1 C hristmas Or Christmyth?
2 Star of Bethlehem
CHRISTMAS OR CHRISTMYTH?
(Investigator 144, 2012
December 25th was a Pagan day of celebration long before Christianity
took it over from the Roman Saturnalia festival that was 4000 years
In fact there was no Christmas day for the first three centuries of
Christianity until Emperor Constantine in 313 AD.
December 25th was the winter solstice had different meanings in
- In Babylon
Egypt it was the mid-winter festival.
- In Phrygia
it was the birth of the ancient God Attis.
- In Germany
it was a
- In Persia
the birth of the sun-god Mithras.
- In Rome it
celebration called Saturnalia to Saturn God of Peace.
was a festival called Yule, the growing season for the coming summer’s
bounty; the evergreen tree was their special plant of their sun-god
- In Celtic
it revered all green plants, particularly mistletoe and holly — symbols
In the Christian Christmas, these cultures were officially converted in
336 AD by Emperor Constantine by combining with earlier Pagan
traditions. The addition of Christ to the celebrations of the winter
solstice did not occur until more than 300 years after Christ.
In 350 AD Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be
celebrated on December 25th. He did this to fit in with the Roman
festival of their God Saturn.
Christ’s actual birth date according to several research records was on
1st March, BC 7 although Christian mythology tries its best to hide it.
But all research points out it was NOT 25th December.
The other fairy stories of the three wise men following the star to
Bethlehem and the shepherds are all part of the myth.
Just imagine a star, however big, could you locate over which house it
Records also show that Christ was born somewhere near Qumran, miles
Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions
STAR OF BETHLEHEM
(Investigator 145, 2012
Mr De Kretser (#144) correctly pointed out that Christmas festivities
honoring Christ's birth replaced Pagan Roman festivities.
De Kretser's further claim that "Records show that Christ was born
somewhere near Qumran miles from Bethlehem" is, however, weird
considering that De Kretser has previously argued Christ never existed.
He also mentions "research records" showing Christ was born 1st March,
BC 7" but declares the "three wise men" to be a "myth" — "Just imagine
a star…could you locate over which house it is?"
We considered all such arguments in Investigator 81, 82, 88 and
119. The computer software Skymap showed that the planets Venus
and Jupiter merged together as viewed from Earth in the eastern sky
before dawn on August 12, 3 BC. Ten months later on June 17, 2 BC they
joined again this time in the western sky after sunset.
Venus and Jupiter are both much brighter than Sirius, the brightest
star. Their "conjunction" would have been spectacular compared to the
usual night sky, besides being astrologically significant to the "wise
men" (i.e. "magi" or astrologers). Jupiter to them would have
kingship. And the New Testament twice compares Jesus to Venus —
Revelation 22:16 and II Peter 1:19.
The "wise men" did not "follow" the Star for their entire journey but
saw it "in the East" (Matthew 2:2) and would have calculated the date
the Venus/Jupiter conjunction would recur.
The second conjunction was
in the western night sky and was visible for perhaps 4 hours. The "wise
men" probably decided on Bethlehem from the prophecy of Micah 5 — "But
you, Bethlehem … out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over
If the "wise men" approached Bethlehem from the east after
sunset, Venus-Jupiter would literally have appeared to travel "ahead of
them" pointing the way.
The Star "stopped over the place where the child was". "The
place" refers to Bethlehem and the appearance of stopping could be
produced by some slow-moving clouds surrounding the "Star".
Matthew does not state how the magi found the exact house — they
may have enquired about any newborn boy and confirmed matters with the
father who led them inside to Mary. This would have been at least 40
days after Jesus' birth to allow for various legal rites for newborns
mentioned in Luke 2:21-24. The shepherds who visited when Jesus was
born therefore visited over 40 days before the magi — Christmas cards
which show shepherds and magi together are mistaken.
The 2 BC birth-date agrees with Jesus' ministry commencing when Jesus
was 30 "in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar" (Luke
3:1, 23) i.e. in CE 29.
From the Gospels we know Jesus' ministry lasted 3½ years;
therefore the above suggests the crucifixion occurred in CE 33.
Astronomer Duncan Steel writes: "Because Passover is at full moon, and
the Crucifixion was on a Friday, only certain dates are feasible, 7
April in AD30 and 3 April in AD33 being the chief candidates…"
Steel says that allusions to the Moon being "turned to blood" after the
Crucifixion could refer to a lunar eclipse. A computation of lunar
eclipses visible from Jerusalem revealed a lunar eclipse occurred on
one of the above "feasible" dates i.e. 3 April AD33.
For more information see my articles in #81, 82, 88 and 119 which are
on the Investigator website.
Exact dates when added to hundreds of other checkable facts in the New
Testament guarantee the accuracy of the Jesus story.
Steel, D. 1999 Eclipse, Headline, Great Britain, p. 21.
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