Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Things ... NOT in the Bible

Sunday in senior high Sunday school, David Prosser, got me to thinking! He challenged the students with the fact that there are some things not in the Bible that we tell as a part of the Christmas story. Namely of interest to me was the fact that we put Jesus in a stable but the Bible never does! So I started to do some lookinng in to this! And, I came across this blog about Things Not in the Bible (Christmas Edition):

"Mary riding a donkey to Bethlehem, an innkeeper, a stable where Jesus was born, three Kings, camels, and singing angels. Oh, and also, the date of December 25.

None of it is there.

The Bible does not say that Mary rode a donkey, just that she gave birth while she was in Bethlehem. She could have been there for months.

It says Jesus was laid in a manger “because there was no room for them in the inn.” But no stable or innkeeper are mentioned.

Luke’s gospel makes reference to “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” This would have happened in the spring months, not December. And there was one angel appearing to the shepherds--one. And Luke writes:

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Saying, not singing. And do we know what the "heavenly host" is?

And then we have my favorite Christmas myth: the three kings. No, Virginia, three wise men did not visit the Jesus in a stable on the night of his birth. The Biblical text merely refers to “Magi,” and they visited Jesus months or even years after his birth. It even says in Matthew 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea...
After. Not the night of. After. And nowhere does it mention that they rode camels.

It has become so ingrained in our culture’s Christmas narrative, with carols like “We Three Kings” and nativity scenes showing three men wearing crowns and flowing robes bowing before the manger, that this may come as a shock. However, none of that is in the Bible. Even the entire nativity scene is not in the Bible."

So how do we justify these contradictions in the Bible? Do these (and other) contradictions invalidate our faith in Christ in any way? I don't think so. In fact, I think that many Biblical contradictions have to do with historical content and can be easily explained or justified. And, afterall, we do beleive that Scripture is the inspired word of God! And correct me if I'm wrong, but humans (the ones writing it) are fallible, right? And, they were writing from different points of view and with different agendas, right? Finally, anyone who is REALLY seeking the truth will find not only the contradictions but the many answers to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment