Were Many Pagan “Gods” Born on December 25th? Here’s the Truth

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It’s become a common claim among atheists and others against religion to say that many pagan gods were born on December 25th. The implication is that the story of Jesus’ life is really just an amalgamation of pagan myths.

You may have seen graphics like this floating around:

via atheistmovies.blogspot.com

The problem is that it’s completely false: these pagan figures (most of whom are mythical) either weren’t born on December 25th or we don’t know when they were born.

For example, Horus was believed to have been born in the summer. No one knows when Zoroaster was born, but he is remembered as part of the New Year festival in Iran in March. Krishna‘s birthday is celebrated in August. There is no specific birthday for Adonis. The same goes for Hermes. Etc.

Further, the paragraph about Jesus is also problematic. Among both Christian and non-Christian scholars, there is no serious dispute about whether Jesus existed. Regarding when he was born, no one knows for sure (the Bible doesn’t say), but there are actually some good reasons to think Jesus was born on or around December 25th. Lastly, there isn’t any solid evidence that Christians chose December 25th to celebrate Christmas as a way of Christianizing pagan holidays.

So why did people start believing this in the first place? These ideas were popularized by Zeitgeist, a low quality documentary that garnered an online following in the last decade or so. But it’s not true!

So help spread the truth!

[See also: Fascinating: What Christmas Services Looked Like Around the World in 1950]

[See also: One of the Best Christmas Ads Ever? The Amazing WW1 Christmas Truce of 1914]

Comments

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  7. What a load of rubbish. Historical documents are littered with information which proves Christianity stole most Pagan or other religious festivals and holidays. And I’m a Christian! It’s in terrible taste to tell lies to prove a point. Not a teaching Our Lord, Jesus would subscribe to at all!

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  16. Aurelian instituted the winter solstice as the birthday of Sol Invictus in 274 AD, the church declared that December 25th would be celebrated as Jesus’ birthday in 336 AD and then a Philocalian Calendar dating from 354 AD mentions that December 25th is both the birthday of Sol Invictus and Jesus’ birthday. Given the facts, I think it’s more likely that Christians chose December 25th to coincide with the Sol Invictus day than the other way around.

    Also, it is highly unlikely that the Romans would have called a census in the winter. A census would probably be taken in a warmer month after harvest time instead of December. October, after the main harvests in Israel, tends to be a dry month and the temperature is moderate. December is cold and rainy.

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