Christmas Pagan? Nope

Christmas Pagan? Nope — Conventional wisdom has become that the holiday celebrating the birth of Christ is something the early Christians co-opted from a pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice.

A Muhlenberg College history professor says that is completely backwards.

William J. Tighe, an associate professor at the college in Allentown, says that Christmas really was thought to be the date of the Lord Jesus’ birth.

The thinking then was that great Jewish prophets died on the date of their birth or conception.

The date of Jesus’ death can be calculated from Gospel accounts.

The faction using the Latin calendar wound up placing the Crucifixion at March 25, according to Tighe. This was the faction that became dominant in the West.

The Latin church determined that  was also date that the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary was with child. Nine months later, on Dec. 25, would be  the Lord’s birth.

March 25 is still celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation.

Tighe  notes that Rome didn’t celebrate Dec. 25 as a pagan holiday until the anti-Christian Emperor Aurelian declared it to be the festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” in 274. By then, Christianity was already making its impact well felt on the Empire.

Tighe is also a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry and a member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem.

Christmas Pagan? Nope

Christmas Pagan? Nope

Christmas Pagan? Nope

Hat tip Bob Guzzardi

One thought on “Christmas Pagan? Nope”

  1. Christ was born on Sept 10th or Sept 11th 6 or 7BC.No ambiguity here;it depends if one counts the year ‘zero” when you go form 1BC to 1 AD.Scholars have used historical critical analysis and some astronomical analysis to come to this conclusion for the date.There is a book published about 10 years ago(not the popular Jim Bishop Book) that hit on this day.It”confirms” the exact date arrived at by my best friend,Ed D,now deceased , who gave me his unpublished manucript 25 years ago.
    Interestingly enough buried in the 4 volume work (The Life of Jesus Christ) of Blessed Anna Katheria Emmerich ,a stigmatist, who died on February 9,1825 shereports the birth of Christ as occurring on “10/9”.She turned around the date to conform to European custom of putting the month first ,then the day.Even visionaries can get things wrong:)

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