It is widely believed today that Jesus Christ was not actually born on the date of December 25th.
Almost every Bible scholar has known and attested for centuries, that Jesus could not have been born on this date. Biblical, chronological, historical and astronomical evidence concerning the birth date of Jesus points to Wednesday September 11, 3 BC.
But if 25th December, is not his date of birth why do many Christians celebrate the saviour’s birthday on this date?
It is believed that the Roman emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity, wanted to incorporate the pagan winter rituals together with the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
The December festival in Rome known as the saturnalia, celebrating the birth of their sun-god, was adopted as Christ’s birth date in the 3rd Century.
A special mass was also instituted and celebrated for Christ thus, the name “Christ-mass” the pagan traditions of decorating fir trees ,lightening the Yule-log ,and many other customs associated with Saturnalia were adopted.
In this way, Constantine hoped to help both pagans and Christians celebrate together. Many believe that this is the reason for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th.
Eventually, the Roman church became almost completely successful in making the December celebration only about the birth of Christ, replacing any celebrations that were in honor of pagan gods. It was easier to take away an unholy (but traditional) festival from the population, by replacing it with a good one.
Otherwise, the Church would have left a void where there was a long-standing tradition, and risked producing a discontented population and a rapid return to the old ways.
The truth of the Word of God surrounding the birth of Christ has been lost in the traditions and artistry of pagan and modern celebrations.
Today if we are to understand our saviour’s birth we must study God’s Word from its inherent accuracy. Various misconceptions about Christ’s birth show the need to always test everything we hear against God’s Word, no matter what the source, the Bible is the final authority.