As you gather with family and friends, and kin and kith for Christmas celebrations, conversation starters are always handy. In two previous posts “3 Things You Thought The Bible Says About Christmas, But It Doesn’t” and “5 Christmas Myths That Some May Thought Were in the Bible, But Aren’t“, I noted a number of first Christmas items that some think are biblical, but really are not. I combined the two posts and have added some more. These myths are common “knowledge” in our day and age. Now some of these items may be true, however the Bible does not bear them evidence.
ATTENTION! I want to alert you to my Free booklet of 15 Christmas myths! (Well, the last one is a little obvious and humorous, but I wanted to get to 15.) Check it out and tell me what you think. Grab yours by clicking the below link and I’ll also send you the latest iApologia updates!
Myth 1: Jesus Was Born In A Stable
We hear that Jesus was born in a stable, and he just may have been. But the Bible does not say this. It says in Luke 2:7 the following:
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
In those days, some kept small animals in the house to protect them from the elements. In fact, even in modernity, there still are farmers who will bring in a piglet, a lamb or chicks for a short time to protect them from the weather and wild animals. Could they have stayed in a house? Maybe. Did they stay in a stable or barn or cave? Maybe – but again the Bible does not say.
Myth 2: The Angels Sang At Jesus’ Birth
Many of our traditions of the Nativity and in Christmas’ carols, we are taught that angels sang with “glad tidings” of Jesus’ birth. Ah, but again, the Bible does not say this. Check out Luke 2:8-14:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
So did they sing? Maybe. But all it says here is that they were “…saying, Glory to God…”. In fact, I don’t think the Bible says anywhere that angels even sing at all! However, they could have sang in this case – but it just does not say.
Myth 3: There Were Three Wise Men To Give Gifts To Jesus
Tradition says that the three Wise Men’s (Magi) names were: Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar. Others say their names were Larvandad, Gushnasaph and Hormisdas, or what about Hor, Karsudan and Basanater? And still others say their names were Kagpha, Badadakharida and Badadilma. But alas, the Bible never gives their names — let alone say there were only three. Check out Matthew 2:1, 2
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
And verse 11
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
So you see, the number of wise men, or Magi, are never specified, rather the number of gifts were three.
Myth 4: Mary Rode A Donkey To Bethlehem
Maybe she did ride a donkey, but all the Bible says is she came to Bethlehem with Joseph.
Myth 5: Jesus Was Born On December 25
Many have different ideas on when Christ was born. While I don’t want to get into that debate right now, I do want to say that while December may be the date, the Bible never says this. In the documentary “The Star of Bethlehem” Larson says the Magi may have visited Jesus on this date (feel free to pick up a copy of the DVD, it is illuminating for sure, pardon the pun.)
Myth 6: Jesus Was A Baby When Wise Men Came
In the pictures, we see baby Jesus in a manger with Magi handing gifts over to him. Unfortunately the Bible does not teach this. In Matthew 2:11, it just say Jesus was a young child.
Myth 7: The Shepherds Were Visited By The Angels At Midnight
Luke 2:8 just says that the angels came to them at night. It may have been midnight, but the Bible does not have any greater definition than that, so we just don’t know.
Myth 8: The Bible Says Christmas Trees Are Wrong
This thought comes from the misinterpretation of Jeremiah 10:1-5. In the KJV it says this:
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
However, in context one will see that it is talking not about Christmas trees, but rather idols. In fact the NET translation demonstrates this:
You people of Israel, listen to what the LORD has to say to you. The LORD says, Do not start following pagan religious practices. Do not be in awe of signs that occur in the sky even though the nations hold them in awe. For the religion of these people is worthless. They cut down a tree in the forest, and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools. He decorates it with overlays of silver and gold. He uses hammer and nails to fasten it together so that it will not fall over. Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They cannot talk. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them because they cannot hurt you. And they do not have any power to help you.
So Christmas trees are not anti-biblical. And to the idea they had pagan origin, which may be true, however that does not make them wrong. To claim they are wrong for that reason would be a logical fallacy. There, you are not sinning for having one in your living room!
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Myth 9: Mary Remained A Virgin Until The Day Of Her Death
It is clear that Mary was a virgin before Jesus was conceived and up to the time that she gave birth to Jesus. See Matthew 1:24-25:
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
While some factions of Christianity think that she was a perpetual virgin until her death, there is no scriptural grounding for this. In fact, it seems Jesus did have brothers and sisters as seen in the following passages:
Matt 13:55-56 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”
1Cor 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
John 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
While some may argue that these were Joseph’s children from a previous deceased wife or his cousins, we have no reason to believe that from the Bible. It seems to me, Mary’s perpetual virginity is one’s assumption and blind faith in tradition and not the fact of what Scripture teaches.
Myth 10: Christmas Has Pagan Roots, Thus It Is Wrong For Us To Celebrate It
Whether history shows pagan roots for Christmas or not is of little interest to me. Rather the thing that interests me is the meaning of Christmas right now, in today’s day and age. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that Christmas did originate as a pagan holiday, so what? It does not make it wrong for us to celebrate the Lord’s birth on that day, does it? For one to say to hold to this, one falls into a logical fallacy, the Genetic Fallacy.
Spread The News!
Have a Happy Christmas! Spread the joy of this season and the reason of Christ’s birth – to free men from the bondage of sin! Feel free to share this post with friends, family and those you know. Also, don’t forget to post on your social online pages!
I have a passion to have answers for Christianity as Peter taught us to do. I would love for you to come along with me and not miss a post! In the future, I plan on giving more resources and answers you can share with both believers and unbelievers. Plus, I want to send you a Free Quick Guide why I think science points to God. I would love for you to have this Free Quick Guide and the latest posts straight to your inbox.
Do you have any other Christmas myths you would like to share? If so, please post them below!