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David Nelson [12/16/2015 12:29 PM]

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 12:55 PM]
when was it then?

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:01 PM]
Early tradition places it December 25th or January 6th (depending on whether one is from the western or eastern churches respectively).

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:05 PM]
Shepherds do not take flocks to the field during winter season

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:09 PM]
Actually they do in the vicinity of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:19 PM]
Not a chance when there’s snow on the ground. Sheep get wet and die. No shepherd would take a flock out in the snow because sheep eat grass, not snow. So generally in Israel no sheep are out during the winter and most certainly not at night.

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:20 PM]
Except it almost NEVER snows in southern Palestine.

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:20 PM]
And there seems to a typical several weeks without any rain in Dec-Jan in that area as well.

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:21 PM]
Snow falls in Golan, Jerusalem, and even in Negev desert http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/middle-east/45944-holy-land-heaviest-snowfall-in-decades

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:23 PM]
It doesn’t work to indicate an unusual snowfall as proof.

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:24 PM]
And typically it won’t snow until much later in the winter months.

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:28 PM]
FTR, today it is 61 in Bethlehem and tomorrow it will be 55. 🙂

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:28 PM]
During the summer sheep are taken out at night when its cooler; during winter they are taken in the field during the day when its generally warmer. Particularly these sheep by Bethlehem’s tour would not need to be in the filed on a cold winter night

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:29 PM]
Luke never said these were the brightest shepherds. 😉

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:30 PM]
yet the angels chose them to fulfil the Misnah prophecy and actually the ones taking care for the sacrificial flocks located by Bethlehem had to be the best of the best

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 1:31 PM]
There is no indication these were sacrificial flocks. Nor does it work with Luke’s overall agenda that many of the least were chosen.

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 1:33 PM]
Somewhere deep in Jewish tradition (revealed in writings called the Mishnah), a belief had arisen that the Messiah would be revealed from the Migdal Eder (“the tower of the flock”). This tower stood close to Bethlehem on the road to Jerusalem, and the sheep that pastured there were not the type used for ordinary purposes. The shepherds working there, in fact, took care of the temple-flocks, the sheep meant for sacrifice. http://www.jesus.org/birth-of-jesus/shepherds-and-angels/why-did-the-angels-announce-jesuss-birth-to-shepherds.html

Rick Wadholm Jr [12/16/2015 2:12 PM]
Edersheim apparently agrees with what I’ve said about “winter” shepherding.

Charismatic Theology [12/16/2015 3:00 PM]
There is only firm documentary evidence that the birth of the Jesus Christ was being celebrated in Rome as a Christ Mass on December the 25 around and after the year 336 AD – once Christianity became the official religion of the empire. Naturally the celebration was combined with the Roman New Year on the pagan holiday Saturnalia – in honor of the deity Saturn held December 17 or 23rd. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days with public banquet followed by private gift-giving including sexual such. But was it so before the 4th century?

It is very convenient and highly improbably that early Christian church celebrations would take place during Saturnalia or that two years later census will be called during these days of festivities. St. Clement reported that diverse opinions existed on the identification of both the month and day of the Savior’s birth as to April 19th and May 30th St. Clement himself assigned Jesus’ birth to November 17th in what would be in our calendar year 3 BC.

John Kissinger [12/16/2015 4:46 PM]
great discussion ya’ll – anyone else wanting to hear more from Rick Wadholm Jr in other discussions in the group as well?

John Hamilton Love [12/17/2015 2:24 AM]
No. Is just a time set aside to honor him

Charismatic Theology [12/17/2015 6:41 AM]
probably have to agree

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