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Christmas (or the Feast of the Nativity) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ (Joseph & Mary couldn’t celebrate something that is not happening yet), observed primarily in December as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people worldwide. It is a feast central to the Christian liturgical year (Not for Jews). It is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates Christmastide’s season, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on the Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations. It is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians and culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.
The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament (That will be written a long time after Jesus’ death), says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, under messianic prophecies. When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room, and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born Depending of the writer:
In Luke 2: 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother.
The Gospels of both Matthew and Luke place the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The Gospel of Luke states that Mary gave birth to Jesus and placed him in a manger “because there was no place for them in the inn”. The Greek word kataluma may be translated as either “inn” or “guestroom”, and some scholars have speculated that Joseph and Mary may have sought to stay with relatives, rather than at an inn,
Joseph and Marie were celebrating Hanukkah, a Jewish festival commemorating an early victory in the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire: the recapture of Jerusalem in 164 BCE subsequent rededication of the Second Temple. It is also known as the Festival of Lights.
The name “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew verb “to dedicate”. On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple.
Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by lighting a candelabrum’s candles with nine branches, called a menorah (or hanukkiah).
One branch is typically placed above or below the others, and its candle is used to light the other eight candles. This unique candle is called the shamash “attendant”. Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the festival’s final night.
John 10:22–3: Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch.
The event occurred during the time of approximately 165 BCE.
The story of Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which describe the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah. These books are not part of the canonized Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) used by modern Jews, though the Catholic and Orthodox Churches consider them part of the Old Testament.
The Temple’s eight-day rededication is described in 1 Maccabees 4:36–4:59, though the festival’s name and the miracle of the lights do not appear here. A story similar in character, and older in date, is the one alluded to in 2 Maccabees 1:18–1:36 according to which the relighting of the altar fire by Nehemiah was due to a miracle which occurred on the 25th of Kislev, and which appears to be given as the reason for the selection of the same date for the rededication of the altar by Judah Maccabee. The above account in 1 Maccabees 4, as well as 2 Maccabees 1:9 portrays the feast as a delayed observation of the eight-day Feast of Booths (Sukkot)”; similarly 2 Maccabees 10:6 explains the length of the feast as “in the manner of the Feast of Booths.
Jesus was born on Kislev 24 in the year 3758 (December 13, 4 BCE) or anytime between 7 and 4 BCE. We don’t know the exact time. But the celebration of Hanukkah was on this date December 13, 4 BCE.
By: Jesus Doctrine
Was Jesus Born in a Stable? Where was Jesus born and does it hold any significance?
- Ever wondered about Jesus being born in a stable?
- His first bed being a manger?
- That there was no room in the inn?
Andrew Ollerton tells us what it all actually meant and the circumstances Jesus was born
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