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25 December 2005

Whose Birth Day is it Anyway? Christ, Constantine, Sol Invictus: the Unconquerable Sun (an excerpt)

Pictured below- Statues of Christ, Son of G-d and Apollo, Sun God.

by Ralph Monday
Christian Overlays of Christmas
Two important contributions that the reign of Constantine wrought were the establishments of the dates of Christmas and Easter. However, neither holidays are unique and original to the church, they are overlays of much earlier traditions, and both are connected to the sun, the former to the winter solstice and the latter to the vernal equinox. Again, the passage of the sun across the ecliptic demonstrates the astronomical motif that has been grafted onto the Christian god.
Constantine may not have completely established the date of Christmas, but what is clear is that he had considerable influence in setting the date of December 25 as Christ's birthday. After Constantine's victory, in perhaps 320 or 353 C.E. the church decreed that December 25 would become the standard day of observance for the birth of Christ. However, this date had long been recognized in antiquity as the return of the sun, for in ancient times, before the establishment of the Gregorian calendar, December 25 was the date of the winter solstice, the point when the sun has reached its southern most trek below the equator, where it appears to stand still for three days. After that time it begins to move back toward the northern hemisphere, gaining strength with each passing day the "sun is born," or the "light comes into the world," or "the light of the world" is at hand. Christmas, during the early centuries, was the most variable of the Christian feast days, and was often confused with the Epiphany, and celebrated in the months of April and May. Pope Julius I, in the fourth century commanded a committee of bishops to establish the date of the nativity of Jesus. December 25 (the day of Sol Invictus, the invincible sun) was decided upon. Not coincidentally, that is the day when the "pagan world celebrated the birth of their Sun Gods-Egyptian Osiris, Greek Apollo and Bacchus, Chaldean Adonis, Persian Mithra-when the Zodiacal sign of Virgo (the sun is born of a virgin) rose on the horizon. Thus the ancient festival of the Winter Solstice, the pagan festival of the birth of the Sun, came to be adopted by the Christian Church as the nativity of Jesus, and was called Christmas" (Crosbie). The church found itself:
By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern churches, where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god (natalis solis invicti), and that the Saturnalia also came at this time(Collier's Encyclopedia, CD-ROM).
Further, according to Annie Besant:
He is always born at the winter solstice, after the shortest day in the year, at the midnight of the 24th December when the sign Virgo is rising above the horizon; born as this Sign is rising, he is born always of a virgin, and she remains a virgin after she has given birth to her Sun-child as the celestial Virgo remains unchanged and unsullied when the Sun comes forth from her in the Heavens. Weak, feeble as an infant is he, born when the days are shortest and the nights are longest....(qtd. in Bailey)
The connection to the sun as a solar deity, the light and soul of the world, when it is reborn at the winter solstice, became the birthday of Christ, and he is but one manifestation of many ancient rchetypal savior deities.

Is it any wonder why the Christian sabbath falls on "SUN-DAY"? More issues to ponder: Was Jesus Christ a Jew who both avoided pork and who was circumcised? Was is St Paul who eliminated these compulsory rules for Christians? Was the idea of Trinity invented to make Christianity more attractive to pagans? It seems that the more that I research such issues, the more it seems that plagiarism was the rule, not the exception, for both Christianity and Islam (among untold other competing religions). At the Council of Nicea, it is said that the four chapters of the Bible were selected when ALL Christian texts were placed beneath a table overnight- those which miraculously ended up on top of the table by dawn, became the Bible scripture, and all of the rest was burned. Truth or fiction? I don't know or pretend to know. We all pick and choose that which we believe is true, and that which we dismiss as false or incorrect becomes obvious. Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

As you point out, December 25 is not the birthday of Christ. It's the birthday of the pagan sun gods, Mithras, Saturn, and the like. Constantine and the Roman church did Christianity a great disservice by incorporating the pagan Babylonian (Greek, Roman)system into the Christian faith around 325 AD. Few Christians realize that Chrismas and Easter (Istar, Eostre) are pagan holidays. Jesus was probably born in the Fall, and he was resurrected on First Fruits, the Sunday after Passover. Leviticus 23 outlines God's feasts (in contrast to pagan feasts). The Spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Latter First Fruits or Pentecost) of Leviticus 23 were fulfilled with Jesus' first coming. The Fall feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Tabernacles) will be fulfilled at His Second Coming. Saturday is still the Sabbath. It's part of Creation (Exodus 20: 8-11). As far as I know, early Christians honored the Sabbath. It was Constantine who forced Christians to observe SUN-day.

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