Away in a Manger, but Not in a Barn

Posted By on October 21, 2009

That’s the title of one of the articles in the upcoming (Nov-Dec) issue of Bible Study Magazine. As many of you know, I am the Academic Editor for the magazine. I don’t make a habit of plugging work stuff on the blog, but this is a cool article that may provide some seasonal Bible Study / sermon fodder for some of you. Some good information for making the Christmas story “less familiar” (!). While untold numbers have heard the story of the birth of Jesus or seen it re-enacted, did you realize:

(1) The *only* birth account we have for Jesus comes from Luke 2:1-7? The Gospel of Matthew has no birth account (just the announcement of the angel, and then skips ahead to the wise men account “after Jesus was born”). Mark and John don’t even have that. It’s just Luke.

(2) Luke never mentions a barn (or cave) in which Mary gives birth? That items is simply inferred from the word “manger.”

(3) The word Luke uses for where Mary and Joseph wind up is the same word as he uses for the place where the Last Supper was held?† He wasn’t talking about a barn or a stable, folks.

Check it out!

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One Response to “Away in a Manger, but Not in a Barn”

  1. Jonnathan Molina says:

    How funny! I read this exact article just this morning while waiting between classes at the college and I had no idea you were gonna blog/post it. I like to go to and read through the previews (yes, I know…too lazy to just get a subscription already…don’t judge me!) and I always find something interesting. I especially loved the diagram of the 1st century Jewish home, it really put things in perspective and I could get a feel for how that society lived in cramped quarters (goats, donkeys and all). I thought the author really made sense when he stated this is one way God highlights the importance of family to Him; He made sure His own Son was surrounded by it at the moment of His birth!

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