[NOTE: It appears that this article has MANY inaccuracies. I strongly recommend reading my later post Revisiting Christmas.]
G’day, everybody! Well, today is Christmas. I’m sure many of you will be spending time with family and friends, opening presents, etc, etc. It’s widely assumed (and taught) that Christmas is Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) birthday – or if not His actual birthday, at least is a celebration of His birth. But is that actually true?
One may be surprised to know that the early Christians did not widely celebrate Jesus’ birth, and disagreed significantly about the date. Most months had proponents claiming a date in it for His birth (May 20, January 6, etc). December 25th was just one date among many. Then, in 336 AD, the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine (who had “converted” to Christianity – albeit remaining a staunch Mithra worshiper until literally the day of his death, when he suddenly decided he wanted a baptism – but very strongly mixed paganism [you know, the stuff the Bible repeatedly warns us to AVOID] in with Christianity, making modern-day Christianity unrecognisable compared to Jesus’ religion, and enforcing his pagan “Christian” religion [which we call Catholicism, which is the mother of all the current Christian denominations; and before you react to that last statement, go do some research]) declared that December 25th was the date of Yeshua’s birth. It was the law. (Not that legality means squat.)
But was Yeshua born on this day?
There is evidence that Yeshua [Yehoshua/Jesus] was born at Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles]. The key to calculating the date of the birth of Messiah is Luke 1:5 where we learn that Zechariah the father of Yochanan was a priest of the course of Abijah.
The priests became to numerous to all serve at the Temple all the time, so they divided into 24 course (1Chron. 24). Each course served for two weeks each year, once in the former rain (first half of the year) and once in the latter rain (second half of the year). There were also three weeks in which all the priests were required to serve, these were the three pilgrimage festivals (Dt. 16:16). 24 times 2 is 48 plus three is 51. …
The course of Abijah is the eighth course (1Chron. 24:10)j which serves the tenth week during the former rain portion of the year (this is because during Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost) all for the priests serve together Dt. 16:16). Zechariah had his vision while serving in the course of Abijah in the tenth week (It will become apparent that he was serving his first course not his second as the timing will show as we progress). Thus Zechariah’s vision took place during the 10th week of the year (The religious year beginning at Nisan/Abib around 14 days before Passover). We must add two additional weeks before Yochanon (John) could be conceived, due to the purity laws (Lev. 12:5; 15:19, 25). So Yochanon was conceived in the 12th week of the year. He was born about 40 weeks later during the 52nd week of the year (12:40=52) which brings us to Passover. Thus Yochanon was born at Passover, the very time that Elijah was, according to Jewish tradition, supposed to appear.
Yeshua was conceived 6 months (about 25 weeks) after Yochanon’s conception. This means that Yeshua was conceived around the 37th week around Chanukah [Hannukah]. This would mean the light of the world was conceived during the festival of lights.
Yeshua was born 40 weeks later (around week 77 that is week 25 of the following year) this brings us to the time of the fall feasts.
There are several clues that Yeshua was born at Sukkot:
- Bethlehem was “booked solid.” This would not have been due census which would have taken place over the period of a year. Every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for Sukkot (Dt. 16:16) this would have over run Jerusalem as well s Bethleham just five miles away.
- Yeshua was born in a “manger” or stable. The Hebrew world for “stable” is “sukkah” (as in Gen. 33:17) so it is likely that Yeshua was born in a Sukkah/booth.
- If Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot then he would have been circumcised on the “eighth great day” a festival following Sukkot. This day was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing in the Torah) which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. So Yeshua would have entered the covenant on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.”
- When the angels appeared to the shepherds they made a statement which closely echoes the ancient Sukkot liturgy “…behold, we have come to declare to you glad tidings of great joy.” (Lk. 2:10-11)
- Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body?) with us.
(James Trimm, Channukah and the Last Days, appendix iv “The Birth of Messiah at Sukkot”, pages 139-140)
Oh, and “Shepherds would not be out with their sheep in the dead of winter in Israel.”
So, if Yeshua was born on Sukkot/Tabernacles – which is in September/October – why did Constantine fix it at December 25th? Because that was the birthday of the sun god and indeed numerous other pagan “gods” – including Krishna, Buddha, Horus, Zarathustra, Hercules, Dionysus, Tammuz, Mithra, Hermes and Adonis. That’s right. We’re celebrating the birth of every deity… except the real One.
I like how the following person put it:
A final quote about the selection of December 25th as the birthdate of Christ is necessary. Note an article in The Toronto Star, December 1984, by Alan Edmonds, entitled, “We owe a lot to Druids, Dutch”: “The Reformation cast a blight on Christmas. By then, of course, clever ecclesiastical politicians had adopted the Pagan mid-winter festival as the alleged birthdate of Jesus, of Nazareth, and thrown in a few other Pagan goodies to make their takeover more palatable.”
December 25th was not selected because it was the birth of Christ or because it was even near it. It was selected because it coincided with the idolatrous pagan festival Saturnalia—and this celebration must be carefully examined. In any event, we do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth. While God certainly could have made it known, He chose to hide it from the world’s eyes!
That alone ought to make one stop and think about whether believers should celebrate it. But there’s moe – the origins and history of many of the traditions of Christmas. Take the Yule Log, for example. A fellow blogger explains:
In the 12th century, Norway kicked off the pagan custom of burning a Yule log on the day of Solstice. Norsemen believed the giant ball of fire, known as the sun, rolled away from the earth. Technically though, it was only the shortest and darkest day of the year, but their superstitions ran rampant. So they cut down an entire tree and dragged it into their homes. Yes, the whole tree! Families shoved the largest end of the tree into the fire while the other end of the tree laid in the middle of the room. As the Christmas season progressed, they continued to push it slowly into the flames while singing, dancing, and feasting on holiday goodies. It was a celebration of the sun’s rebirth, so it was important those flames never ceased before the twelfth day of Christmas; it was bad luck.
Through the centuries, this tradition of prosperity spread as far west as Ireland, as far south as Greece, and as far north as Siberia. Each country individualized the Yule log custom. In France, folks stored any remaining pieces of the cherry tree log at the end of the twelve days, inside their home to protect against lightning strikes. The UK appears to be cleaner about their holiday mess. They dry out an oak tree and strip the bark off before it comes inside to burn. Some Europeans scatter the ashes of the flames inside their home to ward off evil spirits, and others spread them around their plants to encourage blooming. In Holland, the Yule log is stored under a bed in the home as a safety against bad luck.
The origins of Santa Claus:
According to Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History, (article “Santa”), “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor. This was also the same fire god who came down the chimneys of the ancient pagans and the same fire god to whom infants were burned and eaten in human sacrifice among those who were once God’s people.
Today Santa Claus comes from “Saint Nicholas.” Washington Irving, in 1809, is responsible for remaking the original old, stern bishop of this same name into the new “jolly St. Nick” in his Knickerbocker History of New York. (Most of the rest of America’s Christmas traditions are even more recent than this.) “Old Nick” has long been recognized as a term for the devil.
In Revelation 2:6 and 15, we read about a “doctrine of the Nicolaitanes,” which Christ twice tells His Church “[He] hates.” Let’s analyze the word Nicolaitane. It means “follower of Nicholas.” Nikos means “conqueror, destroyer.” Laos means “people.” Nicolaitanes, then, are people who follow the conqueror or destroyer—Nimrod. If you have believed that following Christmas is an innocent Christian custom, let this truth sink in! 
Further insanity with regards to Santa:
What About Santa Claus?
Parents reason that they owe the whole Christmas myth to their children! Christmas traditions are focused primarily on kids, and they are certainly the center of most of what happens. I know because I kept seventeen Christmases. My older sister and younger brother and I were the recipients of much and the givers of very little on that day—and it all started with the Santa Claus lie.
Some years ago, a priest in New Jersey told his Sunday school class that Santa was a myth. The outrage from parents and his supervisors was swift. He had “killed Santa!” He had “destroyed family tradition!” He had “usurped family authority,” the article continued. He was officially censored by his superiors for being “overzealous and insensitive.”
His crime? He told the truth!
Reminds me of a recent case in which a school teacher got in trouble for daring to state the simple truth: Santa doesn’t exist. Parents don’t seem to realise the effect that lying to their children – and only telling them the truth when they’re older – has on them. There have been many cases in which Christian children raised on the lie then go on to assume that Jesus is a lie, and walk away from their faith. In fact, my own mother, as a kid, came to the same conclusion. Thankfully, she had forgotten that by the time she accepted Jesus for herself (she remembered it after she accepted Him). However, her case – forgetting she had rejected Him, until she had decided for certain to accept Him – seems to be more of an exception. There are people who are or will be in Hell (FOR ETERNITY) because of the Santa lie. It’s no laughing matter. It’s deadly serious.
What about the Christmas Tree?
No article about Christmas is complete without some explanation of the “Christmas tree.” We have touched on it without directly focusing on it. The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany. But the Germans got it from the Romans, who got it from the Babylonians and the Egyptians.
The following demonstrates what the Babylonians believe about the origin of the Christmas tree: “An old Babylonish fable told of an evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump symbolized the dead Nimrod, the new evergreen tree symbolized that Nimrod had come to life again in Tammuz! Among the Druids the oak was sacred, among the Egyptians it was the palm, and in Rome it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia!” (Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 242).
Frederick J. Haskin’s Answers to Questions states, “The Christmas tree is from Egypt, and its origin dates from a period long anterior to the Christmas Era.” Did you know this—that the Christmas tree long preceded Christianity?
Most aspects of Christmas are not referred to in the Bible. Of course, the reason is that they are not from God—they are not part of the way He wants people to worship Him. The Christmas tree, however, is directly mentioned in the Bible! Turn to Jeremiah 10:2-5, “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
This plain description of the modern Christmas tree is clear. God directly refers to it as “the way of the heathen.” Just as directly, He commands His people to “learn not the way of the heathen,” calling these customs “vain.” Verse 23 adds a remarkable and powerful statement: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his [own] steps.” God must teach people how to live. Man simply cannot figure out God’s ways for himself.
There is no room in Jeremiah 10 to believe, as some have tried to suggest, that because these trees are powerless of themselves, it is not really forbidden to have a Christmas tree. God condemns the putting up of pagan (Christmas) trees with this plain Bible command!
Further info on the same site (about holly, wreaths & yule logs):
The Encyclopedia Americana states, “The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log…are relics of pre-Christian time.” In other words, paganism! The Yule log was commonly used in a rite of Teutonic nature worship.
Frederick Haskin further states, “The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas.”
The Encyclopedia Britannica, under “Celastrales,” exposes the origin of the holly wreath: “European pagans brought holly sprays into their homes, offering them to the fairy people of the forests as refuge from the harsh winter weather. During the Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival, branches of holly were exchanged as tokens of friendship. The earliest Roman Christians apparently used holly as a decoration at the Christmas season.”
There are dozens of different types of holly. Virtually all of them come in male and female varieties—such as “Blue Prince and Blue Princess” or “Blue Boy and Blue Girl” or “China Boy and China Girl.” Female holly plants cannot have berries unless a nearby male plant pollinates them. It is easy to see why the holly wreath found its way into pagan rituals as a token of friendship and fertility!
Christmas is incomplete to many unless it involves “kissing under the mistletoe.” This pagan custom was natural on a night that involved much revelry done in the spirit of drunken orgies. Just like today, this “kissing” usually occurred at the beginning of any modern Saturnalia/Christmas celebration. I will never forget having to always kiss my friends’ mothers upon entering each of their houses every Christmas. It was the first thing that we did. I hated it—but it was something I “had to do”! Mistletoe was considered to have special powers of healing for those who “reveled” under it.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, under “Santalales,” states, “The European mistletoe is thought to have had special ritual significance in Druidical ceremonies and lives in folklore today, its special status as the Christmas mistletoe having come from Anglo-Saxon times.” Mistletoe is a parasite that lives on oak trees. (Recall that the Druids worshipped in oak tree groves.) The ancient Celtics (associated with the Druids) used to give mistletoe as an herbal remedy to barren animals to make them fertile. It is still referred to as “all healer” in Celtic.
Like mistletoe, holly berries were also thought to be sacred to the sun god. The original “sun log” came to be called the yule log. “Yule” simply means “wheel,” which has long been a pagan representation of the sun. No wonder people today commonly speak of the “sacred yule-tide season.”
Amusing side-note: mistletoe is a parasite. https://realitydecoded.blog/2018/12/20/americans-like-to-kiss-on-the-holidays-with-a-parasite-hanging-over-their-heads/
Just a couple centuries ago, Christmas was literally an orgy, with couples committing immoral acts in the street (and never with their husband/wife), and other such stuff.
Here’s an interesting (if somewhat tongue-in-cheek) article on the history/origins of some Christmas traditions:
Christmas was not, as it turns out, miraculously handed down as a fully formed holiday, complete with wrapped gifts and blinking lights. Rather, it is a rich tapestry woven from countless inexplicable and pointless customs.
Why December 25th?
The Bible doesn’t give a lot of clues as to what time of the year the birth of Jesus happened (i.e., “… they met many travelers along the way, for it was just three days before the final game of the NFL Season…”) So, why December 25th? No one knows for sure.
One likely explanation is that early church leaders needed a holiday to distract Christians from the many pagan revelries occurring in late December. One of the revelries was The Saturnalia, a week-long festival celebrating the Romans’ favorite agricultural god, Saturn. From December 17 until December 23, tomfoolery and pagan hijinks ensued, and by hijinks we mean gluttonous feasting, drunkenness, gambling and public nudity.
The Romans would also switch roles between masters and slaves for the occasion, so not only did the slaves get to pathetically lower their own sense of self-worth by participating in the charade of freedom, they also got to wear a Pileus (roughly translated, “Freedom Hat”).
Google Image Search result for “Freedom Hat”
Master: “Happy Saturnalia! Here’s your freedom hat! We’re equals!”
Slave: “Thank you, master!” (puts on hat and primps in the mirror)
Master: “Saturnalia is over! Give me back my hat! How dare you put a hat on your slave head! YOU SHALL TASTE THE WHIP TONIGHT, BOY.
One other pagan celebration that might have given Christmas its date was Natalis Solis Invincti, which roughly translates to “Birthday of the Invincible Sun God,” giving it officially the most awesome holiday name ever.
By the 12th century, the Christian Church had incorporated a few of the less-sinful pagan traditions into the 12 days of Christmas. We only wish the public nudity could have been left in … maybe on the 10th or 11th day. Along with the gambling. And the drinking. Then again, it appears everyday is Saturnalia in Vegas so maybe we’ll just go there instead. …
I’ll just add a note here: the public nudity/sex WAS incorporated by the Church & remained part of Christmas until 2 or 3 centuries ago. Back to the article:
That’s right; Europe brought their real-life saints, Norse gods and rich cultural traditions to the table, and America slapped on a promotion from a department store. Who knows, maybe 300 years from now Santa’s sleigh will be towed by Energizer Bunnies, long after society has forgotten what an “Energizer” is. And, maybe Santa will sport a cheap cardboard crown and a creepy frozen grin.
Making out under the mistletoe
First of all, we’d love to know who actually puts up mistletoe in the first place. Everybody knows about it, but does anybody actually do it? We only see it in sitcoms and the occasional Hall and Oates Christmas video, but we’re 99 percent sure no one actually uses it in the 21st century.
Nevertheless, people who have enough sickening Christmas spirit to purchase the plant, then find a nail, then grab a chair, then remember they forgot to get the hammer, go retrieve the hammer from the freakin’ garage, and then hang the mistletoe, might be less likely to do so if they knew the origins of the plant. The word “mistletoe” may be derived from the old German “mist,” for dung, and “tang,” for branch. That’s right, the shit stick. As in, “let’s go kiss under the shit stick, baby.”
So how did people ever make the connection between the shit stick plant and romance? It goes back to the pagan belief that the white, sticky goo from the berries was the semen of the gods.
There was also a Norse tradition that if two warriors should meet under some mistletoe in the forest (it’s a parasite that grows on tree branches) that they would lay down their arms and declare peace for the day. History does not indicate if this included sweaty, Norse man-kissing so we’re forced to assume it did.
Both the Celts and the Druids used the plant as in ceremonial rituals, and as antidotes to poison, which was unfortunate, since mistletoe is, in fact, poisonous. But, it was the English who finally made mistletoe part of the holiday tradition. They used to cut a sprig of it from the previous year’s holiday greens, then hang it in the house in some sort of voodoo attempt to ward off lightning and evil spirits.
Somehow all of that ridiculousness combined to create the “girl has to kiss you” tradition as it exists today (again, mostly on sitcoms). The invaluable American addition to the tradition is, of course, the drunken male placing the mistletoe over his crotch.
Again, give it another couple centuries and that’ll be the standard.
Decorating a tree
Question: What customary Christmas holiday decoration bases its origins in ritualistic human sacrifice?
Answer: What, you can’t read the heading? It’s the Christmas tree, you lazy bastard.
Back in the pagan day, all inanimate objects were fair game for worship. Trees, rocks, mountains, funny shaped sticks that look like phalluses, whatever. So supposedly some of the Norsemen got it in their heads to worship a thunder god named Thor by ritualistically sacrificing humans and animals at the tree they designated “Thor’s Oak.”
Little did they know that Thor was too busy fighting the Incredible Hulk to notice the messy sacrifices.
You know who did notice? Christian missionaries. They notice everything. So, one missionary of the Christian persuasion, Winfred (aka Saint Boniface), came upon an imminent sacrifice and sternly disapproved. He took an ax and chopped down Thor’s freaking oak, which in itself should make him some sort of god by default. Of course, because of his boring ass monotheistic beliefs, instead of declaring himself the god of thunder, Winfred focussed on a tiny little fir tree that grew from the hacked trunk. And as all Cracked readers likely know, the fir trees’ triangular shape represents the Trinity, and voila, a Christian tradition was born.
However the tree did not, according to legend, spring out of the ground with little blinking lights and tin foil on it’s branches. The thing with decorating the tree goes as far back as the 16th century, when people in Germany used to decorate their trees with apples, a tradition we can only assume stemmed from some crooked tree salesman who ran out of apple trees one year and wouldn’t admit it. Other decorations included nuts and cheeses which again appears to be the same salesman testing the gullibility of his clients.
A guy brought the tradition to America in the 1800s, and when we say “a guy” we literally know who it was: a German immigrant named August Imgard. He was the first to stick little candy canes on it, and to put a star at the top. Whatever German strand of mental imbalance caused him to do that, this guy’s spur-of-the-moment decoration idea now utterly pervades the imagery of the holiday. He was just a very bored German dude that needed a place to hang his candy canes.
We can go on and on about how different Christmas would be without him, but of course his contribution pales in comparison to St. Boniface. Without him, when little Timmy runs down the stairs this Christmas the only present he would find would be the gift of human sacrifice.
OK, that last part about the Christmas tree is just plain creepy & sick. Reminds me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (not something you want to associate too closely with Christmas).
Remember the Biblical warnings against adopting pagan practices…
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14 ESV)
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!(Isaiah 5:20 ESV)
“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32 ESV)
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:9 ESV)
And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:9 KJV)
The passage from Deuteronomy 12:29-32 should particularly strike a chord – what it forbids is EXACTLY what Christmas is – inquiring about/adopting pagan practices and using them to worship God/Jesus. It VERY PLAINLY forbids doing that. “…you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, that I also may do the same?’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way…” Folks, this is EXACTLY what Christmas is! It’s also the last passage quoted above – “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:9) Go on, try and tell me these verses have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.
Some will argue that “we’re not under law, we’re under grace. The law was too difficult to keep.” First of all, we were ALWAYS under grace (Genesis 6:8; Exodus 33:12, 17; Judges 6:17; Jeremiah 31:2). Second of all, the New Testament contains MORE commandments than the Torah. The NT contains 1050 commandments – whereas the Torah contains 613. And how dare one claim that our Perfect Creator YEHOVAH’s Perfect Law (Torah) is “too hard to keep”?! Who are WE to declare that?! (And as someone who has observed the Torah’s commands for the past decade, I can categorically state that they ARE NOT A BURDEN OR IN ANY WAY “DIFFICULT”. In addition, Jesus (Yeshua) clearly said:
“Do not think that I came to annul the Torah [Law/Pentateuch] or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill. Truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall one yod or one stroke pass away from the Torah until ALL comes to pass.Therefore, whoever loosens one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the worst in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”
(Matthew 5:17-19 HRB)
And no amount of calling people like myself a “Pharisee” or a “legalist” for simply following God’s instructions in His Holy Word will make a difference (or convince anyone, for that matter; I’ve been called a “Pharisee” at least twice, and name calling or attempts at the guilt trip – by ANYONE – have no effect whatsoever on me anymore).
A last Scripture, one quote earlier but needs to be quoted again, clearly describing Christmas:
Hear the Word which YAHWEH [the Lord] speaks to you, O house of Israel. So says YAHWEH, Do not learn the way of the nations; and do not be terrified at the signs of the heavens; for the nations were terrified at them. For the customs of the people are vanity. For one cuts a tree out of the forest with the axe, the work of the hands of the craftsman. They adorn it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers, so that it will not wobble. They are upright as the palm tree, and they cannot speak; carrying they must be carried, because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good. (Jeremiah 10:1-5 HRB)
And just remember what God told Malachi:
For I am the Lord, I change not. (Malachi 3:6 KJV)
“I change not” – meaning He hates paganism such as Christmas (especially when it is done in His Name) just as much not as He did then.
You can now safely ignore those who say we should “Put Christ back into Christmas”. He was never in it in the first place.