Let’s talk about Baby Jesus.
While billions of people believe Jesus of Nazareth was the first influencer and one of the most important figures in world history, many Earthlings still very much reject the idea that he even existed outside Christians’ belief system.
For instance, the 2015 survey conducted by the Church of England, says that 22% of England’s adults think Jesus isn’t much more than a fairytale character.
Atheism becomes widely “popular” as we’re coming closer to the beginning of the 3rd decade of 21 century and the 3rd Millenium.
(Yes, it’s starting in January 2021, wake up people).
Fact: The archaeological evidence of Jesus also doesn’t exist. Here’s the thing, the reality is that we don’t have archaeological records for literally anyone who lived in Jesus’s time and place.
We can say with utter certainty that lack of evidence doesn’t really mean a person at the time didn’t exist. It means that like 99.99% of the rest of the world at the time, one is not anywhere near the archaeological record.
Anyway, I’m on a thin line with most of the people believing in Christ and celebrating Christmas, I know. The thing is, I probably don’t care, yet I’m sorry if any of debunking is kinda ruining the holiness of the day for you. Be more focused on the holiday spirit and your family instead <3
So, let’s dig in.
The Christmas story has become synonymous with the date, December 25 or according to the Julian calendar, January 7 for fellow Orthodox Christians.
What we all know in this day and age is that the idea of Christmas is actually celebrating baby Jesus’s birth.
Maybe it would be trivia-worthy for you to know what has become popular belief surrounding the jolly season isn’t exactly true to history or to the religion.
The Bible does not specify a date or a month when Jesus was born. Never. And I have read it again (online) and went through 1200+ telltale pages for the sake of science soul searching.
Nevertheless, there are many different theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25 / January 7.
A very early Christian tradition said that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special baby Jesus was on March 25 — and it’s still celebrated on the day. Hence that logic: nine pregnant months after that date is December 25.
Others believe Christmas is celebrated on this particular date is because it was already popular in ancient religious celebrations as the birthday of the sun. The Winter Solstice and the ancient festival day celebrating the return of the sun ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’ took place in December around this date.
While December 25 was popularized as the date for Christmas, it was not because Jesus was born on that day. If you take a close look at Scripture, it indicates that this is an unlikely date for Christ’s birth. Although it’s not impossible, it seems unlikely that Jesus was really born on December 25. Here are several key reasons.
We Know That Shepherds Were in the Fields Watching Their Flocks at the Time of Jesus’ Birth
Scripture tells us that Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night (Luke 2:7-8).
But shepherds were not in the fields during December. Luke’s account suggests that Jesus may have been born in the summer or early fall. In December, Judea is cold and rainy, so it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night. The weather would not have permitted shepherds watching over their flocks in the field at night.
Winter Would Be a Difficult Time for Mary to Travel
Mary was traveling the long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem which was more than 110 kilometers. As we suspect, winter would be an especially difficult time for heavily pregnant Mary to travel such a long distance. The world of Mary and Joseph was a difficult and dangerous place, one whose harsh conditions were not fully chronicled in the Gospel accounts of their travails. Writers of the gospels of Matthew and Luke are so laconic about the event because they assume the reader would know what it was like. More likely, Joseph and Mary would have traveled only 10 miles a day because of Mary’s late pregnancy and upcoming delivery.
Baby Jesus wasn’t born in the winter?
The time of year that Jesus was born continues to be a huge subject of debate, particularly the month of Jesus’ birth.
Many biblical scholars believe Scripture points to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth.
In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that Jesus was born in the summer. Reneke told New Scientist the Star of Bethlehem may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Using computer models, Reneke determined that this rare event occurred on June 17, in the year 2 B.C. Other researchers have claimed that similar conjunction, one between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.B., making Jesus an autumn baby.
Theologians have also suggested that Jesus was born in the spring, based on the biblical narrative that shepherds were watching over their flocks in the fields on the night of Jesus’ birth – something they would have done in the spring, not the winter. The Bible nowhere points to Jesus being born in mid-winter. Unfortunately, nobody really knows exactly when Jesus was born.
The main focus of the New Testament writers is not the date of Jesus’ birth, but that God the Father has sent His son at just the right time in all of history to accomplish His saving purposes and thus fulfill His promise.
The apostle Paul proclaimed, When the set time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under the law to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4-5). And we read in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the news of God. ‘The time has come,’ He said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news! (Matthew 1:14-15).
While it is interesting to know Jesus’ birth from a historical perspective, it is theologically irrelevant and holds very little importance when looking at the bigger picture. It is less important that we know when it happened and more important that we know that it happened and why it happened. If nothing, the Bible is clear on this. Atheist or a believer, learn, love, and give back.
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