Merry Christmas, Tradition, Part 1 of 2

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Author: Paul Lehr

December 25 is the day we culturally celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:3). The point Christ was born in Bethlehem is also confirmed twice by an enemy of Jesus, King Herod. In Matthew 2:8 Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem to look for the child. In Matthew 2:16, Herod had all boy children two and under killed in the town of Bethlehem. Christ’s birth in the town of Bethlehem fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.

Where is the Biblical evidence for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th? Is this the day on the calendar when Jesus was born? Does the Bible support the date of this celebration? The answer is no. Look all you want, you are not going to find it. The date of Christ’s December birth is a man made tradition unfounded in the Bible.

Christmas, December 25 is not a God Appointed Holiday.

What evidence is in the Bible for when Christ may have been born? There are some clues, but there is no definitive statement. Evidence is circumstantial.

Luke 2:8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

The grammar of the sentence states the shepherds were living in the fields as a lifestyle. They were sleeping out in the open fields. This was not a one night campout. The word “staying” is agrauleo in the original Greek text. The verb is present tense in the Greek meaning continual action. It is defined as: to live in the fields, be under the open sky, even at night (Strong’s Concordance). If they were doing this in late December, they would have been pretty miserable.

Historically, shepherds are out of the fields past October. Grass does not grow in the winter. There is no pasture available for sheep to feed in late December. Shepherds are not in the field in late December. In the winter, shepherds are responsible for provision and feeding the animals. Often times in bad weather, sheep and shepherds would retreat to caves for protection. Sheepfolds or small buildings would also be built. These structures would keep sheep out of the wind and cold elements (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands).

Matthew 24:20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath…-Jesus The context of Jesus’ comments is the Olivet Discourse. He is talking about leaving Jerusalem immediately when the antichrist defiles the Temple and claims to be God. His concern is traveling conditions that are noted in the region during winter. These areas are often impassible during the winter. Joseph and Mary had to travel approximately 70-80 miles from their home in the north to Bethlehem.  The most direct route would have been across the mountain tops. Was the trip made in mid to late December?

Christmas celebrated on December 25th.

Accurate birthday for Jesus???? Do your own homework.

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Paul Lehr

About Paul Lehr

Paul Lehr is a Speech Pathologist and home health provider. The majority of his work focuses on swallowing disorders in neurologically impaired patients. He has been a business owner for the past 18 years. Paul earned his BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Oklahoma State University. His MA was completed in Speech Pathology at Oklahoma State University. When Paul’s son was born prematurely in 2003, there was lots of support from family and friends. Keeping up with phone calls was too much. So he provided e-mails with updates on health and well-being. In time, his son was healthy and came home. The e-mails stopped but Paul was encouraged to keep writing. Three years later, Paul was asked to assist in writing a Sunday school curriculum. The lessons were well received by the local body and on the church website. Again, he was encouraged to keep writing. Next, Paul taught a Sunday School class for junior high and high school students. He would share notes with others from the class he was teaching. In 2010, a young man at a local church encouraged Paul to start a blog. The website focuses on topical studies such as creation, God’s Appointed Holidays and Feasts, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end times prophecy, ancient Hebrew cultural customs, the Prophet Isaiah, and various topical studies. Three years later, Paul’s 10 year old son told me, “Dad, you need to do updates on how the news is tied to the Bible.” The “Trend Update” was born. Since then, traffic on the website doubled in each of the next two years. Exposure continues to grow and increase from the previous year as of 2016. In the spring of 2016, a friend and fellow Boy Scout father encouraged Paul to start a YouTube channel. His friend thought it was a natural fit considering the content and subscribers from the website. The videos and written posts have been well received. Between the blog and YouTube channel, God’s prophetic words have reached over 190 countries. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Friends and family help and support the blog and YouTube channel with content ideas. There is too much happening in relation to Bible prophecy for one person to follow and command the events of our day. That same Boy Scout father would later introduce Paul to the movies of Trey Smith and the God in a Nutshell Project… Guest speak and presenter duties have focused on the topics of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God’s Appointed Spring Feasts, Mystery Babylon, the antichrist, Ezekiel 38-39, and current events related to Bible prophecy. At this time, Paul would like to encourage each individual to learn about who God is. Because one way or another, we are all eternal. The issue is our destiny. Welcome to PaulthePoke and www.paulthepoke.com
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