Join Jamie and Maggie Clark with their guest, April, as they talk about the lesser-known history of the date December 25. In this episode, she provides information on the gods and prophets who are also born on the same day as Jesus. April is a...
Join Jamie and Maggie Clark with their guest, April, as they talk about the lesser-known history of the date December 25. In this episode, she provides information on the gods and prophets who are also born on the same day as Jesus. April is a researcher for Mindsight Entertainment.
It is a widespread tradition that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the savior Jesus Christ, and the holiday is December 25. Yet, the history around why it was decided to put it on that date was not because of the Messiah’s actual birthday. In fact, it was the birthday of other gods, and even science proved that Jesus was not born in winter. April explains that the reason for this can be traced back to Constantine’s rule during the Holy Roman Empire. At that time, pagan cults fighting each other had been a severe problem, and Constantine was losing taxpayers. So, to unite the empire, he took details from prominent gods and gave them to Jesus. Constantine did this to make the festivities uniform to his constituents regardless of belief, therefore lowering the incidence of internal conflicts. The actual date was traced back to the Persian god, Mithra; the cave where Jesus was born was taken from the Sumerian god, Tammuz; virgin human women impregnated by divine beings are common themes among gods Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, and Attis. Therefore, it is not a surprise that every detail of Jesus was not his own. The holiday that is well-celebrated across the world today was only a ploy for civic and political gain. Knowing the history of traditions gives a better understanding of why it is what it is now.
It is not just the story, the place, and the date of the birth of Jesus that is attributed to pagan cultures – practices count, too. For starters, April says the tradition of putting up Christmas trees is believed to be of Celtic origin as it is a nature-based religion. Likewise, the burning of the Yule log is a Nordic tradition celebrating the return of the sun during the winter solstice. Additionally, most churches in Europe were built over pagan temples to encourage followers to convert to Christianity. Yet despite these painting Christianity a negative picture for using traditions they supposedly demonized, it is also common among these beliefs the message of moving towards the light. It sets aside the dispute on what is the one true religion that would give all of humanity salvation because no matter the religion, there is one common goal. Embrace good, follow the light, and then one can live an immortal life.
April is a researcher at Mindsight Entertainment.
Outline of the Episode:
[02:04] The debate on Jesus’ birthday and how it became December 25
[07:25] Significance of the cave to the nativity story
[08:37] Common details between Jesus’ birth, life, and death to other gods
[14:15] How the transition to Christianity was enforced across the Roman Empire
[16:16] Why December 25 out of all the days of the year?
[21:25] Associations of Christmas traditions to other beliefs
[24:42] Typical celebration of the holiday after Constantine took over
[26:40] Potential of gods being extraterrestrials from other worlds or dimensions
[29:37] Some element of truth present in these stories
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