top of page
  • Writer's pictureMZSA

Christmas: Birth of Christ or Pagan Ritual?

This is a question that each individual should seriously consider. If it were Christ's birthday, is He being honored by the way the day is celebrated?

What is Christmas that it should have such an effect upon the world? Why is it so enthusiastically celebrated? How did it come to be celebrated and what is the proper way to observe this special day?

Was Jesus born on December 25th?

Surely if Christ wanted to celebrate His birthday we could find some Bible record of the date and how it is to be observed. A beautiful and inspiring account of the birth of Jesus is given in Matthew 1:18 - 25; Luke 1:26 - 36 and 2 : 1 - 20, but there is no hint given in these passages as to the time of His birth.

Luke 2:8 does say, "...there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night..."

According to history the shepherds always brought their flocks in from the fields and mountain sides no later than October 15, to protect them from the cold and rainy season that followed.

According to Adam Clarke Commentary, Vol. 5, page 592, it was the custom of the Jews of those days to send out their sheep to the field about Passover time (Mid-spring), and bring them home at the commencement of the first Marcheshvan, which answers to part of October and November. The sheep were kept out in the open country during the summer and as these shepherds had not yet brought their flocks home, therefore Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were in the field.

Any encyclopedia, or other authority, will tell you that Christ was not born on December 25. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia states this fact. The early church did not celebrate Christmas, and the New Testament Scriptures are silent about any such celebration. If it did not come to us by divine authority of Christ or His Apostles, where did it originate and by what authority?

What the Encyclopedia Say?

Since Christmas was handed down to us by the Roman Catholic church, we turn first to the Catholic Encyclopedia under the heading "Christmas" which says, "Christmas was not among the earliest festival of the Church...the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.. Pagan customs, encircled the January Calends gravitated to Christmas."

Now we turn to the article "Christmas" in the American Encyclopedia and we find some very definite information on this subject. "It was according to many authorities not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol, though no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed. The holly, the mistletoe, the yule log relate more to paganism than to Christianity. The Christmas tree has been traced back to the Romans. The Custom of making presents at Christmas time is derived from old heathen usage..."This certainly brands Christmas, the Christmas tree, holly, yule log and even the giving of gifts at that time, all as heathen methods of worshipping heathen gods, mainly Sol, the sun god."

From the Encyclopedia Britannica, under article "Christmas," we find the following facts: "Certain Latin’s, as early as 354 A.D. may have transferred the birthday from January 6 to December 25 which was then a Mithriac feast or birthday of the unconquered Britain December 25 was a festival long before their conversion to Christianity." They called it "mother's night."

The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia explains clearly, in its article "Christmas," "How much the date of the festival depended upon the Pagan Brumalia following the Saturnalia (December 17 - 24) and celebrating the shortest day in the year and "New sun", cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and manner. Christian preachers of the West and near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their western brethren of idolatry and sun-worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival."

The Roman world had been pagan and prior to the fourth century Christians were few in number, and were persecuted by the government and by pagans. But with Constantine becoming emperor, and making a profession of Christianity on the same level with paganism, people of the Roman world began to accept this now popular Christianity by the thousands.

These people had grown up in pagan customs, chief of which was this idolatrous merrymaking festival of December 25th. They enjoyed it and did not want to give it up.

This same article in Schaff-Herzog l Encyclopedia explains how the recognition of Sunday, by Constantine, which had been a day of pagan SUN-worship, and the influence of the pagan Manichaeism, which identified the Son of God with the physical sun, gave these pagans of the fourth century now turning over to Christianity, their excuse for calling their pagan-festival date of December 25 (birthday of the sun-god) the birthday of the Son of God. This is how "Christmas" got into our so-called Christianity.

What about the Christmas Tree?

This so-called Christian celebration is one of the chief customs of the corrupt system warned against by Bible prophecy and apostles teachings under the name of "Babylon." It originated in ancient Babylon of Nimrod's time. Nimrod was the son of Cush and the grandson of Ham son of Noah.

Nimrod was the founder of the Babylonish system that has gripped the world ever since the system of organized competition, based on a profit-making, economic system. He started the great organized apostasy away from God-the apostasy which is so prevalent in the world today.

It is said that Nimrod married his own mother, Semiramis. After his untimely death, his mother-wife propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. She claimed that a full- grown evergreen tree sprang up overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth into new life of the dead Nimrod.

On each anniversary of his birth, so she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25 was Nimrod's birthday, and this is where the idea of the Christmas tree originated.

We do have a very vivid description of what became the Christmas tree in Jeremiah 10: 2 - 5. "Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peop