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6 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2008 - 8:22PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
I have been conversing with someone who has suggested that October 17 is really Jesus' birthday. I know that Christmas was originally a pagan celebration of lights, so why did we adopt their holiday for celebrating Jesus' birth rather than celebrate what is closer (or might actually be) Jesus' real birthday?
An
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 22, 2008 - 2:34PM #2
voice-crying
Posts: 7,222
[QUOTE=Anesis;836846]I have been conversing with someone who has suggested that October 17 is really Jesus' birthday. I know that Christmas was originally a pagan celebration of lights, so why did we adopt their holiday for celebrating Jesus' birth rather than celebrate what is closer (or might actually be) Jesus' real birthday?
An[/QUOTE]

No one knows for sure what day Jesus was born some say Oct 17 and others April 17, Sept 30, Jan 6, ect. 

IMO if the date had been important it would have been recorded in the Bible. 

I did a study on this issue a while back and concluded (going all the way back) that Dec 25th was (originally) chosen by the early believers in order to blend in with the pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the idol Mathras.

I've lost my old notes, but, this is what I was able to find (on the web) today.

"Justin explain this in the following manner: "It having reached the Devil's ears that the prophets had foretold that Christ would come...he [the Devil] set the heathen poets to bring forward a great many who should be called sons of Jove [that is, the sons of God]; the Devil laying his scheme in this to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of the same character as the prodigious fables and poetic stories" (Justin, Apol 2).

Julius Frimicus says, "The Devil has his Christs" (Taylor, Diegesis, p. 164).

Answer for yourself: Now don't you think that these Christian Fathers, when cornered by these Pagans and charged with "mimicking" their Pagan Religions, could be more honest than blaming the whole thing on the Devil as counterfeiting the Christian faith in the beginning? I would hope so."



Pagans imitate God by using gods of their own i.e. this sun god Mathras/Mithra.

Mithra ancient sun god:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

Mithra sun god:
http://historical.benabraham.com/html/p … ithra.html

Mithra:
http://www.well.com/~davidu/mithras.html

"Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."Proverbs 18:21
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2008 - 1:44PM #3
Brobrooz1
Posts: 847
Shepards watched their flocks by night at the time... Can they do that in the middle east this time of year?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2008 - 2:21PM #4
voice-crying
Posts: 7,222
The climate in that part of the country is different than ours. 
:)
"Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."Proverbs 18:21
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2008 - 7:50PM #5
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
Winter or summer might not have mattered.....after all, they would have had to tend their flocks day and night all year long, no?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 23, 2008 - 7:50PM #6
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
Winter or summer might not have mattered.....after all, they would have had to tend their flocks day and night all year long, no?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2008 - 9:16PM #7
birwin4
Posts: 583
[QUOTE=Anesis;846409]Winter or summer might not have mattered.....after all, they would have had to tend their flocks day and night all year long, no?[/QUOTE]

During winter they tended to look after their flocks in the village fold. Only in summer did they look after their flocks in hillside folds. This indicates that Jesus was born between May and August. I guess it does not really matter when we celebrate Jesus' birth. One other point is the appearance of the super nova (star in the East) at Jesus' birth which may indicate some sort of timeframe. I believe this super nova appeared in 4 BC.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2008 - 9:58PM #8
Xristocharis
Posts: 5,051
Actually there's a lot to why December 25th started being celebrated by Christians in the 3rd century as the Feast of the Nativity.

Perhaps interestingly, given what Luke tells us about Zechariah, John the Baptist's dad, a winter date for Jesus' birth isn't entirely impossible.

While the Bible doesn't tells us when the various priestly cycles were, we do have that information recorded elsewhere, such as the Jewish Talmud. Zechariah's priestly cycle occurred both in the fall and in the spring. If one were to place John's conception in the fall, then six months later Mary is pregnant with Jesus in spring, nine months later would give us a winter birthday for the Lord.

Take also into account an early Christian belief, inherited from early Jewish ideas, that a prophet died on the same day he was conceived, and that many believed the crucifixion took place on March 25th; it wouldn't be hard for early Christians in the Patristic period to count 9 months after March 25th to come up with a date for December 25th.

Additionally, the Pagan festival of Sol Invictus, which also took place on December 25th, didn't really start becoming popular until the 3rd century as well, largely because Emperor Marcus Aurellius attempted to reform Roman religion to harmonize the various sun cults into a more centralized religion. The Cult of the Unconquerable Sun was largely the product of Aurellius' reforms in the 3rd century.

It's debated whether Sol Invictus and Christmas developed independently, or whether Pagans or Christians tried to "out do" one another.

The usual story says that Christians "baptized" December 25th by taking focus away from Pagan worship to worship of Christ; but that may not necessarily be so.

Some contend it may have been the exact opposite, that perhaps Pagans tried to emphasize December 25th more strongly in order to compete with the growing Christian faith which in the 3rd century was exploding with new converts from all walks of life.

There is also the possibility that the two feasts evolved side-by side to one another, with possible reciprocal overlap in influence.

It is true that Christmas took a while to be widely accepted among the churches. It was mostly celebrated among the churches around Rome and in Egypt at first, and only slowly gained acceptance among churches in Asia and the Middle East.

Even to this day, many Christians in the East hold Epiphany (January 6th) as a more important day than Christmas.

With all that said...

The exact date when our Lord was born shouldn't be the critical issue. I think celebrating Christmas is a good thing, and December 25th works both because that's when we've historically always celebrated it, but also there's something profound about celebrating when the Light of the World came into the world, on one of the darkest night of the year (at least in the northern hemisphere).

That's some pretty powerful imagery, and we'd be foolish not to allow it to help us meditate on the Incarnation and our faith in Christ.

-Jon
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." - Dom Hélder Câmara
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2008 - 11:23PM #9
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
The climate in Israel suggests that the rainy season began in October and lasted until May, and peaks from December through February. Since there was a census, it would make sense not to do it in the middle of the rainy season. If Jesus were born in October, it would make sense that they would flee to Egypt a few months later, toward the end of the rainy season.

Apparently, there is also software called Starry Night, which explains how the stars lined up at any point in history. Several stars appeared to eclipse together on what we call October 16, making them look like a huge bright star.

I don't think October is an unreasonable guess. VC, it may not have been important to early believers, but I think today it holds more significance, as we celebrate it anyway. Not only that, but we should be prepared to talk about the signs of the coming of the King - you know, the stars, the King(s), etc.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2008 - 12:01AM #10
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
Here is a quote from my friend:

" The Bible contains clues to the timing of this event. John the Baptist's father Zacharias was a priest of the division of Abijah and checking in Leviticus for the order in which the households of the priests served reveals the time that the angel appeared to him in the Temple. Go forward nine months to the birth of John at Passover which is fitting as part of the Passover order of events includes setting a place for Elijah and the children checking the door for his arrival (as a prophet is the power and spirit of Elijah is a forerunner of the messiah).
Elizabeth was in her sixth month when Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit and so Christ was born six months after John.
The word translated a "dwelt" (as in "dwelt among us") is the same used for "tabernacle" (as in the "feast of tabernacles"). This feast is also know as "the Feast of the Nations" as during Christ's milineal rule on the earth, all nations and people will be required to observe it (Zechariah 16:14-19).
This festival is most correctly called Sukkot."

This all made sense to me, and when I consider this other thing called "Starry Night" (this looks like a documentary on Jesus' birthday), I really have to look long and hard at the possibility of an October birthday.

My friend also noted that this date is only for this year. The date would change every year.
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