Christmas is a wonderfull almost magical day of the year for some people, a reason of encounters of family and friendships, gifts, decoration with red and green colors, toast and wishes for peace between families and country and a hope of prosperity and happiness for all. But mostly it’s a shopping day, great for small shops and big companies, practically invented and adapted for that purpose exclusively. That does not take away the beautiful celebration and the amount of almost mystical characters that fill the Christmas scene. But is it biblical? Is it in the Tanack? Is actually the day of the birth of Yeshua? All those questions get a resounding NO.
FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE TORAH, DO YOU SEE SOMETHING OF PAGANISM IN THESE IMAGES?
Indeed all these these images are plagued with IDOLATRY, which calls the attention because the creator of the universe says in his word:
Devarim (Deu) 4:15-20, 23-29 “Therefore, diligently guard yourselves, for you saw no form when YHWH spoke to you at Ḥorĕḇ out of the midst of the fire, lest you should do corruptly and shall make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure – the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heavens, the likeness of any creature that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth; and lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and shall see the sun, and the moon, and the stars – all the host of the heavens – and you be drawn away into bowing down to them and serving them, which YHWH your Elohim has allotted to all the peoples under all the heavens. “But YHWH has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Mitsrayim, to be His people, an inheritance, as it is today” “Guard yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of YHWH your Elohim which He made with you, and shall make for yourselves a carved image in the form of whatever YHWH your Elohim has forbidden you. For YHWH your Elohim is a consuming fire, a jealous Ěl. When you bring forth children and grandchildren, and shall grow old in the land, and shall do corruptly and make a carved image in the form of whatever, and shall do what is evil in the eyes of YHWH your Elohim to provoke Him, I shall call the heavens and earth to witness against you on that day, that you soon completely perish from the land which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess – you do not prolong your days in it but are completely destroyed. And YHWH shall scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the gentiles where YHWH drives you. And there you shall serve mighty ones, the work of menʼs hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you shall seek YHWH your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart1 and with all your being”.
The Elohim of Israel gives a WARNING AGAINST IDOLATRY very strong, explaining:
1. You never saw Elohim in person
2. Do Notmake sculptures or images of male or female, any animal, figure, bird, fish, etc.
3. We are people chosen, royal priesthood.
4. If you do what is forbidden, Elohim will be angry
5 An you will persihed for what you did.
6. Since the beginning of time many have followed to false gods like Nazism, Marxism, money & wealth, impure sex, several religions and cults, etc.
7 But if you amend, if you are looking for to the Creator of the Universe with all your strength and your heart, and correct your way.
IS THERE IDOLATRY TODAY?
Yes there is, on all sides, see how today in many places to we can witness this trend of idolatry:
People kneeling to bishops, bishops kneeling to carved images carved, people kneeling to to the Messiah as to Elohim, and people that “reads the Torah“ kneeling to their Pastors.
WHERE SAYS IN THE TORAH, TANACK OR BIBLE IS THIS ALLOWED?
Devarim (Deu ) 11:16 “Guard yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other mighty ones and bow down to them“.
Yechezkel (Eze) 3:49 “And they shall put your wickedness on you, and you shall bear the sins of your idols. And you shall know that I am the Master YHWH. ”
Act 17:16 “But while Shaʼul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred up within him when he saw that the city was utterly idolatrous“.
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
“Christmas” day 25 of December comes from the latin “nativitas”=”birth”, some called it “Easter”. This festivity DO NOT appear in any biblical or Jewish text. The Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Protestant communities and the Orthodox churches celebrate christmas on December 25. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem celebrate it on January 7.
Yacob (Jas) 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim”.
WHERE DOES THE IDEA OF DECEMBER 25 AS THE DATE OF THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL COME FROM?
The idea of December 25th was adopted by the historian sixth Julio African (c. 160–c. 240) who is considered the «father» of the Christian chronology. Romans celebrated the pagan festivity called the DiesNatalisSolis Invicti, “the birthday of the undefeated Sun”, a festival inaugurated by the Roman Emperor Aurelian (270-275) to celebrate the god “Sun” held in the Solstice of winter. In addition Romans pospoused all business and war during that date, and exchange gifts too.
In the Roman Empire, the celebrations of Saturn peaked on December 25. To make more easy for Romans to accept the Messiah, Pope Julio I asked in 350 that the birth of Yeshua be held in that same date, and finally Pope Liberius decreed that day as the birth of Yeshua in 354.
Those “of the way“ or “Nazarenes (Natzarim)“ NEVER celebrated this day as the birth of the Messiah of Israel.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
In Northern Europe, like the Romans, the Scandinavians celebrated on December 26 as the birth of the rising sun, or God Frey. Decorating a tree that represented to the “Yggdrasil“ or tree of the universe. Current Christmas tree comes from those habits. At the top of this tree was Asgard (the abode of the gods) and Valhalla (Palace of Odin); and in the deepest roots was Helheim (the realm of the dead).
Is this the tree that you are going to install in your home, in the middle of your living room?
1 Corinthians 12:2 ” You know that you were gentiles, led away to the dumb idols, even as you might be led”
This mythical character invented by the popular eagerness was inspired in Nicolas of Bari, who was born in the year 280 in Mira, a city of the District of Lycia, in Turkey, who performed miracles and benefits to people poor. To 1863, this character acquired the current physiognomy of fat bearded good-natured that most known, thanks to Thomas Nast, who drawing it for Harper’s Weekly. A campaign carried out by the artist Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola, during 1931 and 1966, changed all the meaning of the holiday.
THE NATIVITY SCENE
This is a representation of the birth of Yeshua by using a model of Bethlehem and surrounding areas, consisting of the stable where Yeshua, Miriam and Yosef was supposed to be born, with animals and shepherds, and in some cases included the 3 “wise men” and a star on top of the “Christmas tree”. Francis of Assisi was its inventor. He made the Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve in 1223, in a cave next to the Hermitage of Greccio (Italy), and used live animals and people.
This would seem to be the most correct of all Christmas things, but it carries three errors:
1 Miriam, Yosef and Yeshua were not in a stable; they were in a suka of Sukkot. There were no animals, and pastors not were present the three kings.
2. When the wise men found Yeshua, they honoured him as the “King of Israel”, not as a God. Miriam, Yosef and the small Yeshua had settled in a house in Bethlehem,and it was a few months after the birth.
Matthew 2:11 “and on entering the House, saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him; “and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh“.
3. The date when Miriam, Yosef and Yeshua were in the cabin of Sukkot, was in September not in December.
In our next installment we will explain as to know with enough certainty the day of birth of Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel and soon on the feast of Hanukkah. Meanwhile remember that the Nazarenes messianic Jews do not celebrate Christmas. We respect those who celebrate it, but we do not share this any pagan things in this festivity .YHWH our Elohim tells us that we do not do, and Christmas an umbiblical festivity is one of them.
Many of us have friends or family who celebrate this festival. We do not want them to feel incomfortable with a negative response. If your family: mother, father, brothers or friends invite you, you can attend and spend a wonderful day with your loved ones. That does not can not mean to accept all these lies and mysticism added to the party. Carry a gift to your family, if is a family custom to share gifts, do so in the memory of the feastof Hanukkah which celebrating is coming soon.
Blessings to everyone on these days.
Rabbi Yosef Ben Marques © 2016