Sunday, December 24, 2023

Attacks on the Christmas Feast from a Protestant, Answered

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Answering Tovia Singer on December 25 · Sharing on December 25, Kurt Simmons · Attacks on the Christmas Feast from a Protestant, Answered · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Two Challenges Against Christmas, Answered

The True Date of Christ's Birth
History of Redemption | 25 Dec. 2016

First my answer to this video:

1:16 Actually, the day God became Man was 9 months earlier.

Jesus Christus, aeternus Deus aeternique Patris Filius, mundum volens adventu suo piissimo consecrare, de Spiritu Sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus Homo. Nativitas Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum carnem.

Note, "factus Homo" means "having become man" ... and the martyrology mentions "novemque post conceptionem decursis mensibus"

4:07 Oh, wait, you are assuming that the Purification was after Herod's death?

That's an assumption, not actually in the Bible text.

5:28 What if the Purification passed by under Herod's radar, before he heard of the Magi and their request?

6:07 Here is Luke 2.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 21 And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. 22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:

A straightforward reading of this at least suggests that this happened while they were still staying in Bethlehem.

Herod is not mentioned in Luke.

Now, is there anything in the account from Matthew to suggest the contrary?

1 When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. 2 Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. 3 And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Now, is there anything here that says this happened immediately after the birth? No. The English translation "when ... was born" could suggest it, but Greek genitive absolute could have as a more wooden translation "Jesus having been born" ... γεννηθέντος is an aorist passive participle, not a present passive participle. It denotes previous action, not simultaneous action.

In verse 20, we do not find Herod having sought the life of the teknon, but of the paidion, which means little or young child. Not necessarily a newborn, but a toddler too would qualify.

20 Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.
λέγων· ἐγερθεὶς παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ πορεύου εἰς γῆν Ἰσραήλ· τεθνήκασιν γὰρ οἱ ζητοῦντες τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ παιδίου.

And that Our Lord had been born an indefinite time before which could take up to two years is perfectly compatible with the terms of Herod's order.

16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

8:02 No, it does not say that this happened on the very night when Jesus was born. What the English translation "when Jesus was born" sounds like to you is not what the Greek text actually says.

The Catholic translation says "by night" ... meaning, St. Joseph left when there was less risk of being detected. "αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς" is not "that night" but "τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ" is followed by "νυκτὸς" meaning "by night" ...

8:08 Infant child? Does not say so in Matthew 2. Mother not Healed? Also does not say so in Matthew 2.

Welcome to the land of eisegesis!

12:30 "they were not bothered by any soldiers"

An excellent reason why this happened before Herod's death, not some week or two after it.

13:17 You are giving very excellent proof that Joseph did not go to Jerusalem from Nazareth that year!

16:58 The one thing you could catch on to to defend Jesus could not have been born earlier is, He was "around thirty" (Luke 3:23) in the "15th year of Tiberius" (Luke 3:1).

Which might be somewhat awkward if He was born for instance in 5 BC or 6 BC. However, even that argument would hinge on Josephus getting the time when Herod died absolutely correct, not just in relation to when his reign began, but when that was in relation to the BC/AD divide or to years within AD.

Next, Taylor Marshall's answer on the positive arguments FOR Jesus being born December 25th:

Yes, Jesus was born on Dec 25! Dr Marshall proves Dec 25 birth of Christ
Dr Taylor Marshall | 20 Dec. 2019

Dito, a Dominican on when St. Hippolytus of Rome identified December 25. Before "Sol Invictus" is mentioned:

Why is Christmas on December 25th?
DSPT - Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology | 25 Dec. 2019

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