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21

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the abbreviation was first used in English. The 1511 date comes from the Oxford English Dictionary entry for ''Xmas'', which reads: 1551 in E. Lodge Illustr. Brit. Hist. (1791) I. 145 ...


19

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, begins with the letters "chi" (or “X”) and "rho" (or "P"). And the monks used either "X" or "XP" in writing as an abbreviation for "Christ." The first ...


15

Attitudes on birthdays In the early church, birthdays (in general) were not seen as something to celebrate. For example, in Origen's 8th homily on Leviticus he writes: But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birth days, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. According to an article by Andrew McGowan (Bible Review, ...


10

Keep in mind that there is no “official” or “correct” way to pray the Rosary. The Rosary is just a devotion, and if someone prays it, he should do so in the way that is most helpful to him. However, it is recommended that the mysteries contemplated should correspond the liturgical calendar. For example (as the O.P. asks), it would seem fitting to pray the ...


7

This is a good question and has a simple answer. Nativity scenes are intended to be representations of Jesus birth, not a historically accurate depiction. In other words they are there to remind us of the important elements of the birth, not to be a photorealistic documentary. Therefore the shepherds, the wise men, angels are all included because they were ...


7

The Cherry Tree Carol is thought to date to the 16th or 17th century. The history of its development is murky, but it may be traced to a 15th century Coventry play1 and beyond that to the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, a 7th century apocryphal work describing the birth and childhood of Jesus. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, which titles itself The Birth of the ...


6

The Greek letter Χ <"chi"> is the first letter in the word Χριστός < Christ >. It was often used in the past for easier transcription of scripture (from Greek to English). There is nothing wrong with using it, but the common mortal on the street most likely does not know its origin. Just use "Christmas".


6

I generally agree with another answer and comments that “modern translations are better”, but I will elaborate a bit on how the variant translations came about. The Hebrew of interest: כְּתֹ֨מֶר מִקְשָׁ֥ה הֵ֙מָּה֙ kətōmer miqšâ hēmmâ They [the idols] are like a tōmer of a miqšâ Both tōmer and miqšâ are somewhat obscure. Tōmer appears only here in ...


4

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the (Hebrew) Old Testament and was completed by 132 BC. As the Old Testament contains many references to an "anointed one" (transliterated to English as "Messiah"), the decision by the (Jewish) translators to translate this word to the Greek "Christos" would have been driven by the need to find the nearest equivalent ...


4

John's Gospel Chapter 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (v1) and that this Word became flesh and dwelt among us (v14). So Christians beleve the Birth of Christ entailed the Incarnation (becoming flesh) of God Himself as a human person. This, if true, was one of the most important things ever to ...


3

The Nativity Scene is a Catholic tradition originally performed over most of Advent and the whole of the Christmas season. It should be remembered that Christmas is significantly longer than a single day of celebration. In the traditional form, pieces are added to the set over the whole of both seasons and it functions as a sort of Advent Calendar. The ...


3

The basis for the belief that there were twelve Magi (or more) is a very obscure, apocryphal manuscript called The Revelation of The Magi that was discovered in a Turkish monastery in the 18th century. This Syriac manuscript can be found in the Zuqnin Chronicle (1) and the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum (2) and currently resides with The Vatican (Biblioteca ...


2

Sorry, I can't really address this from within the Catholic Church either through membership or knowledge of, but it is entirely non-denominationally biblical. Perhaps the account of the visit of the wise men (Magi)in Matthew 2:1-12 will help: 1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from ...


2

Christmas isn't a birthday party. It is a feast day for the incarnation of the logos as mentioned in: John 1:14 NIV The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. It could be celebrated on any day. The reasons the day in December ...


2

As a Catholic, you are required to celebrate the "holy-day" of Christmas, as you mentioned, by going to Mass, receiving the Eucharist, giving honor and glory to God and celebrating Jesus' birth. However, you are not required to celebrate it in the "traditional tree in the house gift giving sense". These traditions, like many traditions on Christian holidays, ...


1

I suggest you read Romans 14, excerpts of which I include as follows: Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. . . . One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord ...


1

Is Christmas not a christian festival December 25th is very close to the winter solstice of December 21st. Our Christmas tradition is probably a combination of pagan solstice holidays, early Catholic church assignment of saints days, and the desire of northern Germanic tribes (for whom winter was much more arduous) to have a celebration for home and hearth. ...


1

For about the first three centuries after Christ's birth there were no estimates of the date. December 25th seems to be more about a Christian takeover of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, or the equally pagan festival of Sol Invictus, than any attempt to be historically accurate. The lambing season in the Judaen hill country is about mid-spring, with ...


1

The text has not been changed. The more modern versions are better translations. The King James version was translated by clever people according to the best knowledge they had at the time. However in the 350 years since then we have learned a lot about the original Hebrew languages and are able to make better translations of the original. The translators ...


1

I think the most appropriate response is that Ecclesiastical approval does not take into account the difference between a house or a stable or a cave as the setting for the birth of Jesus. Ecclesiastical approval considers such things as faith and morals, not historical details. As pointed out by Dieter Hoffmann, Matthew's infancy narrative places Jesus in a ...


1

The census of Quirinius was called because Rome had taken Judaea (which was to include Samaria and Idumaea) under its direct rule after deposing Archelaus in 6 CE because of incompetence. Under Herod and Archelaus, Rome had not been interested in the populations of these territories because the people did not pay tax direct to Rome, but now the empire needed ...


1

The Christmas Season starts with Midnight Mass or the Christmas vigil (according to the new rite) and continues with a holy joy until the 2nd Vespers of the feast of the presentation of the Lord (February 2nd).The celebration of a 40 day season for Christmas goes so far back into antiquity that it is impossible to know at what point in time it became a ...


1

There are two sets of data to provide information on the year Jesus was born: Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, who ruled from 37 BCE to April 4 BCE. Jesus was born during a census conducted under Quirinius. The reign of Herod is too long to give much guidance at this stage, but Matthew implies that Jesus must have been born at least ...


1

The January 6 date used in the Armenian calendar is simply based on the greek calendar which placed nisan 14 on the greek month of Artemisios 14th (April 6). The west placed 'Good Friday/Nisan 14" on March 25th. (an ancient belief that an influential person dies on the day he is conceived). Thus nine months after the feast day of the Anunciation on the ...



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