No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ's birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?
The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast. In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers was born. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. From this, the Christmas tradition of caroling was born.
In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer.
It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.
Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means "wheel," the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods. The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.
In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.
Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy: "Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ."
WHILE WE'RE AT IT
Constantine needed to organize his vast empire so he mixed the emerging Christianity (of which there were many) with the pagan. His mother, who was a Druid Priestess, "found" many of the sacred sites in Jerusalem to back up his plan.He organized the Council of Nicea to create ONE version of the Bible out of many.
Timeline of Constantine
"Zeitgeist" (movie) explains alot of the symbolism of the Bible.
"History of God" by Karen Armstrong is a great book. Basicly, people would have trance states and then "religion" tried to codefy the experience.
Margaret Starbird is also an excellent source.Originally a nun, she did research to prove the Bible and got converted. She feels that Paul, a relative of Herrod, helped hijack the Christianity Cult away from the bloodline of Jesus. They hid the fact that he was married so that there would be no one to claim the power.
The concept of Sin has been hijacked by the Church to keep the people in line when it actualy means to be Off the Mark as in an archery term. Big difference to being sent to hell. http://www.theopedia.com/Talk:Sin
It's just my belief, but I feel there is alot of truth in the Bible buried beneath alot of dis-information. How can the Commandments say do not kill and then God demands that people smite for him? The Commandments, by the way, are believed to be lifted from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
"Some historians....have argued that the Ten Commandments originated from ancient Egyptian religion, and postulate that the Biblical Jews borrowed the concept after their Exodus from Egypt. Chapter 125 of the [Egyptian] Book of the Dead (a.k.a. the Papyrus of Ani) includes a list of things to which a man must swear in order to enter the afterlife. These sworn statements bear a remarkable resemblance to the Ten Commandments in their nature and their phrasing.....The Book of the Dead has additional requirements, and, of course, doesn't require worship of Yahweh."
The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Thus, many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier document, rather than vice-versa.
Much of the scripture is code for mystical rites.The Apple of the Eye is the Pineal. The tree is the spine. The snake the kundline. Only women can process a certain level of Cosmic Orgasm because of the way their brains are wired. Hence the Sacred Prostitutes and Trantric Sex.
The Return of the Sacred Feminine will put everything back on track.
Another good resource is John Allegro's "Sacred Mushroom and the Cross". A scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he believed that the "body of Christ (Consciousness) comes from eating magic mushrooms. Having done so, I entirely agree.