How December 25 Became Christmas

Read Andrew McGowan’s article “How December 25 Became Christmas” as it originally appeared in Bible Review, December 2002.—Ed.

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?


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. Photo: Scala/Art Resource, NY.

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

Interested in learning about the birth of Jesus? Learn more about the history of Christmas and the date of Jesus’ birth in the free eBook The First Christmas: The Story of Jesus’ Birth in History and Tradition.

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.

In the five-part documentary An Archaeological Search for Jesus, Hershel Shanks travels from Galilee to Jerusalem in search of the first century world in which Jesus lived. Visit Nazareth, Sepphoris, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Qumran and other landmarks as Shanks interviews eminent archaeologists and New Testament scholars about the sites associated with Jesus and other gospel figures.

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. The article was first republished in Bible History Daily in December 2012.

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).



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 and David R. Cartlidge, “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 Leonora Neville, “Origins: Fixing the Millennium,” Archaeology Odyssey, January/February 2000.

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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421 Responses

  1. […] 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.” (Augustine, Sermon 202)… […]

  2. […] evidence for Jesus being born on the day that we celebrate Christmas? If so, what is the evidence?How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology SocietyDec 25, 2018 … Although Jesus‘ birth is celebrated every year on December 25, Luke […]

  3. Walter says:


  4. John says:

    Mark why am I incorrect…….in the Bible there are only two birthday celebrations recorded.
    The first birthday celebration was that of Pharaoh of Egypt (18th century B.C.E.) and the second was that of Herod Antipas (1st century C.E.). These two accounts are similar in that both occasions were marked with great feasting and granting of favors; both are remembered for executions; at the first celebration, the Pharaoh’s chief baker was beheaded, and in the second celebration John the Baptist was beheaded. Genesis 40:18-22; 41:13; Matthew 14:6-11;
    Also if you put Colossians 2 in context you will see that Paul was talking about the abolition of the OLD Law and its many observances, that were no longer binding on Christians.
    Interesting, too, is this quote: ““Origen [a writer of the third century C.E.] . . . insists that ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’”—The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Vol. X, p. 709.
    Just to highlight……….this is a quote from a Catholic Encyclopedia!!
    You cited Job 1:4…….may I suggest that you check on the meanings of the Hebrew words in this text and you will find that it does not relate to birthdays.
    You also mentioned Matthew 2……….they were astrologers, therefore pagans and pagans celebrated birthdays, whereas as the Jews did not. Whilst the birth of a child to a couple was a time of great joy, it was not celebrated year in and year out.
    By the time the astrologers arrived at Jerusalem Jesus was a small child, not an infant, as celebrated in christmas traditions, which are ALL of pagan origin.

  5. Imad Syryany says:

    St. Ephrem the Syriac ( 373) also considers that Moses shut a lamb on the tenth day of Nisan (April), a type of the Son Who shut Himself in the womb on that same tenth day (April 10) [Hymns on Nativity, 5:14]. He continues to say that in January – when the seed is hidden in the earth – the Ear of life (Shebal Haye: ܫܶܒܰܠ ܚܰܝ̈ܶܐ, Jesus) sprouted forth from the womb (ibid, 4:31). Again Ephrem says that the number ten is a little crown which crowns the head of the Manhood of our Lord Jesus (ibid, 9:6). Hence, according to St. Ephrem the Syriac, Nativity used to be celebrated on January 10th!

  6. Susan says:

    I find getting the birth of jesus through Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant when mary came to tell Elizabeth of conception. If this is so the conception would have been dec. 24 or 25th.

  7. JimG says:

    Note ‘e’ states “insistence of the eastern Christians in keeping Easter on the actual 14th day ” however that is the date of the Crucifixion not the original Easter on the 1st day of the week, the Sunday after. Hence these eastern Christians, even though they claimed to be upholding a tradition handed down from St. John, are in error.

  8. Mark says:

    John you are incorrect in your statement. “Two birthdays that were celebrated, according to the Bible, were not what one would call joyous occasions……..a man lost his life on each of those so called celebrations.”

    Birthday celebrations have independent origins around the world for many cultures who had use of calendar systems. They are pagan when they are pagan and secular when they are secular. The birthday celebration can not be pegged to a single origin.
    Job 1:4. Job’s children celebrate their birthdays.
    Matthew 2 the Magi celebrate the birth of Jesus.
    Colossians 2:16-23 Paul warns not to worry about being judged about, “what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. ” by those delighting in false humility.

  9. George says:

    I wonder if you are aware of the quote from Tertullian…

    But, however, the majority (of Christians) have by this time induced the belief in their mind that it is pardonable if at any time they do what the heathen do, for fear the Name be blasphemed. Now the blasphemy which must quite be shunned by us in every way is, I take it, this: If any of us lead a heathen into blasphemy with good cause, either by fraud, or by injury, or by contumely, or any other matter of worthy complaint, in which the Name is deservedly impugned, so that the Lord, too, be deservedly angry. Else, if of all blasphemy it has been said, By your means My Name is blasphemed, we all perish at once; since the whole circus, with no desert of ours, assails the Name with wicked suffrages. Let us cease (to be Christians) and it will not be blasphemed! On the contrary, while we are, let it be blasphemed: in the observance, not the overstepping, of discipline; while we are being approved, not while we are being reprobated. Oh blasphemy, bordering on martyrdom, which now attests me to be a Christian, while for that very account it detests me! The cursing of well-maintained Discipline is a blessing of the Name. If, says he, I wished to please men, I should not be Christ’s servant. But the same apostle elsewhere bids us take care to please all: As I, he says, please all by all means. 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 No doubt he used to please them by celebrating the Saturnalia and New-year’s day! [Was it so] or was it by moderation and patience? By gravity, by kindness, by integrity? In like manner, when he is saying, I have become all things to all, that I may gain all, 1 Corinthians 9:22 does he mean to idolaters an idolater? to heathens a heathen? to the worldly worldly? But albeit he does not prohibit us from having our conversation with idolaters and adulterers, and the other criminals, saying, Otherwise you would go out from the world, 1 Corinthians 5:10 of course he does not so slacken those reins of conversation that, since it is necessary for us both to live and to mingle with sinners, we may be able to sin with them too. Where there is the intercourse of life, which the apostle concedes, there is sinning, which no one permits. To live with heathens is lawful, to die with them is not. Let us live with all; let us be glad with them, out of community of nature, not of superstition. We are peers in soul, not in discipline; fellow-possessors of the world, not of error. But if we have no right of communion in matters of this kind with strangers, how far more wicked to celebrate them among brethren! Who can maintain or defend this? The Holy Spirit upbraids the Jews with their holy-days. Your Sabbaths, and new moons, and ceremonies, says He, My soul hates. By us, to whom Sabbaths are strange, and the new moons and festivals formerly beloved by God, the Saturnalia and New-year’s and Midwinter’s festivals and Matronalia are frequented — presents come and go — New-year’s gifts — games join their noise — banquets join their din! Oh better fidelity of the nations to their own sect, which claims no solemnity of the Christians for itself! Not the Lord’s day, not Pentecost, even it they had known them, would they have shared with us; for they would fear lest they should seem to be Christians. We are not apprehensive lest we seem to be heathens! If any indulgence is to be granted to the flesh, you have it. I will not say your own days, but more too; for to the heathens each festive day occurs but once annually: you have a festive day every eighth day. Call out the individual solemnities of the nations, and set them out into a row, they will not be able to make up a Pentecost. (Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapter XIV, c. 155 – c. 240 AD)

  10. John says:

    “Now, the date December 25 cannot be and is not a myth. We have much historical evidence supporting this date”
    December the 25th is a factual date……….the calendar does not go from December 24th – December 26th……….BUT, as far as it being the birth date of Jesus Christ, that is a myth, and that is also in line with the Bible, which not only states no date but birthdays were never celebrated by early Christians, it wasn’t until the 4th century CE that christmas was celebrated at the behest of Constantine the Great,
    and believe me, he certainly was no Christian
    Two birthdays that were celebrated, according to the Bible, were not what one would call joyous occasions……..a man lost his life on each of those so called celebrations.

  11. John says:

    BAS says: 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 answer as to why Jesus’ birth date is not found in the Bible is that early Christians did not celebrate birthdays, it was a pagan practice and history bears that out.
    The only celebration that should be carried out annually by Christians is the memorial of Christ’s death on Nisan 14 (the actual date in our calendar varies each year in relation to lunar cycles)……….and only his death…….not even his resurrection was to be celebrated

  12. Ounieh says:

    The Apostolic Constitutions state that Jesus was born in the 25th of the 9th month on the Hebrew calendar using a solar year instead of a lunar year reflecting essene connection. Amazingly, this is the first day of Chanukah. When translating calendar dates, they determined whether to start the year during March or April. Thus the 25th of the month in some calendars used March as a start, while others used April. So if you see march vs april thats a 1 month difference
    Julian calendar was originally used, so this further explains the change. So when Julian was used, the 25th of the 9th month was around our December 10th. When the calendar was changed to gregorian, December 25th became the new date. The churches starting in April, they ended up having January 6th as the 25th of the 9th month.

    So I believe the origin of the date is from early christians connection with judaism. The first day of chanukkah is an amazing suggestion offered by apostolic constitutions that makes a lot of sense

  13. JH says:

    Constantine was a worshiper of the sun-god Mithras and December 25th was Mithras’ birthday, and later that day became adopted as Christmas. A few decades after Christmas was adopted by Rome, the Roman Catholic saint John Chrysostom preached the following in 387 A.D.:

    “The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies…

  14. Titus says:

    nothing to do…who celebrate..let them celebrate..???? simple as it..religion is true in eyes of their follower.. so ..whatever

  15. James says:

    Deuteronomy 12:2
    You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.

    1 Kings 14:23
    For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.

    2 Kings 16:4
    And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

    2 Kings 17:10
    They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.

    2 Chronicles 28:4
    And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

    Isaiah 57:5
    Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree, Slaying the children in the valleys, Under the clefts of the rocks?

    Jeremiah 2:20
    “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; And you said, ‘I will not transgress,’ When on every high hill and under every green tree You lay down, playing the harlot.

    Jeremiah 3:6
    [ A Call to Repentance ] The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot.

    Jeremiah 3:13
    Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.

    Ezekiel 6:13
    Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols.

    Jeremiah 10:2-5
    2 Thus says the Lord:
    “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
    Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
    For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
    For the customs of the peoples are futile;
    For one cuts a tree from the forest,
    The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
    They decorate it with silver and gold;
    They fasten it with nails and hammers
    So that it will not topple.
    They are upright, like a palm tree,
    And they cannot speak;
    They must be carried,
    Because they cannot go by themselves.
    Do not be afraid of them,
    For they cannot do evil,
    Nor can they do any good.”

    Mark 7:7-10
    7 And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men 9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
    Matthew 15:8-10
    8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
    10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:

  16. Jane says:

    Would like to read an article from the focus of the Jewish Feasts/Festivals as Jesus would have held and celebrated and fulfilled. This would give the forward focus of fulfilling the end times, from God’s plans for all people. Just a thought that a female theologian might mention conception and 9 months of pregnancy, 2 timings every mother would count. Jesus fulfilled Passover for all. An unchanging marker in God’s timing.

  17. John Andreoli says:

    DR McGowan. I do not remember the book but I think it was about the life of Constantine and in it Constantine deliberately chose December 25 in an effort to conveniently and firmly establish Christianity as the official religion of the Roman world, and to wipe out the memory of the Roman pagan celebration that had always been celebrated on December 25th.

  18. odinga says:

    There is entirely too much fuss over the birth of Yeshua. So much so, untit we get caught up in all the pagentry of superstitious mythical events that were in circulation hunderd of years before the presence of Yeshua. Today, we make mockery of his birth as being December 25th the date of several saviors of mythical eras. Further, what the Church has done is unforgiveabe, establishing a new faith, Christianity. Yeshua was never a Christian nor preached or practiced any of its dogmas or creeds.

    Under the present system of Christianity, one has to be wealthy to celebrate December 25th as our Savior’s birthday. He came for the poor, widows, orphans, marginal, sergrgated, downtrodden, and these are shut out of the Chrisitain holidays…. We must move back to the Way Movement and live according to Yeshua’s beliefs!!!

  19. David Levandusky says:

    To state that Jesus was born in in December or in the Spring is not Biblical correct. John’s Gospel makes it very clear that Jesus was born in the Fall season of the year. Luke says Jesus began His ministry when he was about 30 years old. The synoptic Gospels share his Baptism and 40 days wilderness temptation just before his actual ministry began. John shares in John chapters 1-3 that Jesus after his baptism in February went 40 days into the wilderness and was tempted and then came back to the river Jordan. It is now Spring time and near Passover time. It is in the beginning of Jesus public ministry. Jesus attends the wedding of Cana in Galilee, spends some a few days in Capernaum and then goes to Jerusalem at Passover time. Let’s work this backward. Luke says at His baptism he was about 30 years old. His baptism would had to have been in February after which he went 40 days in the wilderness temptation and then came back to Nazareth, Cana. Capernaum and on to Jerusalem. All this in less than couple weeks time. Remember He is 30 years old at this time in the Spring Passover time. If He is 30 ears old at this time and we know he died about 3 and half years later at Passover time then we need to work backwards from Passover time to the 6-8 months earlier. Passover time to 6-8 months earlier would account for His birth being in the Fall season of the year – not winter. More than likely around the Feast of Tabernacles time. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….” John 1:14. MY personal opinion from my own observations in the scriptures. Be sure to get a copy of my published book “The Last Eleven Days of Jesus – Countdown to Passover, Crucifixion and Resurrectiion.” Info. at David [email protected].

  20. Terry S. says:

    I could be mistaken, but our tradition of celebrating birthdays was not around in Jesus’ time. Birthdays may not have been celebrated or commemorated as they were later. I read that the tradition among his people was to celebrate the recognition of age for everyone, on the first day of the new year. That maintained a general record of age, but also implied that the celebration of an individual birthdate was not all that important. Another avenue not listed here is the obvious repetition of God’s timeline. We are now beginning to understand that God ordained feasts (more aptly named rehearsals) to prepare His people for significant events in the future. All of the Jewish springtime feasts were fulfilled by Jesus during His life and death. The fall feasts have yet to find their fulfillment in our timeline. Nevertheless, Jesus’ birth narrative seems to best coincide with the feast of Tabernacles. This feast celebrates the children of Israel’s first night of freedom from Egypt… wherein they had to spend the night in makeshift shelters… but also took comfort from the very real presence of God among them (Emmanuel). We know that His birth was the fulfillment of prophecy, as outlined by Isaiah and others… but also discerned by Babylonian scholars (wisemen) who were more than likely dispersed Jews who also studied the prophecies. In studying the correlations between the feasts, their practices, and the very specific and symbolic fulfillment of them by Christ, and in realizing that either His conception or birth was a major event in God’s timeline, I can only surmise that God would have embedded it within His preordained feasts.

  21. Terry Cress says:

    I find the arguments regarding specific dates of Jesus’s life and death humorious. What we need to be cognizant of is, who he was and what he did while he was here on earth. Lest we forget, he is God and has the authority and ability to do “history” as he wishes, including the end of it!

  22. Richard Bonnette says:

    May God be with you all!
    My apologies for any typos I may have made in the earlier post I published!

    Gloria in excelsis Deo! Pax vobiscum!

  23. Richard Bonnette says:

    Please stop using C.E., people. It has no significance and means absolutely nothing. You should be using the accurate terms B.C. and A.D., because that has been used for 2,000 years and is still used today, it is historically accurate, symbolically significant, and solemnly Christian.

    Now, the date December 25 cannot be and is not a myth. We have much historical evidence supporting this date, and it is not enough to start doubting it simply because it is so far away from our current time today. We should also not try claiming that it is simply a secular holiday for selling gifts or presents; because companies only got their presents and gifts from advertising these gifts as necessary during Christmastime (otherwise, no one would both buying them, because a lot of companies make pretty useless toys that are neat but truly pointless for our Salvation). We should not be too quick to judge our history just because people doubt the Christian religion and want to discredit it.
    The first point is that the time of the birth was historically based on the time of Zachariah’s entering into the Temple of Jerusalem, which was a significant event and only occurred once a Year, and only one priest could ever, in his lifetime, enter the Temple to offer a sacrifice. The time Zachariah went to the Holy Temple was in modern calendar today September. and that was when he is told his wife Elizabeth would conceive a son; and we are told in the Biblical history by the angel Gabriel that Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary was conceived, which would place Mary’s conception at March 25. It is not at all foolish to assume that nine months later, the Christ-child was born (Christ means the chosen one). That would place this date on December 25. What happened after Christ’s death was the spread of the Christian religion: a religion completely untolerated by the pagan Roman government, which had a plenitude of immoral and selfish gods to use to excuse or satisfy their own selfish and immoral desires. The years of harsh persecution by the pagan followers lead the Christians to only practice the faith privately and could not publish or announce important dates like December 25 except by word of mouth and in secret books safe from Roman destruction (there were actually prices on people’s heads who had the Bible or any important Christian work) — and in the Bible, where it was not directly said (probably because all the Apostles already knew the day and did not expect that such doubt would arise from not specifically writing it – also because not everything is contained in the Bible). That we may doubt our history is not the point. That we should, however, disregard the obvious historical recordings in exchange for our own meager and scantily supported theories, is truly an unscientific, unfair, and unjust way of analyzing history.

    The second point here is that Mary was still alive after the death of Christ — If Christianity was just started, do you know how many Christians (including the Twelve Apostles of Christ) would be fervently asking Mary when was the date she bore her Son into the world? And how hard do you think it is for a mother to forget the date she bore her only son into the world? Have you ever your mother when you were born, only to realize she forgot? How about when a mother’s son dies in one of the most agonizing ways? Will she ever forget the day that son was born? Will she forget when he died, especially when his friends and family remember him so clearly and love him so dearly?

    Sirs, I ask you not to trust this scholarly work published here. It is not based on the full available history of Christianity. And he is not a person who knows much about Christianity, let alone about the birth of the One who would redeem the world.
    I would advise searching for “The Faith of the Early Fathers” (which has three volumes of ancient letters and works written or attributed to famous early Christians in instruction and explaining the faith), and other saints like St. Augustine’s treatises, or like searching the Catholic Church’s boatload of historical books, and other reliable resources, who continued to carry on the Sacred Tradition passed on from the Twelve Apostles.
    By the way, how hard do you think it will be for the Twelve Apostles to forget the birth and death of their own leader, the One Who, with more power, authority, and goodness than anyone they had known before, asked them to carry on the work of Salvation for the entire human race?

    Here are some resources for more researching on why December 25 is not in any way a pagan holiday. Simply copy and delete extra spaces to post into the search link bar above:
    https:// www. traditioninaction .org/ religious/e031rp_PaganOrigins.html
    http:// apologetics-notes. comereason. org /2015/12/no-christmas-is-not-based-on-pagan .html
    https:// www. crisismagazine. com/ 2015/ why-catholics-celebrate-the-new-year

    And there is a Catholic Forum here for arguing, with some excellent information on more particular events, like the Gregorian Calendar and Julian Calendar:

    1. ForRealB says:

      Are you for real buddy? The gospels were written, at earliest, 30 years after Jesus died. They contradict themselves all over the place, and give no rational reason to believe they are accurate or true. If you want to just be a believer and go with the Bible as being an historic book, that is your choice, but do not sit here and chastise people that are able to be objective when searching for truth. People like you are the problem in the world. You operate based on belief and not knowledge.

  24. Sam says:

    Yeshua was born on Sukkot, The feast of Tabernacles. This can be found in scripture if you read carefully. The key to knowing when he was born can be found in Luke 1:8, “…Zechariah, of the division of Abijah…” With a list of priestly division in 1 Chronicles 24:7-18.

  25. Lisa Rosson says:

    Well it really Is NOT HIS birthday, Jesus was God in Flesh. He is everlasting.

    Now when He was born the angels rejoiced. I think its ok to celebrate Jesus, an you can celebrate Jesus everday. Sitting a day aside to focus on Jesus, an what He did for us isn’t bad.

    God sees your heart. You can make it pagan by adding santa.

    I simply tell my kids they are 8 & 9 their is no such thing.

    We are here to think about Jesus, this day is all about Him no one else.

    Jesus judges our hearts, an what we teach our kids. Its NEVER wrong to focus on the Lord.

    Its how you do it, whats in your heart, is it purely for the Lord, or do you share it with santa.

    But to sit an read the story about Jesus an the manager isn’t wrong. After all He allowed it to be their.

    Also the Shepard came to worship, the magi ..

    Its all your heart that Jesus looks at.

  26. Ronnie Varkevisser says:

    Idols and the Living God

    Jer 10:1 HEAR THE word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.
    Jer 10:2 Thus says the Lord: Learn not the way of the [heathen] nations and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens, though they are dismayed at them,
    Jer 10:3 For the customs and ordinances of the peoples are false, empty, and futile; it is but a tree which one cuts out of the forest [to make for himself a god], the work of the hands of the craftsman with the ax or other tool.
    Jer 10:4 They deck [the idol] with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so it will not fall apart or move around.
    Jer 10:5 [Their idols] are like pillars of turned work [as upright and stationary and immobile as a palm tree], like scarecrows in a cucumber field; they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it possible for them to do good [and it is not in them].

  27. John says:

    BAR says: “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)
    That is incorrect, are you trying to say that Matthew, Mark and Luke were not aware of when the Passover was………I mean they were there, as was John……..I would change your source information. The Passover was held on Nisan 14 (March 31 – April 1), 33 CE……the same day that Jesus was put to death………He was the Passover Lamb………that was the last Passover………the Law became obsolete after Pentecost 33 CE.

  28. jay says:

    In the Jewish month of Kislev on the 25th day, begins Chanukah and it ends on the 1st day of the next month, Kislev and Tevit always occur during the cold months of our Gregorian calendar. I understand, from memory, that in very early Christian times, the year began on March 1 and so Dec 25 and Jan 1 would roughly correspond to the two Jewish months.

  29. Jesus lay with newborn lambs in the barn—–something that would ONLY have occurred during lambing season—april and may.

  30. John Turner says:

    I want to thank you for an interesting exposition. I was unaware of this ancient deduction that Jesus was conceived and died on the same day.
    They seemed to have lost sight of the Messianic prophecy from Daniel 9:27 alluded to by Jesus when He preached ” the time is at hand.” As the decree marking the starting point is in the fall, the messiah being “cut off” in the “midst” of the week(31/2 years) would have Him beginning His ministry in the Fall at the age of 30( Luke 3:23) and ending at Passover. This is supported by the inference from Zechariah’s priestly course pointing to John’s birth being in the Spring, 6 months before the birth of Christ.

  31. Stephen Mwangi Kamau says:

    Dear Andrew,

    Thanks for your article “How December 25 Became Christmas.”
    Why were Jesus’ disciples not interested with the birthday of Jesus Christ? Why did Jesus nor His parents not care much about The birthday?
    I am glad to learn that despite some critics thinking believing that celebrating Jesus’ birthday was paganism, somebody cared to calculate the birthday to be nine months from Passover, 25th of March (for that particular time) to come to December 25th.

  32. JERRY WELLS says:




  33. JERRY WELLS says:








  34. ssewankambo henry says:

    The intention is to celebrate the birth not the day.when the three wise men came to him ,they worshipped him and gave him presents.

  35. Omonigho Umukoro glory says:

    Hmmm, there seem to be too many controversial and unrealistic aspects of Christianity as a religion that leave one doubting weda it’s a good religion at all. S ancient Romans really adulterated the true Christian religion that no one knows d truth. It is mixed up wt paganism nd demonism feather than d true God. I believe Jesus is my saviour but He Jesus at all timesattributed all glory 2 God Almighty all through His ministry. Today many call Him God even wn He refused 2 be call ‘ good Rabi’ in d bible. Xtians hav adopted dr own ways nd left d ways of d bible. Adultery nd fornication is tolerated but not polygny. Jesus is worshipped not d His Father, wealth has replaced love 4 neighbour, miracle has replaced true salvation etc. May God help us!

    1. Ekemini Clement Essien says:

      You have well said, all I will say, is check out the teaching if Jehovah’s witnesses, the are the only Christian group closest to the first century apostles….

  36. Roxanne Arkie says:

    Of course, no one really wants to believe that Jesus’ birth is celebrated on December 25th because of assimilating pagan dates with Christian ideology, but that is precisely what this article found In It’s research, so face it! Now, let’s move on! Or should I say, let’s return to God’s Instructions about His Appointed Times in Leviticus 23. this is His Calendar by which He would carry out His Great Plan of Redemption for mankind. We see that the Seventh Day Sabbath is the first day that He sanctifies and sets apart for a Holy day of Remembrance of Creation, and a day of Rest and Convocation and Worship. Then God speaks about a day in which He will Redeem mankind who He has created. That is Passover, Nissan 14,Unleavened Bread teaches us how to walk a sanctified life by feasting on His Unleavened (Holy) Bread (Word). First Fruits hidden day that is ‘sandwiched’ within the 7 day Festival, on the Day after the Sabbath of UB, therefore, always on a first day of the week (our Sunday) not on a set date. Are you getting the picture? Jesus died on Passover, His sinless body was buried in the earth but did not suffer decay (Unleavened). He rose as the First Fruit, the Bread Of Life, of those who would one day follow in the Resurrection of the Righteous, those who lived a sanctified life of Faith. Forty days later as Jesus gathered with his Diciples, he told them to wait a little while longer (50 days) for the Promise of the Father, which was the Festival Of Shavuot (Weeks, 7 wks = 49 day’s plus one= 50 dys. Most call this day Pentecost. These were the Spring Feasts. The Fall festivals are: Yom Teruah or Day Of Trumpets (mostly referred to as Rosh haShana, but listed in Lev 23 as the day of hearing the Trumpets. Ten days later is the Day Of Atonement/Yom Kippur, a Judgment Day of sorts, then five days later, the Festival of Tabernacles, this lasts 7 days with a bonus Eighth Day Celebration and special Sabbath. Do you see this picture? Jesus, whose Hebrew name is Yeshua, will return at the Sound of the Trumpet, He will Judge the Living and the dead, and then He will Tabernacle among us forever more. Tabernacles is also known as the feast of the Ingathering, when all the Sheaves/souls are harvested and gathered/assembled together for a most wonderful Marriage Feast. A Hebrew wedding lasts for 7 days. Messiah, the Lamb of God will have a Grand Ceremony! Most refer to this as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!! And the Eighth Day will usher in the New Beginning of the Millennial Reign with the King of Kings, who was born, by the way, during the Feast of Tabernacles, when he came to dwell among us as the book of John describes. The Hebrew word for Tabernacles or Booths is Sukkot, a temporary dwelling made to commemorate our leaving Egypt/Slavery to Sin, Living not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the Father (remember the Unleavened Bread?) Knowing God’s Calendar, the Birth of Yeshua our Savior and Messiah becomes much clearer.
    As previously stated, many agree, and rightly so, it wasn’t in December. Luke gives us a huge clue. If we can establish the birth of John, we can know the birth of Yeshua (Jesus, His Greek nick name;) Zachariah’s term of Temple service was the course of Abijah, which was the Eighth course in the year. Chronicles tells us there were twenty-four courses, so, that’s two courses of service a month. Beginning with the month of Nissan, Zechariah served in the fourth month. Nine months later brings us to the Spring month of Nissan, the month of Passover, when John was born to Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, who was six months pregnant when Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus then was born in the Fall at Sukkot or Tabernacles, probably the first day of Tabernacles and thus circumcised on the Eighth Day! Why do you suppose that the Roman government chose that particular time to tax the people? Because they could collect a huge amount from people coming up to Jerusalem to a Pilgrimage Feast, rather than trying to collect taxes in smaller outermost towns. Also, there was no room in the inns, because such a large number of people were traveling to their families’ place of origin and to observe Sukkot. I hope this sheds some light on this subject and that this also causes people to re-read the scriptures with all this in mind.

    1. Ekemini Clement Essien says:

      You have well said it well…

  37. Helen Jarvi says:

    Send me a Scripture from the Bible as it is today.
    My email is: [email protected]
    Thank you.
    Helen Jarvi

  38. D. Boyce says:

    Jesus Christ was born October 9th derived from the triangular number 153, thus 17×9=153. He was reincarnated from King David who was born 7 10 1053BC, from 117×9=1053. The 17 was split in ancient times as 7 & 10, thus 7 BC 10 th month 9th day. Mithra was born December 25th as were many of the Roman Gods. Centre of Stonehenge 51.10.73 Lat and 1.49.57 Long, Jesus is 7 10 9 ‘153’ 51* 47* 51 is 51 Latitude which again comes from the three sides of the triangular number 153, 17 17 17=51. Rev 4:7 shows a four part reincarnation of King David the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus is next as the Ox, calf which is from Old Creek ‘Boys’ which the surname which the Second Christ is born under.

  39. David says:

    This idea that Jesus was born and crucified on the same date reminds me of the traditional Buddhist belief that the Buddha was born, became enlightened, and died all on the same date–the full moon of May–also with no actual historical or scriptural evidence to support it. It may be that knowing one important date and wanting to know another one makes it easy to combine the two–the known and the unknown–into one. People just can’t stand not knowing something that they consider to be important.

  40. Greg Carpenter says:

    The most important thing is that Jesus was born and later died for our sins.
    Then 3 days later arose from the dead.
    Have you repented and received The Lord Jesus as your Saviour?
    Even if you know the exact day Jesus was born,but don’t know Him as your Saviour,you will end up in the lake of fire.
    So please repented and receive Jesus now.

  41. J.T. Smith says:

    One problem is that the winter solstice falls between December 20 – 22, days before Christ’s Mass on the 25th.

  42. John says:

    Luke 3:1-3 pinpoints a time when the Bible chronology and secular history agree and that is 29 AD. this was the year when John the baptist started his preaching and about 6 months after he baptised Jesus; who was then about 30 years of age, Luke 3:23.
    Jesus preaching work lasted three and a half years until his death on Nisan 14, 33 AD (march/April)……….count back those 3 and 1/2 years and you come to September/October, 29 AD…………now count back 30 years and we arrive at about September/October 2 BC (there is no year 0, or zero)………..and just like magic we come to Jesus birth September/October 2 BC: NOT 25th Dec.

  43. Chuck says:

    According to early Church history, Gabriel announced to Zechariah that he would have a son (John the Baptist) on the Jewish day of Atonement. (Zechariah was chosen by lot to burn morning and evening incense as prescribed in the Old Testament regulations, not performing the atonement duties which were the sole domain of the high priest.) And the Bible bears this out. Zechariah was on the priestly division of Abijah, which according to Old Testament regulations would have been on duty in the 10th and 34th weeks of the Jewish religious year. This includes the second week of Tishri, and that’s when the Day of Atonement falls. (Tishri 10). An early Christian saint, John Chrysostom, around AD 170 determined that the 10th of Tishri in 5 BC would have been September 24 on the Roman calendar. Meanwhile Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a child and that Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth was also in her sixth month. Since it takes 9 months for a baby to be born, simple mathematics tells us that John was then born around June 24 and Jesus 6 months later. That is why for 1,800 years March 24 has been regarded as the date of the Annunciation, June 24 the birthdate of John the Baptist, and December 25 the birth of Christ. It had nothing to do with paganism at all. It was Biblical and based on known historical facts. And isn’t that like all of Christianity? It really is so simple if we will just take the Word at face value and believe.

  44. Gilberto says:

    the key point in all of the is, Christ never instructed us to celebrate his Birthday, nor our own Birthday. For anyway that you self glorify over The Most High is never good. I know the argument will come up “well just because he doesn’t tell us to celebrate, does that mean we shouldn’t? It should be ok to celebrate”… I get that argument, but why not celebrate the Holy Days he instructs us to celebrate before you go celebrating a day he never told us to celebrate. Also I know some mention Dec 25 as being Nimrods birthday, I would be interested to know whether or not this is true. Thank you, and all praises to The Most High

  45. John says:

    Historians mention that first century Christians did not celebrate birthdays, in fact they regarded the celebration of birthdays as idolatrous worship…….birthdays were however celebrated, but, by pagans, NOT true Christians.

  46. Barbara Warren says:

    Very interesting article, thank you. I was just reading an article or two on Egyptian and Babylonian deities. You have cleared up a difficult passage for me. There are Egyptian passages that refer to the sun god Ra, whose soul is pictured as a ram during the spring time, entering the goddess Nut, and being born as the sun during the winter solstice. I was very puzzled. Now I have read your article and feel the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from understanding something better. Thank you.

  47. tonys58 says:

    Thank you for the very interesting and informed article. The past Pope agrees with you….From ‘The Obelisk and the Cross’:

    The Catholic Church has dated the birth of Jesus at 25 December because this date is nine months after his death and resurrection. Church doctrine holds to the idea that Jesus Christ died on the same day of the year that he was conceived. However, some historians have argued that 25 December is used because it aligns with the birth of the Mithraic cult or to the winter solstice, in tribute to the Roman state-sanctioned sun god Sol Invictus. The Catholic Church directly opposes this view. As Cardinal Ratzinger says,

    “The claim used to be made that December 25 developed in opposition to the Mithras myth, or as a Christian response to the cult of the unconquered sun promoted by Roman emperors in the third century in their efforts to establish a new imperial religion. However, these old theories can no longer be sustained. The decisive factor was the connection of creation and cross of creation and Christ’s conception.”

  48. Wanda Shoap says:

    From my education I learned that Christ was conceived on Dec. 25th and that His birth would have been September, such is the time of harvest. I’m well aware of the hate for the celebration call Christmas. Many feel we are not to worship the date of our birth let alone that of Christ’s. That it is all pagan and unholy. Yet it’s been passed down for ages and it’s hard to go against what you have been raised with. Thus, we have the division between those who are against it and those who have lived with the celebration since their very own birth. I do have to say that these confusions are the very reason why there will be the 1,000 years of teaching by Christ and His anointed chosen.

  49. RonaldGarthoff says:

    Both my wife and I read this article and found it to be very interesting. As others have said “A Great Read,” we would have to agree. Found a lot of very interesting concepts. Thanks and have a Blessed Holiday Season. Ron & Kathy

  50. Helen Spalding says:

    I like the way our Faith Family has understood that our salvation is tied up into one package. Easter means Christmas had to be a real event.

  51. Dr. Derek P. Blake, Ph.D says:

    To celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th is to celebrate a lie. Most of the church realises that Jesus was not born on the 25 December, yet they continue to celebrate it, making the celebration a lie. God is truth, and we are called to worship Him in Spirit and Truth, how do we justify that?
    If we read the Gospels correctly, all the information is there for us to realise when Christ’ birth actually was, the best match is October and during the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.

  52. BL Christian Fellowship User says:

    Great Read! Good information and helps understand why we celebrate as we do in the modern world. Even though it may be watered down in some parts of the world.

  53. Daniel c smith says:

    Love reading these

  54. Maged Saad says:

    Thank you for sharing the information. However, I wanted to let you know that the Egyptian “Coptic” Christmas Day is January 7 and is not 6.
    Orthodox Christmas Day is a public holiday on January 7 in countries such as Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Russia, and Ukraine.

  55. Jerry Gottheil says:

    Can the author address the apparent coincidence of Jewish Chanukah festival on the 25th Day of Kislev, that occurs in December, that early Christians wished to coopt, and therefore adopted the pagan date of the 25th of December as a festival day?

  56. Chris says:

    Constantine’s conversion to Christianity most likely never happened and is a point of great controversy!

  57. yabancı dizi izle designated survivor says:

    In fact when someone doesn’t know then its up to other users that they will help,
    so here it occurs.

  58. benjaminm30 says:

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate your thoroughness.

  59. Chris says:

    I’m surprised that the passage in Luke 1 and John 1 were totally ignored.

    Should we ignore scripture and just rely on human opinion? What’s wrong in saying that they got it wrong? The scriptures obviously point to a time in September/October (The Feast of Tabernacles)

  60. Dick Bartlett says:

    Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding (G63) in the field (G68), keeping watch over their flock by night.
    G63 ἀγραυλέω agrauleō ag-row-leh’-o From G68 and G832 (in the sense of G833); to camp out:—abide in the field. So, the shepherds were camping out in the field.
    G68 ἀγρός agros ag-ros’ From G71; a field (as a drive for cattle); generally the country; specifically a farm, that is, hamlet:—country, farm, piece of ground, land. A field is a piece of ground or land used as a farm.

    Most of the time shepherds lead their flocks across the hillsides to eat mouthfuls of grass as they graze. These hillsides are not farms, and the grasses that are eaten are a tuft here and there after each step. They are not in knee-high grass eating their hearts content!

    Now look at the growing schedule for Israel, and see what months of the year the farms are planted and harvested.
    Months Weather Crops & activity
    Tishri 7th month(Sep/Oct) First rains Plowing begins
    Heshvan 8th month(Oct/Nov) Plowing / grain planting
    Kislev 9th month(Nov/Dec) Grain planting continues
    Teveth 10th month(Dec/Jan) Main rains
    Sebat 11th month (Jan/Feb)
    Adar 12th month (Feb/Mar) Spring rains Almond in bloom / flax harvest
    Aviv 1st month (Mar/Apr) Barley harvest begins
    2nd month (Apr/May) Barley harvest completed
    3rd month (May/Jun) Dry season Wheat harvest begins
    4th month (Jun/Jul) Wheat harvest completed / first
    Av 5th month (Jul/Aug) Summer heat Vintage (grape harvest) begins
    Elul 6th month (Aug/Sep) Date harvest / summer figs

    From the above, one can see that the harvest season in ancient Israel began in Adar (Feb/March) and continued by stages into autumn. The barley harvest began in March-April: the first sheaf being cut and waived in the middle of Aviv, which could be any time between 21st March and the middle of April. It is the same in modern Israel.

    So, the farms couldn’t be made available to sheep for grazing until after the 4th month when harvest is completed. The sheep at that time could glean the stubs and remains from the harvest. Then in the 7th month plowing begins. The sheep would have to be moved out of the field as the plowing progresses, the sheep can’t be allowed to interfere with the plowing.

    Therefore, sheep are in the “field” only in the 5th through the 7th months, or August through September/October. The shepherds might have been able to leave their flocks safely when they are in the farm areas where the food is plentiful for the sheep and where the dangers of the wilderness are not present. That is a way for them to be able to go see the baby Jesus.

    In conclusion, doesn’t it appear that Jesus was born September or October rather than in December?

  61. Fr Brendan Pelphrey, PhD says:

    Actually Tertullian’s observation linking the supposed date of Jesus’ death (March 25) with His conception was due to a Jewish tradition that a prophet would die on the same date as his conception.

  62. Jessica says:

    Another question i have is if there was so much uncertainty in the 70 to 170 years after Jesus had died regarding his day of birth but none of the dates pointed to December 25 did suddenly 270-370 years later they decide that December 25 was the day?

  63. Jessica says:

    Hi. Professor. I have some interesting thoughts to share. The first…. I have two daughter’s and the day of conception for either of them can be narrowed down to a window of just a few days but not one specific day. My oldest was born 5days before her due date while the other actually came on her due date. It’s only about 5% of women who will birth their child on their given due date and a woman can birth her child up to two weeks after a due date. As this is modern known data can we really presume that they were able to accurately depict the day of conception especially given that nothing is written about a particular day when the angel appears to Mary to give her the news? So there for, would it not then be more appropriate to speculate that they would have had Jesus killed on the day of his birth? I have also came across the idea that the day of Jesus’ death is known to be april 3 of AD 33. If that is accurate it would put Jesus’ conception roughly around January 8th. So then the idea of “Christian Christmas” would be the celebration of Jesus’ conception. I would like to know your take on this information?

  64. Scott says:

    Speculation and theories, no matter how theologically based, always ends in the same way. Speculation and theories. No where in scripture does it mention the celebration of our Lord’s birthday every year. Nor did the early church practice such a thing. Nor is there any commandment from God to do so. So what is the real reason that we do celebrate Christmas. A tradition invented by godly men with good intentions? I tend to think so even though there are a lot of discrepancies in the props that are used in relation to the actual biblical account. Perhaps best to keep everything in the context of the “spirit” of celebrating our Lord’s arrival.

  65. Kathy Shannon says:

    Just as everything else in this world, NO ONE KNOWS. Every scholar, professor or simple man has their thoughts and theories. My thoughts and theory I do not care when he was born. His preachings and teachings are what is important.

  66. Clarissa says:

    The correct answer Jesus He was born on December 25

  67. Nick says:

    A Christian should not be using CE and BCE, we should all be using AD and BC. Do not succumb to the changes by activist athiests or progressives.

  68. Sandra Myers says:

    Sorry I mean celebrating December 25

  69. Sandra Myers says:

    I read this to my granddaughter trying to get her to understand that there are different theories to the birth of Christ. Her father has told her that celebrating Christmas is paganism and now she is afraid to celebrate. I being a Christian believe in celebrating in December 24. Can you give me more information to help her

  70. Kim says:

    Id rather people consider Christ than the celebration of the sun.
    For whatever reason this December 25th date was officially selected, believers focus on the birth of their Savior and giving.

    Although the date decrepancy can not be solidified, Jesus’ birthday in this girls gentile heart is important and here is why:

    It’s a season of celebration, a joyous time to stop and reflect Christ, his sacrifice, his ways, his great big love. A reminder to practice love & in my heart I’m taken to that scene in a manger when love was born flesh.
    Just like when I birthed my own children, it was a time of celebration for a gift had been given.
    Its a time of reflection and what the bible does say about Christ’ birth. I don’t believe these date issues are inherently wrong, for God judges the heart.

    Ive observed in this life that just about any and everything can be made to look ugly, wrong even vile.
    The bottom line for me is, that’s its meant for good, not for evil.

    My father Abba loves me the same, he grafted me in knowing where I came from.

  71. Michael G. Biehl says:

    Nine months has nothing to do with accuracy, 40 weeks does, yes 280 days from the conception to the birth. Conception in like the lighting of a LAMP. The first day of Month 10 is a new moon and the Menorah is completely lighted (see the SEVEN spirits of God Lamp-stand / tree of life from root of Jesse> Isaiah 11) 280 days from the 1st Lunar day of month ten 280 days = The 15th day of the Seventh Month a FULL MOON. The date would look like 7/15 on a Hebrew calendar, but the evening on the Gregorian solar calendar would be 9/14. “Sept” means 7 and Hebrew “yom” aka day start at sunset not sunrise. Now how easy is it to turn this scripture into a calendar date with both Solar and lunar calendar in agreement, like two witnesses 6 months before Herod died. Isiah 7:14

  72. Tony says:

    One question, Are you Jewish?

  73. Meme says:

    Yeshua’ birth date isn’t as important as the believing gentiles make it out to be. Since He is Jewish and the Jewish historian Josephus does mention and I quote “nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of our education should be immediately directed to sobriety”.
    It is important to remember He is Jewish and not goyim so his upbringing is that of Judaism not of heathenism though now we may celebrate the births of our children not just naming them on the day of their b’rit milah but celebrating like everyday Americans do with their children on their birthdays, try to remember that we live in the 21st century not 2,000 years ago when behaving like a goy got you the death penalty for the breaking of the law of Moshe.

  74. Alan Schuetz says:

    It’s interesting that the author failed to mention who actually set the date of December 25th… It was the Scythian monk and very poor mathematician Dionysius Exiguus. Not only did he invent the erroneous Anno Domini (A.D.) system — as Christ was born on the Feast of Weeks in 6 CE per the Lucan account and the calendar/priestly courses in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but he set the date of the “Nativity” based off his faulty Easter Tables. How does such a learned man not know this? There are so many errors in the article; it’s a travesty. Is this what modern “Biblical scholarship” has become?

  75. Joe Bum says:

    Jesus was born on December 24 or 25 2 BC, not 9/11, not August, but December. The answer is in the Infancy Gospel of James ( a discarded gospel but very reliable resource). Mary laid her baby in an ox manger when she found out the Magi and Herod were looking for him which it is clearly known that he was laid in the manger the same day of birth. The bethlehem star shined on December 25, 2 bc. This was the day the Magi visited. All of these events happened on the same day. There is even a tablet the reads Christ is born in Bethlehem, December 25, 2 BC

  76. Dudley McLean says:

    Why Holy Church Celebrates Christmas On December 25? Andrew McGowan also forgotten that Christmas, the Feast of Christ’s Nativity, is a polemic against paganism.

    In one of the ancient hymn( troparion) of the Nativity of Christ we sing:
    “Your nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the light of wisdom. For by it, those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore you, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know you, the Orient from on high.”

    In the “Proper Prefaces” of the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Church in the Province of the West Indies (Anglican) the Celebrant says,
    “Because you gave Jesus Christ, your only Son, to be born for us; who, by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, was made perfect Man of the flesh of the Virgin Mary his mother; so that we might be delivered from bondage of sin, and receive power to become your children” (BCP 127).

    The Nativity of Christ is the liturgical celebration of the birth of Christ in the Christian Church that was put on the very day of the Birth of the Invincible Sun, the “dies natali solus invictus,” the physical sun in the sky that those whom we call pagans were worshipping, the coming of the new sun in the springtime when things are going to start getting lighter. The twenty-fifth of December was called the birthday of the Invincible Sun, the sun in the sky. The Christians made a polemic against that.

    In general, this troparion of Christmas is a polemic against paganism.
    That is why the song was put on the very day of that particular pagan festival that the Christians were now co-opting, and saying what is really to be celebrated today, what is really to be acknowledged and confessed and proclaimed is the Gospel of Christ.
    That the nativity is not of the physical sun in the sky being born in the springtime, as the days get longer, but it is the nativity of Christ, our God.

    The song begins, “Your nativity, O Christ, our God, has shone to the world the light of wisdom.” It is the light of knowledge, actually. “Wisdom” is an incorrect translation here. It is the light of knowledge, meaning that it is Christ’s birth that brings the real light, the spiritual light, to the world—not the physical light, but the real light, the light of God, which is the light of knowledge, the light of wisdom.

    Then it says, “For by it”—the nativity—“those who worshipped the stars”—the stars are also suns, they are also shining lights in the sky—“were taught by a star.” In St. Matthew’s Gospel, the magi from the East are brought to where Jesus is born by a star. There is a special star in the sky that proclaims the birth of the Messiah, the nativity of the Messiah. Those who were stargazers, astrologists, who were worshipping stars, adoring stars, trying to find out the truth about creation in stars, are now taught by a star.

    And what are they taught to do? They are taught “to adore you, to worship you, the Sun of Righteousness,” helios dikaiosynis, the Sun of Righteousness. That is from Malachi 4:2.

    “And to know you,” and now we have this other expression, “the Orient from on high (the dawn from on high).” That is from St. Luke 1:78, from the Benedictus, from Zechariah’s hymn when John the Baptist is born.
    The orient from high will visit us, it says, the dayspring on high, the oriens ex alto, as it says in Latin, the anatoli ex ipsus. This sun will come visiting us, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace”(Luke 1:79). That is a quotation of Isaiah, and that is also found in St. Matthew’s Gospel.

    In the Anglican Liturgy we are further reminded that the “oriens ex alto” came to deliver us “from the bondage of sin (Matthew 1:21), and [has enabled us to] receive power to become children of God (John 1:12).

    Just as how the Jews in adapting the Babylonian Creation Myth (Genesis 1:1-2:3) and reinterpret it as a polemic against the gods of Babylon, so the Church used the Nativity of the “Sun of Righteousness” as a polemic against paganism.

  77. Dudley McLean says:

    Did You Know

    Andrew McGowan’s article lacked the following important information, in regards to the use of December 25West, and January 7 in the East in the celebration of Christmas!

    Due to a difference in the Georgian and Julian calendars, Jan. 6 marks Christmas Eve for many Orthodox churches and Christmas will be celebrated on the 7th.
    The majority of the Orthodox churches worldwide use the Julian calendar, created under the reign of Julius Caesar in 45 BC, and have not adopted the Gregorian calendar, proposed by Latin Pope Gregory of Rome in 1582.

    There are 13 days in difference between the two calendars, the Gregorian calendar being the one long adopted by Western nations. December 25 on the Julian calendar actually falls on January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. So strictly speaking, Christmas is still kept on December 25, which just happens to fall 13 days later on the Julian calendar.

    For Orthodox Christians who have adopted the Gregorian calendar, Christmas falls on Dec. 25 as it does for others, and Jan. 6 marks the Epiphany, a Christian holiday that celebrates the revelation of God the son as a human being in Jesus. For those remaining on the Julian calendar, the Epiphany is celebrated on Jan. 19.

    Adoption of the Gregorian calendar among Orthodox churches varies among jurisdictions within the denomination. Though many Orthodox in the United States have made the switch, former Soviet Union and Middle Eastern churches tend towards the “Old Calendar.”

  78. Alan Schuetz says:

    Mithras was in “Christmas” LONG before Christ’s “birthdate” was even conceived by the Scythian monk named Dionysius Exiguus (or Dennis the Small). He also “invented” our modern day Easter tables (yet another assimilated pagan rite) and the Anno Domini (A.D.) method of reckoning years. All are grossly incorrect. See and

    Unfortunately, what the first article overlooks is the Book of Luke. “Herod” was a dynastic title much like Caesar and Pharaoh. The census of Quirinius occurred in 6 CE (common era) while Herod Archelaus reigned; see Herod the Great was long dead. Herod Archelaus was deposed later that year and died in exile in 18 CE; see (Isn’t it interesting that the “holy family” returned from Egypt AFTER Herod Archelaus died when Christ was 12 years old? 18 CE – 6 CE = 12 years).

    The only verse that refutes these facts is Matthew 2:22. Here is that passage in context:

    Matthew 2:21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. (NASB)

    The problem with this passage is that the earliest extant manuscript containing Matthew 2:22 is from the FOURTH century! See The Background section appears as follows:

    “The original versions of the Gospel of Matthew and the other gospels are lost. The oldest relatively complete extant manuscripts of the Bible are the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus, which date from the 4th century. Besides these, there exist manuscript fragments ranging from a few verses to whole chapters. Papyrus 104 and Papyrus 67 are notable fragments of Matthew. These are copies of copies. In the process of recopying, variations slipped in, different regional manuscript traditions emerged, and corrections and adjustments were made. Modern textual scholars collate all major surviving manuscripts, as well as citations in the works of the Church Fathers, in order to produce a text which most likely approximates to the lost autographs.”

    Further emphasis: “…variations slipped in, different regional manuscript traditions emerged, and corrections and adjustments were made.”

    Were there not warnings not to add to nor take away from the Scriptures? So, either this passage has been tampered with or the passage in Luke has; they are incongruent. Herod the Great was not alive in 6 CE — during the census of Quirinius — as he died in 4 BCE; see

    Isn’t it interesting how the Book of Luke is discounted by most Biblical “scholars?” In fact, Luke and Acts were written to the same person: Mattathias ben Theophilus (aka the “most excellent Theophilus”) who served as the kohen gadol (high priest) in Jerusalem in 65-66 CE — prior to its fall to the Romans; see Note: Caiaphas’ name was Yosef ben Caiaphas; the same pattern was employed to reference Theophilus.

    How many of you have noticed the following in Biblical footnotes: “Not found in earlier mss (manuscripts)?” Yes, some passages in our Bible as well as church traditions have been manufactured and/or assimilated from paganism. Fortunately, the essential truths remain for our salvation.

    Most Christians are unaware of the truth regarding Christmas; they just blindly follow “church traditions.” The truth was not actually known until the discovery and dissemination of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now, we know with great certainty not only when Christ was born (the Feast of Weeks in 6 CE — around when Memorial Day is observed in America), but when John and He were conceived! Yes, much paganism was assimilated through the Catholic Church, and those false traditions carried over unchecked after the Protestant Reformation.

    For those truly interested in the history of Christmas, The History Channel did an admirable job several years back in the documentary entitled “Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas;” see

    Some have asked: Why is this important? Bottom line: God does everything in accordance with His appointed times on His calendar. In fact, there are no appointed times during the winter months; see Christmas is not of God; Christmas is about Mithra(s)! See

  79. Gary W. Harper says:

    If Revelation 12 references Yeshua’s birthday?
    Then it was right after sunset, of 9-11-03 B.C.E. That astrological setup, happens about once every 30 years.
    And then, if he was two weeks premature (not unusual for a first child, at 13 years of age), his conception would be about 12-26-04 B.C.E. Which began, at sunset of 12-25-04 B.C.E.
    You cannot celebrate His birth – For no one, back then, celebrated birthdays, because they did not know when they were conceived. They counted your birth, as being your year one, already.
    He told you to celebrate only His death.
    Herod’s death, was close to the B.C.E. – C.E. dividing point. It was near the Passover, and an eclipse in Jerusalem, and there is an earthquake thrown in there, somewhere. It comes out to being 1 B.C.E., when you do the timeline. He was dying, and his sons were ruling in his stead the last 3 years.
    He sent his troops out to kill the children up to two (one, to us); the wise men had showed up later, when the Holy Family were living in town.
    The shepherds put the sheep in the harvested fields before October back then, in Israel. They eat up the straw and weeds, and so forth, and fertilize all of the fields with their droppings, in the winter.
    Shepherds were not well liked; these nomads, were considered to be thieves. But the sheep and goat droppings, which convert the chaff and weeds to fertilizer, were desirable to the farming people, who lived in the small towns.
    Bethlehem was pretty small, back then. A city back then, was like a village or a small town is, today.
    Sheep need no shepherd watching over them, once they are closed in the fields, close to town. One guy, can handle a bunch of flocks. The lions and the wolves, are generally more up in the hills, and not close to the towns. The fields all had stone walls, and / or thorn hedges.
    So, the shepherds showed up at the manger, right after Yeshua’s birth.
    Herod’s sending out of the troops?
    Would be by 9-11-02 B.C.E. Around then, not much later, as he died in the following spring.
    Herod had his sons rule before, with the two sons he killed off. Josephus says of one of them, that he was effectively the king. They only lacked the crown itself.
    The dating of Herod’s death to 4 B.C.E., is based upon extant coinage. But you often predated your rule, on the coins that you issued. This has been found, in the ancient world.
    Most successions, were not as abrupt as people think that they were. You kept giving your son more-and-more power and authority while you lived, to try him out, to see if he was fit to rule.
    The sons who Herod killed, also had coins made in their names, while Herod was still alive. These two, didn’t work out, as kings.
    There are also 4 Jewish calendars, and the Roman one. And if you ruled for a part of a year?
    To the Romans, that was a full year, of your reign. Your successor, thus began his reign on the first day of the following year, no matter when he actually started being Emperor.
    All of that, has to be considered in analyzing the data.
    The grain, the bread, is the sign of the Harvester, Virgo. She used to be shown holding a shock of wheat, or a loaf of bread.
    The twin fishes, are the sign of Pisces.
    Virgo, is fall; Pisces, is spring. Both of them, reference harvest seasons.
    Unusable fish, of the catch?
    Are fertilizer, for the spring planting. The Ancient World, was a hardscrabble existence. And anything which could be harvested, and sold, was.
    The Ancients believed that your major stars, were designated by your birthdate. Your minor stars, are of the astrological sign, of 6 months later.
    You do not believe that astrology has anything to do with the Bible? Then why the twins (Gemini) and the archer on horseback (Chiron; Sagittarius) in Genesis? The bulls of Egypt (Taurus) and the scorpions of Sinai (Scorpio) of the Exodus? The rams (Aires) and the scales of Judgment and good measure and the recording of the Books (Libra) of Canaanite Leviticus?
    Then Pisces (the fishes) and Virgo (the Harvester; the bread; the grain) of the Galilee of the Gospels?
    And today – The Promised Bearer of Living Waters (Aquarius) of the clay vessel, and the Spirit of God, the Lion of Judah (Leo) Within, of the Revelation
    And Ophiuchus – the Serpent-Carrier – Overshadows Sagittarius – And the Serpent, is amongst a third of the Stars, of the sky. The constellation is that long…
    Moses, has to fit in here, somewhere…
    Yeshua likely was crucified on 4-3-33 C.E.; He would have been about 36, by then.
    9-11-03 B.C.E. to 4-3-33 C.E., is 32 2 years 3 months and 3 days 3 months and 19 days. Which gives you, 34 years, 6 months, 22 days.
    But if you add on the time in the womb?
    You add on 166 days, or 5 months and 14 days. Which gives you, 35 years, 2 months, and 2 days.
    35, relates to 3.5 – A time, times, and half-a-time, is 1 2 0.5 = 3.5.
    It all works out – To make Christmas about His conception day, and Easter about His death, and the fall festivals, about His birth.
    The twins (Gemini) and the archer on horseback (Chiron; Sagittarius) – The first 2,000 years.
    The bulls of Egypt (Taurus) and the scorpions of Sinai (Scorpio) – The second 2,000 years.
    The rams (Aires) and the scales of Judgment of the Books (Libra) – The third 2,000 years.
    Pisces (the fishes) and Virgo (the Harvester; the bread; the grain) – The fourth 2,000 years.
    The Promised Bearer of Living Waters (Aquarius) of the clay vessel – 1,000 years.
    The Spirit of God – The Lion of Judah (Leo) Within, of the Revelation – 1,000 years.
    Total? 10,000 years.
    The first 2,000, predate Abraham, still in Ur.
    The next 2,000, take you to the start of the conquest of Canaan, via the enslavement, in Egypt.
    The next 2,000, take you to the period of the destruction of Israel and Judah and the Temple, and Yeshua’s Time.
    The next 2,000, take you up to today…
    The final 2,000?
    The Millennial Reign, of God On earth, for 1,000 years? Aquarius, represents that.
    And then the 1,000 years, of the Release of the Dragon? Leo…
    Happy Chanukah – Merry Christmas – Happy New Year.

  80. Bob Widdows says:

    You guys are too clever for your own good!!
    If Jesus was the Passover Lamb then surely he would have been born at the same time as the sacrificial lambs & executed at the same time.
    MARCH/APRIL.(Nissan) I submit April 1st as the DOB hidden by pagans as April Fools Day!!

  81. Doc says:

    I believe Christmas is a moot point in every respect.
    I was raised a Roman Catholic and at age 42 started looking into my faith and after several years of reading what are actually ancient documents that were translated verbatim into english I found the christian man made religion is simply a ‘man made entity’ with no connection to God other than what they claim themselves.

    As for a savior? God himself states it clearly in the Book of Hosea where he says
    ‘Besides me there is no other Savior’.

    Since the Book of Hosea is in all christian bibles (it’s just the Hebrew/Jewish Word or Torah or Tanakh) it makes one wonder why they would have conflicting statements and in the end turn their backs on Gods words and take the word of writings dated only as far back as the First Council of Nicaea or the First Ecumenical Council, 325 to 328 AD when the first christian bibles were scripted.

    It’s no different than Islam or any other man made religion IMHO.

  82. Alan Schuetz says:

    This is a horribly researched article, and BAS should be ashamed for (re-)publishing it. Through the calendrical documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) and the Book of Luke, it is relatively easy to discern not only when Christ was born but when Yochanan (John) and He were conceived! Here’s a quick article that I recently blogged:
    Why do Biblical “scholars” have a problem with the Luke-Acts accounts — with the former EXPLICITLY in chronological order — written to Mattathias ben Theophilus in 65-66 CE when he served as kohen gadol (high priest) before the fall of Jerusalem? The census of Quirinius certainly occurred in 6 CE. When one comes to understand that the “Essenes” were actually the sect called THE WAY (Heb. HaDerech) in Acts, then these Biblical accounts become crystal clear. The Qumran calendar from the DSS resolves it all; see

    Elisheba (Elizabeth) was six month’s pregnant in the sixth month; that was when Yehoshu’a (Joshua; “Jesus” is derived from the Latin transliteration NOT the translation) was conceived when Miryam (Mary) visited her. The key is that Yochanan (John) was conceived six months earlier after Tsekharya (Zechariah) served during the mishmar (course/division) of Abiyah (Abijah) in the twelfth month. The only time that occurs is in Course Year 3 of 6 from the 14th through the 20th. Tsekharya could not travel more than a Sabbath day’s journey (i.e., 2,000 cubits) on the 21st. Therefore, Yochanan was conceived on the 22nd of the 12th month in 4 CE. EXACTLY six months later, Yehoshu’a was conceived on the Feast of New Oil (22nd of the 6th month) in 5 CE. He was born full term — EXACTLY 38 weeks from conception — on the Feast of Weeks (15th of the 3rd month) in 6 CE. That certainly coincides with the first census of Quirinius. I even verified what the star of Bet Lechem (Bethlehem) was with our local planetarium.

    The same holds true of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Yehoshu’a was crucified as the unblemished Lamb of God on Pasach (Passover) on 14 Abib in 36 CE. He was quickly buried before the first day of Unleavened Bread on 15 Abib, which is an ANNUAL Sabbath. He was dead and buried for three FULL days and nights per the Jonah prophesy on 15-17 Abib. Christ arose as the Lord of the (weekly) Sabbath on 18 Abib, which was — not coincidentally — when Jehoiarib first served (after originally being selected by lot). The Order of Malki-tsedeq (Melchizedek) supplanted that of the imperfect Levitical priesthood. Finally, His empty tomb was discovered early on the first day of the week (19 Abib)!

    He never reached 30 years of age; that is also consistent with the Scriptures. Those “scholars” who think His ministry lasted three years as three Passovers are mentioned fail to understand there is a Second Passover on the 14th of the second month per Torah (Law).

    PLEASE start putting the Scriptures in a Hebraic perspective as they were intended and written! Also, understand that the modern Masoretic (Jewish) calendar is based on the Babylonian model and is certainly NOT from the Most High! Naming the fourth month after the Babylonian deity Tammuz is an abomination; see[email protected]/msg00674.html.

  83. williame47 says:

    From the Holy Scriptures we’re able to deduce the true date of the Messiah’s birth. Indirectly therefore, we celebrate it by following The Commandments and keeping (to the best of our ability) the High Holy Days of the Old Testament, which is what the writers’ of the New Testament did.
    There is a significance to the days and times given us to observe and keep. These dates are not therefore to be confused with the days and times set by man in the name of their deity.
    Shepards’ did not tend their (grazing) flocks in the middle of winter and there was no scriptural reason or census for the family of the Messiah to visit Jerusalem at that time!

  84. robis says:

    I have read or heard much of this before. However, it is a nice seasonal reminder. A woman in my diet club — a convinced Pagan — just reminded all of us of the Winter Solstice and that the event she celebrates is “much older than Christianity” which she believes simply co-opted the dates for its own purposes. As this article suggests, she would be using a comparative-religions approach to the interpretation of the Christmas event — an approach that is not as ancient, necessarily, as she supposes., and a view that some or many now question. The above article gives alternate perspectives, and for that I am quite grateful.

  85. David Hernandez says:

    “Lambs are born at the Christmas Season” _Is there evidence that Jesus was born at Christmas??
    by John Stormer
    For too many years, pastors and teachers have said, “Of course we don’t know when Christ was actually born- but the time of year is not really important.” Jehovah’s Witnesses and others have taught that Christmas was “invented” in the fourth or fifth centuries. The supposed goal was giving a “Christian” facade or influence to the wild pagan or Satanic holiday observances during the winter solstice (the shortest days of the year).
    What’s the real story? Is there any real evidence that Jesus Christ _was born at Christmas? A careful examination of a number of seemingly _unrelated Bible passages gives clear indication that the Lord Jesus was _indeed born at Christmas time. Such study will give new emphasis to what _Christ came to do. It will also provide a much deeper appreciation of all _that is hidden in the Word of God which can be discovered by those who _prayerfully search the scriptures.
    Every word in the Bible is there because God put it there. He has a _purpose for every one of His words. Therefore, seemingly casual listing of _periods of time, genealogical references, etc. have significance which can be _discovered through prayerful study.
    In Luke Chapter 1, the Bible records seemingly unimportant details _about what a priest named Zacharias was doing when an angel announced to him _that he and his wife were to have a child. The child was to be John the _Baptist who would prepare the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Bible _further records that the Lord Jesus was conceived in the sixth month after _John the Baptist was conceived. Therefore, if the time of the conception of _John the Baptist could be determined, the birth date of the Lord Jesus could _be calculated.
    The scriptures say (relevant passages are underlined): “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.
    And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office _before God in the order of his course… ” Luke 1:5,8 _At this point Zacharias demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to his _duties as a priest. Even though he had been given the wonderful news by the _angel that he and Elisabeth would have a son, Zacharias stayed in the temple _until the days of his course were completed.
    “And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration _were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his _wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months…” Luke 1:23-24 _The passage then describes how an angel came to Mary to announce that _she was to be the virgin mother of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. The _scripture says: _”And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a _city of Galilee, named Nazareth. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name _was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary…” Luke _1:26-27 _And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with _haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and _saluted Elisabeth.” Luke 1:39-40
    Contained within these quoted passages are scriptures which point to _the exact time when Jesus was born. (Remember that God puts every word and _every detail into the Bible exactly as He wants it and for a purpose.) The _underlined words are the key.
    In Luke 1:5 and Luke 1:8, we are told that Zacharias was a priest of _the course of Abia and that he fulfilled his priestly duties in the order of _his course. To understand the importance of the course of Abia and its _bearing on the date of John the Baptist’s conception, it is necessary to turn _to 1Chronicles 24:1-10. This passage describes how a thousand years before _Christ, King David established the courses for priestly service in the coming _temple. Twenty-four courses were established and numbered by drawing lots – _twelve courses for sanctuary service and twelve for the government of the _house of God.
    Members of each course would serve during a month starting with the _Hebrew month of Nisan. (Because of the way the Hebrew calendar fluctuates, _the month Nisan can start anytime between early March and early April.) The _sons of Abijah (the Old Testament spelling for Abia) were in the eighth _course. Priests of Abia like Zacharias would, therefore, have each _ministered for some days during the eighth month which in some years because _of the fluctuation in the Hebrew calendar started as early as the fifth day _of our month of October. Zacharias would have returned home when his days of _service were accomplished and John the Baptist could have been conceived _sometime between October 15 and the end of the month.
    After conception the scripture says that Elisabeth hid herself for _five months. Then in the sixth month of her pregnancy (which, based on the _above calculation, would have started about March 15 and continued until _April 15) the angel announced to the Virgin Mary that the Lord Jesus would _be conceived in her womb by the Holy Ghost. If this took place on or about _April 1 a “normal” gestation period of 270 days would have then had the Lord _Jesus due on or about December 25. How about that!
    There are other scriptural and natural indicators that confirm that _the Lord was born at Christmas time. IN the account of His birth in Luke _2:8, we read: _”And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, _keeping watch over their flock by night.”
    My son-in-law, who has a degree in agriculture, after hearing the _above presentation, told me, “Certainly, the Lord Jesus was born at _Christmas. The only time shepherds spend the night in the fields with their _sheep is during the time when the lambs are born. The ewes become _’attractive’ to the rams in the month after June 21, the longest day of the _year. The normal gestation period is five months so the ewes start lambing _about mid-December.” He added: Isn’t it natural that the Lamb of God who _takes away the sin of the world would be born when all the other lambs are _born?
    This “coincidence” was too amazing for me to accept until I checked _it out. A former teacher from the school where I am the administrator is _married to a Montana sheep rancher. She confirmed what I had been told. She _said, “Oh, yes! None of the men who have flocks are in church for weeks at _Christmas. They have to be in the fields day and night to clean up and care _for the lambs as soon as they are born or many would perish in the cold.” _Isn’t that neat? God’s Lamb, who was to die for the sins of the world, was _born when all the other little lambs are born. Because He came and died the _centuries old practice of sacrificing lambs for sin could end.
    There is another neat confirmation that God had His Son born at _Christmas. The days at the end of December are the shortest (and therefore _the darkest days) of the year. Jesus Christ said, “I am the light of the _world.” So at the time of the year when the darkness is greatest, God the _Father sent God the Son to be the Light of the world.
    The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a sinless life and was _therefore qualified to pay the penalty for the sins of all mankind (which is _death). He paid it all- but all do not benefit from the wondrous gift God _bestowed on mankind at Christmas.
    “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as _received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them _that believe on his name.” John 1:11-12
    John Stormer, Pastor Emeritus _Heritage Baptist Church, Florissant, MO _from the PCC Update, Winter 1996 (The ABeka magazine) _(PCC – Pensacola Christian College)

  86. Paul McDonald says:

    In my Bible, in Luke, Chapter 1, verse 26, it says, “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent…” One would assume the birth occurred nine months later. Wasn’t March considered the sixth month of the Jewish calendar at that time?

  87. jonathank33 says:

    We will never know the actual date of Jesus birth. I don’t believe it’s important either, although I do believe there is information contained in the Gospels that could shine some light on this.
    If Zechariah saw the angel Gabriel in 6 BCE, Elizabeth would have conceived John a couple of days later, after Zechariah completed his service and went home. The burning of the incense takes place during the Day of Atonement. That day was Sept 22, 6 BCE. add a couple of days for Zechariah to return home and you could get close to Sept 25. Mary was visited by Gabriel 6 months later (or so), Mar 25 5 BCE. 9 Months later is Dec 25 5 BCE. This would allow time for Herod to seek the death of Jesus. Allowing a few months for the Magi to arrive and Herod would have hedged his bet by calling for the killing of every boy under 2. This would also allow time for the flight to Egypt and upon returning, Herod Archelaus would be king causing Joseph to settle in Nazareth.
    If the early church did the calculations for themselves, they too could have arrived at a similar result.
    I personally believe Jesus was born in the later spring of 5-6 BCE but who’s counting 😉
    Jonathan Kubis

  88. Roslyn Farmer says:

    Sheep do graze in the fields of Bethlehem all year long according to some people who have been there. They say the hills are of low altitude and so don’t get too cold for grazing. There’s a photo in taken of shepherds with sheep on Christmas day, no date was given.

    But whenever he was born, it was the start of his incarnation, not of his existence, since he was there at the creation.

  89. Krzysztof Ciuba says:

    Thanks BAR and the Author.Merry Christmas! Perfect! Material implication (already of Stoics)in Nicea 325 A.D battle: st.Athanassius contra Arius plus B.Russell’s definition of description on Principia Matheamtica, 1910but the best summarized in Scientific Semantics by Alfred Tarski, 1935 explains divinely …old “mysteries”.
    God bless!
    ps. biblical and scientific (here, a formal science:logic) still run this devilish world, Akademia, Church (es) and masmedia

  90. Michael Ledo says:

    All true. However the important aspect missing form the article is that Jesus was a sun god born of a moon god through Virgo, the virgin in the House of Bread, Bethlehem. The birth of the sun is seen as 3 days past the winter solstice. On this day the constellations display the birth narrative just before sunrise. Scholars turn their back on the fact Jude-Christianity is built upon cosmic mythology like all the other religions in the region. It is not special. Stop pretending.

  91. Paul says:

    Missing from all the discussion is the fact that the coming of Messiah s intricately woven into the Festivals of ancient Israel, in particular the Fall festivals of Feast of Trumpets & Tabernacles. If you subtract 9 months & a few days allowing for human gestation & subtract that from a late year celebration of the Feast of Trumpets, you come up with about Dec 25th as the conception day. The Feast of Trumpets is the future celebration Feast for the coming of Messiah to deliver Israel & institute the Millenium. The moment of conception is vastly more important than the day of birth, without which there would nevr be a birth.

  92. Pedro Ros says:

    …que manera de satanizar todo lo que venga de Jesucristo, ya sabemos que no nació el 25 de diciembre. Pero como se menciona en el artículo, era una manera de quitar las tradiciones paganas y poner la cristiana, era una manera de evangelizar a todo el mundo. No creo que sea nada ofensivo quitar a los ídolos paganos y sustituir por la de Cristo, además habéis pasado por alto todos una cosa, los ángeles anunciaron celebrando su nacimiento a los pastores: ¡14 !!Gloria a Dios en las alturas,Y en la tierra paz, buena voluntad para con los hombres!! Lucas 2:14 . Y luego fueron a Belén a buscarlo y se maravillaron de lo que vieron. Seamos luz para todos los demás!

  93. Lana says:

    I believe you may have missed the importance of the Feasts of God and their significance. Christ was likely born during the feast of tabernacles (dwellings) commemorating the temporary dwellings for the Hebrews upon leaving Egypt. Christ was born in a temporary dwelling as his family was traveling as well. This correlation may be worthy of examination as the feasts were prophetic as well as contemporary to the day they were given.

  94. Joe says:

    Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of deity Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] The poet Catullus called it “the best of days”

  95. Jennifer says:

    Exactly how are you celebrating Jesus’ birth? Normally on someone’s birthday, you would celebrate with gift giving to the person whos birthday it is. But instead the gifts are given to others? Really, Jesus is the replacement of the sun god of the pagan festival, which during that festival they gave each other gifts. If it was an actual celebration of Jesus’ birth, what gift are you giving him? Worship of false gods? Worship of idols? Followers of tradition?

  96. Damion M Roberts says:

    December 06,2016
    Jesus was well not born on Dec 25 we just celebrate it on that day because of the festivities.

  97. David Hernandez says:

    The purpose of this site is to set forth the case, based upon Scripture and sacred history, of Christ’s birth, Dec. 25, 2 B.C.

    We believe the Dec. 25, 2 B.C., birth of our Lord is adequately demonstrated by competent Biblical evidence. However, the method of proof by which to substantiate that claim has largely been lost to history. This has left Christmas open to the charge that the date was derived from the pagan winter soltice, or other serreptious means. However, other than the mere coincidence of sharing the common date of Dec. 25th, there has never been any evidence in support of these claims. To the contraary, evidence that Jesus was born Dec. 25th is quite substantial, such that we have every reason to receive it as the actual date of Christ’s birth.

    With you, we hold the celebration of Christmas dear and believe few dates in the calendar have brought men and nations the joy that has traditionally surrounded the Savior’s birth. We are happy to be able to share the evidence with you here.

  98. JADE says:

    this is so useful!!!

  99. Khurram Nisar says:

    Jesus Christ was not born on 25 December. A statement by Pope is a reality that has been confessed. There remains a few more of the realities both the Christian faith and the rest of the world has started to realise.
    One reality is that Issa or Prophet Jesus Christ has died and he is buried in Srinagar, Kashmir. He as is believed specially by Christians and Muslims in particular that was taken to heaven and will appear is a totally wrong. Jesus migrated to India and died there at the age of about 120 years. His tomb is in Srinagar city.
    Another interesting fact for Christian world is that Marry mother of Jesus has her grave in Murree a beautiful hill station about one hour drive from Islamabad the capital city of Pakistan.
    Further more that the world is expecting the Messiah will not come in shape of Jesus instead the Messiah has not only come in shape of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. He claimed to be the Messiah and the Imam mehdi in 1889 in India and died in Lahore currently in Pakistan in 1908. After his death currently it is his fifth successor Mirza Masroor Ahmad who currently resides in London.
    While the Christian people specially youth are getting rid of Christianity and becoming more of disbelievers of Allah Almighty. It is the Ahmadiyya community which is telling the truth about Jesus and Mary in particular hence the world is rapidly approaching and entering Islam .
    For further information you are more than welcome to visit my country Pakistan where I can do my utmost to entertain you and provide maximum details. Other than this you can see the details on the website
    Best regards ,
    Khurram Nisar
    Lahore, Pakistan.

  100. Amy Unruh says:

    I recently watched The Star of Bethlehem, a fascinating documentary linking the arrival of the wise men in Bethlehem to December 25 on our solar calendar. The information is astounding and the science involved leads me to wonder how anyone who sees the significance could possibly doubt God’s power or Jesus as Messiah. I always knew that our date of celebration had to have some heavenly significance not tied to a pagan holiday to have continued to our present day. I was pleased to learn that it does. For those who think we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas because it is not commanded, I wonder how your practices stand up against the laws of God? Can you condemn others with a clear conscience? Jesus may not have commanded that not celebrate his birth, but many did long before it came into regular practice. Do you condemn the shepherds and wise men? If it is done properly, we are worshipping the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior for humbling himself to become a helpless baby. We remember it because His journey of sacrifice began then and his birth and death are linked. They cannot be separated. Were the angels wrong to tell the shepherds to rejoice at the Lord’s birth? That is simply what we are doing. If it was wrong to do, then there would have been no signs in the heavens, no prophecies to announce it, no heavenly celebration, no revelation to God’s holy servants, no angel announcements. It’s hard to deny it. God announced a party for the birth of His son. It’s not commanded but it isn’t forbidden, it’s not a sin, and the remembrance brings untold numbers to Christ and reveals how very deep his sacrifice was, that God made himself helpless for us.

  101. Invenitmundo says:

    Jesus was born on December 25
    Christmas is the biggest celebration of Christianity, at which all celebrate the birth of Christ. There is, however, no mention biblical or otherwise indicating 25 December as the one in which Jesus was born.

  102. Patrick says:

    Erwin says …Jesus never instructed us to celebrate his birth but death…” so you see it and thus conclude that those who celebrate Christmas shall be destroyed, but I tell you that Jesus on ascending into heaven gave his Apostles power to do and undo(cf : gospel of John 20:23)Now this power is passed down to the successors after them. You should be concerned with the attitude of Christians towards Christmas and not the Feast itself.

  103. greg says:

    There is a Roman religion/cult of Mithraus – particularly popular amongst Roman soldiers. Constantine was a follower of this religion. Mithraus just happened to be born on ….. 25 December. Constantine was seeking to incorporate this religion into Christianity/ incorporate Christianity into Mithraism. A perfect fit!

  104. Javad Mousavi says:

    Peace be with you;
    Do you thinking, approximately dateline Jesus’ birthday is correct practise? It also this much distance between summer to the end of winter.

  105. Virginia Phillips says:

    December 25 is the sun god’s birthday. Christians did not celebrate the sun god’s birthday, so were left out of the festivities. So that they could celebrate at that time of the year too, someone decided to call December 25th Jesus’ birthday. It is a lie inspired by Satan to entice Christians to celebrate the sun god’s birthday by calling it Jesus’ birthday.

  106. Erwin says:

    X’mas or Christmas is an insult to an Eternal God who needs “no” birthday celebration. God has no beginning and ending. X’mas is pagan in origin . Instead of rejecting paganism, some people embraced pagan practices.

    Proverbs 13:13 warns, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”

    The birth of Christ is “no” ordinary birth but an incarnation You cannot compare His birth to ordinary human being. Why? Because God manifested in the flesh to die for our sins.

    Before He was born in Bethlehem, He appeared many times in the Old Testament.
    Why insist to give Christ a celebration of His coming as a Messiah or His birth which is a false tradition of Roman Catholic.

    X’mas is filled with half-truths. Any half-truth is not truth at all but lies. People celebrating X’mas are blinded from the truth and deceived by Lucifer, now called Satan the devil.

    (a.) The Lord Jesus Christ never commands us to celebrate His birth, but to remember His death. His resurrection truly defeat sin, death and Hell.

    (b.) The apostles and the first Church in Jerusalem never celebrated Christ’s birthday even once.

    (c.) 25 December is not in the Bible — a gross violation of Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 20:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19 resulting to the removal or blotting out one’s name in the Book Life. On Judgment Day whose name are not in the Book of Life will be thrown to the Lake of Fire.

    Christmas is evil or ungodly. Fear God !

  107. Erwin says:

    X’mas or Christmas is an insult to an Eternal God who needs “no” birthday celebration. God has no beginning and ending. X’mas is pagan in origin . Instead of rejecting paganism, some people embraced pagan practices.

    Proverbs 13:13 warns, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”

    The birth of Christ is “no” ordinary birth but an incarnation You cannot compare His birth to ordinary human being. Why? Because God manifested in the flesh to die for our sins.

    Before He was born in Bethlehem, He appeared many times in the Old Testament. Why insist to give Christ a celebration of His coming as a Messiah or His birth which is a false tradition of Roman Catholic.

    X’mas is filled with half-truths. Any half-truth is not truth at all but lies. People celebrating X’mas are blinded from the truth and deceived by Lucifer, now called Satan the devil.

    (a.) The Lord Jesus Christ never commands us to celebrate His birth, but to remember His death. His resurrection truly defeat sin, death and Hell.

    (b.) The apostles and the first Church in Jerusalem never celebrated Christ’s birthday even once.

    (c.) 25 December is not in the Bible — a gross violation of Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 20:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19 resulting to the removal or blotting out one’s name in the Book Life. On Judgment Day whose name are not in the Book of Life will be thrown to the Lake of Fire.

    Christmas is evil or ungodly. Fear God !

  108. C.Brian Ross says:

    @ John (Dec 28th 2015)

    “Eternity is so much more than a day, surely?”

    “… the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates shall never be shut by day – and there shall be no night there;” (Rev 21:23-25).
    “And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 22:5).

    If there is no night, then eternity is surely only one day!!! The difficulty is on understanding that eternity is not “endless time”, but “timelessness”!

    I deal with this, more fully, in my book “Great Words of the Faith” – available as an e-book. Details on my blog at:
    crazyrev dot blogspot dot com (please make the necessary adjustments!).

  109. johnc406 says:

    At the end of the day, why do we waste so much time on speculation about this date? Does it really matter on what day/month/year our Lord was born? The miracle is Scritpure teaches clearly that His birth was the fulfillment of prophecies given hundreds of years prior, His vicory over sin and satan millennia prior.
    Instead of all these sabbaths, why not celebrate the 4 miracles of birth/death/resurrection/ascension EVERY day? For surely the relegation of them to a single date each in the calendar dulls the joy of everything about our God?; Father Who made the gift in grace, Son who died in grace, Spirit who raised in grace.
    Above all things, let us rather celebrate the promise of his return, for it is in that our hope is fulfilled .Eternity is so much more than a day, surely?

  110. Margaret Mueller says:

    A Star Told Them:

    This post by the anglicancurmudgeon is a point of view that hasn’t been presented in 146 posts

  111. Andrew Gabriel Roth says:

    Thank you Mr. McGowan for such an interesting and engaging article. Ultimately, however, I think the traditional Saturnalia celebration linkage is far more credible because we know how pervasive Greco-Roman paganism was and how it very nearly subsumed Jewish culture with the Maccabean Revolt and events before and after. The Romans themselves linked the Jewish God, Yahweh, to Dionyssus and Dionyssus rituals and that of Mithras show up in Saturnalia and Christmas celebrations viz and viz “wassaliling” and the “Lord of Mis-Rule”. Christmas in Europe at one point resembled trick or treating for Halloween, which is why it was banned for many years in the United States.

    Also please check your facts…Tishri is NOT the month that immediately follows Abib or Nisan, Iyar or Ziv is (1 Kings 6:1). Nor is Tishri the 9th month after Abib (for that 9 month symettry you allude to) but is the 7th month. Thank you for your kind attention.

    Andrew Gabriel Roth

  112. pst john says:


  113. Damon says:

    Jesus Christ was born on April 6th.

  114. Robin says:

    wOW!!! Lots of comments and ideas…many interesting, others — well……As to Shteef who is offended that Christians believe the multiple gods are untrue —when did this become news to you? Judaism was, and is, firmly monotheistic. Christianity grew out of the Jewish expectation — rife in the first centuries BC/AD — that a Jewish man would one day appear and He would be both Messiah and God. Read Isaiah and Micah, among others.

    As for “Dr” who proclaims this “Krishna-mas” —no, not really. Kriishna was no virgin birth. And while his birth story is unusual, it is not more so than the birth story (alleged) of Alexander the Great, Buddha, or others. But not virginal — and certainly not monotheistic or something prophesied as a solution to the sins of mankind.
    And Hinduism’s influence on Western European development is curious but doubtful.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…and remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

    The above article, however, was informative and I really enjoyed it and am glad to

  115. Dr. Saul Pressman says:

    Yehoshuah ben Yoseph was born on September 2, 29 BC and
    was executed by the Romans on April 3, 33 AD.

  116. Dr. Saul Pressman says:

    Yehoshuah ben Yoseph was born September 29, 2 BC
    and executed by the Romans on April 3, 33 AD.

  117. Stan says:

    Scientists, researchers and followers: Please, don’t use the word “Christianity” after Constantine. “Roman Catholicism” or “Catholicism” are appropriate names.

  118. Mike Barkworth says:

    the most realistic argument fir Christmas does really seem to be the fact that early persecuted Christians chose a day that coincided with a Pagan festival to prevent persecution, and sol invictus would have been a big one, however iyt is unlikely that it would have been chosen if it was so far from the correct time from the onset


  119. Angie says:

    I have a problem with the Author’s usage of C.E, rather then AD. How can I take serious, a “Biblical” article which sells out to secularism and political correctness.

  120. Cynthia Taylor says:

    Can you tell me what the equivalent of Nisan 21 4 BC is in the Gregorian Calendar?

  121. Cynthia Taylor says:

    Yeshua Ben Joseph was light conceived June 21st in the year 5 BC.
    Nine months from June 21st is March 21st 4 BC. However in the appendex of Anna, Grandmother of Yeshua his brithday is written has having occurred in April of 4 BC. I am still seeking the exact date. This is consistent with new borns being first borns usually being a week or two late. Also Joseph ben Jacob and Mary Anna were in Bethlehem in the SPRING FOR THE CENSUS AND THE SHEEP WERE SHORN IN THE SPRING. He was not born December 25th nor January 6 nor in September. Read Clair Heartsong’s book, Anna, Grandmother of Jesus.

  122. charles coryn says:

    I find it hard to believe that a very prominent climate event such as the winter solstice did not command the attention of the leading elders, as it had from earlier times. Apparently the solstice was considered proof of the return of the longer days leading to the spring equinox and the planting season, and eventually the summer solstice and later harvesting.

  123. Noble says:

    Amazing work Professor! -GWU Student

  124. Jon says:

    December 25th is NOT Winter Solstice, that is December 21st/22nd. People of Christ’s time all knew the correct date for that. Anyone claiming one was chosen because of the other is plain wrong – epic fail.

    December 25th was NOT chosen because it was the birthday of Mithras, quite the reverse, Mithras was very late in its existence celebrated on December 25th by some following the date the Christians were using for Christ. There is no evidence Mithraism dated Mithras birthday at all till the 4th Century at the earliest.

    There is NO evidence at all that Sol Invictus was celebrated on December 25th before the mid 4th Century, given there is plenty of evidence of Christianity using this well before that date the claim that dating Christmas Day followed that of Sol Invictus cannot be maintained.

    It is clear that the Christians selected December 25th as they believed he was conceived and died on the same date (March 25th) and they believed a pregnancy was exactly 9 months. Whilst both these assertions are in fact highly improbable to know, they are clearly not taken from other religions but are based on what they believed from extrapolating via their own scripture. It was important to them at that time to have a single agreed day for all Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ. And so it goes on doing so now. Arguments over whether it really was December 25th or any other day are largely irrelevant.

    Too many clinging to their unevidenced agendas from all sides.

    Perhaps it would be much better to say that 25th December is the date Christians choose to make special remembrance of the Incarnation.

  125. Tracy says:

    John the Baptist was conceived during the last half of the 4th, to the 5th month in the Hebrew year, Tammuz or Av because the priestly course of Abijah is in the last two weeks of Tammuz, and Elizabeth conceived when Zecharias’ course was over (Luke 1:23-24). I believe somewhere in the Talmud it says John the Baptist was born and died on Passover/ Pesach – 15th Nissan, which means he would have been conceived on the 15th of Av.

    Mary conceived when Elizabeth was 6 mths pregnant (Luke 1:36), some time around the 15th of Shevat perhaps. This means he would be born 9 mths later on the around the 15th Tishrei – the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles/ Sukkot.

  126. Elvira Brooks says:

    What does the Bible say to celebrate???

  127. Elvira Brooks says:

    Man made holiday. What does the bible say to celebrate????

  128. monkeychild says:

    Good grief. So many who actually believe Dec. 25th was the date of the birth of Jesus! It is the Winter Solstice and the date was used so that Paegans would embrace Christianity. Idiots! We celebrate Winter Solstice with all it’s trappings and have long ago lost the true celebration of the birth of Jesus. It really doesn’t matter when he was born. And those of you who believe that the Christian Bible is accurate……fools. It has been changed so many times, I dare you to find one publication that is accurate to the original scriptures of those who wrote them. One old (very old) bible I read as a child that was about two hundred years old then, read “and man was created in the image of the gods.” Yup, multiple. Not god, gods. There were several references in that book that stated “gods” and that falls right into the laps of those who believe we were created by cross-breeding with chimpanzees. Chimps DNA and ours is only one marker apart. A little artificial insemination with a few female chimps and voila! Humans. Gods help us!

  129. David Mottram says:

    “The Christmas tree, for example, has been linked with late medieval druidic practices”
    The Druids did not exist in the late medieval period. There is no evidence whatsoever to link the Christmas tree with any pagan religious practice at all. There is plenty of evidence showing links between the image of a tree and Christianity and more specifically, with Christ and even specifically with his birth.

    Hippolytus (c 200 AD) writes :”The fruit of righteousness and the tree of life is Christ. ” (On the Hexaëmeron)

    The Orthodox church use an ancient troparion on the forefeast of the Nativity which includes: “Adorn yourself, O Ephratha, for the tree of life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave! ”

    The link between Christ, Adam and the Fall is well established which lead to mystery plays performed at Christmas often starting with the story of Adam and Eve. One, “le Jeu d’Adam”, included instructions to “Let paradise be constructed in a prominently high place” and “within let there be various trees, and fruits hanging on them”. The earliest Christmas trees were hung with fruit of which our glass baubles are the modern representation.

  130. David Mottram says:

    Apropos Easter and spring lambing. Lambing in Israel did not occur in what we call spring. Seasons are rather different in Palestine. The Summer is hot and dry and grazing is poor. The winter is mild and wet – grazing is plentiful. Lambing actually happens in December/January.

    The coincidence of Christian festivals with the solar cardinal points is notable. There is, however, no need to posit a pagan reason for this. After all, Genesis says the sun and moon were placed in the heavens for signs and seasons. What more important events in history, for Christians, should they be signs for?

  131. 10 Misconceptions About Christmas That Get Repeated Every Year | ViralPin`s — most interesting post on internet says:

    […] 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. […]

  132. Why are some many Christians proud to eat meat? - Page 2 - VeggieBoards says:

    […] 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 […]

  133. Quora says:

    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. 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…

  135. Quora 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…

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  137. Daily Tidbits 3/25 – Annunciation - Little Guy in the Eye says:

    […] “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} […]

  138. Lesbisch Chat Dating Jesus Birthplace Images | SEX Talk Live no business says:

    […] 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 …… […]

  139. Lesbisch Chat Dating Jesus Birth Story For Children | SEX Talk Live no business says:

    […] 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 …… […]

  140. Co-Opted Pagan Holidays | Schaabling Shire Shoppe says:

    […] Gowan, Andrew (2002). “How December 25 Became Christmas.” Bible Review. Retrieved from Bible History Daily. Retrieved from <…&gt; […]

  141. Jesus Within The Pantheon: How Does Jesus’ Birth Story Compare with Other Popular Deities of the Time | Under the Shadow of the Red Rock says:

    […] 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 […]

  142. 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 😉

  143. CHRISTMAS DIALOGUE | kwamekrobo says:

    […] McGowan, A.(2014)ed. How December 25 Became Christmas.(2014, December 24). Retrieved from […]

  144. Newsweek Attacks The Bible | Systematic Theology and Apologetics says:

    […] 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 […]

  145. Another Amusing Bible Lesson from Newsweek | says:

    […] 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 […]

  146. You Can Celebrate Christmas and Still Be a Christian | Never Let the Stones Cry Out says:

    […] 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 […]

  147. Debunking The Christmas Myths | Systematic Theology and Apologetics says:

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

  148. Epiphanies and Happy Holidays! | Stitch 'n Travel says:

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

  149. Gordie Thomas 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.

  150. Gordie Thomas 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.

  151. Rose Marie Doyle 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.

  152. On “putting Christ back in Christmas” | social networking ate my blog says:

    […] 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 […]

  153. connect the DOTS, do the MATH and smell the COFFEE » Merry Christmas! says:

    […] NOT saying the above is TRUE, just wondering where Christmas comes from. More on this topic in this link:… […]

  154. tapani annila 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.

  155. GRACE MAHAD says:

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

  156. why is christmas celebrated - RTH says:

    […] 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. […]

  157. Jezabel says:

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

  158. Now that Christmas is over... - Page 6 - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums says:

    […] 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 […]

  159. 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.

  160. Melvin Heath 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.


    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.

    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.

  161. 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)

  162. JoeSnow says:


    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.

  163. Dr Shailesh G 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)–क्या-है-क्रिसमस-का-रहस्य-क/

    title means– Whats the secret of Christmas

    Thanks to you all ………..

  164. gary says:

    What a load of fanny

  165. christmas and christianity - RTH says:

    […] 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. […]

  166. An Atheist Christmas Special | Chapin City Blues says:

    […] 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 […]

  167. 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.

  168. Eel Drofsnal says:

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

  169. Eel Drofsnal 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.

  170. Theologuy · Why is Christmas on December 25th? says:

    […] 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 […]

  171. David Laurent 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?

  172. David Laurent 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.

  173. Christmas Reads | Thoughts says:

    […] 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.” […]


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

  175. The Christmas Image | Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc says:

    […] 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 […]

  176. 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?

  177. Merry Christmasa « The City of Destiny says:

    […] 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 […]

  178. What Makes 25 so Special? | Matthew Sarookanian says:

    […] McGowan, A. (2014, December 8). How December 25 Became Christmas. Retrieved December 25, 2014, from; […]

  179. Christmas Isn't Very Christian - But It Doesn't Matter - mr-stingy says:

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

  180. Strauss: Why is Christmas on Dec. 25? (It wasn’t always.) | U. S. Senior Citizen Network says:

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

  181. Why is Christmas on Dec. 25? (It wasn’t always.) - The Washington Post says:

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

  182. Dennis Studd 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.

  183. Pagan Age : Inquisition says:

    […] ! » 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 […]

  184. 5 Ways to Celebrate Jesus' Birth This Christmas says:

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

  185. 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

  186. 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)

    I wrote out a Bible study about the dates of Jesus’ conception and birth documented in God’s Word, on my blog here

  187. 10 True Things You Never Knew About The Life Of Jesus | Iran says:

    […] 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, […]

  188. Stephen Ray Hale 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.

  189. 'Would Anyone Mourn' Christmas 'If We Did Without It?' Asks Writer - Alabama Citizens for Media Accountability says:

    […] 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 […]

  190. Wall Street National | Where Christmas really came from - Wall Street National says:

    […] 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 […]

  191. James Gustafson 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.

  192. Jesus’ Birthday, the Sun, and Merry Christmas | Daniel N. Gullotta says:

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

  193. What is Christmas? | The History of the Future says:

    […] 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 […]

  194. Christmas Traditions Based On Other Religions says:

    […] 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 […]

  195. Sunday Go To Meeting Bun! « L.A. Marzulli's Blog says:

    […] 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 […]

  196. Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus 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.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

  197. Kaitlyn says:

    I do not agree with using “C.E.” For common era. As I understand this writer is Christian, so I am confused as to why B.C and A.D. are not used. Great article, however I find that detail extremely offensive.

  198. 3 Reasons I Think Christians Shouldn’t Freak Out When People Say “Happy Holidays” | TitusLive says:

    […] 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. […]

  199. The (Pagan) History of Xmas…Happy Yule, Lovely Blog Readers! | The Realm of the Chaos Fairy says:

    […]; […]

  200. มารู้จักเทศกาล Christmas กันเถอะ! | 65Blogs says:

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

  201. Jesus Christ, Born on Christmas Day, December 25th - Postcards of TruthPostcards of Truth says:

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas. Bible History Daily – Biblical Archaeology Society.…  Accessed 17 December […]

  202. Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? - Nyssa's Hobbit Hole says:

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

  203. Three HUGE Christmas Myths - Derek Ouellette says:

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

  204. The Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah, and…Christmas? (Part 5: The Birthday of the Gods) | CONTEXT MATTERS says:

    […] To read, CLICK HERE […]

  205. The Date of Christmas has Nothing to Do with Pagan Holidays | agnus dei - english romanian blog says:

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas […]

  206. The real 12 days of Christmas and why April 6 is a religiously significant date says:

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

  207. Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus 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.

    Jesus Birthdate –

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

  208. Scott La' Chance says:

    After reading the author’s line of argument regarding ‘how December 25 became Christmas’, I would answer that it is quite clearly because it coincides with the pagan solstice festivities.

    In the introduction it is acknowledged that the Bible offers few clues regarding when Christ was born. Nor are celebrations of Christ’s birth mentioned in the Gospels or the Acts, the date of birth is not given, and neither is the time of year. And the extrabiblical evidence from both the first and second century is equally silent regarding the date of the birth. As the writer acknowledges, there is no mention of birth celebrations amongst the very earliest of Christian writers. The writings of Mark and Paul make no reference to the birth of the Messiah, whilst those of Luke and John provide differing accounts of the event, with neither giving a date of birth. In the second century C.E. apocryphal writings such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and Proto-Gospel of James give details of Christ’s earthly ancestral heritage, but omit details of his birth. In consequence, one noticeable feature of Christian practice in the first two centuries following the birth of the Messiah is that his birthday was not marked.

    One wonders whether the explanation for the absence of recorded information relating to the birth of Christ may be in some manner tied into the fact that King Herod had ordered the death of the infant. According to the Book of Mathew II, Jesus was born in a stable, and immediately following the birth Joseph gathered Mary and the infant child and fled as refugees under the cover of darkness to Egypt, where they remained until they received information that Herod had died. Under such circumstances, it is entirely possible that Christ’s date of birth was never accurately recorded. Such a scenario would account for why the early Christian writers could not state exactly when Christ was born with any degree of certainty, would it not? And if this was the case, can we today state with any authority that the Messiah truly was born on Christmas Day? Of course we cannot!

    The author points to the fact that c.400 C.E. Augustine of Hippo refers to the Donatists, who the writer believes kept Christmas festivals on the 25th December, but refused to celebrate the Epithany on January 6th as it was considered innovative. Yet proof cannot be extrapolated that Christ was born on December 25th on the strength of this evidence, as earlier writers made no mention of this birth date. It was not until c. 200 C.E. that Clement of Alexandra made the first recorded written reference to the date of birth of Jesus Christ, and Clement stated that several dates had been given as potential possibilities. Here we encounter the dual problem of differing birth dates, and the fact that none of these dates were the 25th December. Evidently there was uncertainty, but it is clear that the general impression of early Christians was that Christ was born in the springtime, either 20th / 21 April or the 20th May. Of course, this ties into that fact that the shepherds were reportedly tending their flocks when Christ was born (Luke 2:8), which is a springtime / summer activity. As the author correctly notes, if Christ were born in December the sheep would have been corralled. Therefore, the earliest recorded evidence indicates that Christ was born in the summer months. Such a supposition is supported by the modern science of astronomy.

    Research scientists have tracked the appearance of the ‘Christmas Star’, which the Bible states the three wise men followed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus. Employing the St Mathew’s Gospel as a point of reference, Australian scientist Dave Reneke utilised complex computer software to chart the exact positions of all celestial bodies and map the night sky as it would have appeared over the Holy Land at the time of the birth of the Messiah. Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which occurred in the constellation Leo, to the exact date 17th June 2 B.C. It was discovered that a bright star really did feature in the sky over Bethlehem 2,000 years ago – but the date of birth has been calculated as being the summer months, and 17 June in particular – not 25 December. It is believed that the Christmas star was a magnificent conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter, which came so closely together that they shone like a beacon of light. It is probable that the magi interpreted the light as the beacon sign that they had been waiting for and followed its trajectory eastwards to Bethlehem. There can be no certainty that this natural phenomenon was truly the Christmas Star, but it is a very strong candidate. Crucially, astronomy is a particularly precise science, and so it is possible to plot where the stars were, and in consequence, it certainly seems that this was the fabled Christmas star. Herein lies further evidence that Jesus was born in the summer months and not in December. We are left with the question of why December 25th came to be associated with the birth of Christ?

    The writer acknowledges the commonly held belief that the notion that Christ was born on December 25 derives from Christianity’s adoption of pagan practices in order to encourage the spread of the religion. However, the writer quickly dismisses this suggestion on the grounds that such an act is not recorded in any early Christian writings. The author singles out the most significant problem with this theory as being the fact that the first mention of a date for Christmas (c.200) and the first celebrations of Christ’s birth that we know about (c.250) came at a period when Christians were not borrowing from other religions. Of course, the central flaw in this argument is that, as Clement of Alexandria makes clear, at that time Christ was purported to have been born in the springtime, either 20 / 21 April or 20th of May – certainly not December 25th. Yes, in the first few centuries A.D. the persecuted Christian minority were keen to keep themselves separate from the pagan majority, as the author rightly indicates, but it is at this time that the festivals of Christ’s birth were held in the summer months. The date of 25th December C.E is not cited as Christ’s date of birth until the middle of the fourth century, where it first appears in a Roman almanac. The problem here, as the writer duly notes, is that from the mid-fourth century onwards, that is the time that Christ’s birth is first associated with the date of 25 December, Christianity began to borrow practices from other religions. Incidentally, although early Christian writers do nothing to indicate that Christ’s birthday had been engineered to coincide with the festival of Saturnalia, this has clearly occurred, because the sources are initially silent on the date of birth, and when a date is finally mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, it is cited as being in the springtime, not December 25. Besides, the early Christian scholars are hardly likely to have voiced the fact that the calendar had tampered been tampered with if they were the one’s doing the tampering, were they? Indeed, Christian authors of the time readily note a connection between the Solstice and Jesus’ birth, with Jesus being described as ‘the true sun’.

    In sum, modern astronomical evidence verifies the early Christian belief that Christ had been born in the early summer months. In fact, the distance between 20th May and 17th June is not that great at all, being as it is less than one calendar month. And, it should come as no surprise that Jesus’ date of birth was not legally recorded because his earthly parents were refugees fleeing the wrath of a tyrannical king. In the final analysis, it would seem that in the fourth century C.E. Christianity adopted the 25th December as the birthdate of Christ. And the reason for doing so was that it coincided with the pagan solstice festival. After all, Christianity has a long tradition of borrowing from other religions in order to attract followers to the cause.

  209. Christmas on December 25th is not from Paganism! — Logos Apologia says:

    […] 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 […]

  210. Does Christianity Borrow from Other Cultures? - The Salty Trail says:

    […] 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 […]

  211. On the original St. Nicholas - DOR Scribe says:

    […] 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. […]

  212. The True Meaning of Christmas, or Don't Let Religion Ruin the Holidays - Just Bad for You says:

    […]; […]

  213. Spicy hagiography. | Megan knows arse-all about... says:

    […] 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 […]

  214. Why Christmas needs to move to February | U. S. Senior Citizen Network says:

    […] 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 […]

  215. Desember - Tren Berita says:

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

  216. Saying Happy Holidays is Acceptable | Scripturient says:

    […] 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 […]

  217. Jeewan Chaudhary says:

    If you write here point by point we feel good but it’s not a bad. Some things I want remained you when do start celebrate of Christmas? and How to start of Christmas celebrate?

  218. – Where Was Jesus Born? says:

    […] How December 25 Became Christmas […]

  219. Know Palawan's Christmas Traditions- Seacologia Travel | Palawan Resorts Hotels says:

    […] 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 […]

  220. Dele says:

    My conclusion: Although I was unable to read all above, but if Jesus was and is God, He cannot be born. So, the Bible did not give us His birthday and we should be careful of what we say about His birth. Creator God was not born, Jesus was presented as a sacrifice to us and we should not focus on His birth for He was from the foundation of the world; He cannot just be attached to a point in human history. If He has no birthday, He has no age, for God is ageless and Jesus as One of the Trinity is ageless for they are all one and the same. I was taught that Jesus was 100% God and 100% human when He was physically on earth. His divinity supersede His humanity; as a Divine being, He was not born by humans-He was a virgin birth, in-explainable though.

  221. Apie kaledu atsiradima | Dalinames Rasto Tiesa says:

    […] Kiss…/how-december-25…/ November 11 at […]

  222. Daniel says:

    Modern scripture tells us that April 6th is the day that Jesus was born. The reference can be found in the book of The Doctrine and Covenants, section 20 verse 1.

  223. Andrew says:

    In terms of the East celebrating on Jan 6th, that is actually December 25th on the Julian Calendar, once the West switched to Gregorian Calendar, the Julian calendar is 13 days late.

  224. Links of Interest (11.8.2014) | Dr. Matthew R. Perry, Pastor says:

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

  225. Michael says:

    I am offended by this piece. You may have researched the reason behind the dates and the reason the Church chose the dates, but that doesn’t change the reason for the season is Jesus. Just because we chose dates that correspond to those dates doesn’t change the fact that Christmas should be centered around Jesus. Whether we celebrate it in winter, spring, summer or fall, the Christmas season is still about Jesus. As Christians we say the reason for the Christmas season is Jesus, not the reason we celebrate Jesus’s birth on December 25 is the reason for the season. All of you who responded to the greatness of the article and the author need a lesson in English. You clearly don’t understand how the language works.

  226. Mark Nystedt says:

    Luke tells us when Jesus was born. He assumed that we, the readers of his Gospel, would know that Mary and Joseph would make their census registration trip to Bethlehem during one of their three annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem. He also tells when Jesus’ cousin John was conceived (when his father of the clan of Abijah was on duty at the Temple; mid summer between Hanukkahs), and that Jesus was conceived six months later (Hanukkah; Jesus is the Light unto the World and Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights). That would put Jesus’ birth during the fall pilgrimage festival of Sukkot/Festival of Booths. Luke also tells us that Jesus was born when Quinarius was Governor – 4BC.
    John would have been born at Passover. Jews set an extra setting or keep a door open for the arrival of Elijah and John is the Spirit of Elijah. The first Sukkah was the shelter that Jacob/Israel built for his animals; in Christianese, a manger. Jesus was born on the Feast of Mangers, 4BC ! ! !

  227. tapani annila says:

    Yes, during the Bible time “it was better to go to a house of mourning than to house of feasting”. Birth was as an empty vessel but death a full one. Nativity had no interest. However the Coptic church in Egypt solved a problem of “Jesus in Egypt”. They developed tradition of long time visit. As from BAR article puts forward there was yrs 200-300 when a bishop ordeded to sing by it night a hymn what is in the Easter Septuaginta: odai 14: “Doksa en hypsistois Theoo”, the prototype of later carols.(Consist also easter material, the communion hymn!) Two Christmas dates come from the beginning, other was feasted in Israel area and another locally. Also different calendars may point to the same day. 25.12. comes even from biblical calculations but the point is that Jesus is born. The time is framework of the christian feast.

  228. Dennis Wingo says:

    The commenters are much closer to the truth than the writer of the article.

    It is possible to find out Jesus birth date by examining the courses in the temple for John’s father Zachariah.

    ….the start of the Feast of Tabernacles….

    The month is right but the proper feast is the feast of the trumpets. The trumpeting heralds in the gospels as well as the entire concept of the types and shadows of old testament law conforming to illustrating Jesus support that date.

  229. Lee says:

    You can get rough estimate of the time of his birth by going back to the birth of John and the Angels announcement to Zachariah of the birth of John. The Bible does give these times. By using this calendar Christ’s birth seems to coincide with Hanukkah. Which wouldn’t that be just like God to fulfill a holiday, hanukkah is a festival of lights Jesus came to the world to bring light.

  230. The Four Horsemen of The Holiday Marketing Apocalypse | Phaze 2 says:

    […] 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 […]

  231. rowena says:

    Christ’ birth is unknown so shall be his second coming. If any Christians wants to be really dogmatic about Christian festivities?! We should be following the Biblical festivities and calendar and not the pagan calendars and feasts.

  232. Sterbeversicherung says:

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  233. Born Again Christian Dating Ireland | Dating Around Me says:

    […] 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…. […]

  234. Born Again Christian Dating Site Free | Dating Around Me says:

    […] 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…. […]

  235. How Far Is Too Far Christian Dating | Christian Dating says:

    […] 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…. […]

  236. Howard West says:

    Happy Conception day Jesus, December 25 each Jewish feast day is a shadow of Jesus’ (human) life. And the winter feast, was the Feast of Light, and when did Jesus the Light of the world come to earth? At conception!

  237. Onko joulu sittenkin alunperin kristillinen juhla? - Areiopagi says:

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

  238. İsa Hangi Tarihte Doğdu? | Viktor Kopuşçu says:

    […] McGowan, Andrew. “How December 25 Became Christmas.” 20/12/2013.; […]

  239. Idées reçues: Ces choses que l'on croit vrai. says:

    […] 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 […]

  240. Constantine and Christianity - Page 12 - Religious Education Forum says:

    […] 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 […]

  241. De la Conception à la Résurrection - Pneumatis says:

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

  242. Quora says:

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


  243. Tim says:

    Constantine was a great Emperor and Christian. He favored Christians. He defended Christians. He built Churches. He returned all confiscated property to Christians. He fought against those who persecuted Christians. He supported all Christian pastors and bishops. He tried to unite all Christians. He (in all likelihood) asked Bishops to come up with One Bible. He fought against false teachers. He gave us Christmas. He even got baptized in water at the end of his life, for public reference, cause water baptism is not necessary. Spirit Baptism is. But what is the general opinion even among Christians in our times. No, he was not a Christian. He was just using them for political reasons. Unbelievable!

  244. Who Needs Christ During Christmas? | Lost Little Lutheran says:

    […] 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 […]

  245. tapani annila says:

    Sol invicta- feast is good for Jesus, the sun of the rightiousness. Original christians did not know birthday’ s feast, but dying was important as a step to the heaven. Martyrdom also was suitable in this mind. But in Egypt in the third century a coptic bishop ordered to sing “on that night” a song, which is the eastern Septuaginta “odae 14” “Doksa en hypsistois Theoo kai eirene epi tes ges”. It is found as a workinp up in Finnish Hymnbook, Virsikirja n:r 126 and in Evangelishe Gesangbuch (D) 180:3 with “Wir loben dich, wir beten dich” – beginning. (Holy Communion Hymn) This bishop “knew” the birthday of Jesus in the kind of east 6 or 7. January. Also the day of John the Pabtizer was a motive, age difference 6 months. More important as day, is that Jesus was born.

  246. Truth Preacher says:

    Great Article. Thank you. One problem though–can you please STOP USING the term C.E. ?
    It is A.D. This secularizing and dishonoring of Jesus Christ should not be engaged in by His people. Stop pandering to the idiot unbelievers who invent ways to dishonor Christ. It is 2014 AD.

  247. 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 says:

    […] 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 […]

  248. Snow Day to the Future | We Write Together! says:

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

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  250. Who Needs Christ During Christmas? | Lost Little Lutheran says:

    […] 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 […]

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  252. Shuvro S. Rego says:

    I really love to read more about Christmas and ancient history of Christmas. This is vey helpful for me to share in my prayer service

  253. Roman Emperor Constantine - Page 2 - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums says:

    […] 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 […]

  254. How Did December 25 Become Christmas? | Wascana Fellowship says:

    […] 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.” […]

  255. IN CHRISTMAS, whom we celebrate..., to Santa Calus, Harry Potter, or Jesus? - Page 6 - Religious Education Forum says:

    […] 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 […]

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  257. Is January 6th The Real Christmas? - Cracked History says:

    […] 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 […]

  258. Why is Christmas in the winter? Not the reason you thought, says New Testament scholar | Freethinking Jew says:

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

  259. Fourth Sunday of Advent (Vol. 1, Iss. 4) | The CatholicNavigator says:

    […]… […]

  260. Samuel Pickens says:

    Per Luke 2 and Daniel’s prophesy one knows Jesus was born in September. Historical fact is Roman tax day was Sept 2nd. The world went to be taxed (2nd), Mary was GREAT w/child and DAYS later Jesus was born. The Festival of Trumpets was when the Jews crowned a King: in 4 BC (from Daniel’s prophesy) that day was on Sept 9th – 7 days later.

    From the time of Babylon Dec 25 was for Tammuz as he resurrected that day and Baal the sun god incarnated him and took him to heaven……. Per Amos 5:26 you can find who the Baal worshipers are if you search hard enough.

  261. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn't a Holiday, but It's No Less Real Than Christmas - Right Kind of Revolution says:

    […] 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 […]

  262. 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 says:

    […] 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 […]

  263. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn't a Holiday, but It's No Less Real Than Christmas - | Bharat Press says:

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

  264. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas « INTLFACES says:

    […] 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 […]

  265. Ann Coulter Thinks Kwanzaa Isn’t a Holiday, but It’s No Less Real Than Christmas | Radio Free says:

    […] 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 […]

  266. mayreeA lie is a lie. We as Christian are supposed to worship God in spirit and in truth. A true believer will not continue to believe or carry on a lie. Jesus was born without a doubt but he was not born on December 25. If this was all important he would says:

    A lie is a lie. We as Christian are supposed to worship God in spirit and in truth. A true believer will not continue to believe or carry on a lie. Jesus was born without a doubt but he was not born on December 25. If this was all important he would have left some proof as to when, the more important aspect of his life is if you believe a lie then you cannot live the life he died for you to live and that is to get closer to God the father.

  267. The fetus is a parasite, abortion is like plucking out a hair: how much does Jerry Coyne really know about biology? | Uncommon Descent says:

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

  268. un-christmas | Find Your Niche says:

    […] 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 […]

  269. Gene Conradi says:

    The “star” that led the magi to King Herod and then to the house Jesus lived in, at age 2 or under, stopped directly over the house Jesus lived in (Matthew 2:9). This was no super-nova. It was a light that moved and stopped at will. The magi(astrologers) interpreted the light as some sort of star, but no star or supernova would act like this. Can you look up and see a star that is directly above your house. Go a mile from there to another house and see if the star also looks directly above that house.
    The source of this mysterious light seemed to be interested in revealing to Herod where the child was so Herod could kill him, that is why the “star” led the magi to King Herod first. God’s adversary, the evil one, would not want this child Jesus to grow up because Genesis 3:15 predicted the Messiah (the seed) would ultimately crush Satan. Remember that the magi were astrologers not astronomers. Astrology was forbidden by Jehovah (Yahweh) in his laws to the Jews (Isaiah 47: 13,14) so it not likely that He would use such persons to announce the birth of the Messiah. Please read all of Matthew Chapter 2 to understand the context of what was happening. In Luke 2:8-11 we have the official announcement of Jesus birth from angels telling the shepherds.

  270. Fred says:

    Charlene seems to have the most biblical answer, leading us to the Feast of Tabernacles. If this brings a link to his second coming at that time of the year, the feast of Trumpets would be a good herald. Any thoughts?

  271. the Jesus Event | End of Year Happenings says:

    […] 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 […]

  272. Sean says:

    I hate to bring science into this conversation, but in regards to your second hypothesis, the idea that it is exactly nine months is a bit of a problem since the actual gestational period of a human being is 38-40 weeks. Maybe messiahs just take a little less time to bake, on average.

  273. How December 25th Became Christmas | D's Blog says:

    […] 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 […]

  274. Cynthia Burdge says:

    Reviewing Charles information, it becomes apparent that he has lost track of gestation calculations.
    if John was conceived in mid December, he was born in September, not April. That makes
    Jesus birth in January or possibly end of December. That would fit with the evidence of the new brilliant star. That is not myth, it is documented in astronomy records from China and Korea. Supernova have been documented to be visible to the naked eye up to 21 months. Contemporary astronomers believe it was likely a nova or supernova rather than a conjunction of planets. Roman historians also mention it appearing during the reign of Cesar Augustus, and it appeared on his coins . Those coins are also the first where he is titled PATER which was bestowed on him in February 2BC. That is documented in his Res Gestae which was carved on temples throughout the empire and can still be seen today in his temple in Ankara, Turkey. Contemporary rulers of states outside the empire also put stars on their coins next to the kings portrait, from Phraates IV of Parthia to Celtic tribes in Britain. This “new Star” outshone everything and was visible over a wide area and from Korea through the Middle East to Rome. there were astronomers whose full time job was to observe the heavens, because they associated their gods with certain constellations and felt the stars influenced events on earth. Herod , and every other ruler of that time,would have taken this new star very seriously. Since it occurred during Augustus’s reign he took it as a mark of special favor and approval from the gods and supported his deification at his death.

  275. Get It Right and Prepare For The Coming of The Lord | christisourvictory says:

    […] 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.”… […]

  276. The holiday in disguise | Nova Safo says:

    […] 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, […]

  277. Scott says:

    Christ’s life coincides with the biblical Hebrew feasts that His father established when leading the Israelites through the desert. Most Christians already know that He was sacrificed as the Passover lamb on Passover. Fittingly, He was born on the Feast of Tabernacles (autumn), the Hebrew feast that commemorates when God came to dwell with His people in the desert (as the pillar of cloud), and then as a baby (Jesus). EVERYTHING about Jesus’s birth, death, resurrection, and second coming revolves around the feasts – the whole idea of the feasts was to prophesy about Him! Get to know the feasts and everything about Jesus will become clear.

  278. Gene Conradi says:

    I believe the evidence presented, convinces me that Jesus was not born on December 25 which has all the trappings of Saturnalia and the god Mithras who was said to have been born on December 25. I believe a balmy night in the fall about late September or early October, 2 C.E was most likely the correct time. I would also like to bring up a side issue–two things that I don’t believe have been brought up is the mysterious “star” that led the magi and when did the magi actually get to Bethlehem (Matthew Chapter 2)? It has been assumed that God sent the star. Since the star apparently led the magi ( astrologers) to King Herod first instead of to Bethlehem, we wonder about the origin of this star. Herod, on being told of the birth and the star, told the astrologers to come back when they found the child and report to him so he could also do obeisance to the child. Of course Herod actually wanted to kill Jesus while still a child because he no doubt considered him a threat to his dynasty. This strange light, which most certainly was not actually a star, then led the magi directly to Jesus who was now a child in a home. The magi were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod and thus they went home by a different route.
    Remember by now some time had passed since these astrologers first saw the star signaling Jesus birth, somewhere in “eastern parts.” Once Herod realized the magi had outwitted him, Matt. 2:16 says Herod ” fell into a great rage, and he sent out and had all the boys in Bethlehem and in all the districts done away with, from two years of age and under, ACCORDING TO THE TIME HE HAD CAREFULLY ASCERTAINED FROM THE ASTROLOGERS.” No one else is reported as having seen the “star”. Without God’s intervention the, child Jesus could have been killed. So why the star? Its origin seems sinister to me–an attempt to have the future Messiah killed . Who else besides Herod would like to see this child killed? 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “For Satan him self keeps transforming himself into an angel of light.”

  279. I am a Muslim that Celebrates Christmas – And You Should Too | Pakistanis for Peace says:

    […] 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 […]

  280. How December 25 Became Christmas | Taylor Halverson says:

    […] 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. […]

  281. Gary Harper says:

    Mark, C.E. (Christian Era) is used now precisely because of the uncertainty of the year of Yeshua’s birth. When they finally pin it down, then A.D. can be recalculated with certainty. The Feast of Trumpets also makes sense, due to travel / harvesting concerns. Plus the presence of all of the heralds with trumpets you see in art. It is a subconscious, anecdotal, verbal history sort of thing.

  282. Gary Harper says:

    Yeshua may have been a Virgo. The ancients believed that you had major and minor stars. Virgo (the harvester, often shown with a loaf of bread) is the major sign; the minor sign is six months later; in this case, Pisces. The loaves and the fishes. Now, where have I heard of that before? The Jews put some stock in astrology, due to their time in Babylon. That puts Yeshua between 8-22 and 9-21, when the flocks were still in the fields. Back then, they were in paddocks by October, being fed hay. Twins (Gemini) in Genesis; bulls (Taurus) in Egypt; Rams (Aires) in the desert; harvester (Virgo) until now; the lion (Leo) from here on — Then Cancer, in 2160 years — yet to be written — every 2160 years it changes, both major and minor signs…Gemini goes with Sagittarius (archer) — pre-Egypt; Taurus with Scorpio (scorpion) — Egypt and the desert; Aires goes with Libra (scales) — The Ram and judgment under the Law; Virgo with Pisces — the harvest and those drawn from the sea of man; Leo with Aquarius (the water bearer) — the lion of God and living waters; and Cancer (the crab) with Capricorn (the goat.) So, the Crab and the Goat are next, the beast out of the sea and the scapegoat / antichrist, for 2160 years. According to how I read the Revelation. The 2160 year ages is relative, adjustable. Now, go and reread your Old Testament. This will all be in my book someday.

  283. Kelly Hudspeth says:

    Why do you use C.E. (Common Era) rather than the more common A.D.? The use of C.E. seems a bit strange, considering the publication is Biblical Archeology. Common Era is the term used when secularists want to omit references to the historical Jesus.

  284. Charles May says:

    Go to the source for the answer to when he was born………

    He was born in the Month of Tishrei – the start of the Feast of Tabernacles

    5. The Bible is full of seemingly mundane, useless or even boring information and some treat it as unimportant and just read over it. Ever read Deuteronomy? Lots of numbers dealing with the Jewish tribes, why? After careful analysis one can determine that the Jewish Tabernacle encampment when view from a higher elevation formed a figure of the cross. I put it to you that everything in the Bible is there for a purpose and so the details in the Gospels about the times of the conceptions of John the Baptist and Jesus are there for a reason.
    6. What clues of Jesus’ birth are in the Bible? The key to figuring out the birthday of Jesus is through the priestly duties of, Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist and subsequent references to the conception and birth of John. Bear with me as we delve into this.
    a) The date of this event can be determined from Zecharias’ duty as he was of the eighth course of Levite Priest. The twelve courses are explained in 1 Chronicles 24:7-19.
    Luk 1:5 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.
    a) John’s mother Elisabeth had conceived him shortly after her husband’s ministrations in the Temple were completed;
    Luk 1:23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
    Luk 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months
    b) This tells of the timing of John’s conception but not the date. We must go to an event in John’s life which is his age is known and count backwards to ascertain his conception and birthday. The Bible states the time John began his ministry. Since he was a Levite he could not assume priestly duties until his 30th birthday.
    Luk 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
    Luk 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
    Luk 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
    c) This establishes John was 30 years old in Tiberius’ 15th year corresponding to the year spanning 28 to 29 A.D. based upon when Tiberius was Emperor. (See para 6e.)
    d) Counting back from the destruction of the Temple (para 6h) and working out when the 8th course was in office at the time for conception for birth through 30 years of age for John puts the date Zecharias finished his duty was 13 Dec 3 B.C. This puts the birth of John at 19-20 Apr 2 B.C. (precisely on Passover of that year)
    e) The Bible tell us when the Holy Spirit conceived in Mary.
    Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
    Luk 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
    f) Since John was five months in the womb before Jesus that puts Jesus’ birthday at about 27 to 29 Sept 2 B.C., It is interesting to note at that moment in time was Israel’s Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana) which was on 29 Sept 2 B.C.
    g) The Feast of Trumpets changes each year, much like Passover, because these are calculated according to a lunar calendar. And so, whereas the Feast of Trumpets fell on September 29 back in 2 B.C., it fell on sundown (1st of Tishrei) on September 16 in 2012 A.D. This is properly Jesus’ 2010th birthday according to the Hebrew calendar which in year 5773.
    7. With Jesus’ birthday known we can also now place him in a historical timeline to determine when his family departed to Egypt.
    a) He was not a new born and not in the manger when the Magi brought him gifts because the family was in a house. At this time the family fled into Egypt after the Magi departed.
    Mat 2:11 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.
    Mat 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
    Mat 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
    b) We know from the Bible and history that the young boys from the age of 2 and younger in Bethlehem and surrounding areas were killed by Herod’s men before his death on 14 Jan 1 B.C. so the family had fled before this date.
    Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
    This is prophesied in Jer 31:15; “Thus saith Jehovah: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.”

    8. What do secular historians record about this period?
    a) The historian Josephus writes that King Herod dies during the year of an eclipse which was on 29 Dec 1 B.C.
    b) The Magillath Ta’anith Jewish scroll reports King Herod died on 14 Jan 1 B.C.
    c) The historian Ireaneous states that Jesus was born in the 41st year of Augustus Caesar’s rule.
    d) The historian Tertullian reports Augustus rule started 41 years before Jesus birth and died on 19 Aug 14 A.D., 15 years after he was born. This places Jesus’ birth in the year 2 B.C.
    e) Tiberius Caesar ascends to the throne after his father Augustus’ death.
    f) Tertullian also records in his histories that Jesus was born 28 years after the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. which also places Jesus’ birth in the autumn of 2 B.C.
    g) The son of King Herod, Archelaus, does not assume his late father’s throne but waits until Rome grants him leadership in Judea in 6 A.D. after the Census of Quirinius is taken. From the Talmud and Josephus.
    h) The Temple was destroyed when the 1st Levite Priest course of office had just started. (Jehoiarib) The Talmud and Josephus give this date as 5 Aug 70 A.D.

    9. These following passages I have added from Chuck Missler’s “The Christmas Story, What Really Happened?”
    a) Up till now each year at Christmas time on December 25th we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. After the New Year, we added another year to our calendar, which should remind us that the entire Western World reckons its calendar from the birth of the One who changed the world more than any other before or since. Yet, it is disturbing to discover that much of what we have been taught about the Christmas season seems to be more tradition than truth.
    b) Most serious Bible believers realize that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. The shepherds had their flocks in open fields, which implies a date prior to October. Furthermore, no competent Roman administrator would require registration involving travel during the season when Judea was generally impassable.
    c) If Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, just when was he born? Although the Bible doesn’t explicitly identify the birthday of our Lord, many scholars have developed diverse opinions as to the likely birthday of Jesus.
    d) The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus’ birth, and therefore the exact date was not preserved in festivals. The first recorded mention of December 25th is in the Calendar of Philocalus (AD 354), which assumed Jesus’ birth to be Friday, December 25th, AD 1. This was subsequent to Constantine’s Edict of Toleration in AD 313, which officially ended the government-sanctioned persecution of the Christians. The date of December 25th, which was officially proclaimed by the church fathers in AD 440, was actually a vestige of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, observed near the winter solstice, which itself was among the many pagan traditions inherited from the earlier Babylonian priesthood.
    10. In conclusion I believe a reasonable accounting can be made for the birthdate for Jesus. Also as another side note, the Hebrew tradition was not to celebrate birthdays, however, the Bible is full of announcements of his pending and actual birth. For what it’s worth.
    11. The Bible notes two birthday celebrations both ending with beheading executions, the Pharaoh’s butler and John the Baptist. Also Ecclesiastes makes mention of a birthdays importance, 7:1 A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death, than a birth day.
    12. So this as the date for the birth of Lord Jesus, what do we do with this knowledge?
    13. Why is it important that we know when Jesus was born? We certainly do not use this knowledge to celebrate His birthday—He tells us to commemorate His death, not His birth (I Cor11:23-26). The true date, however, destroys the entire foundation of the Christmas holiday. It also points to the proper time of His ministry, crucifixion and resurrection, helping to disprove the Good Friday—Easter Sunday tradition also. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it renews our faith in God’s Word—that it is true, verifiable and historically accurate.
    14. In addition, we should know even these details so that we can provide common-sense reasons for our beliefs. We live in a world of compromise and confusion—especially in the realm of religion—and thus we must study and follow what is true so we will not be fooled by what is counterfeit. The Christmas season promotes a lie concerning the date of the birth of Jesus Christ. We need to do more than reject the world’s explanation; we need to know, prove and follow what is true.

  285. Charlene says:

    If you follow the time as stated that Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) when her cousin was in her sixth month of pregnancy and the time Zacharias was returning from his course in the temple (when she would have gotten pregnant) it actually figures out to the end of September or the beginning of October.

  286. Freedomborn Christmas Blessings says:

    Sorry Andrew, you are in error, the Scriptures show very clearly that the 25 of December is Christ’s Birthdate , I’m sure if you asked God for His wisdom, you than you would also see clearly this Truth

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

  287. December 25 Feast of the Day – The Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ | The Onion Dome says:

    […] 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 (Public domain according to this rule). The […]

  288. Merry Christmas 2013 | Mr. Cool says:

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

  289. ¿Por qué el 25 de diciembre es navidad? | Blog de Carlos Ardila says:

    […]… […]

  290. Noah's Ark Has Been Found. Why Are They Keeping Us In The Dark? December 13, 2013 - Page 6 says:

    […] 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 […]

  291. Carol says:

    This is what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said back in the 30’s.

  292. boyke nainggolan says:

    No matter when Christmas is is good to make the same calendar with the whole world then we debate when Christ was born.Christmas is a joyful day for all people in the world because Christ is born in our heart and give us a salvation.

  293. Precious says:

    I really think 25th of December is quite cool and okay for the Christmas celebration,so far we celebrate it in a Godly way because the Holy Bible says that what we Christians agree on earth is agreed in heaven.

  294. Coming to Terms with “Joy to the World” | the trail is the thing says:

    […] (…) […]

  295. Marcia Yiapan says:


    May you find this someday (which is doubtful): I was told that we have Julius Caesar to thank for our year’s beginning on Jan. 1st. The Romans’ year used to begin in the spring, which is what seems most natural to me, too. Superstition said they weren’t supposed to go to war until the new year, but Caesar couldn’t wait and so he changed the calendar.

    I liked the article above, although I was annoyed by the author’s use of the new dating term C.E. I refuse to use it and think we should insist on the Latin anno domini, year of our Lord. The funny thing is that C.E. can just be read “Christian era”.

  296. Onko joulu sittenkin alunperin kristillinen juhla? says:

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

  297. Some of my Favorite Christmas Characters: Mary and Nicholas | Creation Science 4 Kids says:

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

  298. Julekildene | Bjørn Are Davidsens blogg says:

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

  299. Christmas Wars: Then and Now | Veracity says:

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

  300. Chris says:

    Why are you all so fascinated with the Babylonian Calender.

  301. Emmet says:

    The answer is actually simpler than all that. Revelation 12 tells the exact time of birth to the 45 min window. The Virgin clothed with the sun = Virgo-September, clothed with the Sun =Mid. The moon appearing at the feet of Virgo/Virgin only occurs every 30 years. astronomy software confirms that this occurred September 11, 3 B.C. The new moon confirms that this occured on Rosh HaShannah that year. It was also the fall lambing season. The animals used for sacrifice for even the pagan nations by Jews on Yom Kippur 10 days later were set apart specifically in the stables of Bethlehem. According to John Mosley L.A. Observatory there was also a convergence of Jupiter, Regulas and Saturn that day. In the Middle East and amongst Jews at the time, births are reckoned from the time of conception. Therefore, by back tracking from September 11, we arrive at December 25. So both dates of birth would be correct depending on which culture is reckoning the birth. Since Yehoshua/Jesus is for all people both birthdays are legitimate. Dec 25 is equivalent to the winter solstice in that when earth is at its darkest moment light will increase each day there after. It also occurs during Chanukah when the Eternal Light was relit and the temple (Also called the Light of the World) rededicated/revisited.

  302. Mark Matchen says:

    Thank you for this excellent article. I’m generally persuaded by the second suggestion.

    One small correction: re your point 14, Tishrei is not the month following Nissan; they are at opposite ends of the calendar. Each is described as the first month of the year in different contexts, hence this Talmudic debate. The Jewish holiday Rosh HaShanah, (New Year) is celebrated on the first of Tishrei. Passover, marking the Exodus, is celebrated in Nissan. If Tishrei is first, Nissan is seventh, and vice versa.

    Question: Why is common new year celebrated on January 1st? I’ve heard that it marks the date of Jesus’s circumcision, assuming his birth on December 25th. Is that so?

  303. Why is Christmas on December 25? | Praedicare says:

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

  304. Reblog: How December 25 Became Christmas | Everywhere Present Filling All Things says:

    […] 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 […]

  305. Dee says:

    Gary, What exactly does that mean then ?

  306. Gary Curtis says:

    Tishri is NOT the next month after Nisan. Tishri is the SIXTH month after Nisan. The order is Nisan, Iyar (or Iyyar), Sivan, Tammuz, Ab, Elul, Tishri. (Then, after Tishri, Heshvan, Kislev, Tebet, Shebat, Adar (and sometimes,seven out of each nineteen years,Second Adar. that is, Adar Sheni or Veadar), and then Nisan again.

  307. Why Christmas in December? | Writings of Branko's Blog says:

    […] from Andrew McGowan. It is quite inspiring and has a lot of interesting facts from the past:… Share this:FacebookEmailTwitterPrintGoogleLinkedInLike this:Like […]

  308. A Blended Christmas Story | Simplicity Redesigned says:

    […] Bible History Daily […]

  309. Rachel Bowman says:

    Thanks for this well-researched, fascinating piece. I included a link to it in my blog post “The reason for the season?” in which I try to imagine what Christmas looks like to outsiders. It’s here if you want to see it:

  310. How December 25 Became Christmas | De Civitate Dei says:

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

  311. December 25 | Young Adults of Christ the King says:

    […] 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. […]

  312. The coming of the light | ThinkBannedThoughts Blog says:

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

  313. This Week’s Best in Catholic Apologetics -/- DavidLGray.INFO says:

    […] 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 […]

  314. The reason for the season? | The Unpackaged Eye says:

    […] 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 […]

  315. Word Up 245 — New Church Family newsletter | says:

    […] For more details, here is the link to McGowan’s article —… […]

  316. The Christmas Propaganda War | Daniel Tomberlin says:

    […] 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 […]

  317. How December 25th Became Christmas | New Life Narrabri says:

    […] 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 […]

  318. Luke says:

    How is it logical that Jesus was born in any of these months when he was born approximately 6 months after John the Baptist, whom was born in March? :/

  319. top christmas coolest toys for kids 2011 says:

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  320. How the real meaning of Christmas has been forgotten by Ken Grant | Celebrations 360 says:

    […] 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 […]

  321. says:

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  322. Christian Christmas Grinches | Briarwood & Cloud says:

    […] 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. […]

  323. Kevin O'Reilly says:

    Any thoughts as to observing Christmas on the 4th Sunday of December?

    Since we’ll never find conclusive evidence of the 25th being the actual date ( or, for that matter, the month of December), why not recognize that Jesus was never concerned with us celebrating his birth on any given date at all ?( and certainly not in the commercial manner of modern times but that’s another discussion of course.)

  324. Voice in the Wilderness says:

    […] 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 […]

  325. Loy Ocampo says:

    Jesus has many teachings but celebration of a birthday, including his own, is not one of them. Wonder why it is hard for us to accept that. Christmas is an invention that has become highly commercialized. There is no mention of a birthday celebration in the Bible except for the sons of Noah who died while celebrating.

  326. The 12 things I hate about Christmas | blondehairbrowndog says:

    […] 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 […]

  327. chris says:

    I wonder do we know what Jewish Feast JOhn the baptist’s father was called by lot to act as High Priest when the angel of teh Lord appeared to him?

  328. madsion says:

    christmas does not have to be that long when you wright about it.

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  330. Steve says:

    Jesus never existed people he is a fabrication of the Romans to control the Palestinians.
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  332. annetta peneguy says:

    I am surprised that this article is very biased. I enjoy your website and use it often. I even subscribed to the magazine trial today but I will be canceling after reading this. You are doing a great disservice to the Early Church and to God. Your article is wrong on several points, the first being that Jan 6th is Dec 25th on our modern calendar. It seems that you would know this. Next, the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles list Dec 25th as Jesus date of birth or feast day. Also Hippolytus mentions it along with several other Church Fathers. If you are going to write and article try to be accurate and impartial.

  333. Cansayso says:

    The author left out 25th day of Kislev (Jewish Calendar compares to Roman December) which is Chanukah.

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  335. Could Seventh-day Adventist Celebrate Christmas? | Simul Justus Et Peccator Blog says:

    […] [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,” (…). […]

  336. Todd Reeder says:

    I read there is no clear reason why December 25th was chosen. Some say it was used to get pagan people who celebrated the solstice on December 25th to celebrate Jesus birth and hoping they would learn from it and become Christian’s. I read it don’t work to well. Now you have Christian’s spending hundreds of dollars on gifts. Buying things people don’t need. Spending hours shopping and decorating and making food. And how much time do they spend during all of that remembering the reason for the holiday? Or telling people about Jesus? It looks like the pagan traditions took Christian’s away from Jesus; instead of bringing the pagans to Jesus. I was told Christians began celebrating on December 25th to escape persecution. So they adopted a pagan festival day to blend in with pagans to escape persecution.
    Doesn’t sound Christian to me.

  337. Todd Reeder says:

    I heard people say that Jesus was conceived during the festival of lights Hanukkah. The light coming in to the world. And that he was born during the feast of tabernacles. Which would be 9 months later. Sounds logical to me. But I don’t believe a lot of stuff the bible says. Thousands of people read the same book and get different ideas of what it says. So how do you know who is right? People say don’t trust what you are told. Read it for yourself and see if it is true. Then there are people who say that you need to learn to interpret the bible. That is why preachers go to school to learn what they bible says. Some say the spirit teaches us what the bible means. Others say you need to learn from a school how to interpret what it means. They both can’t be right. Someone as to be right. And someone has to be wrong. And there are many things in the bible that make God seem to be cruel. The bible says that God allows Satan to steal the word from people so they don’t believe. And the bible says God allows Satan to blind people from the truth. So people may suffer and spend eternity in hell or where ever because God allows Satan to do things. And people suffer physically and mentally because God allows Satan to do stuff. Sounds cruel to me.

  338. Todd Reeder says:

    You said “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.”

    Mark 14:12 says.
    [ Jesus Celebrates the Passover with His Disciples ] Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” According to Mark 14:12 Jesus was still alive when they killed the Passover lamb. It sounds like one gospel says Jesus was killed when the Passover lamb was killed. And other gospels say he was alive when the Passover lamb was killed. How can someone trust the bible if there are two different stories?

  339. says:

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  341. Jeanie C. Crain says:

    Annunciation, birth, epiphany–history, theology, literature?

  342. Marko says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about birth of jesus.

  343. Colin McDermott says:

    Why does the church still keep the pagan days and pagan calendar? Paganism was crushed long ago. There is no point keeping the pagan days. I have learned that Jesus was probably conceived on Hanukkah (which in Jewish culture, is actually considered your birthday), came out of the womb ( “born” as we understand in our culture) on Sukkot, died on Passover and rose on First Fruits. He was Jewish, and I think that is something most Christians tend to forget. He came for Israel first! (then for everyone else…) Yes, the pagan gods are not real, but we shouldn’t be connected to them in any way (ex mithras, horus etc…) Also, I think if the church did keep the real “Holy Days” instead of “holidays”, there would be more focus on God. All most people care about is santa and presents on christmas and chocolate and the easter egg hunt. Technically, Jesus has nothing to do with santa or with rabbits. I would not call myself Messianic, simply because I am not Jewish. I am simply a Gentile Christian, but I do keep these days according to the Biblical Calendar, (not the Jewish Rabbinic calendar… that’s a whole different story) simply because I think its the right thing to do. Yes because my family has strong ties to the church, I will show up for christmas and easter with everyone else, but they aren’t as big of days for me as they were a few years ago. I guess, you could say I’m a Bible believer, and would rather stick to the Word than the traditions of the church. I don’t think Jesus came to get rid of Judaism, rather He came to get rid of Rabbinicism. He wasn’t trying to make a new religion. “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Fulfill in this sense is misunderstood, because I think we should still be keeping Torah. How could Jesus say I have not come to abolish, but to abolish”? It does not make sense. He then clarifies in the very next verse in Matthew that “until heaven and earth passes away not one yod or one letter will be removed from the Torah”. Well, the way I see it is, the earth is still here. We are still here. Therefore, Torah is still in effect. Jesus came to show us how to live the Torah. Not to get rid of it. He is the living Torah. Why would he get rid of something he worked so hard to create? It is like at the end of Noah’s ark when he says “I will never again destroy the world.” Why would he destroy then, the Covenant (Old Testament)? Jesus wouldn’t even be here if the Covenant didn’t happen in the first place! Also Jesus did say that the 2 greatest commandments are love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Well, how do we love God? People say, by loving our neighbor, and that is wrong because Revelation tells us we cannot add or take away from the Word. Jesus did not say love God by loving your neighbor. The “by” is adding to the word. So therefore, how we love God is by keeping his commandments, keeping the Torah. Also, Torah is always misunderstood as “law”. Torah does not mean “law” it means “guidelines and instructions” in Hebrew sense. Sure, we cannot keep all the Torah perfectly, as Jesus was the only one who ever could, but we can at least try our best. The problem with most christians today, is that they don’t read the front of the book (especially the first 5). The Bible does not start with Matthew, it starts with Genesis, Bereshit which means “In the Beginning”. I really do think that the church should “wake up”, and start living by the Word. Also it would bring less division between christians and jews and would ultimately make for a better world. Just my thoughts…

  344. When the Christians met the Pagans | Bjørn Stærk says:

    […] 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 […]

  345. Enrique says:

    Decent site with helpful information. I didn’t acquire numerous search results around “birth of jesus” when I looked around for it and here domain I experience completely all the infos i was looking for! Thank you alot! -Enrique

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  348. Roger Day says:

    For the several very good indications in the Bible of when Jesus was born (besides other related topics) see my 99¢ ebook “Christmas Constantine and the Bible” – on google, just type Roger Day Christmas, and you should see the links to it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
    Peace & blessings,
    -Roger Day

  349. How December 25 Became Christmas – Biblical Archaeology Society | Merolog Web Host says:

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

  350. Allan Parker says:

    I like the theory of the Anninciation and Christmas…Mar 25 to Dec. 25…ity rings true for me…or as true as any theory can be.

  351. How December 25 Became Christmas | press-inside says:

    […] 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 […]

  352. sanjeev says:

    sanjeev – this artical is good in bible there is no 25 december jesus birthday then why we celebrate . after jesus death his disples do what jesus tell ,jesus tell him to preach the good news of kingdom to all nation that work we have to do ,not to celebrate christmus

  353. The 5:2 Diet – Christmas | Land of Oak and Iron says:

    […] however much it’s disputed whether Christians simply borrowed December 25th from the Roman Sol Invictus cult which celebrated […]

  354. Christmas Readings says:

    […] — Celebrating Christmas in the Face of Grief and DeathChurch History: The Real Story of SantaHow December 25 Became ChristmasLet Every Heart Prepare Him RoomShould a Christian Celebrate Christmas?Should Christians celebrate […]

  355. maikel annahlee says:

    michymich> First we have to get something right, a messiah was born….the bible is compact from the begining to the end if only we allow it to talk to us and we don’t give our own meanings or interpretations…. Let’s not deceive ourself
    m> so simple and yet so true. would you also like to give a reference source for “indepth knowledge ” apart from your email.
    it seems to me better to see what you mean before a further email discussion. you make sense so far.

  356. Michymich says:

    First we have to get something right, a messiah was born. Before emperor constatan became a christian, December 25 was a pagan date(holiday). Biblically, the first time that time line was celebrated as an holiday was during king Jeroboam. In actual fact, the messiah was conceived in December, follow the accounts in Luke and Matthew, 9 months after he was born, around september(popularly called Feast of Tabernacles) by the Jewish. He died around March(celebrated by the jews and christians as passover and Feast of unleavened bread), the bible is compact from the begining to the end if only we allow it to talk to us and we don’t give our own meanings or interpretations. December 25 remains a pagan date and a pagan holiday, and the activities involved on that day only confirms it. Let’s not deceive ourself. For more information on indept knowlege, catch me on [email protected]

  357. maikel annahlee says:

    michael> And Christ was born during the Roman Warm Period. Today, in Romania…
    m. but according to tv news, it’s back again today in Germany ?

    chris>This is a rather confused account.
    m> thank you for so clarifying it and as such confusion is is usually overlooked or made even more confusing, perhaps mr mcgowan would consider incorporating your facts in his article as a footnote?
    the BAR editor should also take note.

  358. Chris C. says:

    This is a rather confused account.

    The story usually given in catechesis in the Eastern churches is that Epiphany is the original Eastern feast, which celebrated not Jesus’ birth per se but the entire mystery of the Incarnation, from his birth to his public revelation as the Son of God at his baptism in the Jordan. It was observed in the East. At the same time, the Church of Rome developed Christmas as an observance specifically of Jesus’ birth. At an unspecified point, each tradition borrowed each others’ feast, creating an extended 12 day observance of the Incarnation.

    This would tend to explain the Western North African suspicion of Epiphany as an innovation. For them, it was. In the East the innovation was Christmas, which the Armenians, at least, never took up. Most of the rest of the East shifted those features of their feast concerning Jesus’ birth — including the visit of the Magi — to 25 December.

    With its original focus on the birth, the West naturally wanted to place the visit of the Magi some days afterward, hence their association with 6 January. However, Mr. McGowan’s implication that 6 January is NOW associated with the Magi in the East is false. The Magi are associated entirely with 25 December. The troparia and kontakia of the day feature them prominently. By the time you get to 6 January, the observance is entirely focused on Jesus’ *baptism* just prior to beginning his public ministry. This is why holy water is blessed on that day: the “blessing of Jordan” is felt to be particularly available.

    It’s important not to confuse Epiphany (sometimes called Theophany) on 6 January with the Old Calendar observance of Christmas on 7 January still used by some Orthodox churches. That’s a difference in reckoning, not days assigned to feasts. 25 December on the old Julian calendar falls on 7 January on the modern Gregorian. If you go into a Russian church on the evening of 6 January, you will indeed hear singing about the Magi — but for them it’s Christmas Eve, not the eve of Epiphany. Julian calendar Epiphany, which occurs as always on 6 January, falls on 19 January of the Gregorian calendar.

  359. Michael Snow says:

    “…; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled.”
    Today, in Romania, I saw several shepherds keeping watch over there flocks in the fields, over one thousand miles north of Bethlehem.
    And Christ was born during the Roman Warm Period.

  360. Dating Christmas « thereformedmind says:

    […] 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 […]

  361. maikel annahlee says:

    lisa>since he was born 3 months before jesus……
    m> how about 6?

    albert>These things are equal….
    envision a circle. If you pick one point as his death, that same point is his beginning.
    m> agreed; but as equal and opposite. So if Jesus dies in March he is born September;

    albert>Add nine months to that and you arrive at December
    m> for his conception.

    brian> no historical evidence… he was even born or existed. Please note, I said “historical”, not Biblical
    m> this is not true
    brian>As for his birth date. No mention in the Bible.
    m> not directly; but indirectly ,for the claims made by Luke re the chronology of Jesus’ conception and infancy are verifiable in the cosmic record.

    brian>The whole thing was just cooked up as a convenience, simple as that.
    m> it is agreed that the infancy narratives of Jesus by Matthew and Luke are devised so as to fulfil messianic expectations, but this does not affect their intrinsic validity as biographical records with an authentic chronology.

    rabbi> wondered about Christmas being on 25 December and Hanukah being on 25 Kislev. I’ve never found a connection
    m> the connection is that after the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 AD, the Christians could ‘claim’ that the resurrected Jesus was the indestructible and purified 3rd Temple, and also symbolizing: a New Day of Atonement.

    Cj>I Think the date When Jesus was born does make a diference.I think the Lord our God does not want us…
    m> but not because of God; rather because of it showing our natural affinity with cosmic record in which ALL Creation participates

  362. lisa says:

    think of john and his conception, since he was born 3 months before jesus……

  363. CHRISTMAS AFTERMATH « the heart thrills says:

    […] (1)McGowan, Andrew. “How December 25 Became Christmas”,… […]

  364. Albert says:

    Regarding the connection of Jesus’ death and his Immaculate conception…In Revelation, Jesus says he is the alpha and the omega – the beginning and the end. These things are equal. He has no beginning or ending – envision a circle. If you pick one point as his death, that same point is his beginning. Add nine months to that and you arrive at December.

  365. Why Celebrate Christmas When We Do? » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog says:

    […] pagans. Not so, apparently. Here is William J. Tighe on Calculating Christmas and Andrew McGowan on How December 25 Became Christmas. McGowan writes: There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: […]

  366. Brian Everingham says:

    There is absolutely no historical evidence to suggest that he was even born or existed. Please note, I said “historical”, not Biblical. Bit weird don’t you think for such an Historical event. As for his birth date. No mention in the Bible. Again, bit weird eh. The whole thing was just cooked up as a convenience, simple as that. Read your “history” :-)))))

  367. Rabbi Eli Mallon, M.Ed., LMSW says:

    I’ve also always wondered about Christmas being on 25 December and Hanukah being on 25 Kislev. I’ve never found a connection, but who knows?

  368. jake says:

    amazing how people manage the Time, the Space of Time: TO precize the datum of Christ’s Birth day took near 4centuries…It means, in France, my country: from Henri the 4th till Now……
    The way people conceive “Time and truth” seems appalling…

  369. Michel Louis Lévy says:

    Voir mon article en français :
    “Le méridien de Jérusalem”

  370. Olusuyi Taiwo says:

    Anything that did not come from faith is a sin, why celebrating what Christ did not command, it is time for us to wake from our slumber, if you didn’t abide in His doctrine, you did not have God. 2 Jn 9.

  371. How December 25 Became Christmas « Samwel Bartolo 2012/2013 says:

    […] 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 […]

  372. Michael says:

    I have to point out that having an occasional belated birthday is not really the same thing as what your describing. If you don’t believe me why don’t you try this experiment, every year on your wife’s, mom’s brother’s sister’s birthday (pick one) you decide that you will celebrate YOUR birthday. Furthermore, tell him/her that every year everyone will sing only to you, honor only you and that person’s birthday will have to be put aside and never talked about again. Let me know how that works out. 🙂

  373. Cj says:

    I Think the date When Jesus was born does make a diffrence.I think the Lord our God does not want us to celebrate our Savior`s BIRTH with a pagan holiday.

  374. On the Date of the Eve of the Celebration of Christ’s Birth » A Few Good Words says:

    […] Both the blogs refer to an article in Biblical History Daily, “How December 25 Became Christmas,” located here… […]

  375. Why December 25th? [reblog] « The Lonely Disciple says:

    […] great article from the website of Biblical Archaeology Magazine: How December 25 Became Christmas The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or […]

  376. Why December 25> | Tim Archer's Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts says:

    […] Christmas because Christians were trying to “sanctify” a Roman feast. However, an article by Andrew McGowan changed my […]

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