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Fact Check: Is The Christmas Date Pagan in Origin?

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The belief that Roman Emperor Constantine chose December 25 as the date for Christmas to replace a pagan holiday has been widely challenged.

Evidence suggests that the celebration of Christmas on this date predates Constantine’s reign.

Early Christian writings indicate a connection between the winter solstice and Jesus’ birth, but they saw it as a sign of God’s selection of Jesus over pagan gods rather than an intentional replacement of pagan celebrations. (Trending: Joe Biden Emailed Hunter’s Business Associates 54 Times)

Additionally, the earliest known celebration of Christmas on December 25 occurred before Constantine’s conversion.

This suggests that the date was recognized independently of pagan festivals.

While the exact date of Christ’s birth remains unknown scripturally, the tradition of celebrating Christmas on December 25 has historical precedence.

“The Roman Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus dated Jesus’ conception to March 25 (the same date upon which he held that the world was created), which, after nine months in his mother’s womb, would result in a December 25 birth,” the Encyclopedia Britannica states.

“For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since,” St. Augustine wrote.

“But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”

“In the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name was Mary,” journalist Peter Bramble said.

“Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world,” Yale Divinity School professor Andrew McGowan wrote.

“Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing.”

“Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth,” McGowan said, but “they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.”

“It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts,” he added.

“Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.”

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