The Bible Explicitly Forbids Christmas Trees

This is a thing I did not know:

Jeremiah 10:2-4

Courtesy of Russell’s Teapot‘s Know Your Bible series. Great stuff, eminently quotable.

And, just in case you were wondering. No, they don’t lie: that is what the bible says.

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  • Michael

    You may want to fill in the missing phrases that you took the liberty of deleting. In particular, look at verse three. An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down…THEN SHAPED BY A WOODSMAN”S AX. This refers to carved wooden shapes. Not to the tree.
    Please don’t delete words from the Bible to serve your own means.

  • http://quodlibetor.com quodlibetor

    I guess it depends on which version of the bible you’re looking at, for example the king james version says:

    2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

    3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    which is pretty clearly just saying that it is woodsmen who cut trees out of the forest. But then if you look at the new international version you get:

    2 This is what the LORD says:
    “Do not learn the ways of the nations
    or be terrified by signs in the sky,
    though the nations are terrified by them.

    3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

    4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.

    sounds pretty extremely different, although there is no mention of idols in either version, so it’s not that different. Certainly I don’t think that it is clear that it’s talking about idols instead of the pagan ritual that christmas is incontrovertibly derived from.

  • tpott56

    try looking at it in the Hebrew Bible. After all that is the orginal and would be pretty close to the truth. Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus, when Paul saw that the pagens were leaving the relegion he brought all these pagen rituals into the relegion and blessed him.

  • http://quodlibetor.com quodlibetor

    honestly i don’t speak hebrew well enough anymore to trust my translation over the one that’s had hundreds of scholars pour over it and try to make it mean what it originally meant. Of course, there is enough variation in the different bibles that i’m not really sure which one i should trust, either.

  • David Guarino

    Perhaps adding the following verses could clear this controversy up, even using the KJV. Verse 5 says “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.” Verse 9 says “Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.” In verse 14 it says “every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.” This chapter is obviously describing idols. Idols in the bible are often described as being mute and dumb and inactive (verse 5), in contrast to the living god. And it would be silly to remind someone to “be not afraid” of a decorated tree (verse 5), but it is concieveable if this passage is on idols. And it would be hard to deck a tree with silver and gold before the invention of tinsel. The gold and silver is actually plating, as explained in verse 9. A tree cannot be plated; an idol can. No matter what, the “graven image” line in verse 14 undeniably shows that this is about idols. It is probably about the pole idols made for the god Asherah, but it could be many things. The tree stuff is a way to show that idols were indeed made by men. Please just read the entire chapter, it is pretty clear that it is not about Christmas trees.

  • Spirit

    A tree in this context IS AN IDOL. That is the whole point.