ONE of the most powerful, persistent fake news that has been around for many centuries is that December 25 is the birthday of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, the biggest religion today with 2.4 billion adherents. This is not opinion or conjecture, but has been a well-established fact, even by Catholic scholars.
The only other competing thesis of course, is that the man called Jesus has never existed. Indeed, ancient religions all had similar man-gods — born of a virgin, with a God as invisible father — even born around December 25 — or near the December 22 solstice, that marked the beginning of the end of the “dark and cold” period of winter.
In the first place, the widely accepted account of Jesus’ life, the New Testament, doesn’t of course mention the date of his birth, by whatever calendar the Jews or the Greeks used in that time. In fact, the Bible’s reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) points to a spring date.
Guess who designated December 25 as Jesus’ birthday? The Roman Empire did, after it made Christianity its state religion. (And the fact that it was the largest such empire in the world in that era, and had Europe as its descendants, explains how Christianity became the world’s biggest religion — and not that is the “truest” religion.)(more…)