Friday, November 25, 2022

Christmas Resources 2022

I've written an article about how to concisely argue for a traditional Christian view of the childhood of Jesus. That's a good starting point for studying issues related to Christmas. After familiarizing yourself with the general principles discussed there, it would be useful to read an article I wrote about how Jesus viewed himself as the king of Isaiah 9:1-7 and framed his public ministry around that identity.

We've addressed many other Christmas issues over the years, and here are some examples:

Luke 2:39 Doesn't Mean What Critics Claim It Means
A Geographical Argument For Christmas
Jesus' Galilean Background And Its Significance
The Significance Of Jesus' Being Raised In Nazareth
Capernaum And Christmas
God Incarnate In Isaiah 9
The Fifth Gospel
How much can we trust ancient Christian sources in consideration 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
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?

You can access an archive of all of our posts with the Christmas label here. Click 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 (Virgin Birth, Star of Bethlehem, etc.).

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

We've reviewed some books about Christmas over the years. Here's a collection of those reviews, including links to reviews posted at other sites (e.g., Amazon).

Raymond Brown's book on the infancy narratives is still widely considered the standard in the field. Here's a collection of responses to that book.

Here's a collection of my responses to skeptical misrepresentations of the church fathers, which are relevant to Christmas issues in some contexts.

On 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.

The following are links to my Christmas Resources posts of previous years:


A lot of other material related to Christmas issues has been posted since the 2021 collection linked above. I discussed the importance of bracketing certain passages of scripture in order to better appreciate how one passage is connected to another. For example, it's important to put the material culminating in Luke 1:56 with what starts at 2:4, so that the verses between those two don't distract us from noticing some of the factors we should be seeing in the text. In another post, I discussed the messianic and eschatological nature of chapters 4 and 5 in Micah and how well Jesus fulfills that material. I then wrote about how difficult it would have been for ancient sources to determine where Jesus was born. My next post addressed what the earliest sources outside Matthew and Luke reported about Jesus' birthplace. And here's a post that links in one place all three parts in the series just mentioned. I also responded to a video in which Michael Shermer and Bart Ehrman discussed some issues related to Christmas and prophecy fulfillment. My next post addressed the unlikelihood of the accounts surrounding Jesus' childhood in Nazareth if the early Christians were trying to fake a fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1. I discussed a geographical argument for Christmas based on prophecy fulfillment involving five geographical regions in Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 9:1. And here's a post about some evidence for the genealogies of Jesus. I wrote a response to a National Geographic article about the events surrounding Jesus' birth. I then linked a video of Tim and Lydia McGrew and several other people discussing Christmas issues. Another post discussed how the context of Luke 2:39 supports the passage of a large amount of time between the fulfilling of the law and the move to Nazareth. I linked some videos by Wesley Huff and Michael Jones that address the alleged pagan nature of the Christmas holiday. In another post, I discussed the significance of Psalm 89 and how Christmas illustrates its fulfillment. I quoted some comments from John Chrysostom on 2 Corinthians 8:9 and the incarnation. In February, two Christians and two Muslims debated Isaiah 9:6 and the deity of Jesus. I posted some comments on the debate. A later post discussed a new commentary on Matthew that repeats some common errors about the authorship of that gospel and the infancy narratives. I also discussed the potential reasoning behind Jesus' focus on Galilee in the context of his resurrection (e.g., Mark 14:28). In that post, I argue that the resurrection accounts provide further evidence that Jesus viewed himself as the figure of Isaiah 9:1-7. After that, I wrote about some material suggesting that Mary sinned in Luke 2. I also addressed how some common skeptical approaches toward Christmas issues are inconsistent with how they handle other issues, using Galatians 1:16 as an example. Another post addressed the relationship between Luke's discussion of a census in Acts 5 and his census account in Luke 2. I also discussed how Luke 1's material about John the Baptist's background adds some coherence to John's popularity when he starts his public ministry later in life. Later on, I discussed a historian's recent reassessment of the historical plausibility of Luke's census account, the nature of ancient census records, and the access individuals like Luke and Justin Martyr may have had to the census record of Jesus.

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