emphasis on celebrating the birth of Christ. They were much more concerned with the resurrection. It’s not until AD 200 where possible dates are mentioned for the celebrating of Christ’s birth. By about AD 300 there were two dates: December 25 (for the west) and January 6 (for the east). There does seem to be a tradition of December 25 long before Constantine’s conversion, so that’s why I say maybe. This article from the Biblical Archaeology Review gives a good summary of “How December 25 Became Christmas.” http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ… [...]

  50. How December 25th Became Christmas | D's Blog linked to this post on December 27, 2013

    [...] indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this [...]

  51. the Jesus Event | End of Year Happenings linked to this post on December 27, 2013

    [...] I wanted to share with you an excellent article from the Biblical Archaeological Review. You can check out the article over HERE. Spoiler alert- Jesus was probably, most definitely, not born on December 25. Find out [...]

  52. un-christmas | Find Your Niche linked to this post on December 28, 2013

    [...] Christmas-on-the-day is a farce anyway. Most scholars agree that historical Jesus wasn’t born anywhere near December 25. Mistletoe and the Yule log come straight from my ancestors, the pagan Norsemen. And the whole gift [...]

  53. The fetus is a parasite, abortion is like plucking out a hair: how much does Jerry Coyne really know about biology? | Uncommon Descent linked to this post on December 29, 2013

    [...] in pursuing the matter further, I would strongly recommend Andrew McGowan’s article, How December 25 became Christmas (Biblical Archaeology Society, December 7, [...]

  54. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas | Radio Free linked to this post on December 31, 2013

    [...] around the existing Winter Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. December 25 might not even be Jesus’s birthday. These dates were just useful to the early Christians. There’s also that whole thing about [...]

  55. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas « INTLFACES linked to this post on December 31, 2013

    [...] around the existing Winter Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. December 25 might not even be Jesus's birthday. These dates were just useful to the early Christians. There's also that whole thing about [...]

  56. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn't a Holiday, but It's No Less Real Than Christmas - | Bharat Press linked to this post on December 31, 2013

    [...] Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. December 25 might not even be Jesus's birthday. These dates were just helpful [...]

  57. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas | Obsession Systems | Arash Dibazar Pick Up Artist · Psychology · Dating · Hypnosis · Lifestyle · Entertainment | Arash Dibazar PUA Mind Control · Voodoo Hy linked to this post on December 31, 2013

    [...] around the existing Winter Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. December 25 might not even be Jesus’s birthday. These dates were just useful to the early Christians. There’s also that whole thing about [...]

  58. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn't a Holiday, but It's No Less Real Than Christmas - Right Kind of Revolution linked to this post on January 1, 2014

    [...] around the existing Winter Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity . December 25 might not even be Jesus's birthday . These dates were just useful to the early Christians. There's also that whole thing about [...]

  59. Why is Christmas in the winter? Not the reason you thought, says New Testament scholar | Freethinking Jew linked to this post on January 4, 2014

    [...] this interesting article (here) in Biblical Archaeology Review, New Testament scholar Andrew McGowan goes through the sources and [...]

  60. Is January 6th The Real Christmas? - Cracked History linked to this post on January 6, 2014

    [...] main source for this entry on Cracked History was the online article available here, but additional information on Christmas in general, particularly the holiday’s evolution and [...]

  61. IN CHRISTMAS, whom we celebrate..., to Santa Calus, Harry Potter, or Jesus? - Page 6 - Religious Education Forum linked to this post on January 12, 2014

    [...] but since I don't have it with me, I can't directly quote. Instead I'd offer the following; How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society This doesn't actually support the pagan festival theory, and like I said, I'm trying to be [...]

  62. How Did December 25 Become Christmas? | Wascana Fellowship linked to this post on January 13, 2014

    [...] As it turns out, I may have been wrong about a pagan connection with the choosing of the date of December 25. It would seem that the church settled on that date due to some interesting, and probably Jewish-inspired, mental gymnastics. The details can be found in an article written for the Biblical Archaeological Society titled “How December 25 Became Christmas.” [...]

  63. Roman Emperor Constantine - Page 2 - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums linked to this post on January 21, 2014

    [...] on birth dates for the Patriarchs, particularly Isaac. All of what I've described is written about in more detail here, complete with a bibliography consisting mostly of primary writings from the people I mentioned. At the end of the day, I think [...]

  64. Who Needs Christ During Christmas? | Lost Little Lutheran linked to this post on February 8, 2014

    [...] December 25th. Actually, nobody knows what his truth birthday is. If you want to do some digging, here’s a good website that might help you along. In short, theologians struggled to figure out the exact date, and [...]

  65. Snow Day to the Future | We Write Together! linked to this post on March 18, 2014

    […] This has been accepted as fact. So, if Christ was actually born, when was he born? BiblicalArchaeology.org notes: “According to Clement of Alexandria, several different days had been proposed by various […]

  66. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas | Kinkementary Adult Personals-KinkementaryAdult Personals-Find a Sex Partner Free, Sex Personals Online, CasualEncounters, Adult Personals Online Sex Dating site linked to this post on March 25, 2014

    […] around the existing Winter Solstice as a means to convert pagans to Christianity. December 25 might not even be Jesus’s birthday. These dates were just useful to the early Christians. There’s also that whole thing about […]

  67. Who Needs Christ During Christmas? | Lost Little Lutheran linked to this post on May 5, 2014

    […] December 25th. Actually, nobody knows what his truth birthday is. If you want to do some digging, here’s a good website that might help you along. In short, theologians struggled to figure out the exact date, and […]

  68. Quora linked to this post on May 10, 2014

    What are the historical dates of the birth and death of Jesus Christ?

    WELL NUTS!!! MY MOBILE WONT LET ME EDIT AT THIS TIME SO TILL I CAN EDIT MG QUESTION I POST IT HERE…enjoy!!! ¢0: [EDIT] AS THE QUESTION GOT EXSPANDED ON, BUT HASN’T ALL THIS BEEN ASKED AND ANSWERED??? There us no clear date…I will give you speculat…

  69. De la Conception à la Résurrection - Pneumatis linked to this post on June 4, 2014

    […] McGowan, How December 25 became Christmas, […]

  70. Constantine and Christianity - Page 12 - Religious Education Forum linked to this post on June 15, 2014

    […] Can someone own a date? And I am not arguing that those dates were used to celebrate Pagan festivals. Quite the opposite actually, that those dates were chosen to celebrate Christian events in place of those Pagan festivals. I don't even know if Santa would be considered "pagan", but I would say that the Christmas tree could definitely be argued as a pagan tradition incorporated into the celebration of Christ's birth. How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society […]

  71. Idées reçues: Ces choses que l'on croit vrai. linked to this post on June 25, 2014

    […] FAUX, il n’existe aucune preuve de cette affirmation. La Bible ne fait jamais référence au fait que Jésus soit né un 25 décembre ; elle indiquerait plutôt une date proche de septembre, voire du printemps selon certaines interprétations. La date du 25 décembre est attribuée au pape Jules Ier, en l’an 350 il déclara le 25 décembre date officielle de la célébration. Cette date a pu être choisie pour correspondre au jour situé exactement 9 mois après l’Annonciation, au solstice d’hiver du calendrier romain, ou encore coïncider avec d’anciens festivals hivernaux. Source […]

  72. İsa Hangi Tarihte Doğdu? | Viktor Kopuşçu linked to this post on August 14, 2014

    […] McGowan, Andrew. “How December 25 Became Christmas.” 20/12/2013. http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ… […]

  73. Onko joulu sittenkin alunperin kristillinen juhla? - Areiopagi linked to this post on September 3, 2014

    […] Andrew McGowan: How December 25 became Christmas? Bible History Daily, vierailtu 18.12. […]

  74. How Far Is Too Far Christian Dating | Christian Dating linked to this post on September 20, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology … – Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion…. […]

  75. Born Again Christian Dating Site Free | Dating Around Me linked to this post on September 23, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical … – Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion…. […]

  76. Born Again Christian Dating Ireland | Dating Around Me linked to this post on September 25, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology … – Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion…. […]

  77. The Four Horsemen of The Holiday Marketing Apocalypse | Phaze 2 linked to this post on November 3, 2014

    […] DEFINITELY forget the pagan origins of Christmas and how the holiday should really be celebrated sometime around August*.  Christmas is here and you mothatruckers better be ready for Santa.  To make sure we are, cable […]

  78. Links of Interest (11.8.2014) | Dr. Matthew R. Perry, Pastor linked to this post on November 8, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas (Biblical Archaeology) […]

  79. Apie kaledu atsiradima | Dalinames Rasto Tiesa linked to this post on November 13, 2014

    […] Kiss http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/…/how-december-25…/ November 11 at […]

  80. Know Palawan's Christmas Traditions- Seacologia Travel | Palawan Resorts Hotels linked to this post on November 17, 2014

    […] pen down your secret Christmas wish list. This contains not just the things you desire to have this December 25, but also things you want to experience and places you want to visit before the year ends. You may […]

  81. – Where Was Jesus Born? linked to this post on November 17, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas […]

  82. Saying Happy Holidays is Acceptable | Scripturient linked to this post on November 26, 2014

    […] worth reading about how and when December 25 was chosen as the date for the birth; many scholars suggest it was wrongly chosen. But that’s outside […]

  83. Desember - Tren Berita linked to this post on November 30, 2014

    […] How december 25 became christmas – biblical archaeology […]

  84. Why Christmas needs to move to February | U. S. Senior Citizen Network linked to this post on December 2, 2014

    […] wasn’t until centuries later that a Dec. 25 holiday actually came about. Some suggest Christians moved the date to the end of December to hijack pagan festivities such as […]

  85. Spicy hagiography. | Megan knows arse-all about... linked to this post on December 5, 2014

    […] It’s almost the most Christmassy thing I can think of, aside from Jesus’s birthday, which was quite likely in the spring anyway. I thought I had read once that it was the earliest cookie associated with Christmas, but because […]

  86. On the original St. Nicholas - DOR Scribe linked to this post on December 10, 2014

    […] There are any number of theories, but the most reasonable seems to be that December 25 is exactly nine months after March 25, traditionally celebrated as the date of The Annunciation, the date of the “announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God.”  See Annunciation – Wikipedia, and also Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25? — Ask HISTORY,Why December 25? | Christian History, and/or How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society. […]

  87. Does Christianity Borrow from Other Cultures? - The Salty Trail linked to this post on December 11, 2014

    […] Society, the notion that that it borrowed December 25th from a pagan holiday has some holes in it. Check out this link for more understanding on the dating of both Easter and Christmas – great […]

  88. Christmas on December 25th is not from Paganism! — Logos Apologia linked to this post on December 11, 2014

    […] Archaeology Review is a serious journal respected by real biblical scholars. The article How December 25 Became Christmas provides ample evidence debunking the pagan origins myth, showing how it actually got began, and […]

  89. The real 12 days of Christmas and why April 6 is a religiously significant date linked to this post on December 15, 2014

    […] are the 12 days of Christmas? Many of the insights that follow are drawn from the article “How December 25 Became Christmas," by Andrew […]

  90. The Date of Christmas has Nothing to Do with Pagan Holidays | agnus dei - english + romanian blog linked to this post on December 15, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas […]

  91. The Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah, and…Christmas? (Part 5: The Birthday of the Gods) | CONTEXT MATTERS linked to this post on December 15, 2014

    […] To read, CLICK HERE […]

  92. Three HUGE Christmas Myths - Derek Ouellette linked to this post on December 15, 2014

    […] article written in Biblical History Daily (from the Biblical Archaeological Society) by Andrew McGowan tells a different story. In surveying […]

  93. Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? - Nyssa's Hobbit Hole linked to this post on December 17, 2014

    […] “How December 25 Became Christmas” by Andrew McGowan […]

  94. Jesus Christ, Born on Christmas Day, December 25th - Postcards of TruthPostcards of Truth linked to this post on December 17, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas. Bible History Daily – Biblical Archaeology Society. http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ…  Accessed 17 December […]

  95. มารู้จักเทศกาล Christmas กันเถอะ! | 65Blogs linked to this post on December 18, 2014

    […] BIBLICALAR CHRISTMASPEDIA CHRISTMASTIME Categories Entertainment Tagged Christmasjingle bellsmerry christmasซานตาครอสดอกคริสต์มาสต้นคริสต์มาสประวัติสีประจำวันคริสต์มาสเพลงวันคริสต์มาสแซนตาครอสแซนต้า​ […]

  96. 3 Reasons I Think Christians Shouldn’t Freak Out When People Say “Happy Holidays” | TitusLive linked to this post on December 19, 2014

    […] No one can be certain why we started celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th, but we can be relatively sure it wasn’t because He was actually born that day. The early church argued a lot about when to celebrate. […]

  97. Sunday Go To Meeting Bun! « L.A. Marzulli's Blog linked to this post on December 21, 2014

    […] Archaeology Review is a serious journal respected by real biblical scholars. The article How December 25 Became Christmas provides ample evidence debunking the pagan origins myth, showing how it actually began, and even […]

  98. Christmas Traditions Based On Other Religions linked to this post on December 21, 2014

    […] the date of the birth of Christ is unknown, but suspected to be at some time during the spring or even late summer. There are some documents […]

  99. What is Christmas? | The History of the Future linked to this post on December 22, 2014

    […] is no Biblical evidence to support the date.  Bible History tells us, “Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not […]

  100. Jesus’ Birthday, the Sun, and Merry Christmas | Daniel N. Gullotta linked to this post on December 23, 2014

    […] “How December 25 Became Christmas” by Dr. Andrew McGowan (Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University) […]

  101. Wall Street National | Where Christmas really came from - Wall Street National linked to this post on December 23, 2014

    […] centuries. In fact, the major early writers of Christianity fail to mention the holiday at all, and one of them — Origen of Alexandria — actually made fun of birth celebrations, regarding such […]

  102. 'Would Anyone Mourn' Christmas 'If We Did Without It?' Asks Salon.com Writer - Alabama Citizens for Media Accountability linked to this post on December 23, 2014

    […] to biblical scholars, among them renowned biblical scholar Andrew McGowan, the real reason we celebrate Jesus’s birthday on December 25th predates the decree by Pope […]

  103. 10 True Things You Never Knew About The Life Of Jesus | Iran linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] when was Jesus really born? Around 200 AD, Clement of Alexandria affixed a birthday of May 20. That date coincides with the clues from the Bible, where shepherds are tending to their flocks, […]

  104. 5 Ways to Celebrate Jesus' Birth This Christmas linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] historical and even biblical evidence is relatively spare regarding the actual day of Jesus birth. Nonetheless, the day we set aside to […]

  105. Pagan Age : Inquisition linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] ! » et pour cause, ces théories se renforcent les unes les autres. De nombreux chrétiens vont ainsi pointer ce dont je parlais dans Donne-nous notre païen quotidien : le calcul de la date […]

  106. Why is Christmas on Dec. 25? (It wasn’t always.) - The Washington Post linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] an account titled “How December 25 Became Christmas” on the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Web site takes some issue with this […]

  107. Strauss: Why is Christmas on Dec. 25? (It wasn’t always.) | U. S. Senior Citizen Network linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] an account titled “How December 25 Became Christmas” on the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Web site takes some issue with this […]

  108. Christmas Isn't Very Christian - But It Doesn't Matter - mr-stingy linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] Bible History Daily explains it best: […]

  109. What Makes 25 so Special? | Matthew Sarookanian linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] McGowan, A. (2014, December 8). How December 25 Became Christmas. Retrieved December 25, 2014, from http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ… […]

  110. Merry Christmasa « The City of Destiny linked to this post on December 24, 2014

    […] indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with similar festivities at that place and time.1 As far as we can tell, Christmas was not celebrated at all at this […]

  111. The Christmas Image | Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] having little or nothing to do with the incarnation of The Savior. The Biblical Archeology Society “How December 25 Became Christmas” on their Bible History Daily. They do a balanced job on the question and note that the information […]

  112. CHRISTMAS IS WITHOUT CHRIST! | linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] decided to make some findings about this Christmas and what I saw was […]

  113. Christmas Reads | Thoughts linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas “(W)e have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6)… Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together.” […]

  114. Theologuy · Why is Christmas on December 25th? linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] appeared in Bible Review, December 2002. It is available on the Biblical Archaeology web site as part of the Bible History Daily series. It is an interesting article and worth reading by anyone who is curious as to why this particular […]

  115. An Atheist Christmas Special | Chapin City Blues linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] folks, but your lord and savior wasn’t born on Christmas day. The Bible makes no notation on his birth date (or year, for that matter). And considering that the good book is riddle with historical and scientific inaccuracies, it […]

  116. christmas and christianity - RTH linked to this post on December 25, 2014

    […] How december 25 became christmas – biblical archaeology Read andrew mcgowan’s article “how december 25 became christmas” as it originally appeared in bible review, december 2002. the article was first republished in. […]

  117. Now that Christmas is over... - Page 6 - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums linked to this post on December 26, 2014

    […] read 'How December 25 Became Christmas' by Dr. Andrew McGowan published by Biblical Archaeology: How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society As Dr. McGowan explains, the celebration of the birth of Christ derives from the early Christian […]

  118. why is christmas celebrated - RTH linked to this post on December 27, 2014

    […] How december 25 became christmas – biblical archaeology Read andrew mcgowan’s article “how december 25 became christmas” as it originally appeared in bible review, december 2002. the article was first republished in. […]

  119. connect the DOTS, do the MATH and smell the COFFEE » Merry Christmas! linked to this post on December 27, 2014

    […] NOT saying the above is TRUE, just wondering where Christmas comes from. More on this topic in this link: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testamenat/how-december-25-became-chris… […]

  120. On “putting Christ back in Christmas” | social networking ate my blog linked to this post on December 27, 2014

    […] everybody except the birthday boy gets the presents?  But Christmas as a religious celebration has a rather checkered past and some dubious origins, not to mention the fact that nowhere in the Bi… (Jesus did however tell his disciples to commemorate his death by celebrating the Lord’s […]

  121. Epiphanies and Happy Holidays! | Stitch 'n Travel linked to this post on December 31, 2014

    […] do hope you have had a blessed Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kawanza, New Year’s and whatever holiday you celebrate this time of […]

  122. Debunking The Christmas Myths | Systematic Theology and Apologetics linked to this post on January 1, 2015

    […] Archaeology – How December 25th became Christmas Answering Islam - Christmas: Pagan Festival or Christian Celebration? by Dr Anthony McRoy Mere […]

  123. You Can Celebrate Christmas and Still Be a Christian | Never Let the Stones Cry Out linked to this post on January 2, 2015

    […] In the Jewish calendar, this is the 14th of Nisan (the month, not the car). Tertullian, in Adversus Iudaeos, translates that date to March 25th on the Roman calendar. Hippolytus, around the same time, does […]

  124. Another Amusing Bible Lesson from Newsweek | linked to this post on January 3, 2015

    […] theory that this time of year was chosen because it coincided with a major pagan festival is very doubtful.  No early documents indicate this and the tale appears to have first arisen in the twelfth […]

  125. Newsweek Attacks The Bible | Systematic Theology and Apologetics linked to this post on January 4, 2015

    […] theory that this time of year was chosen because it coincided with a major pagan festival is very doubtful.  No early documents indicate this and the tale appears to have first arisen in the twelfth […]

  126. CHRISTMAS DIALOGUE | kwamekrobo linked to this post on January 5, 2015

    […] McGowan, A.(2014)ed. How December 25 Became Christmas.(2014, December 24). Retrieved from www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/ […]

  127. Jesus Within The Pantheon: How Does Jesus’ Birth Story Compare with Other Popular Deities of the Time | Under the Shadow of the Red Rock linked to this post on February 4, 2015

    […] date his birth as December 25, this was later determined in a mid-fourth-century almanac of Roman births and deaths. Since the Roman registration was an early census, it can be assumed that the two are […]

  128. Co-Opted Pagan Holidays | Schaabling Shire Shoppe linked to this post on February 6, 2015

    […] Gowan, Andrew (2002). “How December 25 Became Christmas.” Bible Review. Retrieved from Bible History Daily. Retrieved from <http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christ…&gt; […]

  129. Lesbisch Chat Dating Jesus Birth Story For Children | SEX Talk Live no business linked to this post on February 11, 2015

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical … – A blanket of snow covers the little town of Bethlehem, in Pieter Bruegel’s oil painting from 1566. Although Jesus’ birth is celebrated every year on December 25 …… […]

  130. Lesbisch Chat Dating Jesus Birthplace Images | SEX Talk Live no business linked to this post on February 12, 2015

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical … – Read Andrew McGowan’s article “How December 25 Became Christmas” as it originally appeared in Bible Review, December 2002. The article was first republished in …… […]

  131. Daily Tidbits 3/25 – Annunciation - Little Guy in the Eye linked to this post on March 6, 2015

    […] “Now then, March 25 was enshrined in the early Christian tradition, and from this date it is easy to discern the date of Christ’s birth. March 25 (Christ conceived by the Holy Ghost) plus nine months brings us to December 25 (the birth of Christ at Bethlehem).”  {How December 25 Became Christmas} […]

  132. Quora linked to this post on March 31, 2015

    Why do Christians worship on Sunday, when in the Ten Commandments it clearly says to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy?

    How was that insulting? I’ve read several books and articles about this. It’s a perfectly viable theory. Discussions questioning virgin births or Jesus’ marriage status or the melding of Roman religion and Judaism to form Christianity are perfectly…

  133. Quora linked to this post on May 5, 2015

    Why is the birth story of Jesus so similar to the story of Danae in the Greek mythology before Christ?

    Well, Dia de Muertos was moved to Oct 31 to coincide with All Saints day; before the Spanish colonization, it was celebrated some time in early Summer. But that’s beside the point, because…. Contrary to popular belief, the Catholic church wasn’t ve…

  134. Why are some many Christians proud to eat meat? - Page 2 - VeggieBoards linked to this post on June 22, 2015

    […] If conception occured March 25, birth would happen 9 months later. December 25. Original article here. Dave in MPLS / DISCLAIMER: I am not an actual rooster. "It is better to light a […]

  135. 10 Misconceptions About Christmas That Get Repeated Every Year | ViralPin`s — most interesting post on internet linked to this post on July 14, 2015

    […] Early Christian writers in Rome made their stance on celebrating birthdays quite clear—it was a disgusting, despicable, pagan thing to do. It was considered much more important to celebrate a person’s death rather than their birth. […]


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