I see a lot of people say, "Keep Christ in Christmas..." I'm like why? Did He pop out of it somehow? Has He escaped? Or isn't He as interested in it as a lot of us like to think He is?
I say, if Christ is in Christmas, He will evince it (make it evident), for the Scripture says Jerub-Baal, or let the Lord contend. If He's not, then somebody's been trying to put His name on someone else's holiday. Like, say, oh.... Saturnalia? Tammuz? Odin's birth? ... Hmmmm..... Funny how they all land on Dec. 25 and predate Christ. I'd hate to think God's not original.
The astronomer Adam Rutherford, using Biblical clues and evidence from Flavius Josephus among other sources, as well as astronomical science, actually determined that Jesus Christ was not born on Christmas (which is a word meaning Christ-Mass, mass being from masa, the barley cakes Babylonians and other pagan nations baked to Astarte the Queen of Heaven.) He was born, but not at that time of year.
A common farming and shepherding practice of seasonal migration, called transhumance, which was practiced in the Mediterranean results in herdsmen taking to the mountains for summer forage, not winter -- so you didn't see shepherds hanging around the Jerusalem hills in December to get rained and snowed on when the valleys are milder. They came up for the summer half of the year after the hot sun and lack of rain dried out the lowlands. (So much for Silent Night, huh.) That means Jesus's birth had to occur, from the Biblical evidence, during the summer half of the year, May to October.
Next factor for time of year was the birth of John... that can be dated on the calendar from the week his father Zechariah served his course in the Temple in Jerusalem. Luke records that he was in the course of Abijah, which served the 8th week after Passover and after the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth.) When he came home he "knew" his wife Elizabeth -- 80 plus years old and a miracle happened. Six months later Mary the BVM encounters Elizabeth and little John in the womb leaps, and Mary is pregnant soon thereafter. Add nine months and out comes Jesus. Well... here's some math -- add 6 plus 9 and you get 15 months after Zechariah's turn at the altar (not his wedding, but pleasure follows.) :) If it's after Passover, his course occurs somewhere in June (depending on the year), and if after Sukkoth, it ends up in December. Add 15 months, you get either September the year later, or March. You can go to Adam Rutherford for the exact calculation which also figures in the spectacular astronomical conjunctions of 3 to 2 BC.
In any case, from the Bible clues we know Jesus was born either in early spring or in early fall... well... transhumance tells us early spring is out -- still too cold and wet for the shepherds to take to the hills. They didn't get there till May or June in most places. There is also not much going on in Jerusalem in early spring -- Passover is still a month away generally. So... no room at the inn? I'd say there is. A little evidence changes the whole story, doesn't it?
So what about September? Rutherford's dating brings the birth of Jesus to late in the month, landing RIGHT ON Rosh Hashanah that year, 2 BC, as he calculated it -- not using the common medieval formula which was not in use for centuries still to come, but the practical dead reckoning of the day, which involved tracking the vernal equinox, spotting new moons, and other astronomical observations made by the priests. It comes out to September 29, 2 BC, to make a long story short. What's going on in Jerusalem and Bethlehem then?
How about throngs of people crowding into the Jerusalem metro area for the High Holy Days which begin with Rosh Hashanah itself? No room at the inns, they're all taken... people are loaded with offerings and money to bring to the Temple... which is how the Romans get to tax them, too. And the shepherds? It's still hot in Israel in late September. They're in the hills, in the right spot, plus they too worship at the Temple.
Rutherford and Dr. Gene Scott have gone into more depth, but basically I'm convinced the birth of Christ had nothing to do with the "16" or now I hear "30 crucified saviors" or "white masters" -- white being their clothing -- or other such December 25 related connections. He was born on or very close to September 29, 2 BC, Rosh Hashanah, a holiday God ordained on Mount Sinai to Moses; the wise men's gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense were for Him alone as gifts from subjects giving to their King. The closest you get to December 25 is maybe His conception... but count back 280 days from September 29 for a normal term... December 23. Give or take a few days or even a week, still a normal pregnancy. It's possible. But who ever mentions an Immaculate Conception being Dec. 25 for the "16 crucified saviors" or the "30 Ascended Masters?" It's always a birth, isn't it. But it ain't Jesus's birth.
Maybe some prophet way back when received info about how and when the Messiah would enter the world... but didn't get the rest of the memo...the BIRTH DATE.... and all those ancient idolaters never got the rest of the story....?