John 10:22 New Living Translation

It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.

Ezra 6:16

Then the people of Israel--the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles--celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.


We need to be very careful with the text here - John 10:22 only says that Jesus was in Jerusalem at the feast Dedication which most understand to be "Hanukkah", the historic celebration of the Maccabean Revolt and rededication of the temple.

However, there would be only two reasons for Jesus to be in Jerusalem at this time of year:

  1. to celebrate the feast
  2. to teach the people because of the available crowds

While it could have been both, we must recall that Hanukkah is not specified in the Torah (this does not make it wrong!) but was only a tradition because of the historical event. [Recall that a tradition is only wrong when it interferes with truth or nullifies it, eg, Matt 15:5, 6.]

Thus, we have no explicit record of Jesus celebrating Hanukkah but neither do we know if he did not. I see no reason why He would not celebrate Hanukkah.

  • 1
    I don't think dedication meant anything other than what you find out of Ezra 6:16. This would make sense too because there it was said to have occurred in the last month of the original Hebrew year, and in John 10:22 it says it was 'winter' afterwards. Solomon's dedication on the other hand of the altar of the temple occurred before the feast of the seventh month, which is, further away from 'winter' than the former. These are the biblical facts that define the context of John 10:22. If you want to otherwise say he had a house in Jerusalem by all means prove it.
    – user21676
    Dec 11 '20 at 1:30
  • @user21676, thanks for the reference. I updated my question with it.
    – Tony Chan
    Dec 13 '20 at 20:55

How did Jesus celebrate Chanukah (חֲנֻכָּה) in the Gospel of John 10:22?

The NRSV Bible in [2 Maccabees 10:1-8] states Yehudim / Jews were to celebrate Chanukah for 8-days starting on the 25th of Kislev by "carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him [YHVH] who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place".

2 Maccabees 10

[1] Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; [2] they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. [3] They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. [4] When they had done this, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. [5] It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. [6] They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival of booths, remembering how not long before, during the festival of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. [7] Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. [8] They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year.

[ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Maccabees+10&version=NRSV ]

  • We read in the Gospel of John (Chapter 10 : Verses 22-39) a strange account of Jesus going to the Temple not to celebrate Chanukah the Dedication of God's Temple - but instead celebrate Himself as God's Son :

John 10

[22] At that time the Festival of the Dedication [חֲנֻכָּה] took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, [23] and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. [24] So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” [25] Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; [26] but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. [27] My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. [29] What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. [30] The Father and I are one.”

[31] The Jews took up stones again to stone him. [32] Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” [33] The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” [34] Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? [35] If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled— [36] can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? [37] If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. [38] But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” [39] Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.

[ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10&version=NRSV ]

Conclusion: In the Gospel of John 10:22-39, Jesus is portrayed testifying about himself as God's Son - not performing traditional Chanukah "hymns of thanksgiving" as recorded 2 Maccabees 10:1-8.

  • What's the context of that verse that Jesus is quoting, there, in John 10:34?
    – nick012000
    Dec 11 '20 at 9:16
  • 1
    Look at Psalm 82:6
    – Perry Webb
    Dec 11 '20 at 10:08

Interestingly, there is a reference in apocryphal writings concerning a feast of the dedication of the altar raised up by Methuselah after Enoch's departure Sivan 6. Kislev mirrors that date. To read more, the segments is found at November 19th:


  • 2
    Looks like you're the author of the linked article. Please disclose your affiliation, in the answer, in order for your post not to be considered spam. For more info please see how not to be a spammer.
    – Ollie
    Nov 6 '21 at 21:16
  • 2
    And you can't just link to another page, you need to give a complete answer here, summarising what the linked page says.
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 6 '21 at 22:11
  • 1
    Thanks, Ollie! The article includes copied graphics, not easily summarised. I'll take your pointers into account in the future. Blessings. Nov 7 '21 at 22:09
  • Welcome to the site, Sabine. Looks like you have a lot of information to share. Just as a heads up, sometimes short incomplete answers get deleted. Don't take it personal. :) Nov 8 '21 at 8:08
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Nov 9 '21 at 10:05

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