Thursday, December 27, 2018

Issues Etc. -- The First Christmas

We had some discussions at church about the place of Jesus' birth (cave? stable? barn? house?), as well as how old Jesus was when the Magi arrived to worship him.

We often put Jesus in a modern context, which usually distorts the reality of 1st century Palestine.  Artists turned Jesus into a European.  We have gone one step worse and made him an American.

Although it may not match up to some of our hymns, our Nativity scenes, or our romanticized mental images, it does us well to consider what the birth of Jesus would have looked like in a Middle Eastern context.

Dr. Kenneth Bailey, who lived for a number of decades in the Middle East, offers some fascinating insight as to the details of the first Christmas.  Spoiler alert: There were no villains on the night Jesus was born (a.k.a., no evil inn keeper who expelled the betrothed couple from his hotel).

For more, click this link:

NOTE:  This interview takes about an hour, but it is well worth your time.

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