Friday, November 27, 2020

Christmas Resources 2020

Last year, I wrote two articles that can be used as a starting point for researching Christmas issues. One of those articles was about how to concisely argue for a traditional Christian view of Jesus' childhood. The other was about how Jesus framed his public ministry around his identity as the figure of Isaiah 9:1-7.

Here are some examples of other Christmas issues we've addressed over the years:

God Incarnate In Isaiah 9
How much can we trust ancient Christian sources in light of their biases?
Written Sources On Jesus' Childhood Prior To The New Testament
The Earliness Of Matthew And Luke
The Authorship Of Matthew
The Authorship Of Luke
Matthew And Luke's Agreements About Jesus' Childhood
The Consistency And Historicity Of The Annunciation Accounts
Do passages like Matthew 2:1, 2:11, 2:22-23, and Luke 2:39 prove that the infancy narratives are inconsistent?
The Genre Of The Infancy Narratives
Typology And The Infancy Narratives
Whether Matthew Derived His Material On Jesus' Childhood From His Old Testament Citations
Material Against Luke's Interest In Luke 1-2
Jesus' Childhood In John 7-9
The Significance Of 1 Timothy 5:18
The Historicity Of Luke's Census
The Slaughter Of The Innocents
The Virgin Birth
The Mechanism For The Virgin Birth: Joseph's Biological Relationship With Jesus
Jesus' Davidic Ancestry And The Genealogies
Evidence For The Bethlehem Birthplace
Galilee, The Gentiles, And Prophecy Fulfillment
The Star Of Bethlehem
Evidence For The Magi
What Sources Outside The Infancy Narratives Say About The Childhood Of Jesus
The Origins Of The Christmas Holiday And Its December 25 Date
Mutually Exclusive Skeptical Claims About Christmas
What if alleged miracles, like the virgin birth, were caused by a currently unknown natural process?
Modern Evidence For A Traditional View Of Jesus' Childhood
Miracles On Video

Go here for an archive of all of our posts with the Christmas label. If you click on Older Posts at the bottom of the screen, you can see more. Replace "Christmas" with any other relevant phrase to find the posts that are labeled that way (Virgin Birth, Star of Bethlehem, etc.).

We have posts with the text of the infancy narratives attached to links to relevant material from our archives. Go here for Matthew and here for Luke.

And here's a collection of our reviews of Christmas books. The reviews are on Triablogue, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Raymond Brown's book on the infancy narratives is still widely considered the standard in the field. So, it's important to be knowledgeable about it. Here's a collection of responses to the book.

I've interacted with many skeptical misrepresentations of the church fathers over the years, and I've sometimes addressed Christmas issues in the process. See here.

For more about the importance of apologetics in general, not just Christmas apologetics, see this post. And here's a post that discusses the neglect of Christmas apologetics in particular.

Here are links to my Christmas Resources posts of previous years:


We addressed a lot of Christmas issues after the 2019 post. Steve Hays wrote a satirical post about Santa Claus in different denominations. I wrote about Jesus' childhood in Isaiah's Servant Songs. Hawk linked an article by Paul Helm about the incarnation and Jesus' absence in the modern world. I addressed the tendency of Christians to offer weak responses to weak Christmas objections. I also provided some recommendations as to how to concisely argue for a traditional Christian view of Jesus' childhood. Later, I posted about the relationship between Ruth 4 and Christmas. Steve linked an article by Wesley Huff on the genealogies of Jesus. I discussed the significance of and evidence for the authorship of the gospel attributed to Matthew. After that, I addressed the meaning and significance of Matthew 2:23. I later wrote about some evidence that Jesus applied Isaiah 9 to himself and structured much of his life around the passage. I also quoted some comments from Charles Spurgeon on how Christ is both Savior and Lord, as reflected in Luke 2:11. Steve responded to the Roman Catholic notion of Mary's fiat, her consent to the incarnation, and discussed some analogous situations with figures like Joseph and Abraham. He also linked an excerpt of a book recently published on the gospel of Matthew. And he discussed some of the principles involved in evaluating the alleged error in Matthew's counting in Matthew 1:17. I expanded on the theme of light in the gospels, in connection with Jesus seeing himself as the light of Isaiah 9:2. I also wrote about video evidence for miracles, which is relevant to disputes over the possibility of miracles and what evidence we have for them. The post discusses some of the principles involved in evaluating miracle claims and the significance of video evidence, and I provide links to some online videos of miracles. Steve addressed some Marian prooftexts used by Roman Catholics, and some Christmas issues were discussed in the process. I discussed the issue of bias, in response to the common objection that the ancient Christians' biases require that Christian sources be supplemented by non-Christian ones. I also wrote about modern evidence for Christianity, including on issues closely related to Christmas. Hawk linked an article featuring James Anderson addressing whether God changed at the incarnation. I used the argument that Jesus viewed himself as the figure of Isaiah 9 as an example of how to argue for his self-perception. I also posted a collection of links to comments from Christians over the centuries about various aspects of the gospel, including Christmas issues.

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