Author: Paul Lehr
Luke 2:1-3 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
December 25 is the day we culturally celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church declared December 25 as the day of the birth of Christ. This declaration occurred in 336 AD. It was an attempt to replace the Roman holiday Saturnalia, a week long holiday of every imaginable debauchery. December 25 was the birthday of the sun. In the interest of getting along with the culture, the Catholic Church replaced the birthday of the sun with the birthday of the Son. Today in the 21st century, we have returned to the roots of Saturnalia. The “Christmas” celebration through New Year’s has become a week long party. There is nothing new under the sun…
There is no Biblical evidence for a specific December 25 date for the birth of Jesus. If you find it, let me know. Christmas, December 25 is not a God Appointed Feast/Holiday, plain and simple.
This is the context of the birth of Jesus. Joseph and Mary were on their way to pay taxes.
Now, say you are a money grubbing emperor or a king or a politician. Let’s say you want to collect tax revenue from your subjects. When would you do this? For maximum collection of funds, travel conditions and weather would need to be at their best. People are going to have to travel to register. Would you pick late December? I don’t think so. Greed dictates a different season of the year to allow for the best possible participation and revenue.
There are many factors that point toward Jesus being born in the early fall. Some of these include: the timing and relationship to the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1), shepherding habits and timing (Luke 2), Biblical patterning of God’s appointed Fall Feasts, and Zechariah’s appointed priestly Temple service.
Excellent arguments are made for Jesus being born in the Spring. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn makes an articulate case.
The bottom line is this. The Bible does not say specifically when Jesus was born. When He was born is not the issue.
But, what is of the utmost importance is stated by the Apostle Paul. This is the priority. As believers in Jesus Christ we should draw a line in the sand and stick a flag in the ground over this issue.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…