Author Topic: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????  (Read 3315 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pinkbutterfly79

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« on: December 22, 2012, 04:21:59 PM »
  Hi all i have recently come to the understanding that December 25th is not the day that Christ was born, or this is what i was led to believe. One of my friends that was once catholic, then baptized Orthodox, and now recently joined and evangelical church, went on a rant last year on how she learned that Christmas is a pagan holiday and if we continue to celebrate it that we are in turn giving our worship to something other than Christ. I do understand that we do not know the exact date of Christ's birth we can only speculate as to when it happened, i also know that it could have been at another time, and this date was set as a day to celebrate Christ's birth cause we do not know when he was born. .  I want to know what the Church's point of view is on this and what do you think about it. . . If it is so pagan is it wrong to celebrate his birth on this given day?  Thanks all!!!!

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,713
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 04:30:55 PM »
 Hi all i have recently come to the understanding that December 25th is not the day that Christ was born, or this is what i was led to believe. One of my friends that was once catholic, then baptized Orthodox, and now recently joined and evangelical church, went on a rant last year on how she learned that Christmas is a pagan holiday and if we continue to celebrate it that we are in turn giving our worship to something other than Christ.
How?

I did not know the date could somehow deflect our heartfelt worship of Christ into some kind of pagan direction. Despite what some Orthodox folks say, calendars aren't that powerful.

Here is an interesting article that explains why the Dec. 25 date was chosen.

Here it is in part:
Quote
The idea that the date was taken from the pagans goes back to two scholars from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Paul Ernst Jablonski, a German Protestant, wished to show that the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25th was one of the many “paganizations” of Christianity that the Church of the fourth century embraced, as one of many “degenerations” that transformed pure apostolic Christianity into Catholicism. Dom Jean Hardouin, a Benedictine monk, tried to show that the Catholic Church adopted pagan festivals for Christian purposes without paganizing the gospel.

In the Julian calendar, created in 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar, the winter solstice fell on December 25th, and it therefore seemed obvious to Jablonski and Hardouin that the day must have had a pagan significance before it had a Christian one. But in fact, the date had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time, nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.

There were two temples of the sun in Rome, one of which (maintained by the clan into which Aurelian was born or adopted) celebrated its dedication festival on August 9th, the other of which celebrated its dedication festival on August 28th. But both of these cults fell into neglect in the second century, when eastern cults of the sun, such as Mithraism, began to win a following in Rome. And in any case, none of these cults, old or new, had festivals associated with solstices or equinoxes.

As things actually happened, Aurelian, who ruled from 270 until his assassination in 275, was hostile to Christianity and appears to have promoted the establishment of the festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” as a device to unify the various pagan cults of the Roman Empire around a commemoration of the annual “rebirth” of the sun. He led an empire that appeared to be collapsing in the face of internal unrest, rebellions in the provinces, economic decay, and repeated attacks from German tribes to the north and the Persian Empire to the east.

In creating the new feast, he intended the beginning of the lengthening of the daylight, and the arresting of the lengthening of darkness, on December 25th to be a symbol of the hoped-for “rebirth,” or perpetual rejuvenation, of the Roman Empire, resulting from the maintenance of the worship of the gods whose tutelage (the Romans thought) had brought Rome to greatness and world-rule. If it co-opted the Christian celebration, so much the better.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 04:33:06 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,292
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 04:54:32 PM »
Everybody knows that the Dec 25 celebration of Christ's birth was handed down to us from the Apostles.  The Theotokos relayed this information to St. Luke while she posed for the fist Icon.  ::)
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline genesisone

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,702
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antioch
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2012, 05:11:42 PM »
What's important is not the date but the event. For centuries Christians have been celebrating our Saviour's birth on December 25. Ask your friend to suggest another day - try finding one that can't be shown to be some sort of pagan/heathen/non-Christian holiday. My local paper just published today a list of Christmas services in the area. RCs, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans have services on Christmas Day. Evangelicals don't.

The argument about the date is just a ploy used by those who want to discredit the event. Don't fall for it.

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,085
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 05:19:20 PM »
Does it really matter whether Christ was born on December 25? NO! What matters is that Christ was born, and that we have a date on the calendar to celebrate that special event.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 05:20:27 PM by PeterTheAleut »
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,371
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 05:20:19 PM »
I've always compared the questions over the dates of Christmas and Pascha or Easter to the birthday celebrations for the Queen of England. They have a national holiday dedicated to the birthday of the ruling monarch, and it's always the same day - which may or may not coincide with the real day the Queen was born. So what? It's the love for the country and the person which matters. So, too, do I look at Christmas and Easter. Celebrating on the same day gives a rhythm to our lives. Keeping in mind the life of Jesus allows us to model ourselves after Him. As for whether a holiday on the same day as the pagans makes us pagan, that's ridiculous. What are we supposed to do, get another year? If two of my friends have their birthday on the same day, does that make them the same person?  ??? I just don't find this something to worry about.

Offline Gamliel

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,023
  • ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστον βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 05:20:30 PM »
Here is how July 4 was originally celebrated:  "Brightest known super-nova (Crab Nebula) starts shining (23 days)."
How could the US Fathers have been so pagan and foolish to decide to declare July 4 as the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?  We better change that day!

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,371
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 05:20:59 PM »
Does it really matter whether Christ was born on December 25? NO! What matters is that Christ was born, and that we have a date on the calendar to celebrate that special event.

Amen and amen.  :angel:

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,292
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 05:23:46 PM »
Seriously though Dec 25 was the pagan feast of Sol Invictus/Invincible Sun.  It was celebrated with a lot of debauchery.  The Pope wanted to curtail it so he sought to supplant the feast of the invincible sun with the celebration of the Nativity of the Invincible Son.  Guess what?  It worked and was so succesful the East adopted the Feast as well.  One of the few instances of the East accepting a Feast from the West rather than other way around.
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Online Alveus Lacuna

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,064
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2012, 05:26:08 PM »
Your friend sounds like an idiot.

Offline Kerdy

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,813
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 07:48:05 PM »
Think of it as Christians covering the mistakes of man.  Put Christmas on a pagan holiday and people tend to forget the pagan holiday, well, most people...

In all seriousness, it makes no difference what day we use.  Christ was most likely born in spring, but since we don’t know the date, and never will, someone picked the date and it stuck. 

Offline Knee V

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 227
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 08:39:15 PM »
If it helps you any, what we're really celebrating on Christmas/Nativity is not Christ's birth, per se, but the fact that God has appeared to mankind in the flesh. Of course, that cannot be separated from the act of being born. But again, it is that appearance in the flesh that is truly being celebrated. That may put the dating of Christmas into a better context, as it was placed on Dec 25 because that is a few days after the solstice. In other words, the sun is rising on a world that is plunged into darkness, and God appeared to us in the flesh to enlighten those who are in darkness. "A light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel."

Offline Benjamin the Red

  • Recovering Calvinist
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,601
  • Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2012, 09:36:48 PM »
If it helps you any, what we're really celebrating on Christmas/Nativity is not Christ's birth, per se, but the fact that God has appeared to mankind in the flesh. Of course, that cannot be separated from the act of being born. But again, it is that appearance in the flesh that is truly being celebrated."

This is correct.

IIRC, This feast was historically called "The Appearance in the Flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Even today, we will often say, "The Nativity according to the Flesh..." The point isn't this Americanized cutesy display of some little baby being born in a barn. The point is:

"Today Christ is born of the virgin in Bethlehem!
Today He who knows no beginning, begins.
Today the Word is made flesh.

The powers of heaven greatly rejoice.
The earth makes merry with men.
The wise men offer gifts; the shepherds announce the wonder,
and without ceasing we cry aloud:
Glory to God in the highest,
peace on earth, good will to men."
-from "The Praises" (or "Lauds"), Festal Matins of the Nativity

The point is that the eternal, uncontainable God steps into time, He becomes contained in the womb of a Virgin and takes on Human flesh. Our very nature is united to divinity in this, and our salvation truly begins. It is not finished, as Christ must now also die and rise again, but this is the union of human nature with the divine, an act that is completed at the Holy Pascha. That's the point of Christmas, not what day it is celebrated on or that it's simply "Jesus' birthday." It is so much more important than any of that.
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline Shanghaiski

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,978
  • Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2012, 10:07:08 PM »
Your friend sounds like an idiot.

Leave him as a trifler who knows not how to sing Alleluia.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline zoarthegleaner

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 06:15:35 PM »
I believe it does matter in the Church Calendar, and therefore her celebration of Christmas is to be celebrated on Dec 25.   To have remained in following the calendar, the separation of Dec. 25  would have progressively moved the Christian culture or society away from the elementary relationship it had to the Winter Solstice.  Christmas became locked or
Frozen to the Winter solstice through the the Gregorian calendar Reformation.

John

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.

Offline zoarthegleaner

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 06:37:08 PM »
Time in the West became relative through the discipling of the nations under Latin Roman Catholicism giving world The Gregorian Calendar Reformation.  Sectarianism arose, first in the Monasteries, then Universities and then like fire in the minds of men.
 

John
Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,371
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 07:21:50 PM »
Time in the West became relative through the discipling of the nations under Latin Roman Catholicism giving world The Gregorian Calendar Reformation.  Sectarianism arose, first in the Monasteries, then Universities and then like fire in the minds of men.
 

John

That's right, it's all the evil Roman Catholics again. Tell me, is anybody else ever responsible for anything?

Offline zoarthegleaner

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 07:44:53 PM »
Time in the West became relative through the discipling of the nations under Latin Roman Catholicism giving world The Gregorian Calendar Reformation.  Sectarianism arose, first in the Monasteries, then Universities and then like fire in the minds of men.
 

John

That's right, it's all the evil Roman Catholics again. Tell me, is anybody else ever responsible for anything?


You introduced the ethicalicity of *evil-Roman Catholics*, not me.

John 
Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.

Offline domNoah

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
    • Alleluia AudioBooks
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2012, 09:32:20 PM »
Seriously though Dec 25 was the pagan feast of Sol Invictus/Invincible Sun.  It was celebrated with a lot of debauchery.  The Pope wanted to curtail it so he sought to supplant the feast of the invincible sun with the celebration of the Nativity of the Invincible Son.  Guess what?  It worked and was so succesful the East adopted the Feast as well.  One of the few instances of the East accepting a Feast from the West rather than other way around.

"The idea that the celebration of Christmas originated from Pagan origin comes from two 18th century scholars. The first was a German Protestant named Paul Ernst Jablonski. He was the one who first put forward the notion that the celebration of December 25th was one of the many Pagan influences of the Church of Rome (Catholicism) on Christianity. The second was a Catholic Benedictine monk named Dom Jean Hardouin who, in response to Jablonski, tried to show that while the Church may have adopted a pagan celebration of December 25th, it did so without compromising the integrity of the gospel. Both men were wrong. Jablonski erred in his theory that the Pagan December 25 pre-dated Christian celebrations, and Hardouin erred in assuming Jablonski's date assumption was correct in the first place. From these two catastrophic errors, the whole modern world has come to believe that Christmas was originally a Pagan celebration co-opted by the medieval Church."


"there is some evidence that Jewish Christians in Rome held that date in high significance as far back as the early 2nd century (AD 100's)",

Source
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2971709/posts
The true story of the sword in the stone
http://tinyurl.com/l98rcxp

Ancient Eucharistic Miracles (East and West)
http://tinyurl.com/mnpg8og

St Anthony the Great War on demons
http://tinyurl.com/k7zcycx

http://www.alleluiaaudiobooks.com/

Offline mike

  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 22,589
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 08:38:01 AM »
"Jabłoński" - traditional German name  ::)
Hyperdox Herman, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - fb, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - tt

not everything I typed before [insert current date] may reflect my current views on the subject

Offline Cyrillic

  • The Laughing Cavalier
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,044
  • Φέρ' ὕδωρ φέρ' οἶνον, ὦ παῖ!
  • Jurisdiction: But my heart belongs to Finland
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2012, 08:48:30 AM »
"Jabłoński" - traditional German name  ::)

At nunc desertis cessant sacraria lucis:
aurum omnes victa iam pietate colunt.
-Propertius, Elegies III.XIII:47-48

νίκας τοῖς Βασιλεῦσι κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος

Offline bearpaws

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2013, 01:19:01 PM »
Sorry for resurrecting somewhat dead topic, but part of it is intriguing.

Quote
if we continue to celebrate it that we are in turn giving our worship to something other than Christ.

I always thought intention is pretty important? I'm asking because lately (well for past few years..) fundie catholics in my country have pretty much same opinion as quoted above about... well, everything.
You can't read fantasy books for fun because doing it you are OBVIOUSLY worshiping satan without knowing it (oh you harry potter, catholic nemesis...!), you can't watch horror movies because satan, you can't smoke because "nicotine demons" are there, just waiting for you... I don't have to mention pop, rock, techno, metal, pokemons and hello kitty, do I? There is also lifelong battle between "Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity" and fundies, who like to say "doesn't matter kids are getting medical help out of it, satan is doing good deeds to masquerade bigger evils of Woodstock festival!" Intention is no important because "satan knows best" why you are doing this or that, just like evangelicals who think worshiping Christmas on 25 is ACTUALLY pagan.

Fundies gonna fundie, but back to my question, how important is intention in Orthodoxy? How important is for what conscious sake we do things, versus not doing it because sake/intention is fixed, no matter what you do (like watching horror movie for entertainment vs not watching it because it's default satanic, no matter who you are or what you think about it)?

Offline mike

  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 22,589
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2013, 05:03:45 PM »
"Jabłoński" - traditional German name  ::)



When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.
Hyperdox Herman, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - fb, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - tt

not everything I typed before [insert current date] may reflect my current views on the subject

Offline Pan Michał

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2013, 05:17:07 PM »
When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.

The range of Prussian/Austro-Hungarian partitions made Polish-German mixed marriages quite popular, hence the often "-ski" suffixes in German names.

That was the purpose of Cyrillic posting the map, I guess - but given that majority of Piast dynasty and majority of Silesia was highly "germanized", given that most of the cities were founded on Magdeburg rights (which was followed by German settlers), given that eastern territories of modern Germany are lands of former Polabian Slavs, given that both Duchy and Royal Prussias consisted of Prussians, Poles, Germans, given that we share border with German lands quite a while, not to mention other mixed marriages possibilities... I see no point, either.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 05:21:13 PM by Pan Michał »

Offline Father H

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,667
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Nea Roma
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2013, 06:21:24 PM »
 Hi all i have recently come to the understanding that December 25th is not the day that Christ was born, or this is what i was led to believe. One of my friends that was once catholic, then baptized Orthodox, and now recently joined and evangelical church, went on a rant last year on how she learned that Christmas is a pagan holiday and if we continue to celebrate it that we are in turn giving our worship to something other than Christ. I do understand that we do not know the exact date of Christ's birth we can only speculate as to when it happened, i also know that it could have been at another time, and this date was set as a day to celebrate Christ's birth cause we do not know when he was born. .  I want to know what the Church's point of view is on this and what do you think about it. . . If it is so pagan is it wrong to celebrate his birth on this given day?  Thanks all!!!!

St. John Chrysostom relates that in his day, it was a recent switch to Dec. 25, as Antioch had previously celebrated Nativity with Theophany on the same day.  Yet, because the imperial archives in Rome (from pagan imperial historian hands prior, yet with consensus of the Christians) showed that Christ's birth was Dec. 25, that the rest of the Church followed.    
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:21:50 PM by Father H »

Offline Father H

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,667
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Nea Roma
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2013, 06:24:58 PM »
When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.

The range of Prussian/Austro-Hungarian partitions made Polish-German mixed marriages quite popular, hence the often "-ski" suffixes in German names.

That was the purpose of Cyrillic posting the map, I guess - but given that majority of Piast dynasty and majority of Silesia was highly "germanized", given that most of the cities were founded on Magdeburg rights (which was followed by German settlers), given that eastern territories of modern Germany are lands of former Polabian Slavs, given that both Duchy and Royal Prussias consisted of Prussians, Poles, Germans, given that we share border with German lands quite a while, not to mention other mixed marriages possibilities... I see no point, either.

Michal, I may have asked you this before but is the reason why you have "Pan Michal" to show the absurdity of "Pan Orthodox"?  If so, I appreciate your "commentary without commentary."   ;)

Either something is Orthodox, or it is not. 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:25:53 PM by Father H »

Offline Father H

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,667
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Nea Roma
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2013, 06:26:32 PM »
"Jabłoński" - traditional German name  ::)



When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.

Everyone loves Isa's maps

Offline mike

  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 22,589
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2013, 06:27:39 PM »
When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.

The range of Prussian/Austro-Hungarian partitions made Polish-German mixed marriages quite popular, hence the often "-ski" suffixes in German names.

That was the purpose of Cyrillic posting the map, I guess - but given that majority of Piast dynasty and majority of Silesia was highly "germanized", given that most of the cities were founded on Magdeburg rights (which was followed by German settlers), given that eastern territories of modern Germany are lands of former Polabian Slavs, given that both Duchy and Royal Prussias consisted of Prussians, Poles, Germans, given that we share border with German lands quite a while, not to mention other mixed marriages possibilities... I see no point, either.

Michal, I may have asked you this before but is the reason why you have "Pan Michal" to show the absurdity of "Pan Orthodox"?  If so, I appreciate your "commentary without commentary."   ;)

"Pan" means "Mr." in Polish. Michał and Michal were already taken.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 06:28:36 PM by Michał Kalina »
Hyperdox Herman, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - fb, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - tt

not everything I typed before [insert current date] may reflect my current views on the subject

Offline Father H

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,667
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Nea Roma
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2013, 06:45:51 PM »
When isa posts maps I at least understand the point.

The range of Prussian/Austro-Hungarian partitions made Polish-German mixed marriages quite popular, hence the often "-ski" suffixes in German names.

That was the purpose of Cyrillic posting the map, I guess - but given that majority of Piast dynasty and majority of Silesia was highly "germanized", given that most of the cities were founded on Magdeburg rights (which was followed by German settlers), given that eastern territories of modern Germany are lands of former Polabian Slavs, given that both Duchy and Royal Prussias consisted of Prussians, Poles, Germans, given that we share border with German lands quite a while, not to mention other mixed marriages possibilities... I see no point, either.

Michal, I may have asked you this before but is the reason why you have "Pan Michal" to show the absurdity of "Pan Orthodox"?  If so, I appreciate your "commentary without commentary."   ;)

"Pan" means "Mr." in Polish. Michał and Michal were already taken.

Right.  I have a few Polish speaking parishioners.  I figured that might be it but then when you state that you are not Polish I figured it may be a theological statement.  my bad

Offline Pan Michał

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2013, 03:49:23 AM »
Michal, I may have asked you this before but is the reason why you have "Pan Michal" to show the absurdity of "Pan Orthodox"?  If so, I appreciate your "commentary without commentary."   ;)

Either something is Orthodox, or it is not.  

Michał Kalina pointed it out :). Just my little homage to this little fellow, who was often called "pan Michał/sir Michael", and from who - in a way - I got my name, so no megalomania here. :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 03:53:05 AM by Pan Michał »

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2013, 08:17:57 PM »
Everybody knows that the Dec 25 celebration of Christ's birth was handed down to us from the Apostles.  The Theotokos relayed this information to St. Luke while she posed for the fist Icon.  ::)

I hope you were joking. #1 jews at that time did NOT celebrate dates of birth but remembered dates of death. #2 the Apostles did no such thing and #3 yeshua's real date of birth can easily be calculated if you understand certain things regarding John the Baptist's birth and his father's service in the temple.
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2013, 08:20:12 PM »
 Hi all i have recently come to the understanding that December 25th is not the day that Christ was born, or this is what i was led to believe. One of my friends that was once catholic, then baptized Orthodox, and now recently joined and evangelical church, went on a rant last year on how she learned that Christmas is a pagan holiday and if we continue to celebrate it that we are in turn giving our worship to something other than Christ. I do understand that we do not know the exact date of Christ's birth we can only speculate as to when it happened, i also know that it could have been at another time, and this date was set as a day to celebrate Christ's birth cause we do not know when he was born. .  I want to know what the Church's point of view is on this and what do you think about it. . . If it is so pagan is it wrong to celebrate his birth on this given day?  Thanks all!!!!

St. John Chrysostom relates that in his day, it was a recent switch to Dec. 25, as Antioch had previously celebrated Nativity with Theophany on the same day.  Yet, because the imperial archives in Rome (from pagan imperial historian hands prior, yet with consensus of the Christians) showed that Christ's birth was Dec. 25, that the rest of the Church followed.    

Yes, once again Rome was involved and others blindly followed...
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline Romaios

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,933
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2013, 10:32:00 PM »
#3 yeshua's real date of birth can easily be calculated if you understand certain things regarding John the Baptist's birth and his father's service in the temple.

St. John Chrysostom does just that in one of his homilies for the Feast of the Nativity.

He assumes that St. Zacharias was the High Priest. St. Luke says he was alone when the angel appeared to him. The only time of the year when the High Priest would have been alone in the Temple with all the people waiting outside was Yom Kippur, i.e. the tenth day the month of Tishri (September/October). Yom Kippur could have fallen some time around the 25th of September that year. (The High Priest would have had to purify himself 7 days before the feast, so the conception of St. John might have already occurred.) When St. Elizabeth was six months pregnant (~25th of March of the following year), Gabriel appears to the Theotokos. Three months later (~June 24th) St. John is born. Add another six months and you have the Nativity of Our Lord.

According to tradition, St. Zacharias was indeed High Priest - he is said to have received the Theotokos when St. Joachim and Anna brought her to the Temple. After the decline of the Hasmoneans, under Roman rule, Flavius Josephus tells us that the office of High Priest lost its political significance and it was frequently assigned to one of the priests by casting lots. Our Synaxaria identify St. Zacharias with the son of Barachia, the High Priest that Our Lord says was slain between the Altar and the Temple (Matthew 23:35). He is said to have been killed because he refused to tell Herod's soldiers where his son was. (St. John was six months younger than Christ, so he would have been martyred with the other Innocents, had he not been hidden in the wilderness, where he grew up.)  

St. Augustine, in a beautiful sermon for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, shows how fittingly it is celebrated at the summer solstice and how from then on the days begin to decrease until the Nativity of Our Lord, according to the very words of the Baptist: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). So, even astronomically the celebration of these feasts was very well thought out: the Annunciation (25th March), the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24th June) and the Nativity of Our Lord (25th December). The Old Covenant decreases and gives way to the New. The two cousins are close, but there is also a mysterious distance between them (6 months ~ winter and summer). St. Elizabeth is old and barren, the Theotokos is young and a virgin. And so on.

To sum up, the calendar is symbolically perfect. No one could have planned it any better.  
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 10:52:21 PM by Romaios »

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2013, 08:19:25 AM »
#3 yeshua's real date of birth can easily be calculated if you understand certain things regarding John the Baptist's birth and his father's service in the temple.

St. John Chrysostom does just that in one of his homilies for the Feast of the Nativity.

He assumes that St. Zacharias was the High Priest. St. Luke says he was alone when the angel appeared to him. The only time of the year when the High Priest would have been alone in the Temple with all the people waiting outside was Yom Kippur, i.e. the tenth day the month of Tishri (September/October). Yom Kippur could have fallen some time around the 25th of September that year. (The High Priest would have had to purify himself 7 days before the feast, so the conception of St. John might have already occurred.) When St. Elizabeth was six months pregnant (~25th of March of the following year), Gabriel appears to the Theotokos. Three months later (~June 24th) St. John is born. Add another six months and you have the Nativity of Our Lord.

According to tradition, St. Zacharias was indeed High Priest - he is said to have received the Theotokos when St. Joachim and Anna brought her to the Temple. After the decline of the Hasmoneans, under Roman rule, Flavius Josephus tells us that the office of High Priest lost its political significance and it was frequently assigned to one of the priests by casting lots. Our Synaxaria identify St. Zacharias with the son of Barachia, the High Priest that Our Lord says was slain between the Altar and the Temple (Matthew 23:35). He is said to have been killed because he refused to tell Herod's soldiers where his son was. (St. John was six months younger than Christ, so he would have been martyred with the other Innocents, had he not been hidden in the wilderness, where he grew up.)  

St. Augustine, in a beautiful sermon for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, shows how fittingly it is celebrated at the summer solstice and how from then on the days begin to decrease until the Nativity of Our Lord, according to the very words of the Baptist: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). So, even astronomically the celebration of these feasts was very well thought out: the Annunciation (25th March), the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24th June) and the Nativity of Our Lord (25th December). The Old Covenant decreases and gives way to the New. The two cousins are close, but there is also a mysterious distance between them (6 months ~ winter and summer). St. Elizabeth is old and barren, the Theotokos is young and a virgin. And so on.

To sum up, the calendar is symbolically perfect. No one could have planned it any better.  

John the Baptist's father was NOT High Priest. It clearly states he was in charge of incense and served the course of Abiyah.  There were 24 rotating courses in the Temple throughout the liturgical year.  Abiyah was the 8th course (1 Chronicles 24:10). Luke 1:5 says there was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiyah...
calculating all of this out using the Hebrew calander...John was born at Passover (when the Jewish people expected Eliyahu HaNevi) and Yeshua was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Booths in the fall. he was circumsized on the 8th day of that Feast.  Read John 1:14 within this context and you will understand.
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,619
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2013, 08:37:17 AM »
Quote
John the Baptist's father was NOT High Priest.

He indeed was High Priest according to the Orthodox, as expressed in the hymns for his feast-day, September 5:

Truly robed in the vestment of the priesthood of the Law you ministered according to the order of Aaron, and as you stood in the temple, O all-blessed, you clearly beheld an angelic form. And so, as we all celebrate your translation with songs, as is fitting, we praise you, Zachariah, who in old age put forth glorious John. Intercede for us to the merciful God that we may be saved.

O marvellous wonder! The Archangel, who stands in God’s presence in the highest, brings the good tidings of the conception of the Forerunner in old age from barrenness to Zachariah, the godly-minded minister. O your inexpressible providence, Master! Through which, O Christ, save our souls, for You alone are compassionate.

As a pure priest you entered the Holy of Holies, and robed in the sacred vestment you ministered blamelessly to God, giving laws like Aaron, guiding the tribes of Israel like Moses, with the pure chiming of the bells; and so too you were slain; but your righteous blood has become for us a saving remedy and like sweet-scented myrrh opens the ears for the gaining of eternal life. Thrice-blessed Zachariah, father of John the Baptist and spouse of Elizabeth, intercede insistently on behalf of our souls.


Creation rejoices at your offspring, High Priest, for you put forth the herald of repentance.

And these hymns, from the feast of the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God:

Today let us, the faithful, dance for joy, and sing to the Lord with psalms and hymns, as we venerate His holy tabernacle, the living ark, that contained the Word who cannot be contained. A young child in the flesh, she is offered in wondrous fashion to the Lord, and with rejoicing, Zachariah, the great high priest, receives her as the dwelling place of God.

Today the Mother of God, the Temple that is to hold God, is led into the temple of the Lord, and Zachariah receives her. Today the Holy of Holies rejoices greatly, and the choir of angels mystically keeps feast. With them let us also celebrate the festival today, and let us cry aloud with Gabriel: Hail, Lady full of grace; the Lord is with you, He who has great mercy.

A day of joy has dawned, and a feast worthy of all reverence. Today, she who was virgin before childbirth and remained virgin after bearing a child, is offered in the temple. The venerable Zachariah, father of the Forerunner, cried aloud rejoicing: “The expectation of those in affliction has come to the holy temple, there to be consecrated as dwelling-place of the Almighty.” Let Joachim, the forefather, be glad, and let Anna rejoice exceedingly, for they have offered to God a three-year-old maiden, the queen without blemish. Rejoice with them, O mothers, and dance for joy, O virgins, those who are barren, be of good cheer. For the preordained queen of all has opened the kingdom of heaven to us. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, all people.




Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Romaios

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,933
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2013, 08:43:33 AM »
John the Baptist's father was NOT High Priest. It clearly states he was in charge of incense and served the course of Abiyah.  There were 24 rotating courses in the Temple throughout the liturgical year.  Abiyah was the 8th course (1 Chronicles 24:10). Luke 1:5 says there was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiyah...

calculating all of this out using the Hebrew calender...John was born at Passover (when the Jewish people expected Eliyahu HaNavi) and Yeshua was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Booths in the fall. he was circumcized on the 8th day of that Feast.  Read John 1:14 within this context and you will understand.

Well, if Orthodox tradition is speculation, than so is Jewish tradition (would you mind providing a source for it, though? that Jews expected Elijah on Passover?). You prefer the latter, I stick with the first.  

I still don't see why the people would be all waiting outside for Zacharias, if all he was doing was the daily incense offering.





« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 08:51:07 AM by Romaios »

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #36 on: April 27, 2013, 08:59:23 AM »
John the Baptist's father was NOT High Priest. It clearly states he was in charge of incense and served the course of Abiyah.  There were 24 rotating courses in the Temple throughout the liturgical year.  Abiyah was the 8th course (1 Chronicles 24:10). Luke 1:5 says there was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiyah...

calculating all of this out using the Hebrew calender...John was born at Passover (when the Jewish people expected Eliyahu HaNavi) and Yeshua was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Booths in the fall. he was circumcized on the 8th day of that Feast.  Read John 1:14 within this context and you will understand.


Well, if Orthodox tradition is speculation, than so is Jewish tradition (would you mind providing a source for it, though? that Jews expected Elijah on Passover?). You prefer the latter, I stick with the first.  

I still don't see why the people would be all waiting outside for Zacharias, if all he was doing was the daily incense offering.




It is a Jewish tradition that a cup at Passover was to be set out for Eliyahu and the door kept open.  It has nothing to do with the calculation of Yochanan or Yeshua's date of birth, I just find it an interesting coincidence.
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline Romaios

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,933
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2013, 09:05:06 AM »
It is a Jewish tradition that a cup at Passover was to be set out for Eliyahu and the door kept open.  It has nothing to do with the calculation of Yochanan or Yeshua's date of birth, I just find it an interesting coincidence.

They also put up a chair for him to preside over all circumcisions:



Indeed, it has nothing to do with the birth of St. John the Baptist.

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2013, 09:19:05 AM »
John the Baptist's father was NOT High Priest. It clearly states he was in charge of incense and served the course of Abiyah.  There were 24 rotating courses in the Temple throughout the liturgical year.  Abiyah was the 8th course (1 Chronicles 24:10). Luke 1:5 says there was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abiyah...

calculating all of this out using the Hebrew calender...John was born at Passover (when the Jewish people expected Eliyahu HaNavi) and Yeshua was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Booths in the fall. he was circumcized on the 8th day of that Feast.  Read John 1:14 within this context and you will understand.

Well, if Orthodox tradition is speculation, than so is Jewish tradition (would you mind providing a source for it, though? that Jews expected Elijah on Passover?). You prefer the latter, I stick with the first.  

I still don't see why the people would be all waiting outside for Zacharias, if all he was doing was the daily incense offering.




Incense was burned 2 times per day in the Temple, once in the morning and once in the evening. During that time, people prayed while this was being done.

"in the time they burn the incense in the temple every day, (they separate all the people), from the temple, and from between the porch and the altar; there is not a man there, till he comes out that burns the incense. "

(i) Maimon. Hilch. Tamidin, c. 3. sect. 3. 9. & Yore. haccipurim, c. 4. sect. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 44. 1.
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,619
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »
Yeshua HaDerekh, the Orthodox teaching on who Zachariah was (both High Priest and father of St John the Baptist) is crystal-clear.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2013, 09:47:27 AM »
Yeshua HaDerekh, the Orthodox teaching on who Zachariah was (both High Priest and father of St John the Baptist) is crystal-clear.

It does not say anywhere in scripture that he was THE HIGH PRIEST. He served in the course of Abiyah...with other priests in the Temple...THAT is crystal clear in Scripture.  That "teaching" is tradition, not Tradition...not salvatical.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 09:49:02 AM by Yeshua HaDerekh »
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline Romaios

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,933
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2013, 09:50:27 AM »


Quote
The Conception of St. John the Baptist + September 23

John the Forerunner, the fruit of prayer, hath budded from a barren womb today. Rejoice, O wilderness, and dance for joy, O mankind! Behold, the preacher of repentance beginneth to take flesh in his mother’s womb. Come, as we rejoice over his glorious conception, O ye feast-lovers, let us form a choir, crying: O thou greatest of them that are born of women, cease not to intercede for us who with faith honor thy divine conception, that we may find forgiveness of sins and Great Mercy.

--Doxasticon from Great Vespers, Tone 6

Rejoice, O barren one, who had not given birth; for behold thou hast conceived clearly the one who is the dawn of the Sun Who was about to illuminate the whole universe, blighted with sightlessness. Shout in joy, O Zacharias, crying in favour, Verily, the one to be born is a Prophet of the High.

--Troparion, Tone 4

The Synaxarion:

This came to pass fifteen months before the birth of Christ, after the vision of the Angel that Zacharias, the father of the Forerunner, saw in the Temple while he executed the priest's office in the order of his course during the feast of the Tabernacles [close to Yom Kippur, which Chrysostom mentions in his homily], as tradition bears witness. In this vision, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and said to him, "Thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John" (Luke 1:13). Knowing that Elizabeth was barren, and that both he and she were elderly, Zacharias did not believe what the Angel told him, although he had before him the example of Abraham and Sarah, of Hannah, mother of the Prophet Samuel, and of other barren women in Israel who gave birth by the power of God. Hence, he was condemned by the Archangel to remain speechless until the fulfilment of these words in their season, which also came to pass (Luke 1:7-24).

Source

« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 09:55:29 AM by Romaios »

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,619
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2013, 09:55:18 AM »
Yeshua HaDerekh, the Orthodox teaching on who Zachariah was (both High Priest and father of St John the Baptist) is crystal-clear.

It does not say anywhere in scripture that he was THE HIGH PRIEST. He served in the course of Abiyah...with other priests in the Temple...THAT is crystal clear in Scripture.  That "teaching" is tradition, not Tradition...not salvatical.


Nonsense. Orthodox hymns and icons express what the whole Church believes and espouses. It draws from Scripture, Apostolic tradition, and other sources such as the writings of the Fathers. And the hymns of the Church, both in my earlier post, and in Romaios' post, clearly proclaim Zachariah to be both High Priest, and the father of St John the Baptist.

Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Yeshua HaDerekh

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 318
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2013, 04:47:01 PM »
Yeshua HaDerekh, the Orthodox teaching on who Zachariah was (both High Priest and father of St John the Baptist) is crystal-clear.

It does not say anywhere in scripture that he was THE HIGH PRIEST. He served in the course of Abiyah...with other priests in the Temple...THAT is crystal clear in Scripture.  That "teaching" is tradition, not Tradition...not salvatical.


Nonsense. Orthodox hymns and icons express what the whole Church believes and espouses. It draws from Scripture, Apostolic tradition, and other sources such as the writings of the Fathers. And the hymns of the Church, both in my earlier post, and in Romaios' post, clearly proclaim Zachariah to be both High Priest, and the father of St John the Baptist.



But he was NOT the High Priest.  THE HIGH PRIEST did not serve in courses...Temple priests did, sorry. Priests would serve only when it was their week on rotation and on feast days (and even then their function was decided by lot).  It CLEARLY states that he was of the course (rotation) of Abiyah and his lot was incense...this had nothing to do with the permanent High Priest.

Here is a historical listing of all the High Priests for the time period in question:



Simon ben Boethus 23-5 BC (his daughter Mariamne was third wife of Herod the Great)
Matthias ben Theophilus 5-4 BC
Joazar ben Boethus 4 BC (Sadducee)
Eleazar ben Boethus 4-3 BC (Sadducee)
Joshua ben Sie 3 -1 BC
Joazar ben Boethus 1 - 6 CE (Sadducee)
Ananus ben Seth 6-15 CE
Ishmael ben Fabus 15-16 CE
Eleazar ben Ananus 16-17 CE
Simon ben Camithus 17-18 CE
Joseph Caiaphas 18-36 CE
Jonathan ben Ananus 36-37 CE
Theophilus ben Ananus 37-41 CE
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 05:02:20 PM by Yeshua HaDerekh »
If they hear not Moshe and the Nevi'im, neither will they be persuaded by one that rose from the dead.

Offline Shanghaiski

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,978
  • Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia
Re: Christmas was Christ really born on the 25th of December????
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2013, 05:13:01 PM »
Time in the West became relative through the discipling of the nations under Latin Roman Catholicism giving world The Gregorian Calendar Reformation.  Sectarianism arose, first in the Monasteries, then Universities and then like fire in the minds of men.
 

John

That's right, it's all the evil Roman Catholics again. Tell me, is anybody else ever responsible for anything?

Of course, silly! The Jews and the Mohammedans. Oh, and the Freemasons. Sometimes they all get together.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 05:13:25 PM by Shanghaiski »
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.