Most scholars agree that, according to the Scriptures, the Incarnation could not have been in December.  In other words, Jesus could not have been born on December 25.  This fact does not seem to deter the millions of people around the world, not to mention retailers, from continuing the tradition to celebrate on this day. The celebration of the Feasts of the Lord often elicits arguments if not breaks in fellowship, and yet try to tell a non-Jewish Christian not to celebrate Christmas, a holiday which springs from pagan roots….well you’ve got a real fight on your hands.

My intention here is NOT to argue, debate, judge or to try to change anyone’s mind.  Personally I love the celebratory atomosphere and the fact that the name of Jesus is on so many lips. My intention here is to give you information.


Jesus was NOT born in December. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”  (Luke 2:8)


Anyone who has visited Israel in late November or December understands the folly of thinking that shepherds would have been in the fields at night.  While days in Jerusalem might be sunny and actually warm, when the sun begins to set about 4 PM, everyone reaches for warm jackets!


With the end of the Feasts of Tabernacles in late September or early October, the latter rains begin.  Even our paved roads are sometimes hard to travel.  Imagine what it would have been like to travel on dirt roads.  Herod would never have called for a census in December

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:6-7)

The only times Jerusalem would be so crowded was during the three pilgrim feasts:

  • Passover in the Spring
  • Shavuot (Pentecost) in the Summer
  • Succot (Tabernacles or Booths) in the Fall

There would not have been an overcrowded situation in December.  Miriam (Mary) and Joseph would have found a place to stay. So WHEN was Jesus born?  Many people suggest that He was born during the Feast of Tabernacles.  They base this on the promise that one day God would again “tabernacle” with His people. I suggest that through the Holy Spirit, God IS tabernacling among His people.  And yes, there will come a day when He will do so again in the flesh. I further suggest, not affirm mind you, that perhaps…just perhaps He was born during the Feast of the Memorial or Rosh haShanna.

To be continued…

 To order:

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