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20 October 2014
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Christmas - 25 December

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Questions answered

Where does the word Christmas come from? It does not seem to be mentioned in the Bible.

An Advent candleIt comes from the words 'Christ' and 'mass'. 'Christ' means 'the chosen one' in Greek, and is used by Christians to describe Jesus as they believe he was chosen to be God's son. As for the '-mas' part, this refers to the 'mass' or church service held to thank God for the birth of Christ. The full story of Jesus' birth and the events surrounding it can be found in the Bible in the book of Matthew, Chapters 1 and 2, with a slightly different account in Luke, Chapters 1 and 2.

Why did the wise men bring Jesus those unusual gifts?

Although they are sometimes called kings, the Bible tells us they were actually just wise men. There is no record of how many of them there were, but tradition has it that there were only three because of the three gifts mentioned. The early church saw each of the gifts as representing different aspects of Jesus' character: the gold pointed to his royalty, the incense to his divine nature, while the myrrh hinted at his death to come as myrrh was essential for embalming dead bodies.

Why did King Herod want to kill Jesus?

Like many rulers of that era, Herod was ruthless and power hungry. He would stop at nothing. Previously, he had murdered his wife, his three sons and his uncle, as well as countless other people. Jesus was a threat to him so killing many infants in order to get rid of Jesus was not an obstacle for Herod.

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