The story of Jesus’ birth gets repeated a lot this time of year. But how much of the story we know and repeat is an accurate reflection of what the Scripture teaches? The answers and explanations to these questions are listed below.
1. Fact or Fiction: Everything we know about the birth of Jesus comes from each of the four Gospels.
2. Fact or Fiction: The wise men (Magi) visited Jesus the night he was born.
3. Fact or Fiction: We know that three wise men (Magi) from the East came to see Jesus.
4. Which angel announced Jesus’ birth to Mary?
5. After Mary became pregnant with Jesus, her first action was to:
A. Explain to Joseph what happened
B. Explain to her parents what had happened
C. Visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant
D. Go into seclusion so as not to become an object of shame
6. According to the Gospels where was Jesus born?
7. During the reign of which Roman emperor was Jesus born?
8. How many women are mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus, and who are they?
9. Which animals does the Bible mention in connection with Jesus’ birth?
B. Ox and ass
D. All of the above
10. Did Mary ride a donkey on the way to Bethlehem?
C. The Bible doesn’t specify how she traveled
11. To whom did the angel say, “Do not be afraid”?
D. All of the above
1. Fiction – Everything that we know about Jesus’ birth comes from only two gospels: Matthew and Luke.
2. Fiction – The wise men didn’t visit Jesus on the night he was born. They actually came much later. It could have been as long as two years after His birth. In Matthew 2:2 they come to Herod asking where they might find the one who was already born king of the Jews. In Matthew 2:11 they find Jesus and his family living in a house now; no longer are they in the temporary accommodations they made do with on the night Jesus was born. Then, in Matthew 2:16 Herod becomes furious that the wise men did not return to him and so he orders all the male children in Bethlehem 2 years and under to be killed, based on the time the wise men gave him about Jesus’ birth.
3. Fiction – The Bible doesn’t say how many wise men came. The idea that there were three wise men probably stems from the fact that they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:1-12
4. B. Gabriel – “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27
5. C. – After she discovered that she was pregnant, Mary’s first action was to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant according to Luke 1:39. It is also possible that Mary explained things to her parents and Joseph before this trip took place, but if so, that detail wasn’t recorded by either Matthew or Luke.
6. A. Bethlehem – Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:1-7
7. A. Augustus – “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.” Luke 2:1
8. Five – Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2), Ruth (The Book of Ruth), the wife of Uriah (2 Samuel 11), and Mary (Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2). For more on each of their stories, and they are fascinating, be sure to look them up!
9. A. Sheep – The Bible doesn’t mention any of the animals that we typically pictured in the background of the manger scene. The only animals mentioned are the sheep that the shepherds were keeping watch over on the night of Jesus’ birth. Luke 2:8
10. C. – The Bible doesn’t specify how Mary arrived in Bethlehem.
11. D. – The angel greeted all of them with the words, “Do not be afraid.” Mary in Luke 1:30. The shepherds in Luke 2:10. Zechariah in Luke 1:13.