Christmas: Overview of Origins

God’s Christmas blessings to all!
We know from the Bible, scholars, history, dictionaries and experience that almost everything about the way Christmas has been celebrated by godly Christians is biblical, points to Jesus’ incarnation as God with us, our Saviour! Research shows that Christmas is the #1 best time of the year to bring people to Jesus and the top time for funding the churches work for the whole year. Late December/Dec. 25 is also one of 2-3 possible dates for Jesus’ birth from biblical/historical evidence.

There are of course materialist deceptions like focusing mostly/only on Santa/elves/reindeer and materialism/how many gifts you will get that terribly distort Christmas. But there are deceptions about every truth (there are false views of how to be saved, false views of what happens at death, false views of justice, there are even atheist churches now), so it shouldn’t surprise us that Satan wants to counterfeit the biblical/Christian celebration of Jesus’ birth as well.

There are also some misguided believers claiming Christmas is pagan. But many Christian, non-Christian and even atheist historians agree that there is no evidence that the biblical/early Christian origins and most modern church traditions of Christmas comes from pagans. Actually they say that pagans plagiarized Christmas from Christians. In addition, we know from research (cited below) that Christmas is the #1 best time to bring non-believers to Jesus and that it is also the #1 top time for donations that fund God’s work through churches all year round. So misguided Christians who criticize Christmas do so without any biblical standards and they are actually doing some of the worst harm to God’s church and work that can be done.

So it is godly, good and wonderful to celebrate biblical Christmas for Christians because God says to “always do good to each person and all people.” 1 Thess. 5:15. For those who are SDA, Ellen White also explicitly says Christmas is good for Christians to celebrate.

What better way would there be to turn the attention of the world and unbelievers away from their Saviour Jesus than to use gullible atheists and gullible Christians to claim Christmas is pagan? It’s hard to think of a more serious deception that would cripple the church worse and also cause harm to families than to claim Christmas is pagan.

I’ve written many more details on this here with references.

The Incredible Blessings of Christmas (and debunking the claims that it’s pagan)!

Below is a short overview of several pages on this issue.

At Christmas many people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are quite a few incredible blessings that come celebrating the birth of our Messiah and King on this earth.
1) FOCUSES MINDS ON JESUS: Christmas focuses our minds on the time when God became man and lived among us as Immanuel.

2) HEAVEN AND GODLY PEOPLE CELEBRATED JESUS: Angels and many godly people in the Bible celebrated Jesus’ birth with great joy in the Bible. Mary celebrated it in her magnificat (Luke 1:26-38, 46-55). Elizabeth & Zechariah celebrated it (Luke 1:39-45). Angels celebrated it, singing for great joy at the good news for humanity (Luke 2:8-14) Shepherds celebrated it (Luke 2:16-20). Simeon celebrated it (Luke 2:25-35), Anna celebrated it (Luke 2:36-38). Wise men celebrated it and gave valuable gifts (Matt. 2:1-12). All of these are BY DEFINITION Christmas even though the exact word is not there. The words Bible, Christianity, missions and various other biblical concepts are also not in the Bible in those exact terms. For the very same reason we can use Bible, we can also use Christmas.

3) CHRISTMAS IS #1 BEST TIME TO WIN PEOPLE TO JESUS: According to research, Christmas is also actually the best time of year to reach people with the good news of eternal life:

“At particular points in life, people are more open to considering matters of faith, the survey found. The Christmas season is the most common time for people to be open to spiritual matters. Nearly half (47 percent) are more open to considering matters of faith at Christmas. Americans are also open to matters of faith during the Easter season (38 percent), after a major national crisis such as 9/11 (38 percent), after a natural disaster (34 percent) and following the birth of a baby (28 percent).

People give more donations to churches at Christmas and organizations that help the suffering than at any other time of year. The majority of money that many churches and aid ministries receive comes in in December, around Christmas time. It’s impossible to find any other time of year where people are more generous and giving to those who are less fortunate. Research shows: “about 35 percent of donations occur in the last 3 months of the year, with about 18% occurring during the month of December according to Blackbaud. While there are many reasons for contributions to take place towards the end of the year (such as tax deductions) a major reason people give then is to help the less fortunate at Christmas.”

5) CHRISTMAS ADVANCES PEACE: Christmas also makes family and community bonds stronger and has brought peace to many conflicts.
6) CHRISTMAS AIDS SFFERING PEOPLE: Christmas is one of the best times the God’s people spend major efforts to to work to relieve the suffering of hurting people
7) CHRISTMAS BRINGS JUSTICE: They also especially at this time work to bring justice for the oppressed, looking for the time when God will end all suffering and pain.

Some allege that Christmas originates from pagans, or glorifies materialism, etc. There are certain distortions like this that some have followed. Many have unfortunately told their kids that Santa is real, but this damages trust in parents, influences dishonesty and sometimes causes false comparisons of Santa with God and loss of belief.

However, in most major areas, the majority of biblical/historical evidence shows that it was actually pagans that plagiarized Christian celebrations of Christmas that started much earlier.


The claim that Christmas was originally the festival of the birth of Mithras is a myth beloved by atheist activists, despite the fact it is totally groundless – the esteemed Mithraic scholar Roger Beck refers to it with grumpy exasperation as “the hoariest of ‘facts’”. I have already detailed why this claim is nonsense – see The Great Myths 2: Christmas, Mithras and Paganism for full details.

The Christmas season is upon us and, if there’s one thing I know I’m going to get for Christmas, it’s spurious claims about modern Christmas traditions supposedly having ancient “pagan” origins…virtually none of the traditions associated with Christmas in the United States today are actually of ancient pre-Christian origin. In fact, virtually all of the Christmas traditions that you usually hear people going around claiming are “pagan” are actually traditions that only arose within the past two hundred years or so, within a Christian cultural context…

Every year around Christmas time, news organizations always publish new articles claiming that modern Christmas traditions are of ancient “pagan” origin and every year these articles are always filled with all sorts of false information…

Saturnalia was not celebrated on December 25th. It was, in fact, originally celebrated on December 17th [but was]extended into seven days of celebration, starting on December 17th and culminating on December 23rd…No one in ancient times ever thought Saturnalia was on December 25th…Saturnalia was not a celebration of the winter solstice. In fact, at least on its original date of December 17th, it did not occur on the day of the solstice or even on a day that ancient Roman people believed was the solstice…If Christians had really chosen the date for Christmas based on the date of Saturnalia, we would be celebrating Christmas on December 17th, but instead we celebrate it on December 25th….

In reality, Saturnalia originated as a religious holiday in honor of the agricultural god Saturnus…Saturnalia was a rather rowdy holiday and that it was in many ways closer to a modern Mardi Gras celebration than a modern Christmas celebration….there is no evidence linking the ancient Roman custom of gift-giving at the winter solstice to the modern custom of gift-giving for Christmas. In fact, the tradition of giving presents for Christmas is actually a fairly recent development that has only really taken hold in the past two hundred years or so…let me clarify that the exchanging of gifts was definitely part of the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. The main gifts exchanged were wax candles..and figurines made from clay or wax known as sigillaria.

the idea that Christmas is pagan actually comes from die-hard Protestant fundamentalists in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

It was also Christians who started to celebrate Christmas in late December and they did not copy pagans at all in doing this. Shemaryahu Talmon, Professor Emeritus in the Bible Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem says,
“Christmas was celebrated Dec. 25 prior to any pagan celebration on the same date.”

Andrew McGowan (a highly respected scholar) wrote in an article for Bible Review (Dec. 2002; reprinted in Bible History Daily, 12-3-17):
“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…But we don’t have evidence of Christians adopting pagan festivals in the third century, at which point dates for Christmas were established. Thus, it seems unlikely that the date was simply selected to correspond with pagan solar festivals.

There are actually 2-3 possible dates for Jesus’ birth, but late December around Dec. 25 is definitely possible. The Bible says that John was conceived after Zacharias served in the temple and that Jesus was conceived 6 months later. This combined with historical data that shows the 2 times that Zacharias served in the temple that year help us to know 2 of the most possible dates for Jesus’ birth.

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF DATE A: If Zacharias came back from the temple in Sivan, late June, that is when Jews celebrate Shavuat and God giving His word, the Torah on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. John would then be born around Passover on Nisan 15 (late March). The Jews have always expected Elijah to come at Passover and herald the coming of the Messiah who would be sacrificed as the real Lamb of Passover and Jesus said that John the Baptist was a type of Elijah the prophet (Matt 17:10-13, cp. Luke 1:17).

Jesus then would have been conceived in December near Chanukah at the festival of Lights and born near the day of atonement and the festival of Tabernacles. This would symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world and the light of the first spark of life at conception and that God came to atone for man’s sins and dwell among men.

John was conceived after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year and Sukkot, near the feast of tabernacles (both in September) and born in Tammuz (June/July). So John was born to herald that the real Day of Atonement had come with the Lamb of God and that God had come to tabernacle, or live with man.

Jesus was conceived 6 months later than John around the time of Passover (March) and born near Chanukah, the festival of lights, in December . Jesus’ conception near Passover in March points to His mission to sacrifice for our sins. His birth in late December near Chanukah points to Jesus as the light of the world!

So Christmas was celebrated on Dec. 25 longlong before pagans did and that date has significant biblical and historical evidence pointing to Jesus as the Light of the World*.
So it’s very likely that Jesus was either conceived or born in late December. Either way the dates point to important spiritual insights about His mission to save humanity from sin! And that’s a good enough reason to celebrate His birth and Immanuel, God with us!

See more on this here:

Who do you think wants to stop people coming to Jesus at Christmas? Who wants to cut off fund for the church at Christmas and stop much good work for God? Who do you think wants to turn minds and hearts away from God at Christmas? It’s certainly not God. It’s his enemy, Satan. So those who claim Christmas is pagan, are actually working for God’s enemy and harming God’s work on earth.

In fact, the major foundations of Christmas in history are based on Bible concepts and Christian customs based on logic and have enormous benefits for humanity. Christmas is one of the most important times of the year when we can focus our minds on Jesus who sacrificed life in a perfect heaven to live in our world of sin and suffering to save we who were lost. Shouldn’t His example be an inspiration to us to be willing to give up some of our comforts and luxuries to and sacrifice to save those who are still lost? That is one of the most significant essences of Christmas.

See more details here:
Michael Jones cites many historical sources showing that Christmas just did not originate from pagan customs. Christmas Is Not Pagan–part 1 and 2

He has a longer discussion of the historical facts here:

and here: Dr. Jonathan Sarfati explains that pagans did not celebrate pagan festivals on December 25 until ~70 years after Christians started doing that. Is Christmas Based on Pagan Traditions? (~minute 4-7)

And here
The Incredible Blessings of Christmas (and debunking the claims that it’s pagan)!

and here