The Bible and Pagan Holidays

The subject of holidays with pagan origins came up recently in our discussion on Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I mentioned that I consider this a “Samaritan” issue, that is a nonessential.  However, I would like to pursue this a bit in that it has value in a lesson on applying biblical principles on a subject not directly mentioned in the Bible.  Not only that, this is not just a Jehovah’s Witness issue.  I know of Christians who feel uncomfortable with holidays because of their pagan origins and churches that are uncomfortable with Christmas trees for the same reason.  It is not the idea of holidays that are the issue, as Jesus celebrated both biblical (Passover, Tabernacles etc.) and nonbiblical (Hannukah) holidays (holy days).  It is the pagan origins that are the problem.

I already mentioned that pagan influence goes deep in our culture.  Even our days (Wednesday = Woden’s Day, Thursday = Thor’s Day) and months (January = Janus, March = Mars) are often named from the pagan gods.  But to make things even more complicated, the Bible itself is not afraid to borrow from the pagans.  A common word for the world of the dead in the New Testament is hades.  Not only is Hades the place of the dead in Greek mythology, it is also the name of the Greek god of the dead.  Paradise (a favourite term for the resurrection earth for Jehovah’s Witnesses) is a Persian word for garden that was used in Persian mythology to describe the hope of a blessed afterlife.  Obviously the biblical authors were not afraid to borrow from the pagans.  But I believe that there are two passages that are particularly applicable.

In 1 Corinthians 8 (see also 1 Corinthians 10:23-33), Paul discusses the eating of meat that had been dedicated to idols.  This is the heart of pagan origins.  What is interesting is that Paul does not ban the practice.  Paul agrees with the group at Corinth that idols are nothing and that the gods do not exist.  This means that no matter what religious dedication took place, meat is still always just meat.  That does not mean that there is no limit on this freedom.  Although the Corinthians are free to eat the meat, they must be sensitive to the weaker group that still believe that idols are real.  The stronger group should not use their freedom to cause their weaker brothers and sisters to stumble.  The application is obvious.  If you have a Christian friend who comes from a Jehovah’s Witness background or who otherwise believes that holidays are bad, do not send them cards or presents or invite them to your house when it is all decorated.  You are free to celebrate but do not let that cause another to stumble.

But can God really tolerate something of pagan origin?  And is it just bare tolerance or can something of pagan origin actually become positive?  There is a very interesting story that is found in the Old Testament.

“Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.” (Exodus 35:4-9)

We need to ask: where did the Israelites get such treasure?  They were slaves in Egypt and have been on the run since then.  It had to come from somewhere, so where did they get it?  The answer is found in an event after the tenth plague when the Hebrews were still in Egypt.

“The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:35-36)

This is very interesting.  If you have studied anything about Egypt, you will know that very little was “secular.”  It is likely that the gold and the silver that the Hebrews took was covered with images of their gods.  Not only was this treasure of pagan origin allowable for personal use, this was the material that was used to construct the Tabernacle.  The Tabernacle was constructed of material of pagan origin!

What is the application?  Many of our holidays do have some pagan influence in their origins, as does almost every other aspect of society.  The question is: what is their role now?  If Christmas is used to focus on God sending his Son, Easter on the death of Jesus and his resurrection, Thanksgiving to give thanks to God, and New Years to decide to make a new start at a godly life, then God can use these things, even with some pagan origin as he did with the construction of the Tabernacle.

But I must be clear: I am not arguing that people who are uncomfortable with holidays should start celebrating them.  If you are convinced in your mind that holidays are bad, then God bless you.  What I am asking is that people on both sides have tolerance, for as we can see from the biblical witness, the situation is much more complicate than we thought.

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59 thoughts on “The Bible and Pagan Holidays

  1. First, while you may be on the right track re how to deal with pagan influences, no Xian should bother about hurting the feelings of a JW, BECAUSE JWs ARE NOT CHRISTIANS.

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  2. My concern was more for Christians who have come from Jehovah’s Witnesses background and are still affected by that background. In those cases we should be gentle in dealing with them. I do not think that we have to be sensitive to every non-Christian group because then we would not be able to do anything.

  3. Jerry I really have to strongly disagree with your statement, ‘no Xian (sic) should bother about hurting the feelings of a JW’. What happened to ‘Love thy neighbour’? Or ‘Treat others as you would be treated’? Or even ‘All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights’? Even non-Christians (and whether the Witnesses are actually Christians or not is in my opinion debatable) should be treated with respect.

    Jerry can you honestly say that your response is in the Christian spirit?


  5. I genuinely was under the impression that most informed Christians were aware that December 25th was NOT Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday and was derived from the Pagan festival of Saturnalia.

    If one is really interested in determining Jesus’ birthday, then begin your research with Gabriel’s announcement to Zacharias of the course of Abia, the father of John the baptist.

    Gabriel appeared to Mary and said (Luke 1:36):
    “Your blood relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and. this is the sixth month with her, ….”

    So Mary received Gabriel’s announcement while Elizabeth was past five months, but not yet six months pregnant (“in her sixth month.”)

    Compute this with the known course of Abia to perform priestly duties in the Temple, and you have John the Baptist being born on Passover 4BC.

    Jesus died on Passover 30AD.

    The saga of John and Jesus was not told in tandem by Luke and other disciples for no reason.
    The John / Jesus saga began with John’s birth on Passover 4BC, and ended with Jesus’ death also on Passover 30AD.

    From this you may compute Jesus’ birth being very close to the cusp of September / October 4BC.

    Ben Lomond aka Les Kelly,
    = = = = = = = = = =

  6. I have not looked into this very much and have heard a number of theories. Of course you are right about Dec. 25 as Saturnalia. The church Christianized this pagan holiday rather than trying to ban a good party.

  7. Just a thought, instead of nonchalantly implying that ‘the church christianized this pagan holiday rather than trying to ban a good party’, why don’t you speculate that the church christianized this (and other) holiday(s) in an effort to snuff out an older religion and wipe tradition from the minds of the people’?

    I’m just sayin’…

  8. stephen, i would like to add to your thoughts on christians stealing pagan holidays, easter was a pagan holiday, xmas was a pagan holiday. and also while christians claim to be such an amazing religion, they were the ones that killed native american babies, they killed the first born child and they contridicte many of their words. in my views christianity is false worship and a false relgion.

  9. Heather, thanks for your thoughts. I would not say that Christians stole pagan holidays. There really was a birth of Christ, since the date was not know, it made sense to do it on a day that people were used to celebrating. It is like the current change from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays. Secular people are not stealing Christmas, they are simply adapting a current holiday to their own worldview. As for Christians killing native American babies, any crimes committed had nothing to do with Christianity. They may have used Christianity as a tool, but it had nothing to do with the Christian message. Besides, there have been more deaths due to atheist regimes (Hitler, Stalin, Mao) than all the religious crimes put together.

  10. It seems that we have more people arguing an issue that they neither have knowledge of or have bothered to research thoroughly. 1st, anyone who lays claim to ANY RELIGION need to pause and consider. Religion itself is just another MANMADE institution used to segregate, separate, and confuse/lead astray. Take Christians for example. How is it possible for there to be so many different groups (Baptists, Methodists, Pentecost, etc.) under one “Logo” that read from the same book but practice different things? Doesn’t make sense. Guess the same thing can be said about the Governing bodies of this country.??? Ponder??? Bottom line is God said not to worship ANY false gods, to test every spirit, do not follow the ways of man celebrating their creations (false gods both wood and stone, holidays, etc.), and live by every word of the Lord. Once you all read the bible for what it says and stop trying to INTERPRET and REASON, ask The MOST HIGH GOD for UNDERSTANDING EARNESTLY and it shall be revealed.

    We keep all these false, pagan rituals and holidays because of tradition and lack of Faith, yet we can’t keep the HOLY DAYS outlined in the Torah (Old Testament) and reiterated by Christ and the testament to the law (New Testament). Sounds backwards to me. Not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the word.

    So many people try to seem wise without knowledge and understanding. Read up on Constantine, 321 A.D., Christ’s age of 33, and the murder of the 1st born sons ages 2 and under and maybe some of your answers shall be questioned as to how much you really understand about pagans, holidays, birthdays, and true FEAR OF GOD!

  11. Thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately for your position, the Bible does not tell us to avoid non-biblical holidays or birthdays. As for pagan influence, No one consistently avoids them. If you are using the standard names of months and days, you are compromising with pagan origins. If you use arabic numbers or use algebra or drink coffee, you are accepting the gifts from our Muslim friends. Even the Bible takes words and concepts from pagan myths. Look sometime at the origins of the words paradise or hades.

    • Stephen,you are incorrect when you say the Bible does not tell us to avoid non-biblical holidays.Surely you know Jer.10:2-5 is referring to what later was called by the Catholic church CHRIST-MASS,and it plainly says there in verse 2 “LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN”,the heathen are pagan sun god worshippers.December directly connected to sun god worship,you can adopt,copy,counterfeit it to Jesus but it is still condemned.You can call a Zebra a horse but it’s stripes show it is Zebra,a lie.
      Read Ezek.8:14-17 that is an Easter sunrise service before it was called Easter(after the sun god Ishtar) notice they faced the East and worshipped the sun,just exactly like Christians do at an Easter sunrise service.It’s called an abominationor a sin.So your Bible does tell you to avoid these non-biblical holidays.You are correct it is impossible for Christians to not be influenced by paganism because Christianity did not defeat paganism it became the new paganism.Everything in Christianity comes out of paganism,that includes dying and resurrecting Savior sun gods,the cross,virgin births,the Lord’s supper,Salvation,all this and much more can be traced to pagan sun god worship.Your Jesus is a SUN GOD you just can’t figure out why he was called “THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD”(the sun is the light of the world)or how the sun’s rays do seem to walk on water,like the sun he is seen leaving in the clouds and is supposed to return in clouds just like the sun does.
      Most Christians believe Mal.4:2 was about Jesus notice there he is called the “Sun(not son) of Righteousness,you worship Jesus a sun god developed by the Roman Empire who needed a state religion to better govern the different nationalities it governed over who had many different sun god beliefs,that is why Jesus has so many pagan sun god customs and beliefs adopted,copied,counterfeited to him.A historical Jesus never existed,that’s why no contemporary historian or philosopher know absolutely nothing about him.Christianity has waited 2000 years for it’s Jesus to return he never will in a million more years except when the sun comes up each morning.
      In Real Truth,
      Jay Osborne

      • Jeremiah 10 has nothing to do with holidays, it is specifically about idols. In addition, ‘heathen’ is not a good translation. The Hebrew is goiim, which means nations or gentiles. If you are not Jewish, you (and I) are goiim.

    • Since you didn’t include a reply link in your answer to me below I have had to click on the one above in order to answer your claim below.Below you state Jer.10 has nothing to do with holidays it’s only about idols.Stephen,are you really that ignorant?I think you need to be called the nutty professor.The encyclopedia Britannica says Saturnalia ties right into Christmas and the winter Solstice.Originally in the Roman Empire it was called Sol Invictus which meant the birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,it included gift giving and approximately a week long of wild fun including drunkness and sex.Saturnalia(Christmas)was a pagan holiday.And even an ignoramus can see Jer.10:2-5 is about what later was called CHRIST-MASS.Since you seem to have no idea of the ancient history tied to Saturnalia(Christmas)let me fill you in.It orginated in Babylon under Nimrod,Nimrod was married to a woman named Semaramis(which in the Bible she is called the Queen of Heaven).Nimrod died the next morning Semaramis claimed he resurrected as an evergreen tree(beginning of the later called Christmas tree),why did she use the evergreen tree?Because they don’t die in the winter and stay green therefore it symbolized eternal life.Then Semaramis had a son she named Tammuz he took the place of a resurrected Nimrod later he died and Ezek.8:14-17 shows the women weeping for Tammuz both Nimrod and Tammuz were worshipped as sun gods.To make this story short I have left out a lot of the story.
      So you are incorrect that Jer.10:2-5 is only about idolatary,it is also about Saturnalia the beginning of Christmas and the worship of sun gods.Just exactly what you worship (unknowingly)at Christmas and Easter under the false guise of Jesus.The Roman Empire and later the Roman Catholic church tied all these pagan sun god tales to the Jesus tales to draw the pagans into Christianity.Of course the Jesus tale is nowhere in reliable history except in the 4 gospels which was put out and controlled by the Roman church.For help covering up the tale you also have no idea when your Jesus was supposedly born or when he supposedly died,but we do know when many important people were born and died in the first century and many back in B.C.
      Your excuses why Philo didn’t write about Jesus is also laughable,Philo had kin in Jerusalem he visited often and you forget Philo also wrote about happenings in Galilee right where and during the time Jesus was supposedly doing miracles,being crucified and resurrected from the dead,and where saints supposedly arose from their graves,there was supposedly an earthquake and sun darkening but Philo knows nothing about any of it.Seneca tracked and wrote about earthquakes and sun eclipses and lived all the way through Jesus supposed time but he like Philo knows nothing about an earthquake or sun darkening during Jesus supposed time.You are incorrect about most of your supposed answers on your site,which shows lack of honest research.
      In Real Truth,
      Jay Osborne

      • Thank you the history lesson of the origin of Christmas and easter. That is why I do not celebrate Christmas. Made it loud and clear it is from pegan worship and a way the catholic church adapts to it for them.

  12. Questions: Do you keep any of the Holy Days? Do you believe that the Torah( Old Testament) Laws were given to the jews and no one else? Do you believe that once The Anointed One, The Messiah, Jesus Christ, Yahoshua, or whatever name/title you wish to address him by, was crucified, that we were no longer under the laws of Moses? Who gave the laws and ordinances to Israel in the Old Testament? Have you honestly read your bible all the way through from Genesis-Revelations? What does the old testament have to say about circumcision (Not Paul’s words of the New Testament on circumcision)? Is Easter or Christmas even mentioned in the Bible that we associate with The Most High God and Jesus Christ? Do you cover your head when you pray or not? Who were the Israelites cursed in the Old Testament and how do they compare to the Israelites today? Is it better to Love God or to Fear God? What did Jesus say about one jot or tittle of the law? What does the bible say about false prophets, the contrast of the rich and a camel, and serving other gods (wood and stone)? What does the word “fulfill” mean? What does a wicked and adulterous people do? Can you honestly and mathematically get 3 days and 3 nights from Friday to Sunday?

    I ask you these questions knowing that if you have no knowledge of your bible, then you cannot answer these questions, and if you cannot answer EVERY question that has been asked, then you are not fit to minister to even yourself let alone others. This is not hate of any kind but you must realize that any prophetic, ministering soul that leads God’s people astray shall receive his reward in the Lake of Fire (or hades as you may have read before). You are straddling a line that has no safety net. I come into contact with many of the inhabitants of the Valley of Dry Bones.

    Please, if you don’t know, just say you don’t. There is humility in acceptance of ignorance. A willful sinner, however, has no place in God’s coming kingdom.

    Oh and for the record, your comments on days of the week and specific words you should’ve gathered from my original post that the likelyhood of me being IGNORANT to this information is relatively slim. Maybe you should try looking at the origins of those days of the week, false god holidays, common practices such as celebration of birthdays, wedding rituals, etc. and perhaps apply a little bit of common sense and not your own opinionated interpretation to GOD’s word. Add not nor Diminish from the word of God. Bottomline is, God gave us the Holy Days we should keep and knew that others would come and try to change the ordinances in his worship. He knew many would try to come in his name. He knew of the rituals and false gods that could not speak, hear, eat, or move (read Deuteronomy) and he knew the weak at mind and heart spiritually and physically would perish and fall to the crafty counsel of Satan’s team of fallen angels. Sad thing is, most will continue to go the way as you seemingly have gone and will play devil’s advocate because of the lack of Faith to let go of such Heathenous Traditions.

    Prophecy is REAL.

    “They may make dollars, but the Bible makes SENSE!” ~WhenKnowledgeHelps

  13. Just to make things clear, I am not Jewish. The Old Testament Law was given to the nations of the Hebrews. I am not a Hebrew. I see no evidence in the Bible that non-Jews are expected to follow the Jewish Law. Are you Jewish?

  14. Well as expected, you were unable to answer any of the initial questions asked. And as expected, you asked me a question without answering any of the ones I presented to you. Funny thing is when you deal with the same type of soul over and over, you can predict every time what their response will be, or lack there of rather.

    So if the Old Testament Law was given to the Hebrews (Israelites, which it was 1st as GOD’s chosen through covenant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) only, then Why Do You Believe In the Bible? It is obvious that you don’t read it but why would you believe in one part and not the other? Was the New Testament given only to Christians? Let’s say for sake of argument it was. Where does the word Christian even appear in the bible and how many times for that matter? Did Christianity begin with Christ? Who created it? Are you Polytheistic? If Not, How could you not believe in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ was predicted in the Old Testament to come and He himself said that he came in his father’s name? Oh maybe you’re not Christian. My apologies. What are you and how do you lay claims to this belief system regarding Jesus Christ?

    I think if you do read any part of your bible, maybe you should look up where it says the stranger/foreigner may be adopted into Israel. The Word and Old Testament was not just meant for Israel. If you did perhaps pick up your bible and read in Numbers, you will see that The Most High God did not just speak to Israel. He was known by others as well and they were expected to obey him and keep his laws. I guess you are one of those New Testament Christians that believe that we are no longer under the law but under grace huh?

    It is very offensive for anyone to try and speak on the word of God having not any understanding of the simplest of scriptures. So I challenge you whether you be Christian, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. Before you begin to speak on matters of the world, ask for help 1st. Truthfully, all the things that I asked you previously should get you on your way but just as the bible explains, Israel’s job initially was to teach the word. Israel failed. The Gentile was given an opportunity. Israel (modern day colored people/blacks/afro-americans and other colored people of other countries) was to be lead captive into the lands of their oppressors. Hence, today is happening as it predicted in Deuteronomy. But, also when Jesus Christ returns he shall gather all of Israel (physical and spiritual) into the wilderness. Much havoc shall reign on this earth but in the end, Israel (physical and spiritual/bloodline and adopted) shall inherit God’s Kingdom.

    I probably have said to much already. It’s obvious you don’t consider and you don’t read. 1st comes knowledge, then understanding, then wisdom, then Fear of God. Unfortunately sir, you have none.

    Lastly, Please do not respond back if you have no intentions of RESEARCHING before you Answer. Your credibility on this matter is very shaky without any clear cut scriptural sources to back up your allegations.
    Try if you need a bible, they have several to choose from although be cautious of the NIV and NLT for they are very misleading. Also, if you are a Social Network-abled person then Youtube is surprisingly a great source. If you truly want to learn more, is the place to receive wisdom.

    “No need to sweat; Just read your Bible!”

  15. If you want full answers, perhaps you should not put twenty or so questions in every post. I believe in the Bible, Old and New Testaments. I believe that the Mosaic covenant was between God and Israel. I believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, in that the spiritual principles foreshadowed in the Law found their fulfillment in Jesus. I do not follow the OT holy days, the OT food laws, nor do I have shirts made of only one material. I have never stoned any of my children for disobeying me, nor have I sought to stone adulterers in my community. I am sure that is not all of your questions, but it is a start. You may have better luck if you only ask a few at a time.

  16. You’re supposed to have a degree or degrees of theology right? Based off your background info, you actually went to school to answer these types of questions. How can you as a professor of the word be taken aback by an innumerable amount of questions? Well I’ll tell you why. Because you neither read the bible with your heart or your eyes for that matter. All these questions are basic and need no formal training to answer. When The Most High God delivers you from your ignorance and reveals the True and Living Word that was in the beginning and that was with God and WAS GOD, then that trumps any attempt at Satan’s Ministry to attempt at leading or directing the path of a true believer.

    And for the record, I want to commend you on attempting at trying to prove your knowledge of the OT by answering, FALSELY by the way, questions that were neither asked of you nor relevant in disproving any of the obvious beliefs I may have. And Please Don’t say that was not your purpose for there is only 1 right and a million wrongs and interpretation is not good enough for God. You false prophets “…make broad your phylacteries and enlarge the borders of your garments…woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don’t enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter.”

    I shall let you respond on your own accord. The price of eternal life lies in the Word. I urge you to find what it is.

    No need to respond to my initial questions for I received my answer in your last post. One last question however: If God only meant for Israel to keep his laws, and Jesus came to NOT do away with the Law but to FULFILL it, why would God spend all that time making the law in the 1st place just for Jesus to come and die for our sins and to ultimately give way to sin as long as we believe on Christ? I guess all that was unclean was made clean with Jesus. I guess Jesus had no purpose in coming and living by every law of God without flaw if the OT prophesied that a Messiah would come and ultimately be a sacrifice for our sins. No need to answer. The only law that was done away with was the law of animal sacrifice because you know that Veil in the temple of the old testament that sin offerings were brought behind…? Well, when Jesus died, it ripped. and BOOM! No more sin offerings for animal sacrifice could never take away the sins of a man which is why a man had to be sacrificed for the remission of sins. Hence the reason why we eat the bread and drink the wine and keep the PASSOVER. Now we no longer can kill innocent animals on behalf of our willful and sinful actions. We are held responsible.

    Hebrews 10: 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. 28 A man who disregards MOSES’ law DIES without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance belongs to me,” says the Lord, “I will repay.” Again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    “I heed you to ask God for forgiveness, for you are responsible for the sheep that you lead astray. I envy not the ways of the teacher, but humble thyself to the ways of the needy. “

  17. I have not answered your many questions not because of a lack of knowledge about the Bible but because I do not have time to answer dozens of questions shot at me at once. I am always happy to respond to a question at a time sent in honest interest.

    The question you ask (thank you for limiting it to one), which also say I need not answer is a good one. I believe the Law was important. It helped prepare the way for the messiah, it taught about righteousness, holiness and points us to Christ. I like what Paul says:
    “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
    I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 3:29–4:5 ESV) The Law was our guardian until we came of age as children of God. This came through Christ.

    One thing for you to consider. Do you follow the OT food laws? The OT seems quite clear on them. Yet we read this in the Gospels:
    “Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark 7:18–19 ESV) Interesting.

  18. Shofarman

    You mentioned that you don’t celebrate the OT Holidays. Did you not know that these Moedim (Feasts) Tell the story of the messiah’s coming?
    Pasach (passover) his marching into Jerusalem, Unleavened bread, his dead, First Fruits, his resurrection, Shavout (pentecost) the birth of the church, Sukkot (Tabernacles) the final gathering which is mentioned in Zechariah 14:16-18 in the last days is required by gentiles to celebrate.

    I live in Miami Florida where the occult is very common place among Hatians and the hispanic communities. I’ve seen what evil is and what it does to people. I dealt with witches and warlocs who will asks the question, why do Christians celebrate our holiday’s? If you have dealt with these issues, you would fully understand why some believers find it asinine that believers in Yahshua the Messiah would advocate celebrating pagan holidays. 1 Cor. 10 says when you as a believer do so, you open yourself up for demon attacks. I have seen and dealt with demon possessed people including children who were exposed by parents with your thinking that nothing prohibits us from pagan holidays, and the Bible uses paganism to get it’ point across. The word Hades; It’s greek not hebrew. Paradise is greek, EDEN is the hebrew word. So the Bible in it’s syntax langauge does not use greek gods.

  19. Hades is both the Greek name for the god of the dead and the place where he dwells. I am not suggesting that the biblical authors borrowed the idea of an afterlife from pagans but they certainly borrowed the word. By the way heaven comes from the Greek word ouranus (from which we get the planet Uranus) who was a Greek sky god.

    • Three different Greek words are translated as hell in the KJV of the the Greek word Hades it only means the grave.#2.Is the Greek word Tartaroo used only one time in the N.T.that being in 2 Pet.2:4 and it only means a place of restraint for fallen angels.#3..Is the Greek word Gehenna it is the only word translated as hell that means hell fire.

  20. Persons interested in truth, (John 17:17)

    Do you agree that when death and Hades are thrown into the “lake of fire” that they both, death and hades, would be consumed the fire and cease to exist? (Revelation 20:14)

    Intrestinglyly the and revealing the KJV (1611) renders this verse “death and hell” :
    Click hre to simultaneously see 3 differnert translations of Revelation 20:14:

    Kind regards and bearing thorough witness to the good news,
    Randy Nagel

  21. Wow. I feel like I might be pouring fuel on something here, but…

    The fact that biblical authors use pagan terms, that Paul quotes pagan poets, and that the Israelis regularly used pagan materials in Hebrew ritual may give rise to some other thought as well — perhaps God is not as “exclusive’ as we are when it comes to human efforts to express and explore the divine mystery of God. Both in the OT, and again in Romans (where Paul talks of the potency of the “divine power and invisible attributes” of God being made SO clear in nature that humanity is ‘without excuse’) the Bible seems to object to anything that we put in God’s place, but does not object to non-Hebrew or ‘non-Christian” ways of expressing / celebrating God as creator. (Perhaps Jesus’ comments about leaving alone those who were preaching the gospel, but were not “of us” is also telling in this regard).

  22. “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” ~Galatians 4:8-11 (NIV)

    Christians are not to celebrate holidays as the heathen do…

  23. Have you looked at the context of Galatians? Paul’s concerns is that the Galatians are going to compromise the grace of God by taking on the Jewish law. The special days they are tempted by are not pagan holidays but rather Jewish feasts that they think will add to their salvation. If they think they can earn God’s salvation by celebrating the right feasts, they are just as bad as when they were pagans. This has nothing to do with any sinfulness with regard to enjoying a holiday. The problem is only when you think this is a work necessary for salvation.

  24. You said where did the Hebrews get there treasures from and yes you had a good point where it came form and you went back to tell us thanks but I have to ask did you look back a second time to see if it was there’s from the start because they did have evreything taken from them then got put into slavery. if you steal or took somthing does it make it yours and if its restores to you is it yours or steal there’s ? I think that’s why the creator was ok with it because they had to give back back what they took. And to just add to it I think they demanded there thing back instead of asking for things

    • You guys are still way behind on your research and evidently only use biblical mind control,biblical brainwashing w/blind faith.The Exodus has been proved several different ways to have never happened,it like much more of your Bible is nothing but ancient legends,myths,fables and tales. I guess you guys still believe the earth is flat,the earth has foundations and is stable and never moves,that is what your Bible claims.Your Bible would also have you believe that the earth and man are only six to ten thousand years old a big lie.Your Bible is not inerrant,infallible or god inspired,it should be called HOLEY Bible not Holy,because it has more holes(lies)than Swiss Cheese.

  25. My argument is not based on the chain of possession. My argument is that the fact the gold and other materials were used for pagan religious purposes did not disqualify them from being used for the Tabernacle.

  26. Mr. Bedard, I found this website today as I was doing a little research on Jehovah Witnesses (JW) as my brother is a JW. We recently had a discussion about JWs and not celebrating birthdays. I am a new Christian and just opened the bible in 2005. So I’m not qualified to really argue w/him about the bible and celebrating holidays. After I had a few FB exchanges on the topic of birthdays, I realized that I could care less about whether or not he celebrates holidays or not. What I really care about is my sister and I not loosing him from our family. It seems that his religion has separated him from his family because we are acustomed to family gatherings on special holidays. So we changed our family get togethers to 4 times a year and call them soul food Sundays. But he still finds excuses not to attend. Regarding the birthday acknowledgements, I’m still a little angry at him because one year I saw the pain on my mother’s face when he didn’t call her on her birthday and on mother’s day. I heard the pain in my niece’s voice when she didn’t hear from him on her birthday. So don’t you think that those JWs could make some exceptions regarding certain people’s b’days?

    I really enjoyed the dialogue between you and the other writers; especially Erv. Your responses and others were very informative. I don’t trust Erv’s opinions because he writes with such anger and hostility in his writings toward you and you always respond with coolness and confidence. I’ve never been able to trust spiritual leaders if they are not humble. You are and Erve is not.

    One more question. Why are JWs not considered Christians? Are they not followers of Jesus Christ?

  27. Birthdays are not important theological issues but they are important sociological issues. JWs use them as identity markers to strengthen the barriers between who is in and who is out. It is important to understand it that way.

    Are JWs Christians? It depends on the definition of Christian. A Muslim believes in Jesus, his virgin birth, his miracles and his second coming. Does that make them Christians? Christian could be defined in a way to include JWs but the definition I use is one who accepts the Trinity, the atonement and salvation by faith. That is classical Christianity.

    Thanks for your comments. I do have book coming out soon on the JWs that may be helpful. It will be called Watchtower and the Word. God bless.

  28. “When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land, do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.
    “So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.

    Deuteronomy 12:29-32

    Stephen, I understand and agree with much of what you are saying and the spirit (of love) behind it. Hate to say a few comments and use of GOD’s Word were out of context (in my limited option) which in my stance discredits the comment all together, but not every idea or point you are trying to put forth.

    Erv, I too understand and agree with your points. You present points that are very well considered and thought out, but I must say the spirit you are presenting them in does not sit well with me. Not because they are not well thought out (or false), but rather they seem to be (at least to me) done with a pharisaical attitude. If that was not your intent or personality, I would warn you – it comes across that way. If I was sitting across from you in a friendly environment I would also let you “rant” and not try to offer any answers to you just as Stephen did. I have been told to give account for my faith always, but I am also told (in much harsher words than these) not to give gifts to someone who will not appreciate them or understand what do do with them.

    I have been presented with many opportunities in the past to share and discus my “Christian” faith with not only other believers of the way, but also with non-believers of the Christ. There are three main scenario and people within them. The first being believers who come together to discuss what the Spirit of the LORD is showing and teaching and then discuss it with no agenda other than to seek GOD in His fulness and they do it in love. At the end of these conversations they walk away thinking and ready to search deeper into the will of GOD. Mainly, they walk away still loving one another. The second is the person(s) who is looking for answers, but unsure what to believe. This person can sometime be combative do to the battle going on within their spirit and most of the time their only agenda is to find out the truth. At the end of these conversations one person walks away praying for the other and the other person walks away thinking more about the direction they should go; toward or away from GOD. The third is the least desired; it is the person who already believes all they know is all that needs to be known and what they know needs to be forced onto others who have contradictory ideas or ideology. I am always shunned back from this person because the combative spirit within them not only will not allow them to hear a opposite or simply different thought of insight (remember in their mind they are right no matter what and the other person must agree with them or be cast down) but will also ingrain bitterness within their heart towards the person (me) with the other thought. Usually, at the end of these conversations one or both people walk away with less understanding of GOD desire in their life and even have a bitter root growing within them that will lead to the opposite affect the Spirit wants for them. I believe to get into the types of debates are from the evil one who is looking to separate, lie and kill all whom he comes in contact with. We can see that in the “Christian” world as has been pointed out by Erv with the onslaught of many denominations (that is a whole other topic) .

    Amazingly, I know GOD will reveal Himself to anyone who seeks Him with all of their might and search for His truth. I also know with all the information and wisdom He has given to both of you as well as those in the past and those to come, every bit of it put together will never encompass all of His insight and wisdom and will never be able to adequately explain His fullness.

    I do know if we seek GOD in truth, be open to all He instructs, listen for the Lords voice and be obedient to the Spirit most of the time we will end up on the narrow path that has been laid out for GOD’s people. I say most of the time because I have never met nor ever heard of a single person who followed the will of GOD perfectly (naturally this sentence does not include my LORD who came to save me and in the fact HE was GOD was perfectly obedient).

    Sadly, both of you (topically) seem correct in your understanding,but I would warn anyone presenting GOD with an absolute understanding that one day they will be judged according to that very understanding that they used to judged others.

    Matthew 7 (all of it)

    • Here is the issue, I do not celebrate holidays that worship false God. I celebrate Christmas and Easter because I really don’t believe Jesus is a false idol. I celebrate Thanksgiving and give thanks to God because I do not see God as a false idol. Do you use the names of the week and the names of the month to identify dates? Even though they are named after Norse and Roman gods?

  29. I am a JW, and I do remember God mentioning to follow the government laws. Using the names and the dates are part of the society we live in. It helps with communication with other people. This does not mean it is used to celebrate. But celebrating holidays and birthdays is a personal choice. The key word is celebration. Why would you celebrate and practice customs of peagan rituals? It also focuses too much on materialism and not the real source of fellowship. Instead, We have get togethers and give presents any day of the year. Also, holidays focus on false characters like santa clause, easter bunny, cupid, etc. Believing those things becomes idolizing them when we should be believing in Jehovah God. So to answer your questions, I use the names of the dates because it is mentioned in the bible to follow the laws of the government. This is not by choice, but I can choose not to celebrate holidays because it is mentioned in the bible not to practice rituals of other nations such as pegans and witchcraft.

    As for the person whose brother is alienating their family. Do not base your judgement on JWs by his behavior. There are still birthdays, he can call you and talk with you about them. Just as long as he does not practice the peagan roots of the “birthday party” that includes putting that individual on a petistal for the day, birthday wishes from birthday candels and so on. JW incourage fellowship with family members any time of year.

    The most important rememberance we do is the memorial of Jesus Christ who was sacrificed for our sins in hope of eternal life. It is a commandment and one that is clear to follow.

    Thank you for your thoughts and comments in advance.

  30. I don’t know of anyone who really believes in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or Cupid. Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Christ and Easter as a remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus is hardly pagan worship.

    • Do some research on christmas. the christmas tree and gift giving is pegan tradition. jesus was not born on 25th december. he was born sometime in october, he also did not celebrate his birthday as he grew up. He focused on spreading the good news of God’s kingdom. Easter is not the rememberance of jesus sacrifice and resurecction. the memorial is. Easter is linked to the easter bunny. Do some more research.

    • Your N.T.does not tell you to observe Christs resurrection only his death,you get that from paganism.The fact is you don’t know from your N.T.when Jesus supposedly arose,it just says he was not in the tomb when they arrived Sunday morning,he could have arose on Saturday evening.Of course I believe none of the gospel fables,i am just directing you to what it says.

  31. I somewhat agree with Lisa here… More research needs to be done on Xmas and it’s origin.

    Here’s a little:

    It all started in the 4th century when the Roman Church decided that the Christians and pagans needed to come together, so they incorporated one of their holidays with My Savior. Bible says for us (Christians – which means CHRIST LIKE) ‘LEARN NOT the way of the heathen’. In which we did/do. However Jesus WAS born around the New Year, we must go back to what year GOD goes by which is the Jewish New Year (Jesus WAS a Jew remember?) which is in September.

    If Jesus was crucified on a Friday wouldn’t He have risen on a Monday? Bible says ‘On the THIRD day he rose’ which means He was crucified on a Wednesday because He rose on the Sabbath which (think like a Jew) is on Saturday! Once again the Romans changed the Sabbath day to suit them because they worshipped the sun god. Which is in the Bible as a warning in Jeremiah. Just like he warns us about thr dying of eggs and the tree which is decorated with silver and gold… (garland)

    The Bible is a puzzle but it is also VERY clear in most respects when it comes to the heathen. Also, Bible says ‘do NOT delight in the cares of the world’, ‘be of this world but not IN the world’ meaning we should NOT do as the non believers do. Do you know Xmas is celebrated in most countries, especially atheist countires? What does that say? In closing:

    Why is it that the Bible celebrates all it’s holidays around the moon but we today go by days of the year? Things that make you go hmm

    May GOD continue to Bless all of you and keep you! With love ~ Marjorie

    • Thank you Marjorie, You made many points clear for the non believe to understand why true christians should not celebrate holidays the heathens do. The Lord spacifically says what to celebrate and what not to do in this world in the old testament. But the new testament states one commandment is to remember the memorial of Jesus Christ which is the breaking of bread and passing of wine as a covenent to his followers. As well as the appreciation of his sacrifice and the resurection. I do appreciate the use of the scripture describing the xmas tree. This war with good and evil is real and in our time as we speak. When the day comes and it is near, we must stay awake and not be misunderstood who is righteous and who is not. We must keep the commandmants and stay away from the athiest or the anticrist. it is getting harder as today’s media and entertainment is focus on mind control of the youth with the believe of evolution and the freemasson’s satonic symbols and cultures. A simple thing like the holidays is a trap to perform pegan rituals that clearly states in the bible not to do.

      Well if Jesus celebrated his birthday, it would state it in the bible. People will know the day and the hour. He did grow and stayed pure for his purpose. there is no pagan influence unless you let it. People must educate themselves to learn what not to do in the eyes of the Lord.

  32. I never suggested he was born on Dec. 25. Jesus never celebrated his birthday? Any evidence for this? As for Easter, I think it is a bit older than the Easter bunny. I understand that pagan elements have been introduced. My point is that none of us are free from pagan influence.

    • Jehovah’s Witnesses and other non-holiday celebrating Christian groups or persons understand that every supposed Christian Holiday (Easter,Christmas, Halloween) was taken from pagan festivals honoring their gods.

      Nothing in the NT suggests we should be high jacking pagan holidays and Christianize them in order to lie to ourselves into thinking were doing Jesus a good service.

      I for one am with Witnesses and other Christian groups on this matter.

  33. I love this! Truly I do, I’m learning different view points and I thank you guys for it!

    It’s not written that he celebrated or anyone celebrated their birthdays so I cannot say in confidence which is right or wrong. I will say this pray first. I’m going to be honest and say I love celebrating my day! That’s the day the LORD chose for me that’s why I do it. Totally selfish I know! He is not done with me.

    I also totally agree with Stephen – the pagan influence on everyone everyday. Which is why we are to study. Start by looking up demonic signs and symbols then go around your house and see if there are any there. I did. I started with my son room and went from there. No more ‘super heroes’ for him(especially spiderman). I tell him that JESUS is the one one that can save him in his time of need. With that being said it’s our parents fault we do this in the first place, as they are our first teachers. Bible talks about traditions and how they are displeasing to Our Father. The Pharisies were all about show/tradition: I do this for God and I do that for Him, but He wasn’t in their hearts. Which is why we think today that we have to go to church and do this to please Him and I have to do that to please Him. I honestly believe that if we all came together and sought out The Lord for guidance we would be put to shame. I can’t tell you what to do and not to do but the Bible says for us to correct each other with LOVE.

    Before I go… Anything we put before GOD is an idol. What are we doing for Him on December 25th? Giving gifts to others? (should be done all year) Coming together as a family? (should be done all year) Thanking Him for JESUS? (SHOULD BE DONE EVERYDAY) So to me (this is just my humble opinion) we shouldn’t partake in the festivities on the 25th. We should depart from our wicked ways and repent. Jesus said it best on the cross: Forgive them Father for they know not what they do! When we know better we are to do better and none of us have.
    I keep saying us because we/us are all 1 body and I am no better than you.

    Bible says for us to be watchful and pray. Let us do so! May God continue to keep you all!

    remember Jesus said in His prayer when we don’t know what to ask for… lead us NOt into TEMPTATION. ~ with Love

    • Marjorie,

      I appriciate your honesty celebrating your day, but like you said for many other holidays, You should appriciate your life everyday not wait for your birthday. Everyone was created, Satan was created too. It should not be just one day. Give thanks everyday for the gift of life. It is another opportunity to spread the good news.

      Psalms 83:18 gives the name of the most high. Revelation 20:14 shows casting death and hell (also means grave) into the lake of fire as a second death. Final distruction. Revelation 21: 27 The book of life.

      Not only do we know what is true about the bible and about God, It is not okay to keep that knowledge to us and make sure we are doing the right thing to be written in the book of life. Faith without works is dead. John 3:16 God gave his begotton son so that anyone believes in God will not perish, but have eternal life. There is only one God to serve and that is Jehovah. Revelation 3:14 explains Jesus as the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation. We will be judged by our works and deeds at the second ressurection. Just like Jesus spread the good news of God’s Kingdom and taught them to pray about God’s kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven, it is very important to learn that as christians, we should do the same.

      I’m glad you saw satonic symbols in your house and took down the super heros. Those are used as idols and that is wrong. also take down the pictures of Jesus and the cross, angels and stars. For those are wrong to create things of the sea, heavens, and of the earth. This shows wisdom that you take what you learn and apply it to your life. God bless you.

  34. I had to find what i said in the scriptures. Deuteronomy 5:7 you must not have any other god but me. Deuteronomy 5:8 no idol images of the heavens, earth, or in the sea.

  35. As provided by An object that represents something to that person making it more than just materials when the person looks at it or thinks about it. This becomes an Idol. If decorated for spice or honor in the room it is different. Think about it this way, If I decorated my room with holiday objects, why would I take them down when the holiday is over? That is because those objects mean something during the holidays. But, If I decorated my room with things purple because its my favorite color. I would leave it up because it looks nice. If you are not sure, do not do it. It is better to do the right thing in the eyes of God than mistakenly do the wrong thing inspite of God’s commandments. Must have a clean consious.

    [ahyd-l] Show IPA
    noun image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.

    2. Bible.
    a. an image of a deity other than God.
    b. the deity itself.

    3.any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion: Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.

    4. a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.

    5. a figment of the mind; fantasy

    decoration (ˌdɛkəˈreɪʃən)
    — n addition that renders something more attractive or ornate; adornment

    2. the act, process, or art of decorating

    3. a medal, badge, etc, conferred as a mark of honour

    Reference:, Retrieved December 4, 2012 Retrieved December 4, 2012

    • Lisa your great! ……Thank you everyone this was a great read….I’am Muslim an as you know we don’t celebrate false idols or pagen holidays! Dressing it up to make it look good or sound good is the devil at work or “Shaitan” or justify what your doing…..the bible, Quran an the Torah are clear! Fear God

      • Amen Jaliilah!
        We are all children of God, those who learn and obey his commandments. It feels good to reach out to fellow believers. Spread the word, there are a lot of people living in the dark from the Devils work. Human tradition is not the answer, God is. We must bring people out of the dark with the knowledge of the light the word of God provides. Do the preaching work in every nation till Jesus day comes.

        “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. for once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” (Ephesians 5:6-8)

        “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

  36. i do believe its about the intent as well. yes people should do things threw out the year other than just christmas and birthdays. i think most parents by gifts for their children threw out the year. I think celebrating holidays can be a beneficial or not. i think some of the behaviors observed during these celebrations are not Christlike and some can be and are. i think that jw governing body really wants to have a pure faith untainted by anything displeasing to Jehovah and Jesus. i think that the zeal can be a bit too much in some areas and adjustments have had to be made. witnesses seem to have to adopt i am better and you are wrong attitude toward christendom. being seperate from the world is hard enough for any of us especially with this attitude. i also have been told that folks in christendom have the same attitude towards witnesses and worldly folks. i know its important to be separate from the world but in jws organization it is unnecessarily hard.. witnesses can find thoughtful ways to acknowledge other people feelings about birthdays and other holidays without being so standoffish and offending Jehovah..I am not so dogmatic about birthdays and other holidays. i think jws are wonderful people most are very sincere in what they believe. they don’t just use holidays to seperate whose in or out, but they are a very high control group. religions in general tend to be that way. thank you for not being too bias about this group. i don’t listen to people that are very hard and bitter when it comes to religion, they are ex witnesses out here non witnesses or people who have relatives that are witnesses. they are on the outside looking in. i have been in ; i am not sure what i want to do as for as a religion. I don’t think witnesses are the only true religion in the way in i once did, but i think they are very true to what the believe. i am what you call inactive.. i am not sure if i will become acitve like before but i do know that i want to be humble and love and serve Jehovah and love and honor Jesus Christ as my redeemer and King. I pray for guidance and ask for love, wisdom, understanding and humility., humility and more humility.

  37. Some of you will hate this but guess what IM A PEGAN!!!! A lot of what you have been saying aren’t true some really hurtful so if you want to actually know truth of my religion ask me.

  38. Some of you might hate this but guess what I AM A PAGAN!!!!!! And some of the stuff your saying is not true and most is hurtful. Im tiered of people doing this to me and the others i know so if you would please any questions please just ask me and ill tell you the truth about pagans and not what others claim to be true.

  39. I was reading all comments, when i got to the bottom, it has made all the appearance of confusion, When i died God told me these words, HE SAID STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS SHOW MORE LOVE AND COMPASSION, ,there you have it, if anything you do is toward and for the LOVE OF GOD THEN BY ALL MEANS IN YOUR HEART YOU KNOW, LETS LIVE AND LETS LOVE, LET GOD BE OUR OWN JUDGE AND US BE THE JUDGE OF NONE, BUT DON’T GET MIXED WITH NON BELIEVERS AND THEIR TURNED AROUND KNOWLEDGE YOU KNOW THE TRUTH AS YOU LEARN IT

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