Hanukkah starts Wednesday
Lucinda Robinson is a Christian, but there is no Christmas tree in her home this holiday season.
Instead, Robinson, of Hickory, will light a menorah for Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, which starts Wednesday.
Robinson is a Messianic Jew, who studies the teachings of both the Old and New testaments of the Bible.
"I feel that, as a Christian, there are historical stories about the true God," Robinson said. "You're embracing the whole Bible."
Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration of the rededication of the Jewish temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians more than a century before Christ's birth.
The Jews had enough oil to light their lamp in the temple for one day, and it took seven days to prepare additional oil. The oil lasted eight days instead of one.
"It was counted as a miracle," Robinson said.
That event sparked the celebration of Hanukkah, a holiday that although not mandated in the Bible, is mentioned by Jesus.
The Jews' subsequent celebration of the temple's rededication entailed lighting of candles, singing and feasting.
Robinson became a Christian in the 1970s, and since her acceptance of Christ, she started studying scripture with the desire to understand the Bible's true meaning.
"I've come into (my faith) by my own personal study," she said.
That personal study led Robinson to discover scientific teachings, which reveal Jesus wasn't born in December, but on Sept. 11.
Robinson said the date can be proven through astronomy and other historical data. Because of this revelation, Robinson doesn't celebrate the birth of Christ in December, and she doesn't decorate a Christmas tree, either.
Robinson celebrates Hanukkah by lighting candles, remembering the Sabbath and inviting family to her house.
She said she wants to study the Bible down to its "raw simpleness," which means taking the book as a whole, not focusing more on one testament than another.
For Robinson, many of the traditions associated with Christmas, like the yule long and even Kris Kringle, have associations with paganism, not Christianity.
"If you study the individual things of Christmas, they really have no relationship to Christ," she said.
Robinson said the holiday celebration in the Christian church became a part of the religion, and regardless of what history says, Christmas and Christ are linked for most Christian believers.
"(Christmas) is a tradition that's deeply embedded with being a Christian," Robinson said. "We've let all of these traditions slip in with being man-made traditions."
Robinson not only studies the Bible's teachings, but she applies many of the principles about body care and healthy eating within her life. She is an herbalist who practices scriptural remedies for health and illness, such as using grape juice for stomach problems, applying wine to open wounds and using herbs for maladies.
Robinson said the important part of studying the Bible is understanding the Bible's two testaments work together in a Christian faith, and they aren't mutually exclusive.
Ultimately, Robinson said, Christ was a Jew and many of the values Christ spoke about were mentioned in the Old Testament.
"It's a study to learn all those interesting things in the Bible," she said.