Why do Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus wasn't born on December 25 yet celebrate Christmas?
Bible scholars of many religions recognise that Jesus was not
born on December 25, not just Jehovah's Witnesses. The fact is, the
Bible does not tell us when he was born.
Commenting on this, McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia says:
'The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor
is it of N[ew] T[estament] origin. The day of Christ's birth cannot
be ascertained from the N[ew] T[estament], or, indeed, from any
other source." In other words, there is no way to figure out
the exact date of Jesus birth.
Luke 2:8-11 shows that shepherds were in the fields at night at
the time of Jesus' birth. The book Daily Life in the Time of Jesus
states: 'The flocks . . . passed the winter under cover; and from
this alone it may be seen that the traditional date for Christmas,
in the winter, is unlikely to be right, since the Gospel says that
the shepherds were in the fields.'
So why was December 25 chosen by the early Catholic church as
the date to celebrate the birth of Jesus? The New Catholic
Encyclopedia states: 'The date of Christ's birth is not known.
The Gospels indicate neither the day nor the month . . . According
to the hypothesis suggested by H. Usener . . . and accepted by most
scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the
winter solstice' (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6
in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began its return
to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies
natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun). On Dec. 25,
274, Aurelian had proclaimed the sun-god principal patron of the
empire and dedicated a temple to him in the Campus Martius.
Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the sun was
particularly strong at Rome. (1967), Vol. III, p. 656. The church
decided to use the Pagan holiday of the Saturnalia, which was a
celebration to the sun god as the date for Christmas. Many of the
customs of Christmas were actually carried over from the Saturnalia
celebration, and other customs were added later from other Pagan
The Encyclopedia Americana states: 'During the Saturnalia . . .
feasting prevailed, and gifts were exchanged.' (1977, Vol. 24, p.
299) Most of the customs associated with Christmas are not of
Christain origin, but can be traced back to Pagan rituals and
Is there any objection to sharing in celebrations that may
have unchristian roots as long as it is not done for religious
reasons? What does the Bible say?
Eph. 5:10, 11 says: 'Keep on making sure of what is
acceptable to the Lord; and quit sharing with them in the
unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be
2 Cor. 6:14-18: 'What fellowship do righteousness and
lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness?
Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be′lial? Or what
portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what
agreement does God's temple have with idols? . . . ''Therefore get
out from among them, and separate yourselves,' says Jehovah, 'and
quit touching the unclean thing''; ''and I will take you in, . . .
and you will be sons and daughters to me,' says Jehovah the
Illustration: Suppose a crowd come to a gentleman's home saying
they are there to celebrate his birthday. He does not favor the
celebration of birthdays. He does not like to see people overeat or
get drunk or engage in loose conduct. But some of them do all those
things, and they bring presents for everyone there except him! On
top of all that, they pick the birthday of one of the man's enemies
as the date for the celebration. How would the man feel? Would you
want to be a party to it? This is exactly what is being done by
Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas. We do not feel
that it is a Christian holiday. We do not believe that it honors
Jesus, who is a mighty king, now ruling in heaven, and not a
helpless baby in a manger. While we make this choice ourselves, we
respect other people's right of other religions to choose
otherwise. ANSWERI don't think they do celebrate Christmas. I
know several people who are Jehovahs witnesses that don't
celebrate. She actually isn't at school on the last few days of
term before Christmas to avoid getting involved.
Jehovah's witnesses don't celebrate Christmas for the reasons
given above and also because Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, not
Bethlehem, so why wasnt Jesus born there? The taxes were due to be
paid to Ceaser and they had to travel to do so. It would not have
been expected for them to make this journey in the dead of winter,
more like early autum. Im not a religious person myself but I can
see the logic in the Witnesses reasoning behind not celebrating
Christmas, what would be the point if Jesus wasnt born then?
Although, my understanding is, that even if he was, they still
wouldn't celebrate as they don't celebrate birthdays either. There
are two birthdays mentioned in the bible and both resulted in
murder. If the person who asked this question knows Jehovah's
Witnesses who do celebrate Christmas, then they not really
Witnesses as its not somthing they can pick and choose, and why
bother being in a religion if you don't follow it properly? Surely
if they believe in God then they believe He can see them pulling
Also an answer:
Answer 2: The exact date of Christ's birth is not known, "says
the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. Still, millions of
professed Christians around the globe celebrate the birth of Jesus
on December 25. Although the Bible does not give a specific date
for Jesus' birth, it does provide evidence that he was not born in
December. Significantly, most historians and Bible scholars reject
December 25 as Jesus' date of birth. No doubt you will find such
information in an encyclopedia to which you have access. Our Sunday
Visitors Catholic Encyclopedia states: There is a general agreement
that Jesus was not born on December 25. Hundreds of years after
Jesus' death, December 25 was chosen as the date of his birth.
Encyclopedia Britannica states: One widespread explanation of the
origin of this date is that December 25 was the Christianizing of
the dies solis invicti nati (day of the birth of the unconquered
sun a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the
winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the
casting away of winter and the heralding of the rebirth of spring
and summer. (See Jehovah's Witnesses official website for further