Monday, December 7, 2015

Is Christmas Real?

Is Christmas Real?

1 Timothy 3:16

16  By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

‘He Who was manifested in the flesh,

Was justified in His spirit,

Was shewn to the angels,

Was proclaimed among the nations,

Was believed on in the world,

Was taken up in glory.’

I.  Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?[1]

“Matthew published his own Gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the church there. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the Gospel preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his Gospel while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.”  (180 A.D.)

Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 3.3.4.  Strobel, Lee (2009-07-27).

II.  Does Archeology confirm the biographies?

“Gaius Vibius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt [says]: Seeing that the time has come for the house to house census, it is necessary to compel all those who for any cause whatsoever are residing out of their provinces to return to their own homes, that they may both carry out the regular order of the census and may also attend diligently to the cultivation of their allotments.”  (AD 104)

John McRay, Archaeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1991), 155,  [2]

III.  Can a reasonable person believe in a virgin birth?

“The grounds for belief and disbelief are the same today as they were two thousand — or ten thousand — years ago. If St. Joseph had lacked faith to trust God or humility to perceive the holiness of his spouse, he could have disbelieved the miraculous origin of her Son as easily as any modern man; and any modern man who believes in God can accept the miracle as easily as St. Joseph did.” C.S. Lewis Miracles

IV.  So when was Messiah/Christ Jesus born?

                           i.      Born somewhere between 6 B.C. and 2 B.C.

                           ii.     Wise men may have seen “the star” in June and arrive when Messiah Jesus is two years old. – Star may have been planned to signal the birth of John the Baptist.

                         iii.     Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was conceived just after Yom Kippur (Tishri 10) and born 40 weeks later in Tammuz (June/July).   Luke 1:36 tells us that John was about six months older than Jesus. 

                       iv.     Jesus was perhaps conceived in Nisan (Mar/Apr), near Passover, and born about 40 weeks later during late December. About six months after John the Baptist. (

V.   So ….. For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2Peter 1:16)[3]

[1] You can get F.F. Bruce’s book;  Are the New Testament Documents Reliable at

The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ
by Gary R. Habermas 
The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger by Lee Strobel

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