Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

Errors-in the Nativity Story

We’re looking at common misconceptions found in nativity narratives and most nativity scenes.  Last week gave biblical answers for three Misconceptions About Mary and Joseph’s Journey to Bethlehem and their arrival in the city.  This week addresses three more misconceptions.  Although many nativity scenes, pageants and Christmas narratives portray things that are not biblically supported, we can still enjoy them.   But we should not let them form our theology.

Misconceptions about the Place of Jesus’ Birth 

Did the innkeeper send Mary and Joseph away because there was no room in the inn?

innkeeperSomeone turned them away, but not necessarily an innkeeper.  The Bible records “there was no room for them in the inn,”  but there is no mention of an innkeeper.  The presence of an “innkeeper” has been popularized by Christmas narratives, pageants and nativity scenes that portray Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem and being turned away for lack of room.

Luke 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 The idea of an innkeeper is based on the translation of the Greek word “Kataluma” to  the English word “inn.”  But that word can also mean something else. (For more information,  read Was Jesus born in a stable, a cave or a house?)

Was Jesus was born in a stable?    

Nativity-scene2There is no mention of the accommodations in which Jesus was born.  Christmas narratives, pageants and nativity scenes portray Jesus’ birth as having taken place in a stable because the Bible tells us that He was “laid in a manger.”  However, there are good reasons to believe that Jesus was not born in a stable, but in the lower level of a house.

Since Bethlehem was Joseph’s hometown, it is quite likely that he sought lodging at the house of a relative rather than seeking paid accommodations.  This is supported by the Greek word for inn, which is used in Luke 2:7.  Many homes of that time had two levels—an upper room for the family’s dwelling place and an area below for housing animals.  It is very likely Mary and Joseph found refuge among the animals in the lower level of such a house.

For more information about where Jesus might have been born, read Was Jesus born in a stable, a cave or a house?

Was Jesus laid in a wooden manger laden with straw?

baby-Jesus3Again, the Christmas narratives, pageants and nativity scenes have formed our thinking on this.  The Bible certainly does tell that Jesus was “laid in a manger” (Luke 2:7), but it might not have been the kind we see depicted in nativity scenes.

A manger was a feeding trough for animals and, during that time in Israel, many were made of stone.  Archeological digs in Megiddo have unearthed stone mangers that are believed to have been used to feed Solomon’s horses.  Whether the manger was stone or wood, we do not know.  However, it is likely that they laid straw upon the manger to cushion the baby Jesus (especially if it had been a stone manger).

The Beauty of Nativity Scenes

Now don’t hear me wrong and don’t put away your nativity scenes. 

Don’t skip the Christmas pageants and, please, don’t criticize the way they tell the Christmas story! 

The message of Jesus coming to earth, as an infant born of a virgin, is accurate…even if some of the other details are amiss.  The purpose of addressing these misconceptions is so we don’t base our theology on man’s narratives.  Instead, always be a Berean and check the Scriptures to determine what is true (Acts 17:11).

Enjoy the Christmas narratives, allow nativity scenes to inspire awe and wonder, but always hold closely to the truths revealed in the Bible. The Bible does not give all-inclusive information about Jesus’ birth, but the Bible does give fully-sufficient information to know that Jesus humbled Himself and came to earth to seek and save the lost.  He came to be Emmanuel—God with us.  Rejoice in the great sacrifice of God that brought salvation to mankind.

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Lesson for This Week  

The first rejection of Jesus happened when He was still in Mary’s womb.  Mary was “great with Child,” when she and Joseph—and Jesus—were turned away “because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Whether it was a stable, a cave or the animals’ shelter of a house,  Jesus humbled Himself and came into our world under the lowliest of circumstances. Humble yourself and make room for Him in your heart.

1 Peter 5:5-6  …be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Seek His light and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you to shine the light of Jesus in a dark and troubled world that increasing has “no room” for Him.

John 1:1, 4-5  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness…

Prepare Your Heart and Make Room for Jesus

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The Season of Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas)

Will You Find Rest This Advent Season?
HOPE Advent Candle 1 –  Prophecy Gives Hope (video)
LOVE Advent Candle 2 – Promise Reveals Love (video)
JOY Advent Candle 3 – Jesus Is Our Joy (video)

PEACE Advent Candle 4 – Pause to Find Peace (video)
Christmas Day: When Love Was Born — Light the CHRIST Candle

Christmas-themed GOT QUESTIONS?

Christmas-themed Articles

Christmas-themed Videos

Have You Heard About This Baby Boy?  A most beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, with a Christmas message to touch your heart and give joy to your soul.

Cohen Hallelujah Christmas Version

 

 

 

Christmas-themed GOT QUESTIONS?

Christmas-themed Articles

Christmas Word Search Puzzles

Scripture from: Isaiah, Matthew, Luke, and John.  A Christmas message from “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Christmas-themed Videos

Have You Heard About This Baby Boy?  A most beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, with a Christmas message to touch your heart and give joy to your soul.

Cohen Hallelujah Christmas Version

 

 

 

 

 

Make Some Scripture Cookies – Fun for the Whole Family!

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Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

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***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

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*******

Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

 donate
Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.

*******
*******

***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  4. PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
  5. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  7. JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)

*****************

Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

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