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Pope debunks Christmas myths in new book  print

Published on December 3, 2012 by   ·   7 Comments

Pope Benedict XVI: new book debunks Christmas myths

in a new book on the early life of Jesus, has debunked several myths about how the Nativity unfolded.

According to CNN, In “Jesus of Nazareth — The Infancy Narratives,” the pope says the Christian calendar is actually based on a blunder by a sixth century monk, who Benedict says was several years off in his calculation of Jesus’ birth date.

According to the pope’s research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present.

CNN also reports that the Pope debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols.

The book, which is being published in multiple languages in time for Christmas, is the third in a series by the pontiff. The previous two volumes dealt with Jesus’ adult life and his public ministry, CNN said.

Alessandro Speciale, Vatican correspondent for the Religion News Service, told CNN the pope was not so much aiming to debunk myths as trying to show that the Jesus depicted in the Gospels is a real historical figure, who walked on earth and talked to people like anyone else.

The pope also looks at scholarly studies of the Bible, some of which have indicated for decades that the traditionally accepted birth date for Jesus is wrong, Speciale said.

Benedict writes that since King Herod died in 4 BC, Jesus was probably born “a few years earlier.” He attributes the erroneous fixing of the year of Jesus’ birth to a miscalculation by the monk Dionysius Exiguous some 500 years later.

But while the book points out that the Gospels do not support the presence of animals at Jesus’ birth — a detail apparently added in later centuries — the pope does not suggest they should be thrown out of the Nativity scene, Speciale said.

“The pope is a traditional man and he doesn’t want people at all to change their traditions,” Speciale said.

The 176-page volume, which comprises a brief foreword, four chapters and an epilogue, traces Jesus’ life up to the age of 12, when, according to the Gospels, he was presented by his parents in the Temple in Jerusalem, the Vatican said.

According to the CNN, the initial worldwide print run is more than a million copies, it said, with the book released this week across 50 countries in Italian, German, Croatian, French, English, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

In the coming months, the book will be translated into 12 more languages for publication in 72 countries in total, the Vatican added.

Posted by on December 3, 2012, 12:14 pm. Filed under Lifestyle, News, Odd News, Religion, Today's Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments for “Pope debunks Christmas myths in new book”

  1. Frank Monye

    Oh, glory! The truth is now emerging to remove the embellishments and fallacies around The Nativity. If a lesser person had spoken the world would not have taken note. But it is the Pope speaking, so the world will necessarily take note!
    Frank Monye, Owerre-Olubor

  2. Koya

    There is actually nothing new in what the Pope has said. Many people have long held the view, that the Lord Jesus was not born, on 25 December, as many people have now erroneously believed. Celebrating the birth of Jesus goes beyond the yearly pomp and pageantry, decorations etc. His death, resurrection and reasons for those, should form the tenor and crux of such rememberance. If He is being celebrated as the One, who left His glory above to bring eternal salvation to the sinning world, and the Way out of the present worldly woes, that would be marvelous. Jesus is love and saves from ALL sins.

  3. rop

    This is no news, traditional protestant churches have known this for hundreds of years, that’s the reason many don’t celebrate Christmas in their Doctrines, i know of a church called Seventh Day Adventist that has said this some years ago about the wrong date of birth of Jesus Christ recorded was wrong and they also spoke about the Sunday worshiping as being started as a day of worship when idol worshipers decided to accept Christianity but refused to let go of their idol worshiping, so the emperor changed to worshiping on Sunday so they could persuade people to worship their idol at the same time they used to and also brought the images to the church, i think it was something about emperor Constantine, we need to look it up in the encyclopedia or something, at least the Jews still worships on Saturday and that was where Jesus came from, which means those churches might actually be right, maybe one day the pope will tell us more truth.

  4. ola

    Jesus said ‘my people perish 4 lack of knowledge.’

  5. jacuapo

    “CNN also reports that the Pope debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols”. –

    I wonder where the Pope got that from, this is what luke 2: 8-15 says:

    8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
    9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
    10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
    11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
    12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven…

    So from the above, did the angels sing or not ? The book to me is a very clever way of stripping Jesus of his Deity and pointing everyone towards the Worship of the “Queen of Heaven”, as the prophet Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 7:18.

    The Vigilant and Sober ones can spot the enemy from miles away.


      You spoke my mind. I think there was an error in the claim that the Angels did not sing at Jesus’ birth. This is clearly stated in the scriptures as you quoted.

  6. Mamman Bako

    May be he is jealous and worried that his birthday is not observed. Funny Pope!

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