_圣诞日期的由来

看到Joseph F. Kelly写的 http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/159111.pdf .

按照他的说法, 虽然很早人们就开始对此感兴趣, 但早期对基督的生日是不确定的, 存在一个逐渐的演化. 后来, 学者们根据犹太人的传统, 认为基督的出生与受难是在同一天. 基督的受难是在逾越节这是确定的, 于是, 特土良(150-230), Hippolytus(170-235) 等学者根据犹太节期推算受难日为 3.25, 这一日被认为是基督的生日.

3.25在当时的历法里刚好是春分日, 是异教中记念创造世界的日子, 而基督刚好是新的创造. 于是, 这种象征意义就自然产生了. 但在许多经文中, 基督与太阳也关系密切, 因此, 在民间的解释中基督的生日与太阳也具有象征性的关系. 由此衍生出了各种变化.

在约243年出版的 De Pascha Computus 中认为基督出生于3.28, 即创造世界的第四日, 上帝创造太阳的日子. 从中我们也可以看到这些解释的根源在于3.25. 而同时代的Sextus Julius Africanus, 则认为 “道成肉身” 比 “降生” 是更重要的, 所以提出3.25是马利亚感孕的日子, 而基督的降生则是九个月后的12.25. 由此, 12.25 进入了候选范围.

12.25 不但继承了 3.25 的创造世界的意义, 与太阳的关系也更为完美. 做为冬至日, 12.25之后太阳日渐强壮, 正是一个婴孩成长的象征. 这些使这个日子特别合适.

12.25又与三个活动有所耦合:

1, 太阳神Deus Sol Invictus是Elagabalus引入罗马的, 他死于222年. Aurelian(270-275在位) 开始推广太阳神. 因为基督教反对太阳神, Aurelian开始迫害基督徒. 我们并没有足够的资料来论证这与圣诞确定之间有如何的关系.

2, Mithra, 传自波斯, 其生日是12.25. 此教在罗马的影响力不如太阳神.

3, Saturnalia, 农神节, 12.17-12.23, 罗马的最著名的节期.

Kelly认为虽然没有直接的证据, 但12.25的最终确定可能也考虑到了对上述节期的改造.

若上述为真, 则12.25的确定其依据还是来自于圣经(的某种解释)的, 也加入了犹太人的传统. 但也不排除有对当时文化的考虑. 之后, 其之所以能被广泛接受是多种因素共同影响的结果.


下面是我翻译的一点资料 Christmas - Wikipedia:

The rival “History of Religions” hypothesis suggests that the Church selected the December 25th date to appropriate festivities held by the Romans in honor of the Sun god Sol Invictus. [67] This feast was established by Aurelian in 274. …
“宗教历史”假说认为教会选择12.25日是为适应罗马人对太阳神Sol Invictus的相关庆典(这庆典是Aurelian在274年设立的).

…In the judgement of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, the History of Religions hypothesis has been challenged[82] by a view based on an old tradition, according to which the date of Christmas was fixed at nine months after April 7 [O.S. March 25], the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated.[78]
…England Liturgical Commission教会否认了 “宗教历史”假说. 根据一个老的传统, 圣诞节是在三月七日(公历3.25)的基础上推延九个月而确定的, 这一日是春分, 用来庆祝”圣母领报”(也即圣子降孕节).

With regard to a December religious feast of the sun as a god (Sol), as distinct from a solstice feast of the (re)birth of the astronomical sun, one scholar has commented that, “while the winter solstice on or around December 25 was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas”.[83]
…一个学者评论道 “虽然罗马帝国历法里的冬至日是在12.25前后, 但并没有证据表明在圣诞节产生之前就有在这日举行庆祝Sol的宗教活动”

“Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian’s dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius (C.E. 274) probably took place on the ‘Birthday of the Invincible Sun’ on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect.”[84]
…虽然Aurelian在Campus Martius举行的对太阳神的一个献殿礼可能是在’不可战胜的太阳的生日’也即12.25, 但讽刺的是, 与人们猜测的相反, 罗马对太阳相关的异教信仰并不庆祝冬至日或者任何其它quarter-tense日.

The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought remarks on the uncertainty about the order of precedence between the religious celebrations of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun and of the birthday of Jesus, stating that the hypothesis that December 25 was chosen for celebrating the birth of Jesus on the basis of the belief that his conception occurred on March 25 “potentially establishes 25 December as a Christian festival before Aurelian’s decree, which, when promulgated, might have provided for the Christian feast both opportunity and challenge”.[85]
大概意思是, 有一种假说, 认为把12.25做为庆祝主耶稣降生的原因是先认为主耶稣是3.25感孕的(也即圣子降孕节), 换言之, 是从被认为是马利亚怀胎的日子推算其降生的日子. 若如此, 圣诞节的确定会早于Aurelian的法令.