Let us begin with a bit of a dark picture. Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures are we told about a celebration commemorating the birth of Christ Jesus. Nothing in the Scriptures gives us any sure evidence about the date of this magnificent event. (The article you are reading was inspired by a larger article that goes into a lot of more detail about the same topic. To access it click here.)

The lack of Scriptural specificity about the facts surrounding the birth of the Judean King stands in sharp contrast to the details available about his death (each of the four Gospels provide the exact timing of Jesus’ death).

In the late second century, the Greek Church Father Origen mocked yearly celebrations of Roman birth anniversaries, discounting them as deeply pagan practices. This suggests that Christian communities did not yet celebrate Christmas during Origen’s lifetime (c.165-264). The first church figure to discuss the date of Jesus’ birth was Clement (c. 200), an Egyptian preacher from Alexandria.  However, December 25 was not even mentioned. By the middle of the fourth century, however, we find that Western churches were already celebrating the Birth of Christ on December 25, while the Eastern Churches did so on Jan. 7th.

How did the early Christians arrive at this dating?

Surprisingly, the early church followed a very Jewish idea – that the beginning and the end of important redemptive events often happen on the same date (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashana 10b-11a). In the beginning of the third century, Tertullian reported that since he knew precisely when Jesus died (14th of Nissan or March 25), he also knew exactly when he was conceived! He was most-likely wrong in his conclusions, but at least we can now see how they arrived to date of Christmas.

The logic went as follows: If Jesus was conceived on March 25 then counting forward to the 9 months of Mary’s pregnancy would place His birth on December 25. This is especially intriguing because January 1st used to be celebrated as the Day of Christ’s circumcision (8 days from the evening of Dec. 24).

It is very important to note that it was not until the 4th-6th centuries of the Common Era that Christians began to “Christianize” the local pagan celebrations of the peoples they sought to evangelize. There is no doubt that it was at this time, but not before, that Christmas began to acquire some of its pagan traditions. Why? Because until c.300-320 CE, Christians were fighting a counter-cultural war with the pagans of the Roman and Persian world. Consequently, they were not in the mood for cultural adaptations just yet.

Since December 25 as the supposed date of Christ’s birth was circulated 100-150 years before the practice of “Christianizing” pagan celebrations commenced, it is unreasonable to conclude that this date was adopted to please the Roman pagans as popular conspiracy theory suggests.

It is true that in 274 CE a Roman Emperor declared December 25 to be, “The Day of the Unconquered Sun,” (Sol Invictus). However, that was some 70 years after Christians had settled on December 25 as their Christmas date. (Moreover, the decree itself may have been issued to help stamp out the newly established Christian celebration). Before answering our main question, I think we should answer few related ones:

Is Christmas a Biblical Holiday?

No. It was not commanded by God in the Bible.

Does the celebration of Christmas contain elements that are pagan in origin?

Absolutely. There is no doubt about that whatsoever.

Is December 25 the correct date for celebration of the Birth?

Possible, but highly unlikely.

And finally, is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

There is nothing pagan about speculating that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus.







  1. Alright, friends. As promised…. here comes the most controversial post of the year. I anticipate a lot of “hate” mail to come my way. Please, prove me wrong!

    • I submit that just because God did not commend celebrating Christ’s birthday is insufficient reasoning to not do so. God did not commend the Feast of Dedication yet Jesus himself participated and used the occasion to declare “I am the Light of the world”. If the host of heaven could demonstrate such joy, we the redeemed certainly have reason to celebrate. To me the “date” is a “curious” but non critical matter.

      • Dear Darell. With regardance to what really led to the establishment of Feast of Dedication and who set it up and the events surrounding its history and its celebration which we do not find anywhere else except The NT, It is incorrect to say Christ went to celebrate the day. He went to the temple to reveal Himself again as God and ironically He was not trusted or believed but they took up to stoning Him, This feast is commonplace with humanistic tradition than a commandment of God

        • A Jew going up to Jerusalem for Chanukah could be expected to be there to observe Chanukah. Yeshua haNatzrati was Jewish. The burden of proof is upon he who would assume otherwise.

        • In II Chronicles 7:9 ….On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly ,having observed the Dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days .Numbers 7:11 ,Psalms 30:1-12 ,Exodus 3:14 ,Ezra 6:16 ,Ya’acov ( James )1:17 John 10:22-23 you can read about the Feast of Dedication or the Maccabee Revolt against Antiochus in the year during the rebellion of 165 BC Antiochus Epiphanes the IV .Y’Shua is a Jew and He honored the Appointed Times of Adonia .Lev .23

        • Actually the reason for Hannakuh is recorded in Maccabees. There was a war and no oil for the lamps. God kept the temple lamps lit for 8 days I believe.
          Yeshua would have been well aware of the reason.

          • Janet, you are mixing things together that do not actually belong. The 8-days-of-oil story is not from Maccabees.

          • That’s correct. The oil story is first attested only much later in the Babylonian Talmud. It might have been invented as an alternate reason for the season since celebrating victory over oppressors was not a popular theme after Israel’s destruction and dispersal.

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      • Thanks for sharing Brooks. As interesting as the video “The Star of Bethlehem” is, I find it to be mostly sensationalism. See, shepherds in Israel do not tend their flock in the field at night time. They corral them into a cave for the night. The only exception is during birthing season which only happens annually in the early spring. This alone deflates the sensationalism of the video for me.

        • There is nothing that compares to knowing the truth! I did not realize that birthing season was only in the early spring. How interesting. So would make them a year old for Pesach/Passover.

    • MERRY Christmas to you in JESUS Holy Name amen, God bless You. I don’t celebrate Christmas like the pagans did. Since the OT says that we can set aside any day as unto him then I set aside December 25th to the Lord Jesus Christ, personally

      • Setting aside a day unto God means exactly that. When we are caught up in all the business of pagan traditions it does not reflect the will of God at all.

      • Merry Christmas and thank you, I really don’t dispute about the date but celebrate the gift to us, isn’t that Why Christ was born and I’m sure all who celebrate Jesus Christ have received Him in simple faith.

      • Y’Shua is a Jew ! And never would a Jew celebrate pagan holidays .Read Lev .23 concerning the Appointed Times of Adonai .Y’Shua would never have been born in a pagan month on a pagan day .The month Y’Shua was conceived in the Hebrew calendar is Kislev and He was born sometime in Tishrei /Sept/October .

        • You are correct Jo Ann. By the way that is my Mothers name: you are blessed. Anyhow, if He in fact was born in September/ October as I think is correct then that could mean that His conception could have been around December 25th. Thus we see in the video the star alignment speaks of His conception and not His birth. I have told others that satan wants to mimics God so closely that he will do anything to get us off track. So it could be very likely that satan places dates and times to draw us away from the truth.
          The biggest thing we need to do is celebrate Gods coming as well as His death and Resurrection each and every day and not just some day that we pull haphazardly out of some magical hat.
          We must then also keep in remembrance the promise He has made to come back for us.

          • There was a census when Yeshua was born. Is it a smart political move to mandate a census and tell people to travel to (or stay in) their hometown so close to or during the time that the Bible tells them to travel to Jerusalem? Wouldn’t that risk a Jewish revolt?

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        • 2 ways He was to preach for 3 1/2 years.No question He did die on Passover Nissan 14.2nd using the Time 6 months from the Spring John the Baptist’s father served in the temple. Elisabeth was 6 months when May became pregnant left 3 months later John born in Spring

      • Rev.ezzard thompson sr “Since the OT says that we can set aside any day as unto him googled and did not find a verse suggesting setting aside a day for “birthdays or other celebrationsI I as well would like that information And Jo Ann is correct . Sept ?

    • We can say that Yeshua was born, about 6 months after Jon the Baptist was born. From the records and his father serving at the temple and the times of such services, we can figure that he was born as Isaac was during the Passover season. Which would put the birth of Yeshua around the time of Sukkot. Born on the first day of sukkot and circumcised on the 8th day when the Torah goes back to the beginning makes a lot of sense. I don’t see your explanations as fact. I don’t agree with your hypothesis. xmas is pagan.

      • Absolutely agree about birth date of Yeshua. Moreover, if He was just a few days late it is entirely possible His conception was the last day of Chanukkah. And Chanukkah was a delayed Sukkot! So the Light of the World was conceived at the Festival of Lights, and came to dwell with us on Sukkot; dwellings- both of which are essentially the same ANNUAL holiday! Only HaShem could have done that!

      • You are right in saying the Christmas is pagan. It originated from the Roman festival and includes all the parapernalia of the pagan festivals. Jesus might have born in September (Gregorian Calendar) which can be estimated from the service of Zechariah in the category of Abiah. He might have born as per the word “tabernacled” in John 1:14 during the time of Succoth (feast of Tabencles) in the Jewish month of Thisrei(Ethanim). So the date December25 as well as Jan 1 are just a figment of gentile celebrations.

        • I agree with you Joe Ratnam. In fact, in a certain year publication of the JPS scriptures, in the book of Haggai, we are given a clue. According to the verses we are to look to the 24th day of the 9th month for conception of Jesus. It would have been a Sabbath and counting out 40 weeks brings us precisely to Tabernacles, in fact, I submit that Jesus was born on the first day of FOT and circumcised on the 8th day, the Great Feast Day. This pattern gives us the Creation of Jesus on the first day.

      • So if witches, warlocks, wizards. and heathens celebrated a special day with an orgy and much wickedness ON THE DAY YOU WERE BORN, would your celebration of your birthday be pagan and wicked? I apologize but that is an inane and ludicrous concept. On ANY day you pick to celebrate our Saviors birth, you can find some evil that occurred … so we are limited in worship by heathen or pagan events? Darkness does not squelch the light. If you celebrate Yeshua’s birth with genuine adoration, that cannot be made pagan. Legalism and condemnation come from other than YHWH.

        • Yes, TJ Thank you, I am so tired of comparing to pagan events. If the Israelites avoided doing anything pagans did then they would have never done sacrifices or many other things they did by God’s command. Besides if we are going to avoid all things pagan, then we cannot use the Gregorian calendar at all. Everything on it comes from pagan roots, also we better not set aside a day for corporate worship because that is what pagans do, and there are many more things in our daily life that would have to be eliminated.

        • you’ve said it all. every day or date is used by people for various activities including devilish things, even Sunday has been used to worship the sun-god. Let our concentration be to honour Christ EVERYDAY and TIME. Rom 14:6 “One man esteemeth one day above another, another every day”

        • If you find a verse saying His birth was celebrated anytime after the 12 Wise men at 1year old.? I SUGGEST that picking a day could be adding something that God didn’t want. If indeed Dec 25 was pagan then God says Don’t learn their way.s including Sundays

        • Thank you, TJ for that comment! I think it is distracting is from the true goal of sharing Jesus with the world to be arguing with each other over times and dates. If God had wanted us to know the exact time and date He would have made it clear. We are being distracted by the father of lies. Celebrating life is never wrong! And God sees the heart. Our celebrating that He came to save the world is never wrong.

      • Granted that March 25 falls on the date of the passover which is the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar according to Exodus 12: 1-2. Let us fast forward to Luke 1:26. It says that, And in the sixth month …When we move back 14 days that would put as at March 11 as the first day of the first month of the Jewish calendar. With a 30 days per month calendar 6 months would put us at August 28. 9 months (270 days) later would put at June 14-28 as the range of Christ birth.

        • Alfred, it seems that you are equating the sixth of Elizabeth’s pregnancy with the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar? Did I understand that correctly? If so, can you explain where you see the connection? I can see reading it as one or the other, but why both?

      • I thought it was more in September based on the festival of Sukkot, Yeshua ‘tabernacling” among us. I thought he was conceived at the time of the feast of dedication. There is some thought that the spring festivals have already happened and we are awaiting the second coming/fall festivals. I read a book about all the pagan details surrounding Christmas and I thought they picked December 25 because that was the day they worshiped the sun? SO much to ponder and research. Personally, I find the death time frame more intriguing and powerful than the birth story.

      • I agree with Cathy, Dan C, Joe R, and Michelle as far as what makes common sense(even if we take away Bible evidence ….and factual history of xmas)…that Yeshua was born and we celebtare him on a “christian/pope dedicated day”…OR celebrate a jewish king born on a jewish appointed feast from a G-d that set up these appointed times from the OT, by jewish prophets written by jewish disciples? Common sense….!! Also, even if you “celebrate and make it about Jesus birth”… what is the emphasis here? YOU want to celebrate YOUR way, ..not doing things G-ds way, FOR HIM.

    • Sorry need to add why I believe it should not be celebrated. G-d said do not learn the way of the nations and how they worship their gods. Don’t do that to me, this is how I want you to worship me, keep my Moed. His appointed times. We can celebrate the birth of the Messiah during those feasts, we do not need to act like the pagans and worship G-d like that, it is forbidden. Aaron made a golden calf and said tomorrow we will have a feast to YHVH. Let us not make that same mistake.

      • There was a big revolt going on with such mass of people and Aaron had to use wisdom to allow Moshe Rabainu to return and maintain peace.

        • “Wisdom” you say, Roberto? Exo.32:7-10 Then יהוה spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them.” יהוה said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them…”1Cor10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come…”

      • Yes Cathy. Mark 7:1-13. (There is a way which seems right to a man, but …” Prov14:12 & 16:25) Exo.32 “Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” Gen. 32:5b-6, echoed in 1Cor.10 “Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down…” Truth is in His Word, not men’s words.

      • I totally agree with you.

        Also the shepherds were outside with their flocks so can’t have been cold yet, for even Israel gets cold in winter.

      • “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John17:17.”Be diligent to present yourself approved to Elohim as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2Tim.2:15 “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of יהוה and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.”Ezra7:10 “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in …”Rom.11:17 Gregg, as believers in the truth, grafted into the olive tree/Yisra’el, where are we to go for truth?

    • The Celebration of Christmas was brought into England by Prince consort Albert, to Queen Victoria…….and we’ve been stuck with it ever since. The Origins were not according to any Scripture whatsoever, but rather the opposite….Also, Hanukkah was not a Jewish replacement for such celebrations and I am thankful for your dissertations on the subject…Thank you Dr. Eli. Shalom.

    • Dear Dr Eli. Thank you for your conclusions, but as a Servant and son of God l have a few disgruntles. First I must say thank you for The Truthful discoveries in the past right up to this time. The Christmas issue is a celebration by religious people and not spiritual people. Say for argument’s sake it is Christ’s birthday…we as Christians are not commanded to celebrate birthdays but death. The only two bbirthdays in the Holy Bible were of Pharoah and that of the fox’s household; Harod. That is evidence or revelation enough that birthday celebrations are pagan-based.

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        • I don’t understand why it is such a problem to religious people to celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ! Dr Eli I appreciate your comments and agree with you. So many pagan people in years past have come to know Christ because of Christmas! I don’t agree with the Santa side of this but most countries sing Christmas carols about Jesus too! We should not throw the baby out with the bath water

          • I agree w the real side of Santa (Saint Nicholas) giving gifts to the poor children & food to the needy families that they might have a joyful day remembering the birth of Christ, the love of God for us & for our salvation for all His creation; a special & joyous loving/lovely day w the good Lord Savior & Redeemer (It’s our living spirits from God also for Christmas!!) Halleluyah!!

        • Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death (for a believer) is better than the day of one’s birth.”

          • Sounds like the person writing this verse was depressed! God honours Life and His Laws are all about honouring Life, aren’t they?

        • I don’t like that I saw a main group of Presbyterians take water baptism, the dying & burying w Christ (probably about death to sins) (as if) for their whole life until death (declaring baptism is finished). They have missed the resurrection, coming out of the water, as a result missing the Holy Spirit, communion & salvation while here on earth. Dr Eli, I’d you to make a statement about life & not death; it might bring them to the truth or truth to them? Thanks,

          • Absolutely, the death of Messiah would be nothing without His resurrection. He is alive, He is our mediator to bring us life, and He will forever be King.
            I understand celebrating a person’s life after it has been lived because you can be sure what good the person’s life was about, but I don’t see the value of celebrating death.

      • Nathi, the Death of Jesus has NO significance without the way He was born. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is NOT really for us but for us to use it as a tool to get the true message of the Messiah to the vast numbers of people who don’t understand. I thank God He has redeemed every day and every day is the day to remember Him becoming Human, Him living a sinless life, Him performing miracles, Him allowing us to nail Him to the Cross, Him dying in our place, Him being raised and Him returning .

        • Let those who wish to honour the day..let them honour it to the Lord. Let those who do not wish to honour the day..let them not. But let there be no dissension. Our monarch has 2 birthdays. .one official and one personal. My yweh is King of Kings..yet he was born a human ( the word became flesh) I celebrate His birth, death and resurrection…because it was for me. If you choose not to….then may the Lord bless you too.

    • Shalom, We are as believers are grafted into Isarel we are to do as he told Israel same law to all in Yeshua What about Jeremiah 10 v2v3 learn not the way of the heathen for the customs of the people are vain , for they cut a tree out off the forest , the work of the hand They deck it with gold , they fasten it with nails , that it move not . YAH is asking use not to do this then on the 25th off December we do like the heathen .

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        • Dr. Eli…..Gentiles… I am so glad you added that. I am a born-again child of God. I listened to a specific denominational video series which has triggered feelings of condemnation, Their point is unless we celebrate the biblical feast days, and not Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas we are not obeying God, so are not in the book of life. As I study the feasts in the Bible and the eating of clean vs unclean animals I thought that was Jewish Law. I love my church but our services are on Sun. Jesus died for me….he is enough! Right?

          • There is nothing wrong with being part of the Nations! This is a very high calling! That is Paul’s point in Romans that whether someone is Jew or Greek it matters not if s/he worships Israel’s God through Jewish Christ respectively obey all the Torah commandments applicable to them by grace through faith!

        • Dr. Eli, it is written, “For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares יהוה “ it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says יהוה . Isa.66:22-23. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”2Pet.2:3:13 “…all the nations…celebrate the Feast of Booths” Zech.14:16 So if weekly/annual Sabbaths will be kept by all when Messiah returns, why wouldn’t He expect believers to do so now?

          • I am with you on how it will play out in the end. But also know that prophetic vision was not perfect some times they saw something in away that in the end looked very different from what they wrote. But that is another topic and another lecture. 🙂

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        • 19-21Therefore…do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”(Rom.11 tells us we are grafted into Israel’s olive tree,so might Ya’acov be implying the gentiles will go hear reading of Torah every Sabbath?) “Everyone practicing chet also does averah, and chet is averah al HaTorah.”Yochanan I 3:4 (OJB)

        • I think that all the laws are applicable to all who want to be in covenant with God. It seems to me that in Acts 15 there was a starting point, AND that the teachings of Moses would be every Sabbath. By studying Torah every Shabbat, new believers learn how to keep more of God’s instructions every week.
          Of course I realize that all of the Laws were not applicable to everybody, such as priest instruction, birth instructions, etc.
          Just my thought !

      • You are pulling scripture out of context. That verse is speaking of carving an idol and layering it with gold and fastening it in place to worship it. It has nothing to do with Christmas trees.

      • Dr Eli Shalom! We’re all branches. Israel the natural branches that are broken off & God will to graft them ??♥️?in again if they don’t continue in unbelief. How is it that Israel is the tree we’re all grafted to? & the root that bears the branches?

        • Israel is the branches of the cultivated tree. The root is the root of Jesse: Yeshua. Yeshua is the “vine” and we are the “branches” as another parable goes. Through Him all branches are nourished and bear fruit.

      • This verse is talking about carving an idol. Please do not pull verses out of context to make a point. It only invalidates what you are saying.

    • Jesus is holy conception was December 25 and his Jesus birth was about Sept 25 we are celebrate the conception of Jesus . On Dec 25 Christmas is not pagan it is a reason to celebrate as I said this is when Mary conceived the Jesus

    • Everything happens lawfully and not arbitrarily. Jesus Christ had to be lawfully born at the uptimal star alignment for His earthly birth. Therefore, the best and surest way to find His birthday is to find the date His Star and The Star of Bethlehem that the Magi stated rose in the east was sighted. Its calculation must consider the *cyclical* date of the spring equinox and the Law governing the period for the conception and birth of the *spiritual* human being on earth. I believe that It occurred/occurs on the 29th of December.

    • The original date of Christmas is the 6th of January, not the 7th. The Orthodox Catholic Church moved it to the 25th of December. Some of the Orthodox churches stick to the Julian calendar and the 25th of December according the Julian calendar coincides with the 7th of January according Gregorian calendar.

    • No hate mail coming from this quadrant, but I must say, I’m finding it very perplexing and discouraging to be reading your excellent posts and not getting the whole story. Not all of us have time to enroll in any courses; life is just too busy. If your information is so vital for the Church, please continue to give us the “whole picture” in your daily postings like you used to do, prior to offering your educational program. To me, that would be a very lovely asset. Please forgive me if I sound a little blunt; I’m frustrated with this!

      • This is one of the funnies things I have ever heard :-), I am sorry and am I also asking for permission to speak bluntly!!! You don’t have the time 🙂 🙂 🙂 really!!!!!???? I don’t believe it. I am sorry, I don’t. Time is all about how you manage it and what you think is important. TOO BUSY :-), give me a break. Our course can be taken on the go while you are walking, driving, jugging, doing dishes or watching FOX news 🙂 for that matter. They do require commitment of wanting to learn and grasp and not

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    • I have also examined the circumstances of the birth of Jesus and it would seem to me that several events make it more probable to be some time during late spring and early summer would be most logical time of the birth of Jesus. The travel arrangements of the Jewish communities would be more active during the non winter months of the year. The accommodation in a stable would be less likely during the winter months as the hills around Bethlehem can be bitterly cold in the winter months, so a stable would be less likely to be vacant then

    • Even if it was a pagan thing, I like it when God redeems even ‘holidays’ and points everyone’s attention to Jesus. Is it important for this discussion to point out that those against Christianity don’t want us to say ‘Merry Christmas’ but they want us to say ‘Happy Holidays’? They wouldn’t want us to stop saying Christmas if they didn’t realize Christmas represents the birth of Jesus the Christ Child, the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

      • I’ve never heard that Happy Holidays in place of Merry Christmas was from people AGAINST Christianity! I have my doubts – so did Sister Teresa – but am not against Christianity at all. I do prefer Happy Holidays though so as not to leave anyone out: those celebrating Hanouka, Orthodox Christians celebrating another date, non-Christians enjoying the spirit of Christmas, … I’m not always sure whom I am addressing and find that Happy Holidays passes on the message of love to everyone

    • For years I didn’t put up a tree because of Jer 10:2-4 When I re read Jeremiah and saw 10:5b Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” I realized the tree has no power, it’s just a decoration. God gave us celebrations.So I believe that He is not oppposed to us expressing our own celebrations.Yes they are secular but that doesn’t make them pagan.Pagan is a type of worship. We worship Jesus not Santa or the tree.Life is full of cultural, secular practices WORLDWIDE! Culture is not synonymous with being Pagan.

      • I agree totally, Sheryl! It is not the tree or December 25th that we as Christians worship at Christmas, it is Jesus Christ our Lord. We teach our children about Jesus’ birth so that they will understand that He lived on earth as we do so that they will understand and appreciate his sacrifice. It seems there is no definitive answer to the date of Jesus’ birth so why must it be a point of contention? I see Christmas as a time when we can share the story of Jesus’ birth with those who don’t know him!

        • I have read too many of the comments and I wonder what Jesus would say in answer to all the arguements. Jesus was born, thank God He gave us salvation through Jesus. For there is salvation in no other. Jesus wants us to love one another as He has loved us, to spend time getting to know Him, worshipping Him, everyday, not one day a week or year. It is a state of our heart everyday. Praise God, thank Jesus, worship them everyday and love one another by this will all men know that you are my disciples.

          • Have you seen Jewish rabbis hashing an issue out? The Talmud is full of such discussions, and Jesus was involved in plenty of disputes himself. Discussion of course is not a problem (it is actually favorable to keeping silent), but of course it must be done in respect and love (addressing the issue instead of the person making the argument). Thank you for your part in this discussion!

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    • I am a Seventh Day Adventist and I don’t celebrate Christmas on December 25 and it wrong, I celebrate the 7 day is Sabbath on Saturday and keep it Holy to Lord Jesus for him and bless him with Kingdom of Heaven.

      • Amen,,I agree completely Andrew,personally I think Christmas is definitely pagan,,just think how many people rack up credit card debt going into the toughest time of the year (winter) people say its okay to celebrate and then run out and make all the department stores lots of money,,if Christ wanted his birth celebrated He would of made it clear and told us to,,it always struck me as odd that on someone’s birthday you buy that person a gift,,,not a person of your choice,,Christmas confuses the world,,the Sabbath and Holy Days are the way to understanding salvation,,not christmas

    • I am of the belief that counting backwards 6 months from his death at Passover, with a 33.5 year life his birth was at the 7th month biblically, the 15th Day of the first day of Sukkot. I do celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles as he did Yachanon/John 7, and Hanukkah 10:20-22 celebrating the triumph of YaHU’aH over idolatrous customs and lies.

    • Origen may have been a party to early retributionism that flowered later, in the anathema of Jews in time of Eusebius and Constantine. Why not follow the much more “Judaic” stream of evidence that points to Hanukkah as a fulfillment of Haggai 2:18, since we know that the Messiah Himself celebrated the Dedication!? The “course of Abijah” seems to have followed a prescribed calendrical rhythm since the days of Ezra, so Luke’s account of the timing of the incarnation/annunciation can provide evidence of John’s leap-in-the-womb.

      • David, sounds like this is something worth understanding. But it would be an understatement for me to say I have no idea what you just wrote :-). Take few comments (separate) if you need to and explain yourself simply and clearly that even I can understand it :-). Looking for clarity.

      • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Leviticus and The New Testament or Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

    • I love everything I have read so far from your pen or keyboard except one thing. A am absolutely sickened and mortified by the use of CE and BCE to date things. I do not know who started this trend, and nobody seems to have consulted the average American before they did so. I almost wish the Roman Catholic Church ruled the world so they could burn everyone at the stake that started this trend, and demand a recant from those using it or send them to the stake. It is treason. It dethrones Jesus Christ. Blasphemy. Jewish dating ok.

    • Here is how I cope with this treason. For me BCE stands for Before Christ Emmanuel, and CE stands for Christ Elohim. To me the use of BCE and CE is equivalent to someone grabbing a handful of manure and cramming it into my stomach. Not pleasant. It is a hate crime. It desecrates all that is precious and sacred in Western Civilization. It hurts.

      • William, you major on the minors here. You are upset about something that you should not be upset or at least not as upset about. You should be more concerned about poverty in your city and struggles of persecuted Christians around the world. Is it really so important?! Who cares!!!!??!??

    • Dr Eli – thank you for posting this interesting topic. Even though there are some pagan elements, I am happy to accept the speculation of the birth of Jesus on 25 December. Though it is not a biblical commandment to celebrate His birthday, it is a wonderful thing to do! The Bible prophesied His coming for centuries, so why should we not celebrate the fulfillment of those prophesies? If it were not for Christ coming, we would be doomed. We commemorate His death and celebrate His resurrection as well. Thank God for sending His Son to give us eternal life!

    • Over the 24 years I have studied the scriptures, what I found was that when people were looking for the interpretation of revelation 12 of the virgin and the 12 stars around her head and the moon at her feet, turns out that it can be charted with astronomy software. An attorney put together his findings after compiling certain facts on the whole wise men coming to present their gifts and their travels. the scripture said the the bright star that was the marker to follow was 3 different entities that were in close proximity that made it so bright. when they were headed to Bethlehem, its stated that this “star stopped”, in which to the human mind is impossible, but because earth is a moving platform, the star reversed its course because of this. and the date it stopped is the equivalent of December 25th on the Gregorian calendar. what is outlined is that this date was the conception of Yeshua which if I’m not mistaken would be during festival of lights/Hanukkah. then 9 months later we see that the constellation Virgo is exactly the way John saw it in revelation 12. that date was September 11th 3 b.c. or the feast of trumpets. but nobody that I know of celebrates a birthday for a conception. the other issue is what happens in this whole holiday realm of christmas, is that people go get that pine tree and put it up and decorate it. if we read and Jeremiah chapter 10, I would suggest that this is what many are doing. according to the wording, that tree is an idol.

      • Glemm, welcome to our family! I trust that you will find Isarel Bible Center to be a fantastic place of learning.

    • There is no doubt that December 25, has pagan organs. For you to suggest otherwise makes me question your intent. Most of what you teach is very good, but a little disappointed here.

    • I have seen and also read where some use this verse from Jeremiah 10:1-5.

      As for when Chirst was born,I tend to agree with the theory that he was born during the period of when Succoth occurred. This periodof time also corelates to when Joseph andMary were taxed.

      The one area that I have been fascinated with is the course of Abijah which occurred during the life of Zacariah. No one has been able to tell me when his service for this course takes place.


    • Yes!! Good thoughts. Christmas, to me, is a celebration of Love. A celebration calls for festive sights and foods. It’s a happy time. And as it is with our culture we include songs and foods and fun times that leave good memories. The tree we’ve chosen to use doesn’t include gold or nails. It’s not an idol that we worship yet it’s a reminder of all different colors and objects that bring a twinkle to our eyes and a hope to our future. And it’s all centered around the one whom we truly worship.

    • Good information. I enjoy your posts and commentaries. I am given to understand that sukkot would be more the appropriate time of Yeshua’s birth. It would make sense in that “no room in the inn” would more imply an improper place for a woman to give birth as there was little to no privacy. Also the sukka was designed to live in during sukkot. It provided privacy and was clean for a newborn baby. I believe Yeshua was born during sukkot. Neither here nor there, but celebrating His birth is important and the joy brought this time of year.

    • Nothing controvercial here; just good, solid Christian history. That is the failing of our church leadership over the centuries – the lack of education on our own history which is both interesting and informative to our place in the world. Much of the blame for this falls on the Roman church and its insatiable thirst to dominate cultures through the centuries and its continued influence even to this day.

    • I agree with Michael Pearson. I believe that the feasts of the old testament were shadows of good things to come (Jesus Christ). The Feast of Tabernacles is one of the feasts fulfilled in the coming of the Christ. Emanuel, (God with us).

    • Thank you Dr Eli. An interesting article and perhaps we will never really know the date this side a heaven. One thing I observe in Australia is that the people who make the most celebration of Christmas don’t even believe in Jesus! I treat it as a secular festival and value the opportunity it gives me to love on people who I might not see any other time. I hope and pray that I represent Jesus well to them and make them thirsty for their own relationship
      with God.

      • Dear Julie, thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you. We have to keep everything in perspective. 🙂

    • Zacharias was of 8th course of Abia he served from June 13 to 19 , Elizabeth and Mary got together at the 6 month . Jesus was conceived on dec. 25 and born September 29 and circumcised on the 8th day the day of atonement . There are no shepherds

      • How do you establish an absolute chronology for Abia’s course? Jonathan Cahn’s theory is quite attractive: lambs are born only in the spring, and shepherds tend their flocks through the night only during birthing season. In particular Bethlehem lambs would be used (the next year) for Passover sacrifice. So maybe Yeshua was born with those other Passover lambs. What do you think?

      • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I and The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

    • Since the ministry of Jesus was 3.5 years,and we celebrate His death in April, 6 months before that is mid October–for His birth- –And—The shepherds WOULD NOT have been in the hills in December!!!! Snow and COLD!!!

      • Did you know that before Eusebius, the church fathers reported that Jesus’ ministry was “about a year” in length?

  2. I have a question not about Christmas, but a very serious topic about Yeshua as a Messianic I have been told that some Messianics do not believe in the deity of Yeshua and don’t believe in the father, son, and Holy Spirit that they r one.please help! Confused !

    • Some so called Messianics do not believe in the deity of Yeshua. However these would more honestly call themselves Ebionites- a sect that split away from the Nazareens in the late 1st century primarily over this question. However the shaliachim (apostles) clearly did believe in His deity, as did Yeshua Himself. He forgave sins; a thing which only God could do. A lot of organizations from these Ebionites to cults to Hebrew Roots try to fly the Messianic flag. That doesn’t make them Messianic, any more than Jim Jones was a Christian.

    • “Right” question. There is only one perfect answer. The historical Jesus from Nazareth has never considered himself as God (Mark 10:18 and parallel Synoptics) but he prayed to God as Father (the most famous prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven..)After and because of his resurrection, he was called the Son of God (Rom1:4).A plain logic (with semantics) teaches the relation between terms: “father” and “son or daughter” -as relational names not having meanings on their own like individual or general ones – is absolute or eternal. There is nothing “mysterious” or magical in the term “Trinity” as generally assumed.

  3. I believe that Luke 1 gives three time clues that show Jesus’ birth to be during the Feast of Tabernacles…late September to early October. I have read studies that verify this in my spirit. It’s not a big thing one way or another, but it surely helps me accept all the secular nonsense attached to Jesus” birth date of December 25th. I celebrate during the Feast of tabernacles and enjoy the secular stuff in December! It’s a win-win for me! God bless you and Happy Christmas season!!

  4. Happy to leave you wrong. A well balanced response. Christians need to be careful about how they practice and emphasize the holiday, but finding a conspiracy of paganism around every corner is counterproductive. (Paul’s teachings about food sacrificed to idols seems to apply in principle here)

    • Absolutely right and because the census was always taken in september and joseph and mary went to bethelham to register but every inn was full so they had to use a cave , a place where they kept the animals!According to the early jewish writings, JESUS was born on Seot. 11! It goes by when the census was taken and that was in september always! And that is when JESUS is coming back, at when the feast of trumpets! When we celebrate Jesus birth, we remember that he was born but born to die for all of humanity!

  5. I look forward to your posts. My former teacher/ pastor of Ed. emphasized that we “think Hebrew” when we studied scripture. You add just that insight and truth to the written word, Thank you for your dedication.

  6. Hate mail should never exist, however, let Wisdom be to our Ehad all Glory for He is our giver of all Wisdom. Very controversial topic but let the Truth shine.

  7. Thank you for this post, Dr. Eli. I am sorry that there will likely be hate mail generated by the content; it is a sad commentary. I found it thought provoking and interesting. Those who feel impelled to send nasty notes are insecure at best….

  8. You should see David Pawson teaching about christmas. He goes very deep through pagan history, christian church history and also through bible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqwxP4hJSzE&list=PLfk5IZQHKovIpxd-x8XVFExKAOWkGD_g9 There are three parts: The Traditions of Christmas – The Truth About Christmas Part 1 The Church and Christmas – The Truth About Christmas Part 2 What the Bible says about Christ’s Birth – The Truth About Christmas Part 3

    • After reading your comment I took the took the time to listen to the three links by David Pawson. Now he is a very educated, learned man who through theologies is undeniably on the mark. But he lost me when he said the bible is not for children. In the scriptures the two times it says Jesus became irate is when they defiled the temple (John 2:15) and when his own disciples chased the children away (Mark 10:13-16). Let’s take paganism out of our lives and make our Messiah the centre of our lives. Joy to the World. Merry Christmas.

    • AD is a exclusively Christian (Year of our Lord) where CE (Common Era) is standard academic language. Anyone both Christians and Jews can use it.

      • Dr Eli, your reply sounds like a claim of “thus it is and always has been”. This is not true. AD (and of course BC) are not at all exclusively Christian and were the standard qualifiers for dates through the western world until the later part of the last century so, of course, many of your readers have grown up with these and still use them as the norm.

  9. I believe Jesus was born in spring because shepherds were out in the field and the month of december would have been too cold for the sheep and too much snow for them to find food.

    • I am w a good pastor on this that Jesus was born the same time lambs were born because He was born to be the Lamb of God (which is only once a year at the same time) which was why the shepherds were watching them at night & didn’t bring them in. The rest of the year, they aren’t outside at night. I forgot time/season of it but it’s probably spring.

  10. Wonderful article, thank you! In my Bible studies, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus was possibly conceived around the time of the Feast of Dedication, which is not far from December 25th and was probably (not certainly) born on the Feast of Tabernacles…”The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us”. Since life begins at conception, I see no issue with celebrating the birth of our Savior at December 25th.

    • Marcus, we are not told by God to celebrate when Jesus was “CONCEIVED” but are following the world’s ways which stem directly from Baal’s birthday–you can easily study this on Youtube.

  11. Admin bar avatar
    There shouldn’t be any hate mail. This article is information on how and when a Christmas holiday came about. Thank you so much I enjoy these questions and answers.

    There shouldn’t be any hate mail. This article is information on how and when a Christmas holiday came about. Thank you so much I enjoy these questions and answers.

  12. Thank you Dr. Eli, I find your comments very interesting. I see where the arguments regarding the festivals as being part of the argument regarding the birth of Jesus. I praise God that His plan to give us salvation and redeem us from the fallen nature was to walk with us in an earthly body, to give us an example that, yes, we can walk with God in this earthly condition. And to argue over when this took place reminds me of the arguments of life resolve nothing. It is our relationship with our God that counts! MY opinion!!

  13. I do believe that the Emperor Constantine had a lot to do with this holiday. I do believe it has Pagan origins. It is a WORLDLY holiday, it’s a TRADITIONAL holiday, it’s a FAKE holiday as well as being a COMMERCIAL holiday and has NOTHING to do with YESHUA (JESUS) at all. It was too cold in Dec. The shepherds put away the animals in Oct. and didn’t bring them out again until Mar. or April. He was born in September at Sukkot.

  14. Shemaryahu Talmon published a study and reconstruction, without a doubt, an order of the priestly relay system for the Jerusalem temple (1 Chronicles 24: 7-18) in New Testament times. With this dating made by Shemaryahu Talmon, it is possible to establish, more or less a given of the conception and the birth of John the Baptist, and consequently a time of data of the birth of Jesus. …12/25… Tommaso Federici, a professor at the Pontifical Urbanian University, and a Vatican adviser.

  15. I applaud your courage, facts do not lie. Just a few days ago I avoided an argument about the issue of Christmas being a pagan holiday because the person was adamant about the pagan roots about Christianity. Unfortunately our Western culture is making Christmas look and feel like a pagan holiday, which fuels a latent anti Christian bias.

  16. Your stance is faulty! You state that observing the anniversary of one’s birth is a pagan practice. Therefore, for the early believers to adopt this practice proves that they were in fact ready to adopt to pagan practices! It would seem to me that this was a form of early adoption of worshiping God in the manner of how the pagans worshipped their gods, which is forbidden in Torah!

  17. Many arguments against December 25th seem to be weather based, as in, sheperds in the fields, etc. These assume that frigid winter’s would prevent this date, without accounting for latitude. There is no doubt about paganism and commercialism taking over this celebration, just as they have invaded other areas of Christian thought and practice. Thank you for your insights.

  18. This is not hate mail. I like to read what people conclude from Scripture and cultural ideas around the time that book of Scripture was written. What do you think about the idea that it could not be Dec 25 because shepherds and sheep were in fields at night, and in winter it is too cold? I have heard that explanation before.

    • Donald, it could be any date at all! Shepherds are out some time in warmer days of December remember Israel can be cold or warm (its not Nebraska). I think this argument at least points us to spring, but again it is nothing more than speculation! 🙂

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  19. Thank you, Dr. Eli. It is ironic that some non-believers hang on to Christmas more than believers do; however, they abide by more of the ‘Pagan’ aspect. I always look forward to seeing what you have to say about history. I wish I could be in Israel taking classes. Some day…

  20. Hate, no. As a Torah observant Messianic believer I always look for the truth. I disagree with you on many things, but this one I find intriguing. It goes against one of the pet charges we often lay at Christians feet; but still if it is true then it is what it is. If it wouldn’t be giving away the store, what are your references for how they came up with Dec 25 as the date? I see the method, but where do you see that the church fathers saw it?

  21. I certainly do not want to send hatefulness your way. But! If you’re going to condone/encourage Christmas, then go ahead and do the same for Good Friday/Easter. I have zero doubt that Yehovah see’s them both thru the same lens. Remember the golden calf situation @ Mt. Sinai? Intention clearly makes no difference to the Creator. Worshipping a tradition born out of pure paganism and throwing Yeshua in the middle of all of it, (atheists who partake excluded), and calling it all so holy…that’s purely insane. Surely, you don’t participate in this x-mess, do you?

    • If you read my article carefully and some people in this forum have, I think you will have to agree that I am not encouraging anything. I have only argued that the date of Christmas December 25 has nothing to do with wanting to Christianize pagan practices. You can buy my argument or you can reject it, but trust me I have no ideological bone behind this. I personally don’t do Christmas as most Christ-followers in the world do, but I think that much of accusations of paganism is none-sense historically speaking.

  22. Nice READ But you didn’t really address When you believe Christ was born The reference to Mary and Joseph going to register for their taxes We must know what time of year that was there must be an official account of that In history .

    • I do not know when he was born if I only knew it :-). The claim that it must have been during the Spring because it is called for the sheep in December may or may not right. Think Climate Change.

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  23. This is not hate email, just food for thought. People all over the world celebrate Christmas. Most do not believe in the Messiah. But as I read the Word of God, I see only 2 Birthday Parties…Murder happened at both…One of which the head of John the Baptist was removed from his torso, and given as a gift to the daughter of Herodias,. (Salome) God’s people celebrated a birth, but never a birthday… Yeshua (God) ( Immanuel with us) was more than likely born on the Feast of Tabernacles. (Sukkot) The Feast God say all Nations will Celebrate or ?????.

    • Thanks, Nancy. A number of people of pointed that out that the only annual celebrations of birth were not very good in the Bible, but I think it goes to show a very narrow approach we are using to what is good or bad. I think that birthdays are just like a lot of things in life. They can be bad and good :-).

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  24. I guess I will never understand anyone’s need to spew “Hate” mail. It serves absolutely no purpose. If one disagrees with someone else, that is their privilege, and a comment is exactly that: a comment. Is Christmas a pagan holiday??? Who knows, except God? I think that any holiday is exactly what an individual wants it to be, it all depends on how and why you celebrate it. The fact that Jesus was born to fulfill God’s purpose and that mankind’s salvation IS that purpose is certainly a reason to celebrate as far as I’m concerned. JOY TO THE WORLD

  25. I read an interesting article in the web sight One for Israel on this same subject called, “Christmas, Pagan or Kosher”. It had a different approach and I enjoyed the insight of both. I really appreciate your work and I read “The Jewish Gospel of John” which was excellent. I want, above all, to honor our Lord. As I see it, He was born to die so I could be born again. This time of year is an opportunity to share that truth. Have a blessed Christmas and Hanukkah. Myra Shire Groce

  26. Interesting re Mar 25 death date –our wedding anniversary! Have you assimilated the possible Epiphany date of 25 Dec, 2 BC, based on Babylonian astrological interpretations and known planetary positions?

  27. I have been taught in the Methodist church UK everything you have said here, since way back – it’s so good to hear this re-iterated and confirmed by you!

  28. The celebration of the birth of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) is becoming more and more blurred by festivities that are representative of the materialistic and secular, western culture in which we live (personally, NZ). Personally, the word “Advent” carries more meaning as it is derived from the Latin word Adventus, meaning “coming”. Originally it was celebrated as preparation by early century Christians in looking forward to the second “coming”, Christ’s return in glory. It then became the practice of Christians of looking back to the the birth of Christ AND the second coming. Which is precisely where we are today.

    • Exactly. All NT writings expect some immediate return of J.Christ like the historical Jesus expected the immediate intervention of God to liberate Israel- both have never been fulfilled literally. I think the different response of Synoptics on the question: “What sign did you (Jesus) give us?” is the key how to interpret such prophecies; the earliest in time, Mark says;”none sign will be given to you” (Mark 8:12) that later is switched in Matthew and Luke as “the sign of Jonah, e.i. the resurrection of Jesus; therefore, Christmas as a literal Second Christ coming is an illusion.

    • These verses talk about practices, not dates. The practices God condemns often in the scriptures have to do with putting sons and daughters through the fire and the sexual practices involved in worshipping fertility god/desses. Also, about not ascribing to creation or any other being the glory or the credit for supplying food through the provision of rain and sun. At least, that is what I perceive. In agreement with Rev Nace below.

  29. Best exposition I have read in recent times. I like the grace you extend at the conclusion. I believe paganism is more a matter of practice and content than dates. Culture (religious culture) is strong as is tradition.

  30. For us, Mormons, Jesus Christ was born on April 6 because He Himself said it in one of the revelations given to Joseph Smith. It’s what we believe, but we respect other opinions … Merry Christmas

    • Who is Joseph Smith? ALL revelations (life and death) comes from God alone. Every self-claiming prophet borrowed, stole? their visions, revelations from God’s Word. Am i wrong?

  31. Using scriptures, Yeshua’s conception timeline is explained in Luke. He explains when Elizabeth concieved and that she was 6 months along when Mary concieved, as the angel said. Her husband was serving a specific course in the temple, which many have dated as about the current calendar June 13-19 and Elizabeth concieved shortly after Zechariah returned home. Counting 6 months gets you to around December 20th as the day of Mary’s conception. That would place the holy birth in late September or early October, which would be during or close to Sukkot. This makes sense about lack of room too.

  32. I appreciate the analysis Dr. Eli. Have you looked into dating the birth of Y’shua according to the birth of John? Luke 1:36 makes clear that John was conceived 6 months prior to Y’shua. John’s father, Zacharias, was serving in the temple, according to the order of Abijah, immediately before John’s conception. Using the order of service to give a baseline date, adding 6 months for John and another 9 months for Mary’s pregnancy, we can extrapolate that Y’shua was born in the fall, around the time of the fall feasts. This would also seem to agree with weather conditions.

  33. Believe it or not the Jews have been observing the conception of Christ since Moses. Jesus was born on 27th March 7BC, 4 days after the spring equinox. And on the forth day God created the Sun… 280 days earlier the Peace Offering in 8BC was on the Saturday June 20th the textbook gestation period for a woman to conceive and give birth. What better peace offering could man get than the conception of the SON OF GOD ?

  34. Yes you are correct in the origins surrounding Christmas, December 25 in all probability is not our Saviours actual birth date. It also may have originally been introduced on this day to appease pagan festivals. “But is it pagan in our lives?” In the Maccabeen revolt the Israelites rededicated the temple, because of the birth of Jesus we rededicate our lives, our body is the temple of the Lord. The actual day or not every day is the Lord’s day and we worship the one living God, “Yehoshua Hamashiach.” (Jesus the Messiah) Joy to the World.

  35. Dear Dr Eli I am currently doing studies with eteacher hoping that you may have taken at least one of the classes. I am sorry to have missed out there. I love reading your posts and I love your slogan: The Bible needs to be re read not rewritten. So many truths come to light, Christmas: at least once in the year we can present to our city the message that God sent His Son into the world Google …Stable on the Strand… see how about 70 churches of Townsville, North Queensland join to present the message of Jesus birth.

  36. Shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem were there at lambing season to check the lambs were fit for temple worship. So it is not surprising that shepherds were sent to check the Lamb of God at His Birth. Lambing season is Springtime. Jesus at 12 years old was in the Temple therefore at his 12th birthday staying on for the 7 days as required for a novice priest. This was of course Passover week. At 33 no wonder Jesus was eager to celebrate his Birthday and give us His gift: The New Covenant. Gal 4:4… the set time … Passover?

  37. As a Crypto Jew, this topic has always been controversial: from embracing it as a child, to hating it after learning about the negative aspects of xmas. However, as a result of intelligently-written information like this as well as aging and hopefully getting wiser, I’ve become neutral in my position and have come to embrace some aspects of the xmas holiday. Instead of focusing on xmas negativity, I choose to focus on my wonderful childhood memories associated with colorful xmas lights. It also helps to see how these same lights help to bolster Hanukka and the Light of the world.

  38. Interesting to read your comment about christmas.when the early church split from its Jewish roots, it all went pearshaped. Christmas i believe comes from Christ’s Mass. In my veiw it is the old Saturnalia festival. Many things have been added and some of them in error. The only real truth is that Yeshua/Jesus was born.

  39. I was born in Holland and we always celebrated Christmas as a Holy Day. Went to Midnight Mass followed by a very peacoefilled and loving day with the Family. I just hate the way the world has lost the sense of the Sacred and lost Faith. It is all about parties but God is left out of it. Thanks for you interesting thoughts.

  40. LUKE 1:5 Of the course of ABIA , ZACHARIAS was serving . CHRONICLES 24:1O . The seventh to Hakkoz, The eight to ABIJAH. C J

  41. You come close to turning around the question about whether Christmas is a Biblical Holiday. Of course, you’re right that it’s not a commanded holiday. The opposite question is whether it’s an unbiblical holiday (meaning, against the Bible). Many in my tradition over the last 150 years said it was unbiblical and marshaled all the pagan elements in the holiday to make their case. But if the question is framed as whether celebrating the Incarnation on a particular day is against the Bible, the answer is pretty clearly, “Of course not!” Thank you for your insight.

    • Someone above mentions Haggai 2. This is a fascinating passage in which the LORD promises to bless from this day forward, v 18,19. Kislev 24. The exact date is mentioned three times in this chapter! It is the laying of the foundation of the second temple. It is small but it looks forward to something greater.Hundreds of years before the Maccabean revolt and rededication of temple but the events are linked by date which is the date of Hanukkah. On this same date, v20-23, the Zerubbabel as signet ring symbol, looking forward to Messiah, My servant. Also the date in 1917, apparently the Turkish Ottoman rule in Israel was ended. Seems like a good day to remember. Especially seeing Jesus says He will rebuild the temple in three days ( referring to His resurrection)while predicting the destruction of this same second temple. He is the greater temple, I would say.

      • And very close in time to Christmas as well. I realize not the same as Christmas but if an additional day to the three major feasts can be remembered annually, then….

  42. The article about the origin of 25 December as the date for the birth of Yeshua Messiah is thought-provoking and well-timed (and it’s OK if some find it controversial). While shorter, it seems similar to a 2002 article titled ‘How December 25 became Christmas’ by Andrew McGowan published in the Biblical Archaeology Society’s magazine, ‘Biblical Review’ (no longer published). A link to the article was included in the BAS’s Bible History Daily e-mail of 20 December 2017 and the article can be accessed at: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/

  43. I have always found it interesting that people slap Yeshua’s Name on all their celebrations and it’s supposed to make it okay. I really question that……

  44. Shalom , We are no longer Gentiles in Yeshua , if we are a Gentile then there’s no covernant for use , The new jersuilem has 12 gates there’s no Gentiles gate. The new covernant is to the house of Joseph and Judah Jeramiah no gentile covernant , We crossed over Like Ruth , Let your YHVH be my YHVH . One law to all we are a mixed multitude and some people will be the lost house the northern kingdom . YHVH is waking up Epraime . It you love me obey my commandments keep sabbath don’t worship Idols

    • That is exactly the problem 🙂 with your thinking. 🙂 Gentiles means Nations (not a bad word at all). If you are not Nations, but are Jews you have displaced the Jews (who don’t yet believe the Gospel) as REAL Jews. Guess what? this is Replacement Theology par excellance!!!! I suggest to visit this page and to read (deeply) as much as you can on this topic – https://israelbiblecenter.com/category/jewish-apostle-paul/

      • The church is always trying to replace Israel…They don’t understand the meaning of Grafted In, nor do they want to. This is why it is so difficult to find places to worship in Spirit and Truth.. Scripture: Romans 11:17-24

  45. Everything happens lawfully and not arbitrarily. Jesus Christ had to be lawfully born at the uptimal star alignment for His earthly birth. Therefore, the best and surest way to find His birthday is to find the date His Star and The Star of Bethlehem that the Magi stated rose in the east was sighted. Its calculation must consider the *cyclical* date of the spring equinox and the Law governing the period for the conception and birth of the *spiritual* human being on earth. I believe that It occurred/occurs on the 29th of December.

    • A more easy answer. Your Bethlehem star is just that of Numbers 24:17. Nothing mysterious (astronomically) at all. Remember, the author, Matthew was not an astronomer for sure!

  46. Shalom, Not all the tribes are Jews the scattered house are Isrealites they are lost in the nations YHVH said he will gather the lost house and we are grafted in the Isreal , We do not replace Israel . He knows his lost sheep and he will make the two houses one .We are grafted into the house off Joseph the two sticks become one . We are adopted sons He see use as brothers , children .family .

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Exodus and The New Testament or The Jewish Gospel of John I: The Arrival of the King. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

    • Are we grafted into Israel or are we grafted into Christ as the ultimate representative of Israel the servant? He says that he is the root and branch of David. Prophecy also states that the stump is the holy seed. We know from Paul that Jesus is the seed, singular. If he is root, stump and branch, is that not the entire tree?

      • Lois, shalom! Good to hear back from you again. Agree with your logic, don’t see (in my system here) what you are responding to exactly. Blessings!

        • I guess what I am driving at is that believing Jews and Gentiles are one in the tree of Christ. Apostle says that the foundation of the new covenant/temple is the prophets and apostles with the cornerstone being Christ. Ephesians 2.those who are far off seem here to be the Gentiles, and referencing Isa 57:19. But also reminds me of “not my people” it will be said to them, you are the sons of the living God” in Hosea 1:9,10 where the references were northern kingdom? All one. A new thing. Center of grand chiasm encompassing whole plan of God.

          • Also, I think my response ( almost two years ago now) was triggered as a response to the grafting in comments made by Yvonne just above. As well as my interest in chasms. Apologies if it was inappropriate for this particular thread. Shalom and blessings to you, Dr Eli.

  47. I am not sure I am writing this well enough . If we are not grafted into Isreal then we have no part In the new covernant as it only made with house off Joseph and Judah , there’s no place for any other People . I see it that’s it’s all about Israel his covenant people . Yeshua is coming back to reunite his lost house the northern kingdom and southern kingdom . We have to become adopted sons or we do not fit into scripture as a family . Shalom

    • You are grafter into the Olive Tree of God’s People. Read the articles I referred you to carefully (and with open mind). You are grafted in but you are part of Israel not as a Jew, but a member of the nations – a high calling indeed!

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including Leviticus and The New Testament and Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

  48. I researched this several years ago using the Hebrew calendar and finding out when John the Baptists father would have went to the Temple to do his service. The Discourse of Abajiah was done twice a year. The problem is which time of the year did he serve. We can not be sure. Your guess is good as mine. When we get to heaven I would like to talk to Mary about the events to satisfy my curiosity.

  49. DR. ELI LIZORKIN: I am a supervisor and was just talking to one of those I supervise, I could tell she thought I was crazy, as she has learned since she was a child that Christmas is Jesus B- day. Sometimes, it is difficult of letting go of taught traditions, as it seems from some of these comments, I understand your article and since I want to go deeper in how the Jewish religion is connected to Christianity, I love reading them! The Bible clearly speaks of the Jews being God’s First chosen people, be blessed to be grafted in.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

    • Under the New Covenant we who are “In Christ”, are Israelites of the seed of Abraham, although not all Israel are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Children of promise ounted as seed (gen 21:12, rom 9:6-8) Romans 9:3-4 For i could wish that i myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites to whom pertain the adoption,the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises….”

  50. The truth is no one really knows his birthday, so no one should be offended by your article. Christmas is now more about giving presents and celebrations and I have noticed its less and less about Jesus and the significance of his birth. This is what is now “Pagan” Thank you and may he continue to use you to show others his truths.

  51. What is “hate” mail, according to the bible? The Word of God is Truth. All else is error. It is easy to speculate and interpret the bible according to our own understanding. The truth is that without Christ (The Anointing), we remain deaf to hearing and blind to seeing the Truth.

  52. What is wrong with commemorating His birthday? 1 John 2:15-16,21 [15]Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16]For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. [21]I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

  53. Thank you for this article. Since we do not know when Jesus was born, teaching that December 25 – or any specific date – was the birthdate would be teaching a genealogical speculation, something 1 Timothy 1:4 says not to do. It would be a mythical teaching about Jesus, something Titus 1:14 says not to do. It would be better to simply teach that Jesus was born at some time, celebrate the birth as we might celebrate the Second Coming, without a date.

  54. Dr Eli, the question whether or not Christmas is pagan could be simply answered by Jeremiah 10:1-5, 8, 14 where clearly The Most High is speaking to Israel through Jeremiah the prophet… about a custom Israel had picked up in captivity in Babylon. The question would rather be “Would serve the Most High or Baal?” after reading the above Biblical Reference. We are provided with Holy Convocations or Feasts to observe in the Torah (Leviticus 23)

  55. Some thoughts about not worshiping as the pagans do are that God was saying no bowing before an image, as He is greater than ANY image (He is living and the image is dead); no worship with sexual orgies ( is the phrase “They got up to play” with sexual connotations?); no murdering your children as sacrifices , no giving credit to other “gods” or to rituals for fertility of land or womb, no worship of creation instead of the ONE who created, for even though creation is full of living things, the Creator is greater and distinct from it.

  56. The Gospels of Luke tells us that there were shepherds living in the fields watching over their sheep when an angel of the Lord appeared to them and announced the birth of Christ. It seems to me that the shepherds would would only live out in the field when the weather was warm and the harvest season was done and I do not believe that that’s in December. That seems to be more between June and September. What are you thoughts Dr?

    • Folks, I live in Israel. It is December now. We still have some shepherds out. Point: No one knows when it happened. Had it been important the Gospels would have born a witness to it like they did in the case of Jewish Christ’s death.

  57. Just because Christians celebrate Christmas at the same time as a pagan celebration does not make it a pagan celebration. E.g, We celebrate Easter at the same time as the Jewish Passover; that does not make “our” Easter a Jewish celebration. The two are different. In the same way, Christmas, for Christians, is a celebration of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus. We don’t particularly celebrate Christmas because it was His birthday, but that His birth and the manner of it was so unique and so special.

    • Furthermore; Some criticize because December 25th is not His true date of birth. So what? In some British commonwealth countries we celebrate the Queen’s birthday with a one-day holiday. We don’t all celebrate on her actual birthday – it’s become standardized for the sake of making things easier. Another example; a baby is born on February 29th – Leap day. When should the family celebrate its birthday each year? I say the actual DATE does not matter.

  58. Just a comment: Paul identifies three groups of people when he says in 1Corinthians 10:32 ‘Give no offense to the Jews, nor to the Gentles, nor the Church of God’ That third group contains people from the first two, unique in itself No fear! They retain their origin either Jew or Gentile.

  59. Pleasant Sabbath to all. Dr. Eli has played the “devil’s advocate” with his timely article. He succeeded in having lots of responses on the subject. I love that. My own take on that is….Why celebrate birth dates anyway? The recipient had nothing to do with his / her birth and date. Therefore why celebrate Christ’s birth date , or any one’s own? Come on, Celebrate what he used to celebrate for he came as an example, let’s follow him, CHRIST. Shalom all!!!

  60. IN Luke 1:5 – 31 Zacharias served in the 8th mounth as it says he was of the course of ABIA , go to chronnicles 24 :10 . He went home after his served so Elizsabeth gets pregnent in the 9th Mo. and John is born in the 6th mo.. 6 Mo. later Christ is born. that is the 12th mo. that is Dec. BUT, THE JEWISH NEW YEAR DOES NOT START IN JAN. They have more than one new year. Using the Fall new year after the grain harvest.. So moving it back 3 mo. makes it Sept.Oct.

  61. After reading all the pros and cons about this post. I have questions. Can we now murder? Steal? Lie? Covet? Does our Creator allow His creation act anyway they choose for themselves? Why make up our own holidays instead of celebrating His? Are we grafted into His chosen people or are they grafted into us? Have we replaced His children and through grace get to be spoiled, disobedient, selfish brats? Christmas was outlawed in the US until 1907. Why? Why celebrate the very pagan Easter instead of the very biblical Passover?

  62. My question is should we celebrate His birthday at all. The Scriptures don’t mention it. The celebration of birthdays and the giving of gifts there are both of pagan origin. And every birthday celebration in the Scriptures is accompanied by tragedy, or at least little good. The exception is Pharoah’s birthday in which one was returned to his previous position. As to the timing of His birth, I still lean toward late Sept, but I’m not here to write a book about these things. 🙂

  63. This article is brilliant! Thank-you so much – and very timely too. There have been recent conversations about the pagan/Christian roots of Christmas in our fellowship group, particularly generated by a young, new believer who is desiring to honour the Lord in what he does. I have been doing my own basic research on Christmas roots after our recent conversations (doing it again – I’ve done it before!) as I personally LOVE Christmas, but don’t want to dishonour our Lord. I really appreciate that you haven’t ‘taken sides’ – you’ve simply provoked thought. Again – thank-you! Perfectly written and refreshing.

  64. Dr. Eli – In John 1:1-14 we are told that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” The Word was Yeshua, Who was most likely born during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles or “Sukkot” in the fall because the word “dwelt” in the Greek means “tabernacled.” In Young’s Literal Translation this same scripture verse reads, “The Word became flesh and did tabernacle among us…” – As far as celebrating the birth of Jesus (whenever it was) I live by 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

  65. The day Jesus was born is anywhere between May 13 and October 13. the days Holy Mary visited the world at Fatima, in Portugal in 1917. Pope Benedict XVI wrote a book late 2012 that Jesus was indeed born Dec. 25, trying to forget Saturnalia and Sol Invictus. Vatican itself is built on the temple of Mithras. As for celebrating Jesus being born, it is the sole event celebrated by angels (and Isaiah) in the Bible, as it is game changer in how the Lord governs the world, by the Gospel. Jesus replaced Mithras as glory, hope of the world.

  66. I’ve heard it argued that the following passages foretell God sets aside His Sabbaths and feasts as He turns from Israel during the “times of the Gentiles.” Passages used include: Isa 1:13-14; Lam 2:6; Hos 2:11; 3:4-5; 9:5-6; Amos 5:21; Mal 2:3. The Gentiles seek, then, to make the name of God (Jesus) great among the nations (Isa 11:10 & Rom 15:12; Ezek 3:5-7; Mal 1:11; Acts 28:28). Is this a correct understanding of these OT prophets? Paul seems to affirm this concept in Acts, Romans and to the Colossians in 2:17.

    • Shalom, Mark. Without looking carefully at each reference “on the face of it” the argument that was presented to you (that you are describing) relies very heavily on dispensationalist theological invention (if you ask me). I do not see God’s redemptive plan the way my dispensationalist brothers and sisters do (it is way too chopped up for my taste). So setting a side God’s Sabbaths for his people Israel sounds really crazy :-). Of course I recognize that there is a true newness to the revelation/mystery received by Apostle Paul (that Gentiles are now co-heirs of the promises of God

  67. Christmas may be Christian but definitely not biblical. There are many Christian traditions that are not from the Bible but copied from the secular world so there should be no surprise that Christmas is just one of them.

  68. I do no understand why people cling to Christmas and do not keep the Jewish Feasts. We know Yeshua celebrated Pesach (Pass Over) and Chanukah and most likely all the Jewish Feasts since he was a Jew. He and his Apostles set an example. Yeshua was most likely born in the spring or anytime other than Winter when the Sheep would not be in the pastures. Christmas & Santa Claus have become so terribly commercial.

  69. If one wanted to choose a day to remember the blessing of Yeshua’s birth, fine. As a community, it’s nice to have the same day and share the remembrance, as we would one of our parents or children. Gifts were given to Yeshua, so we could perhaps make a special offering of thanks to our community, towards a nice meal together. That’s all it needs to be. No Santa, no trees, no expensive debt causing gift giving, no stress! Just a nice “Hey God, thanks for our Savior” and a La Chaim!

  70. May be after all these interesting comments the main thing for me is that Jeshua is born in my heart and lives in me although I am also thinking that his real birthday could have been on pessah or on sukkot, but for sure no more pagan culture as Xmas trees etc.

  71. And WHATEVER YOU DO (no matter what it is – (Amplified Bible addition)) DO IT ALL in the name of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17.

  72. Great article Dr. Eli! I am assuming this way of thinking December is not the date of Messiah’s birth because the date is not on the Hebrew calendar. I find it is hard to believe that Mary was conceived by God’s Spirit on March and then celebrate the birth. Because the starting of the conceiving is like having Easter Sunday. I had stopped flowing the Julian calendar and started following the Jewish Hebrew calendar. Can it be possible he be born during the festival of the tabernacle? Because He say I will build this temple in three days?

    • Yes, Timothy, it is possible. After all, Yeshua came to “tabernacle” among us, and what better season to do so than to come during Sukkot? Some scholars try to connect Luke 1:5 and 1 Chron 24:1-10 in order to demonstrate just this.

    • Israel Bible Center equips you with the tools you need to enter into the Jewish world of Scripture. We provide first-rate teaching, and the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top scholars. As a student, you will be able to interact personally with our teaching faculty, and gain access to hundreds of hours of Bible courses, including The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity and Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I. Become a part of the community of teachers and students at Israel Bible Center today!

      • Our Creator specifically told us to not to worhsip Him as the heathen nations do. That scripture in itself should convince disciples in their heart of hearts what is right before The Most High along with the other reasonings you mention. The Savior’s birth would make more sense to fall on one of His Feast Days (Sukkot) and I believe like you said, Dr. Eli, with much study that Luke 1:5 and 1 Chron 24:1-10 division of the priests to nail it! Why are Christians celebrating the day known to be atributed to Baal worship? I implore Christians to study!

  73. I think Christmas, despite its less than pure foundation in mandates from God, Scriptural support, and date uncertainty, is a very beautiful wonderful invention. I think I owe my faith in Jesus because of Christmas as a child. I never cared for Easter because it seemed Jesus HAD to rise, He is GOD! Good Friday, in my mind for decades, was the holiest day, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus, God the Son, in my place, for my sins, and allowing Himself, the omnipotent creator, to be murdered by His creation out of unimaginable love for us.

  74. I don’t care what means (scripture) people use to try to justify and keep to their traditions, to rationalize Dec. 25th , as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord the way He wants to be served. I only want to please my Master the best way I know how. “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it is destruction”.

  75. I found this article very interesting. Some of the comments though are rather “unchristian”.
    If Christmas is rooted in paganism then I would like to remind the body that whatever Satan may have planned for evil, God turned it for good.

  76. “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-”
    ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:16‬ ‭NASB‬‬
    My opinion is whoever wants to celebrate Christmas let them do so and who ever does want let them be. Whoever believes it 25th it’s up to them. The important question is do they have a true relationship with the one they are celebrating.

  77. Feast of Tabernacles is accurate. Temple records show Zechariah finished serving at the end of June making July the earliest he could make Elizabeth pregnant. Mary visited in Elizabeth sixth month. Then six months after John’s birth in March would be Yeshua’s birth.

  78. I think there are some important elements of church history we must consider. A so called “lawful church” did not exist until Emperor Constantine became a beliver in Jesus (his Mother was converted first). He then unified all the Believers and started the first “state” run church in Turkey. It is obvious that paganism took root in this church. Years ago I read somewhere that all Roman gods shared the Dec. 25th B’day… Because of the connection to paganism, I prefer to think the “Lamb of God” was born in March.

    • I have also heard before as someone on this blog posted that census always in September? What is the source of that information? Would love to back that up.

  79. Dr. Eli, I believe you are correct on this item. Pagan or not christmas by its name tells us that it is most likely a move by the “church of rome” to begin with, Mas for Christ???? just saying. However, we do not have any guide in scripture that tells us when or if we should celebrate the birth of Christ, in the whole picture His birth is nothing compared to His death and the reason for it. Also, the date has to be wrong, shepards do not lay about in the field in December, it is snowing.

  80. There is so much superstitious data dealing with mythical being hundred of years before the life of Yeshua. Depending on the superstitious mind of the writer, and all of them were caught up in mystical superstitions, such as the six or more saviors being born on December 25th, some with angels and stars and being born in a cave, dying by a cruel death on a hill and buried in a cave with a stone rolled over the opening. And each had a resurrection. There is more evidence to suggest a spring birth born naturally.

  81. Go back to the birth of John the Baptist , Zachariah served in the temple he was the 8 course of Abia, . so from the first of the year he served sometime in June now follow the timeline of Mary and you will see that Mary conceived on dec 25 and 270 days later on September 29 the feast of tabernacle Jesus was born.

  82. Christians celebrated Jesus’ birth in the 120-130’s A.D. (Telesphorus of Rome). Theophilus (AD 115-181), Bishop of Caesarea said “the observance . . . of the birthday of our Lord [be held] on what day soever the 25 of December shall happen.” Hippolytus, (A.D. 170-236) in his “Commentary on Daniel” states “For the first appearnace of our Lord in the flesh took place in Bethlehem eight days before the Kalends of January [Dec. 25], on the fourth day under Emperor Augustus” Justin Martyr told Marcus Aurelius the Dec. 25 date was in the Roman tax registers from the Augustus census.

  83. Christians were celebrating Christ’s birth on Dec. 25 in the second century. In A.D. 274, the Roman Emperor Aurelian (AD 214-275) declared the pagan cult of sol invictus {Mithra} as the official religion of Rome. He proclaimed Dec. 25 as Natalis Solis Invicti, a national holiday dedicated to Mithra — This was proclaimed 93 years after Christians had been celebrating Christmas on that date (it was a midnight mass). So, the Romans hijacked the date nearly 100 years after the fact. Ancient historians refer to Roman census records as indicating 12/15 as Jesus’ birth — long before the pagans.

  84. Religions evolve and assimilate the cultures of peoples who have been converted.
    Pagan influence fallacy: It is a fallacy to suggest that just because Christian rituals are found or even originated in Pagan beliefs, it is therefore Paganistic.
    Genetic fallacy: wrongly judges a thing based on its history or origins rather than on its own merits. For example: Baptism has its origins in the rivers of Euphrates, Nile and the Ganges. Whereas John’s baptism is of repentance.
    Christmas and Easter were introduced to provide a wholesome, non-pagan alternative celebration and rejects the pagan holiday.

  85. I have no doubt in my mind having searched through human history and sacred history in the bible, yule termed Christ-mad is pagan from the onset. The bible is clear on what Jesus want the church to celebrate, like the Lord’s Supper … the early church brethren did not observe Christmas, I think they are our examples.

  86. Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from G-d unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth,… this is when Mary was visited by Gabriel. Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her,…39 and Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill with haste,… now of course this is dated by the Hebrew calendar and gives the app. time of both conceptions considering that Mary stayed about three months with Elisabeth, which would be the birth of John.

  87. Good article but i need clarity. Scripture says:Every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.Do not add to His words lest He rebuke you and you found a liar. Prov.30:5-6. Do people at any era have the mandate to add,edit and remove from the word of God. Why don’t we have a direct command from Christ or His apostles in regard to that day? Why did they wait for centuries to pass before they sneaked it into christianity to make it appear Christian. His death is worth celebrating than christmas.1cor.11:23-26

  88. My main concern is that it seems our children come away with the idea that Jesus ‘started’ at his birth. Jesus was in the beginning, with God, is God, & nothing that has been created was created w/o him. This awesome, powerful God humbled himself to be human because he loves us and desires us to be one with him. John 1:1ff is a key piece of the story that is often left out.

  89. Something came to me a few days ago. Since Yeshua said explicitly that no manwill know the day or the hour of His second coming, it may be possible that no man is supposed to know the day and the hour of His first coming… The Father could certainly have told us if He wanted us to know.

  90. “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (‭Romans‬ ‭14‬:‭5-6‬)

    “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations…
    which all concern things which perish with the using— according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossians‬ ‭2:16-20, 22-23)‬

  91. i enjoyed reading different and significant opinions about the certainty of dates referring to Christ’s birth. it just shows that people from all walks of life believed or consider the fact that once a upon a time, a child was born and His Name is Jesus Christ.
    i am personally thankful that Jesus Christ was born so that we will have life. I greet you all Happy Christ must be in our hearts.

    thanks Dr.Eli for the article about whether Christmas is pagan or biblical?

  92. First, the fact that something is not yet known does not mean it does not exist or it is not true. Second, similarity does not imply relationship but motive and significance override historical fact and cultural practice. Many things that we find in the Torah in the OT,especially “the Laws” are very similar to “the laws and practices” of the ancient near east kingdoms; but in no way are they the same. Why? Because God’s motive and significance of His laws and practices override those of other kingdoms and are unique to His Kingdom. See my line of reasoning underneath:

  93. The fact that the date about the birth of Jesus is not specifically known does not mean Jesus has no birthday. And the fact that people celebrate Jesus’ birthday on a day similar to a pagan celebration does not make it pagan. The dates and the practices may be similar but the motive and significance attached to it go far beyond the practice. In fact, Christian believers mostly engage themselves in prayers and fellowship meals on this day. So I don’t see any wrong in that. I can,t even believe that God would be crossed with that. Read more:

  94. Hashem gave laws to His people which were very similar to the laws of the surrounding nations; but which were unique to the people of Israel. Much as the laws were similar but the motives were different. That was the point and focus of God. Much as Christmas day allegedly falls on a pagan day but the essence of its celebration by the Christians is what makes it unique. And that is the point and focus of Christians; to appreciate and exalt God, not an idol, for bringing salvation to humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ, Immanuel. Read more:

  95. Finally, both the birth and death of Jesus were predicted in the OT (Isaiah 7:14, 53:5). Implying that both are important. In fact, there can be no death without birth. Jesus could not have brought salvation to suffering humanity if He had not been born. Man could not be saved if Jesus had not died. Therefore, both the birth and death of Jesus are equally significant and must be commemorated. In pagan societies too, people commemorate(d) the death(s) of their beloved ones. So there is no escape. But the point still is the motive and spiritual significance of the event.

  96. You wrote: There is no doubt that it was at this time, but not before, that Christmas began to acquire some of its pagan traditions.
    I was discussing this with someone and he said: where is the scientific (historical) proof of this? So my question is do you have any references, research to back this? Which historians wrote about this? I am curious, not attacking.

    • Have you ever heard of the Diocletianic Persecution? This period was basically the climax of Christian persecution by the Roman Empire. I doubt any Christian was interested in emulating the ways of the persecutors.

  97. Where in the bible is there a text that suggest that if a celebration is not explicitly written in the bible, it is not true? Does the bible know that the bible is a sacred document? Can the bible be put on the witness stand to defend itself? Does any of the NT authors tell us which books should be contained in the canon? This is a matter of authority.Christ gave authority to a Church that he established to teach “bind and to loose” Matt 16:18,19. The Catholic Church compiled, preserved and gave us the bible and proclaimed the festival.

    • To be certain, Yeshua established the hub of his ekklesia in Jerusalem. Despite all the good that Catholicism has done, neither Yeshua nor the disciples were Catholic. And besides that, the discussion is not about determining if a holiday is “true”. Typically, people on the opposition side of this issue point to Deu.12:30 and Jer.10:2 saying “Do not learn the ways of the nations” and “how they worshiped their gods.” So, it centers on whether believers (through certain holiday traditions) worship God in the way that nations worshiped their gods.

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      • I note that you avoid the issue of authority that decides what kind of worship or feast is permissible. If the argument of those who disagree with the practice of Christmas based on the text cited, then baptism and the Lords Supper should also be questioned, since the authors of the OT did not foresee or prophecy that a NT document would appear.The early church father St Ignatius of Antioch a bishop was the first to pen the term Catholic Church about 107AD. He wrote “Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church.”

        • What exactly are you defending? What are you trying to say? Moses certainly foresaw future prophets including Messiah (Deu.18:15) (which permits later writings including the NT), and Messiah participated in and gave his approval of baptism and Lord’s supper (which both had OT predecessors). Certainly Jesus and the disciples did not celebrate Christmas and the early believers did not celebrate it with pagan insertions. Ignatius said, “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be” and his “catholic church” simply meant universal church, not the one that approved of Christmas centuries later.

          • I am saying that you on your study seem to authoritatively conclude that the feast of Christmas “is not biblical” because “God did not command it”. St Paul writes that “the church is the pillar and foundation of truth.” (1Tim 3:15). When confusion arose on the need for circumcision for Gentile converts to be saved, (Act15:1,2) Paul and Barnabas did not consult a bible or developed their own personal doctrine or theology. No-the “church appointed” them to go to the ‘teaching authority’ in Jerusalem to decide [bind and loose] the matter.

          • First, please reread 1Tim3:15. In Greek, it is more plausible that it is referring to the “living God” who is “the pillar and foundation of truth;” Furthermore, in the Peshitta, the grammar allows only for this reading. But secondly, I agree that if something arises that doesn’t have a clear biblical precedent, we should go to the authorities where God placed His name (Deu17:8-13). A I recall that Place was Jerusalem, and I am certain that Jerusalem did not establish Christmas.

          • Dr Eli, to conclude my point. At the council of Jerusalem, the first of many ecumenical councils, the authoritive office bearers (magisterium) unanimously decided and settled the matter issuing a letter (Acts 15: 19,20) to confirm their doctrinal decision. Our Lord left us a ‘Qahal’ with authority to teach. He did not send a schizophrenic Spirit that produces confusion and contradictions from individuals of what the bible actually “say”. The Hebrew Qahal had an authority, the seat of Moses (Matt 23:2). This authority was handed to primarily Peter and the apostles (Matt 16:16-19) and they are still with us.

  98. I don’t think Christian today celebrate pagan Christmas, but most people do celebrate pagan’s christmas.if you celebrate Christmas with Christ-centered celebration, that’s Christian Christmas, but if you celebrate it without Christ, you already celebrate pagan’s Christmas. Some people didn’t realised they’re doing pagan’s Christmas by doing more alcoholic drinks, parties or immoral activities. As what I said, Christmas is about Christ and not about others.

  99. Interesting article. There is also a teaching based on the birth of John the Baptist and the vision of Rev. 12 that would place Jesus’ conception around our Dec. 25th and his birth on Tishri 1. It is based on the difference in time between John’s conception/birth and Jesus’ (Lk. 1:26-31)along with the father of John being a priest in the course of Abijah (Lk. 1:5). Then Rev. 12 is depicted as a vision relative to the birth of Jesus.

  100. No I dont do chrismas, yes I do celebrate life on 25 Des. Jesus is eternal and do not age. He dont want us to celebrate his birthday. If he wanted us to do so, it would have been stipulated in the bible.

  101. In my opinion 25 December is not a possibility for the birth of Yeshua because the shepherds could not have been out in the field with their flocks at that time of the year. Your thoughts?

  102. This year for the first time in 63 years I did not celebrate Christmas!

    For the world Christmas has become pagan again.

    A day to spend money, to drink and abuse alcohol instead to remember that he was born into flesh,a human to come and save us ..

    But come next September I will remember that He came, born between us sinners to save me from my wicked ways!

  103. If I may be the Devil’s advocate for a moment. It could be argued that the very heart of Judaism is circumcision, and Jesus being a Jew was circumcised. Now if doing something because it has Pagan connotations nullifies the Godly aspect of the act and turns it into a Pagan worship (as many here argue that Christmas is), then Jesus’ circumcision was also an act of Pagan worship because circumcision is a ritual that was carried from 4,000 BC by Egyptian priests, i.e. for well over 1,000 years before G-d commanded Aram/Abraham to circumcise the Children of Israel.

    • With that logic, Bob, we should feel comfortable doing all things pagan. Rather, I think the issue here is whether the Bible commands or approves of it. Circumcision it commands, but Christmas, not so much.

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  104. Would the shepherd’s have their sheep out at this time of year? Look at the weather forecast in the israel area and it’s 10-13° ,at night about 5° no problem to the Shepherd or the sheep.

  105. I think we spend to much time asking and trying to prove something that is not at all contributing. The fact still remains that Jesus Christ was born, He did die upon the cross and most importantly, He did rise from the dead. Celebrating that should be the focal point of all Christians.2 Timothy 2:16-26. God bless

  106. Jesus is from eternity to eternity. Does it really matter when He became human on earth? No, it doesn’t. Just be one with the One ( Christ) every day and stop this 25 December issue, please. There are people dying , being martyred for being Christ followers around the world as we speak who needs our prayers. The tree that you cut down is already lying on some trash heap. Celebrate Him every day. Shalom

  107. I don’t care if Jesus was not born on Dec 25th. I celebrate the birth of God’s son and I don’t worry about what the pagans might have done or how they celebrated anything on this or any other date.

    Love Jesus and be thankful that God sent him to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  108. I fumbled with this idea myself within the past year. However the Father brought me below Scripture. Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory. … then, you are eating or drinking, or whatever you are doing, let everything be done to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31. Pretty much everything you see has some sort of pagan connection. So long as the celebration is about commemorating Christ and living in a Spirit of the New Covenant peace, love and joy and not anything else, there is no harm in doing.

  109. If He had wanted us to celebrate His birthday I think He would have told his Apostles to do so. He said for us to follow Him. He was a Jew and he kept the Sabbath and the Holy Feasts. I have no choice but to join in or be called a Grinch. It is a time to be with family and I am thankful for that. Yes, whatever we do we should do it to the Glory of God.

  110. If Yahweh wanted Yahshua’s birth celebrated, He would have said so. In ,many births are mentioned, John the Baptist, Samuel, and yet NOT one single date is ever mentioned, because celebrating birthdays was pagan. Only Yahweh has a day, its the Sabbath, humans don’t have days to themselves. You cannot take something pagan and try to worship Yahweh by it. Deu 12:30-32, How did these nations serve their gods? And I shall do so, even I. Deu 12:31 You shall not so to YAHWEH your Elohim; for everything hateful to YAHWEH, which He detests, they have done to their gods.

  111. It is the death of Yahshua that we are to celebrate, not His birth.

    1Co 11:23 For I received from the Master what I also delivered to you, that the Master Yahshua in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
    1Co 11:24 and giving thanks, He broke and said, take, eat, this is My body which is broken on behalf of you, this do in remembrance of Me.

    Birthdays have always been pagan, and Josephus states that Jews in the 2st century abhorred birthday celebrations. It is commercial Babylon, and Santa is from Satan.

  112. To disagree is not hate mail or do You mean many write obnoxious and vicious posts to you (but none are ever used)?
    Christmas, a corruption of Christ’s mass, is definitely WRONG and blasphemous. Many think or feel that salvation is found in Christmas – see the words of carols.
    Easter is pagan but where would a lot of false churches get a congregation if these two festivals were taken off the calendar?

  113. Crucifixion 30 CE Abib 14 as the Passover lamb
    Herod died 1 BC before Passover
    Magi to Bethlehem 2 BC (Dec)
    Yeshua born Abib 1, born as a Passover lamb (per ribbi Jonathan Cahn)
    Yeshua born 3 BC

  114. THE MESSIAH was born in the fall. The Romans are not dumb, census and tax collection in fall when people have money and travel is easy.Shepherds shelter sheep during winter months. Dec 25th=saturnalia and other pagan traditions.

  115. Dr Eli, is it true that original scripture did not honor the diety of Yeshua & cut yah out of his name leaving it Yeshu? The Chinese still have it so in their translation. Thanks,

  116. It is clear from New Testament scripture that the earliest Christians placed little significance on the birth, only on the death and resurrection. All cultures have a winter solstice celebration and adopting such a celebration for the birth seems simple convenience. Any day would do.

  117. Whether pagan or not! Whether 25th December or not! The fact is at some time A SAVIOR was born. And this is exactly what every Christian celebrates. Anything our of this then makes this day more of pagan than its real intent.

  118. Time and again we read in scripture that we should celebrate the birth of Jesus and that we should put up a Christmas tree and exchange presents. 1st Gerry 5 : 7. What do you mean that is not in the Bible. Neither is most of Christianity.

  119. Lots of comments based on a VERY LIMITED article of facts. Dr. Eli, you have effectively and carefully given as few details and ACTUAL facts on this subject as possible so as to appear objective. Spend 4 months studying this and then write an honest article.

    • Actually, Melanie, it is up to you (along with other commenters) to (hopefully) study this and write honest replies. Would you like to bring clarity to the topic by speaking to the matter at hand?

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  120. We all know that December 25th isn’t the actual chronological date of His birth;

    “But does that really matter?” What is more important is…

    The, “Heart of Christmas!”

    He came; (as an infant child)
    He gave; (His life for us)
    We live, because of; (His love for us)

    Risen King!!

    • Indeed, He came, He gave, He arose, we live…Halleluyah! But that is not the “Heart of Christmas”; that is “The Heart of Christianity.”

      • As Christians, if the heart of Christianity doesn’t transcend through to the heart of Christmas:

        “Then what are we doing it for?”

  121. Yes; with respect, Dr Eli.

    As Christians from the Gentiles. We align ourselves with the messianic side of Judaism and you’re correct in your response. The heart of Christianity can be shared 365 days of the year.

    There’s nothing wrong with one special day of global recognition in His honour.

  122. Paul says not to judge on what days a man keeps. Given the high level of pagan symbolism that is used in Christmas celebrations. I find it a great opportunity to teach others truth. Paul did so on Mars hill without mentioning Yeshua. Redeem the people. Take the opportunity.

    • In Rom.14 (containing v.5-6: “One man esteemeth one day…”), eating/drinking/food is mentioned 18 times and judging 10+ times. Paul was likely talking about competing fasting traditions and/or eating things sacrificed to idols, not following our own hearts about holidays. Remember to be careful not to pull Paul out of context (2Pet.3:15-16).

      • I would note Galatians chapter 4 as important in the way we should be and particular note to v10. This I believe relates to any day a man keeps. It is not for me to keep any of these, but it is an opportunity to teach others.

  123. I perceive that most American families believe and instruct their families in the traditional observances of Christmas, Easter and Halloween. My wife and I decided to stop such observance several years ago, because after studying the origin of the observances, we realized it is wrong.

  124. We stopped putting up a “Christmas Tree”, we stopped buying “Easter Baskets”, and “Halloween Costumes”, and all the traditional observances and practices. Our families confronted us. We informed them as to why we decided to do so. This was several years ago, they still do not accept or understand.

  125. When we ask families and friends why they observe Christmas, Easter and Halloween, their ready answer is, it is for the children. We respectfully asked if they enjoy lying to and deceiving their children, needless to say the conversation quickly ends.

  126. As believers in Christ, we are to represent and proclaim the truth, not falsehoods. We stopped observing traditional Christmas observance a few years ago, and other holiday observances when our children were teens. They rejected our discontinuance and choose to continue traditional observances for our grandchildren.

  127. The most difficult refutation was from my mother. Her objection is that is what I was taught, we always observed Christmas. We continue to believe there is no Christmas, the birth of Christ occurred sometime in August or September, and there is nothing to support the observance of Christ’s birth.

  128. We must always render our thanks with joy and thanksgiving unto God our Father for fulfilling his promise of a Savior. We can give thanks to God for His gifts, the birth of a savior, the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of our savior, and the promise of his return.

  129. Thanks for another interesting read. At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation. The incarnation is a prerequisite for your and my salvation from the power of sin. God’s incarnate son is also the perfect model for a life according to God’s will. It is well worth celebrating.

  130. I don’t know when our Lord was born, but I am so very grateful that He was born I do celebrate on 25th December. But To me the date doesn’t matter. ????????

  131. Thanks for this article but what is its application? Maybe don’t “nullify the word of God by your tradition”? Is God displeased with a tradition that celebrates Messiah Yeshua’s birth (incarnation) without knowing the actual day on the calendar year? Is is wrong to celebrate “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord”? The end of Satan’s power and the power of sin and death is why I celebrate Christmas. 

    • Celebrating Messiah is wonderful, that’s not the issue here; we should do that every day. The question is how celebrating Messiah became saturated with pagan traditions mirroring Saturnalia (evergreen trees, holly, gift giving, Odin, carols at the winter solstice), whether emulating those practices glorifies Messiah, and what the Bible has to say about it.

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  132. I believe that Christmas celebration is a heathen celebration as we will not find any reference to this celebration among God’s people in the OT times or in the NT Church.
    The only two accounts in the Bible were when Pharaoh and Herod who were heathen kings celebrated their birthdays.

  133. If the birthday celebration of our Lord is that important, His Earthly parents would have done it for Him, Apostle Peter and other members of the Early Church would have done it. The Lord Himself would have commanded that we do it just like His death and resurrection.

  134. If Yeshua died on the 14th of Nissan (March 25), how they come to the idea that Yeshua was born on the 25th of December? Maybe I am wrong but on the 14th of Nissan, he had 33.6 years and not 33 or 34 years, right?

    • There are simply too many unknown variables to account for. The Bible is clear that Yeshua died the day that the Passover lambs were sacrificed which is 14 Nisan, and that He was about 30 when He started His ministry. This is not enough information to calculate His birth date.

    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Jewish Insights Into Scriptures I or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

  135. Thank you for the article.
    I’ve always felt that if one could commemorate the day of one’s birth, one also could have a ceremonial commemoration of the day of birth of one’s Saviour. My tiny human mind and heart cannot accept that God would be upset about us doing that — celebrating the gift of His Son.
    What we do — those of us not carried away by the commercialisation and extraneous traditions — is the equivalent of a toddler bringing a love gift to our parents, just because we’re glad they exist.
    Just a thought…

    • And since it is uncertain on which day Yeshua was born, we could theoretically pick any or all days to remember Him. Why then specifically did Christianity settle on December 25?

      • I wonder if anyone has brought in Malachi which refers to the “ sun of righteousness rising with healing in his wings”? Clearly refers to Messiah to me. Has the translation got it wrong? Should it be servant and not sun? Or is this an example of showing G-d as higher than the sun worshipped by others but saying He is the one, not the sun? But using symbols familiar to the pagans, the Helios symbol.

        • That’s an awesome interpretation. Linguistically, it is uncertain that shemesh and shamash are actually related, but if they are, this sense of serving appears in the Bible only one time as a verb in Aramaic at Dan. 7:10. But I think that the Aramaic speaking Jews of Yeshua’s day would have seen this possible connection (even if not etymologically related) of “servant” in addition to “sun”. Maybe that’s why the woman with the issue of blood grabbed onto the “wings” (tzitzit) of God’s “servant” Yeshua…to “receive healing”! But this is getting off topic.

        • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Stories of Jewish Christ: First Century Diversity or The Jewish Apostle Paul I: His World. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!

          • Thank you for your response. I guess I have a very tangential mind:) I will try to stay on topic! I was thinking this passage pertains to the topic of reassigning meaning to pagan symbols. Which may relate also to dates and symbols regarding Christmas.

  136. A first century Rabbi claimed that we should worship the Father in spirit and truth. I wonder what he would think of such nonsense today.

  137. Personally I prefer not to CELEBRATE Christmas. I have never once heard that it is the celebration of the birth of a baby Jewish boy, and it certainly can’t be the celebration of the birth of God, who was from the beginning, so amongst all the anti-semitism in the church, whose birth are they celebrating.

  138. I do not believe it is important for us to know what date Jesus was born on. If we were to remember his birthdate we would have been told to do so.Some would only focus on that date. We should remember Jesus daily and all that He sacrificed for us. We should worship Him daily by how we live our lives.The one thing that He did state to do “in remembrance of Him” is found in Luke 22:17-19 .Some call this the Lord’s supper or communion.


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