Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Little Fun for Christmas, Suggested by Andy Webb

After the immaculate conception[1] of Jesus, Joseph was instructed by an Angel to take his pregnant wife Mary[2] to his hometown of Bethlehem[3] where he was told Jesus would be born. Mary and Joseph, and their little donkey[4] all set off for Bethlehem led by a star[5]. When they reached their destination they hoped[6] to stay at the inn in Bethlehem but they was no room so they stayed in a wooden stable[7] surrounded by all sorts of animals[8]. Then on the still and snowy evening[9] of December 25th[10], Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him on straw[11] in a manger. Mary immediately noticed that something was very special about this baby because he didn't cry when he was awakened by the noises made by cattle in the stable[12]. Later that evening[13], 3[14] kings[15] from the east who had followed the same star all the way to where it had stopped over that stable in Bethlehem[16] arrived by camel[17] to give Jesus presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Shepherds also came to play music for him[18]. A poor little boy also arrived to worship Jesus and because he had no present fit for a king to give, Mary said it would be fine if he played his drum for him.[19]

[1] The immaculate conception, a doctrine not taught in the Bible, refers to the conception of Mary, not that of Jesus.

[2] Joseph was instructed by the angel not to put away Mary. She was at the time not his wife, but his betrothed.

[3] Joseph went to Bethlehem because of the census, not because he was told by the angel.

[4] There’s no mention of a donkey.

[5] The star only occurs in reference to the magi.

[6] This hope may be implied, but it is not explicit, so it is ruled out of order.

[7] No mention of what the stable was made of.

[8] No mention of animals in the stable. There may have been some there, or they may have been moved out.

[9] There is no mention of either “still” or “snowy.” We are also not told what time of day it was when Mary gave birth.

[10] The date is a later invention. No date is given, or even clearly implied, in the text.

[11] No mention of straw in the text.

[12] This whole sentence is confabulation, so it’s hard to tell how many errors are in it.

[13] The kings arrived some time later, though we do not know how much later.

[14] The number of persons is not mentioned.

[15] They were not kings, but magi.

[16] Well, sort of. The magi had seen the star, and on that basis headed to Jerusalem. After being sent out by Herod, they followed the star, which “stood over where the child was” (NASB). We presume that the family was still in Behtlehem.

[17] Their mode of travel is not mentioned.

[18] Shepherds came, but to worship, not to sing.

[19] This whole sentence is confabulation, so again, the number of errors is difficult to determine.

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