Know Your Bible

VOL. 8                           December 20, 2009                           NO. 50

When Was Jesus Born?

    While it has become common to assign December 25th as the birth date of Jesus, there is an abundance of evidence which suggests that He surely was NOT born on this date.

Consider:

"Now there were in the same country shepherds flying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night." (Luke 2:8). According to this statement, Jesus cannot have been born in December, in the middle of the rainy season as has been since the fourth century supposed... According to the Rabbins, the driving forth of the flocks took place in March, the bringing in of them in November..."

(Critical and Exegetical Handbook To The Gospels of Mark and Luke, H. A. W. Meyer, pg. 273)

"It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts, about the Passover, and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain; during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the Passover occurred in the spring, and the first rain began early in... November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole of summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that... our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields."

(Adam Clarke's Commentary, pg. 857)

    How then has December 25th come to be the day assigned as the birthday of Jesus? There is unanimous agreement among historians that this date was selected in the fourth century by the apostate Roman church. Their apparent interest was to divert the pagan practice of worshiping the Sun during the winter solstice. There is no Bible information that tells us on what day Jesus was born, and no Bible authority to have a special religious observance such as Christmas.

---Greg Gwin

Page 1


The Origin Of Christmas
 
 
"Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church, and before the 5th century there was no general consensus of opinion as to when it should come in the calendar, whether on January 6, March 25, or December 25th."
(Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 5, p.641, 14th edition)
 
"Scholars do not know the exact date of Christ's birth . In A.D. 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun. Christians honored Christ, instead of Saturn, as the Light of the World."

(The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p.416, 1965)
 
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS
 
    Many of the facts of Jesus' birth are unknown to those who celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus. It is important to understand the only book that describes the birth of Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago is the Bible. 
 
These facts are taken from that Book:
 
1. The year of birth is unknown - the Bible does not say what year He was born.
 
2. The month and day are unknown - the Bible does not say what day He was born.
 
3. The birth of Jesus is recorded in Matthew 1,2 and Luke 1,2.
 
4. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem (Luke 2:4-7).
 
5. The baby Jesus was put in a manger for there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7).
 
6. The shepherds visited Jesus on the night He was born (Luke 2:8-20).
 
7. On the 8th day of His life, Jesus was circumcised in accordance with the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21).
 
8. Joseph and Mary took Jesus when He was a little over a month old (40 days) to Jerusalem to be presented in the Temple to be "called holy to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice" according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:22-24).
 
9. Wise men from the East visit the family in a HOUSE - not a manger. The wise men never see Jesus in a manger as a newborn baby. He was a "CHILD" and was of some age in accordance with the decision of Herod to kill all male children from two years old and under (Matthew 2:16-18).

10. The star seen by the wise men stood over a HOUSE, not a manger (Matthew 2:9).
 
11. The Bible does not tell us the number of wise men nor their
nationalities.
 
12. Jesus lived in Egypt as a child (Matthew 2:13-15).
 
13. The Lord grew up in Nazareth (Luke 2:39; Matthew 2:19-23).
 
14. The New Testament church never mentions the birth of Jesus as a day of celebration. Mary, His mother, was a part of the early church and nothing is written about the time of the birth of Jesus. (Acts 1:14; Colossians 2:16-23).
 
"YOU SHALL NOT ADD TO THE WORD WHICH I COMMAND YOU, NOR TAKE ANYTHING FROM IT, THAT YOU MAY KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD WHICH I COMMAND YOU"
(Deuteronomy 4:2)
 
---Kent Heaton

Page 2


***SENTENCE SERMONS***
 
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read." - Mark Twain
***
A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction,
and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
***
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Page 3


 
 
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