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What Does the Bible Say About Christmas ??

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What Does the Bible Say About Christmas? ???????
The Bible’s answer
The Bible does not give the date of Jesus’ birth, nor does it say that we should celebrate his birthday. As McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.” Instead, an examination of the history of Christmas exposes its roots in pagan religious rites. The Bible shows that we offend God if we try to worship him in a way that he does not approve of.—Exodus 32:5-7.  History of Christmas customs
Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: “The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.
•December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice.
•Gift-giving, feasting, partying: The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that “all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.
•Christmas lights: According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes “with lights and evergreens of all kinds” to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.
•Mistletoe, holly: “The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun’s return.”—The Encyclopedia Americana.
•Christmas tree: “Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.”—Encyclopædia Britannica.

    Hello guest!

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*Tingtingtingting* Aaaand predictably they discuss the 'sun-god' Tammuz-Nimrod connection and have bought into other Hislopian pseudo-history, ladies and gentlemen. facepalm.gifThe video should be re-titled, "Shocking but mostly hooey."

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Origin of Christmas and Its Spirit
THE Christmas spirit is not Christian, because it did not originate with Christ. It predated the Christian era by many centuries. Shortly after the Flood the spirit and the whole celebration of Christmas had its beginning. It began with Nimrod, grandson of Ham the son of Noah, a wicked, ruthless dictator, responsible for the great organized worldly apostasy from God that continues to this day. In contempt for God and all decency Nimrod married his own mother, Semiramis. After his untimely death, his mother-wife, Semiramis, taught the lie that her husband-son was a spirit god. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth to new life of the dead Nimrod. (i.e. christmas tree......my comment) She taught that on the anniversary of his birth, which was December 25, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. The historian, Professor Hislop, says: “Now the Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas-tree is Nimrod redivivus—the slain god come to life again.”—The Two Babylons, pages 97, 98.
This is the beginning of Christmas with its spirit. This is also the origin of the yule log, the Christmas tree, the celebrating of birthdays, the spirit of exchanging gifts, the spirit of feasting and merrymaking, visits and salutations, jocularity, revelry and drunkenness. All of this is an outgrowth of the first lie, nurtured by the spirit of Satan the Devil, who told it. In Eden to Eve he said: “You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.” Like Eve, Semiramis believed Satan’s lie and proclaimed Nimrod as a spirit god. With this proclamation a wild celebration began on his birthday that has stuck down through the centuries to our day. In the Western world it is called Christmas.—Gen. 3:4, 5, NW.
Nimrod became worshiped as the “divine son of heaven,” “the Messiah, son of Baal the sun-god.” Devil-worshiping pagans believed that life and immortality proceeded from Nimrod, and so they worshiped the never-dying sun in the heavens as the personification and representation of Nimrod’s “divinity.” Mother and child, Semiramis and Nimrod, became chief objects of worship. The pagan world idolized this combination. In Egypt they were worshiped as Isis and Osiris, in Asia as Cybele and Doius, in pagan Rome as Fortuna and Jupiter-puer. Even in China, Japan, Tibet and in other non-Christian lands is to be found the counterpart of the Madonna, held sacred in Christendom. Pagans adored these symbols long before the birth of Christ, yet Christendom hails these as Christian and adoringly speaks of them as “the beautiful spirit of Christmas.”
Jehovah God, on the other hand, commanded his people Israel: “Learn not the way of the heathen, . . . For the customs of the people are vain.” “You must not bow down to their gods or be induced to serve them, and you must not make anything like their works, but you will without fail throw them down and you will without fail break down their sacred pillars.” “You must not serve their gods, because that will be a snare to you.” Jehovah’s declaration against pagan gods has not changed, nor has his attitude toward pagan worship, because, says he: “For I, Jehovah, change not.”—Jer. 10:1-3; Ex. 23:24; Deut. 7:16, NW; Mal. 3:6, AS.
The Bible studiously avoids the recording of the date of anyone’s birthday, nor is there any record of birthday celebrations by Jehovah’s servants, either before or after Christ. The conspicuous silence of the Bible regarding birthdays is powerful testimony that the same were not kept, that they were frowned upon as pagan. Origen of Alexandria (A.D. 185-254) wisely discerned: “In the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday.” The only birthday celebrations mentioned in the Bible are that of Pharaoh, when a man was hung, and that of the adulterous King Herod, whose step-daughter Salome danced to make the celebration “merry,” yes, merry by having the head of John the Baptist chopped off.
FROM PAGAN SATURNALIA TO “CHRISTIAN” CHRISTMAS
How, then, did these pagan customs become a part of the greatest “Christian” holiday, Christmas? That first-century Christians did not celebrate Christmas is borne out by early “Christian” writers. The Catholic Encyclopedia makes the following admission: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their list of feasts.” When apostate Christians began to fall away to pagan practices, Tertullian complained: “By us, who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia [and other pagan feasts] are now frequented, gifts are carried to and fro, . . . and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar.”—Gal. 4:10, 11; Col. 2:8.

For more info on this see 1954 Watchtower page 741

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3 hours ago, John Lindsay Barltrop said:

it is only what was quoted in the Watchtower

Except for a couple of points about Easter, priestly celibacy, and a few other points which are also very likely untrue, the Watchtower stopped quoting Hislop about Christmas in 1978, and the Awake! stopped referencing these points in 1973.

It's true that Alexander Hislop's book, The Two Babylons, has been almost thoroughly debunked. You can easily find this claim in Wikipedia and other sources. I think the most credible "witness" in this regard is a man who had once believed in Hislop's book, and who wrote a book of his own that piggy-backed on the ideas from Hislop. Yet, even though this man continues to believe that much of Catholicism is based on false origins, he honestly realized that he could no longer, in good conscience, make money off the falsehoods claimed by Hislop. So he pulled his book from publication and criticized his own book.

I'll quote some relevant parts his article from

    Hello guest!
, where he explains some of his reasons:

Message from Ralph Woodrow regarding the book BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION

For a number of years my book BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION was very popular, enjoyed a wide circulation, and was translated into various languages. To this day, we do not cease to receive orders and inquiries about it. Despite its popularity, several years ago we pulled it out of print and now offer a replacement book . . .

Because misinformation about this decision persists on the Internet, and in other ways, the aim of this article is to set the record straight.

According to one rumor, “the Catholics” put so much pressure on me, I had a heart attack and almost died! Consequently, I “recanted” and wrote the other book. There is no truth to this!

Another rumor is that my motives were financial—my desire was to be popular and make more money. To the contrary, BABYLON MYSTERY RELIGION was extremely popular and provided more income to our ministry than all other books and offerings put together! We have faced much financial loss because of the decision to pull the book out of print.

Some letters we have received have been very warm, commending me for honesty and integrity, expressing appreciation for the clarification provided by the replacement book THE BABYLON CONNECTION? But other letters have been mean-spirited—that I am “stupid,” “scum,” “scared of the truth,” a “low down coward,” a “traitor to Christ,” following “a false god,” and am an “undercover Jesuit”! One even said, “I hope you die soon, I want you dead!”

It puzzles me how some can be so fanatical against one set of errors—or what they perceive to be errors—only to develop greater errors: becoming judgmental, hateful, and dishonest.

My original book had some valuable information in it. But it also contained certain teachings that were made popular in a book many years ago, THE TWO BABYLONS, by Alexander Hislop. This book claims that the very religion of ancient Babylon, under the leadership of Nimrod and his wife, was later disguised with Christian-sounding names, becoming the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, two “Babylons"—one ancient and one modern. Proof for this is sought by citing numerous similarities in paganism. The problem with this method is this: in many cases there is no connection.

...

So is it with the claims about pagan origins. What may seem to have a connection, upon further investigation, has no connection at all!

By this method, one could take virtually anything and do the same—even the “golden arches” at McDonald’s! The Encyclopedia Americana (article: “Arch") says the use of arches was known in Babylon as early as 2020 B.C. Since Babylon was called “the golden city” (Isa. 14:4), can there be any doubt about the origin of the golden arches? As silly as this is, this is the type of proof that has been offered over and over about pagan origins.

By this method, atheists have long sought to discredit the Bible and Christianity altogether—not just the Roman Catholic Church.

By this method, one could condemn Protestant and evangelical denominations like the Assemblies of God, Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Nazarene, etc. Basic things like prayer, and kneeling in prayer, would have to be rejected, because pagans knelt and prayed to their gods. Water baptism would have to be rejected, for pagans had numerous rites involving water, etc.

By this method, the BIBLE itself would need to be rejected as pagan. All of the following practices or beliefs mentioned in the Bible, were also known among pagans—raising hands in worship, taking off shoes on holy ground, a holy mountain, a holy place in a temple, offering sacrifices without blemish, a sacred ark, city of refuge, bringing forth water from a rock, laws written on stone, fire appearing on a person’s head, horses of fire, the offering of first fruits, tithes, etc.

By this method, the LORD himself would be pagan. The woman called Mystery Babylon had a cup in her hand; the Lord has a cup in his hand (Psa. 75:8). Pagan kings sat on thrones and wore crowns; the Lord sits on a throne and wears a crown (Rev. 1:4; 14:14). Pagans worshipped the sun; the Lord is the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2). Pagan gods were likened to stars; the Lord is called “the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Pagan gods had temples dedicated to them; the Lord has a temple (Rev. 7:15). Pagan gods were pictured with wings; the Lord is pictured with wings (Psa. 91:4).

Here is a list of the some of the unsubstantiated claims that are made about the religion of ancient Babylon:

• The Babylonians went to a confessional and confessed sins to priests who wore black clergy garments.

• Their king, Nimrod, was born on December 25. Round decorations on Christmas trees and round communion wafers honored him as the Sun-god.

• Sun-worshippers went to their temples weekly, on Sunday, to worship the Sun-god.

• Nimrod’s wife was Semiramis, who claimed to be the Virgin Queen of Heaven, and was the mother of Tammuz.

• Tammuz was killed by a wild boar when he was age 40; so 40 days of Lent were set aside to honor his death.

• The Babylonians wept for him on “Good Friday.” They worshipped a cross-the initial letter of his name.

It is amazing how unsubstantiated teachings like these circulate—and are believed. One can go to any library, check any history book about ancient Babylon, none of these things will be found. They are not historically accurate, but are based on an arbitrary piecing together of bits and pieces of mythology.

Hislop, for example, taught that mythological persons like Adonis, Apollo, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Janus, Mars, Mithra, Moloch, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Vulcan, Zoraster, and many more, were all Nimrod! He then formed his own “history” of Nimrod! He did the same thing with Nimrod’s wife. So, according to his theory, Nimrod was a big, ugly, deformed black man. His wife, Semiramis—also known as Easter, he says—was a most beautiful white woman with blond hair and blue eyes, a backslider, inventor of soprano singing, the originator of priestly celibacy, the first to whom the unbloody mass was offered! This is not factual history—it is more in the category of tabloid sensationalism.

...

The concern about not wanting anything pagan in our lives can be likened to a ship crossing a vast ocean. This concern has taken us in the right direction, but as we come to a better understanding as to what is actually pagan and what is not, a correction of the course is necessary in our journey. This is not a going back, but a correction of the course as we follow “the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).

---------end of quote---------

I remember when we used to tell people at the door that the cross came from Nimrod who was also Tammuz and the the first letter of Tammuz looked like a cross. Did you ever see what a "T" or the word "Tammuz" looks like in Babylonian cuneiform?

Anyway, it looks like Hislop was just another fanatical liar who hated the Catholic religion so much that he probably thought it didn't much matter whether what he wrote was true or not, and he likely just made up a lot of it himself. Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard and others seem to have come from the same ilk.

 

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    • By jpl
      Transcription du culte matinal de Février 2019 :"Imitons Jésus"
      Fev 2019 Imitons Jesus.pdf
    • By jpl
      Voici une compilation des suggestions de conversation pour 2018 et 2019 (Janvier à Mai 2019)
       
      Suggestions de conversations_5_2019.pdf
      Suggestions de conversations_12_2018.pdf
    • By jpl
      Voici deux transcriptions de vidéos de décembre 2019
      Survivons au grand jour de Dieu Janv 2018.pdf
      Janv 2019 C_est ici Le Chemin.pdf
    • By jpl
      Voici la vidéo "Dieu accepte-t-il toutes les religions ?" en 10 langues.
      Il faut utiliser VLC pour la visualiser et utiliser l'option Audio pour sélectionner  la langue (Anglais, Arabe ……). Par défaut c'est le français qui est actif.
      Bonne utilisation dans le service pour Jéhovah. 
      Toutes Religions Bonnes 3,55 min (10).mkv
    • By jpl
      Bonjour à tous, qui connait cette application Floating Bible (pour android) ?
      Personnellement je trouve l'accès à la bible très rapide on y trouve aussi les cantiques en mode texte ainsi que le texte du jour. Il s'agit d'une application autonome.
      A l'écoute de vos avis….
      JPL
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Luke 10 v 21  In that very hour he became overjoyed in the holy spirit and said: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have carefully hidden these things from wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children. Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.
      This seems to show that 'higher education' was not needed to learn, understand and teach, the truth from God, at that time. 
      It seems to be a well know thing within the JW Org and by people outside of same, that JW's are 'told' not to aim for higher education. I say told, although some will say strongly advised, with a possible caution of being disfellowshipped. 
      Now I've noticed on here recently that deep conversation about many things has been and is taking place. Politics earthwide. religious beliefs earthwide and the latest thing seems to be Evolution (from a very deep standpoint ). ( These things were never taught to me at school. )
      I left school at 15 years old, as soon as I was able, for reasons previously mentioned. Here in UK now teenagers have to remain in education until they are 18. The three years from 15 to 18 seem to me to be almost 'higher education', but compulsory.  How much they learn at school now I've no idea. 
      My feelings are, and yes ok i cannot put proof to these feelings, but, my feelings are, that all forms of higher education are advised against by the GB and the JW Org. Some of you may have some proof of this in writing. So, where does this leave JW's ?
      If a young person leaves school to go into full time 'service' ministry, they do not get a higher education. Their 'basic' education may have been just that, very basic. They are then not 'qualified' to talk to others on a higher education level, and this might even be to the point of not understanding such things as are being discussed on here lately. 
      ( Much of what is being discussed leaves me miles behind. I'm a very simple person. Plus at 69 I forget more than i learn. Yes I do write lots of notes and have books for recording different things, but the mind boggles. )
      With respect for those I knew and loved in the past, within my ex congregation, many of them were 'simple country folk'. And I think Tom said about not having the time or inclination to do research online or or otherwise. So let us go back to the scripture at the top. 
      So many questions. Does God reveal more to those of a lesser education ?  Is higher education and greater knowledge a disadvantage when wanting to serve God properly?
      Or is it that those of higher education are too stubborn to learn God's way ?  Too proud maybe ?   
      There are many things that the Bible doesn't tell us. is that deliberate ? Does God want to keep it simple for us ? So, should we pursue more knowledge about worldly things ? 
      A problem may occur when talking to others about God, in that they may have more knowledge on a certain subject than we do and therefore believe something different. Should we then educate ourselves to their level on the same subject, or just pass them by ?  Bearing in mind the scripture at the top of this page. 
      There has to be a balance of course. But my feelings are that the GB would like JW's to be educated only by the Watchtower studies and by the 'workbook' evening meeting studies. And of course by personal Bible reading.   But do JW's do as they are told in this respect or do a lot of them 'educate themselves', or take further education elsewhere ? 
       
       
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