Greatest story has fair few additions

Friday December 27, 2019 Written by Published in Church Talk
Nativity scenes like this beautiful example at St Mary’s Church, Arorangi, follow some traditional Christian beliefs. But some might not be quite what they seem, says Shane Pruitt of Christianity Today. 19122411 Nativity scenes like this beautiful example at St Mary’s Church, Arorangi, follow some traditional Christian beliefs. But some might not be quite what they seem, says Shane Pruitt of Christianity Today. 19122411

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, because it calls our attention to one of the most beautiful teachings of Scripture, the Incarnation of Christ.

 

When you realise the incredible truths behind the reality that God came and dwelt among us, it can’t help but impact on the way you live. Plus, it’s an awesome reminder that God kept his promises from the Old Testament to send a Messiah to rescue his people from their sins.

However, since that time, many myths have been added to the greatest story ever told.

Here are some common myths Christians believe at Christmas:

1: The Bible says Jesus was born On December 25.

It’s the age-old question, “Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday?” The answer is that we really don’t know when his actual birthday was. The Bible doesn’t tell us an exact date.

So, “How did Christmas land on December 25?” Some historians believe that it was a Christian reaction to a Roman pagan holiday, while others believe the date is a response to the traditional date of Jesus’ crucifixion in March. Honestly, we don’t really know when Jesus was born, however, two things are certain: Jesus was born of a virgin, and the Bible doesn’t give us an exact date.

2: The Bible says Mary rode into Bethlehem on a donkey.

An extremely pregnant Mary riding into town on a donkey is definitely a common myth most Christians believe is in the Bible. Now, she very well could have made the 65-mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem on a donkey. Nevertheless, the account of this story in Luke 2:1–6 does not specifically teach this.

3: The Bible says there were three wise men.

One of the most popular Christmas carols, “We Three Kings”, shows the commonality of this particular myth. The Gospel of Matthew describes these men as magi or wise men. People commonly think there were three in number, because the Bible details the fact that they brought three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But, this doesn’t mean there were three magi.

4. The Bible says a star hovered over the manger.

Most nativity scenes feature a bright shining star hovering above it. The problem is there’s no reference to this in the Gospels.

5. The Bible says Jesus was born in a barn or stable.

Just about every nativity set places the baby Jesus in a barn, surrounded by animals. Once again, this is an assumption because the Bible does not specify this. The Scriptures actually say: “And she gave birth… and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). It’s easy to assume that Jesus was born in a barn or stable, because of the manger mention. However, mangers were also commonly used inside homes, because families would sleep upstairs while small animals were kept downstairs on cold nights.

6: The Bible says there was a little drummer boy.

A little drummer boy playing his drum. That’s what all first-time parents want, right? There is no account of this ever happening.

7: The Bible says Jesus was born in 0 AD

BC stands for “before Christ”, and “AD” stands for a Latin phrase anno domini; which means, “in the year of the Lord.” However, according to Matthew 2:1, Jesus was born during the days of Herod the king who died in 4 BC. With Herod ordering all boys two years old and younger in the area to be killed before his own death, a more proper estimate of Jesus birth would be sometime between 4 and 6 BC

Shane Pruitt of Christianity Today

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