What would a jw think of the following? With all the threads on Christmas, I have not seen this mentioned. This is from one of Macgregor Ministries pamphlets-- (aside from jw's having a problem with 'deity' of Jesus, what would they say about choosing 25th of Dec in regards to cleansing of the Temple and that of Chanukkah?)
In the 'Israel My Glory' magazine of Dec-Jan 1986-87, there apppeared an article, 'Why do We Celebrate Christmas on Dec 25'?
Christianity has it's roots in Judaism, not in paganism.
A full explanation of the Jewish observance of Chanukkah is given which is a major holiday for Jews to this day. Although it was not one of the seven biblical holidays, it nevertheless is of great significance. It is also called "The Festival of Dedication", or sometimes "The Festival of Lights'.
John 10:22,23 records that Jesus was walking on the porch of the temple during this observance. He had nothing to say against it, and judging by His location, may have been participating, even though it was not commanded in the Bible.
On pg 5 the article continues,
"Dec 25 is almost certainly not the actual date for the incarnation. Sheperds in Israel would not have been out in the fields tending their flocks at night in Dec. Therefore, why choose this date.
First, it was on 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev (corresponding to our Dec) that Antiochus chose to desecrate the Temple and establish worship of his god because it was already an existing heathen holiday. Therefore, 1 & 2 Maccabees go out of their way to stress the fact that is was exactly three years later, to the day, that the Temple was cleansed and rededicated (25th of Kislev).
Now when the Church, long after the actual date of the incarnation had been lost in antiquity, chose the date to commemorate the incomparible occasion when diety dwelt within a human body, what better association than the Temple, where deity had also dwelt, and the 25th of Kislev, which was an already established date commemorating the cleansing and rededication of the Temple as a dwelling place for God?
The Church did not choose Dec 25 because it was an ancient heathen holiday, but because of the Jewish feast of Chanukkah that occured on that date, and the added significance that Jesus gave to it. This date eloquently testified to the fact that at birth of Jesus, deity was dwelling in a human body (Temple) and shining out to give light in the midst of darkness.
The great Hebrew-Christian scholar, Alfred Edersheim, whose writings on this period of time are still classic, shared this thought, "The date of the feast of Dedication (Chanukkah)--25th of Kislev--seems to have been adopted by the ancient church as that of the birth of our blessed Lord--Christmas--the dedication of the true temple which was the body of Jesus.