Many Biblical scholars have argued from time to time that December 25th was not the actual birth date of Christ. It was just adopted as a day to celebrate the birth of Christ as a Christian substitute to the Roman festival Saturnalia in the third century. Saturnalia was celebrated as the Feast of Sun and was actually considered the birth date of the Sun God of the Romans. Catholic priests held a special mass that day for Christ and thus, it came to be known as 'Christ-mass' or 'Christmas'.
Along with the date, several other pagan traditions, rituals and
customs followed the way to become associated with Christmas such as
decorating fir trees and burning yule logs. According to these scholars,
Christ was most probably born on September 11, 3 B.C., which was
Wednesday, according to the Bible. There are several other inaccuracies
that we can see in the Nativity plays that are popular these days. Here
are the arguments that are given to prove this fact:
Read the truth about birth of Jesus Christ, Biblical story about Jesus's birth and myths and facts about Christ's birth.
Truth About Birth of Jesus Christ
- Luke 2:1 says, "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed [registered]." Here, 'taxed' means 'to register'. Caesar Augustus was planning to celebrate his 25th anniversary as Roman emperor in 2 B.C. but he wanted that all his subjects are accounted for and there is official declaration of political allegiance before that. 'All the world' indicates that the Roman Empire was very vast. Such registrations as these were typically conducted during the time when the season was mild enough for traveling.
- Luke 2:2 says, "And this taxing [registration] was first made when Cyrenius was governor [commander] of Syria." The 'governor' means 'commander' here. Cyrenius had been sent to Syria to command the registration process in 3 B.C. and this was the time when the registration was first made.
- Luke 2:6-7 says, "And so it was, that, while they were there [in Bethlehem], the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." While Jesus was the 'only begotten son' of God, Mary had other children too and Jesus was her 'firstborn'. It also indicates that Jesus was born in the manger not because Mary and Joseph were poor but because there was 'no room in the inn' as there were lot of people who had come to be registered.
- Bethlehem was the city of David and Joseph and his wife Mary were David's descendants and had to go there to be registered. 'Swaddling clothes' also indicate that Mary and Joseph were not poor for they were used for princes and people of noble blood and royal lineage. They consisted of fine linen cloth and the child was covered by them only for a short time until the parents took time to pray to God and promise Him for good upbringing of the child.
- Luke 2:8 says, "And there were in the same country [the vicinity of Bethlehem] shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." In Biblical times, the farmers used to hire shepherds in the late summer and early fall to keep their flocks in his field overnight as the manure of the cattle acted as a fertilizer for their fields. This indicates that Jesus Christ was born in early September.
- Revelation 12:1-2 says, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." In 3 B.C., it was on Wednesday, September 11th, which was the only day when the constellation Virgo (represented as a woman) clothed with the sun as it entered the mid-body in its ecliptic course had the moon under her feet. Thus, it was during this day, when Jesus Christ was born.