Jesus - The Reason for The Season

Jesus
Reason For Season

 

PC MYTH: Date of Christmas Based Upon Roman Holidays

One of the claims the politically correct and various fors of other detractors make is - Christmas is based upon a pagan Roman Celebration. In some cases they will continue to say that the early Catholic church stole the holiday because they couldn't compete with the pagans.

Well you have every heard this myth the following will prove that it just that a myth!

Here is one example:

In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

So the proponents of this myth place the first reference to Christmas with a date of December 25 as being in the latter half of the 4th century or 350 - 399 AD. Over the years I have found that the politically correct and those who use such to pursue their agenda rely upon a majority people not knowing a lot of history.

So let's put this myth and their claim that Christmas on December 25 originated in Rome in the last half of the century to a test.

Question: Was Christmas as December 25 referenced and practiced prior to the mid 4th century?

Of course the answer is "Yes!"  The celebration or recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 predates the practice of the Roman pagan holiday. Further the date was selected as being nine mouths after the accepted date

This is documented in multiple extant (means exists today) historical documents. Let's look at few examples that the politically correct want you ignore like they do.

One of the earliest Christian source that places Jesus birth on December 25th is recorded for us by Hippolytus of Rome in his Commentary On Daniel in 202 A.D. Daniel was an Old Testament Prophet who was carried away to Babylon in 605 BC.

The earliest record we have of a pagan Roman celebration occurring on December 25th is dated to 274 A.D., one could conclude that Christians claimed this date as Christ’s birth at least 72 years before the pagans chose that date for their festival. In fact, Professor Tighe suggests:/p>

“Thus, December 25th as the date of the Christ’s birth appears to owe nothing whatsoever to pagan influences upon the practice of the Church during or after Constantine’s time.

Several historical writings dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD documented the prevailing practice and belief that Jesus was born on December 25, nine months after 25 March, the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated. The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Babylonian Talmud. To put that in simpler terms the Jews and early Christians believed that Jesus was conceived and sacrificed on the same day.

Note the exile to Babylon predates even the Roman Empire by several centuries.

Tertullian of Carthage (around 200 AD) reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus died was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar. March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation — the commemoration of Jesus’s conception. Once again, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. If conceived on March 25 - nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.

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

An additional historical references also concur: Sextus Julius Africanus (c.160 – c.240) gave 25 March as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus. Once again this is before the practice of Sol Victus was widespread in Rome and over 100 years before Emperor Constantine’s conversion.

Another reference identifying the birth of Jesus as December 25th comes from a document entitled The Constitution of the Holy Apostles. Modern scholars continue to debate the date when this early catechism of the Church was written. The Constitution of the Holy Apostles is not as old as the Church document The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, known simple as the Didache, meaning "The Teaching," that was written between 50-100 AD. 

Book V, section 3 of the Constitution of the Holy Apostles begins with a subject heading and then addresses the Holy Days including the celebration of the Lord's birthday: ON FEAST DAYS AND FAST DAYS: A CATALOGUE OF THE FEASTS OF THE LORD WHICH ARE TO BE KEPT, AND WHEN EACH OF THEM OUGHT TO BE OBSERVED. XIII. Brethren, observe the festival days; and first of all the birthday which you are to celebrate on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month.... The ancient date of the Constitution can be verified by the fact that its authors were still using the Jewish liturgical calendar. The "ninth month" in the Old Covenant liturgical calendar is our December, since their liturgical year began with the spring equinox which fell in late March/early April according to our modern calendar, as did the old Roman calendar before Julius Caesar introduced his calendar reform.

It can be documented that early Christians referenced December 25 BEFORE the practice of the Roman pagan celebration was established. Further the reason for the date had nothing to do with an ethical reason but was based upon the belief that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day. Adding nine months to this day resulted in December 25.

Does this information ignored by the politically correct prove that Jesus was born on December 15? No, it does not. It does show that those who claim that they know that Jesus was NOT born on December 25 are trying to perpetuate a myth.

Merry Christmas! Jesus - Is The Reason For the Season!