Why do we celebrate December 25th as the day of Jesus’ birth? A popular theory says December 25th was a Christian attempt to replace a pagan festival honoring the Unconquerable Sun. More likely, December 25 was chosen because it was tied to March 25th, the day some early Christian sources say Jesus was conceived and crucified.
Andrew McGowan advocates that theory in Biblical Archeology.
“ There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years. But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.
“Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus died was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar. March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception. Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.”
The mysteries of Christ are joined together. We celebrate his birth, but we also keep in mind his death and resurrection– mysteries never far apart, in Jesus and in us.
Thank you Fr. Victor. I really never saw it this way. I like it very much; it really makes sense that God would make it that way. Rita
Thank you, Victor. Very informative – and it makes sense. A Blessed Christmas to you. Andre, C.P., of Scranton
Dear Fr. Victor- When studied Latin many, many moons ago, the December
25th feast was called Io Saturnalia, welcoming back the sun and supposedly
changed to Christmas to counteract the pagan celebration. I’ve also read
that Christ’s birth might be April 6. Your account is the best explanation,
I think. I offer mine below. Blessed Christmas! See you tomorrow. Gloria
It doesn’t matter when you were born
The time of the year doesn’t matter
The temperature doesn’t matter
It doesn’t matter where you were born
Whether angels sang
Whether shepherds and Magi followed the same star
For those who need proof
It matters that a census is recorded in history
The star is in the record books
Your death has been recorded
What really matter is that we live the story over and over again
Down through the centuries
What matters is that you came to live among us
That you still live among us
That you died and rose again so that we might live forever
1st Monday of Advent, December 4, 2006
Have a good visit to California,Rita.Best to your sons.
Best to you,Andre,and thanks again for the presentation on aging. Victor
Jesus’s Passion began at the time that the Word agreed to come down as a human baby. The Word said yes to our God and then it all started when Mary also said yes. Our God is a mystery but one thing is very clear and that is that God loves us so much He sent His only begotten Son to the world to save us. Thank You my Lord Jesus for also saying yes!!!!!!
Merry Christmas, Father Victor. Thank you for your example of Faith throughout the years. May the Child Jesus Grace you now and forever.
Reblogged this on Nelson MCBS.
Merry Christmas to you fdan. God’s blessings.
Thank you… ***** Wish you also a Merry Christmas ****