Category Archives: Christmas-related evidence

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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Calvin’s letter shows, he kept December-25 Christmas

Many people thought, Calvin was included in anti-December-25-Christmas group. In fact, Calvin’s letter dated on January 2, 1551 implies that Calvin kept Christmas, as people were wont to do (red-colored words). People in Calvin era kept Christmas on Desember 25. Then, clause “as you are wont to do” refers to December-25 Christmas.

Significance of this letter:

  • Material evidence that John Calvin was not included in anti-December-25-Christmas group.
  • Claim that Calvin was anti-December-25-Christmas is in opposition against evidence.

 

Geneva, 2nd January 1551.

I desire you, my dear Haller, not to measure my affection for you by my not writing to you and to our friend Musculus, of late, to lighten the domestic affliction under which you both labored. There is no need for my occupying many words in expressing how anxious I was about your danger, from the time that I heard of your houses being visited by the plague. But as this remembrance should not be more pleasing to kindhearted and considerate men than the duty of writing, I trust that when I inform you that my silence did not by any means arise from neglect, I shall fully satisfy you both. The reason why I did not write you is this: a report lately reached this place regarding your calamity, but I could not accurately ascertain the extent of its progress. Accordingly, I did not venture to take any active measures; I preferred having recourse to prayer; this I knew both to be more necessary for you, and to be desired by you.

Besides the abolition of the feast-days here has given grievous offense to some of your people, and it is likely enough that much unpleasant talk has been circulating among you. I am pretty certain, also, that I get the credit of being the author of the whole matter, both among the malevolent and the ignorant. But as I can solemnly testify that it was accomplished without my knowledge, and without my desire, so I resolved from the first; rather to weaken malice by silence, than be over-solicitous about my defense. Before I ever entered the city, there were no festivals but the Lord’s day. Those celebrated by you were approved of by the same public decree by which Farel and I were expelled; and it was rather extorted by the tumultuous violence of the ungodly, than decreed according to the order of law. Since my recall, I have pursued the moderate course of keeping Christ’s birth-day as you are wont to do. But there were extraordinary occasions of public prayer on other days; the shops were shut in the morning, and every one returned to his several calling after dinner. There were, however, in the meanwhile, certain inflexible individuals who did not comply with the common custom from some perverse malice or other. Diversity would not be tolerated in a rightly constituted church: even for citizens not to live on good terms with one another, would beget mistrust among strangers. I exhorted the Senate to remove this disagreement in future by a proper remedy. And indeed, I lauded, at the same time, in express terms, the moderation which they had hitherto exercised. I afterwards heard of the abrogation, just as a perfect stranger would. Would that had acted less ambitiously on former occasions! For feast-days might have been abolished in that entire province. In order that those four might return to their old condition and former privileges, he contended as keenly against all the French-speaking pastors as if he had been acting for the good of the Church. You would have said that Victor was doing battle with the Orientals in behalf of his Easter. When I once asked him why circumcision had a right to more honor than the death of Christ, he was compelled to be silent. But let us forget the past. I am satisfied with having indicated briefly the cause of so sudden a change among us. Although I have neither been the mover nor instigator to it, yet, since it has so happened, I am not sorry for it. And if you knew the state of our Church as well as I do, you would not hesitate to subscribe to my judgment. Let me say this, however, that if I had got my choice, I should not have decided in favor of what has now been agreed upon. Yet there is no reason why men should be so much provoked, if we use our liberty as the edification of the Church demands; just as, on the contrary, it is not fair to take a prejudice against our custom.

Adieu, very excellent sir and brother, deserving of my hearty regard. Salute your colleagues, I pray you, and Mr. Nicolas Zerkinden, in my name. My brethren salute you and those aforementioned, very heartily. May the Lord by his Spirit rule over you, preserve you, and bless you in all things.

Amen.
John Calvin.

(John Calvin, Selected Works of John Calvin, Tracts and Letters, Jules Bonnet, Ed., David Constable, Trans., Vol. 5, Letters, Part 2, 1545-1553, pp. 299, 300.)


Bibliografi

5http://www.rbvincent.com/BibleStudies/calvinxmas.htm; akses 5/5/2015 20:34

Christmas sermon (1530): Martin Luther kept Christmas on December 25

When Christmas getting closer, anti-Christmas groups have tradition of disinforming Christmas. One of the most popular scuttlebutts is Martin Luther, Protestantism founding father, did not keep, commemorate, and celebrate December-25 Christmas.

Below is Martin Luther’s Christmas sermon on Christmas mass, December 25, 1530.1 This sermon is evidence of Martin Luther keeping, observing, commemorating, and celebrating Christmas. Further, he mentioned “to you is born this day the savior”, indicating his belief in Christas as the day on which Christ was born. Red color from me is to highlight the most relevant points to this blog.


 

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day
Luke 2:1-14, December 25, 1530

Martin Luther

You have heard today the story from the Gospel of St. Luke of how it came to pass that our Lord Christ was born and then also the message of the angel, who announced who the boy was who was born. Now we shall go on and take up the message of the angel. So for today you have heard only that the child was born and that he is the Lord and Savior. Thus we spoke of the story, how it unfolded, and who the persons in it were. This article is so high that even today it is believed by only a few. Nevertheless, God has preserved it even through those who have not believed it. For at all times in the monasteries and universities there have been disputations and lectures which dealt with the fact that Christ the Lord, born of Mary, is true man and God. But it went no further than saying and hearing it. But this belief is held by the devil too and the Turks and all the godless among Christians, and is the kind of belief which everybody believes that it is true but would not die for it, as Eck and many others show today. If they had as much from Christ and the teaching of the gospel as from the devil, they would also think as much of Christ. The Turk too admits that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, that Mary was an immaculate virgin, and that Christ was more than a man; but the Word of God, as it is given in the gospel, he denies, and yet I fear that the Turk believes more of this article than does the pope. Therefore it is a high article to believe that this infant, born of Mary, is true God; for nobody’s reason can ever accept the fact that he who created heaven and earth and is adored by angels was born of a virgin. That is the article. Nobody believes it except he who also knows this faith, namely, that this child is the Lord and Savior.

But for whom was he born and whose Lord and Savior is he? The angels declare that he was born Lord and Savior. The Turks, the pope, and the scholars say the same thing, but only to the extent that it brings in money and honor. But that anyone could say, “to you is born,” as the angel says, this is the faith which we must preach about. But we cannot preach about it as we would like to do. Indeed, who could ever grasp [the full meaning of] these words of the evangelist: “a Savior, who is the Lord,” and, “to you”! I know well enough how to talk about it and what to believe about it, just as others do. So there are many who have this belief and do it, just as others do. So there are many who have this belief and do not doubt this first belief that Christ is the Lord, the Savior, and the virgin’s Son. This I too have never doubted. But if these words are planted no higher than my thoughts, then they have no firm roots. We are certain that this was proclaimed by the angel, but the firm faith does not follow. For the reason does not understand both sides of this faith, first that Christ is a man, but also the Savior and Lord or King. This needs to be revealed from heaven. One who really has the first faith also has the other.

Who, then, are those to whom this joyful news is to be proclaimed? Those who are faint-hearted and feel the burden of their sins, like the shepherds, to whom the angels proclaim the message, letting the great lords in Jerusalem, who do not accept it, go on sleeping. Beyond the first faith there must be the second faith, that Christ is not only the virgin’s Son, but also the Lord of angels and the Savior of men. The words anyone can understand, antisacramentarians, fanatics, sectarians, and Turks; but they do not proceed from the heart they come only from hearing and go no farther than hearing. This is not faith, however, but only a memory of what has been heard, that one knows that he has heard it. Nobody ventures upon it, so as to stake goods, life, and honor upon it. And yet we must preach it for the sake of those who are in the multitude to whom the angel preached.

This is our theology, which we preach in order that we may understand what the angel wants. Mary bore the child, took it to her breast and nursed it, and the Father in heaven has his Son, lying in the manger and the mother’s lap. Why did God do all this? Why does Mary guard the child as a mother should? And reason answers: in order that we may make an idol of her, that honor may be paid to the mother. Mary becomes all this without her knowledge and consent, and all the songs and glory and honor are addressed to the mother. And yet the text does not sound forth the honor of the mother, for the angel says, “I bring to you good news of great joy; for to you is born this day the Savior” [Luke 2:10-11]. I am to accept the child and his birth and forget the mother, as far as this is possible, although her part cannot be forgotten, for where there is a birth there must also be a mother. Nevertheless, we dare not put our faith in the mother but only in the fact that the child was born. And the angel desired that we should see nothing but the child which is born, just as the angels themselves, as though they were blind, saw nothing but the child born of the virgin, and desired that all created things should be as nothing compared with this child, that we should see nothing, be it harps, gold, goods, honor, power, and the like which we would prefer before their message. For if I received even the costliest and the best in the world, it still does not have the name of Savior. And if the Turk were ten times stronger than he is, he could not for one moment save me from my infirmity, to say nothing of the peril of death, and even less from the smallest sin or from death itself. In my sin, my death, I must take leave of all created things. No, sun, moon, stars, all creatures, physicians, emperors, kings, wise men and potentates cannot help me. When I die I shall see nothing but black darkness, and yet that light, “To you is born this day the Savior” [Luke 2:11], remains in my eyes and fills all heaven and earth. The Savior will help me when all have forsaken me. And when the heavens and the stars and all creatures stare at me with horrible mien, I see nothing in heaven and earth but this child. So great should that light which declares that he is my Savior become in my eyes that I can say: Mary, you did not bear this child for yourself alone. The child is not yours; you did not bring him forth for yourself, but for me, even though you are his mother, even though you held him in your arms and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and picked him up and laid him down. But I have a greater honor than your honor as his mother. For your honor pertains to your motherhood of the body of the child, but my honor is this, that you have my treasure, so that I know none, neither men nor angels, who can help me except this child whom you, O Mary, hold in your arms. If a man could put out of his mind all that he is and has except this child, and if for him everything—money, goods, power, or honor—fades into darkness and he despises everything on earth compared with this child, so that heaven with its stars and earth with all its power and all its treasures becomes nothing to him, that man would have the true gain and fruit of this message of the angel. And for us the time must come when suddenly all will be darkness and we shall know nothing but this message of the angel: “I bring to you good news of great joy; for to you is born this day the Savior” [Luke 2:10-11].

This, then, is the faith we preach, of which the Turks and the pope and all the sectarians know nothing. The fanatics do, it is true, snatch to themselves the words of the angels, but how earnest they are is plain to see. For they receive the Word only as a piece of paper, as the cup and corporal receive the body and blood of Christ. The paper does no more than contain something and pass it on to others, but yet it remains paper. Thus you copy something from one paper on another paper; from my tongue the Word sounds in your ear, but it does not go to the heart. So they receive this greatest of treasures to their great harm and still think they are Christians, just as though the paper were to say: I certainly have in me the written words, “to you is born this day the Savior”; therefore I shall be saved. But then the fire comes and burns up the paper.

Therefore this is the chief article, which separates us from all the heathen, that you, O man, may not only learn that Christ, born of the virgin, is the Lord and Savior, but also accept the fact that he is your Lord and Savior, that you may be able to boast in your hear: I hear the Word that sounds from heaven and says: This child who is born of the virgin is not only his mother’s son. I have more than the mother’s estate; he is more mine than Mary’s, for he was born for me, for the angel said, “To you” is born the Savior. Then ought you to say, Amen, I thank thee, dear Lord.

But then reason says: Who knows? I believe that Christ, born of the virgin, is the Lord and Savior and he may perhaps help Peter and Paul, but for me, a sinner, he was not born. But even if you believed that much, it would still not be enough, unless there were added to it the faith that he was born for you. For he was not born merely in order that I should honor the mother, that she should be praised because he was born of the virgin mother. This honor belongs to none except her and it is not to be despised, for the angel said, “Blessed are you among women!” [Luke 1:28]. But it must not be too highly esteemed lest one deny what is written here: “To you is born this day the Savior.” He was not merely concerned to be born of a virgin; it was infinitely more than that. It was this, as she herself sings in the Magnificat: “He has helped his servant Israel” [Luke 1:54]; not that he was born of me and my virginity but born for you and for your benefit, not only for my honor.

Take yourself in hand, examine yourself and see whether you are a Christian! If you can sing: The Son, who is proclaimed to be a Lord and Savior, is my Savior; and if you can confirm the message of the angel and say yes to it and believe it in your heart, then your heart will be filled with such assurance and joy and confidence, and you will not worry much about even the costliest and best that this world has to offer. For when I can speak to the virgin from the bottom of my heart and say: O Mary, noble, tender virgin, you have borne a child; this I want more than robes and guldens, yea, more than my body and life; then you are closer to the treasure than everything else in heaven and earth, as Ps. 73 [:25] says, “There is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.” You see how a person rejoices when he receives a robe or ten guldens. But how many are there who shout and jump for joy when they hear the message of the angel: “To you is born this day the Savior?” Indeed, the majority look upon it as a sermon that must be preached, and when they have heard it, consider it a trifling thing, and go away just as they were before. This shows that we have neither the first nor the second faith. We do not believe that the virgin mother bore a son and that he is the Lord and Savior unless, added to this, I believe the second thing, namely, that he is my Savior and Lord. When I can say: This I accept as my own, because the angel meant it for me, then, if I believe it in my heart, I shall not fail to love the mother Mary, and even more then child, and especially the Father. For, if it is true that the child was born of the virgin and is mine, then I have no angry God and I must know the feel that there is nothing but laughter and joy in the heart of the Father and no sadness in my heart. For, if what the angel says is true, that he is our Lord and Savior, what can sin do against us? “If God is for us, who is against us?” [Rom. 8:31]. Greater words than these I cannot speak, nor all the angels and even the Holy Spirit, as is sufficiently testified by the beautiful and devout songs that have been made about it. I do not trust myself to express it. I most gladly hear you sing and speak of it, but as long as no joy is there, so long is faith still weak or even nonexistent, and you still do not believe the angel.

You can see what our papists and Junkers, who have chosen innumerable saviors, have felt about this faith. Indeed, the papists still want to retain the mass, the invocation of saints, and their invented works by which we are to be saved. This is as much as to say, I do not believe in the Savior and Lord whom Mary bore; and yet they sing the words of the angel, hold their triple masses [at Christmas] and play their organs. They speak the words with their tongues but their heart has another savior. And the same is true in the monasteries: if you want to be saved, remember to keep the rule and regulations of Francis and you will have a gracious God! And at the Diet of Augsburg they decided to stick to this. In the name of all of the devils, let them stick there! It has been said sufficiently that this Savior lies in the manger. But if there is any other thing that saves me, then I rightly call it my savior. If the sun, moon, and stars save, I can call them saviors. If St. Bartholomew or St Anthony or a pilgrimage to St. James or good works save, then they surely are my savior. If St. Francis, then he is my savior. But then what is left of the honor of the child who was born this day, whom the angel calls Lord and Savior, and who wants to keep his name, which is Savior and Christ the Lord. If I set up any savior except this child, no matter who or what it is or is called, then he is not the Savior. But the text says that he is the Savior. And if this is true—and it is the truth—then let everything else go.

One who hears the message of the angel and believes it will be filled with fear, like the shepherds. True, it is too high for me to believe that I should come into this treasure without any merit on my part. And yet, so it must be. In the papacy this message was not preached in the pulpit, and I am afraid that it will disappear again. It was the other message that the devil initiated and has allowed to remain in the papacy. All their hymns are to this effect. Among the Turks the devil has completely wiped it out. Therefore, remember it, sing it, and learn it, while there is still time! I fear that the time will come when we shall not be allowed to hear, believe, and sing this message in public, and the time has already come when it is no longer understood; though Satan does not allow it to be spoken with the mouth, as the papists do. But when it comes to declaring that he is born for you and to singing:

In dulci jubilo
Now sing with hearts aglow!
Our delight and pleasure
Lies in praesepio
Like sunshine is our treasure
Matris in gremio
Alpha est et O!

—this he is unwilling to allow.

What we have said, then, has been about that second faith, which is not only to believe in Mary’s Son, but rather that he who lies in the virgin’s lap is our Savior, that you accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Savior who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel from heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Savior and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Savior in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen.


Bibliografi

1http://www.mcm.edu/~eppleyd/Luther%27s%20Christmas%20sermon,%201530.html; access 5/8/2015 13:26