THE BIRTH DATE OF JESUS

CORROBORATED IN THE BIBLE NO CONTRADICTIONS

SHOULD WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?

Article Below Authored By Friend And Christian Companion

Todd Futhey

Possible precedent for December 25 as Jesus’conception not His birth

Note Further Corroboration Of Jesus Birthdate

A) [Lk 1:5-60 KJV]:

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

57 Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.

B) [1 Chr 24:3, 7-19 KJV]:

3 With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelech a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering.

7-19:
The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,

the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,

the fifth to Malkijah, the sixth to Mijamin,

the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,

the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,

the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,

the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,

the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,

the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez,

the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel,

the twenty-first to Jakin, the twenty-second to Gamul,

the twenty-third to Delaiah and the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.

This was their appointed order of ministering when they entered the temple of the LORD, according to the regulations prescribed for them by their forefather Aaron, as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded him.

SUMMARY OF SCRIPTURE QUOTED ABOVE

The bible quotes above contain the key to the question of Jesus' birthday:
Irrespective of the new year, the month of Nissan starts the counting of the months, the feast seasons and the priestly duty periods in the temple in Jerusalem. Each priestly division had to serve for one week. During the feasts of pilgrimage all 24 division had to serve in the temple.
This means, the priest Zechariah, a descendant of Abijah, could return to his wife not before the end of the feast of Pentecost.

CHART ON JESUS CONCEPTION & BIRTH
EVENTPRIESTLY DIVISION ON DUTYMONTHWEEK
1) Jehoiarib1
2) Jedaiah1 Nissan2
PassoverAll 243
3) Harim4
4) Seorim5
5) Malkijah2 Lyar6
6) Mkamin7
7) Hakkoz8
8) Abijah9
SchavuotAll 2410
Zechariah gets back home:
John's Conception
9) Jeshua3 Sivan11
10) Shecaniah12
4 Tammuz
5 Av
6 Elul
Succoth7 Tishri
8 Cheshvan
Elizabeth is in
her sixth month
with John the Baptist:
Mary's conception
9 KislevNo of days since
Mary's conception:
10 Tevet29
11 Schewat59
12 Adar88
Passover1 Nissan118
2 Lyar147
Schavuot3 Sivan177
4 Tammuz206
5 Av236
6 Elul265
Jesus' Birth7 Tishri280

As shown above Elizabeth did conceive John the Baptist at the end of the 3rd month (Sivan). 6 months later (Elizabeth was in here sixth month), this means by the end of the 9th month (Kislev), the angel Gabriel came to Mary and she did conceive.

Jesus was born approximately 280 days later (a normal period of human gestation), which gives the seventh month (Tishri). The feast of Tabernacles is appointed for the days between 15 - 21. Tishri.

Therefore, Jesus was physically born around the feast of Tabernacles.

The word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us. John 1:14
The feast of Tabernacles fittingly symbolizes the dwelling of God among men.
“Dwelt among us” is literally “tabernacled” among us. So Jesus fulfilled the reality of the first Feast which was a shadow.

[SO THE QUESTION ARISES "SHOULD ONE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?"]  

If you back up 9 months from Tishri or our September and you arrive very close to December 25 as the approximate date of His conception because the evidence clearly supports Christ's birth sometime before December ; then it was the end of the following September after His conception in December which was the time of His physical, out of the womb birth, which we, in the USA, call His birthday]

The word December itself is pagan as are the rest of the names of the months of the year, and one could fuss about that, but we regulate our lives around them knowing that we are in the world but not of the world.

Even with all this there are still opinions that the date of December 25 is the actual physical birthday of Jesus, but I believe Scripture is our best source

All of this aside, which is scriptural evidence, that the date of Christmas is not pagan, let’s suppose it is. Is it wrong to change a pagan day to a Christian day? Would God approve of such a thing? What if God, Himself, does such things? Well it seems He did.

Throughout the OT God substituted pagan feasts, laws, and traditions for new ones He established. One example is the Code of Hammurabi. This set of rules originated by one of the 5 kings Abram fought against about 1754 BC. If you look at the Code or law/commandments of Hammurabi you will see there is a striking resemblance to some of God’s 10 Commandments. Most people never consider where the Priests among Israelites, prior to Ex. 32 and the Levites, came from?  It isn’t written about, but in scripture the 1st born became the family priest prior to the Levitical Priesthood. I struggled with how this came about because I found no command by God in the Bible for it when I was working on the Priesthood study.  It wasn’t until I saw Laban as the family head and priest with all his idols that I put it together.

God never told the eldest to become the priest, but the pagan’s were told this by written word on stone tablets by the pagan king Hammurabi and because of the closeness of God’s people and the pagans, (Abram was a pagan) the tradition rubbed off. The double portion given to the first-born son is physical and spiritual.  It is of pagan origin too and we see it with the birth rite Rebecca wanted so badly for Jacob. Easu was going to lead the family toward idol worship and Rebecca wanted Jacob to be the one to carry the true worship of YHWH for the family. Later, God creates a spiritual truth He introduces in the Mosaic Law a double portion for firstborn sons.  
Many if not most of the OT feasts and ceremonies were God teaching His people the spiritual truth of what Satan distorted. Satan is antichrist in every way. Jesus’ resurrection coincided with the Jewish feast of Passover and the Pagan worship of Ishtar. I haven’t seen where we are commanded to celebrate the annual day of the Jesus’ resurrection, but we do don’t we?  Should we not celebrate the resurrection because scripture is silent about annual observation? I’m not going to lose a chance to testify and proclaim the glory of God for His Savior just because of Easter and I’m not going to miss the similar opportunity with God sending Christ into the world because it may or may not be on the exact day.  

C) [Acts 12:1-4]:

1 "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 

2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 

3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 

4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Passover to bring him forth to the people.

Should we celebrate Jesus’ birth because scripture doesn’t tell us too?"

Scripture doesn’t tell us to have “church” on the first day of the week, the pagan day Sunday. Is it wrong, why do we do it? Celebrate the resurrection, Jesus’ birthday… no command either? Both near or on a pagan day… should we do it?

Scripture gives us many examples of birthdays being celebrated. 

D) [Luke 1:14]:

“And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at His (Jesus’) birth.”

In fact, throughout the entire Bible, people celebrated the blessing of God when a child is born. We do not know if this was done annually throughout their life. Herod killed John the Baptist while celebrating his own annual birthday, and Herod was a Jew. But if we reject Herod’s birthday, traditionally as far back as Pharaoh’s birthday, scripture gives example. It is proven out in scripture that the first birthday, that is to say the day of their actual birth, definitely was celebrated. What about us?  Is it wrong to celebrate Jesus’ birth so many years later?

E) [Jn 8:56]:

"Jesus said: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad."

Abraham celebrated thousands of years early as we do thousands of years late. The JW’s condemn Christmas because they [cite] that the Bible doesn’t give evidence that we should celebrate birthdays and show there are only 2 examples in scripture, both of them bad (Pharaoh & Herod). On Herod’s birthday he took the head of John the Baptist, and Pharaoh killed the chief baker. However, JW’s fail to realize Christians aren’t celebrating Jesus’ annual birthday, but the same 1st birthday which is scriptural as long as it is done to glorify God.

F) [Lk 2:8-20]:

8 "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men

15 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. 

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 

17 And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 

18 And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart. 

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

G) [Zechariah 9:9]:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

H) [Isa 40:9-11]:

9 "O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!"

10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward [is] with Him, and his work before Him.

11 He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry [them] in His bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young."

Is gift giving, even to those who aren’t needy scriptural? You say it is not, and you say the burden of proof is on me? Here is proof:

I) [Esther 9:19-22]:

19 "Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. 

20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, 

21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 

22 As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor."

The tradition from the scripture verses from Esther is called “Purim” which means “lots” in the ancient Persian language. The holiday was thus named since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme on the 13 of Adar. The Jewish celebration occurs on the following day since that is the day God provided His salvation.
This is exactly what Christians do at Christmas. We celebrate the gift of Christ’s birth and Salvation through Him. So, as you can see, giving gifts “one to another,” and to those who are “poor” is indeed scriptural.

J) [Jer 10:1-8]:

1 "Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 

5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. 

6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 

7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee."

[At first glance, it might seem that verses 3 and 4 are referring to Christmas trees, cut from the forest and decorated with gold and silver trimmings. But a more careful look at the entire section makes it clear that God is talking about making a carved image - or idol - from the trunk of a tree. He speaks of a craftsman shaping the wood, "the work of the hands of the workman" (verse 3). This is made clear in the context of the following verses, specifically verse 8]:

8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; a wooden idol is a worthless doctrine."

Later in the chapter the contrast is drawn between the false gods that have not made the earth and the true God, the Creator (see verses 9-11). Verses 14 and 15 speak of worthless idols and images that are only objects of mockery.

The practice of making an idol from the trunk of a tree is also referred to in Isaiah 40:19, 20 and 44:14-17. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah declare the futility and absurdity of making and worshiping idols.

When looking at the verses of Jeremiah, we must remember that Christmas, would have come into being after Christ’s death and resurrection, perhaps years after the Bible was written, as a day to celebrate His birth. And the practice of decorating Christmas trees more than likely originated even later. Therefore, these Bible verses are not referring to Christmas trees, but idolatry.

If we use this argument as a legitimate reason for discarding the entire celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas, it would follow that we would end up having to throw out everything, even our Bibles and our wives or wives their husbands. Why? Because Satan and man distort and ruins everything in life… the Bible, sex, marriage, the church, food, relationships, everything. Name one thing that Satan doesn't ruin. We don't throw things out just because the world misuses or distorts them.

K) [1 Thes 5:22]:

"abstain from all appearance of evil."

In 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Paul says, "abstain from all appearance of evil." Because of the translation of the KJV, "every appearance of evil," some have taken this to apply to anything that even looks like it might be evil. The NKJV says “Abstain from every form of evil.” That’s getting closer. The NASB translation makes clear, however, Paul's meaning is "to abstain from every genuine form of evil," not what might simply appear to be evil. This is made clear by the Greek word and most importantly the context.  We are to abstain from what is genuinely evil or wrong according to the Word of God. To abstain from the mere appearance of evil would seem to contradict what the Apostle says in the second passage important to this discussion.

L) [Titus 1:15]:

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

In Titus 1:15 the Apostle also warns against those who see evil in almost anything and condemn it. For these people, a lot of things have the appearance of evil, but purity is first of all a matter of the mind and conscience, not merely the external. 

Just because the world distorts something, that does not make it evil if we avoid the distortions and use it as God intended or in a way that does not go contrary to God's character and holiness. A good illustration is the beauty of sexual love within a Christian marriage.

Do I look at the tree and star and say “There is Satan and Nimrod, glad to have you in my home.”  I do not!

M) [1 Cor 8:1-13]:

1 "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 

2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 

3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 

4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 

5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 

7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 

8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 

9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. 

10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 

11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 

12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 

13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."

I don’t think you are the weaker brother, but you are the only person who comes into my home and sees the tree and star as something pagan. Do you think I worship these things?  If you think I am a stumbling block to you, and only you since no one thinks the same way as you? Am I causing you to start worshipping them too? Have I sinned against you and Christ? If not, then these things are nothing and mean nothing and I am free to have them.

I would like to suggest that believers can capitalize on the Christmas season as a family tradition and as a learning experience much like the Old Testament Passover was to be used by Israel. It all depends on the spirit and attitude in which it is done. We can be very negative and critical, or we can be positive and use the season as a time to remember and commemorate the birth of the Savior. We can use it as a time to demonstrate love for others in a special way, and to be together as a family like we do on Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or New Years. We can make something evil out of it or something good.

The Bible is silent from the standpoint of our Christmas traditions. However, because of our freedom in Christ under grace, we are at liberty to celebrate Christmas. The important point is that the Bible simply does not condemn the celebration of Christmas even in the traditional form and we have liberty in Christ to choose to do so.

Scripture does, however, set down principles which should affect the way we celebrate it. These principles warn and protect us from the distortions we find in the world.

Today people often spend lavishly on gifts and go deeply in debt. They buy things they can't afford, which nobody needs, and sometimes can't even identify. The response is "Hey, thanks. What is it?"

Children get caught up with the gifts and the toys and lose sight of the Savior - or never hear about the Lord as God's gift of His Son that we might have life.

Through the Christmas message, Parents often fail to teach the spirit of giving as an outworking of one's relationship with God through faith in Christ, God's gift to the world.

Finally, some may observe the season as they would observe lent, as a religious holy day that must be observed to gain points with God, or to become more spiritual.

But it doesn't have to be like this. Even the gift aspect can be done in such a way that it is instructive, meaningful, in keeping with one's budget, and in keeping with Biblical teaching concerning Christian stewardship.

Please comment on what you believe I’m in error.