Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
The birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ are detailed in Luke chapter 1 and chapter 2. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the CONCEPTION of John the Baptist was September 24th. While the feast celebrating his birth, known as St. John's Day, is June 24th - coincidentally 3 days after the summer solstice. This puts Jesus' birthday, which the bible says is 6 months after John the Baptists', at Christmas. It's also significant to keep in mind that St. John's Day is one of the first or oldest celebrations of Christianity.
Luke 1:36 (KJV) "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."
This scripture is talking to Mary, Jesus' mum, Elizabeth is John the Baptists mum while the 6th month refers to her pregnancy with him. Mary conceived Jesus shortly after this conversation.
So, we have John the Baptist born at the summer solstice and 6 months later we have Jesus born at the winter solstice.
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
The Gospel of John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."
From the summer solstice toward winter solstice the sun could be said to "decrease" in strength ending on the "darkest day of the year," while from the winter solstice to the summer solstice ending on the longest day of the year it would be "increasing" in strength. Both Jesus and John are personifications of the SUN.
This point on John 3:30 was brought up in Acharya's books 'The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold' (99) pages 177-8 and 346; 'Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled' on pages 459/460 and 'Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection' pages 82, 113, 240.
When the scripture says "26 In the sixth month" it is referring to the 6th month of Elizabeth's Pregnancy - *NOT* the 6th month of the calendar. Nowhere does the bible say that John the baptist was born in the 9th month of the calendar.
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
I recently stumbled across some interesting points at wicked pedia
"Luke states that John was born about six months before Jesus...On the basis of Luke's account, the Catholic calendar placed the feast of John the Baptist on June 24, six months before Christmas."
"The earliest identification of 25 December with the birthday of Jesus is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of Theophilus of Antioch (171-183), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburg centuriators, to the effect that the Gauls contended that as they celebrated the birth of the Lord on the December 25, whatever day of the week it might be, so they ought to celebrate Easter on 25 March when the resurrection occurred."
"The next surviving mention of December 25 is in Hippolytus' (c. 202) commentary on Daniel. Jesus, he says, was born at Bethlehem on December 25"
"Cyprian invokes Christus Sol verus, Ambrose Sol novus noster, and such rhetoric was widespread. The Syrians and Armenians, who clung to January 6, accused the Romans of sun-worship and idolatry, contending with great probability that the feast of 25 December had been invented by disciples of Cerinthus and its readings by Artemon to commemorate the natural birth of Jesus."
Bone-Box No Proof of Jesus
(NB: This article was published in a three-part series in the magazine Secular Nation, at the suggestion of Dr. Robert Price, who called the series "fine articles." Secular Nation had never published a three-part article before.)
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
So, to recap so to speak...
Read all of Luke chapter 1
This scripture is talking to Mary, Jesus' mum, Elizabeth is John the Baptists mum while "the 6th month" refers to her pregnancy with John. Mary conceived Jesus shortly after this conversation.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold in Luke 1:24-38 (NIV)
24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion....
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will 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." 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
It's essentially saying that John the Baptist was conceived 6 months prior to Jesus.
There's more interesting information concerning John the baptist in Who Was Jesus? as well, especially around page 140.
Here's John the baptist jumping for joy from within his mothers womb (Elizabeth) because Mary is pregnant with the Lord, Jesus. I can distinctly remember being in church listening to the preacher discuss how excited John the baptist was from within Elizabeth's womb because he knew Jesus was there.
41 "When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy."
"From the very beginning we find implausible fables that cast doubt upon the gospel story's historicity. Not only are we faced with the incredible story of Mary's impregnation by the Holy Spirit, but at Luke 1:41-44 John the Baptist is depicted as "leaping" in his mother's womb at the sound of Mary's voice, because she is carrying "the Lord." Hence, John miraculously recognizes Jesus before either is born. As an adult, upon first sight John pronounces Jesus "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29), and he is a witness to the heavens opening up, "Spirit of God descending like a dove" upon Christ, and God's voice establishing Jesus as his Son. At this development, John the Baptist asserts, "I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God" (Jn 1:33-34). Yet, after all the signs and wonders, why does the Baptist later send word from prison, asking Christ if he is the messiah? (Lk 7:18-23) Does this scenario truly seem realistic?
Also, if John's mother, Elizabeth, and Jesus's mother, Mary, are cousins, meaning John and Jesus are also cousins, how is it that John did not grow up around Jesus, such that the two meet as complete strangers as adults?"
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:17 pm Posts: 2301 Location: Everywhere
And then there's another possible layer to the solar allegory with John 1:15 stating "He who comes after me is greater than me because he was before me".
The sign of Pisces / Jesus comes after the sign of Aquarius / John in the yearly procession, but in the great year of the precession of the equinoxes the sign of Pisces / Jesus comes before the sign of Aquarius / John. Therefore the character of Jesus comes both before and after the character of John. There's so many layers to the allegories.
Capricorn - Aquarius (John) - Pisces (Jesus): "He who comes after me..."
Pisces (Jesus) - Aquarius (John) - Capricorn: "...is greater than me because he was before me."
Here's an interesting link that goes over John's life with some star charts along the way to show what's happening astronomically as his story goes along. You can click on it in the Aquarius section of Jesus' life:
Great stuff here. @Free, you happen to have a link to the direct quote from Theophilus? Having a little trouble tracking it down(although, granted, I haven't been at it long).
I think another thing to note relevant here is that Irenaeus(while on his rant that Jesus died as an old man and that the doctrine that he died in his thirties was a gnostic invented heresy) said that the Gnostics taught that, since Jesus's ministry only lasted one year(which it did according to the synoptic gospel's chronology, only John has the ministry lasting longer, i.e., 3 years) that Jesus was born, baptized on his 30th b-day, and killed one year later, all during the twelfth month of the year.
Assuming the Gnostics were using the Julian calendar instead of the Jewish calendar, then the twelfth month would still be December. Corroborative with the Christmas tradition and Irenaeus was a contemporary with Theophilus, further confirming that in their day there was a significant portion of christianity that held Christ's birth to be on the winter solstice.
Now, about Luke, it was my understanding that while both Matthew and Luke make use of the winter soltice period in correlation with the nativity story, the way they incorporate it is quite different and irreconcilable. The inerrantists just need it to be, especially so they can use Luke's "sheep in the field" detail as an excuse that this wasn't winter time(and that detail is NOT in Matthew, BTW). Matthew appears to have Jesus being BORN on the winter solstice(as per magi & star=sirius & orion pointing to the sunrise). But Luke, it seems, actually has Jesus being CONCEIVED on the winter solstice. This is indicated by following the schedule for the service times of the 24 divisions of the priesthood mentioned in the Old Testament, calculating when Zechariah would have served, thus when Gabriel's annunciation and John's subsequent conception would have occurred, and then realizing approximately six months later would fall sometimes in December, a strong implication of the winter solstice.
EVERY Jew I have personally spoke with agrees with this(though, granted, they have been relatively few... okay, just three), plus countless articles around the web. A few christian articles I've read even try to have Jesus being conceived during the festival of lights/Hannukah, which is just the Jewish version of the winter solstice. Literally. The books of the Maccabees say that the Jews literally chose this date for the temple cleansing because that was the same date when the pagans defiled it with their celebrations to... guess who... Dionysus!
So if this stuff about Luke's nativity narrative pans out, we have his version of Jesus being conceived during Dionysus's winter solstice festival!
excellent! it does the heart good to read. What you have all written here reminded me of some Alvin Boyd Kuhn i had read on the matter
i took the liberty of some bolding
A SIGNIFICANT SIX MONTHS
All this sets the stage for the crowning item in the correspondence. In the Gospel drama John the Baptist enacts the role of the first-born or natural man, coming first to prepare the physical ground of evolution for the advent of the second Adam, or Christ. He would therefore stand in the allegory as the son of the Water Mother, Virgo, and under the astrological symbolism would be born at the autumn equinox, or in his mother's house, which stands at that station in the zodiac. On the other side of the cycle of descent, "death" and resurrection, would stand Jesus, the Christos, son of the Fish Mother, born in his mother's house of the Fishes. These houses are six months apart on the zodiacal chart!
Hence the whole edifice of Gospel historicity trembles under the impact of the strange dramatic circumstance, given in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, that the Annunciation to Mary of her conception of the coming Christ by the Holy Spirit came in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist. So we can see what the myth-makers devised for discerning intelligence in the allegory in Luke. The natural man, having covered the zodiacal "six months" between his conception and the date of his quickening into spiritual status in his evolution, was dramatized as being "quickened" at a point exactly opposite from the point of the beginning of his life. Six months on the chart would mark the end of an epoch begun opposite it. Six months, speaking purely zodiacally, would terminate the period of mortal life and bring the natural man to the place of his deification. At that point he would be represented as being quickened from natural to spiritual life. So then, according to the Lukan account, when the mother of the true spiritual Christ, who had just been impregnated by the Holy Ghost, came into the presence of the first mother, carrying her child at the figurative completion of his cycle of physical evolution, and awaiting only the advent of the spiritual Lord to be quickened into a new order of exalted being, he was dramatized as manifesting this reawakening by the statement that "he leaped in his mother's womb." The Luke narration makes it clear that the conception of Jesus had just taken place when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and found her at the six months stage of her pregnancy. Mary's coming [Page 20] into the presence of Elizabeth is made the occasion of the natural man's leaping in his mother's womb. When the Christ comes to the natural man the latter leaps into the higher kingdom of spirit.
It is but a simple matter of arithmetic to note that the last three months of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John coincided with the first three of Mary's pregnancy with Jesus, bringing the birth of Jesus just six months after that of John! So Luke has it. But it was in the zodiacal chart some thousands of years before it could have "happened" in Judea. It had occurred zodiacally long before it could have occurred historically. And the implication is overmastering that the supposed historical occurrence is but a presumption of ignorance based on the zodiacal when that became circulated as history among the unintelligent masses.
The final link of significant data, now to be presented is by no means a minor one. St. Paul declares that we come to birth spiritually only as we die carnally, meaning that the quantum or quality of divine character in us grows in proportion as the quantum of raw nature decreases. We increase deifically as we decrease humanly; the god gains in power as the animal dies. So the structure of the allegory depicted the spiritual man, Jesus, son of Nun, the "Fish", as increasing, while John, son of Virgo, the Water Mother, decreases in stature. Astrologically, as a star or constellation sinks below the horizon in the west, its opposite star or constellation would be rising in the east. As John, type of the first, the natural man, went down (having completed his mission of preparing the way for his greater successor), Jesus, type of the spiritual birth, rose on the world. So the narrative has John saying: "I must decrease, but he must increase". In the descent of soul into the body spiritual power decreases as physical life increases. But on the reverse arc of the cycle, or evolution, the physical (John) decreases as the Christ power increases in its new round of growth.
that was from
MAN'S TWO BIRTHS ZODICAL SYMBOLISM IN THE GOSPEL OF LUKE by ALVIN BOYD KUHN
i've got the whole ebook here if anyone ever wants it.
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm Posts: 5205 Location: 3rd rock from the sun
A Brief History of Jesus's Winter Solstice Birthday
"Dec 25th" is used today as a 'figure of speech' describing the Sun Gods' winter solstice birth, re-birth, birthday or resurrection regardless of the calendar or dates e.g. Jan 6th (which was the solstice on different calendars). Don't get confused by complex calendars as it's still all about the winter solstice and the resurrection of the Sun God three days later by whatever name or date one wants to attach to it e.g. Jesus, Mithra, Horus, Vishnu etc. Keep in mind that our current Gregorian calendar wasn't implemented until 1582, so, it's absurd to expect ancient primary sources to say "December 25th," that's why it's a figure of speech describing the winter solstice/Christmas time period in the ancient world. Btw, the winter solstice was Dec 25th in the Julian calendar during the 1st century BCE (BC) up to 1582 CE (AD) when it changed just three days to Dec 21st, so that long history is a large part of why Dec 25th stuck to this day. Christianity severed Dec 25th from the solstice to the point that most are utterly unaware of the connection today.
In addition to the discussion above in the original post on the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ detailed in Luke, we also have some very interesting quotes regarding Jesus' December 25th birth date by a handful of very prominent early Christians demonstrating that Jesus' Dec 25th birthday wasn't invented suddenly in the 4th century, but instead, was growing in popularity as these early Christians had already been celebrating these festivals all along until they grew in power and were able to usurp these Pagan festivals and they even admit it as you'll see below.
It's important to keep in mind that celebrating birthdays in those days was looked down upon, which could be a reason why a specific date for Jesus's birthday was not mentioned in the New Testament. Or, *IF* Jesus really existed (there exists no credible evidence that he did) perhaps the birth date was omitted or removed, or maybe Jesus truly is a mythological character and the pre-Xian, well-known and popular celebration date for the resurrection of the Pagan Sun Gods had simply not yet been usurped by Christianity, which is the most likely scenario and what the evidence that actually exists demonstrates. So, we already know the bible doesn't specifically mention Jesus' birth date, however, Dec 25th is the traditional date CHOSEN BY THE EARLY CHRISTIANS THEMSELVES and Christianity has no plans on changing it, so, it's just more evidence that Jesus is just another mythical Sun God character. So, don't get into the habit of blaming everybody else for Jesus's December 25th birthday at Christmas when it was the early Christians themselves who chose that date based on pre-xian Paganism with a several thousand year history behind it. Christians could've chosen from any of the 365 days of the year but, they chose Dec 25th. The early Christians believed that the CONCEPTION of both the sun and Jesus was March 25th putting their birthdays at December 25th or the winter solstice - those who try to claim Jesus was born in spring get confused between conception and birth.
"There was never a question about the period of Jesus' birth either in the East or in the West. Only in the recent years this date was challenged. However Christmas was not celebrated with the pomp and splendor of these days in the past, because normally birthdays were never celebrated by Christians. In the Malankara tradition birthdays are never celebrated. The Sixtieth year (Shadhiabtha purthi) was sometimes celebrated but that was not on the birthday. No wonder why there is scant documentations over this matter. That is why even the gospels are silent about it."
- Professor M.M. Ninan
Early Church Father Tertullian (160-220 C.E.), an "ex-Pagan" and Presbyter of Carthage ironically admits the true origins of the Christ story and of all other such godmen by stating in refutation of his critics, "You say we worship the sun; so do you." (paraphrase from the Catholic Encyclopedia) - "Christ Conspiracy" (1999) page 158
"The earliest identification of the 25th of December with the birthday of Christ is in a passage, otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of Theophilus of Antioch (A.D. 171-183), preserved in Latin by the Magdeburg centuriators (i. 3, 118), to the effect that the Gauls contended that as they celebrated the birth of the Lord on the 25th of December, whatever day of the week it might be, so they ought to celebrate the Pascha on the 25th of March when the resurrection befell."
"The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata I.21) says that certain Egyptian theologians "over curiously" assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ's birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). With Clement's evidence may be mentioned the "De paschæ computus", written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ's birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. But Lupi has shown (Zaccaria, Dissertazioni ecc. del p. A.M. Lupi, Faenza, 1785, p. 219) that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ's birth. Clement, however, also tells us that the Basilidians celebrated the Epiphany, and with it, probably, the Nativity, on 15 or 11 Tybi (10 or 6 January)."
In 245, the theologian Origen denounced the idea of celebrating the birthday of Jesus "as if he were a king pharaoh." Only sinners, not saints, celebrate their birthdays, Origen contended.
"O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born ... Christ should be born" - Cyprian, around 250, Catholic Enc. Christmas
* Cyprian believed that the CONCEPTION of both the sun and Jesus was March 25th putting their birthdays at December 25th.
"Emperor Aurelian (270 to 275 CE) blended a number of Pagan solstice celebrations of the nativity of such god-men/saviors as Appolo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus into a single festival called the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun" on DEC-25. At the time, Mithraism and Christianity were fierce competitors. Aurelian had even declared Mithraism the official religion of the Roman Empire in 274 CE. Christianity won out by becoming the new official religion in the 4th century CE." http://www.religioustolerance.org/winter_solstice.htm
"The birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the Sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithras celebrated the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun). On December 25, 274, [Roman Emperor] Aurelian had proclaimed the Sun God the principal patron of the Empire and dedicated a temple to Him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the Sun was particularly strong at Rome." - New Catholic Encyclopaedia (Vol. III, p.656, 1967 ed.)
"The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism" - Catholic Enc. Christmas
"Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season." - Catholic Enc. Mithraism ... * Notice the word "REBIRTH," which means that the sun was perceived to have symbolically died & resurrected.
"In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine declared December 25th to be the birthday of Jesus. This enabled Emperor Constantine to merge the cult of Mithra with that of Christianity that was developing much. He declared himself a Christian but at the same time maintained his ties to the Mithra cult. He retained the title "Pontifus Maximus" the high priest. On his coins were inscribed: "Sol Invicto comiti" which means, committed to the invincible sun. This new blend of the two faiths, he officially proclaimed as Christianity." http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/mithraism.html
In 320, Pope Julius I specified the 25th of December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
In Rome, December 25 was made popular by Pope Liberius in 354. This coincided with the date of a celebration by the Romans to their primary god, the Sun, and to Mithras, a popular Persian sun god supposedly born on the same day. The Roman Catholic writer Mario Righetti candidly admits that, "to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute the 25th of December as the feast of the birth of Christ to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honor of the 'Invincible Sun' Mithras, the conqueror of darkness" (Manual of Liturgical History , 1955, Vol. 2, p. 67).
"But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . . . the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . . ., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice." - St. John Chrysostom, around 386 CE, Catholic Enc. Christmas
"A feast is approaching which is the most solemn and awe-inspiring of all feasts....What is it? The birth of Christ according to the flesh. In this feast namely Epiphany..." - John Chrysostom, Homily VI: On St. Philogonius (23-24)
"Let us, my Brethren, rejoice," cries out St. Augustine, "this day is sacred, not because of the visible sun, but because of the Birth of Him Who is the invisible Creator of the sun... He chose this day whereon to be born, as He chose the Mother of Whom to be born, and He made both the day and the Mother. The day He chose was that on which the light begins to increase, and it typifies the work of Christ, Who renews our interior man day by day. For the eternal Creator having willed to be born in time, His Birthday would necessarily be in harmony with the rest of His creation."
"The same holy Father gives us the interpretation of a mysterious expression of St. John the Baptist, who said on one occasion, when speaking of Christ: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3: 30). These prophetic words signify that the Baptist's mission was at its close, because Jesus was entering upon His. But they also convey, as St. Augustine assures us, a second meaning: "John came into this world at the season of the year when the length of the day decreases (June 24); Jesus was born in the season when the length of the day increases." - St. Augustine, around 400 CE The Mystery of Christmas
"All the gods of the Greek and Roman mythology represent the attributes of the one supreme divine power - the SUN." - Macrobius, Roman Historian around 400 CE "Suns of God" (2004) pages 67-68
In 601 CE, "Pope Gregory I wrote to Mellitus, his missionary in England, telling him 'not to stop such ancient Pagan festivities', but to 'adapt them to the rites of the Church, only changing the reason of them from a heathen to a "Christian impulse.""
Bible offers reasons for Dec. 25 as Christmas
"Why Dec. 25? Here are excerpts from an article by Dr. Bill Jones in the December 2001 issue of the Zion's Fire magazine that offer a biblical perspective on why early Christians chose Dec. 25 to commemorate the birth of Christ.
Even though many link the choice of Dec. 25 with the pagan Roman celebration of Saturnalia, it is far more likely the date was chosen because of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The festival commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. on the 25th of Chislev, or Dec. 25. It is referred to in the Bible as "the feast of dedication" (John 10:22).
The temple was to be the dwelling place of God on earth. The incarnate Jesus, too, was the dwelling place of God. The relationship between the temple and the body of Jesus was so close that when pressed for a sign to authenticate his life and ministry, He compared his body to the temple (John 2:19).
Therefore, when the church needed a date to designate the time for observing Christ's birth, it could find no better one than Dec. 25."
Luke 2:8 (RSV) "And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night"
Those who attempt to claim that "Shepherds were not in the fields during December" in Luke 2:8 should lose all credibility for spreading such misinformation based in utter ignorance as Jews who've lived in or around the area of Bethlehem have always known that is laughably false because Bethlehem has a pretty mild winter and only gets about 3 snow days per year, so, just more lies with an agenda and those who attempt to use that argument should be ashamed and lose all credibility. That argument must be completely abandoned by those who chose to maintain any credibility.
"In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to "some shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their flock by night" (2:8).
Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night. But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well. There is no sound objection to it.
Now, of course, we can't be absolutely certain of the day of Christ's birth. At least, not this side of heaven. But an early winter date seems as reasonable a guess as any. And December 25th has been the frontrunner for eighteen centuries. Without more evidence, there seems no good reason to change the celebration date now."
"One argument raised against the December date is that there were shepherds keeping watch at night at that time in the field (Luke2:8). December is pretty cold and normally shepherds would not be out there. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. In the normal traffic of shepherds they move around and come near Bethlehem from November to March of the year."
The separation of the solstices by six months matches the separation of the equinoxes by six months as indicated in the raised and lowered torches of the Sun God Mithra.
The ancients started from observation of the sky and accommodated their myths to observation. Because Jesus and John were understood against the deepest cosmic mythology, they were assigned to the turning points of the year, just after the longest and shortest days, the return after the solstices at 24 June and 25 December.
I would be interested in views of whether Jesus and John indicate the exact solstice points, or the visible change after the solstice as per the current dates. There was a recent discussion of how the solstices have shifted, partly due to the Julian date change. If I recall correctly, at the time of Christ the solstice was a couple of days later, ie about 24 December. Before the Julian calendar, as I understand it the Egyptians and Babylonians calculated the intersolsticial days by annual observation, giving a precise long standing relation between calendar dates and the annual cycle.
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