Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is Jesus Really The Reason For The Season?

The birth of Jesus tale has been told and re-told so many times, the truth surrounding his birth may be a bit skewed.

Mary is always depicted riding a donkey.  It's likely, she was pregnant after all, but the Bible doesn't say this fact anywhere.  Nor does it say she rode into town the night she gave birth.  In the book of Luke, the Bible says "while they were there (i.e. Bethlehem) the days were accomplished that she should be delivered".

Jesus wasn't necessarily born in a barn/stable either.  He was laid in a manger because there was no room in, well, the word used was "kataluma" which in Greek means, lodging place, inn, or guest chamber.  The only other time this word is used in scripture it refers to a large furnished upper room in a private house (book of Mark).  So they were probably staying with relatives or friends who didn't have a crib.  (Bible says nothing about being turned away by an innkeeper)

Which makes me feel better for never investing in an over-priced Nativity scene, complete with animals.

Three kings?  The bible doesn't say anything about kings.  Or camels for that matter.  It does say that wise men (or magi) came, but doesn't say how many, it only says three gifts were brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh.  This doesn't indicate the number of men or the country they came from since those items were traded and valued over a wide region.

Was Jesus' birth December 25th or even in December?  Not likely.  Not impossible, but not likely.

It would be difficult for shepherds to be "abiding in the field" in winter between the cold and the lack of food source. Flocks of sheep would logically be in fields from spring to fall.

December 25th was actually chosen by the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus since they ruled most of Christendom for centuries.  With December 21st being the shortest day of the year, by the 25th the ancient people noticed the longer sunlit days and this was a pagan celebration day.  Not wishing to produce a discontent among the people, the Church chose this day to replace a pagan tradition with a Christian one.

This would ensure more people taking hold of a new religious holiday as opposed to returning to their old heathen ways and thus allowing the Church to gain more power.  Much easier to take away an unholy celebration as long as it's replaced, even if by a holy one.

Cheap Psychological trick.

A more believable scenario for Jesus' birthday would have been for Mary and Joseph traveling in late September for the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.  Later, Michaelmas (meaning: Michael sent) is celebrated on the 29th of September and he could have been the angel that delivered the news of the birth, again making things more religiously logical.

So if you really want to be religious about it, Jesus could have been conceived in December, God giving light to the world during a dark time or something like that, and the Church could have tackled two birds with one religious stone by choosing December 25th as Christmas (Christ sent).

Huh.  I guess the answer is Jesus really is the reason for the season...

Now to just figure out how to justify rum-spiked eggnog & cinnamon schnapps-spiked hot chocolate with cookies, peppermint bark, and twinkling lights!

Merry Christmas!!

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