What Did Jesus Say About Christmas?
by Sabeel Ahmed
The perfect Christmas tree is bought. Adorned with ornaments and glittering with tinsel, it stands by the window. The stores are crammed with shoppers hunting for presents and the little ones anxiously waiting for Santa
Busy with Christmas fever, wonder did you ever, did the Bible or Jesus made any injunction on Christmas ever?
Ponder upon the following analysis on Christmas, and the Truth will become clearer and clearer.
Does Christmas have Biblical Evidence?
The word 'Christmas' does not exist in the Bible. The Bible has closed lips on the entire feast of Christmas, with one exception, the decoration of a tree. The Bible itself criticizes the decoration of the (Christmas) trees:
"The customs of the people are worthless, they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel, they adore it with silver and gold, they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter" (Jeremiah 10-3,4).
European Pre-Christian pagans superstitiously believed that the green trees had special protective powers. In fact the use of the Christmas tree began only in the 17th century in Strasbourg, France and from there it spread to Germany, Britain and then to the U.S. "Tree worship was a common feature of religion among the Teutonic and Scandinavian peoples of northern Europe before their conversion to Christianity…German settlers brought the Christmas tree custom to the American colonies in the 17th century. By the 19th century its use was quite widespread". (Compton's Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition)
Was Jesus born on Dec. 25?
Neither the date 25th Dec. nor any other date on Jesus' birth is mentioned in the Bible. It was not until the year 530 C.E. that a monk, Dionysus Exigus, fixed the date of Jesus' birth on Dec. 25th. .
"He wrongly dated the birth of Christ according to the Roman system (i.e., 754 years after the founding of Rome) as Dec. 25, 753". (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 ed.) This date was chosen in keeping with the holidays already indoctrinated into pagan's beliefs.
Roman pagans celebrated Dec. 25th as the birth of their 'god' of light, Mithra.
"In the 2nd century A..D., it (Mithraism) was more general in the Roman Empire than Christianity, to which it bore many similarities" (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 ed.)
Other pagan 'gods' born on Dec. 25th are: Hercules the son of Zeus (Greeks); Bacchus, 'god' of wine (Romans); Adonis, 'god' of Greeks, and 'god' Freyr of Greek-Roman pagans.
What about Santa Claus?
If aliens descended on earth during the Christmas season, they would undoubtedly believe Christmas as being Santa's birthday. The words 'Santa Claus', appear nowhere in the Bible.
However, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a real person, a bishop, who was born 300 years after Jesus. According to legend, he was extremely kind and set out at night to bring presents to the needy. After his death on 6th of Dec., school boys in Europe began celebrating a feast day each year.
Queen Victoria later changed the celebration date from Dec. 6th to Dec. 24th eve.
Did Jesus or his Companions Celebrate Christmas?
If Jesus meant his followers to celebrate Christmas, he would have practiced it himself and enjoined it on his followers. There is no mention in the entire Bible that any of his followers ever celebrated Jesus' birthday like Christians do today.
"The church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event of Christmas until the 4th century" (Grolier's Encyclopedia)
Thus we see that neither the Bible nor Jesus and his companions say anything about the celebration of Christmas which currently involves fanfare, commercialization, and extravagant spending, devoid of any spiritual relevance.
To analyze the real person of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), in the light of the Bible and Islam.
[When this article was written] Sabeel Ahmed is the co-chairman of the Da'wa Committee and Board of Director at the Muslim Community Center, Illinois. A student of Ahmed Deedat and now works for the 1-800-662-islam hotline of ICNA. His main interest is in comparative religion.