Was Jesus born on December 25? & Should we celebrate Christmas?
It is a popular misconception that Jesus was born on December 25 and that is why people celebrate Christmas, but as stated in the beginning on this sentence… this is a misconception. First let us set the record straight, biblically. The Bible, which is the Word of God (John 1:1 & 2 Timothy 3:16), never once states the month or date in which Jesus Christ was born. In fact it never gives the month or date in which anyone was born. It was never a custom for Jews to celebrate birthdays. The only reason they kept records of births, was for genealogies. The Bible only gives us the knowledge that Jesus would be tSpirit of God would be named, (Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31-33). No emphasis was given on the birth date, for a few reasons, and let us examine a few here. One reason is, even with today’s medical community, the exact date of a child’s birth cannot be predicted afore time by man. Natural science only can give an accurate gestation period for human life, while in the womb of the woman. This being 9 months or 37 to 42 weeks, keeping in mind babies often are born earlier or even later than expected. God however, knows everything ahead of time, being omniscient, was born exactly when He was supposed to be born according to His perfect will. Another reason is the true meaning of the “gospel” (or good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ), is not just the birth of Jesus, but the redemptive work that Jesus did on the cross at calvary, by offering His pure sinless blood as a sacrifice for our sins. Also Jesus was not born in winter, because the sheep were out and the shepherds had a custom of not keeping the sheep out past October.
Now let us look in to where the December 25 phenomenon came from.
Christmas is originally and still is a pagan holiday that was brought into Christianity by the Catholic Church. Note that Jesus was born a Jew and the Jews were told early on by God not to take place in the celebration of the action of trimming a Christmas tree.
The origin of the Christmas tree was implemented by early Christians trying to convert members of the Asheira cult, who long worshipped trees and were allowed to bring this custom of tree worship with them into Christianity. Jeremiah 10:1-5, gives the description of going and cutting down a tree from the forest, bringing it into your home, making it to stand like a palm tree by nailing it with wood and nails so that it will stand up straight ( as to give the illusion it is still alive) and then decorate it. The Scriptures state that this is a foreign thing done, that they are not to do, because “they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do well”v.5 Jews, and believers of the gospel, know that worshipping anyone or anything other than God is blasphemous and idolatry.
Roman Pagans celebrated a holiday called Saturnalia, which is a week long period of lawlessness, celebrated between the days of December 17-25. This period included each Roman community choosing an “enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule”. This victim would be forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures, the end result being the sacrifice of this chosen individuals life, all for sport. I addition to the human sacrifice, people would go from home to home, getting drunk, singing naked, participating in rape and other sexual licensed immoral activities; and also eating human shaped biscuits. In 4th century B.C. leaders of that times Christianity community imported this festival in hopes of converting the pagans by promising they could continue their festival practices. The main problem with this is that yes, some pagans were “converted”, however there was not anything Christian about this festival. So to remedy this, they renamed the last day, ( December 25), Jesus’ birthday.
The Origins of Santa Claus
Saint Nicholas, who later became Bishop of Myra, was among the senior bishops who convened at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and created the New Testament. The text they produced portrayed the Jews as the children of the devil who sentenced Jesus to death. In 1087, a group of sailors idolized Nicholas and moved his bones to a sanctuary in Bari, Italy from Turkey where, they were buried. It is here Nicholas supplanted a female deity named Grandmother, or Pasqua Epiphania, who used to fill little children’s stockings with her gifts. The Grandmother was ousted from her shrine at Bari, which became the center of Nicholas’ cult. Members of this group gave each other gifts on the anniversary of Nicolas’ death on December 6. The cult was then spread north to German and Celtic pagans where Nicholas was then merged with their chief god and father of Thor, Balder, and Tiw. Woden (their god) had a long white beard and rode the heavens on a horse one evening each autumn. When Nicholas merged with Woden, he shed his Mediterranean appearance and grew a beard, mounted a flying horse, rescheduled his flight for December, and began to wear heavy winter clothing. In a bid for more pagan adherents in Northern Europe, the Catholic Church adopted the Nicholas cult and taught that he did (and they should also) distribute gifts on December 25.
Many people today celebrate December 25 as Jesus’ birthday and celebrate Christmas because of generations of family tradition. But from the facts above we know this date and holiday, have nothing at all to do with Jesus. The word of God warns us of man’s philosophy and vain traditions in Colossians 2:8.