When was the Savior s real birthday? Was it December 25? And since the Bible doesn t tell us to commemorate Christ s birth, why do we celebrate Christmas? The date of Christ s actual birth is unknown. It is not recorded in the Bible. However, Christians of all
and faith groups, aside from the Church of Armenia, celebrate the on December 25. Historians tell us that the first were originally grouped together with, one of the earliest feasts of the Christian church observed on January 6. This holiday recognized the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles by remembering the visit of the ( ) to and, in some traditions, the and his miracle of turning. Today the feast of Epiphany is observed predominately in liturgical denominations such as, and. Even as far back as the second and third centuries, we know church leaders disagreed about the appropriateness of any celebrations within the Christian church. Some men like Origen felt birthdays were pagan rituals for pagan gods. And since the date of Christ s actual birth had not been recorded, these early leaders speculated and argued about the date. Some sources report that Theophilus of Antioch (circa 171-183) was the first to identify December 25 as the birth date of Christ. Others say that (circa 170-236) was the first to claim that Jesus was born on December 25.
A strong theory suggests that this date was eventually chosen by the church because it aligned closely with a major pagan festival, dies natalis solis invicti (birth of the invincible sun god), thus allowing the church to claim a new celebration for Christianity. Ultimately, December 25 was chosen, perhaps as early as A. D. 273. By 336 A. D. , the Roman church calendar definitively records a by Western Christians on this date. Eastern churches maintained the January 6 commemoration together with Epiphany until sometime in the fifth or sixth centuries when the 25th day of December became the widely accepted holiday. Only the Armenian church held to the original celebration of Christ s birth with Epiphany on January 6. The term Christmas appeared in Old English as early as 1038 A. D. as Cristes Maesse, and later as Cristes-messe in A. D. 1131. It means the Mass of Christ. This name was established by the Christian church to disconnect the holiday and its customs from its pagan origins. As one fourth century theologian penned, We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of Him who made it. Why Do We Celebrate Christmas?
It s a valid question. The Bible does not command us to commemorate Christ s birth, but rather, his death. Although it is true that many find their origins in pagan practices, these ancient and forgotten associations are far removed from the hearts of Christian worshipers today at Christmastime. If the focus of Christmas is and his gift of eternal life, then what harm can come from such a celebration? Moreover, Christian churches see Christmas as an occasion to spread the good news of the gospel at a time when many unbelievers pause to consider Christ. Here are few more questions to consider: Why do we celebrate a child s birthday? Why do we celebrate a loved one s birthday? Is it not to remember and cherish the significance of the event? What other event throughout all time is more significant than the? It marks the arrival of, the Word Become Flesh, the Savior of the WorldБhis is the most significant birth ever. It is the central event in all of history. Time chronicles backward and forward from this moment. How can we fail to remember this day with great joy and reverence? for signing up. How can we not celebrate Christmas? (1714-1770), Anglican minister and one of the founders of Methodism, offered this convincing reason for believers to celebrate Christmas:. it was free love that brought the Lord Jesus Christ into our world about 1700 years ago.
What, shall we not remember the birth of our Jesus? Shall we yearly celebrate the birth of our temporal king, and shall that of the King of kings be quite forgotten? Shall that only, which ought to be had chiefly in remembrance, be quite forgotten? God forbid! No, my dear brethren, let us celebrate and keep this festival of our church, with joy in our hearts: let the birth of a Redeemer, which redeemed us from sin, from wrath, from death, from hell, be always remembered; may this SaviorБs love never be forgotten! Whitefield, G. (1999). Selected Sermons of George Whitefield. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. EVERY year, on Christmas day, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and churches all over the country tell the nativity story. But is December 25 actually the date that Jesus was born? It turns out that is pretty unlikely Б and he was probably born in the spring or autumn. In fact, no one knows the exact date of the birth, and the bible doesnБt specify a date. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine – the first Christian Roman Emperor.
A few years after that, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated then. The reason for the choice of December 25 goes back to an ancient belief that prophets died on the same date they were conceived. Believing Jesus died on March 25, early theologians pinpointed that as the date of the annunciation, when Mary was told she would have the baby. December 25 is nine months after that and was, therefore, chosen as the birth date. But historians who have studied the bible have concluded the birth of Jesus was more likely to be in the spring or autumn for three reasons. Firstly, the shepherds tending their flocks on the hills at night were unlikely to do that in the winter, when the flocks were often moved to lower ground. Secondly, they believe that the census which brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem would have taken place either in the Jewish festival of Passover in spring or The Feast of the Tabernacle in autumn, when many travelled to Jerusalem and Bethlehem for the celebrations. Finally, the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem is thought by many astronomers to point to spring or autumn. We recently revealed why we and the heartwarming story behind the reason