On the Celebration of Christmas

I recently came across a blog by Stephen E. Jones called “Jesus Is Jehovah!”

He has some very interesting views on the celebration of Christmas and the stance of the Watchtower’s false teachings on the matter. He seems to be very upset about it and takes them to task for their beliefs, though admitting that everyone is free to have their own beliefs.

(And one commenter said “the truth will set you free” and Mr. Jones said he was misquoting scripture and included a link to the correct quote, Jn 8:32, which happened to be identical.)

He also has another interesting blog all about Creationism vs Darwinism, but that topic is so deep that I will not enter those waters here.

The celebration of Christmas is quite old and he offers arguments from early church fathers about the holiday.

Many people assume Christmas was set on December 25th to coincide with the ancient pagan holiday called Yule. Mr. Jones states that is patently false as the Christians were trying to distance themselves from all pagan religions. But I have seen far too many articles and books on that issue to brush it off so casually.

And that the early church (circa 200 A.D.) chose to use December 25th is not hard evidence of much either. Sure, some may have been celebrating it at the time but it may have been for any number of reasons, including pagan holidays.

The twelve days of Christmas, he says, went from Christmas through the 6th of January, the date of Jesus’ baptism. That confuses me a little… I had no idea they baptized infants in Judea at that time.

I had heard some years ago that early Christians had celebrated His birth on the 6th of January (or the 15th of June, in some reports, and even some other days as well) but translating the celebration to coincide with Yule allowed them to celebrate a twelve day feast (25 Dec – 6 Jan) and as the twelve days encompassed the New Year (Jan. 1st – when it was traditional to exchange gifts), the gift-giving became attached to the Christmas celebration when the festival was reduced to the 25th of December only.

Regardless of the “correctness” of whichever date people used, or all the scholarship in support of any and all theories, we have celebrated it on the present date for so long, the question has become academic.

Just as in Britain, they celebrate the Queen’s birthday in the month of June, even though her real birth date was April 21st.

So, the real date should not matter, regardless of the scholarship used (or political motivations used, if any) to determine the date. As in all such things, it is the thought that counts.

Many people may celebrate the birth of Jesus on another day of the year – using a method they determine to be correct – and still enjoy the traditional celebrations on the date the rest of us use.

I don’t really think it matters which day we honor Him, though the honoring should be a little more often than just once a year.

But that’s just my opinion.

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