Gleanings From The Word - Experience An Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life
Writer Author Kevin Corbin
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Issue #3599 - Trivia
Time for some Christmas trivia questions.
What color was the donkey Mary rode to Bethlehem?
When was Jesus born?
How many wide men (Magi) attended at the manger?
What were the names of the wise men (Magi)?
Where was the stable Mary and Joseph stayed in?
We have no idea. The Bible doesn't even record Mary as having come to Bethlehem on a donkey. It's possible she rode on a donkey, but probable that they walked.
We really don't know because the Bible doesn't tell us the date. It was likely sometime around the year 3 BC and scholars are divided between a spring and fall birth (most scholars seem to favor a spring birth). It's highly unlikely that Mary gave birth in December.
Some people claim Jesus was conceived at Christmas but there is no biblical evidence to support this idea. It's likely that this idea came into being to justify the December 25 celebration date.
No magi visited the manger. They all came when Jesus was older, likely around age 2 or so.
The Bible doesn't tell us. There are many myths that arose in later history giving them a variety of names.
We don't know that they stayed in a stable. We know that Jesus was born in a manger, but many houses of the time had a small room in the front of the house where the animals stayed and there would have been a manger in that room.
Later church history and tradition records Jesus as having been born in a cave, but that is questionable (despite the fact that Holy Land tours will show visitors the cave)
There are so many things we "know" about the Christmas story and the Bible in general that simply are not true. There is a technical term for these sorts of errors. They are called "Folk theology". Folk theologians generally just accept whatever they have been told or read and never compare it to what the Scriptures actually say.
Some other examples of folk theology...
All angels have wings
Angels have halos
We become angels when we die
Each of us has a guardian angel
The Ten Commandments were written five on each stone.
Noah took all the animals two by two
Jesus was a carpenter
Adam and Eve ate an apple
Some of those are absolutely wrong. Some of them are partially correct. Some of them may be correct but we don't know for sure.
Not all folk theology is wrong. It might be right but if you cannot substantiate it biblically it falls into this category.
There is another category of theology known as "Tabloid theology". Tabloid theologians chase the spectacular and wondrous with no discernment as to its truth. You see plenty of tabloid theology emails floating around claiming extravagant things but when you try and track them down they invariably end up in the midst of hearsay.
What we teach and believe needs to be grounded in Scripture. Scripture is God's revealed word to us. If what we believe doesn't line up with God's Word we need to adjust our beliefs. We don't change or ignore the Bible to fit our beliefs.
The church in Berea was commended for their use of the Scripture...
Acts 17:10-11 (NIV)
As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
It's an example we would do well to emulate.
How do the things you believe stack up against the truth? It's worth checking into.
Until next time may it be said that you examine the world around you each day according to the Scriptures.
Never let the enemy tell you that you are worthless or insignificant. You have value in the eyes of God so great that it was worth dying for. You are a blessing to the world. You are so precious to God that heaven will not be complete without you.
Help for the Hurting
God cares about the earth. He cares even more for you. He loves you enough that He sent His Son to die in your place. He will free you from the eternal penalty of your sin if you admit it is wrong and trust in Him and His forgiveness.
If you want to know how to do that simply email us and we will send you some Bible verses that will explain it to you.
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