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Is Christmas Biblical or Heathen?


Ancient heathens worshipped a virgin mother goddess.  They celebrated the birth of her child (the sun/moon incarnate) around December 25th (“Ashtaroth”/“Diana” and “Tammuz” in the Bible—Judges 2:12-14; Ezek 8:14; Acts 19:23-35).  The Catholic Church changed this celebration to the adoration of Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ and called it “Christ-Mass” Day.

The Bible does not say when Christ was born.   It is not probable that the shepherds would be abroad watching their flocks in the depth of winter. Nor is it likely that Caesar Augustus should mandate all his subjects, throughout the whole Roman Empire, to travel to their native cities in the middle of winter, as he did at the time when Christ was born.  The Jews in Judea were later warned, “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter” (Psa 147:17; Mat 24:20; Luke 2:1-8).

In the Bible, God calls heathen worship dedicated “to the LORD” “abomination” that “provokes” His “hot wrath”.  Two examples are the worship of the golden calf (Exod 32:1-10) and the “queen of heaven” (Jer 7:9-30).

The Bible declares that—

  • Jesus Christ “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Heb 10:12).
  • “Christ…once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet 3:18).
  • Christ “offered up Himself (Heb 7:27).  His Divine nature offered His human nature.  Jesus said, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:17,18).

For any “man” to call himself a “priest” or “high priest” (the pope) and claim the authority and power to be able to sacrifice Christ repeatedly in Masses is blasphemy.  Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our High Priest, was qualified to offer Himself, and He did it once, perfectly (Heb 7:22-27; 9:25-28; 10:10-14).

Puritans in England and America’s Founders were Bible-believing Protestants.  They denounced the Mass as “abomination” and legally abolished Christmas celebrations.  Shops remained open and churches closed.  An eminent 17th century Puritan minister, Increase Mather, who was president of Harvard College for 26 years, wrote this about “Christ-mass”—“Why should Protestants own any thing which has the name of Mass in it? How unsuitable is it to join Christ and Mass together? i.e., Christ and Antichrist. “What communion hath light with darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Cor. 6:14,15).

Christmas did not become a federal holiday until 1870.

“Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen….For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jer 10:2-4). Christmas customs come from heathen religions —candles/lights (honoring the incarnate sun god), evergreen trees (a symbol of the incarnate sun god—called a “green tree” in the Bible, Deu 12:2), gift-giving, revelry, holly/greenery, bells, mistletoe, Yule logs, twelve days, Santa Claus, etc.

Santa blasphemously counterfeits the Lord Jesus Christ, claiming attributes belonging to Almighty God alone.  Santa is—eternal (no beginning or end), omnipresent (sees you night and day), and omniscient (all-knowing).  He sits on a throne, works miracles, judges (bad or good), and gives gifts to those believing in him (Psa 139; Prov 15:3; Jer 23:24; Micah 5:2; Rom 14:10; Heb 1:8; 7:3; 11:6; Rev 22:13).

The Bible declares, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23; 2 Cor 9:15).  The “angel of the Lord” once said to the “shepherds”, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”.  This is “good tidings….to all people” at all times (Luke 2:8-11)!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Believest thou this?” (John 3:16-18; 11:25,26)






Diana was at once a mother-goddess and a virgin-goddess.

  1. Babylon Mystery Religion(1966)

Ralph Woodrow

(p. 17)

At Ephesus.  It was in this city that Diana had been worshipped as the goddess of virginity and motherhood from primitive times.



The Two Babylons (1916)

Alexander Hislop

(p. 96)

It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the one only God. * When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as God incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the Sun.



  1. The Catholic Encyclopedia(Christmas)

Concerning the date of Christ’s birth the Gospels give no help. The census would have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.

The well-known solar feast of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.

  1. The Catholic Encyclopedia(Paganism)

Water, oil, light, incense, singing, procession, prostration, decoration of altars, vestments of priests, are naturally at the service of universal religious instinct. Little…was directly borrowed by the Church — without being “baptized”, as was the *Pantheon. Even pagan feasts may be “baptized”.  The date of Christmas Day may be due to the same instinct which placed on 25 Dec., the Natalis Invicti of the solar cult.

[*The Roman Pantheon was built to honour Jove/Jupiter and all the ancient gods. It was rededicated in 609 by the Catholic Church to the Virgin Mary and all the saints. ]

  1. The Two Babylons (1916)

Alexander Hislop

(pp. 91-94)

The Bible: How comes it that that festival was connected with the 25th of December? There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there, implies that at what time soever His birth took place, it could not have been on the 25th of December. At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, * and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October. *

The celebrated Joseph Mede pronounces a very decisive opinion to the same effect. At the birth of Christ every woman and child was to go to be taxed at the city whereto they belonged, whither some had long journeys; but the middle of winter was not fitting for such a business, especially for women with child, and children to travel in. Therefore, Christ could not be born in the depth of winter. Again, at the time of Christ’s birth, the shepherds lay abroad watching with their flocks in the night time; but this was not likely to be in the middle of winter. And if any shall think the winter wind was not so extreme in these parts, let him remember the words of Christ in the gospel, ‘Pray that your flight be not in the winter.’ If the winter was so bad a time to flee in, it seems no fit time for shepherds to lie in the fields in, and women and children to travel in.” *

Indeed, it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties * that the day of our Lord’s birth cannot be determined, * and that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance.

Anglo Saxons: The 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, “Yule-day,” or the “Child’s day,” and the night that preceded it, “Mother night,” * long before they came in contact with Christianity.

Arabians: Among the Sabeans of Arabia, who regarded the moon, and not the sun, as the visible symbol of the favourite object of their idolatry, the same period was observed as the birth festival. Thus we read in Stanley’s Sabean Philosophy: “On the 24th of the tenth month,” that is December, according to our reckoning, “the Arabians celebrated the BIRTHDAY OF THE LORD—that is the Moon.” *

Rome: The 25th of December, the day that was observed at Rome as the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, was held at the Natalis invicti solis, “The birth-day of the unconquered Sun.” *

  1. Increase Mather

17th century Massachusetts Puritan clergyman

Against Profane Christ-mass Keeping.

It is not probable that the Shepherds would be abroad watching their Flocks in the Depth of Winter. And though in Judaea the summer be hot, yet the winter is cold (Mat 24:20; Psa 147:17)…. Nor is it likely that Augustus should enjoin all his Subjects throughout the whole Roman World to travel into their own cities in the midst of Winter, as he did at the Time when Christ was born. Luke 2:1….

Christmas Holidays were at first invented and institute in compliance with the Pagan Festivals, of old observed at that very time of the Year. This [De Antiq. Conviv. p. 133.] Stuckius has fully cleared. And [De Origine Festorum Christ.] Hospinian speaketh judiciously, when he saith, that he doth not believe that they who first of all observed the Feast of Christ’s Nativity in the latter end of December, did it as thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian. Whilst the Saturnalian Days lasted, the observers of them were wont to send Gifts one to another. The like is done by many in Christmas time. From these Considerations not only Protestant writers, but some Papists [P. Jovius Histor. L. 38. Polydor. Virgil. de Rerum Inventoribus L. 5. c.2.] acknowledge that Christmas Holidays succeed the Old Saturnalia of the Heathen.

Now for Christians thus to practise, is against clear Scripture, which commands the Lord’s People not to learn the way of the Heathen, nor do after their manner—

  • “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jer 10:2).
  • “Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” (Lev 20:23).
  • ““And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you” (Ezek 11:12).


1.Penalty for Keeping Christmas, 1659


  1. Christmas in Puritan New England

Massachusetts and Connecticut followed the Plymouth Colony in refusing to condone any observance of the day. [2] When the Puritans came to power in England following the execution of King Charles I of England, Parliament of England enacted a law in 1647 abolishing the observance of Christmas. [2][5] The Puritans of New England then passed a series of laws making any observance of Christmas illegal, [7] thus banning Christmas celebrations for part of the 17th century. A Massachusetts law of 1659 punished offenders with a hefty five shilling fine. [5][7]

As late as 1870, classes were scheduled in Boston public schools on Christmas Day and punishments were doled out to children who chose to stay home beneath the Christmas tree. [9][12]

  1. The Pilgrims considered Christmas an abomination

  1. Increase Mather

17th century Massachusetts Puritan clergyman

Against Profane Christ-mass Keeping.

The word Christ-mass is enough to cause such as are studious of reformation to dislike what shall be known by a name so superstitious. Why should Protestants own any thing which has the name of Mass in it? How unsuitable is it to join Christ and Mass together? i.e., Christ and Antichrist. But what Communion has light with Darkness, and what concord hath Christ with Belial? 2 Cor. 6:15.

  1. Increase Mather, president of Harvard for 26 years

List of Harvard presidents


  1. The Two Babylons

Alexander Hislop


(pp. 97-99)


Christmas lights

The candles, in some parts of England, lighted on Christmas-eve, and used so long as the festive season lasts, were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honour to him: for it was one of the distinguishing peculiarities of his worship to have lighted wax-candles on his altars. *

The sun-god was worshipped with burning lamps and lighted candles * When every Egyptian on the same night was required to light a lamp before his house in the open air, this was an act of homage to the sun, that had veiled its glory by enshrouding itself in a human form. *

The Christmas tree

The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; * the palm tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith.


The mistletoe bough in the Druidic superstition was derived from Babylon. The mistletoe was regarded as a divine branch * –a branch that came from heaven, and grew upon a tree that sprung out of the earth.

  1. Babylon Mystery Religion (p. 152)

Ralph Woodrow (1966)

  1. History of Santa Claus

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