Christmas, the commercial holiday.
Aside from being too commercial the original reason behind it is lost to most people these days. The only reason I enjoy Christmas now is for the kids. Without kids it is just another day.
Well it is as commercial as you want it to be. Of course the shops are over the top and the advertising can drive you nuts - but there is nothing like sitting down with my family and talking about the greatest thing that ever happened to mankind.
God bless your Christmas everyone.
Ha! "If it's on the internet, it must be true ..."
I need scholarly sources. Seriously. I'm in a discussion on this very matter on another forum.
Best we've found is documents referencing early Egyptian celebrations of Christ's birthday ... but even with those, the dates conflict. Some sources say May, some April or March, some November.
Then, of course, there's references to the Epiphany, which always seem to be in January (implying a December birth.) Unless the whole magi story is bunk. :/
Nov 25, 2005, 17:15
(This post was last modified: Nov 25, 2005, 17:19 by mustang67.)
Sorry. Cannot comment.
No-one knows for sure when Jesus was born, but there's a lot of evidence to suggest that December 25th is not the right date.
The shepherds that visited Jesus when He was still in the manger (ie as soon as He was born) were tending their folcks in the fields at the time. In that region, sheep re brought in for the winter, so it's not likely that Jesus was born in December. Also, Joseph and Mary had travelled to Bethlehem for the census - once again, in that region people didn't travel any distance in winter as conditions were too harsh. It's more likely that this would have happened in te autumn as travellers would face neither the heat of summer, nor the freezing conditions of winter, and there was an established practice in Judea of allowing travellers to eat the remaining gleanings of the harvest while on the road during autumn.
There's also quite a lot of evidence that enables the calculation of the month of birth of John the Baptist as March (based on what is said in Scripture about that), and as we are told Jesus was born six months later that would place His birth in September.
It's also well known that Rome celebrated the birth of the Sun on 25th December and that after Christianity was adopted by Rome that date was chosen to celebrate Christ's birth in order to easily amalgamate the existing Pagan beliefs wth Christianity.
As for the celebration of the Epiphany on 6th January, that's another arbritarily chosen date. The Biblical record doesn't tell us when exxactly the Magi arrived to see Jesus, but the implication from Scripture is that it was some very considerable time after His birth. For instance, when they arrived to see Jesus, He and His parents were in their house and He is described as a young child, not as a new-born baby (as He was when the shepherds saw Him) - the Greek words used in these two instances are completely different. It's also clear that the Magi visited Jerusalem first in their search for Him and that it was Herod, after consulting his advisors who told them the child had been born in Bethlehem and sent them there to look for Him. When Herod ordered the killing of all males under the age of two years he was setting a safe limit....if Jesus was a new-born baby there would have been no need to set that age limit so high.
There's a lot more, too, but I won't go on any more as this is already a long post!
Hmm...I'd actually be quite fascinated to see what kind of evidence there is for His birth really being in December....Maybe you could share some of that?
The other thing I find very interesting about all this is that the Bible is so vague about the date of Jesus' birth, and yet gives us very clear timing for His death. He, Himself, told us to remember Him and to commemorate his death with bread and wine, so maybe He didn't ever envisage celebratons for His birth at all! Christmas as it is now is something I'm sure He'd hate....most of it is the opposite of everything He taught, and after all the most important thing was not that He was born, but that He carried out His Father's wishes and died on the cross. Without His death, we'd be lost!
Yes but lets be honest here since this is causing strife and fitting intot he topic. Was there actually a birth of Jesus? Or is it some fanciful nonsense created by someone with too much time on their hands?
And even supposing it did happen is it worth celebrating the birth of someone who's coming inspired modern religion and killing, persecution and scaremongering on a mammoth scale in his name.
The "greatest thing to happen to mankind" is not so much the birth of a nice, safe BabyJesus...moreso the redemptive act of obedience in the cross and Jesus' triumph over death, His resurrection, and preparation for us(should we choose it) to be united with Him as His Bride.
StudioJ: excellent point; I can't argue with it. Yes, I agree, it is nonsense: even St Paul says as much too. The bible too is full of thieves, liars, adulterers, murderers. I'd also agree with you that "modern religion, killing, persecution and scaremongering" are as loathsome as you find them.
I'd also agree that, no, it's certainly not worth celebrating anyone who inspires these either....in fact, hardly worth asking if there was an actual birth of such a man, if he behaved in such a way as to inspire the same.
You're right: and in the bible Jesus said some nonsensical stuff:
Stuff like: I've come to give sight to the blind, to bind up the brokenhearted and to help the lame to walk...I am the Light of the world...Come to me, all of you who are weary and I will give you rest...I will never leave or forsake you...
Yep! All sounds a tall order and fictitious to me too!
The thing that got me a few years back though, was thinking that anyone who says these things is either lying or telling the truth.
I mean...either this Jesus is a nutter...in which case have nothing to do with Him or His words, as you can't trust anything the man says! Would you?
Or...if He is not lying, then He tells the truth.
So, regardless of whether there was a birth, manger, or anything else....either this guy is a liar or He can deliver exactly what He says He will deliver. No half-measures really.
What I then said was something like, "OK, if you're real, prove it: do what You said and I'll believe You exist."...and, believe me SJ, I was pretty mad at the time! I'd spent years loathing Christians just because, out of all the world religions, they had the gall to think that they alone had some secret key that others didn't. Arrogance, I thought! Mad lot of fundamentalists!
Yet, there's no way round telling you this, and boy was I surprised, but on January 21st 1990 this Jesus,who my mind had told me couldn't possibly exist, did exactly what He said He'd do.
I know this puts the reader in an odd position: er, either Zig is a loony liar or he's actually telling the truth too!
I say all this not to argue or convince, just to recount something that will either help or not, depending on how the reader wishes to engage with it.
Well, I don't want to get in to an argument, but just two things:
1) What we know of evolution is still only a theory and there are virtually no hard facts to back it up.
2) The Christian God who is also the God of Judaism is hardly the most recent, but actually the oldest (ignoring nebulous elemental gods etc).
But, no, not stressing about it....I know where I stand and I do respect others' beliefs and their right to hold them!
Again, as Jesus said: "the only way to the Father is through me", then Jesus is either telling the truth or lying. Interesting that if it's narrowminded hogwash(which it most definitely is in terms of rational and logical argument), it should be fairly easy to come to a decision. The fact that even the question is a feather-ruffler may itself be an indicator of a life -or- death issue. For your own peace of mind, you could try asking Him. If there isn't a Jesus, this won't be a scary thing surely.
Yep Noodle; there are hard facts about adaption though; one spots these 2 terms being used with lazy interchangeability.
Darwin chatted with a few pigeon-breeders, saw the variation of finch-beaks: and despite his caveats, the rest of the world made a myth to fill in the gaps(not Darwin's intent). Someone once pointed out to me that dogs "evolved": after a while, we were aware we were talking about "adaption" and "variation" in dogs, rather than dogs having been transmutated through another species. The discussion ground to a silence as it was then realised that the cause for the variation was a guiding and external intelligence at work(human).
It is a stupid and sad fact that in our schools we are taught to unquestioningly accept the unprovenness of evolution as "fact", then have this idea slipped in with ideas of variation as meaning the same thing. We then have "Evolution" taught, yet when wishing to discuss Creation, we have to denigrate it by putting an "ism" on the end...so why don't we at least be scientific enough to level the playing field by being taught "Evolutionism"? Ergo, science is not being very scientific really. The madness is then that we believe by rote something that is not scientific(evolution)...I call that rather narrowminded hogwash meself.
Rufus, you do realise that this is all your fault!....
Extra treats for that terrier!
Heck I'd rather believe we came from monkeys rather than facing the truth that our Father had sour grapes at a snake for making his children eat apples and then having a tantrum and kicking them out. I mean c'mon, who holds a grudge like that? It doesn't sound very divine to me.
So whats the next smart move.. Ok I'll send my son down and let his own people abandon him and then pretend for the next two thousand years that it didn't happen while the people that hung him up thought "hang on a minute, this sounds like a good way to keep the people subjigated" and then went on to kill more people than any ten other events combined for that same time period.
In case you lot hadn't noticed this is more than I've posted here in the last few weeks so thank you for the amusement. I do find that Christians are some of the easiest people to bait on the planet. Be more like the Buddhists and challenge your beliefs rather than blindly accepting them.
Ah James, the jokes on you. See how the angry Rufus bites, argues and curses. NOT.
Please be calm, you silly, silly man.