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series D christmas special - the date of Jesus birth

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dmottram
872616.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:58 am Reply with quote

Quote:
it was known with moderate certainty that Christ was not in truth born at this time of year
Is what you said.

"This time of year" "moderate certainty". Don't now pretend you were just talking about the general odds of an individual day. You were suggesting there was some specific reason(s) to rule out mid winter. Please elucidate or withdraw the assetion.

 
CB27
872634.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:11 am Reply with quote

dmottram wrote:
CB27 wrote:
I was showing that his view was not as black and white on the subject as you suggest, how ironic you're accusing me of misrepresenting because you only want to see part of what he writes, and not all.
You said "but he accepts that it was already celebrated on that date." He doesn't. He seriously doubts it, he even suggests it might be a later interpolation in the calendar.

If that's not misrepresentation I don't know what is.

Now in what way do you think I misrepresented his views?

The bit from my post makes sense if read as it were, and not chopped up.

The quote from Hijmans, who you seems to trust, reads "While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas". I then wrote "It's his view that they were not influenced by Sol Invictus, but he accepts that it was already celebrated on that date."

Selecting individual lines and attributing meaning to someone's view based on them alone is a misrepresentation, and I was showing that the very writer who you used to "prove" that Sol Invictus was not celebrated on 25th December, nor that Christians knew about this before choosing it as the date of Christmas, also wrote a conflicting view.

At the end of the day, there is no proof that 25th December was originally chosen based on any scholarly study of the NT, the reasons we're now given were given later to provide authority, but are very questionable compared to other possible dates. The idea that early Christians, like every other cult (big or small) was influenced by the seasons, is not just a logical assumption for modern scholars or those from a couple of centuries ago, it was also a logical assumption for early Christians and those around them.

 
dmottram
872635.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:35 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
"While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas". I then wrote "It's his view that they were not influenced by Sol Invictus, but he accepts that it was already celebrated on that date."
Ah yes, I see the confusion. Hijmans accepts that the winter solstice was known as the "birthday of the sun" - there is evidence for that from somewhat earlier. He does not accept that it was the occasion of a pagan festival until later.

 
dmottram
872637.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:37 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The idea that early Christians, like every other cult (big or small) was influenced by the seasons
I don't have a problem with that. The idea of the Sun and Moon as signs was part of their Jewish heritage.

 
Celebaelin
872694.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:05 pm Reply with quote

dmottram wrote:
Quote:
it was known with moderate certainty that Christ was not in truth born at this time of year
Is what you said.

"This time of year" "moderate certainty". Don't now pretend you were just talking about the general odds of an individual day. You were suggesting there was some specific reason(s) to rule out mid winter. Please elucidate or withdraw the assetion.

Not so unfortunately but other than the 'special magic' of Christ allegedly being conceived and crucified on the same day of the year so that his life was precisely 30 years in duration there is no reason to rule midwinter in either. The date chosen is however convenient in all sorts of other ways not least of which is its distant spacing from the other major events so that we don't have a bunch of major festivals cramped together in one brief flurry of religiosity at some point in the year which would be frightfully inconvenient.

 
Jenny
872712.  Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:42 pm Reply with quote

Apropos of CB's post above, interested parties might care to read this review which discusses the book in which Bishop Spong sets out in a very scholarly way the connections between the events described in the gospels and the Jewish liturgical year.

 
dmottram
873137.  Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:55 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Not so unfortunately but other than the 'special magic' of Christ allegedly being conceived and crucified on the same day of the year so that his life was precisely 30 years in duration there is no reason to rule midwinter in either. The date chosen is however convenient in all sorts of other ways not least of which is its distant spacing from the other major events so that we don't have a bunch of major festivals cramped together in one brief flurry of religiosity at some point in the year which would be frightfully inconvenient.
I know, I'm not mad keen on the "Whole year" theory either, though it may just be a contributory factor, along side others
- Its a solar event (a "sign" as per Gen 1:14)
- It recalls the Jewish feast of Hanukkah on 25th Kislev which is about restoration (Christ restores our relationship with God)
- It relates to ideas about the date of the world's creation
- It results in a whole number of years - conception to death.
- It results in a neat 3 month cycle when combined iwth John the Baptist's conception and birth.

I think those ideas suffice in whatever proportion.[/quote]

 
T J Alex
891666.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:42 am Reply with quote

Slightly OT, but we're always talking about how Christianity has borrowed dates and sites from Pagan religions, so as to suppress them.

Is it possible that there has been some traffic the other way ?

Odin/Wodin was not one of the early established Norse gods but "arrived" later in the Germanic pantheon.

He sacrificed himself, to himself, by hanging on a tree (Yragsdril) for so many days.

Sounds a little bit like Jesus sacrifycing his life, to God, on the Cross.

Could Odin/Wodin be a garbled, "chinese whispers", version of Christ, after it had slowly percolated through Europe to the cold north ?

I am not stating this as a cast iron theory, and am not shortly about to write a best selling book on the subject, but just thought it was an interesting idea.

Any knowledeable people on here with any ideas ?

Please be gentle with me !

 

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