A Brief History of Jesus's Winter Solstice Birthday
"Dec 25th" is used today as a 'figure of speech
' describing the Sun Gods' winter solstice birthday regardless of specific calendar dates e.g. Jan 6th (which was the solstice on different calendars). Don't get confused by complex calendars as it's still all about the winter solstice and the resurrection of the Sun God three days later by whatever name one wants to attach to it e.g. Jesus, Mithra, Horus, Vishnu etc.
Below are some very interesting quotes regarding Jesus' December 25th birth date by a handful of very prominent early Christians but, it's important to keep in mind that celebrating birthdays in those days was looked down upon, which could be a reason why a specific date for Jesus's birthday was not mentioned in the New Testament. Or, *IF* Jesus really existed (there exists no credible evidence that he did) perhaps the birth date was omitted or removed, or maybe Jesus truly is a mythological character and the pre-Xian, well-known popular celebration date for the sun god had simply not yet been usurped by Christianity, which is the most likely scenario and what the evidence that actually exists demonstrates. So, we already know the bible doesn't specifically mention Jesus' birth date, however, Dec 25th is the traditional date and Christianity has no plans on changing it so, it's just more evidence that Jesus is just another mythical character.
Read the Zeitgeist Sourcebook page 52 #23 and more for further information on this topic: Sourcebook: Zeitgeist Part 1 transcript & sources
Early Church Father Tertullian (160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Presbyter of Carthage ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you."
(paraphrase from the Catholic Encyclopedia)
- "Christ Conspiracy" (1999) page 158
"The earliest identification of the 25th of December with the birthday of Christ is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of Theophilus of Antioch (A.D. 171-183), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburg centuriators (i. 3, 118), to the effect that the Gauls contended that as they celebrated the birth of the Lord on the 25th of December, whatever day of the week it might be, so they ought to celebrate the Pascha on the 25th of March when the resurrection befell."
- Classic Encyclopedia: Christmas
"The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata I.21) says that certain Egyptian theologians "over curiously" assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ's birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). With Clement's evidence may be mentioned the "De paschæ computus", written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ's birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. But Lupi has shown (Zaccaria, Dissertazioni ecc. del p. A.M. Lupi, Faenza, 1785, p. 219) that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ's birth. Clement, however, also tells us that the Basilidians celebrated the Epiphany, and with it, probably, the Nativity, on 15 or 11 Tybi (10 or 6 January)."
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Christmas
Website by a Christian: http://dec25th.info
Hippolytus in his commentary on Daniel 4.23.3 (written between 202 to 211 C.E.):
"For the first advent of our Lord in the flesh, when he was born in Bethlehem, was December 25th ..."Hippolytus and December 25th as the date of Jesus’ birthHippolytus and the Original Date of ChristmasHippolytus and December 25th, the birthday of Christ-Christmas
"Were the Chalki manuscript of Hippolytus genuine, evidence for the December feast would exist as early as c. 205."
- Catholic Enc. Christmas
Sextus Julius Africanus popularized the idea that Jesus was born on December 25 in Chronographiai 221 CE, an early reference book for Christians.
In 245, the theologian Origen denounced the idea of celebrating the birthday of Jesus "as if he were a king pharaoh." Only sinners, not saints, celebrate their birthdays, Origen contended.
"O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born ... Christ should be born"
- Cyprian, around 250, Catholic Enc. Christmas
Cyprian believed that the conception
of both the sun and Jesus was March 25th putting their birthdays at December 25th.
"The birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the Sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithras celebrated the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun). On December 25, 274, [Roman Emperor] Aurelian had proclaimed the Sun God the principal patron of the Empire and dedicated a temple to Him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the Sun was particularly strong at Rome."
- New Catholic Encyclopaedia (Vol. III, p.656, 1967 ed.)
"The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism"
- Catholic Enc. Christmas
"Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season."
- Catholic Enc. Mithraism ... * Notice the word "REBIRTH," which means that the sun was perceived to have symbolically died & resurrected.
In 320, Pope Julius I specified the 25th of December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
In Rome, December 25 was made popular by Pope Liberius in 354. This coincided with the date of a celebration by the Romans to their primary god, the Sun, and to Mithras, a popular Persian sun god supposedly born on the same day. The Roman Catholic writer Mario Righetti candidly admits that, "to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute the 25th of December as the feast of the birth of Christ to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honor of the 'Invincible Sun' Mithras, the conqueror of darkness" (Manual of Liturgical History , 1955, Vol. 2, p. 67).
"But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . . . the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . . ., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice."
- St. John Chrysostom, around 386 CE, Catholic Enc. Christmas
"A feast is approaching which is the most solemn and awe-inspiring of all feasts....What is it? The birth of Christ according to the flesh. In this feast namely Epiphany..."
- John Chrysostom, Homily VI: On St. Philogonius (23-24)
"Let us, my Brethren, rejoice," cries out St. Augustine, "this day is sacred, not because of the visible sun, but because of the Birth of Him Who is the invisible Creator of the sun... He chose this day whereon to be born, as He chose the Mother of Whom to be born, and He made both the day and the Mother. The day He chose was that on which the light begins to increase, and it typifies the work of Christ, Who renews our interior man day by day. For the eternal Creator having willed to be born in time, His Birthday would necessarily be in harmony with the rest of His creation."
"The same holy Father gives us the interpretation of a mysterious expression of St. John the Baptist, who said on one occasion, when speaking of Christ: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3: 30). These prophetic words signify that the Baptist's mission was at its close, because Jesus was entering upon His. But they also convey, as St. Augustine assures us, a second meaning: "John came into this world at the season of the year when the length of the day decreases (June 24); Jesus was born in the season when the length of the day increases."
- St. Augustine, around 400 CE The Mystery of Christmas
"All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN."
- Macrobius, Roman Historian around 400 CE
"Suns of God" (2004) pages 67-68
Bible offers reasons for Dec. 25 as Christmas
"Why Dec. 25? Here are excerpts from an article by Dr. Bill Jones in the December 2001 issue of the Zion's Fire magazine that offer a biblical perspective on why early Christians chose Dec. 25 to commemorate the birth of Christ.
Even though many link the choice of Dec. 25 with the pagan Roman celebration of Saturnalia, it is far more likely the date was chosen because of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The festival commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. on the 25th of Chislev, or Dec. 25. It is referred to in the Bible as "the feast of dedication" (John 10:22).
The temple was to be the dwelling place of God on earth. The incarnate Jesus, too, was the dwelling place of God. The relationship between the temple and the body of Jesus was so close that when pressed for a sign to authenticate his life and ministry, He compared his body to the temple (John 2:19).
Therefore, when the church needed a date to designate the time for observing Christ's birth, it could find no better one than Dec. 25."
— David Bacon, Keizerhttp://www.statesmanjournal.com/article ... 50316/1050
"In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to "some shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their flock by night" (2:8).
Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night. But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well. There is no sound objection to it.
Now, of course, we can't be absolutely certain of the day of Christ's birth. At least, not this side of heaven. But an early winter date seems as reasonable a guess as any. And December 25th has been the frontrunner for eighteen centuries. Without more evidence, there seems no good reason to change the celebration date now."
- The Birth of Jesus Christ
by Dr. Daniel B. Wallace
"One argument raised against the December date is that there were shepherds keeping watch at night at that time in the field (Luke2:8). December is pretty cold and normally shepherds would not be out there. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. In the normal traffic of shepherds they move around and come near Bethlehem from November to March of the year."
- Year of Birth of Jesus
by Professor M.M. Ninan