The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels by Joseph F. Kelly

The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospels.  Finished 6-1-20, 4.5/5 stars, religion, 106 pages, pub. 2008

In this book Kelly turns to the infancy narratives to see what the New Testament tells us about the Nativity. Readers will likely discover that their Christmas celebrations, cards, pageants, and creches are often combinations and embellishments of the gospel narratives. Yet each of these narratives is quite distinct, reflecting the author’s talents and audience. In this practical book readers will:

Encounter the stories in their gospel contexts and learn about the issues facing the early Christians as the gospels were being written. See the difference between the educator Matthew’s approach for an audience of Jewish converts and the great literary artist Luke writing for a primarily Gentile audience.  from Goodreads

I loved this historical look at the gospels and the men who wrote them.  When you break down the the Bible and try fact checking everything that can be by today’s standards, you lose the purpose or intent of the gospels in the New Testament.  But Kelly doesn’t gloss over the fact checks, he provides much needed context, even pointing out when things would have been impossible taken at face value.  He also compares the men writing the gospels and how their audience influenced what was included.  The story of the birth of Jesus appears in only two gospels, Matthew and Luke and yet even those two stories were laced with differences.  Even Mary receives a reality check.

If you have any interest in the Bible or history of the period this quick book is just up your alley.  This book was more than I thought it would be and I’m so glad I picked it up at a book sale last summer.  Note-I also very much miss going to book sales!

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