The Christmas story as it has been told in my lifetime, and yours, is filled with inaccuracies. Tradition continues to trump truth. Is it that important? I think it is.
Let me be specific. First, there is no reason to believe there were only three Magi. The Bible doesn’t reveal the number (Matthew 2:1ff). It is assumed that there were three Magi because there were three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But, there could have been fifty, ten, or four. Now wouldn’t that mess up the Hallmark cards? It could also make all those manger scenes a little complicated, and crowded.We also know from Scripture that the Magi didn’t come to a babe lying in a manger but rather to a child, probably around two years old, living in a house (Matt 2:11). They actually saw the star two years before they got there (Matthew 2:16). Thus, Herod killed the children two years old and younger. This makes perfect sense and keeps with the biblical timeline.
It is a sure thing that Jesus was not born on December 25th. Probably, He was born in the fall or spring based on the times shepherds would be in the fields watching their flocks. They would not be doing so in December. There goes our white Christmas idea unless you live in North Dakota.
The specific day we celebrate Christmas, the 25th was actually picked by the Catholic Pope Julius in AD 350. Christmas actually means Christ-Mass. The 25th was picked specifically to blend with or compete with the pagan holiday Saturnalia. Many of the customs that we practice today, such as feasting, giving of presents, and lighting of candles originated in the celebration of Saturnalia.
So, the question is, is it really important for us to know these facts and destroy the myths of Christmas? I say yes. I truly believe there are no wasted words in the Bible. When God reveals details they are each important. And, it is not ok to change them. When He doesn’t reveal something we must not fill in the blanks. And, thinking of our children, shouldn’t they get the facts from us? Anything that could cast doubt on the authority or accuracy of Scripture will lead to trouble.
This is what I think, what about you? Merry Christmas Everyone!!!