Christianity--Church History/christmas


What scriptural backings exist to support the origin of the christmas celebration?


If by celebration you mean the placing of the day on a certain calendar date and having festivities, then there is none.  The chief New Testament Holidays are Easter/Passover and Pentecost.  Christmas was later added, and there are several theories as to why.  One is that the growing Christian population from Roman pagans necessitated the retention of Saturnalia (the Roman Thanksgiving Day to the god Saturn) because they liked the gifts.  The one I am partial to is that the ancients thought you died on the day you were conceived...start from March 25th and move forward 3 months.

It is interesting to note however that in Eastern Christianity, the Nativity of Christ was not celebrated too much, but was moved to January 6th.  Currently, the newer calendars move Christmas to December 25th to coincide with the Latin tradition, but January 6th is Epiphany/Theophany (after the 12 days of Christmas ends).  In the West, the emphasis is on the Wise Men and the inclusion of Gentiles into salvation, while in the East, the day is celebratory of Christ's baptism and the revelation of the Trinity (that event is left for the next Sunday after January 6th in the Latin tradition).

Hope this helps.

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Christopher Heren


I can answer many questions regarding the theology of the early church, particularly those areas pertaining to Christology and the Trinity. I can also answer many questions pertaining to the early Reformation period, particularly those questions which relate to Lutheran theology and practice. While I can answer questions from just about any time period, my weakest area is modern church history, where my knowledge is much more limited to the theology of major academic and popular movements (though not their history). Any questions which also address the development of certain liturgical practices of the church (East and West) I can usually field, or point to where the answer might be found.


I have grown up in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and currently attend a Lutheran seminary. I have recently converted to Eastern Orthodoxy (Orthodox Church in America). My knowledge of the Reformation stems from this background. I have also intensely studied the early church for about five years now, and have learned from Lutheran, Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox sources. My interaction with many traditional denominations has also led to my integration of this history with the study of the doctrine and proclamation of the church. My interest in church history has led me to alter my M.Div education and pursue an M.A. in religion. From there I hope to further my education in historical theology. I have also corrected one Lutheran expert here regarding the identity of the Virgin Mary in Lutheran theology by referring to both the Book of Concord (1580 AD) and the Council of Ephesus (431 AD) My knowledge of ancient languages includes some Latin, Koine Greek, and biblical Hebrew.

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B.S. Geology/B.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences (Integrative Biology) - University of Illinois 2005. M.S. Biology (degree unfinished) - Bradley University 2006-2007 A.A. Philosophy - Illinois Central College 2008 M.A. Theological Studies (History of Christianity) - Luther Seminary 2011. MTh. Systematic Theology - Luther Seminary (projected 2012).

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