The Nativity Stories were hidden gems in antiquity, and they remain largely unexplored today. Though they appear first in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, they were among the last pieces of the puzzle of Christ's life to be revealed to the public. The evidence shows that during the three-year ministry of Jesus none of his followers knew about the extraordinary events related in the birth narratives. The claim of his virginal conception, the most highly charged and hardest to substantiate of all the assertions made about Jesus, was held in reserve until decades after his death and resurrection. The publication of the Nativity Stories around AD 80 helped to complete the church's portrait of Jesus Christ.
Today the Nativity Stories are usually saved for Advent, but since this is such a busy time of year these scriptures are seldom explored in depth. This engaging study takes readers on a journey of daily Readings and Reflections in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. The spiritual riches of the Nativity Stories are revealed through a survey of issues about their impact on our understanding of the divine/human nature of Jesus. Also highlighted is the influential role of the birth narratives on the church's theology in the period prior to the emergence of Christmas in the fourth century. With a wealth of enlightening discoveries awaiting readers, Christmas Journey is sure to become a meaningful part of their yearly Advent tradition.
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About the Author
Doug Wirth has previously authored Christ the Suffering Servant: A Lenten Study of the Atonement, and Shivering Babe, Glorious Lord: The Nativity Stories in Christian Tradition. His writing focuses on recovering the ancient Christian heritage of Easter and Christmas.