You can read the first post in the series here concerning my view (which I believe is what the Bible teaches) concerning how Christians should incorporate Christmas by clicking here.
This week I will be posting daily on the subject of Christmas. I ask that you read my earlier post on the subject before you continue so that you can understand my rationale behind this series. Today, I want to start out with Christmas myths. Sadly, sometimes what we take for granted as being in the Bible isn’t there at all so it is helpful to separate fact from fiction. I will list a few of the myths that I think often times are portrayed this year and then you can add more in the comments.
1. December 25th is the birth of Christ. I think by now most people understand this is not the exact date, but for those who still cling to this truth I think you need to reevaluate. In fact from what we can tell most likely the birth of Christ is no where near this date.
2. There were three wise men. Sadly, we do not know how many there were. We know there were three gifts, but not for sure how many people brought them. Also it is probably better to understand them not as wisemen, but rather as magi the kingmakers of the East.
4. The magi were kings. Notice the above point said the magi were kingmakers, but they were no kings themselves. So the song We Three Kings is wrong on more than one level.
4. The magi were at the manger. The text says by the time of their arrival they entered into a house to worship Jesus. In fact at this point Jesus’ might no longer be an infant. But rather close to two years old since by Herod’s decree all males two and younger were to be killed.
5. Jesus was in a barn or stable. As you have noticed much of our Christmas myths center around what is called the nativity scene. Traditionally in this scene you have a barn with a baby in a manger, Joseph and Mary, Three Wise Men, and some animals. Well we have shown already we have no clue about the number of wise-men (really magi). And that they were not there when Jesus was in the manger. Now we can tear down the barn. He was laid in a manger (a feeding trough), but we are not told anything about there being a barn. In fact barns seem to have been rare during that time.
6. Christians have always celebrated Christmas. Sometimes we assume that something that has been done by Christians now has always been done by Christians. This is often times not the case. And with Christmas it is not the case. For at least 400 years the church had no special celebration of Jesus’ birth.
7. There was a little drummer boy. Just not in the text.
What would you add?
Also come back tomorrow for another post as we move past the myths of Christmas and look at what is so important about the incarnation.