Friday, December 30, 2016

Christ Mass on December 25

Following is a brief statement of opinion why December 25 was set as the celebration of the birth of Jesus, by Elder Grady Dearman. For more detail on when Elder Dearman believes Jesus was born, see his article The Star of Bethlehem.
The Christ Mass originally became pronounced as one word and the final “S” was dropped to remove future objections. But how in the world did the thing turn out to be adopted erroneously as the birth day of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Below is strictly my opinion, and mine alone. If you agree, “Well.” If you disagree that is also “Well.” Everyone has the right to their own opinions. My opinion has been formed over many years and is based on what others have written on the subject, what I have heard in innumerable conversations, etc.
From my understanding of the Gospels, I see where the family of Jesus – his mother, Mary’s husband, his brothers and sisters – must have known to the very day when their son, and brother, was born. You know when you were born and so do your parents, and probably your siblings.
The Jews of that time kept meticulous records. However, when the Romans burned the Temple, the records burned also. The Romans made a wasteland of the entire country, from North to South, and the Jews that weren’t killed were driven out of the land, or sold into the slave markets of the world. Josephus and historians of that time chronicled it well.
However, the writers of the Gospels knew when he was born. There were direct statements to that effect. And I feel certain there were disciples who companied with him who knew how old he was when he began his ministry. There was no A.D. or B.C. at that early date, but they had a much sense as we do. By the time of the large population of Christians and “Christians” in Rome – about the year of Emperor Constantine around 325 A.D., Constantine decreed Christianity was to be recognized as a state-approved religion. In fact, there was the major council of Nicea in 326 A.D., at which many facets of the faith, such as the approval of the 66 books of the canon of Scripture [occurred], and there may have been discussion of the possible date of the Lord’s birth.        I believe Christ was born 6 days before the end of the Jewish Year 3759 on Elul 23. Someone may have said, “He was born 6 days before the end of the year” – meaning the end of the Jewish Year. And since the 25th of December was already the date of sun worship, Constantine, for political expediency, ordered the day be observed as Christ’s birthday, because it was also 6 days to the end of the year.
By Grady E. Dearman, Sr., of Laurel, Mississippi, March 6, 2016 – as posted by Hoyt D. F. Sparks, December 25, 2016

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