Christmas on December 25th?!!

Maybe some of you out there would wonder what is the relevance of this topic. Well, let’s just say this is a preparation for a Yuletide observance. Why this early? So that you may still have time to think and analyze things. So what about the topic? I’m sure majority of our population believe in the old Catholic doctrine that Christ was born on December 25 and the popular “proof” that some of our “Catholic authorities” give is the event of Zechariah’s  service in the temple of God. Zechariah is a priest from the priestly division of Abijah.

One of those people who strongly believed in this is Mr. Cenon Bibe Jr., a columnist of a local tabloid Tumbok which deals and defends Catholic doctrines. We had a discussion regarding this topic but sad to say, he was not able to firmly established his cause. In fairness to him, I will write down part of his writings. He also has a blog posting this topic:

He said that:

1. Zechariah went inside the Holy of Hollies or sanctuary to burn incense.

First of all, Zechariah is a priest and not a high priest. There is a difference between the two. In Heb. 9:7 according to Paul, the priests go into the outer tabernacle which is the Holy Place repeatedly while the high priest alone goes inside the Holy of Hollies once a year NOT without blood to offer for the sins of the people. There is no priest among the sons of Aaron who went inside the Holy of Hollies during their regular service in the temple. So it also follows that Zechariah, being a priest did not go inside the Holy of Hollies to burn incense. We must closely note that this was a regular service in the temple, otherwise Luke would have mentioned  of a certain occasion. My point here is the burning of incense was done INSIDE the Holy Place daily in the tradition mentioned in Exo. 30:6-8 and not inside Holy of Hollies as Mr. Bibe is mentioning. In fact, according to Exo. 30:6 and Exo. 40:26 the altar of incense was located inside the Holy Place just before the veil-NOT inside the Holy of Hollies. Now, maybe some of the interested parties may ask, “In Heb. 9:4 it says that the altar of incense is located inside the Holy of Hollies based on Paul’s description”. Paul was right. Why? He described the setting of the Holy of Hollies DURING the Day of Atonement. That is evident in paragraph 6 when he said “With these arrangements in worship…”. He is talking of the arrangements during the Day of Atonement wherein, the altar of incense is lifted from the Holy Place going to the Holy of Hollies (Lev. 16:12-13). And why am I so sure that Paul is talking about the Day of Atonement? Because that will be his topic on the next verses pertaining to the blood of Christ as sacrifice for the salvation of mankind (Heb. 9:11-14).

2. It is Day of Atonement when Zechariah entered the temple.

One very obvious thing that we can see here is that there was absolutely NO mentioned of Zechariah bringing in with him the blood for sacrifice but only burning of incense. So that alone negates the theory that that day is Day of Atonement. One more thing, Luke mentioned early in his gospel in Luke 1:1-4 that he is writing the events in an orderly sequence after he investigated everything accurately. Day of Atonement is so important to the Israelites that Luke would never ever forgot to mention if it is really Day of Atonement but the fact that he did not, only proves that it was only a regular temple service.

3. It is 10th of the month of Tishri when Zechariah entered the temple.

Actually, this will only be irrelevant to discuss considering that we already proved in no. 2 that it is not the Day of Atonement when Zechariah served the temple but for the sake of argument…ok, ok.

Mr. Bibe is just adamant in his belief regarding that Day of Atonement but if we are to summarize the first two numbers, we shall get these points:

a. Zechariah is not a high priest therefore he is not performing his duties inside the Holy of Hollies. Mr. Bibe had to try to give me a priest who had served REGULARLY inside the Holy of Hollies-it was Zadok whom he mentioned. He was wrong again. Okay Zadok was one of Aaron’s descendants and had served the temple regularly but only in the Holy Place. Why? Because he is not a high priest. But in Ezek. 44:15-16 it says there that God is allowing Zadokites to perform services inside the Holy of Hollies. That was a special case and not a regular one as Zechariah is doing. Why special? Because only Zadokites stayed with God when the Israelites went astray from God so He allowed the Zadokites to  perform atonement  before God.

b. Luke did not mention in his gospel that Zechariah is bringing in with him blood for sacrifice which is really the essence of atonement that time considering the fact that Luke is particular with the details and accuracy of the events. That only meant it is NOT Day of Atonement when Zechariah entered the temple.

If that will be the case, it is only tantamount to saying that it is not the 10th of Tishri when Zechariah entered the temple. And we can prove this furthermore. Zechariah belongs to the eight division. The service in the temple starts at the first week of the first month which is Nisan (1Chro. 27:2). After a week, another group will serve and so on. But according to Deut. 16:16, there will be three major feasts to be celebrated and each of every major feast, every male shall appear before God. The first two feasts occur during the third week of the year so the third
course alone shall serve on the fourth week, the fourth course on the
fifth…the eight course (which Zechariah belonged) on the ninth week and all
courses again on the 10th week which is the Feast of Booths. This will also
mean that Zechariah’s service will fall on 27th of Iyar to 12th of Sivan or June
3 to 17 on our calendar. This is the part that Mr. Bibe did not mention but I
told him of these information. He just ignored this. I don’t know why. These
will be the actual order of events so there is no concrete evidence that
Zechariah served at the temple on Tishri 10 or Day of Atonement.


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