Is it biblical to celebrate our birthdays?  I think that birthdays must have been counted by the Jews and that is why we know how old everyone was.  My question is whether it is right to celebrate birthdays – parties and gifts etc. The only two birthdays mentioned in the Bible both had a bad outcome.


The celebration of birthdays is a cultural thing.  Christianity has nothing to say one way or another about whether followers of Jesus should celebrate birthdays. The Jehovah Witness response to birthdays is not supported biblically. What could possibly be sinful about remembering the “birthdays” of our friends? It is an opportunity to “give honor where honor is due” (Romans 13:7). I am sure that it is possible to abuse even the wonderful tradition of birthdays by overindulging our sinful nature.  However we should not have a good thing such as celebrating our appreciation of our friends and family spoiled by the fact that some abuse a good thing.

The fact that the disaster which fell on Herod (Matt 14:6, Mark 6:21) or the tragedy which fell on Pharaoh (Genesis 40:20) happened to fall on birthdays is not proof that God hates birthdays. It seems that you might have come across a Jehovah Witness teaching against birthdays (I admit that I am guessing). It is bad exegesis to use these events as teaching against birthdays.

John Oakes

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