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Did Christmas on December 25 get along with history?

Question

Did Christmas on December 25 get along with history?

Answer

Yes.

Gospel provides three historical marks signifying the time of Jesus birth, i.e. Emperor Augustus, Quirinius, and King Herod The Great.

A. Herod The Great

Herod the Great died in 4 BC.

B. Emperor Augustus

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.

C. Quirinius

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.

D. Intersection of 3 historical marks

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 Asia began to move.
  • 6 SM: Sentius Saturninus initiated 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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Was it true that Saturnalia celebration fell on December 25?

Question

Was it true that Saturnalia celebration fell on December 25?

Answer

No.  Historical evidence from Macrobius (±430 M) recounted that Saturnalia celebration was held on December 16-18, not December 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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6) Did Jesus learn magic in Egypt?

Question

Did Jesus learn magic in Egypt?

Answer

No.

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus left Palestine to Egypt in February 4 BC and left Egypt to Palestine in April 4 BC. He was 2-4 months old when he was living in Egypt. His age was too young and the time was too short for him to learn magic, moreover, high-level magic.

Besides, magic was exclusively taught to elite social class of priests, consisted of indigenous Egyptians. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were Jewish. It was impossible for them to enter such clash. There is never any evidence supporting the allegation that Jesus learned magic in Egypt. See “What did Jesus do in Egypt?


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4) How long did Jesus, Joseph, and Mary live in Egypt?

Question

How long did Jesus, Joseph, and Mary live in Egypt?

Answer

Around 3 months.

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary departed to Egypt after Mary purification. This put their departure in February 4 BC Julian Calendar, as discussed in “When did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph go to Egypt?“. They lived in Egypt until Herod death in April 4 BC Julian Calendar. Assuming their arrival at Egypt in the same month as their departure, they then had lived in Egypt for around three months from February to April 4 BC Julian Calendar.


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Does the Bible mention Christmas trees?

Question

Does the Bible mention Christmas trees?

Answer

No.

However, Bible mention tree of knowledge, which would be played by Paradise tree/ Christmas tree in medieval Paradise Plays.

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2: 9)

Tree of knowledge is the origin of Christmas tree.


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Where did Christmas originate?

Question

Where did Christmas originate?

Answer

Bethlehem.

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. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (Luke 2: 13-15)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and Christmas celebrated by the angels and the shepherds was held in Bethlehem for the first time.


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