Origin Of Christmas
The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ.” It is pronounced “Christ-Mass” and that, in effect, is true in more ways than one. Jesus Christ, however, has nothing to do with the “Mass” that is connected to his title. Whence comes Christmas, then?
This supposedly holy day came to non-Christians/Protestants from the Roman/Christian-Catholic Church. But where did the Catholic Church get it? Not from the New Testament or from the original apostles who were personally instructed by Jesus. It gravitated in the fourth century into the Roman Catholic Church from paganism.
In the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, published by that Church under the heading “Christmas” it is recorded, “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church…The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt…Pagan customs centering around the January calends (the 1st day of the ancient Roman month) gravitated to Christmas.” In the same encyclopedia, under the caption “Natal Day,” we find that the early Catholic Father, Origen, acknowledged this truth. “In the scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a banquet on his birthday. It is only the sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into the world.”
The Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1946 edition, has this to report: “Christmas (i.e. the mass of Christ)…was not among the earliest festivals of the Church.” It was not instituted by Christ or the apostles, or by Bible authority, but from paganism.”
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 edition, says: “Christmas was according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church, as the Christian usage, in general, was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons, rather than their birth.” It goes on to state: “A feast was established in memory of this event (Christ’s birth) in the fourth century. In the fifth century, the Western church ordered it to be celebrated forever, on the day of the Old Roman Feast of the birth of Sol, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed.” Sol means ‘sun’ not ‘son.’
Any encyclopedia will admit that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25. This is common knowledge in the coterie of priests and rabbinic leadership. The question is, how did “Christmas” creep into the Western Christian world? The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge explains it clearly in its article on Christmas. It states: “How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (Dec. 25) following the Saturnalia(Dec. 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the ‘New Sun’…cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influences…The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebrations with little change in spirit and in manner.”
Some Christian preachers of the West and Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ’s birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their Western brethren of “idolatry and man worship” for adopting as Christian this pagan festival.
It is a historical fact that prior to the fourth century, Christians were few in number. The Roman world had been totally pagan. The former were persecuted by the government and by pagans in general. With the advent of Constantine as emperor, who made his profession of Christianity on equal footing with paganism, the Roman people began to accept the now-popular Christianity. It must be remembered that these people were rooted in pagan customs, and the chief of them was this idolatrous festival of December 25th. They did not give it up, and others took it up.
The same indictment in the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia explains how the recognition by Constantine of Sunday, which had been the day of pagan sun worship, and how the influence of the pagan Manichaeism, which identified the “son” with the physical “sun”, gave these pagans of the fourth century, now turning over wholesale to Christianity,” their excuse for calling their festival date of December 25th (birthday of the sun-god), the birthday of the “son of God.”
Every Christmas season one hears chanted and sung the hymn, “Silent Night, Holy Night” with its familiar “Mother and Child” theme. Being reared and steeped in this dogma connected to the Church, one never questions the origin of such a hymn. Semiramis and her son Nimrod, respectively, were the “Queen of Heaven” and “divine son of heaven.” They were the chief objects of worship in the Babylonian system of religion. This worship of “mother and child” spread all over the world long before Jesus was born. (Please see the book, The Two Babylons, by Rev. Alexander Hislop, Bible Truth Depot, 1238 Corliss Ave., Neptune, NJ).
Nimrod built the Tower of Babel. The name Nimrod, in Hebrew, is derived from “Marad” and means “he rebelled.” He was, according to the Bible, a mighty hunter, and according to the myths about him, a great lover. He is the baby Cupid with the bow and arrow.
In ancient writings it is claimed that Nimrod married his own mother and beget children by her. After Nimrod’s death his mother-wife, Semiramis, propagated the dogma of his survival. She claimed that a full-grown Evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, symbolizing the rebirth of her son-husband. On each anniversary of his death/birth, she claimed Nimrod would visit the Evergreen tree and leave gifts under, and on it.
December 25th was the date this took place. This is the origin of the Christmas tree.
Jeremiah (10:2-6): “Thus says the Lord learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain.”
By A. Shabazz
This article is borrowed from The Message International.