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When was Jesus Really Born ?

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Long time Ago Bethlehem,
So the holy bible said,
Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ,
Was Born on Christmas Day,
Hark Now hear the Angels Sing
A king was born today
Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ
Was Born on Christmas Day
The Holy Bible did Say that “Mary’s boy child was born but he was not born on Christmas Day. There was nothing Like Christmas till 4th century.  Then when was Christ Actually born? What does the bible say about the story of Jesus birth?
 
What the Bible and Gospels have to say?
 
The exact date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, as the Bible does not give specifics as to the dates of either His birth or conception. However, his crucifixion date that is celebrated as Easter is mentioned in the bible. In the ‘New Testament’ (1 Corinthians 5:7–8: “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the festival…”). Each of the Four Gospels provides detailed information about Jesus disappearance. According to ‘John’, Jesus is crucified just as the Passover lambs are being sacrificed. This would have occurred on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, just before the Jewish holiday began at sundown. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, however, the Last Supper is held after sundown, at the beginning of the 15th. Jesus is crucified the next morning. Details of Easter is very much mentioned in the Bible.
 
However, with regards to the birth of Jesus, only early writings of ‘Mathew’ and ‘Luke’ illustrate accounts of his birth but provide no hint of day, date or time. In the gospels such as ‘Infancy Gospel of Thomas ‘ and ‘Proto-Gospel of James’ also there is no specific mention of day, date or time. The only difference occurring is that in the ‘Gospel Of James’ is Jesus is born in a cave while according to ‘Luke’ of the New Testament Jesus was born in a manger. Apart from the Birth details, all the pastimes of Jesus are mentioned in great details in the gospels. So we can say that at least with evidence from the bible and gospels the time, date and day are mot mentioned. But still, we will try to investigate a bit more.
 
Jesus was not born at Midnight
 
We are not even sure that Jesus was born during the day or at Midnight. ‘Luke 2.8’ says that a few shepherds were watching their flock by the night and they heard that Jesus was born. This may also indicate that Jesus might have been born at dawn or the news that reached the shepherds had reached at night as according to the verse Jesus had already been born. If we take a look at ‘chapter 18 -20’ of the ‘Gospel of James’ then according to the gospel it is said that Joseph saw everything frozen, he saw grazing sheep’s frozen, birds frozen, river, goats everything stood still while Mary was resting in a cave. Joseph ran down the hill and found a midwife and asked her to help Mary. When the midwife came to the cave dark clouds surrounded the cave. This indicates that the time according to the events was before sundown at least. As with sundown one loses the visibility of events in such great details. And when we refer to Luke then comparing the two we can make out that Jesus must have born during the time period of sundown or late afternoon. But one thing is sure that it is not Midnight.  
 
The Two Christmas Days or Two birth dates of Jesus
 
There is great uncertainty but by the fourth century we find references to two dates that is 25th December in the Western Roman Empire that is during the pagan festival of ‘Saturnalia’ or ‘Winter Solstice’. And January 6th is celebrated as the birth of Jesus in the eastern region that is Egypt and certain parts of Asia. I would talk about the 25th December date a little later but let us look at the January 6th date first.
 
January 6th Christmas.
 
‘Epiphany’ also known as ‘Three Kings’ Day’ is a Christian feast day that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ popularly in the east. Whereas in Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally the visit of the Magi to the Infant Christ. Thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles. The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi, all of Jesus’ childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by ‘John the Baptist’; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee. The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. ‘Epiphanius’ says that January 6 is’ Hemera Genethlion Toutestin Epiphanion’ (Christ’s “Birthday; i.e. His Epiphany”). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day. The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians. However, December 25 would prevail, The period between became Christmas and Epiphany was later known as the 12 days of Christmas.
 
Why 25th December?
 
25th December has its roots in connection to Preaching and spread of Christianity. The most popular theory for December 25th being the date is that it was borrowed from the ‘pagan calendar’. When Romans had their winter festival of ‘Saturnalia’, and December 25th was established as the feast of the birth of ‘Sol Invisctus’ the Roman Sun God by Roman emperor ‘Aurelian’. {To know what is Saturnalia and Sol Invisctus you can read my article “The Original Christmas” on my Blog}.
Early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world. If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday then more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated. Therefore such a decision would be of great aid to preach and convert Pagans to Christianity.
 
One manuscript writings of the Syriac Biblical Scholar ‘Dionysius bar-Salibi’ of the 12th century states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan ‘Sol Invisctus’ holiday. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars also claimed that because the early Christians didn’t know when Jesus was born, they simply assimilated the pagan solstice festival for their own purposes, claiming it to be the Birthday of Jesus.
 
Also, a lot of Christmas rituals such as feasts, Christmas trees, gifts, and many such seem to be adopted from the pagan rituals. The Christmas tree, for example, has been linked with late medieval Druidic practices. This has only encouraged modern audiences to assume that the date, too, must be pagan.
 
Is January 6th Real Christmas Day.
 
Not too sure as there is no proper reference but the first dating reference that we find is for January 6th, the earliest reference of January 6th is dated 361 AD, that is just 300 years after Christ. As compared to December 25th. So we can consider giving January 6th preference.
 
Concluding the argument over Birth-Dates of Jesus, the Birth-Dates still remains unknown and uncertain whether it is December 25th or January 6th. Jesus being the son of the supreme God He will always be unborn and eternal and will shower his mercy and love to all of us eternally. Amen

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