Xmas Cheer?

For years I’ve had folks who know no better chide me for writing “Xmas” with the “X is an unknown quantity, and Christ is not unknown!” fallacy.

Fallacy? Yes, on at least two counts. The first and most obvious is that Christ is almost unknown. If one even asks the common man-on-the-street kinds of questions of average folks, attempting to discover if those folks even know the basic facts of the life of Christ, it’s easy to determine that the historical Jesus is largely unknown. When asked even further what his message was/is and what the import of his life was/is, his unknown-ness becomes even more glaring. Heck, the very fact that such abominations as “Touched by an Angel,” “Highway To Heaven” and “7th Heaven” were viewed by so many who think of themselves as Christians as “Christian” in theme or subject matter ought to demonstrate to any literate person (let alone someone who calls themselves a believer in Christ) that Jesus is largely unknown.

But then there’s also the “X is an unknown quantity” part of the objection. Simple illiteracy, my friends, because “Xmas” has been long used–as long as ‘Christmas” has been–in referring to a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ for a reason that is far, far from the “unknown quantity” canard. Why so? Because it’s not an “X” (as we find in latinized European alphabets) but a “chi”–the Greek letter that sounds out as the “Ch” in “Christ.” And so, since even before the existence of the word “Christmas,” the “chi” has been used to stand in acronyms, acrostics and other constructions for “Christ”. (In fact, it was used thus in the earliest known “Christian fish” symbols, which was constructed from the first letters–Greel alphabet–in the words of the phrase, “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior”).

So, have a blessed Xmas.

3 Replies to “Xmas Cheer?”

  1. Chi or X also refers to a form of ancient writing intended to teach through redundancy; the primary message being repeated, as a rule in stronger language in reverse order at the close of the lesson.

  2. It’s clear from their incessant gospel broadcasts that FCN (Fox Christian News) evangelists (anchors) are no better informed than the average church-going man on the street.

    Christmas traces its origins back no earlier than 336 C.E. and, even then, Hellenist Roman Christians syncretized the “birthday of the unconquered sun,” Iranian Mithra idol and sun-worship–which was Dec. 25. This had NO connection to the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi from Beit Lekhem who, according to descriptions of shepherds in the field and conjunctions of import to Persian magi, computer calculations of astronomical conjunctions pinpoint to May 29 (corroborating reports of shepherds in the fields) of B.C.E. 7.

    (If the magi, from Iran-Persia, had followed a “star in the east,” they would have wound up on the east coast of China staring out on the Pacific toward Japan… NOT in Jerusalem!!!

    The Scripture that the Pharisee Ribi knew and taught commands that one NOT adopt the ways and traditions of the idolaters.

    Info on historical Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua can be found at http://www.netzarim.co.il (The Netzarim, in Ra’anana, Israel)

  3. Interesting, TF.

    Paqid Yirmeyahu, apart from your offensive use of the pseudo-intellectual, PC “C.E.” and “B.C.E.” for the perfectly serviceable A.D. and B.C. and your laughable misapplication of the “pharisee” title, much of what you say about the celebration of Christmas has merit. Oh, not the reference to Mithraism which was a niche, almost boutique “religion” by the mid-fourth century A.D., but the essential truth that a celebration of the birth of Christ was mostly confined to local observances at various different times of the year–or not at all–through the mid-4th century A.D. is essentially on target. But saying, “Christmas traces its origins back no earlier than 336 C.E [sic]” is a vast oversimplification of Christian church history. That it was not widely and “officially” observed as a specific focus of a religious service until the mid-4th century would be more accurate.

    Pegging the date chosen to Mithraism, though, is hocus–a bogus jape, surely? There were religious observances in nearly EVERY religion that existed at the time. Placing another, Christian, observance around or about the Winter solstice was a natural, especially since no one had a solid month-day-year date of birth for the Jesus of Bethlehem, Nazareth, et al. But the extensive twisting of historical record and logic necessary to accept your “Jesus the Pharisee” model is laughable. Come back and make the assertion again if all you want is some mocking laughter. I determined from the brief glances I gave the linked site that it was in no way a serious work. Oh, and I’ll not be back: whoever put the site up was rude beyond measure. If I want music blaring at me, I’d click a link to make it do so. Having it blare out at me without my permission is just rude, and whoever built that site should be ashamed of themselves. (Besides, the chosen music stinks.) The few times I’ve made that inexcusable mistake, I’ve been mortified, ashamed of my rudeness. And so should you be for including the link without mentioning it led to so rude a website.

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