From Saturnalia To Christmas

Where Did Christmas Come From?

Every year since ???? most people have gone nuts on BLACK FRIDAY wanting the latest thing at the supposedly best bargain. Halloween and Christmas stuff were put out at the same time this year! The weekend before our Thanksgiving Day, a worthy national holiday, all that one can see on the Hallmark channel was back to back Christmas Love Stories. Thought that was for Valentine’s Day! Parents have had to run up their credit cards just to keep a holiday that they will be paying interest on for however long.

I became heartbroken while a small child when I learned that there was no
real Santa and saw where those toys, other than I asked Santa for, really came from. That’s a tough thing to remember when your Dad had to work two jobs to raise five kids. It was tough on him to keep the tradition, but my parents kept it no matter what. How often does one here “it’s going to be a skimpy Christmas this year”? This year folks will appease the merchants by their tradition no matter how much they will go in debt keeping it.

It’s make or break season for merchants!?!?

What would merchants do without Christmas and other pagan adaptations?!?!

History of Christmas

Saturnalia

Was Christmas banned in USA until 1836?

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From The History Channel

Their written Article:

Saturnalia

Saturnalia, held in mid-December, is an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Because of when the holiday occurred—near the winter solstice—Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas, such as wreaths, candles, feasting and gift-giving.

What Is Saturnalia?

Saturnalia, the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, derived from older farming-related rituals of midwinter and the winter solstice, especially the practice of offering gifts or sacrifices to the gods during the winter sowing season.

The pagan celebration of Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture and time, began as a single day, but by the late Republic (133-31 B.C.) it had expanded to a weeklong festival beginning December 17. (On the Julian calendar, which the Romans used at the time, the winter solstice fell on December 25.)

How the Romans Celebrated Saturnalia

During Saturnalia, work and business came to a halt. Schools and courts of law closed, and the normal social patterns were suspended.

People decorated their homes with wreaths and other greenery, and shed their traditional togas in favor of colorful clothes known as synthesis. Even enslaved people did not have to work during Saturnalia, but were allowed to participate in the festivities; in some cases, they sat at the head of the table while their masters served them.

Instead of working, Romans spent Saturnalia gambling, singing, playing music, feasting, socializing and giving each other gifts. Wax taper candles called cerei were common gifts during Saturnalia, to signify light returning after the solstice.

On the last day of Saturnalia celebrations, known as the Sigillaria, many Romans gave their friends and loved ones small terracotta figurines known as signillaria, which may have referred back to older celebrations involving human sacrifice.

Saturnalia was by far the jolliest Roman holiday; the Roman poet Catullus famously described it as “the best of times.” So riotous were the festivities that the Roman author Pliny reportedly built a soundproof room so that he could work during the raucous celebrations.

Temple of Saturn and Other Saturnalia Customs

Constructed in the fourth century A.D. to replace an earlier temple, the Temple of Saturn in Rome served as the ceremonial center of later Saturnalia celebrations. On the first day of the festivities, a young pig would often be publicly sacrificed at the temple, which was located in the northwest corner of the Roman Forum.

The cult statue of Saturn in the temple traditionally had woolen bonds tied around his feet, but during Saturnalia these bonds were loosened to symbolize the god’s liberation.

In many Roman households, a mock king was chosen: the Saturnalicius princeps, or “leader of Saturnalia,” sometimes also called the “Lord of Misrule.” Usually a lowlier member of the household, this figure was responsible for making mischief during the celebrations—insulting guests, wearing crazy clothing, chasing women and girls, etc.

The idea was that he ruled over chaos, rather than the normal Roman order. The common holiday custom of hiding coins or other small objects in cakes is one of many dating back to Saturnalia, as this was a method of choosing the mock king.

How Saturnalia Led to Christmas

Thanks to the Roman Empire’s conquests in Britain and the rest of Europe from the second century B.C. to the fourth century A.D.—and their suppression of older seasonal rites practiced by the Celts and other groups—today’s Western cultures derive many of their traditional celebrations of midwinter from Saturnalia.

The Christian holiday of Christmas, especially, owes many of its traditions to the ancient Roman festival, including the time of year Christmas is celebrated. The Bible does not give a date for Jesus’ birth; in fact, some theologians have concluded he was probably born in spring, as suggested by references to shepherds and sheep in the Nativity story.

But by the fourth century A.D., Western Christian churches settled on celebrating Christmas on December 25, which allowed them to incorporate the holiday with Saturnalia and other popular pagan midwinter traditions.

Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

Pagans and Christians co-existed (though not always happily) during this period, and this likely represented an effort to convince the remaining pagan Romans to accept Christianity as Rome’s official religion.

Before the end of the fourth century, many of the traditions of Saturnalia—including giving gifts, singing, lighting candles, feasting and merrymaking—had become absorbed by the traditions of Christmas as many of us know them today.

Sources

John Matthews, The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas (Godsfield Press, 1998).
Saturnalia, World History Encyclopedia.
Did the Romans invent Christmas? BBC News.

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When Was Jesus Flesh Born a Babe?

One may ask why I did not just title this essay “When was Jesus Born?”. Well, John tells us that the Word (Logos) became flesh, which indicates He existed prior to being born in the flesh. (John 1:14) His name was Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) and Mary, a Virgin, was instructed to call his name JESUS. (Matt. 1:21) He was the express image of Father God by whom He made all the worlds. By the brightness of His glory He upholds all things by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:1-3) “In the beginning (at the commencement) was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God (Theos), and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) It truly goes with the adage “Like father like son” because they are of the same spirit (mental disposition) and it is holy. Together as “us” they made man, male and female in their image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7,18-25) [For more in depth detail, see Missing Links, chapters I, II & III in the main menu.]

Now that the stage is set, let’s see what the Bible has to say about when Jesus was born. First off, the year has been disputed for centuries. I’ve believe the year was 5 BC until recently. I now think it may be 6 BC since it would have been a Shemitah year as is 29 AD , the year of His Crucifixtion. It would not affect the 70 Weeks Prophecy beginning and conclusion dates because in Luke 3:23 he wrote “…began to be about thirty years of age…” when Jesus began His Ministry. He became flesh on Shemitah Year and was crucified, resurrected and ascended on a 5 Shemitah cycles later. [That would have made Him 35, half of 70.]

That leaves us with the season and there are four seasons to the year. Most of the whole world celebrates Jesus’s earthly birthday on the Gregorian calendar’s December 25th, which just happens to be the four days after the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, it would be four days after the summer solstice. This is done by tradition only and is not Biblical, as it is by man’s tradition only. Where did this tradition come from? Rome! Isn’t it said, “All roads lead to Rome?

In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there are only two Gospels that address the physical birth event of Jesus Christ – Luke and Matthew. It was foretold in the Old Testament. Two major events (shepherds and wise men) at two separate times are conveyed and do not reflect the traditional nativity story. [Strange how this in in the prime of two.] However, they do tell the true story which is contrary to today’s man-evolved traditions. We’ll begin with the Gospel of Luke for the shepherd event occurred first, but the Magi were on their way to Jerusalem.

Luke

First there was the conception which was in the sixth month. This would be the sixth month (Elul – Aug/Sept) of the sacred calendar, which begins in the spring on the new moon closest to the spring equinox. (Luke 1:26-37) Then Mary went to see her cousin Elisabeth, who also received a miracle five months earlier. (Luke 1:24) It just so happened that when Mary went with haste to see Elisabeth in those days of her miracle, Elisabeth was six months pregnant. The sixth month in verse 26 is a calendar (sacred – a lunar type) month, not Elisabeth’s pregnancy month in verse 36. [Luke was writing a declaration of facts to a Roman official titled “most excellent Theophilus”, probably a Senator. Verse 36 would not have been a duplicated fact repeating the date time of verse 26.] Luke 1:41-56 was the first introduction of Jesus to John the Baptist, Jesus’ second cousin. He (John) literally leaped for joy in his mother’s womb! Mary and Elisabeth spent the next three months visiting with each other and praising the Lord who was developing in Mary’s virgin womb. Luke 1:57-80 is the declaration of John the Baptist’s birth until he was grown and began living in the deserts.

Note: Aug/Sept (Elul) + 9 months = May/June (Sivan) about Penetecost

Luke picks up with his declaration in the second chapter with the tax decree. This tax decree was a part of the Roman census that was made in 8 BC, then expanded in 6/5 BC to include the whole of the empire which Judea was a part.  Luke 2:6 states that Mary’s days were accomplished while they were there. Rome set this census and tax time during a period that all the males would be in and/or around Jerusalem. Surely the Romans would have known that the best time to catch all the males in or near Jerusalem would be around the time they were required to go there before the Temple, which was Passover, Firstfruits (Pentecost) and Feast of Tabernacles. (Exodus 23:14-19) The first two are in the spring of the year: Nisan (Mar/Apr), the first month according to the Biblical Sacred calendar for Passover/week of unleavened bread and Pentecost in the third month of Sivan (May/June). The third is the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month Tishri (Sept/Oct).

In Luke 2:7, Luke states that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed crib or trough as for feeding sheep); because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke knew that Mary had other children after the birth of Jesus or else he would not have used the term “firstborn”. The most probable reason there was no room at the inn (motel) was they were all full because of both the feasts and census/tax. Whether it was a stable, barn or cave for housing sheep during the winter makes no difference: however, there would have been plenty of room in the Inn in the winter and no room in barns, stables or caves as they would have been full of sheep. The sheep were out in the countryside grazing on green grass being tended by shepherds which would have been watching over them by night. (Luke 2:8) The grass is not green on the hills in Judea in the wintertime. It is dormant!

In Luke 2:9-16. The shepherds are approached by angels of the Lord and given the news of the birth. When they found Mary and Joseph, they also found “…the babe (G1025 – βρέφος – an infant) lying in a manger.” In Luke 2:17-18. The shepherds go about testifying to all they had seen and heard. Then Mary kept and pondered all those things in her heart. (Luke 2:19) The shepherds returned to their flocks praising god for all the things they had witnessed. (Luke 2:22) Luke 2:21-24 is the circumcising of Jesus, the purification of Mary and the trip to the Temple for dedication and offering. Luke 2:24-35 was the meeting and blessing of Simeon. Luke 2:36-38 was the meeting of Anna, a prophetess. When all things were finished at the Temple, they (Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus) returned to Nazareth in Galilee. (Luke 2:39) From there, Jesus grew! Luke continues his declaration from there until the Baptism of Jesus by John in Luke 3:20-22, In Luke 3:23, he gives us the approximate age of Jesus and the complete genealogy all the way back to Adam who He breathed the breath of life into after creating him from the elements (dust) of the earth. (Genesis 2:7) Why that far back? Corinthians 15:19-26

Matthew

Matthew’s account is more general and not as detailed as Luke’s; however he covers an event that wasn’t covered by Luke because it happened at a different place at a different time. Matthew starts with the forward genealogy from Abraham to Joseph.  After Matthew’s genealogy in 1:1-16, he lists three groups of 14 generations (Matt 1:17) which just happen to correspond to the two weeks of years Jacob served for Rachel. (Genesis 29:15-30) [Three and fourteen are significate numbers in Biblical numerology, math and prophecy.] Then Matthew begins “Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise (G3779 – οὕτωσ – thus, so, in this manner) in verse 18. In Matt. 1:18-25, he conveys the prophetic facts quoting the prophet Isaiah and the maintaining of virginity during gestation leading up to Jesus’ birth.

In chapter 2, Matthew begins with “Now when…” which is after the fact that Jesus was born and continues with “…There came wise men (G3097 – μάγος – a Magian, i.e. Oriental scientist; by implication, a magician)” inquiring of Herod about the birth of Jesus, King of the Jews whom they came to worship. (verse 2) They came from the east, around the area of what is now northern Iran and southern China. They followed a star they saw from the east which would have been in the south-western sky from their point of perspective. Jerusalem is west and south of northern Old Testament Persia. The knowledge of the astronomical event of the Bethlehem Star would most likely have been handed down to them from those before them, who learned from the Jewish captives 14 generations ago when Jewish astronomists during Daniel’s time were taken into captivity to Babylon, then Persia. (Daniel 1:3-7)   

King Herod (an Edomite) was very disturbed about this news. (verse 3) News of Jesus’s birth was also spreading throughout Judea due to the shepherds in Luke’s account. He even called in the chief priests and scribes and demanded where Jesus was born (verse 4). After the chief priests had clued Herod in on where Jesus was born (verses 5-6), Herod had a private moment with the three Magians. (verses 7-8) [The three wise men (Magians) were never referred to as “Kings” in scripture!] After they finished with Herod, they departed. In verse 9, the prepositional phrase “…in the east…” refers to from whence they saw the star, which was from the east. The chief priest and scribes telling Herod that Bethlehem was the birthplace was based on scripture and prophecy. They knew nothing of the star the Magi were following.

When the star was first sighted from northern Persia, it would have been in the southwestern sky over Judea, so the Magi traveled to the capital of Judea which was Jerusalem. They traveled there because it was the most logical place to look for a King of Judea. But Jerusalem may have been too far south for a fixed star event such as in a nova or supernova as opposed to a moving comet. (See Bethlehem Star Article) If Jerusalem was too far south of the fixed position in the southwestern sky, then the star would have been in a slightly more northern direction from Jerusalem, which is many latitudes south of Persia/China. After hearing all King Herod had to say, “…they departed: and lo, the star was before them (in front of), till it came (into position) and stood over (in the central sky) where the young child was.” [The gate to enter and exit a King’s residence for official business is customarily located on the northern end.] As supernovas do, its light becomes more brilliant just before it extinguishes. Then they rejoiced! (verses 9-10) Where did they find “the young child (G3813 – παιδίον – a childling of either sex)”? [This is a completely different Greek term from that used by Luke.] This term is also used in verse 11.

Matthew 2:11 – “And when they had come into the house…” {G3614 – οἰκία – properly, residence (abstractly), but usually (concretely) an abode (literally or figuratively); by implication, a family (especially domestics) Derivation: from G3624; KJV Usage: home, house(-hold). G3624 – οἶκος – a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively) Derivation: of uncertain affinity; KJV Usage: home, house(-hold), temple.}

After the Magi had worshiped the Lord, presented their gifts and had their dream, they departed a different way back to their home country. (verses 11-12) Then Joseph had his dream and took Mary and Jesus into Egypt. (verses 13-15) Then Herod got really mad! He ordered the killing of all children under two years old. (verses 16-18) Then Joseph had another dream and returned home. (verses 19-21)

In verse 22, Joseph had heard who reigned in Judea and was afraid to return there or his ancestral home Bethlehem, which was only about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. The angel told him to “go into the land of Israel”, but not what part. (verse 20) So, he returned to Nazareth in Galilee where he was living before Jesus’s birth. (Luke 2:4) The reason that Matthew worded verses 22-23 as he did was to convey the fact that prophecy was fulfilled. Joseph may have wanted to return to Bethlehem to be close to extended family, Jerusalem and the Temple, but being that things were as they were and prophecy is always fulfilled, he decided to return to Nazareth.

And from there, Jesus grew!

Revelation 18:11-18

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood {Green trees}, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Come out of Babylon for her judgement is near!

LOLGB+

P.S. If a truth can set one free, this one may free one from some debt and the interest on it!

2 Comments

  1. izraelritz8 says:

    Just an observation to your very informative article about the tree in Jeramiah. I’ve read those verses but never associated it as meaning Christmas tree and now it obvious. Ah ha! Also I wanted to point out in Matt:2:16 that the Bible states boys instead of children that Herod sought to kill, to be specific. I enjoyed the whole enlightening article. Much food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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