The Advent season is a fun time. For many Christians, it is the happiest season of the year. The joy comes from the anticipation: “Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king.”
I do not desire to dim the lights of Christmas, but it might be helpful to some to hear what the stories of Jesus birth are really about.
There are four versions of the life of Jesus. We call them the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Only two of the versions say anything about the birth of Jesus.
Mark, the first of the Gospels, begins the Jesus story with Jesus as an adult. John, the last Gospel written, likewise says nothing about the birth of Jesus. Matthew tells the birth story in only a few short paragraphs. Luke’s version of the beginnings of Jesus is four times as long as that of Matthew.
Those two versions are very different. Luke plays with a much larger cast. His flair for the dramatic is pronounced. He includes an abundance of poetry and music with the support of angelic hosts.
Reconciling the two versions has been tried by many, but never with success. They are two different stories. They each have their own distinctive version of the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus.
[Read more at Alternet]