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Friday, December 28, 2012

Search JW.ORG / Searching For Articles at JW.ORG

Many are now familiar with the Watchtower Online Library. There are many ways to find the subject(s) that you are looking for there either through the Search Box, the Publications Subject Index or the Scripture Index.

But not as many people know that a multitude of new articles are now available at JW.ORG. It has been encouraged for us to discover what is now available at JW.ORG so that we can fully utilize these articles in our ministry.

A common question has been whether JW.ORG has a Search Box for locating articles. To date, a Search Box at JW.ORG does not seem to be available. HOWEVER, one can use the Search Box above or at DEFEND JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES for locating the JW.ORG article(s) desired.

Click here to go to the relevant page for instructions.

Features of the Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY Part 2 - Tips On Refining Your Particular Searches

The Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY is a very helpful tool for newly interested ones and experienced publishers alike. In addition to the helpful search box found there, some of the main features that can assist in your navigation available to date was presented in Features of the Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY Part 1. To view Features of the Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY Part 1, click here.

This article will hopefully provide some helpful tips on refining your particular searches and ways to present links for specific referrals. 

Tip #1 (Not using so much punctuation.)

It has been noticed that sometimes too much punctuation (i.e. commas, quotation marks, dashes, periods, etc.) entered into the search box will result in the message: "Your search did not match any documents." If this message pops up, try using the same words, but with less punctuation.

Tip #2 (Not using so many words.)

Like any other search engine, too many words may result in too many unnecessary results. Try using just the main words that you are focusing on and maybe not as many words such as "the", "and", "a", "is", etc.

Tip #3 (Removing the highlighted orange.) 

Let's say that you found the article that you wanted to share but want to remove the orange highlight that identified your search results. For instance, you typed in "God's Name" and scrolled down to the article "The Fight Against God’s Name" and clicked on it. How do you remove this orange highlight from the article once you have found it? On the left side-panel there are two arrows located above the subheadings. Click either the forward or back arrows to the next article. Then click back to the original article and the orange highlight will have been removed. You can then copy the url and post the link - free of orange highlight.

Tip #4 (Utilize the "Refine Search" option.)

Typed in a word that has way too many results? On the left-hand side-panel is the "Refine Search" section. Simply uncheck all of the boxes and then check the boxes to the publications that you feel may contain what it is you are looking for.

Tip #5 (Utilize the "Located in the same sentence/paragraph/article" option.)

To further refine your search, try using the "Located in the same sentence/paragraph/article" drop-down box that is located directly above the article search results.

Tip #6 (Try using the Scripture Index.)

Still can't find what you feel should be there? Try using the Scripture Index. You can find it by clicking the "Publications" heading, then "Publications Index", and the "Scripture Index". Or just click here. Find the Scripture that you are looking for by scrolling down to the right book and then click on it. Then find the Scripture and you may end up finding what you were looking for better than using the search box.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate New Year's Eve / Day?

The Bible admonishes Christians to "walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts." (Rom. 13:12-14; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Pet. 4:3) Since New Year's festivities are often characterized by the very excesses that the Bible condemns, Jehovah's Witnesses do not participate in these excesses. The Bible admonishes Christians to be moderate and self-controlled in their conduct. (1 Tim. 3:2, 11)

Granted, not everyone celebrates the New Year by drinking heavily and committing acts of violence. Many today feel that they share in New Year’s festivities without going overboard. So why shouldn't Jehovah's Witnesses be willing to participate in New Year's customs as long as they remain moderate and self-controlled in their conduct? Because Jehovah's Witnesses also consider the origin and significance of this popular celebration.

New Year's Celebrations are Rooted in Pagan Customs

New Year's festivities are not new. Ancient inscriptions indicate that they were held in Babylon as early as the third millennium B.C.E. The celebration, which was observed in mid-March, was crucial. "At that time the god Marduk decided the destiny of the country for the coming year," says the World Book Encyclopedia. The Babylonian new year celebration lasted 11 days and included sacrifices, processions, and fertility rites.

For a time, the Romans also began their year in the month of March. But in 46 B.C.E., Emperor Julius Caesar decreed that it should begin on the first of January. That day was already dedicated to Janus, the god of beginnings, and now it would also mark the first day of the Roman year. So on the first of January, people "gave themselves up to riotous excess and various kinds of heathen superstition." - McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia

Notice what the 1966 World Book Encyclopedia says:

"In ancient Rome, the first day of the year was given over to honoring Janus, the god of gates and doors and of beginnings and endings. . . . New Year's Day became a holy day in the Christian Church in A.D. 487, when it was declared the Feast of the Circumcision. At first, parties were not allowed on this day because the pagans had followed that custom. This was gradually changed and celebrations could again be held." - Volume 14, page 237

Why Do Jehovah's Witnesses Avoid Pagan Customs?

If pagan ceremonies, customs, god names, etc. are really mixed in with ceremonies, customs, etc. that we use today, they are not merely unacceptable - - - they are detestable to God. We must completely get away from these unclean things and not even "touch" them. (2 Cor. 6:17) Notice how exclusive the worship of God must be: "Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips." - Exodus 23:13, NIVSB.

But some may still wonder why Jehovah's Witnesses consider customs that have pagan origins to be so bad. "After all," they may ask, "aren't there many things which originated, or are associated with paganism - pharmacies, calendars, etc.?"

Consider the two examples concerning Luke and Paul. When Luke wrote in Acts mentioning the Areopagus ('Ares Hill' - Ares is the Greek god of war; 'Mars' is the Latin god of war), he didn't feel the need to change its already established name to something no one would recognize. Furthermore, Paul actually went to this place devoted to a pagan god and preached. And Paul accepted the Areopagite, Dionysius (Greek name for 'god of wine') and had him join him - Acts 17:19-34. Luke and Paul certainly did not become participants in something associated with pagan origins.

So these necessary things are not a celebration of pagan gods. But it would be wrong to incorporate anything used for pagan worship, into our worship or related activities. Holidays, for example, are "Holy Days" and are a part of "worship", by their very name.

While we today have no practical option but to use things like the Gregorian calendar (which uses the names of pagan Roman gods), we do have a choice whether or not to participate in customs which were originally devoted to honoring these gods. And according to Scripture, we should take advantage of that choice.
Additional Reading: 
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Gregorian Calendar
(Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
Can the Pagan Customs of Christmas Really Be MADE Acceptable to God?
(Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)
Can a Pagan Holiday Be Made Christian?
(w07 12/15 pp. 8-9; Watchtower Online Library)

But Would Having Some Fellow Christians Over To One’s Own Home on New Year’s Eve Be Wrong?

What about arranging for a group of Christians to gather together on that day because it is an occasion when they are free from secular work and are able to do so anyway? If someone is planning a gathering for December 31, or is planning to attend one, it would be good for that one to examine their motive as well as the situation involved. For instance, is the gathering being planned simply because it is New Year’s Eve? Is there special enthusiasm about the gathering because it 'just happens to fall on New Year’s Eve'? Will the planned activities mimic what the rest of the world does on that day? If so, regardless of how some may rationalize against it, it still would be a celebration of New Year’s.

However, if it is out of the proper motive for the gathering, and if their conduct in every way befits Christians, then they certainly do not need to avoid one another’s company on any day simply because it is a day that the rest of the world generally misuses. Each Christian can take into consideration their own motive in harmony with their Bible-trained conscience. (1 John 2:15-17; Rom. 14:13; 1 Tim. 1:19)

Additional Reading:
Should We Celebrate Holidays?
(bh p. 222-p. 223; Watchtower Online Library)


To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses, please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information on Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs and practices you should look to the source at

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Does Romans 14:6 Really Show That Christians May Celebrate Holidays with Pagan Associations?

Does Romans 14:6 Really Show That Christians May Celebrate Holidays with Pagan Associations?

If pagan ceremonies, customs, god names, etc. are really mixed in with ceremonies, customs, etc. that we use today, they are not merely unacceptable - they are detestable to God. We must completely get away from these unclean things and not even "touch" them. (2 Cor. 6:17) Notice how exclusive the worship of God must be: "Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips." - Exodus 23:13, NIVSB.

It would be wrong to incorporate anything used for pagan worship, into our worship or related activities. Holidays, for example, are "Holy Days" and are a part of "worship", by their very name.

Yet with a little wishful thinking, some have referred to only one Scripture (Rom. 14:6) in order to rationalize that pagan-based holiday celebrations and customs are pleasing to God. But is this Scripture really referring to pagan-based holiday celebrations and customs? What does Romans 14:6 say and what does it really mean?

Examining Romans 14:6

Let's examine this single reference to God's word. A partial quote of Romans 14:6: "He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord." This is a quote from one of Christendom's most highly-regarded Bible translations: The NIV Study Bible. Let's continue to use this same study Bible to analyze what Paul was telling us in Romans 14.

Romans 14:1, 5, 6 in this Bible says:

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters .... One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord." - NIVSB.

The footnote for Romans 14:1 tells us Paul is probably writing this about

"Jewish Christians at Rome who were unwilling to give up the observance of certain requirements of the [Mosaic] law, such as dietary restrictions and the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days [given to the Jews by Jehovah].... They were not yet clear as to the status of OT [Old Testament] regulations under the new covenant inaugurated by the coming of Christ... Fellowship among Christians is not to be based on everyone's agreement on disputable questions. Christians do not agree on all matters pertaining to the Christian life, nor do they need to." - NIVSB.

The footnote for Rom. 14:5 in the NIVSB tells us:

"Some feel that this refers primarily to the Sabbath, but it is probably a reference to all the special days of the [Old Testament] ceremonial law."

Obviously, Paul is saying, according to this mainstream study Bible, that it was no longer necessary to observe the special days that were given to God's people in the Mosaic Law. However, Paul didn't think it was wrong for some of the Jewish Christians (at that time) to continue to observe special days that Jehovah Himself had previously given them if they wished to.

So Paul is telling us that the man who considers a special day (of the Old Testament as given by Jehovah to the Israelites) more sacred than another is still acceptable to the Lord. (There is good reason to believe that Paul is specifically referring to Sabbath days here.) This in no way contradicts other commandments in the Bible to strictly avoid pagan customs; don't even touch the unclean things!

Even Martin Luther didn't feel it was wrong for Christians to observe special days given by Jehovah in the Old Testament. He wrote,

"Neither is it true that the Old Testament [Law] was abolished in such a way that ... it would be wrong for anyone to keep it in full.... It is indeed abolished in the sense that we are free to keep it or not keep it, and it is no longer necessary to keep it on penalty of one's soul, as was formerly the case." - Martin Luther, p. 376.

So we are free to observe or not many of the things of the Mosaic Law. We can circumcise our sons. We can rest on the Sabbath. We can do things that were once required in the Mosaic Law and not be condemned for it. But we cannot do things that God considers an abomination to him. We cannot include foreign gods in our worship. We cannot embrace pagan religious customs.

"Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah [also known as Astarte, Ishtar, or Eastre] poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, `How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.' You must not worship the LORD your God in their way." - Deut. 12:3, 4, 30, 31, NIVSB. The footnote for Deut. 12:4 says, "The rituals and accessories of idolatrous worship were not to be used to worship the Lord, the one true God."

For more, see:

Jehovah's Witnesses and Holidays - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jehovah's Witnesses, Holidays and Colossians 2:16

Colossians 2:16 in the King James Version reads:

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days."

On occasion, opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses will attempt to cite Colossians 2:16 out of context in an attempt to falsely accuse Jehovah's Witnesses of unscripturally condemning others for partaking in holidays - something that Jehovah's Witnesses do not participate in. For more, see: Should We Celebrate Holidays? (bh p. 222-p. 223; Watchtower Online Library)

However, Colossians 2:16 actually refers to the God - ordained festivals and observances of the Mosaic Law, not to "holidays" in general. The context of the verse shows that Paul was saying not to judge those who chose not to celebrate those observances, not the other way around. Paul was discussing the end of the Mosaic Law - that Christians didn't need to observe it anymore. It is not dealing with pagan and/or secular holidays at all.

Furthermore, Jehovah's Witnesses fully understand and agree that it is God alone who has the right to set standards and rules for salvation. (Isaiah 33:22; Luke 12:5) Jehovah's Witnesses understand full well that it is not their prerogative to judge and condemn others. They are in complete agreement with James when he asked, “Who are you to be judging your neighbor?” (Matthew 7:1-5; Romans 14:4, 10)

For more, see:

Holidays - Links to Information

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evil - Links to Information

Evil - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

Evil Insight-1 pp. 772-773; Watchtower Online Library)

Evil (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - What Makes Us Good or Evil? (g 4/10 pp. 20-21; Watchtower Online Library)

Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering? -  How did evil start? (w11 5/1 pp. 16-17; Watchtower Online Library)

Why Is There So Much Suffering? (AWAKE! JULY 2011; JW.ORG)

Schoolroom Massacre—Comfort in the Aftermath (w09 12/1 pp. 9-12; Watchtower Online Library)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 - Would God Really Have Used the Mayan Calendar to Proclaim His Judgement?

(Also see: Armageddon; Astrology; Great Tribulation; Last Days.)

The hype has been going on for years with much media attention paid to it. It would seem odd for anyone to have not heard by now that some believe the world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012. This notion exists despite the fact that everyone from NASA scientists to Maya scholars say that these beliefs are off-base. The Mayans never predicted that the end of their Long Count Calendar meant the end of the world, and there are no astronomical phenomenon headed our way that could possibly destroy the planet in less than ten days. (See: Don't Panic! 2012 Doomsday Myths Debunked by NASA; Slideshow by

Would God Really Have Used the Mayans to Proclaim His Judgement?

The Mayans used the Tzolk'in calendar. It is known that astrology and divination was heavily used in connection with this in interpreting events. With this in mind, Jehovah God would not deliver His message through those who practiced divination... a practice that He condemns.

Additionally, the Bible tells us that no one knows when the great tribulation will occur:

"Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)

"Nobody" would include the Mayans. Would it really seem reasonable for God to not share the date of His judgement with His own son and instead inform the Mayans (a people who employed practices that He condemns)?

Not only does the Bible show that no one knows the date, but that when the day does come, the destruction will come very suddenly and unexpectedly:

"Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying: “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them." (1 Thessalonians 5:2,3)

“Jehovah’s day” is to come “exactly as a thief in the night” in that most of mankind will not have kept spiritually awake to the progressive revelation of God’s will. They are like a person who is sleeping at night when a thief comes unexpectedly.

"On this account YOU too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that YOU do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming." (Matthew 24:44)

For more, see:

Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End (NASA.GOV)

Apocalypse not now: NASA debunks doomsday predictions (MSNBC News Article)

The Maya - Yesterday and Today (g01 9/8 pp. 15-19; Watchtower Online Library)

The Amazing Maya Calendar (g05 4/8 p. 31; Watchtower Online Library)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Numerology - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:

Numerology - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

Bible Usage Not Numerology (Insight-2 pp. 510-513; Watchtower Online Library)

Numerology (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)

Numerology - Why is it so Appealing and Does it Really Work? (Search For Bible Truths)

Associated articles concerning numbers and the Bible:

Theomatics - Does it Work? Does the Bible Have a Hidden Code? (Search For Bible Truths)

Does the Bible Have a Hidden Code? (w00 4/1 pp. 29-31; Watchtower Online Library)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas - Links to Information

Click on any of the following links to view:


CHRISTMAS - Links to Information (Index; Watchtower Online Library)

Christmas (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library) 

Christmas Customs - Are They Christian? (w00 12/15 pp. 3-7; Watchtower Online Library)

How Should Christ Be Remembered? (w04 12/15 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)

Jesus' Birth - How and Why it Happened (w02 12/15 pp. 3-5; Watchtower Online Library)

In Search of the Christmas Spirit (JW.ORG)

Why Do Some People Not Celebrate Christmas? (JW.ORG)

Something Better Than Christmas (JW.ORG)

Remembering Jesus Christ (JW.ORG)

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Celebrate Christmas? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Christmas - It's Origins And Associations (Search For Bible Truths)

The Date of Jesus' Birth (Search For Bible Truths)

Can the Pagan Customs of Christmas Really Be MADE Acceptable to God? (Search For Bible Truths)

Did Jesus Christ or his disciples or his apostles celebrate Christmas? (Search For Bible Truths)

Did Jesus Want His Birthday Celebrated? Did His Followers Celebrate It? (Search For Bible Truths)

Birthday/Christmas Quotes & Resources (Jehovah's Witnesses Redefended)

HANUKKAH (Index; Watchtower Online Library)

Hanukkah—Is It a “Jewish Christmas”? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Hanukkah (Festival of Dedication) - Significance for Christians (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

What Does Christmas Music Really Teach? (Search For Bible Truths)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas - It's Origins And Associations

There are many wonderful occasions for Christians to observe or commemorate. However, God does not approve of certain customs if they come from false religion or are against Bible teachings. (Matthew 15:6) If a holiday or custom is being deliberately participated in by a Christian, it must have absolutely no known pagan religion associations.                                          
The majority of this page contains quotes and references concerning the pagan origins and associations in connection with: DECEMBER 25, JESUS' BIRTHDAY, GIFT-GIVING, FEASTING, MERRY-MAKING, CHRISTMAS TREES, MISTLETOE, HOLLY, and YULE:


"Neither scripture nor secular history records the date of Jesus' birth; even the season of the year is not stipulated. Some evidence points to spring, but it is not conclusive. The only thing reasonably certain about the coming of the Christ Child is that his birth did not take place in winter. .... In A. D. 350 Pope Julius I formally designated December 25 as Christmas. He chose that date because it coincided with important pagan festivals. These, in turn, were linked with the winter solstice [the shortest day of the year]." - How it Started, p. 54.

"It was noted later that this date [Dec. 25] would fall within the rainy season in Palestine, so that the shepherds would hardly have been in the fields as they were when Jesus was born." - p. 1425, The World Book Encyclopedia, 1958.

Isaac Asimov in an article for Saturday Review tells us that the ancient pagan Romans celebrated

"a week-long Saturnalia [honoring the Roman god Saturn] from Dec. 17 to 24. It was a time of unrelieved merriment and joy.... gifts were given all around." Asimov continues, "the worship of Mithra, a sun-god of Persia, was becoming popular, especially among the soldiers. The Mithraists celebrated the birth of Mithra at the winter solstice, a natural time, and fixed on the day December 25 so that the popular Roman Saturnalia could build up to the Mithraist `Day of the Sun' as a climax.

"At that time, Christianity was locked in a great duel with the Mithraists for the hearts and minds of the people of the Roman Empire. .... Sometime after 300, Christianity managed the final coup of absorbing the Saturnalia, and with it scored its final victory over Mithraism. December 25 was established as the day of the birth of Jesus and the great festival was made Christian. There is absolutely no Biblical authority for Dec. 25 as having been the day of the Nativity." (Cf. "Sol Invictus", p. 725, An Encyclopedia of Religion, 1945 ed.)

"December 25 was already a major festival in the pagan Roman world, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or `Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,' a feast honoring the renewal of the sun at the winter solstice. Pagan celebrations on December 25 had included feasting, dancing, lighting bonfires, decorating homes with greens, and giving gifts. So when this became a Christian [?] festival, the customs continued, but with a Christian [?] meaning imparted to them. Throughout the [Catholic] Middle Ages, Christmas was a richly varied religious holiday. However, during the Commonwealth, the English Puritans, repelled by both the pagan practices and the religious ceremonies, forbade any religious or secular celebration of Christmas. The English celebration returned with the return of the Stuarts ["near-Catholic" Church of England monarchs], but Christmas observances were still outlawed in Puritan New England for many years; and not until the 19th century did Christmas become a legal holiday in America." - p. 414, Vol. 4, Encyclopedia International, Grolier, Inc., 1966.

(Also see: The Date of Jesus' Birth; Search For Bible Truths)


"Early Christians [from time of Christ until the 4th century] frowned on [celebrating anyone's birthday], which was too closely linked with pagan customs to be given the approval of the church." - How It Started, p. 213.

The Christian Book of Why, by Dr. John C. McCollister (Lutheran minister and university professor, graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary), Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 1983, tells us on p. 205:

"Christians of the first century did not celebrate the festival honoring the birth of Jesus - for the same reason they honored no other birthday anniversary. It was the feeling at that time by ALL Christians that the celebration of all birthdays (even the Lord's) was a custom of the PAGANS. In an effort to divorce themselves from ALL pagan practices, the early Christians refused to set aside a date marking Jesus' birth. As a result, the first celebration of Christmas by Christians [?] did not take place until the fourth century."

Think about it for a moment. Exactly who were included in "ALL Christians of the first century" (1 A. D. - 100 A. D.)?

Yes, the Jews themselves never celebrated birthdays until long after the death of Jesus. They considered it a purely pagan custom and detestable to the God they worshiped. Jesus and his Apostles continued this belief and so did their followers for centuries!

"As late as 245 [A. D.] Origen (hom. viii. on Leviticus) repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ, `as if he were a king Pharaoh [Gen. 4:19-22].'" - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., p. 642, Vol. 5.

(Also see: The Date of Jesus' Birth; Search For Bible Truths)


The Saturnalia, a pagan Roman festival honoring the Roman god Saturn, has supplied many of the elements found in Christmas.

"Most of the Christmas customs now prevailing in Europe [and America] ... are not genuine Christian customs, but heathen customs which have been absorbed or tolerated by the Church... The Saturnalia in Rome provided the model for most of the merry customs of the Christmas time.... Christmas inherited the general merriment in a more restrained form (excessive only in eating and drinking) [but see 1 Pet. 4:3, 4]: games, giving of gifts (especially to children), abundance of sweet meats and, as more ceremonious elements, burning of candles..." - Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Hastings, Vol. III, pp. 608, 609.

"Saturnalia presents included wax dolls, given to children. A charming custom, no doubt, by times of record, but with a macabre past: even contemporaries thought this probably a vestige of human sacrifice, of children, to aid sowing." - History Today, as quoted in 22 Dec. 1992 Awake!.

"The early Church in Rome had a particularly hard battle against two other great pagan festivals, the week-long Saturnalia, which began Dec. 17, and the Kalends, which greeted the New Year. The first festival was a time of licensed misrule, often presided over by a lord of merriment, not so much Santa as fat Saturn himself, the orgiast of eating, drinking and other kinds of naughtiness. It was during Kalends, when the year changed, however, that gifts were ritually exchanged, often tied to the boughs of greenery that decorated houses during the festivities.

"The attitude of the early church toward all this indecent jollity was predictably frosty. Its fathers, notably the fulminating St. John Chrysostom, urged no compromise with heathen abominations." - Simon Schama, professor of history at Harvard University, in a feature article of the 24 Dec. 1991 issue of The New York Times.


"Many countries claim the distinction of having launched the custom of erecting Christmas trees, but it may have begun independently in several parts of Europe. Ceremonial worship of trees in ancient pagan rites almost certainly led to the decoration of trees at the time of the winter solstice. German emigrants [coming to the U.S.] brought with them the custom of setting up trees in their houses at Christmas." - How It Started, pp. 52, 53.

"It is believed that the custom is a survival of the tree worship of ancient German tribes." -- "Tree worship was common in Scandinavian countries.... When the pagans of Northern Europe became Christians [?], they made their sacred evergreen trees part of the Christian festival, and decorated the trees with gilded nuts, candles (a carry-over from sun worship), and apples to stand for the stars, moon, and sun." - pp. 1429, 1425, The World Book Encyclopedia, 1958 ed.

"I will stretch out my hand against [those worshiping me falsely in] Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests - those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD [Jehovah] and who also swear by Molech, those who turn back from following [Jehovah] and neither seek [Jehovah] nor inquire of him." - Zephaniah 1:4-6, NIVSB. The footnote for verse 1:5 reads: "swear by the LORD ... by Molech. Syncretism (worship of one's own god along with other gods)."

So again we see God's absolute hatred of "every remnant" of pagan worship mixed in with his true worship. Obviously this includes remnants of sacred tree worship and pagan worship of "the starry host" (stars, moon and sun)! But what were the decorations on the sacred evergreen tree intended to represent? "decorated the trees with gilded nuts, candles [electric lights today] (a carry-over from sun worship), and apples to stand for the stars, moon, and sun."

"From the earliest times the worship of trees has played an important part in the religious life of European peoples.... tree-worship is well attested for all the great European families of the Aryan stock. Amongst the Celts the oak-worship of the Druids is familiar to everyone. Sacred groves were common among the ancient Germans, and tree-worship is hardly extinct amongst their descendants at the present day. How serious that worship was in former times may be gathered from the ferocious penalty appointed by the old German laws for such as dared to peel the bark of a standing tree. [In times of famine starving peoples subsisted on the inner bark of certain trees.] The culprit's navel was to be cut out and nailed to the part of the tree which he had peeled, and he was to be driven round and round the tree till all his guts were wound about its trunk. The intention of the punishment clearly was to replace the dead bark by a living substitute taken from the culprit.... Proofs of the prevalence of tree-worship in ancient Greece and Italy [including Rome itself] are abundant." - pp. 106, 107, 108, The New Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer, Revised and edited by Dr. Theodor H. Gaster, Mentor Book, 1964 printing.

Is it any wonder that any trace of pagan worship is abhorrent to God?


"Why mistletoe [for Christmas decoration] instead of some other plant? Because this parasite which draws its nurture from oaks and other trees was regarded by the Druids of ancient Britain as endowed with supernatural power. .... Christians tried for centuries to discourage any use of mistletoe at any season of the year. The deeply ingrained practices rooted in [pagan] festivals around the time of the modern Christmas proved too stubborn to be eliminated, however." - How It Started, pp. 53, 54.

"Mistletoe is the famous Golden Bough, honored in Norse legend and worshiped by the Druids." - p. 337, Celebrations - The Complete Book of American Holidays, Robert J. Myers, Doubleday & Co., 1972.


"The Druids of prehistoric Britain revered the plant we know as holly. .... It was all but inevitable that the use of the semi - sacred plant should become linked with the Christian [?] celebration that supplanted the older pagan one. Many scholars even think that `holly' is an adaptation of an early form of the word holy." - How It Started, p. 56.


"In most of Europe [Christmas] is known as `Christ's Birthday.' Scandinavian countries still use the pagan name `Yule Day.' .... The Druids blessed [the Yule log] with great ceremony at the winter feast. (See Druid.)" - pp. 1425, 1426, The World Book Encyclopedia, 1958 ed.

"Yule (yool) n. Christmas. ¦< OE geol, originally a twelve-day heathen feast" - The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1973, Dell.

"The burning of a huge log in the fireplace on Christmas day is a tradition followed by many European Christians that was borrowed from the Norsemen who burned a huge oak log called the Juul (pronounced `Yool' or `Yule') in honor of Thor, the God of thunder. After Christianity became the accepted faith of many Norsemen, they retained this custom as a part of their Christmas celebration. Later, the Scandinavians adopted the practice and even referred to the season as the `Yule season' or `Yuletide'." England and other European countries later adopted the tradition. - The Christian Book of Why, Dr. John C. McCollister (pastor and university professor, graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary), p. 215, Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., 1983.


"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? .... `Therefore come out from them and be separate,' says the Lord. `Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you ...' says the Lord Almighty." - 2 Cor. 6:16, 17, NIVSB. [NIVSB f.n.: "agreement...between the temple of God and idols. There can be no reversion to or compromise with the idolatry they have forsaken for the gospel (cf. 1 Th. 1:9)."]

Articles From the Watchtower Online Library Concerning Christmas / Holidays:

Beware of Customs That Displease God (w05 1/1 pp. 27-30; Watchtower Online Library)

Can a Pagan Holiday Be Made Christian? (w07 12/15 pp. 8-9; Watchtower Online Library)

Christmas Customs - Are They Christian? (w00 12/15 pp. 3-7; Watchtower Online Library)

How Should Christ Be Remembered? (w04 12/15 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)

Lessons From the Record of Jesus’ Birth (w02 12/15 pp. 5-7; Watchtower Online Library)

Was Jesus Born in December? (bh p. 221-p. 222 par. 2; Watchtower Online Library)

Should We Celebrate Holidays? (bh p. 222-p. 223; Watchtower Online Library)

Take Your Stand for True Worship (bh chap. 16 pp. 154-163; Watchtower Online Library)