Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 9

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed …” Thus begins the most famous account of the Christmas story, found in Luke 2. One thing has never changed: taxes. But in this story everything else does. A baby wasContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 9”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 8

Not only is Luke the longest of our four Gospels; his Christmas story dwarfs the others. Matthew’s story takes up 58 verses, but Luke’s 132. The main reason is that his story is really two birth stories, not just of Jesus, but also of John the Baptist. If we deleted what Luke has to sayContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 8”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 7

“Now after Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, look! Magi from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is the one born King of the Jews?’” (Matthew 2:1). This notice from Matthew following the birth story of Jesus in Matthew 1, would sound off all sortsContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 7”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 6

“Now the birth of Jesus Messiah was like this …” Following the genealogy from Abraham down to Joseph and Jesus, Matthew tells the birth story proper in Matthew 1:18-25. While Mary definitely plays a role—she is usually referred to as “his mother”—Joseph is the key character in this telling of the Christmas story. It allContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 6”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 5

“The book of the genesis of Jesus Messiah Son of David Son of Abraham.” This is how Matthew begins his story of Jesus. Over the first two chapters of his gospel, Matthew has a genealogy of Jesus starting from Abraham, and then the story of Jesus’s conception, birth in Bethlehem, visit from the Magi, attemptedContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 5”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 4

Maybe the most surprising Christmas story is in Revelation. Most people think that Revelation is all about the future, but within its pages is the story of the cosmic conflict between good and evil. At the very center of Revelation, the conflict is laid bare. The Christmas story of Revelation is told right there inContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 4”

Christmas Stories in the Bible Part 3

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son …” In these opening words the author of Hebrews begins one of the richest theological writings in the entire Bible. Hebrews does not have much to sayContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible Part 3”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 2

Paul has the clearest “Christmas story” in Galatians 4:4-5, but he mentions snippets of the story in six other letters, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy. In this post I’ll cover all of these together topically. Messiah. Paul’s most common addition to the name Jesus is “Christ,” the Greek version ofContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 2”

Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 1

Every Christmas growing up, the only two stories I normally heard during Christmas were the accounts of Jesus’s birth in Matthew 1 and Luke 2. Sometimes Luke 1 was included with Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary. That was it, unless we heard Handel’s Messiah. Over the years I have discovered that the story of the Messiah’sContinue reading “Christmas Stories in the Bible, Part 1”