How Biblically Accurate Is Our Christmas Teaching?

by Karl Bastian Online Resources, Teaching Tips

As most biblically trained Christians know, there are a lot of subtle unbiblical elements of the Christmas story that have snuck into our culture, even into our teaching at church. Mary on the donkey, the Inn Keeper, the “Three Kings” etc. Most of these “errors” are minor or harmless, but they do reflect a tendency toward laziness when it comes to teaching the Bible. Below is a link to a video that points out a few of those errors, while at the same time honoring the Christmas story – rather than just knit-picking, as I’ve often seen done.

Retooning the Nativity (opens in new window)

Funny story – I got in a lot of heat one year for having the Wise Men in the Navity Scene of the Christmas play. It had never crossed my mind before. I was told “that is why the wise men are always placed at a distance away from the actual manger scene, they were on their way.” Duh, silly me, I had no idea they walked so slow and were two years away in all those lawn nativity scenes.

However, when I wrote Hark, from the Herald (the Christmas play in the Kidology.org store), I decided to make it accurate, so when the reporter back in time (investigating the true meaning of Christmas) finds himself by the wisemen, I had them invite him on their journey, but when Hark (from the Herald) asks them their ETA (estimated time of arrival) they explain two years, and Hark opts for the time travel machine instead, with a polite, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ It was my attempt to include them but be biblically accurate for the first time in my ministry. (well, on that topic at least)

Interested in how others include them but keep it accurate. I don’t think it’s too critical with young children. I do have a whole kids church unit on the wise men free for members of Kidology: Wise Kids Still Seek Him
that attempts to be pretty accurate as well, if you are looking for options.

What are your thoughts on teaching Christmas accurately? Or do you let kids figure it out as they get older?

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