Fellow readers, its been a while. My last issue was supposed to be an interview with a high profile Musician(do not worry, it is coming). Yesterday I was watching the news and realised how people have died in the name of CHRISTMAS holidays. Was Jesus Christ really born on the 25th of December?
Lacking any scriptural pointers to Jesus’ birthday, early Christian teachers suggested dates all over the calendar. November 18 has been pointed out. Some figured Christ must have been born on a Wednesday(ok, well maybe this was really pushing it)
A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that December 25 couldn’t be the date for Christ’s birth. Here are two primary reasons:
First, we know that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke:2:7-8). Shepherds were not in the fields during December. According to history and research, it is suggested that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall.
Secondly, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke:2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating.
Now imagine, a census taking place in winter. Would you open the door? I wouldn’t.
Given the difficulties and the desire to bring pagans (these are people who do are neither Christian, Jew nor Muslim) into Christianity, “the important fact then is that the fixing of the date as December 25th was a compromise with paganism.
If Jesus Christ wasn’t born on December 25, does the Bible indicate when He was born? If so, then life would have been easy. Christmas celebrations would have been justified.
The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.
Since Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke:1:24-36), we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke:1:5).
Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year.
It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke:1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (verses 23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth.
Although it is difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated December 25 as Christmas Day, historians are in general agreement that it was sometime during the fourth century. This is an amazingly late date. Christmas was not observed in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, until about 300 years after Christ’s death. Its origins cannot be traced back to either the teachings or practices of the earliest Christians.
Now, look at how bad things turn out to be during this time. If really, this was the birth of a KING, why then can’t we observe and respect it? Do we need to get drunk, be high on weed or act recklessly during this time? Its just a thought.