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16

This is a good recent blog post covering Pope Benedict's thoughts on the matter. The key is the date set for the annunciation (March 25th): Traditionally held to be the first day of creation Traditionally held to be the date when Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac after a 3 day journey to Mount Moriah Extrapolated to be the date of Jesus' annunciation (when ...


12

Neither Easter, nor Christmas, nor any other Christian holidays that I am aware of are mentioned in the Bible. Many of the traditions we adhere today are, indeed, pagan in origin. There's plenty of material on the web to support this. ChristianAnswers.Net discusses the origin of the name Easter, as well as the Easter Hare (the original Easter Bunny), ...


10

One theory: It's not the easiest thing to follow, but http://bethlehemstar.net has a very interesting hypothesis on the subject. The information is all there, especially in footnotes, but unfortunately it's not presented very clearly on the site itself... they want you to get the video.* The upshot is that the date is most likely 3BC, and maybe 2BC. You ...


9

The origin of the Christmas tree is very well documented elsewhere, including Wikipedia. There are some Christians that disapprove of the use of a Christmas tree (one reason documented also at wikipedia, and further discussed (with rebuttal) here). There are some groups that do not use Christmas trees, for various reasons. Some Amish do not use Christmas ...


9

The exact day for the birth of Jesus is not known. You can find a lot of info on Wikipedia, with references. The most interesting for this question might be: The precise day of Jesus' birth, which some historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unknown. In the early-to-mid 4th century, Western Christianity first placed Christmas on December 25, a date ...


9

Well, there certainly isn't anything in the Bible about it, for the simple reason that there isn't anything in the Bible about celebrating Christmas in the first place. (Not to mention electricity!) However, hanging or holding up lanterns to provide festive illumination after dark for festivals or celebrations is an ancient custom in many cultures, dating ...


8

Signs in tradition and scripture, can have two basic senses. In the first sense, they are often miraculous indicators of the speaker's trustworthiness, which encourage the listener to believe. In the second sense, they embody or represent a larger or more transcendent truth. The general formula for signs in my first sense is that the speaker first delivers a ...


8

She was probably between 13 and 14 years old according to the Catholic Encyclopedia in the section entitled "Mary's pregnancy becomes known to Joseph": From the age at which Hebrew maidens became marriageable, it is possible that Mary gave birth to her Son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age. No historical document tells us how old she ...


7

"Chronograph" 1 – a document dating to 354 AD 2 in Rome: This was a list of martyrs and their birth dates, and a list of bishops of Rome and their birth dates. The Chronograph lists these dates (birth dates) in calendar order. The first date listed is the "8th of Kalens of January" ("Kalens" is used to refer to the first of a month – putting a number in ...


7

St. Nicholas of Myra predates the Great Schism by over 600 years. His feast day traditionally was December 6th, but has been taken off the Catholic calendar recently. Orthodox celebrate the feast of the nativity on the same day Catholics do, but their celebration with gifts, etc... is 12 days after (like it is in Spain and parts of Louisiana) on 3 kings day ...


7

In Persia is the city called Saveh, from which the three Magi set out when they came to worship Jesus Christ. Here, too, they lie buried in three sepulchres of great size and beauty. Above each sepulchre is a square building with a domed roof of very fine workmanship. The one is just beside the other. Their bodies are still whole, and they have hair and ...


7

Because both the Gospel of Mathew and Luke agree that the birth took place before the death of Herod (who died in 4 BC), historians generally assume Jesus was born around 5 BC or slightly before. Source: WikiPedia


7

The Book of Mormon does not have a "story of Christmas" in the same sense as the Bible does, because it was not set in the land of Israel (except for the very beginning of the book.) Therefore, there is no coverage of the birth of the baby Jesus and the events surrounding it. It does, however, repeatedly prophesy of the coming of the Savior, that he would ...


6

It has it's origins in the reformation. One German legend claims that Martin Luther was responsible for introducing the use of Christmas trees in the home, in Germany. According to the legend, on his way home one evening, Martin Luther was so overcome by the beauty of a fir tree and stars in the sky, he wanted to tell his family about it. However, upon ...


6

Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate Christmas because of the pagan origins of many of our current customs. They cover this in several articles on their site. A search of their site returns many, but here is the first. They also reject several other holidays, citing similar reasons. Several other denominations have similar beliefs, and even within ...


6

I believe that Dr. Richard P. Bucher provides an excellent analysis of this question. Luke 2:1-3 specifically states the purpose of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem (Roman census ordered by Caesar Augustus). And, from extra-biblical sources, we know that Augustus ordered a census in 27 BC, 8 BC, and 14 AD. So 8 BC seems the most reasonable answer ...


6

If Christians were left to celebrating sacred events on days where no other pagan celebration has ever occurred, there would be no days available for Christian celebrations. So, on a day where some people at a certain time celebrated the birth of a god that never existed, Christians (Catholic and Protestant) choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus the ...


6

I've heard a few different things. You're right though: it's not in canonized scripture. The idea of "three" wise men is only (mostly unimportant, but interesting) tradition. The enumeration of three specific gifts contributes to the "trio" of persons. Their alledged names even appear in writings later in history. Dr. Talmage remarks on this in his ...


6

Part of the reason seems to have been wanting to minimize the drive to direct the Messiah toward worldly goals. Many people wanted a worldly king, e.g., John 6:15 (NIV): Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again into the hills by himself. and there was a desire for "bread and circuses" (well full stomachs and ...


5

Potential dup (or near question) Christmas on December 25th Regardless, the information there (and in its sources) help form an answer to your question. December has carried significant "spiritual" weight throughout humanity, probably attached to the Winter Solstice. In addition to the things that you've mentioned, the traditional date for the purification ...


5

As far as I know there is no proof of any certain date of Christ's birth. And it is only by tradition that we accept it as the 25th of December. Now I'm not one for following tradition for traditions sake, but according to this site a lot of the evidence that people provide to rule out December as Christ's birthday is not rooted in fact. I don't think the ...


5

The Bible is not clear, and these questions have never been answered definitively. the best we can do is repeat the theories of those who have tried to answer this before us. Most people assume there were three, based on the fact that there are three gifts, but this isn't conclusive. The Huffington Post put out an article that examines this question. It ...


5

For a God who always seeks to woo and not to overwhelm, this is exactly what you would expect. God could, if he chose, bring more power to bear than any of us could handle. He could force himself into everything, if that were His nature. But, as a person (not a force) who seeks to love and be loved for who He is, this makes perfect sense. As King Henry ...


5

Why should Christmas be meant to replace anything? The liturgical year is riddled with merriment, every other day is a feast or a solemnity or at least an observance of some pious memorial. Other than to denounce Christ or the Churches that keep Christmas, there is no reason to conflate some pagan festivity no one cares about with Christmas. If there ...


5

An important question to answer about any prophecy is "What is its intended meaning to the people to whom it was delivered?" Not that it can't mean something more/different to people later, but it certainly had to mean something to the original audience. If we look at v5 of this passage: Jeremiah 10:5 (NASB) “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are ...


4

He means the same thing as "the old covenant" (Judaism), but stated in the language of dispensationalism, which classifies the different timeline "slices" of God's plan. We tend to think of it as old covenant/new covenant but if you start getting really anal about it and analyzing "what about before Moses" and "what about after the Rapture" you get a bit ...


4

We Armenians do informally celebrate the birthday of Christ on December 25th, but to celebrate his birth on the 6th of January is religiously accurate. The historical reasoning behind this is that until the fourth century, Christ's birth was celebrated on January 6th across all Christian faiths, but for most was moved to December 25th in order to cleanse ...


4

This is not the entire answer, however, I'd like to give you a perspective that may inform the answer. I grew up in a Christian home, where Santa Clause was forbidden, whereas my wife grew up in a Christian home where Santa Clause was a celebrated and beloved part of the holiday. When I read you question, I could almost here the voice of my mother speaking ...


4

Christmas has no biblical origins, it is meant to celebrate Jesus's birthday. In fact the church recognized Christmas's pagan origins and banned in England in 1647. Reformation in the 19th Century In America it was banned between the years of 1659-1681. Christmas as we know it really didn't start happening until the late 1800's and even then it was foreign ...



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