Pagan-rooted 'Holidays'


 All we hear and are being told is that our Savior was born on the 25th of December, in the dead-cold of winter, some 2,000 years ago; without even proving from the Bible the date exactly on which He was born and the command to observe, commemorate or celebrate His birth. But December 25 is a Roman calendar dating. The Gregorian-Roman calendar vastly differs from the calendar in the Bible given by this our very same creating Savior whose birth-transformation into the flesh is supposedly being observed in the celebration of Christmas. Had He meant for us to or instructed that we observe/celebrate His birth and on the very same date that He was born IF celebrating birthdays is an acknowledged practice by our Creator’s worshipers in the Bible, wouldn’t he have preferred that the date we celebrate in honor of His birth be the Hebrew Bible lunar calendar date on which He was born IF the Bible tells on its calendar what this date is seeing it is He who has created and given to man the calendar in the Bible from the heavens of His Father’s own designing?

Yes, indeed, for a surety, our creating Savior was indeed born from the womb of a virgin into this world of sin in the form of a human being to have become our heavenly Father’s provided atoning sacrificial Passover lamb for the remission of our sins. But on what Bible calendar date was He born? Is there any evidence anywhere at all whatsoever throughout the New Testament writings in the Holy Bible where He pin-pointedly declared to His disciples the date on which He was born with the command that it is to be observed in honor of His birth as He gave command to observe His death? If not, then the following quoted authorities which are probably taking dust on your in-home library bookshelf are altogether correct in what they are saying in connection with the yearly celebration in winter supposedly in remembrance of the birth of our Savior and the origin of Christmas. These are but merely a few that might be available at a free public library in or not too far from your local home town, city, or village of residence or perhaps on your in-home library bookshelf as well as from the various publishers of this wealth of information.

Where does the word Christmas come from? “Christmas predates the Messiah by 2,000 years. It was first observed in rites of idolatrous pagans, and the Creator punished Israel for becoming involved in these rites. He also warns you not to learn heathen ways. The word Christmas derives from the old English Cristes-masse, a Catholic mass that grew out of a feast day established in the year 1038. A mass is a prayer for a dead person. Why is it applied to the birth of the messiah?” (The Real Story of CHRISTMAS, inside front cover and page 4; a booklet published by Yahweh’s Assembly in Messiah, 401 N. Roby Farm Road, Rocheport, Missouri 65279, U.S.A.).

When was a feast supposedly in celebration of our Savior’s birth first instituted? “Christmas was according to many authorities not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth. A feast was established in the memory of the birth of the Savior in the Fourth Century.” “Who ordered the celebration, supposedly in honor of our Savior’s birth, for a particular day? “In the Fifth Century the Western Church [Roman Catholic] ordered

it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman Feast of the birth of Sol [the sun].” (Encyclopedia Americana, 1942 edition, volume 6, page 623).

What was that date chosen on which to observe our Savior’s birth, and by whom? “…The Latin Church…placed it on the 25th of December, the very day on which the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of their goddess Bruma. Pope Julius I was the person who made this alteration.” (Clarke’s Commentary).

Is it our Savior’s birth which brought about the feasting on December 25th, which we are witnessing today, in honor of Christmas? “Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ.” (The Two Babylons, page 93).

“December 25 was the date of the Roman pagan festival inaugurated in 274 as the birthday of the unconquered sun which at the winter solstice begins again to show an increase in light. Sometime before 336 the Church in Rome, unable to stamp out this pagan festival, spiritualized it as the feast of Nativity of the Sun of Righteousness.” (New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, page 223).

“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946 edition).

“For the first 300 years, the religious writers are silent regarding the Christmas observance. An Armenian writer of the eleventh century states that the Christmas festival was first celebrated in Constantinople in 373. In Egypt the western birthday festival was opposed during the early years of the fifth century, but was celebrated in Alexandria as early as 432.” (The Real Story of CHRISTMAS, page 4).

“The well-known solar feast of Natalis Invicti [The Nativity of the Unconquered Sun] celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 3, page 727).

Christmas is taken into custody, tried and imprisoned with rejection for a while on the grounds of being of pagan origin. … “In England, for example, the Puritans could not tolerate this celebration for which there was no biblical sanction. Consequently, the Roundhead Parliament of 1643 outlawed the feast of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, along with the saints’ days.” (Celebrations, page 312).

“In 1644 the English Puritans forbade any merriment or religious services by act of Parliament on the grounds that Christmas was a heathen festival. They were so opposed to its observance that they ordered a fast on December 25. Why didn’t the early converts celebrate Christmas and what made it a heathen festival?” (The Real Story, page 4). …

The December 25th festivity claimed in honor of our Savior’s birth today originates from ancient idol-sun worshipers. “In the Julian Calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning point of the year. Now Mithras was regularly identified by his worshipers with the Sun, the Unconquered Sun, as they called him; hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December.” (The Golden Bough, page 416).

“Between 1400 B.C.E. and 400 C.E., Persians, Indians, Romans, and Greeks worshiped the deity Mithras. He was particularly important in the Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.” (Encyclopedia of World Religions, page 94). “The Persian Mithras was a god of contract, a mediator between gods and man, and was closely connected with both the sun and the kingship, the principle of law and order in society.” (Page 97).

“Mithraism, in fact, was one of the last of the oriental ‘mystery cults’ to reach the West. It became the chief rival of Christianity. Altars to Mithras, dating from the first to the fifth century, are common in England. The pagan feast of the Saturnalia, which the Romans celebrated in honor of the deity Saturn from December 17 to 24, eventually encompassed the feast of Mithras. Many of the practices of Christmas trace to the Saturnalia celebration. At the Saturnalia, Romans lavishly decorated their homes with evergreens. Men discarded their togas for more festive holiday garments. Families and friends exchanged gifts of candles and clay dolls. Nero enjoyed having himself appointed ‘Lord of the Misrule,’ or the one who presided over Saturnalia merrymaking. He is reported to have led the grand parade, playing his harp and singing bawdy ballads. And even today, Christmas time–like the Saturnalia–lasts seven days. The Saturnalia was instituted under the name Brumalia, which meant ‘Winter solstice.’ How, then, did these rankly pagan festivals of sun worship become entwined with the worship of the Savior of men? The same way December 25 came to be accepted.” (The Real Story, page 11).

Usage of Babylon-based idol-sun worship practices called Christmas in observance of our Savior’s birth spread the world over from ancient Rome. “Gradually, through trade, influence of Babylon spread to other nations as they incorporated its government and religious system. …the customs, practices, and beliefs of these heathen Babylonians have survived to this day and are found in nearly every nation on earth.” (The Real Story, page 5).

How did the Babylon-based Christmas idol-sun worship come to be employed by Bible believers supposedly in observance of the Bible accounted birth of our Savior? “The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The recognition of Sunday (the day of Phoebus and Mithras as well as the Lord’s Day) by the emperor Constantine as a legal holiday, along with the influence of Manicheism, which identified the Son of [Yahweh] with the physical sun, may have led Christians of the fourth century to feel the appropriateness of making the birthday of the Son of [Yahweh] coincide with that of the physical sun. 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 or in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Nearer East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which [Yahshua’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 New Schaff-Jerzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, page 48).

“Merely to placate the heathen and bring them into the Church, the pagan festival of Christmas was adopted. In other words, they could have their cherished old Saturnalia as well as their new faith—merely cloaked in a different name!” (The Real Story, page 12).

“The heathen winter holidays (Saturnalia, Juvenalia, Brumalia) were undoubtedly transformed, and, so to speak, sanctified by the establishment of the Christmas cycle of holidays; and the heathen customs…were brought over into Christian use.” (Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, page 276).

“There can be little doubt that the Church was anxious to distract the attentions of Christians from the old heathen feast days by celebrating Christian festivals on the same days. On December 25 was the dies natalis solis invicti or the sol novus (new sun) especially cultivated by the votaries of Mithraism.” (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, volume 3, page 607).

“December 25, the birthday of Mithra, the Iranian god of light and contract and the day devoted to the invincible sun, as well as the day after the saturnalia, was adopted by the Church as Christmas, the nativity of [Yahshua], to counteract the effects of these festivals.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, volume 7, page 202).

“Mithra, the Iranian god of light and sacred contracts, is described as being born from a rock, the birth being witnessed by shepherds on a day (December 25) that was later claimed by Christians as the nativity of [Yahshua].” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, volume 4, page 552).

Not pinpointed or commanded in the Bible, can the date or time of year when our Savior was born be arrived at? “There is no historical evidence that our [Savior’s] birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or post-apostolic times.” (The New Schaff-Jerzog Encyclopedia, “Christmas,” page 47).

“The day was not one of the early feasts of the Christian church. In fact the observance of birthdays was condemned as a heathen custom repugnant to Christians.” (The American Book of Days, by George W. Douglas, page 658).

“Inexplicable though it seems, the date of the [Messiah’s] birth is not known. The Gospels indicate neither the day nor the month.” (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 3, page 656).

“The fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity. No corresponding festival was presented by the Old Testament … the day and the month of the birth of [the Messiah] are nowhere stated in the Gospel history, and cannot be certainly determined.” (Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, “Christmas,” page 276).

During what time of the year could our Savior have been born? “Historians have long recognized that Yahshua the Messiah was born in the autumn and not in the dead of winter. The sheep were still in the open fields.” (The Real Story, page 8).

“It was a custom among Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts about the Passover [early spring], and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain. The first rain commences in October or November. As these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Savior was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields … the flocks were still in the fields BY NIGHT. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up.” (Clarke’s Commentary, by Adam Clarke, volume 3, page 370).

“Furthermore, at the time of the Savior’s birth, Caesar Augustus was collecting taxes from Palestine, Luke 2:1-5. Each had to make a journey to ‘his own city’ to pay his taxes. Joseph and Miriam (Mary) traveled to Bethlehem. Requiring the people to make such journeys at the severest time of the year—in the dead of winter—would have sparked a revolt against the hated Roman Empire. The simplest and most logical policy would be to collect taxes after the fall harvest, when store houses were full and resistance would be the least.

Then there is the fact that the Jews would be congregating in the autumn anyway, ‘going up’ to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:8-10, Acts 18:21). Perhaps this is the reason the parents of Yahshua found ‘no room for them in the inn:’ the cities were swollen with travelers to the Feast of Tabernacles.

We can determine the approximate date of the Savior’s birth by knowing when John the Baptist was born. Worship at the time centered on the temple at Jerusalem, where priests were required to perform duties for a week twice in the year, 1 Chron. 24:1-18. John’s father Zacharias was from the family of Abiyah, and had his turn on the eighth week of the year, 1 Chronicles 24:10.

Beginning the count from the Days of Unleavened Bread at the beginning of the year, we come to the third Hebrew month Sivan. It was at this time that the angel of Yahweh told Zacharias he would become the father of a son, Luke 1:13. When his duties were finished he went home, verse 23. At that time Elizabeth conceived, verse 24. This was about the middle or end of our June. Moving forward nine months in the gestation period we come to March and John the Baptist is born. Luke 1:36 notes that Yahshua was six months younger than John. So six months later, the Savior was born—at the end of September or first part of October.

It is commonly recognized that our Savior’s ministry lasted three and a half years. He began when He was 30 years of age, Luke 3:23, Numbers 4:3.

Therefore, He was put to death at the age of 33½ and died at Passover—which falls in the spring at about April. Starting in April and counting back six months to His birthday, we end up with an autumn birth date.” (The Real Story, pages 8-9).

With no apparent existing command to observe our Savior’s birth being found in the Bible, and Christmas at the pens of historians and scholars fails with its supposed Gregorian-Roman December date of our Savior’s birth, but as having originated from ancient idol-sun worshipers, what is now left to be done? “Thus says Yahweh; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against Me, a destroying wind; And will send to Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day

of trouble they shall be against her round about. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of Yahweh’s vengeance; He will render to her a recompence.” (Jeremiah 51:1, 2, 6 KJV).

… “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. … Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and [Elohim] has remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 17:5, 18:4, 5 KJV).

… “for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has [the Messiah] with Belial? And what agreement has the temple of [Yahweh] with idols? For you are the temple of the living [Elohim] … Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says [Yahweh], and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says [the] Almighty [Elohim].” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, 17, 18 KJV).

Submitted by: Augustus Paul