Nativity-Scene1My wife’s nickname this time of year is “The Christmas Elf.” She has truly brought the wonder of Christmas to our family. Our home is decorated annually with all the traditional stuff of Christmas — including several nativity scenes.

The title of this post might make you a little nervous, but let me say from the outset that I have nothing at all against nativity scenes. I like them. However, as I hope to demonstrate in the video message linked below, nativity scenes are not typically based on what we find in the text of the Bible.

I’m grateful especially for the work of Kenneth Bailey for some of the insights I share about first-century Bethlehem and the cultural implications that are so helpful in interpreting the birth-narratives more accurately.

Before you watch the video, begin with a little quiz…

1. How many Kings were present at the barn when Jesus was born?
2. What was the name of the “inn-keeper” in Bethlehem?
3. Just how many “inns” (hotels) were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born?
4. What time of night did Mary & Joseph show up to Bethlehem?
5. Was it the long ride on the donkey in the middle of the night that made  Mary go into labor?
6. Was Jesus really born in a barn outside of Bethlehem?

Okay – I’ll stop now.  PLEASE give me some feedback in the comments below.

CLICK HERE for the video.