The Reason for the Season

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1739
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

The Reason for the Season

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

18 Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἡ γένεσις οὕτως ἦν. μνηστευθείσης τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ Μαρίας τῷ Ἰωσήφ, πρὶν ἢ συνελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εὑρέθη ἐν γαστρὶ ἔχουσα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου. 19 Ἰωσὴφ δὲ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς, δίκαιος ὢν καὶ μὴ θέλων αὐτὴν δειγματίσαι, ἐβουλήθη λάθρᾳ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν. 20 ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐνθυμηθέντος ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου κατʼ ὄναρ ἐφάνη αὐτῷ λέγων, Ἰωσὴφ υἱὸς Δαυίδ, μὴ φοβηθῇς παραλαβεῖν Μαρίαν τὴν γυναῖκά σου· τὸ γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ γεννηθὲν ἐκ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἁγίου. 21 τέξεται δὲ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν· αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν. 22 Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος,
23  Ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν,
καὶ καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ,
ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Μεθʼ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός. 24 ἐγερθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου ἐποίησεν ὡς προσέταξεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἄγγελος κυρίου καὶ παρέλαβεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, 25 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν7 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Cuncta mortalia incerta...

Isaac Newton
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 am

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Isaac Newton »

The real Jesus almost certainly was not born on December 25th. March- April seems to have been the real “season” for the joyous occasion:
Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 4832
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by jeidsath »

People say this, including my pastor on Sunday, but December temperatures for modern Bethlehem are 50-70F, according to the climate section on "timeanddate", and it appears to be the start of their precipitation season, so I'd expect some grass on the hills.

From out here, of course, December pasturage seems laughable, but I'd be wearing a t-shirt in Bethlehem today. Balmy 55F, with some light rain.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Isaac Newton
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 am

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Isaac Newton »

Here is something I quickly googled from the internet:
. Daily high temperatures decrease by 4 °C, from 16 °C to 13 °C, rarely falling below 8 °C or exceeding 21 °C

Matthew 24:20 came to my remembrance:
προσεύχεσθε δὲ ἵνα μὴ γένηται ἡ φυγὴ ὑμῶν χειμῶνος μηδὲ σαββάτῳ·

By the way, December 25th temperatures would be closer to January temperatures.Quick google:
During January the median cloud cover is 32%. January is basically with falling rain month. January is the coldest month in Bethlehem.
January is the coldest month. This month, the temperature can drop up to 9℃ degrees at night!
Shepherds tending to their Sheep all night long in the rain at below 10 degrees Celsius ?
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1739
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

jeidsath wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 7:28 pm People say this, including my pastor on Sunday, but December temperatures for modern Bethlehem are 50-70F, according to the climate section on "timeanddate", and it appears to be the start of their precipitation season, so I'd expect some grass on the hills.

From out here, of course, December pasturage seems laughable, but I'd be wearing a t-shirt in Bethlehem today. Balmy 55F, with some light rain.
Currently 51F in the Philly suburbs. Not quite t-shirt weather for me, but close.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Cuncta mortalia incerta...

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 4832
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by jeidsath »

I have two huge sheep fans in the house, and some of the only videos they watch are these shepherd videos from lajimbudha. I suspect that these sheep and these shepherds, at least, would be happy to pasture in Bethlehem in December as long as there was grass on the hills:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mlFizOP-M
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Isaac Newton
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 am

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Isaac Newton »

jeidsath wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:14 pm I have two huge sheep fans in the house, and some of the only videos they watch are these shepherd videos from lajimbudha. I suspect that these sheep and these shepherds, at least, would be happy to pasture in Bethlehem in December as long as there was grass on the hills:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q9mlFizOP-M

Notice what they are wearing — not T-shirts.


I think most everyone could stay out in the Bethlehem fields in a T-shirt for a couple of hours on a clear December night, but to use this as an argument to support the notion that Bethlehem shepherds did the same every night for three or four months continuously during the winter season is not a serious proposition IMHO.

In any case, we don’t have to guess. We have modern day Bethlehem shepherds who testify:
`My father was a shepherd, and my grandfather, too,″ said 25-year-old Khalil Mousa, casting an eye over his family’s herd of three dozen grazing sheep. ``But I want to do something more. I’d like to go to school, learn some other trade.″

Like other herders who drive their flocks to sparse pastures in the area known as Shepherd’s Field _ where tradition says angels told shepherds of the birth of the Christ child _ Mousa knows that shepherds played a part in the Christmas story, but he’s hazy on details.

In the summertime, Mousa and his wife, Hadijeh, often sleep in the open air with their flock, keeping watch against prowling dogs and jackals. In winter, they tether the sheep near their tent and listen _ even in their sleep, they say _ for any sound of trouble.

Sales of wool, milk, cheese and lambs are the sole means of support for the Mousa clan, consisting of the young couple and their 10-month-old daughter, along with Mousa’s father and his two wives.
So “out in the fields” in Summer, but “in the tents” in winter.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 4832
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by jeidsath »

How would tents contradict "ἀγραυλοῦντες"? Seems like ἀγρόνομοι αὐλαί to me. And how would tethered sheep contradict "φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς"? Anyway 10C = 50F still sounds rather warm to me. (I've camped without a tent in that.) Here, we're getting lows of -23C = -10F this week.
"Here stuck the great stupid boys, who for the life of them could never master the accidence..."

Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

Isaac Newton
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 am

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Isaac Newton »

The Shepherds of Jesus's day were not like upper-middle class Americans who keep a fully loaded, albeit unoccupied, winter home in the city while working out of town for months at a time in a secondary dwelling. These itinerants had only two real options year round; either they would be in their tents at night (i.e. in their homes) , presumably in the winter months, or be out in the open , presumably during the summer months in order to be more economical. ἀγραυλοῦντες within context here literally means out in the open . Again, from the article I cited:
In the summertime, Mousa and his wife, Hadijeh, often sleep in the open air with their flock, keeping watch against prowling dogs and jackals. In winter, they tether the sheep near their tent and listen _ even in their sleep, they say _ for any sound of trouble.
And these are modern day Shepherds btw , so the analogy may not be complete. But it is still remarkably close enough two thousand years later. There is a word the bible uses when denoting people living in movable abodes, like tents : σκηνοῦντες. ἀγραυλέω on the other hand is defined as spending the night in the open, as being under the open sky.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

User avatar
bedwere
Global Moderator
Posts: 4823
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Didacopoli in California
Contact:

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by bedwere »


Isaac Newton
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 am

Re: The Reason for the Season

Post by Isaac Newton »

Your source seems to have turned almost everything on its head, even going so far as to argue that the Cult of Sol Invictus usurped the December 25th birthday from Christianity.
Οὐαὶ οἱ λέγοντες τὸ πονηρὸν καλὸν καὶ τὸ καλὸν πονηρόν, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ σκότος φῶς καὶ τὸ φῶς σκότος, οἱ τιθέντες τὸ πικρὸν γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ πικρόν

Post Reply