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2016年12月25日异域雅音2
发布时间:2016-12-25 22:44:00   来源:   点击:
20161225
Culture Express
【编稿】叶璇
【播音】叶璇
Hello everyone, welcome to today’s culture express, I’m Violet. 大家好,我是主播叶子。今天就是一个在西方非常重要的节日—圣诞节。当然,圣诞在国内的热度也是逐年上升,越来越受到年轻人的喜爱。对于圣诞节,大家都了解多少呢?Christmas与Christ有什么样的关联?圣诞老人是怎样来的?互相交换礼物的习俗是怎样开始的?还有你能想到其他的一切,圣诞树、冬青花环、圣诞柴、槲寄生等等,它们的背后又藏着怎样的故事?关于圣诞节的来历一向众说纷纭,今天主播就带大家深入了解一下其中的一种说法。
Every year after Thanksgiving, most people’s thoughts turn to Christmas. It is the time when professing Christians are supposed to focus on Jesus Christ. After all, it is the “Christ-mass” season! Christmas is thought by most to be a wonderful time, focusing the participants on giving, family togetherness, beautiful music and decorations, feasting on special foods and singing Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood. All of this is supposedly centered around the worship of Christ.
Why do people think that Christmas is wonderful? Most never reflect on why they believe what they believe or do what they do. We live in a world filled with customs, but few ever seek to understand their origin. We generally accept them without question. Most people basically do what everyone else does—because it is easy and natural! So let’s carefully examine the roots of Christmas. Let’s look at why people follow the customs associated with it. 
1990年,美国的一所学校禁止了一切与圣诞相关的活动。这一举措引起了家长们一片的反对声音,认为学校剥夺了孩子们的乐趣。其实圣诞节的意义早已超越了传统的宗教节日,它融入了世俗生活,成为西方乃至世界文化中重要的一部分。In 1990, the Solon, Ohio (a Cleveland suburb) school board banned all nativity and other Christmas scenes on any school property because they felt it violated the separation of church and state. They were challenged in court when outraged parents opposed them, feeling that Christmas was being stolen from their children and the community. The citizenry had contended that Christmas was a worldwide tradition that was not part of, and transcended, religion. It was deemed to be secular—a part of virtually all cultures worldwide.
The court decision affirmed that Christmas has no Christian roots! However, the court’s opinion also noted that bible reading and prayer obviously are associated with Christ-ianity—a remarkable admission! The court concluded that Christmas-keeping and manger scenes could remain because they are not really part of either Christianity or religion.
有趣的是,根据百科全书的介绍,圣诞节的起源恰恰与基督教没有直接关系。在基督出生的300年后罗马教会才承认圣诞节这一节日,并在5世纪把圣诞节作为官方节日。而圣诞节的庆祝到达顶峰大概是在中世纪时期。Consider these quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under “Christmas”: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” Further, “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” Nearly all aspects of Christmas observance have their roots in Roman custom and religion. Consider the following admission from a large American newspaper (The Buffalo News, Nov. 22, 1984): “The earliest reference to Christmas being marked on Dec. 25 comes from the second century after Jesus’ birth. It is considered likely the first Christmas celebrations were in reaction to the Roman Saturnalia, a harvest festival that marked the winter solstice—the return of the sun—and honored Saturn, the god of sowing. Saturnalia was a rowdy time, much opposed by the more austere leaders among the still-minority Christian sect. Christmas developed, as a means of replacing worship of the sun with worship of the Son. By 529 A.D., after Christianity had become the official state religion of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian made Christmas a civic holiday. The celebration of Christmas reached its peak—some would say its worst moments—in the medieval period when it became a time for conspicuous consumption and unequaled revelry.” 
Consider these quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under “Christmas”: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” Further, “Pagan customs centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” Under “Natal Day,” Origen, an early Catholic writer, admitted, “…In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world”.
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1956 edition, adds, “Christmas…was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth…a feast was established in memory of this event [Christ’s birth] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered the feast to be celebrated forever on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia, as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ’s birth existed.”
So there is no mistaking the origin of the modern Christmas celebration. It was 300 years after Christ before the Roman church kept Christmas, and not until the fifth century that it was mandated to be kept throughout the empire as an official festival honoring “Christ.”
那么圣诞节之所以被称为圣诞,是因为基督在这一天出生了。那么果真如此吗?其实根据圣经推测,基督出生的时间应该在秋天,并且不会迟于九月。Christ was born in the fall of the year. Many have mistakenly believed He was born around the beginning of winter—December 25th! They are wrong! Notice the Adam Clarke Commentary, volume 5, page 370, New York edition: “It was custom among Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts about the Passover [early spring], and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain.” The first rains began in early-to-mid fall. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact. Numerous encyclopedias plainly state that Christ was not born on December 25th. The Catholic Encyclopedia directly confirms this. In all likelihood, Christ was born in the fall. However, we do not know the exact date of Christ’s birth. 
Since we now know that December 25th was nowhere near Christ’s actual birthdate, where did the festival associated with this date come from? 既然我们知道基督并非是在12月25日这一天出生的,那么这个日期又是怎么来的呢?Now read this quote under “Christmas”: “In the Roman world, the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchanging of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birthdate of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year (January 1), houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor. A final quote about the selection of December 25th as the birthdate of Christ is necessary. Note an article in The Toronto Star, December 1984, by Alan Edmonds, entitled, “We owe a lot to Druids, Dutch”: “The Reformation cast a blight on Christmas. By then, of course, clever ecclesiastical politicians had adopted the Pagan mid-winter festival as the alleged birthdate of Jesus, of Nazareth, and thrown in a few other Pagan goodies to make their takeover more palatable.” That means December 25th was not selected because it was the birth of Christ or because it was even near it. It was selected because it coincided with the idolatrous pagan festival Saturnalia. 所以圣诞节定在12月25日并不是因为这是基督出生的日子,而是它刚好与古罗马的农神节时间重合了。
孩子们都很喜欢圣诞节,因为在这一天他们会收到圣诞老人带给他们的礼物。而父母们也会尽力满足孩子们的小小愿望。Parents reason that they owe the whole Christmas myth to their children! Christmas traditions are focused primarily on kids, and they are certainly the center of most of what happens. Some years ago, a priest in New Jersey told his Sunday school class that Santa was a myth. The outrage from parents and his supervisors was swift. He had “killed Santa!” He had “destroyed family tradition!” He had “usurped family authority,” the article continued. He was officially censored by his superiors for being “overzealous and insensitive.” His crime? No, he told the truth!
According to Langer’s Encyclopedia of World History, (article “Santa”), “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor. This was also the same fire god who came down the chimneys of the ancient pagans and the same fire god to whom infants were burned and eaten in human sacrifice among those who were once God’s people. Today Santa Claus comes from “Saint Nicholas.” Washington Irving, in 1809, is responsible for remaking the original old, stern bishop of this same name into the new “jolly St. Nick” in his Knickerbocker History of New York. 
除了孩子们,圣诞节对商人们也是十分友好的一个节日。一年中超过百分之六十的营业额都是在圣诞季完成的,因为在圣诞节交换礼物是一件很重要的事。大多数人认为交换礼物的习俗来自于圣经—三位智者给耶稣基督送去了他们的礼物。但果真如此吗?Merchants regularly report that over 60% of their annual retail sales occur during the Christmas shopping season. This represents a tremendous amount of gift buying. Most today believe that gift-giving comes from the Bible example of the “three wise men” (the Bible gives no number) presenting gifts to Christ. Is this true? Where did exchanging gifts come from?
Let’s briefly return to the “wise men” who gave gifts to Christ. The scripture describing this is in Matthew: “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews?…And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
It is commonly supposed that these were birthday presents for “baby Jesus.” But is this what the Bible actually says? Absolutely not! First, it is important to note that they did give the gifts to Jesus. They did not stand in his presence and exchange gifts among themselves or give them to others. The gifts were “presented unto Him.” Also, they arrived well after his “birthday.” This is another reason these could not have been “birthday presents.”
A long-standing, ancient custom of the East was to present gifts when coming before a king. These men understood they were in the presence of the “King of the Jews.” The Bible carries many examples of people sending gifts to kings or presenting them upon arrival into their presence. This custom is common today when ambassadors or others come into the presence of a world leader.
Like every other aspect of Christmas, the shocking truth is that even this supposed Christian custom does not come from the Bible. The Bibliotheca Sacra states, “The interchange of presents between friends is a like characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows” (Vol. 12, pp. 153-155).
说到圣诞节,不可不提的还有圣诞树。那么圣诞树的来历又是什么呢?与其他的习俗不同,圣诞树一说可是在圣经中有明确出处的。No article about Christmas is complete without some explanation of the “Christmas tree.” The modern Christmas tree originated in Germany. But the Germans got it from the Romans, who got it from the Babylonians and the Egyptians. 
The following demonstrates what the Babylonians believe about the origin of the Christmas tree: “An old Babylonish fable told of an evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump. The old stump symbolized the dead Nimrod, the new evergreen tree symbolized that Nimrod had come to life again in Tammuz! Among the Druids the oak was sacred, among the Egyptians it was the palm, and in Rome it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia!” (Walsh, Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 242).
Most aspects of Christmas are not referred to in the Bible. The Christmas tree, however, is directly mentioned in the Bible! Turn to Jeremiah 10:2-5, “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” From this we can see that his description of the modern Christmas tree is clear. 
那么最后,再来说说冬青花环、圣诞柴和槲寄生的来历吧。它们和多数圣诞节的习俗一样,也来自于异教文化。The Encyclopedia Americana states, “The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log…are relics of pre-Christian time.” The Yule log was commonly used in a rite of Teutonic nature worship. Frederick Haskin further states, “The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by authorities to be traceable to the pagan customs of decorating buildings and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as Christmas.”
The Encyclopedia Britannica, exposes the origin of the holly wreath: “European pagans brought holly sprays into their homes, offering them to the fairy people of the forests as refuge from the harsh winter weather. During the Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival, branches of holly were exchanged as tokens of friendship. The earliest Roman Christians apparently used holly as a decoration at the Christmas season.”
There are dozens of different types of holly. Virtually all of them come in male and female varieties—such as “Blue Prince and Blue Princess” or “Blue Boy and Blue Girl” or “China Boy and China Girl.” Female holly plants cannot have berries unless a nearby male plant pollinates them. It is easy to see why the holly wreath found its way into pagan rituals as a token of friendship and fertility! 
Christmas is incomplete to many unless it involves “kissing under the mistletoe.” Just like today, this “kissing” usually occurred at the beginning of any modern Saturnalia/Christmas celebration. Mistletoe was considered to have special powers of healing for those who “reveled” under it. 
The Encyclopedia Britannica states, “The European mistletoe is thought to have had special ritual significance in Druidical ceremonies and lives in folklore today, its special status as the Christmas mistletoe having come from Anglo-Saxon times.” Mistletoe is a parasite that lives on oak trees. The ancient Celtics (associated with the Druids) used to give mistletoe as an herbal remedy to barren animals to make them fertile. It is still referred to as “all healer” in Celtic.
Like mistletoe, holly berries were also thought to be sacred to the sun god. The original “sun log” came to be called the yule log. “Yule” simply means “wheel,” which has long been a pagan representation of the sun. No wonder people today commonly speak of the “sacred yule-tide season.”
今天和大家聊了很多有关圣诞节的习俗,最后祝大家圣诞快乐!Merry Christmas!