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GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-18, 06:53 PM
Note: Dana_Mix brought up the old start of the millennium subject in another thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=1070&forum=9&start=40).



On 2002-08-18 13:01, Donnie B. wrote (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=1070&forum=9&start=44):
On the date-of-the-millennium question, the late Steven Jay Gould related an interesting story.

He discussed the issue with a savant, who could barely tie his shoelaces but was a whiz at dates -- telling you the day of the week for an arbitrary date in the year 8726, and the like.

Gould asked this fellow when the 21st century started. He answered without hesitation, "January 1st, 2000. The first century only had 99 years."

Not definitive, of course, but it's an interesting perspective!


Gould presented other reasons for saying that the millennium started 1/1/2000, but I'm a little bit suspicious of that one. The person that he was talking to was his own son.

A lot of people who assert that the millennium started 1/1/2001 are not aware that the person who devised our current calendar set the birth of Jesus at 12/25/1BC--instead, they assume it was set at 12/25/1AD. Also, the new year had often been set to start in March--and the calendar was started not from near the date of his birth or circumcision but from near his conception. Thus, 1/1/2000 is a perfectly reasonable starting date for the millennium, regardless that people think it shows an ignorance of basic arithmetic.

I assure you, I am not ignorant of basic arithmetic. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SeanF
2002-Aug-19, 03:31 PM
Well, I'm one of those who asserts that the millenium started in 2001! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

It doesn't matter what was intended for the relationship between January 1, 1 AD and Jesus' birth and/or conception. They got it wrong, anyway. But, no year was marked as year zero - it starts with January 1, 1 AD. Therefore, the first century ends with December 31, 100 (a century is 100 years - always). Et cetera.

Basically, the years 2000 and 2001 are in different centuries for the same reason that your checks numbered 2000 and 2001 are in different checkbooks. Even though you probably never actually had a check numbered "1", that's still where the counting starts, not at "0".

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-19, 04:12 PM
On 2002-08-19 11:31, SeanF wrote:
It doesn't matter what was intended

Except that it certainly lends justification to saying that the millennium started 1/1/2000. Ignoring the arguments (and repeating the same ones) doesn't get us anywhere.

Bottom line is similar to the geocentrist/heliocentrist argument. Neither is wrong, they're just using a different basis. Arguing vehemently for either side is misguided. The thing that bothers me is to hear folks claim that 1/1/2000 advocates are ignorant of simple math (like you presented). Nothing could be farther from the truth, in most cases--they've heard the argument a zillion times anyway.

Same with centrifugal force. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SeanF
2002-Aug-19, 06:58 PM
Hmm. First, are you implying that I presented "simple math," or that I presented a "claim that 1/1/2000 advocates are ignorant of simple math"? I certainly didn't intend for the latter.

I don't understand how the intention of Dionysius "lends justification." He intended for the "new era" to start on the January 1st after Jesus' birth. He did some calculations to find that date, and called it "Anno Domino," Year of Our Lord. That was the start of the 1st Millenium. The 3rd Millenium would then start 2000 years later -- January 1, 2001. His calculations were wrong, yes, but not by exactly a year. January 1, 2000, is 2000 years from neither the date he picked nor the date he "intended" to pick.

"Similar to the geocentrist/heliocentrist argument." From a traditional "center" definition, at least one of them is definitely wrong (and probably both of them are) but we don't know for sure. From a relativistic "center" definition, they're both right, but so are those who say Mars is the center, or Saturn, or Alpha Centauri. Do you think that there is only one correct start date but we can't know what it is for sure, or do you think that any date (August 7, 2008?) can correctly be called the start of the millenium? Or (most likely, I think), were you referring to some other similarity which I'm just not seeing? I agree that arguing vehemently for either side of geo-/heliocentrism is pointless, but I don't see how that translates to this discussion - other than the obvious of the attempts to reach someone whose "mind is already made up," but there are always lurkers to be reached . . . /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

The question of whether or not Jan 1, 2001, is the first day of the 3rd millenium is no different than the question of whether or not Jan 1 is the first day of the year. In some cultures' calendars, it may not be, but in ours it is.

Of course, there's no authoritative body to set this down in black-and-white so, to the individual asking the question, it does probably end up being a matter of which seems more logical. Of course, there's no law that says the checkbooks have to end with 00, 25, 50, and 75 either, but somehow none of them end with 24, 49, 74, and 99 - it just wouldn't make sense.

Dana_Mix
2002-Aug-20, 01:49 AM
Right, SeanF.

And if the third millenium began with the year 2000, how would we number the preceeding two millenia? There are only 1999 intergers from 1-1999.

best regards,

Dana

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-20, 02:36 AM
On 2002-08-19 14:58, SeanF wrote:
Hmm. First, are you implying that I presented "simple math," or that I presented a "claim that 1/1/2000 advocates are ignorant of simple math"? I certainly didn't intend for the latter.

Yes, the former. The point is, that many of the 1/1/2000 advocates are more than familiar with the counting arguments.


I don't understand how the intention of Dionysius "lends justification." He intended for the "new era" to start on the January 1st after Jesus' birth. He did some calculations to find that date, and called it "Anno Domino," Year of Our Lord.

I'm not certain of that, but doesn't it strike you as the least bit odd that the year that he was born is not included as a "year of our lord"?


That was the start of the 1st Millenium.

According to whom? Mostly just those who say it's so. There is no authority.


The 3rd Millenium would then start 2000 years later -- January 1, 2001. His calculations were wrong, yes, but not by exactly a year. January 1, 2000, is 2000 years from neither the date he picked nor the date he "intended" to pick.

Hmmm. Unless he intended the conception as the start of the era. But conception times are only important to Catholics, right? Immaculate Conception, and all that--but that's something else. What a minute, he was being paid by the Pope!


"Similar to the geocentrist/heliocentrist argument." From a traditional "center" definition, at least one of them is definitely wrong (and probably both of them are) but we don't know for sure.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you saying, if we ignore the advances of the last hundred years, and pretend they didn't occur--what would our opinion of the two views be?


From a relativistic "center" definition, they're both right, but so are those who say Mars is the center, or Saturn, or Alpha Centauri. Do you think that there is only one correct start date but we can't know what it is for sure, or do you think that any date (August 7, 2008?) can correctly be called the start of the millenium? Or (most likely, I think), were you referring to some other similarity which I'm just not seeing?

Yes, two equally valid sides. In physics, and in calendrics. One (1/1/2001) which is consonant with simple math, and the other (1/1/2000) which is probably closer to the original intent.


I agree that arguing vehemently for either side of geo-/heliocentrism is pointless, but I don't see how that translates to this discussion - other than the obvious of the attempts to reach someone whose "mind is already made up," but there are always lurkers to be reached . . . /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I think it was pretty much agreed that the popular view was (1/1/2000). It's not a matter of being a mathphobe, or a yahoo, or an ignorant fool. It just makes perfect sense, in a lot of ways. It makes the boundaries neater (allegedly the motive of the masses), it fits a reasonable interpretation of the original intent, and it would work with a more complicated version of arithmetic (the concept of a zero) that wasn't available to the original designers.


The question of whether or not Jan 1, 2001, is the first day of the 3rd millenium is no different than the question of whether or not Jan 1 is the first day of the year. In some cultures' calendars, it may not be, but in ours it is.

Except the question is, is 1/1/2000 or 1/1/2001 the first day of the millennium in our culture? There is no "correct" answer.


Of course, there's no authoritative body to set this down in black-and-white so, to the individual asking the question, it does probably end up being a matter of which seems more logical. Of course, there's no law that says the checkbooks have to end with 00, 25, 50, and 75 either, but somehow none of them end with 24, 49, 74, and 99 - it just wouldn't make sense.

But, to me, 1/1/2000 makes much more sense.



On 2002-08-19 21:49, Dana_Mix wrote:
And if the third millenium began with the year 2000, how would we number the preceeding two millenia? There are only 1999 intergers from 1-1999.

Yeah, that's SeanF's argument. It ignores the complexity inherent in the issue. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

SeanF
2002-Aug-20, 04:03 PM
On 2002-08-19 22:36, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
[D]oesn't it strike you as the least bit odd that the year that he was born is not included as a "year of our lord"?

Actually, yes - I would think the year he was born should be the year 1 AD. However, the question here is not whether or not Jesus was actually born in 1 AD, but simply whether or not 1 AD was the first year of the first century.



Hmmm. Unless he intended the conception as the start of the era. But conception times are only important to Catholics, right? Immaculate Conception, and all that--but that's something else. What a minute, he was being paid by the Pope!

Well, I think this all took place before the Protestants - I don't think there were any Christians who weren't Catholic at the time! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

If we accept the assumption that he was conceived in March and born in December, then they're both in the same year anyway.

On a side note, the "Immaculate Conception" is not a reference to Jesus' conception. That is, if I may make a really corny pun, a common misconception. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif




"Similar to the geocentrist/heliocentrist argument." From a traditional "center" definition, at least one of them is definitely wrong (and probably both of them are) but we don't know for sure.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you saying, if we ignore the advances of the last hundred years, and pretend they didn't occur--what would our opinion of the two views be?

If we ignore the advances of the last hundred years, we could assume that there is actually a physical center to the universe, but only one. So, the two opinions of Earth being at the center vs. the Sun being at the center could not both be right.



Yes, two equally valid sides. In physics, and in calendrics. One (1/1/2001) which is consonant with simple math, and the other (1/1/2000) which is probably closer to the original intent.
Perhaps the root of the disagreement . . . /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Donnie B.
2002-Aug-20, 07:37 PM
All I can say is, in some future era when they decide to start counting the years from the date of Donnie B.'s birth, I hope they remember to make that the Year Zero!

Come on, people... does any of this really matter? Personally I favor the 1/1/2000 date, since I'm a programmer and therefore think everything should be counted from zero (including millennia). But I have no problem at all with those who think it should be 1/1/2001... and in either case, we're already well into the new decade/century/millennium.

Just as a reality check... does anyone think that JFK's "end of the decade" deadline would have been considered to have been achieved if Apollo had landed on the Moon for the first time in 1970 instead of 1969? I don't think so, though of course the argument would have been made. But most people consider 1970 to be part of the 1970s, not the '60s.

SeanF
2002-Aug-20, 08:04 PM
On 2002-08-20 12:03, SeanF wrote:


On 2002-08-19 22:36, GrapesOfWrath wrote:

Hmmm. Unless he intended the conception as the start of the era. But conception times are only important to Catholics, right? Immaculate Conception, and all that--but that's something else. What a minute, he was being paid by the Pope!

On a side note, the "Immaculate Conception" is not a reference to Jesus' conception. That is, if I may make a really corny pun, a common misconception. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


I hate responding to my own posts, but I had to note this. Grapes' post, of course, in no way indicates that he was mistaken on this issue - that was simply my own false assumption and lack of reading comprehension.

Please consider this an apology for my trying to correct a mistake that does not even exist! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Dana_Mix
2002-Aug-21, 12:36 AM
So, GrapesOfWrath, how do you propose to number the first 2000 calendar years?

Dana

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2002-Aug-21, 08:15 AM
On 2002-08-20 12:03, SeanF wrote:
Well, I think this all took place before the Protestants - I don't think there were any Christians who weren't Catholic at the time! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


The Baptists Think that there Were, but then Again, if you're Ever in Heaven, Please be Quiet around their Door, as they Think that they're the Only Ones There /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

Seriously though, at Some Future Date, we Will Be able to Go Back in Time, and Find Out the Exact Year, Date, and Moment, That The First City, was Founded.

Why don't we Just Agree, Right Now, to Set Our Zero Year, Then, Any Takers?

_________________
If you Ignore YOUR Rights, they Will go away.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ZaphodBeeblebrox on 2002-08-21 04:19 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-21, 12:41 PM
Thanks, SeanF. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



On 2002-08-20 20:36, Dana_Mix wrote:
So, GrapesOfWrath, how do you propose to number the first 2000 calendar years?

Donnie B.'s post from the other thread (which I quoted in my first post in this thread) had one possible answer to that question.

Another obvious one is that the year known as 1BC is included in the first century. That's in line with the idea that the Catholic Church starts their timeline near the conception, rather than the birth.

It's also in line with the astronomical idea of calling that year the year zero. And it fits with our use of the concept of birthdays--when you turn ten (that is, the counter rolls over), you've aged ten years, which may account for a lot of the popularity of the 1/1/2000 date.

There are lots of options. I just disagree with the folk who say one use or the other is wrong--and I'm not at all advocating the idea that any date is the start of a "new" millennium (or century or decade). Usually, it is perfectly clear what is meant.

Dana_Mix
2002-Aug-23, 10:15 PM
My approach is to use the standard conventions. We begin counting periods of time, as opposed to elapsed time, with one, two, three. There are no zero dates. If you abandon our converntions and use a hybrid calendar mixing AD and BC eras, then you can begin the centuries 1 BC, AD 100, ad so on. But 1 BC has been labeled as part of the BC era.

To say the new century began with AD 2000 is consistent with the way of numbering people's ages. But dates are handled separately from elapsed time, so that is not a strong argument.


By the way, sources disagree on whether AD 1 refers to Jesus' year of birth of first full year. I don't know which is in the majority. It would make more sense to call the year of Christ's birth "The Year of Our Lord."

Best Regards,

Dana

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-24, 07:17 AM
On 2002-08-23 18:15, Dana_Mix wrote:
My approach is to use the standard conventions. We begin counting periods of time, as opposed to elapsed time, with one, two, three. There are no zero dates. If you abandon our converntions

I'm not, clearly.


By the way, sources disagree on whether AD 1 refers to Jesus' year of birth of first full year. I don't know which is in the majority. It would make more sense to call the year of Christ's birth "The Year of Our Lord."

Which sources? Of course, many people say that Christ was actually born a few years BC (heh), but his birth was placed in 1BC by the originators--perhaps in error--but in 1BC nonetheless. Who is claiming differently?

Dana_Mix
2002-Aug-27, 01:36 AM
What sources say ! AD was menat to be the year of Jesus' birth? http://kilby.stanford.edu/~rvg/millennium.html
"Calendar:Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year" by David Ewing Duncan.

http://serendipity.magnet.ch/hermetic/cal_stud/newmill.htm

However, "Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History" E.G. Richards does say 1 AD was ment to be the first full year of Jesus' life. That book seems to be credible to me. I have read both books mentioned, and Richards seems more knowlegable than Duncan.

But Richards goes on to say on page 217 that Dionysius designated 1 AD the year of our Lord. "Anno Domini" Not the year following the year of our Lord.

If marking time by the conception of Jesus was all that important, why was that year not given the special label?

I've more to say but have to go.

best regards,

Dana

Senor Molinero
2002-Aug-27, 02:17 AM
The only reason that there is no year zero, is that Europe did not even have the concept of zero until Arabic numerals were adopted in favour of Roman numerals from around the 13th or 14th century.
There is no "significance" to the value of 1/1/2000 other than all the digits clicking over. In the year 1000 nobody really noticed the year clicking over from CMXCIX to M, if too many people knew or cared what year it was , anyway.
It's just an arbitrary starting point. Why not use the Muslim, Chinese, Roman or Hebrew dating methods?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-27, 05:34 AM
On 2002-08-26 21:36, Dana_Mix wrote:
What sources say ! AD was menat to be the year of Jesus' birth? http://kilby.stanford.edu/~rvg/millennium.html</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE>

I hope you're not serious about that one (http://kilby.stanford.edu/~rvg/rvg.html). I haven't even read his marriage page. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

[quote]"Calendar:Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year" by David Ewing Duncan.

Not sure what that says.


http://serendipity.magnet.ch/hermetic/cal_stud/newmill.htm

That one doesn't seem to come right out and say--maybe I missed it.


However, "Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History" E.G. Richards does say 1 AD was ment to be the first full year of Jesus' life. That book seems to be credible to me. I have read both books mentioned, and Richards seems more knowlegable than Duncan.

I'm pretty sure that it was 12/25/1BC


But Richards goes on to say on page 217 that Dionysius designated 1 AD the year of our Lord. "Anno Domini" Not the year following the year of our Lord.

If marking time by the conception of Jesus was all that important, why was that year not given the special label?

Birthdays. Duh. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif




On 2002-08-26 22:17, Senor Molinero wrote:
The only reason that there is no year zero, is that Europe did not even have the concept of zero until Arabic numerals were adopted in favour of Roman numerals from around the 13th or 14th century.
There is no "significance" to the value of 1/1/2000 other than all the digits clicking over. In the year 1000 nobody really noticed the year clicking over from CMXCIX to M, if too many people knew or cared what year it was , anyway.
It's just an arbitrary starting point. Why not use the Muslim, Chinese, Roman or Hebrew dating methods?

Well, one of the reasons it did mean a great deal a thousand years ago is because of Millennialism--which has to do with Christendom of course. That's why those who insist upon 1/1/2001 don't have a leg to stand on. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Dang, these smilies keep crawling on me.

Senor Molinero
2002-Aug-27, 11:19 PM
"Who wants to be a Millenialist.....I don't"

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-28, 12:32 AM
I can understand that. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

KarenS
2002-Sep-19, 06:39 PM
On a side note, the "Immaculate Conception" is not a reference to Jesus' conception. That is, if I may make a really corny pun, a common misconception. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

LOL!

Actually, it depends on who you ask. The "Immaculate Conception" is Roman Catholic dogma in which they decreed Mary was born free of Original Sin. Most Protestants (well, I assume most of 'em--I haven't taken a scientific survey) do not recognize RC dogma, and don't recognize Mary's Immaculate Conception. When they use the phrase, it's generally to describe the conception of Jesus.

Of course, you're right in that the term is often misused by Catholics, mostly because they don't know any better. And anyone using the phrase to describe anything other than Mary's conceptions probably shouldn't capitalize it.

Luriko-Ysabeth
2002-Oct-01, 06:09 AM
GrapesofWrath wrote, in respect to Dionysius' intention of Christ Jesus' birthdate:

//I'm pretty sure that it was 12/25/1BC //

I acknowledge that I have a terrible time remembering dates -- was Dionysius devising his calendar before or after the celebration of Christmas was moved to December?

Because if it were being celebrated at the beginning of January, as I've heard it once was, it would make excellent sense to denote the birth year as Year One.

But my knowledge of the ancient world peters out around the Antonines and doesn't pick up again until Theodora, so I may be remembering two things utterly mistakenly...

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Oct-01, 04:07 PM
On 2002-09-19 14:39, KarenS wrote:
When they use the phrase, it's generally to describe the conception of Jesus.
Which, if they did, they'd be wrong, right?


Of course, you're right in that the term is often misused by Catholics, mostly because they don't know any better.
Well, he didn't claim it was often misused by Catholics--and in fact, Catholics are less apt to misuse it than most.

But the whole issue is only important to emphasize that conception is a strong motivating concept in Catholicism--the abortion debate aside. It is entirely conceivable (heh) that the original calendar was devised to start near the conception--and so, in that sense, 1BC would have been the first year and 1999 the 2000th.

KarenS
2002-Oct-02, 04:29 PM
Which, if they did, they'd be wrong, right?That depends on whether you recognize the difference between the Catholic Imaculate Conception and just an ordinary imaculate conception. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


in fact, Catholics are less apt to misuse it than most. Most Catholics I know have never heard of the idea that the Imaculate Conception pertains to Mary.


But the whole issue is only important to emphasize that conception is a strong motivating concept in Catholicism--the abortion debate aside. It is entirely conceivable (heh) that the original calendar was devised to start near the conception--and so, in that sense, 1BC would have been the first year and 1999 the 2000th.The Imaculate Conception doctrine was proclaimed as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854, so that wouldn't necessarily reflect what calendar creators thought. Or the folks back in the day of Jesus. But it's an interesting thought--one I'll have to do more research on.

Personally, I'd rather see a less religious event be a marker for how we count our years.

Peter B
2002-Oct-03, 02:32 AM
On 2002-10-01 02:09, Luriko-Ysabeth wrote:
GrapesofWrath wrote, in respect to Dionysius' intention of Christ Jesus' birthdate:

//I'm pretty sure that it was 12/25/1BC //

I acknowledge that I have a terrible time remembering dates -- was Dionysius devising his calendar before or after the celebration of Christmas was moved to December?

Dionysius did his work in the 6th century. Christmas had been shifted to 25 December in the 3rd century, I think. So by the time Dionysius was doing his work after Christmas had been shifted.

(Before the shift, AFAICR, Christmas was celebrated in September.)

Luriko-Ysabeth
2002-Oct-03, 07:17 AM
Peter B wrote:

//Dionysius did his work in the 6th century. Christmas had been shifted to 25 December in the 3rd century, I think. So by the time Dionysius was doing his work after Christmas had been shifted.//

Thank you. My bad.

OTOH, how much importance was assigned to birthdays at the time? Obviously they weren't going to rework the calendar to date all years from that day (although I wonder why, when moving calendar dates around, they didn't just correct so that the winter solstice always fell on the New Year? It seems, from the record, as if it was that way once and has just been preceding to its current position on the 20th, and that way when they moved Christmas it would have been on the New Year too). If more importance were given to the year in which the birth happened than its exact day, it would make more sense to claim that the birth year was meant to be AD 1.

nebularain
2002-Oct-27, 08:20 PM
From the "How Stuff Works" website (www.howstuffworks.com):

Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?
No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 A.D. set the date to December 25 in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome ( Saturnalia (http://www.howstuffworks.com/framed.htm?parent=christmas.htm&url=http://www.prime.org/xmas3.htm) ) that celebrated the winter solstice.

And also:

B.C. and A.D.
We label all years with B.C. (before Christ) or A.D. (anno domini, or "in the year of our lord"). There is no "zero" year -- the year Christ was born is 1 A.D., and the year preceding it is 1 B.C.
This practice was first suggested in the sixth century A.D., and was adopted by the pope of that time. It took quite a while for it to become a worldwide standard, however. Russia and Turkey, for example, did not convert to the modern calendar and year scheme until the 20th century.

One interesting side note: Because of a variety of changes and adjustments made to the calendar during the middle ages, it turns out that Jesus was most likely born in what we now think of as 6 B.C., and likely lived until 30 A.D..

I couldn't find anything that specifies why Jan. 1st was picked to start the year with, though.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Oct-28, 12:38 AM
I like www.howstuffworks.com (http://www.howstuffworks.com) but they seem to have made some errors. This page (http://www.howstuffworks.com/time6.htm) is where it is claimed that the calendar was devised so that Christ's birth was in 1AD, whereas I'm pretty certain that it was actually 1BC.

On the page just before (http://www.howstuffworks.com/time5.htm), they make the claim that "exact amount of time it takes for the Earth to orbit the Sun" is 365.242199 days. The exact time is known as the sidereal year, and the sidereal year is twenty minutes longer than that. That's not how it works.

I sent them an email. I'll let you know their response.

Kaptain K
2002-Oct-28, 05:33 AM
Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?
No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 A.D. set the date to December 25 in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome ( Saturnalia ) that celebrated the winter solstice.
I was under the impression that the reason that the Dec. date was used was that, at the time, Christianity was a persecuted religion and since Saturnalia was a time of drunken revelry, it was a relatively safe time to celebrate without fear of being caught.

nebularain
2002-Oct-28, 04:21 PM
On 2002-10-27 19:38, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
I like www.howstuffworks.com (http://www.howstuffworks.com) but they seem to have made some errors....
...That's not how it works.

I sent them an email. I'll let you know their response.

Well, that's not good! It will be interesting to read what they say.



On 2002-10-28 00:33, Kaptain K wrote:

Is December 25 really the day Jesus was born?
No one really knows. What is known is that Christian leaders in 336 A.D. set the date to December 25 in an attempt to eclipse a popular pagan holiday in Rome ( Saturnalia ) that celebrated the winter solstice.
I was under the impression that the reason that the Dec. date was used was that, at the time, Christianity was a persecuted religion and since Saturnalia was a time of drunken revelry, it was a relatively safe time to celebrate without fear of being caught.

Yeah, I've heard both versions of the story. It could be that the persecuted Christians started it, and after Christianity became the "State religion" the Church borrowed their idea. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif Just a guess.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Nov-08, 01:58 PM
On 2002-10-28 11:21, nebularain wrote:
Well, that's not good! It will be interesting to read what they say.
I got an email saying that, as far as the birthday thing, they'd seen writeups that claimed both things and had just decided to go with 1AD because it seemed more reasonable. They didn't address the length of time it takes the Earth to go around the Sun, and I see they haven't changed it either. O well.

PS: Oops, that email seems to be from someone else, not associated with that website. Sorry, my mistake. I guess I still haven't heard back.

Yeah, I've heard both versions of the story. It could be that the persecuted Christians started it, and after Christianity became the "State religion" the Church borrowed their idea. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif Just a guess.
Are you considering Christians and the Church as two different groups?

<font size=-1>[Added PS]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-11-08 12:29 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Nov-08, 05:18 PM
On 2002-11-08 08:58, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-10-28 11:21, nebularain wrote:
It could be that the persecuted Christians started it, and after Christianity became the "State religion" the Church borrowed their idea. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif Just a guess.
Are you considering Christians and the Church as two different groups?

Ooops!
In this case I am referring to the "Church" as the leadership of the established Roman Catholic Church who made all these decisions. But, you are correct, Biblically, "Christians" are "the Church". (Whew! The tangles of terminologies.)

P.S. Thanks for doing the research!
_________________
"Once again, we find that science is a two-headed beast. One head is nice, it gives us aspirin and other modern conveniences,...but the other head of science is bad! Oh beware the other head of science, Arthur, it bites!" - The Tick vs. Dinosaur Neil

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nebularain on 2002-11-08 12:46 ]</font>