If you ask most Christians what is date of Jesus' birth, they will day "December 25, 0 AD." Then, if you ask them what is the date of Jesus' death, most will say they don't know, or they will struggle to give you an answer. If you ask 10 people this question, you will probably get 10 different answers.
The calendars used 2000 years ago were not the same calendars we use today. Most pre-Gregorian calendars listed December 25 as the Winter Solstice day, Many biblical historians agree that Jesus was probably born in the springtime, and that there is as much as a 30-year difference between the time that he was born, and the time that we recognize on our modern calendar.
Some early branches of Christianity celebrated the birth of Christ on the first day of the Spring Solstice. December 25 became firmly established as the "Christ Mass" day when Pope Leo crowned Frankish King Charlemagne as king of the Holy Roman Empire, on December 25, 800. This date was significant because not only did this signal the transition from the Dark Ages to the Medieval period, but his firmly established the link between the Christian church and aristocratic government. People viewed the Pope as Divine, therefore the Pope crowning the king meant it was God's will to bestow upon us the man we herald as the king.
With the Holy Roman government forcing people to acknowledge December 25 as the date of Christ's birth, the practice of celebrating Christmas in the Spring quickly faded away. And thus began the marriage between the church and the state, in the Western world, that largely went unchallenged until the Magna Carta was signed by England's King John, in 1215, and finally the American Constitutional Convention, in 1787, when the policy of separating the church from the state became more prevalent.
Dionysius Exiguus, a monk from Russia who died about 544 seems to be the first to actually set the date. His reasoning was thus:
His contemporaries claimed that God created the earth on March 25.
It was inconceivable that the son of God could have been in any way imperfect.
Therefore Jesus must have been conceived on March 25.
This meant that he must have been born nine months later—December 25.
The machinations by the early church to get Jesus' birthday on 12-25 have been fascinating - this isn't the only example of that great effort. It was necessary, because Romans were already celebrating that day and the church wished an alternative celebration to smooth the conversion of the heathen into Christianity.
I think this is common knowledge in the church.
I think all of us Christians... OK, a vast majority of us Christians know that.
And this is news, why? A majority of Christians know that isn't the actual date. But that day was set aside for the celebration of his birth
Short Version: He was more likely to be born in the summer, the holiday just absorbed the Winter Solstice and Saturnalia as a cheap ploy to convert pagans, and 0 AD doesn't even exist (1 BC -> 1 AD).
Why does anyone care? If it was of great importance what day you set aside in memory then i suppose someone would know the exact day. Fussing over when and where sidelines the whole spirit behind the holiday. And, isn't that what's important? The spirit of love? Peace on earth, goodwill toward Man?
The queen has two birthdays, an official one with all the pomp and circumstance in June, and her real one which is a private affair. Sooo Jesus gets an official birthday on December 25th, and a real one at some unknown date. What's the beef?
by anothermathgeek7 years ago
I was surprised to hear from a friend of mine who's a born-again Christian that Jesus was probably born in spring time. She told me that its commonly agreed by Christian scholars.She told me that December 25 was...
by santosardee7 years ago
Many religion now see Catholicism and Paganism more similar to each other. For example, the celebration of Christmas in Dec 25 by Catholics is rooted from a Pagan celebration according to some religion.
by Fenixfan6 years ago
Since Christmas has just passed I thought that this would be a good topic to gather some insight of fellow Christians or non Christians. Whoever has read the Bible should be able to shed an opinion.I, myself, am a...
by nikki17 years ago
Happy Birthday Jesus Merry Christmas to all
by Jenny Pugh4 years ago
This question is for Christians but others may join the discussion. Many Christians in various religious sect see only the sacrifices of Jesus on the cross. But there is the essence of Christianity that is definitely a...
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