The Pagan Origins of Christmas
by Chris Huffman
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Okay, I am sure there will be some hate comments or at least negative comments for this article, but that is fine! If you are anyone who has read my previous articles, you know I am very straight forward, outspoken and blunt! I don’t water down the gospel and I don’t teach/preach a health/wealth prosperity kind of gospel! Jesus is my example of how to preach and witness and testify to the truth of his gospel and not worry about offending anyone’s sensibilities. He told it like it was and if you could not handle it then too bad. God is not just a loving and merciful God, he is also a just God and WILL punish sinners in the lake of fire. After all, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire as described in Revelation 20:10 King James Bible.
I upset some people a year or so ago with an article blowing up the myth and need for Santa in the born again Christian home. Well, now I am taking the subject of “Christmas” much, much further by exposing it for what it is…a Pagan/Catholic Church adopted holiday!
I am going to provide some web links in this article for you to investigate this subject for yourself. Then it will be a matter of conscience for you…do I completely stop celebrating a Pagan holiday and toss all the junky decorations that go with Christmas OR do I keep celebrating it simply because it is “tradition” and I just love tradition?
Let’s see what Jesus and Paul had to say about this:
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:9 KJB)
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and NOT after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 KJB)
So, let’s jump right into this shall we!
There is a lot to cover so I will start with the whole “3 wise men” thing. For some reason we have gotten it into our heads that there were 3 wise men that sought out Jesus to worship him. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!! Read Matthew 2:1-12 KJB and this will solve the problem. Scripture never once tells us there were 3 wise men. There could have only been 2 or there could have been 5. The fact that they gave Jesus 3 different types of gifts (treasures) of gold, frankincense and myrrh means that they just gave him 3 different types of gifts…period (as found in Matt. 2:11 KJB). Next is the fact according to Scripture that the wise men saw Jesus AS A YOUNG CHILD NOT AS A BABY! Read verse 11 again. It says “young child.” Even wicked King Herod told the wise men when they talked with him in verses 2-7, to go to Bethlehem to search for the “young child.” A young child is NOT a baby!! From the time it took the wise men to come from the east to Jerusalem would have been around 2 years or so. Then from Jerusalem to Bethlehem it would have been 6 miles or a 2 hour walk before they reached Mary and Joseph’s house, because that was where they resided for they did not live in Nazareth until verse 23 of chapter 2.
Now, let’s cover the actual birth of Jesus as in WHERE and WHEN he was born! You see folks Scripture gives you these answers when you “search the scriptures” (John 5:39 KJB). First let’s establish where he was NOT born. Luke 2:7 KJB tells us, “And she brought forth her FIRSTBORN son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was NO ROOM FOR THEM IN THE INN.” Ok, we learn actually two things there in just ONE verse. Jesus was NOT born in an inn and he WAS born in a stable BECAUSE that is the only place you would find mangers. Now, according to Noah Webster’s Dictionary 1828 AD, a manger is “1. A trough or box in which fodder is laid for cattle, or the place in which horses and cattle are fed.” Consider also his definition of swaddling clothes, “Binding in tight clothes.” A definition from Wikipedia says, “Swaddling clothes described in the Bible consisted of a cloth tied together by bandage-like strips. After an infant was born, the umbilical cord was cut and tied, and then the baby was washed, rubbed with salt and oil, and wrapped with strips of cloth. These strips kept the newborn child warm and also ensured that the child's limbs would grow straight.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaddling)
What a humble and simple place for our Lord, God and Saviour to come into the world huh. There is no indication he was born in a cave either like some people teach. But he was born IN Bethlehem and not outside the city like some teach. And even though a stable is not mentioned in Scripture it is safe to reason that Jesus was born in one since it is where horses and other animals were housed and that is where you would find mangers for the animals to feed from. Just Google Bethlehem, mangers in the First Century Israel or whatever combination of wording you want to use and you will find tons of helpful information.
Now, as for the “when” Jesus was born…well, that is fairly easy to discern as well. Any Jewish historian will tell you that Jesus WAS NOT born on December 25 based on numerous factors. The first being Luke 2:8, “And there were in the SAME country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock BY NIGHT.” In the winter time it is really cold there and rainy and the fields have already been harvested and are not producing any new growth. And secondly, the shepherds were watching their sheep, at night no less. They don’t do this in the winter because it is too cold. Hello? So those examples right there rule out Jesus being born in the winter. Now, even though Scripture does not say exactly when he was born, Scripture does give us some help in at least getting close, at least the month but not an exact date and month. The best way to figure this out is by knowing what the Jewish months are in their 12 month yearly cycle.
They begin with Nisan, which would be our March or April month and contains Passover. Next is Iyar (pronounced ee-yar), which would be our April or May; then Sivan, which would be our May or June and contains Shavoot. Then comes Tammuz (yes that’s right Tammuz—the Jews named it that to serve as a reminder of the judgment that came for idolatry of Pagan Babylonian worship), which is our June or July. Next is Av, which would be our July or August; then Elul, which would be our August or September and is the introspection period for the New Year. Then comes Tishri, our September or October and is the Jewish New Year and contains Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Next comes Kheshvan, our October or November and contains Hanukah. Then comes Tevet, our December or January; then Shevat, our January or February; and finally Adar, our February or March and contains Purim.
Now that we have an understanding of the Jewish months go to Luke 1:5-9 KJB. John the Baptist’s father was Zacharias and he was a Levi priest and held the office of burning incense in the temple of the Lord, meaning that he held the course of Abia, which was to burn incense in the temple. Zacharias belonged to a set lot of courses, two for each month and he belonged to the 8th lot, meaning he did his duty in the 4th month, (the course of Abia was in the 4th month). Now I have researched this as well as I can without my eyes crossing but I believe the 4th month would be Tammuz (June or July for us). In Luke 1:24 KJB it says that Zacharias’ wife Elisabeth conceived John. Now move 6 months forward to Luke 1:36 KJB where the angel Gabriel tells Mary that Elisabeth is 6 months into her pregnancy. Well, if Elisabeth did conceive John in June then count 6 months later to December. If we just keep doing the math (and granted I was never that good at it in school) we come to John being born in March for a total of 9 months (since we know that is the length of pregnancy for a woman).
This would then tell us that Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost in December, causing the supernatural pregnancy where the Holy Ghost would be wrapped in flesh, blood and bone for 9 months which would mean that Jesus was born in September! Now…just to clear the air here. I am not trying to “set” any dates for Jesus’ “actual” birth or anything. I am just relaying to you my personal findings and this is what I came up with, which I do believe is a very plausible conclusion, but feel free to do your own research. I have checked my research though against many other sources and the same result comes up as September as being the time when Jesus was born. I LOVE researching and digging into issues and whatnot, so I know not everyone is like that. Take this to heart my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus BY FAITH ALONE, IF God did want us to know and observe the birth date of Jesus he would have said so in Scripture…but he does NOT!! Just like he did not have any information pertaining to the period of time from the age of 12 to when Jesus appeared to John the Baptist to begin his ministry.
Alright, with that under our hats, I bet your wondering now just how we came to celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25 aren’t you? Well, you can thank the Catholic Church and Paganism for it. First we know that there is NO Biblical authority for us to observe it (although we can remember his birth in our heart 24/7, 365), so we DO NOT need the Catholic Church to tell us to celebrate it on one particular day out of the year. No born again believers did this for the first 300 years of the early Bible believing church! So why did they establish December 25 as the birth date of Jesus? Well, December 25 was one of the biggest festivals or holidays for Pagans. The Roman world in Jesus’ time and for many hundreds of years after was Pagan, worshipping the unconquered Sun god, known by various names throughout history but in this time it was Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun), along with other deities such as Saturn. The Pagans had a greeting even for the revelry that went, “lo, Saturnalia” or praise to Saturn! During the winter solstice (December 17-23), many deities were honored under various names that came from Greek myth, since the Greek Empire had once consumed the world prior to the Roman Empire rising up to swallow the world.
There was even a Persian deity called Mithra, that became the religion of the Roman soldiers, hence Mithraism, that was honored at the same time, featuring numerous occultic celebrations. There were drunken orgies, men dressing like women and vice versa, gift giving and so on. December 25 marked the day when the Sun (sun) god would rise or be born anew in the Pagan world. The winter solstice was celebrated by Pagans around the world. In Ancient Rome, the priests of Saturn would carry wreaths of evergreen boughs in a procession. The evergreen tree was a mighty symbol of the essence of life and regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship. By the way, “phallic” means resembling a phallus and the variant of the word phallus means…an IMAGE of the male reproductive organ (penis) carried in processions in ancient festivals of Dionysus or Bacchus, symbolizing the generative power in nature. Coincidentally, obelisks (as found in Ancient Egypt and Rome) share a history with phallic symbology. And guess where you can find some of the biggest and most recognizable obelisks in the world today? In St. Peter’s Square in front of the Vatican (capital of the Roman Catholic Church) and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Check it out for yourselves.
Evergreen trees played a role in winter solstice worship. For every Pagan act and celebration, we find it almost entirely housed in the “Christmas” celebrations of today. People hang a mistletoe over someone’s head to steal a kiss; we hang evergreen wreaths on doors, walls, even our car grills. We cut down or buy trees in tree farms around the country and fasten them down so they stand upright and deck them with gold and silver and various other decorations. We toss a Yule log on the fire and give gifts to each other and eat huge meals. NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH JESUS! It is all Pagan garbage that belongs with the Pagans!
But the Catholic Church could not leave well enough alone. First of all, “Christmas” is a conjunction of two words: Christ and Mass…shortened later on to Christmas. The word Mass means death and is a Roman Catholic term describing the death of Christ, distribution of the Host (Jesus as the wafer-god) which is a word taken from the Latin word hostia, meaning Victim. So clearly “Christmas” is a Catholic invention.
The tactics of the Catholic Church were simple: in order to advance the Romish Church, the hierarchy just adopted or absorbed all the Pagan practices and feasts and superstitions into the RCC in a vain effort to convert the Pagans to Catholicism (not Christianity). The Bishops simply changed the names of the feasts. Consider this quote from The Encyclopedia Americana, 1946 article, “CHRISTMAS, the 'Mass of Christ'... In the 5th century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the Birth of Sol (the Sun)... Among the German and Celtic tribes, the Winter Solstice was considered an important point of the year, and they held their chief festival of Yule to commemorate the return of the burning-wheel (the sun).”
The Catholic Encyclopedia (online) says this, “There is NO DOUBT that the original Christian nuclei attracted PAGAN accretions (additions).” And again the Encyclopedia Americana says, “At the commencement of this festival, a great number of candles were lighted in the temple of Saturn... no business was transacted, schools kept holiday, law courts were closed. Jests and freedom everywhere prevailed, and all ceased from their various occupations.”
So when was the winter solstice celebrated as the Catholic Church’s Christ Mass? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, it was not recognized by the saints of the first 300 years. Ireneus and Tertullian don’t have it in their list of feasts. It was not until the middle 300’s AD that anyone began to “celebrate” Christ Mass. Consider the following from the great classic book by Alexander Hislop called “The Two Babylons” on pages 93 and 94:
“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. It may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ adopted the same festival. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism halfway was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition…That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies, with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, 'about the time of the winter solstice.' The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among us -- Yule-day -- proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. 'Yule' is the Chaldee name for an 'infant' or 'little child'; and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, 'Yule-day,' or the 'Child's-day,' and the night that preceded it, 'Mother-night,' long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide, in the realms of Paganism, was this birthday observed.”
Even with the Catholic Church “declaring” that Jesus was born on December 25, Christ Mass did not take off at first. It was not until the 400’s AD that it was officially recognized and celebrated. But even by absorbing Pagan celebrations and changing the names of their gods and feasts, Rome could not convert all the heathens to become Catholic! The Pagans were already celebrating December 25 as the birthday of their favored god, such as Tammuz, from Babylon; Horus, from Egypt; Mithra, from Persia; Dionysus, Hercules, Perseus, Helios, Bacchus, Apollo, Jupiter and Sol Invictus, of Greece and Rome.
Among the biggest icons of Christmas is the tree. Consider this quote again from Hislop’s book “The Two Babylons” page 97:
“The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm tree denoting the Pagan messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of Adonis, the sun-god and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the 'Man the branch.' And this entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas Eve, and the appearance of the Christmas tree the next morning.”
Check out this quote from Jeremiah 10:1-4 KJB, “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn NOT the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”
Are you getting the picture yet folks? Christmas is wicked Paganism and has nothing to do with Jesus and he has nothing to do with it! God hates all of this idolatrous celebrating of “Christmas” and Easter! Yes, Easter my friends is a Pagan holiday and was celebrated long before Jesus came into the world in the flesh, unfortunately, Modern corrupt Bibles by way of corrupt manuscripts, make Easter Passover thus confusing everyone.
Sadly, who Christians think they are honoring as Jesus is actually them honoring the Pagan god Tammuz, who is mentioned in Ezekiel 8:14 KJB, as is the fish god Dagon (Judges 16:23; 1 Samuel 5:2-5, 7; 1 Chronicles 10:10 KJB) and Baal. Everything that one can trace back to the Roman Catholic Church can in turn be traced back to Babylon. Anything in the Catholic Church came virtually from Babylon and in some cases from the Old Testament.
So what about the Nativity? Surely that is Christian? Nope! It was the brainchild of St. Francis of Assissi, a Catholic monk, in 1224 AD where he created a “living” Nativity scene where people dressed up in biblical clothing and the manger housed a life-sized doll of Jesus. Francis was the founder of the Catholic order known as the Franciscan Monks, who along with the Dominican Monks (founded by St. Dominic) led heavy papal persecutions against Bible believing born again Christians.
He (Francis) was the first to create “Christmas Carols” as well. Now, consider if you will the following quotes. The first one is from the covert double agent, John Henry Newman, a Vatican agent secretly encamped within Protestantism, who after outing himself in 1845, led hundreds of ministers, theologians, professors and Parliament members to Rome, made this amazing statement in his “Essay on the Development of the Christian Doctrine, page 373”:
“The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”
That is fascinating, especially coming from this guy, who was made a Cardinal in 1879. Now check out this quote from Father John Sullivan, a Jesuit, who said, “It is interesting to note how our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans…Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those pagan creeds.” (The Externals of the Catholic Church, Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacraments and Devotions, page 156, from P.J. Kennedy, NY, 1942)
I am going to end this here, but as I said I will provide websites for you to check to learn more.
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I totally agree! Thanks so much! :)