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by Paul L. Maier

ePub First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story download
Author:
Paul L. Maier
ISBN13:
978-0264646008
ISBN:
0264646002
Language:
Publisher:
Mowbray (September 27, 1973)
Category:
ePub file:
1689 kb
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1517 kb
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Rating:
4.5
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358

Paul Maier is professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, and has also written books such .

Paul Maier is professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, and has also written books such as In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church,The Flames of Rome: A Novel and Pontius Pilate: A Novel. He wrote in the Preface to this 1971 book, "the full story of the first Christmas is not limited to the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

The First Christmas book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

First Christmas book. Start by marking First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story as Want to Read: Want to Read savin.

Author and historian Paul Maier aims to return the Christmas focus where it belongs-on the story and spirit surrounding Jesus birth. The First Christmas : The True and Unfamiliar Story.

First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures In the Fullness of Time: A Historian looks at Christmas, Easter and the Early Church.

First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures. ISBN 0-06-065396-5 (Hardcover). First Easter: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures. ISBN 0-06-065397-3 (Hardcover). First Christians: Pentecost and the Spread of Christianity. The Flames of Rome In the Fullness of Time: A Historian looks at Christmas, Easter and the Early Church. A Skeleton in God's Closet.

Book Format: Paperback. Delving into Jewish, Greek, Roman, and early Christian sources, Paul L. Maier uncovers fresh and fascinating insights into the true, yet unfamiliar, story of the first Christmas.

Only 5 left! Book Format: Paperback.

Rev of P L Maier book First Easter. The True and Unfamiliar Story. Mr. Maier, professor of history at Western Michigan University, author previously of the highly praised First Christmas, recalls in his popularly written new volume these Scriptural events relating to Holy Week. He examines them in the light of the most recent historical and archeological knowledge (which has strikingly confirmed many details of both Old and New Testaments) and evaluates the speculations of theologians, skeptics and adherents of nonChristian religions, particularly those relating to the resurrection itself.

Paul L. Maier is the former Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History (retired) at Western Michigan University and an award-winning author whose expertise in first-century studies and extensive travels in the Middle East and Asia Minor provide historical authenticity and compelling. Seibert Professor of Ancient History (retired) at Western Michigan University and an award-winning author whose expertise in first-century studies and extensive travels in the Middle East and Asia Minor provide historical authenticity and compelling drama to his writing. His other writings include the ECPA Gold Medallion Award-winning volume Josephus: The Essential Writings, as well as The Flames of Rome, and the best-selling novel, A Skeleton in God's Closet.

Harper & Row, . The historical and geographical background of the Nativity is reconstructed in photographs and text. ancient angel apocryphal astral event astronomical Augustus baby Babylonians Beit Sahur Beth birth of Christ birth of Jesus born Bronze Caesar Caesar Augustus called carpenter’s census child Christian Christmas story chronology Church comet Crucifixion David Dead Sea December 25 Dio Cassius East Egypt emperor enrolled father festival fields figure filled final finally find first Christmas first-born five flocks floor fulfill fulfillment.

First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures ISBN 0-06-065396-5 . Christianity: The First Three Centuries. The Odyssey of St. Paul. Jesus: Legend or Lord?

First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures ISBN 0-06-065396-5 (Hardcover). First Easter: The True and Unfamiliar Story in Words and Pictures ISBN 0-06-065397-3 (Hardcover). First Christians: Pentecost and the Spread of Christianity ISBN 0-06-065399-X. The Flames of Rome ISBN 0-8254-3297-9 (Paperback), ISBN 0-8254-3262-6 (Hardcover). Jesus: Legend or Lord?.

First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story. Words and Pictures by Paul L. Maier
  • Paul Maier is professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, and has also written books such as In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church,The Flames of Rome: A Novel and Pontius Pilate: A Novel.

    He wrote in the Preface to this 1971 book, "the full story of the first Christmas is not limited to the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Many important aspects of the event come into sharper focus when history, geography, archaeology, and astronomy shed their light on the Nativity... these chapters ... try to tell the unfamiliar story of the first Christmas by exploring the nooks and crannies of the past for fresh information and interesting sidelights on the Nativity. Stripping away the layers of legend and folklore which nineteen centuries have imposed on the famous event, this Christmas documentary will aim to tell 'how it really was' in the world of the Nativity... No liberties were taken with the facts, which are documented in the Notes at the end of the book, most of which involved original sources." (Pg. 11)

    About the historicity of the census of Quirinius in Luke 2, he says that the view of skeptics "has been disproved by the discovery of a Roman census edict from 104 A.D. in neighboring Egypt, in which taxpayers who were living elsewhere were ordered to return to their original homes for registration." (Pg. 16) He adds, "The census mentioned in the Christmas story was probably a provincial enrollment associated with the citizens' census of 8 B.C., but apparently the machinery necessary to take it in far-off Palestine was not prepared until about 5 B.C., since 8 B.C. is some three years too early for the birth of Christ." (Pg. 19)

    Noting that "Jesus was NOT born in 1 A.D." (Pg. 19), he explains, "Under the assumption that it must have taken even a divine-human baby the normal term to develop, Christendom appointed March 25 (exactly nine months before December 25) as the Feast of the Annunciation, when Jesus was also conceived. The emphasis, however, is not on any calendar precision---the exact date of the Nativity is unknown---but on the commemoration itself." (Pg. 34) He argues that the traditional 1 A.D. date for the birth "is wrong. For Herod the Great died in the spring of 4 B.C., and the king was very much alive during the visit of the Magi in the Christmas story... While Jesus may have been born as early as 7 B.C., such earlier datings for the Nativity would make him a little too old for the 'about thirty years of age' when he began his public ministry ion 28-29 A.D. (Lk. 3:23). Unfortunately, it is not possible to work back to any exact date for Jesus' birth from any later information about his adult life." (Pg. 37, 40)

    He elaborates on the census of Luke 2: "the governor of Syria, Publius Sulpicius Quirinius... had been a consul... But when was he governor of Syria? Not until 6-7 A.D., according to ancient records, which is ten years too late for the Nativity census... However, an archaeological inscription suggests that Quirinius may have had an earlier term as governor, or at least a special commission to carry out such a census, since he was in the East at the time, also as military commander. Other scholars suggest an alternate interpretation of Luke's text: 'This census was first really carried out when Quirinius was governor of Syria,' i.e., a decade later than the preliminary census during the reign of Herod." (Pg. 41)

    He observes, "Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25?... Probably it was a matter of substitution. The Romans of the time not only celebrated their Saturnalia festival at the close of December, but they also thought that December 25 marked the date of the winter solstice... when they observed the pagan feast of Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun... Christianity sought to replace these pagan celebrations with a Christian celebration honoring the 'sun of righteousness,' a common epithet for Jesus as Messiah. Yet Christmasm, even with a Christian name, has never been able to shake off the secular part of this end-of-the-year festival... One could wish that an event of this importance were more precisely datable. Yet the ancients... had a less exacting view of time than did later ages with their accurate clocks and calendars." (Pg. 43)

    He points out, "How much time elapsed between the adoration of the shepherds and the visit of the Magi is not known, but the mysterious men from the East do not seem to have arrived until after Jesus' presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem, forth days after he was born... how many wise men made the trip to Bethlehem is not known. And they were not 'kings.' And they did not come from as far away as the 'Orient,' that is, the Far East. Tradition, of course, has placed their number at three, probably because of the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh... But some earlier traditions made quite a caravan... setting their number as high as twelve... The Greek of the New Testament calls them simply ... 'magi from the East'---and the term is usually translated as wise men, astrologers, or magicians." (Pg. 66)

    Of the Star of Bethlehem, he suggests, "The remarkable conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn in 7-6 B.C. alerted the Magi to important developments in Palestine... The comet of 5 B.C.... dramaticallly underscored this interpretation and sent them on their way, while it was the nova (or comet) of 4 B.C.... which appeared after they had reached Jerusalem... That the star 'sent before them til it came to rest over the place where the child was' need not imply any sudden visible movements on the part of the astral phenomena. Because of the rotation of the earth, anything in the night sky appears to move generally westward as the night progresses... So when it reached a zenith in the skies over Bethlehem, the... star of Christmas wold indeed have seemed to stop for the Magi as their reached their destination." (Pg. 80-81)

    This is an excellent, very informative study of the Christmas story, that will appeal greatly to anyone studying this matter.

  • great!

  • This book is filled with useful information which is a result of Mr. Maier's on-sight research. I believe that it would make a good gift for a friend who might be searching for the true meaning of Christmas. I had this book several years ago, and needed another copy. I am so glad that I found it again on Amazon.

  • Interestingly written with lots of color pictures of the Holy Land.

  • Maier should not be authoring books on religion, he has nothing to say and no skills in saying what he doesn't have to say.

  • First Christmas is a 125-page work of nonfiction dealing with the birth of Christ. The author doesn't dispute the Bible; rather, he looks at unanswered questions about the Nativity and uses historical and geographical data to explore possible answers. He discusses when Jesus' birth might have occurred (probably a few years before the BC-AD dividing line), whether it could have been in the winter (would sheep be pastured outside at that time?), whether the star might have been a conjunction of planets or a comet or a nova, and many other aspects of the Christmas story. I liked his observation that the line "We three kings of Orient are" contains three errors in six words--the number of Magi is unknown, they weren't kings, and they didn't come from the Orient. (They probably came from Persia.) The book contains five colored photographs showing the areas mentioned and many black and white ones. I appreciated the pictures, and I was fascinated by the information, which is scientific, historical, and reverent, all at the same time. It doesn't in any way challenge a person's faith; it simply looks at details and tries to fill in the blanks. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the First Christmas.

  • There's no little boy & no mom telling a child the true story of Christmas. The author attempts to provide some of the geological, archaeological, and cultural background to the Biblical account. Not a devotional or even a commentary, just an overview of facts that pertain to elements of the Nativity. Copyright of 1971, so dated B&W photos & I'm sure new archaeological facts would shed a different light on the content. Nonetheless, worth the read IMO because it is thought-provoking.