ASK Commentary
December 24, 2001 

The Errors of Christmas

QUESTION ELEVEN: “Since your book “The Star that Astonished the World” makes it clear that the real birthday of Christ was on September 11th in 3 B.C., why not start a movement to get the celebration of Christmas changed to this true date? Since it already has a reason to be celebrated in the future by people of the United States and Britain (because of the tragedy of September 11th concerning the destruction of the World Trade Center towers), why not simply change it from a celebration of sorrow (that the tragedy that happened on September 11th would invoke each year as an anniversary) into a joyous one? The anniversary of Christ’s nativity as the Son of God into the world would certainly promote joy would it not? If this were done, we could correct the world into celebrating the birthdate of Christ on the right day of the solar year and change a sorrowful anniversary into a joyous one?”

ANSWER TO QUESTION ELEVEN: Whoa, please, and hold the reins of your horses. Do not get carried away with suggesting another birthday to celebrate for the birthday of Christ (even the true one on the ancient Roman solar calendar that answers to September 11th). First of all, there is not a word in the Holy Scriptures that we should honor or acknowledge any day of the year as the birthday of Christ. It is NOT the birth of Christ that we are commanded to recognize. Christ commanded a very opposite time to celebrate the role of Christ into the world. Within New Testament theology, Christ said it was the season of His DEATH at the Passover when people were to observe the Lord’s Supper (just after sundown on Nisan 14th). The New Covenant “Lord’s Supper” that was first taught by Christ was always celebrated just after sundown on Nisan 14 in the Springtime (the first month of the Hebrew calendar). There is not a particle of teaching in Scripture that focuses on His birth as a time to celebrate annually.

Indeed, the Bible shows not the slightest indication that Christ’s birth should be acknowledged in any manner. But if one did decide to honor Christ’s birthday, it should be done NOT by the Roman Solar calendar date of September 11th which is purely a Solar date (without reference to the Moon). The celebration should be on the Day of Trumpets (Rosh Ha-Shanah) which is always a NEW MOON DAY (the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishri), the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. That New Moon day varies each year on the solar calendar and is NOT attached to a specific day in a Sun cycle scheme (like the pagans were prone to follow). For example, the New Moon day of Rosh Ha-Shanah began at sundown on September 17th in this year of 2001. In 2002, it will start at sundown on September 6th. In 2003 it will start at sundown on September 26th. In 2004, it starts at sundown September 15th. And in 2005, it starts at sundown on September 3. That is quite a variation on the solar calendar. This shows that the Roman calendar that produces September 11th each year relative to the Sun (that does not involve the important cycles of the Moon), is not in tune with the Lunar/Solar calendar of the Hebrews that was provided by God to Moses to the children of Israel.

If one really wanted to celebrate Jesus’ birthday accurately each year (though there is no command in the Bible to do so), it would always be observed starting at sundown on the Day of Trumpets (or, in Hebrew, Rosh Ha-Shanah). Only by using the true biblical calendar would the celebration of Jesus’ birth be accurate. But since there is no command anywhere in the Holy Scriptures to celebrate Jesus’ birthday in any fashion whatever, it is better to treat all such days as common for those of us who understand and abide by the teachings of “the Mystery” that was taught by the apostle Paul in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. With the true understanding of the mature doctrines of Christ that we know today, even the holy periods once given to Israel are irrelevant. See my book “The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine” for an understanding of these primary matters.

We humans should never be in the business of creating new holy days that are NOT sanctioned by the Scriptures. Indeed, it is wrong to do so. National holidays like July 4th and Thanksgiving are fine (because they are secular government days and have no divine sanction accorded them), but “holy days” themselves with religious overtones are for God to command, not us humans. September 11th should be left alone and to be remembered in honor of those who died on that tragic day this year by acts of criminal terrorists against innocent victims. Yes, September 11th is important for us to honor our heroes, but we should NEVER MAKE that day a “new Christmas,” nor is it a proper birthdate of Christ as reckoned by a very different calendar that was revealed to Moses. Let us quit creating holy days that are in accord with false solar calendars that God does not approve. We will all be better educated (and more in tune with the simple and plain teachings of the Scriptures) if we allow God to tell us what holy days to observe, and that we cease creating our own sacred occasions that are at variance with His divine and holy teachings. And once again remember, let us not put Christ BACK INTO CHRISTMAS on December 25th when Christ Jesus of the Bible was NOT IN CHRISTMAS in the first place. It is time to jettison these false “church” holy days that have no divine sanction whatever. 

Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D.

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