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The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus birth. Marks, written about 65 CE begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.
This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus birthdate. Fitzmyer Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association writing in the Catholic Churchs official commentary on the New Testament, writes about the date of Jesus birth, Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1. Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25.
In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).
century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.
In Warsaw 12 Jews were brutally murdered, huge numbers maimed, and many Jewish women were raped.
Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.
As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Saviors birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.
The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.
In 1809, the novelist Washington Irving (most famous his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle) wrote a satire of Dutch culture entitled Knickerbocker History.
The corporation insisted that Santas fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red.
And Santa was born a blend of Christian crusader, pagan god, and commercial idol.
Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.
Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia.
When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in1836 to Pope Gregory XVI begging him to stop the annual Saturnalia abuse of the Jewish community, he responded, It is not opportune to make any innovation.