The Annual Christmas Debate

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Should believers celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th? Should they celebrate His birth at all? Is Christmas pagan? Should believers have a Christmas tree? This is your day to call in and share your views! Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: For those who say “Jesus is the reason for the season”, make Him known without shame and take advantage of this time of the year to do it.

 

Hour 2:

 

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: If you’re going to exalt Jesus, exalt Jesus without mixture.

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Other Resources:

The Annual Christmas Debate (2012)

It’s The Annual Christmas Debate! (2011)

A Compromised Gospel Produces Compromised Fruit; and How to Make Your Life Count

94 Comments
  1. The moment we have all been waiting for is upon us…The annual Xmas debate. Shall we begin with a song?

    A Christian Day? (Sung to the tune of Jingle bells.)

    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Nimrod’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day. (Exo. 34:11-16))
    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Dagon’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day.

    Going with the flow
    In a pagan sort of way.
    To the malls we go
    Not on the narrow way.
    Baals on every thing. (Hos. 2:16-17)
    We think we’re really bright.
    What fun it is to laugh and sin
    Not caring what is right. (Mat. 10:38-39)

    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Krishna’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day. (Jer. 10:2-5)
    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Bacchus’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day.

    My pagan relatives…
    What will they think of me
    If I don’t go along
    With Churchianity? (Mat. 10:5-37)
    Traditions of mere men,
    Replacing scripture’s rules. (Mat. 15:8-9)
    But, what could be the lasting harm
    Of joining in with fools. (Prov. 13:20)

    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Vishnu’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day. (Luk. 12:15-21)
    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Zeus’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day.

    Though almost everything,
    In Xmas is from Baal, (Jer. 23:25-27)
    They have been redeemed…
    Now, they’re not from hell. (Deu. 12:30-32)
    I have been set free,
    And now can celebrate,
    The pagan days and rituals
    My lusts to satiate. (1 Joh. 2:15-17)

    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Mithra’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day. (Deu. 29:17-20)
    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Diana’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day.

    Now, do not bother me,
    With scripture quotes and facts. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
    I’ll not change my mind.
    I follow culture’s tracks. (Pro. 16:25)
    The wide road is so smooth. (Mat. 7:13)
    What bliss and peace it hath. (Mat. 10:34)
    Why should I miss all the fun,
    Trav’ling the narrow path. (Mat. 7:14)

    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle the Pope’s way.
    Worshiping in vanity, (Mar. 7:7-9)
    To keep a “Christian day”? (Heb. 12:15-17)
    Jingle Baals, jingle Baals,
    Jingle Antichrist’s way.
    O what fun to walk in pride,
    And keep a pagan day.

    Shalom

  2. I posted something like this last year and the year before and the year before…:

    “1 Cor. 13
    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    The above is my ongoing testimony. The more I grow up and learn the more I have to put away. The way gets narrower but more rewarding.

    I used to do Xmas (no offense intended, I think the x is an abbreviation from Greek/Latin). I wrote a song called Don’t Ex the Christ out of Christmas. It went something like this:

    A kiss beneath the mistletoe
    And Santa Clause so jolly.
    Presents stacked beneath the tree
    The halls all decked with holly.

    People running too and fro
    To make this Christmas merry
    Buying all we can afford
    to make their families happy.

    When it comes to “X”-mas morn
    You know that’s what it is.
    Presents underneath the tree
    But where’s the saviors presence?

    Where is Jesus, where is He?

    Don’t ex the Christ out of Christmas this year.
    Don’t take Jesus out of your giving.
    Put God first place in all that you do.
    He’s your reason for living.

    Don’t let Santa Clause take Jesus Place.
    He’s really done not one little thing for you.
    Jesus bled and died to pay for your sins.
    He want’s you to come back home to Him….

    It was a bit Keith Greenish with much conviction and seriousness. It was my way of proclaiming what I thought Xmas should be.

    We never did a tree. We put a sign in our picture window that faced a busy street. It said, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” We decorated the whole house inside. The focus was a manger scene. We even put the wise men as far away as possible and left the baby Jesus out of the scene until the 25th so as to be accurate. We baked a birthday cake and sang happy birthday. We were very earnest and sincere. We put on an Xmas play with only the exact words in scripture so as to be very clear what we were celebrating….

    We did not want anything that detracted or distracted from the truth in our celebrations. So the more we knew of the truth, the more we refined our lives to match up with His life.

    We stopped doing Xmas when our oldest child was about 10 or 12. He’s 29 now. We have 10 children and the last 5 of them have never celebrated an Xmas. They seem to be just fine with doing the Biblical holy days instead of man made religious days.

    I do not feel that I have exed the Messiah out of Xmas because He was never there. But He has been with us even unto the ends of the earth so to speak. Even when we were on the end that was trying to serve and glorify Him by supposedly doing Xmas right. We still recognize His birth on the YHWH given appointed time though…The Feast of Tabernacles. It is when he came to tabernacle among us.

    I believe we have inherited lies from our fathers. (Am.2:4,1Pe. 1:18-19) (Church fathers included.) Our culture is actually what keeps Xmas going, and going worse and worse for that matter. I do not think that Messiah died to redeem certain days or practices. He died to redeem people. And redeemed people, out of gratitude should renew their minds with their Redeemer’s truth and submit their bodies to live it out. (Rom. 12:1-2)

    So once I know to good and do it not to me it is sin. (Jam.4:17)
    If I am not completely sure it is right/righteous, it is sin. (Rom. 14:23)

    Some things to consider in this are:
    Worship and Obey YHWH only and don’t do things that the unbelievers come up with.
    De. 12:30-32, Le. 18:1-5, Gal. 4:8-11
    Keep YHWH’s celebrations.
    Le. 23:1-44, Col. 2:16-17, 1 Cor. 5:7-8
    YHWH does not change.
    Pr. 29:18, Ho.4:6-9, Mal. 3:6, Heb.13:8, Mt. 5:17-19

    …What ever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might.(Ec. 9:10) Be a lover of the truth not just a seeker of it.(2Thes.2:10-12) For sure, do not be a hearer only.(Jam.1:22-25)Don’t forget to do your duty. (Ec. 12:13, Lk.17:5-10, 1 Jn. 3:22)”

    Shalom

  3. @ Bo

    I find myself in agreement with most points in your piece. You’re right, Christmas, which actually means ‘death of Christ’ originated with the Catholic Church. All the little things we overlook about this tradition, including observing Dec 25th which is the birth of Mithras and about a thousand other pagan deities, has some pagan origin to it. Nevertheless, what better time to let people know the true meaning of why Christ came into the world than on “Christmas” when people are the most joyous and the most giving. But we walk a fine line between being friends with the world and observing some of these traditions which have underlying occult significance. Having said that, I don’t put up trees, don’t sing Santa carols, and don’t observe the 25th because Christ was not born on that day. But that’s just me I am not dogmatic about this and if anyone wishes to celebrate “Christmas” it’s up to them. I don’t take a legalistic approach about this or hypocritically judge or condemn anyone, you just end up pushing away your brothers in Christ and confusing the lost who don’t understand why Christians are passing judgement on each other about a day which is supposed to bring everyone together. I’m just saying’…

  4. Pastors ask ” How will you keep Christ in Christmas?” ….. I don’t keep Christ in “Christmas”. I Keep Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles when His Birthday really is and where Santa has nothing to do with it.
    [You shall keep the Feast of Sukkot seven days, when you have gathered in the produce… You shall rejoice in your feast… because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. (Deut. 16:13-15)]

  5. We live in a pagan world. It doesn’t give us an excuse to live like pagans. What Christmas is depends on the heart. Do you have a heart for receiving or giving? In our culture when we give to someone who is not in need there is pressure for them to give back. Isn’t God interested in us giving to those in need who cannot give us anything in return? We expect to get all these material things, which at best, take time away from spiritual things. Aren’t we told to die to our carnal selves? Shouldn’t we give to those in need? Shouldn’t we take up the cause of the homeless, the fatherless, and the widow? If we take Christmas to mean giving to the needy then I think we are honoring Christ. We would be spreading grace, like he did.

  6. I believe in exalting Jesus every day.

    I have heard many of the arguments about Christmas having pagan roots and therefore it should not be kept at all. I have at different times even put forth these arguments myself.

    But Christmas has taken many forms over the centuries. In this day and age in America, we have come to see Christmas as featuring: The “hero”, Santa Claus, who is (according to the popular song) omniscient and generous; and his elves, especially Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer) whose story features his uniqueness and being excluded by others for it; the Grinch (who is supposed to epitomize selfishness and who even tries to stop Christmas itself); as well as Mr. Scrooge, who also epitomizes the greedy, business-only, non-compassionate person)– and Frosty the Snowman, who seems to represent the transience of life (in the form of snow) by the lyric, “Let’s run, and we’ll have some fun now – before I melt away.” I’m sure I’ve missed a few others in this fantasy cast…

    Of course, this is also a time to talk about the birth of Jesus, and even though it seems a bit incongruous to include all of these other elements, this story is just as much a part of Christmas today as those. Arguably, without this story at its center, Christmas would feel very shallow. Santa, after all, is based on a real sainted person (St. Nicholas) who did believe in Christ and in the act of giving. And the elves are busy making things for others all year long. There IS a theme here, and it is this: unselfish giving. Is seems appropriate that since God gave His Son most generously for us, that we should emulate unselfish giving ourselves on a day which purports to recognize His perfect gift.

    For if there is one socially-recognized day world-wide to speak about the birth of the Messiah, this is it! For some, this might be their only window of opportunity!

    The gift-exchange aspect can be problematic as for many it is an obligation at the time of the year when it might actually be hardest for most to perform, unless one has saved for it all year-long, or money is never a problem in the first place.

    But there are people who really need our help and there is something wrong about giving presents only to people who can give back to us, when there are so many needy people who can’t. Of course, giving to the needy shouldn’t be only an annual event (!) but if gifts are going to be widely given, it should at least be a time when the poorer among us might look forward to receiving more. There are so, so many Biblical passages urging us to give to the poor!

    When one has one’s own household, one can choose more specifically what elements (if any at all) one wants to observe at this time. Just because some prefer to focus on certain aspects over others doesn’t mean that one can generalize about ALL observers.

    And even if many of the customs associated with this day had pagan roots (like the Yule Log or Mistletoe), to me it is like refusing to buy a Mercury or a Saturn vehicle because these were the names of gods (as well as planets) who were worshiped at one time in the past. Most of us simply aren’t Druids or idol-worshipers. God made everything — it’s the pagans who used His creation for false purposes — everything still belongs to Him! By saying the pagans now “own” this day or those natural things is just giving them far too much credit!

    Finally, what relaxed me about the holiday was knowing that in India and in other far-flung parts of the globe, Christmastime is a major opportunity to witness about Jesus.

    Since exalting Him is what we need to do, I don’t think we should ‘cut off our feet to spite our face.’

    As Paul expressed about the controversy surrounding his imprisonment, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice!” Philippians 1:15-19 Personally, I think Paul would have seen a preaching opportunity in this time of year that would not have gone unused.

    I don’t support the fantasy-aspect of Christmas myself. I believe children today are fed way too much fantasy and not enough truth. But I have to acknowledge that C.S. Lewis was undoubtedly a sincere Christian and he used fantasy in his “Chronicles of Narnia” to teach Christian values. His influence has drawn people to Christ, so how can that not be worth rejoicing over?

  7. Dr. Brown, thank you for taking my call today.

    My belief that the suicide rate increases around the holidays is a myth, you are right, and I thank you for the correction. I looked it up. From the CDC website:

    http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/holiday.html

    My point that if Jesus were really in Christmas then the world would hate it is important, though, and that Paul would surely condemn it.

    I do appreciate the opportunity your show gives listeners to share our views.

    Here’s the link to Why I Celebrate Christmas, by the World’s Most Famous Atheist:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1100842/Why-I-celebrate-Christmas-worlds-famous-atheist.html

    Blessings in Jesus!

  8. I don’t see the Bible saying “Don’t buy a tree for a holiday and decorate it.” (where is that in the Bible?) I suppose one could find someone in the world who goes too far with holiday things but that doesn’t mean everyone is the same as that one.

  9. Should we suppose Jesus would send out his disciples to cut down as many Christmas trees as they could find? (Let’s think about this one.)

    I don’t think he’s either for or against many things people do, as far as on a large scale, though he may care about nearly everything we do.

    I just can’t imagine that Jesus would launch a campaign today to put an end to Christmas. Nor would he be campaigning to buy and give presents, decorate a tree, sing many of the songs we hear this time of year, etc.

  10. Notice that the large majority of the callers who were critical of Christmas on the basis of supposed pagan origins didn’t cite any sources to support their claims about the alleged pagan history of the holiday. I suspect that a lot of people who are opposed to Christmas have derived their conclusions from unreliable books, web sites, YouTube videos, and other sources they haven’t examined critically enough.

    If anybody is interested, I’ve written an article that discusses the origins of the December 25 date for Christmas:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-origins-of-december-25-date-for.html

    I cite the work of Susan Roll, a scholar who has specialized in the study of the origins of Christmas. I also cite the work of Tom Schmidt, who recently produced the first full English translation of Hippolytus’ commentary on Daniel. That commentary is significant, since it contains the earliest explicit reference to December 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth in a Christian source. Hippolytus was writing in the early third century, long before Constantine was even born, and he says nothing about deriving the date from paganism. Similarly, other early Christian sources who advocate December 25 give a variety of reasons for doing so that don’t involve borrowing from pagan sources.

    Since Tom Schmidt’s article on Hippolytus and December 25 doesn’t seem to be online any longer (I think he may be publishing it in the future, so he recently took it offline), here’s an archived version you can access:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120824071532/http://www.chronicon.net/chroniconfiles/Hippolytus%20and%20December%2025th.pdf

    And here’s a briefer discussion that’s still accessible at Schmidt’s blog:

    http://chronicon.net/blog/chronology/hippolytus-and-the-original-date-of-christmas/

    And here’s a collection of Schmidt’s articles on the history of Christmas:

    http://chronicon.net/blog/category/christmas/

    Since Michael Brown mentioned Clement of Alexandria during the program, I want to note that one of Schmidt’s articles argues that there may be an allusion to the December 25 date for Jesus’ birth in Clement. Regardless, the date seems to have been used by Hippolytus, the Donatists, and other sources who weren’t borrowing it from paganism.

    In addition to my article linked above and the material I’ve cited from Roll and Schmidt, I want to recommend a resource that addresses these issues at a more introductory level. J.P. Holding has recently published an e-book that’s available at Amazon, titled Christmas Is Pagan And Other Myths. He addresses a wide range of claims about the supposed pagan origins of the holiday. He responds to a lot of the anti-Christmas arguments that are often repeated on the web, including ones used by some of the callers to Dr. Brown’s program today.

  11. Some of Dr. Brown’s callers suggested that since non-Christians enjoy Christmas, there must be something wrong with the holiday. Non-Christians also enjoy eating oranges. Will you stop eating them? They enjoy watching sunsets. Will you stop doing it? Should we make sure church services are completely unpleasant for unbelievers? Maybe we should cover the pews with gravel, so that they’re uncomfortable to sit on. Turn the thermostat down to twenty degrees. Deliberately play discordant music.

    The Old Testament often refers to abuses that occurred during the celebration of Israel’s religious holidays and the abuse of other religious practices. Not all ancient Israelites were believers. So, there was a situation in which the holidays were often abused and were often enjoyed in some sense by people who were unbelievers. Does it follow that the holidays shouldn’t have been celebrated? Couldn’t some ancient Israelites celebrate the holidays in a way that was pleasing to God, even if others were celebrating those occasions inappropriately?

  12. I do a lot of apologetic work. One of the areas I focus on most is Christmas apologetics. In recent decades, we’ve seen a lot of books, magazine articles, television programs, and such arguing against the historicity of the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ childhood. Raymond Brown’s The Birth Of The Messiah came out in 1977, and it’s still widely considered the standard work in the field. Brown rejected the historicity of most of the infancy narratives. More recently, scholars like Geza Vermes, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan have published books of a similar nature or worse. Last year, Newsweek published an article by Bart Ehrman that was highly critical of the Biblical accounts. Just within the last few weeks, Andrew Lincoln published a book arguing against the virgin birth. Though Christians who hold a traditional view of the infancy narratives sometimes respond to such material, there hasn’t been nearly as much of a response as there ought to be.

    Over the last several weeks, I’ve been posting reviews of books like Brown’s and Lincoln’s at Amazon. Earlier today, I posted a review of Brown’s book. I’d written a review for my blog years ago, but I wanted to post a review at Amazon as well. One of the reasons why was because I had noticed that all of the twenty-three reviews that had been posted at Amazon were highly positive. My review is the only one that’s more critical of Brown’s book. Why is it that Christians who hold a traditional view of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth have done so little to respond to the efforts of men like Brown, Ehrman, and Lincoln? How did we get to a situation where a site like Amazon will have twenty-three highly positive reviews of a book like Brown’s and none that are appropriately critical of it? Why are Christians so apathetic, and sometimes even contemptuous, about Christmas apologetics?

    In my experience, the few people who do a lot of work in the area of Christmas apologetics are individuals who think highly of the Christmas holiday. I’ve been working in this field for a long time, and I can’t think of a single person who’s at the forefront of defending a traditional Christian view of Jesus’ childhood who’s opposed to the Christmas holiday. I’m not saying that opponents of Christmas never do any good work in this area. But the general trend seems to be that supporters of the holiday are much more concerned about these apologetic issues and are at the forefront of doing the work that needs to be done. It would be good if opponents of Christmas would spend less time watching dubious YouTube videos about the alleged pagan roots of Christmas, reading unreliable web sites on the subject, etc. and spend more time doing the apologetic work that needs to be done. Instead of tilting your head, squinting your eyes, and reading between the lines to see some sort of alleged pagan significance in a Christmas tree or the lights hanging over your neighbor’s porch, you ought to be more concerned about the false ideas being promoted by the likes of Brown, Ehrman, and Lincoln.

  13. Jason and others,

    Have you ever watched “The Star of Bethlehem?” It’s a documentary using software that allows someone to run the stars and planets backwards in time and several scholars have done it. Michael Heiser has a short clip on Youtube but it’s Larson who did the Star of Bethlehem presentation–it’s very well done and very thought provoking. It may be available on Youtube but I haven’t checked. I bought the DVD a couple of years ago. I highly recommend it.

    And I recommend it to Bo! I’ll buy you a copy of it.

  14. Hear ye! Hear ye!

    Let it be known that I fully believe that Y’shua was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, but…where do we get the idea from any passage of scripture that we are to celebrate that event? Where did the Apostles command such a feast or celebration? Why do we adhere to the commandments of men, popes at that, instead of keeping the commandments of YHWH?

    1 Samuel 15
    13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
    14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?…
    22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
    23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

    To obey is better that sacrifice. It is pride and rebellion to forsake keeping YHWH’s feasts and invent our own way and day of worship. Ask Saul what it cost him to do things his own way and going along with the crowd instead of paying close attention to the details of YHWH’s direct commands.

    Man invented xmas. He set the date on a man made calendar. Messiah did not invent it. His feasts are kept according to the scriptural calendar by YHWH’s instructions.

    We are supposed to remember Messiah’s death not His Birthday. Continuing in the Apostle’s doctrine does not include xmas. Keeping YHWH’s feasts does not include xmas. Doing what the scripture commands does not include xmas. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

    Mr 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Mr 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Worshiping in vain? Xmas is a tradition of man. It is a commandment of man. It is a teaching/doctrine of man. But you say, “What really matters is what is in a persons heart.”

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Mr 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
    21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
    22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
    23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

    Yep the above is just about everything that xmas entails. It really is what is in the heart that matters…and it comes out very obviously at xmas.

    All this talk above about xmas apologetics is nonsense. Apologetics is supposed to be about what is in the Bible. Xmas is not there. Xmas apologetics is excuses for commandments, traditions and doctrines of men. No thank you. Worshiping in vain is not for me.

    Something to think about…was Y’shua incarnated at His birth or His conception? Mary knew the day of His conception and His birth and the information was never recorded in scripture. He was about 30, not exactly 30, when He started His ministry. That date is lost to history too.

    A date we do know is the date of His death…not on a man made calendar, but on the scriptural one…interesting. We know the date of his rising to His Father after 3 days too…not on a man made calendar, but the scriptural one. We know the date of the pouring out of His Spirit too…not on a man made calendar, but on the scriptural one. Every one of the dates we do know were on YHWH’s proclaimed feast days. Do you think that maybe YHWH is trying to tell us something? Do you think that he was born on one of those Biblical feast days that YHWH’s commanded too? (In case you are wondering, 12/25 on a man made calendar is not one of YHWH’s Biblical feast days.) Food for thought, don’t you think?

    Shalom

  15. I believe it would be wrong for me to tell anyone who is against Christmas celebration that they must celebrate Christmas in order to be right with God, and yet if they did repent of what they are doing, they might include some celebration of Christmas in their life and be blessed.

    Are we to believe Jesus comes into homes today in the Spirit of God, telling everyone to take down the tree, take down the star at the top of it, and get rid of all the bulbs, tinsel, and lights, and all the gift giving….unless it’s a Christian book, or a Bible as a gift…or…?

    Jesus isn’t a Grinch.

    I believe he might tell a man that he doesn’t have to get a tree this year, or whatever, but he isn’t a Grinch.

  16. Where do you suppose Dr. Seuse (spelling?) got the idea of a Grinch anyway? Maybe it has something to do with the actions of some people.

  17. Sheila,

    I haven’t watched Larson’s video. I’ve come across some responses to it, however, and it seems to be problematic. My understanding is that he places Herod’s death later than the usual 4 B.C. dating, but the evidence seems to support 4 B.C. You may want to look up some of the responses to Larson. I know that Reasons to Believe, Hugh Ross’ organization, has been critical of Larson’s material, for example.

    And I doubt that the star of Bethlehem is something we can identify through astronomical studies. Matthew 2 suggests that the star was a supernatural light of a more local nature, roughly comparable to the pillar of fire in Exodus 13 or the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Luke 2. Notice that Herod and the Jerusalemites don’t seem to have seen the star, Herod only goes to the magi for information about it (in contrast to his consulting other sources about the birthplace of the Messiah), the star seems to appear and disappear (implied by the magi’s need to stop in Jerusalem to get further directions without being able to point people to the star while they’re there; implied also by their joy in seeing the star again in 2:10), and it can lead the magi to a location within Bethlehem (2:9). (The text doesn’t tell us that the star led them to a house, contrary to what people often claim, but Matthew does imply that it led them to some region within Bethlehem after Herod’s counselors had directed the magi to that city.) The best explanation for a star that has the attributes I just described is that it was a light of a more local nature, not what we today would commonly call a star. The Biblical term had a broader range of meanings than we normally associate with the English term “star” today.

  18. Bo,

    Jesus kept the Feast of Dedication in the Winter but it’s not in the FT and we’re no where commanded to keep the Feast of Dedication (Festival of Lights). In fact we’re no where commanded to keep any of the Feast days according to the NT writers to the Gentiles. The law has of necessity been changed, for both Jew and Gentile, as Paul says. We are dead to the law and born anew in Messiah, Jesus. Gentiles were never under the law of Moses to begin with.

    Interesting short article from Ravi Zacharias:

    http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=45b75085e6ab57e339ea89d67&id=e088b093fd&e=01e5285eb2

    Have a blessed Christmas everyone!

  19. Bo,

    You keep repeating bad arguments that have already been refuted. I’ve been over some of these issues with you before. The Bible passages you cite don’t support your conclusions about Christmas. You keep assuming what you need to prove.

    You also misread what I said about Christmas apologetics. I was referring to defending the historicity of the infancy narratives and other parts of the Bible that address Jesus’ childhood. You seem to have taken the phrase “Christmas apologetics” out of context and read something else into it. If that’s the same way you go about reading scripture, then it’s no wonder you’ve arrived at so many false conclusions.

    You keep condemning “man made calendars”. Scroll the screen up and take a look at your own posts. They have a time stamp at the top of each one. Where do you think that calendar came from? You’ve been using that “man made calendar” every time you’ve posted here. Are you going to stop posting? Do you and your church avoid using time references like “Sunday” and “Thursday”? Do you avoid holding church services in accordance with such calendars and avoid using terminology with such pagan associations? Do you avoid using any clothing, furniture, kitchen utensils, etc. that had any association, even distant association, with paganism at some point in the past? Why do you use the English language, given how many associations there are between English terms and non-Christian sources? Why do you use computers? Where does the Bible command you to participate in online discussions, like this one? If the Bible has to command you to do something in order for it to be permissible to do it, then where does the Bible command you to participate in this discussion, eat every type of food you eat, wear the specific clothing you wear, celebrate your anniversary with your wife, celebrate birthdays, etc.? You don’t have a wedding ring, do you? Haven’t pagans used rings in the past, including in contexts vaguely similar to modern weddings?

    Bo, it looks like there are a lot of changes you need to make in your life. If you’re going to be consistent, that is. But you’ve known that for a long time. Some of us have pointed this out to you before. But you keep using the same bad arguments over and over. You should think about what the Bible says about that sort of behavior.

  20. I’ve heard the argument of the pagan ties to the origin of Christmas but I’ve not seen the direct link yet. You know, we’re not bowing down to the Christmas tree or worshiping a false god on Christmas. Atheists would just love to take Christ out of Christmas altogether and every year they’re getting closer to that goal. We’re not honoring any other god than the ONLY God! Where is this other god that you say we’re worshiping? I don’t see anyone bowing down to Baal or Degan (for Pete’s sake). We’re not singing hymns of the birth of Mithra or any other false god. I think a lot of people are just repeating what they’ve heard from others. “Where’s the beef?”

  21. The star the wise men saw certainly could have been a star among the constellastions.

    How did the wise men know of a star that would be connected with the birth of a king born among the Jews?

    Was there a prophetic word given to them about a special manifestation of God, a light as a star that would move around and lead them to the place of the Lord’s birth?

    Or is it possible that the heavens declared a story in the heavens in a symbolic way, using constellations and the movement of planets visible to the naked eye, and that somehow this information was given to them, maybe passed down through generations?

    I believe the second way is certainly possible.

    I read a book that was written in the early 80’s that researched this possibility, using what was written about a lunar eclipse that happened around the time of the death of Herod, which gave a time with which to look at planetary data, and what happened in the constellations which had names, and were symbolic.

    And what of Rev 12:1? What if Virgo was visible to the people of the Bible lands and that this happened at the time of the Lord’s birth, Virgo being clothed with the rising sun and the moon beneath her feet?

    The book I read on this subject suggested Sep 11th, 3 BC as the time of his birth, by looking at events in the Bible, astronomy, and historical writtings which told of a lunar eclipe near the time of Herod’s death.

    Was the Lord’s star something only the wise men saw, and if so, why?

  22. When the wise men said, “And lo, the star which we saw in the east, came and stood over where the young child was.” (Matt 2:9), does that mean that this “light” of God, moved around and low enough to set right over a particular building, something only the wise men saw, or is it a way of saying that they saw the same star rising in it’s normal path, coming to it’s high point in the heavens, which happened to be right in front of them as they came to Bethlehem, much like we see in Christmas cards?

    The Bible has many ways of saying things and there is such a thing as a prophetic voice.

    Things said are not always as literal as we might imagine, and I suppose it can be said that they are not always as poetic as we might think also, but let’s be aware of both possibilities.

  23. Did you ever notice how the wise men seem to get a bad “rep” among religious people sometimes?

    I usually hear about how the word magi is connected to the word magicians, but I never hear about how it reminds some of the word magistrates,
    people that might be connected somehow with men that know laws and judgment, times and seasons, or that might be close to kings, or that might plead the cause of the oppressed, walk through situations to find out what is just, right, and true…etc.

  24. Jason,

    Just because you say something is refuted does not mean it is refuted. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”-Inigo Montoya

    Maybe you should have been more clear about your use of the term Christmas apologetics too…but you are an xmas defender with nothing in the Bible or the first 2 centuries to back you up anyway. Xmas is an invention of man at best. It was instituted by the pope. It is Roman Catholic syncretism. The “mas” on the end should clue you in to who popularized it.

    History is full of Bible believing Christians denouncing this Catholic tradition of men that has always brought on lust and debauchery. A tree is known by its fruit.

    Jason, it is the biggest straw man that I have ever seen in your 2nd to last paragraph of post 19. There is a huge difference between using kitchen utensils to cook with and using them as a focal point of awe and worship supposedly to our creator. I would not use sharp knives as baby toys either. Knives and forks have their place and they are useful for cooking and eating. Our man made calendar is good for getting to our doctor appointments on the right day. They are completely off for knowing when our appointments with YWHH are. Incidentally, I said nothing in regard to paganism concerning the calendar. Who is reading things into someones sentences now?

    I do not condemn man made calendars. I the idea that 12/25 has any meaning to YHWH is absurd. It does not matter what it means to us. He did not invent keeping track of time according to a solar calendar. His real feasts are according to His solilunar calendar. The date of Messiah’s birth would be according to the Biblical calendar and would of necessity be on a different day every year according to our man made calendar. Should we ask YHWH to scrap His calendar and appointment schedule and submit to ours? Where is the honor of the true king in that? If we do that, who is really in charge? A bunch of spoiled brats…that’s who.

    When we use our man made system, including our calendar, to invent a religious holiday, we err from the truth. Especially when we ignore YWHH’s commanded Holy Days. When we offer sacrifice on our day in our way instead of obeying what He commanded on His days and in His ways, we slap Him in the face. This kind of rebellion is idolatry and witchcraft according to 1 Samuel 15.

    Pr 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    There is a reason that YHWH’s altar is supposed to be made of uncut stones. YHWH does not want us sculpting religion for ourselves. He does not want the glory of man involved. Xmas is full of man’s glory and manufactured stones. It is not the altar of YHWH.

    Ex 20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

    If we are going to build a new altar to YHWH, it has to be an unpolluted altar. Xmas is a new altar…something that was never used to worship YHWH before by the writers of scripture. If it is not polluted, nothing is. When we add our cute lights and dead trees and presents to each other and church services and use the calendar that we have sculpted we have polluted the altar. And the offerings we offer on it are thus polluted. Why should we decry the pollutions of our societies’ xmas altars? They are doing the same thing that we do…just with a whole heart.

    1Ki 18:30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

    We would do well to tear down our polluted altars and rebuild YHWH’s unpolluted altars like Elijah did. Then we may just have YHWH answer by fire instead of us yelling and screaming at the top of our lungs for our god to answer us. Maybe we should repent and start doing YHWH’s feast days according to His calendar.

    Did you ever notice that the New Testimony uses YHWH’s calendar as time references even when addressed to the “gentile churches.” There was a Roman calendar in those days. Why didn’t they go by that? Food for thought…don’t you think?

    Shalom

  25. Another point I wish to make…

    Regard snowflakes for a moment. They are usually beautiful geometric forms, always having six sides. They are a tiny part of God’s grand design seen in creation. Some people would look at these kinds of forms and say, “These are hexagons, ancient symbols which have significance in demonic rituals.” I’m not disputing that geometric forms have had (and still do have) ritualistic significance for people, whether for good or bad. But the point is that God created this form (as well as all geometric forms), and we have a witness of that in the humble snow flake. Who owns this symbol? Demons or God?

    There was sun worship in the ancient past, and there may be a resurgence of that somewhere in the world – it wouldn’t surprise me! God denounced all worship of the moons, the stars, the planets — of course! That’s worshiping the creation and not the Creator. That’s idolatry! But just because some people worshiped the sun on a certain date, that doesn’t mean they now have power over that date or of the solstices and equinoxes. God designed all of that Himself and saw that it was good. I’m grateful for the sun — especially in the Winter. My gratitude to God for the sunlight is a natural response — that doesn’t make me a closet pagan, nor am I a worshiper of it!

    The Lord’s mercy has been compared to the sun, by the way, in the Holy Hebrew scriptures.

    In The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary (used by orthodox Jews and Chabad), this appears in Malachi 3:20:

    “And the sun of mercy shall rise with healing in its wings for you who fear My Name. Then will you go forth and be fat as fatted calves.”

    In Christian Bibles, this appears in Malachi 4:2, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”

    This is in the context of the Last Great Day of the Lord, in which the wicked will be burned like chaff, but the righteous will have healing.

    We need to remember that Satan has wanted to co-opt everything belonging to God. We need to stop being fearful of the devil’s devices and recognize that all power and glory belong to the Creator.

    If there are aspects of the Christmas holiday that offend you, leave them out – listen to your conscience. But don’t assume that you can read the hearts and minds of everyone else.

    I could be wrong, but I sometimes feel that oftentimes people want to exalt themselves on social media sites by saying, “Look at me, I don’t participate in these evil things – I’m more righteous than these sinners.”

    Remember Romans 14 — we each stand or fall before our own Master.

  26. Ruth,

    What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears? Should the sounds of xmas be heard within the body of Messiah? Have we destroyed YHWH’s enemies completely or are we letting the best of what they have to offer live on to corrupt us little by little?

    We were not put on this planet to do whatever we wanted in our worship of YHWH. To obey is better than sacrifice. Our inventions that we offer to YHWH are a stench when have refused to obey what He has said. If He thought that the celebration of xmas was of any importance or would correctly and sufficiently glorify Him instead of man, would he not have used the Apostles to institute it?

    12/25 is not the way He keeps time. If we want to keep our birthdays and appointments and tax year by this kind of calendar, that is within our bounds and our system of relating to one another. YHWH gave us the revelation of His calendar and His feast dates by His calendar. He sets the rules about how we are to relate to Him in His system. Xmas is not on YHWH’s list of feast days and it is not of the same character as the things that are on YHWH’s list. We exalt ourselves and the things that we think are important against Him and His idea of what is important by inventing things like xmas.

    Our hearts are deceitful. Yes we stand or fall before our master and He has given us the scripture so that we know what pleases Him and what is characteristic of His ways. Xmas is not. This new altar that we have built is polluted. The offerings that we offer on it are polluted.

    Am 2:4 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

    We have inherited lies from our fathers and church fathers. It is about time that us Gentiles admitted it, repented and got back to doing things YHWH’s way.

    Jer 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

    It is time to stop being wishy washy and stand firm of what the Bible declares as correct. It is time to return to YHWH and keep His commandments instead of going with the flow of our Gentile fathers. If we value our relationships with our family over obeying YHWH, we are not really following Him.

    Lu 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
    28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

    The cost is high. The suffering that we experience from distanced earthly relationships is part and parcel with being Messiah’s disciple. Not going along with xmas will certainly cost us with our relatives and friends. Let the dead bury their dead. Follow Y’shua. It is the most loving thing you can do for your relatives. They need to see real disciples of Messiah do very difficult things.

    Shalom

  27. “If He thought that the celebration of xmas was of any importance or would correctly and sufficiently glorify Him instead of man, would he not have used the Apostles to institute it?”

    Bo, God felt it was important for the apostles to indeed document the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) as we have a very detailed account of His birth in them. He heralded this advent with a star of such brilliance, it was seen from a great distance. Obviously, His coming into the world was to be noted, and there is nothing wrong with honoring it — even if we are unsure of the exact date.

  28. Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) inaugurated new and better Covenant with His blood. His coming into the world is an event worth celebrating, in spirit and truth, not by outward show nor inappropriately.

    “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-4

    All aspects of his life, from birth to his resurrection, all that he taught, and all that he has promised will be — are to be studied and held up for all the world to know about, to the glory of God the Father.

  29. Some of these arguments are so tired. Are pagans redeemable? Are pagan holidays redeemable? Can you keep biblical feasts and still be a complete enemy of God? The Messiah is a Redeemer. If it’s not redeemable, it’s trash. As believer’s, you’ve repented of unrighteousness and pitiful self-righteousness and you place 100% of your trust for right standing with God in the eternal Lamb of God, for Whom and by Whom we were all created, who absorbed the righteous wrath from God the Father on behalf of whomsovever will believe in His Personhood and work granting them His own righteousness, then love is the ultimate ethic in these matters. Let’s operate in grace and truth, please. Search your heart. Examples : Acts 15 and 1 Corinthians 8.

  30. Ruth,

    You need to deal with the fact that man’s ways are not YHWH’s ways. He delineated His feasts and celebrations. Man’s calendar is not YHWH’s calendar. Man’s wisdom is foolishness to YHWH and vice versa.

    Do you find it strange that after that new covenant was inaugurated that the apostles continued to keep YHWH’s feasts and did not institute a new one for celebrating Messiah’s birth? Xmas is not continuing in the Apostles doctrine. It is not following them as they followed Messiah.

    All that needed to be added to the scripture is maybe one little example or simple command about celebrating Y’shua’s birth and you would have a point to make. That little example or simple command is simply not there.

    The lack of scriptural support and the evolution of xmas shows that it did not come from YHWH’s heart.

    Shalom

  31. Ryan,

    Maybe it is not the arguments that are tired as much as you are tired of kicking against the pricks. Obeying the truth is not something that comes easily when it goes against the cultural grain. Love does not mean, “Why can’t we all just get along.” It means confronting sin in our brothers so that no sin will remain upon them. Please consider that my goal. Here is the context of the 2nd greatest commandment.

    Leviticus 19
    17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
    18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

    And I doubt that you have heard the polluted altar analogy before. You might want to contemplate that a bit.

    Shalom

  32. @Ryan, thank you, brother 🙂

    Bo (also my brother), “one little example” you say?

    Were not the Magi, who came bearing gifts to honor the Messiah’s incarnation even more than one little example? Did it not cost them in terms of the distance and possible dangers along the way? Did they not choose the best treasures they had to offer?

    Was not the star itself heaven’s “TA DA!”

    Just as Mary’s act of buying costly ointment for the Messiah would be recorded and remembered about her, so is the apostle’s account of his birth recorded and remembered, the fame of which has spread over the earth. Hallelujah!

    Should we read this account and then say, “Hush! Don’t speak of it! Don’t rejoice in it, don’t be glad in it — the pagans have a celebration on this day — it’s already ruined, it’s stained with their feasts.”

    I can’t see doing that myself, but to each his own. We each have but One judge we need to worry about.

  33. Sheila, I’m going to watch the video clip on U tube.

    This morning as I drove to work I thought on Rev 12:1 and considered if it really is connected to the constellation Virgo with the moon beneath her feet, very near the eastern horizon, just before sunrise, and thought a bit upon what that might look like.

    When I was a child in grade school the teacher told us about a solar eclipse and how the moon is exactly the right size (from our perspective on earth) to completely bock the sun, and I remember the silence of our class, and how I felt….we were loved….

    On my drive home from work today, a song came to mind, one from the popular radio music, a song that was about how one person was in love with another but the other was not taking notice.

    It goes, “Or do I have to draw a picture…
    To stick in front of your face…
    Just to let you see….
    What’s a takin’ plaaaace…”

    It a fun flirty song, but it reminds me of God’s love for us.

  34. And by the way, Bo, I do believe that celebrating the Feasts of the Lord is an excellent practice, rich in metaphorical significance.

  35. Thank you Sheila, Yes, Michael Heiser (spelling?)
    gives the same information I read about in a book back in the early 80’s. Very cool!

  36. I was just thinking that if I was making a movie about the birth of Christ, (with some movie directing liberty in effect) maybe I’d have a scene at the manger, and then as Mary begins her labor, Joseph goes out to a nearby well to get some water for cleaning up, or for Mary to drink, and in the background is the constellation Virgo, very near the horizon, just before morning, with the moon beneath her feet. He takes a quick look, a glance, but doesn’t seem to put it together until many years later.

  37. Ruth,

    The Maji came, not to keep His birthday nor on the day of His birth nor on the anniversary of His birthdate. They came to honor a king with gifts. Those gifts came in very handy for His trip to Egypt.

    We decide to fake His birthday and give gifts to each other. And those gifts are not usually of the sort that we really need, but to lavish ourselves. There are better ways and times to give and be generous. A gift with no name tag to someone that we are not related to maybe.

    When we make a feast we are supposed to invite the poor, and those that cannot make a living…not our rich neighbors and relatives. Well xmas is definitely a feast that we have made, for YHWH didn’t make it. And the normal way we keep it is in direct contrast to Messiah’s instructions…at least that goes for most of us.

    Lu 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
    13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
    14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

    Shalom

  38. Bo, you generalize about how everyone else keeps Christmas and that’s just not truthful.

    I agree that it would be most appropriate for a Christmas feast to invite all of the homeless. Better yet would be to help them throughout the entire year, not just on one day.

    And there are people who right now are chopping vegetables and making ready for just such a feast.

    And I’m sure those who are hungry do not concern themselves with hair-splitting arguments over dates. They’re just glad that someone WILL offer them a free meal and gifts of warm clothing, or whatever else they need.

    Many people actually do benefit on the celebration of this year, and no, it’s not just the store owners. I will not be cynical about it or think that God hates it. I think God sees through all of the appearance to the truth, something we, as mere mortals, cannot do.

  39. Sheila,

    You wrote:
    “Jesus kept the Feast of Dedication in the Winter but it’s not in the FT and we’re no where commanded to keep the Feast of Dedication (Festival of Lights). In fact we’re no where commanded to keep any of the Feast days according to the NT writers to the Gentiles. The law has of necessity been changed, for both Jew and Gentile, as Paul says. We are dead to the law and born anew in Messiah, Jesus. Gentiles were never under the law of Moses to begin with.”

    We have been over this before…many times. But for the sake of those that are new to this, here we go again.

    John 10
    22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
    23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
    24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

    Now let me see…did He put up a tree with lights on it? Did He put presents under a tree? Did He go along with the pope? Did He sing xmas carols? You get my drift. If I was walking in the mall on 12/25 would you say that I was keeping xmas? It does not say that He was celebrating Chanukah. He may have been. We do not know. It was a Jewish holiday…not a HOLY DAY OF YHWH. He was a Jew. There is no rule about Chanukah that one must go to Jerusalem, but He was there. We do not know why.

    Paul commanded a “Gentile” congregation to keep the feast of unleavened bread.

    1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    He spoke to the Corinthians as if they kept the feasts.

    1Co 16:8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.

    Pentecost is determined by YHWH’s calendar. It never falls on the same date on our Roman calendar. It definitely was not on the Roman calendar of Paul’s day. So you were wrong…we are and Paul did command us to keep the feast in the NT.

    Was the law changed for the Jew and Gentile? All of it or just some of it. What kind of change was it.

    Here is what the New Covenant is:

    Jeremiah 31
    31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
    32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    It is supposed to write YHWH’s law upon our hearts. No concept of a different law or a changed law is to be found here. What did Jeremiah and the people He wrote to consider to be YHWH’s law. The change was that it would be written in a different place…on our hearts instead of on stone. We would no longer need a priesthood to teach us, but we would all know YHWH and desire to keep His law. That is what having it written on our hearts means according to the Hebraic idiom.

    The book of Hebrews goes into great detail about what is changed. The priesthood is changed. The High priest is changed. The sacrifices are different. The law of YHWH remains the same.

    You think that the gentiles were never under the law. Paul thought differently.

    Romans 3
    19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    So whose mouths are stopped. Everyone’s! Why? Because they were all under the law. It would not stop everyone’s mouth and make everyone guilty if everyone was not under the law. Those that are under the law are those that have broken it. We have all broken it. We are guilty and our mouths are stopped. We have no excuse. Under the law means that we have broken it.

    1 John 3
    4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    Sin is the transgression of the law and we have all sinned and need a savior.

    Romans 6
    15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    A redeemed, forgiven person is not under the law but under grace. Grace does not do away with the law but empowers us to keep it. We are no longer servants of sin…which is transgression of the law…unless we continue to break the law. We are supposed to stop yielding ourselves to sin which is transgression of the law. So we can continue to sin/trangress the law and receive death or we can obey unto righteousness.

    What doctrine was delivered to us. Here is what Paul told Timothy:

    2 Timothy 3
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    What was the scripture when Timothy was a child that is able to make us wise unto salvation? The Old Testimony. That scripture is where we are supposed to get our profitable doctrine and our instruction in righteousness so that we will become mature and completely knowledgeable about the good works that YHWH before ordained that we should walk in.

    Ephesians 2
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    So we are not save by good works, but unto those good works that YHWH so graciously explained to us in His Torah. We are no longer Gentiles. We are grafted into Israel and are partskers of all their covenants. They add one on top of the other. One does not nullify another. That is why they are spoken of in the plural. Paul says that a newer addition cannot disannul a previous one. So the New one does not cancel the Older covenant.

    Galatians 3
    17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

    Faith in Messiah does not exempt us from the law, but establishes it in our lives. It writes it on our hearts…just like Jeremiah said.

    Romans 3
    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Romans 6
    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    Romans 6
    15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

    Romans 7
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Romans 7
    13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid…

    What part of “God forbid” do you not understand?

    Shalom

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