Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry for Christmas

“There were, however, many speculations in the 2nd century about the date of Christ’s birth. Clement of Alexandria, towards its close, mentions several such, and condemns them as superstitions.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

“Lupi has shown that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Christmas)

“As late as 245 Origen, in his eighth homily on Leviticus, repudiates as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ ‘as if he were a king Pharaoh.’” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

And according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Origen said, “of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Natal Day)

“No evidence remains about the exact date of the birth of Christ. The December 25 date was chosen as much for practical reasons as for theological ones. Throughout the Roman Empire, various festivals were held in conjunction with the winter solstice. In Rome, the Feast of the Unconquerable Sun celebrated the beginning of the return of the sun. When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the church either had to suppress the festivals or transform them. The winter solstice seemed an appropriate time to celebrate Christ’s birth. Thus, the festival of the sun became a festival of the Son” (Holman Bible Dictionary, entry for Christmas)

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known. Probably the fact is that the “holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.” —C. H. Spurgeon Dec. 24, 1871 (Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, p. 697)

be-separate

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