what the Bible says about the Christmas holiday

(This page intentionally left blank, since, to my knowledge, the Bible doesn’t mention anything like the American holiday we call Christmas. Just saying.)

Image credit: Jeff Weese on Wikipedia


  1. The Incarnation and Virgin Birth of Jesus are still singularly significant in the history of the world and the story of redemption.

    My “issue,” if you will, is the syncretistic blending of that incredible event with a myriad of pagan festivals and traditions through the centuries, resulting in the current commercialized version we have today in 2010, and then calling it a “Christian holiday.”

    Hey, if you feel compelled to move an evergreen tree into your home temporarily, buy an assortment of “things” to give as gifts, and drink eggnog, then I say “Have at it, and enjoy yourself.” Just keep in mind where all those traditions and more came from.

    Check out the history of the Christmas holiday sometime…it’s a fascinating roller-coaster of a story.

  2. You definitely need to incorporate a facebook like button on here! I’ll link it on twitter and facebook because you are so right!

    I took the students through Advent Conspiracy this year although there is still along way to go I know it got some of them thinking!

    What about contextualization? Was that not the goal of the “syncretism?”

    • Guess I hadn’t thought about contextualization being the goal of syncretism, though it’s a possibility.

      I’d see it more as a “gathering in” of various traditions, relics, and beliefs and lumping them under one primary umbrella; in this case, “Christianity.”

      • Do you think it’s a possibility? Or are you being sarcastic?

        I have seen some pretty radical documentaries about Christmas (in the vein of it the Celebration of Christmas was outlawed in England some time ago because of the human sacrifices!) But I’ve also heard that the December 25 date was chosen to have a Christ Centered Holiday during the pagan holidays. Same with Easter (at least the naming of it.)

      • Not being sarcastic at all. I just doubt that “contextualization” was on anyone’s mind in the fourth century when the Christmas tradition was starting to take shape. After all, not too many people think like 21st-century church planters!

      • Could that be a little bit of what’s been called “chronological arrogance?” Just because we’ve coined a new term doesn’t mean the practice wasn’t being carried out.

      • Could be, but again that wasn’t my intention. After all, it’s pretty much impossible to determine what the actual motives and attitudes were of individuals who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, let alone the people we personally know today.

        Still, Paul probably practiced something akin to “contextualization,” but he was a rare bird. The history of the Church in general doesn’t seem to bear much witness to or affinity for contextualizing. Just my opinion based on my own 41 years and what I’ve read.

        (If this keeps up, I may have to close this comment thread and meet you for lunch one of these days instead!)

  3. Nevermind I see the white “f” on a blue field! it was just an i-d-10-t problem!

  4. The celebration of the Nativity (Christmas) is “biblical” and based in Matthew 2 and Luke 2.

    What an incredible glory and celebration of that event revealed in scripture for us and our children.

    Let’s not throw the “holy baby out with the dirty bath water” !!! The Nativity of our Lord is still a Christian holiday/feast day (major celebration in the Church) regardless of what people do with it wrongfully today or have in any other generation. The same with Pascha (easter), Holy Friday, or any other celebration Christians and the Church have celebrated in most of its (legal) history.

    And may I add, when I was a heathen teen growing up in a non Christian family, “Christmas” and the glory of Jesus in the season (not completely buried in the fluff) was an incredible testimony, the only testimony, of God’s grace to my hopeless heart.

    (I also have a strange private belief I have had my entire Christian life that Christmas, at least in the West, will also be a basis of judgment on those who know the truth of Christmas but change it or reject it. You can’t avoid those carols playing for a month !!!! )

    May we view the celebration as a Holy event and not lose the focus (as John is arguing I hope and think) of our great salvation.

    As for Dec 25th, the pagan Solstice was on Dec 21st. Part of the reason for the date of Dec 25th for the Nativity, is that it is based on/from the date of the conception – another major celebration in the Orthodox Church called the “Feast of the Annunciation” – on March 25. As with the Nativity, the Orthodox Church has also celebrated this event for a couple thousand (rounded off) years.

    1 John 3:8b (NKJV)For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

    Let’s celebrate this !!!