Thursday, December 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS RESPITE-Joy to the World-Mack Wilberg Arrangement


I am indebted to Glenn E. Chatfield at The Watchman’sBagpipes for much of the following information.

Every year discussions pop up about why we celebrate Christmas in December. Some say the birth of Jesus had to have been in the summer. This is the time the liberals like to choose, because it is so opposite of when most Christians celebrate Christmas and liberals just love to find issues with Christians’ beliefs. They just swallow each other’s lines and spew them out whenever the subject comes up.
Others say the shepherds’ tending their sheep close to the walls of Bethlehem indicates a deep winter time frame.

I would not argue with either position, because, frankly, I don’t care when it was.
That said, there is considerable evidence that Jesus was born some time close to December 25th.

Alfred Edersheim, in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, wrote:
There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of [December 25th]. The objections generally made rest on grounds, which seem to me historically untenable. The subject has been fully discussed in an article by Casselin Herzog’s Real. Ency. 17, pp. 588-594. But a curious piece of evidence comes to us from a Jewish source. In the addition to the Megillath Taanith (ed. Warsh. p.20a), the 9th Tebheth is marked as a fast day, and it is added, that the reason for this is not stated. Now, Jewish chronologists have fixed on that day as that of Christ’s birth, and it is remarkable that, between the years 500 and 816 AD the 25th of December fell no less than twelve times on the 9th Tebheth. It the 9th Tebheth, or 25th December, was regarded as the birthday of Christ, we can understand the concealment about it.

In the Jews for Jesus Newsletter of December, 2000 we read:
Ancient Jewish tradition … seems to recognize that date…. According to Alfred Edersheim, Jewish leaders established a special fast day on 9th day of the Jewish month of Tevet. Initially, no specific reason was given for this fast day, but later Jewish writers identified the 9th of Tevet with the birth date of Jesus. Edersheim further states that the 9th of Tevet had fallen on the 25thof December numerous times in the past.

There is also the possibility of a Hanukkah-Christmas connection. Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev, the Jewish month that corresponds with December. Could it be that early Jewish believers in Yeshiva (jesus) wanted to connect Hanukkah and the birth of the Messiah, and eventually that desire was transposed into the 25th of December? After all, Hanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, which Jesus applied to Himself when He said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
A person with a degree in agriculture tells us:

“Certainly, the Lord Jesus was born at Christmas. The only time shepherds spend the night in the fields with their sheep is during the time when the lambs are born. The ewes become ‘attractive’ to the rams in the month after June 21, the longest day of the year. the normal gestation period is five months so the ewes start lambing about mid-December.”
Isn’t it natural that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world would be born when all the other lambs are born?

A Montana sheep rancher reports:
“Oh, yes! None of the men who have flocks are in church for weeks at Christmas. They have to be in the fields day and night to clean up and care for the lambs as soon as they are born or many would perish in the cold.” Isn’t that neat? God’s Lamb, who was to die for the sins of the world, was born when all the other little lambs are born. Because He came and died the centuries old practice of sacrificing lambs for sin could end.

So which one was it? I can’t say for certain, and I would not bet any money on any of the above scenarios.
If you don’t mind, I will continue to celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

Hope you had a great one!


sue hanes said...

I'm with you Joe. I will continue to celebrate Christmas on December
25th as I always have.

And the day after Christmas is not to late to listen to Joy to the World. In fact it could be sung everyday of the year!

I hope you and Bonnie had a great Christmas.

Xavier Onassis said...

Since, despite the fact that the Romans kept meticulously detailed legal records regarding the lands they controlled, there is not one single shred of historical evidence that Jesus ever actually existed, was tried and crucified, I suppose you are free to celebrate his "virgin birth" (good one,Mary!) whenever and however you like.

Joe said...

sh: Good choice.

XO: Thanks for your permission. I really needed it.

"there is not one single shred of historical evidence that Jesus ever actually existed, was tried and crucified."

That is incoorect, but in your egotistical know it allness you don't even care. You have accepted what someone told you because you wanted to...that's all.

A fact of life is that one day you will develop a condition or a disease that modern medicine cannot cure. Everybody does eventually. When you do, you will know that your death is iminant, and you will know its sting, its pain and one thing more: you will know extreme fear.

I will experience all but the latter. How do I know? I've been there. I was at the very brink of death in a hellicoper, being transported to a heart facility. I had no fear of any kind, up to the time they put me to sleep, after which I knew nothing. When I woke up, I was still here. And so, here I still am. I do not, and will not fear death. You will. Trust me (or not) will.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

To make such a claim that there was no Jesus in history is demonstrating abject ignorance.

Except among wackos, there is no debate among historians as to whether Jesus actually existed and was crucified. There are indeed Roman writings about Him.

No one has to agree with who Christians claim Jesus was, or why he was crucified, to at least acknowledge that he existed. To deny his existence is as bad as denying the Holocaust.

Xavier Onassis said...

G.E.C. - "There are indeed Roman writings about Him."

I'm not talking about things written about Jesus by Romans hundreds of years after the fact.

I'm talking about official Roman government transcripts of the trial of Jesus and the sentence of crucifixion.

They kept records on every other trial and sentence. If Jesus was such an important, high profile figure when he died, where are the official Roman records?

There is not one single contemporary Roman record that even mentions Jesus. No record of his birth, his upbringing, his travels,his education, his preachings, his trial, conviction and crucifixion.

But that's just the normal, mundane stuff that should exist, but doesn't.

Add to that his VIRGIN BIRTH, his miracles, like walking on water, raising the dead, healing the sick, and, this would really have caught the attention of the Romans, turning water into wine, and topped off by his physical resurrection from the dead after his crucifixion,and you have to think that if ANY of those things were true, there would be an official Roman record of them somewhere.

But there isn't. Not one single word, anywhere.

You don't find that odd?