Tableta de la Marea Moarta, cu referinte la ingerul Gabriel

ingerul Gabriel Zaharia Photo Alfa Omega TV

Stiri Crestine Editia 21 Decembrie 2013

O stire din primavara, dar care este acum prezentata in Limba Romana pe video (mai jos).

‘Eu sunt Gabriel’ , se numeste Piatra revelatiei lui Gabriel, un manuscris scris care il prezinta pe cel care a declarat de trei ori ‘Eu sunt Gabriel’. Acelasi inger care i s-a descoperit lui Zaharia in primul capitol din Luca.
Din cate stiu eu, sunt singurele ipostate din literatura ebraica si crestina in care gasim expresia „Eu sunt Gabriel”.

Savantii spun ca tableta de piatra este comparabila cu un manuscris de la marea moarta, batuta in piatra. Textul este scris cu cerneala  in doua coloane si stilul este asemanator  pergamentelor de la marea moarta. Unii cred ca tableta a fost gasita langa Marea Moarta. Dar, nimeni nu stie exact, pentru ca un colectionar l-a cumparat in anul 2000 de la un comerciant de antichitati.

Expertii spun ca manuscrisul este autentic, „Este evident ca piatra a fost gravata in vremea lui Irod cel mare. Chiar daca ingerii sunt mentionati de multe ori in Biblie, in ebraica, doar in cartea Daniel se mentioneaza numele a doi ingeri: Gabriel si Mihail, acesti ingeri mentionati (si) pe piatra.” Tableta Photo FoxNews.com

Sunt 87 de linii de text pe aceasta piatra, dar doar 40% sunt vizibile. Asa ca, intelesul este destul de neclar. „Din cate stiu eu, s-au propus cel putin 5 citiri de pe piatra.” Cu toate acestea, toti sunt de acord ca mesajul face referire la un atac al Ierusalimului si vorbeste despre speranta izbavirii lui Dumnezeu. In linia cu numarul 80 se face referire la 3 zile. Multi cred ca se refera la inviere. Unii cred ca se refera la un semn. „Ingerul Gabriel joaca un rol dramatic in pasajul din primul capitol din Evanghelia dupa Luca, unde se descopera Zahariei si Mariei. Este prima data cand tableta este expusa in Israel.

James Snyder, Director Muzeul Israel, „Este o expozitie mica, care contine aceasta piatra si alte si alte manuscrise, care fac referinte la aparitia lui Gabriel , ca si figura profetica importanta si aparitia lui in literatura biblica ebraica, crestina si Islamica. Directorul muzeului Israel, James Snyder, spune ca expozitia completeaza o alta expozitie , 30 de tone de materiale care fac referire la regele Irod. „Ne permitem sa observam o singura perioada de timp, in care regele Irod a construit intreg Ierusalimul pamantesc. Textul despre aparitia ingerului Gabriel se leaga de momentele de neliniste, care ne provoaca sa reflectam la distrugere, rascumparare si la Ierusalimul ceresc.

Tableta Photo FoxNews.com

  • 0:00 Un proiect de reabilitare al Natiunilor Unite devine un ajutor pentru victimile taifunului din Filipine
  • 3:05  Vezi mai sus
  • 5:55 Transformarea lui Ebenezer Scrooge din ‘Colind de Craciun’ al lui Charles Dickens
  • 11:00 Filme
  • 21:15 Zi de sarbatoare 15 Decembrie la Centrul Crestin Aletheia din Timisoara cu ocazia inaugurarii a noului sanctuar

VIDEO by Alfa Omega TV

Reclame

Grăjdarul de Costache Ioanid

Photo credit www.wingerjock.com

S-a găsit un biet grăjdar,
fără pernă, fără pat,
care de-al măicuţii-amar
tare mult s-a-nduioşat.
– Du-te, fiică în dureri,
pe culcuşul meu de fân.
Eu pe prispă-n privegheri,
cu tot Ceru-am să rămân…

Sub noianul de cobalt
a vegheat grăjdarul blând.
Şi-a văzut pe-un nor înalt
oaste albă coborând.
Şi de-atunci în pieptul lui
s-a născut un prunc bălai.
Iar târziu, din văi silhui,
l-au dus îngeri albi în Rai.

Dar tu, suflet înnoptat,
cu blăniţă sau cojoc,
n-ai în casa ta un pat?
N-ai în inimă un loc?
N-ai în suflet un ungher,
un culcuş în ceasul greu,
ca din nou venind din cer,
să se nască Dumnezeu?

AMIN

Versuri Costache Ioanid de la ResurseCrestine.ro

Colinde -Lucian şi Adelina- Grăjdarul

Minunat, Sfetnic, Dumnezeu tare !

psalm 93v1a Jesus kingPsalmul 93 Domnul împărăţeşte, îmbrăcat cu măreţie;
Domnul este îmbrăcat şi încins cu putere:
de aceea lumea este tare şi nu se clatină. Photo wikimedia.org

Caci un Copil ni s-a nascut, un Fiu ni s-a dat si domnia va fi pe umarul Lui; Il vor numi: Minunat, Sfetnic, Dumnezeu tare, Parintele veciniciilor, Domn al pacii. El va face ca domnia Lui sa creasca, , si o pace fara sfarsit va da scaunului de domnie al lui David si imparatiei lui, o va intari si o va sprijini prin judecata si neprihanire, de acum si-n veci de veci: iata ce va face ravna Domnului ostirilor (Isaia 9:6-7).

Aceasta este proorocia data de Dumnezeu prin Isaia pe vremea lui  Ahaz imparatul lui Iuda, pe cand sirienii au tabarat in Efraim ca sa-i cucereasca. Cand Ahaz a vazut lucrul acesta s-a inspaimantat si inima lui si a poporului a tremurat. Atunci Dumnezeu a zis lui Isaia sa iasa inaintea lui Ahaz impreuna cu fiul sau, si sa-i spuna sa fie linistit si sa nu se teama de nimic, caci Imparatia lui Iuda nu va fi cucerita de sirieni. Domnul a vorbit lui Ahaz si i-a zis: ,,Cere un semn dela Domnul, Dumnezeul tau; cere-I, fie  in locurile de jos, fie in locurile de sus.” Ahaz a raspuns. ,,Nu vreau sa cer nimic, ca sa nu ispitesc pe Domnul.”

Isaia a zis atunci: ,,Ascultati totus , casa lui David! Nu va ajunge oare sa obositi rabdarea oamenilor, de mai obositi si pe a Dumnezeului meu? De aceea Domnul insus va va da un semn: Iata, fecioara va ramanea insarcinata, va naste un fiu, si-i va pune numele Emanuel! (Dumnezeu este cu noi) (Isaia7:10-14). De la stramutarea in Babilon si pana la nasterea lui Christos sunt patrusprezece neamuri. De la David pana la Christos sunt douazeci si opt de neamuri. De la vremea cand Ahaz a fost Imparatul Iudeii si pana la Christos sunt nouasprezece neamuri. Deci de atunci de cand Domnul a vorbit Imparatului Ahaz prin proorocul Isaia despre nasterea lui Isus Christos au trecut nouasprezece neamuri sau generatii. In timpul in care Iosif, care era un om neprihanit, vroia s-o lase pe ascuns pe Maria ca sa nu o faca de rusine inaintea lumii, cu care el era logodit, dar inca nu locuiau impreuna. Pe cand se gandea el la aceasta un inger al Domnului a venit la el printr-un vis si i-a spus: ,,Iosife fiul lui David, nu te teme sa iei la tine pe Maria, nevasta-ta, caci ce s-a zamislit in ea, este de la Duhul Sfant. Ea va naste un Fiu, si-i vei pune numele Isus, pentru ca El va mantui pe poporul Lui de pacatele sale.” Toate aceste lucruri s-au intimplat ca sa se implineasca ce vestise Domnul prin proorocul, care zice: ,,Iata, fecioara va fi insarcinata, va naste un fiu, si-i vor pune numele Emanuil”,care, talmacit, inseamna: ,,Dumnezeu este cu noi”(Luca 1:20-23).

Odata cu caderea lui Adam in neascultare, si totodata in pacatul care l-a despartit pe om de Dumnezeu, Dumnezeu a hotarat ca sa dea oamenilor o alta sansa de salvare de la moartea eterna, trimitandu-L pe Isus Christos din ceruri, ca sa se nasca pe acest pamant, sa ne prezinte  si sa-L faca de cunoscut pe Dumnezeu Tatal, oamenilor, sa ne invete cum sa umblam ca sa fim placuti Lui, si sa vesteasca vestea buna a mantuirii, care o primim in dar de la Dumnezeu, prin Domunl Isus Christos care S-a dat ca jertfa de ispasire pentru pacatele si vina tuturor oamenilor. Prin moartea Sa pe cruce , El a platit pentru pacatele noastre si ne-a rascumparat prin insusi sangele Lui pentru ca noi oamenii sa avem trecere la Dumnezeul Cel Viu si impacare cu Dumnezeu. Vestea ca Isus Christos a coborat din ceruri si s-a nascut in trup a fost sarbatorita de intreg cerul cu ingerii care dadeau slava lui Dumnezeu , impreuna cu toti oamenii neprihaniti, toti inchinandu-se si dand Slava Marelui Imparat, Minunat, Sfetnic, si Dumnezeu tare, Parintele veciniciilor si Domn al pacii. Toti cei care l-au primit in inima lor pe Mantuitorul Isus, Il sarbatoresc si i se inchina Lui, de-a lungul veacurilor, de la nasterea Lui pana in ziua de azi, si cei ce vor urma. Vrednic esti Tu Dumnezeul nostru de toata lauda, cinstea si onoarea, care se cuvine numai Tie! Laudati pe Domnul!

Scris de AC, via RodiAgnusDei

 

Flash Mob la patinoarul din TÂRGOVIȘTE 22 Decembrie 2013

Vezi flash mobul de anul trecut (2012) – Flash Mob – Târgoviște la Patinoar si la Prefectură
VIDEO by inventivstudio

COMPILATION 2013 – Christmas Songs, Stories + more – COLINDE, Poezii de Craciun in Romanian and English

Vezi Pagina 2 – peste 100 de cantece aici

Scroll DOWN for ENGLISH

Maria si Iosif

Scroll down for the English

Christmas carols, poems and songs. 

IN LIMBA ROMANA flag small rom

Nasterea lui Isus – Luca 2:4-14

Iosif s’a suit şi el din Galilea, din cetatea Nazaret, ca să se ducă în Iudea, în cetatea lui David, numită Betleem, -pentrucă era din casa şi din seminţia lui David, – să se înscrie împreună cu Maria, logodnica lui, care era însărcinată. Pe cînd erau ei acolo, s’a împlinit vremea cînd trebuia să nască Maria. Şi a născut pe Fiul ei cel întîi născut, L -a înfăşat în scutece şi L -a culcat într’o iesle, pentrucă în casa de poposire nu era loc pentru ei.

În ţinutul acela erau nişte păstori, cari stăteau afară în cîmp, şi făceau de strajă noaptea împrejurul turmei lor. Şi iată că un înger al Domnului s’a înfăţişat înaintea lor, şi slava Domnului a strălucit împrejurul lor. Ei s’au înfricoşat foarte tare. 10 Dar îngerul le -a zis: ,,Nu vă temeţi: căci vă aduc o veste bună, care va fi o mare bucurie pentru tot norodul: 11 astăzi în cetatea lui David, vi s’a născut un Mîntuitor, care este Hristos, Domnul. 12 Iată semnul, după care -L veţi cunoaşte: veţi găsi un prunc înfăşat în scutece şi culcat într’o iesle.„ 13 Şi deodată, împreună cu îngerul s’a unit o mulţime de oaste cerească, lăudînd pe Dumnezeu, şi zicînd:

14 ,,Slavă lui Dumnezeu în locurile prea înalte, şi pace pe pămînt între oamenii plăcuţi Lui.„

Ioan Sas – O ce veste minunata la taragot

Flash mobs

Romania Iarna la Borca jud. Neamt in anul 1900

Colinde, Cantari

Nativity-MaryJoseph

Muzica Clasica de Craciun

in Limba Romana –

Pagina

FILME

PREDICI 

Articole

De anul nou

Vladimir Pustan – Cum trebuie sa ne pregatim de Craciun 

23 Decembrie 2012

Vladimir Pustan conclude la minutul 48: Scumpa este in fata lui Dumnezeu moartea celor iubiti de El. Eu mi-am invatat biserica nu numai cum sa traiasca, ci si cum sa moara. Muriti frumos! Nu muriti, cum au fost altii din biserica noastra, ca n-as mai vrea sa fiu langa ei cand au murit, langa asemenea oameni. „Frate,” zice, „ia-i de pe mine!” „Pe cine sa iau de pe tine?” Si erau frati de ai nostri, din biserica. „Ia-i de pe mine ca ma apasa, ia-i de pe mine ca ma iau”. „Cine?” „Cu fata ingrozita”. Cum ai trait, asa inchizi ochii.

Slobozeste Doamne pe robul Tau in pace, ca au vazut ochii mei mantuirea! Sa nu va slobozeasca Dumnezeu pana nu vedeti cu ochii vostri si mantuirea celor din casa voastra. Sa nu va slobozeasca Dumnezeu din cusca pamantului acesta pana nu veti vedea cu ochii vostri cum Dumnezeu lucreaza si-n biserica voastra. Prin ochii vostri sa faca Dumnezeu trezire aici in locul acesta. Cu voi, impreuna cu generatia aceasta de copii. Sa-i vedeti asezati in casa lui Dumnezeu si-n casa voastra.

Asa trebuie sa asteptam Craciunul, pentru ca noi nu asteptam Craciunul. Noi Il asteptam pe Isus Hristos.

Predica de Duminica dimineata 23 Decembrie 2012, intitulata: Ce trebuie sa faci ca sa-L astepti pe Hristos.

POEZII

american-flag

Christmas poems, songs and posts

in ENGLISH

shepherds in the field

IN ENGLISH

The Birth of Jesus Luke 2:4-14

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehemthe town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

wise men

POEMS:

 

SONGS: 

It came to pass (from Behold the Lamb of God)

O come, O come Emanuel

Sermons:

Articles:

crowns
A series of 12 videos (approx. 20-30 min. each= Total 5 hours)

  1. The Living Christ Series (1) Holy Night
  2. The Living Christ Series (2) Escape to Egypt
  3. The Living Christ Series (3) Boyhood and Baptism
  4. The Living Christ Series (4) Men of the Wilderness
  5. The Living Christ Series (5) Challenge of Faith
  6. The Living Christ Series (6) Discipleship
  7. The Living Christ Series (7) Return to Nazareth
  8. The Living Christ Series (8) Conflict
  9. The Living Christ Series (9) Fate of John the Baptist
  10. The Living Christ Series (10) Retreat and Decision
  11. The Living Christ Series (11) Triumph and Defeat
  12. The Living Christ Series (12) Crucifixion and Resurrection

Oh Holy Night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim.

fata iarna

Christmas Canon: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Uploaded by 

Uploaded by 

Sarah Brightman – When a child is born

A son’s piano Christmas medley for his dad

Uploaded by on Dec 23, 2009 (performed by a son for his father and for us, the public)

He writes: A compilation of Christmas carols and excerpts of well-known classical pieces. A contemplative, instrumental piece for those who would

enjoy 10 minutes of reflective time on our Savior’s birth. The idea was inspired by my dad, Hank Lankford, who had heard Beethoven’s 2nd movement of the Pathetique Sonata interwoven with Silent Night on the radio. When trying to recreate his idea, I decided to expound on this idea using a variety of Christmas hymns and classical pieces. This arrangement was my gift to my dad many years ago. It was also my father who suggested I record and put this on YouTube. With the help of my son, Chris, we did it! Here it is…. Merry Christmas, Dad. I love you!

And finally, the playlist!

0:00 Pathetique Sonata – 2nd Movement (Beethoven)
0:26 Silent Night (traditional Christmas hymn)
1:06 Interlude
1:19 Piano Concerto No. 21 – 2nd Movement (Mozart)
1:55 O Come All Ye Faithful (traditional Christmas hymn)
2:11 Piano Sonata in C Major – 1st Movement (Mozart)
2:25 Clarinet Concerto – Adagio (Oops, more like Andantino) (Mozart)
2:40 Angels From the Realms of Glory (traditional Christmas hymn)
3:01 Interlude
3:14 O Come, O Come Emmanuel (traditional Christmas hymn)
3:23 Interlude
3:33 Meditation from Thais (Massenet)
3:58 Ave Maria (Schubert)
4:29 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (traditional Christmas hymn)
4:41 Interlude
4:48 Moonlight Sonata – 1st Movement (Beethoven)
5:05 Interlude
5:14 The First Noel (traditional Christmas hymn)
5:27 Interlude
5:36 Arioso (Bach)
6:08 Joy to the World (traditional Christmas hymn)
6:25 Ode to Joy/Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (Beethoven/Van Dyke)
6:42 Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
6:50 Interlude
6:56 Deck the Halls (traditional Christmas hymn)
7:06 Unfinished Symphony (Schubert)
7:20 O Little Town of Bethlehem (traditional Christmas hymn)
7:34 Angels We Have Heard on High (traditional Christmas hymn)
7:56 What Child is This? (traditional Christmas hymn)
8:11 Interlude
8:23 Silent Night (traditional Christmas hymn)
8:29 Pathetique Sonata – 2nd Movement (Beethoven)
9:00 O Holy Night (traditional Christmas hymn)

10 Awesome Bible Verses About the Birth of Jesus

Isaiah 7:14- #1  About the Birth of Jesus- Prophecy
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 #2  Prince of Peace
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

John 1:14 #3  The Word became flesh
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:16 – #4 About the Birth of Jesus- Joseph and Mary
and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Matthew 1:21 – #5 About Jesus’ Birth- Jesus is Savior
And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

The Words of Jesus Bible Quotes

Matthew 2:1 – #6 About the Birth of Jesus Christ- Born in Bethlehem
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,

Luke 1:14 – #7 About the Birth of Jesus- Joy and Gladness
„And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
More Scriptures About Joy

Luke 1:35 – #8 About the Birth of Jesus- The Son of God
And the angel answered and said to her, „The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 2:9-12 – #9  Good News and Great Joy
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, „Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. „And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:21 – #10 About the Birth of Jesus- And they Named Him Jesus
And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

I pray these awesome Bible Verses about the birth of Jesus were uplifting to you today. If you have not yet made Jesus the savior of your life, I encourage you to seek Him out today!

Source – The Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible

Is Christmas really a pagan holiday?

Photo credit www.bible-archeology.com

Article #1 Did the Romans invent Christmas?

From Historytoday.com –  Matt Salusbury –  DID THE ROMANS INVENT CHRISTMAS?

I am excerpting the article’s conclusion:

Gwynn concludes: ‘The majority of modern scholars would be reluctant to accept any close connection between the Saturnalia and the emergence of the Christian Christmas.’

Devout Christians will be reassured to learn that the date of Christmas may derive from concepts in Judaism that link the time of the deaths of prophets being linked to their conception or birth. From this, early ecclesiastical number-crunchers extrapolated that the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy following the Annunciation on March 25th would produce a December 25th date for the birth of Christ.

Read the entire article at Historytoday.com –  DID THE ROMANS INVENT CHRISTMAS?

Article #2 Christmas Date set on Pagan Festival?

From bible-archaeology.com – Kevin McKinney –  Christmas date set on pagan festival

Given the time of year I wanted to take time to make a brief post on the subject of Christmas. There are those who claim the date for Christmas was originally set to coincide with a pagan holiday. The Romans celebrated the Saturnalia festival in late December of each year. In 274 A.D. emperor Aurelian set the feast date for the birth of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun, for December 25th. Many have advanced the claims the early Christian church set the date of Christ’s birth to coincide with this festival to attract the pagan worshipers. This theory is stated in a popular movie as simply being a fact, a well known fact universally accepted by scholars and others who are in the know of how early Christian traditions were established. Is this in fact the case, or is there more to the story?

There are several interesting elements which should be considered. The first is that in the third century the early Christians were actively attempting to distance themselves from any form of pagan worship. This leads many scholars to believe they would never have set the birth of the Messiah to coincide with a pagan day of worship. While the belief is the early Christians would not have used a pagan holiday, just how did December 25th come to be known as the birth date of Jesus? In actuality, there was serious debate and separation among church leaders on the proper date for the birth of Jesus.
It should be noted that in the early years of Christianity very little significance was placed on when Jesus was born. The focus for the early church was the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. These dates were known and celebrated, which surprisingly ended up setting the date for Christmas. Early church leaders believed the birth and death of Jesus were tied together. Jesus came to earth to die for our sins and make it possible for us to achieve what it was impossible to achieve by the law. For this reason the conception and death of Jesus were believed to be so related that they happened on the same day of the year.
Using the Hebrew calendar it was determined Jesus had died on the 14th of Nisan, which is our modern day March 25th. Early Church leaders calculated that if Jesus was conceived on March 25th, and born nine months later, it meant Jesus was born on December 25th. In the eastern church they used the Greek calendar which placed the date of the crucifixion as April 6th. The eastern church held the same belief and used the same calculations as the western church and placed the date of Jesus’ birth nine months later, or January 6th. These two dates were used for centuries as the dates for Christmas. The time between these two dates came to be known as the twelve days of Christmas. It seems, based on the evidence and not the work of modern day fiction writers, the date for Christmas was set based on Good Friday and Easter, not a pagan holiday.

Article #3 Is Christmas really a pagan holiday?

Read selected notes which I have transcribed below or watch the entire video (70 minutes) at the bottom of this article.

Lenny Esposito , theologian and apologete answers the question:

  • The answer to this question could lead to eternal destinies. Esposito recounts the story of a 16 year old young man who was told by Jehovah’s Witnesses that the christian church ‘cannot’ be worshipping God in spirit  and truth because of all of the pagan paraphernalia used in the Christmas celebration, and that Jesus could not have been born December 25th because shepherds could not have been out in the field in December. The youth turned Jehovah’s Witness based on this information; as the JW promised that if he joined them he will know the truth, because JW only rely on the Word of God.
  • Atheists are also claiming that Christmas is a pagan holiday that started way before Christ was born. Esposito answers the questions: Is this true? What is the story? He points out that symbols could mean what ever someone would have them mean. Here, he points to the example of the swastika. Esposito says, „The swastika actually has roots that go back thousands of years. The Chinese have been using it as a symbol for good luck and it is incorporated into Chinese art. But, if you paint a swastika on a park bench, or if you put it on your front door, even if you’re Chinese and are hoping for good luck; I’m guaranteeing you, your neighbors are not going to react well, because the culture understands that symbol that means something different than what you’re trying to envision. And the problem you’re going to have is that you won’t be able to communicate that in any other way.” Then he makes his point, „Does a Christmas tree mean that I love pagans, now? No, we’re Christian. But, that’s not necessarily the best answer:

Is Christmas really just a repackaging of the Roman feasts? There are 2 feasts in Rome that are usually offered as primary candidates for the basis of Christmas being on Decemeber 25th: Saturnalia, which is the festival of the god Saturn, who is kind of the god of time, god of harvest, and then the Sol Invictus. Actually, the feast name is Deus Natales del Sol Invictus- the birthday of the unconquerable sun, the idea that the sun cannot die. This is tied into the idea of the sun decreasing in the Northern hemisphere and then increasing again after the solstice.

  1. So, let’s take them in order: Saturnalia- the worship of Saturn. Wikipedia says that ‘Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on December 17th of the Julian calendar, and later expanded with festivities through December 23rd. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice to the temple of Saturn in the Roman forum. And a public banquet followed by private gift giving, continual partying and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms. Gambling was permitted and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catalus called it ‘The best of days’. The popularity of Saturnalia continued into the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., and as the Roman empire came under the Christian rule, some of its customs may have influenced the seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmas and New Year.’ So, there’s your first clue, that even Wikipedia is saying, „Saturnalia was an influence to Christmas.” December 17- December 23, revelry, nonstop partying… That’s Saturnalia; that’s the one that is most well known of the two.
  2. The other one is a single day holiday- Sol Invictus. Again, the Sol Invictus was the sun god, the unconquerable god and this is tied more to astrology and the winter solstice, because the winter solstice happens on Dec. 21st. It’s the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. That’s the time when we have the least amount of sunlight. What does that mean? Well, you tilt the earth on its axis and you have a fixed light point, and at one point, more of the sunlight hits the top part of the earth than the bottom. That’s summer. It heats up, days get longer. When it’s on the other side, more light hits the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere the days grow shorter, and it’s colder. That’s why we have summer and winter, because of the 22 degree offset of the earth’s axis. So, December 21st marks the very shortest time of light, and it’s also when the sun is at the lowest on the horizon at noon time. And then as we enter into spring, through winter, you get the sun going higher until the summer solstice, when we have the longest day of the year, and so on. Given this, the Romans wanted to celebrate the unconquerable sun , that the sun could not die, and it would never sink away into oblivion. Aurelian is the emperor that actually started this and it’s a later holiday in the Roman tradition. The official sun god was the patron of soldiers, who of course needed to do their fighting during the daylight hours. And in 274 A.D. Aurelian made Sol Invictus an official cult; in other words there was an official religion of the empire, alongside the other Roman cults. And then by 375 A.D. he decides to declare a holiday, the birthday of the unconquerable sun, which is supposedly celebrated on Dec. 25th. This happens in the 370’s to 380’s A.D.

By 400’s A.D. or so, the Christians are aware of this stuff. Augustine, who is one of the church fathers had a Christmas sermon that he was preaching and he said, „Let us,” meaning the Christians, „celebrate this as a feast, not for the sake of this sun (sun in the sky) which is beheld by believers, as much as by ourselves, but for the sake of Him who created the sun.” This shows that Augustine was aware that there was this kind of competing holiday idea. Although the pagan holiday was celebrated in only a few places, it wasn’t widespread, but he knew about it, and he knew that because of the Roman calendar, it would move a little bit and it may land during Christmas. But, it’s interesting that he pulls those two things together.

The best thing you can do when you’re reading this kind of stuff is to say, „Who says so?” Let’s look at it from a historian’s perspective and maybe we can find some truth in here. When we start looking at Sol Invictus and Saturnalia, one of the things we find out is that the celebration accounts that are recorded really don’t fit. First of all, and before we really go into this, I am going to give you a really brief Roman calendar lesson. It’s not gonna be hard, it should’ the too scary. But you need to know this because this is how all these holidays are referred to. The Roman calendar, the Julian calendar that Julius Caesar started is not quite the calendar that we have today. We have the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar had 4 months that were 32 days long- March, May, July, and October, 31 days. Then they had short months, and that was 29 day months. So it wasn’t 30 and 31. It was 30 and 29. And that was January, April, June, August, September, November and December. And then they had February which was an accordion month. It could be 29 days, it could be 24 daysThey would use it to kind of fill up the gaps because we know that it’s 365 1/4 days, so we have leap year. We do the same thing. Once every four years we stick a day in February.

Initially, in this process, they would begin a month, traditionally, in a new moon. When the Julian calendar takes effect, that tradition fades away.  But the names persisted. So the first day of ever month is called the calends. The calends of the month meant the first of the month. We get the english word ‘calendar’ from it. The middle of the month, and again, this was based on lunar cycles, was called the ides of the month. Anybody familiar with Shakespeare and Julius Caesar’s ‘Beware the ides of March?’ On a long month, March happens to be a long month, it happens to hit on the 15th. In a short month, that would be the 13th. So the ides would move based on the length of the month, but the ides is the middle of the month. And then you have the ‘nones’, which falls between the ides and the calends. So it’s kind of the halfway point between the ides and the next calends coming up. Again, because the months change in length, that nones could be moving around. But this was the basic framework. So, we do the same things. We’ve got the 1st and the 15th; those are the paydays. Roman army- same thing. The ides and the calends, those are the important dates.

Why is this important? Because when the guys are writing about the festivals, they’re talking about the festivals in reference to the calends, in reference to the 1st of the month. So when we start looking at Saturnalia, and we start researching where Saturnalia was, it was one day initially. It was 14 days before the calends. So, December being a short month, that puts December 15th as the day of Saturnalia’s celebration. Now Dec. 15th isn’t Dec. 25th by any stretch of the imagination. So that causes me a problem, saying, „How can this be in competition?”  So, if Saturnalia is starting on the 15th, how could that be influencing Christmas which is on the 25th? It doesn’t make sense to me. Later, a new festival extended the celebration to complete 7 full days, but the festival would still end on the 10th of 9th day before the calends of January, which still falls short of the December 25th date. And as we saw here, even Wikipedia gets the dates right, December 17th, 16th, and lasting 5-7 days, you get December 23rd. It’s still not Dec. 25th.

Saturnalia doesn’t fit calendar wise or customs wise

So, Saturnalia doesn’t fit in terms of the calendar positioning. But, Saturnalia doesn’t fit in terms of the customs of the people, the way they celebrated the holiday, either. And it was really interesting. Basically, Saturnalia is kind of like a Sadie Hawkins of Rome. It’s kind of like a anti tradition, anti culture day. It’s a bizarro day. You do the things backwards. What do I mean by that? Well, Roman society was very formal, and the Roman togas were the proper attire. But, on these days, you ditched the Roman togas, you wore a more casual Greek garb. Imagine having to go into work wearing a suit and tie every day and this like, now, come in in your jambes (pajamas). It’s that kind of a feel. And with Roman societies that was like, ‘Wow, you just never do that.’ Again, gambling was very frowned upon, Romans were very disciplined. It was all about work, and order, and progression. Gambling and other vices were permitted and encouraged. So, rather than saying ‘Gambling is wrong,’ ‘No, gambling is right…’ Slaves would take the roles of masters and sit at the banquet table and be fed. And masters would most probably not be the ones sitting in the salves’ quarters, they would never go that fra. But, they would sit at the table with the slaves, which again was kind of unheard of. Some people, the masters, would even serve the slaves. So, it’s an upside down holiday, if you will.

Gifts were given, some trinkets, sometimes gag gifts were given, but the idea behind the whole thing was they were reversing the social norms. The master never gives a slave a gift. It’s the slave’s duty to give the master a gift. So, everything was flipped upside down. This is what Saturnalia was all about. There was a sacrifice, so where’s the Christmas tree in this? There’s gifts, but let’s face it, every time you’re gonna get people together, you’re gonna get gifts. You got married, what do you have to bring? A gift. Moved into a new house. What do you have to bring? Kid graduated high school. What do you have to bring? The fact that gifts are associated with a festival, it’s a nonstarter.

I don’t see the connection here. If these ancient pagans were celebrating Christmas before Christians, how are these connected at all? Could it be that this holiday just happened to be on Dec. 25th? Why would the Christians choose this?

What about Sol Invictus?

It’s interesting in Sol Invictus, when you read about it, there is no evidence that Aurelian instituted this celebration of Sol, the sun, on December 25th, originally. When he proclaimed the new religion ‘We will worship the sun god’, it’s not mentioned until 80 years later. It’s not until 354 A.D. and  362 by Julian, in his oration to King Helios, that they talk about Sol Invictus now beginning on Dec. 25th. Now, why is that important? Why is it that by the mid 4th century, that date important? I’ll get to that in a minute. It’s interesting that the chronography of 354, the same time that they start mentioning Sol Invictus on Dec. 25th, talks about Christmas, talks about Christmas being on December 25th. So, maybe the pagans claimed their holiday in order to match the Christian holiday. Again, I point you to Halloween, it wouldn’t be the only time in history where that happened (Halloween used to be the holiday for the Eve before All Saints Day, but Christians stopped celebrating it after pagans started celebrating it). Most people, if you’re talking about the winter solstice, those guys in the ancient world were pretty darn good at astronomy. I mean, look at Stonehenge, look at the timekeeping that thing took. They would notice the difference between a Dec. 21st winter solstice and a December 25th celebration. That’s  a big difference.

Of course, you hear the whole idea of celebrating the Son of God instead of the sun god. I’ve heard atheist throw this out. Let me just caution you guys. They didn’t speak english in ancient Rome. I remember I was working on a project for somebody once, and they were creating a Spanish website for Christian books. And they were basically gonna call it ‘Sunflower Books’. One of the things that they said is, ‘You can’t use the pun of SUNflower and SON of God because in Spanish it just doesn’t work. They are 2 different words. Similarly, the Latin for the sun that we see in the sky is sol- solstice, solar year. The latin for the Son of God is filius. So the pun doesn’t even work, it doesn’t make sense, only if you are naive. And this is what I find, atheists tend to do one of two things:

  1. They either tend to assume that the ancients knew absolutely nothing. Oh, December 21st, December 25th- it’s close enough. You know, they weren’t as smart as we were.
  2. Or, they assume that the ancients were exactly like us. Oh yeah, Son of God- sun worship, it’s all the same. They make this mistake in both sides of life.

Now, when we start looking at Christmas, though, we’ve got to say, „Wait a minute, how early did we start celebrating Christmas in December? T.C. Schmitt out of Yale University is doing a lot of primary source work. He’s done a lot of research work in this. He’s a translator. He’s getting his pHd. He reads latin and he’s translating commentaries from Latin and things like that. So, he’s looking at the primary sources. And what we’re finding out is the Christians were celebrating Christmas well before Christianity was allowed to be out in the open in the Roman empire, as early as A.D. 200, Christmas was already established in the empire.

Clement of Alexandria, one of the early church fathers, wrote somewhere between the 190’s  and 210’s. He wrote a book called the Stromata. And he calculates a date for Jesus birth. And he says, ‘From the birth of Christ, therefore to the death of Comotis (a Roman ruler) are 194 years, one moth, 13 days.” Pretty precise. „And there are those who determine, not only the year of our Savior’s genesis, but even the day, which they say took place in the 28th year of Augustus, on the 25th of December.” In this outlet, he’s pretty specific to place the birth of Christ right at December 25th. This is A.D. 200 or so, Clement of Alexandria, a church father who came from pagan roots, so he shunned pagan rituals and it’s highly unlikely that he would choose a pagan date himself.

But, he’s not alone. There’s another guy, Hippolytus of Rome, writing somewhere in the early 200’s as well. In his commentary on Daniel he mentions Bethlehem. And he says, ‘For the first advent of our Lord in flesh, when He was born in Bethlehem was December 25th, a Wednesday, while Augustus was in his 42nd year, from Adam, 5,500 years. He suffered in the 33rd year, March 25th, Friday, the 1th year of Tiberius Caesar, while Rufus and Rubion were counsels. There’s about 7 different manuscripts of this commentary by Hippolytus of Rome floating around. Because we don’t have the original, some people have debated that maybe that 25th date, maybe somebody stuck 12/25 in there, maybe they added it. Well, of the 7 manuscripts, 5 contain December 25th, one mentions no dates and one mentions two, December and March. And here’s the interesting thing. With all of the talk about the winter solstice and Christians trying to convert the pagans, what it looks like and what modern scholarship is finding is that Christianity had absolutely no interest in changing their festivals and making their festivals in order to attract the pagans. It looks like the Dec. 25th date comes from a tradition from within Christianity itself. It’s got very Christian origins.

Now, let me give you the reason why. You’ll notice, both in the Clement and in the Hippolytus quote they talk about Jesus’ passion, His death, His crucifixion. Why is that important when we talk about Christmas? Well, we know. We never forget the cross. This is why He came. Jesus is the reason for the season. Well, it seems like the early Christians held that same view. And, what the Christians held was an even more ancient Hebrew tradition. That a major prophet, he would have either his birth or his conception land on the very same day as his death. They believed in symmetry. So they held that Jesus was the greatest of all that God could send to us. Therefore, his birth would be a significant date. And so, they wanted to tie that into His death. In the Stromata, Clement of Alexandria talks about our Savior’s genesis. That genesis doesn’t only mean birth, it could mean conception. From the Christian viewpoint, the ministry starts at the point of conception, because God calls you from the womb. So, if Christ’s conception lines up with Christ’s death, and they’re using the March 25th, A.D. 30, the point of passover of Jesus’ crucifixion death, that means his conception is on March 25th. Guess what 9 months after March 25th lands on? December 25th.

This isn’t only a tradition within christendom, there were some Jews who would hold that same idea. Thomas Talley, in the Origins of the Liturgical Year, writes, ‘Around 200 A.D., Tertullian has reported that the calculation of the 14th of Nisan (which is the day of the crucifixion), was March 25th.’ Now, it was later recognized that the feast of annunciation, when Gabriel encounters Mary, the commemoration of Jesus’ conception would be March 25th, plus nine months, then you move it to Christmas. Augustin was familiar with this association as well. He writes, ‘For Jesus, it is believed that He was conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day He also suffered. As a matter of fact, the Christians went one step further. They would say that the actual creation day of the universe is also March 25th. If you were to go backwards, count all the way to the beginning, March 25th is the most significant date in history because that’s when the beginning of the world was and that’s when Jesus would start the new beginning to come back into the world, and that’s when the new life, through His death and resurrection would start  as well. And that’s what we have.

So, we’ve got the Biblical Archaeological Society writing that Christian authors of the time, do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth. Ambrose, the church father, for example, describes Christ as the true sun who outshone fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendar engineering. They clearly don’t think that the date was chosen by the church. Rather, they see the coincidence as providence, a providential sign. As natural proof that God has selected Jesus to be above, and over. Basically, ‘you’re going to give me a false copy, but the real one stand-in its place.’ The first mention of a date for Christmas in about A.D. 200, and the earliest celebrations we know about Christmas  form 230 to 300, come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavy from pagan traditions. They wouldn’t do that; they were being persecuted, especially around 300 A.D. with the persecution of Diocletian.

So, it’s interesting that this is what we find. That perhaps, it has nothing to do with the winter solstice, that’s just a coincidence of time that it happens around the same time of year. But, the Christians were more precise than that. They said, we know when Jesus died, we count 9 months and that’s when Jesus was born, because He had to have been conceived at the same point when He died. This means that December 25th has its roots in Christianity. It doesn’t have its roots in any pagan traditions. The December 25th date came from within the church, based on church understanding of the time, and therefore is in no way, shape or form corrupt as a pagan process. Tom Schmitt summarizes, „A feast of Sol Invictus did occur on December 25th, but the earliest evidence for it dates to the middle or late 4th century. About 200 years after Christmas has been established. There’s no evidence that emperor Aurelian established a festival of Sol Invictus or anyone else on December 25th. 43:00

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