THE EDITOR, Sir,
Perennially, Mr Ian Boyne, for whom I have a lot of respect, continues to misinform the public that Christmas has it roots in Paganism of the Roman Church and the Roman Empire c. fourth and fifth centuries AD.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Christmas celebration has it roots in Hanukkah, a Jewish festival, which was originally celebrated on 25th of Kislev (Kislev on the Hebrew calendar corresponds to December on the Western or Gregorian calendar). Christians, during the fourth and fifth century AD borrowed the date to celebrate Christ-Mass (Christmas for short) or the First Advent (i.e. the first coming of Christ), not to celebrate Christ's actual birthday. No one knows for sure the exact date of Christ's birth. The closest we can get to a date is c. 5-7 BC. (i.e. sometime before Herod the Great died).
Many informed messianic Jews will tell you that Christmas is linked to Hanukkah. Ask them.
COLIN A. JOHNSON