Christmas traditions have been handed down through the generations in the secular world, among Christians, and within the church. Most of us have assumed that whatever we were taught about the holiday was the gospel truth. There are four aspects related to the birth of Christ however that are in grave error. These are in regard to the date of His birth, the visit from and the number of wise men, and the location in which Mary delivered her baby. These issue cause controversy every year, but because one continues on with man-made traditions, it does not in any way validate their accuracy.

December 25 is not the birth date of Christ

Early Christians decided to overshadow the pagan celebration of the winter solstice so they chose December 25 as a day to observe the birth of Christ. They never said this was the actual date of his birth, but through the years it has been assumed that he was born on what we call Christmas Day.

History tells us that it is highly unlikely that shepherds were in the fields on a cold winter night and that it is more likely Jesus was born in late summer or early fall. There is nothing wrong with anyone choosing to observe His birth on the 25th day of December, but telling people it is His actual birth date is very wrong.

The Christmas manger scene is very inaccurate

There are three additional things regarding the Christmas manger scene that people swear by but they are very inaccurate. Modern historians indicate that Christ was not in a traditional stable with hay as many of us have believe. He was more than likely in what we today would consider a cave.

There is also no evidence to prove that the Magi were at the manger with the shepherds.

Matthew Chapter 2 says that based on the time the Magi first saw the star, King Herod decided to kill all baby boys two years old and under. Consider that the angels in Luke Chapter 2 told the shepherds to go to Bethlehem and find the babe in the manager, while Matthew indicates that the Magi found a young child in a house.

For this reason, many preachers are now teaching that the tradition of Christmas nativity scenes with the Magi at the manger is something society has gotten very wrong.

Everyone has assumed there were three wise men because there were three gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh. They have even been given names of Melchor, Balthazar, and Caspar. In reality, the bible does not indicate how many were traveling. Its been pointed out that three wealthy men traveling through the desert would be dangerous so there probably was a large caravan.

Now that it's December, nativity scenes will be everywhere. When you see the Christ child sleeping in the hay surrounded by shepherds and wise men, keep in mind as well that his birth in all likelihood was not in the winter.