First… click here and read the article my comments are based on. Click here for another “article” my comments are based on. Note: I don’t agree with the Archbishop’s comment about the importance of the virgin birth. It IS of great importance!
There are many things we say we believe about Christmas that… honestly… come pretty much from songs and tradition… but not Scripture!
Mary most probably did not ride a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Donkeys were tantamount to driving a hummer today. Mary and Joseph would have been too poor to have one. No where does the Scripture say they rode a donkey the 90 miles.
Mary and Joseph weren’t only turned away from the Inn… their family in all likelihood turned them away too. Remember, this was the city where Joseph’s family lived… that’s why they traveled to Bethlehem for the census. He had kinfolks all over the city… which means they must have turned them away also.
The actual manger didn’t look anything like pictured on post cards. It was a cave that looked and smelled more like a barnyard than anything else.
As for the “Kings of Orient are…” We don’t know how many there were… and we don’t know their names. They could have arrived in Bethlehem as much as 18 months after the birth of Christ. This is surmised because Herod ordered all boys under the age of 2 years old to be killed. This would have insured the child was executed. Because of this, many believe the Magi arrived at quite some time after Jesus’ birth.
The Magi from the east were most probably from Persia. There is a good chance that they knew to be looking for the Messiah’s star because of the teaching handed down by Daniel who was placed over them several hundred years earlier. The reason we think there are three is because three gifts were given to the young family.
These are just a few of the things that show us how important it is for us to be wise, careful, and discerning in what we believe. We read The Bible… THEN base our beliefs on what we find there.