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Location: Kentucky, United States

Monday, December 08, 2003

Bah, Humbug!


I think I finished my civic duty/Christmas shopping over the weekend. Every year I grow to dislike this holiday more. As Scrooge would say, “It’s a poor excuse to pick a man’s pocket every December twenty-fifth.”

Actually, I love seeing my kid’s faces on Christmas morning. The closer I get to the day, the more I enjoy it. I am not a total Scrooge; my wife won’t let me be one. She remodels the house for Christmas each year.

However, (here it comes) as a Christian, I think we should just abandon the holiday and let it be the secular/economic event that it is. “But Timmy,” all my Christian friends will say, “How can you say that about the day of Christ’s birth?”

Simple, it isn’t the day of Christ’s birth.

The usual reply here is that we really aren’t sure what day He was born on, so we just use this as a representative day. That would be all fine and good, if it were true. However, the truth is we are all stuck in a tradition we are afraid to question, a myth of belief. Using scripture, common sense, and simple math you can arrive at what month Christ was born in. Add to that just a touch of theology and you can find the day.

Without writing a book here let me give you the quick version. Looking in gospels we see that John’s father, Zechariah, was a priest belonging to the division of Abijah. All the priests were divided up to work at certain times of the year. One week at a time, from Sabbath to Sabbath for twenty-four divisions twice a year, plus three weeks when all divisions would work at the same time.

Zechariah was working in the Temple on the day he was told by the angel that he would have a son. Jump ahead to when Mary visits Elizabeth. We are told Elizabeth is six months pregnant. John therefore is born during the season of Passover, and Jesus, six months later during the fall. (Yeah, I know that was way fast, but it hits all the main parts while giving you enough to begin research for yourself.)

Now for a little theology:

Jesus was crucified on Passover, rose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits, and the Holy Spirit is poured out on the feast of Pentecost. See a pattern here? Of those feasts, two required everyone in Israel to return to Jerusalem. There was one other feast that required this, and that is the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles.

Tabernacles is a seven day harvest festival that required all of Israel to live in temporary structures made of branches to remember the exodus to the promised land, and the dwelling there before the pagan nations were driven out. There is an additional day, a High Holy Sabbath, added as an eighth day, yet separate, at the end of the Feast. Traditional Jewish writings claim no clear explanation for this added day.

On the eighth day following the birth of a male child, the baby would be taken to the Temple in Jerusalem and circumcised to bring him under the covenant God made with Israel. That is the day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the Temple to be placed under the covenant law. Simeon upon seeing him declared, “My eyes have seen Your Salvation.” That is the reason for the High Sabbath, God placed Himself under the weight of Law, with all that curtails. He kept the Law, remember?

On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles then, Jesus, as the Gospel of John says, dwelt, or "tabernacled" among us.

Cool huh?

So with that we can know the date of Jesus birth. So what day is it, you say? This year it was in October. It follows the Jewish calendar, which is based on a lunar month, as opposed to ours, which is based on a solar one, so it moves around. Sometimes it is in September.

Why December 25th then? That one is easy to find, just google it. It is all based on pagan influences and festivals, coupled with blind tradition. Why do we celebrate it that day? That is a lot harder to understand, and a lot harder to swallow when you find the truth of it, but I'll leave that up to you.

P.S. What kind of word game was Simeon playing when he said, "I have seen your salvation", and how has the Christian world gotten it wrong for the last four hundred years?

Tell you later, if you can handle it ;)

Seriously, it's major, makes this look like nuthin.

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