The Origin of Christmas (How Christmas Became Popular)
- Written by Tim Harris
How, exactly, did Christmas begin?
A quick Internet search revealed 163 million hits about the origin of Christmas.
While I admittedly didn't take the time to look through 163 million links just now, I have yet to run across an article that neatly connects the dots of history from the apostolic age to the appearance of Christmas.
So I decided to write that article.
(Hopefully people will be able to find it amidst the 163 million other pages. Amen? ;-) )
Jewish Feasts and the First Christians
The Law of Moses included an annual calendar of feasts that the children of Israel were required to keep.
The most important were:
- Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread),
- Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) and
- Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths/Ingathering).
(See Ex. 23:14-17 for context.)
These annual feasts were shadows of Jesus—symbolic pointers to the "Real Thing."
Paul wrote the following to the Colossian Christians:
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
(Col. 2:16-17 NIV)
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, three massive transitions occurred during the first century:
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