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Lesson 1 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course 5

the Saturnalia.
Notice how the customs of Saturnalia are
similar to those identified with Christmas today:
“In private the day [Saturnalia] began
with the sacrifice of a young pig ... all ranks
devoted themselves to feasting and mirth,
presents were interchanged among friends, and
crowds thronged the streets, shouting ‘lo
Saturnalia!"’ (Dictionary of Greek and Roman
Antiquities, 3rd edition, Vol. II, Art. “Oscilla.”)
The offering was made beneath a
decorated tree -- Virgil, the Roman poet,
mentions a pine or evergreen.
Figurines and masks -- called “oscilla” --
were hung on the tree, as are Christmas
Customary Yule Log dates back to rites of sun
decorations today. History admits “... there can
worship. As the sun’s warmth waned during the
be no doubt that we have in these ‘oscilla’ a relic
long German winter, the Yule Log was lit to
of human sacrifice ...." Of all the pagan holidays,
encourage and revive the dying sun god.
Saturnalia was the one on which a HUMAN
SACRIFICE was required annually. article, The Shocking Pagan Origin of
The heathen came to believe that certain Christmas!
gods or spirits inhabited trees; therefore, they
offered sacrifices under them. Jeremiah’s Tree
1. What does YEHOVAH God have to
say about this? 1 Kings 14:23. Does He say that Is there a command anywhere in the
these places of sacrifice and worship should be Bible that one should cut a tree out of the forest,
destroyed? Deuteronomy 12:2. set it up in one’s home at the time of the Winter
COMMENT: In the days of Imperial Solstice, deck it with trinkets and various
Rome, multitudes adopted the name of the decorations, and place a star on its topmost
Messiah and applied it to existing pagan branch to show an association of the tree with the
customs. Today families decorate their signs of heaven?
“Christmas” trees with masks and figurines -- 1. What does the apostle Paul say in I
unwittingly perpetuating a memorial of the Corinthians 10:14? The apostle John under-
custom of Roman human sacrifice. scores this in I John 5:21.
The practice of commemorating the COMMENT: Because of these
winter solstice was not limited to ancient Rome. commands the authorities in post-Reformation
Nearly every pagan nation has observed a England condemned the celebration of
counterpart to modern “Christmas” customs! Christmas altogether as being a pagan institution
Strange, isn’t it, that these ancient pagan and passed laws forbidding it to be celebrated in
customs -- which YEHOVAH God hates and any form. Similar laws were put into effect in the
condemns -- are carried on TODAY by the vast American colonies.
majority of professing “Christians”? The reason that the pilgrims forbade the
If you would like to know more about the celebration of Christmas (and the festivities that
pagan origin and 4,000-year history of went with it) was because they were WISE
Christmas, write for your copy of the FREE ENOUGH to realize that the Bible does NOT
condone such customs of the early heathen that

The Pagan Origins of Christmas
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