Category Archives: Reasoning Christmas December 25

Macrobius (±430 AD): Saturnalia was held on December 16-18, not Desember 25

Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, lived in first half of 5 century AD, was a Roman pagan religion adherent. adalah seorang penganut agama pagan Romawi. In his book “Saturnalia”,1 he talked about his religion, i.e., Saturnalia was held on 14th day prior to January during one day.

Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius (Paruh pertama abad 5 M)
Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius (Paruh pertama abad 5 M)

Apud maiores nostros Saturnalia die uno finiebantur, qui erat a. d. quartum decimum Kalendas Ianuarias: sed postquam C. Caesar huic mensi duos addixit dies, sexto decimo coepta celebrari. Ea re factum est ut, cum vulgus ignoraret certum Saturnaliorum diem, nonnullique a C. Caesare inserto die et alii vetere more celebrarent, plures dies Saturnalia numerarentur: licet et apud veteres opinio fuerit septem diebus peragi Saturnalia, si opinio vocanda est quae idoneis firmatur auctoribus. (Buku I, Bab X, Kalimat ke 2)1

In a single day, that our ancestors had their boundaries the Saturnalia, which was of. d. the fourteenth day before the Kalends of January, but two months after he had connected himself with Gaius Caesar to this day, in the sixth year of his first attempts to be celebrated. That matter came to pass, that, when the common people did not know the day of his Saturnalia is certain, and some by Caesar, inserted in an ancient custom of the day and the others, that the days of the Saturnalia was counted: seven days it shall be permitted to be carried out in the opinion of the Saturnalia among the ancients, and, if the opinion is to be called is that which is established by the authors of suitable .

Saturn temple site in Rome, Italy, eventually lost its visitors, abandoned by people, and became historic ruins when people chose to follow Jesus Christ. Saturn religion still existed in 5<sup>th</sup> century AD.
Temple of Saturn in Rome, Italy, eventually lost its visitors, abandoned by people, and became historic ruins when people chose to follow Jesus Christ. Saturn religion still existed in 5th century AD.

Before Julian Calendar reformation, in the time of Roman ancestors, Desember consisted of 29 days.2 Then, 14th day prior to January was:

  1. Desember 29
  2. Desember 28
  3. Desember 27
  4. Desember 26
  5. Desember 25
  6. Desember 24
  7. Desember 23
  8. Desember 22
  9. Desember 21
  10. Desember 20
  11. Desember 19
  12. Desember 18
  13. Desember 17
  14. Desember 16

After Julian Calendar reformation, Desember consisted of 31 days. Then, 14th day prior to January was:

  1. Desember 31
  2. Desember 30
  3. Desember 29
  4. Desember 28
  5. Desember 27
  6. Desember 26
  7. Desember 25
  8. Desember 24
  9. Desember 23
  10. Desember 22
  11. Desember 21
  12. Desember 20
  13. Desember 19
  14. Desember 18

The historical evidence of Macrobius indicate that Saturnalia was celebrated by the ancient Roman pagan religion adherents on December 16-18, instead of December 25. This historical evidence corroborates arguments that Christmas was not derived from the Saturnalia.

Temple of Saturn
Temple of Saturn

Conclusion

  1. Saturnalia was held on December 16-18 Desember Julian Calender according to historical evidence from Macrobius.
  2. It is evidently proven, that Christmas did not originate in Saturnalia.

Bibliography

1http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/l/roman/texts/Macrobius/Saturnalia/1*.html; access 4/16/2015 9:43

2http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/roman-calendar.html; access 4/16/2015 10:37

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Course of priests according to Israel tradition

According to Jerusalem Talmud Taanith Tract about fast and fast day, Rabbi Jose ben Halafta c. 150 AD (80 years after destruction of Jerusalem temple) said that course of Jehoiarib was in charge when destruction of the temple happened.

Whence do we know that the second Temple was also destroyed on the 9th of Abh? We have learned in a Boraitha: “A happy event is credited to the day on which another happy event happened, while a calamity is ascribed to the day when another calamity occurred; and it was said that when the first Temple was destroyed it was on the eve preceding the 9th of Abh, which was also the night at the close of the Sabbath and also the close of the Sabbatical year. The watch at the time was that of Jehoyoreb, and the Levites were chanting in their proper places, at that moment reciting the passage [Psalms, xciv. 23]: “And he will bring back upon them their own injustice, and in their own wickedness will he destroy them”; and they did not have time to end the passage, which concludes, “yea, he will destroy them–the Lord our God,” before the enemy entered and took possession of the Temple. This happened also at the destruction of the second Temple. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Talmud/taanit4.html)

First course of priests was Jehoiarib  (1 Chronicles 24:7).

Division Name Scriptural Reference
First Jehoiarib 1 Chronicles 24:7
Second Jedaiah 1 Chronicles 24:7
Third Harim 1 Chronicles 24:8
Fourth Seorim 1 Chronicles 24:8
Fifth Malchijah 1 Chronicles 24:9
Sixth Mijamin 1 Chronicles 24:9
Seventh Hakkoz 1 Chronicles 24:10
Eighth Abia 1 Chronicles 24:10
Ninth Jeshua 1 Chronicles 24:11
Tenth Shecaniah 1 Chronicles 24:11
Eleventh Eliashib 1 Chronicles 24:12
Twelfth Jakim 1 Chronicles 24:12
Thirteenth Huppah 1 Chronicles 24:13
Fourteenth Jeshebeab 1 Chronicles 24:13
Fifteenth Bilgah 1 Chronicles 24:14
Sixteenth Immer 1 Chronicles 24:14
Seventeenth Hezir 1 Chronicles 24:15
Eighteenth Happizzez 1 Chronicles 24:15
Nineteenth Pethahiah 1 Chronicles 24:16
Twentieth Jehezkel 1 Chronicles 24:16
Twenty-first Jachin 1 Chronicles 24:17
Twenty-second Gamul 1 Chronicles 24:17
Twenty-third Delaiah 1 Chronicles 24:18
Twenty-fourth Maaziah 1 Chronicles 24:18
Incense burner
Incense burner in beth ha-miqdash

Temple destruction happened in Sabbath, Ab 9, 3830 Hebrew Calendar, then course of Jehoiarib serve in a week of 9th-16th day of Ab.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur exists between first and eight courses of priests. In these fests, courses of priests served together. Hence, Abia was  8th course of priests which served on Tishri 15-21, 3831 by calculation:

8th week + 1 week = 9th week

9th week from Av 9-16  is Tishri 15-21, 3831.

This calculation is in line with Luke story of Gabriel visiting Zachariah.

Witness from Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (±150 AD) that course of priests started at Ab is in line with indication from Ezra 7:8-10.


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The course of priests started at month Av

Schedule of course of priest has an important role in investigating Jesus birth of date.

Ezra 7: 8-10 indicates that schedule of course of priest started at month Av, instead of Nisan.

8. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.

9. For upon the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

10. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD and to do it and to teach in Israel his statutes and judgments.
(Ezra 7: 8-10, KJV 2000 translation)

Bulan kelima kalender Nisan adalah bulan Av.

Month Hebrew Transliteration
1 נִיסָן Nīsān
2 אִיָּר / אייר ʼIyyār
3 סִיוָן / סיוון Sīwān
4 תַּמּוּז Tammūz
5 אָב ʼĀḇ
6 אֱלוּל ʼĔlūl
7 תִּשׁרִי Tišrī
8 מַרְחֶשְׁוָן / מרחשוון Marħešwān
9 כִּסְלֵו / כסליו Kislēw
10 טֵבֵת Ṭēḇēṯ
11 שְׁבָט Šəḇāṭ
12 אֲדָר א׳
12 אֲדָר / אֲדָר ב׳ ʼĂḏār

The book of Ezra implies that the course of priests served from month Av without mentioning the date.

Even so, we can narrow the range of dates on the assumption that they were normal persons and performing normal daily activities, while studying Bible with regard to daily animal sacrifice ritual.

  • Arrived in Jerusalem.
  • Took a rest. Four-month overland journey from Babylon (Iraq) to Jerusalem on food and riding animals was normally making them tired. They needed to take a rest once they arrived in Jerusalem.
  • Normal people who arrive at the destination of a trip would tidy up the luggage and prepare a place for normal daily activities (taking a rest, sleeping, eating, washing, bathing, etc).

    Old-testament altar
    Old-testament altar
  • Intensive learning on animal sacrifice ritual.
  • Building and preparing altar.
  • Making the necessary equipment (priest clothing, etc.).
  • Gathering descendant of Aaron and forming and organizing the course of priest.
  • First course served the people.

Bearing this in mind, the possible date can be narrowed to the first half of Av.

More specifically, Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (± 150 AD) said that the first course of priest served in 9th day of Av, Hebrew Calendar.

Conclusion

  1. Ezra 7: 8-10 implies that first course of priests started in the first half of Av (approximately, between 1 and 15 Av).
  2. Rabbi Jose ben Halafta (±150 Masehi) said that first course of priests served in 9th day of Av.
  3. The course of priests start at month Av, instead of Nisan.

 

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Augustus, Herod, Quirinius: Historical markers of Jesus birth

Disinformation

The dates from the Bible do not reconcile with history.

The Gospel according to Luke states that the miraculous birth occurred in a year when Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered a census for the purpose of taxation, and that this happened at a time when Herod reigned in Judea and Quirinius was governor of Syria.

But Herod died four years “BC,” and during this rulership the governor of Syria was not Quirinius. There is no mention of any Augustan census by any Roman historian, but the Jewish chronicler Josephus mentions one that did occur six years after the birth of Jesus is supposed to have taken place.

The truth is…..

The dates from the Bible do reconcile with history and archaeological artifact.

Discussion

Herod the Great died in 4 BC, while Emperor Augustus ordered census in 8 BC, according to Res Gestae Divi Augusti by Emperor Augustus in 14 AD.

res-gestae
Copied Res Gestae Divi Augusti close to Emperor Agustus in Galatia, Turkey.

MIT on MIT.edu suggests translation below:

8. When I was consul the fifth time (29 B.C.E.), I increased the number of patricians by order of the people and senate. I read the roll of the senate three times, and in my sixth consulate (28 B.C.E.) I made a census of the people with Marcus Agrippa as my colleague. I conducted a lustrum, after a forty-one year gap, in which lustrum were counted 4,063,000 heads of Roman citizens. Then again, with consular imperium I conducted a lustrum alone when Gaius Censorinus and Gaius Asinius were consuls (8 B.C.E.), in which lustrum were counted 4,233,000 heads of Roman citizens. And the third time, with consular imperium, I conducted a lustrum with my son Tiberius Caesar as colleague, when Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius were consuls (14 A.C.E.), in which lustrum were counted 4,937,000 of the heads of Roman citizens. By new laws passed with my sponsorship, I restored many traditions of the ancestors, which were falling into disuse in our age, and myself I handed on precedents of many things to be imitated in later generations.

Quirinius was a dumviir, as shown by Pisidia inscription.

Prasasti Pisidia tentang Kirenius (Quirinius)1
Pisidia inscription on dumviir Kirenius (Quirinius)1

This inscription indicates that Quirinius was a duumvir or twin rulers, i.e. two persons rule over an territory.

At the time of Quirinius in Syria, Quirinius was a dumviir with Varus, Syria governor.

Luke used word ηγεμονευοντος ‘hegemoneuontos’,  which means: person who hegemonize. This word implies Quirinius hegemonized Syrian province which was under governor Varus. Consequently, Syria had twin rulers (Duumvir), when Quirinius came in Syria in 5-4 BC as a direct messenger of the Emperor. Luke mentioned only Quirinius in Luke 2: 2, implying Quirinius appeared to be more dominant in his hegemony over Syria.

Augustus census, Herod death, and Quirinius hegemony over Syria indicate that Jesus was born between 5 – 4 BC.

  • 8 BC: Emperor Augustus ordered census.
  • 7 BC: The wheels of bureaucracy for large-scale census covered from Europe to Africa to and Asia began to move.
  • 6 SM: Sentius Saturninus began to carry out the census in Syria province at the end of his term.
  • 5-4 BC: Quirinius continued census started from Sentius Saturnius era and finished it.
  • April 4 BC: Herod died

Jesus was born on December 25. Then, Jesus was born on December 25, 5 BC Julian Calendar.

Conclusion

  1. The dates from the Bible do reconcile with history and archaeological artifact.
  2. First Quirinius census in 5-4 BC was nothing to do with second Quirinius census in 6 AD.

Bibliography

1http://codexbezae.perso.sfr.fr/selene/images/quirinius.jpg; access 19/3/2015 16:58

2http://www.romancoins.info/varus-syriab2.JPG ; access 21/3/2015 10:54

3http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2848/2848-h/2848-h.htm#link72HCH0005 akses 21/3/2015 11:40 => Josephus, Antiquity XVII, Chapter 5, Paragraph 2

Now Quintilius Varus was at this time at Jerusalem, being sent to succeed Saturninus as president of Syria, and was come as an assessor to Herod, who had desired his advice in his present affairs; and as they were sitting together, Antipater came upon them, without knowing any thing of the matter; so he came into the palace clothed in purple. The porters indeed received him in, but excluded his friends. And now he was in great disorder, and presently understood the condition he was in, while, upon his going to salute his father, he was repulsed by him, who called him a murderer of his brethren, and a plotter of destruction against himself, and told him that Varus should be his auditor and his judge the very next day; so he found that what misfortunes he now heard of were already upon him, with the greatness of which he went away in confusion; upon which his mother and his wife met him, [which wife was the daughter of Antigonus, who was king of the Jews before Herod,] from whom he learned all circumstances which concerned him, and then prepared himself for his trial.

4http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/Duumviri, access 21/3/2015 11:08

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Why are you focusing on defending December-25 Christmas?

Question

Why are you focusing on defending December-25 Christmas?

Answer

Because global war campaigns on Christmas have taken many global casualties in both Indonesia and other countries.

Example:

  1. Christmas Eve simultaneous bombing 2000 in Indonesia by Jama’ah Islamiyyah  (20 martyrs, 83 injuries)
  2. Attack by terrorist targetting at Christmas observants in Tamadue, Indonesia on December 27, 2014 (1 martyr, 2 injuries)
  3. Attack by al-Shabaab targeting at Christmas observants in Nigeria on Christmas day 2014. (4 martyrs, 0 injuries)

Similar wars on Christmas by attacking Christmas observants were also taken place in many parts of the world and taken many casualties.

Violence targetting at Christmas observants was justified by, among other, disinformation against December-25 Christmas, such as:

  1. Christmas originated in pagan celebration (winter solstice, yule tide, the birth of Sun God, the birth of Mithra [, and the like])
  2. Christmas is pagan, infidel, heathenism.
  3. Bible never indicates Christmas on December 25 as the date of Christ birth.
  4. Christmas contains alcoholic binges, free sex, etc
  5. Santa Claus is Satan,
  6. Christmas tree is idol, object of worship.

There are many many disinformation against Christmas, most of them are slanders.

Disinformation attacks with the aim of defaming, libeling, and rotting Christmas have been preceding physical attack over decades and centuries prior to physical attacks per se. By the time, the disinformation transforms into hatred fostering and hardening violence against Christmas and its observants. Religious doctrine and clerics supporting this campaign create illusion as if the disinformation is correct. And, then, the disinformation manifests into physical attacks — bombing, murdering, religious cleansing, criminalizing, burning, stoning, torturing, abduction, kidnapping, etc.

Counter measures rarely address such disinformation, instead, they serve as fire fighters coming lately following its manifestation. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, police can’t counter disinformation underlying violence against Christmas.  They guard churches during Christmas eve and Christmas day as preventive measures.

Indonesian police guards Christmas celebration in Solo, Indonesia.
Indonesian police guards Christmas celebration in Solo, Indonesia. Source: http://www.voaindonesia.com/content/jelang-natal-polisi-tingkatkan-penjagaan-gereja/1567761.html

It is not police task to counter disinformation against Christmas, although such disinformation underlying and productively justifying violence against Christmas. We even can’t rely on religious entities to counter such disinformation because of several reasons. Then,…

who should counter disinformation against Christmas?

You and I.

It is our responsibility to provide true information on December-25 Christmas.

I don’t think that contra-disinformation efforts will completely eliminate war campaigns against Christmas, however, it expectedly reduce casualties or, at least, counter disinformation corroborating justification for violence.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Conclusion

  1. War campaign on Christmas takes place annually by disinforming and mentally and physically attacking Christmas, Christmas observants, Christmas-related properties, and Christmas-unrelated entities.
  2. Disinformation, putting decades or centuries before physical attacks, underlies and justifies war on Christmas.
  3. Christ followers can’t rely on police and government to address the disinformation, because they can only address the fruit of disinformation.
  4. It is our responsibility to counter disinformation against Christmas.

When did Mary accomplish purification?

Question

When did Mary accomplish purification?

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord (Luke 2: 22)

 

Answer

February 2, 4 BC Julian Calendar.

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. (Leviticus 12: 2-4)

Calculation in ancient manner is as follow:

A. seven days: unclean

  1. December 255 BC Julian Calendar.
  2. December 26
  3. December 27
  4. December 28
  5. December 29
  6. December 30
  7. December 31
  8. January 1, 4 BC Julian Calendar. (circumcision)

B. three and thirty days: purifying

  1. January 1, 4 BC Julian Calendar.
  2. January 2
  3. January 3
  4. January 4
  5. January 5
  6. January 6
  7. January 7
  8. January 8
  9. January 9
  10. January 10
  11. January 11
  12. January 12
  13. January 13
  14. January 14
  15. January 15
  16. January 16
  17. January 17
  18. January 18
  19. January 19
  20. January 20
  21. January 21
  22. January 22
  23. January 23
  24. January 24
  25. January 25
  26. January 26
  27. January 27
  28. January 28
  29. January 29
  30. January 30
  31. January 31
  32. February 1, 4 BC Julian Calendar.
  33. February 2, 4 BC Julian Calendar.

Purification of Mary is the last day of ancient traditional Christmas season, beginning from December 25, the first day of Christmas season.

Time in Julian Calendar Event Ref
25th of December 5 BC Jesus was born in a cave. SeeTrain of Thought about Christmas December 25
A day between 26th and 30th of December 5 BCE Joseph, Mary, and Jesus moved to a house. Matthew 2: 11
31st of December 4 BC Preparation for Jesus circumcision (religious and social event). Considering social setting of Luke 2: 21
1st of January 4 BC Jesus circumcision. Luke 2: 21
2nd of February 4 BC Purification of Mary. Luke 2: 22

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Did 12 apostles celebrate Christmas? Yes

Question

Did 12 apostles celebrate Christmas?

Answer

Yes.
There are, at least, 3 hints leading to this answer.

  1. Christmas celebration was exemplified by the angels (Luke 2: 13-14), the messenger of God, implying that celebrating Christmas was a message from God. Did the apostles follow message from God? Yes.

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2: 13-14)

  2. 2 Timothy 2: 8 indicates that first generation commemorated Christ birth, while the twelve apostles was the leader of first generation.

    Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel (2 Timothy 2: 8)

  3. Apostolic constitution from c. 70 AD, first generation era, suggested Christmas celebration.

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