Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 19th December 2019 in Christmas | christmas,xmas,origins,pagan,pagan roots,church fathers,church history,Saturnalia,Epiphany,Annunciation,Tertullian,Origen,john chrysostom,incarnation,liturgical calendar,church calendar,festivals
...wed these festivals
, as they were still happening in full force whilst the Church was still young and were a contemporary concern, and what date they pinned the birth of Christ on to.
Much of the earliest references to the Nativity occur in a passing way as a commentary on the event rather than anything celebratory about it. Justin Martyr in his First Apology (~160 AD) mentions that Jesus was born 150 years before him, in the time of Quirinius (or Cyrenius as some translations have it – cf. Luke 2:2), where his readers could “ascertain also from the registers” the accuracy of his statement. Tertullian (197 AD) also references this census as a place where...