Let us on this Christmas Eve make note that tomorrow we once again celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th, that date stabilised by the early Christian Church in order to benefit from that same day’s previous pagan pubic holiday, known as “The Nativity of the Unconquered Sun”. In their 900-page tome, The Nazarene Gospel Restored, Robert Graves and Joshua Podro observe that even today the Armenian church still preserves this tradition, and add that the so-called massacre by King Herod of the Bethlehem first-born is nowhere recorded in contemporary Jewish nor even non-Jewish documents. And while it will most likely be common knowledge amongst On This Deity readers that that the subject of tomorrow’s festival was really no more than an exotic (and mostly gorgeous) hybrid of Jewish multiple-messiah traditions, rampant Mithraic insertions (probably by St. Paul) and a wholesale Greek misinterpretation of Jewish myths as real events, nevertheless even they will most likely be shocked to discover that the very term ‘Nazarene’ has a highly questionable provenance. In truth, early Christian writers employed a whole host of near-Nazarene titles to describe Jesus Christ: ‘Nazarene’, ‘Nazorean’ and ‘Nazirite’ all having wide and varying meanings. Podro and Graves note that the absence of evidence even of the town of Nazareth itself at this early date suggests that the first original use of ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ was merely a poor rendition of ‘Noseriyyah’, or ‘Galilean’. That even such basic and fundamental truths about Jesus Christ still remain open to such differing interpretations must, on this festival evening, shake every free-thinking Westerner’s mind to the core.
That the Greedheads have, however, so deflated the power of this Christian festival through their determination to extend its capitalist claws into November and even late October has ultimately worked in favour of we Heathens. For between them, the Christians and the Capitalists have handed back to us a delightfully long and extended Winter Festival.
Have a Cool Yule.