Friday, November 26, 2021

Christmas Resources 2021

I've written some articles that can be used as starting points for researching Christmas issues. One is about how to concisely argue for a traditional Christian view of the childhood of Jesus. The other is about how Jesus viewed himself as the figure of Isaiah 9:1-7 and framed his public ministry around that identity.

The following are examples of other Christmas issues we've addressed over the years:

Capernaum And Christmas
Jesus' Galilean Background And Its Significance
The Significance Of Jesus' Being Raised In Nazareth
God Incarnate In Isaiah 9
The Fifth Gospel
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
The Star Of Bethlehem
Evidence For The Magi
What Sources Outside The Infancy Narratives Say About The Childhood Of Jesus
Simon The Lord's Brother
Mutually Exclusive Skeptical Claims About Christmas
What if alleged miracles, like the virgin birth, were caused by a currently unknown natural process?
Miracles On Video
The Origins Of The Christmas Holiday And Its December 25 Date
Is it inappropriate to celebrate Christmas?

Here's an archive of all of our posts with the Christmas label. Keep clicking on Older Posts at the bottom of the screen to see more. If you replace "Christmas" in the URL linked above with another relevant phrase, you can find the posts that are labeled that way (Luke's Census, Virgin Birth, etc.).

I've created two posts with the text of the infancy narratives attached to links to relevant material from our archives. See here for Matthew and here for Luke.

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. Here's a collection of responses to his book.

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

For more about the importance of apologetics in general, not just in the context of Christmas, 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:


After that 2020 post, I discussed the significance Capernaum has for Christmas issues. I then linked a response I wrote to Tovia Singer on Isaiah 9. That response addresses the claim that the verses should be translated with a past tense that undermines Jesus' fulfillment of the passage, among other issues. I then wrote about Steve Hays' contribution to Christmas. In a later post, I addressed the evidential significance of Jesus' upbringing in Nazareth. And here's something I wrote on evaluating theories about what the star of Bethlehem was. After that, I discussed the relationship between Isaiah 9 and how Jesus framed his resurrection appearances. In another post, I wrote about the evidence for Jesus' Galilean background and why it's important. I also discussed how the book of Isaiah is a sort of fifth gospel, how it provides so much evidence for Christianity even if we grant much of what skeptics claim about Isaiah and sources like the gospels. I responded to Pete Enns on the original meaning of Isaiah 9:1-7 and the earliest Christian interpretations of the passage. The next day, I linked a Snopes article that argues against Jesus' birth in Bethlehem and casts doubt on other aspects of the infancy narratives. In the same post, I linked the original article Snopes was reproducing from another web site. I posted some comments in the thread at that other site. I also reviewed a debate between Lydia McGrew and Jonathan Pearce on Christmas issues. Another post discussed how much Paul probably knew about Jesus' childhood. I then linked an article by Lydia McGrew on evidence for the birth narratives. The post also discusses the problem with Christians being so uninvolved in discussing such issues. And I addressed the significance of how Jesus is paralleled to Samuel in Luke 2:52 in a context in which Jesus is different than and inferior to Samuel. On Christmas day, I quoted some comments from John Piper on the depth of Christmas. I later responded to an article by Vincent Torley on the virgin birth. That response addresses whether ancient Jewish culture would have considered Jesus a descendant of David by means of adoption by Joseph, how we should view the relationship between Luke 2:39 and Matthew's material on Jesus' childhood, the evidence we have for the virgin birth, and other issues. I also linked a video of David Wood and Michael Jones discussing the alleged pagan roots of Christmas and other holidays. A new web site was launched by Nick Peters that provides written, audio, and video resources supporting the virgin birth, and I posted a link to the site. Sean McDowell posted a video response to the notion that Jesus lied about the Bethlehem birthplace. I linked the video and some discussions I've had with skeptics about the Bethlehem birthplace, Jesus' being raised in Nazareth, and the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1. And here's a post discussing the evidence that Jesus had a brother named Simon and some of his characteristics. Another post discussed problems Luke's writings pose for a Roman Catholic view of Mary. I then wrote about Lydia McGrew's recent book on the historicity of the gospel of John and the relevance the book has to Christmas issues in that gospel.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jason. I have to do a Christmas sermon soon so thanks for the resources.