Hebrew Voices #13 – The Truth About Christmas and Tammuz (Rebroadcast)

Mithra slaying the bull in a scene known as the Tauroctony. This image appears in every temple of Mithra, but the story behind it is a matter of conjecture (=guesswork). In this episode of Hebrew Voices, The Truth about Christmas and Tammuz, Nehemia Gordon connects with Dr. Richard Carrier, an expert in ancient religions who reads Greek and Roman texts the way Nehemia reads ancient Hebrew. Dr. Carrier uses his expertise to help Nehemia sort out the genuine pagan influences on Christmas from modern-day myths projected back in time by "dodgy" scholarship. They discuss Tammuz, Inanna (Ishtar), Mithra, Isis, Osiris, and other pagan deities with reference to the writings of Philo, Justin Martyr, Plutarch, Euhemerus, Plato and the Rambam. In closing, Gordon encourages listeners not to be afraid to check out ancient sources and to approach them with discernment and a prayer for understanding.

I look forward to reading your comments!

Download The Truth About Christmas and Tammuz

Subscribe to "Nehemia's Wall" on your favorite podcasts app!
iTunes | Android | Spotify | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn

Share This Teaching

Thank you for supporting my research and teachings through my nonprofit, Makor Hebrew Foundation. Together we are empowering people around the world with vital information about the Hebrew sources of their faith!

Related Posts:
Easter Miracle of the Holy Fire
Don't Call it Tammuz
Tammuz and the Lunar Sabbath

Show Notes:

Guest Bio - Richard Carrier has a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy from Columbia University, and is a published philosopher and historian, specializing in contemporary philosophy of naturalism, and in Greco-Roman philosophy, science, and religion, and the origins of Christianity. He blogs regularly, lectures for community groups worldwide, and teaches courses online. He is the author of many books including Sense and Goodness without God, On the Historicity of Jesus, and Proving History, as well as chapters in several anthologies and articles in academic journals. For more about Dr. Carrier and his work see www.richardcarrier.info.

The image at the top of this page is of Mithra slaying the bull in a scene known as the Tauroctony. This scene appears in every temple of Mithra, but the story behind it is a matter of conjecture (=guesswork).

The Greek deity Dionysus, known to the Romans as Bacchus and identified with the Phoenician god Tammuz. This statue is on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

The Greek deity Dionysus, known to the Romans as Bacchus and sometimes identified with the Phoenician god Tammuz. This statue is on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Verses Mentioned:

Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 8a

Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 92b (Rabbis on the Valley of Dry Bones)

Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 15a (debate about whether Job existed or was just a parable).

Justin Martyr, Dialogues with Trypho, Chapters 69-70

Justin Martyr, Apology 1, Chapters 20-22

Roman festival of Saturnalia

Chronograph of 354 (On December 25: "N·INVICTI·CM·XXX" - "Birthday of the unconquered, games ordered, thirty races.")

Kersey Graves, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors

Dr. Carrier's Critique of The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors

Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons

Philo, On the Giants, Sections 58-60

Origen, Contra Celsus, Book IV, Sections 50-52

Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris, 11.355b: "Clea, whenever you hear the mythical stories told by the Egyptians about their gods—of their wanderings, dismemberments, and many experiences like these—you must remember what I said earlier and not think that any of these things is being said to have actually happened like that or to have actually come to pass..." (Quoted in Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, Element 14)

Plutarch, Moralia, 9.388f-389a: "Now we hear the [pagan] theologians affirming... that God is deathless and eternal in his nature, but due to some predestined design and reason, he undergoes transformations of his person, and at one time enkindles his nature into fire... The more enlightened, however, concealing from the masses this transformation into fire... speak in a deceptive way of what he suffers in his transformation as a tearing apart, as it were, and a dismemberment... and they narrate deaths and vanishings, followed by returns to life and resurrections— riddles and myths quite in keeping with his transformations." (Quoted in Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, Element 31)

The History of Christmas

History Begins at Sumer

71 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #13 – The Truth About Christmas and Tammuz (Rebroadcast)

  1. I always appreciate your teachings! Sorry this is so late for this segment, but two things I’d like to mention regarding it. !.) I heard the other day that supposedly there is a “head in a glass jar” that has been saved (from Egypt, either Nimrod or Osiris) that CERN is going to take the DNA from and resurrect him, somehow with something like an MRI. (Weird, but I wouldn’t doubt it!) If you “Google” Osiris head in a jar it comes up with an Illuminati playing card.. Twilight Zoneish! 2.) Some Christians have placed The Messiah’s birth around “lambing season”. Hence, “the sign” in Luke 2:8-12 would be that He was wrapped in “swaddling cloth” lying in a manger, just like the shepherds from the “tower of the flock” would do to protect the new lambs to be used for sacrifice. At the time when Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, Emperor Augustus would not have issued a census to make people travel in the dead of winter.

  2. Hi Nehemia. I’m from Brazil, I like your teachings, but as a Christian I think different about this theme. I’ve read others comments on christmas, and there are many points of views. May Yehovah bless you!

  3. Hi Nehemia
    I don’t celebrate Christmas but I want to
    Thank you for clarifying the Origins of the 25th as Saturnalia. The whole Tammuz nimrod seminaris story was a bit confusing.

    I had also read about the Jews being persecuted during this time and was appalled and heart broken by it.

    I have come to realise that though we may be able to find some moral good within the ‘spirit of christmas’, there is also a lot of evil within that same “spirit” it seems.

  4. I’m sorry for what Christians have done to the Jewish people! And I stand ashamed for what they did to ur ancestors . I understand how u must feel. I am part Native American. And the US government did not do my ancestors right. Nor did they handle slavery in the right way. One thing I have learned. The people alive today did not do the things of the past. And to hold them accountable is wrong. It is ur heart that hurts and wants someone to pay. But that belongs to Yehovah. Not us. So please just think about it please

  5. Hi Nehemiah,

    My challenge for you today: why there is no provision for Israel during the winter season based on 7 Feasts of YeHoVaH. We all know from the Bible on the anniversary of the 9th of Av (the sin of the golden calf) Israel rejected the Promised Land causing them to wonder for 40 years. Why our forgiving, gracious & loving Abba Father YeHoVaH did not made provision by making another Feast to cover their sin? Letting millions of people wonder & die in the wilderness if we would understand the same thing of what happened to the generation of Noah & the great flood? If you remember the passage He would shortened the days for the elect sake; is our Abba Father YeHoVaH is talking about the period of winter? Why during the winter cold season; we have the flu season & the body’s immune system is weak during this period; is there any connection about: darkness, gloom, sickness & death, the season of winter & Satan and the increased suicide, depression, violence of people not only to the Jews but the whole world?
    Why the Bible gives more emphasis on celebrating one’s death than one’s birth (YeHoVaH is ever existing) in the Book of Proverbs and other books of the Bible. Is our Abba Father YeHoVaH hinting that He would know how Satan will deceive His people and have these wisdom written for us in the Bible as a warning not to celebrate the birth of The Messiah rather celebrate His death according to what He already gave us: Spring & Fall Feasts.
    I am praying that you will continue to search for the Truth & our Abba Father YeHoVaH open your eyes thru His Name, Attributes & the Ark of the Covenant where His Name dwells forever.
    Lea Cruz

  6. mother-child, virgin birth and mythology)

    Why would Adam have spoken the following words: “Gen 4:1 And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, `I have gotten a man by Jehovah;’ when literally this was not the case?
    One could say..
    The new is in the former “conceived” and the former is in the new revealed.(materialized)

    As Solomon said:”There is nothing new under the sun” How true this is . Idol worship and the imagination of mankind have always existed. Our movies are full of it , and we live in the time of progress. However, does this make “The “Son” less of the son because he had been born of a virgin? Is it Not through advanced knowledge in scientific research that it can soon become reality in our time..?

    How much more could such an occurrence have been materialized by our heavenly Scientist?

    “The question of Redemption” seems to have run throughout society and history, beginning with Adam. It certainly would explain further development throughout its history.

    However, are Adam’s hopes of redemption lost?

    • Correction: Why would “Eve” have spoken the following words:

      If I may add, the fear of death has concerned all of mankind beginning of time, as most religions are occupied by it, though showing itself in various ways and means. Much of mythology evolved around the gods and their interlude with death, resurrection or afterlife ect.

      In my view this goes back to the fall and has been spinning various tentacles around it.

      None of the animal world have such a history. This kind of ridicules evolution and makes a perfect case for a Creator and let’s mankind stand out for it’s search for the meaning of life..

      ( it is somewhat off topics, and it isn’t even xmas yet 🙂

  7. No Knowledge of Thou Whom Hast No Knowledge

    Oh how my heart exposed doth break
    Our El above ye doth forsake
    Where art the love and kindness then
    When every knee refuseth bend?
    Made for thou-self to fill the spot
    Thou saith Him, but know Him not
    Her idols and eggs doth celebrate
    Stand fast ye traditions, hold debate
    From whence these things originate?
    Reverse the truth, abominate
    Thou songs abound, thou burdens light
    Thou stagger blindly in the night
    Understand naught as conscience care
    No law to guide, nor make aware
    Without a price, ‘tis paid thou see
    If only thou acknowledge thee
    Not a one can count to three
    In His stead erect a tree
    Against His face, these things thou place
    Believe thou may, by power of grace?
    Cometh Him then, a day once hidden
    Strange as thou art will be forbidden.

    Laurie Jo (Noxon) DeGrave 2007

    Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  8. why is jesus such a common used name in religion when it is a made up name to separate the joshua of the old testament from the messiah of the new testament doesnt it make the word of yahweh a lie

    thomas hunter

    • Jesus is not the name of our deliver Messiah His name is Yeshua or pronounced Yeshwa it is definitely not Jesus. Look up references on Iseous etc. No letter j in Hebrew language. Also letter j only became part of english language about +- 400 to 500 years ago.

  9. Nehemiah I love the respect of when two or more meet you embrace wholeheartedly. Father wants us to explore his thoughts and reason though relationship. The original source is so critical to explore truth as best we are able through Yehovah’s Spirit. Thank you.

    One covert aspect of Christmas I see is the long term build up of political world control is that gift giving has become an economic burden mostly through the overloading of bankcards – high interest included as their gift. Culmination point destructive and tormenting debt.

    The real “heart” of giving has been kidnapped into expensive, covert demands – latest technology, peer pressure. This high volume feeds the banks, the mega corporate business owners, Illuminati. The masses seduced into giving what they cannot afford.

    For the real heart of families giving to one another and to others is to express their love even when they choose to endue the economic burden usually for quite some time after Christmas. The heart to strengthen the valued relationship.

    Oh how Father wants us to enjoy any meal together in his righteousness, justice peace and joy in trust of his absolute love for all who call out.

    For this reason I discern we need to be watchmen on the wall to protect and walk in Father’s values and nurture of his sons and daughters. And the more I meet with your interviews the more I can grow in revelation, discernment, understanding and knowledge in this critical time.


  10. Jeremiah 10 looks clear to me. Idols made of wood and adorned with shiny metals. Last I checked you don’t have to be a craftsman to cut down a Christmas tree. Just sayin’.

    • Yes, I think Jeremiah is talking about decorating and cutting a tree down to celebrate a day, and making God angry, because that tree does not have any place with God, and bowing down to it, and putting presents under it, God is a jealous God, He wants us to worship Him, and nothing else, no images.
      Yehovah Bless You All. I give people credit who do the research of why they believe, what they believe, like Dr. Carter, I pray that He will have a “God experience” that he will no longer be atheist.

  11. All of us no matter where in life we are, should be fact checking. Too many times, in my 50+ years, teachings have been tools… some for good intentions but while following in a blind fashion one can be [more than likely ‘WILL BE’ DECEIVED].
    Thanks be to YHVH [as I pray and turn from my own way teachings implanted upon my sincere mind ‘believing in GOD’ throughout my youth until adulthood]

    Scripture has a living power but we can be enticed to believe what we want… if it comforts us, empowers us it can turn us into an adversary to truth!
    I stand on the wall with all of you, in my prayer closet and having fellowship to be one with His people who are scattered across the creation we call earth.


    Nehemiah, God bless you in all you do! My prayers are with you!

  12. Even though this was posted back in 14, I leaned something I didn’t know… That the Babylonian Talmud was influenced by the Babylonians.
    So didn’t the Jewish people learn a lesson from the Assyrians when they conquered the Northern Kingdom – not to adulterate the sacred practices according to the Levitical law? Next time Chanukah comes around, I’ll talk to my Jewish friends about the roots of Chanukah as well as my Christian ones about Saturnalia! Well done. It is my hope that Jews and Christians who truly see a relationship with the almighty and to life a life that honors the Lord, Yehovah will work together to eradicate paganism from both sides of the faith.

    If the Pope and his followers would only speak the truth about the history and admit what was and is wrong, and if Protestants would also note that not all pagan influences were removed during the reformist times… This might create a better platform to reach Muslim people to understand that Yehovah can be a divine father to them too. Muslims are also unfortunately ignorant of their own influence of the Arab pantheon of their moon goddess and her consort the sun, and to this day, a round blue stone is often worn by Muslims as an amulete for Neptune and the Moon.

    The sooner that all of us can get an understanding of how our pagan past has affected our modern religious practices, we can start to even in a subtle way start a change…. Even if it means telling a child Yeshua-Jesus wasn’t born in December, and the Magi found Yeshua-Jesus 2 years after birth in Egypt, and there were certainly more than three gifts. Jews can return to the original “day of shouting in prayer to God” and tell the story about how it changed. Then we can start to change our culture by starting to celebrate gradually how we should. It all begins with purging the pagan within.

  13. This truth has been around even kept by Christians and Messianic Jews. The Puritans in fact came to America to keep away from Christ-mass as kept by Romanizers. The Messiah Yahshuah Zech 6 by name who most mistranslate as Jesus, DID NOT KEEP any pagan Idol worship because HE was a JEW. Thanks for the info Nehemia good truth to know.

  14. Ancient Christian leaders decided to celebrate the birth of Messiah in December to get rid of the pagan festivals of their day. It worked!!! These pagan festivals are no longer celebrated.
    Merry Christmas!!! Feliz Navidad!!!

    • Robert,
      I cannot tell if you are being intentionally provocative or
      just willfully ignorant. The pagan festivals continue to be
      celebrated, They were just relabeled under the Christian brand.
      YHVH warns us about turning aside to go after the ways
      Of the gentiles because they are empty and cannot deliver.
      Jesus upheld Torah and would be disgusted With all the
      man made rituals that you celebrate.

      While you say “Merry Christmas” to Nehemiah, I say to you
      “Blissful Ignorance”

  15. Hi, I would think that the book ‘Too long in the sun’ from Richard Reeves would be more suitable then this atheist. Of course, personal opinion. 🙂
    Shalom Alecheim

  16. Nehemia, we are enjoying the “Hebrew Voices” format very much. Learning so much and meeting through you so many different people. Shalom, Kevin and Brenda

  17. Nehemia,
    Thanks for all your programs; I am wondering if you have seen the you tube video of the 15 year old Jewish boy “Natan” that died and told on imminent future of Israel… it would be nice if you could interview him… this is the link’ such an amazing story/experience he has!

  18. I put this on late at night and probably fell asleep (not due to boredom, just the lateness of the hour!) before it was over. BUT I did hear the part about the various “crucified Christs” idea which gets a LOT of press on blogs from people who have a vested interest in ‘disproving’ that Jesus (Rabbi Yeshua to be exact) actually suffered on the cross. So it was good news to me to hear the Zoroaster/ Mithras/ Tammuz theory soundly refuted and put to bed (pun fully intended!) I myself have also found that when you check the sources, you find that scholars do indeed keep repeating what another said and another said AS IF it is solid, grounded evidence, but when you finally get to the original guy who is credited with having postulated it, you find that he is merely surmising based on a few (seriously often!) frazzled THREADS of possible connections. His peers, too, often disagreed and in some cases already refuted his opinions. Yet he is quoted as if his thoughts are ironclad science by generations of people in the field. That smacks of a desperation to believe ANYTHING BUT that there could be credible evidence for the existence of Jesus and his death in that manner. So — it made my night to have someone who could have had an axe to grind (an atheist) yet chose to stick with factual material (so refreshing!) to debunk the so-called “debunkers”! Thank you for posting – that was a gift! Thank you Nehemia! 😉

  19. Yes, Satan is a counterfeiter. Satan also wants worship. The prince the power of the air already knew certain actions and attributes that YaHVeH`s Mashiyach (Yahshua) would do and have. The book of Revelation attest of this in this verse:

    Revelation/Raz Galah/Secrets Revealed: 13:11: and I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

    Did you notice the “two horns like a lamb”? Did you notice the beast had two horns like a lamb but the beast spoke “as a dragon”. Dragon is a scriptural reference to Satan. See Revelation 12:9. Yes, Satan has been counterfeiting the truth since Adam, and he has done it in these last days through Christianity. Not that “Judaism” is teaching the truth either. Yes, Islam is just as wrong and misleading as the previous two mentioned man made religions.

    • @ Phillip; Are you sure that described Devil, Satanu, or evil spirit is not us humans ?
      Remember the old Roman saying that “wolfs do not eat wolfs”. They eat baby lambs an fawns, BUT only when really hungry. That is just for survival. Not like us humans.
      We are the only specie ,out of that supposedly 30-50 million species ( starting with the microbes) inhabiting this Earth ,that exploit, abuse and destroy everything and every living species, including our own fellow humans. And most shamefully, we humans do it not for survival, but even for pleasure and for profits. Could you think of anything more even than that ?

    • @ Phillip; That Book of Revelation, is a clear picture of just why the Hassid Sect was so unpopular and abscure even back 20 centuries ago. Not just that they were not Rabbinicals, that is refused to subject to the authority of the Jewish Court, the Sanhadrins, but they had an absolute fatalistic view of life and the world.
      They vanished shortly after the death of the rebbe (Jesus).
      Some went north to Asia Minor9 see the Acts ), the remaining ones left to the Cresent Delta, led by Mani. Some of them around the world survive as Mandenites, they use water-baptism, but believe that the rebbe (Jesus) betrayed the Torah.

  20. Replcement from my first reply: The Jewish Talumudic teaching on Saturnalia and Adam’s response of “8 days” of fasting for the days getting shorter, plus the concept the sun needing help and so candles are being lit, combined remind me of the Jewish traditions of Chanukah with the “miracles of 8 days of oil” and lighting candles for 8 days.

  21. The Rabbinic tradition of Adam lighting candles for 8 days around the time of the winter solstice sounds very similar to the Jewish Chanukah tradition.

  22. Richard mentioned Jeremiah 10 in talking about the christmas tree. I may have found a picture of santa..SMILE… in Ezekiel 23: 12-15 NASB …”Just sayin” It looked like him when I read it.

  23. It should be will noted that prior to 1960’s, the no god communists had taken a real hold on US through education systems, media, certainly gov’t, that US underwent such worthless notions of Permissive Parenting, then the Feminism movement which actually taught young women that being married was a male slavery idea and they should leave their families and “go find themselves” as a nation we began the slow decent into dishonor and disrespect for males, fathers, male leadership and burning US flags, free sex of the hippies (favorite pastime of college students on drugs); nice that he has studied all the myths good way to spend time, not impressed by anyone just because they have Dr in front of name, or went to Cambridge or anyother “enlighted” liberal propagandized organization. Whatever you put your time and attention to you become. The guest had no specific definition for “values” of any kind, and certainly none for his choice of pagan Christimas time, no definiton for “values” is a plague on the US at this time.There was a bit too much laughter, and giggling to believe any of this had any “value” except a “mocking spirit’. The young man sounds to be like one of the many bobbled headed people of the so called 60’s enlightenment; it also began a time of fatherless ness in the US through massive divorce also a motive of communism to split up family units.

    I am well aware of the pagan festival Christmas, and it has absolutely no value to it other than “shop till you drop”.

    Nehemia, let’s have a good discussion some day on humanism and nihilism and how it plays it plays out in history; where does it usually lead to.

    • @ Janice; Thank you for posting an undenieable trueth.
      Today’s Humanism and all this so called political correctness ,is in reality the polished form of Marxist material socialism. As today it is advanced by highly educated individuals, I refer to them as the “Polished Marxists”. The Soviet system was of the “Peasant Marxists”. As the first educated party member become General Secretary, the system ended,although he, (Gorbachev) only inteded to make progressive changes. BUT the ideology has not died ! Today’s liberals and the like, are convinced that the Soviet system callapsed just because was not practiced according to as they feel should have been.

      After WWI ,in Europe, the “First Communist” attempt, all those Red Barrons run to west. Established the so called “School of Social Humanist tudies” at Frankfurt University. As Hitler was come to power, they all run to US. The found shelter at Columbia University. So they had the opportunity to “spread the seed”. They did, but producing the desired cultural Marxist educators, prophessors.
      Now ,it is the third generation (or even fourth) that are present ,and in vital positions of all aspects of our life. In Politecs, media, education, etc. The seed planted we must harvest. That is where we as a nation are now. The results are everywhere.
      As a nation, formerly the pride and envy of the wold now we are economiaclly, financially, miltarilly not just sliding on the sleeperi slope, but a failure since WWII.

  24. I debated whether to post this since it isn’t falsifiable but here goes. My simplest explanation for all these ancient myths being similar to the Christian accounts of Yehoshua is Adam kept a journal and wrote in it every day of his 930 year life span. Those ancient accounts where their way of interpreting Adam’s description of a promise Yehovah made to him and Hava about sending her a son who would redeem them from their fall from grace.

    Great episode Nehemia. I was fascinated by Dr. Carriers information.

    • @ James. Just what you thing, where did Moses got all the info to scribe Genesys ?
      He was dictated only the Law portion of Torah, (Ex.34) He never alleged that historic records were also dictated to him by JeHoVaH
      The historical info likely came from previous records, like some of the so called Epics, like the Gilgamesh, etc. You find statements in the Tnakh as; “but was it not recorded in the Books of.. so and so ? No doubt some were.

    • According to your Bible (the Greek ) he could NOT have been born on Dec.25. Yje shepards and thir flocks were out in the pasture. Nor had a ruler called every one to travel for census in such a time. Since Israel was an agricultural nation, it was likely after the harvest time, at the end of the agricultural season.
      Beside ,in the Taneck ,king Hezekia is about freezing in front of a brazen fire,in the month of Kislev /December.
      But you need to Google “Mitra” ,Emperor Constantine’s god, that was allagedly born without human parent, in a cave from the rock,on Dec.25.
      “Christians” today go to Bethlehem and into a small cave under the Church of Nativity, and believe that’s where the rebbe was born, without a biological father.
      Most of the “Christian” belives and dogmas are about same as that about Mitra.
      Shortly after the councel of Nicea, Constantine issued his Sole Invictus, and persecuted Jewes who worshiped on the Sabbath, instead of the Mitra on it’s day, SUNday. (record in Vatican Library)

      • On the subject of Mitra. Several historical churches and cathedrals in Europe do have over the altars at above the crucifix the symbolic sun as multiple rays around.
        The typical symbol of Mitra. The irony is that at a few Churches, Rome and Paris, perjaps others also, in the middle of the SUNgod simbol, the inscription of Yod, Heth,Vad,Heth, or YHVH, the tetragamon.
        Also at the Nicean counsel, called by Constantin I, the emperor himself appeared at the opening and closing ,dressed as a roman SUNgod. Just as the SUNdial image over the crucifix.
        So the old saying is so true, “There is nothing new under the sun” !

        • @ Travis; In a way you are correct. Mitra was NOT a living creature, just an imagined idol of an imagined religion.
          But the records of history provides that this Mitra was believed to be born in a cave, out of the bad-rock ,and without human parentage on the 25 th. day of December.
          By the way, conception without the male chromosome, like clone, can only produce female offspring. Like all cloned animals are females.

          Beside that pagan believe, the “Gospel of James”, the brother of the rebbe “Jesus”, named their mother’s parents and even their maternal grandfather. So, Joseph was indeed a Judaite as stated by Mattew and Luke. Mary was a Levite.
          You say there is no such Gospel, BUT there was for over 1200 years,Vatican removed it as Johannes Guttenberg started printing and publishing the Bible.

          Mitraism was likely picked up by the Roman legions in the eastern provinces of Persia, Babylonia. It became the religion of the Roman military, as it was restricted to male only membership. It became great benefit to the roman emperial military, as it promoted commeradri and bravery. All emperor from military background were Mitra worshipers. So was Constantine, and his parents. His father was a roman general and pro-consul to Britain. Constantine fought the Pitts, and every time his life was in danger from political rivals,like Gullius, he escaped to Britain.
          If you read expensively about Constantine, you’ll find he was a very cleaver and capable fellow.
          After Gallius sent him the purple-robe, and became emperor, while in the realization of the sliding of the empire due to decay of public morality. . He felt that religion could alter that. Beside, he even moved the capital of the empire a thousand kilometer to the east. Now that’s was very progressive indeed.
          But as for the revival of public morality in the empire, in 325 CE he ordained an state-religion. Strictly on the bases of his personal religion, Mitraism. He also put an end to the religion of emperor worship. It was Gallius, a known saddist and one of the most unpopular emperor.
          The sages of the followers of the young rabbi (Jesus) now somewhat changed Hassidsm, took the opportunity and simply assimilated to the government supported state religion. Only emperor Theodosus I, proclaimed “Christianity” the state religion of Rome 2 centuries after Constantine.

          If I may bring up here the so called persecution of the “Christians” ?
          There seem to be no direct record of such a direct persecution. BUT the religion of Emperor Worship was also a form of practiced, sometime enforced religion in Rome.
          Most sober minded emperors did not give a hut about religion. However,records show that a few unbalanced minded emperors like Nero,Caligula and Gallius, who was the most extreeme, did enforce it.
          But my question is always by common sence thinking is, just what pagan roman gentles would have chosen execution instead of going along ? After all, all roman gentiles were pagans. Just like in the book of Daniel, how many gentile Babylonians were thrown into the brick over ,along with Michael, Shadra and Nabadnigo ?
          The answer is none. They were all pagans, and worship of a statue of the king or any of their idol made no difference. So was the way in Rome.

          • The “records” of Mithra being born in a cave are 2nd Century at the oldest.

            And no Anceint Pagans wold have played a Son god’s Birth on the Winter Solstice. As I’ve documented on my Blog.

        • @Travis; If you do your search, can rather easily find that most of today’s religions , in some form or another are ,kind of evolved from Zoroesterism.
          As well about the Mitra, go and Google it. On Wikipedia you find all the ref, cited.

          • Zoroaster stole ideas from Judaism and mixed it with native Paganism, not unlike Mohamed, he probably either was or knew a Northern Kingdom exile, since he lived in Media around 600-500 BC.

        • Hi there my Friend!

          Astronomical and historical facts proves the belief regarding Dec 25 / Christmas not being from pagan origin, but Christian is a scienfitically invalid total fraud:


          As John already stated there were no person called “Mithra” in history. Because Mithra is a product of religious pagan ancient Persian imagination which pre-dated their much later religion: Zoroastrianism:


          In the same way the Roman-Catholic Iesous Khristos (Jesus Christ) whom you believe to be born in Dec 25, is a product of religious Roman-Catholic imagination mixed with a little bit of the Bible in the 300’s.

          I am ok with you believing in this Jesus (as I am ok with people believing in Buddha or Khrisna or some other ”holy man” or ”god”) and this Roman Christ born in Dec 25, but please don’t mix this product of imagination with the Jewish Messiah of the Bible from the Israelite Dadivic Royal family line.

          Dec 25 / Winter Solstice is not included in the Father God’s Biblical agricultural Feasts which are the ONLY legitimate Biblical Testimony of the Jewish Messiah in this universe beginning from His Virgin Birth in the Biblical Fall Feasts Season, either on Yom Teruah or Sukkot 2BCE. And all the way to His Atoning death and resurrection in the Biblical Spring Feasts Season. Here’s MINDBLOWING presentation about the astronomical (not astrological!) extremely rare BirthSign of the Melech Tzedek, ”Righteous King” in the Biblical Fall Feasts in 2BCE in the starry sky of Near-East / Betlehem by brother Russeld Judd:


          For more information about the Feasts of the Father and their synchronization with the Messiah’s Gospel in the Stars, please click the link in my nick name. This is not about some kind of a theory or new theology or astrology but astronomical, historical and biblical facts.

          Blessings to You in your journey to the Truth of the Jewish King’s Birth!

          In the Spirit and Love of the King and His Royal Astronomy,
          “Messianic Astronomer” from Finland

          • Where does it was the Messiah has to be born on a Feast Day? Only his Death is directly linked to a Feast day.

            It’s impossible for Jesus to have been born on a Leviticus 23 Feast day, the Romans would not have carried out that Census there so close to a Pilgrimage day.

    • @ Travis; Actually , accordance of the climate of Babylon, was similar like here in Florida. So they celebrated both Solastics. Honoring Tammuz , the god of nature.
      The year by climate was just two cycles. The symbol of Tammuz was the “cross” ,that christians today claim. However, the symbol of Christianity is the shape of a dish. With the words in it “ECTUS” also means fish in Latin,but an aberaviated form of the Christian believe.
      You may wish to read Ezekiel 8.

      • They celebrated the Solcitices but they were the time of Death and Resurrection not of Births. Births were more likely to be on Equinoxes.

        The Christian Traiditon switched those around, which fits God’s style perfectly, most Canaanite shrines faced East so he had the Mosiac Tabernacle and Solomonic Temple face West.

    • Jesus was not born on dec 25th, Dec 25th in Bethlehem was winter season and no shepherd would be on the field at that time of the year. Just a common sense.

      • Everyone thinks that except people who’s been to Bethlehem in late December.

        Shepherds in Winter

        The Biblical Argument against a winter birth for Jesus is a claim that Shepherds would not have had their flocks outdoors in winter. These people are forgetting that Israel does not have the climate of Northern Europe or America. The Weather can indeed be very bad in Winter there sometimes but not always, plenty of areas around the same latitude like the Southern US often have nice weather at this time. I live in one of the Coldest part of the US, Wisconsin, and sometimes we don’t get Snow till after Christmas has passed.

        Genesis 31:38-40: “This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. ”

        Jacob was at this time much further north then Bethlehem, yet he was engaged in Shepherding during the winter. So using the no shepherds in winter argument calls Scripture a liar.

        James Kelso, an archaeologist who spent a number of years living in Palestine and who has done extensive research there says this:
        The best season for the shepherds of Bethlehem is the winter when heavy rains bring up a luscious crop of new grass. After the rains the once-barren, brown desert earth is suddenly a field of brilliant green. One year when excavating at New Testament Jericho, I lived in Jerusalem and drove through this area twice every day. At one single point along the road, I could see at times as many as five shepherds with their flocks on one hillside. One shepherd stayed with his flock at the same point for three weeks, so lush was the grass. But as soon as the rains stopped in the spring, the land quickly took on its normal desert look once again.
        Since there seem to have been a number of shepherds who came to see the Christ child, December or January would be the most likely months (James Kelso, An Archaeologist Looks At The Gospels, p. 23-24).
        Also there is Canon H.B Tristram
        “A little knoll of olive trees surrounding a group of ruins marks the traditional site of the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, Migdol Eder, ‘the tower of the flock’. But the place where the first ‘Gloria in excelsis’ was sung was probably further east, where the bare hills of the wilderness begin, and a large tract is claimed by the Bethlehemites as a common pasturage. Here the sheep would be too far off to be led into the town at night; and exposed to the attacks of wild beasts from the eastern ravines, where the wolf and the jackal still prowl, and where of old the yet more formidable lion and bear had their covert, they needed the shepherds’ watchful care during the winter and spring months, when alone pasturage is to be found on these bleak uplands“. Picturesque Palestine Vol 1 page 124
        Also note this excerpt from Messianic Jewish Scholars Alfred Edersheim:
        “That the Messiah was born in Bethlehem was a settled conviction. Equally so, was the belief that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder , the tower of the flock.
        This Migdal Eder, was not the watch tower for ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion that the flocks which pastured there were destined for Temple Sacrifices, and accordingly that the Shepherds who watched over them were, no ordinary Shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism on the account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observances unlikely, if not absolutely impossible.
        The same Mishnic also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all year round , since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before Passover- that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. Thus Jewish traditions in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from Migdal Eder, where Shepherds watched the Temple flocks all year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak -The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah By Alfred Edersheim
        I’ve also seen it claimed by Chuck Missler and others that Israel is “impassable” during winter, and Mary and Joseph couldn’t have traveled south at this time. But John 10:21-22 tells us Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to keep the feast of the Dedication/Hannukah. Indeed I take from this passage that Hanukkah while not one of the required pilgrimage days became an unofficial additional one, since it was intimately about Jerusalem and The Temple.


  25. The episode was great!
    But I must say I was expecting to hear some more concrete evidence about the christmass tree.
    The way I see it, Jeremiah 10 is talking about the idols which were made from the tree and worshiped and not about worshiping the tree as a tree itself. (Although we can make some conections to the christmass tree today)

    I remember that you have once said that the tree of ashera was set by the pagan altars (baal’s I think) and it was representing the sacred tree and a simbol of fertility. Wouldn’t that be a more apropriate conection (and maybe origence) of the christmass tree today??

    P.s. Yes. Do another interwiew with the same guest.

    • The “tree” as associated with pagan worship was observed by the Israelites as they moved into Canaan. The Jebusites, as most idol worshipers set up tree on the high hill as center of their worship.

      Has Israelites follow some time such practice? Absolutely, that is why Jeremiah made such reference. At times worshiped Baal.
      Do not forget the origen of Hanuka ! The victory over the Hellenists. Cleansing the Temple and re-constructing the Altar. Hellenism was the carbonpaper forerunner of today’s humanism. Actually a religion by placing “humans” as the supreme creatures of the Universe,instead of YeHoVaH.
      Today, the “Christians ” do not worship the X-mass tree, just use it as a symbol connected to the supposedly birth of the rebbe. (Jesus).
      As once stated; there is nothing new under the Sun.

  26. As a Christian, I hear your pain Nehemia, you are right, there is a lot of pain between Christians and Jews. Thanks for bringing a lot of light to this subject.
    For His Cause…Matt. 5:11

    • @ Octavio; Unfortunately that is true. But to overcome that, we all need to recognize that we humans are all the product of our Creator JeHoVaH, be the children of Jacob or the Children of Noah.

  27. Could it be, that when Cain was sent away, that he could only remember some of commands Hashem gave and in time filled in gaps with his own desired requirements to make it easier for himself or worse, that he despised or didn’t want to be bothered in keeping them so he did whatever he wanted? Or could it be that from the very beginning man has always needed to believe in a god, something bigger than themselves so they created god’s in their own images that evolved into god’s to fulfill political, religious or personal needs? Hashem has always been and His ways have always been what He knew we needed as humans. There was never a secret agenda up His sleeve, so to speak. When a woman was barren it was clear He opened her womb to give birth. He didn’t ever require a virgin birth outside of marriage or without a man. The child didn’t have to be a mystery to be chosen of Hashem and used to deliver His people. Hashem always gave man opportunity and called those who felt least to honor Him in what He called them to do. Could it be that people who witnessed Hashem’s people living and prospering in the ways of Hashem, stole some of those ways and twisted them to fit their own personal or national agendas? The Hebrews or even Jew’s today were always disliked until they had something the other nations wanted. Just like the boycott today is only in words and travel but those same people would never boycott the things important to them, ie, telecommunications, medical advances, etc. Just my thoughts and questions I hope you might answer.

  28. Nehemia, Abba made the changes of seasons in the very beginning of the Creation. – Gen 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

    This has been a very fascinating study of the lessor-gods. I was taught about them in my middle-school years (public school) when we learned about the planets and where they got their names. I was also taught in-depth about who these gods were but also that they were myth. So that would have been in the early 1950s. I don’t know what they teach in public schools now days but I hear a lot about witchcraft from grade-school children (1-6 grades).
    The enemy is hard at work trying to reach & teach our little ones his ways so pray for the children.

    This man may be an atheist but he is well read and even quoted the Bible a few times. I think I like him and I will pray that he will one day find the True Living G-d. Amen

    • Actually, as Nehemia has pointed out before somewhere, and a quick lookup in my Accordance program confirms, the word for “seasons” is actually “moedim”– appointed times. The word has nothing to do with the cycle of spring, summer, winter and fall, but with the biblical calendar and holidays later described in the Torah.

    • @ Lavone Never mind the man, just some facts that can learn from him.
      But your comment hit right on the head of the nail. Humanism is hard at work on the minds of the most suseptables, the children. Unfortunately no opposing facts can be presented, accept by a few loyal servants of YeHoVaH, Keep up the good work.

  29. Nehemia I think you handled this very gracefully and tactfully without neutering the information at hand, and that is an accomplishment. It was very interesting and I would encourage more.

    I personally think the bottom line is that the “Christmas” traditions DO originate from paganism, and that the Torah says we should not worship YHVH the way the pagans do. Thus, we should distance ourselves from this “holiday”. Whether one believes in Yeshua as messiah or not (personally I do), God clearly says not to do such things. I think it can clearly be seen that trying to “conquer” a pagan practice to overshadow paganism has only resulted in compromising the very things Yeshua taught.

    I also do very much support the theory that this all traces back to the tower of Babel. Since nearly every ethnicity from all parts of the world seem to have the same core pagan sun-worship elements incorporated into their history, I think the Babel split is really the best and most logical way to explain this phenomenon (especially when one believes in the history of the scriptures). In fact, I think this phenomenon is perhaps the greatest EVIDENCE of the Babel story we have. Of course, we must continue to search for relevant source texts as well.

    Sometime in the coming months I’m planning to be traveling the Andes nomad-style, visiting about as many pre-colonial ruins as I can fit on my path. I particularly intend to document as much relevant detail as I can concerning sun worship, to help illustrate this fascinating subject. I’ll record it to a blog accompanied with lots of interesting pictures, so perhaps others can benefit from my experiences.

    • @ Christopher; As it is recorded ,YeHoVaH alone is the Lord, the saviour, the redeemer, there is none else,He created none, recognize none ! Jeremiah 40-23
      The Hassids always assumed their rebbe was going to be the one. Even after thy resurected the sect in Eastern Europe in the 19th. century by the rebbe of Szatmar.
      The rebbe lived to a ripe old age, but none the less, he passed away. But they go to his grave and pray.

  30. col hacavodh l’iaoeh, Nehemia; I think you approached the topic tactfully, tastefully, and with compassion. Some of my most rewarding relationships are with atheists, many of whom could give the religious constructive lessons on the spirit of Torah. Keeps me on my toes, as well as other more tangible benefits. Keep up the good work! iah bless!

    • I concur, I too have been the beneficiary of interchanging world views with persons of dissimilar faiths and have come to respect their veracity.

      In addition Richard Carrier has produced a robust opera on the topics which we can all benefit from.

      I for one will encourage him as I do Nehemia to move foreword in their endeavours to seek truth and make a case to The Father most high in heaven
      to look upon them and deliver to them מֶגֶד with truth most pure.

      Sabado alegre

  31. I enjoyed this very much. Do more! Do more! 🙂 I think the term “Merry Christmas” Is a term where all mankind meet together in a well wishing that has nothing to do with religion. Its like my soul to your soul hugging Lol . Nehemia you are so good at this!!!

  32. “but I learned so much from our conversation, I may have him on again. You guys tell me if you want to hear more!”

    Yes of course we want more! please us kindly.

  33. lol I work for ups. when ppl wish me merry Christmas like your dad I respond bumhumbug lol but I do in a joking way and thank them for job security lol may we walk with the love and Yehovah everyday. thanking Him for salvation.

Please leave a comment.