Listen and learn about the religious origins of Christmas.
Publish Date: Dec 23, 2020
Listen and learn about the religious origins of Christmas.
And perhaps it is best to begin at the beginning and ask where to Christmas come from? Not from what secret recess to that hail and frosty giant emerge with his jovial face and holly crown and steaming bowl, who smiles upon us from 10,000 pictures and whom we instinctively recognize as Father Christmas. But how did the fashion arise of celebrating the birthday of our Lord on the 25th of December? Not only with religious observances, but with feasting and quality, for there is no record nor even any respectable tradition of the actual date of our savior's birth. Even the year is not absolutely certain. It is generally agreed that their traditional date a. U. C 7 53 footnote one ano Urbas Condit 7 53 equals the 753rd year from the building of the city. E Rome is too late for Saint Matthew distinctly affirms that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea and the days of Herod, the king and Herod died in a U. C. 7 50. There must have been time between the birth of Jesus and the death of Herod for the visit of the Wiseman from the east, the retreat into Egypt on the slaughter of the innocents. The testimony of ST Luke is by no means as decisive as at first glance. It seems to be, for one thing, the real meaning of his remarks about the senses. Chapter two verse to you is very doubtful. Then it is uncertain whether the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar, Chapter three, Verse one is counted from a U. C 7 65 when he was associate it with a guesthouse in the Empire, or from the death of Augustus in a U. C 7 67. Then the phrase about 30 years old and Chapter three, Verse 23 naming anything from 29 to 31. So that looks. Indications of the year of the Native ity are not more definite than about a U. C. 7 49 to 7 53. Nor does ST Matthew help Us Magic by his account of the star, first seen in the East and then over Bethlehem. There is indeed no necessity to understand this as denoting either a new star or such a conjunction of two or more stars, as would make them seem to coalesce or a mere atmospheric meteor. The most likely meaning of his star is some such celestial phenomenon, as interpreted by astrological rules would indicate the birth in Judea of someone destined to greatness. Now there was a remarkable conjunction of two planets in May, again in October and yet again in November, a U. C 7 47 which astrologers would certainly think portended some great thing about to happen. We're nowhere told that Jesus was born exactly at the time when the star appeared, but it seems safe to conclude that his birth was at sometime between the middle of a U. C 7 47 and the end of a U. C 7 49. I eat seven BC and five BC. This agrees with a very ancient tradition that when our Lord was born, the temple more correctly Gate of Janice at Rome was shut in token of peace throughout the whole Roman Dominion. Such an event had only occurred twice before the reign of Augustus, but it happened in a U. C. 7 24 and again in a U. C. 7 46 from which time the gate remained closed for several years. No war or battle sound was heard the world around. The Idol Spear and Shield were Hyah, Peng the hook, it chariot stood and stained with hostile blood. The trumpets make not to the armed throng and kings set still with awful I, as if they surely knew their sovereign lord was by. If the Year of Our Savior's Birth is thus open to question, the day is yet more uncertain. The days of his death and resurrection are clearly recorded in the Gospels and from the time of the apostles. Until now, the anniversary of his resurrection victory has been almost universally observed. The birthday of the church to the day of Pentecost was fixed by the Jewish calendar, and from almost the earliest ages, it has been kept as a joyful Christian anniversary. Very early to it became usual to consecrate the New Year to him and whom all things become new by a festival which was designed to commemorate at once his manifestation, his baptism and his first miracle. But not until the third century do we find any attempt to fix with authority the day of his worth. There are indeed vague traditions of a festival of the negativity kept it. Rome in the time of bishop toe less for us between 81 27 1 39 and some of the Christmas observances of the Roman church are said to be of his appointment. There was a story of a massacre of Christians in the catacombs on the day of the native ity and some unspecified year between 81 61 1 80 and a similar story of a massacre at Nick Ahmadiyah in the Reign of Diocletian, about 8300. But all these stories are too vague on the earliest mention of them, too late to be at all reliable. There was a common belief that the Nativity took place on the 25th day of the month, but which month was quite uncertain and there was scarcely a month in the year two, which some guesser did not assign it. Clement of Alexandria, before 2 20 names, five days in three different months of the Egyptian year, to which various persons assigned the negativity and one of thes corresponds to the 25th December there waas in the third century Ah, common belief that our lord was born on the day of the winter solstice. This does not seem to have rested on any record or evidence worth the name that on a fantastic interpretation of some prophetic scriptures, also on a notion that the Annunciation and the Crucifixion were both on the same day of the year. Fees the 25th of March. The apocryphal book called the Apostolic Constitutions, written probably towards the end of the third century, represents the apostles as ordaining that the feast should be kept on the 20 for the Day of the Lines month by which, however, the context clearly shows that December is meant.