Did the Church institute Dec 25th to replace Pagan Festivals with a Christian Theme?

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#1
Did the Church institute Dec 25th to replace Pagan Festivals with a Christian Theme? Is there recorded history of these discussions or meetings or edicts? Was it Saturnalia or Mithraism that they were attempting to compete with? Or all of the pagan festivals during this time of the year (winter soltice.)

Much is said about this every year, and articles from Google searches are posted but I am under the impression that to much is being said about Saturnalia that is not in the historical record as the reason given for choosing this day.

Is there early Christian writings explaining any of these decisions. When was there a council or an edict or a recorded decision. Posting information about what Pagans did no Dec 25 is not helpful in answering my question.

Where did the church officially discuss it? I am assuming there is something before the middle ages where it does show up in church discussions.
If the discussions as to why the early church chose Dec 25th do not appear until the middle ages after it had already been observed since the 5th century then how credible are those middle age explanations.

The best explanations I have heard so far have been about the influence of Mithraism that they were battling in the first 200 years. Below is an example, but I have read better ones in the past that go deeper into the temptation it had for Christians who wanted to have influence in business and society. And this influence of Mithraism was what the early church was combating when it chose Dec 25th, to destract Christians from celebrating Mithric feasts. I am sure that the side benefit would be to distract them from all of the other winter soltice pagan feasts as well, but what was the most popular among the pagans was not really the main target, it was combatting what Christians were falling into, the mithraism cult that was mixing with chrisitanity in teachings and practice.

https://postbarthian.com/2018/11/02...-the-sun-god-mithra-feat-wolfhart-pannenberg/
In Wolfhart Pannenberg's essay "Myth in the Biblical and Christian tradition", he explains that Christianity has reappropriated pagan and Jewish myths throughout history in order to demythologize them. Many evangelicals today try to prove that Jesus was born on December 25th, and deny that Christmas has any pagan origin or identification with the winter solstice pagan feasts. On the contrary, Pannenberg argues that Christmas is a deliberate commandeering of the pagan winter solstice festival Sol Invictus, that celebrated the birth of Mithra, the unconquered sun god worshiped in mystery religions throughout the Roman empire. As Christians completed with sun god worship, they chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, in place of the birth of Mithra on December 25th, which was the winter solstice according to the Julian calendar. After all, Jesus was the greater Mithra, and the true light that was coming into the world, so it was appropriate to celebrate Jesus with similar light metaphors. Pannenberg argues that pagan myths like Mithra cult represent ready made cloaks that were applied to Jesus as part of demythologizing Pagan and Jewish myths. Christianity did not have a traditional day for celebrating the birth of Jesus until the fourth century, when it assumed December 25th from Mithra.

The same evangelicals I mentioned continue this same synchronistic praxis when they celebrate fall parties on halloween or thanksgiving, or have special services to celebrate memorial day or independence days today. Ultimately the goal in reappropriating the winter solstice festival was not to synchronize with mystery religions, but to demythologize those pagan myths that competed with Christianity.

Wolfhart Pannenberg ends his essay "Myth in the Biblical and Christian tradition" (available in The Idea of God and Human Freedom) with this commentary on the origin of Christmas:
 
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#3
Which church ?
Do you mean the Christian church as a whole, or, the Catholic church ?
Where does it show up in history?
I come across things like this:
Around AD 200, Clement of Alexandria wrote:
There are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the 28th year of Augustus, and in the 25th day of [the Egyptian month] Pachon [May 20] ... Further, others say that He was born on the 24th or 25th of Pharmuthi [April 20 or 21].[46]

I have not read the entire wikipedia article on the history yet. They were talking about it early on before the Roman Catholic Church was officially formed.
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Nov 15, 2020
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#4
Xmas is a Catholic/Roman Catholic lie, to get non believers into church. The "real meaning" of Christmas should be a warning itself. Do a search of should a Christian celebrate Christmas.
 
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#5
Xmas is a Catholic/Roman Catholic lie, to get non believers into church. The "real meaning" of Christmas should be a warning itself. Do a search of should a Christian celebrate Christmas.
Does God mind if we praise Him for sending His Son and celebrate it as a Holiday, visit extended family (sort of like a sabbath) and Go to church and have a special service, like we do each week on Sunday? No. He is pleased by our expressions of faith and thanksgiving and we should keep it up EVERY DAY of the week, year round.

Is it a biblical commandment like baptism in water or the Lords Supper? No. He never said to observe Easter or Christmas.

In that sense I am not too keen on Christmas oriented messages and plays. I get the feeling we are just doing it because it is Christmas and it is not really the same as when the Holy Spirit gives the preacher a message for that Sunday that is a word from God and anointed by the Holy Spirit. A word in season, an illuminated, Spirit empowered exegesis from the scriptures that causes one to have an encounter with the Holy God. Instead, it is just a Christmas message .... meh. But I am trying to change my attitude and be more open.
 
Nov 15, 2020
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#6
Christmas and easter is a tradition of man and not a biblical practice. Easter is in acts, and comes from Ishtar; the only tradition that Jesus instituted is Passover/communion
 
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#8
Christmas and easter is a tradition of man and not a biblical practice. Easter is in acts, and comes from Ishtar; the only tradition that Jesus instituted is Passover/communion
Men are allowed to have traditions. A family reunion is a tradition. What is wrong with a family reunion that celebrates Jesus?
 
Nov 15, 2020
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#9
Yeah man can have traditions, but this one is different because it's not biblical; even the Israelites went after idols and false gods, when God instructed them not to. Jesus gave the Pharisees a lecture for their traditions.
 
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#10
Yeah man can have traditions, but this one is different because it's not biblical; even the Israelites went after idols and false gods, when God instructed them not to. Jesus gave the Pharisees a lecture for their traditions.
Driving a car is not biblical. We do plenty of things that are not in the bible. Focus on the heart. The efforts to vilify Christmas is wasted energy that edifies no one.

You are not going to be able to find a scripture that says it is a sin to celebrate Christmas tradition with your family.

That conversation is always boring.

I was really expecting some historical information about when celebration of Christmas on Dec 25. This time of year many will start posting about how the Catholic church started it to combat pagan feasts and most of it is not accurate. I don't think there is an actual decree or something like that. It seems to have evolved but I have not really looked that hard into it. I never cared that much but I feel the need to know facts just to help those that are embarrassing themselves with their "authoritative statements of fact" that are not even real historical data. They just pass on stuff as though it were history and it is a collection of assumptions.
I was thinking instead of the same old tired posts about the pagan roots of Christmas that are going to go on here no matter what,
I would get the ball rolling looking for the actual historical written records in extant on the first references in church history.
 
Nov 15, 2020
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#11
Look up saturnalia. Why christianise something that's pagan ? I will say that it's your choice to believe what you do; I've done my own research about it because of the stupid Santa gimmick.
 
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#12
Look up saturnalia. Why christianise something that's pagan ? I will say that it's your choice to believe what you do; I've done my own research about it because of the stupid Santa gimmick.
Your just restating the same tired complaint we hear every year, that does not make sense to most of us.

Think about what you are saying.

This is how I and many understand your complaint:

They wanted to replace the Saturnalia feast for a Christian theme day?
And so they did, and they were successful.
They stamped out Saturnalia and all its evil pagan practices and replaced it with a day about Jesus birth. Yeah. Great job.
Now we don't have wide spread Saturnalia feasts because they stamped it out with Christmas.
That Sounds like a great plan. It worked right?

Observing Christmas as a family get together and buying toys for you kids does not mean you are having anything to do with ancient pagan holidays because they got stamped out by Christmas is what you are actually saying.

And then you act like that is a bad thing. Which is just a weird kind of complaint. We don't get why you're not liking that? Did you want to keep Saturnalia is that what you are saying?
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
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#13
It wasn't until the 40's that any of this was brought up. There was a great change that came in the world at that time.

There was little that happened in the world that prophecy told us was to happen, and then Hitler's doings brought about the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem. The deep sea scrolls were discovered, with the oldest scriptures ever found that helped bridge the gap time made. That started scholars thinking about the roots of our religion, the beginnings of Christ. And it brought about questions about the changes that man has made to scripture.

I should think that everyone would prefer to follow what God has suggested instead of what man has suggested.

God never suggested we celebrate the birth of the human form of Jesus, the big celebration of Jesus was to be celebrating the eternal Jesus with Passover. The fall feasts are to celebrate the future return of Jesus.

I don't think the Lord is judging us for our additions to His word, but uses them for good. What God wants most for us is for us to go to Christ for forgiveness of our sins so we can live with Him forever, and to live in this world with Christ within so we can live here with joy and goodness. is
 
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#14
It wasn't until the 40's that any of this was brought up. There was a great change that came in the world at that time.

There was little that happened in the world that prophecy told us was to happen, and then Hitler's doings brought about the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem. The deep sea scrolls were discovered, with the oldest scriptures ever found that helped bridge the gap time made. That started scholars thinking about the roots of our religion, the beginnings of Christ. And it brought about questions about the changes that man has made to scripture.

I should think that everyone would prefer to follow what God has suggested instead of what man has suggested.

God never suggested we celebrate the birth of the human form of Jesus, the big celebration of Jesus was to be celebrating the eternal Jesus with Passover. The fall feasts are to celebrate the future return of Jesus.

I don't think the Lord is judging us for our additions to His word, but uses them for good. What God wants most for us is for us to go to Christ for forgiveness of our sins so we can live with Him forever, and to live in this world with Christ within so we can live here with joy and goodness. is
Dead Sea Scrolls? They did not reveal anything about the beginnings of Christ. Please read a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls you don't seem to understand what is in them. You have made statements like this before.
Christians don't celebrate the Passover. The Passover was a foreshadowing of what Jesus was to accomplish being the lamb that takes away the sin of the world.
We observe the Lords Supper as a memorial of His body and blood until he come not the Passover.

You can do whatever you want but you will get corrected when you attempt to tell Christians they are to observe Jewish Feast days.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#15
Did the Church institute Dec 25th to replace Pagan Festivals with a Christian Theme?
It would certainly seem that way. Christ was born sometime in early September.

However, since December 25 is well-established, Christmas is an excellent opportunity and time to share the true meaning of why Christ was born in Bethlehem as the King of the Jews.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
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#16
You can do whatever you want but you will get corrected when you attempt to tell Christians they are to observe Jewish Feast days.
That I think it is silly of people to want to obey man instead of God is NOT telling them they must do this. They have finally and absolutely decided not to. Now you are indicating they don't want to hear about those scriptures even.

There should be a new bible written for today's church, taking out every scripture that speaks to Israel, that gives any of the Lord's law, or tells about the feasts.
 
Nov 15, 2020
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#17
What I said doesn't make sense cos most Christians don't give it a second thought, and, Xmas has been ingrained by the Catholic church; I did my research and discovered the lie that I had been fed as a kid. Why on earth would I want a gift from some fat twit in a red suit who visits once a year ? It's your own choice to believe.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#18
It is very depressing to hear of people who claim faith yet only observe feast days decreed by man. It is better regarding each day as the same with Jesus-Yeshua in the center of our being than outward appearances shown for only God knows what reason.
 

JaumeJ

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Jul 2, 2011
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#20
I have noticed in my many years that many people, even non=believers, only go to church on Christmas. I know my relatives would take me to Christmas services long before the Holy Spirit came into my heart, so yeah.