Christmas: historical fact or theological invention? Ben Witherington & S Thornton - Unbelievable?

Matthew and Luke both tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The stories share some details in common but also vary in others.  Where did they get their information from, and should we regard them as historical or merely “theological”? Stephen Thornton is a liberal Bible tutor who believes that none of the details of the Christmas story are historically true. Rather, stories of the virgin conception, the shepherds, the wise men etc contain “deeper meanings” that were written down as a “teaching aid” to the early church. Ben Witherington III is New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary.  He says that the Christmas stories certainly contain deep meaning, but only because they have a basis in historical events, and that Stephen’s approach is out of date. For Ben Witherington www.benwitherington.com You can email Stephen Thornton

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