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When was Jesus born?  December 25?  Or is that a pagan date taken over by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century?  Was Dec 25 once the Winter Solstice?  What do yuletide, yule logs, mistletoe, Tannenbaume, and Kris Kringle have to do with Christmas?

 

See http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/?mqsc=E3707957&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDailyNewsletter&utm_campaign=E3BD25

 

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December 25th! (or thereabouts)

 

St. John Chrysostom reports in 386 that the Roman custom of observing Dec. 25, had only been adopted in Antioch for ten years. But he offers two reasons for following the Roman Church in this matter. Firstly, that the Church at Rome would be best situated to consult the public archives which would reveal the times and seasons for the enrollment ordered by Caesar Augustus which resulted in Christ's birth at Bethlehem. A second argument which the bishop of Constantinople uses to approve the date preferred by Rome is taken from the Gospel of Luke. If one can identify the date when Zachary has his vision in the Temple, we can deduce an approximate date for the Nativity of Christ. 

 

He also seemed to think it certain that Zachary had his vision in the fast of the seventh month, which corresponds to our late September/early October. This would make us expect John to be born nine months later, and for Mary to conceive three months previously. (The Angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was six months along)This is why the Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th, the Nativity of John on June 25th, and of course Christ on Dec. 25th. Forty days later is the Feast of the Purification of Mary on Feb. 2. All of these dates are interconnected and provide for a continuous review of the events in the Gospel as they occurred chronologically, (at least as far as the spacing goes, even if you don't like starting with the Fast of the Seventh month or the Roman archives)

 

It seems rather certain that Rome had adopted this date from a very early period. It seems to not be coincidental with the pagan festivals for the Solstice. Whether one thinks this to be alright or not probably depends on the degree to which you think pagan ceremony can be "baptized" and made Christian. The Catholic Church has always accepted cultural customs and rituals that can be adapted to the liturgy. Anyway for my biased part, it could not be more fitting. If God created the world for Christ and His Church, as I believe, the arrival of the Sun of Justice in the bleak midwinter, just when night has been the longest seems a lovely symbolism. I always observe with joy the fact that the sun has started rising higher and longer. I love the Sun. However, it as only a symbol of that greater "Light which lighteneth every man that cometh into the world" who comes every year to us as the Christ Child. How much greater is our joy because of Christmas! I am obviously predisposed to accept everything Roman. But In any event, y'all have followed us! If you have a better day go for it!

 

Rory

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"The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh," (D&C 20:1)
 
Some (including a few past church leaders) argue that the phrase "one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh", should be interpreted to mean that Christ was born exactly on April 6, 1830 years ago. Others believe that the phrase was not intended to fix the year of Christ's birth but was simply an oratorical mode of expressing the current year, which I tend to agree with. The discovery of the Book of Commandments and Revelations manuscript of D&C 20, show that the above phrase was actually an introductory head note written by early church historian and scribe John Whitmer — something he did for many of the revelations and therefore not actually part of that revelation written by Joseph Smith. 
 
Bruce R. McConkie stated in his "Mortal Messiah": 

 

"We do not believe it is possible with the present state of our knowledge-including that which is known both in and out of the Church-to state with finality when the natal day of the Lord Jesus actually occurred" (McConkie, Bruce R. Mortal Messiah, Vol. 1, p. 349, n. 2. Salt Lake City, 1979).
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Why is April 6th said to have been the actual day? Is this Mormon folklore? My husband the other day mentioned this, when the topic came up. Which is interesting none the less, because April 6th is the day the church was officially organized.

 

It's Mormon folklore. But a good case can be made that Yeshua(Jesus) was born in early spring.

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Check out this fun recent paper from BYU Studies, debunking the popular opinion that the D&C declares April 6 as Jesus' birthday. Dating the Birth of Christ.

Chadwick is certainly correct in his conclusions on April 6, but probably wrong on his assertion that December is the month of Jesus' birth.  Most evidence points to an Autumn nativity, likely during the New Year and High Holy Days -- beginning with 1 Tishrei in the Jewish calendar.

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I doubt anyone knows the exact date, and the calendar has changed, but there have been strong arguments made for springtime. The Roman Catholics are notorious for taking over pagan holidays, and in some countries pagan shrines and holy places.

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Since nobody actually knows and we won't until the next life, I'm going with April 6th.  I like the idea that he was born and died on April 6th (supposedly a sign of a complete life).

 

I have heard this theory many times, that Christ was born and died on April 6th, that it is the actual first day of the year (not Jan 1st), and that that is why the Church was restored that day.  Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but in the absence of absolute proof, I choose this theory.

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Since nobody actually knows and we won't until the next life, I'm going with April 6th.  I like the idea that he was born and died on April 6th (supposedly a sign of a complete life).

 

I have heard this theory many times, that Christ was born and died on April 6th, that it is the actual first day of the year (not Jan 1st), and that that is why the Church was restored that day.  Maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but in the absence of absolute proof, I choose this theory.

As it happens, on April 6, 1830, there were then plenty of people in America who knew that this New Style (Gregorian) date of April 6th was then the exact equivalent of the Old Style (Julian) March 25th, and that March 25th had been the civil New Year's Day for England and her colonies from the 14th century until 1751.  Prior to that period, 25 March had been the ecclesiastical New Year in England from the 9th through the 12th centuries.  At other times, the Church New Year in England, France, Italy, and other parts of Europe was on Easter.  More anciently, Julian March 25 was the date of the resurrection (Hilaria/Easter) of Phrygian Attis/Adonis, the dying & rising fertility god and consort of Cybele/Rhea (the Great Mother Goddess).

 

Aside from William the Conqueror’s imposition of pagan Roman January 1 as the New Year from 1066 through the 14th century, England had traditionally celebrated the civil New Year at the Winter Solstice (25 Dec) from the 7th to the 14th centuries, while the Church there celebrated 25 March as its ecclesiastical New Year during the same period.  From about 800 to 996 A.D. France celebrated the New Year on 25 March, then on Easter until 1566 A.D.  Easter and 25 March alternated as New Years throughout Europe during much of the Middle Ages.

 

Bishop Augustine of Hippo placed both Conception and Crucifixion on March 25, hence "Lady Day" or the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary is still celebrated on March 25.  According to Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (4th cent.), the Crucifixion was on the 13th day before the Kalends of April (= Mar 20 / 24 Phamenoth) and the Resurrection came on the 11th day before (= March 22 / 26 Phamenoth).  Again the tie to a Vernal Equinoctial New Year and to Easter is unmistakable in each case.  Moreover, the dedication of the Kirtland Temple took place at Easter/Passover of 1836, and (appropriately) Elijah the Prophet was one of the dignitaries who showed up for the event -- in accordance with strong Jewish Passover tradition (the empty chair at each seder is there in case Elijah shows up).

 

Despite all this, and as important as all that is, Jesus was most likely born at or around 1 Tishri in the Jewish Calendar in the Autumn, the same day incidentally when Joseph Smith took the plates from the hill in 1827.  In Jewish tradition, 1 Tishri was the day of the Creation of the World, the day of birth of Adam, and the day of the accession of God to His Throne.  Or, as John H. Eaton put it:

 

In the festal hour . . . Yahweh overpowers chaos, takes his kingship, makes right order, sends forth life, and enters into intimate communion with his liberated people.

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When was Jesus born?  December 25?  Or is that a pagan date taken over by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century?  Was Dec 25 once the Winter Solstice?  What do yuletide, yule logs, mistletoe, Tannenbaume, and Kris Kringle have to do with Christmas?

 

See http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/?mqsc=E3707957&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDailyNewsletter&utm_campaign=E3BD25

Christ came during the Passover and died during the Passover, just as Israel entered and exited Egypt on the same day 430 years apart, each serving as deliverance and Salvation during Passover...the leaving was when the Passover began.
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When was Jesus born?  December 25?  Or is that a pagan date taken over by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century?  Was Dec 25 once the Winter Solstice?  What do yuletide, yule logs, mistletoe, Tannenbaume, and Kris Kringle have to do with Christmas?

 

See http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/?mqsc=E3707957&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=BHDDailyNewsletter&utm_campaign=E3BD25

 

Who cares we have one great birthday party every year.

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Christ came during the Passover and died during the Passover, just as Israel entered and exited Egypt on the same day 430 years apart, each serving as deliverance and Salvation during Passover...the leaving was when the Passover began.

One major problem with that is that the Book of Mormon has a 600-year prophecy counting down to the birth of Christ in which only about 591 solar years can be squeezed (between 597 and 5 B.C. which scholarship requires).  The solution is simple:  Apply the standard Mesoamerican Long Count calendar of 360-day years.  No other calendar works.  However, that means that it must also be applied to the life of Jesus, which is stated in the Book of Mormon to be 33 years and 3 days.  Within 33 years, the Long Count loses 6 months.  Hence, the Autumnal birth is required.  This fits very well with the early Christian-Jewish liturgy, which was shifted from Autumn to Dec-Jan by the 4th century.  In other words, the Nativity liturgy was shifted from the Fall to Winter solstice.

 

John L. Sorenson was first to come up with the BofM calendar correlation with the 360-day Mesoamerican Long Count.

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