The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Christmas (from Old English, Christes mæsse; literally, “Christ’s mass”). An annual holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus.
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
CHRISTMAS. Tourists taking the Christmas pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Bethlehem are apt to be surprised at finding it celebrated there on three different days a Roman Catholics and most Protestants observe December 25. The Eastern Orthodox church holds to January 6, while the Armenian church observes
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
ChristmasFrom OE Cristes Mæsse Not knowing the date of Christ’s birth, the early Church sought one by combining calendrical speculations with the exegesis of biblical numbers. Several dates were suggested, including Mar. 25, Apr. 2, May 20, Nov. 8, Dec. 25, and Jan. 6. The earliest evidence, the Depositio
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Christmas (from Old English Cristes maesse “Christ’s mass”).† Observance commemorating the birth of Jesus. In the Western church, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was first celebrated on December 25 ca. A.D. 336, the date apparently chosen to counter the Roman feast Natalis Solis Invicti (“birth
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Christmas. Though speculation as to the time of year of Christ’s Birth dates from the early 3rd cent., *Clement of Alexandria, e.g., suggesting 20 May, the celebration of the anniversary does not appear to have been general till the later 4th cent. The earliest mention of the observance on 25 Dec.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
CHRIST´MAS (“Christ’s Mass,” or “Festival”). The annual festival held by the Christian church in memory of the birth of Christ. It begins with the evening of December 24 (called Christmas Eve) and continues until Epiphany (January 6), the whole period being called Christmastide. It is more particularly
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
ChristmasChristmas, the annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, celebrated on December 25 in all churches except the Church of Armenia, for which it is January 6. The term appears as early as a.d. 1123 in Old English as ‘Cristes maesse’ (and variations) and ‘Christmas’ by 1568, meaning Mass
The Lutheran Cyclopedia
Christmas (see Church Year). “It is indeed right that we should celebrate so great grace of God with so glorious a festival, and consider well, that this Article of the Creed—I believe in Jesus Christ who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary—be not only confessed by all Christendom,
A Catholic Dictionary
Christmas Day
christmas day. The 25th of December, on which the Church celebrates Christ’s birth. Whether or not the birth of our Lord really occurred on this day, ancient authorities are not agreed. Clement of Alexandria mentions the opinion of some who placed it on the 20th of April, and of others, who thought it
Compton’s Encyclopedia
ChristmasThe word Christmas comes from the Old English term Cristes maesse, meaning “Christ’s mass.” This was the name for the festival service of worship held on December 25 (January 7 in many Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Rite churches) to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Although it is accepted that
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Christmas Day
Christmas Day. Transferred from the 6th of January to the 25th of December by Julius I. (337–352).Old Christmas Day. January 6th. When Gregory XIII. reformed the Calendar in 1852, he omitted ten days; but when the New Style was adopted in England, in 1582, it was necessary to cut off eleven days, which
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Christmas (Feast of the Nativity of our Lord).—The institution of this feast, which is celebrated on December 25th, is attributed to Pope Telesphorus, in the year 138. Originally, Christmas Day was often confounded with the feast of Epiphany. On the feast of Christmas Day, the Catholic priest is permitted
Key passages
Is 9:6–7

For a child has been born for us; a son has been given to us. And the dominion will be on his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His dominion will grow continually, and to peace there will be no end on the throne of …

Mic 5:2

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go out for me, to be ruler in Israel; and his origins are from of old, from ancient days.

Mt 1:18–25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ occurred in this way. His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So Joseph her husband, being righteous and not wanting to disgrace her, intended to divorce …

Lk 2:1–7

Now it happened that in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire. (This first registration took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to be registered, each one to his own town. So Joseph also went up from …

See also
Topics & Themes