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Monday, December 25th | Merry Christmas!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
December 25, 2023 6:00 am

Monday, December 25th | Merry Christmas!

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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December 25, 2023 6:00 am

In this episode of the Clearview Today show, Dr. Shah discusses why we can confidently believe that the 25th is the day Jesus was born.

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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?

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A healthier, happier you is just a click away. That said, let's start the show. That's right, and you guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can share it online with your friends and your family. Even on this Christmas day, you can leave us a good review on iTunes. That could be your Christmas gift to us. We give you guys so much content. It's the gift that keeps on giving. We don't even give it to you on Christmas. We wait until we go all through the year giving you guys content. Least y'all can do is take a second out of your Christmas morning and give us a nice, good five-star review on iTunes or Spotify.

Anywhere you get your podcasting content from. We're going to leave a link in the description so you can do just that. Today's verse of the day. Well, go ahead. You got hyped up. You look like you're ready for the ski slopes. I'm ready to fight, honestly.

I'm ready to fight in a parka. One of our church members actually gave us this nice little earmuff thing. It looks like a headband.

Cute. It looks like a beanie if I put my hood up like this. So now it looks a little more masculine. David has one too, I think. It doesn't look not masculine.

He got one. It looks nice with your headphones. It looks pretty good. Nice. Yeah.

Galatians... I just saw myself on the camera over here. It looks good. Yeah, I said you look nice, but... I feel warm.

Yeah, yeah. It keeps you warm. Listen, Galatians 4, 4 through 5 says this. It says, But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Such a great celebration, especially this Christmas Day. Jesus was born not just to be that little baby in a manger, but so that we could be adopted as sons and as daughters of the King. There's so much more depth that goes into the Christmas story than just the sweet little nativity that we see.

Although that's important, and we should focus on that. But Christ came so that we could be called sons and daughters of God. We were lost.

We were far off. And through Christ's birth and through his death, we were redeemed and we were brought into the family of God. And the theology that's there. He was born of a woman. He was born under the law. He is fulfilling these perfect qualifications of the Messiah that no human being without being God could also fulfill. It says he came to redeem those who were under the law.

There's freedom. Christ was born, and we celebrate this little baby being born on Christmas Day because the cross was always at the center of his mind and of his heart. So to redeem those who were under the law, why?

So that we might receive the adoption as sons. It's just the perfect story. It's the perfect Christmas story. So it's Christmas Day. How are you feeling?

Yes, it is. I am holly. I am jolly. I can tell you squat today. Not today. Not today, baby.

It's Christmas Day. You know how women, every woman has her day, like her wedding day. That's the day that's all about her. That's her day. Yes. You get that once every single year.

Yeah. It's not all about me today. It's obviously about Jesus. We celebrate the birth of our Savior. But this is your day. This is the pinnacle of the year. Right. My anniversary, fine. Wow. Kids' birthdays, whatever.

These all sound great. These are fine days, but today is Christmas Day. Today is Christmas Day. It's Christmas Day. A lot of people were like, are y'all going to take Christmas off? I was like, how are we going to take Christmas off?

That's like asking if you're not going to church on Christmas. Yeah. Hello. This is Jesus' day. We're over here spreading the good news. The gospel has come. Peace on earth.

Good will to all men. That's right. And all that good Christmas stuff.

That's right. We are talking about Christmas today. We're talking about specifically- As we should.

As we should be. We're talking about- As you do on Christmas Day. We're talking about this idea that Christmas, as we know, we talked about this a little bit last week, but that it's this Western invention.

The early church didn't celebrate Christmas, specifically on December 25th. This is something that we just sort of invented. And to that, we say, nay, this is the day. We say bah humbug on you.

It looks close to it, right? Yeah, bah humbug on you. Bah humbug on you. See, this is the day where I don't ever want to be labeled a true humbug, a true Grinch, because on Christmas Day, I'm jolly. I'm holly.

Sure. It's just that I don't think this, what we're feeling now, should be starting at the end of October. Why? Or September. Why?

Let me ask you this. What is wrong with what we're feeling now that you don't want that feeling in October? An excellent question, my friend, and I'll tell you very quickly, is that you skip over all the other good stuff, and Christmas becomes this big thing that kind of overshadows the other things that we need to be focused on.

What is skipped? Halloween kind of gets skipped a little bit. We participated in Drunk Treats here at the church. My kids dressed up. We cooked a Thanksgiving meal. Talked about what we thanked her for. What are some of the other holidays between Arbor Day? Let me ask you this, okay? I'm just going to... Arbor Day? What?

That's not even in this time of year. I don't know what that is. So, when we talk about Jesus, when we talk about the goodness of God, we talk about God's plan for our lives. We talk about God directing our steps. We talk about God answering our prayers. But all of that, all of those are important things to talk about.

All of those should be given their due attention. But all of that is overshadowed by the grace that God shows us, by His mercy to us. That is overshadowing those individual details of the Christian life. Why can the same not be said of Christmas? Because Christmas is... I'm sorry, I'm only accepting positive feedback at this time.

Thanks so much. In that case, if that's true, then I concede, and Christmas can overshadow. Today is your day. This is like arguing with the bride on her wedding day. I just don't even feel like doing it. I just don't even feel like doing it. Why don't we, I tell you what, let's do this. Let's take a breather. Let's go to an ad. Let's come back.

Let's talk to Dr. Shaw. I'm going to go eat a cookie. Let's get some Christmas cookies, some molasses cookies, if you will. Do you have any?

I don't, but I can get some from the stove. We can talk to Dr. Shaw about this, because a lot of people truly still, even after we set them straight last week, a lot of people still feel like, hey, I feel like this is sort of some Western invention coming in. Some contrived Christmas.

Some contrived and some contrite little traditions you guys made up. Well, stay tuned, Buster, because we have a show for you. Yeah, Buster Brown. Make sure you stay tuned. We're going to get Dr. Shaw, and we'll be right back.

But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text, 252-582-5028, or visit us online at We'll be right back. Our music is more accessible than ever.

You can worship God in any situation. In the car, at home, in the gym, while cleaning your house, wherever you are, we'll be right there with you. You can check us out on Apple Music or on Spotify, anywhere digital music is consumed. We've got a few singles out right now. We have an EP out as well. And right now, at this moment, actually, we are working on our first ever full-length original album.

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Amen. Let's hop back into the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, make sure you send us a text, 252-582-5028.

That's right. And we are here once again in the Clear View Today studio with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism. Dr. Shaw, Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas to you guys. Merry Clear View Today Christmas. Here we are. Join in. Merry Christmas.

I don't know this song. Merry Christmas, my friend. It's so good to see you as well. You guys as well. We were talking earlier about all of these Christmas myths that we've been dealing with.

You know, people are so silly. Just wanting to tear apart Christmas. Just wanting to come down and be Grinches. Now, I'll be a Grinch up until about mid-December.

Then you've got to swap over to the other side. Other people, they're like, I'm going to be a green Grinch year round. I'm an Ebenezer of myself. I'm going to be a Scrooge on Christmas. Here I raise my Ebenezer. Let's start raining on Christmas.

What is this whole thing? Because today is the 25th. We're actually doing a Christmas Day episode. What is this whole thing about church councils later decided that 25th is the day?

Oh, yeah. People are like, oh, the 25th isn't actually when it happened. First and foremost, even if that were true, which we don't believe it is, that's not a reason to not celebrate Christmas.

Number two, it's just not true. Right. Well, we hear that often.

Some years ago I was at a bookstore in Raleigh, a used bookstore, just walking around. Then I heard this conversation. Usually I try not to listen.

You don't want to eavesdrop. But this one was so loud that the cashier sort of belted out. The cashier was like the know-it-all. Sometimes it happens in bookstores. I just experienced that earlier this week.

Yeah, so very loud. Hey, did you know that Jesus was not born on December 25th? And those ladies' hearts just dropped. One of them did that thing in movies. Not my days.

And they just faint. Not my Christmas. The day was actually a Roman festival honoring the Greek god Saturn.

And the Christian church leaders just adopted this from the pagan holidays. And so I wanted to go and say, hey, that's not true. That's baloney. You should have been like, hey, shave your neck. Yeah. Gosh.

How did you know? He was a neckbeard, dude, for sure. Yeah. So I don't know what to say anymore. That's an uncomfortable picture.

Know-it-all bookstore owner, neckbeard, raining on Christmas. That does something in the pit of my stomach. I don't like that at all. So I did a message some time back on why this is not true. That December 25th gets as close as possible. I'm not saying it was the date exactly. But it gets as close as possible to the birth of Christ. And I preached a message called Christmas Myth Busters. So maybe we can talk about that today.

I love it. If you're out there and you're one of these people who, I feel like there's this breed of people who just loves to be like, well, you know that's not true. Let me correct you on that. You know that's not true. Instead of entering into a discussion or a dialogue, like, I've heard this.

What do you think about this? Right. If that's you, we're going to ask that you just kind of sit back and listen. That's right. Instead of immediately picking up your phone to text us, just listen to what we're going to talk about today.

Because you might just learn something. And you said this in that message. That is the most important date on God's calendar. Yeah, I agree.

So for Him to be like, you know what, it was supposed to be in the summer, but you guys wanted to do it on the 25th, go ahead and do it. This is something that all of creation, all of history is leading up to this moment. That's right.

It was a very critical moment. That's right. Genealogies, not just in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament.

Out of the four gospels, two gospels have genealogies. They're there for a reason. Because they're saying Jesus did not just drop in from heaven at just any time. This feels right. Let's just go now. In the fullness of time.

Right? Everything is in the fullness of time. It means this is it. It's time to go. And Jesus came. That was our verse of the day today. Yeah.

Exactly. So the myth that has been going around the internet, around the world for a long time, even before the internet, is that December 25th was actually a pagan holiday that the church adopted as the birthday of Jesus to keep Christians from participating in their old pagan holidays. And this began somewhere around the fourth century after Constantine converted to Christianity.

This is the myth. I'm just telling you what is perpetuated out there. So to start with, there are two different lines of argument in support of this myth.

And for those of you who are not watching on video, YouTube, I did those air codes, right? Sometimes even used by Christians. The first one is the history of religion's view.

Now, this view goes back to the 1600s. According to this theory, in AD 274, the Roman emperor Aurelian built a temple in the honor of the sun god, Sol Invictus. Sol Invictus means the unconquered sun.

Sol is sun. Invictus, unconquered. And he built this temple because he had won some victories in battle and he wanted to honor the patron god of soldiers. He even instituted some special games in this god's honor. Guess what the date is? I'm guessing December 25th. Right. This is according to the history of religion's schools, folks. Furthermore, this was also the time of Saturnalia, which ran from December 17th to December 23rd in honor of the Roman god Saturn, who was the god of wealth and agriculture. So this was all based around the winter solstice.

You know what I'm talking about, right? Christian leaders felt like, we can't let our church folks act like that. So they just went yoink and hijacked the festivals. Pagan hollering. I mean, pagans were having a good time.

Christians came in party poopers. No good time for you. Yeah, we take it in kibosh and all that. This is ours.

Let me ask you this. So that's the theory. What is the evidence that that's true? Zero evidence.

So hold on, hold on. Is there a speck of evidence? There's zero.

There is no documentation of any point in history when this actually happened. It sounds so good, though. It has to be true. This is like in my head when you're watching those game shows and the team offers an answer confidently and you look up to the board and she goes, Just the red X up there. It's up there, Steve.

It's up there. No footnotes, no bibliography, nothing. Where did you get this from? What are the primary sources? None.

What are the secondary sources? None. So who made this up? That's the truth. Right. It just makes sense. Yeah. Like, it makes logical sense. Like, bro. Yeah. I've read murder mysteries that make logical sense.

Sure. That doesn't make them not fiction. Right. To the contrary, what we find in historical documents are statements that affirm that, according to tradition, Christmas was celebrated in Rome from the very beginning. Furthermore, parts of the world that were not directly impacted by Rome were also celebrating Christmas.

Guess what? About the same time period. See, if people were in different parts of the Christian realm were like, I thought it was November 12th.

Oh, no. I thought it was July 15th, February 23rd, December 25th. Then we can be saying like, OK, guys, nobody really knows. Right. But they were all coming down around the same time. Maybe it was 24th. Maybe it was 22nd.

I don't know. But I mean, it was right around the time. In my opinion, the Roman emperor could have instituted his festival to counter the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25th.

I think it was probably the opposite. So that was going to be my question, is if we're looking at all these dates, and if someone holds to the history of religion's view, I mean, I'm looking at AD 274. I'm looking at dates that are hundreds of years after Jesus was born. Could it be that Christmas was being celebrated first and that all these other holidays were structured around this date? Isn't that the more logical explanation?

And if this is the time period where animosity towards Christians in the Roman empire is actually prevalent, wouldn't it make more sense that he did do that to counter them, rather than Christians coming along later and saying, hey, these pagan holidays. Let's have this date. We'll just have those. Yeah. Could it be just the opposite?

Right, exactly. Now, let's look at the second view because of time. The calculation view. Now, this view goes back to the late 1800s. According to this theory, the December 25th day was calculated by church leaders from the date of the Annunciation, when Gabriel came to Mary and the conception of Jesus. So these dates were then taken from the date when Jesus was crucified, and this is all based on the rabbinic tradition that all the great prophets of Israel died on the same day as they were born.

It's called the Integral Age. So supposedly, the early church leaders figured out that Jesus died on March 25th, and then they calculated from there the nine months, and that's how we get to December 25th. Now, this is worse. Yeah, that seems real messy.

I've never even heard of the... I mean, I guess it's a rabbinic tradition, so it would be Jewish, but I've never heard that the prophets of Israel died on the same day as they were born. It is a view, but how in the world did that get to Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and then just tied in nine months into his birth? Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, it's messy. Did you ever, when you were a kid... I may have been the only person in the world who did this, but I would look at numbers and I would be like, try to make up an equation to link the two numbers. Like, if you take two and seventeen, I'm like, all right, well, two is one and one. And if you look at one and one side by side, that's eleven. So if you take eleven and add two to it, now you're at thirteen. And if you take thirteen, that's one plus three. So you make up all these crazy equations in your head and make it to seventeen. It doesn't make any mathematical sense.

If you think about it, I own five pairs of jeans. So twelve to five, that's seventeen. This must be true. Right. It's like that Jim Carrey movie, the number twenty-three, where everything... Everything adds up to twenty-three, even when it doesn't. Yeah. I feel like that's kind of where we are with the calculation view.

Yeah, even that doesn't work. So is December 25th the actual date of Jesus' birth? Now, we don't have much time, so I'm going to go right into it. Let's look at Matthew 2, chapter 2, verse 1. Matthew chapter 2, verse 1. It says, Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?

For we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet.

Now let me stop there. When did Herod die? That's the big question. Here it's Herod who is there at the time of the birth of Jesus. Josephus tells us, who's a Jewish historian, that of an incident before the death of Herod. This was quite an important historical incident. He had set up a Roman eagle above the gate of the temple in Jerusalem. This was kind of a slap in the face of Jewish people. You know, this is a holy temple. But it's like a Roman symbol.

Right, Roman symbol. And so Herod was getting sicker by the day, and some of the rabbis called on the young men to go tear down the eagle from the gate. And they did, but they got caught. And Herod sent them to Jericho along with the rabbis and ordered that they be burned alive. The date of the execution was January 10, 1 B.C.

But he's getting worse. Then he decides to head out of town to the mineral springs beyond Jordan in the middle of February 1, B.C. Now we have a statement by an ancient writer by the name of Macrobius.

I can't do it with Macrobes, but Macrobius. He recorded some witty sayings of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar. And here's one. He said, on hearing that the son of Herod, king of the Jews, had been slain, when Herod ordered that all boys in Syria under the age of two be killed, Augustus said, it is better to be Herod's pig than his son.

So kind of a play on words from whose is pig. Who yaws his son, so he's kind of playing words. We have the date when Herod had his son Antipater executed. Herod died just five days after his son's execution. This would place his death on April the 8th, 1 B.C. So Herod died April 8th. 1 B.C., got you.

But let's stop here for a moment. When did Herod have two-year-old boys or younger killed? Matthew 2.16 says, then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all his districts from two years old and under, according to the time when he had determined from the wise men. So the wise men probably saw Herod before he left for the mineral springs in the middle of February.

Are y'all still with me? I think so. He's in Jerusalem. He hasn't gone to the mineral springs, from which pretty much he's going to have his sons killed, and then five days after that he will die.

All that is historical fact. So he will encounter the wise men before that. So it says here in Matthew 2.16, then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all his districts from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. So the wise men probably saw Herod before he left for the mineral springs. So from the time it would take him to get there, probably it was like early March, mid-February when he was with the... because it would have taken time for him to get to Jerusalem. That's right. So where does that put the birth of Jesus? Exactly where we've always believed, somewhere around...

I'm not going to say it's December 25th, but it's definitely not as vague. If you consider the death of Herod, if you remember that, that's an important marker. And that's not just, oh, the Roman emperor did that.

He made this festival and Christians came and stole it. Where's the evidence? We don't have any evidence. So when people say, if you do the research, you'll find X, Y, Z, but this is how research is actually done. You actually find rock-solid dates, and from there you begin to draw your conclusion, say if this happened then, and if this happened then, if he was sitting here and then he had to move towards the mineral springs, how much time does that take? Okay, it takes this much.

This is how far he has to go. This is how history is done. Then you can say, oh wait, so if February the 1st is about the time when he's encountering the wise men, so it's got to be before that, so it's not as vague as we think. It is somewhere around the December 25th period.

Are you sure this is how research is done? Because my know-it-all uncle at Christmas really seems to know a lot, and he says the Roman emperors just kind of did this without the Christians. Now here's another passage. This is Luke chapter 1. There was in the days of Herod the king of Judea a certain priest named Zacharias of the division of Abijah.

Now this is referred to as the priestly course, okay? King David had divided the priests into 24 courses to set up a calendar when they could serve. This is complicated, but it puts Zacharias' service around September 5 through 11, 3 BC. And according to tradition, John was conceived around September 22, 3 BC, which pretty much sounds right. He saw the vision in the temple, goes home.

Of course he's like, I don't know, okay, all right, we've got to do something about this, Elizabeth. And they conceive, and what does John the baptizer's birth have to do with Jesus' birth? Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David.

The virgin's name was Mary. Now can you count six months from September? Where would that be? March. March 2, BC. That's when Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit.

Here we actually have the right answer, but it's worked out the right way. One is Herod's death, and then all the events that led to it, with the coming of the Magi with his move to the mineral springs, with the killing of his sons, and then. But the second is the birth of John the Baptist, which is based on the time of Zacharias' service in the temple. That again is a rock solid point. Then there are other silly arguments about the shepherds could not have been watching their flocks by night in the winter. How could they go out there?

It's so frigid, it's like arctic out there. According to the Mishnah, the sheep around Bethlehem were outside all year round. This was especially true of the Passover sheep, which had to be outside for 30 days before Passover. Here's my question to that. If you are a shepherd and you have a flock of sheep and the weather turns cold, where do you bring them inside? Do you have a place? No, they live in a field.

How are you going to bring them inside? This would be in February, the coldest and wettest month of the year those shepherds would be outside. So December being out there would not be a problem. Galatians 4 says, and I mentioned this earlier, and this was the passage, even so when we were children we were in bondage under the elements of the world, but when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive adoption as sons.

So let's go by historical facts, dates that have been established, like Herod's death, like Zechariah's service in the temple, and from that find evidence that would help us narrow down the birth of Jesus. So would I say it is the 25th? No, but it was somewhere around there. Yeah, that's right. Absolutely. So all that to say, as you're celebrating Christmas today on December the 25th, celebrate with confidence. That's right. Don't apologize for celebrating Christmas on the 25th.

Don't try to excuse it. Christmas has been historically accepted that it is the 25th. Enjoy your Christmas celebration today.

That's right. If today was helpful for you, if you enjoyed today's topic, write in and let us know, 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click that donate button, and financially support what God is doing through the Clear View Today Show. We want you to be a partner with us in this journey.

Make sure you head over to visit as well. Use the promo code TODAY, T-O-D-A-Y, for a great discount on some of their amazing products, and a portion of those proceeds go right back here to the Clear View Today Show. Jon, what's coming up tomorrow? Tomorrow we are talking about how to get ready for 2024. You know, Christmas Day happens, and we only got four days left.

That's crazy. Yeah, it's two major holidays with four days in between. So you got four days to get ready for 2024. Luckily, you got some friends here at the Clear View Today Show. We're going to help you walk through that. That's right. We'll see you guys tomorrow on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-25 08:08:27 / 2023-12-25 08:22:13 / 14

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