The Origin of Christmas
THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS
“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on January 6, March 25, or December 25th.”(Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 5, p.641, 14th edition)
“Scholars do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth . In A.D. 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun. Christians honored Christ, instead of Saturn, as the Light of the World.”
(The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.416, 1965)
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS Many of the facts of Jesus’ birth are unknown to those who celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus. It is important to understand the only book that describes the birth of Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago is the Bible.
These facts are taken from that Book:
1. The year of birth is unknown - the Bible does not say what year He was born.
2. The month and day are unknown - the Bible does not say what day He was born.
3. The birth of Jesus is recorded in Matthew 1,2 and Luke 1,2.
4. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem (Luke 2:4-7).
5. The baby Jesus was put in a manger for there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7).
6. The shepherds visited Jesus on the night He was born (Luke 2:8-20).
7. On the 8th day of His life, Jesus was circumcised in accordance with the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21).
8. Joseph and Mary took Jesus when He was a little over a month old (40 days) to Jerusalem to be presented in the Temple to be “called holy to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice” according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:22-24).
9. Wise men from the East visit the family in a HOUSE - not a manger. The wise men never see Jesus in a manger as a newborn baby. He was a “CHILD” and was of some age in accordance with the decision of Herod to kill all male children from two years old and under (Matthew 2:16-18).
10. The star seen by the wise men stood over a HOUSE, not a manger (Matthew 2:9).
11. The Bible does not tell us the number of wise men nor their nationalities.
12. Jesus lived in Egypt as a child (Matthew 2:13-15).
13. The Lord grew up in Nazareth (Luke 2:39; Matthew 2:19-23).
14. The New Testament church never mentions the birth of Jesus as a day of celebration. Mary, His mother, was a part of the early church and nothing is written about the time of the birth of Jesus. (Acts 1:14; Colossians 2:16-23).
“YOU SHALL NOT ADD TO THE WORD WHICH I COMMAND YOU, NOR TAKE ANYTHING FROM IT, THAT YOU MAY KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD WHICH I COMMAND YOU”
(Deuteronomy 4:2) - Kent Heaton