Archive for January, 2011

The Roots of Christmas

January 4th, 2011    |    No Comments »

A reliable feature of recent Christmas seasons is the chorus of voices in our newspapers, magazines, and television programs, “assuring” us that the roots of Christmas lie in pagan celebratory practices.  But is that really the case?

In an article titled “How December 25 Became Christmas” (published in “Biblical Archaeology Review,” and available online here), a scholar of the early Christian movement questions this conventional wisdom of the secular world.  Simultaneously, he offers an alternative explanation rooted in the authentic Christian spirituality of the 2nd through 4th centuries A.D.  Armenian Christian readers will take a special interest in the writer’s knowledgeable references to the Armenian Church’s traditional date for our Lord’s nativity—January 6—which provides a vital piece of evidence for the case he makes.

Read the whole thing, and let us know what you think.

Of course, while these discussions are interesting, they should never distract us from the true meaning of Christmas, which our church will proclaim to the world on Thursday, January 6: “Krisdos dzunav yev haydnetsav!”  “Christ is born and revealed!”

Pieter Bruegel’s 1566 oil painting of Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth.