Tradition is not revealed "truth" and old habits are hard to break; especially when it is festive and a lot of fun. The day celebrated on December 25th as the time when the Savior of the world, the Holy Babe from the womb of the virgin Mary, the betrothed wife of Joseph, descendant of David from Nazareth of Galilee is one of the greatest events in all creation, but is the affixed time of His birth really true, or even likely? There is a lot of debate on when this celestial and supernatural event occurred and even if it happened at all as reported in the Christian Gospels. It seems that this time of the year was celebrated by the ancient pagans several thousands of years ago in adoration and worship of the sun gods of their mythology and superstitious beliefs. So, is there anything in the Biblical record [Old and New Testament] that can provide any plausible clue or timeline [chronology] as to when this blessed event might have taken place? Perhaps the Gospel of LUKE is a good place to start this search, as in below:
Luke 1: 26-28, 30-33, 35-36, 38
Now in the sixth month [Elul; August-September] the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; the virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the LORD is with you; [Blessed are you among women]!" Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua). "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest, and the LORD God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Cp. II Samuel 7: 12-17; Isaiah 9: 6-7; Daniel 7: 13-14)." Then the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh) will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has "also" conceived a son in her old age; this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
NOTE: Elizabeth must have conceived around the twelfth month [Adar; February-March]. Also, the angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is "also" pregnant [just like you now are].
Luke 1: 56-57
And Mary remained with her (Elizabeth) about three months, and returned to her house [in Nazareth]. Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son.
NOTE: Mary probably stayed with her cousin Elizabeth until she delivered and perhaps even assisted in the birthing process and then returned back to Nazareth in Galilee. However, the virgin who is espoused to the devoutly religious Joseph is probably showing signs of pregnancy after supposedly visiting her cousin, and upon seeing his betrothed in this condition God only knows what thoughts might have been racing around in his head.
Matthew 1: 18-23
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh). And you shall bring forth a Son and call His name "JESUS" [Yeshua] and He shall save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, bear a Son, and they shall call His name "IMMANUEL," meaning, 'GOD WITH US.' (Cp. Isaiah 7: 14)
Luke 2: 1-2, 4-7
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire world should be registered [for taxation]. This census first took place while Quirinus was governing Syria. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes [a blanket used to put upon sick animals] and laid Him in a manger [a feeding trough for animals], because there was no room for them in the inn.
LUKE 2: 8-12, 15-18
Now there were in the same country [Judea] shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the LORD stood before them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings ['Evangelion'- "Good News"] of great joy which will be to all people. "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ [Meshiyach] the LORD. "And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this [wondrous] thing that has come to pass, which the LORD has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made known [spread the word] the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
NOTE: Mary most likely gave birth to Jesus in the third month [Sivan; May-June] which coincidentally is near the same time as the Feast of Firstfruits and the Barley/Wheat Harvest on the 6th day of the third month [Sivan; May-June]. Interestingly, Jesus said in John 12: 24, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
According to a Facebook post titled, "Why Jesus wasn't born on December 25" [although the author thinks Jesus was born in September in 5 B.C.], he writes. . . Israeli meteorologists tracked December weather patterns for many years and concluded that the climate in Israel has been essentially constant for at least the last 2,000 years. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible states that, "broadly speaking, weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today" (R.B.Y. Scott, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962, p. 625). The temperature in the area of Bethlehem in December averages around 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) but can drop to well below freezing, especially at night.
Describing the weather there, Sara Ruhin, chief of the Israeli weather service, noted in a 1990 press release that the area has three months of frost: December with 29 F. [minus 1.6 C.]; January with 30 F. [minus 1.1 C.] and February with 32 F. [0 C.]. Snow is common for two or three days in Jerusalem and nearby Bethlehem in December and January. These were the winter months of increased precipitation in Christ's time, when the roads became practically unusable and people stayed mostly indoors. This is important evidence to disprove a December date for Christ's birth. Note that, at the time of Christ's birth, the shepherds tended their flocks in the fields at night. "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields," wrote one Gospel writer, "keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). A common practice of shepherds was keeping their flocks in the field from April to October, but in the cold and rainy winter months they took their flocks back home and sheltered them.
Considering the abundance of information about Christmas being derived from customs that are certainly not associated with any kind of holiness or sacredness then why does Christendom promote a celebration that has its roots in the practices of paganism?
2 Corinthians 6: 15a, 16-17
And what accord [agreement] has Christ [Meshiyach] with Belial? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the Living God. As God has said. . . Therefore, "Come out from among them and be separate, says the LORD. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you."
NOTE: The term, "Belial" is in its broader context another term for Satan, but it has a meaning of 'worthless/lawless' as in a spiritual sense and it could have application to honoring and participating in [idolatrous??] festivals and celebrations that although have the appearance of "good," or merit but just might be something which is outside of what God approves. And so when Church leaders in Protestant and Catholic denominations have activities for children and families which incorporate Jesus Christ of Nazareth [Nativity plays] and Jolly Ol' Saint Nick soaring through the sky on a magical sled being pulled by reindeer and carrying a bag of gifts for children [the good ones], then one has to seriously reflect on the correspondence [agreement/accord??] between the two. One cannot rationally and more importantly, spiritually embrace two opposing ideaologies because one is a fantasy and imaginary and the other, the very Son of God.
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December 23, 2010
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